The Taldan Claim

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The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

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That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

Lion Blades Go North

Our party is Aldeberon the human bard, Samara the catfolk assassin, Narsius the human alchemist, and Ktihdi the giant intelligent spider tremorgraphist (telegraph with webs) and budding bloodrager.

You have each been contacted by a particular member of the Lion Blades, the espionage and diplomatic wing of the aging Taldan empire.

Three of you are freshly trained recruits of the Lion Blades, about to be sent on your first mission from Kerian, your commanding officer and trainer. One of you is a tremorgraphist from the elven capital of Iadara, visiting her sister at the Bardic College in Oppara.

Kerian meets with her three recruits to brief them on their mission: go to the elven kingdom to find a husband for the princess Eutropia, who is currently having trouble getting confirmed as heir by the senate. The husband in question is rumored to be the descendant of a Taldan prince from the golden age of the empire, and his association to those glory days may be enough to bring the senate around to recognizing the first official female heir it has ever seen.

Kerian and her recruits then meet with Ktihdi, a large intelligent spider (Liante) who works as a tremorgraphist (telegraph but with spider webs) in the elven capital to serve as a local guide when they reach the elven kingdom of Kyonin. After some discussion of terms, Ktihdi agrees, and she and the 3 recruits embark.

The first leg of the journey is over the sea and uneventful. The assassin and the bard trade stories with the sailors, and the alchemist and the spider discuss and collaborate on web-based alchemy. The second leg of the journey is up the Sellen River, and here they run into trouble as a griffon (primary predator of the Lianter) swoops in to attack Ktihdi. While Ktidhi is seriously wounded, she is kept alive by the bard while the entire boat collaborates to slay the griffon. Poison from Ktihdi, a firebomb from the alchemist, and a fatal bolt from the assassin’s crossbow eventually win the day. The next few days are spent divvying up the griffon’s corpse, with the assassin making tokens of the feathers, the alchemist harvesting organs, everyone trying griffon steaks, and Ktihdi pickling the rest.

The brief overland portion was interrupted by night-time run in with faux-border agents (basically bandits). This was resolved semi-peacefully by a tactical appearance by our beloved enormous spider Ktihdi magically stage-lit by the eternal showman Aldeberon, with a parting shot from the incorrigible hunter Samara. With the rapscallions routed, the party reaches another navigable section of the Sellen River, and sails the rest of the way to Kyonin.

Meeting with Elves

We rejoin our group as they move up the Sellen River to Kyonin. Showing their letter of introduction at the border and with Ktihdi speaking on their behalf, the group is admitted into Iadara, the elven capital. Narsius and Aldeberan are the first humans to enter the city in decades.

They are brought to the throne room for an audience with Queen Telandia Edasseril to speak of the legendary Elven Heir. The Queen is cagey at first, but after Aldeberan convinces her that their interest is wholesome, she reveals that the legend is true: thousands of years ago, a Taldan prince and Osiriani princess hid with the elves, and their great-great-grandson still lives (thanks to some healthy elven intermarriage). Not only does he live, but he is also her nephew, and a potential heir to the elven throne, making his legendary moniker all the more accurate.

The queen tells them that the heir grew up in the elven court, but recently he has been out in the world, building his claim and investigating Chelish attacks in Ustalav. Last she heard, he was in the River Kingdoms, planning on building a new town on the shores of the Kallas Lake. After quick farewells and a bit of shopping, the group rejoins the river and heads east, to the River Kingdoms.

They find the heir nailing boards together in the foundation of the first building on the north shore of the Kallas Lake. He is introduced as Dormarion Setoanbou, founder of Kallasport, king of The Commonwealth, and claimant to the thrones of Taldor, Osirion, and Kyonin.

An Arch Adventure

After a few months getting to know everyone and helping lay the foundations of Kallasport, Dormarion suggest a mission for the group. Sevenarches, oldest settlement in the River Kingdoms and hub of elven portals, has been occupied by druids who have banned all elves from the region. The group is asked to go to Sevenarches to at least secure passage for elves in their territory, hopefully to even convince them to join Dormarion's budding Commonwealth.

As druids guide them into Sevenarches, the group is set upon by wolves. With the help of the druids, the group is able to strike the wolves down, but the fact that the attack occurred at all clearly unnerves the druids. The town is on edge when they arrive, but the archdruid is uncomfortable discussing the situation with a group so affiliated with the elves, and he laughs at the idea of joining the fledgling Commonwealth. He offers to speak with them again tomorrow, but the group is not confident in their chances.

As they leave the meeting, a goat-legged man waves them over. His name is Crispix, and he tells them of a splinter group of druids aligned with the winter courts of fey who have been attacking the town. He offers to give them three horses (Ktihdi obviously not needing one) that will take them to the base of this splinter group. They accept his offer.

A few hours out from town, Samara's horse runs off into the woods, taking her with it. It turns out to be a Kelpie, and tries to drown her in a river before the others can arrive. With Samara swigging Narsius's potions and Ktihdi braving the water to fight the beast, they manage to bring down the Kelpie. Its corpse is duly pickled.

Assuming they've been betrayed, the group heads back to town to confront Crispix. When they arrive, the town is being attacked by the Wild Hunt. The group slays many an ice wolf, and even a Cold Rider of the Hunt (thanks to a well placed bomb from Narsius), then makes their way to the stalbe. They save Cripix from a corrupted treant, and decide to spare him after he explains that the winter court forced him to send them out with a Kelpie.

In the center of town, the group finds a melee of druids, many of them in the form of various animals. Spying the ones with tufts of strange fur as the shadow druids, the group joins the fray, dispatching or subduing all the shadow druids in the courtyard. Entering the town hall, the group finds the archdruid and the head of the splinter group fighting at the end of the hall, and Ktihdi helps bring down the remaining shadow druids. Wounded but alive, the archdruid agrees to join the Commonwealth and allow elves into the tonn once more.

A Doctrinal Dispute

Just across the Lake from Kallasport sits Riverton, home of Narael Twice-Born, mad devotee of the river god Hanspur. Aldeberan has been spreading a new version of Hanspur's faith in which ritual drownings are only symbolic, not lethal. Narael doesn't appreciate this heresy, and has asked Dormarion to discuss this on neutral ground – the middle of the lake.

The meeting turns out to be an ambush, and the two boats engage each other. Dormarion, his bodyguard Magni, and Ktihdi all jump over to the other ship, and with supporting fire from Narsius and Samara they quickly bring down the mad cleric and his acolytes. The remaining forces surrender, and Riverton is added to the Commonwealth by virtue of a dead mayor.

A Grisly Duel

The town of Artume has been surrounded by the borders of the Commonwealth for over a year. The young king and his mother had to flee after the regent staged a coup. Samara and Aldeberan have managed to track down the dowager queen and get her support in challenging the former regent. Dormarion demands the regent surrender to the rightful king, but the aging man will only do so after single combat.

Ktihdi is named Dormarion's champion, and the group sets about prepping her for the duel. She is shielded, strengthened, inspired, and perhaps most importantly, enlarged. The duel is over in seconds, with Ktihdi sustaining a few wounds before she impales the regent's head on her sting.

The boy king is reinstalled with his mother as regent, and Ktihdi gains a fearsome reputation.

A Dinner with Exiles
The Trip to Gralton

The city of Gralton is made up of exiles from the 30 year revolution in Galt. The ruling council and mayor are split over whether to wait the revolution out, reintegrate with Galt diplomatically, or invade (and what to do with the revolutionaries once they're back). Dormarion sends the party (who are by now the core of his council) to Gralton to offer aid in reclaiming their homeland if they will join the Commonwealth.

The group meets with the governor of Gralton, who is willing to join the Commonwealth, but can't act without support of the council. During a meeting with the council, divisions between the councilors become clear, and the party is asked to return tomorrow while the council finds a position they can agree on.

That evening, a messenger from Kallasport informs the group that Lord Tarne (a Gralton noble) has 500 men and plans to march on Galt in a matter of days. The men are under-equipped and poorly trained, with no chance of successfully retaking Galt. Dormarion asks the party to stop this invasion from taking place.

The party spends the night spying on Halidan Tarne and the more warlike council members after Tarne's letters reveal that he is allied with one of the councilors. They discover plans for a secret meeting that very night, at the Black Gardens. The party formulates a plan to incapacitate Tarne with a poison, then Aldeberan will impersonate him at the midnight meeting.

Aldeberan casts Alter Self as he enters the meeting, where he finds the councilor with a priestess of Calistria and a hired assassin. The councilor reveals that the assassin was hired to kill several other members of the council, then pin it on Galt. Aldeberan decides to pay the assassin to kill the party first, in the hopes they can ambush him in their rooms. The assassin agrees, then receives a blessing of Calistria to guide his hand in vengeance.

Back at the inn, the rest of the party is uncomfortable with the plan, but knowing the assassin is coming anyway, they decide to make the best of it. They lay down traps in the room, with Aldeberan in the hallway as lookout, Narsius hiding in a corner, Ktihdi on the ceiling, and Samara on the roof of the next building over.

The assassin creeps in, immediately steps on Samara's caltrops and is quickly overwhelmed by attacks from all sides. Despite the divine rage guiding his hand, the assassin is  subdued and even convinced to join the Commonwealth intelligence service. 

With Caldwell the assassin in tow, the party goes to speak to the council the next day and sees the conspirators arrested and the city of Gralton admitted to the Commonwealth. What's more, on their way out, a young halfling approached Ktihdi asking to become her squire. Dormarion knighted Ktihdi upon their return, making her the first knight of the Commonwealth, and responsible for the first squire of the Commonwealth, Eora Proudfoot.

Avendale Prison Break

One of Samara's spies has been in Avendale for almost a year, but we haven't heard from them in months. They were sent to undermine the military atheist regime with rumors that the government's "atheism" was really just suppressing other faiths in service of Gorum, the god of war. In order to reestablish contact with the spy, the party sneaks into Avendale, with Aldeberan playing the role of Pritchard the poultry merchant, Ktihdi pulls the cart, and Samara and Narsius play his guards.

At the border, the guards give the party a 7 day visa that allows them to travel to the capital and back, without deviating from the marked roads. They take the proscribed course to the capital, and arrive unmolested. In the capital, they go to an inn that the spy mentioned in her communications with Kallasport. After cagey introductions, the innkeep tells them that the spy hasn't been seen for a few weeks, and that they fear she was arrested. He offers to introduce them at a resistance meeting the next night, where they can plan a prison break.

However, the party has their own plan. They sneak over to the prison that very night. Ktihdi easily climbs the walls, then drops a rope for the others. They follow her up, dispose of a few guards, and make their way into the prison. Samara takes out several more guards with her crossbow, and they make it down to the third floor. Samara shoots another of the patrolling guards, and before the other guard can turn around, Aldeberan is impersonating the fallen patrolman. Aldeberan lures the remaining guard into crossbow range, and with that, they are in the clear.

They quickly find the spy, huddled in her cell, beaten and malnourished. Barely conscious, she is strapped to Ktihdi's back. Down the hall, the other prisoners are clamoring from release, nad the party obliges them. With 60 freed prisoners in tow, the party creeps back upstairs. Aldeberan creates an illusory fire down the hall to lure away some guards, and they make their break. As they cross the prison yard, guards begin to fire down from the walls and form a line in front of the gate. Samara returns fire to the wall guards, and Ktihdi bowls into the line of guards, while Aldeberan quickly heals those who have been shot. The line of guards doesn't last long against the party with their mass of prisoners, and soon they are out the gate.

The party decides to leave town that night before news can spread. Ktihdi leaves separately, as she is too recognizable, climbing over the city walls and making her way home through the forest. The rest of the party leaves on Pritchard's cart, selling a few of their birds to the innkeep on their way out. 

The Boarwood Portal

A research team arrives from Sevenarches, explaining that they've made a breakthrough in studying the portals. They party heads to Sevenarches to try reading the inscription from a newly discovered tablet. When they read the inscription, one of the portals activates, and they see snippets of a forest through the opening before the portal flickers into inactivity. After a second reading, they try running through the portal, but feel themselves inexorably pushed back. They try many variations, riding horses through, grabbing the sides of the portal as they enter, even going backwards. With each attempt, there is a flash of light far to the east. Eventually, it is decided that they must head east on foot to find the other end of this portal.

The pass the Galtan border aboard a small riverboat, this time with Aldeberan under the guise of Prichado the poultry merchant. Aside from a brief encounter with some starving bandits on the riverbank, they reach the Boarwood without much trouble. They send a raven back to Sevenarches to get the portal powered up one more time, so they can use the flash to locate this end of the portal.

As the approach the portal, they see that an armed encampment has sprung up around the fort, and the soldiers inside fire arrows when they approach. A smaller camp along the road explains that the men currently holding the portal serve the Revolutionary Council, and won't let anyone else approach the portal. The people at this smaller camp are members of the Guiding Light, a group hoping to install a new government in Galt modeled after the Andoran republic.

The party leaves to scout the outskirts of the fortified camp, and come across yet another small camp. After tense introductions, they realize these people are Lion Blades from Taldor, and they bond over this shared connection. The Lion Blades agree to help the party try to take control of the portal, but first they continue scouting the edges of the palisades. Narsius's homunculus scouts overhead and notices a staircase leading down below the portal, while Eora sees yet another camp of soldiers on the other side of a small creek. When their scouts report back, the party decides that the soldiers at the new camp are probably from Cheliax, and decide to ambush them with help from the Lion Blades.

Disguised as a peasant, Samra runs up to the fortified camp and tells them there's a Chellish camp just past the creek, and a small force sorties out to attack the Chellish. When the Galtans are almost upon the Chellish camp, they hear screams from back withing their own camp, and are struck with indecision about whether to return or proceed with their attack. The Chellish catch them unawares, and several Galtans are cut down before Ktihdi, Samara and the Lions Blades can flank the Chellish soldiers. Meanwhile, Aldeberan sneaks into the camp to see what all the screaming is about, he figures out that it's coming from the staircase, and rejoins the group as they mop up the Chellish camp.

After a brief interrogation, the group heads downstairs, quickly recognizing the statues of fleeing soldiers for what they are: the work of a basilisk. The basislisk quickly pounces, and most of the party enters the fray blindfolded, to avoid meeting the same fate as the soldiers. Aldeberan uses glitterdust to blind the beast, and Ktihdi unleashes magical screams which sunder its eyes. Weakened thus, Samara and the Lions Blades finish the beast from afar wih their crossbow fire. With the beast dead and torches lit, they discover it was not only a basilisk, but a dracolisk, one parent a basilisk, another a green dragon. They spread its blood over several petrified Galtan soldiers, which restores them to flesh, and the restored commander is especially grateful.

The party is now met with a magical barrier. After some testing and deduction, they realize the barrier only blocks warm-blooded creatures. Conveniently, warm blood only accounts for roughly half the party, so Ktihdi and Bartleby Beetesworth walk right though and investigate the library and crystal room. Meanwhile, Samara finishes disabling the barrier with help from a crowbar and a dose of enlarge person. They collect a book from the library and several stone tablets, all written in old Elvish, along with some enchanted swords and chainmail from the armory, before heading back to Kallasport. They arrange for the Lion Blades to hold the location until Sir Achille Parsall can bring a batallion to secure it for the long term.

Return to Taldor

After the party returns from Galt, they decide to start bringing food and order to Galt, since most of the country is in utter anarchy. Several cities and even more of the rural outskirts are swayed into joining the Commonwealth.

After  several months of this, in the middle of the night, Samara and Ktihdi awake in their quarters in the castle. The hear shouting upstairs, and find two dead guards outside Dormarion's room. Inside, they find Magni fighting an assassin, and Dormarion wounded and leaning against a wall for support. Ktihdi joins the fray, and Dormarion summons the strength the join her, each dealing blows to the assassin. Samara fires her crossbow from the doorway, getting in some key shots. Aldeberan wakes to the sound of bells, and after a quick casting of Haste arrives at the royal quarters moments after the others. The assassin manages to throw a poisoned dagger into Ktihdi's face, and over the course of the fight the poison become debilitating. When it become clear he is losing this fight, the assassin quaffs a potion of invisility, but before he can move, Magni tackles him. Aldeberan highlights the assailant's features with glitterdust, and Dormarion cuts off a hand for good measure.

The subdued assassin quickly loses consciousness, and his body and clothing are searched. Samara finds an old Galtan flag sewn into his jacket, and Aldeberan mentions that his accent was Galtan. Yet the accent seemed overdone, and Dormarion mentions that his weapons look to be recently made in a flamboyant Galtan style, which no one in Galt has been crafting for years. Almost as if he wanted to appear to be sent from Galt. Samara also discovers scarring on the back of his neck which seems to be intentionally obscured. It all stinks of Chellish intrigue, and armed with this knowledge, the party confirms this when he wakes.

The party decides to send word to neighboring kingdoms that Cheliax is acting more boldly than usual. The next day, their messenger returns early from Kyonin, having heard on the way that queen Telandia was attacked as well, and is now in critical condition. Worried for his aunt, Dormarion arranges to set out for Kyonin by the end of the day. When they arrive in Kyonin, Telandia is in critical condition. Aldeberan gives her doctors some bardic encouragement, and by the end of the day, her health is already improving. Telandia explains that the the whispers about her lack of an heir are already growing more insistent, and names Dormarion her heir, since he has proven himself a competent ruler more so than any of his older cousins.

Days after their return to Kallasport, the party also receives word that Koran Goss, head of Galt's Revolutionary Council, is dead. The remaining Council members are fighting to replace him, while what is left of the military supports the charismatic captain Leon Tanabon, and the Guiding Light is also making moves towards the capital. The party decides to send arms and mercenaries to aid the Guiding Light, seeing them as the best way forward for Galt.

Before they can see their Galtan machinations play out, more dire news reaches the party. Kerian, their old Lion Blade commander, arrives with word that Grand Prince Stavian III is dead, and that Dormarion is needed in Taldor to help convince the Senate to confirm Eutropia as heir. Thus, the party heads back to Taldor, to finally complete the mission they were given five years ago.

Passing through the port of Cassomir, they hear the town crier announcing that Cheliax has already begun invading Andoran, whose leader has also been assassinated. It is becoming clear that each assassin was garbed and trained to represent another nation, so that all five victims would be at each others throats when Cheliax struck. In Taldor there are rumors of war with the Kelesh Empire, which many blame for the killing of the grand prince. 

Arriving in Oppara is an awkward homecoming, as the city is clearly both mourning and mobilizing for war. Dormarion is rushed the the palace to finally meet Eutropia, with whom he has been informally betrothed for several years. Fortunately, Dormarion turns on the charm, and the two hit it off quickly. Upon the party's arrival, 18 Senators are committed to confirming Eutropia as heir, and 24 support her second cousin Vors Mikelos. Samara sends out spies to study the Senators who are on the fence, while Aldeberan hatches a plot to undermine Vors's credibility in the upper classes. That evening, Aldeberan disguises himself as Vors and goes carousing in some of the least reputable drinking establishments in town. Bay afternoon the next day, Vors has lost the votes of two of his supporters. Samara meets with four Senators who want something built in their territories, respectively a mint, an arena, a cathedral, and a magical academy. Samara declines to commit to any of the porkbarrel spending until later into the voting process.

Two days later, Dormarion appears before the Senate himself, and delivers an impassioned speech, reminding the Senators of the legend he embodies and the glory that he and Eutropia can bring to a proud aging empire. By the end of the day, Eutropia is only four votes short of the 31 she needs to be confirmed. Aldeberan and Samara go to the pliable Senators and agree to build the magical academy, the cathedral to Erastil, and the arena (provided no slaves are forced to fight in it), but they balk and the corruption that might result from giving a single Senator control of a mint. Needing one more vote, they visit Zaato Corelian, the lion of the Senate, who is known for being a tie-breaking vote. Aldeberan convinces him of the historical importance of confirming the princess at this critical time in Taldor's life, and reflecting on how close he is to retirement, Zaato agrees that this will be a fitting close to his political career.

With Zaato and the 3 extra votes that swing with him, Eutropia is confirmed with 34-26, and she is crowned within the week. Preparations are already underway for her wedding to Dormarion, although exactly what the nature of their political relationship is still undetermined…


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