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Coronation of Dia Tempest

This adventure introduces one of the first major story arcs of the campaign: Haven's war on everyone that's not a Believer of the One. It introduces the first major antagonist, as well: Dia Tempest.

This adventure is designed for the Grand Tour, as described on the Campaign page, but can be fit into one of the other stories with at most some slight re-tooling.

Back Story

Dia Tempest's father died just a few months ago and it's time that she was crowned queen, so she can lead her people. Thus far, she's been little more than the leader of the army, preparing them for war.

Currently, Dia's mother is administrating the kingdom, at least until the ceremony is complete.

Haven has been quietly massing troops, based on Dia's “visions.” Almost no one has noticed, aside from Lord Arthur Bellaby (or Lady Audrey Bellaby, see below), but he's just a minor noble that nobody pays attention to.

All the “civilized” major players in the Archipelago have been invited to the ceremony and the royal ball the night before. This is the major event of the year for high society types and no one wants to be left out.

Lord Bellaby

Arthur Bellaby is a rich fop. He's a noble by birth, but is often frowned upon by other nobles, due to his “past mis-behavior.” As they would say, “He's even so gauche as to come to the social functions of the Archipelago without a woman on his arm.” To put it plainly, he isn't as decadent as the other nobles. He actually works for a living.

Not so, anymore. He just put his most trusted employee in charge of the family banking business and he's seeking a group of adventurers to be his entourage, as he's the last of his family and he never was all that good with the ladies. He plans on fitting in for once, at least for the social event of the year.

To this end, he just got in touch with the League of Adventurers and asked for a group to act as body guards. He has specifically asked for both muscle and a little feminine company so he won't seem like a loser that couldn't get a girl. The Terrible Trio would have been perfect, but they're currently out on assignment and it's short notice.

Lord Bellaby will not let on about this, but he wants body guards for a very good reason: he's heard from a close friend who lives on Storm Haven Island that something fishy is going on with the princess and that dangerous things are afoot.

If there are no female PCs in the group, Lord Bellaby may instead be Lady Audrey Bellaby. She instead wanted a masculine group of toughs that would clean up well. The PCs just happen to fit and are available. This will requires some on-the-fly modification of boxed text, but this shouldn't be too difficult.

Adventure Synopsis

  • The PCs receive new orders from the League.
  • They arrive at the Bellaby Estate.
  • Lord Bellaby explains his need to “fit in.” He needs an entourage, just like everyone else.
  • The PCs are given nice clothes and fake titles fitting with important servants of a noble. His escort is simply given a plausible sounding title for the girlfriend of a noble.
  • Lord Bellaby's escort is taught to waltz, while the whole group is taught proper etiquette for such an event.
  • They go to Storm Haven.
  • Behind the scenes of the Ball, nobles disappear briefly and then return acting slightly odd. Dia is using some of her powers to semi-brainwash them.
  • Lord Bellaby asks the sneakiest of the group to investigate, while he keeps up appearances.
  • Dia makes an appearance in a complete evening gown and dances with Magaro for one waltz. She looks awkward, as though not used to such events and falls flat on her face shortly after. This gives her the perfect excuse to leave.
  • The coronation goes off without a hitch. After crowned, she turns to the crowd and announces her plans to do all she can to to spread her religion, to thunderous applause. Unknown to the crowd, she's going to start a bloody crusade to force her religion on others.
  • Within two weeks, her forces invade several islands of the Spine.

Starting the Adventure

If the PCs are fresh from Clearing the Gnomish Mines, then read this:

It's almost as harrowing getting out of the Gnomish mines as it was getting in, but finally, you're at the surface again.

The Dwarves have brought you out in Iron Port, the Dwarven center of shipping and trade, where you can book passage to anywhere you'd like to go. The frigid sea air is refreshing to a certain degree, but also chills you straight to the bone. Ah, the Archipelago; cold as an ice-devil's behind, but still home, nonetheless.

This next bit isn't dependent on being in Iron Port [Bracketed portions are for Iron Port specifically]:

As you're walking the streets, a young [Dwarf] man runs up to you, completely out of breath.

After catching his breath, he speaks, “Are you {insert adventuring party name here}?”

Surely, the PCs will be honest and say yes:

“I've got a package for you.” he says as he draws a leather-wrapped bundle from the satchel hanging at his side. It bears the seal of the League of Adventurers drawn in glowing blue letters; only official communication from the top brass ever bears such markings. Whatever is inside must be important.

Inside they'll find a mound of coins and gems ($43,200) and a letter. It reads as follows:

{Insert adventuring party name here},

We apologize for the short notice, but you're the only group fitting the job's requirements available at the moment.

Lord Arthur Bellaby, head of Bellaby Savings and Loan and heir to the Bellaby fortune has requested one of our member groups to assist with a personal matter and some light body guard work.

Yes, we know that we don't usually take this kind of work, but he's offering triple the usual rate. You may be able to haggle more out of him. You needn't worry about the League's finder's fee: Lord Bellaby will deposit it in our accounts directly, as we have done business with him in the past.

You're required at the Bellaby Estate in three days from the time of writing. It's on Theris Island. Lord Bellaby will provide further details and your pay. He asks that you be discrete. If you get lost, ask the locals to direct you to Bellaby Savings and Loan. His employees can tell you the way from there.

Be careful on Theris Island. The laws there are fairly strict. Do not get into trouble.

Good Luck!

P.S. The money in the pouch should be enough to charter direct passage to the island on short order.

The note is dated yesterday and the trip to Theris Island takes about two days at normal speeds (adjust the boxed text as needed, should you be starting from somewhere other than Iron Port) by the fastest Courier ships from Iron Port. One of them happens to be docked at Iron Port right now. They just barely put in and are looking for someone that needs a ride or freight to ship.

Getting There

If the PCs go to the docks immediately, reward them with this:

Just as you get to the docks, you see a crew unload the last of their cargo and the First Mate begins setting out a sign that says:

The Surly Sailor
Available for Charter

The Surly Sailor is one of the lighter and faster Courier ships. It's surely capable of getting you to Theris Island on schedule.

The money provided by the League is enough to get the crew moving quickly, as it's one and a half times their usual charter fee for such a journey ($28,800). They'll really push the Surly Sailor and work extra hard to get the PCs there on time. If the PCs are stingy and try to keep the money for themselves, they'll likely be late (two day trip with no time to find the estate) and this is likely to irritate Lord Bellaby, who will not be quite so extravagant in paying them, unless the PCs smooth it over with an influence roll of some kind (Fast-Talk, most likely).

The Surly Sailor can get the PCs to Theris Island in a day and a half if they're given the extra cash.

If the PCs dilly-dally, the Surly Sailor will have been chartered already and the only thing available is a larger, slower vessel, named the Ballista. She's a slow, retro-fit captured Pirate war-ship and will take two full days to get there if pushed to her limits. It will take $57,600 to accomplish this (their usual charter price for such a trip is $38400). Otherwise it will be two and a half days.

Either way, the Ballista cannot get the PCs there with enough time to find the estate before their time is up.

The Surly Sailor's crew could be convinced to take them anyway, if they show the pouch that proves they're on official business for the League, but since they already have a customer, this will require an influence roll and all the money the League gave them just for the slower, two day trip. If they still want to get there in a day and a half, the crew will ask for double their normal rate ($57,600). The extra money is part of an apology to their customer and to help them charter one of the larger ships.

Encounters with Pirates, sea monsters, or aquatic Elves may be added to spice things up, if desired. Even spotting a Modron vessel is possible in the area.

Theris Island

Fortunately, Theris Island is a much warmer place than most, as the surrounding waters bubble with warm air.

Unfortunately, the air smells slightly of brimstone. As you crinkle your noses, the First Mate chuckles, “First time here, eh? You get used to it. It doesn't smell like this on the land.”

The ship soon docks at a bustling port city. You disembark to the wonderful aroma of apple pie. There's a port-side bakery/tavern here, aside from the usual sea-side amenities.

You're glad to find that the warmth of this island extends to the land; you see temperate trees everywhere.

Unless the PCs have some other way of locating the Bellaby Estate, they will have to seek out Bellaby Savings and Loan, which is just a brisk walk from the docks. Here they'll be given directions to the the estate, which is an hour away by foot.

Wolf Attack!

When the PCs are on their way, read this:

Up ahead on the road, you see a wagon that's been driven into an irrigation ditch that runs along side the road. Surrounding it is a pack of wolves.

You see a young couple fending them off with cooking pans.

The stats for wolves are on p. B458. There are seven of them.

The couple, Saul and Raleigh Moulding, are employees of Lord Bellaby. Specifically, they work in his kitchen and were on their way back to the estate from a grocery/supply run. The horse has run off, but might be retrievable by any character with the Tracking skill.

This won't be apparent, but the wolves have been convinced by a local druid to attack travelers, because the town recently diverted a river. The river was keeping his private grove watered.

The couple can tell them that the road has recently become more dangerous, with wild animals attacking those that travel it. If asked, they also know that a druid lives nearby. They do not see these two facts as connected in any fashion.

If sought out, the druid (Lanny Wray) will be frank and honest about his reasons for sending the animals to attack people. He wants the river diverted back the way it was. If the townsfolk do so, he'll bless their crops with timely rain using his powers, which is just as good as having the irrigation water they wanted in the first place.

If the PCs rescue the Mouldings, then give them a +1 to any reaction roll involving Lord Bellaby for the next week, as he's become particularly impressed with them, due to their tendency to help others.

Bellaby Estate

You're quite surprised by the sheer size of the estate. Standing at the gates, you can see at least a half mile of open fields interrupted by a meandering road that leads to a small forest contained within the estate walls. At the center of the forest, you think you can see a castle tower sticking out.

Off to one side, you see a small, red-brick gate house, complete with it's own stables. There is a coach and four horses with driver standing at the ready. As he sees you, the driver tips his hat to you.

Just as you begin to think about doing anything more, a man dressed as a footman to a wealthy noble appears from the gate house and begins unlocking the gate, “I believe you're here to see the master, yes?”

He'll lead them to the coach and assist them in climbing in, where they'll find a very richly dressed noble seated before them. This is Lord Bellaby.

Seated before you is a man dressed in the most expensive clothes you've ever seen. He brushes his black hair out of his gray eyes as he removes a hat and the coach begins moving.

He looks you all over and smiles, “I think you'll do.”

As his gaze settles on {name of most attractive female member of party}, he adds, “I think you'll be perfect for the role I have in mind.”

After a brief moment, he shakes his head, “Please excuse my sudden lack of manners. I've never been face to face with adventurers before. It's a rare treat, I assure you. I am Lord Arthur Bellaby. What might your names be?”

He's expecting formal titles, as well. If they don't mention them, he'll ask. If they're rude and insist on being told why they've been summoned, he'll be almost gruff in return, saying, “Manners have their proper time and place, as well. This is a time for manners.”

With introductions done, he'll finally tell them why they're here:

He begins, “I need a little extra protection and I do not trust mercenaries. The usual sort one might hire for such work can often be crass and this is a delicate matter. Adventurers and especially League adventurers, have a reputation for being more sensitive.

“I'm going to a party. Specifically, a royal ball and the coronation of a new queen for a nearby island.

“I need you to be my entourage, as I'm afraid it would mean the death of my status as a nobleman to continue as I have, showing up at these events alone.

“I also need your attractive friend there, ” {he gestures at the most attractive female member of the group}, “To accompany me as my personal escort, to forestall [cough nervously] suspicions that I'm not…popular.

“Aside from this, I wish to hire you to protect me as I travel, since I have many places to go and traveling alone can be dangerous for one such as I.

“This will be an extended arrangement, at least for the foreseeable future, but with ample opportunities for you to adventure on the side.

“I will pay you well, as this will be very difficult for you at times and probably very boring.” he winks as he says that last part, “So how does three times the normal rate for a body guard sound?”

He assumes (very wrongly) that a body guard is a Wealthy job (see p. B516-517), but is tripling that. With haggling (use a contest of Merchant skill or an influence roll), he'll go as high as four or five times (on a critical success).

The PCs may end up getting paid much more than they think they are. Do not let on about this until after the deal is struck. If they want to know how much money that would be, pull out the monthly pay table for jobs on p. B517 and figure it out as though it were an average wealth job.

Their pay ends up between $12,000 and 20,000 a month, for each character. If they point out that he's offering too much, he'll just wink and say, “Consider it an incentive to perform well on the job.” He really doesn't care how much he spends. He has so much money, he just doesn't know what to do with it all.

His escort will be given 10% more pay.

Don't forget that 10% off the top of that will go straight to the League of Adventurers.

As they approach Lord Bellaby's private castle, read this:

As you're about to enter the woods, you can see the tower more clearly: it's definitely part of a castle that would make most royals of other countries jealous. It seems to be made of white stone.

After a brief ride through the woods, you see the castle in all it's glory. There's a sturdy wall that could easily withstand heavy siege weaponry or even an angry giant. There is a large moat that would make sieging the castle difficult, at best.

As you pass over the bridge and within the walls, you see lush gardens and a beautiful hedge maze.

Finally, the real castle is visible and it's made of white marble!

Your employer smiles, “Home sweet home. Welcome to Bellaby Manor.”

The coach stops in front of the castle portcullis, standing wide open to receive you. There is a red carpet leading deeper inside, flanked by suits of armor along the walls.

You are greeted outside the coach by a man dressed as a butler, who takes your employer's coat and hat. After that, Lord Bellaby walks down the hall, while the butler gestures for you to follow him.

So Much to Learn

The butler assigns the PCs quarters, helps them unpack and then brings in an entire team of seamstresses to take measurements for the clothing they'll be needing for special events. These clothes will be done within a week, requiring a few test fittings. They're a job-related perk that the PCs can keep. Each suit of clothes is worth $4,800 and are suitable for a character with a Status level of 3. His escort will be given clothes suitable for Status level 4, worth $24,000. This, along with Savoir-Faire (High Society) rolls (see below) will allow the PCs to pretend to be a higher status level than they are. If the PCs are married, then their spouses will also be sent for and fitted for such clothing.

After the seamstresses are gone, the butler will begin instructing the PCs in proper etiquette for high society. He's teaching them the Savoir-Faire (High Society) skill.

Use the rules for Improvement Through Study on p. B292-293 for this. The butler has IQ 13, Teaching-15 [8] and Savoir-Faire-16 [8].

If desired, he's fully capable of teaching them using the Intensive Training rule, but he is almost unbearably harsh when doing this. He'll work on them up to sixteen hours a day like this, if they so desire.

They have twenty-five days in which to learn and the goal is for each PC to have at least one point in the skill by the end. If they already have at least one point in it, they can spend their time doing other things.

Their employer has also hired a dance instructor to teach Lord Bellaby's escort how to dance. The others may learn as well, if desired. She has DX 13, IQ 11, Teaching-12 [4] and Dancing-15 [8]. She can also teach using the Intensive Training rule. However, the teachers will prioritize on teaching them Savoir-Faire.

If Lord Bellaby is actually Lady Bellaby, she'll insist that Dancing is more important for her escort, as they will be leading and she doesn't want broken toes. If the escort doesn't gain a point in Savoir-Faire, then Lady Bellaby will instruct them to stay quiet and follow her lead.

The escort's days will likely be very busy; a minimum of eight hours a day with the butler, followed by a minimum of four hours of dance instruction (reverse that if required). If desired and the student is capable, they'll do a full eight hours each of Intensive Training.

By the end of all of this, the group should be ready. If they learned via the Intensive Training rule, they may also have developed a strong dislike for their teachers.

During all of this, the PCs will be treated to wonderfully lavish, individualized meals.

Wait, so who are we?

Next on the agenda will be a planning session where the PCs and Lord Bellaby figure out what fake titles the PCs should have. These should not be out-right lies, but simply misleading. Special attention will be paid to his escort's title, as she is supposed to be pretending to be a potential wife.

Also, he'll explain what the PCs can expect at the banquet and ball:

  • No weapons will be allowed. If the PCs insist, on an influence roll, he'll allow them to hide something small, like a knife, but they're responsible if caught; he'll insist he knew nothing about it.
  • Skulking/sneaking around could get them into huge trouble.
  • The food will be great.
  • Dancing is an important part of the evening.
  • He'll have to socialize and so will the PCs. This will involve talking to nearly everyone at some point.

He'll also explain what to expect at the coronation:

  • No weapons. No exceptions. Period.
  • No skulking around. Do not chance it. Period.
  • It's a formal event that is to be dead silent once it's begun.
  • The new Queen will make an announcement as to what her plans for the kingdom are. This is usually something nice to please the masses, like civic improvements. Occasionally it's religious in nature. Every once in a while, it's a military action to right some obvious injustice that everyone could agree with. He'll also add that a new ruler's proclamation is usually the subject of a betting pool among the attending nobles.
  • After that, everybody goes home, at least after the bets are settled.

Almost offhandedly, Lord Bellaby remarks, “You know, it's odd. Usually, the ball comes after the coronation, but the princess insisted that it go the other way around. Hrm. What royals want, royals get, eh?”

Storm Haven Island

After a few days below the decks of The Surly Sailor, the ship chartered for the duration, you're happy to be out in the sun again. The air is cold, but not as cold as most places in the Archipelago. It's actually a pleasant difference.

In the distance to the south you can see a castle with a bustling city at it's base. You blink your eyes several times in surprise as you suddenly realize that there's a golden-scaled dragon perched on the east wall of the castle! It's hard to tell from this distance, but it seems to be enjoying the morning sun.

If anyone asks, the dragon has been protecting the kingdom for longer than any human has been alive, at least multiple life times.

You're greeted at the docks by a contingent of soldiers in full ceremonial plate armor. They stand at attention as you approach and then take your luggage from the crew.

After a quick exchange of pleasantries between the Captain of the Guard and Lord Bellaby, he leads you to a coach with a team of six white horses.

It's a somewhat bumpy ride over a rock-strewn road, but it's far more comfortable than what you're used to.

You arrive at the castle, where you climb out and are greeted by another contingent of soldiers in plate armor. They take your bags and lead you inside.

The castle is sturdy and serviceable, but it just doesn't have the flare that Bellaby Manor does. It almost looks like a hovel by comparison. As you walk the halls, you see traces of stucco in places that may once have made it appear grand, beautiful even, but the castle simply hasn't been maintained in an artistic sense. It almost makes you want to cry.

From what you've seen so far, the kingdom's soldiers are well taken care of and very well trained, but the castle seems to be viewed simply as a fortification for defense and a home for the royals, nothing more. Even the rugs and wall hangings are plain, if not boring.

Eventually, you're led to a pair of adjoining rooms where you are informed, “Begging your pardon, but you'll all have to share these two rooms. There are many, many guests coming and we have to make room for all of them.”

Lord Bellaby nods, smiles, shakes his hand and slips the fellow a handful of coins. The soldier looks down at the money, as though confused, but pockets it and walks away.

If asked, he just says he was tipping the guy (he's got a compulsive spending habit). There really is no more to it than that, but some might suspect it was a bribe or something untoward.

The banquet is at 7:00 pm and the ball at 9:00 pm. The Coronation is scheduled for 2:00 pm the next day. Until then, the PCs may do as they like, but should be warned to avoid trouble. Lord Bellaby will be lazily hanging around the provided rooms, mostly napping off and on, but he'll want one of the PCs to stay with him at all times, just in case. At noon, he'll be awake and eating, as the castle servants will be serving food to everyone that's already arrived.

The Banquet

The evening begins first with a light dinner, where you're seated at a long table along with Lord Bellaby and several other dignitaries from Theris Island. Among these is a Half-Elf woman and a human man dressed in the finery of royalty. Next to them is a man dressed in the flowing robes of a wizard, with the Half-Elf seated between them. The two men look wary, as though watching for danger.

After dinner, the various nobles leisurely talk. As this begins, Lord Bellaby gives you an odd look. After a moment or two, he gestures you close and quietly explains, “You need to mingle or everyone will think you're strange.”

During this social phase of the evening, Princess Dia is absent. Allow a perception-based Savior-Faire (High Society) roll to notice. Allow another roll to notice that some of the local minor nobles are occasionally leaving the room with nobles from other kingdoms. They always return within a few minutes.

They're being invited to have a “private conversation with the princess” if anyone gets close enough to over-hear. If followed, they're taken to an ante-chamber off the hall outside the Ballroom, where Dia is waiting. Once the door is closed, she talks with them about their loyalties and asks for their support in times to come. She is using this as an excuse to brainwash them using her powers. She has been talked into this by the Captain of the Guard and several of her advisors. She does not like skulking around like this.

The room is flanked by two soldiers and there are four more inside.

If any PC is caught nosing around while this is going on, they'll be roughly grabbed by the guards (who are armed and armored) and taken inside to have “a nice chat” with the princess. She will do the same to them. If they don't succumb or they otherwise resist, they'll be taken to the dungeon, where they won't be released until Lord Bellaby leaves the island. An Acting roll might get them out of this, if they've learned enough to pretend to be affected.

The invitations will happen in the following order:

  • Dwarven Royals
  • Elven Royals
  • Clan Leader Ranzder
  • Theris Royals
  • Japheth Arcane
  • The Druids
  • Captain Gunderson
  • The Knight of One
  • Lord Bellaby
  • Ulrich Malheur
  • Monte Higdon
  • Prince Roger Septimus Hathewald
  • Minor Nobles from around the Archipelago

Dia is trying to get someone important from each major island, so the troops will be supported by local forces when they invade. Alternatively, she's looking to start a coup on each island that she can support with her own troops.

Theris Royals (Theris)

The closest group willing to have a conversation with the PCs are the king (Oliver Hieron) and queen (Saelves Dael-Hieron) of Theris, as well as their Grand Vizier (Melchius Braeton). If the PCs get closer to Melchius, point out that he's on the League's Governing Council. He's quite aware of their mission here and that they aren't what they appear to be. They king and queen are also aware.

Unknown to the PCs, this group is watching to see whether they'd be a good group to hire in the future, as they have a special event of their own planned for the future that they could use some extra muscle with and some assassins they want stopped (see next paragraph).

If asked, they will explain why they're glancing around nervously. The king and queen are under constant threat of death in Theris, due to assassins that try to kill them on a regular basis. They don't really know why they're a target. The king and the vizier are always on the lookout for danger, as they've both sworn to protect the queen.

The Queen looks slightly ill. If asked, she'll say, “It must have been something I ate.” She is actually pregnant. She is not quite aware of this yet, but has her suspicions.

King Oliver is invited to speak with Dia, but declines due to a funny feeling about it.

Elven Royals (Cresentia)

Thandel Dael of Crescentia is also nearby, along with her son and daughter, Maethorn and Gilwen. She will initially be seen talking with Saelves (see above), who happens to be her daughter. Thandel is quite depressed and it seems that her children are practically forcing her to talk to people. If any of them are asked, they'll admit that her most recent husband died a few months ago. This is the human father of Saelves. Thandel was very much in love with him and misses him terribly.

If the PCs talk to Thandel, they'll be approached by Tiragi Bladeshaman (see below) next.

Thandel is invited to speak with Dia, but declines because she's too depressed to care. Her daughter goes in her place and comes back with a secret Fanaticism for Dia's cause.

Dwarven Royals (Iron Hall)

Tiragi Bladeshaman, Kilgret Bladeshaman and Werida Marfik compose this group.

Tiragi is the king of Iron Hall. Kilgret is his daughter and Werida is his wife.

Tiragi is spending the evening following Thandel around, talking to everyone she talks to, attempting to be more friendly than she is. In essence, he's trying to make her look bad. Almost everyone he talks to gets a hardy invite to visit his “palace.” His “palace” is a Dwarven mine. It's as comfortable as any Dwarf could desire, but it's still just a mine.

He's wandering around with a drumstick from a turkey in his hand and a bottle of wine in the other, occasionally biting off a hunk and talking while he eats, followed shortly by a swig of wine to wash it down. His idle chatter consists of talking about his great military accomplishments. It will become quite obvious to anyone that listens that he's a brilliant strategist and that he hates Elves. The other nobles think he's totally crass (he lacks the Savior-Faire (High Society) skill and isn't even trying to fake it.)

Tiragi is invited to speak with Dia and agrees. He gets lucky and resists right off the bat. He tells the princess that his priorities lie elsewhere (sticking it to the Elves) and that he can't support her.

Japheth Arcane (Wizard's Guild)

Japheth is the leader of the Wizard's Guild and has come simply because he was invited. He cares little for the current goings-on. He spends the evening quietly eating and then dances once with the woman that came with him, Kaylisidee, another of the Regents of the Guild. They disappear shortly after this.

They will not talk with the PCs unless they're members of the guild and then the conversation will be kept to minor pleasantries.

Japheth is invited to speak with Dia, but Kaylisidee goes in his place. She comes back just slightly more willing to listen to Haven's representatives in the future, but it matters little, as she is in charge of internal affairs of the Guild and has little to do with outside policy. She will however pressure Japheth to listen if he speaks with her about such matters.

The Knight of One (Green Knights)

Claris Bozard, the current Knight of One for the Green Knights, has come along with Damon Vitkus, their Current War Leader.

She is wearing a stunning evening gown, while Damon is wearing a suit that doesn't quite seem to fit him right. He also looks drunk. He's had a bit too much wine. Note: he's a mean drunk and will behave as though he had Bad Temper.

Claris is invited to speak with Dia and she readily accepts because they're old friends. She will return fiercely loyal to Dia, having gained a Sense of Duty to her. While she's away, Damon will pick a fight with one of the PCs. He will pass out after any successful strike.

The Egyptian Stranger (Egypt)

The dignitary that came the furthest is a strange man from the island of Egypt. He barely speaks Common, so one of his aides translates for him. He wants nothing to do with the PCs.

This noble is ignored by Dia, as he is from so far away as to be strategically unimportant.

Clan Leader Ranzder (Tinkers)

Clan Leader Ranzder, that the PCs may remember from the adventure, Clearing the Gnomish Mines, has come decked out in a dress spun from giant spider silk. She came to represent the Tinkers, since she no longer has much of a mining operation to run.

She is seeking political alliances for their war with the Coleopterans. She has been authorized to offer large sums of gems for assistance.

When invited to speak with Dia, the Clan Leader sees it as an opportunity to ask Haven for help. After having a long conversation, they agree to help each other out. Dia didn't even bother to try to brain-wash her, because the Clan Leader spoke first and she liked what the small woman had to say.

Unfortunately for the rest of the Archipelago, the Gnomes will begin shipping Haven firearms, while Haven will begin sending troops to assist in the war effort.

Clan Leader Ranzder is not aware of what Haven will do with the weapons. She only knows that she needs the help and Haven wants guns.

Due to this arrangement, the Dwarves will be among the last to be invaded by Dia's troops, so as not to offend her new ally.

The Druids

There is a small group of druids here. They didn't bother to dress up, but no one expected them to.

Dia will invite them to come speak with her, but they'll decline. They know what she's trying to do and came to see how it would play out.

They saw a possible chain of future events that resembles what's happening now via a magical reflecting pool back on their island. They will not speak with Dia directly, instead speaking with some of her people about the possibility of a peace treaty. This offer of a treaty is politely refused, with the explanation that such would have to be discussed directly with the princess.

Captain Gunderson (League of Adventurers)

Ulrich Gunderson of the League of Adventurers came with his wife on his arm.

Dia invites him to speak with her, which he agrees to. He comes back having unknowingly acquired the Reprogrammable Disadvantage. He will do anything she says, but when this string is pulled, he will hate her for it.

Representatives of Three Kings (Isle of the Three Kings)

The three Kings from the nearby island are not in attendance, due to their own petty squabble, but each sent a representative.

Ulrich Malheur (Belleca)

Ulrich is in a fairly foul mood; he didn't want to come to the party and is spending the evening staring at the Hathwald representative, who just so happens to be his brother. He will not talk to the PCs. If they insist on speaking with him, he'll shout at them, causing a horrible scene.

He came alone and is dressed in a fine set of wizard's robes.

Ulrich is invited to speak with Dia, but refuses; he just wants to get the night over with.

Prince Roger Septimus Hathewald (Hathwald)

Roger was sent because his father has no patience for such social events. He brought a beautiful woman with dark hair as his date; she's about as brainless as they come. He only cares about her appearance and has been using her for quite some time.

Roger himself is an arrogant jerk with a massive sense of entitlement. If the PCs try to talk to him, he will ask, “Do I know you?” When he gets a negative response, he'll answer back, “Then kindly remove yourself from my presence.”

Roger readily agrees to speak with Dia, thinking to manipulate her and turn the situation to his favor, but instead ends up blubbering like a man that's never seen a beautiful woman before. He'll unsuccessfully try to woo her, but Dia doesn't want any part of it (she's got a boyfriend) and instead has him taken away to the dungeon for getting fresh with her. Roger gains a new Disadvantage from his encounter with her Awe power, an Obsession with Dia.

He won't return to the banquet and his date will be left sitting alone. Eventually, she'll be informed that he's been taken to the dungeon for his unacceptable behavior and she'll run from the room in tears.

Roger will be released as soon as the coronation is over and sent back to Hathewald with a stern warning and a few broken bones (he'll have an “accident” in the dungeon, because Dia's people love her so much).

Monte Higdon (Vawdreya)

Monte is dressed in the finery of a minor noble and sitting at a table with a young woman (a Vawdreyan Spy). He's surreptitiously keeping an eye on the representatives from the other two kings.

If the PCs ask him about himself, he'll stand, take a bow and start juggling anything handy. As he does so, he'll explain that he's the personal Fool of the king of Vawdreya. He'll further explain that his majesty was too busy to come and sent Monte instead. Monte will do something flashing with the juggled items as a big finish and then go back to sipping his wine quietly.

Monte will agree to speak with Dia and see right through what she's doing (he is Unfazeable, after all). He finds her tactics boring, but keeps his opinion to himself. He'll later report this back to his king, who will find it amusing.

Lord Bellaby's Local Friend

After the PCs have had the opportunity to talk with two or three of the above groups, read this:

As you're finishing a conversation with someone else, Lord Bellaby comes closer and says, “I'd like to introduce you to a local friend of mine, Reginald Weinert. He's the local version of me!” He says the last part with a chuckle.

His friend is a tall fellow, easily six feet, with a broad mustache and short, graying hair.

Reginald shakes his head and jokes, “How insulting! I don't work nearly as hard as you!”

As they speak, the two men are carefully drawing you away from others.

When he's confident he won't be overheard, Lord Bellaby says in a low tone, “Reggie has something important to say.”

Reginald begins in a similarly low tone, “Something strange is going on here. I may not be in the loop, but I can tell when my country is preparing for war. The troops have been training like the end of the world is coming.

“Have you noticed that people are being escorted away from the banquet on a regular basis? This comes after they talk with some of the royal family's closer relatives. They return a few minutes later, but I fear something untoward is happening.

“Have you noticed that the princess isn't here? That would normally be a huge social blunder, but everyone seems to be ignoring it. Perhaps they're simply being too polite to comment. I don't know.

“I suspect these events are all connected.”

After hearing this, Lord Bellaby will ask the sneakiest PC to investigate. At this point, Clan Leader Ranzder will re-enter the room and the Theris Royals will be the next target. Any PC watching will see them turn down the offer, followed by a similar offer to Japheth Arcane.

The Ball

At roughly 9:00 PM, the guests will be encouraged to make their way to the ballroom, where an entire troupe of musicians have been employed for the occasion. Read this as the PCs enter the room:

Unlike most other rooms in this castle, the ballroom has been maintained properly.

Beautiful crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling of this large room, which has been fitted, obviously at great expense, with wonderful, glass windows! You can see the stars, despite the candle and torch-light.

The full moon is making an appearance tonight as well, providing a modicum of silver light to top off the evening with.

It's a truly amazing sight to behold as musicians begin playing a waltz.

Along either side of the room are small, round tables where some are sitting and talking, while others begin dancing.

The nobles continue their socializing, but mix in dancing as desired. The younger nobles are taking this as an opportunity to talk with others their age and seek relationships with the opposite sex. It's not often they have the chance to be around others of similar social standing.

Some of the older nobles are using this as an opportunity to arrange marriages for their children.

Lord Bellaby will expect (and be expected by his peers) to dance at least two or three times with his escort.

The Theris royals are sitting out this portion of the evening, as Saelves does not feel like dancing and the vizier is simply here to protect the king and queen (his wife is not present).

About mid-way through the ball, read this:

Suddenly, everyone's heads turn at once, as several others point skyward.

Glittering in the moonlight is a golden-scaled dragon, swooping down from above! Barely visible seated on it's neck is what looks like a woman in a long, flowing dress.

As it comes closer, you can see this is the same dragon you glimpsed as you set foot on the island.

Within a few moments, it lightly sets down inside the castle walls. After assisting it's rider to dismount, it sinks from view; you're not able to see the ground from this vantage point.

Shortly after, one of the local nobles interrupts the music to gain everyone's attention, “Princess Dia Tempest, our soon-to-be queen!”

Large, double doors part to admit her entrance; this is obviously the woman that flew in on the dragon. Her short, raven hair has been expertly arranged. Even at this distance, you can see her violet eyes. She's wearing a golden-hued, long, silk dress. She is walking awkwardly, as though unaccustomed to such attire.

On her arm is a golden-skinned, blond-haired man.

Nearly everyone in the room bows as she enters and another waltz begins. It quickly becomes quite obvious that she hasn't the slightest clue how to dance.

Anyone with appropriate skills can confirm that the man on her arm is the dragon in human form.

The PCs may overhear the nobles gossiping to each other about the princess and her clumsiness on the dance floor. She's defaulting to DX-5 for a skill of 9. On top of this, she hasn't ever worn high heels before, for another -2. Anyone can make a perception roll to notice that she's repeatedly stepping on Magaro's feet, as he keeps wincing. Sadly, he isn't very good at dancing either.

Just as the song is about to end, read this:

Its almost painful watching the girl attempt to dance. Most of the people in the room are trying hard not to stare. There are a few chuckles audible in the background.

Suddenly, the princess slips out of her dance partner's hands and falls flat on her face! He almost went down with her and could do precious little to help. It looks like she stepped on her dress, as the edge of it has been torn.

After pausing briefly to remove her shoes, the princess is helped back to her feet. Her face is bright red with embarrassment. The two of them quickly leave the room.

At this point, the gossip gets far worse as people start saying things like, “What kind of royal princess can't dance? It's a travesty!”

The ball continues to completion without further event.

The Coronation

The coronation itself is a terribly boring event. The throne room is so dead silent that you could hear a pin drop from twenty yards away.

An old priest administers an oath to the kneeling princess that involves serving and protecting her people.

The princess is dressed in what looks like ill-fitting ceremonial full-plate armor. Lord Bellaby explained before the coronation that the armor is traditional for the new ruler of the island to wear. It's been passed down for generations, just like the crown and scepter of the old kingdom.

Once the oath is complete, the priest places the ancestral crown on her head. She is handed the scepter and then rises to her feet.

She turns to address the assembled crowd, “It's good to see so many friends from other islands come to honor me with their presence today. I thank you for your support as I take on this heavy burden.

“I hope to serve my people well, as my dear father did. I shall truly miss him and I will always try to live up to his great example.

“I plan to do my humble part in helping to spread our religion. I'll do all I can.”

With this, she bows slightly and takes her place on the throne, to thunderous applause.

Dia Tempest is now Queen of Storm Haven Island.

Concluding the Adventure

The PCs should now head back to Theris Island with Lord Bellaby, who won't be going anywhere for a bit, as he has business to attend to there. This leaves time for some side adventures.

The following events will be an active part of the rumor mill in the next few weeks after the adventure ends:

  • Haven invades several smaller islands in the vicinity. These will mostly be spine segments inhabited by farmers and fishermen. They happen to be the families of Couriers.
  • The Couriers are now officially at war with Haven and will quickly setup a trade embargo, backed up by some of their heaviest warships. However, they haven't the military punch to do more than stop trade without jeopardizing their survival, as they're lost several critical food-production islands. To get past them, the Gnomes begin using Modron submarines to ship the guns they've promised. This leads the gnomes to begin researching submarine technology.
  • Re-education camps have been setup on the conquered islands for non-believers.
  • No one knows what happens inside these camps, but everyone comes out happy to be a Believer of the One. Most suspect brain-washing of one sort or another. The truth is a matter of several weeks of torture followed by a “rescue” by Dia. While they're weak they fall victim to her Terror Advantage combined with her high skill at Public Speaking and Diplomacy. It's a sort of enhanced bad cop, good cop routine. Dia rationalizes this as improving their lives, forcibly. She actually thinks that this is the right thing to do.
  • Three weeks after the coronation, Guild Master Rayna, of the Shadowed Eyes, steals the gems from the crown and scepter of the Old Kingdom. These are the crown jewels of Haven. This earns the Guild Master Dia's eternal hatred. It was the Guild Master's way of sending Dia the message that her actions are being watched and disapproved of. At this point, the Shadowed Eyes begin a campaign of robbing Haven blind at every opportunity.

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