Chapter One Review
Into the Stolen Lands…
Reclaim the Stolen Lands it was decreed. The Rostovian Sword Lords, unwilling to outright take land for themselves, have sent bands of men into the Stolen Lands to cut out an existence. Any other move would be far too bold and be sure to provoke the ire of Issia and the House of Surtova. Dozens of charters are set out, and you are among these expeditionists. As your report required, you first encounter Oleg and his wife Svetlana. Oleg is glad to see you, grumpy though he is, and is quick to offer food and drink – while others are quite content to foist themselves on his other goods. In the morning, a small party of bandits comes for the Stag Lords share of the taxes. The future king makes a stand, and forces them off of what he now sees as his imbibed lands. But the bandits insist they have made a mistake, and vow to return. In the days that follow, the Sword Lord coven builds up defenses and quickly dispatch of the almost laughable attempt at collection. Ties are made, and Oleg decrees that he is forever in your debt. Through a fellowship of trade, you not only gain a friend, but a base of operations; a means of acquiring goods; and most importantly, a powerful ally.
Out in the wilderness, the party concerns themselves with the rough and tumble business of mapping the Green Belt. It is soon apparent that fey lurk all around. The party finds dirty tricksters in the woods, a slaughtered unicorn in the plains, kobolds, mites and tales of wisps. Never to forget the dire wolves, bears and great cats which grow ever closer. But, under the resistance of the fauna lie scattered ruins – secrets. Each set of ruins pointing to tales of a simpler time. A society devoted to the practices of Erastil.
Not all of these followers were so devoted. Or so it would seem. Deep into the south, the party finds undeniable evidence of a bandit headquarters. The fabled Stag Lord. Evidence which a new arrival at Oleg’s is quick to point out: Kesten Garess, every bit the storied captain of men.
Retreating for the time being, they soon discover an impoverished band of kobolds. The small clan has been beaten down, comically enough, by a resistant band of mites. But all is not as it appears. A small totem had been stolen by the mites – an item which the leader of the kobolds wants back very much. So it is settled that they will travel to the Great Oak in the plains and retrieve the totem, for a price. They require allies in the battles to come. And they decree that they will come when summoned no matter the task. The Chieftain agrees, but without any intention of ever fulfilling his side of the bargain. And after crushing the mites, the party soon finds out his secret intention. The Chieftain is an imposter and has himself enslaved his supposed kin. Jack is quick to lead the dispatching of this fake, and quick to install the tribe’s true leader. And so, the Scootsdale Tribe thrives again and serves as a powerful ally and mindful servant.
The time to collect on their debt comes quickly however. The now burgeoning leaders are quick to commission the building of siege engines. And vote to storm the Stag Lord’s fortress by force instead of guile. In unison, fey, men, dwarves, and elves crumple the defenses of the Stag Lord. From the burning wreckage, tortured screams break across battlefield. Kobolds scatter, men are trampled. Crashing through the field is a beast of myths: The Owlbear. Seeing his friends suffering at his raking blows, The Duke of Funk charges across the battlefield and skewers the beast in an awe stricken display of power. The Duke collects his head for a purpose soon to come – The Drunken Owlbear. A tavern dedicated to his accolades.
But all is not over yet. To the beat of the sullen flames, a hulking figure of a man meets the adventurers as they enter the stronghold. Though the battle is intense, licked by flame and scoured by destruction, without the support of his troops and without the advantage of his walls, he falls. The battle is concluded, and the Kingdom of Greyvale is founded. Long live King Jack.