As much as we’ve been enjoying our real-time campaign in Haven, there are certain achievements the players are looking for that are coming too slow. To get some large scale changes through and make the setting feel new again, we’re jumping ahead 5 years, letting the areas they’ve cleared tame, and preparing to open new territories in the new year. Saturday we played through two years and tomorrow we will play another three.
Winter Year 7
In the aftermath of the destruction of the Death’s Shadow Cult in the West Hill March, Governor Verdis hires a construction crew to put a mighty keep (Shield Keep) upon a hill near the border with the March, on a hill opposite Ellizari’s southernmost fort. He appoints Ragnvaldr over this keep.
Rovert accepts Ellizari’s offer to make him Baron of the Shadowed Hills where the cult used to reside, giving him stewardship over the kobolds still living there. Many of these kobolds move tot he Vale to join the kobold converts in Rilindje. While Rovert seeks to grow his army of undead, Conan scouts out the locations Jacob Pharoe’s mapping expedition informed him of. His magic school (Rovert’s School of Carlinecraft and Warlockry) finishes its initial stage of construction and a goblin mage arrives to lead the early teaching.
In the south, a band of adventurers (Osiris, Caramon, Chiron, and Harold) makes a dedicated effort to tame the way to downriver to Hope. In the north, gnomes found a village in the open near the secret refinery.
Spring Year 7
Shield Keep continues its construction, Prickly Keep completes an upgrade, and Governor Verdis begins a new keep in the northern gnomish village beside the Great Road. Q is accompanying Matthias among the gnomes and Matthias succeeds greatly in growing the true church in Stalla Airgid, even convincing the leaders of the gnomes to turn the old temple over to be rededicated by proper authority. A lagoran returning south from Ghost Keep takes with him Verdis’ request to send missionaries among the lagoran people.
The southern adventuring company continues, building an outpost near the river where Skromno the gnome is now running river transport via the restored Midnight Queen. Harold even levels up, being level 1 and very close.
In Citadel, there is another mysterious and brutal murder, this time of an influential land owner. The crime scene resembles that of the murder of the adventurer Xander in Citadel House. Also in the city, Rowan joins Midas at the healing house, helping to transform it into a widely renown hospital. Mil and Co. return from Zanehdreq with the magical instruments Lord Mistershem made for them.
Rovert meanwhile has accepted many of the Shadowed Hills kobolds into the village near his tower where a cult to him is slowly growing. Sidriss turns from hunting ogres to animate to focus on giant spiders while Conan continues to scout.
Summer Year 7
While construction on Shield Keep and Road Keep continues, Governor Verdis calls upon Gorg to scout out the strong places in the West Hill March and has his diplomat with the Union of Schek stir the animosity of the orcs and goblins against the Dragon Empire. During all of this, James the Grover (Verdis’ political opponent for Governor) approaches Verdis about a gnome offering to repurpose the old windmill as a mint to make Vale coins that would be the best in the land. Verdis encourages them to continue preparing for it, anticipating an influx of gold in the future.
The southern adventurers continues to have a rough year, but their slow and steady effort is paying off with reduced threats and they secure the area near their outpost enough for a ferry to be established there. This improves travel from Hope further, in addition to the Midnight Queen, but a merchant from Hope is found dead in the street. His wounds match the murder from the spring and Xander, though the others were killed in their sleep.
Sidriss continues to bring in spiders to animate and Rovert sends kobolds with recommendations to become servants in Ellizari’s palace and act as his spies there while Conan scouts the shadowed land. Rovert himself finally manages to ride the Nightmare Dohasan has been taming for some time. He takes to riding it often in his demesne.
Fall Year 7
With Shield Keep and Road Keep finishing, at least for the time being, Verdis continues to direct Gorg to scout and his diplomat to stoke the Union of Schek. His sage, Rehati, has been studying the West Hill March and proposes that Ellizari may be easier to topple by revolution than by war. Her people are abused and discontented and the God of Knowledge, a more powerful dragon nearby, lives passively within the Vale lands. Perhaps with his name, Ellizari can be driven out in favor of Vale governance and without risking the wrath of the Dragon Empire. Randall, who has been providing aid to villages in the March, starts to use his influence to make the kobolds there like him. Rovert’s spies also start to sow unrest and elevate the God of Knowledge dragon.
In the Vale, an assassin attempts to get into James the Grover’s room, but escapes when his guards spot him. One witness claims the assassin looked like Rovert, but Rovert can’t be placed in the Vale at the time. The annual Prickly Keep Tournament is another huge success and this time Rovert and Verdis turn a small profit with the West Hill March and the Union of Schek taking it very seriously and Verdis still coming out on top in a couple events.
The southern adventurers have a very rough season and end up spending most of it recovering from injuries in the Vale and reclaiming their outpost upon their return.
Rovert’s school continues to grow, as does his undead army, swelled with animated giant spiders which Sidriss finds he can continue to hunt nearby.
Winter Year 8
Efforts to stoke animosity among the Union of Schek and rebellion within the West Hill March continue normally. Croody Damphooves (Verdis’ enchanter) finishes an enchant on a flying boat to make going to and from the flying island easier. Wraecliff, who has been delving into the Moaning Hill, loses his fourth man (second delve leader) and abandons delving efforts there.
The south adventuring team manages to winter in their outpost and has a very good season, uncovering many ruins in the area.
While Conan continues to scout the shadowed lands, Sidriss picks up more spiders and Rovert (with the help of a tinker from Earl’s college attracted to his school) starts efforts to repair a crashed flying castle found near his tower.
Spring Year 8
This season marks continued success with preparing for revolution in the West Hill March. Rovert’s spies in the palace make headway, getting a backhanded title added to Ellizari’s list: “Scion of the God of Knowledge.” Worship of the God of Knowledge dragon grows an perhaps surpasses the worship of the tyrant god Ellizari, a rival god Ellizari can’t diplomatically deny.
Missionaries are sent to the Lagorans from the Vale while Q accompanies Matthias among the Union of Schek to shore up the missionaries there and try to convince the Union to allow the temple of Gilded Falls (currently used as a granary) to be restored and rededicated.
The southern adventurers have another great season, clearing many ruins and growing a strong relationship with Hope as they make the way between Hope and the Vale safe.
For Rovert, more spiders, more work on the crashed castle, and more scouting from Conan. He sends Dohasan to contact the “tree maidens” in the south of his demesne.
Summer Year 8
While God of Knowledge dragon worship grows in the West Hill March, the diplomats in the Union of Schek misstep a little and the Union sends an army to attack Ellizari’s Great Road fort. Verdis convinces them to withdraw, again posturing as the peacemaker with Ellizari.
Rovert’s spider force continues to grow as Sidriss is instructed to take them sustainably, but finds he has another year or so of aggressive spider taking before he would need to slow.
Fall Year 8
After the summer snafu at the northern fort, Randall does a great deal of work getting the fort settled again and the kobolds in his demesne. The Union of Schek continues to grow ready to attack the Union of Schek. They scout deep into West Hill March territory along the Great Road planning where to secure it to prevent reinforcements reaching it.
The tournament this year is a little tense with the conflict between the Union of Schek and the West Hill March having reared its head as it did before the first tournament. Rovert and Verdis again profit.
Rovert takes more spiders and has managed to dig up enough of the crashed castle for his tinker to assess the parts that need to be replaced and repaired.
We’re anticipating a fun time with the next three years. The use of intrigue and the God of Knowledge to take over the West Hill March instead of a direct attack has changed things so it may happen low risk during the fast forward rather than waiting for after it. If you’re interested in seeing my prep for the next three years before seeing the next report, check out the options on Patreon.