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Let Loose the Dogs of WAR! Original 2011 Intro

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Let Loose the Dogs of War

For over 250 years since the inhabitants of Grong Island gained independence from the Karin Empire and forced out the last Karinians, the Ithmong family and their decedents have ruled the lands. By their decree, Kerenese has not been heard for over 200 years with only Gargarian, the indigenous language of the island, being heard today with whispers in Westron along selected coastal areas. The newly freed colonists closed their boarders to prevent other imperialistic powers from invading their island and “tainting” their culture and way of life. After the war of independence, in this period of stable isolation, the lands prospered as the people built great institutions of; internal commerce, learning, government, and religion.

As fate would have it, a Caravel bearing the colors of the Tri-Star Guild was badly damaged in a storm near the port city of Leniss, known for shipbuilding as well as fine cloth. As a gift to the wizard merchants, the local Gargarians gave them some locally made robes, which became a fashion revolution within the status conscious Tri-Star Guild. Using their magic, Tri-Star merchant wizards repeatedly returned to Leniss and purchased an ever increasing number of the ornate robes. Seeing how profitable opening new markets could be, the entire Weaver’s Guild, followed by others, advocated for unrestricted markets. Before long smugglers were transporting Gargarian goods to a number of foreign ports. The government responded by closing down businesses that were making goods for export and deploying a naval blockade to halt any further outgoing smugglers and any incoming foreign payments.

At that point, those guilds who wanted unrestricted free trade sought out the backing of minor nobles, lesser domestic merchant houses, and powerful foreign merchants and soon, the island was embroiled in a full scale civil war. The rebels were almost entirely made up of craftsmen, minor merchant houses, and minor nobles, backed up by powerful foreign merchants, foreign mercenaries, and a small number of religious fighters (notably of Avandra and Ioun). Intellectuals and other social outcasts tended to favor the rebel cause. The Royalists were the royal family controlling the majority of the regular army, a majority of the navy, the church of Pelor (most Gargarians put their faith in Pelor), and most of the major nobles and larger established domestic merchants.

After eight years of fighting, the Royalist army, made up mostly of draftees and conscripts, has secured most of the interior of the island. The rebel forces control many coastal land areas but the Royalist blockade still prevents nearly all foreign supplies and reinforcements from making landfall. “Terror attacks”, guerilla warfare, and similar tactics are widely being employed by both sides. The Tri-Star Guild, House Shaelrick, and the House of Merc all actively support the rebel cause while the House of the Golden Grain is the only major merchant house supporting the Royalists. Both sides are war weary but continue to struggle; the rebels fight not only for religious and economic freedom, but for the right to self rule. The Royalists are driven by their sense of duty as they are fighting for the rightful and just rulers of the land. The Royalist view themselves as fighting to preserve the unity of their country and that their cause must be just as it is obviously blessed by their god (Pelor) as the church is solidly on the Royalist side.

The party, as a whole, must select a side, either the Rebels or the Royalists to support. You may ask me any questions you need to in order to make a decision. No matter which side the party selects, you may want to consider selecting Gargarian and possibly Karenese as character languages. Since the character builder does not support these language selections, selecting “Deep Speech” will indicate to me that your character speeks Gargarian as well, and “Primordial” will indicate that your character speaks Primordial and Karenese (yeah, a two for one bonus!).

If the party aligns with the Rebels, you will blend in well with the rebel forces as there are many non-human mercenaries in the rebel ranks. Further, nearly all the domestic minorities of Grong Island sided with the rebels. The party would likely be based in either the city of Leniss (birthplace of the rebellion) or the renamed city of New Hope (was Kelderan before the rebels captured the city), the rebel capital and home to most of Grong Island’s universities. Leniss and New Hope have the highest percentage of non-Gargarian speakers. As elite soldiers and specialists, the party would serve in multiple roles; infiltration, path finding, counter insurgency and sabotage. If you align with the Rebels, you cannot select Pelor as your patron deity nor could you select the House of the Golden Gain as a current or past employer. Selecting Avandra or Ioun as your patron deity could carry significant benefits as these two deities actively support the rebel cause.

If the party aligns with the Royalists, and the party contains many non-human members, the party will be an infiltration “special forces” team, conducting dangerous missions behind enemy lines where the party would blend in. The party would be a hand-picked team recruited by top leaders within the Royalist army. Because there are so few non-humans in the Royalist ranks, other Royalist forces that are not aware of the party’s mission, presence or existence, may attack the party on sight. Note that since the largest minority population on Grong Island is elven (5%), and a majority of the elves were craftsmen, most elves are persecuted by the Royalists. There are a few elves loyal to the Royalist cause, but these few are viewed as “traitors” by the vast majority of the indigenous elven people. If you align with the Royalists, the only deity you can openly support is Pelor. Your character may worship a different deity, but you must be relatively discreet. If you align with the Royalists, you cannot choose Avandra or Ioun as your patron deities nor can you hail from the lands of Kern.

Again, please discuss and decide which of the two sides the party will align with.

More notes: Any non-humans will generally be associated immediately with rebel forces. Although characters may be of any race, selecting a race that totally precludes posing as human may limit the party's options in certain situations. If the party does select the Royalists, the party will have a secure base camp where they can rest, replenish supplies and equipment (new magic items), and train (advance levels) w/o fear of being attacked by uninformed "friendly" forces.

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Since the original party allied with the rebel forces, it would be interesting to see "what could have happened" had PCs been on the other side...

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HaHaHa... I had the exact same thought... might be, well, interesting...

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I had the same thought, but then I pitied the DM and thought it would be a lot easier if we stick to the Rebels. That way it won't be too much work for the DM. Personally, the Rebels' story also sounds the most intriguing.

On the other hand, if the DM prefers that we play Royalists, I am fine with that, too. However, I would like to know as soon as possible, as it will impact what kind of character I build. I am currently working on a making a Rebel. But if you let me know that we're playing Royalists, I will start building a Royalist character. Either would be fun, for sure! Smile

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