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Kingdom Come IV: You Win or You Die

Initial Brief

“Acryn has descended into Chaos, its economy collapsing as hyper-inflation takes hold and anarchy breaks out. King Arcus's grip on power is slipping and all the maintains his rule is the strange power of the crown he wears. Outside the city walls the Cargan Army gathers, while to the North the Acryn army stares down the forces of the Serradic horde. Acryn stands on the brink of destruction as its streets twist and turn in the ever encroaching flux.

As the people cry out for salvation, Duke Corlo Graves, master of the King’s purse, has sent disguised messengers to those with in an interest in the wellbeing of the city. He is not alone however, and representatives of the Department of Roads and Highways have also been approaching some of the most powerful adventurers in the city.

Matters are coming to a head and the fate of the city hangs by a thread. Only the King seems unperturbed as preparations get underway for a grand royal wedding at the Temple of the Founders.”



Eric, Vanessa, Carl and Colin are hired by Felip Caulson to retrieve the army of Acryn, which is currently leagues away on the border of the great desert, in a standoff with the Serradic army that mysteriously appeared at the edge of the sands somer weeks ago. Contact with the force has largely been lost and Felip wants them to journey to it and bring it back to lay siege to Acryn.

The party head off, diverting briefly to return the Thunderer to the world and inserting a large mountain into the world. They are briefly waylaid by Serradic scouts who reveal they have no idea what the Acryn army is doing to the north, there is no Serradic army there and they are convinced this is all a trick on the part of Acryn. However, when the party arrive at the Army camp they do indeed find a Serradic force sitting across the valley. Demi-shield Holland tells them that the Serradic force has just been sitting there. The party decide to investigate and find that the Serradic army is composed entirely of flux constructs. In its centre they find a group of Guild Wayfinder supremacists, loyal to King Arcus who are the source of the army. It seems Blackthorn used the fake army to lure the forces of Acryn away, allowing him to enact his coup. As the party confront the wayfinders, drunk on their own power and a lot of wine, the fools destabilise the area too much, and as reality fades away a monstrosity of shifting potentiality is unleashed. The party cheese it into the Labyrinth of Valknut where they encounter the mysterious Dragonborn smith, Chedravartin the Unmaker. The creature demands its soul for their freedom and works a magical oath onto Eric to bind him to his word. In return he gives the party a key with which they can take their leave.

With the army in tow they return to Acryn. Here they meet Julius Ravensfall, who is apparently the commander of the Cargan host. He parlays with them and they come to an agreement. The Cargans will aid in retaking the city, but in return they demand an end to their exile and representation in the rulership of the city. The party agree, and wisely so; for reality shifts and warps as, through some fell art of the Ascendant One, a Serradic army is teleported to the outskirts of Acryn. The Serradic’s no doubt sensed Acryn’s weakness and chose the moment for a surprise attack. However, with the twin forces of Arcyn and house Cargan striking at its flanks the party are able to strike to its heart and cut down the Ascendent One’s general.

With the Serradic force destroyed the party rally the troops and the siege of Acryn begins.

Meanwhile, Jarred, Kjell and an incognito Harlon are summoned by Duke Corlo Graves who, claiming to be a true patriot, has decided to betray King Arcus and fund his downfall. Allied with Faria Carver and house Terrac he hires the party to stop Blackthorn’s blasphemous wedding to Vincenzo Cargan and to put an end to the King's Rule. Chiara Walker is also present and tells Kjell that to break Arcus’s metaphysical hold over the people and streets of Acryn he will need an artefact of power to break the ancient compat between the gods which gives the crown its power. One he already possesses.

Heading to the Temple of the Founders the party are able to interrupt the wedding and free Vincent from the clutches of the evil King, who flees in a tidal wave of fluxy weasels.

United in opposition to the King the party head to Castle Blackthorn to once and for all put an end to Blackthorn. Using the power of the traitorous artefact Kjell breaks the Kings hold over the people and the party storm the castle. Within they find themselves beset by the tricky of Arcus, with the fluxy castle full of traps and the narcissistic terrors Blackthorn has conjured or paid for.

Finally deep in the bowels of the castle the party confront Arcus, who unable to lie his way out of trouble, is finally forced to fight. They cut him down and as they do so his body dissolves. For a moment it seems to be victory at last…then the ground quakes as the giant golden statue of the King is animated by the remnants of his power and begins to stomp across the city to wreak its revenge.

As the army retakes the walls of Acryn, in the great plaza before Castle Blackthorn the two parties meet up and confront the golden titan as it tries to tear the city apart while proclaiming its right to rule. Though it is a close thing at the last the giant crumbles under a rain of claw fiends, and Arcus Blackthorn, his power broken, tumbles from it, the crown falling from his head.

As Kjell calls forth the power of the Traitor a blow from the Hammer of Ruin breaks the crown and shatters the ancient oath between the founders forged into it. Never again with a monarch rule under the historical compact of the founders.

The King is dead, and to add insult to thwarting Jarred traps Arcus’ soul in a stone.

A calm descends on Acryn as the Cargan army takes control of the western half of the city and the forces of Acryn take the east. Eric and Vanessa rescue the great and good trapped in the main square. Eric hands some of these over to the Civil Service…some of them are not seen again. Meanwhile Vincent goes out into the city with his followers and provides aid to those who need it, trying to ease tensions between the two military forces. Kjell takes Arcus’ body and exsanguinates him into the river to appease the Lifegiver. As a vortex drinks the treasonous blood the river briefly turns deep red and then flows clearer, the good will of the Lifegiver restored. Vanessa and Colin try to investigate the nature of anomalies, unfortunately Jarred has made Arcus rather less easy to study. When they are able to study the stone, they find that they lack a way to actually investigate the nature of souls. If they want to learn more about anomalies they are going to have to find someway to unpick the nature of souls.

Harlon retreats to his tower to mediate and returns most of the priceless state treasures of Acryn, as he promised. While, in Jarred’s workshop the arcane oath forged into Eric flares into life in Jarred’s presence. The two pass out, but after checking nothing seems awry.

Vincent approaches the Cargans to learn more of his sister. Having been raised away from the family and without noble connections he is treated with considerable suspicion by most members of the family. Despite his heritage they do not consider him one of them. It becomes apparent that while his sister is the heir apparent, and once recognised by the other houses will be the Duchess, Julius Ravensfall and Faria Carver are the most influential forces in the family. Faria in particular has considerable sway over Vicionia, one that is not easy to break, and at first Vincent is received in cold audiences with Faria present. However, with time his sister agrees to meet separately from Faria. She seems uneasy talking politics with Vincent (probably at Faria’s urging) but begins to soften personally. One evening she shows Vincent a possession of hers, a locket with an image of their parents…the dried blood on it is that of their brother. Vincionia tells her he died after carrying his two infant siblings for three days with a crossbolt through his stomach.

Eric and Vanessa rally the Wayfinders guild and send its most powerful members out into the city to purge the flux created by Blackthorn. The city is stabilised, which is more than can be said for its politics.

Wibble and Snackies

  • Jarred awakens one morning to find himself exhausted, his dreams filled with alien thoughts and a single recurring idea: that after endless eons his masterpiece will now be completed, its name: ‘The Sundarshava’. To his surprise, he finds -surely impossibly in a single night- that beneath his workshop he has constructed a secret vault of strange design, in the centre of which sits an incomplete arcane device. It radiates a terrible yet irresistible beauty and at its heart floats the sorcerous pearl containing a large part of a power of a dragon. Despite a feeling of ominous dread about the eldritch construct, Jarred cannot help but feel that this thing is his masterpiece, a creation that must completed at any cost and which he will do anything to protect from the prying eyes of others. OOC: this effect is not a magical one, geas or curse. It is part of Jarred's essential nature born from his soul, which is inextricably intertwined with that of the Dragonborn smith Chedravartin the Unmaker. Any examination of him will simply reveal 'Jarred'. At the end of any adventure he goes on he will be compelled to integrate the most potent component he has found into the device, never remembering doing the work. After three such components have been integrated, the device will be complete…
  • On the plus side whatever has happened to him has given him the ability to unconsciously place one item in his possession in an encounter under the effect of the refinement spell: Master's Touch.
  • He also has a nice but dim Arcus Blackthorn clone, that seems generally confused about why it exists. Kjell is able to determine with brain surgery that it seemingly lacks any ‘evil essence’ and is able to ensure it will live at least a decade. Jarred puts it work doing relatively simple things around his workshop.
  • In addition has a stone, which now appears as a black opal, in which is imprisoned the soul of Arcus Blackthorn. It could be potent flux component (OC: however any item made from it will have a tendency to horribly betray the one who uses it at narratively appropriate moments)
  • He returns the looted treasures to Felip Caulson who seem pleased about this. He takes an glass globe from the trove which looks like it once hung from a ships rigging. When held it burns with the light of the sun, casting radiance in even the darkest of places.
  • 180 Acra from Corlo Graves
  • 180 Acra from Corlo Graves
  • Harlon having stolen some of the priceless state treasures of Acryn, has four items of extreme value to collectors. If he can find someone willing to handle incredibly hot goods these could be fenced for 400 riel. Among the items is a ring that radiates mana, some research in his older tomes of Acrynian magic reveals this to be ring once possessed by Krista Salic, founder of the college of stars, though it seems to predate her, being of even older design. Some experimentation reveals the ring, when twisted on the finger, allows the user to teleport to any place they can see (OC: it has 3 charges per adventure and uses the disappearing/reappearing rules).
  • In his tower he meditates on the deepest dreams of the dragons and in so doing gains the inspiration to create a Draconic Dowemer whose purpose is to rewrite the interaction of a soul with the fabric of the world as one would rewrite a story. At normal levels of power this could be used rewrite his own souls interaction with the weave of the world. With vast amounts of power this rewriting could be pushed out into the fabric of reality, rewriting it as well, but it would always be limited to patches of reality where his own soul had touched and affected the world, the effect of Harlon is impossible to predict.
  • 180 Acra from Corlo Graves
  • Kjell, after having given the blood of Arcus Blackthorn to the Lifegiver in payment for the slight against the spirit, he will find within the Temple of the Founders a new spring, from which flows water of immense puissance. It has burst from beneath the spectacular mural which shows the gods of Acryn reaching out to touch the waters of the Lifegiver. When he takes a first drink from it he will gain the divine favour of the Lifegiver (OC: ask if you want me to write the tree). Between adventures Kjell may fill one vial with the water which acts as a potion of the revenant.
  • Within the stash of priceless state treasures he finds a simple guard's sword of archaic design. Its is covered in dried, blackened blood. Some investigation on himself will reveal that the blood becomes fresh, even, warm when touched to someone who has called down the gaze of the traitor.
  • Vincent, has the heart of Arcus Blackthorn. Although formed of the flux it seems to persist even when not observed and does not seem to rot. The only unusual property it possess (which is tricky to discover) is that while held it allows the person holding it overcome the effects of the ‘Cease your deceptions’ call.
  • He also has a fragment of the crown of Acryn. Though this does not appear to be anything but inert metal.
  • With the political upheaval in the city, and the work he has done to help the people, should a council be reformed he could put himself forward for the Temple of the Tender’s seat on it.
  • He recovers his equipment from Castle Blackthorn, as well as a trove of documents relating to the history of the Salic line that Arcus seems to have acquired. He also finds Blackthorn’s family blade: a mastercrafted rapier.
  • Attempts to send spies to spy on Kjell’s church, but the Temple of the Founder's acolytes seems to be used to being tight lipped.
  • Going to the thunderer’s domain is an on adventure thing
  • Strategically useful information on the Ascendent one from her champion after questioning him. He claims his strange abilities stemmed from a blessing of the Ascendent one, but does not appear to be a wayfinder himself.
  • Gains one dodge per encounter when fighting hand-to-hand at least 10m from an ally but is now unafraid of being isolated from her allies in a battle. -1 body hit in flux.
  • Felip Caulson does not seem pleased that she and her allies made a deal with the Cargan forces and does not offer a reward. The army of Acryn has little to spare but will offer 50 riel.
  • Golden mastercrafted dagger of the Hand of the Ascendent One.
  • Going to the thunderer’s domain is an on adventure thing
  • Will awaken one night to find a letter in beautiful script on his chest. It reads ‘You have done something terrible. You must save yourselves’.
  • Golden mastercrafted shield of the Hand of the Ascendent One.
  • Felip Caulson does not seem pleased that he and his allies made a deal with the Cargan forces and does not offer a reward. The army of Acryn has little to spare but will offer 50 riel.
  • With his actions to defend Acryn against the forces of the Serradic Empire his fame is great enough to convince Vincta Terrac that he should be the Guild’s emissary to the council, should a council be reformed.
  • He also has a fragment of the crown of Acryn. Though this does not appear to be anything but inert metal.
  • Felip Caulson does not seem pleased that he and his allies made a deal with the Cargan forces and does not offer a reward. The army of Acryn has little to spare but will offer 50 riel.
  • Can call a heal 4 once an encounter to any member of his family while in the consensus but loses his fear of harming his family's political interests or bodily health. -1 body hit in flux.
  • Going to the thunderer’s domain is an on adventure thing
  • Makes a paper golem
  • His talking sword can be fixed, but being shattered for so long seems to have resulted in the death of whatever consciousness dwelt within and it no longer talks. The nature of the reforged blade could hold another consciousness if one was obtained.
  • His examination of Jarred (if Jarred allows this) will reveal no trace of magic or anything unusual that Colin can detect.

Politics of the City

An uneasy peace exists in the city. The Cargan’s have made their base in the now abandoned Castle Blackthorn and their military forces now control around half the city. Were the peace to be broken it would be all out civil war, with a terrible cost to the people of Acryn. Luckily, thanks to the actions of the party and others over the course of the Blackthorn coup, the desire for cooperation is strong - after all the Serradic threat remains, despite the destruction of what must the Ascendent One’s single largest force. Civil war would be madness.

The movers and shaker decide that a lasting political settlement must be reached and a peace conference is called for several weeks hence.

  • The Council - is not officially meeting until a settlement with the Cargan's is reached. However, those of the council not killed during the coup are unofficially speaking and essentially speak for the half of the city controlled by the forces of Acryn. Around 20 of 30 council members have reemerged since the ending of the coup.
  • The Civil Service - the disruption caused by the coup has severely dented their ability to manipulate the levers of state (and the council), however they are clearly trying to correct this and those in positions of power will know they are subtlety pushing for a 'no compromise' position with the Cargan's.
  • The Guilds - having largely stayed neutral the guilds continue as before but the economic turmoil has taken its toll and the guilds are eager to see foreign trade increase.
  • The Nobility - Houses Darrish and Graves are rapidly rowing back on their support of the King with Duke Graves in particular attempting to claim he had Acryn's good at heart all along. Both houses are being treated with suspicion by the others and are clearly attempting to form an alliance with the Cargans. House Terrec is openly antagonistic toward the Cargans and several young members of the house have started fights with Cargan soldiers.
  • The Colleges - have largely been unaffected by the political upheaval, though students of the People's are notably more politically active.
  • The Military forces of Acryn - Acryn's forces control the east of the city under the command of Demi-shield Holland. While the Cargans control the west, using Castle Blackthorn as a command centre. Tensions are high but without a catalyst fighting will not break out.
  • The Wayfinder's Guild - the guild has done something of a house clearing and many supremacists who support Arcus Blackthorn have been imprisoned or fled. The guild has promised to work with the council.
  • The Churches - Most of the Churches are urging the people of Acryn to be kept safe, whatever happens politically. The church of the Leader remains schismatic with Faria Carver attempting to draw many priests over to the Cargan side in support of a reinstituted monarchy.
  • The People - The people largely want peace. However, the majority have welcomed the return of the Cargans, seeing them as saviours of the city. The return of a just monarch remains a popular ideal by is tempered by a vocal minority who are calling for any end to oligarchs and greedy fat-cats like Arcus Blackthorn.

Divine Favour: The Lifegiver

The power of the Lifegiver flows from the waters that pour endlessly from him. Unless those who are calling on his Power are standing in flowing water they will need to use the wellspring of power ability to summon his waters to them. Once they have done so no further invocation of the Lifegiver is needed, though the powers he bestows depend on the depth of his waters. If his powers are used in the waters of Acryn's great river the GM may choose to make them considerably more potent.

Level 1

Wellspring of Power

Unless you are standing in a river this power is a pre-requisite for all other powers of the Lifegiver, with his influence growing stronger as his waters grow deeper.

On invoking this power you may reach down and touch the ground, at which point a small spring will bubble up and remain there permanently. Its flow is such that over the course of an encounter it will gradually create a pool of water but is weak enough that it won't normally be able to turn deserts into rice paddies even over the course of years.

  • It takes 30 seconds for the water to soak the earth.
  • It takes 60 seconds for it to form a puddle.
  • It takes 120 seconds for it to form a ankle deep pool.

After the waters of the Lifegiver have soaked the earth it becomes a thick, black, fertile mud. You may call MASS ENTANGLE LEG (which cannot be arced). You are immune to the effect, your allies are not.

White-Foam Steed

You may hurl yourself into any river or other flowing (ie lakes or oceans don't count) stream of water. The power of the Lifegiver will protect you from harm and convey you to any point along the river's length of your choosing. This form of travel is extremely rapid and you will emerge from the water fully healed.

Level 2

Grasp of the Depths

When a foe is standing in a puddle of the Lifegiver's water you may call upon his power. The waters will rise up around them, enclosing them in a sheath of water, and they will begin to drown. You may call a WEAKEN against them and then a THROUGH SINGLE at them every 20 seconds up to a maximum of three damage, at which point the effect ends.

Creatures that do not breathe are completely immune to this power

Maelstrom Touch

When you are standing in a pool of the Lifegiver’s water you may reach down and touch the surface with your finger. A great whirlpool will form where your finger touches, dragging and sucking at everything in the pool for the rest of the encounter.

You may call a BLAST 0 up to three times at the person closest to the point your finger touched (which may well be yourself). You must leave at least 10 seconds between making these calls.

Any creature that bleeds out while the maelstrom is active will be sucked into it and lost, presumably drawn into the domain of the Lifegiver.

Divine Aura

While you and your allies stand within the vital waters of the Lifegiver most corruptions and impurities cannot assail you.

As long as you stand within at least a puddles depth of the Lifegiver’s water you and your allies become IMMUNE to WEAKEN and POISON. Since it may take time for the waters to rise you may call PARTY IMMUNE WEAKEN and POISON to indicate the effect has begun.

resources/adventure/kc4_you_win_or_you_die.txt · Last modified: 2015/05/14 21:08 (external edit)