Saturday, January 7, 2017

Session 0

Session 0

Since the end of hostilities following the “Night of the Black Knife” rebellion within the Dornish Kingdom, there has been a period of relative peace between the Dorn and the Sarcosan kingdoms. However, 11 months ago, a Sarcosan ore ship, the Moonlight Zephyr, was sunk on its way south across the Sea of Pelluria. 28 Sarcosan sailors were lost as well as 16 tons of iron ore. Though there was no proof, the blame was placed on “The Pirate Prince”, Jaden Norfall. House Norfall vigorously denied any involvement in the incident and suggested that the Sarcosan sailors were simply too unskilled and inexperienced to make such a crossing. This, of course, infuriated Kalif Akani, but without proof he could take no action against the Dornish House.

Then, 2 months ago, a House Orin caravan was attacked by a small Host led by Sussar Zakir al’Afik. The Orin caravan, bound for Low Rock, was carrying food and other essentials that House Orin relies upon to trade with their Kurgun allies. Several Orin thralls were able to make it back to Low Rock to report the attack. Earl Skotha of House Orin responded by mustering a large force of warriors, backed by a company of Kurgun axemen, to pursue and attack the Host. The Orin forces were victorious in the skirmish, but Skotha’s eldest daughter, Skelta, was killed in the action.

Hostilities between the kingdoms quickly escalated as Kalif Akani sent several Hosts north to prepare to quash any further violence from his Dornish subjects. The Great Houses along the Sea of Pelluria called their banners and swelled their ranks with warriors ready to taste Sarcosan blood.

Despite the escalated tensions, cooler heads prevailed and no further battles took place. Kalif Akani called for a meeting of all Great Houses in Erenhead, a meeting of historical significance as the Houses had not gathered since the time of the Old Kings. Akani promised to send his cousin and most trusted commander, Sharif Jahzir Ka’Mael. He would also send along his personal Vizier, the starborn lord, Sunulael, master of the Star Tower, to discuss a de-escalation of hostilities and hammer out an agreement that would see a permanent peace. Reparations for losses to each side would also be discussed.

Now:
The House Moot, as it has come to be called, is scheduled for the morning. Erenhead, already a large, populous city, is overflowing with new arrivals as each House has brought a large retinue of Thanes and their followers. The Sarcosan Host, Bitter Wind, camps beyond the city walls, thousands of horse-hide tents stretching toward the horizon.

This night, Sharif Jahzir requests a tour of the city. Duke Torbault has appointed Fergus Redgard, Constable of the North, to conduct the tour. He is to extend every courtesy to the Sharif during the tour, which will end with a pre-meeting feast in the Duke’s palace. Any hint that Lord Redgard can glean as to the Sharif’s disposition would be extremely valuable.

In the streets, tensions are running high as members of the Bitter Wind Host flood the streets in search of wine and women. The city feels like a powder keg and the slightest spark is likely to set it off….

Welcome to “The Flames of Rebellion”




Arik Ka'Mael - Brother to Sharif Jahzir Ka'Mael and second in command (Jei'Sharif) of the Bitter Wind Host.  Arik comes to Erenhead to support his brother, who is the Kalif's representative at the House Moot.
  Beliefs:BB
  1. I will not let these assassinations succeed and plunge both of my countries into outright war. I will root out the assassins in Bitter Wind and kill them before they can act.
  2. I will never let the majesty of Dornish culture be erased. I will convince my brother and Fergus to parley and come to a peaceful solution to what is swiftly becoming subjugation.
  3. Jahzir will always protect me and my secret, so long as I am loyal to him and at his side.
Instincts:
  1. Always trust my brother.
  2. Never allow rash decisions to turn into rash actions
  3. Always have my horse, Ghaul tied up nearby

Lord Fergus Redgard - Constable of the North and son of Roland Redgard, a vocal supporter of Dornish independence and rebellion. Lord Redgard is a man torn between two worlds as his wife is the daughter of the Sarcosan Kalif and his son is a hostage of Duke Torbault.



Beliefs:BB
  1. The Duke must be protected. I will ensure that Arik helps me prevent his people's plot that would spark a war between our two nations.
  2. House Orin and House Fallon plan to assassinate Jahzir to fuel a rebellion. This is not in Dorn's best interests right now. I must make sure their blades are kept from being coated in Sarcosan blood.
  3. House Redgard must rise to become the most powerful house in all of Dorn. I will offer Caitlin's hand to the son of Skotha, to ensure House Orin's future support.  
Instincts:
  1. Train with the men every day - Training: Hammer - Current days: 0
  2. Always have my húskarls accompany me.
  3. My duty to the North never ceases, its troubles are mine.
Chanter Magnus SedrigMagnus was born into the noble house of Sedrig. He was not the eldest son and so not destined to inherit primacy of his House, which was just as well. Magnus was always a bit of an odd boy, much to the disappointment of his father he spent far too much time shut in his room reading and engaging in fantasies when he should have been out getting his shins bloodied with the other children. It was a relief when he started to show signs of being Gifted, and could be safely hidden away in the Galdr Academy until he had learnt enough in the ways of Aerdra to be of use to his House.


After completing his training, Magnus served in his House’s court for nearly a decade. He found navigating with the various hidden agendas and power plays of courtiers tedious and frustrating, so spent as much time as possible sealed away in some dark corner of the Library Tower devouring ancient tomes. Around this time he began to dream vividly about a woman made of pure light. Sometimes she showed him visions of vast armies of Orcs laying waste to Eredane, sometimes she showed him the rituals of the fay-folk in their forest home. Magnus wanted to learn what these visions meant, but the Library’s pool of knowledge regarding the Elves was frustrating inadequate.

The young Sorcerer decided somebody ought to make an expedition to the Elven lands, to write a treatise on their history and customs. That person might as well be him. Knowing that he’d never get permission anyway Magnus just chose to disappear one night, leaving behind a vague note explaining that he would return one day. He learnt much about the realities of the world on his travels, and finally began to pick up the practical skills that his tutors had failed to drill into him as a child: how to survive outside a city, how to navigate the wilderness, how to fight.
For years he travelled the land trying to uncover as much knowledge as he could about these elusive and mysterious people but they weren’t exactly cooperative. One day, inevitably, he pushed their patience too far. He was arrested for trespassing in a sacred site and imprisoned. It took a very long time, but slowly he earnt some semblance of trust with the fey people. After a few years his captors were willing to answer his questions and indulge his curiosity, then they were willing to let him have his Journal, slowly his imprisonment became more and more lenient until he was more of a guest than a prisoner. Eventually, he swore an oath of allegiance to the Witch Queen and her subjects in exchange for freedom.

Magnus spent over a decade with the elves. He learnt much about the forgotten history of the world, and the shadow that still threatened all the races of Ereden. The time came when his service could be of use to his new masters, the shadow was drawing ever closer and the kingdoms of men still refused to see the danger. They wouldn’t listen to an Elf, but maybe hearing the warning from one of their own would be a different story.

 Beliefs:BB
  1. If the kingdoms of man don't unite, we are all doomed. I must convince Arik to grant me an audience with his brother, the Sarcosans must be ready for what is coming.
  2. The agents of shadow are everywhere. There must be some servants of shadow at the moot, I will state this fact often and loudly in the hopes that one of them makes the mistake of trying to silence me.
  3. Only enlightenment can truly defeat darkness. I must teach my race the ways of the Eldar.
Instincts:
  1. Always warn others of the impending doom.
  2. Always record new knowledge in my Journal.
  3. Always give adversaries a chance to redeem themselves.

NPC's

Jahzir Ka'Mael - Sharif of the Bitter Wind Host and the most influential Sarcosan outside of the Kalif's court.  Hot-Blooded and vicious on the battlefield, Jahzir is a warrior without equal.   
Kali Al'Akani Redgard - Daughter of the Kalif (Ameera) and wife of Lord Fergus Redgard.  Kali is torn between two worlds, married to a Dorn while trying to maintain the customs and etiquette of her people, the Sarcosans.
Sunulael - Starborn Vizier of the Kalif, keeper of the Tower of Stars, and Sahi of the Sorshef.  Sunulael is a very influential and powerful member of the Kalif's court.  As leader of the Sarcosan religion (Sorshef) and keeper of arcane secrets at the Tower of Stars, there is no one in the South as powerful as Sunulael.  Sunulael comes to Erenhead to advise Jahzir during the House Moot.  
Samira Al'Zakir - Handmaiden and companion to Ameera Kali. Her background is unknown other than the fact that she was handpicked to accompany Kali to her new home in Cale, home of House Redgard.










Caitlin Redgard - Eldest daughter of Earl Roland Redgard and sister to Lord Fergus Redgard.  Currently resides in Cale.  Caitlin is in love with the lowborn rebel, Vijur, a man more animal than Dorn in her father's eyes.









Morven Redgard - The second of three daughters of the Earl of Redgard. Morven currently resides in Cale.  Morven, like her father, sees the future of Dorn as an independent kingdom, like in the days of old.  She covets her father's ancestral weapon and will do anything to possess it.







Ethan Redgard - Ethan, now 12, came to Erenhead to be fostered by Duke Torbault at the age of 5.  Under the Duke's Warmaster, Ethan has grown strong and skilled with a blade, even at such a young age.  He barely remembers his mother and sees his father only occasionally.






Skotha Orin - Skotha is the Earl of House Orin.  He has a smattering of Dwarven blood in him, which makes him shorter and stockier than a traditional Dornishman.  Likewise, he has followed the Kurgun tradition and has tattooed his face and neck.  He is never without his adviser and confidante, the Kurgun Kharak Foehammer.  Skotha has a burning hatred for the Sarcosans, made more so by their attack upon his caravan and the subsequent death of his eldest daughter and heir.  He is not fond of Redgard, regarding that house as a strong rival.  He dislikes and distrusts Vijur, but sees him as a useful weapon, if he can control him.




Roland Redgard - Earl of House Redgard, Roland was once a fierce fighter and a cunning warrior. Now, slowed by age and a lifetime of battle, he relies upon his son and three daughters to rule his realm. His debilities have not quenched his desire for power, however, and he still sees himself as the rightful bearer of the crown of the Old Kings. He will not rest until the Dorn are independent and House Redgard rules the North.








Vildar Esben - Vildar, Earl of House Esben, is generally hated and distrusted among the other Great Houses, though they are forced to give credence to his words as his spy network in the North is unparalleled.







Lensa Yinra - Magnus fell in love with an Elf maiden during his stay with the Caransil, and apparently won her heart. Did she actually fall for a mayfly human, or is the whole thing just a scheme to ensure his loyalty?




Agnar Sedrig - Earl Agnar Sedrig rules his lands from Highwall, seat of Dornish knowledge and home to the Library Tower, the training academy of Dornish Galdr. Agnar is keenly intelligent but adheres almost obsessively to traditional Dornish customs.










Vijur the Scarred - Vijur is a violently idealistic hot-head who leads a small band of insurrectionists called The Blood of the Dragon. So far, the group has not acted beyond painting their symbol on buildings around Erenhead and bullying Sarcosan merchants and lower-caste civilians. The Duke has his eye on the group, but they have not given him cause to act against them...yet. Vijur is thought to have some connection to House Redgard.