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

EarlyBird

Villager
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

Villager
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

Villager
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

Villager
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

Villager
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."
 
Lorelei quietly makes her way into the tavern. As typical of her, she tries to keep a low profile, half-hiding her face under the hood of her cloak. She'd usually watch and listen carefully at everyone in this sort of social situations, trying to get a glimpse at other people's personalities and learn their manners, but today her mind is distracted... she hadn't had a sign from her patron since this invitation to the Keep, and for the whole trip she's been having feelings that something's cooking. As Kordo Vas starts speaking, she tries to shrug off her doubts and take in every word she hears.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Tassarion Liadon
Kendall Keep
Late Afternoon
Round 0

Tassarion slipped quietly into the Keep as he often did following his patrol into the wilds, hood up to hide his poison-scarred face, his keen elven eyes flicking here and there, missing nothing. He whispered a word and conjured up beautiful rose, dropping it, with a few coins, into the bowl of a beggar woman. She could likely sell the flower for more coin.

The quiet elf found himself a dark corner of the newly-christened tavern and ordered an ale to quench his thirst as he looked around at the gathering crowd, some townfolk, some adventurers newly arrived.

[sblock=Actions]
Saves:
Move:
Action: (Extra Attack)
Bonus Action:
Free Object Interaction:
Reaction:
Conditions:
Inspiration:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Mini Stats]
AC: 15
HP: 37/37
HD: 5/5 1d10+1
Arrows used: 0
Action Surge (1/R)
Second Wind (1/R)
Arcane Shot (2/2/R): Grasping Arrow or Seeking Arrow
[/sblock]
 

EarlyBird

Villager
"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?"
"I had Squire Hydar and Squire Wevel to help me escape." Kordo says solemnly remembering those horrid events.

"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."
"Nay lad," the cleric says sternly. "We should wait to discuss this another time. In different company. Today is not the day to bring up such ill."
 

EarlyBird

Villager
Noticing that some of the group has wandered to separate corners (Tassarion) or tries to disappear into the crowd(Lorelei), he speaks up.

Kordo Vas.jpg "Gather round, gather round." the cleric says not wishing to lose the attention of the group yet. "We still have much to discuss before we can turn our attention to food and merriment."

As he speaks he draws forth a map and starts to spread it across the central table.

OOC: Just a roll call for the rest of the company to post their characters are gathering around.
[MENTION=6787159]Skarsgard[/MENTION]
[MENTION=5044]Charwoman Gene[/MENTION]
[MENTION=6853819]TallIan[/MENTION]
[MENTION=6855204]tglassy[/MENTION]
 

tglassy

Explorer
EB's Keep on the Borderlands - RP thread

Darak sat with his back to the rest, sharpening his axe. His eyes were far off, looking somewhere in the distance, though the wall was only a few feet from the other side of the table.

When the call came to gather, he turned, looking for Slipper, the youth that had been following him around for the past bit. He liked the kid. Yes, he broke the law and was a thief, but Darak knew this was only because of the corrupt government officials, who drove people to steal for their food. Darak would be patient with him. He had to focus on those who are truly responsible.
 

TallIan

Explorer
Rorik

Rorik road slowly along, his retainers walking, leading the stubborn mule that was the reason he couldn't go any faster. This bastion of civilization offered him what he wanted - somewhere to prove his mettle and make his own name far away from the fiery mess that was his parents life.

He'd long been away from them, but he'd only managed to drift from army to mercenary group to guard.

He made his way to the Lion's Den, his great destrier snapping at any who did not move out the way fast enough. Dismounting he went inside, leaving his squire to have the usual test of wills with Rorik's horse.

Looking around the room he says; "You must be the other guild members." there is an arrogance in his voice, but still some respect for what these men and women must have achieved to get this far. "Vas, I presume?" he asks the old cleric unrolling a map.
 

EarlyBird

Villager
Kordo Vas gave the armored warrior an up and down look. "Well met," he says putting some weights on the edges of the paper as it tries to roll itself up once more. "I am Kordo Vas," he says with a nod. "And your the mage-knight, correct? Sorry I was given to many names when I inquired about you, sir. Something to do with the entourage you travel with. What is your name?"
 

Skarsgard

Explorer
Slipper watched as the array of more confident and much larger people eased into a comfortable banter with each other. He was once again thankful for Darak's comforting presence as few noticed the small boy next to the larger warrior.

As the cleric mentioned food, and ever the opportunist, he looked around for where he might be able to get some but it didn't seem like there was much on offer at this stage. With nothing else to do he nosed forwards to where the old cleric was talking about a map. As he rested his hand on the table he noticed how grimy his hands were in comparison to the others; some of these people were really clean. Embarrassed he moved his hand back, it probably wouldn't hurt too much to actually have a bath. Probably.
 

Radaceus

Villager
Üngar

The dwarf barged up, plopped the Bronze Lion on one of the corners of the map, and began to speak ' Am..I...' he grimaced. It had been awhile since he used his people voice or spoke any local jargon.
'I am called forth, Üngar' he continued as he thumbed his chest, 'to service you' his eyes moving to meet each around the table. Before any could interrupt, he blurted, "My fear slew Cúthalion, as an elf, his life save for mine, I owe him the life debt, I give to this keeplord."

Looking around the others he raised his upper lip to produce his best greeting smile, the result was more of a wide eyed snarl. Turning to Rorik," you not survive long ou' ter, I smell your clean far down road' he waved his hand away for emphasis.

His eyes returned to Kordo Vas, " I am make them unclean, able to survive." he stated assuredly.
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Sahrax stands and observes the map displayed on the table. He nods, and looks at Kordo before noticing Slipper, almost disappearing in the shadow of Darak. The wizard had seen Slipper before, but had never exchanged words with the lad. Perhaps he should. But when he notices the filth on the boy's fingers, Sahrax decides today was not that day.

He frowns as Üngar speaks, recognizing the elven accent to the strange dwarf's words. The elf wizard has met a few of his fellow Lions before, but not this one.

"Aangenaam," he welcomes the dwarf in precise high Elvish, unlike the wood elven dialect. Then he switches back to Common for everyone's sake. "I have never heard of sylvan elves teaching their ways to non-elves before, nor committing their life for a dwarf."

There is no suspicion in the elf's voice, merely curiosity and a small measure of respect.
 

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