Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Restoration of Peace in the Lands of Baron von Steiglitz

Here is a series of encounters that are the culmination of the Castle Stieglitz adventure, and that, if the player's hearts are true, will result in peace and reconciliation.

These encounters are the second climax and the resolution of the adventures surrounding Castle Stieglitz. Below are presented the camps of the rogue lieutenants of Baron Stieglitz, where the players must go to confront them. In each case, there is the option to attempt to bring the rogue commanders of the Baron's fractured army to heel under the command of the Baron or Anna. Failing that their commanders must be defeated in order to consolidate power. Anna or the Baron are magnanimous in their victories, and offer amnesty to soldiers who will return to the Stieglitz army.

In either case, the task becomes easier as the lieutenants are recruited. If the Baron still lives and has been redeemed, convincing the other Lieutenants to join his army again is at a +2 bonus on the Diplomacy checks. Also, each lieutenant other than Anna recruited gives the party an additional +2 on the diplomacy check.

If the party comes into conflict with the lieutenants and fighting breaks out, the low-level warriors on both sides will fight each other while the Lieutenant in question and the party fight it out. Assume that there are approximately equal casualties on either side among the low-level warriors.

Anna's Approval

Here in Talook, Anna, mayor Orlay Petronova and the visiting clergyman are all very interested in what the players discovered in the castle. If the players have redeemed the Baron, all three are relieved and declare their support of him. If the Baron is dead, the three soberly turn to the matter of succession. As Anna červená has the clear support of Orlay and is the only one of the four who did not abandon their duties, she is the obvious choice. The visiting pointiff will happily coronate Anna as the Baroness of Stieglitz the next day.

Either way, the conversation turns to subduing the other lieutenants-turned-bandits; Karl Underharl, Yevgeny Divoký, and Petry Pokrm. The party is asked to help once more, by accompanying Anna or the Baron as their honor guard and champions. If they are reluctant to help they are offered 1,000 gold coins for their assistance.

Development: From here the party will journey, along with Anna, her troops, and the Baron if he is present, down the road from Talook to Onuago. Along the way they will first confront Karl Underharl at his camp in the mountains. It takes two days for the troops to be ready to go, so the party has a chance to rest before they leave.

Karl Underharl's Mountain Camp
As the party nears the camp a lookout on a tall crag sounds a note on his horn.

Further up mountainous the trail past pine trees and shrubs there is a small, rocky camp. Several wooden shacks and patched tents stand in a small circle in this mountain clearing. A few empty-looking barrels and crates stand near a small cooking fire in the center of the camp, where a couple of small pheasants are roasting on a spit.

Several dozen armed men in mail stand at the ready here. Karl walks out and begins to parley with the group, "What do you want?"
Karl's dislike of women makes convincing him to re-join the army difficult if Anna in the new ruler of the Stieglitz lands. If she is in charge, his attitude is unfriendly, and the diplomacy check is DC 25, and a result of less than 5 results in Karl flying into a rage and ordering his men to attack. If the Baron has been redeemed his attitude is indifferent and the DC is only 15. In either case, offering new supplies or good wages (excess of 1sp per day per man) gives a +2 circumstance bonus.

If Karl refuses to rejoin the Stieglitz army, Anna or the Baron will set their jaw and declare that if he will not join them, they are outlaw bandits. The two sides will then join battle.

Creatures: Karl, and a handful of stout warriors will fight with the party while both side's lower-level fighters do battle.

Karl Underharl: HP: 64
5th level fighters (4): HP: 32, 22, 29, 26. AC 18. For other stats see DMG. All have bastard swords, large shields, chain mail and heavy crossbows.

Tactics: Karl and his four knights will approach in formation and fight side by side with sword and shield.

Treasure: One of the wooden shacks contains the band's treasury: a single lock box, to which Karl has the key. It contains the proceeds of the toll the group has been exacting: nearly 3000 gold worth of mixed coin. Anna or the Baron will offer to split these monies with the party for their help in handling Karl.

Development: If badly wounded, Karl will yield and ask for mercy. At this point he can easily be compelled to rejoin the army, or failing that will agree to exile or whatever is necessary to save his life.

From here the party has the choice of going to Onuago to confront Petry or into the wilderness northeast of Onuago to treat with Yvnegy.

The Dish-Eater's Camp
Here, a mile north of the road from Onuago to Talook and castle Stieglitz, in the midst of weedy, abandonded fields, stands a large manor house. Above, its windows loom dark and broken over a raised proch. Steps lead up to the open door, where Petry Pokrm the Disheater leans upon the jamb. Leering, dirty men in leather and mail grin down from the porch and windows, fingering the hilts of their blades.
When the party arrives, the Petry will greet them from the steps of the manor house he has set up in. Surrounded by a gang of theives and warriors, he will negotiate with the Stieglitz representatives.

Petry's initial attitude is unfriendly, and a DC 25 diplomacy check is required to convince him to join with the Stieglitz forces again. A result of 5 or less will cause him to become hostile, and he will order his men to attack. The usual bonuses apply: +2 for each other captain brought back into the fold, and +2 if the Baron has been redeemed.

If Petry cannot be convinced, Anna or the Baron pronounce him an outlaw and order an attack.

Creatures: The Dish Eater, a couple of fighters, and a pair of rogues will fight with the party while the armies clash around them.

Petry Pokrm HP: 120
5th level Fighters (2) HP: 40, 37 For additional stats see DMG
5th level Rogues (2) HP: 25,16 For additional stats see DMG

Tactics: Petry will fly into a rage and attack wildly, using his various weapons to trip and disarm his opponents. His men will move to flank and separate opponents, ganging up on them if possible.

Treasure: His recent career of organized looting and thievery has landed Petry with much of the wealth of Onuago. Arrayed around his chambers in the manor there are 324 platinum coins, 2563 gold coins, 3,400 silver pieces, and 21,548 copper coins in chests and sacks. In addition, there are 2,650 gold worth of art objects and 4,000 gold worth of gems to be recovered. Finally, among the treasure, there is a Ring of Force Shield and an arcane scroll with cloak of the sea and mage's sword inscribed upon it.

Anna or the Baron may be slightly reluctant to part with all this wealth, and a DC 15 diplomacy check is required to convince them to give half of it to the party. Even if the party fails to convince them, they will begrudgingly give 1/4 of the wealth and the magic items to the party as their share of the spoils of war.

Development: Petry will fight to the death, but for the most part his men will surrender of flee if he falls.

Yevengy and the Wyndm
Here, between the swamps surrounding the lazy river to the west, and the rocky crags of the Cyruk Mountains to the east, on a broad, flat hilltop is the camp of Yevgeny the Fierce.

Gathered around the sides of the hill are many small tents and huts. Going about their daily business are families of the nomadic Wyndm people, apparently drawn to this place and forming some type of settlement.

A group of men with bows slung across their backs and swords at their hips approaches from the hilltop. At their center, frowning, and with a wolf at his side is Yevgeny the Fierce.
Yvengy and his Wyndm are not interested in fighting against or joining with the Steiglitz army, regardless of who is in charge. Instead he wants to protect his people, the Wyndm folk.

As Yevgeny is indifferent, an easy diplomacy check (DC 15) is all that is required for him to agree with a non-aggression pact with the Baron or Anna. He will agree that the Wyndm people will not encroach on their lands as long as they are left alone to live in peace. A DC 30 diplomacy check can convince him to re-join the Stieglitz army. He will not fight unless attacked.

However, another DC 15 diplomacy check by the party is required to convince Anna or the Baron to agree to this non-aggression pact. Even if they do not agree, there is no real grounds for conflict here, and only a major botching of the situation by the party should result in combat.

Creatures: If it somehow comes to a fight, Yevgeny and his best rangers will fight against the party.
Yevgeny Divoký the Fierce HP: 68
5th level rangers (4) HP: 29, 20, 24, 25. See DMG for further stats.

Tactics: If pressed into combat, Yevgeny and his rangers will lead a retreating skirmish, firing their bows as they drop back, covering the retreat of the people gathered here and drawing aggressors up the hill and away from the Wyndm.

Ad Hoc XP: If the party manages to negotiate a pact between the Wyndm and the forces of Castle Stieglitz, it represents a major accomplishment for peace in the region. In addition to being awarded XP for and EL 10 encounter, the party gains the trust and respect of the Wyndm folk, and eventually regional fame for their part in negotiating a lasting and fruitful peace between the old and new peoples of the area.

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