Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

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Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#1 Post by Rothesay » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:22 pm

It's been a sh!tty year.

It's 732, I was responsible for Conwan becoming king in 721, I control two royal offices, my son married the King's daughter and life is GOOD!

Ok, she died. In church. It was mysterious. But everybody was there and there was no foul play, right? At least my son has a son by her.

The vikings invaded. Ok, beat them back. That was trouble.

But the King was wounded and with every passing day became more and more a stranger to reason. Hard to keep that quiet.

Prince Brandis killed his brother - crap! Why did I let that silly tourney happen? And where is Brandis anyway?

Finally got those damn nobles to make the Queen regent. Breathing space ... time.

Then, just when I had gotten the Queen on my side and a stable government - some madman assassinates the Queen!

Now I'm stuck governing with eight other peers who have their own agendas. Including one upstart who's a bastard son of a Melderyni prince.

At least the Harabors are no longer a factor - they're basically all dead.

In fifteen days, we're supposed to select a new monarch, and I'll be damned if it's not going to be an Elendsa. I know others are thinking dynastic change.

I've got my candidate but maybe the royal council has theirs. I plan to give them a fait accompli. I've called a secret Elendsa clan council to meet soon, and I think a majority will show up. If they vote a new monarch, the council will have to go along. Right now, in 732, there are about 30 adult Elendsas, of which 26 are eligible to vote. These are the ones I am expecting:

Astaroc Cranelson
Me, Earl of Balim
Cheselyne Hosath the Elder (Will probably try to vote her two daughters as well, but I'll challenge if necessary.)
Orsin Firith
Prehil Firith
Lenera Firith
Serli Ubael the Younger (I think she'll have the proxies of her mother and brother for three votes.)
Kymed Firith (Might have the proxy of his father for two votes.)
Asorn Firith
Tarkin Hirnen
Arlbis Hirnen (Has the proxy of his father for two votes,)
Ithina Hirnen
Siwen Elendsa
Korwyn Elendsa
Scina Dariune
Karison Dariune

I see a lot of Firiths there, and let's face it, Orsin would be a fine king. Sure, Brandis killed his brother, no one knows where he is, but he is next in line. What of the former king's siblings - two are showing up. But I'm backing Serli the Younger. How do I convince my crazy, ambitious, feuding, impossible relatives to back her?

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#2 Post by Leitchy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:08 pm

Bribery.

If that fails, nuke from orbit...


...it's the only way to be sure.

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#3 Post by MDMann » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:25 pm

Ah, the Korean solution. What about Firiths missile defence?

There's also Asorn Jr, Raditha Elendsa (who may not show) and Arlin Alsar and his mother. Oh, and your daughter and sister.

First point out its the last gasp for the clan and if they don't present a united front they could well lose the Crown. It's true and should focus minds. No dilly dallying.

Next Orsin doesn't really want the throne. He's ambitious for other things. Crenellation of Osel bridge is a given of course. Add a few new manors to support it at fords on the Osel. You can dole these manors out but the extra feudal obligations owed to the new keep will boost his mikitary resources even if they're attached to his office. Sweeten it by offering to increase the army of the Oselmarch by a company or two. It fits his military ambition and makes crushing the Pagaelin easier whilst opening Chybisa. If you can get him on board, he'll bring others. Your candidate is good for him. Her brother was his squire and her mother is his favourite sister.

Cheselyne Hosath is bitter. Sweeten it for her. It'll soon be apparent she hasn't support for her or her daughters to gain the Crown. She's not stupid and her ambitions aren't blind. She's been frozen out of government but still built up a power base. Offer her a royal post. Seneschal seems about right.

Cheselyne the younger is a harder proposition in some ways but easier in others. She's got to fear for her life and that of her children. She's also at risk of losing her earldom. So, offering to make her eldest Earl with her as regent or co-regent (with Kornuska). A 20 year regency should appeal to her.

Serli the Younger herself may need convincing (or not) but if you point out the alternatives outside Elendsa she should come around. Particularly Neph.

Asorn and his son are lawyer's. They can be reasoned with or a deal struck. He'd follow his brother as suitable for king if there's no better candidate but probably prefers your choice anyway.

Lenera wants to progress. You can make that happen. Arrange for her to be Suloran somewhere. She wants to be an abbess. At least for now.

Astaroc probably can't vote. Which is a shame as he'd support your candidate.

Arlin Alsar needs a position. Make him Constable of Kyg or sheriff somewhere. He'd also like some manors of his own. Along the Osel near Osel bridge might work. Make them subordinate to you and you can increase your own power at the same time.

His mother wants to vote for the winner. Convince her that's your candidate. Or better still, let her son convince her for you.

Everyone has an agenda it seems. Fortunately, they all seem compatible. You should be able to forge a whole and present a united front.
Per Sir Veer.

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#4 Post by Rothesay » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:36 am

Leitchy wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:08 pm
Bribery.
Yes, see below ...

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#5 Post by Rothesay » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:50 am

MDMann wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:25 pm
Oh, and your daughter and sister.
In the main, only the people listed above will be going, but I did forget Donesyn. Add her to the list. Daughter married a Melderyni baron - no way she could get there in time.
MDMann wrote:First point out its the last gasp for the clan and if they don't present a united front they could well lose the Crown. It's true and should focus minds.
Yeah, this is a good point.
MDMann wrote:Next Orsin doesn't really want the throne.
No, but he has about nine votes. That's almost half.
MDMann wrote:He's ambitious for other things. Crenellation of Osel bridge is a given of course. Add a few new manors to support it at fords on the Osel. You can dole these manors out but the extra feudal obligations owed to the new keep will boost his mikitary resources even if they're attached to his office. Sweeten it by offering to increase the army of the Oselmarch by a company or two. It fits his military ambition and makes crushing the Pagaelin easier whilst opening Chybisa.
All this is good, and he will probably ask for Oselbridge for sure. And the Earldom of Osel.
MDMann wrote:Cheselyne Hosath is bitter. Sweeten it for her. It'll soon be apparent she hasn't support for her or her daughters to gain the Crown. She's not stupid and her ambitions aren't blind. She's been frozen out of government but still built up a power base. Offer her a royal post. Seneschal seems about right.
Balim's going to want as much support as he can get, as everyone who opposes him is a potential rival. Even Cheselyne's reduced stature could give her a way to parlay her one vote into something. (She won't get to vote her daughters.)
MDMann wrote:Cheselyne the younger is a harder proposition in some ways but easier in others. She's got to fear for her life and that of her children. She's also at risk of losing her earldom.
She has no children. The earldom of Osel is already lost to the Harabors. Those two are presently hiding out west of Qualdris trying to decide between Chybisan or Thardan exile.
MDMann wrote:Serli the Younger herself may need convincing
I haven't quite decided about this yet. Interested in other opinions on her. Don't forget she's a Fyvrian shenava.
MDMann wrote:Asorn and his son are lawyer's.
Son is dead, but the father will probably follow his brother. Even though he has wanted to do otherwise for years, but I don't think he's going to pull a Judge Wilson now.
MDMann wrote:Lenera wants to progress. You can make that happen. Arrange for her to be Suloran somewhere. She wants to be an abbess. At least for now.
I think that would be a given here.
MDMann wrote:Astaroc probably can't vote. Which is a shame as he'd support your candidate.
He can, otherwise he would not be invited.
MDMann wrote:Arlin Alsar needs a position.
Dead. That's why he's not on the list.
MDMann wrote:His mother wants to vote for the winner.
Won't be attending.
MDMann wrote:Everyone has an agenda it seems. Fortunately, they all seem compatible. You should be able to forge a whole and present a united front.
This is true, and the compatibility is a good point. Unlike Meden, Balim can promise realistic things that don't overlap.

Now the question is, how do I get the PCs to the meeting site? (Caleme, of course.) :D

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#6 Post by MDMann » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:09 am

For the pc's. Easy. Let them figure it out. If they discover the meeting it's their business to observe it. Spying, magic and mind tricks seems appropriate. But that's their look out.

For Serli. To convince her. Point out the alternatives like Curo. It's got to make her think she'd do a better job. Curo also threatens trade on the Selene river from the silver way which would hit Uldien as well as Kiban. If Troda knows she's Shek Pvar there's the Melderyni goad, to oppose their meddling. If not, being Queen will give her much control over whether she weds or whom, something she's fought for. If her ancestor Uldine has been beatified or canonised there's the religious angle (which can be pushed by her auntie Lenera and cousin Kolas). If not, her ascension would improve the chances of this and embolden her relations in their bid, particularly Kolas.
Per Sir Veer.

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#7 Post by Rothesay » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:29 pm

MDMann wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:09 am
For the pc's. Easy. Let them figure it out. If they discover the meeting it's their business to observe it. Spying, magic and mind tricks seems appropriate. But that's their look out.
Yes, that's largely what I'm thinking.

The PC spymaster needs to step up here. Though I very much wish to avoid the magic mcguffin.

The thing is, what breadcrumbs do I drop? That Sir Fago Rheeder is involved? The key Elendsa players are suddenly missing from Tashal? It is imperative that Meden Curo be in the dark (what, the Serekela is playing both sides? - the devil you say!).

The first hook to get them interested is the key.

I'll present it as done if need be, but I think it more interesting if the PCs are involved somehow.

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#8 Post by Leitchy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:37 pm

Where are they located? Could they be in a position to notice heightened activity from the Exchequer's office? Like all the invitations going out? If they can intercept a messenger or find out that a full council of the Elendsa Clan is being called, then they're probably able to put two and two together.

Remember the old adage; if the players need to work out a clue to allow the adventure to proceed, then the GM should make certain they work it out, even if that means telling them straight up. :)

But I'm pretty sure you can work so it doesn't make them feel like you're leading them by the nose...even if your are. :)

I'd just say something like "Looks like the entire surviving voting members of Clan Elendsa are receiving missives from the head of the Clan. What could that mean?"

:)

Of course, this presumes you've done the lead up work that lets them make that leap of logic.
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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#9 Post by MDMann » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:27 pm

How about Cheselyne is hosting a party that they're invited to and suddenly cancels with a flimsy (or no) excuse?
Per Sir Veer.

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#10 Post by Rothesay » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:04 am

Leitchy wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:37 pm
Where are they located? Could they be in a position to notice heightened activity from the Exchequer's office? Like all the invitations going out? If they can intercept a messenger or find out that a full council of the Elendsa Clan is being called, then they're probably able to put two and two together.
Tashal.

They have access to the castle, one PC is a member of the royal council as Baron of Ternua. Intercepting a messenger is an interesting idea - Balim has his son Karison coordinating that out of their Haldana house.
Leitchy wrote:Remember the old adage; if the players need to work out a clue to allow the adventure to proceed, then the GM should make certain they work it out, even if that means telling them straight up. :)
Yeah, hoping to avoid that through adroit nose-leading if nothing else. :mrgreen:
Leitchy wrote:But I'm pretty sure you can work so it doesn't make them feel like you're leading them by the nose...even if your are. :)
Bad habit of reading and responding at the same time ... :oops:
Leitchy wrote:Of course, this presumes you've done the lead up work that lets them make that leap of logic.
I think I have, but who can be sure? They know Balim's nickname of the Spider Earl and they have wondered out loud why he seems so accommodating at the council meetings.

Could it be a guy with an ace up his sleeve won't necessarily play it in the opening hands?
MDMann wrote:How about Cheselyne is hosting a party that they're invited to and suddenly cancels with a flimsy (or no) excuse?
This isn't bad. It could be any of the principals, but Cheselyne has been sidelined lately which they know. If she reaches out and then bails, that would raise some eyebrows. Especially of others are stiffed like Lady Peresta. They might look around and find the usual Elendsa invitees out of town. Yes, this has some legs to it. Coupled with some odd messenger activity it could work.

Heh, thanks gents! 8)

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#11 Post by Rothesay » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:39 am

Faction Update

I've worked out the factions, and have decided that all eligible adult Elendsa votes will be represented either in person or by proxy. This has worked out to 27 votes, and with a 2/3 majority being needed (GM fiat). That means 18 are needed to pick a new clanhead/monarch. The factions are as follows, with their candidate, and number of votes they control.

Firith/Orsin/9

Balim/Serli the Younger/6

Elendsa/Brandis/4

Hirnen/who cares as long as we get something/4

Hosath/Cheselyne the Elder/4

Serli the Y is in the Firith camp right now. Astaroc in Balim. As I see it, Orsin will put himself forward but only with the interest of gaining the crenellation license to Oselbridge (new barony!) and the Earldom of Osel plus remaining Lord Marshal. Having half the total needed comes in handy. Poor Baran Meleken, always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

The Elendsas (Conwan's siblings) will hold out for nephew Brandis. Peeling off Udine by keeping Harapa Lord Chamberlain will probably work, but I don't see how Balim gets those other three votes.

Hirnen wants the chancellorship back and I bet Balim will throw his cousin Tyrnal under the bus for those four votes.

Cheselyne stands alone, but will probably settle for some minor office in the end.

The vote could end up being 24-3, which is not bad.

The royal council still has the final say, but I believe the people here would constitute a majority there if they can agree. It only remains then will Meden Curo start a civil war? :twisted:

Player Option

Astaroc just doesn't want to go. He could designate a player as a proxy (the LOP guy is the one I have in mind), while threatening to turn them into something unnatural with clashing colors of they make trouble. The PCs would have to figure things out pretty quickly for that to happen however. But it does have the advantage of putting a PC at the center of things and it not be Ewen (who, let's face it, gets a lot of airtime). It also has the advantage of one wildcard vote, though he is rather fond of Serli ...

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#12 Post by rvonsteinman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:44 am

For all of this I've been wondering what would convince Serli the Younger to take the throne?
Also, if she were to emerge as a strong contender for the crown I could see the Firiths supporting her since she is one of them through her mother.
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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#13 Post by Rothesay » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:01 pm

rvonsteinman wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:44 am
For all of this I've been wondering what would convince Serli the Younger to take the throne?
Yes, I have been positioning Serli for some time now. She is a devout Laranian. A Fyvrian shenava. A superior general.
rvonsteinman wrote:Also, if she were to emerge as a strong contender for the crown I could see the Firiths supporting her since she is one of them through her mother.
Indeed. IMC, Orsin doesn't really want to be king, so he's really playing for his other goals. Back Serli? Sure, once he has his objectives.

What would it take to push Serli over the edge? Excellent question.

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#14 Post by rvonsteinman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:37 pm

Are you pretty much running with both Serils as Bernhard presented them? If so you've got some advantages and disadvantages there and is Serli the Elder deryni/half-deryni?
I'll explain after I know how you are running with these two ladies.
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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#15 Post by Rothesay » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:24 am

rvonsteinman wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 2:37 pm
Are you pretty much running with both Serils as Bernhard presented them? If so you've got some advantages and disadvantages there and is Serli the Elder deryni/half-deryni?
No, I'm not. His portrait of the Elder is a bit too much for my taste, and there's also no foundation for it IMC. The Younger is a bit closer, but no ghosts or such.

They are not Deryni - hard to see how that would happen without all the Firiths also being such. Given their parentage is fully known that would create a lot of complications. They do not have psionic talents. The Younger is pious and studious, the way Bernhard has her, and her Fyvrian training was not at a chantry but through some now departed retainer (undefined at this time).

The Baroness is a non-actor in these events and will be at Uldien throughout as will both Karsins. StY has her mother's and her brother's proxy for the council, and thus controls three votes including her own. Her military skill is primarily innate. In my conception, Orsin Firith is the primary Elendsa inheritor of Torastra's ability, and StY has also gotten a measure of it. The PCs are aware of her battlefield success, but not that she is a Shek Pvar.

Thanks! 8)

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#16 Post by rvonsteinman » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:13 am

The idea occurred to me was based on Bernhard's StY ability to heal. Bailm learns of this ability and arranges (tricks) StY into healing (real or not) of someone in or around Tashal. Word gets out rather quickly the StY has a traditional royal "prerogative" and the people and nobles press her to be queen. They'll love her...for a while at least.

Orsin learning of Balim's push for StY to be queen, and or plus healing, throws his weight into the ring supporting the idea. Also, brining all of the Firith votes with him putting Balim that much closer to his goal.

Melderyn wants to get one of their own into StY wedding bed if this happens then they let it be known that it's hands off Kaldor's monarch, for now at least putting a severe crimp in your players actions unless they want to have Melderyn opposing them as well. Melderyn will have a half deryni on Kaldor's throne through StY children bringing Kaldor into closer orbit of Melderyn.

The first could possibly take a little more time than you have. If were to occur though there is really very little way that StY could get out of accepting the crown. And think of all of the talk throughout Kaldor and even beyond. Larani has anointed StY to be queen by working through her to heal someone. It could also give your players a bit of a pause as they assess the new queen and her powers. (Not much of a pause granted, but a pause never the less.)

Also, the first does not have to happen for the second to occur. If it does it is merely the catalyst for Orsin's pressure on StY, but Balim could just go to Orsin to garner his support.

Finally, the Melderyn connection. The time between StY becoming queen and Melderyn getting one of their own into StY bed would be months. Giving your players a new threat/problem to take care of for their own ambitions are now threatened, even if Melderyn hasn't put out the protection order on Kaldor's Queen and husband, they can still see Melderyn's actions as a direct threat. Also, that doesn't mean that your characters couldn't go after StY new husband. It will take awhile to father children and that's after the months of negotiations between Kaldor and Melderyn have been settled, so not all is lost even if a Melderyn were to become StY husband. They would just need to be more subtle if they knocked him off if they didn't want Melderyn after them.

Just so it's on the table, I'm assuming that one of Balim's reasons for wanting StY is that she is young and inexperienced and he believes her to open to his vast experience and guidance? :)

I hope you can glean an idea or two out of this.
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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#17 Post by Rothesay » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:38 am

rvonsteinman wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:13 am
Melderyn wants to get one of their own into StY wedding bed if this happens then they let it be known that it's hands off Kaldor's monarch, for now at least putting a severe crimp in your players actions unless they want to have Melderyn opposing them as well. Melderyn will have a half deryni on Kaldor's throne through StY children bringing Kaldor into closer orbit of Melderyn.
This is an interesting notion, and definitely an angle for the Melderyni ambassador to play. I do see her though as being more of a Gloriana, and thus unlikely to marry, certainly not right away.
rvonsteinman wrote:It could also give your players a bit of a pause as they assess the new queen and her powers. (Not much of a pause granted, but a pause never the less.)
An interesting variation of the healing notion is for it to happen after she becomes queen, cementing her position with the people (and possibly others).
rvonsteinman wrote:Giving your players a new threat/problem to take care of for their own ambitions are now threatened, even if Melderyn hasn't put out the protection order on Kaldor's Queen and husband, they can still see Melderyn's actions as a direct threat.
Yes, I definitely like the Melderyn angle, with or without a wedding.
rvonsteinman wrote:Just so it's on the table, I'm assuming that one of Balim's reasons for wanting StY is that she is young and inexperienced and he believes her to open to his vast experience and guidance? :)
Pretty much. He'll be disappointed however. One thing I've done over the past several years is plant small seeds that StY is more than she appears on many levels. At the time, I wasn't sure what I was going to use them for, but it's all clear now. But, she admires and respects Balim, and is unlikely to want to lose his wise counsel and undoubted abilities.

A strong queen is just what my PCs don't want, and is a direct threat to their plans. (Funny how they sometimes forget they're undermining the kingdom when they like NPCs. If I really wanted to mess with them, I'd make Prehil king - they've risked their lives to save him twice just because they like him so much.) But tangling with a Shek Pvar of unknown power (backed by Astaroc and that ilk) makes it a whole new ballgame. Especially when she sends them on the mission to Azadmere ...
rvonsteinman wrote:I hope you can glean an idea or two out of this.
Indeed, thanks! 8)

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#18 Post by Leitchy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:32 pm

In my own conception of Harn Serli the Younger married Scina Dariune. :)

I haven't followed your campaign notes; where's Scina in all this scheming...?
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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#19 Post by Rothesay » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:11 am

Scina had been married to Erlene Elendsa but she was killed. He just returned from bringing their young son to Kiban and is at Balim House in Tashal. While he backs his father, he is among those of the next generation growing impatient for a larger role.

However, earlier in the year, he was captured commanding the Balim troops that were defeated by Kornuska Harabor. It was Serli who saved the Balim army from destruction. The PCs rescued Scina.

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Re: Lord Balim Takes Two Aspirin

#20 Post by MDMann » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:23 am

I have her marry the new Baron of Axxon, possibly a PC. An interesting alliance. I know that in your campaign Axxon hasn't been refounded, but it still could be and would be a strong alliance with Azadmere. It also floods Kaldor with khuzan manufactures, such as arms. PC in question is a Shek Pvar Viran of Savorya.
Per Sir Veer.

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