Friday, February 3, 2017

Chapter 2: War

This is a continuation of the King Thadar's Catacombs Campaign (Chapter 1: King Thadar's Catacombs).

Possible Paths: You've survived the perils of the catacomb. Depending on what you've found you're faced with some difficult decisions. 10 percent of the wealth in the catacomb is yours, but then again, you've also discovered a second exit. There's more than you can carry but you could certainly gather the most valuable items and hide them outside the tombs...

Then there's Berzeg. If you've met him and haven't managed to kill each other, you may recognize the tall thrymm warrior. He's wanted for the murder of at least one lord and a number of other people. You may, however, be sympathetic to his cause. His raison d'être is the liberation of the thrymm. If he trusts you he may also present you with a path...

Last, there's always the option of returning the same way you came in. You can recollect your items of special value and find Dominik to claim your prize. There's a problem, though. The town is full of busy soldiers. There are water pails, full and scattered around town. Workers are reinforcing the gates. Making your way to city walls, you realize what all the hubbub is about. Down the hill, only a quarter mile away is a field of blue banners and an army ten thousand strong camped out across the valley. You notice the unmistakeable banners of a Városa, a walled city with three stars...

The Path Outside: Just beyond the Hall of Heroes, past the faux wall is a path to the catacombs. Despite the long corridor's eerie look, you smell the unmistakable scent of fresh air. If you follow the corridor for a quarter mile it comes to an intersection. The breeze is stronger from the left hall and sure enough, a stairwell to the surface appears after a few hundred feet. The stair exits out into ruins. You may recognize this as the old ruined castle grounds outside of Kerthaz. From this area you can see the army camped outside of Kerthaz much closer now. You can sneak away at nightfall or approach the army at your peril.

The right hall leads down into a confounding labyrinth haunted by a wight. If the adventurers wish to explore this area it will require some extra work on the GM's part as this leads to the crypts.

For a map of the crypts, Dyson's Spiral Crypt is an excellent map:

Berzerg's Offer: Berzeg wants to undermine the Greens and break them from the inside out. He and his Second have been discussing their new course of action, but if you will aid them, they can split forces. Berzeg and his companions will go to Erod, Városa's biggest rival, and send you to Kekhegi to Baroness Ilka. He offers you a token and a map. He assures you that Ilka, a Blue, will match Lord Gabriel's offer and pay handsomely up front for the map of Thadar's Catacombs (that you have drawn) including the secret entrance from the old ruined castle to Kerthaz. The token is a silver coin with the impression of a mountain with three stars on it. He says, "Show this token in Kekhegi and you will gain an audience with the baroness."

The Valley: The army in the valley is busy with preparations for the siege of Kerthaz and there are more soldiers coming from far afield, including another army. This new force bears green banners. It is the army of Erod. Numbering only some two thousand it sets up camp across the river, unwilling to engage the much larger Blue army. The presence of both the Erod and the Városa army will make it difficult for you to sneak away. The north side of the ruins is completely blocked, but you may be able to slip away south if you pass through the forest. Still, you must avoid press gang patrols and bandits. There is a strong chance that you will be caught on your way south. If you are caught by the Blues the silver coin that Berzeg gave you can help. The insignia on the coin is the signet of Baroness Ilka. Any knight will recognize it and know you and your companions are no common soldiers. Berzeg's half brother, Ubykh is captain of a few hundred warriors in the Városa army and a vassal of Baroness Ilka. If you gain an audience with Ubykh he will interrogate you, but eventually send you on your way with a writ, protecting you from press gangs (at least from the Blues).

Special: If you wish to include the spirited Rahél, she is a towering officer in the army. She will teach you a thing or two about soldiery before the day is over or until you're finally able to get someone to recognize the coin.

Note: If you offer the map to Ubykh he will offer 50 gold for it.

Once away from the army you must avoid marauders. Vale has been thrown into chaos. There is a chance that you will be noticed by bandits. There is also a chance that a village on your way will become the target of bandits (you may or may not choose to intervene). It takes three days to get to Kekhegi and when you get there, a dozen or so warriors are sieging a small outpost at the entrance of a narrow canyon. You must pass them to get to Kekhegi. There are only four soldiers in the outpost and they'll eventually be overwhelmed. If you aid them, one will accompany you to Kekhegi and straight to Ilka, otherwise, if you sneak past them, Kekhegi is only half a day's walk more, leading to Chapter 3: Lady of the Stars.

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