Acryn teeters on the brink of chaos. The rule of Arcus Blackthorn is plunging the city into a maelstrom of instability, hyperinflation and the flux. As the king presses ahead with ever more ludicrous, self-aggrandizing infrastructure projects, the city appears to be almost entirely bankrupt, with the guilds hoarding their cash and foreign nations refusing to accept notes of credit from the treasury. In the slums whispers circulate of the coming of a true leader, while outside the city travelers have spotted several armed battalions of troops heading north. In the wake of seventeen separate assassination attempts upon the royal person in past week, a herald of the king is heard in Acryn's great square proclaiming the following:
“By order his most Imperial majesty- Arcus I, high-king of Acryn - his most devoted and skilled subjects are hereby summoned to his divine presence for inauguration of the Order of Thorns five days hence. His ro….”
The proclamation is cut off at this point by a brink-to-the-back to the head thrown by a member of an angry mob.
The party are hired by ‘King’ Arcus to hunt down and capture the Salic heir, whispers of which have been heard throughout the city in recent weeks. Needless to say the party aren't necessarily going to play along with this in the long term, but they agree to take the mission. The betrayal begins almost immediately when Harlon is briefly stopped by a civil service contact, posing as the King's butler, and is given a black ring he is told he must wear.
Journeying to the village of Scumwick, where the Cargan invasion force is rumoured to have made camp, the party find it abandoned, the army having moved out and the remainders 'vanished' by the civil service. Vincent and Kjell go ahead and find Felip Caulson waiting for them. He informs them that Acryn will have no monarch and the council must be reinstated for the good of the city. He will point them in direction of the heir, who has accompanied Faria Carver to complete some sort of ritual in the ancient royal palace, but tells them that they will bring the heir to him: to once and for all end the Salic line. Vincent and Kjell ambiguously agree and Felip vanishes before the rest of the party arrive. Tracing the mysterious heir, the party head back to Acryn, briefly stopping to break the levies erected by the King's engineers in an attempt to divert the river to the water features in his new gardens (which is being built over the poor district). In doing so they appease the river spirit Lifegiver by promising to enlarge his shrine and to pour Arcus Blackthorn's blood into the river as an offering once he is deposed.
The party make their way underground, to the royal palace beneath the council building. Breaking through the magical wards erected by the council deep in the palace, the party find themselves in an even more ancient ruin, one that must have stood in the times of the Founders themselves. Here they meet the still living Chiara Walker, who having resurrected herself using the power of the flux one too many times, is now quite mad and bent on revenge against Arcus Blackthorn. She tells that party that all sides have vested interests. The Civil Service serve the traitor and will see their vision for the city fulfilled at any cost, while the Cargan's want the restoration of their theocratic kings. She doesn't care. If they bring her the heir she'll use their likeness to get close to Blackthorn and end him. She won't stand in their way whatever they chose, but she will have her revenge. Simultaneously, the party spend some quality time doing brain surgery as the Leader’s influence causes Jarred's lying skull to begin to burn. Jarred's life is saved by Kjell's brain surgery and Gidner's alchemical expertise, but only just and his head is replaced with that of a Caulish golem. On the bright side they finally succeed in the purging the malevolent influence of the Demiurge from Jarred’s mind through the use of Harlon’s magic.
The party venture deeper into the complex and find a great chamber where four magnificent thrones, along with a destroyed wreck that once must have been a fifth, sit. Here they find a gateway to what appears to be realm of the Leader: a beautiful, idealised Acryn, though one devoid of any life.
Passing the trial of leadership they climb the steps to the titanic palace from whence Kjell feels the raw power of the Leader flow. At its summit the party find Faria Carver and the elusive heir completing a pilgrimage to this place of power. As the heir rises it is revealed to be Vincent's twin sister Vicionia Cargan, thought dead but apparently raised in secret as a blacksmith and nurtured by Faria Carver to become the next Queen of Acryn.
The party debate long and fervently about what is best for the city until Harlon magically sends word the Civil Service about what is occurring. His ring blessed by the Traitor burns with shadowy power as the fifth of Acryn's founders manifests within the realm of the Leader. As Faria's paladins are sucked into the darkness the party manage to fend off the presence within the blackness.
Tempers fray and accusations fly until Kjell opens the great golden doors of the palace and the power of the Leader washes over them, striking all dumb and granting Kjell the power to officiate the debate. In the end he decides that Vicionia is not ready to rule and withholds the divine mandate from her. Clearly angry and not revealing if she accepts his judgment she, Vincent and Faria make to leave, but Harlon, unwilling to let Faria escape, unleashes his calamitous sorcery. Arcane sigils blaze in the golden firmament of the Leader’s realm as a beam of energy strikes the summit of the palace. Vincent and his sister are hurled from the pediment as the realm of the Leader begins to disintegrate and Kjell feels the terrible wrath of his god unleashed. Harlon chases after Vincent as the others are assailed by a manifestation of the Leader’s fury: a great silver raven. To survive Kjell calls upon the power of the fifth founder and in doing so is cast from the Leader's favour, but they are alive.
Vincent flees with his Sister back to the mundane world only to find that Arcus Blackthorn has set a diabolical trap. It seems he has known about Vincent's heritage for some time and was sure that the best way to find a Salic heir was to use another. Holding Vicionia at dagger point he tells Vincent that by marrying the Cargan heir apparent he can force the Cargan's to ally with him, securing the throne. Rather than subject his sister to the nefarious machinations of Blackthorn Vincent nobly offers himself instead, a deal Arcus is willing to accept given that Vincent is the slightly older twin and arguably more legitimate. He grabs Vincent and whisks him away through the flux with a cry of 'Checkmate!', shaping reality in an oversized and deadly game of chess (though he appears to have a poor grasp of the rules).
The rest of the party emerge several minutes later to find Faria and Vicionia fending off the giant chess pieces. Together they beat the game and reality returns to normal as the flux recedes.
It is agreed that Vincent must be rescued and Acryn freed of the tyranny of Arcus Blackthorn, even if that means working together. Faria and Vicionia return to the Cargan forces mustered outside the city, while the remains of the party head out into the city to build what support they may.
Drawn by sounds of horror, the party head to the temple of the Leader where they find priests and worshipers in shock. The great altar -reputed to be the foundation stone of the first temple to the Leader erected in Acryn- has broken in two, the fracture running the length of the nave of the church. Unable to contain his anger at Harlon’s refusal to accept responsibility Kjell names and condemns him publicly. As the furious crowd prepare to tear him apart Harlon leaps upon the altar and reveals his true form. Perhaps it is a miracle, or perhaps the chains were merely weakened by the tremor that broke the altar, whatever the reason the ancient golden symbol of the Leader above the altar breaks free of its moorings and impales Harlon directly through his heart, pinning his corpse to the altar.
In Castle Blackthorn Vincent finds himself imprisoned in an inescapable ever-shifting jail. Though Arcus provides many luxuries it is clear that he has villainous plans for Vincent, not least of which is the blasphemous wedding he intends to unite House Blackthorn and House Cargan. Unable free himself Vincent amuses himself with wine and setting clawfiends on Arcus’ narcissistic harem, even managing to severely maul the King himself.
The rest of the party are not idle. Kjell retreating to the temple of the Founders as he mourns the loss of his god’s grace.
In secret, Jarred conveys Harlon’s soul tome away until Harlon’s magics return him to life. Casting off the last shackles of humanity Harlon works a magic which refines his alien nature and forever changes himself into a Dragonborn.
Meanwhile, Gidner sends forth the power of the dreaming ocean and uses his diplomatic skills to reignite the flame of freedom in the hearts of the people, and although many still await the coming of the true monarch others are sick of being pawns in the game of thrones played by the powerful.
As night falls, Acryn still stands on the brink of chaos and dark rumors circulate that the Leader has turned away from the city he founded. While, at the temple of Founders preparations are underway for a magnificent wedding…
You have committed a crime against a god of such truly appalling magnitude that they have turned their gaze upon you in wrath. Any priest of the God who attempts to use the power of the God to aid you will instantly be excommunicated. Furthermore, any priest of that God who attempts to fight you will instantly gain the gaze of the gods for that encounter and gain a free use of the intercession skill even if they don't possess it normally. Creatures and beings directly associated with the God will attack you on sight and will be STRENGTHENED when they do so. This quirk can only be removed by the deity themselves or by receiving a blessing from a large church of that god.
Through birth, disaster, or inadvisable levels of meddling with powers that man was not meant to know you are a Dragonborn, a race entirely different from that of humans. You are around eight-feet tall, covered in silvery scales with pupiless eyes that gleam like black opals. Most distinctly, you have four arms and no primary sexual characteristics. You are inherently magical and mana sense will always reveal traces of magic about you. Biologically you are entirely different from a human and GMs may chose to have you respond in completely different ways to effects you encounter. Equipment designed to fit humans will not fit you unless adapted by a skilled craftsman.
This tree represents the process of adapting to your form and the benefits/downsides that come with it.
You are larger and more imposing than even the biggest human and you are of a species that does not age or change with the passage of time. Because of this you are more durable than a human, but damage to your body is less easy to undo through traditional means.
Your base body hits are 9 rather than 5, however any HEAL X call applied to you is capped at 2, this applies to all sources of healing that are not arcane in nature except for determination. You may however consume a mana crystal for a HEAL 5.
You will endure while a hundred generations of mortals are born and die. They are specks of dust in the river of time and of barely any consequence to a being such as you. You are are immune to FEAR calls or the 'you dare not strike me' call that originate from mortal targets.
However, should a being (supernatural or otherwise) succeed in FEARing you or in any way impinging upon your control over yourself you will be overcome with a terrible rage and will do everything in your power to destroy them, ignoring all other targets until you do so.
The primordial forces of magic flow differently through your kind than they do through humans. When you buy this skill you may chose either to have an additional protomana or to gain a single RESIST to arcane magic per encounter.
However, your nature denies the power of the divine. There are no Dragonborn gods and members of your race traditionally deny the primacy of any but themselves. No divine power (not cast by yourself) can benefit you, though they can still harm you.
You have mastered the use of your inhuman physique to become as the legendary Dragonborn of old. Your four arms are now perfectly coordinated for use in combat or sorcery. Mechanically if casting magic you do not need to roleplay using components, the assumption being that your second set of arms is doing that while your other set remains free to fight. Similarly you don’t need to roleplay drinking potions, though you should make clear verbally that you are doing so.
You may also (as long as a GM rules it safe to do so) treat all sized weapons as equivalent to sub-36 inch weapons and wield in them in one hand (including great weapons). This represents them being wielded in two of your four arms.