ZEITGEIST BoFF end - A request for possible Clergy influences


I'll skip the backstory and start a recap thread about my campaign soon, but I've been taking a stab at a more political / GoT'ish version of Zeitgeist. I made some modifications to the character backstories for each of the six pre-gen characters and placed it at 457 aov. Set with Risur drastically losing the third Yerasol war due to interference from her own nobility, before an armistice led to a brief calm.

The BoFF one-shot ended a few hours ago with the party successfully defeating the Witches coven as Captain Aodhan sailed into the Flint harbor with a stolen Danoran steam ship (from RangerWickett's wonderful one-shot notion - The Kraken Caper - https://www.enworld.org/threads/one-shots-for-zeitgeist.672790/post-8017937). A one-shot I ran with this group earlier. The King handed the crown to Tomas Masaryk, with the plea to 'rescue his nation from the interference of her own corrupt nobility'. Not at all how I expect things to play out, but definitely a fun wrinkle! I'm using some of the wonderful Zeitvice details from Arkwright, including the Clergy's scheme... who want more influence to offset an early Danor-Risur superpower.

Thinking about fun ways this could change the nation of Risur in 500 aov, and wanted to see if anyone had some fun notions. I'll go with the official timeline and have Tomas lead his new nation to defeat Danor in the war, before handing the crown to Lester Aodhan in 460 aov. But was hoping for some interesting societal changes a Clergy adherent could add while chasing Danor out of the Yerasol archipelago.
  • Risur might see a slight increase in monks.
  • A more bureaucratic approach to divine casters where healing would require payment, and forbidding casters from healing the poor without reward.
  • From the campaign setting, it’s unlikely the Clergy will impact Risur’s religious beliefs.
  • The Family will find themselves much more welcome when they arrive, likely capturing abandoned land set aside by the Crown for Clergy use.
  • Risuri nobility will see their power weakened, but the Clergy likes hierarchies - so the former King's hopes likely won't be achieved.

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If I'm reading this correctly, King Boyle handed over rulership to Tomas Masaryk? Interesting. That's the King naming a Godhand, a holy warrior of Crisillyir as ruler of Risur. Immediately, each nation is going to want to know where his true loyalty lies, with many in the nobility/among the people quick to reject him as an outsider. He would quickly need to amass power/legitimacy. The approval of the previous monarch is a start, but more to do. Given that the King specifically asked him to deal with the nobility, I can see a full civil war- Cavaliers and Roundheads- happening, ending with the power of the nobility being completely subordinated by the King and his bureaucracy. That, or the nobles win.

I imagine the Ob would go ballistic, seeing as this directly opposes their goals; a Risur that isn't aligning with Danor, a Risur that is aligning with their worst enemy, a Risur that is aligning with an anti-technology nation. Nic/Kasvarina/Stanfield might try to assassinate him. Or stanfield might try to leverage his position as a deva to try and recruit Tomas.

I wonder how the fey would feel. What respect does Tomas have for their culture, for paying them their tithes? Maybe this accelerates the fey-Risuri diplomatic crisis, such that the AP begins with the Unseen Court already split/in civil war.

Kasvarina and the elves might be pissed. If Risur starts supporting Crisillyiri colonisation, I can see a big uptick in vekeshi assassinations in Risur, causing destabilization.

How is Risur chasing Danor out of the archipelago? Even mimicking their tech, Risur couldn't do that. Is Crisillyir fully backing them? If so, and Risur has gained full control over the archipelago, that could be a bootstrap to superpower status, trading heavily in island dyes and spices.

Given that Clergy beliefs about the planes are directly opposed to the Skyseers (and are correct), I can see the influence of the skyseers being sharply diminished, what with also the recent unreliability of their prophecies.

Has Risur imported any of Crisillyir's anti-tech beliefs? I think there's a good chance the Aodhan-steals-a-ship plot wouldn't be accepted in a post-Tomas Risur.

I like the idea of a Risur-Clergy alliance being the catalyst for the Ob to consider drastic action, the Axis Ritual.

I've described some big consequences, but given everything, it might be most realistic if Tomas 'fails'- if he fails to take full control of the nation and establish his legitimacy and only makes a small impact before giving up his crown. Could be good if his most important changes were covered up/only discovered by the PCs. Imagine for a moment that General McConville, current US army chief of staff, was somehow made Prime Minister of France. Chances are any attempts at significant reform will be met with enormous distrust and reactionary chaos, rather than americanising France.

Run whatever's best for your game, I'm just pitching ideas.


That’s an incredible bit of detail Arkwright, many thanks! I’ll include the changed version of the King’s background for a bit of insight into how I’ve modified the BoFF setting (someone please do let me know if including it runs counter to any EN policy), but yes – the King handed the rulership of Risur to a Crisillyir holy warrior…

It was… unexpected. From the character's perspective, he saw both Dame Melissa and Minister Harkover as being far too under the control of the nobles, and wanted an outside influence that could 'remove the rot', and didn't consider the easy hero in Aodhan (PC's don't always want their table mates ruling a nation, in his words "Nah, he's a drinking buddy, you don't trust them to be the King!").

The nobility will not support his rule, full stop. I imagined they’d agree to follow him while he turns the tables on Danor / leading Risur into victory in the Third Yerasol war, but his rule will not last, nor will he manage true lasting change. Fortunately, the one-shot ended and I’ve got a few weeks ‘till the actual campaign proper spins up with new level 3 characters in a D&D 5e setting simply dealing with the Coaltongue launch party. Which is why I was looking for some societal changes, rather than major overhauls in Risur.

Really do appreciate the notion of a fey-Risuri crisis, it’ll explain why Asrabey took such a heavy hand in quashing the ‘revolt’ in Adventure one. Showing the fey’s support for Risuri, but killing Risuri soldiers.

It will also likely lead to an early start to a Scramble for Elfaivar, a notion I had been pondering. Not where Risuri supports Crisillyiri colonization, but where Risuri feels emboldened to ‘start early’.

In the timeline (from what I recall), the Third Yerasol war ends in Risuri’s benefit. Chasing Danor out of the archipelago is likely impossible, but I would like to see that war ended as originally specified so they can go on to lose the Fourth / start the campaign in a more ‘expected setting’.

And yes, I do expect the Skyseers to be even more sidelined… making the Duchess’s act against Axis Island in Adventure one likely to seem even more unbelievable.

I don't want to introduce any anti-tech Clergy notions, I think Tomas could ignore those as long as they're hurting the Tieflings, and the nation already has a 'true' ruler in the wings with Aodhan having bearded the tieflings in their lair, stealing their newest warship, and being the settings intended King. I imagine the nobility will be all gung-ho for their 'future' King while barely supporting the guy with the actual crown on his head.

Also, gotta say, I love this communities dedication to this campaign setting :)


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