It is the start of the Great Andoran Fair, in the month of Sarenith (June), in the Capital city of Almas. This is a fair where tens of thousands come from across Golarian, making it one of the biggest and largest fairs of its type on the continent of Avistan.
Ostario Orrin, the famous merchant, has offered a mysterious job to “The right group of those seeking adventure”. He has not put out a similar call for 8 years. There is a big buzz as it seems everything Ostario Orrin touches, turns to gold.
You are one of the seekers looking to sign up with Orrin’s latest deal. You have come to the Great Fair in hopes of being one of the few selected.
Rising Knights starts in Andoran, Birthplace of Freedom (p.42 Inner Sea Guide). Characters should be from the region, but we can look at a backstory. If they are not from Andoran, they should at least believe in the Andoran tenets of freedom and the people having a say in their lives.
The game will range across Andoran and to other places. This will not be all city or all wilderness. The campaign should run in arcs, and it will be story driven, more than place driven. Andoran is the starting focus for the game.
Importance of the PC’s: The PC’s are not total novices, but not yet important. They may be some day increase in importance as they join the ranks of other similar parties in the world.
Campaign Tone: Moderate
Morality: Good vs. Bad is mostly clear cut
Realism: Neutral to Romantic
Outlook: Almost Everything works out
Seriousness: Seriousness balanced by lightheartedness
Continuity: Mostly Serial, some enforcement of campaign continuity
Starting Level: 5
Starting Traits: 3 (One of these may be a personal trait that duplicates another trait with a different backstory. See GM)
Gold: 13,500 that can be used to buy starting equipment, including magic items. All is subject to GM approval. Looking at at +2 Limit.
Classes and Races:
Alignments: Characters may not be Evil
XP progression: Medium
House Rules: See link on Spell Casting and Stats will be in effect: House Rules
Notes: Each character will need to be unique in some way that allows him or her to shine. These niches will prove to be important as the game progresses.
The goal is for characters to be the good guys. They are out for adventure and righting wrongs in the Andoran spirit or liberty and justice. They will start out working directly for a very good man who is seeking the best for his nation (even if he sometimes is bypassing red tape and the like).
Max is approached by his order, and asked to retrieve the Black Book of Tharizdun. A vision has come to one of the priests, and they have a basic idea of the location. Hearing of the quest, Orrin asks the party to also retrieve some money owed from a Businessman in Varisia. Orrin pays their way and sends them out.
It takes around 3 weeks to arrive by ship. The group decided to hold off on getting the money back, and headed into the wilds to find the hidden temple. Entering into a vale, they find a band of Halflings who speak of goblin raids and offer to send three members of their tribe to aid the party in ending these attacks.
The party uses a map the halfings have of the area to explore. They quickly surprise a Lamia and her Lucretous (spelling) and kill them. They manage to avoid a large band of orcs, and by providence find the ancient temple.
The temple itself is the lair of an exceptionally bright giant, who has organized the goblins and gnolls as well as some trolls and ogres to defend his home. When the party entered into the top of the temple, all hell broke loose. storm cloud In a running battle, the party ended up killing most of the defenders in the upper temple. After the slaughter, the party barricaded themselves in the upper chamber in order to rest and recover, and then explored the temple.
After exploring the temple, they killed the coffer corpse of the last high priest, and freed the guardian demon in the old crypt. They obtained a lot of loot, and items. Along the way, they found a missing Halfling, a dwarf fighter, and a human wizard, Alistair Leeds, in the cells in the temple. They managed to nurse them back to health. The dwarf headed off on his own, when he discovered the party did not trust him (with good reason). The Halfling and human were nursed back to health by the Halflings while the party cleared the temple.
Then the party, having obtained instructions on how to enter the Black Cyst, descended into the unnatural darkness and cold to confront the secrets hidden there . The Black Cyst is a series of odd chambers, traps and creatures. Dealing with the final guardians, the group obtained the Black Book, as well as the hidden treasure of the priests of evil god. They also encountered the trapped form of Tharizdun, a sitting black shape.
After returning to the light, the group bade farewell to the halflings. Alistair came with the party, choosing to follow the bold Kaneth Stearan. They easily collected their debt and headed to Absolom as it was the next ship out. There they spent much of their treasure, arming themselves against future threats.
Upon return to Almas, however, they were told Orrin was arrested for murder and conspiracy against the Lumber Guild. Our group of heroes is lucky not to be taken into custody themselves.
Laying a trap, our heroes replaced a target family and lay in wait. On the third night, the snatch squad arrived and was quickly dispatched. Enough were left alive to tell the heroes that they were the squad. expired sites . Except for the leader, the kidnapping gang from Chelix looked to be rolled up.
The group observed the book store where the leader lived as a recluse. Finally, our sorceress, fighter and inquisitor faced “Malcolm”. Malcolm appeared unperturbed by the heroes and gave them a lecture. He was clearly an infernal sorcerer, with direct references to “father” who may well be Asmodeous. After a brief speech about not being allowed to kill the party, an entreaty not to burn down the store that sounded like a veiled threat, and cryptic references to their future, he vanished.
The group search the building to find several evil spell books, a rather obviously displayed fragment of prophecy, a magical scarab and a plethora of books.
The Scarab defied identify, but is clearly magical as it was easy to spot. It has been locked up until It will wait for Cyrus the Mage to look at it.
Gathering again, the heroes discover they are being tailed by various people. Before they can launch a full investigation, Orrin reports that during the fire, someone stole a bag with an important ledger in it. The bag had a magical tracer, and a magic mouth that lied about a fireball trap. He dispatched the group to find it.
The team quickly finds a poor swordsmith who’s shop is being used to store the ledger while they look for a mage to remove the curse. His wife is being held hostage. Kylie decides to pay the local crime family, the Leon family, to arrange for a mage and a return of the item.
In the meantime, the group decides to create a distraction and while they make a scene, Kylie replaced the ledger with a note that said “boom”. The group then focused on finding the missing woman using a locate spell.
Finding a bakery at the edge of the city, the team moved in and quickly overran the guards and freed many slaves to be, including the swordsmith’s wife. Moving through a secret passage, they made their way to a place outside the city and intercepted slavers in transit. After finding out the details, the team decided to set up the snatcher group.
Max and Gothion are debriefing their churches about the demon. Kylie is investigating the city crime scene and tracking down someone in the underworld for Mr. Orrin. Becca, Verdantiel and Kaneth are “back at base” so to speak, working with Orrin to dump the loot and see about rewards.
After that is done, Orrin asked the three of them to escort around a visitor.
M. Bruce Darby, was a refugee from Galt. Presented as a merchant and art dealer, he needed protection for the week. It turned out he was also a writer and his writings have been deemed “subversive” and he fled Galt before they killed him.
The group needed to guard him while he is in Almas for the week, until he left on one of Orrin’s ships for Absolam. Orrin is doing him a favor with the protection and is not getting paid.
Unknown to Orrin, or to anyone in Almas, Darby was scared because he had a stolen final blade in his care. His whole reason to go to Absolam is to talk to the wise on a way to destroy it, and release the trapped souls within.
[The blade was hidden in a painting, which has a concealed magical pocket, much like a portable hole. With the right command word (hidden in the text of the painting) you can literally reach into the painting and pull it out. The Blade is seen in the painting, hidden behind a box but peeking out (nothing can be put in the painting and totally obscured)]
The group guarded Darby as he went to market, and set up watch where he was staying in Mr. Orrin’s home. One night, local thugs attempted to climb into the building after setting a fire in the kitchen. The team easily drove them off. At this point, Verdantiel scanned the paintings for magic, and discovered the one was magical. The group confronted Darby, and the whole story came out.
Orrin decided to have Darby teleported to Absolom, and worked with the Eagle Knights to lay a trap. The party guarded a carriage with an Eagle Knight and when the attack came, they were easily captured. They were all local thugs hired by Galt.
The group heads out upriver early in the morning of the 3rd day of the festival. Nearly a month’s journey lay ahead of them. The party moved quickly up the river without incident. Their journey to Arthfel forest was slowed with a fight with a Manticore they quickly dispatched. They avoided a Lumber Consortium ambush, traveling out of their way to enter the forest. That is when things got interesting.
Moving through a dense forest on a game trail, Kylie was attacked by an assassin demon. The party rushed to defend her, Gothion healing her repeatedly while the party fought the Demon. Max smote the demon, while Kaneth followed Becca’s suggestion to use the magic case the demon emerged from as a bashing shield, after his sword was damage by the demon’s acid coating. It was close, but the demon was killed, and Kylie saved.
The demon must have been there 100-150 years. He was waiting all the time to strike. What was odd, inside the box, there was a picture of Kylie! She was the target, but the demon was put into place before she was born. The party is unsure of the meaning. She took the odd medallion with a spider on one side, and an elf on the other. Also the party secured 40 coins from hell, before they evaporated into thin air.
Moving on, the party was surrounded by a party of druids and werewolves. They were led by Darsheeva’s son, Lyall, to her grove. There they met her mate, Bardolf and Grayson presented his plan. She agreed, on the condition that the party to help her end the Fey bargain made with a Faerie that is has now turned evil. Neither Darsheeva, nor her kin with Bardolf, nor any follower can enter the Northeastern part of the forest, which is under the control of an evil queen faerie. To end the spell without breaking it, one of her kin, not of Bardolf must enter the woods and retrieve a magical first world crystal flower.
It turns out, Becca Woodfell, is the granddaughter of Darsheeva. She can retrieve the flower and return it. The parted agreed, leaving their mounts and Grayson behind. They were escorted to the line in the forest and went in to find the flower. With them, was a magic cup, that when holding still water, would show them the way. Once into the dark part of the forest, they avoided the traps of ettercaps and giant spiders, finding a mound in the forest with the gathered loot of these ancient creatures and the flower. Avoiding the trap the flower was on, thanks to careful work by Kylie, the group fought their way out with their loot and ran for the line in the woods.
There were chased not only by the spider folk, but also the dark faerie herself. With the line in sight, there were beset by their hordes and the wasp-like fey herself. Kaneth picked up Becca, and using his magical eye patch, ran for the line, and the amassed kin of Darsheeva, and the druid herself. When the flower crossed, the kin exploded into the forest to fight back alongside the rest of the party.
After the fight, with the kin driving the dark fey back, the group retired to the grove, and then headed back to Almas.
Rewards and Loot:
You have seen the postings by Orrin, and you have heard that people are coming from as far away as Absalom. You decide to go, and on the second day, there is a long line of people waiting, but your early arrival was enough to ensure that you were able to sign up and still enjoy the day.
It is an odd process. You are asked to fill out two identical forms, one on normal paper, and one on a fancy parchment. The parchment form uses its own pen, and you would swear the ink has an odd smell that is hard to make out. Both forms require your full name plus any alias, age, place of birth, and your estimated age. They also have an oath that if selected you will take the job. In short, if you fill out the application and are picked, you will be hired. It is clear the parchment is being used for more than just this.
Finally, each parchment has a number on it twice, one in the top left and bottom right corners. That is written down on the paper one, and the bottom right corner is torn off and given to you.
At the end of the day, Orrin hosts a large feast to which all applicants are invited, filling a good part of the square. There is good food and drink (though Orrin’s men control how many draughts people are allowed to take). It is a fine time. You find yourself meeting others in the crowd and learning a thing or two about your fellow applications. There is an excited tension in the air.
After two hours, Orrin himself appears with Osyria. She limps on a withered, blackened leg.
Orrin says, “Thank you all for your offers of service. I regret that I cannot hire you all. Every man and woman here has a destiny, but not all lay alongside my road. For those that are not accepted, I say to you now, keep seeking challenges in the world, for there are many that must be faced if we are to keep the darkness at bay.
“Now, Osyria will assist in the selection of candidates.”
Osyria nods and goes through a ritual where she lights a fire in a caldron. She throws special powders onto it, causing the flames to change color. Then, one by one, she reads aloud the number of the application in her hand and she throws it into the fire. Each piece of parchment burns.
However, when she gets to number 12 the parchment explodes in a white flame, like burning phosphorus. Orrin says, number 12 congratulations, please come forward. You are selected. This happens a total of six times, including when your number is called.
The characters were escorted to Orrin’s offices in town, where he outlined the agreement. The Characters are offered:
He also told them of their first mission, is to escort the Negotiator, Alyn Grayson to meet with the Druid Darsheeva. The goal is to set up a treaty with the her in the north woods to establish an area for growing a renewable crop of trees. The idea is to set up a massive area, share profits with the druids (in some form as they don’t want gold) and then agree to leave the woods alone. It is his first step in going after the Lumber Consortium.
Darsheeva is a middle aged human, with Fey blood (Dryad). She was raised by a human Ranger, who was in a minor noble family. Before the death of Aoden, she left Andoran and signed over her holdings to other parties. Now she is a name spoken in whispers by logging families, that if you are not careful, Darsheeva will get you!
The party agreed and spent the next day with breakfast with Orrin and then getting ready to travel by barge up river to travel to the forest. Orrin supplies passes for the river and horses for those that do not have them.