Rhys the Brenin has been under the effect of a powerful Fey Lord’s love spell. It is one of the few enchantments powerful enough to overcome his heritage and magical abilities to withstand enchantments and charms. Through it, the chaotic neutral swashbuckler has been in love with a lawful good paladin. Nearly polar opposites, they each were drawn to each other through the same magical spell, but that doesn’t mean they lived in harmony and bliss. If anything, the opposite was true, but the two (magical) lovers couldn’t remain mad at each other for long and would ultimately forgive each other and make up.
Although the two were parted by death, the spell did not end. When Princess Kialla died in childbirth, Rhys sought some comfort with his children, but that was short-lived as he fell deeper into the grief from their magical love. Instead of slowly healing, Rhys could never get over his loss, and neither could she. Over the last nine years, the ghost of Kialla, still bound to Rhys, has continued to haunt him. If the air was still and quiet enough, he could even hear her voice as she reached out to him from beyond. The castle and much of the city of Gorna were always too busy and noisy, but he discovered that the reflecting pool before dawn was one of the quietest places in Gorna. He would wait by the statue of his beloved, where she would speak to him. For a transitory moment each day they could be together, but this was as much a curse as a blessing, for it would never last. Each day, the wounds would re-open, never to heal. On occasion, Gorna would become too noisy and busy, so the only way to commune with the ghost of his wife was out in the quietest of the wilds. This started the Brenin’s walkabouts.
Rhys took some solace in his children, but they often reminded him of what he had lost. He turned from them and walked through his life as if it were a dream, leaving the details of governing to his High Chancellor, Bran ap Aeron. Over the years, affairs of state became trivial things that others could manage, and Rhys sunk deeper into depression.
The longevity of the Brenin’s fey blood loomed as an extension of his curse, despite continuing to suffer from Blackscour Taint. He considered taking his own life with healing potions, but still retained a loyalty to his children and it was disapproved of by the ghost of his paladin wife. Rhys ap Rhys, the Brenin’s son, was not yet ready to rule. – This summer, the boy will turn 24, the age his father became the Brenin. – Although Rhys ap Rhys has grown up rich and spoiled, he is the eldest legitimate child of the Brenin. Bran has given him a command of his own and provided an opportunity for him to spread his wings and learn his own way. That gives the Brenin a chance to find a way to “step out of the picture”. – The only acceptable way to do that was through a noble death. The Brenin began taking greater risks, but his awesomeness, experience, skill, magic and Contemptuous Ease™, were a problem. After the War Against the Giants, most of the worthiest foes were dead or driven off. There is one foe though, that would be worthy of the Brenin’s death: Sssarung the Ambitious. An adult green dragon should be sufficiently powerful enough to end his suffering, but not only would he have to shed his griffon guard and entourage, he would have to make the struggle worthy of song.
A few months ago, Rhys the Brenin was on walkabout again and ran across a bulette, by chance. Taking the opportunity, Rhys wrangled the creature instead of slaying it, providing a chance to escape the entourage. After a chance meeting with some minor heroes, he slipped off into the Stark Mounds headed for the ruins of Moundgnommery and the lair of Sssarung the Ambitious.
Finding his way back into the ruins was more challenging than he remembered, as the entrance he had previously used by Deward was overgrown and now sealed. It took weeks to find a way in again and more to explore the labyrinth of passages to search for Sssarung, but all was for naught. The dragon was not here and the remaining monsters unworthy of effort. Yet there was an advantage in the rooms and passages of Moundgnommery. Many parts of the ruined city were quiet enough to commune with his beloved again. They could spend hours together, whereas they only had minutes per day before. They would talk, fight and make-up. The weeks and months passed (good thing he had an Everful Rations and Everful Hairfoot Mug) quickly as he waited for the dragon to return.
Their time together would not last, though. Adventuresome heroes (Wolfpack 36) assaulted Moundgnommery, freeing the captives and causing a disruption, but they also brought word of a potential end to the Brenin’s suffering. The Fey never like for things to be eternal, so they impose restrictions and weaknesses to their magic. The spell upon Rhys and the ghost of his beloved wife could be broken. He just needs to unweave this prophesy:
O human child, may this love be binding,
woe into death, your fates are intertwining.
A land torn asunder, like the lover’s heart,
as the survivor in sorrow stands apart.
Till the false father returns to the selfish son,
the wizened magi will be mystic undone,
secret followers the old one awaken,
a prince to the lost tomb be forsaken,
treacherous plots of the serpentous green
shadowy threats strike hard at the fourteen,
once arcane staff words are forcefully spoken,
in the storied end, all twill be broken.
The love of Rhys and Kialla has extended beyond the grave. The land is torn between the traditionalist old ways and the progressive immigrants. The Magi of Gyruff are dead or missing. Rise of Sssarung the Ambitious. Who are the fourteen?
The last two lines seem to be the means to end the spell and free both Rhys and Kialla from an eternity of suffering. Before his untimely death, the Spymaster of Gyruff, known as “The Eagle”, had arranged for a wizard from the east to come to Gorna to address the threat from the doppelgangers, lift the Brenin’s curse and help deal with Sssarung. Perhaps he is the key to breaking the spell?
Nicole Fairweather, a member of the adventuresome Wolfpack 36, convinced the Brenin to wait another week. She was confident that the dragon would return soon, but even that optimism waned. They had just given up waiting when they encountered another group of younger heroes heading down.
In a glorious battle, the Brenin slew the great green dragon Sssarung the Ambitious with Dusk, the Sword of State that prevents any future resurrection or reincarnation. After hacking the head off the beast, the Brenin appointed Sssarung’s adopted green dragon son as Minister of Education and promised to knight all members of Wolfpack 36 for their heroism in helping the Brenin with the dragon.
The trek back to Gorna was uneventful, but once back in Gorna, the Brenin learned about recent events in Arweth. The surviving members of the Brenin’s Council were immediately assembled:
• High Chancellor Bran ap Aeron
• Personal Secretary to the Brenin Janice Goldbloom
• Druidic Advisor of the Old Faith Druisina the Crocusblossum
• High Forgesmith and Minister of Public Works Bolthar Bloodstone
• High Exchequer and Minister of Trade and Industry Caswir the Caustic Uradawc
• Druid Minister of Agriculture Davyth Meadowood
• Foreign Secretary Lady Alandra Morrick
• Minister of Health, Radiant Servant of Pelor Alena Araul
• Master of Coin, Treasurer and Minister of Weights and Measures Harrison Mojo
• Minister of Cultural Heritage and the Arts Brohan
BRENIN’S COUNCIL MEETING:
The closed-door Brenin’s Council is assembled, immediately followed by a number of ambassadors and other representatives who seek an audience. (The Brenin’s Council is expected to remain for the diplomatic meetings.) Many members of the council are happy that Rhys has returned, although Bran looks as stiff-necked as ever.
Bran> Your Radiance, first on the agenda is a briefing on the situation in Arweth: On the 18th of Flocktime, during the dark of the moon, Gareth Gaelyn Arweth (son of Padrig), staged an overnight coup within Arweth. It was not a bloodless takeover, but those Knights and Gran March forces remaining were immediately ordered out of the county by Gareth. According to eye-witness reports, Governor Neumann signed the territory over to Gareth, apologized for the treatment of the people of Arweth and threw himself from the castle walls. The Gran March ambassador claims that the rebels were funded by Gyri and elven nobles who even used their own troops in the coup. There will be more of a discussion later on in the meeting.
Rhys> Arweth: What is the Gran March position? Their appointed governor admitted to poor treatment and being under the influence of something/someone else. Is this the kind of thing that we should expect from them?
Negotiate some reparations for the soldiers killed, collect it from the nobles involved, and pay it to Gran March with our apologies. Make it modest as to not really hurt our Cantrev’s coffers very much.
Bran> Your Radiance, in your absence, the former Gran March Ambassador was killed. The Gran March Commandant appointed a new ambassador, but… I’m afraid to say the ambassador is little more than a novice kid. Ambassador Watcher Crouching Vole Stevil Murtock is in his mid-twenties and while he’s been promoted to a Knight of the Watch, it is unusual for someone so young to retire from the Gran March military into a civil-service job. Gyruff is not considered a prestigious position among the Marchers, so the fact that he’s here doesn’t speak that highly of him. – He is waiting outside for his audience, where he has message(s) for Your Radiance. He would not discuss it with me ahead of time. I suspect they are angry at the events in Arweth and may suspect Gyri noble aid. It is unlikely they will admit any wrong doing or dishonorable behavior.
Lady Morrick> I would hold off on offering reparations until we find out what Gran March’s expectations are, but I agree something moderate would be in order.
Bran> Are you insane? Admit nothing. These were not sanctioned actions, so if they think they can extort money they can just stuff themselves… But, it is your decision, Your Radiance…
Rhys> Lady Morrick is correct; we’ll wait to see what the Peacock representative has to say, and keep reparations in our pocket as something to put on the table.
And Bran, we’ve had enough war don’t you think? You’d have us fighting the Gran March, the Giants, and half a dozen others at the same time.
Bran, biting his tongue> Of course, Your Radiance. War is counter-productive and wasteful unless conducted for a nobler purpose. I am reminded of my mentor’s words, “Don’t fight a battle if you don’t gain anything by winning.”
Rhys> “If I didn’t need you, I’d wipe that smartass smirk off of your face myself.”
Bran stews for a moment and clears the expression from his face before continuing> “In your absence, we have suffered a number of vacancies in your ministries.
• Minister of Defense as we may soon be at war. (The position was not refilled after Sierra Blackblade passed away.)
• Spymaster as we need to know what is going on. (“The Eagle” has been missing for several months.)
• Minister of Justice as crime is becoming rampant, especially in Gorna. (Maga Eldoran was killed by assassins.)
• Introduction of Essvaress the green dragon as the NEW Minister of Education. Janice has arranged a signal for Essvaress to land in the courtyard and forewarned the castle guard and Griffon Guard to not attack. Essvaress is escorted into the meeting under guard and introduced.
Most everyone is taken aback by the appointment of a green dragon to the Brenin’s Council.
Rhys> Ministry Vacancies: Find me some candidates. There have to be some able commanders that could fill the Ministry of Defense position. As for spymaster, we’re probably pretty much out of luck; whomever we hire will be a disguised enemy because we can’t tell the difference.
Minister of Justice: Get me a simulacrum, clone, or other back-up body for Sheila. She may have been harsh but she was fair. Find a way to get her out of that gem and into a new body. Preferably a young, sexy female body but whatever we can find will do.
Bran> For Minister of Defense, I recommend your Cadofyth, Angus ap Chattelguard…
Lady Morrick> The HALF-ORC?
Bran> He has plenty of experience running the bragad and I think he would do an excellent job.
Lady Morrick> What about Cymorth Ser Girais Longdraw? He’s a leader and a Peer of the Realm.
Bran> Lady Morrick, promoting Ser Girais over his current superior is just asking for trouble.
Davyth> What about appointing one of the nobility?
Bran> No, we need them to each run their own bragads and not be distracted with managing a whole war.
Davyth> Who said anything about a war?
Bran> If we go to war, the Minister of Defense will have to coordinate strategy. – Your Radiance could also appoint Arawn Strongbow, First Ward of the Olwythi gan Gyruff who served with distinction during the war and replaced his uncle, Cuthalion Strongbow.
Rhys quietly to Davyth> Wait, Bran wants a half-orc?
Rhys> I like Angus. He’s tough, straight-forward, and gets things done.
Bran, seeming pleased with the choice> We will offer him the position on your council then, Your Radiance.
Bran> If you are seeking someone you can trust as Spymaster, perhaps your old friend Arglwyth Eridan would be a suitable candidate.
Drusinia> My brother is most competent, Your Radiance, but he often fails to “share” what he knows.
Alena> I second that. Remember when we were looking for the Gonfalon?
Bran> Do you have anyone else who can fill the position and be as trusted? …
Rhys> Yeah, I guess Eridan is the defacto choice because there isn’t anyone else. But he’s busy chasing shadows right now. Maybe a little distracted? – Talk to Eridan, see if he’s willing.
Bran> We will send him an invitation to join our… your council as Spymaster then.
Alena> With the giants and a few other clerical volunteers taking over Gruka’s care, I can arrange it, Your Radiance… But, wouldn’t now be a good time to find someone… less… harsh?
Rhys> Who were Sheila’s top lieutenants? She must have had some head investigators or local chiefs. Find them and we can possibly promote from within.
Alena> Your Radiance, she largely acted alone, entrusting the apprehension of suspects to the local town guards and rangers, but reserving all but the most mundane cases for herself. Many of the local town judges were instructed to only handle civil lawsuits and crimes with less than a year’s imprisonment listed as punishment. She would teleport to the various towns and conduct the executions… excuse me, Your Radiance, trials and then executions herself. However, I will inquire about her must trusted lieutenants.
Rhys> “Rangers, perfect idea. Get me a ranger who is high ranking, well spoken, familiar with city life as well as the wilderness, and orderly and we’ll make him our new minister. Better yet, get me a few candidates like that. Oh, and not racial biased.”
Alena> We will summon the leaders of the Olwythi gan Gyruff, Your Radiance.
Bran> We also seem to be short on magi, Your Radiance.
• High Magnus Thomlin G. Pebblebottom is missing
• Magnus Burkan ap Carteira was last seen heading to the cloud castle
• Magnus Sheila Eldoran’s soul is imprisoned in a gem
• The remainder of the magi are likewise missing or dead
Rhys> Bran, um…WTF? Really? I go on walkabout for a few months and the whole place falls apart. You LOST the magi. How do you lose the magi? Admittedly, Sssarung tricked you as well, but still.
Rhys> And lighten up Francis; we’re all people here. Sure we have to keep an eye on some of our people but loosen up a bit.
Bran> Your Radiance? – I… WE ALL have been doing the best to get along without you, but if you didn’t have your head up your own a…. <harrumph> weren’t so distracted by your understandable grief, the country could be governed more to your wishes. Many of the woes of our people are not limited to Sssarung’s plans. He merely exploited an already existing cultural rift between OUR Way of Life and foreigners seeking to undermine our culture and security.
Rhys> Sssarung may have been kidnapping and trapping them but we still need to find them. Can’t just hire anyone for these positions. Get someone out there finding them.
Bran> I will commission search parties immediately.
Bran> Your Radiance, we need to discuss the status and future disposition of the royalty and nobility of Gyruff:
Crown Prince Rhys ap Rhys is in command of the Keep of Storm Mountain, but none of the recent Sendings have been received. He could be on another plane and unable to receive, or he could be dead. There has been no response from any of the members of his Griffon Guard or Saethwri unit garrisoning the keep.
Rhys> Send someone to Storm Mountain please. Why did you send him there in the first place?
Bran> Your Radiance, the boy is undisciplined, impulsive, arrogant and in dire need of seasoning. (And a pain to deal with.) – He had petitioned for a command position and this one opened up. My hopes were that the responsibility and isolation from distractions would man the boy up. It is too early to write him off. We’ve been out of communication for a while, but they could be some magical features of the Keep. – Until we send an expedition, we won’t know what really happened there.
Rhys> According to Drusina, so am I. Maybe I should have let Melwyn rule. He’d have quickly tired of the Druids whining interference and gone into a rage. Send an expedition; obviously include someone that has been there before.
Bran, biting his tongue> As always, Your Radiance, your wisdom is self-evident.
Rhys> “As is your sarcasm Bran.”
Bran> Princess Caitlyn merch Rhys was killed by assassins back in Readying. Your Radiance was on walk-about and missed her funeral.
Rhys> So it is true…Rhys and Caitlyn are lost, Shaun is soon to follow. Sssarung said that he knew where Shaun was and plans were already in motion. Probably more of that damn sect of the Druids that’s been undermining everything else.
Druisina> Your Radiance, the Druids were not behind any plot against any of the Royal Family! – We have pledged to keep Shaun safe, and continue to do so at Bran’s request. He is safe, Your Radiance.
Rhys> And Drusina; your Old Faith is what did this to me. We can navigate the mysterious ways of the Fey but can’t handle a few demi-humans and giants in our lands?
Druisina> Excuse me, Your Radiance?! – We have marked eleven thousand and sixty-eight seasons since the first stones were raised. Do not presume to lecture us on change. We have seen the changes in the Land come and go, but we are talking about preserving our culture, our way of life and our faith. While there are those among us who may disagree on how to read the signs, the Archdruidess Gwenllian ap Luth has instructed our order to cooperate with Your Radiance’s more moderate leaning government. In fact, she seeks an audience with Your Radiance this very day.
Rhys> The country is moving forward; adapt. Fighting it is only making things worse. How about we work together so we can keep the old traditions strong while moving forward.
Druisina> Without our past, we have no future, Your Radiance. We continue into the future as always, but must not lose ourselves. The New Ways do not respect The Land the way we do. If they did, we would have more respect for them, but I will defer to the Archdruidess when she arrives, Your Radiance.
Rhys> Yes, I would very much like to talk to Gwenllian.
Rhys> Take me to Caitlyn’s grave.
Druisina> In accordance with the Old Ways, her body was cremated in a glorious pyre suitable for a princess. After the embers cooled, a gemstone was found at its base. Master craftsmen have polished it into a gem suitable for royalty and named it the Heart of the Princess, Your Radiance. We have it here to present to you.
Bolthar> Once the area cooled, the largest fire agate anyone had ever seen was found on the site of the Princess’ pyre. The High Chancellor commissioned the best dwarven smiths to craft a gem out of the stone. The wondrous result was a masterwork displaying a cacophony of color in iridescent layers and bubbles formed in the shape of a four-chambered heart (the organ, not traditional shape). According to the gem smiths, the stone itself resisted any other shape. The gem, called “Heart of the Princess” will be added to the Crown’s Jewel collection and preserved in Eagle’s Peak.
Rhys takes the gem and holds it close as if it were a baby and quietly talks to it for a moment, apologizing for not being a better father.
• Prince Shaun ap Rhys has been fostered with the Druids on the Isle of Rhûn. A squad of Griffon Guards stands watch over him.
• Araul Anterth: Llwyres Ffiona the Ebontress, her husband Sir Darian Malthus (a Knight of the Watch) and their adult son Tralvan have remained within their estate and very cautiously wary of potential poisoning from Blackscour Taint.
• Blodyn Cain: Arglwyth Alvestar Glorandaal has brokered a deal with the Cult of Lydia to get his ships through the lethal positive energy field surrounding Ravonnar. Alvestar has also been dealing with King Karackus and his lizardfolk.
• Cymeravon: Llwyr Victor Brightblade is dead. His younger brother is Knight Commander Elusive Stag Peredur Blackblade, a Knight of the Watch who has been serving in the Principality of Ulek. He has come here today to have the Brenin recognize his claim.
• Daden Bryd: Arglwyth Emyr Cadwaler has accused Western Royal Trading Company of a variety of charges (espionage, conspiracy, murder, kidnapping and more) and seized their assets. The Regent of Keoland is demanding the immediate release of WRTC people and assets to Keoish authorities. Additionally, Emyr has sponsored the rebellion in Arweth without consulting the Brenin.
• Dwyr: Arglwyth Eridan Shadowblade continues to fight the shadows of the Dim Forest. There have been strides forward, using light-producing fey, but the struggle has not been won. Additionally, Eridan was involved in the Arweth situation.
• Eryrnyth: The Brenin has returned. Prince Rhys is in command of the Keep of Storm Mountain. Some suggest Prince Rhys, at 24, should marry to solidify a political alliance and continue the bloodline. Princess Caitlyn was assassinated. Prince Shaun is being protected on the Isle of Rhûn with the Druids. The giants, previously encamped outside Gorna moved north.
• Ffrwythlon Dol: Arglwythes Vilina Lea and her husband Knight Captain Crouching Manticore Cormac mac Aoibin were assassinated in their beds. Their daughter Gretta is 25, unmarried and petitioning to be recognized as heir so she can go to the Druids for confirmation. She awaits in the outer hall.
• Gwyrth Bryn: Arglwyth Andras Dryadson is concerned about the number of giants in his lands, who raid his people’s sheep and goats. His people are afraid to go far outside of their fortified towns. As the Brenin has seen fit to see the giants as subjects, what does the Brenin suggest as a solution?
• Melgorn: Arglwyth Ullich ap Llen is still in the early stages of Black Scour Taint, but ably and aptly ruling his people (half-orcs, orcs, goblinoids, etc.) and keeping them under control.
• Rhad Derwyth: Arglwyth Janos Garren was involved in the recent Arweth situation.
• Rhwng yr Coed: Arglwythes Briallen merch Luther was involved in the recent Arweth situation.
• Rhychdir Rhos: Llwyres Rhian “the Spearbreaker” continues to be a friend to the giants who live peacefully under her moderate rule.
• Tjalf: Recently recognized as a new cantrev, giant candidate Gruka Duk has not yet been confirmed as Arglwyth. He suffers from the Straffern disease contracted in the Dim Forest. The giants who were camped around Gorna have moved up to Gwyrth Bryn to be near their leader, but have been unable to cure him.
• Ystrad Cloer: Arglwyth Krelor Deepforge is bedridden with the later stages of Blackscour Taint.
Rhys> Peredur Blackblade and Gretta Lea can both make their pitch to me. They have to convince me first.
Rhys Addressed to Druisina the Crocusblossum, Druidic Old Faith Advisor> The old faith is one of the pillars that supposed to hold up Gyruff. If they can’t get their house in order we will start approving the nobility in-house. If the druids can’t move forward with the rest of Gyruff they will be left behind. Get your house (Isle of Rhûn) in order – I don’t want any more potential nobles being poisoned by our own religious leaders. Killing each other is what the nobility do, not the Druids; make it STOP!
Druisina> Your Radiance! – The Old Faith is indeed one of the three pillars of Gyruff along with the people and THE NOBILITY. We do not expect anghrefyddol to understand our ways, but we demand proper respect. The Druidic faith has kept and preserved our people, culture and Land better than you can possibly comprehend. Your Radiance is hidebound, impulsive, arrogant, self-absorbed and controlled by your grief. It is your lack of faith and understanding of your place in the turning of the wheel which prevents you from taking your proper place as a true defender of The Land. Know that whilst you walked your paths, Bran, your High Chancellor, worked tirelessly to protect that which you should have! – He is, by far, the greater man here. – - – Know that when the leadership has turned from the wisdom of the Druids and fallen from the Old Faith and Old Ways, ruin and destruction, such as in Sterich, have come. Thricefold will your actions turn upon you, Your Radiance.
Bran> Is there any additional business of the private council before we continue on to the public ceremonies and audiences?
Bran> No? – Begin the Audiences!
Ten of the Griffon Guard, headed by Ser Rhodri of Llentrev, secure the area around the Brenin’s Council, while a dozen of the castle guards cover the balcony above and open the great hall to the gathered nobility, foreign dignitaries and other rich and powerful elite here in Gorna. As the first public audience by the Brenin in over a year, anyone able has arrived to watch the spectacle. Essvaress the Green Dragon withdraws, so as to not panic the crowd. He will wait until the end of the audiences to be presented, if it pleases Your Radiance.
The first audience is with Knight Commander Elusive Stag Peredur Blackblade, a Knight of the Watch who has been serving in the Principality of Ulek. His skin is an ashen grey offset by solid black eyes and snowy white long billowy hair. He approaches in full platemail and armed with a massive black greatsword. “Your Radiance, I come before you to make my claim to the County of Cymeravon. I am the eldest surviving son and claim the right of lands and title by my heredity; however, I have performed many mighty deeds to prove my worth. I have served my order and my country faithfully for two decades in the fight to repel the humanoid savages of the Pomarj from the Principality of Ulek, the shield of the Sheldomar valley. During the War of Liberation, I patrolled the western Stark Mounds all the way to the foot of the Crystalmists, where I served with the Underfoot dwarves of Urtcheck to reclaim their mountain fortress. By your leave, I seek to be worthy of the honor and position of Count of Cymeravon.”
Rhys whispers to Bran> Is this Sierra’s son or nephew?
Bran whispers back> ‘Brother’, Your Radiance.
Rhys> “Excellent! Maybe we should give you Bran’s job. Just kidding. Your mother/aunt Sierra was one of the finest people I have ever met and held our country together during a time of chaos. What are your views on current political topics; non-human races and their citizenship, giants, Arweth/Gran March, the Old Faith and allowance of other faiths, etc., etc.”
Peredur, ‘modestly’> I would never presume to be able to fill his great shoes, Your Radiance; however, if you call upon me to serve, I shall not refuse your command. My sister, Sierra, was indeed one of the finest people I have ever known as well. As was my brother, Victor Brightblade, who led the people in the Plane of Shadow against their oppressors.
Peredur, unsure> I apologize, Your Radiance, I have been fighting far afield for the last two decades and unfamiliar with the current political topics. I did not realize the non-human races, such as elves, gnomes, dwarves and halflings were having their citizenship questioned. – I have been fighting the humanoids of the Pomarj for the last two decades in a violent and brutal incursion into the Principality of Ulek. We have only barely held our own against the foul creatures, fighting over land and in the tunnels underground. I could scarcely be spared, but my family and country come first. I am prepared to retire from the knighthood’s active rolls to serve as Count of Cymeravon.
Peredur, somewhat confused> I was led to believe that the giants had been defeated, Your Radiance. Stand assured that despite Cymeravon being more centralized, my cantreval army will be ready to repel any giant incursions into our neighbors.
Peredur, still confused> Arweth was annexed by Gran March during the War of Liberation as spoils of war. It is regrettable that they have not yet returned it to Geoff, but I hope it will be returned someday. Do you want me to speak to Gran March on behalf of Geoff and Your Radiance?
Peredur, believing he has this one > The Old Faith is and always has been sacred to my family. I pledge to uphold the Old Ways, the Old Faith and dutifully serve My Brenin, the Druids and the People. Other faiths will be welcome in my cantrev, as long as they don’t infringe upon Our Ways and Our Culture.
Rhys> “Eh, sorry, sister. Jeez, hard to keep track of everybody around here. So this may…no will come as a shock to you, but after the excellent aid provided by the half-orcs of (at the time) Camp Clearsky, once the war was complete we decided to allow amnesty to some demi-humans. So there are some goblins and even orcs amongst us. Guessing you might have an issue with that. I can see that I may be appointing those who would oppose me. Wouldn’t be the first time the Cantrevs rose up against the Brenin though.
But you got the pedigree for sure. Just keep things fair and all is good.
The second audience is Gretta Lea, daughter of Vilina Lea. She is equal parts young (mid-twenties), confident and forceful. Her blond hair pulled back in a sensible braid, she has a tensed, yet relaxed stance like a noble swordswoman prepared to defend herself. “Your Radiance, I am Gretta Lea, daughter of Arglwythes Vilina Lea and Knight Captain Crouching Manticore Cormac mac Aoibin. By right of heredity, I claim the cantrev of Ffrwythlon Dol. I have lived a dutiful and honorable Gyri life by the Old Ways and Traditions of our people. I follow the Old Faith and have a love of The Land and the People of Gyruff. Recognize my claim, so that I may be confirmed by the Druids and assume my place as leadership among my people.”
Rhys> “Gretta Lea, you are a Lea and a Gyri through-and-through aren’t you! And I mean that in the best way possible.
I will pose some similar questions to you; we have half-orcs, goblins, orcs, and even giants in our lands who have promised to live peacefully and under our laws. A few have actually followed through! Any problem with that?
I’d like to know, even though I’m confirming you. If I didn’t I’m sure Darlon would come give me hell.
Gretta Lea is confirmed. Next…”
Gretta Lea> “Your Radiance, I have grown up in this land and know where we stand today. Non-human races, even the giants, will be treated as citizens as long as they behave such. Anyone breaking our laws, hurting our people or breaking their oaths will be known as anudon (tr. oathbreakers) or cass (tr. enemy of the Gyri) and treated as such. While it is true that I follow the Old Ways, among them are honor, tradition, hospitality and listening to our elders and superiors (as long as they too have honor). Thank you.”
Janice comes forward with a scroll containing the names of Wolfpack 36 for knighting and traditional script. As is tradition, only Griffon Guards, other Knights and castle guards can carry weapons in the Brenin’s presence. Ser Cedric the Whiteflame has a number of ceremonial swords, chains and baldrics.
Bran> Wolfpack 36, present yourselves to the Brenin to be received as Peers of the Realm.
Bran> Your Radiance, now comes before you:
• Nicole (Fairweather) Larendin
• Mordelin Larendin
• Strongswing Wheatbinder
• Darius ap Aedan
• William Lea
• Lord Dimitri ab Rancar
Each of them approaches as their name is called and takes a knee at the base of the Brenin’s dias.
The Brenin confirms their willingness to accept the accolade of Peer of the Realm. A chain for each is then passed knight to knight until seven knights (one for each candidate) stand with a chain by each candidate. The knights present then affirm that these candidates are worthy.
The Brenin then calls for Dusk, the Great Sword of State. As a Peer himself, the Brenin can wield it, but generally does not carry it.
Each candidate then swears to defend the Crown and Country from threats foreign and domestic. They will honor, defend and protect all Gyri and those weaker than themselves. They will be courteous and honor their Peers. They will conduct themselves in all matters as befits a Peer, drawing their sword only for just cause. They will enshrine in your heart the noble ideals of Chivalry to the benefit of your own good name and the greater glory of Gyruff.
Once each candidate has sworn by all that they deem sacred, true and holy, the Brenin dubs each knight: Once for Honor… Twice for Duty… Thrice for Chivalry. Then, after passing Dusk back to the swordbearer, he places a white baldric, symbolizing the purity of honor and sign of their Knightly rank and station upon each new knight.
Each knight then swears homage and fealty to the Brenin. “This day do I render homage and fealty to my Sovereign Lord Rhys ap Colwyn, by Right of Arms, who will, from this day forward, be my Liege Lord. I will remain true in all ways, serving him faithfully – this do I swear, by my belt and chain and by my honor and by the high ideals which I hold as a Knight of this Realm.” Then, the Brenin places their chain around their neck, a reminder that each knight is a link in the honour of our country and symbol of fealty to Crown and Country.
Swords are presented, symbolizing the new knight’s prowess at arms. A reminder that the sword of Chivalry should only be drawn in defense of the realm or of those weaker than themselves. Wear it with care. Wield it with mercy.
Ser Ioan, the Brenin’s bannercarrier, then presents the new knights to the assembly and announces their new heraldry by reading the declaration from the Brenin. The assemblage then applauds.
Audiences with Foreign Powers (to be introduced by Lady Morrick, Foreign Minister)
Gran March (Ambassador Watcher Crouching Vole Stevil Murtock [in his twenties?]).
Rhys> Gran March; welcome Watcher Crouching Vole Stevil Murtock (really trying to say that with a straight face…). I bet we have a lot to talk about. The stories I hear from Arweth sound interesting. Let’s get this settled before there’s any more killing.
Murtock> His Most Resolute Magnitude, Sir Petros, Commandant of Gran March, in the middle of his fifth 5-year term, demands a response of the Grand Duke of Geoff about the situation in Arweth. He wants to know if this rebellion was sponsored in any way by the Brenin. He needs an immediate answer, as he and the other Knights of the Watch have been recalled for a special conclave on the matter.
Rhys> “Watcher Murtock, I thank you for delivering this message.
I, as the Brenin of Gyruff, swear to you that I had no knowledge of this action, nor did I directly or purposefully promote, supply, or finance the actions taken in Hochoch or Arweth in general.
I would have much preferred a diplomatic solution but all had been rebuffed, apparently because of the controlling influence over Governor Neumann.
With that all said, Arglwyth, Breyri, and other Gyri nobility, as well as all Gyri citizens are ultimately my responsibility. I am saddened that there was loss of life and though I don’t have the exact numbers, I do feel that it was not excessive.
I think this is an excellent time for our two countries to put away our differences and enter a new era of cooperation.
What say you Watcher Murtock?”
Murtock, a little suspicious and puzzling over the Brenin’s response> I will relay your words to the Commandant, Your Radiance. Thank you for your time.
Keoland (Ambassador Dior Rhola)> The Regent Jessa Skotti Lizhal DeMontvale, Countess of Sayre, demands compensation for the raid on Western Royal Trading Company, which operates under a royal charter and demands to know if Geoff was involved in the Arweth incident. Many of the slain Knights of the Watch came from Keoland and both Geoff and Gran March are subject states. As a subject nation of the Kingdom of Keoland, she reminds the Grand Duke that he is still obliged to follow Keoish law and obey her rule. (Personally, the Rhola are pleased that WRTC was taken down, but are concerned about the precedent.)
Rhys> I will not allow a hostile mercenary army on Gyri soil, and I will not have slavers operating within Gyruff. Since WRTC was directly involved in the slave trade in the Aberglain area they immediately forfeit all property and personnel in Gyruff. I’m sure you can understand how we feel about slavers. They were also pawns of Sssarung by the way. Any Keolish trading company who wants to operate honestly and fairly in Gyruff is welcome.
Dior> I will inform the Regent of your decision regarding Western Royal Trading Company, but I do not think she will accept it. She will expect reparations. Perhaps full value of the assets of the company, immediate release of captured employees and say, 50 gold for each employee slain in the attack on Western Royal?
Rhys> “WRTC in Aberglain was operating a slaving operation which is against the law. No other WRTC assets were seized and no other WRTC personnel harmed outside of those lawbreakers. Did you also know that the relatives of the Arglwyth were being held prisoner by WRTC? And that they were fortunately rescued during this operation. Again, making the actions taken against WRTC property and personnel completely within the law. The WRTC personnel captured can be returned so long as they face appropriate legal action for their participation in the WRTC operations. Payment for the employees slain will be used to offset the damages done to Aberglain and the people and families impacted by the slaving operations. There’s little way to determine exact numbers so it will be considered an even trade and no further recompense will be asked of WRTC or the Keolish crown who sponsored them (and is ultimately responsible for their activities).”
Dior> I have heard that assets of WRTC were seized in both Blodyn Cain and Rhad Derwyth, Your Radiance. Of course, it is unacceptable that anyone act against the nobility. Rest assured that the instigators will be properly punished back in Keoland. I will relay your suggestion of compensation back to the Regent.
Dior> Now, onto the Arweth incident. It is the Regent’s understanding that certain members of your nobility did conspire with the Oytwood Elves to instigate a sham of a rebellion and place into power someone who had been coached by your nobility for the position. Why, we understand that the so-called leader was a simple laborer who has no education, no training and can’t even read. How is such a person to lead such an important province? The Regent Jessa commands you and your nobility to withdraw any troops and support you may have provided from Arweth. She sees this as an internal matter within the Gran March, one of the Crown’s vassal states, and will not have further interference from another of her vassals.
Rhys> “No personnel under my direct control were involved in the coup. This is an internal matter between Gyruff and Gran March. Arweth was returned to the rightful heir as outlined in the succession laws determined by Keolish law. Currently the leader of Aweth has not sworn allegiance to anyone, but be assured, at this time I support Gareth’s claim to Arweth. He was indeed a common laborer, but he is of noble blood. Did not your own country think that Kimbertos was nothing but a country bumpkin when he was elected? And yet he was one of the finest rulers in recent memory. At this time we should be happy that there was minimal blood spilled and work to move forward without further bloodshed.”
Dior> In regards to Arweth, I’m not sure Her Grace, the Regent Countess Jessa, will see this the same way. Any matter between the Grand Duchy of Geoff and Gran March or any two of her vassal states necessarily becomes her business.
Dior very quietly to Rhys> I would caution against mentioning the Regent’s father. She discourages talk of him, including praises of his work. She feels it encourages backward thinking and increases internal strife against her Regency.
Dior, just before turning to leave> Your Radiance.
Oytwood Elves (Ambassador Elder Dintriel): The Oytwood Elves are pleased at the action finally taken by His Radiance, the Brenin of Gyruff and would like to coordinate future offensives against Gran March and the Knights of the Watch. As His Radiance knows, the Oytwood Elves have been at war with Gran March for nearly thirty years without resolution. We ceded land along the Y’Avon that the Gyri would be able to contain the aggression and ambition of Gran March. The Weeping Council is pleased that their trust in the Gyri people was not misplaced.
Rhys> “We are happy that the Gran March is no longer in control of Arweth and I will work with Gareth to ensure that all Elven lands and properties (trees) are treated with appropriate respect. I expect the Oytwood Elves will want to set up some agreements with Gareth as soon as possible.
Be aware that Gran March is quite displeased about all of this. I intend to keep the bloodshed to a minimum and would like to work with both sides to bring an end the long-standing war between Gran March and the Elves.”
Dim Forest Elves (Ambassador Darlon Lea): After witnessing the horrendous ways the Marchers treated the land and her people, the Dim Forest Elves are sure the Brenin will want to pursue a punitive raid to push them farther back, perhaps reclaiming Farvale and expelling the Marchers from the Dim Forest entirely. The Dim Forest Elves have been able to push the shadows back far enough to spare attention against the Marchers, who annexed territory along the eastern edge, so they are prepared to join the fight.
Rhys> “We have stirred up a potential hornet’s nest already, I don’t think we want to push it. You would have me fight open war against Gran March. This I will not do as it would be disastrous for Gyruff. I don’t think we want to give Gran March an excuse to mobilize their forces against us. Let’s let the current tension settle and I will gladly negotiate on behalf of the elves for return of any annexed lands. I would like to maintain peace in the Sheldomar if at all possible.”
As Darlon Lea withdraws, those that knew him can see how old and frail he’s gotten.
Sterich (Lord Andres Rhola): Sterich has no opinion on the strife within Gran March, including that within Arweth.
The Yeomanry (Spokesman Groft Wheatbinder): The Yeomanry likewise has no opinion on events within Gran March, including Arweth.
Rhys (to Adres and Groft)> “Nor should you. We neither ask nor expect your intervention. Oddly, I thank you for your neutrality in the matter.”
Bran, perturbed> Ambassador Glim Tinkertockle and the entire embassy of the Stark Mound Gnomes were recalled a few months ago, well before the situation in Arweth arose. They should have been here to greet you upon your return; instead, I call your attention to their absence here at Your Radiance’s court. Next, we have the three dwarven realms:
Stonereaver Dwarves (Ambassador Trel Goldhand)> Moradinath Mor stands with the Brenin, as long as his adherence to the Old Ways and Old Alliances remains strong.
Deepholm Dwarves (Ambassador Glim Batterhand)> Deepholm is not yet recovered or rebuilt from the devastation under the giants. The struggle with the Duergar has not yet ended, delaying our efforts to rebuild. Until that struggle is ended, we would have trouble providing any aid. (Quietly aside: If anything, we may be asking for your aid.)
Underhill Dwarves (Ambassador Bomfur Silvermantle)> Urtcheck is also rebuilding, though we have no desire to assist Gyruff in a war of aggression. We stand with our brothers, the Stark Mound Gnomes who sheltered us when we needed it most, against tyranny, including against an imperialistic Gyruff.
Rhys> “Friend dwarves, it is my sincere intent not to go to war with anyone. We will help our allies as needed but I am going to do my best to ensure there is not war with Gran March, Keoland, or anyone else.
Rhys>Ambassador Silvermantle, I do ask that you aid us in finding out what has caused the sudden departure of the gnomish delegation. I meant to provide them the good news that the dragon Sssarung had been purged from Moundgnomery and that they could explore returning to their city.”
Ambassador Bomfur> We shall make inquiries. Many of the gnomes live among our folk, so it should not take long for any response to arrive.
Rhys> We’ve all been the victim of a great deception by Sssarung and his team of very bad people; Colwyn, Inelda, etc. From fake forms and lies to Blackscour plague, to social unrest, we’ve all been played. Any remaining doppelgangers or other spies, shapechangers, or others that are expecting a payout from Sssarung, here is his head; he isn’t going to pay you. You can get up and leave. Go on, take off. Gyruff is no longer everyone’s playground to mess with.
There are hushed whispers among the crowd, but no one has the audacity to leave. Rhys, the firey tempered Brenin, seems to have returned. Even Bran holds his tongue.
Rhys (in general)> “No one has the guts to stand up and admit it, eh? Just like a bunch of sissy spies.”
Janice whispers in Rhys’ ear> Only eight more audiences to go, Your Radiance…
Rhys> “Now I remember why I hated this…”
High Priestess of Wee Jas, Charlene de Frame, wishes an audience. “Your Radiance, our church has faced an ever growing number of threats from some of the common people. Many of the less sophisticated have been throwing rotten vegetables and other waste upon our temple, clergy and worshipers. Our goddess teaches us a certain measure of compassion for some of the less enlightened among your people, but I’m becoming concerned for the safety of our followers. Could Your Radiance intervene?”
Rhys> “I don’t like your religion or your ways, but we do allow you here so we can’t be having people living in fear. What areas have this issue? I will send messages to cease and desist all throwing of foodstuffs and other waste at worshippers, temples, or grounds. However, if I find that people had reason to protest I will apply the law to its fullest degree.”
High Priestess Charlene gasps> Why, right here in your capital city, Your Radiance. When your own Minister of Justice was interred in our vaults, the less than enlightened people of your city chose to throw refuse and otherwise deface our temple for performing the funereal rights to one of your own ministers. – I point out that your own Minister of Justice followed the Lady of Law. – We are fully aware of and compliant with all laws in the areas we live, our goddess commands it!
Rhys> “Ah, the people were not throwing things because of your religion, they were throwing things because the former Minister of Justice was a little harsh on the people. They didn’t like her much. I will have a couple town guard posted near the temple for a little while to make sure the haters are kept away and it will die down quickly. Next…”
Luminescent Matriarch of Lydia, Luxa Splendida Magnum, wishes an audience. Her fine long blond hair is so light that it is almost white against her alabaster skin and in contrast to her vivid sky blue eyes. “Your Radiance, my sisters and I seek your blessing in establishing a mission here in Gorna. The Mistress of Light sends her handmaidens out to spread the word to the masses and uplift women from all stations. We revere music, light, education and equality for all genders; however, we have seen how the followers of Wee Jas were treated. I cannot help but feel concerned for our missionaries who may begin preaching here. Can we count on Your Radiance’s support and protection?”
Rhys> “Support, no. Protection, minimally. I will allow you to operate within Gyruff and Gorna. However, foreign religions are going to start to have some limitations here. We are a country that reveres the Old Faith. So you will be allowed a minimal presence here in Gorna and other areas of Gyruff.
You may not construct any church or religious-based building as large or larger than a similar existing Old Faith building.
Further limitations for non-Old Faith religions will be coming.
I don’t intend to exclude other religions, but the state religion has preference. I hope you can understand. Nothing personal against you or your religion.”
Dopa Nu’Larseen would like to have a temple to Joramy commissioned in Gorna. The goddess of fire, volcanoes and quarrels has indicated that this is the time and place of great conflict. It would behoove us to honor her wishes and open a discourse to resolve our conflicts verbally without needing to resort to violence. As our goddess shows us, the heat and pressure are there and unless released, will explode in a fury.
Rhys> “Same deal as the Lydiots; modest presence allowed but there will be further restrictions coming for all foreign religions. We are a country of the Old Faith and intend to stay that way.”
Archdruidess Gwenllian ap Luth is the Brenin’s next audience. She is tall, confident and wise, moving with purpose and grace as she moves into the room.
Gwenllian> “Your Radiance, it is well to see you again before I sluff off this mortal coil. I have done all I could during your reign, but my time draws near and my position will soon pass to another. When I sacrificed your… predecessor, my brother, from his fate to become the Greenman, I dismissed his fey half before completing the sacrifice. Your mother has been searching the Fading Lands for his fey half ever since. Half a soul will only fuel the Greenman for a generation or so, before it must be renewed. The Greenman has come to me and explained it all, including the knowledge that I will never return to the Isle of Rhûn. A new Archdruid or Archdruidess will be chosen, who may not be as agreeable, Your Radiance. The Balance must be maintained.” She gently brushes the Brenin’s cheek with the back of her hand. “All this I could have sent through Druisina, but I wished to say goodbye before my time comes to an end.” With those words, those nearby can sense how tired she seems, despite having the look of a much younger woman.
Rhys (very sad)> “I’m very sorry to hear that Gwenllian. I’m glad you came to see me yourself one last time to give me this news.
Not sure what we’ll do without you and your calm guiding hand. Even Drusina is starting to stir up trouble and you know well the issues within the Druids themselves. I was hoping that you would clean that up but it looks like it’ll fall to your successor.
I’d like to make some changes to how we handle the foreign religions currently pressing into Gyruff to limit their influence and would very much like your guidance.
And if I understand correctly, and the Greenman must be replaced, then that responsibility falls to me. Any idea when? I’ll need to see if I can at least see my children first and hopefully get some order to this place.
There really doesn’t seem to be anyone ready to take over.”
Gwenllian> You are sweet, my dear Brenin, but to all things there is a time. This, like other times before, will be a trial or a crucible to forge that which is to come. Do not trouble yourself, all is as it will be. The other Druids know change is coming, that is what makes them agitated. Change is often a violent process, but a necessary one for the old to make way for the new. A forest fire kills trees, but fertilizes the soil for a new generation. So too, must we pass to make room for the new.
Gwenllian> Many resist this progress and do so nobly with the best of intentions, but the dam can only hold back so much water before it bursts. Once the Flan, Old Ways and Old Faith dominated and even named this content, Flanaess. Tenh, Sterich and other lands have lost the Old Ways and their Greenmen have died. We are one of the last few bastions of the Old Ways, but one day our culture will be washed away. Our Greenman will last a generation yet, as long as he is not overly taxed. – A great man was he in life and he will serve The Land well. You will not become the Greenman and Shaun is promised to the Fey as payment for your becoming Brenin. Fear not for him, though. He will live an exceptionally long life and may lose his past to gain a new future. – Our time is nearly at an end, dear Rhys.
The magi Galfcon from Keoland has arrived for an audience with the Brenin. Dressed in a simple drab brown cassock and sandals, he has a staff, a pendant around his neck and a signet ring. His head is nearly bald and clean shaven with a ring of short snowy white hair.
Galfcon> “My name is Galfcon Wypafan, I have been summoned to aid in Your Radiance’s curse. I am aware of the affliction Your Radiance suffers from and I have the means for a cure. In my many years of travels, I have learned much, including the involvement of the Fey, Druids and Dragons within Gyruff. I understand how the barbaric ways of the Gyri people have led to a decadent society bereft of understanding or compassion. I know how the Fey and Druids conspire on a breeding program with the nobles of Gyruff, often utilizing magic to arrange matings and marriages between those not otherwise suited to each other. I know of the interference of Dragons, including their efforts to interbreed with the nobility.
Rhys> “You and every other two-bit huckster from here to the Pomarj. I’ve been tricked, duped, manipulated, cursed, stabbed, hung on a tree, family murdered, betrayed, and generally screwed with for years, and you walk into my court and I should implicitly trust you? Lots of people know the information you just gave me. With all of the shapeshifters and mind readers there have been around recently what evidence could you possibly give me that would in any way make me trust you?
What’s your game? Who are you working for and for what purposes? Probably for a Keolish faction that wants to tip the scales in their favor to finally gain the crown? Manipulate all of the Cantrevs appropriately through the Brenin and then bump him off?
This should be grand; please do tell…”
Galfcon approaches the base of the dias and continues> “I know how the manipulations of these forces devalue others in pursuit of their own goals. They devalue family loyalty or even compassion. I know much better than you think, for I too was cuckolded by my she-witch of a wife, bedded to another, then banished by their bastard child!”
Rhys> Still, not really convinced. How do I know you’re not the next green dragon or doppelganger come to undermine Gyruff? Or better yet, the Crimson society (or whatever they were called) come to make another play to manipulate Sheldomar governments.
Give me your pitch so we can get on with this.
Galfcon begins climbing the steps> “I studied under the National Academy of Wizardry in Keoland, consulted with the oldest and greatest sages of arcane wisdom in the land, dragons thousands of years old and written a treatise entitled ‘Curses, Manipulations and Deceptions, a study of the Fey, Druids and Old Faith’. You see, the Druids and Fey are master manipulators, seeking to control the fates of those around them.” <many> “They see us as little more than breeding stock, much as Vecna did more than two thousand years ago.” <crowd> “I have branched out and studied multiple disciplines, becoming a Magic Initiate, if you will, with the singular purpose of studying and undoing the wrongs that the Fey and their lackeys, the Druids wrought… Oh Rhys, I have your cure…”
Rhys> “You seem a little hostile toward the Old Faith and myself. I think your solution isn’t the one I want.
Guards, this would be the time that you defend your Brenin.”
Rhys leaps up spiked chain in hand and lashes out at the imposter, leaving Galfcon badly bloodied.
The top of Galfcon’s head falls off, turning into a hat and dropping his illusion.
With blood dripping from his spiked chain wound, Colwyn ap Ffagan (Init 15+2) steps face-to-face with Rhys, shouts “YOU ARE NO SON… NO SON OF MINE!!!”, and Hexes Rhys (Dex). Rhys retorts back “Correct, I’m Owen’s son!” Colwyn then activates the retributive strike on the fully charged Staff of the Magi less than ten feet from the Brenin.
The resulting explosion is heard throughout the city.
30’ radius, DC17 Dex save for half
• Colwyn is just gone in the flash, most likely disintegrated
Within ten feet (400 points of damage) were:
• Rhys: even with a 2 (Disadvantage), he almost saves, but with uncanny dodge STILL takes only half damage (200 hp).
• High Chancellor Bran ap Aeron lept up to shield the Brenin with his body and absorbed nearly as much damage as Colwyn himself.
• Master of Coin, Treasurer and Minister of Weights and Measures Harrison Mojo reflexively tumbled to safety in the final instants, surviving virtually unscathed!
• Personal Secretary to the Brenin Janice Goldbloom, who turned to run, but was disintegrated in the blast.
• Ser Rhodri of Llentrev, Cadofyth of the 82nd Griffon Guard, who gave his life attempting to shield the Brenin with his body.
• Cymorth Ser Cedric the Whiteflame was on the other side of the Brenin’s honor guard and died trying to intercept Colwyn.
• Ban Cantdyn Ser Ioan ap Gwyndred, the Brenin’s Bannercarrier, perished still holding the Gonfalon just behind his liege’s throne.
Within twenty feet and did not survive (300 points of damage):
• Druidic Advisor of the Old Faith Druisina the Crocusblossum
• High Forgesmith and Minister of Public Works Bolthar Bloodstone
• High Exchequer and Minister of Trade and Industry Caswir the Caustic Uradawc
• Druid Minister of Agriculture Davyth Meadowood
• Foreign Secretary Lady Alandra Morrick
• Minister of Cultural Heritage and the Arts Brohan
• Archdruidess Gwenllian ap Luth
• Dopa Nu’Larseen rushes in and shoves the Minister of Health back, taking the brunt of the blast.
Within thirty feet:
• Minister of Health, Radiant Servant of Pelor Alena Araul (saved but) was knocked unconscious by the blast.
Fourteen are immediately dead, leaving little more than a large scorch mark in the Great Hall of Eagle’s Peak.
Rhys the Brenin, his curse finally lifted, exclaims> “Free, finally free.” before he passes out.
The Griffon Guard and several onlookers rush in.
Ser Cathal ap Trevor, Paladin of Pelor and Braichdyn of the Griffon Guard, is first to his liegelord’s side.> “He’s Alive, but only barely!”
Luminescent Matriarch of Lydia, Luxa Splendida Magnum steps forward to help and casts an elevated Mass Cure Wounds on everyone in the affected area.
Rhys the Brenin, Ser Cathal ap Trevor, Ser Osvael ap Samlet, Ser Endur Stonehlm, Ser Marcus Valerius Trueheart, Ser Alfonz Silverhair, Ser Podrick Morrick, Ser Willis Vanderhossel, High Priestess Charlene de Frame and five castle guards collapse, cough up blood filled with black chunks and die before the many befuddled observers. Only two of the original Brenin’s Council (Harrison and Alena) remain.
The doors of the Great Hall open again and a large green dragon enters.> “Ta Da! – It is I, Essvaress, your new Minister of Education… (Sorry Yer Radiance, I couldn’t wait outside any longer for the big reveal.) … Hey, what’s going on?!”
Madame Kassandra Cleo, from the Conclave of Friendly Soothsayers, was last on the Brenin’s agenda with a warning about his being in immediate danger. “Ah, nevermind.”