Saturday, December 5, 2015

WoTR: Reaching Drezen

(Dragon Age: Inquisition)
I know I've posted up the various settlements surrounding Drezen before but now that Alphy has literally marched a bunch of people through it, I thought it would be worth lining up where the various NPCs following him ended up and how the various folks in these little towns will react to him and his companions.  If you're going to conquer the Worldwound and be all epic, you're going to want to feel epic and the best way to do that is to have the world around you react to your choices.  Yes, this is another article that belongs to an earlier point but I messed up the Scheduled Post arrangements so here we are.

NG Hamlet (40 residents, 21 paladins)
This patriotic little hamlet consists of five farms within a half-mile of each other with space in the middle for a watchtower that was torn down for its stone a decade ago and is now playing host to half of the level 3 paladin army called the Heirs to the Wardstone who protect the farms from danger.  It's a patriotic little place held by two families of pig farmers who were rescued by Alphy Hernaste when they were being attacked during "The Wardstone Patrol" Pathfinder Society adventure. 

People of Note: A 4th level NG cleric of Sarenrae called Melissidae stopped here when she noticed how the new settlers were treating a pair of tieflings who were making their way toward Drezen.  They treated the tieflings very nicely indeed despite having accents that clearly marked them as Mendevians.  Pleased to see their attitude but fearful about what naiveté could spell following the loss of the Wardstones, she chose to settle in the community so that she could be the watchful but welcoming eye with newcomers.  She has become somewhat of a mayor for the hamlet though she lives with one of the pig farmer families.  She makes holy water and cure light wounds potions for the locals and always has a few on hand to sell.  The profits go back to the community.

Captain Dryden, 6th level aasimar LN inquisitor of Iomedae, is in charge of the two 10-person squads that defend this hamlet from marauding demons and have thus far managed to avoid losing any of the pig farmers with Melissidae's help.  He's a gruff and suspicious fellow who still has burn scars from a run-in with one of Hulrun's men many years ago *and* from an evil cultist's fireball.  Still he wants to protect the hamlet's innocence - unbelievable so close to the Worldwound - and has become somewhat of the hamlet's personal sheriff when not performing his military duties.

Carter Clive, 5th level NG expert, is the pig farmer who had been beaten up by the others under the demands of the demons when the PCs rescued them.  He's shy, sweet and friendly, and eager to be as useful as he can to needs of Alphy Hernaste and the others.  He will certainly make any halflings welcome and will eagerly recommend that at least a few tieflings remain as they have such wonderful night vision.  The tieflings are naturally suspicious but a Diplomacy DC 25 and a Sense Motive DC 15 check by the players will cause 1d4+1 tieflings of the right sort (neutral to good alignment) to take him up on his offer and at least stick it out over the winter.

Places of Note: There are five understaffed farms with plenty of yard space for the few pigs they maintain.  They could certainly become goat farmers easily enough and there's room for a few more farms to be erected on the ruins of old orchards.  No tavern but the community is willing to billet those passing through in their own homes and stables - though many such billets are already taken up by paladins.  It's such a nice and friendly place with the sort of welcoming but unambitious air that will attract a number of the halflings to settle here and set up a few more farms.  They are teetotallers so there is no liquor to purchase.

Requests: The villagers will shyly request a watchtower and a shrine through Melissidae though Melissidae is happy to use her portable altar and will recommend a stockyard instead.  Captain Dryden will request an inn that can be used as a barracks for troop rotation so that some of them can head inside.  With additional farms due to the extra population from the halflings, they can certainly breed goats alongside the pigs and the hamlet would soon look like Ravenmoor.

Outcome: A few dozen halflings were settled here as a miniature village.  At this stage they were approved for a watchtower, stockyard and inn.

Shopping: Base Value: 200; Purchase Limit: 1000gp; Items: 1d6 holy water potions with the rest as cure light wounds potions.

Valas' Gift
CN Small Farming Village (72)
Situated in Mendev, this walled village was empty since the people either fled or died when the wardstones fell.  It was repopulated in the seventh week after Drezen's liberation when Alphy had set off to Brevoy to recruit farmers and labourers to help till the land but had to settle with peasants living in the shantytowns surrounding one of their major cities.  This led to some less than optimal choices but what these folk lack in law abiding or altruistic outlook, they make up for in sheer bravery.  The village sits between hard-packed walls with sod-roofed homes and granaries half-buried for warmth and a pall of peat smoke and white incense hanging over everything.  Sheep wander between buildings and pigs gaze out from their pens. 
People of Note: The strangely sunken looking village functions as though it were run by a secret society but in truth it barely runs at all.  At least not according to any true hierarchy as there are a number of strong personalities chafing against each other.

 A 5th level N Pharasmin cleric called Tatiana Lukova is a severe looking woman in a grey hooded cloak who cleaves to her role as midwife and healer in these troubled times.  She came with a number of the other individuals from Brevoy and works in close proximity with the makeshift brothel to ensure that they have enough contraceptives.

A 6th level CN swashbuckler called Svetlana Urdova used to be a lake pirate from Brevoy but she changed her desires when she ended up on a wanted poster then shortly thereafter discovered she was pregnant.  Now she has found herself closer to the Worldwound than she would like and fears her child might be born a disfigured tiefling.  She wants advice from a Pharasmin cleric but her rivalries with Tatiana ensures that she will not bring it up.

A 2nd level CN rogue called Alvin Dimich is the main face among the prostitutes who strongly feels that the town would be better served as an entertainment center than as a farm.  Having tried his hand at farming, he finds prostitution pays better and keeping the mercenaries and paladins close at a place of entertainment ensures the town's safety.

The 6th level LG paladin of Iomedae, Captain Harker, is trying to play nice but finds the town to be a poorly run charade.  He has currently taken over the Iomedaen chapel for many of his troops who are half paladin and half low Templar and he doesn't trust them with the influence of this town.  He is at his wits end and his three ten-person squads from the Heirs of Wardstones and one of the mercenary companies just isn't managing to keep this crumbling settlement together.

Places of Note: There are a number of prostitutes, both male and female, who work out of the various farm houses of Valas' Gift.  Due to the sudden increase in population and lack of any administrative figures, all of the old administration buildings have been taken over as housing - including the Iomedaen chapel.  The details learned in "Certainty" as the place is blessed with fertile soils and healing red waters by a paladin called Valas and this water wells up from an underground spring to water the local areas.

Requests: Tatiana Lukova requests enough funding to establish a herbalist's shop whereby she can grow some of the contraceptive plants that would assist many in these troubled times.  She also wishes for a shrine to Pharasma and a graveyard and feels these to be vital requirements to any town.  She has considered taking over the Iomedaean chapel but is too superstitious to do so.  Svetlana Urdova wants to expand the brothel from a set of random individuals using their own homes to a place nice enough to attract customers with full purses - including a tavern for them to rest their weary heads.  Most of all, though, she wants a full complement of four watch towers to adorn their walls.  Their farms are fine for granaries at present.  Alvin Dimich wants a brothel, inn, tavern and full garrison.  Captain Harker wants assurances that the chapel will remain Iomedaen, ideally with a cleric released to tend it, and he desires a barracks to keep them sheltered over winter and to help him avoid interference with the locals.  He believes that a brothel, tavern or even inn would only be misused here.

Outcome: Svetlana Urdova wanted attractive individuals only, but accepted a pair of tiefling families so that Alphy Hernaste's disgust for her antics wouldn't cause him to refuse her entirely.  The town has been filled to capacity with extra refugees and Alphy Hernaste agreed to pay for a herbalist's shop, four watchtowers and graveyard.  Captain Harker got to keep the chapel Iomedaean and was given a cleric to tend it as well as money for the tavern.

Shopping: Base Value: 770; Purchase Limit: 3750gp; Items: 2d4 Minor; 1d4 Medium (generally potions).

Fort Portmanteau
LG Fortified Village (200)
This military fortification holds the rest of the Heirs of the Wardstone and a couple level 2 fighter mercenary companies who are too raw to be sent to guard the farms.The fort is established near a ford in the West Sellen River but is on the Mendev bank. 
Persons of Note: Sir Ilvan has been assigned to this fort.  The 7th level cavalier / paladin (see the Wardstone Patrol) is still battling with his depression and is still verging on becoming lost and fleeing to the Ustalavic woods.  He's even started to hear strange songs emanating from the Worldwound.  Some of the Oil of Tala liberated from the Tala Monastery would assist his mind as would stationing a celestial being such as the Garuda and two half-celestials to help rally morale.
Hallie Greenleaf is a half-elven 5th level wizard / 2nd level Blackfire Adept wizard who knows that some of her erstwhile confederates have thrown in with Xanthir Vang in the Worldwound.  She is no such supporter of demonkind but is eager to obtain his research - promising to share her knowledge.  She is also quite open with Alphy Hernaste (but only with him) about her grand plans for Abyssal energies and how it can be used to save lives and power cities.  She's basically my way of foreshadowing Xanthir Vang and reminding the player about Jerribeth and her suspected history with a few of the earlier NPCs.
Places of Note: The old chamber that contained the Wardstone was badly damaged by the blast but a number of soldiers are repairing the walls in their time off.  The fort contains stables, barracks, watch towers and very high walls.  They have enough food stashed away to keep themselves fed over winter but there are fears that assaults on neighbouring farmlands might see people rush to shelter here.
Requests: None, but leaving morale boosting good creatures here may help.
Outcome: Hallie Greenleaf was taken to Drezen to continue her research under observation.  A small army of low-level paladins has been left at this fort for the time being allowing them to march alongside the West Sellen river.  A mated pair of pseudodragons were sent to them.
Shopping: Base Value: 450; Purchase Limit: 2250gp; Items: 2d4 Minor; 1d4 Medium

Vilareth Ford
LG Fortified Village
I have used the Castle Everstand write up from Castles of the Inner Sea for Vilareth Ford, though a Castle Everstand that had been brutally overrun and slaughtered.  As the place hadn't been properly pillaged before being freed, all it needs is to be repopulated.  After quickly clearing the undercrypts, the underground areas can be used to house workers and soldiers.  All named characters are of the few hostages that Alphy located on his way in so that I can still include them - except the clerics who will be a Gorumite and an Erastil priest from Absalom.  At present, though, there is only a single army that roves out from this position.

Persons of Note: See Castle Everstand.
Places of Note: See Castle Everstand.
Requests: 100 law abiding citizens to settle, work the forges and populate the village.
Outcome: A large army of fighters and many refugees (including all of the gnomes) were left at Vilareth Ford.
Shopping: Base Value: 450; Purchase Limit: 2250gp; Items: 2d4 Minor; 1d4 Medium

Keeper's Canyon
Abandoned Small Town (0)
This medium-sized small town has been left to fall apart over the past few decades since Drezen's fall.  It can hold up to 500 individuals relatively comfortably.  It is also close enough to the West Sellen River that once the insect warrens are filled in and the river flows through the canyon again, people can still source fish in relative safety.  Such fish might become somewhat tainted (3% chance) but Detect Poison will identify such taint and Purify Food and Water can cure it.  Drinking the water runs a 10% risk of some kind of infection but the water here can still be purified using magic.  There are damaged piers and a water gate here that can be repaired.  The dwarves will likely want to stop here as the Regulate can largely fill the location themselves and even seek out ore from the empty Vescavor caves if protected by soldiers (or even Alphy) as they do so.

This might be a good map.

The dwarves were allowed to settle here and the special Pipes of Building were used to turn the ruined stone back into good houses.

Singing Stones Fort
NG Fortified Thorp
This lost temple was an abandoned outpost consecrated to Shelyn.  It has a broken down fort, temple and set of stables and can easily hold a permanent population of 10.  The fort itself can hold another 10 travellers for up to a week if necessary.

Persons of Note: Jenna Cook is a 4th level cleric of Shelyn who tends the fort and tries to keep morale high - though she has merely succeeded in creating an insular outlook among the nine 2nd level rangers and paladins who roam the cliffs and keep an eye on matters.  They are openly friendly but inwardly suspicious of anyone who wishes to enter.
Places of Note: The temple is called the Singing Stones Fort because of an oddly shaped rock on the cliff above the temple that sings prettily when the wind blows just right.  There is a winch-lift available to help draw horses up into the temple.  You can see the floorplan of the location over in the Wrath of the Righteous: Sword of Valor write up.
Requests: 2000gp to fully repair and refurbish the location.  Some of the faerie dragons could be useful as well to watch over the canyon.  Boots of Spider Climb would be a godsend for their scouts but the faerie dragons would do in a pinch.
Outcome: Requests were granted.  The bird-like celestial creature (whose name forgets me but who has a half-celestial daughter) and his daughter are stationed here due to the improved sight lines and to protect against issues with the naga.
Shopping: Base Value: 50; Purchase Limit: 500gp; Items: 1d4 Cure Light Wounds potions available to travellers free of charge if their need is dire.
From that point onward, all that is ahead of them ... is Drezen.

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