This information was given to all players prior to the first session
Kingsworld – The Calling
As the first tour of duty ended for the Kings Royal Excursion Core, the brother of King Everdone lay dead at the feet of 29 core members that committed every minute of 18 months to track him down and kill him. Prince Duncan should have been the first Great Mage of Kingsworld. Instead, after banishment and consumed with vengeance and bitterness, he did all that he could to rip his royal brother from his throne and strike terror in the hearts in citizens of the realm.
A lot has taken place since that day. Orders were given to return Prince Duncan to his brother for burial in the royal graveyard in Capitol City. Soon after his arrival he was laid to rest with his descendants. At his funeral King Everdone wept and spoke of his personal responsibility and the sacrifices his brother made for the realm. The time for peace had come, and now without the guidance of Duncan the evil would pose no threat to the realm. More cities would be built. Good times lay ahead.
Or so they thought. King Everdone was never the same after his brothers passing and soon handed down the throne to his daughter Allenia and her husband Rynwe. The new king and queen held the throne for only ten years before Everdone passed and was then honored and buried aside of his brother and parents in the royal graveyard.
Some twenty years later, the evil that was believed to weaken began to gather and make strikes at the cities. More and more the hordes trained by Duncan arrived in larger and larger masses at the walls of cities. Shutting them away from the realm, cutting off supplies and starving residents. Eventually the first city fell. Burned and pillaged, all were captured and killed. Then another, and another. The fourth city to fall was Capitol City. Queen Allenia was hung stripped and bound and then slowly lowered into a bath of boiling sap. Her husband forced to watch before being blinded by a white-hot blade being laid across his eyes.
After Capitol City fell, his minions retrieved the body of Duncan, and looted the royal graveyard. The death of the Queen hit the realm hard. Cities reacted with panic and fear. City governments and defenses failed. The hordes kept coming. City after city was slaughtered. Finally the last few coastal cities broke back in retreat. They loaded what ships time allowed and took to the sea. Others abandoned the cities knowing that the time would come seeing the masses gathering in the distance. Knowing that they too would be starved, burned, and shown no mercy. The realm and the Days of Kings had ended.
And such began the Days of the Druids. This class swore oath to become caretakers of those who remained. To safeguard and protect from extinction the humanoid races. For seven hundred years they have performed this task. Waiting for the right time. Waiting for today.
In 700 years the Kobold horde has grown in size and roams the earth by night and day. They are the dominant race now. They hate and feed on any humanoids they can find. The Orcs have grown as well, reclaiming and seizing many of the fallen cities. They serve no one and are determined to eliminate all humanoids from the world. Stealing what they can to prepare for a final battle with the Kobolds for dominance of the continent.
Most surviving humanoids from the days of the realm have long passed. Only a handful remains. The druids have safely tucked most settlements of humanoids away. But as generations pass it has become apparent that if something is not done, and done soon, the days of the humanoid might follow the realm into oblivion. The Council of Druids have collected secrets and gathered information to keep the settlements safe for over 500 years. New information has been discovered that shows a faint chance for survival. A faint chance for recovery if action is taken a glimmer of home in a world of darkness.
The druids have just five months ago began to gather the best prospects available from humanoid settlements and brought them here to the Morgan Tunnels. This is how you came here upon issued your calling. Here to wait and told only that it was essential to humanoid survival that you attend. The last of the called ones arrived last night delivered by an escort of three elven druids. You will meet after breakfast tomorrow morning. Your quest begins.
First session introduction
Kingsworld – Gwydion’s Quest
Three elven druids call you into a drawn circle on the cavern floor. You are alone in the Morgan Tunnels. Two of the elven druids remove their hoods to reveal that they are young women, they introduce themselves as Keldra and Cassandra. The third removes his hood to reveal an old worn elven face. He introduces himself as Gwydion. While age has caught up with him, he remains relatively spry and looks at you with a steel gaze.
After introductions between all he begins. “Long ago I was here once before. You sit inside the Eight Great Stairs. Beyond the doors lay the lost city of Nostri. It is here King Everdone once fled in hiding, faking his own death to fool his brother into the open so that we could hunt him”
Gwydion continues “ You have been gathered here for two reasons. First, the humanoid races are dwindling. The druids see it all over the continent. If we are forced to continue living in this fashion, we will not survive. Communities need to be gathered to one safe secure location where we can live a better life. They will come here to Nostri. But first, you must secure it. Once you open those doors, the people here will be put at risk. But we have no choice. These are desperate times. “
“As the druids wander the continent, they do what they can to keep our small settlements from coming under attack. We owe them a great debt. In the process they occasionally come across information. Ten months ago, news so horrible and deadly was discovered that I could barely believe it. But I fear it is true. While trekking across the plains near the remains of Currant, Keldra and Cassandra stumbled into a Kobold encampment. They will relate to you what they heard.” He concludes and nods to Keldra.
Keldra sits on the floor and begins to speak as she doodles in the sand with her fingertip. “The kobolds were lead by a kobold called Frod. He spoke of new orders. Word had come from the other hordes that the time had come and the master had returned. Nacnud the Dead now sits in Capitol City in King Everdone very throne. He controls the orcs, and that they too must abide his bidding or soon he will control them too.”
Cassandra nods and continues the story. “The kobolds have a habit of not being strong thinkers. Lazy putrid animals that are more naturally cunning than smart, they simply take names and reverse them to make them their own. Centuries ago Capitol City fell and the realm collapsed. Duncan’s body was exhumed by the raiders and tales have it carried off in tatters. If what they say is true and somehow Duncan has been revived and now leads the horde, he will most certainly wipe out what remains of the humanoid races.”
Gwydion steps forward and looks at the party. “I can no longer solve these matters myself. My time for travel has passed. But you have no choice. It falls on you to find, confront, and defeat this evil. If you do not, there will be no where to hide strong enough to repel his attack. He will in time find you, and destroy what remains of our peoples. There will be no escape for any of us.”
He continues “ But it will take him time to gather his forces once again, and for word to spread of his coming. There are places you can go to gain more information, and one last hope that can perhaps rid us of him forever.” He too now sits next to Keldra. “Everdone was a complex man. He had no trust of magic that is for certain. But he had great respect for its power. His father fought the magic wars and he saw first hand what it could do. As Everdone the first lay dying and passed the realm on to King Everdone he shared with him a secret. An ancient secret passed on to the first King Everdone by his father from before the magic wars. It has to do with the royal crown”
“The crown has eight finials, one for each of the eight original cities, each topped with an emerald. Inside the rear finial, the finial of Currant, is a small compartment, and inside that sits a small ancient scroll. The king told his daughter Queen Allenia of it, and she felt to keep it safest she would bury it with her father, sealing it away in his tomb. To be even more cautious, she buried her father in a simple grave in a cemetery in Capitol City and buried an imposter in his place in the royal graveyard. Wrapped in cloth and hidden from view, the ruse was a success. The king’s burial protects his crown to this very day. But it is not that simple and not nearly enough.” Gwydion continues.
“When Everdone the first disclosed his secret to Everdone his son, another stood at the bedside. Duncan was present at his father’s bedside that day. And knows of this secret. But he knows not where Queen Allenia hid the crown, and she elected to share that secret with only one man before taking it to her grave. Her husband, King Rynwe was the mastermind of the plot to hide the crown. It was he that found the final resting place of King Everdone, indeed he and myself alone that buried the king there.” The old elf shakes his head slowly.
“Rynwe is mad now. His wife and the realm meant the world to him. Witnessing her death hit him hard I am sure, as well as being blinded and carried away with the realm in ruin. I have not seen him since that day. Since we fled the city. I was his magistrate. I failed him. I failed the realm. I hunted and killed Duncan once, and with your help we shall do it again. Rynwe has a will of iron. To be sure he took the secret to his death, telling only me in his wisdom in case a day like this ever came.” He speaks now in a but a whisper. “The scroll is very powerful magic. Very powerful. It holds a spell granting a wish. With it we could wish Duncan gone and set the world right again. But if Duncan beats us to it, he will become more powerful than any of us could ever imagine.”
Standing he looks at each of you in the eye and continues. “You must do this. You must keep this secret. You must travel to Capitol City and recover the crown. You must defeat Duncan. You must find the grave of Elnar Smith. If you fail, all is lost.” Speaking now in a full voice “But there is work to be done in the present. When your work comes to Duncan’s attention, he will move quickly to find what settlements remain and wipe out our people. You must secure Nostri and make it safe for our people. Nostri was built by the dwarves to be defended. If the druids can move the settlements here it presents our best chance of survival. There might be some trinkets in Nostri to better prepare you for your journey as well.”
“I will leave this place and probably never see you again. I head north, through the Kobold lands to Mount Speartip. It is my hope that Gelsh remembers our council some 800 years ago and is tempted by the offer I bring forth. Many years have passed, and while dragons have great memories, it is not a journey without risk. I will leave Keldra at the base of mountain to wait for you, and Cassandra here to guide you once your work here finished. I think Gelsh has a few items that might make our tasks against the forces of Duncan a little less difficult. Perhaps our discussion will prove fruitful.”
Shaking each of your hands he draws his hood about his head. “I am to old for this.” He smiles faintly. “Our future lies in your hands now. Keldra will see you later. Good luck, and god speed.”
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