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Post Number:#1  Postby The Keeper » 19 Aug 2009, 15:22

1.1 Explanatory Notes/Recap
In last week’s session, Nigel journeyed to Ashlend and discovered the basic facts of the place. Dan-eldit even allowed him to speak to the mayor and negotiate a trade deal of which he also included Dan-eldit. Why not profit from the enemy?
Nigel and Dhanna were allowed to leave without incident. There was an altercation during the night with four goblins who both Dhanna and Nigel killed. Dhanna used spells freely.
Both Nigel and Dhanna returned to the village of Nomi where they were challenged. The village is now empty of young men as they have left to volunteer in the Cyr army. This is about all that happened.
2.0 Overview
Nigel has gained knowledge of two more villages. Trent to the west of Nomi and Laros to the northwest of Nomi. It is with Laros we shall deal in this session.
The past history of the Cyr Domains now figures prominently into the scenario. As mentioned in some very old notes a man by the name of Malain Tareth at one point united the Cyr Domains against the Cammorian Dominion. This he did with the aid of Baklor Ironhand (the son of Brunthor Ironhand). Baklor became an advisor and general and both had long lives (although Brunthor outlived Malain). Malain actually ruled the Cyr Domains for 38 years. 33 of those years were at peace and the Domains actually had a system of government at that time. Malain was a strong leader, born of the MacKenzie clan. The people of the Domains were loyal to his rule and authority and he was considered a good ruler. Malain had one brother named Ewan.
Ewan was involved in the daily background work of running the Domains and was second only to Malain in the loyalty of the people of the Domains. Upon Malain’s death rulership would have passed to him (he was younger) and his kin. Unfortunately for the Domains this did not happen. Towards the end of Malain’s rule the nobles had become fat and lazy as well as demanding and abusive. Eventually due to age and genetics Malain became sick. The nobles sought to work this to their advantage (not all the nobles loved Malain). Shortly before his death a contrivance was made that therefore required the long-term attention of Ewan. It was timed to be during the first onset of winter so that Ewan would effectively be far away from Malain for many months. When Malain died, Ewan was dealing with an insurrection in the extreme east of the Domains. It was spring before a runner managed to inform him that his brother had died (in February). Moving with as much haste as he could gather to return to the last know location of his brother Ewan was immediately set upon by men loyal to the rebellious nobles. Ewan’s own men rushed to his defense and a bloody battle ensued. Fighting free Ewan returned and took posession of his brother’s body and buried him.
After this he rallied those who were still loyal to Malain and a campaign against the rebellious nobles was started. At this point Brunthor returned to his people as a human civil war was not something he wanted to be involved in.
There were many battles and the people rallied behind Ewan, but it was not to be. At the Battle of Somerled Mount Ewan fell. Now all of this would have ended right here, except for one thing. Ewan himself had sons. And at some point he realized that they needed to be protected and so he sent them to a village to the west of the Domains outside of the Domains in unclaimed territory. This was little known at the time by few other than the Rangers of Cyr and Ewan’s men. Upon his death the Ranges of Cyr made the announcment that Ewan had sons and that the oldest was being summoned to rule. The rebellious nobles, not knowing where this “son” was scoured the Domains but turned up nothing. Unfortunately for the Rangers events west of the border just so happened to force a relocation of Ewan’s family. Unable to produce an “heir” the Rangers retreated back to their shadow status. The rebellious nobles and the loyal nobles continued their fight, but in the end the larger clans of the Domains would recognize no one as ruler except the heirs of Malain. Thus, as mentioned in my old notes, once Malain died the whole unity thing broke apart.
But before the Rangers of Cyr retreated they managed to make permanent the notion of a future ruler. They made it known by spreading it everywhere that Ewan’s heirs were alive – they just had not been found. They left with the people all the signs that were necessary to recognize and verify the authenticity of the heir whenever the heir was found. Over the generations that has been one of the goals of the few remaining Cyr rangers – to find the heir.
Now, I never expanded on the rest of this, but I will do so now. The people of the Cyr Domains need a leader to rally behind and fight for. Nigel is not it. Yes, Nigel is a good leader, but he is not born of the Domains. He is from the outside. Others will listen to him and even rally to the banner, but as far as uniting the entire Domains someone else is needed.
The long search by the Ranges has finally bore fruit. An heir has been found outside the Domains. His name is Gavin Tareth and he is 22 years old – the same age as his forebear Malain when he sought to unite the Domains.
3.0 Scenario
Gavin was found by BenAsher, one of the few remaining Rangers of Cyr. BenAsher is 12th level and Gavin is a 3rd level warrior with a very high Empathy and Appearance. BenAsher found Gavin at Vurock which is a village some distance west of the Domain’s borders. BenAsher was able to verify Gavin’s authenticity. More importantly, BenAsher verified HIS authenticity to Gavin. Now, a Ranger of Cyr had gone with the family when they had been secreted away and this Ranger had passed down all the information that the family needed to know. Since the family was never contacted they maintained their exile as by a certain point they had begun to set down roots. The whole affair eventually passed in to a family legend at some point and little thought of it. Now of course it has been authenticated and Gavin is returning.
This has been a recent event. On the journey back from this foreign village BenAsher and Gavin were captured after a brief but very brutal fight by goblins. BenAsher has a broken arm and a head wound which is becoming infected. Gavin has several deep gashes and cannot walk due to a slash hamstring. The goblins are feeding them a bare minimum to eat and ministering just enough medicine to prevent death or mental loss. They are being transported to Laros where there is a sizable contingent of Koros troops laying seige to the village (which is actually a small fortified town). This will be important later.
In the meantime Nigel has been given a map by one of the old men of the village. This gentleman is aware of Nigel’s mission (since Nigel told everyone) and has decided to give this map to his to help him in his efforts. There are very few maps of the Domains in the Domains for the simple reason that most people are pretty busy with other things, like survival, and so, except with the time of Malain few areas have been mapped. This is a map from Malain’s time. Considering that few things in the Domains change it’s still pretty accurate.
To get to Laros Nigel and Dhanna will have a choice. There is a mountain range (the Drogäns) that crosses fromnorth to south the path that they will take to get to Laros. There is the Pass of Drogän that they could take, but it goes high up the mountain. Normally clear in summer it’s likely to be choked now. An alternative is to go through the mountain by taking the Drogän tunnel. This tunnel is not well known and not on the map, but the man who gives Nigel the map can tell Nigel what to look for. This is an old Ranger tunnel that was used to pass through the mountain during the winter. The old man stumbled upon it in his youth and spent quite a bit of time exploring it with his siblings. He does not know what time has done to it though.
The other alternative (which I assume will not be taken) is to go around the mountains. This is many many leagues out of the way both north and south and could take Nigel a couple of months.
In any case there is no real choice as the pass will indeed be choked and the weather will soon be turning very bad with one of Cyr’s typical blizzards. Of course magic could be employed to cross the pass, but this would be power intensive and time consuming.
As Nigel and Dhanna journey to Laros there will begin to be signs of inclement weather to come. I assume that Nigel will make straight for the tunnel. He and Dhanna will begin to be accosted by various fiends along the route. Namely goblins, but also some gremlins and there will be orcs. As they approach the tunnel mouth there is to be one last fight before they find it that includes a Worg. All of this in increasingly bad weather which will make footing tough. Lots of MM rolls. Also, I intend the tunnel mouth to be a bit of a challange to find. Maybe something they fall in to. The old man who gave the instructions had not been here for years and some landmarks he remembers are not quite the same.
The tunnel mouth entrance is actually below Dhanna and Nigel. 15 feet of snow has piled up and surrounded the tree that they are looking for. They will be in the general area, but will probably fall through the snow and then the tree to land in front of the tunnel mouth.
In any case, once they find it they will discover a door. Which is fine because the old man has shared the trick of opening it. Apparently the old man had some sort of Ranger skills because this is a necessary thing to open the door. Once inside both Dhanna and Nigel will find that the tunnel is comfortable warm.
This being a Ranger tunnel it is a earthen tunnel that is vegetation covered. It meanders through the mountatins of this mountain range going up and down left and right to wind it’s way around any rock in it’s path. It will take 6 days to pass through. This does not make it a economical route (it doubles back at some points), but it is still faster than the pass in winter. There are some points where going through rock could not be avoided. In these cases the rock has been worked masterfully by Ranger spells to minimize damage. Note also that because of the nature of this tunnel there will be places where it crosses caverns and what not. These places may or may not have a bridge and some just wind down to the bottom of the cavern and become a path through forests of stalagmites and stalactites and dripping water. The center of the mountain is quite warm (summer warmth). Now, it would not be Rolemaster if there was no opposition here. So, there are places where the goblins who have created a Domain-wide subterranean network have hacked into the tunnels. It’s from these holes (that they have worked hard to disguise) that the goblins will harass the passage of Nigel and Dhanna. The gremlins who are working with the goblins will also utilize these holes. The gremlins will probably be particularly effective in the tunnel.
I suspect that Nigel may wish to investigate the holes. They are goblin size, so even if he manages to enter one he may not get far. And then, even if he does he is entering a goblin infested labyrinth. This will result in an endless wandering and quite possible could end this whole scenario right here as the potential for getting lost is very high. Nigel may have some thoughts to thwart me on all of that, but the fact that the tunnels are Domain-wide and labyrinthian still remains. Perhaps Matt will not wish to get so far off course.
The tunnel exit will be much as the entrance. He will have to open a door (of which the old man has given him instructions). This door will lead into a wide natural rock cavern with a hardpacked dirt floor that slopes downward at a 15º angle for apx. 250 feet. The exit can be seen down below. When they get to it they will see that they are high on the slopes of a mountain. They will also see the fortified town of Laros (describe per my map) with a large tower/fortress in the center. This is the ancestral home of the MacDuff clan. The current ruler of that clan is Baron Fingal MacDuff who is 58. His son’s name is Rory (considered a Baronet). Both Fingal and Rory are direct descendents of Wallace MacDuff who was one Malain’s barons. It is this clan that has kept alive the search for Malain’s heir.
Laros also has one of the very few Cyr temples that is actually both visible and located inside a population center. The town grew around it. It is the center of the town and is located in what can only be described as a very large garden. At it’s center is an open stone gallery (naturally worked stone) that serves as a place of worship. The grounds are attended by the serving Rangers (when they are present). The head of the “church” is BenArtagan, a 19th level Ranger. BenArtagan is 65. The Rangers have a presence here because the MacDuff clan took on the duty of keeping the Tareth legacy alive. So, they are somewhat loyal to the MacDuff clan. The MacDuffs view them honored advisors. For these reasons there is an honest-to-god administrative office that BenArtagan uses on the fortress grounds.
Of course this will all be unknown to Nigel until he gets inside the town and begins to ask questions. But this will be difficult to do as the town is currently surrounded by a force of 500 Koros troopers. This number does not include any auxiliaries. The auxiliary forces include 25 clerics of Lorn, 17 mages of Lorn and 7 high level Naoighiallach.
The Naoighiallach I have used before. (Xacanthemlyr) They are bonded slaves, usually magic users. The bond is much like Lan and Moirane’s in The Wheel of Time series, except that this bond is not volunatry. Naoighiallach means “nine slave” or “nine hostage,” depending on your outlook. The rite to bond take nine people. 5 clerics and 4 mages and is a Lorn church specific rite. It has to be done right with the exact ratio and amount of people. Otherwise the bond is weakend or the bondee is killed or mentally lamed. There is a fast bonding where only 2 clerics and 1 mage is used but the result is temporary only. The rite CANNOT be performed without any mage at all as this ingredient is necessary. Many, many attempts to bond have been tried using various ratios and amount of people. Only these two ratios/amounts have ever worked. An attempted bonding with no mages results in backwash on the clerics and no harm to the subject, so it’s never attempted. Other ratios are rarely used as a weapon intended to harm a subject as the rite still requires the use of power and the end result is often unsatisfactory in comparison to the effort spent.
The Naoighiallach here are part of the Xzarexx Szrath. This will be a mean group to deal with should Nigel tangle with them. The reason for their presence here along with everyone else is to grind the MacDuff clan under their heel (therefore eliminating any opposition to their rule in this area) and to capture and desecrate the Cyr temple.
Nigel and Dhanna will see all of this arrayed about the town as it is under siege. They will also see goblin camps (because they are helping). Assuming Nigel wants to get to the town he will have to go through all this.
But first he and Dhanna will run across the goblin party that is bearing Gavin and BenAsher to the camp. Having experienced a few of Nigel’s quirks Nigel will probably seek to eliminate the command of the army here so it is here that he will encounter Gaving and BenAsher. Should Nigel do this there will be a battle royale because high level magic will be flying around as well as skilled warriors (with experience).

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