D&D 5E EB's Keep on the Borderlands - The Lion's Den

EarlyBird

Explorer
This will be the main thread that both groups will be using to RP with each other and with NPCs throughout the keep. We later may run into timing conflicts, but we should be able to deal with them as they come up.

From here you will be given assignments and start off on quests. Most will be side quest like, and others will lead to the final epic full group adventure - (thinking Tomb of Horrors right now, but we shall see).

Also remember that this is a way for me to play some higher D&D (I haven't had a group over lvl 4, RL/PBP), and look into some of the spells, abilities, and monsters too.

Links:
OOC
RG
Group 1 - IC
Group 2 - IC
 
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EarlyBird

Explorer
History as told to the group by Kordo Vas on their trip east to Kendall Keep.

The Keep was founded some thirty years ago by Macsen Wledig, a former member of The Company of the Bronze Lions, who decided to retire and build his own stronghold with the proceeds of his exploits. He chose an area in a no-man's land between Cormyr and Sembia, and built on a readily defensible spot atop a low flat hill, not far from what he hoped would become an important trade route. He planned to drive all the monsters from the land, save for a few which he intended to allow to skulk in odd corners, feeling the occasional monster-hunt might prove good sport when he began to miss the old days of dungeon delving and deeds of valor. Soon peasants and freemen were attracted by the protection of the fortress, and within a few years he had numerous farms and fields, the beginnings of his own barony.

In the coming years, Macsen found that retirement agreed with him. He devoted all his time to managing the affairs of his garrison and the Keep, leaving the region beyond untouched save for a few patrols of the outlying farms, but even these grew less frequent as the years passed. It was left to others, aspiring adventurers, to clean out the humaniods when they came to live in the nearby Caves of Chaos, raid the lizard men of the swamp, and eliminate any other threats to his little settlement. Eventually the decimated lizard men became so few that they were shy and rarely met with, the emptied caves offered neither treasure nor glory to explorers, and would-be-heroes out to make a name for themselves moved on to other regions.

Thus things remained for many years, until a call to war reached the Keep. Orcs were savagely attacking the settlements of the Sword Coast, and Mascen Wledig could not stand by and watch his homeland far to the west be destroyed, not while he was still hale enough to wield a blade. Gathering most of his troops, leaving a few behind to man the Keep, he marched westward and was never seen in the east again. When peace came at last, word of their lord's fall was sent to the Keep. The castellan long held out hope that the rumors were false, but at last had to admit that his master (and friend) along with his former comrades were all dead.

Fortunately, Macsen had chosen his castellan well. Devereau was also a former Bronze Lion, an archer who only remained behind because of a crippling wound received in an early adventure; had he been able to march alongside his lord he would have died with the rest of his friends. A more ambitious man might have declared himself the new Lord; a less deliberate one would have recruited new troops and thus brought in strangers, forever changing the original settlement. Devereau did neither. After calling a meeting attended by every man, woman, and child in the Keep and outlying farms, he discussed their situation and put before them three options: to abandon the Keep and each return to his or her homeland, dividing the remaining treasury equally; to invite a new lord or lady to come and to obey his or her will as they had Macsen's; or to appoint a new leader from among their number. Following much debate, they chose the last of these, asking Devereau to continue on as castellan and see them through the difficult times ahead, renewing his appointment at a town meeting at the end of each year.

In the years since, the Keep has slowly rebuilt its strength. The professional garrison of the past has been replaced by a milita, with every farmer and craftsman(and -woman) serving a stint of guard duty in rotation. The parade ground has been transformed into a vegetable garden, and the barracks was converted into a Guild House, catering to caravan masters and their guards. The wisdom of this policy has been tested and proven. Three times the Keep has been attacked or besieged by humaniods or bandits, and each time it has held out and overcome its foes. Today it is a small but thriving community once more, less populous than of old but warded by people who have invested years of hard work into making this their home and willing to defend it to the bitter end.

Recently there have been troubles rearing their ugly heads that farmers and merchant guards are incapable of dealing with. Monsters, organized bandits, and even an evil cult have come to the area. Devereau has reached out to The Company of the Bronze Lions, knowing that what troubles like these need is a few brave adventurers thrown at them.

Even from the road, the Keep is an impressive sight: a mighty castle perched on a flat-topped hill, with a path climbing steeply up beneath frowning guard towers until it reaches the main gate. Crenellated battlements line the walls, offering plenty of cover for archers to attack any foe coming up the exposed path. As you draw near, a clanging as of a great gong goes up from one of the towers that overlooks the path - clearly your approach has been noticed. You continue on your way, your back itching as you try not to think about deadly arrows suddenly being launched in your direction. Following the curve of the path around to the side, you come to the great gate - a drawbridge flanked by thirty-foot-high watchtowers. As you approach, the guard on one of the towers hails you.

Soon you are let into the keep and your wagons move through what feels like a small town, to an open area with a fountain bubbling in the center.

Kordo Vas.jpg "Welcome to your new home," Kordo Vas says as he walks among the wagons and your large group gathers outside what looks like an inn and tavern. The sign shows a sleeping cat with one open eye, "The One-Eyed Cat".

As you gather around the front of the inn two retainers set up a ladder and start to remove the sign. "Since this is our new home, it needs a new name." the old cleric says with a grin. "Something fitting." And as the retainers move they gather a new piece of worked wood and start to hang it from the post.

Bronze Lions.jpg

"Welcome to... The Lion's Den!"
 

Erevan moved silently through the lands surrounding Kendall Keep. He had heard of the troubles in the area and had come to help restore the balance between the Keep's residents, the land around them, and their humanoid neighbors. Unfortunately, given the violent nature of most humanoids, such a balance usually meant the extermination of one side or the other.
This place had once been a farm, abandoned for only a few years, with plenty of grain growing among the weeds. He had no trouble harvesting a handful.
The farmhouse was still mostly standing. After reaching an accommodation with the new inhabitants, he built a fire in the fireplace, igniting it with a soft word. While the rabbit he had caught earlier was roasting, he put the grain to soak. Mixed with the dried berries in his pouch, the grain would make a fine breakfast.

The next morning, he left the farmhouse and headed toward the keep. After answering the guards' questions, he was granted entry. He turned the corner and stopped short. It can't be...They're all dead! he thought. But there it was, a symbol he hadn't seen in almost 20 years - the Bronze Lion.
 

Catching himself gaping at the sign, Erevan shrugged and slipped into the alley beside the tavern, checking that all his gear was secure as he went. A few moments later he was climbing in through an open window above the kitchen, wearing the form of a cat. If someone was using the name of the Bronze Lions, then as the last of the company, it was up to him to find out who it was, and what they were up to.
Erevan the cat made his way to the top of the stairs, then leapt to a beam where he could watch the room unseen.
The patrons were a mixed group, about half of them human, and the rest mostly elven. Most of them were too young to have been members of the Bronze Lions, but one gray head among them caught his eye. Something about the man's posture was familiar...and when he heard the man laugh he was certain. Resuming his own shape, he sat upon the beam and called down, "Kordo Vas! Who dragged your sorry self back from Hell?"
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
The immaculately dressed elf wizard known as Sahrax, one eye missing and his face scarred, listens politely as Kordo Vas records the history of the Keep, and he nods in satisfaction upon seeing the fortress himself. A sturdy, defendable place that can keep out most physical threats easily.

But physical threats are rarely what Sahraxilian Aenovindë worries about.

Unlike his companions, Sahrax does not look at the new sign of the tavern, and under his breath the elf inaudibly whispers the same words as Kordo says out loud. "The Lion's Den!"

With a smile Sahrax thinks back to this morning, when before most others were awake he received visions of this day. Most of these portents are obscure and vague until the moment they are encountered, but the wooden lion sign and the new name were remarkably clear.

"Let's get inside," his soft voice reaches everyone with ease, and with his customary faint bow Sahrax motions for the others to enter before he follows.

OOC: Rolling today's Portent here: [roll0] [roll1]
 

Radaceus

Adventurer
Üngar

All roads lead to some form of danger.
He didn't care for them, roads were where civilized peoples prey upon one another. They exchange pieces of metal, and oddly the ones who have the most pieces of metal seem to be preyed upon the most by those wishing to rob them of the stuff. But that's not the worst of them, the worst ones ply their tricks and wag their tongues, attempting to wrest you of your belongings with useless trinkets. The worst ones are clever and hard to spot, the killers can be seen plain as day and dealt with as such.
He had fallen prey to a sparkling gem or two in his travels, and idly fondled an agate that had cost him a nice deerskin tunic, he still regrets that trade, he pulled the gem out and gazed at the sun through it; maybe not.

Üngar happened upon a wagon heading in the direction of Kendall Keep, he had been watching a steady flow of travelers heading that way, but stayed his distance, until spotting one wagon with an elf. 'hâld dêr!' he grunted in his best elvish, which was not really elvish at all but a bastardized gibberish he was proud to speak. The elf driver pulled up short, whispering over his shoulder to others in the wagon, eyeing the dwarf suspiciously.

'Ik wol graach op nei festing!' Üngar clarified, this time raising his voice for emphasis.
A curtain pulled back, revealing drawn bows as guardsmen jumped out the back.

He harrumphed, eyeing the driver he produced the Bronze Lion medallion and pointed in the direction he assumed lay the keep.

The driver laughed, motioning for weapons to be stowed, exclaiming in a stylized common, "Well met, my brother! why didn't you just give
us the company wave!' and gestured for him to jump in back.
 

EarlyBird

Explorer
Resuming his own shape, he sat upon the beam and called down, "Kordo Vas! Who dragged your sorry self back from Hell?"

Vas looks all around at the call before looking up. His smile grows at the sight of Erevan. "Thought you got eaten by a bear," he says between the grin. "But so glad I was mistaken. And very glad you got my message."
 

EarlyBird

Explorer
As the group filters into the tavern Kordo notices Ungar still cautiously watching everyone and everywhere. "The walls are new to you, eh? Ungar." he says to the dwarf he new grew up wilder than most wood elves. "Not to worry. For soon your skills will be needed in the forests and hills that surround this keep. You'll spend more days and nights outside these walls, just not this night. Come," he says gesturing into the inn where the others are filing in.
 

Vas looks all around at the call before looking up. His smile grows at the sight of Erevan. "Thought you got eaten by a bear," he says between the grin. "But so glad I was mistaken. And very glad you got my message."

"I received no message. I'm here because I caught wind of the troubles in this area. I've been working border areas like this for years, helping keep the balance between people and nature.
But what of you? How did you survive...that day?" Erevan closes his eyes as he again sees his brothers cut down before his eyes: McMahon with a spear in his gut; Hogan and the Piper chopped to pieces; Heenan's brain splattered all over...
"I got out because the Golden Army wasn't looking for a snake in the grass. Speaking of which, Tureaud never collected his bounty for selling us out."
 

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