The Assault on Kerrengen Keep
War has begun, and the troops have begun to move. Lying on the border between Esteov and the God's Spine Mountains, Kerrengen Keep secures the main source of fresh water for the capital of Esteov, Lake Kerrengen.
Lake Kerrengen is an artificially created lake, two tremendous dams built in the mountains some two or three generations ago at the urgings of an earlier King Corleone, in order to trap water and let it trickle down towards Esteov in a controlled fashion. There is a single major fortress on the dam that faces Esteov, with the controls for the gateways that allow water to trickle through the dam. Two small roads lead to minor cities in Esteov, and the back side of the second dam is effectively a well designed, and magically reinforced, cliff.
In hopes of crippling Esteov early in the war, the men of the God Spine have sent a small detachment of men, along with some sappers, in order to break the dam. They intend for the sappers to do minor excavation at the bottom of the dam, and then blow it with ample supplies of 'black powder', a curious alchemical product produced in Ignus, and used for certain rituals of the Twins, in which rockets are shot at the eclipsed sun. A priest of the twins accompanies the mission, to bless the sacred powder, and to lend the magic of the gods to the sappers. They hope to cause a great flood to flash down across the plains of Esteov, crushing a the cities in its wake.
Meanwhile, the military detachment will serve to bottle the forces of Esteov in the fortress, and to protect the sappers as they place their charges. This detachment is a mixed bag of volunteer miners, professional mercenaries, and adventurers, with no hope of actually conquering the fortress. This, however, is not their intended mission.
There are, unfortunately, two major problems with this: First, the limited charges are vastly beneath the amount needed to move enough earth to collapse the dam. Second, even if they had the charges, the sappers are unable to reach the submerged side of the dam where such charges would be needed to be placed - The priest will realize the first very quickly.
There is, however, an alternative. If a party can penetrate the fortress with several small casks of the black powder, they can blow the flood-gate mechanisms of the dam. While the destruction will be several orders of magnitude smaller in this method, it will still greatly impact Taronia. But who's that mad?
The Party's Role
While the party may participate on either side of this event, they are far more likely to be a part of the Union detachment. In this case, the party must find a 'back door' to the fortress, and either fight or stealth its way to the floodgates, and destroy them. The priest of Ignus is capable of rigging fuses for the casks, but, as all demo men know, 'Someone always complains about the length o'da fuse'. Alternatively, the party may serve as the spearhead of the distraction effort, and must hold the attention of the fortress for long enough for the sappers to succeed. Finally, there may be a secondary objective available, such as the assassination of an important Esteon commander, in the fortress on tour.
The party may also be within the fortress, as an ally to Esteov. In this case, they must discover the deception in some fashion, likely through confusing battlefield reports, and defeat the sapper party - possibly even a Mirror Party. They may be sent to fight their way through the besieging party, in order to carry a message to Esteov. They may be used to assassinate the priest, if the plot is found out early enough, potentially through treachery.
The hosts have gathered, legions eye barbarians across a barren field, the generals stab daggers into their maps, the WAR QUEST has arrived.
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? Responses (7)
What a solid warfare plot. There is destruction, there is subterfuge, there are job opportunities for both sides. There is also the unmentioned question of how many civilian victims this may produce.
Skilled adventurers should be used for more than simple fighting, and you have showed it here. Good work!
Straightforward and adaptable - nicely done!
Perfect for a group of tough mercenary bastards like our heroes. Everything Manfred said. Love it!
My only issue is the magically-reinforced back cliff wall... But I am allowed to change that. If you ask me, it's a pretty mundane use for something that's meant to be awe-inspiring and, well, magical. But that's just my personal preference, and it's not even a major part of the plot, so to hell with it!
A fantasy version of the Dambusters.
This could be the culmination of a war. Enough detail to get the GM's creative juices flowing without it being enough to stifle said juices. Nicely done, Siren.
I like it. It's simple, it's creative, and devious. As Ramhir said it could be the culmination of the war or the start of one. Perhaps the party is hired to take down the dam for some explainable reason not knowing the depth of mass murder and destruction it will play out. Then they must then decide what side are they actually on?
Another nice little twist, and this all depends on the depth of playability of your group composition. It would be an interesting start of a campaign. Have your players split up on both sides, one try to sabotage the dam the other finding out about the assault and trying to thwart it. Then when the two groups meet try to convince the other group that what they are doing is wrong. The start of a campaign. But again, it would always depend on how well your players play together and can role play at that.
This is only one small part of the whole: Follow through to the Dawn of Avarice for the bits of the rest.