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Kingmaker: Blood for Blood, Session 4, Part 2

June 30, 2017

Faced with the prospect of being invaded by Brevoy, their much larger northern neighbor, so soon after barely beating back an invasion from Fort Drelev, their much smaller western neighbor, the rulers of Caerelia considered their options. They needed to fortify their border with Brevoy, obviously, but then what?

As D&D players, their first idea was naturally one of violence and trickery. What if they could assassinate a prominent member of Regent Noleski Surtova’s court – if not the Regent himself! – and plant evidence that the deed had been done by another faction within Brevoy? House Orlovsky would be an obvious patsy in such a false flag operation, as the Orlovskies were still committed to the long-vanished royal line and resentful of the Surtovas for seizing control of the kingdom. But then the planning got bogged down in logistical issues… and Orlovsky was one of Caerelia’s friends so it would be kind of a dick move to frame them for a murder… and Grand Diplomat Vendelin Fodorov worried that if the might of Brevoy fell on just a single house, it would be quickly crushed… and so they decided that it wasn’t such a great plan after all.

After some discussion, their thoughts turned to the possibility of distracting or weakening Brevoy by exploiting internal divisions within the kingdom. Aside from House Orlovsky, the rulers knew that there were long-simmering tensions between the city-state of Restov, which desired independence, and the Dragonscale Throne. If they could convince those groups, and maybe some others, to either sit out the war or to actually join Caerelia against the Regent, then perhaps they would stand a chance! A list of the various powers was made – the Great Houses Surtova, Lodovka, Lebeda, Garess, Orlovsky, Medyved, and the city of Restov – and the council started discussing onto which side each might fall, should an actual rebellion break out.

This was all rather amusing to me, as the PCs had spent the past few sessions trying to forestall a potential civil war in Brevoy by finding the lost royals (who remained un-found). Now they were hoping to foment that exact same civil war!

You Can’t Backstab a Backstabber

Vendelin dispatched a message for the Swordlords through his back channels, as Restov had been forced to recall its ambassador to Caerelia some years before. Then the representatives from Houses Orlovsky and Medyved were summoned before the council, one after the other. Kolto Orlovsky welcomed the prospect of fighting House Surtova directly, but would only pledge his house’s support if other Great Houses agreed to join the cause. Sroljir Medyved was more circumspect, and wanted to confer with his lord before committing to anything.

After a few days, Caerelia’s armies had moved up to garrison the town of Oleg’s Gate, and the rulers had provisional agreements with Orlovsky, Medyved, and the Swordlords. They had assumed that the Lodovkas and Lebedas were beyond their reach, and did not contact Garess for fear that it might get back to the Regent. As a condition for their alliance, the Swordlords of Restov had wanted Caerelia to wipe out or drive off the Nomen centaurs and expand into the Nomen Heights, so as to safeguard their southern border, but were ultimately talked out of that demand. House Medyved agreed to join the cause… but only if Caerelia broke its agreement with the Thieves’ Guild of Restov, expelled the guild from its borders, and removed the guild’s representative – their Royal Enforcer Ianomora – from the council. Luckily, Ianomora had not been privy to the negotiations!

After some reflection, the players concluded that the Thieves’ Guild had caused more trouble than benefit of late, and their personal cut of the guild’s profits no longer carried the weight that it once had. So no one was really opposed to the idea. But what would it mean to carry out Medyved’s wishes? Obviously they would be making an enemy of the Thieves’ Guild, and possibly Ianomora. They hoped they could buy her off with a few BP’s worth of gold, but the shadowy guild leadership would probably not go quietly into exile. The rulers would have to strike quickly, ruthlessly, and near-simultaneously. For they didn’t know what, if any, dirt the guild might have on them, or what fail-safes it had put in place to guard against what the council was now planning.

Next: execute order 66!

  1. Ah, the smell of politics in the morning, smells like…

  2. Pinkius permalink

    Hmm, is there really a invasion pending from Brevoy? Or is it merely someone else’s false flag operation that the PCs are over-reacting to?

    • The players judged the information to be reliable. Of course, they tend to take anything at face value if it doesn’t come from an obvious enemy. You will just have to wait and see if it was accurate or not…!

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