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Background Setup for the Party

  1. cplmac
    Hello to those who have decided to play one of the characters in my online game. I wanted to give all of you this information so that we don't have to deal with this at the first meeting on the chat.

    Your group has known each other for most of your lives, due to living in the same small community in the southern reaches of the Kingdom of Dunador. Horsa Hengist's father actually had served in the king's army until he was severely injured in battle. Being forced to retire early and being supported by the kingdom, since he can not work due to his injuries, Horsa's father had pledged a "debt of honor" to the kingdom to be fulfilled by a member of his family when and if the time ever came.

    As fate would have it, one day a visitor appeared at the Hengist home to see Horsa's father. After they talked for awhile, a note was left with elder Hengist to read. Reading the note after the visitor left, Horsa's father calls him over to explain the circumstances. Not wanting to bring shame upon his family, Horsa tells his father that he will fulfill the debt. His father tells him that it won't be easy and that he will need the help of people that he can trust. The problem is that Horsa only has a weeks time at the end of which he and whomever he brings along has to meet and be told the actual details of their mission.

    Having only his friends that he has known from school, Horsa gathers Bromley, Astrid, Cameron, Owen, and Kersana together and tells them of what he has been asked to do. Other than knowing that upon success, the group will be rewarded by Dunador's Royal Council, he can not give them any specifics of what their mission will actually be. Even though they have all finished school, none of them are able to leave the small village they have lived in for all their lives. Looking at the opportunity to adventure and hopefully earn some more money and status, they all agree to accompany Horsa on this quest. They all go back to Horsa's home and tell his father that they will accompany Horsa on the quest. Horsa's father thanks them, but does warn that the quest will not be easy. He asks that they all meet back here the next morning, and suggests that the spend the rest of the day in aquiring what gear each of them is able to afford. (This is the gear that you see your character has to start with.) As they are each assembling their gear, they start to hear rumors as to various problems in Dunthrane, the capital of Dunador.

    The next morning, Horsa's father meets them all outside the house. Seeing them ready to leave, he again thanks them and says that to show his appreciation, he leads them around back to the family's old negelected barn. As they walk inside, there are six older horses with sadddles. He appologizes for not being able to get better ones but this was all that he could afford and that this will allow them to definately make it on time to their meeting in province of Andevar. With this, he says that you best be on your way because with the horses, you will most likely be getting to the Three Feathers Inn just in time for the evening meeting to get the details of your mission. With nothing else to do, you set off for the province of Andevar.

    As you travel, the rumors become more numerous. "It is with some apprehension that you travel the Kingdom of Dunador. By now, rumors have traveled far and wide that things are not well in this troubled land. The king of Dunador has been killed, felled by an arrow in what may have been a hunting accident, but might just as easily have been murder. What ever the true fate of King Halfred, it is now known far and wide that Dunador is a kingdom without a king. As you cross the frontier of this great realm, it is clear that a great sadness is abroad. Everywhere the peasants have built mourning pyres and the air is thick with the heavy aroma of holy incense, certain signs of a sovereign's death."

    Upon entering the province of Andevar, you quickly notice that the common folk give you a rather good observing as you pass. As luck would have it, your group is able to hear the sound of an approaching group of horses and you decide to hide in a thicket along side the road, since you don't know who may be on them. As you watch, a group of mounted men at arms rides past going in the same direction as you are headed, but they have good light war horses as opposed to the older ones that you ride. The only other thing that you note is that on their tunics is a livery of a black raven on a dark gray field. Once the horses can no longer be heard you come out and continue on your way. As evening is starting to close in, you finally see the Three Feathers Inn up ahead. You see a group of men at arms riding off in the opposite direction, away from the Inn. After tying up your horses, you enter the Inn. The only person inside is the innkeeper, standing behind the bar. He looks up as you all enter the inn. He comes out from behind the bar and passes the group and goes to the doors and looks outside. After looking around for awhile, and shaking his head, he comes back and addresses Horsa. Grasping his hand and shaking it, the innkeeper says,"You must be Horsa Hengist's son, you bear a remarkable family resemblance to him. I had the honor of serving with him in the kings guard. It is good that you take on this quest for him. My name is Rolfe. I am the proprietor of the Three Feathers Inn." He turns and locks the doors. "Please follow me. Hollend is anxious to meet you." He then leads you to a back room that until he revealed the entrance to it, you had no idea there was another way out of the inn's large bar room.

    "At first, there is no sign of the king's chief advisor. Just an old itinerate tinker in the hooded travel-stained cloak of his profession. But when the figure stands and throws back his hood, there is no mistaking him for any such thing. Tall, gaunt, and hatchet-faced, Hollend wears authority like a suit of armor. Though quite aged now, the steel-graybeard still merges with a healthy head of hair and the sun-darkened skin exhibitsa glow of health. Striding across the room, he grasps each of your hands and welcomes you to Dunador. As he greets you, his icy blue eyes examine you as if appraising your worth. He invites the party to break their fast, directing them to a table laid with a simple meal of ale, bread, and cheese. While the party eats, he asks about their trip. Once they finish eating he addresses them more seriously.

    "Welcome, my friends, to this troubled land. Your arrival is timely indeed and I thank you for your haste. By now, you have doubtless heard of the death of our king, Halfred of Dunthrane. For over 20 years I served him as chief advisor on the Royal Council. Through war and peace and feast and famine, I stood by this noble king until his death."

    "The story, as I say, is well known. He was hunting near the royal castle at Dunthrane when a deadly arrow pierced his neck. Those in his party called it an accident and, by my troth, I can't say otherwise. But I have my suspicions, as do others. How does a yellow-clad man on a white horse look anything like a deer? How does any normal junting arrow frsist all attempts at curing its effects? We wonder much for little gain. Halfred is dead and we are plunged into sorrow."

    "But there is one in this realm who shed no tears at the fall of Halfred. Lord Edrin, the kings brother, has coveted the crown of Dunador for years. A decade gone by he made to seize it when my leige was gone to war, but he was stopped then while Halfred still lived. This time, there may be no such grace for Dunador. With the king gone and our first tears of grief not yet dry upon our cheeks, he strode into the Royal Court with his black-clad knights to claim the throne. Only the sorrow of the people and the meager opposition of the Royal Council has thus far prevented him from taking the realm for his own. Already he has made himself regent of Dunador."

    "And thus we come to the purpose of our being here. There is one man--little more than a boy, really--who can save us. Prince Edmund, Halfred's son and heir, should rightly wear the crown. And so he shall if he can but be spared the fate which I suspect his uncle of plotting for him."

    "For you see, Edmund is lost now to the eyes of man. Just before his father's death, he set off on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Nevron in the Veronian Mountains of our northern province of Andevar. For generations, the heirs apparent of Dunador have made this pilgrimage to the waters of Nevron. The sages say that drinking from the sacred waters give a prince the wisdom and strength to rule this realm when the time comes. I know not of this, but such devotion does much to win the hearts of the people."

    "We pray that Prince Edmund will return soon from this pilgrimage, but we have reason to believe that he is not safe in Andevar. Aimar, the duke of this province, is a self-seeking man who might turn a blind eye to the prince's welfare if it served his purpose. Worse still, this Aimar may be in alliance with Lord Edrin. This is my worst fear, for if that be so, then my prince is in mortal danger in Andevar. Edrin has sworn to protect the Prince, but to believe his word is to be less than a fool. Assassins may already be abroad in Andevar, with or without Duke Aimar's blessing."

    "Currently we do not know where Edmund is. Such is the nature of his pilgrimage. On foot with only a few men in pilgrims garb. Edmund travels inconspicuously. By now he may have reached the Shrine of Nevron. We don't even know if the Prince has heard of his father's death. In any event, he must be found and brought safely back to Dunthrane Castle. If Prince Edmund dies, the realm will be crushed beneath the heel of this dark Lord Edrin."

    "On behalf of the Royal Council, and in the utmost secrecy, I am asking you to search Andevar and find Prince Edmund before it is too late. Anything that you can learn of the Duke of Andevar's motives will also be of value to us, and we will pay well for such knowledge. But, it is the safety of the Prince that is of greatest concern."

    "I suggest you begin your search at Montinelle, the capital of Andevar and the home of Duke Aimar. Keep your eyes open and discover what you can of Aimar's dispositon and the whereabouts of Prince Edmund. If this should prove profitless, the road through Montinelle will carry you directly to Nevron, where you may find the hunting better. But, whatever you do, remember this. At no time should you reveal the nature of your quest. If you are taken and your mission discovered, you will certainly die most horribly, and the Royal Council's position will become extremely difficult. You will be wise to pass yourselves off as soldiers of fortune or, perhaps, as emissaries of a foriegn country. Conceal your identities as you will."

    "Also, mark well one other thing. In this whole region of Andevar, you can only trust two men: the patriarch of Fontenmere Abbey, William Menote, and Rolfe, the innkeeper here at the Three Feathers. If pressed, you may seek refuge there or here."

    "If you succeed in this quest to find and save the Prince, you will have the undying gratitude of this kingdom and the certain knowledge that you saved it. More to the point, you will also be rewarded handsomely for your efforts. I beg you to accept this mission and I pray the you succeed in it."

    He steps away and talks with Rolfe, while you discuss the request amongst yourselves. Having no funds to really be able to get back to your little village, you decide to undertake the quest. Upon telling Hollend this, he gives the party a small pouch that holds 200 gold coins with which to buy provisions with. He also tells you that in the morning, you will each have a light war horse, complete with saddle, saddle bags, and saddle blanket to use. He also give the group 2 small portraits, one of Prince Edmund and the other of William Menote. Lastly he gives a map of the province of Andevar. With that he takes his leave from the room. Since the "Debt of Honor" was Horsa's father, these items have been handed to him as the assumed party leader. Rolfe then shows you to rooms for the night. The next morning you wake to a good breakfast and are shown the horses out back. You are surprised to find that your water skins have been filled and that you each have 14 days of trail rations in your saddle bags.
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