Plot: For King and Country
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For King and Country
Lord Stallahast Dracohorn. An accomplished mage, and a cunning merchant, has orchestrated a rise in Suzail none too dissimilar to Lord Malcolm Hardcastle's in the north. One of few noblemen directly involved with the young Purple Scale Company, he has swiftly become a proponent of all things Cormyrian - a reputation that his critics say is artificial. Even as he spends considerable personal wealth in beneficient enterprises in Arabel, the presence of a powerful Suzailian Lord is unsettling to the local ruling class - and none more so than Lord Hardcastle.
The Citadel Council, ever a hive of bureaucracy and disunity, finds only another cause it does not agree upon in Lord Stallahast. Through the Purple Scales Company, it has become apparant that House Dracohorn has been leading the purchase of mining rights to rival Lord Hardcastle's own in the rich north. A cause helped in no small part by the fact that much of the lands which are not already Hardcastle's to exploit are owned by southern Lords, with whom a distant, border-Lord such as Lord Hardcastle does not carry substantial sway; less so due to his apparant monopoly upon Mythalite, vaguely justified as being for Arabel's benefit. An argument that does not sway the corridors of power in Suzail, even as rumour goes that Lord Stallahast is appealing directly to the King for mining rights to the contested Hullack forest.
In the midst of it all, the exodite Dwarves of Thunderholme remain leaderless, in-spite of an ill-advised Moot commenced in the wake of a dwarf declaring himself a contender for the Crown. Within hours, any unity between the Clans was shattered. Factions and in-fighting erupted, as noble Lairds such as Noin of Clan Glimmerforge spurned the patience of Claerga Farthrow and the pleas of Rali Eisiden, instead demanding a glorious attempt at re-taking Thunderholme - succesful or not - before the ignomany of poverty or servitude. All, drowned out in a cacophany of noise about who has the right to rule.
And yet the dwarves have dispersed. Among the Plebian Court, amongst the Citadel Council. Among the adventurers. Their more enterprising members searching every nook and every cranny of their new home for answers to their people's problems. Such names as Ragor Gold-Eater, and Barak, Baludar Snowsilver and Arcavius Thunderclasp drift from ear to ear. There may yet be no true hope to find a King, but the dwarves have taken some heart in those putting themselves in harm's way or negotiating with the humans to better their lot in life.
All, against the backdrop of a mysterious Cult that has infiltrated its way into the festering cavities of the North. A Society whose membership have engaged in numerous skirmishes with Arabel's adventuring population already, but little closer to being rooted out. Indeed, their numbers are only less substantial than their resourcefulness, as activities from Thunderholme to the Sewers of Arabel have been attributed to them. Who are they? What do they want?
…Questions that the Order of War Wizards of Cormyr are increasingly desirous of answers to - or perhaps it is their knowledge of these answers that brings them to be affording the Cult a greater share of its attention. The recent arrest of a Lord of Cormyr for questioning due to association, in-spite of any efforts to maintain the dignity of silence, has spread throughout the city. Although no nobleman finds such public defamation a palatable experience, the wiser among them know: these mages will do more than harm reputations if chasing after a true threat to the Crown of the Young King.
So it is, that as Arabel's mythalite draws the attention of the regional powers and oligarchs, so too does it draw to itself greater and more fearsome opponents to its well-being. Whether Lord Stallahast Dracohorn's intentions are only partly selfless or wholly pragmatic, the southern Lord has aligned himself as a viable alternative to the well-established Lord Hardcastle. In a gesture dismissed as entirely political by his rivals, Lord Dracohorn has taken to nurturing Cormyrian values in the North to undo years of isolation. As the two mythalite magnates go head-to-head, onlookers are left pondering what will come of the inevitable conflict - and who they should back… Arabel, or Cormyr? And is the choice really so stark?
House Dracohorn has made its first move, and as his lands are overrun by scandal and conspiracy, Lord Hardcastle rolls a fine mythalite ingot in his hand... and prepares to make his. For Arabel.
For King and Country is part of a DM plotline.
You are welcome to make characters who may have a view, or even lead an initiative related to the ongoing plot. The outcomes are not set in stone, though fair-warning that as a DM plot, there is less room to drastically change the course of events as there might be in a player plot. As the plot progresses those who go out of their way to aid one of the key personalities in the plot may rise to become retainers, or knights, or receive rewards as appropriate.
Will you embrace your Cormyrian heritage, and sing the Cormyte Boast as you trawl through ancient dungeons and forgotten tombs in search of glory, and the heroes you would see once again on the lips of every Arabellen?
Or will you stand by the shrewd Lord Hardcastle, whose cunning has weathered a storm that would have put an end to many another settlement - and remind one and all that Arabel has much of its own glory to bathe in without losing its character to a southern Lord…
...or will you seek out the enigmatic cult virulently spreading throughout the North, by orchestrating your own deeds of espionage and intrigue, hoping to draw out this collective of alien customs and incomprehensible ambitions... and ensure your place in what is to come?