The Choice

Friends Divided

Travelling through the woods the party take time to discuss their position with respect to the accession, each has stated his preference and begun to persuade his fellows of the justice of his cause. Each player will take a position based on their character's outlook. Are they a tradionalist, prepared to stick with the family line and the political will, or are they angry young men who are carried by the will of the common man to support a hungry, ambitious leader?

The development fo a debate between the players will form the theme of the scenario and will define the nature of House Crestfell in the modern setting. To that end, we begin with a few rounds of an extended skills challenge, one from each side of the debate, all successes contribute to the sucess of the group in general, but the division of sucesses and failures between sides should also be noted.

We stop at eight successes and record which side was most persuasive, if the challenge was a success then the party begins in agreement and of one mind, we record that the resolution of House Crestfell was forged in the fires of discourse, the house is noted for it's diplomacy and wisdom. A failure means that the house is known for it's indecision and its political divisions.

The skills challenge takes place during the day's hunting, success requires eight successes before three failures (each of which will cost a healing surge). All of the skills can be used once only unless it says otherwise, players can obviously suggest alternatives:

Acrobatics (Moderate)
Riding ahead of the group, sitting backwards on your horse gives you the opportunity to explain your position.

Athletics (Moderate)
Scrambling to the top of Steeple Hill, you stand on top of the tor declaiming to your fellows as they clamber up after you.

Bluff (Moderate)
You have heard direct evidence to undermine the frankly ridiculous arguments of your friends, if only they can be made to believe you..

Diplomacy (Moderate, may be used for two successes)
The truth of the argument is principally just a matter of presentation, get it right and you win the day.

Endurance (Moderate, only after six successes)
At the end of the day, many of your fellows have lost the energy to argue, they are tired and their minds are receptive to your ideas.

History (Easy)
These issues always have clear precedents that can make a very persuasive argument, now just select the correct ones..

Insight (Moderate)
There are many aspects to the argument, and each person holds one issue above others, of course if you know what they are.

Nature (Difficult, opposed - everyone rolls, highest roll is used)
Whoever bags the biggest prize gets to propose the toast..

Religion (Moderate)
The gods have always taken an interest in the affairs of man, interpreting the will of the gods needs care.

The White Hart and Bear

After a little hunting, banter and general showing off, the party stumbles across a battle royale between a regal white hart and a lean bear. It is clearly a stalemate, but as the two creatures thrash around in the clearing, the party feel drawn to support one side or the other. The earlier skills challenge decides the matter.

The natural lord of the forest, the White Hart has been feeding on the young spring shoots and rapidly building its strength.

The White Hart Level 3 Elite Brute
Large natural beast XP 300
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +8; Low-light vision
HP 92; Bloodied 47
AC 17; Fortitude 15; Reflex 16; Will 15
Speed 8
Saving Throws +2
Action Points 1
Gore (standard; at-will)
+8 vs. AC; 1d8+1
Antler Storm (standard; recharge 5,6)
Close Burst 1; targets enemies +8 vs. AC 1d8+1
Alignment Unaligned Languages -
Str 14 (+3) Con 14 (+3)
Dex 17 (+4) Int 2 (-3)
Wis 14 (+3) Cha 14 (+3)

Disputing with the White Hart for dominion over the forest, this great creature has come down from the mountains and in the early spring it is hungry and prepared to fight for what it wants.

The Lean Bear Level 3 Elite Brute
Large natural beast XP 300
Initiative +1 Senses Perception +2; Low-light vision
HP 106; Bloodied 53
AC 15; Fortitude 17; Reflex 14; Will 14
Speed 8
Saving Throws +2
Action Points 1
Claw (standard; at-will)
+8 vs. AC; 1d8+1
Frenzy (standard; recharge 5,6)
Close Burst 1; targets enemies +8 vs. AC 1d8+1
Alignment Unaligned Languages -
Str 18 (+5) Con 13 (+2)
Dex 11 (+1) Int 2 (-3)
Wis 12 (+2) Cha 10 (+1)

Success in defeating the creature settles the reputation of House Crestfell as blessed by the gods, a house whose destiny is manifest whereas a failure settles the reputation as a cursed house, abandoned by fortune and the gods.

The Gathering Storm

Over the next year the players gather forces beneath them in support of the cause of their chosen Lord. This is another skills challenge, each success brings a division under their control replacing a division of levy minions. An overall success casts the reputation of House Crestfell as an nation builders, diplomats and leaders, failure casts them as beligerents, troublemakers and outsiders.

The Levy Level 1 Minion
Large natural humanoid army XP 25
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +0
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion
AC 16; Fortitude 13; Reflex 11; Will 11
Speed 6
M Bill (standard; at-will) Weapon
+5 vs. AC; 4 damage
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Perception +5
Str 12 (+1) Con 13 (+1)
Dex 17 (+3) Int 10 (0)
Wis 12 (+1) Cha 12 (+1)

Armies

The armies that are available to be won depend on the skills applied, only one roll per skill unless noted:

Arcana (Moderate)
The wizards of Raven's Reach will serve for a price though that price is rarely met in coin.

Wizards of Raven's Reach Level 1 Artillery
Small natural humanoid army XP 100
Initiative +4 Senses Perception +5
HP 22; Bloodied 11
AC 15; Fortitude 12; Reflex 13; Will 15
Speed 6
M Dagger (standard; at-will) Weapon
+4 vs. AC; 1d4+4 damage
R Firestorm (standard; at-will) Fire
Ranged 2;+4 vs. Reflex; 1d6+4 damage
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Arcana +5, Perception +5
Str 12 (+1) Con 10 (0)
Dex 10 (0) Int 18 (+4)
Wis 12 (+1) Cha 12 (+1)

Athletics (Hard, two successes)
It is said that the 12th Light Horse will only serve under a leader that rides without a saddle.

12th Light Horse Level 2 Skirmisher
Medium natural humanoid army XP 125
Initiative +6 Senses Perception +3
HP 38; Bloodied 19
AC 16; Fortitude 14; Reflex 15; Will 14
Speed 8
M Lance (standard; at-will) Weapon
+7 vs. AC; 1d10+3 damage
M Charge (standard; at-will) Weapon
Move two squares ending in a lance attack +8 vs. AC; 1d10+3 hit push 1 square
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 14 (+2) Con 14 (+2)
Dex 17 (+3) Int 14 (+2)
Wis 14 (+2) Cha 14 (+2)

Bluff (Hard)
Nothing can tempt the Stonespoke Watch out from their warm mess, save maybe to settle a debt won at the card table.

Stonespoke Watch Level 2 Brute
Medium natural humanoid army XP 125
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +3
HP 47; Bloodied 23
AC 14; Fortitude 15; Reflex 14; Will 14
Speed 5
M Longsword (standard; at-will) Weapon
+5 vs. AC; 1d10+3 damage
Shieldwall (standard; at-will)
+2 to All defences until the end of next turn, cannot be moved
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 14 (+2) Con 17 (+3)
Dex 14 (+2) Int 14 (+2)
Wis 14 (+2) Cha 14 (+2)

Diplomacy (Moderate, two sucesses)
The Dutiful Citizens of Fortuna can be roused to an honest cause.

Citizens of Fortuna Level 1 Soldier
Medium natural humanoid army XP 100
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +3
HP 29; Bloodied 14
AC 17; Fortitude 13; Reflex 13; Will 14
Speed 5
M Longsword (standard; at-will) Weapon
+8 vs. AC; 1d6+3 damage
Men of Honour (standard; encounter) Healing
+2 to All defences until the end of next turn, heal 14 hit points
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 13 (+1) Con 13 (+1)
Dex 13 (+1) Int 13 (+1)
Wis 16 (+3) Cha 13 (+1)

Dungeoneering (Hard)
If you are not too squeamish and you have coin, then Glomrig's Orcs can be bought.

Glomrig's Crew Level 2 Soldier
Medium natural humanoid army XP 125
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +3
HP 38; Bloodied 19
AC 18; Fortitude 15; Reflex 14; Will 14
Speed 6
M Axe (standard; at-will) Weapon
+9 vs. AC; 1d10+3 damage
Spearstorm (standard; encounter)
Close blast 2, +7 vs. Reflex 2d10+3
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 14 (+2) Con 17 (+3)
Dex 14 (+2) Int 14 (+2)
Wis 14 (+2) Cha 14 (+2)

Endurance (Moderate)
The Stonespoke Peakwardens will work for a just cause, but you will need to climb a mountain to find them.

Stonespoke Peakwardens Level 1 Soldier
Medium natural humanoid army XP 100
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +1
HP 32; Bloodied 16
AC 19; Fortitude 14; Reflex 13; Will 13
Speed 5
M Axe (standard; at-will) Weapon
+8 vs. AC; 1d10+3 damage
Second Wind (immediate; reaction)
When bloodied, gain 16 temporary hit points
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 13 (+1) Con 16 (+1)
Dex 13 (+1) Int 13 (+1)
Wis 13 (+3) Cha 13 (+1)

History (Moderate)
The old alliance between Elves and Man can sometimes be called upon if the protocols are observed.

The Elves of Bluesward Level 1 Artillery
Small natural humanoid army XP 100
Initiative +4 Senses Perception +5
HP 22; Bloodied 11
AC 15; Fortitude 12; Reflex 13; Will 15
Speed 6
M Longsword (standard; at-will) Weapon
+4 vs. AC; 1d8+1 damage
M Bow (standard; at-will) Weapon
Reach 2;+4 vs. AC; 1d6+4 damage
A On eagles wings (standard; encounter) Weapon
Area burst 1 within 3;+4 vs. Reflex; 1d6+4 damage and target is slowed, save ends
Woodland Step
Wooded terrain is normal movement
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Nature +5, Perception +5
Str 12 (+1) Con 10 (0)
Dex 18 (+4) Int 10 (0)
Wis 12 (+1) Cha 12 (+1)

Nature (Moderate)
Find the wood elves and offer them payent in their own coin.

The Wooden Wall Level 1 Artillery
Small natural humanoid army XP 100
Initiative +4 Senses Perception +5
HP 22; Bloodied 11
AC 15; Fortitude 12; Reflex 13; Will 15
Speed 6
M Longsword (standard; at-will) Weapon
+4 vs. AC; 1d8+1 damage
M Bow (standard; at-will) Weapon
Reach 2;+4 vs. AC; 1d6+4 damage
Fade to Green (immediate; reaction)
When an enemy moves ajacent, shift one square to unoccupied woodland square
Woodland Step
Wooded terrain is normal movement
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Nature +5, Perception +5
Str 12 (+1) Con 10 (0)
Dex 18 (+4) Int 10 (0)
Wis 12 (+1) Cha 12 (+1)

Religion (Moderate)
Where there is death the church follows, all of the faith's have their warpriests and all will serve what they can be persuaded is a just cause.

Army of the True Faith (Fill as Appropriate) ** **Level 1 Soldier (Leader)
Medium natural humanoid army XP 100
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +5
HP 29; Bloodied 14
AC 17; Fortitude 13; Reflex 13; Will 14
Speed 6
M Mace (standard; at-will) Weapon
+2 vs. AC; 1d6+1 damage
M Battle Hymn (standard; at-will) Psychic
Reach 2; +4 vs. Will; 1d6+3 damage
Rally (immediate; reaction)
When an adjacent ally becomes bloodied, give s26 temporary hit points
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Nature +5, Perception +5
Str 13 (+1) Con 13 (+1)
Dex 13 (+1) Int 13 (+1)
Wis 16 (+3) Cha 13 (+1)

Streetwise (Hard)
The Right People prefer not to be at the sharp end of the battlefield but they can always be persuaded that there is money to be had amongst the fallen.

The Right People Level 2 Lurker
Small natural humanoid army XP 100
Initiative +7 Senses Perception +3
HP 32; Bloodied 16
AC 16; Fortitude 14; Reflex 15; Will 14
Speed 6
M Shortsword (standard; at-will) Weapon
+7 vs. AC; 1d6+3 damage
M Backstabbers (standard; at-will) Weapon With combat advantage
+7 vs. AC; 2d6+3 damage
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Nature +5, Perception +5
Str 12 (+1) Con 10 (0)
Dex 18 (+4) Int 10 (0)
Wis 12 (+1) Cha 12 (+1)

The Enemy

The enemy appears to have assembled a far stronger army on the characters flank, made up of these mixed forces.

Light Infantry Level 3 Soldier
Medium natural humanoid army XP 150
Initiative +5 Senses Perception +3
HP 46; Bloodied 23
AC 19; Fortitude 16; Reflex 15; Will 15
Speed 5
M Longsword (standard; at-will) Weapon
+10 vs. AC; 1d10+3 damage
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 17 (+4) Con 14 (+3)
Dex 14 (+3) Int 14 (+3)
Wis 14 (+3) Cha 14 (+3)
Heavy Infantry Level 3 Brute
Medium natural humanoid army XP 150
Initiative +5 Senses Perception +3
HP 57; Bloodied 27
AC 15; Fortitude 16; Reflex 15; Will 15
Speed 5
M Longsword (standard; at-will) Weapon
+6 vs. AC; 1d10+3 damage
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 14 (+3) Con 17 (+4)
Dex 14 (+3) Int 14 (+3)
Wis 14 (+3) Cha 14 (+3)
Cavalry Level 3 Skirmisher
Medium natural humanoid army XP 150
Initiative +5 Senses Perception +3
HP 46; Bloodied 23
AC 17; Fortitude 15; Reflex 17; Will 15
Speed 8
M Lance (standard; at-will) Weapon
+6 vs. AC; 1d10+3 damage
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 14 (+3) Con 14 (+3)
Dex 17 (+4) Int 14 (+3)
Wis 14 (+3) Cha 14 (+3)
Archers Level 3 Artillery
Medium natural humanoid army XP 150
Initiative +5 Senses Perception +3
HP 38; Bloodied 19
AC 15; Fortitude 15; Reflex 16; Will 15
Speed 6
M Club (standard; at-will) Weapon
+6 vs. AC; 1d6+3 damage
M Longbow (standard; at-will) Weapon
Reach 2; +10 vs. AC; 1d10+3 damage
Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Skills Endurance +5, Athletics +5
Str 14 (+3) Con 14 (+3)
Dex 17 (+4) Int 14 (+3)
Wis 14 (+3) Cha 14 (+3)

The Battle

The confrontation takes place outside of the walls of Newcastle, The party are responsible for the left flank, which they must hold with their rather mixed bag of soldiers. As units fall, the party move to the nearest friendly unit with which they join forces (though their presence does contribute significantly to the units strength).

At some point in the battle they may be given the opportunity to turn coat, this is a simple yes or no decision, and it will turn the tides of the battle. If they refuse and stand their ground then the reputation of House Crestfell will be as honourable, if they turn coat then it will bear that stain. If the battle is won on that flank then they will build a reputation of martial prowess, if they fail then the converse. The encounter runs for nine hours, from nine in the morning to six in the evening, then it is the end of the encounter.

Each round is one hour, Medium units are 100 soldiers, large are 400 and small 50, each square is about 100 meters.

When the Battles Lost and Won

The day is done and the remaining friends make their way home with tales of victory and bags of loot. The players may spend a little time here levelling their characters. As the friends travel together through the gloaming, across their path steps a familiar creature, the White Hart or the Lean Bear. It pauses and looks at them, then casts it looks meaningfully to the side of the road, their, clearly seen are the tracks of a cart leading into the woods. The party feels impelled to investigate and it is here that they bay the Lordling against whom they have taken arms, attended by the remaining bodyguard and maybe lying prone in a cart.

A battle may ensue, if time permits then it is at 150xp per character (level 3) and comprises appropriate number of human bandits, guards a beserker and a mage. However if time is running low then the humans will surender and the party will come face to face with the man that a year ago maybe some of their number would have served under. Capturing him now means execution, letting him go means a thorn in the side of their lord. Any choice may have consequences for the lasting friendship of the party, and of course the final say in the reputation of House Crestfell merciful, lenient, just or arbitary.

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