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Home Stories - Out of Character 3 - For the Love of Mist

1-1 BOB

Starting this off with some planning for what will happen after the next session or two.

We have some fairly significant decisions to make coming up as a group so we will need everyone's input for what they want to do. And "I will go along with what everyone else wants" is not an acceptable answer. XP will be awarded for end of year on 2019 01 03 and again when you complete the story arc.

We will complete Court of Thanes soon. Who ever survives that final meeting with Macbeth and then makes it back to Glamis will need to recuperate. Then travel back through the woods to Scary.

First choices to be made:

  1. If Branwyn survives, getting the shell back to Loosend
    'Teleport' there? by herself or with? travel with the group?
  2. Do all the encounters on the road heading back?
  3. Click off time to just be back at some point along the road? Loosend?

Then a couple of personal decisions:

  1. The group needs to decide what to do about Miranda.
    She left a note in Loosend not to have her brought back, but no one knows about it yet.
Bring her body back to Loosend and do 'raise dead' right away? 'Speak with dead' to see what she wants?
What does John want?
This is a spot where everyone should chime in with what their character thinks should happen, versus what the player thinks should happen.
  1. Do players have ideas on how much they will be able to attend? I know Mario is looking to take some time off, Spring and Ryan had schedule changes, etc.
    Everyone is always welcome when ever they can make it in, if someone starts and leaves early, or jumps in later in the night because of other commitments we are always happy to have you when you can make it.
This is to help everyone figure out which characters to depend on for which of these next options

Then next set of choices are more complicated.

There will be characters that need training. There will be players who will be taking a break or needing new characters. You left off Third Time is Tradition on a climatic note, then took time off for Court of Thanes.

How much time do you take off for training? Do some character who need training just do that while the rest continue on to retake Skull Church again? Is that the plan to retake it and hold it for good this time?

Guestimated characters who will want training based on potential XP awards to come soon:
Onaldkelrad Trueblood - earns XP for keeping the guild safe while Ilero and Shur are gone
Marisu - Is about to be able to take over her home Estate finally, but does TMO want that or to have her with the group?
Hoffman - No training but now Miranda is???
Kenna - already needs more training
Mara - about to need training?
Ilero - about to need training?
That is just a quick guess from what the quick overview of the character sheets shows me. More detail to come and everyone will of course need to update the Dragonslayer Training Plans page with your own notes, etc.

Does Branwyn extend Dragon Fen over more/most of the Craniate Wastes? Does someone's other character who wants to set up a place to attract followers take over Skull Church? Does Ilero become a patron of the church? Does some character take it over but stays under Branwyn's fealty rather than setting up directly under the Queen? You do not know yet if the Queen will allow someone to take it. The Queen might have other plans. Skull Church is just past the established edge of the Quellcon Estates, just like it is just past the established edge of Dragon Fen.

Just some thoughts to get everyone thinking about both short term and longer term planning and story building.

1/1 John

I vote for Bran to teleport, Shi to resurrect Miranda, certainly she can find another priest here. If not we know there will be in Loose end. If it helps, I would like to click to Loose End and have Hoffman there to make sure Miranda comes back. Longer term, depending on how things work out for Miranda, as a player and character, I want to take long term control of skull Church as a party, but not sure about looking for followers if some one else is ready for that.

1/1 Carissa

Regarding Miranda: Shi can only reincarnate (with help of another Elven priest), not resurrect. It is up to you if you want to take that risk. If you prefer resurrection, you'll probably need to bring her to Loosend. Elves in general don't like resurrection (but are fine with reincarnation), but that said, I can't speak for these grey elves. Maybe they would help. Shi could be persuaded to ask them about it. Her opinion regarding Miranda would be to ask before doing anything, though (she can also do that task, Speak With Dead, after sleeping, of course). My opinion as a player is to default to what John wishes to happen with his character.

Regarding Branwyn: It really is up to her. As her original plan was take shell and teleport, I don't think anyone would be against it still. I don't remember the limits of teleport, though. So at the least, she can't until she sleeps. Just tossing out the idea, but depending where things go with Miranda, she could maybe bring her body right to Loosend if needed?

Regarding Skull Church: I'm voting to just demolish it, but then, I'm a little scarred by that story arc. I don't know if either of my characters would want to mess with it all things considered. We would need to decide to retake it AND succeed before I'm going to worry about who gets it and what they want to do with it.

Regarding Training: Hopefully Thistle is almost done training by the time they return? As for Shi, she still have one proficiency she did not train earlier for story reasons...

Regarding Shi: ...and I have some plans for her. This is the first time she's talked to any elf (even if they're grey not high) since joining the Dragonslayers (Kel, of course, the exception). She's still sorting through some major issues. No retirement for her, no worries, but some roleplaying among other things to be done once we have a moment to breath. This also impacts my opinion on if we click off time or not. Bob already knows my ideas :)

Regarding Me: No change in attendance planned for me, but work may have a different idea (would be a three week late log in kind of ordeal). More issues in California, again. Sigh....

1-1 TMO

  • Ilero: This is what's currently running through my head regarding Ilero. If the "Hero of the Gods" thing turns out to be true, I'll play him out to the finish, be it death or apotheosis of some kind. If it turns out to be false, no plan of the gods, I think he's on the road to retirement. Skull Church might be next for him, or a reason to come out of retirement temporarily if it's down the road a ways, but he has Shur, a daughter, and a guild to take care of. And I've been playing the man for 7 years now. :) And he is getting along in age. He started in his early 30's already, and it's been how many years since then?
    • The only other reason would be an adventure to Blackwater, but that would likely also be some time in the future, and he can come out of retirement for that as well.
    • Please do not take this as any attempt to blackmail any of you into making him the focus of anything, just to keep him with the group. He has had his time and his fun, and there is plenty of material in my brain for other characters just as interesting. And assuming he doesn't die along the way, he'll be available for background rp with the Guild. But I'm a bit tired of him. If there's a major story lurking, I'll keep him. Otherwise, I'd like to explore someone else.
  • Miranda: If it were up to Ilero, he'd probably leave her dead, taking his religious background into account. Given a way to ask her, he'd vote for that, even if it would creep him out.
  • Branwyn: Teleport the frac out of here, lady! :)
  • Marisu: She's an NPC now. Her fate is in Bob's hands. I don't feel a need to take her back on now, unless Ilero retires and picking her up is what everyone wants me to do. She's been shortchanged enough by being a secondary PC. She either needs to be the primary, or an NPC.
  • TMO: TMO plans to be here each week, so long as y'all will have me. :)
  • I should point out that Lanek is the 2nd of the Guild, not Oneldkelrad Trueblood. Although he may be due for some XP as well.

1/2 Lisa

If Branwyn survives, getting the shell back to Loosend -- 'Teleport' there? by herself or with? travel with the group?

Branwyn was only going to teleport back if time was running out. Iím not sure how much time we have left until the deadline. If timing gets tight, sheíll teleport forward but otherwise she would stay with the group.

Do all the encounters on the road heading back? Click off time to just be back at some point along the road? Loosend?

My opinion - Once we get to the road click off to Loosend. Then after the city, click off to Dragon Fen.

The group needs to decide what to do about Miranda. She left a note in Loosend not to have her brought back, but no one knows about it yet. Bring her body back to Loosend and do 'raise dead' right away? 'Speak with dead' to see what she wants? What does John want? This is a spot where everyone should chime in with what their character thinks should happen, versus what the player thinks should happen.

After what happened with Shi, Branwyn would not just bring Miranda back without either a Speak with Dead or Hoffman to decide. If Miranda doesnít want to come back as she has said IC, and John tells us to bring her back, I want Branwyn as far away from that drama as possible.

Do players have ideas on how much they will be able to attend?

Iíll be in as usual.

Training and Skull Church

''Everyone who needs training should do what they want to do.

Itís hard for me to talk about Skull Church timing and who would go to retake it other than to speak for my characters and ask for volunteers. It was my understanding that Black Cloak had plans for the place and the longer we wait, the harder it will be to take back.

The issue with Skull Church for Branwyn is a necessity. Her lands and farmers are being attacked by the undead sent out from these people. For Dragon Fen to be safe, this needs to stop. Every time weíve left it alone, more vermin crawl in.

This is another one of those extraordinarily dangerous missions and so anyone who doesnít want to go shouldnít feel the need. The place is close by so it *should* be a matter of deciding to go and then just doing it.

That said, my thought would be that if a character wants Skull Church they should help take it back. Branwyn would not be inclined to have taken it and then give it to someone who didnít fight for it.

I thought Hoffman was next in line for a place to attract followers. If someone wants it, they need to speak up. Someone needs to sit there otherwise it will just be filled with yet another villain with an evil plan.

Once we decide who will take Skull Church, then they can say what they want to do as far as pledging fealty to Branwyn and making it part of Dragon Fen or wanting to ask the Queen for a separate estate. If it goes the separation route and the Queen denies the appeal for a separate estate, then Branwyn would ask for it to be part of Dragon Fen.

I donít care which choice the person makes; if they were taking Skull Church, it would be up to them. I know Johnís characters havenít been big on pledging loyalty to Branwyn or the DragonSlayers, so I doubt it would go that way if Hoffman takes it. And thatís fine. As long as Hoffman doesnít recruit a necromancer and start sending zombies back down. :-)

1/2/20 John

When I wrote the in character note from Miranda to Hoffman, my main thought as a player was I do not want to pay for someone to be raised after a adventure to pay for someone being raised. I had no idea we were that close to haves Reincarnate in party. Yes, I would like Miranda Reincarnated, even if we have to pay or do something for an uplift or what ever help we need as long as Shi is doing the actual spell. I am still working out what Miranda will say if you speak with dead, not sure if it helps if I also pick the questions. That is partly why I like the idea of clicking to Loosend and getting Hoffman there.

1/2 Carissa

Just double checking spells. So yes, we'd need one priest (of similar faith, I would think) and at least 7th level (character level) to cast Uplift for Shi so she can cast Reincarnate (if I'm reading it right, but the higher the better, too). It is a full day ritual, and as Shi takes damage after Uplift (mental strain of 2d6) that cannot be healed until a full night of sleep, it's a full day and night. But it can be done, if we can get that second priest. And it'll cost 500 gp for the spell component (as in the component is specifically 500 gp).

For reincarnate, as long as it's done within a week of death (important if we must travel), it always succeeds. No spell component likely because it's a high level spell very few can cast normally anyways. When reincarnated, they "recall the majority of their former life and form, but character class might be very different," (noted below). As for what she could return as, depending on the roll, it could be: badger, black or brown bear, boar, centaur, dryad, eagle, elf, faun/satyr, fox, gnome, hawk, human, lynx, owl, pixie, raccoon, stag, wolf, wolverine, or DM's choice. The percent chance differs for each so unless you want specifics, just know those are possible depending how the dice lands.

Note: If an unusual creature form is indicated, the DM can (at his option only) use the guidelines for new player character races to allow the character to earn experience and advance in levels, although this may not be in the same class as before. If there incarnated character returns as a creature eligible to be the same class as he was previously (i.e., a human fighter returns as an elf), the reincarnated character has half his previous levels and hit points. If the character returns as a new character class, his hit points are half his previous total, but he must begin again at 1st level. If the character returns as a creature unable to have a class, he has half the hit points and saving throws of his previous incarnation.

As for questions to ask, feel free to pick some out. Shi won't do anything until they talk to Miranda (and like Branwyn, if she's being brought back "against her will", Shi doesn't want part in that, either). For Shi's sake, she'd request one of the three questions to make sure Miranda fully understands what reincarnation means, but otherwise, Gerard can be the one to suggest the rest. :)

The only snag in all of this is that, depending on how things go regarding ability to reincarnate in Birnham, and getting Hoffman's opinion, Shi doesn't plan to come back to Loosend right away. Whether she hangs around Birnham or, more likely, makes the short jaunt up to The Wildlands for a visit, I don't know yet. Works against having Hoffman there, but you're also more likely to find help for Shi to do Reincarnate in The Wildlands. Then again, she plans for it to be a solo trip.

One idea, if you want Hoffman included and Shi isn't willing to go back to Loosend yet, is scrying. Find her a pool of water (and sleep after all this mess), and she can try reaching him and hoping he's somewhere to reach. Although, I don't remember if he can read and write so it might be a Kidnapped Kenna situation again...

Anyways, just tossing out thoughts and spell specifics for planning.

Edit: The spell actually doesn't specifically say the priests must be the same faith BUT I think we might actually need two priests so Shi is a high enough level after Uplift to be able to cast Reincarnate... Still doable, especially if it doesn't matter their faith as long as they have the spell Uplift, but something I'd need to clarify beforehand (when my brain is working slightly better).

1/3 Mario

Lots of questions posed above; for brevity, I will comment on the ones I think most important. No comment means I do not have a preference, and will yield to the group's decision.

Miranda: As characters, both Mara and Bosi are Kayugan, so they both would suggest Miranda be brought back, as this robs Brennios (the evil brother of Belinos) of a soul. However, they both would agree that Miranda's own beliefs and wishes should be honored. Both will offer assistance of any kind as necessary.

Mara should level up upon XP issuance. She does not receive any new proficiencies, only new spells (4th lvl) and rolls. This can be handled in the manner decided by the group. Bosi is way far from leveling.

I will take some time away from the game once we complete this latest mission (read: get XP finally!!). I will continue to read the site and get personal updates from Bob, I'm sure. :0)

01/03/2020 Mike Harmon

Overall :

1. I think this question is more about Lisa's domain, but I would almost prefer her to stay with us unless she needs to get back post-haste. Reasons for getting back quicker might present an opportunity to set up some sort of deal so Miranda can be resurrected. IDK. I think this one is something that her character or John might need to think about. I'm getting the vibe John would be okay with being revived in some way but I just don't know enough about those characters to understand what they might be thinking. John thank you for posting your thoughts earlier. Until then, I really thought that Miranda didn't really care one way or the other if that makes any sense. I'm glad that you wish to keep her if possible. That's something I may be able to help RolePlay? Not really sure.

2. I'm fine with encounters on the way back.

3. See Point 2.

Personal: I don't think my character knows anything about a note. He feels saddened that such a lynchpin of Bran's company is gone. He would fully support helping to get her back if he could help in any way whatsoever.

Personal: Next year I will be taking time off. I simply have to much life stuff to deal with and I'm no longer giving the game attention it deserves. I'll try and periodically hop in, but won't be doing any heavy decision making.

4. Training: Talwin wants to get his mastery point for his sword to max if possible. He is a character meant to deal and take damage. That is all he is build for. I am hoping that despite next year only periodically being in, that I can still get him trained up appropriately.

5. I will never touch anything that involves Skull Church again. Ever. Feel free to Raze it to the ground, but I'm not touching any quest that involves it. I'm sorry if that isn't sportsmanlike but the last one scarred me on a personal level. I want nothing to do with it.

6. I think Branwyn would always be benefited by expanding her domain. I think that she is a good ruler and in the event, someone foolish enough decides to invade, that between her and Drake, they would be miserable every step of the invasion. Personal thoughts, I'm not Lisa :).

7. I posted this pretty quickly. I need to re-review what everyone else has posted. If there is anything that contradicts what I have here, I'll do my best to update. Thanks, guys.

- Mike Harmon

01/03/2020 Spring

First choices:

1. I suggest Branwyn teleport back. That's safest while she's still under this bond. But I see Lisa is not for that and I support her.

2. Yes, let's do all the encounters on the road back.

3. Nope, let's don't click off time.

Personal decisions:

- Kenna would want to Speak With Dead to find out Miranda's wishes. We know already that bringing someone back all willy nilly has some negative consequences. She does have Uplift, so she could help Shi with reincarnate, if it comes to that.

- My schedule should be stable, unless I get promoted, which I'm working on, but I don't know how much opportunity there is at my workplace. If my role and schedule stay the same, I can usually play Fridays with the caveat that I have to leave early every other Friday. I want to travel more, but I'm better equipped now to take the game on the road.

Complicated choices:

Training - I have never got the in-game practical application of training. I understand you have to spend so many hours of so many weeks at whatever level to do such-and-such but don't know how we apply that in-game. The last time the question came up, we clicked off a bunch of time to build a settlement, so I simply assumed Kenna did the things and got the stuff.

Kenna should be completely caught up on the cooking-to-heal track. That was her big educational ambition. Maybe it's time to learn to read Common? :-) She can read and write her own glyphs that she made up for medical notes, but that's it.

Snee historically has no ambition beyond maximum adventure, but I've been thinking about having her develop an obsession over Skull Church. Have not thought about how that might apply to training.

Dragon Fen - Not very interested in settlement building. Happy to participate, but not invested.

Skull Church - Concur with John. It needs taking over by one of us. Sneezana is uniquely placed to go look for followers, as I've been wanting to kill her off and this seems a better alternative. And now I'm intrigued by the idea of her developing an obsession about it due to what happened to Ty and her guilt over it. Kenna wants nothing whatsoever to do with it, ever.

1/10 Ryan

Branwyn: From a IC perspective, Skarphedin would argue that it would be more expedient to teleport back (preferably with a healer), but lacks knowledge of the arcane, and would trust Branwyn to make the decision on her own.

Encounters: I wouldn't mind doing encounters on the road, but I'm fairly fresh to all of this, and wouldn't mind if people would prefer to skip that.

Miranda: IC, Skarp would argue to bring her back to life up until he found out about the note. In that case, Skarp would defer to her own wishes, and argue that she should be allowed to rest in peace.

Schedule: I have been having some things crop up, often at the last minute (I am really sorry about that), but my normal schedule should have me popping in at 8PM ET every week. I will try to let people know about any changes as I find out about them.

Training: Based on his history with the place, Skarp would insist on participating in any expedition to Skull Church. Full disclosure, however, that Skarp agrees that the place should probably be leveled and guard set to kill anything that tries to escape.

Regarding Skarphedin's plans: Not consciously, but Skarp will probably insist in participating in any expeditions in this region of the world that might even be remotely dangerous for the foreseeable future. He feels a stain of dishonor for his friends dying, and will want to expunge that in any way possible. Beyond that, he will support his friends' plans, but has none of his own.

So the Miranda discussion will happen next session 2020 01 10 and the Reincarnate spell will/if happen then too. I do have a couple of charts to roll on, so we can make sure there is a playable character concept. Though John has made a bear and a parrot work before so.....

So we still have the remaining part of this thread to wrap up. Will Hoffman take over Skull Church to hold it at the end of Third Time is Tradition? Depending on who is alive at the end of that story arc.

Also a new map in KloOge you can look at to see the extent of Dragon Fen to Skull Church for distance. Click on Jilly to get the map.

1/11 John

Short Story - Miranda is back alive as a human female, Yea! Longer Story - She was reincarnated so still some questions on who she is. For Reference:

The person reincarnated recalls the majority of his former life and form, but the character class, if any, of the new incarnation might be very different indeed. If a player character race is indicated, the character must be created.If the reincarnated character returns as a creature eligible to be the same class as she was previously (i.e., a human fighter returns as an elf), the reincarnated character has half his previous levels and hit points."

There seemed to be some indication after I left I would have to re-roll all my stats but the last time I had a character Reincarnated, a human mage was reincarnated into a troll, he kept his Intelligence and as such was still able to be a mage. Not sure if that was the Priest or Mage version, or if any thing else changed just saying this was not what I was expecting. Either way on that point, I was also not expecting, if I came back as the same race, to create a character as if from scratch, I was certainly looking for role playing changes but not sure what the options are. The two questions collide, as if I have to re-roll and do not get the proper stats I will have to change from dual class. I was just interested in other thought on the interpretation of the rules before Friday.

1-12 BOB

Miranda will keep her Intelligence score as that is the knowledge portion. Because she came back as human she is still eligible to be a mage and a priest.

Miranda's class is actually Mage right now. How dual class works is you are one class, you gain experience. Then you stop being that class until you gain the equal experience of the new class you went to. Then after that you go on with the new class but get the abilities of the previous class. So Miranda was a priestess, became a mage, grew in experience to be able to use both but is still a mage. So halving that she will be a 4th level mage with 10,000 XP and 16 hit points to start.

From that baseline John will re-roll the other stats, similar to a new character of 4d6 drop the lowest, but without the d4 to shift.

From there it is all up to John and roleplay what happens. Does she go back to the Norse Gods and try to become a priestess again? A reverse of the previous dual class path she took. Or just continue to worship without being a priestess? Or change religions. It was the Elves that brought her back, but the strong Kayugan contingent that the group has could have influence. What will she want to know about the other people who look like her. Who they are, how they act, etc. No one has ever seen a human look quite like her before. There are a wide variety of races that travel the spice road and the silk road but your group has not encountered anyone like her. Wu and some of the gypsies have similar coloring but not quite the same.

Lots of good stories to come.

Hoffman plan discussion

1/25 John

Now that the in character goal for Hoffman has been established and accepted, I do want to share some thoughts out of character. Hoffman going to the Queen directly not only reinforces Hoffman and Branwyn's relationship as friends and allies rather then a more servant one, it also opens up more story options to fit player and character goals. Yes, Hoffman taking over Skull church is still a possibility, but the feeling I get is there is much more player support for my desires than the actual character or player support for Skull Church plan, and I am appreciative of that and want to make sure we strike the proper balance between character and player.
Even if Miranda had not died, it was a struggle to justify Hoffman wanting to establish a stronghold except for Miranda. Doing it for the Queen makes more sense. But there is still more than one way for me as a player to establish an area and keep the players and characters happy: the Queen can have me marry someone. It is a realistic move and would be great for the story. From there I see two clear possibilities, married to a yet to be named Queens ally and establish Skull Church or as I think will be more interesting and fitting with the players and character wishes, we clear the church and destroy it completely and Hoffman is made to marry some other noble who already has lands. Dare I suggest Marisu. The story and character possibilities are exciting. While the challenge to the players and characters and even the campaign itself might be greater, in a different way, I do believe this plan or one closer to it may gather more support. Is this a possibility and does anyone else like this idea?

1/26 Lisa

John Ė To be honest, Iím not quite sure what exactly you want. Can I post what I think and have you confirm?

I got from last Friday that you donít want to take Skull Church and pledge loyalty to Branwyn. You do want to approach the Queen and ask to serve her. You do not want to take Skull Church. You want a marry someone from another estate and thereby removing Hoffman from the local, ready to jump on the next adventure train? You are retiring him? Would that mean that Miranda would return and be your main PC again?

I will say this about destroying Skull Church. The Church holds tombs of leaders of Ileroís Suomi faith. To destroy them would affect Ilero.

And are the people in favor of destroying the church in favor of either a) killing everything there or b) doing what it takes to move everything living there out?

Yes, for me personally, I wanted to take Skull Church and control it through someone from the party.

Yes, undead must become just dead. But I havenít decided to kill everything that moves.

The large number of goblins living there have been there for a long time and have I suppose had some sort of agreement with all the occupants. I was leaning more towards making a deal with them to coexist rather than exterminating them or driving them away. I mean Ė where do we send them if we donít kill them?

For Branwyn, the Quellcon mage depends on how the fight goes. He killed Tiberius, but Tiberius killed his daughter. I would rather kick him out and deliver him to Quellcon (maybe without his spell books?) rather than just murder him. I donít know yet. As time passes, Iím thinking a little more calmly on the matter and therefore so would Branwyn. On the other hand, sheís seen a lot of evil lately so maybe she wonít be so eager to let another crazy evil guy just walk away. If thatís what he is. We havenít talked to him at all yet.

Final thought Ė if the majority want to kill everything there in order to destroy the church, I would like those PCs to be there to do it. I donít think anyone should say it and not be willing to get their hands bloodied.

In character Hoffman is accepting the Queen's decision on what he should do. In the back of his mind her fears she will either marry him off or continue to work for Branwyn because he has not proven himself.

Out of character, I have no plans to retire Hoffman. What ever happens with him , I expect to control him.

Skull Church: Without Miranda, Hoffman is less ambitious about taking over Skull Church but feels it may be his fate, so that is why he is letting Queen or party decide.

In and out of character, there is no reason to kill anyone they don't need to and certainly will respect the dead. The amount of in game time to handle Skull Church, makes it more of a group decision but of it stands, I would think we need a PC there.

1/28 - TMO

Ilero would like Skull Church to be freed of the various evil cults that seem drawn to it. If that means the party has to control it, so be it. If no one else is able to run, he can, for a brief while. If that is what winds up happening though, he will try to get a Suomi church of some sort imported to take it over from him.

1/29 Carissa

My interest in Skull Church is minimal, but I do agree that destroying it complete (while tempting) is more complicated with the Suomi dead in there. I also agree that I normally prefer at least the attempt at the more peaceful route. We've made deals with goblins before, so why not try again?

And yes, agree with Lisa: any major decisions with the church should mean your PC is actively involved whether that means taking it over, killing all the goblins (if you vote that route), or anything of that degree.

But really, we just killed 100+ Shadows. Who really wants to another big battle, especially so soon??

6/21 Lisa

Iím going to post again about the future of Skull Church because a) Yesterday John and Bob mentioned it on Discord, b) Mike and Lara are new to the discussion of possibilities at this stage and c) we are getting closer to decision time for John (or I just donít know what the decision was). Bob was right on Discord that I never wanted to have Branwyn actively seeking to expand her estate. Her actions are only in direct response to the current threat.


Skull Church has been a problem since the beginning of this campaign. We first went there because Red Cloak the necromancer was using the place. We were tasked to confirm this and report our findings to The Brotherhood who was to take care of the problem. In the meantime, Suomi pilgrims (followers of Kiputytto) made their way to Skull Church. Later, a Greek archbishop of Hades and his priests and minions took over the catacombs to do their evil deeds and create a fire elemental. The Kayugans tasked us with getting rid of the Greeks, but the fire elemental beat us to it and all we had to do was get rid of the fire elemental. Again, followers of Kiputytto were supposed to take over.

Now Branwyn built Dragon Fen adjacent to the Craniate Wastes and here comes another necromancer. Black Cloak has sent undead on to her lands where they have killed her farmers. They have attacked merchants on the roads and disrupted trade not only at her estate but at other neighboring estates as well. He has threatened her and her family. Branwyn sending a scouting party resulted in the death of Black Cloakís daughter, two of Ileroís guild members, and her husband, Tiberius. (just counting direct deaths from the Black Cloak confrontation here)

So What Next?

Branwyn decided enough is enough, that the church will be cleaned out once and for all. The only way to keep the church out of evil hands is to occupy it ourselves. Ilero had his guild, the Kayugan priestesses had a large church already in Dragon Fen, and Branwyn has to reside in Dragon Fen. As Hoffman can attract followers and has seniority in the group, of course he is a natural fit to take it over. But with that, John/Hoffman has decisions to make and weíve talked around it, but I donít know what the final decision will be. John has to be the one who lives with this so I am only laying this out for him to tell us what he wants. Bob has created an intricate political system for this neck of the woods so just setting down stakes doesnít seem like something anyone can simply do.

Options below. Bob Ė correct if I have any of this wrong please

a) Branwyn claims Skull Church for Dragon Fen and it becomes part of her estate. Hoffman takes control over it and builds it out as he sees fit. In this arrangement, Hoffman would be knighted to pledge fealty to Branwyn and Dragon Fen. Hoffman would have autonomy to do what he wants with it, but dealings with the Queen and other estates runs through Branwyn. Threats to Hoffman and Skull Church are regarded as threats to her.

b) Hoffman claims Skull Church and any other lands he wants and appeals to the Queen to have his own estate in exchange for whatever the Queen demands to be granted as such. Branwyn will offer her support to his claim if he wants her to help. Hoffman would be bending the knee to the Queen. This would make Hoffmanís estate completely independent from Dragon Fen. All of Hoffmanís good fortune and problems are his and Branwynís will be hers, though the estates would always be allies. I would guess many future story arcs would then be coming from Hoffmanís estate. Especially since after Black Cloak is gone, Dragon Fen will become as peaceful as Bovine Valley.

c) Or as Bob said on Discord Ė no one asks to take it and ďthe Queen will pick someone to take over that corner. And then you get whoever you get.Ē

Iím sorry if Johnís already made this decision and I somehow missed it along the way. But when this is done, we need to move forward one way or another. Letters written, meetings set, flags, coats of arms, etc. You know, typical estate building kind of stuff.

6/22/2020 John

It is understandable, it has been a long time

Hoffman has stated clearly in character that he will not be under Branwyn, eliminating option A. His intention was to pledge to the Queen but as he have not been able to see her, he is letting his actions speak for him. While he cannot do it alone, Hoffman does not plan on leaving Skull Church until all treats are neutralized (not necessarily eliminated) and even then he does not plan on leaving the general area. I take that as Option B

As a player I hope to manage the area regardless of what happens in game, with a possible next character ready to take over the church if/when Hoffman dies / retires.

The group of players and characters and BOB (who is both) still have a few decisions to make. There is still a lot of work, time and money to be spent to make this area ready for followers and while that is an eventuality, there are plenty of other story lines to be told and acted out. This does not all have to be decided this year.

6/22 Lisa

Thanks, John. I know you've never been a follower of Branwyn, but wasn't sure if you really wanted Hoffman to play the political game when it comes down to having to do it.

While some things can wait, certain things have to happen relatively soon. Black Cloak is part of the Quelcon family and he or his body (however this turns out - my ideal hope is his damaged body and not a corpse) must be returned to his estate. We cannot simply dump his body in the moat. This will make a statement and will drive how this moves forward. I need to know how to respond to what is going to happen in the immediate aftermath of what we do in the next few weeks. Knowing how you want to play this, lets me know how I need to. :-)

6/22 John

Hoffman will play the game as well as he can, in his own way. For instance, while he does not expect the chance, he would allow Black Cloak to leave alive, but baring that, yes he would like his body returned to his estate, assuming that is a choice he is given but I still do not think he would personal leave right away.

While he also has expressed willingness to work with the Goblins, I do not think they would ever be considered followers, but that would be interesting possibility for me. Even to have them a minions and not have true followers is possibility in my mind. I thought for a brief moment of not killing the griffin if we could keep it under control until Shi comes back, but I think Hoffman would rather kill it out of respect for what happened to Shi, unless Thistle suggests differently

6/24 Carissa

Probably best to just kill it. Shi would definitely not be mad if Hoffman did it while she was gone. If he wait, then she gets put in the awkward spot of having to decide for herself and she's not completely convinced she couldn't still be friends with it so easiest for everyone to just do it now :)

(Thistle already tied to talk to it. She may try again, but she understands better that it's a monster versus Shi who still sees it more animalistic).