The Right of Revenge, the Law of an eye for an eye, is also known as the Widerdonum, the repayment. Not debt burns as brightly or as painfully as that of vengeance
Set between the end of the First Rose War, and the Thorne Rebellion, is the story of Princess Reisha, the Nechteran Revolt, and the Widerdonum.
The Nechteran Revolt
A smaller kingdom bordering the Middle Kingdom, Nechtera is considered to be a snd rate power and not generally a threat to the great power of the Middle Kingdom. Yet events in Nechtera will threaten to plunge most of the continent into a bloody struggle that could take decades to be fought out. The Revolt begins as a basic peasant uprising caused by a combination of taxation and several years of moderate drought. As the peasants muster and throw out the tax collectors, there is a build up of levies and militia soldiers on the side of the Nechteran nobility. In most cases, such a revolt would be easily put down and end as a minor footnote in the ledgers of history, but such would not be the case.
A traitor in the Royal Court does the unthinkable, he assassinates most of the entire royal family. The King of Nechtera, Thetavra the Wise suffers the most painful death as he is horrificly and slowly mutilated with a ceremonial sword of his King's Elite Guard. The rest of the royal family and most of those in line for the throne of Nechtera die from poison. The Poinson Tasters never knew that their vessels were treated with the antidote to the poison, thus protecting them while the unadulterated poison went on to slay those of noble blood.
This Revolt then took on a new aspect as the death of most of the Royal family shook the morale of the Royalists, and gave new fire to the rebels. It seemed that the commoners would rise up to eclipse the divine mandate of the nobility to rule. Many of the nations and Kingdoms that bordered Nechtera made plans to invade the small kingdom and put down the peasant revolt with their own troops, but faltered. Such an act of war would be nothing more than an act of war and might galvanize their own peasantage to rise up as the Nechterans had. Instead, the various nobles and the Blue faction of the Middle Kingdom's court produced an heir and avatar of their faction; Princess Reisha.
Now only 2nd in line to the throne, and with the first person missing and presumed slain, she had a right of succession to return to Nechtera and assume control of the nobility that remained. As a symbol of her right to rule, she carried an heirloom of the Nechteran Kings, a Dwarven Bow of sublime craftsmanship and unequalled power. This bow had been passed down from generation to generation, tracing it's way back to the first King of Nechtera and their ancient alliance with the dwarves of the mountains.
The Staging Point
Most of the events above will take place before the PCs become involved and will be backstory elements. Much of it may be well known, such as the peasant revolt, and the assassination of at least the King of Nechtera. Those with better connections might know the full extent of the assassin's attack. Those with political connections and noble influence might know that several other Kingdoms have begun to muster loyal forces to put down the Nechteran revolt if it threatens to spill out of the small kingdom, though at the moment their hands are tied by a grudging respect for the law and fear of causing the revolt to spread even faster than it already has.
Princess Reisha has arrived in the border city of Menethor, less than half a day from Nechtera. The mood in the city is tense, and the main tavern of the city is a simmering pot of apprehension and anxiety. In addition to reports of rebels siezing and burning Noble carvans and wagons, their are also reports of looting, pillage, and murder pouring out of Nechtera, along with a good stream of refugees who only wish to escape the fighting with their lives and a bit of their prosperity. On the other side, a full division of footmen have gathered under the tenative command of the Princess, as well as several dozen knights of the Blue and Green noble factions.
The Princess doesnt wish to agitate the matter any further and feels that if her intelligence is correct, the remaining Royalist forces can put down the revolt with a minimum of bloodshed or outside assistance. She doesnt wish to she her homeland ravaged by any more conflict than it has already faced. To this end, she is taking a small group of highly skilled professionals (IE the PCs) with her to assist in the operation and will send for the bulk of her forces only if dire need presents itself. As a symbol of her desire to rejoin the estranged peasantage and the nobility, she has since requisitioned and donned the armor of the folk hero and knight Errant, Huran.
A Bitter Homecoming
Crossing into Nechtera with the PC party and perhaps a dozen other mounted warriors, mostly green and blue knights, but a single yellow garbed advisor as well, they encounter signs of battles. There are refugess on the road, bandits are operating more openly and brazenly then ever, and there might even be a combat heavy encounter with an outrider band of Peasant Marauders. The scene in the capital is bittersweet. The locals cheer for the return of their loved princess, but there are signs that the city itself has seen heavy fighting, and the Royalist forces remain demoralized and lack any sort of strong leadership.
The Campaign that follows consists of gathering the Royalist Troops and rallying them under Princess Reisha and her cadre of professionals and knights. The first orders of conflict are clearing the roads of bandits, a task that she might send for her Middle Kingdom troops to take care of under the auspice of the bandits raiding across the border. The next order of action involves the PCs leading elements of the Royalist forces against rebel strongholds, and doing search and destroy missions against the more mobile forces of the Rebels. Eventually the campaign should end with a siege of the Rebel's last stronghold with the final goal being the capture of the rebel leaders and the end of the revolt.
The Revolt is more than a simple peasant uprising against what is percieved to be noble excess in a time of near famine. The conditions were right, and various members of the Yellow Faction, growing weary of Reisha and her Green's interference and outrage over her turning the rule of the Middle Kingdom over to the Viceroy after the First Rose war, inflamed the conflict. Using their merchant contacts, the Yellow faction funneled cheap weapons and armor into Nechtera, along with discrete mercenary advisors to train the peasantage into a half-way functional force that might overthrow the hide-bound aristocracy of Nechtera. The end goal was for a radical change in Nechtera's political alignment, bringing them away from the traditional viewpoint of the blues with strong Green tendancies firmly into the progressive clutches of the Yellow faction.
It is also the Yellow faction that has done much work to keep other kingdoms at bay while their experiment boils furiously. Discovering that Princess Reisha herself is going to attempt to quell the affair has them almost giddy. with the Princess away and heading into a danger zone, the Yellows are freed from higher level of scrutiny. To take advantage of this, they secretly have an assassin or two hired to attempt to kill the Princess in the field, but it has to look like she was killed in combat.
Expanding the scenario
The quelling of the Nechteran Revolt is a look into the dichotomy of Noble right to rule versus the radical idea of rule by the people. While Reisha will wish to support and protect the common people, she does so out of Noblesse Oblige, not out of a democratic spirit. It is the duty of the noblity to protect the common people, and to be worthy of their fealty, just as the common people have the duty of serving the nobility and being worthy of their protection. The entire campaign has a heavy military and combat theme, with the two factions squaring off across the kingdom.
Once Reisha is in charge, and the Royalists rallied under her and the PCs (now military advisors and leaders) the battles will quickly turn against the revolting peasants. The Royalists are better trained, better armed, and more experienced. The Peasants have larger numbers, but almost non-existant discipline and lack morale in large scale battles. The end of the campaign should have the peasants surrendering in large numbers, a few fighting a slowly failing guerilla war against the Royalists and an increasingly pressed strongpoint for the remaining rebels.
If the PCs are very successfull in routing the peasants, and preventing the last stronghold from becoming a siege situation, they should be able to secure agents of the Yellow Faction before their escape. If a siege results in taking the last rebel city/fortress, the Yellow agents will escape and aside from the standard espianoge and court back-stebbery no one will be the wiser to their machinations. Unless the siege turns into an absolute abattoir or lasts more than a year, they will find a prisoner being held since the begining of the conflict.
The young man, barely 15, is the only person in line for the throne of Nechtera ahead of Princess Reisha. Scarred by several years of imprisonment, he will not be able to rule in any fashion for several years. Princess Reisha will remain as his Regent in Nechtera until he turns 20 when she will surrender the throne of the Kingdom, having benefitted from her progressive rule for 5 years.
The PCs can be seen as liberators and heroes, or as bloodthirsty mercenaries dependant on their actions. As a general rule of thumb, if they show mercy, take prisoners, and avoid collateral damage as best as possible, they will recieve accolades and rewards from the people and the crown. If they are heavy handed, execute prisoners of war, follow a scorched earth policy or the like, the people will fear them and will celebrate when they leave. If their actions are especially brutal and evil, they may find themselves on trial for war crimes, with their former employer, Princess Reisha as the prosecutor and possibly judge.
The Five in One Challenge. The time to honor yourself will soon be at an end...Highness--Russ Crowe, Gladiator
The idea behind this Quest is to use five random submissions and craft one masterpiece from them. The point is to celebrate some of the forgotten posts of the past, dredge up favorites, and highlight your peers and colleagues' works.
Rules - Thou shall not use any of your own submissions.
-Thou shall have 1.5 months to craft your 5in1 submission. Yes, multiples are allowed. You cannot begin, until the Quest is officially posted on the main site (any hour now).
- The Five shall be picked randomly, ideally with the aid of Murometz, who will gladly generate them for you. However, those impatient of you may choose and contact any Citadelian of your preference, who shall thence produce them for you - the 'Random Submission' link on pretty much any page of the main Citadel being a good source. Refresh and enjoy.
- The chosen submissions shall not have a higher vote score than '4.5'. Even the seemingly less perfect submissions deserve love and companionship. Please, help them shine!
- (Optional) A sixth submission may be generated if you so desire, to swap it with another that you desire less.
Other than these guidelines, anything goes. The person who wins the Quest, will be awarded a set of customized Citadel-dice in addition to the usual laurels! Please ask questions here if you have any and if you can help it, try to avoid an epic novel.
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? Responses (9)-9
Ahh, first to comment! Let's take a look.
There are a few typos inside, but nothing horrible. The plot focuses on the Princess, a natural choice. It is well entangled into the complex politics of her world, but still able to be taken out and used in another, kudos for that.
The rest of the items have but only cameo appearances in the story, they show up and vanish again - and that could be amended. The sword, for instance, could stay with the traitor, who could make a significant enemy (plus there would be rumors that it is cursed, as a killer of kings). The tavern could be the right place to learn of the shadowy figures that moved between the kingdoms, etc. The positive PR effect of the armor could be canceled by a nasty story that the princess had it stolen, or its owner killed... and so on.
The plot itself is okay, but more could be made of the items that are linked to it. It appears to me that it was a little rushed.
I kinda agree with manfred on some points, but I like this plot! Multi-layered and expansive. Several gaming nights may potentially be needed with this one. I like the way it flows, and it obviously works as a Quest entry.
I am also impressed that you threw this out about 1/2 hour after I threw you 5 random subs...wow.
The Quest has begun! Way to go, Scras!
(Man, I wish we had some kinda thingy on the sub, denoting it as a Quest entry. I think we had a forum thread mentioning something like that, did that idea get ixnayed?)
Bumping our first of two Quest entries for motivational purposes.
Wonderfully described as all of your subs are, unfortunately the component subs suffer from very unequal billing. Given the time-frame taken though, I could not hope to come up with something this good.
Against the average post, this is excellent. Measured against your own and the goal of the quest, it does not compare so well.
Not everyone can be the star, someone has to play the supporting roles :p
A great historical change for the world they are in. When royalty is assassinated that is world changing. I like these kind of things to keep the background of the world going in things I would do. Great compliment to a great adventure when you have other activities like this going on in the greater world changing the dynamic of everything.
I like the plot as a plot and will vote on it that way. As far as the quest goes, I will have to agree with the others as they didn't really become part of anything, just links.
While this is a decent plot in and of itself, I think it /does/ need to incorporate the other 4 submissions a bit more than just as sidenotes. Kinda defeats the purpose of the quest otherwise.
That said, it IS a good sub and plot.
Everything that I want to say has been said before.
*Commented on for the Commenting Challenge