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September 24, 2007, 4:18 pm

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Cheka Man
Michael Jotne Slayer
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The Princesses Nemithia


She’s everywhere. And she won’t stop coming until she has the throne.

In Prince Raskar Taileth’s early years, he seemed unlikely to ever achieve the crown of Horosia. Not only was his father, King Alamon Taileth, as healthy and cunning as he had been twenty years earlier, upon ascending to the throne, Raskar’s older brother, Alamon Taileth II, was the rightful heir.

And so, Raskar took up the wizard’s life, studying ancient tomes and leading research expeditions into the ruins of long-gone civilizations. The king approved of having a powerful mage in the family, and so supported these trips whole-heartedly, knowing that his more proper son would be the one to take the throne anyway.

And indeed, Raskar thrived in the adventurer’s life, developing magic to ward off the nation’s enemies, and performing missions too delicate for the army. And eventually, Raskar fell in love with a fellow sorceress, Nemithia Wesleian, known among her companions for the sea-blue birthmark on the back of her left hand.

But alas, the life he so enjoyed was to be denied him, for, in Prince Raskar Taileth’s twenty-second year, an assassin cut down the king and crown prince, and as the kingdom’s only remaining heir, Raskar was the only candidate for the throne. And as he prepared to return to the capital, he vowed to Nemithia that he would take her with him, and make her his queen.

And he was true to his word, and returned to the castle with her at his side. And yet, on the very evening upon which he moved in, a page came to him, to discuss something which had been found in the Lady Nemithia’s luggage.

What it was is not recorded, but it was not long before the prince confronted his lady over the discovery. Words were exchanged, then spells.

The guards arrived on the rooftop, where the wizards dueled, only just in time to hear Lady Nemithia’s final words:

"You vowed to give me the throne, and I shall not be denied."

Then, the guards watched as a spell toppled the lady from the rooftop, dropping her corpse into the river Horosin below.

Years passed. Raskar - now king - took a wife from the nobility, and grew to love her. His magic atrophied from lack of practice, leaving him a shadow of the mage he once was. And on the fourth year of his marriage, his wife finally swelled with child. The court grew excited, and waited eagerly for the birth.

And when it came, it was a girl, whom they named Karina, with a sea-blue birthmark on the back of her left hand. And as the princess grew, she began to manifest strange powers, a sure sign of great strength in the supernatural arts. And Karina quickly became the darling of the court, known for her endearing nature and remarkable intelligence.

And yet, King Raskar grew fearful, for when he was alone with her, she shot him cruel glances, and answered not to Karina, but to Nemithia.

And so, on the girl’s second birthday, she was put to death. The court and country were outraged, but in the end, they trusted their king’s judgement, and so did not act.

A year later, it happened again. The queen grew heavy with child and bore a daughter with a sea-blue birthmark and strange powers. The girl possessed a remarkable intelligence, and the court rejoiced in the seeming return of their favorite.

And on her second birthday, she, too, was put to death.

The king conceived no more children, fearing what might be the outcome of such births. And yet, his troubles did not end.

Throughout the region about the capital, single women, many of them virgins, began to bear children. Always daughters, and always with sea-blue birthmarks and strange powers. Always with great intelligence and charm. And when the king learned of these births, he sent out his soldiers with orders to kill all such girls. Those who knew him thought he seemed to have aged ten years in only two, and they worried as they saw him studying tomes he had not touched since his coronation.

And yet, even with such precautions, more Nemithias are born than can be hunted down, and a few are living past the age of two. And King Raskar Taileth knows that something must be done, or dire times will lie ahead.

The Princesses Nemithia

Although all of the Nemithias possess some qualities in common - the birthmark and the strange gifts - in general, they all look different, as normal children do. Some are blonde, some brunette. Some have blue eyes, some brown. Some appear to have the potential to become great beauties, others do not.

As the girls grow older, however, they begin to grow more similar. They develop remarkable beauty, and tend to favor similar hairstyles and cuts of clothing. Even their hair and eye colors begin to become the same. In theory, they would all look the same around their eighteenth birthday, but this has yet to be verified - it’s unknown if any of the girls have lived that long.

Nonetheless, each girl possesses some sorcerous ability, and this grows stronger as they grow. By the time they reach ten, a small town guard can no longer easily kill one. By age sixteen, their raw power would theoretically be equal to that of a typical adventurer, although they would lack the experience.

What’s Happening

Nemithia (the original) was a member if the Children of Azorath, a cabal of sorcerers known for their possession tactics;.

Indeed, on the night Nemithia was killed, she had prepared herself for the possession and control of her husband-to-be. Unfortunately for her, however, one of the pages to whom she entrusted her luggage was not whom he seemed to be, and found some of her more suspicious belongings, leading to her death.

When she fell into the river, however, her corpse, prepared to possess, essentially dissolved into the flowing waters. What remained of her will kept her from flowing to far and downstream, and the river became tainted.

Indeed, all of the women who have given birth to little Nemithias have drinken from the river’s water. As the taint affects young women more easily than older ones, most of the victims have been girls who are just a bit too young to get married, or who simply never have. Of course, many married women have been affected as well, but quite often, these women are not married for long.

What May Happen

Should one of the Nemithias grow old enough (probably about 18-20-ish), they will almost certainly have drinken quite a bit of the river water, and the spirit locked within will possess them, taking advantage of their natural gifts to attempt to seize the throne.

The Response

Obviously, King Raskar has not been simply sitting around during this trouble. He has been studying all he knows of the Children of Azorath, seeking some solution, but he is quickly realizing that he doesn’t have access to what he needs. He realizes that his only chance to end the plague of princesses is to seek out knowledge on the Children, but he fears what will happen should he leave his throne.

So, he has issued orders to his more covert sections to uncover all that they can on the Children, but information is not becoming available sufficiently quickly.

Clearing the Taint

The river will not clear on its own. Nemithias will continue to be born until one seizes the throne successfully.

Simply issuing an edict forbidding drinking from the river is also unlikely to be successful. Someone’s going to do it, and the edict will only make it more difficult for the kingdom to find out.

Ways to actually clean the river are numerous - exorcism or powerful natural magic are the most likely candidates. Either, however, will free the soul of Nemithia from the river in the form of a ghost, and she’s unlikely to be happy about it.

Adventure Hooks

1. King Raskar could make things easy on the GM and decide to hire the PCs as investigators. The adventurers would have to learn more about Nemithia and the Children, as well as to determine just how she’s affecting the people.

2. To throw the PCs into trouble from a different angle, the mother of one of the oldest Princess Nemithias hires the PCs to guard her daughter from the guards. Unfamiliar with the story, the PCs could easily develop interesting ideas on just who happens to be the villain.

3. To push the players into trouble more directly, one of the female PCs could become pregnant with a Nemithia while staying in the area. As travelers, the PCs may accidentally take the girl outside of Horosia, where she could grow up safely.

4. The PCs, after the Children, could uncover references to something interesting in the distant kingdom of Horosia.

5. Once the threat ends (if it does), the Queen may be too old to bear King Raskar an heir, in which case, the PCs could get involved in a completely different way.

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Comments ( 22 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

September 23, 2007, 17:08
Updated: Here you go, Wulfhere - something involving princesses.
Voted Cheka Man
September 23, 2007, 17:35
The King is not going to be popular with the people. What happens if a general's wife has a Nemithia?
Voted dark_dragon
September 23, 2007, 17:48
very cool! and also very creepy. having you daughter grow up to be your old GF is scary on its own, but having your entire kingdom like this would probably send you insane. the king would probably be on the edge of sanity when the PCs intervene. ohhhh, goodies... and if you include cheka's suggestion, you could also have a kingdom ripe for the taking by power hungry PCs...
Voted manfred
September 23, 2007, 18:18
Whoa. Now this is a mind-blowing plot. Kudos for thinking of such a story.

You can bet the king won't be loved, the more babies he has killed, the more precarious will be his situation. You can expect people to flee his kingdom, and others scheming to overthrow him. Those, who know of the curse (and that knowledge will spread), will have some hard choices indeed.
Voted Wulfhere
September 24, 2007, 1:02
(I had no idea that I was issuing a call to arms... Princesses just seemed a worthwhile Freetext)

This is an excellent plot, with a variety of political repercussions and different ways it could be explored by the PCs.
Voted Scrasamax
September 24, 2007, 2:41
As a strong proponent of the Princess freetext, this submission just blows me away. I like the mechanics behind how the similar births and and slow change to a similar form is explained, as well as the social responce to the king getting batty and kill-happy. Very well done!
Voted valadaar
September 24, 2007, 10:56

Truely impressive - I think this is your best so far! Nicely done!
Voted Stomphoof
September 24, 2007, 11:53
I like this, ALOT. I think I am gonna use this with my current game that I just started....perhaps linking it to this bizarre idol I am gonna have my PC's find. This will lead them into dungeon crawls, research, ALL sorts of things.

Amazing. This, plus my OTHER plot line, will make for a VERY interesting game.

Just gotta modify it a bit, to fit the world, and BAM, there I go.
Voted MoonHunter
September 24, 2007, 15:35
An incredible piece with a great deal of detail. It has history. It has drama. It has dozens of ways to be plugged into a campaign. A truly worthy piece.
Voted Murometz
September 24, 2007, 16:15
What Moon said. Great work!
Voted Ria Hawk
September 26, 2007, 14:00
Wow, I really like this. Definitely gets the "Wish I'd Thought of That" award. So much possibility for havoc, so much fun. Intrigue and madness with a pretty nifty twist. I'm going to have to find a way to use it, I think.

It's entirely possible as a Nemithia grows to maturity, fewer new ones will be born. After all, she's interested in the throne, not in competing with herself. I also have to wonder... did she arrange for her husband to become king?
October 2, 2007, 16:49
Kind of creepy when I put more thought into this, well done for creeping me out.
Barbarian Horde
October 14, 2007, 0:45
Or maybe if several reach maturity they'll all collaborate to seize the throne.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
November 14, 2007, 9:57
Aha! Very nice! This WILL be used by me, and I WILL comment on how it went.

::Stamp of Greatness::
October 2, 2008, 9:51
So??? How did it work out?
Voted EchoMirage
October 2, 2008, 9:37
I am impressed - this is a memorable piece, and creepy to the extreme. With multiple Nemithias, I can see the stronger killing the weaker ones, in true highlander fashion, to absorb the power within them.

I have to use this someday. Won-der-ful!
Voted sverigesson
October 2, 2008, 20:44
This is a great idea. Wish it had been mine!
Voted Silveressa
October 3, 2008, 5:39
Very impressive sub, and one I;d nominate for a golden sub if I could.

An interesting twist would be to do a campaign with the char being a "Nemithia" whose mother fled with her from the kingdom soon after she was born, thus making her a unknowing pawn of forced beyond her comprehension. (struggling to resist possession by the evil spirit while finding the reason behind this strange creeping possession/haunting and how to put a stop to it would make for a fun campaign.

January 25, 2009, 13:09
BUMP. A well-conceived, well-nuanced plot! A pleasure to read. Will be used!
Voted Dragon Lord
January 26, 2009, 12:03
Egads, this is simply brilliant - how did I ever miss it???

Here is a kingdom just begging for a rebellion - let's face it, no population, however loyal, is going to stand for this kind of oppression indefinately

After all, killing all the girl children before their second birthday is something no realm can stand for long

This king is most definately going to lose his throne sooner or later - and, unless he's really careful, probably his head as well

Think I'm wrong?
The French revolution and teh English civil war both started over less

So, rebellion and civil war are comming. Under these circumstances it's probably unavoidable and everybody, including the PCs, are going to have to choose a side.

There's a whole campaign arc here

Great stuff DLM
One of few truely 5/5 submissions I've seen
... plus a Hall of Honour
... plus my own Wish I'd thought of that award
Voted Dossta
October 27, 2010, 14:57

. . . What he said.  Also, I will be trying to use this soon -- just need to adapt it a bit.  I like Silveressa's idea as well.

Voted Phaidros
March 2, 2012, 10:35
Holy mozeskriebel, what a tremendous plot!

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