Kantros

Ch. 8: A New Beginning

Ch. 8: A New Beginning

The peace of Kantros has been shattered. The kingdom of Sah’ra lies in ruins, its major cities in ashes and sacked by the invading armies of the Bairing Islands. However, hope remains for the people of the desert. They managed to escape to their fortress in the desert, the Scorpion’s Lair. From here King Acre is hoping that his small army can hold out until help can come from the Fortis Empire, the Beinn Kingdom, and the Confederation of Vallos.
Thousands of people crowd into the desert fortress seeking refuge behind its walls. Its walls are large and strong, nigh impregnable. This ancient fortress was constructed by the Fortis Empire’s greatest architects during the height of its power. It has fallen only once to an attack, the people of Sah’ra during their war of independence. Now the mighty fortress will protect those people from a new invader, one looking to plunge Kantros into darkness.
It has been a day since you have arrived at the Scorpion’s Lair. People from all over Sah’ra have come to the fortress seeking protection. The capital city of Acre was not the only one attacked. The cities of Ayos and Jiffra were also attacked. Unfortunately, not as many people managed to escape with their lives from those cities. Stories of unspeakable atrocities are whispered from survivor to survivor.
King Acre has summoned you to meet with him in his headquarters. You grab your gear and head down.
The headquarters is quiet at the current time. The generals, king and his daughter have done a fine job of strengthening the defenses in their short time in the fortress and are planning for many different scenarios. They have organized the citizens and militia into a makeshift fighting force to compliment their now inadequate army. Many soldiers of the Sah’ra were lost defending the cities and buying time for its people to escape.
“Come in, come in, please, sit at my table.” The King motions for you to join him. As you sit he speaks. “Commander Antarius here speaks of your valor and skill in combat protecting my people. Thank you. Who knows how many people would have died if it not for your efforts. Now on to more pressing matters. Commander Antarius bring everyone up to speed.”
“Yes my king. We have been collecting as many resources and weapons as possible over the last day for the defense of the Lair. We have enough food stores to last us nearly a month. After that we can always eat the horses. The springs that run through the caves and mines provide us with a plentiful water supply. The only concern is man power. Our garrison and remaining forces should be able to do the trick, but for how long is the real question. The Bairing army had more advanced siege weapons than we believed them to have. If they are able to move their forces into the interior of the desert and keep their army supplied then we could be in trouble. That however, is a big question mark, can they survive the desert?”
Vizier Elsen enters the room. “My king, a message from Emperor Fortis and King McMasters.”
The Vizier hands the letter to the king. He quickly reads over it and a smile begins to emerge. He motions for his daughter, Isla, who was standing in the corner of the room, to take a look. After reviewing it King Acre asks his daughter Isla to read the message.

King Acre,
It is with great sadness that news of your dire situation reaches me. However, do not despair, it is for this reason that Beinn, Sah’ra, and the Empire have joined as friends and allies. You are in luck, for I have been performing maneuvers with a legion of my soldiers outside of Centreville. I am but several days march from Fort Navaro and the Kawa River. We will rally to Fort Navaro where we will link up with legions from the mighty fortress and from the Lion’s Keep to the south. I have already sent messengers and ravens to the farthest corners of my Empire to begin preparing for war and bringing together our army. King McMasters, of Beinn, has pledged to do the same. He is preparing his cavalry as we speak to make the journey.
I hope my men, Salvador, Ekans, Lazarus, and Medici, have made themselves useful. They are industrious and talented young men. Unfortunately, I have need for them; please tell them that they are to meet me in five days at the bridge at Fort Navaro.
In the meantime, may the gods be with you and keep you safe through these difficult times.
Emperor Nathaniel Fortis

“I am sad to see the four of you leave, you have been such an inspiration to our people. Is there anything that you require before you are on your way?” The king asks.

Player Response

“Once again thank you for your service. I can only hope that our paths cross again someday.” With that the old king leaves the room.

Commander Antarius, “If the four of you will follow me, I’ll get you some horses for your journey.”

The four men follow the commander and begin preparing their mounts for the trip. They make sure they have all of their belonging packed and Marco makes sure he has his pack mule with the spices as well. As you mount your horses and make your way to the massive gate of the fortress, Princess Isla, the king’s daughter motions for you to come over and speak with her.
“I am sorry we cannot properly reward your heroic deeds at this time. However, I would like to give you this as a parting token of our appreciation. I have for you each a bottle of our desert’s famous Scorpion Brew. It may make the ride over the next few days a little more tolerable.” The future queen bows and gracefully turns and leaves. You can only hope that your paths cross with her path once again.

As you exit the mighty fortress with Commander Antarius the soldiers and men of Sah’ra stand and cheer you on. It appears as though the stories of your heroism have spread throughout the hosts of people behind the walls.
Once outside the walls you get back on the road that heads southwest towards Fort Navaro. The journey is long, but it must be made as quickly as possible to reach the fort in five days. Your party races off in a full gallop.


If Gib Ekans translates the third encrypted message this is what it says.

Jericho,
How goes it my friend? I hope this letter finds you in good health and busy as always. I am writing you to encourage an increase your production. More slaves are required. As usual you will be well compensated for the merchandise. Reports have been that the slaves previously provided have been quite industrious. Continue the efforts, just double the output. I doubt you will have much trouble; The Empire is preoccupied with other things at the moment. The ship for pickup will be at the rendezvous point as usual. Until our paths cross again you dirty piece of filth.

Lectur

Your journey has been a dangerous one, but one that has gone quickly. You cross from the desert into Northern Vallos and make for the river and Fort Navaro. As you get closer to the river you notice a large trail of dust stretching upwards towards the sky from the south. Unfortunately you don’t have time to investigate.
You reach the bridge easily enough and are relieved to find several legions of the Empire’s army breaking camp and getting ready to move out. Pickets stop you at the bridge but you quickly show your rings and are taken to the Emperor’s tent.
Relief washes over you as you notice some familiar faces, Lucius’s father Cyrus and the head of the House Atlantic, Hyperion Gateway.
Emperor Fortis sees you and cracks a smile.
“I am glad you made it. I didn’t know what had happened to the four of you. I send you to get a peace treaty signed and you end up in the middle of a war. A twist of fate isn’t it. Anyways, on to more pressing matters. Give me a report on what happened in Acre.”

Player Response

“Troubling and disturbing news. I received a message just this morning from King Acre that the Bairing Army has laid siege to the Scorpion’s Lair. However, they have yet to launch an assault. Any word on whether Vallos is planning on helping? I know King Acre reached out to them for help as well.”

Player Response

“As I said in my message we were training a couple of legions, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get here so quickly. I know you already know these two gentlemen, they have both told me that you trained at their respective academies. I trust it did you well. They were going through maneuvers and tactics during our training and have accompanied the army at my request. General Tyrell is back in Imperial City mobilizing the rest of our forces. We are even preparing an armada with King McMasters to strike at them from the sea. I can only hope that the Confederation can put their bickering behind them and join this fight. It seems as though we will need the strength of all of Kantros to turn back this dark tide that washes upon our shores. You must be tired, quickly get some rest and a bite to eat. We will leave in just a couple of hours. Let me know if you need anything.”
You go outside and find a place to relax and get some food. A couple of hours pass and word spreads that it is time to head out. The Legions of the army fall into line and a soldier from the Emperor’s royal guard informs you that he wants your party to travel with him at the head of the army.
In total three legions, 15,000 men, will be making their way to rescue the Sah’ra who are holding on in the Scorpion’s Lair. Hopefully the defenders can hold on long enough for the help to arrive. As the army begins crossing the bridge several riders are seen on the horizon. A column of infantry and cavalry are behind them. They are flying the colors of the Confederation of Vallos. The columns stop and several riders from the lead break off and make towards your position.
Emperor Fortis signals for the army to stop and he rides forward with several of his royal guard following along with several officers, including Gateway and Cyrus Salvador. You are told to follow as well.
The two parties meet and stop in front of each other.
“Aldemir Vallon, it is good to see you and even better to see your army.” Emperor Fortis says.
“I wish I could say the same. You are trespassing on Vallos land.”
“What do you mean? We don’t have time for these stupid games and political bickering. The Sah’ra are being attacked as we speak. They are held up in the Scorpion’s Lair, under siege by an invasion force from the Bairing Islands.”
“I know the situation well. I do not need an intelligence report from you. My spies and agents have informed me of the dire straits of the Sah’ra. However, I didn’t anticipate them escaping to the Scorpion’s Lair though. No matter. It will fall soon enough. You see Nathaniel; I am binging about a new beginning for Kantros, ushering in a new age. All I needed was some help from a couple of allies.”
“You are mad Vallon! Do you mean to tell me you are behind this invasion, that you have made an alliance with the Bairing Islands? Do you know what you have done?”
“I am perfectly aware of all that is going on because I have orchestrated it. You are lucky to be alive. Acre is lucky to be alive. Those are the only parts of my plan that haven’t gone according to my wishes, those assassins were sent by my new ally.”
“I find it hard that the other ruling families of the Confederation would be so quick to sign off on this war.”
“They didn’t. In fact they had no clue up until the time that I had them executed. The Jerstons and Welleks had many enemies that were willing to sell them out and assist in my rise to power. In fact that young man’s father helped. He gave me lots of wonderful information on how to take down the Jerstons.” Vallon points at young Marco. “His father was a great pawn and the best thing about pawns is that they are expendable. I have men like that all over, who knows Fortis, maybe I have pawns surrounding you. The Confederation of Vallos is no more, a new beginning is upon us, it is now the Kingdom of Vallos and I am its lord.”
Suddenly the soldiers around Vallon take up crossbows and begin launching their bolts towards Emperor Fortis and his party. Cyrus Salvador jumps off of his mount in an attempt to protect and shield the Emperor, he is struck by two of the crossbow bolts and falls to the ground. The royal guard leaps into action and begins battling Vallon’s men. A fierce melee breaks out and the emperor is whisked away.
Vallon darts back to his line and horns blare. A massive line of cavalry rides up over a ridge and races across the plain towards the Fortis soldiers.
Emperor Fortis, generals, and Gateway begin barking orders once they get back to their lines and the Fortis Legions quickly try to form ranks. The cavalry dashes out in front to meet Vallon’s charge head on. As the masses of men and beast smash into each other the sounds of spears being broken and shields splintered can be heard. The war for Kantros has begun.

View
Ch. 7: A Clever Ruse

Ch. 7: A Clever Ruse

After the long night of violence and fighting, your party of brave heroes gets some much deserved rest. The suite provided by King Acre doesn’t seem nearly as nice now in the morning as it did when you first arrived. The great view of the sea and harbor is now filled with Bairing ships. They serve as a reminder that the situation is dire and grave.
Supply and troop ships have made their way to the shore and have strengthened the invaders forces. However, the morning sunlight shows that the attackers’ casualties were high. The sound of hammers, saws, and workers can be heard. Siege weapons are being constructed on the beach by the Bairing engineers and the walls and weapons of the capital city are being repaired as well.
One can only hope that the messenger ravens sent to the Fortis Empire and Vallos will reach their targets on time and that the call for help will be answered. In the mean time, the King of Sah’ra, has decided he can better protect his people at the ancient stronghold in the middle of the desert appropriately named the “Scorpion’s Lair.” This massive fortress was constructed by the Fortis Empire but was taken by the people of the desert during their war of rebellion. Since that time it has been a symbolic sign of the Sah’ra peoples’ strength.
Challenges abound with this decision however. The journey form from each of the major Sah’ra cities is about a day and a half to the fortress. It is also conceivable that the Bairing armies will not want the people of the cities to escape. It is obvious that they plan to attack again. The king’s generals and advisors are in the middle of devising a plan to escape and live to fight another day.
Unfortunately for your party, you find yourselves in a distant land and caught up in a war that no one was expecting. Things couldn’t quite possibly be worse.

**Players have some free time to rest and recuperate.
- Gib may begin working on decoding the letters. He was given a partially translated letter by Isla.

It reads:
Stavos,
This mission is of the utmost importance. I am asking you to do what you do best, kill. Your target is a difficult one, one with royal blood, King Acre of the Sah’ra. I do not care how he dies; only that he dies. You must not fail me; I am counting on you to strike the first blow. Your service will be rewarded. Here are 50 gold pieces for you to buy equipment. You will receive 500 upon the completion of the deed. After you have killed the King one of my agents will track you down and make sure you make it back to the islands safely and are paid.
Stavos, the islands and I are counting on you, do not let us down. Happy hunting.

Your Lord,
Ezekiel Koth

Gib also successfully deciphers the second message as well.

The men you are to kill are the ones I talked to at the table. There are four of them. Three are from the Empire and the one is Medici’s son. Our spies are confident that these are the men who killed our assassins at Centerpoint. They need to die for their intrusion into our affairs. I set them up for you, they will be making their way down to my dock, and they believe I have cargo for them. You know which roads to watch, just kill them quietly. I will pay you 100 gold pieces for each of their deaths; get the job done, no loose ends.

Lectur

PS – If you are worried about killing the son of Medici don’t be. His father is but a pawn. Marco, his son, is not even that. They are expendable.

The morning slips by into the afternoon and hours trickle by slowly. No fighting, no attacks, no bombardments to your surprise. A knock at the door brings news that you are to meet with the king in his war room. You strap on your armor and grab your weapons as you head out the door.
The war room is a little quieter though there is still an uneasy tension that permeates through the air. The king is sitting next to two generals at the table and as they spot you they motion for you to join them.
“I hope you were able to get some rest. This evening could be even worse. I have heard of your bravery in the defense of our city and people. For that I am in your debt. Emperor Fortis has a good eye for talent.” You sit at the table with the king and his generals. “Gentlemen our situation is grim. Our defenses have been weakened severely and we do not believe we can hold another assault. I have ordered an evacuation of the city. People are packing as we speak for the journey to the Scorpion’s Lair. We will slip out under the cover of the night so that the Bairing forces will not detect our escape. What we need though to make this work is a clever ruse, a way of distracting or disorienting the enemy long enough for our people to escape. We have what we believe to be a good idea, however any suggestions would be appreciated. General.”
One of the generals leans forward and begins going over the plan. “We are going to try and create a massive smoke screen during the next assault. We have had our servants begin moving all of the charcola we have up onto the wall that the raiders are attacking. The charcola has a long slow burn and with the lamp oil poured over it, it will provide a nice thick blanket of smoke. Combine that with hopefully a dark night and the Bairing attackers won’t even know we have left.”
“That is until they actually breach the walls.” The other general obviously has his doubts with the plan up to this point. “The most important part of this plan will be those soldiers staying behind fighting off the barbarians for as long as possible. This will make it appear as though we are actually standing our ground. We are hand selecting some of our finest men for this effort.”
The king chimes in, “This is where we require your expertise. You are all clearly men of great ingenuity and talent. I know you have done much for us already, but this old king must ask another favor of you, would you be willing in helping with this final part of the ruse?”
Player response

“Are there any suggestions that the lot of you could offer up that may aid in our cause?” The king asks.

Player response

Players may make suggestions.

After conversations with the players…

“Very well then. We again thank you for your help. We will begin making the necessary preparations.”

The generals stand up and look to a couple of aides to start sending out messages to officers and soldiers. The king begins conversing with Vizier Elsen and you head back to your room.

The sun sets and the moon and stars begin to make their way out into the nighttime sky. As predicted the Bairing army begins to awaken and the siege weapons are rolled into place. Torches are lit and the battle lines are drawn.
Just like the previous night the Bairing ships light the sky with flaming projectiles and the newly constructed siege weapons on the beach add to the volley. This time however there is but a handful of Sah’ra soldiers waiting.
After a round or two the fires are lit and flames spread on the wall and the smoke fills the air. It gives the impression that the emplacements have caught on fire. The Bairing forces cease their bombardment and the lookout form one of the towers signals the raiders are approaching one of the gatehouses with a battering ram. Several Sah’ra archers pepper the soldiers wheeling the battering ram into position with flaming arrows hoping to catch it one fire.
You can only imagine the scene on the other side of the wall as the hordes of Bairing soldiers approach the walls of the city and the single gatehouse they are trying to break through. Commander Antarius, the commander of the section of wall you defended the previous night finds you.
“Once more into the fire huh? I just received word that they have started the evacuation. All we need to do is hold them here at the gate for the next five or six hours. Shouldn’t be too tough, they only outnumber us.”
Commander Antarius begins rallying the men. One of the generals that was with the king earlier rides back and forth encouraging them to send the Bairing hordes to hell.
The loud thump of the battering ram against the portcullis can be heard and the chilling roars of the screams of the Bairing attackers rise with the smoke.
All of a sudden there is silence and shadowy figures begin to emerge from the smoke. The raiders have arrived. Both sides stand patiently waiting for the other to make the first move. One of the Sah’ra archers lets loose an arrow and drops a Bairing soldier. The battle has begun.
The two lines charge towards one another and clash just inside the gatehouse.

Battle inside the wall:
The dead are beginning to mount inside the wall. The defenders have stood strong, not allowing the Bairing forces to break through. However, the casualties are mounting and the soldiers are wearing out. It will be only a matter of time before they are overwhelmed. The Bairing forces have backed off for the moment and they are most assuredly discussing what is happening with their officers and generals. By this time they at least know that the defenders are trying to bait them in behind the walls.
A messenger emerges from the city and finds the general and Commander Antarius. The two men go over the message and then the commander comes over to you.
“I am afraid I have bad news. We have been asked to hold longer. It is taking more time to get the people of the city out. The good news is they have not been attacked yet. We have unfortunately have not heard from the other cities and do not know their fate. Is there anything I can get for you?”
Player response

“If we survive this war, you four will go down in Sah’ra legend. Your deeds here will not be forgotten.”

With that the bombardment from the Bairing invasion fleet begins again. However, this time Bairing forces begin emerging from both gatehouses. It appears as though the attackers are determined and are redoubling their efforts. The battle continues.

As you mop up the last of the Bairing wave you look over to the other gatehouse. The Sah’ra soldiers there are struggling to push back the attackers and might have their line break. You quickly tell the Sah’ra troops helping you defend your gatehouse to hold their ground and the four of you rush over and join the fray in an attempt to push back the barbarians.

After slaying the last enemy soldier you take a look around and it appears as though you have turned the tide and the remaining Bairing soldiers flee back out to the other side of the wall. You see Commander Antarius and approach him. He is standing over the general that had been leading the defense. The dead general’s chest has three arrows in it and there are several Bairing bodies around him and his slain horse.
“The general went down fighting. How about you four, how are you holding up?”
Player response

“We will not be able to hold another attack. The soldiers here at this gatehouse have reached their limit. I assume it is the same with you. I have heard no word from the others and whether or not they have finished the evacuation. I guess our final course of action is to stand our ground.”
Another volley of fire begins to rain down on the city which is now burning in several areas. The smoke on the wall is beginning to let up, but it doesn’t matter because of the burning buildings within the cities walls.
More Bairing soldiers begin pouring through the gatehouses and charging towards the weary defenders. Battle resumes.
Suddenly arrows from the city begin flying towards the Bairing soldiers and Sah’ra cavalry ride in to join the fray. The defenders that had been fighting begin to withdraw and the arrows and cavalry provide a screen for you to retreat.
Commander Antarius signals for you to join him.
“My friends it appears as if the cavalry has arrived. A messenger has just arrived to let me know that the ruse has worked. Most of the people of the city have escaped. It is time for us to leave. Here, take these mounts.”
Your group begins to make its way through the city and you are astonished to see the fires spreading and the city being engulfed in flames. It is incredible how much destruction have been brought upon the people of Sah’ra. You can imagine that it will get only worse.
The last of the defenders exit the city and make their way into the desert. The Bairing invaders will have a difficult decision to make: do they follow the people of the cities into the desert, or do they let them escape and be content with the coastal territory they have conquered? Only time will tell.
You and the other Sah’ra soldiers quickly catch up with the rest of the people from the city. A massive caravan of women, children, and the elderly, carrying almost everything they can in their hands, on their backs, and by cart winds through the dunes of the desert. After a day’s ride the massive Scorpion’s Lair emerges on the horizon. The safe haven of the Sah’ra people opens its gate and the refugees file in.

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Ch. 6: A Change of Plans

Ch. 6: A Change of Plans
It is an absolutely gorgeous evening. It is partially cloudy but there is just enough of a break for a couple of stars to sneak through for a peak.
On the horizon though are what appear to be ships with lanterns, lots of them to be exact. More and more fires are lit until it appears as though the sea’s horizon is full of them. Marco rushes to his room to grab his telescope. He pears over the horizon.
“You are gonna want to see this.”
Each of you takes a turn looking through the telescope. The lens reveals an armada of Bairing ships, armed with catapults, trebuchets, and balistas preparing to fire.
“It is going to be a long night, and not the kind that I usually like.” Marco says.

Drums beat and horns blare as the alarm is sounded to man the defenses. You must not have been the only ones to see the fleet off the coast. Soldiers pour out of the different barracks and they take up positions manning the defenses of the capital city. Trebuchets, catapults, balistas are loaded and you can hear the grinding of gears and the scurry of the defenders.
There is a knock at your door. You answer it and it is Vizier Elsen, “The king requests for you to join him in the war room.”
You quickly grab your weapons and armor and follow the Vizier to the King. The king has numerous generals giving orders and writing messages for their officers. As you enter the room the king sees you and motions for you to join him.
“Thank you for coming. We have a change of plans it seems. It appears that our alliance will face its first test. Would one of you please write a message to Emperor Fortis asking him to send aid? I did not believe that the Bairing Islands could have such a fleet. There must be a hundred ships off the coast.”

Player response. One of the players needs to write the message out and then give it to the messenger. It will be sent by raven to Fort Navaro and then from there to Imperial City.

“Are any of you knowledgeable in the art of war?” The king asks your group.

Player response.

“Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Take them to commander Antarius’s wall.” King Acre motions for the officer to take you.

You are escorted to the lower levels of the palace where there are secret tunnels that can be used to get to the walls of the city. As you descend into the basement you pass by the furnaces that are used to heat the palace during the cold nights in the desert, quite the luxury for the time. Gib notices that they are shoveling some kind of rock into the furnace for burning. He stops quickly and asks one of the workers what it is.
“It is a rock we call charcola. It burns very slow and gets quite hot. However, they have informed us that we will be heading to the walls to fight. No need to run the furnaces tonight. Things will get hot enough.” The workers throw down their shovels and head out. Gib may take some Charcola if he chooses.
The tunnels run up to a cellar in one of the barracks built into the city defensive wall. You exit and the officer takes you to the commander of this part of the city’s defenses.
“You gentlemen aren’t from here. State your business, as you can see we are going to be quite busy.”
Player response.

“We could use some help in a number of areas to be honest. The city hasn’t been under siege like this during my lifetime.” The commander brings you over to a table that has a map of the city and its defenses on it. “As you can see the city has an outer wall protecting it. This is our main line of defense. There are only five gatehouses, two on the side that face the sea. There probably isn’t much we can do to protect the harbor and ships and shops there. The people of that area outside the wall are being drawn back behind it. However, we do have a number of ships that will launch momentarily to try and destroy any Bairing Raiders possible. They will be outnumbered but we have no choice. The generals have said they believe we will be bombarded and then a landing party will assault the wall. That is where we must hold. If they break through that we can fall back to the palace, but the rest of the city would be lost. Tell me, do any of you have skills piloting a ship?”
Player response.
“Then perhaps you could try and delay them as long as possible. Just sink or damage enough ships to buy us a little more time. Don’t get yourself killed, as soon as you think it prudent, head back to land and help man the wall.” The commander signals to a man talking to a group of soldiers. “Jacopo, this man will help command the Zatara with you, please make sure he makes it to the ship and give these Bairing pirates hell.”
________________ and Jacopo head out to the docks and board the Zatara, a small Sah’ra war ship armed with two ballistas. There are 5 Sah’ra warships that will head out in your party.
The commander turns his attention to the rest of you. “How about the rest of you? I could use some help with the siege equipment, my men have never seen combat before and may be a little nervous there. I wouldn’t suppose any of you have any experience would you?”
Player response.
“Excellent. Make your way up to siege equipment. Along my part of the wall we have 2 ballistas, 2 catapults, and two trebuchets. Help out wherever you can.”
Gib exits the headquarters and makes his way the siege equipment.
“I could use some extra help along the wall. I highly doubt we will be able to stop them from landing. We will need skilled fighters to beat back the attacks at the wall.”
Player response.
“Then follow me. I am heading to the walls myself. I didn’t get to introduce myself; I am Commander Antarius, a pleasure to meet you.”
With that you follow the commander to his post on the wall.

An uneasy tension fills the night sky. The glow of the Bairing ships with their lanterns and weapons lit up makes it appear as if the sun is rising on the horizon, truly a sight to see.
Marco mans the help of the Zatara, the lead ship in the small flotilla that will try to delay and inflict as much damage as possible. Archers man the decks of the Sah’ra ships and the ballistas are ready to fire. In order to inflict as much damage as possible Jacopo has you plot a course for several of the Bairing ships with trebuchets. The ships are larger to support the massive siege engine and will make for an easy target. As you begin to move in the Bairing ships spot you and know what you are attempting.

After the small Sah’ra flotilla’s gallant effort installing the Bairing fleet fails the fleet moves into position to begin its bombardment. The sight is awe inspiring as ballistas, arrows, trebuchets, and catapults launch their ordinance at the defenders. The projectiles smash into the wall sending shrapnel and debris flying.
After sustaining several rounds of fire Commander Antarius receives the signal to fire back, he looks up to Gib on the ramparts with the siege weapons and yells “Give them a volley!!”

The bombardment continues but begins to ease up and you can see the silhouettes of the troop transport ships landing on the beaches and moving into the docks. Luckily, your brave efforts in piloting the ships and aiming the siege weapons bought the people living outside the walls enough time make it inside.
The gatehouses have set up their defenses and the greatest amount of Sah’ra troops have be concentrated there. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t try to break through in other places. Commander Antarius paces up and down the ranks of his troops giving words of encouragement and trying to prepare them for the coming fight. He has divided his soldiers up evenly to start the battle and has held some back off the wall as reinforcements. Antarius has asked Lazarus and Lucius to each help command one of the groups.
The time has come and the Bairing ships launch one last volley towards the defenders of the wall. This time however, instead of being flaming projectiles it is severed heads. The raining of heads sends a chill down every man’s spine. This will not be a fight for treasure or honor. It will be a fight for survival.
Bairing soldiers and archers line up in ranks. Instead of the drab barbarian like warriors you remember fighting, these men are decked out in armor and weapons. They pound their shields with their weapons and let a terrifying scream. Siege ladders are moved to the front and the mass of humanity begins its rush to the wall.

The bodies pile high at the foot of the wall and on its ramparts. However, the defenders are not broken and the sun begins to rise. While you take joy and solace in the fact that you have held against the first assault the grim reality that there is a Bairing armada off the coast is ever present. They will be back. You can see ships bring in new troops and supplies along the shore. It is only a matter of time.

A messenger arrives for Commander Antarius. The commander quickly reads over the message and signals for your group to come over to him.
“The king requests your presence in the war room. You will follow this messenger. If our paths do not cross again, it was an honor to fight alongside you.”
With that your group follows the young messenger down into the secret tunnels that run underneath the city. You arrive back at the palace and are taken to the war room. There you find King Acre, his daughter Isla, and several generals.
“Please come here gentlemen.” The king motions you to join them around the table. “Our defenses have held… at least for the time being. However, it does not appear that the Bairing scum has any plans of leaving soon. So we must make our next move. I am open to suggestions.”
One of the generals steps forward. “Our defenses on the seaside walls are in poor shape after the bombardment. I do not know whether or not we can withstand another attack like the one we endured last night. We just don’t have the man power.”
Another general jumps in. “I do not understand where these barbarians got their weapons. Never in all of my years have I seen Bairing ships so big and with massive siege weapons too. Their soldiers are wielding weapons that are new, swords and shields that have been well crafted. Finer than what many of them typically wield. And as if that were not enough, they are more organized than ever and employing sound tactics and strategy. Where did they learn that?”
The king stands up from his seat, “Do not concern yourself with these things generals. We cannot change that. We must decide how we are to defend, not wonder about where they got their weapons of war.”
Another messenger arrives in the doorway and holds a message up. “My king, messages from Ayos and Jifra.”
The king motions for the boy to bring him the letters. The king opens them franticly and reads them. After doing so he hands them to his daughter standing behind him.
“Last night, after the fleet was spotted three messages were sent. One to our allies, the Fortis Empire, and two to our other main cities. In the messages to Jifra and Ayos I asked them to send reinforcements with all possible speed. I have unfortunately just read that no reinforcements will be coming. Those cities are under attack just the same as us.”
The generals look at each other stunned and silent. The king slouches in his chair and looks as though he as just seen a ghost. However, a new face and voice finds strength to step to the forefront.
“Hope is not lost gentlemen. Our people still have a chance.” Isla says in a strong and clear voice.
One of the generals grunts and responds, “And what hope is that? I would believe that after the shower of heads that surrender is not something that the Bairing thugs would consider.”
“It is not surrender that I propose, it is retreat. A change of plans. Live to fight another day. If it is true that the Fortis Empire is truly our ally now and we believe Emperor Fortis to be a man of his word, then help from them and the Beinn will be on its way. Perhaps this will even end the bickering in Vallos and finally get them to help against the Bairing Islands. The problem is surviving long enough for them to help. Here we cannot do that, but there is one place that we can.”
Isla’s father rises from his seat, “Are you suggesting that we give up our cities, that we retreat to the Scorpion Fortress?”
“It is our only chance. It is a fortress far superior to the defenses here or the other cities. It is in the middle of the desert, it will negate the Bairing fleet, it will force them to deal with the desert on our terms, and we can withstand a siege for a month there with the water and provisions stored.”
“My daughter, you are asking much of me to abandon the cities of my forefathers, but I agree we have no choice.” The King looks at your group and asks “Tell me, in our hour of greatest need, will the forces of the Fortis Empire or of the Confederation stand with us against these invaders?”
Player response.
“Marco Medici, you are from the city of Jeros are you not? Could you write a letter imploring the Confederation to send aid?”
Player response.

“Very well, see to it as quickly as possible. Generals and Vizier Elsen, let us begin drawing up plans for a retreat. Send a message to Jifra and Ayos letting them know of the plan. Send another message to Fortis and McMasters as well.”
The room is abuzz with activity as everyone moves on the kings words.

Isla, moves over to you and pulls you to the side. “Thank you so very much for your service, if we survive this I will make sure you will be well compensated for your service. I suggest you head to your room and get some rest. If the attacks begin again you know your way around by now and you know where the fighting will be.” With an amazing amount of grace and elegance she turns and heads out the door down the hallway.

View
Ch. 5: Honor, Glory, Empire

Ch. 5: For Glory, Honor, and Empire

Trumpets blare and electricity can be felt throughout the city as the Glory Games are set to begin. People have descended up Imperial City from all over the Fortis Empire. Spectators and athletes alike are a buzz. These are the first Glory Games in over 5 years because of turmoil and civil war. However, now that Emperor Fortis has returned peace and stability to the empire things are beginning to return to “normal” as the older folks like to say.
The different academies are the main competitors in the games although there are a few individual athletes who have managed to find their way into the games. The Roland Academy has traditionally performed quite well over the history of the games. However, their domination is being challenged by the House Atlantic Academy. The House’s new breed of “thinking soldiers” has proven to be a change from the traditional. Several smaller academies have also seen some success from time to time as well.
The games are held in the Arena of Heroes, a tribute to the men that have served in the Fortis Empire’s armies. There are statues and memorials throughout the massive arena depicting the heroes of the empire’s history and their great deeds and accomplishments.
There are five different events that will take place over four days.
1. Master Horse Race
2. Chariot Race of Death
3. Top Shot Archery Contest
4. The Gauntlet (Obstacle course)
5. Tournament of Swords.
Winning any one of these events can bring honor and glory to the winner’s family and academy.
There is also money to be made during the games. A shrewd man can make a fortune while gambling on the different contests.
The games start with the Emperor entering and taking his seat in the arena and the masses are awaiting the emperor’s arrival. However, as the drums beat and the trumpets blare it is not the emperor who emerges and takes his seat. Instead it is an Imperial official. The crowd’s roar ceases and only the murmur of rumors and questions can be heard. An uneasy mood fills the arena. It is short lived as the trumpets and drums begin again and the athletes are starting to filter into the arena for the parade.

Our group makes its way to the registrar’s office and sure enough, Cyrus Salvador has gotten any of the characters that qualified in. You take your place in the parade line.
If no qualifying athletes:
You find seats to watch the games.

After Gib finds out that Rac E’Car is participating in the games he may speak with him.
“It is so very good to see you my friend, and here in Imperial City of all places at the Glory Games! How have you been? We have missed you at the House Atlantic.”
Player response.
“I have continued your research and while I am not as talented as you we are making progress on our computational device. I have also began branching out and working on a new project. I have been trying to create fire from rocks. A difficult concept to understand for sure, but I am convinced that some rocks could be ground into a fine dust or powder if you will. They would become quite combustible if in the right state.”
Player response.
“If you ever make it back to the House Atlantic I will show you my work. Perhaps you can help me. It was good seeing you Gib. I hope your travels go well and that our paths cross again soon.”

After watching one of the heats of the horse race a man approaches your and hands a message to Gib.
Or – After the final sword match of the tournament a man approaches Gib and hands him a message.
It reads:
“Follow this man. General Tyrell.”
The group quietly filters out and follows the man to a building several streets away from the arena. The man leading you says something to the man sitting in the chair outside and he stands to open a door. In the room is a cellar door leading you down into the network of tunnels that you traveled through upon arriving in the capital city. The leader lights a torch and tells you to follow him.
The four of you make your way through the tunnels and emerge after a long walk. You are greeted by three Imperial Guards. One of them steps forward and asks you to follow him. As you emerge from this room you are astonished to find yourself in what you can only presume to be the Imperial Palace. It is lavishly decorated and a sight to see. The guards lead you to a chamber and open the door. Lying on a bed in front of you is Emperor Nathaniel Fortis. Sitting at a desk next to him is General Tyrell and in the corner is a large stern looking man that you have not seen before.
“The magnificent athletes (or champions) of the Glory Games. So much for keeping a low profile.” Quips the Emperor.
Player response.
“No matter. I hope you enjoyed yourselves. The journey I will be asking you to take will be a long and arduous one.”
You notice that Emperor Fortis is bed ridden and looks as though he is in pain. It appears as though the rumors of his injury being more sever are true.
“So these are the young men who saved your life Nathaniel?” The large man in the corner of the room steps forward into the light. He is wearing impressive robes and several gold rings on his hands. Attached to the belt around his waist is a scabbard housing a massive broad sword, his beard hides most of his face and you can only imagine the large mouth that it hides beneath. The voice is a clear, deep, and strong one that sends a chill down your spine.
“Why yes they are, Shay.” The emperor winces as he tries to sit up. “I’ll let them introduce themselves.”
Player introductions.
“I am King Shay McMasters of Beinn. Any friend of Nathaniel here is a friend of mine. I must say, the twist of fate that brought you together is quite amazing. He has told me your story. Perhaps another twist is awaiting you.”
General Tyrell rises from the table he has been sitting at. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but we do have pressing matters to attend to. Should we brief them of what is happening?”
“Yes general. Let me start by asking these gentlemen what they know. What say you, have you come across any Intel regarding the happenings within my empire or in all of Kantros?” Asks the Emperor.

Player response.

General Tyrell motions them over to the table. On the table is a map of all of Kantros.
“As you know (or) there was an assassination attempt on King Acre. They have his assassin in captivity and I would assume they are trying to get information from him. We do not yet know if there was a connection between that attack and the one on Emperor Fortis. The Sah’ra have been dealing with even more attacks from the Bairing Islands than we have. The raids are larger and more common. Just three days ago we received a message from King Acre that he would like to broker a peace treaty and a military alliance with us and the Beinn Kingdom. The assassination attempt and the increased attacks have made even the King feel uneasy. As if that weren’t enough, there are rumblings out of the Confederation of Vallos of a growing rift between the three ruling cities. One of Aldemir Vallon’s associates was caught smuggling slaves. There has been an accusation that he was doing this at the request of Vallon himself. Why, we do not know. We also do not know who he was selling the slaves too. It may be in connection to the slaver you killed, Jericho Aimes. Regardless, the other two families, the Jerstons and the Welleks are up in arms. We believe that they could be possibly mobilizing their armies as we speak. While the Jerstons and the Welleks have been willing to do business and have been friendly to the Empire and the Beinn, Vallon has been less so.”
Shay McMasters steps over to the table. “As you can easily see this is a perilous time for Kantros. Unfortunately for us, Nathaniel here is injured and laid up for a while. He is the one man who might be able to get everyone on the same page and unite Kantros against the Bairing Islands and stop their raids. He might just be able to prevent a war here on the main land as well.”
General Tyrell “This is where your party comes into play.”
Emperor Fortis “I need you to run damage control until I can recover from my wounds. I need you to be my eyes, ears, and be messengers. Explain to them General their mission.”
“With the request for an alliance with the Sah’ra it provides an opportunity to ensure peace between our three kingdoms. It also provides an ally against the islands, an ally that we will need if we ever hope to invade and end the threat once and for all. However, with war in the Confederation a real possibility, an alliance could be perceived as a threat to the three ruling families. Especially the family of Vallon who still harbors very real hatred towards the Fortis Empire. We cannot have the ruling families of Vallos believe that our empire, the Sah’ra, and the Beinn are going to team up against them. That is why we would like you to discretely travel to the capital city of Acre and meet with King Acre and propose the alliance that King McMasters and Emperor Fortis have drawn up.”
McMasters interrupts, “This is where me and the emperor disagree. He wants this done discretely, I want this done loudly. It will let the Confederation know we mean business, and if those barbarians on the islands find out all the better. I have proposed to send a squadron of my finest soldiers to Acre, Nathaniel here says that is too threatening.”
The emperor has now managed to prop himself up and he offers a rebuttal. “We were just over this Shay. This could very well be seen as a threat. We cannot chance that. Sending these men gives us the best chance to do this quietly until things calm down. Leave the diplomacy to me and I’ll leave the head cracking to you.”
The group shares a laugh and General Tyrell draws their attention back to the map.
“The journey will be a long one. You will unfortunately have to make this one on land. The raiders up north would surely sink your ship and we cannot guarantee you safe travel around the southern part of Vallos at this time. Here is the peace treaty and the alliance that you are to deliver to King Acre.” He hands you a leather pouch containing the papers. “He will most surely agree to these terms. Whether or not he does you will send word back to us via raven. You should not have any problems traveling through the Empire and the Sah’ra will treat you well. We will send word that King Acre is to expect you.”
“Just in case you do run into trouble I have something for you.” Emperor Fortis motions for a servant to bring him a small box. The emperor opens the box to reveal four rings bearing the lion crest of the Fortis Empire. “Take these rings. They show that you are official agents of mine. Should you get into trouble crossing into Sah’ra show them. They will guarantee you safe passage to the capital city. Keep them safe and hidden. While they may mean friend to some, others it means foe.”
Each member steps forward and takes a ring form the box on the bed next to the Emperor. These rings give you +1 to your Charisma attribute.
He continues. “After you have finished with your mission return to Fort Navaro. I will hopefully be recovered by then and will meet you there. In the meantime, I can only pray to the gods that war hasn’t broken out in Vallos.”
“Any questions?” Asks the general.
Player response.
“I cannot tell you how dangerous this mission could be. You may face no challenges at all or you may run into hurdle after hurdle. I can only hope that your strength, skills, and ingenuity can prevail.” With that the emperor’s physician enters the room and begins to shoo everyone out of the room including King McMasters and General Tyrell.
The general gives the group a requisition list for horses for the journey across Kantros. He excuses himself and begins talking to a group of officers as they make their way down the hallway.
“Well Gents, I wish you the very best on your journey. I honestly don’t understand why Emperor Fortis is willing to trust you, but if he does then so do I. Nathaniel and his family have been dear friends and allies of our kingdom and of my family for generations. Please don’t let him down, if you do, you’ll have to answer to me.” You can see a large smile beneath the robust beard of the King. He turns and heads down a dark hallway.

The group acquires their mounts and then heads back to the Emperor’s Jewel to get their belongings. As the men get their stuff Marco’s first mate is waiting in the lobby.
“Sir, we have been docked now for several days. Where are we headed next? The men are starting to get restless.”
Player response.

Depending on what Marco says he can have improvements done to his ships.
Extra Sails – 25 gold Roll D4 and add that many movement for the Sea Bitch.
Armor on hull – 30 gold Roll D20 and add that many HP to the Sea Bitch.
Secret compartments –20 gold Add in secret smuggling compartments.

Player response.

The group finishes gathering their belongings and packs their saddle bags. If they so choose they may stop by a local merchant on their way out of town.

After shopping you head out. You pass beneath the gates of the Emperor’s Wall and marvel and the massive defensive structures. You think to yourselves about where you are heading, a foreign land that none of you has ever been to.

Your journey to the other side of Kantros takes you through the city of Centreville, home of the House Atlantic Military College. The first leg of the journey goes easily and according to plan without any issues.
As you approach the outskirts of the town you can see the keep of the college rising above the skyline of the other buildings. This is the learning place of Gib Ekans and his friend Rac E’Car. The House Atlantic is under the command and tutelage of Hyperion Gateway, a master tactician and impressive scholar. The House Atlantic is a new military college, focusing on the other elements of warfare besides strength, speed, and brute force. Here the students learn mathematics, science, literature, art, strategy, and tactics. The young men are encouraged to sharpen their mind, not just their body.
As you ride up the college it is clear that it certainly is newer but not nearly as intimidating as the Roland Academy in Imperial City. It just so happens that Gib’s friend Rac is in the court yard practicing his sword fighting with another student.
“Gib!” Yells Rac as he sees his friend and compatriots ride up. “Didn’t think I’d be seeing you this soon again. What a surprise! Are you just passing through or staying for a while?”
Player response.
“Let me go get Master Hyperion, he will want to see you.”
Rac heads into the keep, one of 7 or 8 buildings that make up the House Atlantic College. He emerges again with a rather large gentleman by his side. It is Hyperion Gateway, a man who looks a little tubby but exudes a charisma that is hard to miss.
“Welcome to the House Atlantic. Gib it is good to see you again. What brings you back? Last I had heard you had been over at Centerpoint celebrating the Emperor’s coronation.”
Player response.
“Introduce me to your friends.”
Player response.
“If you have time, you all are welcome to use our facilities and train. I apologize for having to excuse myself, but I have a curriculum issue to deal with. Let me know when you have finished your training and are ready to leave.”
At the House Atlantic you have the choice of training several attributes or skills. In order to receive a training bonus you will need to complete several tasks. Unfortunately because of the journey ahead you only have time to train twice.

Intelligence training – Train with Professor Stark

Charisma training – Train with Professor John Freeman

Wisdom training – Train with Professor Kenobi Yodak

In order to train a skill the student must visit Master Ignignot Urr.

After everyone has finished their training Rac approaches the group and asks Gib if he would like to see the new work he has been doing.
Rac takes the group to his workshop in one of the other buildings on the campus. It is a cluttered workplace and it is clear that clutter is the form of organization being employed.
“Here are the different compounds that I have been working on. This one I call sulfur. I have been mixing it with this one that I call nitrate. I haven’t been able to find the right combination yet and haven’t had very promising results. Perhaps I need another element, something that could serve as a fuel for the burn. I don’t know but here is a little of each. Experiment and maybe you can have more success than I.”
Player response.
“Well I have to get back to class. I have a siege warfare class starting soon. I hope our paths cross again soon my friend.” And Rac and Gib embrace and then he is off.
The group heads to the keep to meet up with head master Gateway. However, he is waiting for them in the door way talking to one of his school officials.
“I trust your training went well. As you can see we take a new approach to training here at the college. Unfortunately I have just received an order to report to Imperial City. I guess there is an escalating issue in the Confederation of Vallos. It appears as though the ruling families are at odds with one another. The Emperor is calling in some of his advisors and generals. I must be off. God’s speed to you on your travels.”
Master Gateway heads off with his official and you are now free to go.

The journey continues eastward for your group over the next couple of days. As you approach the middle of Kantros the massive mountains begin to fill the skies. The center of Kantros is home to incredible mountains and massive forests. It is truly awe inspiring and has served as a natural boundary between the east and west. There is only one true road that passes through the middle, however, numerous back paths and trails are used by hunters, smugglers, and bandits all the time. This area is especially known for its dangerous bandits that have hideouts and bases tucked into the dense woods and mountain valleys.

Your group takes another day to reach the midpoint of Kantros, Centerpoint City. This is the city that your group was at when you first met. The city is really a city in name only, it is more of a large town, but still significant because of its location none the less. Perhaps you can find a place to stay so that you can bathe and sleep in a bed for the evening. Maybe you can even enjoy the company of a woman should you choose.

You make your way into the town and head to the local tavern and inn. The party puts their horses up in the stable behind the tavern and heads in. Inside the inn you approach the hostess.
Players must negotiate rate for room(s).

After the settling in at your rooms you have a little down time to relax and enjoy the comforts of civilization after being on the road and traveling over the last couple of weeks.

1. Tavern – Can eat a hot meal, small talk with the locals or other travelers, or play “Panic at the Dice-Co.”
2. Visit the brothel.
3. Browse the local blacksmith’s shop and apothecary.

Tavern
- Meal 2 silver.
- May talk to bartender. Gather Information: 12
- Player initiates conversation.
- Bartender: “Rumor has it war is about to break out in the Confederation of Vallos. The last merchants to come through here from there said things are getting bad. Supposedly there is a major power play between the ruling families, each is trying to muscle each other out. It all started when Vallon was found hiring a man to run slaves. Hard to believe. Anyways the merchant that was here last said there probably wouldn’t be many travelers coming out of Vallos anytime soon. He saw soldiers of Vallon making their way out to control the roads and bridges in an attempt to lock Vallos down. The Jerstons and the Welleks have called an emergency meeting in the capital city of Tyree according to him. I hope whatever happens it happens fast and without bloodshed. The Confederation supplies a good bit of food for Kantros.”
- Overhear conversation between two men sitting at table next to bar. Listen: 12
- “I just dropped off a load of iron from Beinn in Imperial City and man the city is nervous. I was talking to one of the soldiers there and he told me that the Emperor has just sent an army of several thousand soldiers to North Point. I guess the raids up north have gotten so bad that they attacked even the North Keep itself.”
The man sitting with him responds “That is incredible. Those barbarians are really causing some trouble, chaos really. A trader from Sah’ra said they were being attacked too. Those fools from the Bairing Islands need to be dealt with once and for all and shown what civilization is really like. They are evil men.”

- Play Panic at the DiceCo. Max bet is 2 Gold.

Brothel
If Marco visits the brothel he is immediately recognized and swarmed by the women of the institution. His legend and the stories of his last trip have the ladies buzzing and hoping that he chooses them for his quest of self satisfaction.

Blacksmith’s Shop and Apothecary
Unfortunately because of the problems throughout the lands of Kantros there are very little supplies and things for your group to buy. Very few merchants and traders have passed through Centerpoint in the last couple of weeks.

After spending the evening the group is recharged and ready to head out. It is early in the morning and the sun is just peaking over the mountains as you hit the road heading west to Sah’ra.

After riding for a day your party sets up camp for the evening. The night progresses well enough until…
A large figure wearing a dark cloak approaches your group.
Player response.
A deep and dark voice that sounds like it is from the depths of the underworld itself emanates from the figure.
“I seek the one that is filled with the darkness. He must join our ranks and be sacrificed to the dark lord. His darkness will add to our strength.”
Player response.
“You all will die. I will take the one full of darkness with me.” Willpower Check – 12

Battle

After battling for several turns…
Suddenly another figure emerges from the forest and jumps into the battle. It moves like lightning darting back and forth in its white cloak. It engages the figure in black and an epic duel commences.
After trading blows the figure wearing white starts speaking in a tongue that is not recognizable by any in your group. The figure in white then takes its sword now glowing like it is white hot and in one fell swoop strikes down the figure wearing black.
You move slowly towards the figure in white as the man stands over the slain combatant. The figure in white removes the hood of its cloak revealing an elderly man. Lazarus immediately recognizes it is Abraham, the master of the White Hand Assassins, and drops to one knee.
“Master, you saved us. I am in your debt.” Lazarus says towards his master.
“Rise my son. This was a battle I was afraid was coming and honestly, is one that you alone or your friends could win.”
Abraham bends down and removes the hood of the dark figure. The man inside is still alive but is slipping the surly bonds of Kantros. The dark figure begins to chuckle to himself and says…
“The legion has awoken. Our master from across the waters is calling to us. As we get stronger we will bring him to us and Kantros will be consumed when he crosses to this land.” With that the figure begins to deteriorate and a strong wind blows the ashes of the figure away into the darkness of the night.
Player response.
“Lazarus I am afraid your condition is a symptom of a larger problem. This warrior was a member of the Legion, a dark cult dedicated to plunging Kantros into despair and darkness. What I am speaking of is known by myself and maybe only a handful of others in all of Kantros. When the ancients came to Kantros and brought with them knowledge, small kingdoms began to emerge. One of those kingdoms was ruled by the group that became known as the Legion. They were evil to the core; it corrupted them into monsters and demons. However, after generations of war against those who would not submit they were defeated and pushed into the mountains of Kantros. Almost all of them boarded ships and sailed away, to where we do not know. A small number remained here, hiding away in temples constructed in the mountains of Kantros, waiting for the return of those that had left, hoping that someday they would consume this land. It appears as though they are awakening. Our order, The White Hand was created to purge Kantros of evil which the Legion consume and thrive on. It appears as though we are not doing our job well enough. Did he say anything to you?”
Player response.
“That is not good at all. According to the myths and legends that have been passed down through our order they will track down and sacrifice those with evil inside. Once enough evil has been collected it will act as a beacon or signal for the rest of the Legion to return. With them will come their dark lord or king, an entity that is said to have an insatiable thirst for conquest. The Legion will continue to pursue you Lazarus. Whatever it is inside of you they want it. I do not know what is in your past that is so evil that it calls to them, but you must make a choice. Will you be a force for good or a force for evil? Remember, destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice, at that choice is yours.”

Player response.
“I must be going. It appears as though I have much work to do. Fulfill your mission for Emperor Fortis, he may be our only hope if the Legion come back.” With that the old man walks into the tree line and disappears as if he was never there.

After your encounter with the member of the Legion you regain your composure and rest up until dawn breaks. You pack your supplies and head on the road towards Sah’ra. After riding for several hours you approach the massive fortress protecting the eastern boarder of the Fortis Empire, Fort Navaro. Designed by Benji Navaro, a general of the Fortis Empire nearly 200 years ago, it is still an incredible structure. The road leading into the massive fortress is surprisingly quiet.
As a group you must decide whether you would like to approach the fort or pass by on the road that runs alongside and then crosses the Kawa River.

If Players choose to enter:
You ride towards the gatehouse of fort and notice several guards at their post. An archer raises his bow and puts an arrow in front of your horses.
“Halt. Only official Imperial personnel.”

Players must present their rings bearing the Imperial insignia of the Lion to gain entrance to Fort Navaro.

There are a number of loud clangs and the ground beneath your mounts trembles as the titanic gate begins to open. It opens only part way to reveal 5 armed guards approaching you. They quickly and quietly examine your rings. One of them looks back and signals a man to come forward. He is clearly an officer, he looks at the rings and then asks you to dismount and follow him.
You are led through the gatehouse and into the courtyard of the fortress. Waiting for you is the commander of the Fortress, General Lionel.
“Welcome gentlemen, I am General Lionel, how may I help you?”

Player response

Just play it by ear depending on what they ask for.

If players choose to pass Fort Navaro:
You continue on the road next to Fort Navaro and marvel at its size. It truly is a simple of the Fortis Empire’s former glory.

You soon arrive at the bridge that crosses the Kawa River, and ride over to the other side. Your party now finds itself in the northern part of the Confederation of Vallos. Just as on the Fortis side, the road appears empty and quiet.
The days ahead are easy enough as you head further north the only thing that changes is the heat. Grass, trees, and animals become few and far between. Eventually the grasslands give way to sandy dunes and you cross the Wadi river at the only major bridge. You cross and it appears as though there is no one around, suddenly a group of me on horseback appear over a hill and begin riding at you at break neck speed. One man is a standard bearer with a flag showing the brown flag with and yellow scorpion of the Sah’ra.
The riders soon circle you and a rider asks “What is your business here?”

Player response.

“Do you have proof of your intentions?”

Player response.

“Very well, we will take you to King Acre.”

Over the next couple of days you travel through the sweltering heat of the desert and by the Scorpion’s Lair, the ancient fortress where the Sah’ra won their independence against the Fortis Empire centuries ago. The Sah’ra are a fiercely independent and proud people but they have warmed up to outsiders as the decades have worn on. As you approach the capital city of Acre you marvel at its majestic architecture which is completely different from anything that you have ever seen in the different parts of Kantros. The spire of the palace can be seen from over a mile away.
The escorts take you through the heart of the city showing off the wealth and splendor of Acre. Numerous fountains provide the water needed for the city to sustain itself and its people. Without the wells below the city it would not be possible for the thousands of inhabitants to call Acre home.
The palace sits on the coastal side of town. Its upper levels easily peer over the stone walls that protect the city and provide for breathtaking views. Soldiers can be seen manning their posts throughout the city and you can feel the tension that sits in the air from which you assume can be attributed to the assassination attempt on King Acre and the Bairing Islands attacks.
The escorts ask you to dismount and your horses are cared for. You are taken into the main hall where you can see the throne of the king. Adorning the walls and huge room are trophies of exotic game and art. A large dressed in fine robes approaches you and blocks your sight of the throne.
“Greetings and salutations. We have been expecting you. I am Vizier Elsen, chief council to King Acre.”
Player response.
“King Acre would like to welcome you to our wonderful city. We hope that your journey was a safe one. The journey from one side of Kantros can be long and difficult. I am sure Emperor Fortis filled you in on your mission and our situation. King Acre has given me orders to take you to him upon your arrival, so if you will follow me I will take you to his study.”
Vizier Elsen takes you through the palace to the King’s study, under the ever watchful eye of guards present in almost every room. The doors open to show books on shelves from the floor to the ceiling. An elderly gentleman sits at a desk studying one of the dozen books on his table.
“My king, the officials of the Fortis Empire are here.”

The old man stands up from the table and grabs the cane that was leaning against the table. He approaches your group and extends his hand and takes a bow.
“Welcome my new friends.”
You bow and pay your respects to the king.
“I believe you have something for me? I am not going to drag this out with unnecessary pleasantries, I am too old and do not have time for that.”
Player response.
Vizier Elsen steps forward and takes the two copies of the peace treaty and hands it to the king. King Acre pours over the treaty, a sharp intensity fills his eyes and you can tell that while he may be old, the great king has not lost his wits or his mind.
“Everything appears to be in order. Emperor Fortis has delivered a treaty as promised. This will help ensure the safety of my people even after my death. It is good to have powerful friends, especially during these difficult times. Vizier Elsen, would you please get me a writing utensil.”
The vizier goes through one of the drawers and pulls out a quill and some ink and without the pomp and circumstance that usually precedes or follows the signing of a treaty King Acre makes his mark. Wax is poured next to his name and the king pushes his ring to it giving the treaty the official scorpion seal of the Sah’ra. His name and seal are next to Emperor Fortis’s and King McMasters. The procedure is replicated with the second treaty and it is given back to your party to return to the Emperor.
“So it is finished. Thank you for making the journey. I know it probably wasn’t the easiest trip. Tell me, with whom am I making history with?”
Player response.
“If it pleases you I would like to invite you to stay for a couple of days before your return journey. It would honor me if you would accept it as a token of my appreciation.”
Player response.
“Vizier, please make arrangements for the gentlemen to have one of the suites overlooking the sea. They will enjoy it and will help them relax and unwind. Also, please have a message drawn up and sent to Emperor Fortis by raven. Make sure it leaves at once.”
“As you wish my king.” Vizier Elsen heads out the back door.
“You will most certainly enjoy your stay. We may not be the most powerful or the wealthiest in all of Kantros, but we do know how to treat our guests. I would like to invite you to a dinner this evening. I will send someone for you after you have had a chance to rest. In the mean time follow my servant here and he will show you to your room.”
Player response.

The four of you are taken to your suite and you are not disappointed. It is massive with five different rooms and a large balcony with breathtaking views of the sea. You unpack and relax. After a while there is a knock on your door. It is another servant ready to escort you to dinner.
The dining hall is impressively decorated and the table is adorned with food that looks and smells incredible. Vizier Elsen welcomes you and shows you to your seats at the massive table. Other men and women slowly filter in, dignitaries, generals, and other advisors fill up the spaces. Suddenly the room goes quiet and everyone stands. In comes the old king with a woman much younger than him at his side. The woman is a masterpiece and the perfection of the female form. Her beauty is absolutely stunning. The two take their seats at the head of the table and the meal progresses with course after course of food.
After the last food has been eaten the King stands and raises his goblet.
“To our guests and new allies of the Fortis Empire. May peace between our kingdoms last for a thousand years.”
Everyone drinks to the King’s toast and everyone begins to visit. Eventually the different people begin to filter out. The king and his lovely wife make their way over to the four of you.
“I trust you enjoyed the food. Maybe a little different than what you are used to back home. I apologize, where are my manners, I have not yet introduced you to my daughter, Isla.”
The young lady curtsies. “My father tells me that you gentlemen brought the treaty. We are in your debt. The protection of the Empire cannot come at a better time for our people.”
“Isla here will be queen and ruler of Sah’ra after my time here has passed. She is the one that convinced me to reach out to Emperor Fortis. She will make a fine queen. Well gentlemen, if you will excuse me, I must retire. These old bones can only handle so much excitement for one day. Isla, I will see you in the morning.”
King Acre heads out and several in his entourage follow.
“If I may, I would like to show you back to your room for the evening.”
The four of you follow the young lady as you begin the walk back to your room.
“My father is lucky to be alive. He too was almost killed by an assassin, much like your Emperor. We have heard of the attempt on his life. Very discouraging it is. Even more troubling are the attacks on our people. Many of those living in the smaller towns and villages have had to leave their homes and are now living in one of our three cities. If is becoming a little more crowded than we would like. How bad have the raids on the northern part of the Empire been?”
Player response.
“I am sure you are well aware of the troubling news coming out of the Confederation as well. Just another reason why I wanted my father to find friends and allies. Unfortunately his health has been deteriorating quickly. Ever since my mother passed away a couple of years ago he has been just passing the days by. I am an only child, and the responsibility of ruling will fall to me after he passes. I do not look forward to these troubling times. Tell me, would you be willing to do me a favor?”
Player response.
“I do not know you gentlemen, but you must be men of honor to be trusted by your emperor. Would you please help me solve the mystery surrounding my father’s assailant? I want to know who tried to kill my father and return the favor.”
Player response.
“We did capture the would be assassin alive, unfortunately he died just days before your arrival. However, we did find this.” Isla removes from her cleavage a letter. “It is a message for the assailant. It is partially translated, however, I am no good at such things and I do not know who to trust with it. There will be those that will not want me to be queen and I must find out my friends before I trust this to someone. You four on the other hand, have no allegiances and would be willing to kill for money I assume?”
Player response.
“I am glad to hear that we can be “friends”. I look forward to getting to know you all more in the future and hopefully we can be of assistance to one another in the future. Unfortunately, here is your room. Here take this letter, see if you can translate it for me. Let me know if you discover anything in the morning. Good evening, rest up. I am sure tomorrow will have many surprises.” With that she hands over the letter and heads down the hallway.
You head into your room and open the letter. To your astonishment it is written in the same script as the coded messages you already possess, the one from your would be killers in Jeros and the letter you found in Jericho Aimes tent. It has had several words already converted or translated, however, it still appears to be quite complex. Perhaps if given time the messages can be translated. However, that will have to wait. The four of you head out to the balcony where you begin to let your minds wander.

It is an absolutely gorgeous evening. It is partially cloudy but there is just enough of a break for a couple of stars to break through for a peak.
On the horizon though are what appear to be ships with lanterns, lots of them to be exact. More and more fires are lit until it appears as though the sea’s horizon is full of them. Marco rushes to his room to grab his telescope. He pears over the horizon.
“You are gonna want to see this.”
Each of you takes a turn looking through the telescope. The lens reveals an armada of Bairing ships, armed with catapults, trebuchets, and balistas preparing to fire.
“It is going to be a long night, and not the kind that I usually like.” Marco says.

View
Ch. 4: Heading Home

Ch. 4: Heading Home

The Sea Bitch makes its journey southward towards Imperial City, capital of the Fortis Empire. The group looks towards the horizon and the massive spires and towers that dot the skyline of the amazing city. Perhaps this trip will allow a little more exploration of the jewel of Kantros.

The Sea Bitch makes its way to the dock designated as its berth. On the dock are just two soldiers and no sign of General Tyrell who greeted them last time. As the crew ties up the ship a wave of emotions washes upon Lucius.
“Home.” He thinks to himself. Last time they were just passing through the city on their way to North Point with the weapons shipment. Since that time he had seen death up close and personal and put to use the skills he had learned at the Roland Training Academy. Perhaps he would stop by and visit father.
Gib meanwhile was interested in exploring some of the large city. He was well versed in the different activities the city had to offer but because of his rigid training and schooling schedule had never been able to spend any meaningful time in Imperial City.
Lazarus, worried about his recent struggles with a darker and deeper plague growing inside of him was looking forward to a little time to meditate and reflect upon his current difficulties.
The fourth member of the group, Marco, couldn’t help but notice the rousing he felt in his pants as he imagined all of the women and quite possibly gold he could encounter in a prolonged stay in the capital city.
But before any of them could even step of the dock the soldier awaiting them stepped forward and handed them a message.
“Gentlemen, I trust your journey to North Point went well. General Raynada informed me that the weapons made it and have been put to use. He also informed us that you personally dispatched of a raiding party south of North Point. A troubling development indeed. He also said you asserted yourselves quite nicely in accomplishing a couple of other tasks. I am glad to hear it. If you would please head to the palace with these two soldiers. I would like to speak with you. Emperor Nathaniel Fortis.”

The group gathers their belongings and starts to follow the guards. They are taken through a number of streets until finally they reach what appears to be an abandoned building. The men step inside and watch as the guards open a secret passage that leads to a set of stairs and a secret tunnel. A torch is grabbed and they plunge into the darkness below.
After walking for what seems like an eternity and taking numerous turns through the caverns the soldiers lead the group up a set of stairs. They emerge to be met by General Bronson Tyrell.
“No problems huh? Got the job done and then some from what I’ve been told.” The general remarks.

Player response.

“I have here for you your payments. 10 gold pieces each and you may pick something out from our armory if you wish. Marco, I had the payment for your father sent after I received confirmation from General Raynada that the weapons were delivered.”

Player response.

“There have been a couple of developments over the last couple of weeks. The Emperor may require your services once again. He will send for you when the time comes. In the meantime we have reserved some rooms for you to stay in at one of the finer taverns here in the city. We would like you to remain here for the next day or so. Keep a low profile and stay out of trouble.” With that the general hands Lucius a card with the Imperial sign and the name of the tavern you will be staying at, the “Emperor’s Gem” and he exits with a couple of the soldiers.
As they leave another of the soldiers opens up a large chest containing weapons and armor. “The general said you can take some new equipment if you like.”

Weapons:
- Imperial Guard Sword: +1 attack, +1 defense, +1 damage. Non-upgradeable.
- Imperial Bow: +1 attack, +1 damage. Non-upgradeable.
- Fortis Soldier Heavy Armor: 15 defense, +5 HP, -1 movement.
- Fortis Captain Light Armor: +1 defense, +2 constitution, +1 reflex, -1 movement.
- Flex Steel Armor: +2 dexterity, +2 reflex, +1 movement, -5 HP.
- Imperial Guard Shield: +1 defense, roll 18-20 block attack. Non-upgradeable.
- Vanguard Pike: +1 attack, +4 damage.

After talking with the general the group heads to the tavern in which they will be staying and checks into their rooms.

The party now has a decision on what they would like to do.

Options:
- Each player may send a message via a raven to someone of their choice.
- Visit the tavern downstairs.
- Head over to the game hall called the Sturdivant.
- Visit the race track, Thunderdome.
- Go to the Roland Training Academy.

Tavern of the Emperor’s Gem:
The tavern is a lively atmosphere and people are enjoying themselves. There are people listening to music and watching jugglers. There are plenty of good times to be had.
Players can:
Have a meal.
Listen in on conversations or talk with some of the locals.
- Listen check: +12 – Over hear that the emperor has not been seen or made an appearance since the assassin attempted to take his life at Center Point. Also hear people discussing the upcoming Glory Games pitting the greatest horsemen, swordsmen, and athletes from around the empire against one another.

- Gather information: +12 – Can talk to a gentleman and learn info above. New piece of information: There have been rumors that there are more and more attacks up north by the Bairing Raiders. Also there has been talk of the attacking the Sah’Ra. It is rumored that their leader, King Zhan Acre, was also attacked by assassins, except they caught one of the assassins alive and are attempting to get him to talk.

Take a shot at performing and impressing the crowd.
- Perform skill: +25 – Impress the patrons and gather 1 gold, 22 silver, and 21 bronze in tips.

Sturdivant Game Hall
Players may play Panic at the DiceCo. Max bet is 2 gold.
Players may gather information by talking to different patrons.
Gather Information: +17 Speak with the Merchant Jefferson Frankwith
- He has just returned from the capital city of the Confederation of Vallos, Tyree. The mood was eerie and restless. He had spoken with some of the local business men and he was told that the ruling families of the Confederation were having disputes behind closed doors. Supposedly Aldemir Vallon is flexing his political clout and trying to push around the Jerstons and the Welliks. The Jerstons and the Welliks are threatening to leave the Confederation. It was rumored that one of Vallon’s known associates, Will Lectur, was dealing in slaves. This has caused the majority of the angst between the ruling families.

Thunderdome Racetrack
A lively atmosphere surrounds the Thunderdome Racetrack as horse races and chariot races take place daily. Players may place bets on the races should they choose. They may also race in them if they wish.
To bet on a race a player must select a horse and place down a bet. If they choose one horse and it wins they double their money. If they put money down and bet on the trifecta they will X10 the money bet. The trifecta is selecting the top three finishing horses correctly.
Chariot races are also held. These are much more prestigious and a minimum bet of 2 gold is required, however, payouts are X3. The race takes place just like a horse race except the riders may attack each other using their whips. Each rider can take three hits before they are flung from their chariot. The whips have a 2 hex range. A rider needs to roll a 12 or higher to hit another chariot.
Both chariot and horse races here use a D4 for movement around the track.

The group has had a long day of gambling, sex, and racing and heads back to the Emperor’s Gem. The get a good night’s rest and wake ready for the next day.
Lucius awakes to find that a letter has been slid under his door. It is from his father. It reads.
“Son, I am glad to hear of your adventures. If you have time I would certainly like to see you. Your father, Cyrus.”

Lucius goes to each of his compatriot’s door and wakes them up. He informs them that they are going to visit his father at the academy.

Party members may choose whether or not they want to attend the academy with Lucius or not.

Roland Training Academy

A strong rush of emotions washes over Lucius as the group turns the corner and they get their first look at the Roland Training Academy. It is a massive fortress on the outskirts of the capital city. Its walls are high and its gate foreboding. From here some of the Empire’s greatest warriors have been molded and honed their craft of warfare. Lucius has known no other place as home. His father, Cyrus Salvador, has been the head master of the academy for the past 15 years. In its cemetery also rests his mother, who died while giving birth to Lucius. It is a place of sorrow, joy, blood, sweat, and tears, for the Salvador family.
The guards at the gate instantly recognize young Lucius and allow him and his friends to enter. As the gates open the group moves into the courtyard and Lucius turns to them and says “Home.”
Within the walls lies a massive courtyard with just about every piece of battlefield equipment to train with. There is a set of barracks, stables, armory, and the keep itself, all pristinely maintained. There are recruits training in a number of the different areas and Lucius soon spots the figure of a man he knows well.
As they approach the figure flanked by men on both sides he turns around and shows his face. It is Cyrus Salvador, a man’s face who is sturdy and stubborn looking.
The father and son embrace and share a moment.
“Good to see you my son. I was worried you wouldn’t have time.”

Player response.

“We are busy doing the last bit of training for the Glory Games that start tomorrow. Our very finest will be participating. Introduce me to your friends that you wrote about in your letter.”

Player introductions.

“So you are Gib Ekans? I know the House Atlantic well. I trained there for a year until I realized that I was better suited to the combat side of things. The headmaster is now a friend of mine and a friendly rival. We competed against one another for promotions and the like in our younger years. Hyperion Gateway, a fine man. He has mentioned a talented pupil, are you him?”
Player response.

“I am glad you are traveling with my son. While you gents at the House Atlantic are certainly our rivals, we all serve the same Emperor. Speaking of the Emperor, Lucius says you are all working for him. Glad to hear it. Emperor Fortis, while young has proven himself to be a fine emperor so far.”

Player response.

“So how about the Glory Games? Are you going to go watch? Unfortunately they cancelled the games for the last couple of years with all of the turmoil.”

Player response.

“Would any of you like to try and participate? I can easily get you in. I am the headmaster of the Roland Academy after all.”

Player response.

“Of course nothing is given here at the academy, everything is earned. If you compete with some of my men that are trying to earn a spot and beat them then I’ll enter you in. As you can see we have some of the finest athletes and fighting machines in all of Kantros here at the academy.”

Player response.

“Excellent. Let’s see what you got.”

Players can participate in several different events.

Horse Race (same as the Thunderdome) – 6 total contestants (2 advance)
- Players roll for initiative to determine turn order.
- Race around track using the 6 sided die.
Gib Ekans finished second and qualified.

Obstacle Course – 5 total contestants (2 advance)
- Players roll for initiative to determine turn order.
-Series of different obstacles. Each is passed by a dice check. First to finish wins. Top 2 advance to participate in Glory Games.
-Sprint : 20 = D20 + Dex modifier. Roll as many times as needed.
- Climb up incline: D20 + climb skill = 20 Roll as many times as needed.
- Balance across beams: D20 + balance skill = 10 ** If failed contestant falls into water below. Must do willpower check to see if they have the strength to continue. Need a will roll of 10 to continue on to next part of course.
- Sprint down slope: D20 plus Dex modifier = 15.
-Jump over mud pit: D20 + jump skill = 10. If failed contestant falls into mud pit. Must perform a fortitude check to wade their way out. Need a fortitude roll of 10 to continue to next part of course.
- Final sprint: D20 + Dex modifier = 25. Roll as many times as needed.
Lucius Salvador finished second and qualified for the games.

Sword Fighting/Fencing – 8 total contestants (top two advance)
- Bracket style with top two advancing to the Glory Games.
- Initiative roll for who gets to strike first each round. When contestant reaches 0 HP they are knocked out and lose. All contestants must use standard non-modified sword (D8)
Lucius Salvador won the tournament and qualified for the games.

Archery – 5 total contestants (top 2 advances)
- Each archer will get 3 shots. No modified bows allowed. May only use regular bow.
- Attack modifier + D20.
- Roll of 10 or less is 0 points.
- Roll of 10-15 is 2 points.
- Roll of 16-19 is 3 points.
- Roll of 20+ is 5 points.
Lazarus won the competition and qualified to participate in the games.

Cyrus Salvador watches the young men compete against some of his trainees and after the competitions have finished he approaches the group and congratulates those qualifying.
“Well done, well done. I should have known that my son would keep such good company. I have several matters to attend to including registering you for the games tomorrow. Feel free to train and use our equipment. Come and visit me when you have finished and are ready to leave.”

Players now the option to train with some of the instructors at the Roland Academy. Some of them may be able to help you with feats, saves, or attributes. There is enough time for each person to train in two different areas. If you fail, you may try training with that same instructor a second time. However, you only get two total shots.

Weapons – Henry Alexander
- Players may train using a weapon they currently already have the feat for or may train with a weapon that they would like to obtain the feat for.
- If training with a weapon that the player already posses they get the next level feat – Weapon focus: +1 Damage.
- Player must duel the weapons master and defeat him in order to gain the next level of the feat or the new weapon feat.
Henry – +6 Atk 18 Def +1 Initiative 25 HP

Saves – Lavar Nampala
- Players reflexes, fortitude, and willpower are tested. Each one is tested. Player must roll 10+ for each save to add one to that category. Players add their existing save to their roll.

Attributes – Boyd Epley
- Players train to sharpen one of the three physical attributes: Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution.
- If training strength players must perform a series of physical tasks.
- Carry ox yoke: Roll D20 and need a 15+. Add current strength modifier.
- Climb rope ladder: Roll D20 and need a 16+. Add current strength modifier.
- Put anvil on podium: Roll D20 and need a 17+. Add current strength modifier.

- If training dexterity players must perform a series of physical tasks.
- Juggle three balls: Roll D20 and need a 16+. Add current strength modifier.
- Cross balance beam: Roll D20 and need a 17+. Add current strength modifier.
- Dodge swing bags: Roll D20 and need a 18+. Add current strength modifier.

- If training constitution players must perform a series of physical tasks.
- Conditioning tests: Roll D20 and need a 15+. Add current strength modifier.
- Pushups and sit ups: Roll D20 and need a 16+. Add current strength modifier.
- Taking a punch to the face: Roll D20 and need a 17+. Add current strength modifier.

After training the party is ready to leave and the day is almost over. You head to Cyrus Salvador’s office.
“How did the training go?”

Player response.

“Good to hear. I have you all taken care of for tomorrow’s games. I am excited to see how you do. Be at the arena in the morning and check in with the clerk. I’ll be there once the games start to watch our different men participate. You best be on your way. You will have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.”

Player response.

“Son. Stay just a minute I would like to visit with you.” The other characters exit out of the room.

“I am proud of you my boy. You are becoming your own man. I know your mother would be proud too. She was the treasure of my life and my greatest friend and companion. Her death broke me for a time. However, seeing you does me well and helps me remember the better times. There will be a time when I am gone and you will be the last of our family. You will have to write the next chapter of our history and leave behind a legacy to be remembered. Lucius, you have extraordinary talents and skills. Use them well, because with great power comes great responsibility. You should visit your mother’s grave on your way out, she would want to see you.” With that the two shake hands and then embrace and Lucius leaves the office and his father benind.

Lucius visits his mother’s grave, a woman that he never really knew. He wonders what she was like and if she was truly as beautiful as his father has said. As he stands there he can’t help but wonder what the future holds for him. He gathers his composure and begins to leave the grave. A strong sense of destiny washes over him as he thinks to himself that he has two people to live, fight, and bring glory to. Luscius Salvador will not let his mother’s death be in vain.

View
Ch. 3: Hunting

Ch. 3: Hunting

The weapons have been delivered to North Point and the men that have been recruited are being trained. However in the following days more reports have filtered in to General Raynada about attacks north and south of North Point. It appears that the Bairing raiders encountered by the Sea Bitch are not the only ones to raid south.
The group heads down to the local blacksmith to check out his stock; unfortunately because of the attacks and the pressing need for weapons he does not have much for sale.

Blacksmith
- Steel tipped arrows: +1 damage (4 gold).
- Fortis Scout Armor: +1 move and +1 reflex (8 gold).
- Leather grip: Applied to melee weapons. +1 attack (5 gold). May be used only once on a single weapon.
- Red River Snake Poison: Small vile. Projectiles may be dipped in it and then shot. Adds D4 of damage to successful attack. Each turn affected player has he takes D4 of damage until dead or healed. This vile has enough poison for five projectiles. (10 gold)

On the way back to North Keep there is a gentleman standing next to a local shop with a sign requesting the services of a ship. You may speak with him if you like. Otherwise you return to North Keep.

If you decide to speak with him.

Player initiates conversation.

“I have a shipment of building supplies and stone that I am responsible for getting back to my town. Unfortunately the ship that I sailed in to get here was damaged by an attack of the raiders. It will be another week or so before I am able to get my ship repaired. Our town is too far to take this many supplies to by land and is really just about a day’s sail from here. Could I hire your crew and ship?”

Player response.

“Our town is not wealthy by any means but these supplies will be going to help set up a couple of watch towers to aid in our community’s defenses. With the attacks increasing we are trying to do all that is necessary to protect ourselves. I have heard that you gentlemen took down a raiding party and ship on your way here. I know you must be used to doing bigger jobs but we could pay you 30 gold pieces for your services. I wish we could offer more but we can’t.”

Player response.

Make remarks based on player accepting the job or not.

Marco will need to decide whether or not he wants to include the other members of his party or not and how they will divide the gold.

Because you are trying to get these supplies to the town and back to North Point quickly you cannot board any of the raider’s ships.

The party spends the night in the town and enjoys some of the local sights and sounds.

The party either arrives at the small town after rolling or after battle the supplies are unloaded and the Sea Bitch is on its way back in the morning.

After returning and docking the ship the group heads to the North Keep. Upon their return General Raynada’s assistant brings Lazarus a message that arrived for him during their last journey. General Raynada also asks to speak with Gib and Lucius.
“I received a message from General Tyrell last night. He has asked that you help in the training of some of the new recruits. He tells me both of you are quite promising young soldiers. What say you? You will be paid for your services of course.”

Player response.

If they agree to help train the new recruits they will choose their best combat skill. They will throw a D20 and with their skill it needs to be over a 10 in order to successfully train the soldiers. If successful the players receive 8 gold pieces and +1 “good” point.
Lazarus excuses himself and returns to his quarters to read the message.
The letter reads:
My son Lazarus,
I received your last message and have found it to be quite troubling. I do not know what to make of your predicament. I can only tell you to be mindful of your feelings and to remember your teaching. You were once in the abyss of despair and lost to the depravity of your own misdeeds, however, now you are an instrument that is to rid the Fortis Empire and Kantros of its worst. Do not forget this.
While your travels have taken you north I have a mission for you. There is a man who is committing an atrocity in the north that our order has recently become aware of. I dispatched one of our assassins a month ago but have received no word on whether or not he has completed the mission. I must assume he hasn’t. The man you are to target and eliminate is Jericho Aimes, a slaver in the north. As you know slavery has been outlawed not only in the Fortis Empire but in all of Kantros. His operation must be stopped and that is accomplished with his death. It is said that he operates out of the forests of the north. He uses them as shelter to hide his operation and then has ships pick up the slaves on the coast. Hunt him down and end his sin. Gather what information you can and see if you can find our lost assassin, Kylo. Good hunting.

Lazarus now has to choose whether or not he will accept this mission. He may invite the others and tell them what he wants. Otherwise, he will go alone.

Before leaving on his mission Lazarus may go shopping or speak to General Raynada regarding if he knows anything about Jericho Aimes and his slaving.

What Raynada knows about Jericho Aimes:
- Jericho Aimes was once caught but he managed to escape.
- Has a base of operations deep in the woods. Moves so it is not easily found.
- Has a small army of about 15-20 men that help him.
- Usually just take a couple of people at a time.
- Don’t know where they are sent or who they are sold to.
- Have sent a detail or two into the woods to try and track him down. Have not had success.
- Raynada gives you a map with where he believes you should start your search.

Lazarus and others, if accompanying, head off on mounts given to them by General Raynada. They travel to the edge of the forest where they leave their horses with a soldier sent with them by the General. The forest is fairly thick and not easily navigable.

Players may perform a listen, search, or spot check to see if they can pick up any clues.

Players need to sneak/move silently towards whichever one they get. Need a sneak roll of 15. If player does not have sneak they may wait for others to sneak and return to get them after scouting ahead or they may risk heading out anyways.
If players do not get any of the three they roll the D100. If they roll 00-70 they progress further into the forest and may try the three options again. However, difficulties increase by 1. If they roll 80-90 they do not get another chance. Lazarus will have to return to North Point and send his master of the White Hand a message saying he failed to hunt down Jericho Aimes.

Player(s) with successful sneak are able to move along the path, head towards the color, or move closer to the voices. They find a group of three men heading further into the forest. You can choose to follow them or confront them. If you choose to follow them you need a stealth role of 12.

A successful role allows you to follow them back to a small encampment.
A failure prompts a fight.

If the players win the fight and manage to kill the three men they may search the bodies. On one of the men they find a map. It outlines directions to the camp of who they can only presume is Jericho Aimes.

After the battle or if the players follow the men to the camp they spot a clearing that has a small camp set up. There are several cells with a couple of people in each one. It looks as if there are maybe 15-20 captives. There are 5 tents surrounding a couple of different campfires. There is one tent that is a little larger than the others. It is a little off to itself away from the rest of the camp.

Nightfall is beginning to set in and the silhouettes of the men in the camp are dancing along the tree lines of the forest. You need to decide how to proceed.

The party combats and defeats Jericho Aimes. They also manage to free the slaves that he was currently holding in captivity.

Depending on how they play it the one important thing that they need to find in the camp besides killing Jericho Aimes is another message/letter that is encrypted or written in the same way the one they found on their would be assassins in Jeros. In the tent of Jericho they also find the equipment of the assassin Kylo. Unfortunately there is no sign of him.
Kylo’s Equipment:
Assassin Cloak: Stealth +3, Reflex +1
Kylo’s Assassin Sword: +1 Attack, +1 Damage,

After searching through the camp and finding another letter written in the mysterious code the group has decided to stay at the camp for the evening. Darkness has set in and it is unlikely that they would be able to make it back to their horses even if they were still there they would be hard to find.
The night passes without any trouble and the group starts to follow the trail that they came in on. They arrive at the spot where they left one of the northern soldiers with the horses. Unfortunately no one is within sight. There is a road up ahead that the group rode in on and it will certainly lead you to a town where you can procure some mounts.

Your group is heading on the road to the nearest village when you come across a couple of men attending to a wagon that looks as if it has a broken wheel.

This ends up being an ambush and the group defeats the bandits.

If the players win the battle they can search the wagon that the men had.
- Search roll: Need 16+
- If successful you find a small chest with 36 silver and 45 bronze.
There are also 2 horses with the wagon. Players may perform a spot check to try and find other horses that this group may have had.
- Spot Check: +14 – If successful they find three more hoses behind some trees where the archers ambushed them.

Gib may also try to fix the wagon. Needs a roll of +12 to fix the wagon wheel.
If the players have the horses/wagon they can now return to North Point without any problems.

As you are putting away your horses and/or wagon a soldier approaches you.

“General Raynada would like to see you as soon as possible.”

Your party makes its way to the office of the general.

“Good to see you gentlemen. My soldier returned after the sun went down yesterday. I assume your hunting trip went well?”

Player response.

“I appreciate all you have done for us here at North Point. Our newly equipped soldiers are heading to the towns and villages. Hopefully they make a difference and stop these raids. I know I am ready for all of this confusion to end. I received a message this morning from Imperial City. Your presence has been requested. I’ll have my men started loading some basic provisions. If I can ever be any help please let me know.”

Player response.

The players head back to their temporary quarters and pack up. They meet at the dock and take the Sea Bitch to sea. You are on your way to Imperial City.

View
Ch. 2: North on the High Seas

Ch. 2: North on the High Seas

After the Emperor leaves General Tyrell pulls out a map of Kantros.
“Raiders from the Bairing Islands are creating problems on our northern coasts. They have been raiding in increased numbers and ferociousness over the last month. We do not know the cause and don’t really care. What we do know is that the people there need protection. Our general in North Point believes he has the man power to adequately protect the villages and towns that dot the coast, however he does not have the weapons. What we would like the four of you to do is take a shipment of weapons up to North Point. There they can be dispersed and the soldiers stationed to protect the people of the Fortis Empire. Marco, we would like you to ask your father if we could hire you as a captain for this particular job and a ship in his trade fleet. It would need to be a sizeable ship, one that could carry the weapons and other supplies. I would also suggest a sturdy ship, while we don’t anticipate problems; a captain of your experience knows to always be prepared. That’s where the three of you come in. You are the hired muscle. We don’t want this shipment falling into the wrong hands. Questions?”

Player questions.

“The particulars of the mission are as follows. I will have my assistant draft a letter to your father Marco and sent it by raven and hire your family for the job. You will be given a week to make it to Jeros and prepare for the trip. You will then sail over the next couple of weeks up the coast to Imperial City. There we will have the weapons and supplies. You will then proceed up to North Point where you will deliver the weapons to General Raynada. After delivering them to North Point General Raynada will send word via raven to me in Imperial City. I will have all of your payments and your father’s payment upon your return to Imperial City. At that point we may or may not have another errand for you.”

Player questions and response.

“Very well. I will see you in Imperial City in a couple of weeks. Please remember, keep this very quite.”

After finishing with General Tyrell the group goes their separate ways for the evening. They set up a time to meet at Marco’s tent and begin the journey to Jeros.
The following morning the group of new colleagues begins their trip. It goes well and is uneventful. They arrive in the busy port city of Jeros at the estate of the Medici family. It is a large and beautiful home, although it looks as though it has seen better days. The young men put their horses in the stable and head into the home. Marco’s father meets them.
“Marco, glad you arrived. I got word a couple of days ago that you have been requested for a job. The Fortis Empire would like to hire you and one of our ships. You are to sail to Imperial City and then take a shipment to North Point. Amazing how your reputation is growing. The Fortis Empire, asking my son to captain a ship. They are going to pay me 500 gold coins for your services!” Cosimo had been so excited to see his son he did not notice his company. “I am sorry Marco, who are your guests?”
Player response.

“Enough talk. Time to get to business. I will have your ship prepared. You put to sea first thing tomorrow morning.” With that Cosimo heads out and calls for an assistant and begins barking orders.

Group needs to decide what they want to do before heading out.

Options:
Tavern – The DaVinci
Merchant Quarter
Sleep and head out.

Tavern

At the tavern the group enjoys drinks and a meal. They are approached by an acquaintance of Marco’s, Will Lectur. (Will Lectur is a businessman from the capital city of the Confederation, Tyree. Marco’s father knows of him and Marco has met him once or twice. He owns his own shipping company and does a lot of weapons trading between the 3 powerful families of the Confederation.)
“Good evening gentlemen, good to see you Marco. How was Centerpoint and the Emperor’s celebration?”
Player response.
“Who are these gentlemen?” Will asks.
Player response.
“A pleasure to meet you. Marco, when are you putting to sea again? I have some merchandise that you may find interesting.”
Player response.
If player(s) say yes:
“Excellent. Head down to my dock and take a look. Ask for Gerrard. He will help you and fill you in on the particulars. I am heading out right now and leaving for Tyree. Have a safe journey.”
If player(s) say no:
“That is unfortunate. If you change your mind head down to my dock. Ask for Gerrard, he will help you if you do become interested. I am leaving for Tyree right now and won’t be there. Have a safe journey.”
With that Will leaves the DaVinci.

You are heading down an empty street in Jeros. It is now night time and the street is very dark. It is conspicuously empty.
A dark figure wearing a cloak emerges from a shadow in front of you and pulls a sword.
Player response.
Three more men emerge from the shadows behind you. One draws a sword and two draw daggers.
Player response.
The men start to close slowly in on the group.
The players defeat the assassins and find in one of the dead men’s cloaks a message/letter that is either coded or in a language that no one in the group understands.

After the battle the group makes it back to the Medici’s they get some much needed rest and prepare for their upcoming journey.

Dawn breaks and the group of young men heads to the docks to meet of with Cosimo Medici. They arrive to find the last provisions being loaded onto the ship and Cosimo looking over a few papers.

“Good morning. Hope you lads are ready for your journey. The ship is ready to go. I have had it checked out and prepped in every way possible. I have even had two ballistas installed. I hope you won’t need them but because of the length of this journey and because you are headed North you can never be too cautious. There are rumors of the Bairing raiders becoming even more active.”
Player response.

“Remember son, gold is king, the ocean will surprise you, and your mother’s a whore. Now go and make me some money.”

With that they board the _____Sea Bitch___________________ (Marco names the ship) and they are off. The ship is a good size with a cargo hold more than large enough for the job. The ship has also been armed with two ballistas as Marco’s father mentioned and there is a crew of about 20 additional sailors for the trip. Marco shows the others the ship and takes them on a tour.

The first leg of the journey goes smoothly without incident. The ship makes good time and arrives in Imperial City on schedule. As the _____________________ pulls into the harbor and is tied up to the dock General Bronson Tyrell is there with a garrison of soldiers to greet them.
“Good day gentlemen. I trust you have had smooth sailing so far. I will have the supplies loaded onto your ship at once.” The soldiers and some other men begin loading the _______________________.

Player response or questions.

The ship is loaded quickly and General Tyrell calls Lucius forward. “I am personally entrusting you with General Raynada’s orders. Make sure he receives these.” A sealed envelope is handed to Lucius. “I am also having a couple of message ravens put on your ship. Use them only in an emergency or when you arrive at North Point. After you have dropped the weapons off head back here and we will make sure you get your payment. If there aren’t any questions then you should get going. Best of luck.”

With that the soldiers and the general start untying the ship and the party is off and heading out of the harbor north.
After a couple of days of smooth sailing one of the sailors shouts from the mast, “Smoke! Off to the east. Captain Medici, take a look.”
Marco takes a look towards the coastline and sees the smoke.

Marco takes the helm and begins navigating the ship towards the coast. As they approach the ________________________ is spotted by the ship. You are now close enough to confirm that it is a ship of the Bairing Islands with its unique flag (a green flag with a black sea serpent in the middle). The Bairing ship comes to life and begins to turn and head towards your ship.
“Battle stations!” Marco orders.

The players defeat the Bairing Raider ship and take its flag as a trophy.

The sailor in the crow’s nest spots a smaller boat, just a little larger than your typical row boat on the shore and 6 men standing on the shore staring at their ship. It can be assumed that these are raiders sent ashore to attack this small village. The four leaders of the expedition gather on the bridge of the ship to discuss what to do next.

Player discussion.

If the players choose to go ashore and attempt to help the villagers they will battle the six Bairing Island Raiders.

The four of you get into a row boat and make your way to shore. The Bairing Island raiders stand there watching you as your ship slides up onto the shore. Flames and smoke are the backdrop against the beach as you prepare for battle. The men from the Bairing Islands are tall and have an athletic build. They are decked out in weapons and armor. Their faces are hardened by years of violence and the turmoil of the high seas. They begin to approach you as you get out of the boat. There will be no negotiations, only blood.

The players defeat the Bairing Raiders on the beach.

Upon the last of the Bairing Raiders being slain a few of the village people start to make their way out of the woods nearby. They are shock and in horror of the destruction that has been brought upon their peaceful home. Women are weeping and clutching their children. Men scramble to recover whatever they can from a couple of the buildings on fire. Two men move towards your group and the bodies on the beach.

“They came out of nowhere. They fell upon us like a storm. It happened so fast.” One of the men recalls. “Thank you for stopping. If you wouldn’t have killed them it surely would have been us.”

Player response.

“My name is Jason, Jason Edson. I am in your debt as are my fellow townsmen. Is there anything we could do to repay you?”

Player response.

The players leave the weapons they took from the dead raiders for the people of the village.

After dealing with the villagers the _____________________ is ready to continue on its mission to North Point.
The rest of the journey progresses without incident. The ship arrives at the mouth of the river that North Point rests upon. The river is deep with a gentle current making it an ideal harbor for ships to sail in and out of the northern city of the Fortis Empire. Because of its remote location this city is not like many of the southern cities of the empire. It does not have the same amount of economic activity or lively social life. Its people are tough and rugged and have become very self sufficient for the most part. The city has a basic defensive wall that protects most of it with several towers spread out and a number of different gate houses. There is a portion of the city that is beyond the walls protection though, a sign that the city is larger than when originally founded centuries ago. On the bank of the river on a hill sits the castle. The castle now looks old and worn by centuries of conflict and weather but still has an intimidating presence that reminds one of the strength and majesty of the Fortis Empire in its glory days.
Marco navigates the ___________________ to its designated dock so the weapons can be unloaded and the job completed. As the ship is being tied up and the planks extended towards the deck a man and several escort soldiers and officers emerge. You presume that this is General Raynada, commander of the North Point defenses.
“Welcome to North Point. I hope your journey was a safe and easy one. I am General Raynada, I have been anxiously awaiting you and your shipment.”
Player response.
“If you will follow me I will take you to the North Keep. We can discuss your journey and business there in private. My men will unload the ship.”
With that General Raynada signals one of his officers to bring around a carriage. Your party hops in and you begin the short ride to the keep.
The keep appears as old up close as it did from the river on the way into North Point. Men stand at attention at their posts watching the horizon for any sign of trouble. After the carriage stops you follow General Raynada inside and to the main chamber where a large table is in the center of the room with a map of the northern region of the Fortis Empire.
“I am glad you made it with those weapons and supplies. We have been dealing with more and more attacks and raiding parties all along the northern coast. I have men ready to help defend the towns and villages but didn’t have enough quality weapons to feel confident that they could stop the attacks. Now we do. Fortunately the Bairing scum have not raided south of our position. They are not bold enough for such a raid.”
Player response.
“That certainly changes things and is distressing news. That will stretch our forces thinner than I would like. I just don’t understand why now, within the last couple of months, they have been so active. All it is doing is causing chaos. They show up attack and then sail away. No pattern. No objective. I will send a raven to General Tyrell and the Emperor at once letting them know of this attack. Tell me what are your intentions, do you intend to sail south immediately or would you care to stay a couple of days?”
Player response.

The group decides to stay for several days in North Point.

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Ch. 1: A Fateful Day

Ch. 1: A Fateful Day

Introduction:
It is a cold and rainy night; thunder breaks the silence as sheets of rain fall from the sky and lighting flashes. Two ships approach each other under the cover of darkness, only a single lantern on each visible. Despite the crashing waves the ships manage to pull even with one another and lines are thrown across and eventually planks. Men from one ship cross over to the other. Two rival parties stand staring at one another until eventually a man from each steps forward.
“Is it done? Have you hired the assassin?”
“I have.”
“I hope you were explicit in your orders. No loose ends.”
“I was.”
“Timing is important. He must not fail. I am counting on you. There is but a small window of opportunity.”
“All you need to do is hold up your end of the bargain.”
“All you need to do is hold up yours. Remember, I need chaos. Give me chaos and violence and I will make sure you get what you desire.”
With that two men step forward with a chest. They carry it to the two men standing together in the middle of the deck. The chest is opened and one of the men in the middle singles for the man with a lantern to come forward and open the chest.
“This is a start.”
“Then go. Kill, rape, murder, do what you do best and I will do what I do best. Have your assassin go and make the kill.”
With that the chest is picked up and the group of shadowy men returns to their vessel and the ships begin to head their separate ways.
Two men stand at the helm of the ship where the meeting took place.
“Do you think he suspects anything? Will his assassin even succeed?”
“Irrelevant. He is but a pawn and pawns are moved first.”

A new Emperor has been crowned. Peace and the belief in a return to glory have been restored in the Fortis Empire by the new emperor, Nathaniel Fortis. In honor of the new Emperor’s coronation a massive celebration is being held in the city of Centerpoint so that dignitaries and people from all over Kantros can attend. Centerpoint has swelled by the thousands as merchants, athletes, spectators, and whores have come to enjoy themselves and maybe even turn a profit.
It is midday and it is the fifth day of celebrating. One night and day remains until the festivities will end. But first the emperor will address the crowds. Thousands of people have crammed themselves into the clearing where the temporary stage has been built in hopes of seeing and hearing the Emperor.
Trumpets blare and drums beat and the Emperor’s cavalcade can be seen. Surrounded by the Imperial Guard the young Emperor makes his way to the stage. The crowd roars and Emperor Fortis motions for them to quiet. As the crowd does he begins his speech. It is clear that the new Emperor is a charismatic and energetic leader. He lays out his plan for strengthening the Empire and ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity. He promises that the days of civil war and conflict with the Empire’s neighbors are over.
Suddenly an arrow from the back hurls towards the emperor on the stage. It strikes him in the chest. Panic sets in as the screams of thousands can be heard. The Imperial Guard surrounds the Emperor.
A young man in the back of the crowd turns and traces the trajectory of the shot. He scans the tents for a possible shooter. He notices a shadowy figure slide into a small opening of one of the nearby tents. He thinks to himself, “Today is the day I become a hero” and he races towards the tent.
He arrives at the tent at precisely the same time as another man.
“Did you see what I saw?” He asks.
“If you saw the assassin, with a bow hide in this tent, then yes.”
“Yep,” and with that the two of them drew their swords and plunge into the tent.
Unfortunately it was empty; however, the assassin had cut a hole in the back. The two men dashed through just in time to see the assassin dart into the next tent. Of course they followed.
The assassin had hit his mark, but he knew he wasn’t safe yet. He had to sneak from tent to tent until he could escape into the woods where the others were waiting for him. He took out his dagger and cut himself a new back door and he sprinted into the tent. Unfortunately for him he ran smack dab into a man sitting at a desk counting some money.
The two looked at each other in shock. The assassin taking advantage of the other being stunned shot out the front door and sprinted toward the tree line. Just as the man sitting at the desk regained his composure two more men slammed into him through the same hole cut into the back of his tent by the assassin.
“Did you see him?”
“Who?”
“The guy who came through the hole before us!”
“He slammed into me while I was counting my money at my desk. He sprinted towards the forest.”
“Let’s go.” The two men ran out the door after the assassin.
“Why are you chasing him?”
“He tried to assassinate the Emperor!”
The man sat at his desk and started picking up his money. “Wait,” he thought to himself, “This could be fun,” and he dashed out the door chasing after the other two.
The men reached the tree line and plunged into the forest. Ahead in the clearing were three men on horses and the assassin running towards them.
“Hold it!” The three rushed into the clearing and two of the men drew their swords and blocked the path of the men on horseback.
“Move it now or perish like the Emperor.”
“I don’t think so.”
“You are outnumbered and your friend over there doesn’t even have a weapon.”
“Doesn’t matter. I’ll kill all of you by myself.”
With that one of the men on horseback slumps over and falls off his horse, then another, and another, until only the assassin is left on his horse.
The assassin leaps from his horse and into the foliage of the forest and sprints into the darkness of the woods. The other three, stunned by the whistling arrows and the assassin’s compatriots being killed follow.
Suddenly a cloaked figure leaps from the shadows and grabs the assassin putting a blade to his throat.
“You attempted to take the life of another. A life that was not yours to take” the shadowy figure whispers.
“Hand him over. He assassinated the Emperor.”
“He tried, but he failed.”
“What do you mean he tried? I saw him shoot the Emperor myself.” One of the men asked.
“This man is an assassin yes, but not a very good one. He was aiming at the throat but missed. Your Emperor was hit in the shoulder. He will live. I on the other hand do not miss.”
With that the cloaked shadowy man slits the throat of the assassin.
“Why did you do that?”
“Simple. He attempted to take the life of another, one that was not his to take. His darkness has been cleansed.”
“Halt!” A loud voice commands. “Not another step. All four of you are under arrest.”
Imperial Guard soldiers encircle the group of four men.
“Throw down your weapons.”
The shadowy figure looks for an escape but realizes there is none. He throws down his dagger and bow. The other three men follow suit.
One of the men in the group points to the dead body and says, “There is your assassin. We were trying to track him down and capture him. That is until this guy showed up.”
The commander of the soldiers asks “Is this true? What is your name? Answer wisely; your life depends on it.”
The shadowy figure pulls back his cloak revealing his face. “Yes it is true. I killed this assassin. My name is Lazarus.”
Lazarus is put in chains and the other three men are taken into custody although not bound.
“You will go to the Emperor” the commander orders.

The men are taken to the tent of the Emperor. It is now surrounded by the Imperial Guard troops. As they enter inside they are met by a man wearing the garb of a general.
“So these are the men?” He asks.
“Yes sir. This is the one the other three claim killed the four men. We have taken their bodies and are going over their belongings for clues.”
“Very good. I’ll take them in to the Emperor. He wants to talk to them himself.”
The group makes its way into the next room of the tent. A man is laying on a sofa being attended to by physicians.
“These are the men.”
“Very well. So, explain yourselves, what happened?”
One of the young men starts to explain, “I was listening to your speech and was towards the back of the crowd. Then you got shot. I traced back the flight and trajectory or the arrow to the would be assassin. I decided I would try and track him down. I didn’t know if anyone else saw him or not. I ended up running into him.” He points at the other gentleman. “We began chasing the assassin through some tents. When we went thru one of them we saw this guy who had run into the assassin as he burst into his tent. He let us know which way he was heading and the three of us ended up chasing him into the forest. That is where this guy showed up. He shot the three compatriots of the assassin and then chased down the assassin when he fled. He killed him too.”
“Does this story sound accurate to you? Is this how it happened?”
The other two men in the party nod and say “Yes Sir.”
“Well then, I am in your debt. Now you there, I believe one of my attendants informed me you said your name was Lazarus. Judging by your robes and attire, and from what I hear, your skill, you are an assassin yourself. I’d guess you are part of the White Hand Order. Correct?”
Lazarus responds with a surprised look on his face, “Yes.”
“Do not be so surprised. I am the emperor after all. In fact I am very familiar with the White Hand Assassins Order. You take murderers and thieves and convert them into “cleansed followers” and attempt to purge Kantros of its worst of the worst. I guess I’m thankful you showed up when you did. Those restraints won’t be necessary.” A guard moves and undoes the restraints binding Lazarus.
“Now what about the rest of you?”

Point at Lucius. He introduces himself.
“I know of your father and your family. Cyrus Salvador is a good man and a good teacher. I have not been to the academy for some time. What of you?”
Point at Gib. He introduces himself.
“Well thank you for your prompt and timely service. So we have a Lazarus, Lucius, and a Gib. Who are you?”
Point at Marco. He introduces himself.

“Truly remarkable. I have before me an assassin, a wealthy merchant’s son, and two of our Empire’s finest. What an incredible day. Perhaps the gods were watching over me after all.” The Emperor winces in pain. “General Tyrell, please give these men a token of my appreciation. (Each member is given 5 gold coins.) Also, have invitations written up for them to attend my dinner tomorrow evening. I have a proposition for the four of you. These are obviously perilous times. I may have another job for you. Speak nothing of your adventure. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some healing to do.”
The group turns and heads for the door. Before they leave the Emperor says, “Oh, I almost forgot, should you find yourself wanting the company of a woman, head over to the brothel, I’ll add you to my tab.”
With that the group exits the tent.

The group now has some options.
1. Go shopping at the stores in the market and the merchant shops that are in town for the celebration.
2. Gamble on horse races.
3. Play the dice game “Panic at the DiceCo.”
4. Visit the brothel.
5. Visit the tavern.
6. Fast forward to the Emperor’s dinner.

Emperor’s Dinner

The group heads to the massive tent where the Emperor’s dinner for the last night of celebrations is being held.
As the group enters the tent they see a number of people. Men and women dressed in elegant clothes or military garb. There are people from all over Kantros present. The mood within the room is uneasy and very quiet. A soft murmur fills the room as the different groups converse with one another.
Eventually the Emperor emerges and welcomes his guests. He is obviously not himself and is clearly uncomfortable and in pain. However, the meal and evening progresses as planned. The Emperor thanks everyone for coming and then retires for the evening. His right hand man and general, Bronson Tyrell, approaches the four of you at your table.
“The Emperor would like to speak with you.” He takes you out of the tent and to the Emperor’s personal quarters.
“Good evening and thank you for accepting my invitation. I did not know whether or not you would come.”

Player responses.

“I would like to speak with you about a number of things. I will be straight and honest with you. I am quite inspired by your heroism today, a heroism which our empire has been lacking recently. It is becoming increasingly hard for a man even in my position to find men he can trust and that have the courage to act. As you well know I have enemies. Enemies that would obviously like me dead. Since I have only recently come into power I am still testing the loyalty of my generals, officers, and the men who serve them. While that circle is growing I am finding those that I cannot and weeding them out. What I need, above all else is a group of unknowns, a group of men that can take care of things for me and not have to act officially on the behalf of myself or the empire. These tasks that I ask you to complete could be dangerous; however, you will be well compensated. For the two of you (he points to Gib and Lucius) they could lead to titles, lands, and estates. For you Lazarus, it gives you an opportunity to atone for your sins and become an instrument for good. And finally for you Marco it could mean wealth. I know this is a lot to throw at you. I know you are probably wondering why is he trusting us and can we trust him? A two way street trust is isn’t it? I know the Empire will not rule all of Kantros, those days are over. However, a strong Fortis Empire keeps the Bairing Islands in check and if the Fortis Empire is stable peace, for Kantros. What say you, will you be my group of unknowns, will you be my shadows?”

Player responses and questions.

“I am glad you have accepted my offer. I truly hope together we can stabilize the Empire and help ensure peace for all of Kantros. Now, if you will excuse me I am going to retire for the evening. General Tyrell will be briefing you on your first task. Marco, it will be right up your alley. May the gods be with you.” With that the Emperor retires to his chamber.
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Introdction and Character Building

This is a little messy but I wanted it on here anyways. I can also email you the word document so it is easier to read and figure out.

Kantros

An uncivilized and barbaric land for hundreds of years, Kantros was a savage land, until visitors from a far away land across the sea came and things began to change. These visitors sailed in large ships equipped with sails and brought with them writing, mathematics, metal working, architecture, weapons, and a new “civilized” way of life. Their new ways soon spread and small kingdoms began popping up all over the land. Not much else is known from this ancient time and of the visitors. Some believed they settled in Kantors and eventually formed the Fortis Empire, others believe they returned to their home.
The written history of Kantros typically begins with the formation of the Fortis Empire, an empire that at its height conquered and controlled almost the entire continent. Their golden age saw advancements and peace for Kantros, at least for those that submitted. Only two groups remained free from the empire: The Bairing Islands and the empire’s allies The Beinn Kingdom. The Fortis Empire’s golden age would last for nearly 300 years until civil wars, weak leadership and problems of succession began to weaken the mighty empire.
Two regions would eventually break away from the Fortis Empire. The first was the Sah’ra, who makes their home in the northeast corner of Kantros in the Scorpion Desert. The second was the Confederation of Vallos, a group of wealthy families that funded an army and won their independence.
Currently Kantros finds itself in a state of uneasy peace amongst most of its inhabitants. Only the Bairing Islands are openly belligerent. They often form raiding parties and attack the different port cities of their neighbors.

Fortis Empire
Founded by Magnus Fortis, the first emperor, the empire considers itself the golden standard of civilization in Kantros. Magnus conquered the entire western portion of Kantros and established his capital in a city he designed himself, Imperial City. This great city is the largest of Kantros and has been home to all of the emperors of the Fortis Empire. Defending this great city is a massive network of walls and fortresses known simply as the Emperor’s Wall. They have been updated and maintained at great cost to the empire over the centuries.
The calling card of the Fortis Empire has been without doubt their military. They have the best military minds and soldiers trained at their military academies. Unfortunately, this has also lead to numerous times when the throne was vacated and powerful generals fought for control. This has weakened the empire and while it still controls nearly half of Kantros it is not as powerful as it once was.
A new emperor has just recently taken the throne, a 28 year old by the name of Nathaniel Fortis. A descendant of the original ruling family he skillfully maneuvered the right political pieces and took back the throne for his family. The Fortis Empire controls nearly the entire west and stretches into the center of Kantros where their eastern border is protected by two larger fortresses, Fort Navaro and the Lion’s Keep, and the Kawa River.

Kingdom of Beinn
This southern kingdom of Kantros is almost entirely surrounded by mountains. It is rich in stone and metals. Its mountains provided a natural barrier that protected it from the Fortis Empire. To further protect them they built a massive fortress into the mountains and the pass leading into Beinn and named it after their capital city of Skye. However, very quickly they realized that they could profit quite handsomely by selling their resources to the Fortis Empire. The blacksmiths of Beinn also became quite skilled at crafting weapons. Their weapons are considered the very best in Kantros.
The Kingdom of Beinn is ruled by a very strong monarchy. The current king is Shay McMasters. A middle aged man that is rugged and tough like the people he rules. He rules over a kingdom that may be small in terms of its land and number of people but is rich in resources and pride.

Confederation of Vallos
The richest farmland in all of Kantros is under the control of the Confederation of Vallos. Once a part of the Fortis Empire, until a rebellion 50 years ago was funded by three extremely wealthy farming and merchant families of the southeast broke this significant region away from the Fortis Empire. Vallos is now the second largest entity in Kantros. Ruled by three families that make up the ruling council in the capital city of Tyree they focus on promoting the economic and military growth of the confederation. The three families that rule are the Jerstons from the city of Jero, the Vallon from the city of Vallis, and the Wellek from the northern most city of Wellton. The strongest family is the Vallon and their current head is Aldemir Vallon, a cutthroat businessman and shrewd politician.
Vallos is made up of plains, rolling hills, and forests and now grows over half of all the food needed in Kantros by itself. Their cities have become centers of trade and are bustling with people. Out in the country side massive farming estates rule the day although many small family estates still exist. Many of the men of Vallos are skilled horsemen from their time on the plains and farm lands.

The Sah’ra
This small kingdom tucked away in the Scorpion Desert was the first to break away from the Fortis Empire nearly 150 years ago. After a civil war weakened the empire, Ayos Acre united the clans and tribes of the desert and defeated a Fortis army at their fortress in the heart of the desert. After capturing the fortress they easily pushed the remaining Fortis armies out of the desert and won their independence. Ayos renamed the fortress the Scorpion’s Lair and built a capital city named after him, Acre, and another city Ayos.
The desert makes life extremely difficult and tough on the people and because water is scarce their cities are either on the coast or along the Wadi River which is the single most important thing to the people of Sah’ra.
The Sah’ra are currently lead by King Zhan Acre. A man dedicated to protecting the people of the desert from the constant attacks from their enemies of the Bairing Islands.

Bairing Islands
This chain of islands off the northern coast of Kantors is home to the most violent people in all of the land. Never subjugated by the Fortis Empire the men and women of the islands are fiercely independent and proud of it. They hate the mainlanders and have closed off the islands. Almost no one from the mainland has ever set foot on any of the Bairing Islands. They are skilled fighters and sailors and are constantly raiding coastal cities all over Kantros.
The Bairing Islands, while isolated, have lots of natural resources and it has allowed them to prosper despite being isolated. The islands are currently ruled by the warlord Ezekiel Koth, a ruthless and ambitious man. He rules from the largest island and the city of Bairos.

Rules, Characters, Etc.

Before we begin, we first need to be talking the same language. Here is a breakdown of each part of your character:
Trait: There are six different traits. All of them affect some skills in some way.
*Strength: affects damage on melee attacks
*Dexterity: affects chances to hit on both melee and ranged attacks, also increases defense for those wearing light armor, and affects Reflex Saves
*Constitution: affects amount of HP you gain per level, as well as Fortitude Saves
*Wisdom: affects healing, as well as Willpower saves
*Intelligence: affects skills obtained
*Charisma: affects ability to persuade/talk to people
Skills: These are modifiers on your skill rolls to see if they are successful or not. This includes skills such as steal, heal, tumble, spot, etc.
Feats: These are abilities that either modify your character in some way (increase HP, increase saves) or are combat abilities, like power strike or sniper shot.
HP: Health, when it is at 0 you are unconscious, when it gets to 10 you are dead forever
Defense: What enemies are trying to roll higher then to hit your character, or you them. For example, if you have a defense of 12, and an enemy rolls an attack value of 10, they miss. If they roll a 13, they hit. All ties go to the attacker.
Attack: This modifies your attack value to see if you hit your target. If you are fighting someone with a defense of 12, and you have an attack of 2, you could roll at 10 or higher (since ties go to the attacker) and score a hit, since it would be 10 + 2 = 12, which ties the defense value.
Damage: This value is added to your damage roll to see how much HP is taken off. Depending on your weapon, it could range for a four-sided die to a 12-sided die.
Saves: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. Added to your roll to see if you are “saved” from numerous things: traps, poisons, etc.
Characters:
Step 1: Pick basic class and job
General: Basic Class
Each person picks a basic class for your character. These are the Scoundrel, Scout, and Soldier basic classes we used in KOTOR and Arem. This way, you could be a ranger who is more focused on skills (Scoundrel) or a ranger more focused on feats/combat tricks (Soldier). The three classes are shown below:
The Scoundrel
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Refx Will Special Feat
Progression Defense
Bonus
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Sneak Attack (
1d6) 1 1
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 -
- 1 1
3rd 2 +1 +3 +1 Sneak Attack (2d6) 0 1
4th 3 +1 +4 +1 —- 0 1
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Sneak Attack (
3d6) 1 1
6th 4 +2 +5 +2 —- 0 2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Sneak Attack (
4d6) 0 2
8th 6 +2 +6 +2 —- 1 2
9th +6 +3 +6 +3 Sneak Attack (
5d6) 0 2
10th 7 +3 +7 +3 —- 0 2
11th +8 +3 +7 +3 Sneak Attack (
6d6) 1 2
12th 9 +4 +8 +4 —- 0 3
13th +9 +4 +8 +4 Sneak Attack (
7d6) 0 3
14th 10 +4 +9 +4 —- 1 3
15th +11 +5 +9 +5 Sneak Attack (
8d6) 0 3
16th 12 +5 +10 +5 —- 0 3
17th +12 +5 +10 +5 Sneak Attack (
9d6) 1 3
18th 13 +6 +11 +6 —- 0 3
19th +14 +6 +11 +6 Sneak Attack (
10d6) 0 3
20th +15 +6 +12 +6 —- 1 3
Note: Scoundrel gets faster skill progression, only Thief gets Sneak Attack
Skill progression: 7 per level + Int Modifier

The Scout

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Refx Will Special Feat
Progression Defense
Bonus
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Starting feat
1 0
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 —- 1 0
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 —- 1 0
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Uncanny Dodge 1 0 0
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 —- 1 0
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 —- 0 0
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Normal Feat +
Uncanny Dodge 2 1 0
8th +6 +6 +6 +6 0 0
9th +6 +6 +6 +6 —- 1 0
10th +7 +7 +7 +7 —- 0 0
11th +8 +7 +7 +7 —- 1 0
12th +9 +8 +8 +8 —- 0 0
13th +9 +8 +8 +8 —- 1 0
14th +10 +9 +9 +9 —- 0 0
15th +11 +9 +9 +9 —- 1 0
16th +12 +10 +10 +10 —- 0 0
17th +12 +10 +10 +10 —- 1 0
18th +13 +11 +11 +11 —- 0 0
19th +14 +11 +11 +11 —- 1 0
20th +15 +12 +12 +12 —- 0 0
Skill Progression: 5 per level + Int Modifier
Note: Does not get Implant, but does get Uncanny Dodge 1 and 2
Uncanny Dodge 1: when you are being flanked, roll a 20 sided die. If you roll 16 or higher, attacker loses flanking bonuses.
Uncanny Dodge 2: same as above, except you can roll a 13 or higher to cause attacker to lose flanking bonus

The Soldier

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Refx Will Special Feat
Progression Defense
Bonus
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 —- 1 0
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 —- 1 0
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 —- 1 0
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 —- 1 0
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 —- 1 0
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 —- 1 0
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 —- 1 0
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 —- 1 0
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 —- 1 0
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 —- 1 0
11th +11 +7 +3 +3 —- 1 0
12th +12 +8 +4 +4 —- 1 0
13th +13 +8 +4 +4 —- 1 0
14th +14 +9 +4 +4 —- 1 0
15th +15 +9 +5 +5 —- 1 0
16th +16 +10 +5 +5 —- 1 0
17th +17 +10 +5 +5 —- 0 0
18th +18 +11 +6 +6 —- 1 0
19th +19 +11 +6 +6 —- 0 0
20th +20 +12 +6 +6 —- 1 0
Skill Progression: 3 per level + Int Modifier

Step 2: Choose a profession, feats, and skills.
There are several different professions that you may choose some. Each profession plays differently. Some focus on combat, while others serve in support roles. Some are skill oriented and other feat oriented. There will also be some skills and feats that are only available to each profession. With that in mind make sure you choose your profession wisely, there are positives and negatives from each.

Soldier
Benefits: +1 strength and +1 constitution. +1 attack
Negatives: -1 wisdom and -1 charisma
Starting feats or skills: Begin the game with two weapon feats, both armor feats (light and heavy armor), and two other feats of your choice from the list.
Movement: 4
HP: 12 sided die roll.

Commander
Benefits: +1 charisma and +1 intelligence. +1 initiative
Negatives: -1 constitution and -1 wisdom
Starting feats or skills: Begin with +3 to intimidate and diplomacy skills. Choose one armor and one weapon proficiency. You will begin the game with the two following special profession specific feats that only commanders can have.
-Combat Leader (Passive): Whenever you land an attack on an opponent, all party members get +1 attack until your next turn.
-Battle Commands: costs an action. You may move one character (if they agree) four extra spots.
*These feats can be improved as the game progresses and your character levels.
Movement: 5
HP: 10 sided die roll.

Ranger
Benefits: +1 dexterity and +1 intelligence
Negatives: -1 strength and -1 charisma
Starting feats or skills: +2 to handle animal skill (this skill is available to only rangers). +3 to spot, listen, and survival in nature setting, -1 to all of these skills in a city setting. Choose one weapon feat and rangers can only use the light armor feat. Rangers also begin the game with the following feat that is available to only them.
- Chosen Prey: You may choose one target on the field to be the “Prey” (does not cost an action first time used in battle). As long as that character is the “Prey”, you get +1 Attack and +1 Damage to them, though you get minus -1 Attack and -1 Damage against all other non-targeted (non-“Prey”) foes. After the first use, you can choose another target for “Chosen Prey”, but it will cost you an action.
- Once a ranger reaches level four they may take on an animal companion. The details will be discussed once this level has been obtained.
Movement: 5
HP: 10 sided die roll.
Assassin
Benefits: +1 dexterity and +1 wisdom. +1 attack
Negatives: -1 constitution and -1 charisma. -1 defense
Starting feats or skills: +3 to sneak/move silently/stealth. +3 to tumble. Two weapon feats and assassins may only use the light armor feat. Special assassin only feat:
- Assassin’s Strike: Add two to critical range (Example: starting out critical on roll of 18, 19, and 20). -2 to defense until beginning of next turn. Double damage for the roll and all damage modifiers. * May improve as game progresses.
Movement: 5
HP: 10 sided die roll.

Thief (Scoundrel class only)
Benefits: +1 charisma and +1 dexterity
Negatives: -1 strength and -1 constitution
Starting feats or skills: +2 to sneak/move silently/stealth. +2 to two of the following three skills – forgery, pick lock, or sleight of hand. May only use the light armor feat and the knife/dagger feat. Begin game with sneak attack feat that is only available to the thief profession.
- Sneak attack: When attacking an opponent that is flanked the thief gets the sneak attack bonus. In addition to their regular damage die roll they will add one additional d6. The number of additional dice will increase in accordance with the chart above for scoundrels.
Movement: 5, 4 movement in nature.
HP: 8 sided die roll.

Merchant (Scoundrel class only)
Benefits: +1 charisma and +1 intelligence. Begins game with 10 gold.
Negatives: -1 strength and -1 dexterity. -1 attack.
Starting feats and skills: +2 to bluff and sense motive. +4 to barter skill (only available to merchant profession). Choose one weapon profession and can only use the light armor feat. Begins game with merchant only feat.
- Trade Income: Each time a merchant levels up he may roll one d4 and receive that many gold. * May improve as game progresses.
Movement: 4
HP: 8 sided die roll.

Healer
Benefits: +1 wisdom and +1 constitution.
Negatives: -1 strength and -1 charisma. -1 attack.
Starting feats and skills: +5 to your heal skill (only available to the healer profession). +3 to any skill of your choice. Choose one weapon feat and one armor feat. Begin the game with conditioning feat. May choose one of the following profession specific feats:
- Medical Knowledge: may search for and acquire supplies needed to create bandages and healing herbs. Roll d20. Roll of +15 allows for creation of bandage or healing herbs.
- Poison Knowledge: may search for and acquire supplies needed to create poisons. Roll d20. On roll of +17 a poison is created.
Movement: 4
HP: 10 sided die roll.

Engineer
Benefits: +1 intelligence and +1 strength. +1 initiative
Negatives: -1 constitution and -1 dexterity
Starting feats and skills: +5 to your craft/build/upgrade skill (available only to engineer). Choose one weapon skill and armor skill. +2 to all skills using intelligence modifier.
Movement: 4
HP: 8 sided die roll.

General Skills
Skills are used throughout Arem. Whatever your Skill level is, that number gets added to your 20-sided dice role, which is then compared against a “challenge number” made up by the DM. If you tie or beat that number, you accomplish the task, if you are below it, you fail the task. Each skill has a modifier trait connected to it. On top of the points you put into the skill, you also get that modifier. You get one modifier point for every two traits point you have over 10. You can also go negative if your trait points are below 10. The below scale will show how trait points affect skills.
20-19 = +5, 18-17 = +4, 16-15 = +3, 14-13 = +2,13-12 = +1 (and so on)
11-10 = 0
9 to 8 = -1, 7-6 = -2, 6-5 = -3, 4-3 = -4, 2-0 = -5
Your class will determine how many skill points you get per level (along with Intelligence Modifier), while your job might start you with certain skills. Normally, your skill level can only be 3 higher than your current level (level 1 + 3 = 4 max points you can put in a skill at level 1), BUT you are allowed to put an extra point into any skill your job gives you (for a maximum of 4 points per level). For example, if you were a Level 1 Soldier and wanted to put skill points into Sleight of Hand, the maximum skill level you could obtain would be 4. A thief, on the other hand, could put it up to 5 at level 1.

Skills in Kantros
Balance (Dex)
Bluff (Cha): Goes against Sense Motive
Climb (Str)
Build/Craft/Upgrade (Int) – Engineer only.
Barter (Int) – Merchant only.
Decipher Script (Int)
Diplomacy (Cha)
Disable Device (Int)
Disguise (Cha)
Escape Artist (Dex)
Forgery (Int)
Gather Information (Cha)
Handle Animal (Cha) – Ranger only.
Hide (Dex): Goes against Spot
Intimidate (Cha)
Jump (Str)
Knowledge (Int) – of a particular body of knowledge.
Listen (Wis)
Move Silently/Sneak/Stealth (Dex)
Open Lock (Int)
Perform (Cha)
Search (Int)
Sense Motive (Wis): Used against Bluffs
Sleight of Hand (Dex)
Spot (Wis)
Survival (Wis): Keeps yourself and others safe and fed in the wild
Swim (Str)
Tumble (Dex)
Heal (Wis): Available only to “Healer” class; somewhat complex, below are the rules:
First Aid, Long-Term care: +15 DC check (attemptable only once)
First Aid: stops a dying character from losing more HP (requires an action)
Long-Term Care: Treating a person in a resting situation; normally, characters gain 2 HP per level per hour of rest; with Long-Term Care, that score doubles; can be done on up to 6 people
Battle Heal: For every +5 Heal skill, you heal an additional 1 HP in combat healing (requires an action and an item)

  • There will be items specifically for the healer. Other players may use them but do not get their full benefit.**

Feats in Kantros
Here are the possible feats you can take. There may be more as we play, and these don’t include the job specific ones mentioned in the job section.
In general, you can get IMPROVED VERSION of these feats at level 5, and the MASTER VERSION of these feats at level 9, unless otherwise noted.
-Conditioning: +1 to all saving throws (IMPROVED at level 4, MASTER at level 8)
-Critical Strike: doubles melee weapons critical hit range (a normal weapon where you have to roll a 20 to critical, would now critical on 20 or 19). Defense goes -5 after using this.
-Sniper Shot: doubles ranged weapons critical hit range (a normal weapon where you have to roll a 20 to critical, would now critical on 20 or 19). Defense goes -5 after using this.
-Power Attack: adds +5 damage to next attack, but also -3 to hit
-Power Shot: adds +5 damage to next attack, but also -3 to hit
-Dueling: +1 to attack if you only have one weapon (IMPROVED AT LEVEL 4, MASTERED at level 8)
-Flurry: make an extra melee attack this round. Character gets -4 defense and -4 attack for the round
-Rapid Shot: make an extra ranged attack this round. Character gets -4 defense and -4 attack for this round
-Toughness: gives one extra HP per level; is retroactive (IMPROVED at level 4, MASTER at level 8)
-Two-Weapon Fighting: reduces penalty of two-handed fighting. Characters now get -6/-6 with this feat (versus -6/-10 if you don’t have the feat)IMPROVED at level 4, MASTERED at level 8
Quick Draw: allows you to switch weapons without having to take an action on your turn (Ex: May switch from bow to sword and still perform an attack on that turn).

Step 3: Choose where you are from.
Each of the different kingdoms has an attribute bonus. This will be added on to your character at the beginning of the game.

Fortis Empire: +1 Dexterity
- Those of the Fortis Empire are skilled soldiers and warriors. Their dexterity makes them better at attacking and defending.

Kingdom of Beinn: +1 Strength
- The Kingdom of Beinn forges strong weapons and strong people.

Confederation of Vallos: +1 Intelligence
- The intelligent merchants of Vallos know how to maximize their profits and make the best business decisions.

Sah’ra: +1 Constitution
- Life in the desert has made these people tough and hard.

Step 4: Create a story and background for your character.
You will be responsible for creating a background and story for your character in Kantros. The better it is the more you will be rewarded. It helps add depth to our game and also provides the GM with more game material. The GM reserves the right to approve, veto, and change your story if he deems necessary. Your background and story will need to be posted on the website and will need to be updated when necessary.

Other and Miscellaneous

1.) What weapon you use is more important than ever. In previous iterations of D&D, what weapon you used and what weapon your opponent had did not really affect combat. In Kantros, it will, and thus there is a higher incentive to have proficiency in multiple weapons rather than just one. Here is how weapons match up on each other.

Sword = no benefits or negatives vs. anything; no weaknesses, but also no strengths.
- D8 for damage

Short Weapons (knife, short sword, etc.): +1 Attack, +1 Defense against Long Weapons (spears, long axes, etc)
- Dagger/knife: D4
- Short sword: D6

Long Weapons (spears, long axes, etc.): +1 Attack, + 1 Defense against Two-Handed Weapons (broad sword, mace, etc.)
- D8

Two-Handed Weapons: +1 Attack, +1 Defense against Short Weapons (knife, short sword, etc.)
- D10

Bows: I am re-implementing negatives for close quarter combat with bows. There is no negative attack bonus on close quarter attacks, but there is a negative effect on your defense. Any ranged character gets -2 Defense when being attacked by a melee character.
- Regular Bow: D6
- Longbow: D6
- Crossbow: D8
There will be some weapons that can be upgraded. They will be able to do more damage, increase attack, defense, etc.

You will receive one weapon for each of the weapon feats you take at the beginning of the game.

2.) Terrain is now going to be an issue. If a character has the high ground, they get +1 Attack and + 1 Defense against someone on the low ground.

3.) Bows have a maximum range. Bows will be able to shoot 8 spaces, crossbows 3 spaces and long bows will be able to shoot 12 spaces. These ranges must include height differences between the shooter and the target. For example, if the target has the high ground and is 2 “steps” above you, then your maximum range to hit him would be 6 spaces, rather than 8 spaces (assuming you have a bow). If you hold the high ground, there is no penalty to your range. You can attempt to make attacks on targets further away than your maximum range, but for every “spot” or “step” further away the target is, you get -2 attack.

4.) Flanking is back, and requires no feat.
When making a melee attack, you get a +2 (Attack) flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by a character or creature friendly to you on the opponent’s opposite border or opposite corner.
When in doubt about whether two friendly characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an imaginary line between the two friendly characters’ centers. If the line passes through opposite borders of the opponent’s space (including corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.

5.) Armor type is now actually important. If you wear light armor, you use your Dex modifier + 10 (base defense) to determine your overall defense. Heavy armor ignores your Dex modifier when it comes to armor, leaving you with just the Defense rating for your armor. Light armors will often have other benefits too them (not always), while Heavy armor usually will have higher defensive ratings. Note: if you lose your heavy armor for whatever reason, you revert back to light armor, and must follow those rules.

6.) Economy is basic and simple. Gold, silver, and bronze coins are used in all of the kingdoms. Since all of them were once ruled by the Fortis Empire they have maintained their basic currency and denominations. That is except for Bairos and the Bairing Islands.
* 1 Gold = 10 silver
* 1 Silver = 10 bronze

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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