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RP: Winter's Valley-Chapter 1



  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,341
    Colden gives Laggie a fist bump on the arm out of respect and pride.

    "I've tried to guide the king to be the best possible king, under the circumstances. Apparently I have been mislead about his.. ambitions and past. I care not for what happens to him. "

    Colden tries to act as neutral as possible, but it's clear now that they have to kill off all the barbarians and set the prince upon the throne. He moves towards Nareth and tries to whisper to him to join with the king's guard and attack and kill the barbarians.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    The royal guard, their weapons drawn, are seriously contemplating their odds, hesitating. There 8 of them. Including your party of Jirt, Nareth, Casak, Lagrord, Colden, and Garta, that’s a mere 14.

    Gressick’s personal retinue is 10 strong and Aros retinue is 6. Including Aros, Gressick, and the two giants, that is 18 plus the two giants (who may count as more than 1 each). The army’s fighting and losing in the distance is growing closer. The barbarian enemy, at 100 strong, is only a stone’s throw away.

    You are severely outnumbered and outgunned, and the royal guard seem to realize that. The moment passes in slow motion as they all look at each other, waiting for someone to make the first move of flight, disarmament, or attack. All the guards are looking at you and their king as though their loyalty isn’t worth it.

    Casak, his face twisted into a visage of anger and contempt, looks as though he is willing to take them all on himself. As he said before, death in honor is better than flight. An image of his dying bodyguards flashes into your mind’s eye as you wait...

    The brief moment passes slowly...

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    DM insight to all the group:

    Your odds do not look good in the fight. You look around, trying to look for a way out of this. You may be able to still talk your way out. You could try to fight, but you fear that you would not stand a chance against the giants let alone over 100 warriors.
    You look behind you, to the north. Perhaps you can escape into the mountains...? Perhaps the giants will see you as insignificant with the prize of the Castle within their grasp.
    Retreat means abandoning your people to the advancing army. But what can you alone do against so many? The army behind you, Astorwind’s army, is surely defeated.
    Your mind runs to the future. How will you make it through the upcoming winter if you flee? Astorwind was built with Winter’s harshness in mind. Can you even survive if you flee?
    Your options seem limited. Surrender to Gressick and become food for the giants? Surely, he will NOT let you live. Not after his treachery. Perhaps his daughter may stand a chance at life, but with the sadistic Aros, the hungry giants, and the traitor Gressick, you can’t imagine that you could convince them to spare any of you.
    Or stay and fight? Greet death with open arms... decide your fate in glorious battle...
    Or flee?
    The choice is before you.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    edited January 2020
    Hello friends!
    We are near the end of the chapter.
    Your choices in the next few posts will determine the fate of your character.

    If your are unsatisfied with your character but you wish to keep playing, this may be a good time to sacrifice him in honor and glory for the greater good of filling out a new character sheet. This is a plausible option for any of you now that the world is more familiar. To be clear, choosing to fight WILL MEAN DEATH FOR YOU CHARACTER.

    It may also be a good way for you to exit the story if you are no longer interested in participating. That would make me sad, but I understand.

    If you wish for your character to die, PM ME BEFORE YOU POST. I want to give him the death you believe he deserves.

    If you wish to step out of the game nicely and quietly without offending me at all, this is your chance to do so. I promise I won’t be offended. You may, of course, return later in the story if you wish with a new character.

    If you wish to continue, I promise the next chapter will be a different spin. Exploring the world of Winter’s Valley with the chance to return one day or... well, if you choose imprisonment, that is going to spin the story in an entirely new direction.

    To be clear, you choices are thus:

    The following may be made independently of the other players:
    To fight. (Death for your character.)

    The following two option must be made together with the other players. If you choose death and continue to play, you must still discuss your options with the other players.
    To flee.
    To surrender.

    I require that your decision of the last two options be unanimous. I don’t wish to run three games consecutively, though I understand that @lolien hasn’t been too active lately.

    Do you wish to politely bow out, to die in a blaze of glory and end the story?

    Or do you wish to explore the post apocalyptic fantasy world of winter’s valley, discovering wonders and treasures and learning what became of the ancient free civilization... who are the Lifebringers? How do they play into the death of an entire world? What is the black dust? Who or what are the spirits? Are there other civilizations out there?
    You may even have the chance to return one day...

    Or do you wish to surrender to the mercies of the sadistic, deceptive Chief Aros, the gluttonous giant, worshipped spirit Dizrym, and the vengeful, traitorous General Gressick? To join the insurrection of the halfling underground and place Casak on his throne? Do you wish to learn the secrets of this old band of raiders and how they came upon Winter’s Valley and made it their own?

    The choice, as always....

    Is yours
    *i will provide options for you to learn the history of Winter’s Valley and Corak’s place in it no matter what choice you make. Your choice will simply affect the flavor of the game play, not the information you receive.

    Thanks everyone for a wonderful chapter!

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,341
    Hello friends. This is not my action, but I figure we could talk a bit before RPing.

    Colden is rational, rarely emotional, with a focus on the end result rather than immersion into the present. Thus dying for no sake at all is not likely an action he would take, unless he was confident that choice would save the world, thus benefiting the greater good longterm.

    So, in this case fleeing might be the option he would choose. However, he's fricking fed up with all barbarians, giants and douchebags in this harsh world and his dwarven heritage is boiling over. He want to cleave skulls and bathe in the blood of his enemies. So far he always manages to supress this aggression, this bloodlust and will surely do so again today. But it depends on the choice of his comrades, if all stay and fight, he will probably succumb to this bloodlust and join them into the fray. If they too decide to retreat, that's what he will do.

    And with this said, I'd like to continue the story. I don't mind the rather slow and sometimes calm pace of the story. However, if I'm alone in this and figure it won't be worth the time needed from you Mashed.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,187
    Lagrord holds no loyalty to the royalty, or even the people really. He's always been just a tool to be used until discarded, as least, if not for Colden. I say we make a break for it. We've seen what the orcs are like under Dizyrm, Garta is proably the only one who would come out of surrender intact.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    I too am enjoying the pace of the story. I’m glad that we’ve come into a rhythm and that there isn’t a ton of pressure to get the story finished or progressing now. We all have lives and this is a hobby.

    So it looks like the company is leaning, at this point, towards fleeing into the northern mountains, though I understand that it’s not set in stone right now. Once we hear from @ashafetov what his character will do and you three negotiate what choice you wish to make, we can advance the story to the end of the chapter.

    I’d also like to compliment each of you on your role playing of your side of the story. Each of you have created unique characters with their own quirks that are fun and interesting to me.

    @Skatan i like the little idiosyncrasies that your character has, like smoothing out his clothes before he speaks, or thinking himself quite dashing. It always give me a smile and makes me believe he’s real. I can actually see him do it in my minds eye, which speaks to your ability to describe things.

    @ThacoBell I enjoy how you have played Lagrord true to character. He isn’t broken in this world that hates him, but he’s not stupid or angry enough to paint a target on his back. It’s very appropriate and intelligent. It is a solid balance between your desires for him and the realities of the campaign setting. We often see heroes in stories as grand and obvious, but they can also be ignored and viewed as insignificant.

    @ashafetov I like how your character holds to his loyalty and duty, a solidly built soldier. But his dialogue has surprised each of us, I think, as you’ve placed interesting character defects mixed in with honorable qualities in him. He’s fleshed out to be a believable person, but not an average commoner. I like how you have held true to his character even when you’ve disagreed as a player with the choices he makes.

    Thank you each of you for a great chapter and a good time in enjoying this story with me. I’m glad that most of you, at least, are interested in continuing it. Thanks for cutting me some slack during my 1-2 month long hiatus in September/October.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,187
    This has been really fun and interesting, I look forward to seeing where it goes.

  • ashafetovashafetov Member Posts: 231
    edited January 2020
    Hey friends, I am very sorry for being inactive lately, had an unpleasant overlap with work deadline and household stuff that I am trying to keep together. As I told @mashedtaters before, i would try to catch up a bit, so let's consider Nareth was stunned by uncovered truth and, yay, thanks again for forcing me to make yet another complicated choice :)... I am really enjoying this adventure and, hope, you guys can still bear me. Would love to have more time in real life, though, but it is not going to happen anyways. So, let's continue.

    Tanned by a recent revealed truth, Nareth retreats back. The contradiction of King’s true intentions and Gressik’s betrayal finally reassured him of the righteousness of their squad. The rude and vile truth that opened before his eyes left the captain nothing but to stupidly look around, unsuccessfully seeking any support.

    And failing to find it. The Captain grasped the hilt of his sword and unhurried, almost mechanically, drew his weapon. The whispers of Colden distracted him from his gloomy numbness. The captain nodded slightly to him.

    For the sake of Refiner, Gressik! These people are soldiers and just follow orders. I always took care of me soldiers, as children I don’t have. Damn, we took care of yer daughter in at hard times of this quest! ”, Nareth steps back once more and makes a barely noticeable sign to Colden, pointing to prepare a path to flee.

    " Is there still honor left in yer soul, general? I says.. Ya need the King - ya take him! Astorwind is already at yer feet, boyo! One favor I asks, though... Before ya make a massacre here, let me invite ya to play a good old game, popular among me soldiers. Ya know how it is called?..", Nareth is trying to drag time, giving Colden the opportunity to find a way to retreat.

    " Me soldiers call it 'The Chicken', this very game. Nay, no very elegant for a general, I says, but folks like it! ", Nareth spits.
    ' Hells, what do you talk about, you moron?! ' , thinks Nareth
    Let me explain myself. Nareth is reassured now and his loyalty is now finally under question. At this very moment he hates the King and sees no significant difference between him, Gressick and Dizrym with his folks. The remaining soldiers, however, he would like to save, but sees no suitable options yet. He would flee, but passes the opportunity to Laggy and Colden, to cover them if necessary. If he can.
    he is obviously not good at bullshitting, considering his Charisma :(

    Post edited by ashafetov on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,187
    Welcome back @ashafetov! Hopefully life lets up on you a bit.

  • ashafetovashafetov Member Posts: 231
    Thanks @ThacoBell ! Yes, everything is alright. I am just busy, well, as always.

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,341
    Colden has lately, under the stress from adventuring, rekindled his long gone aptitude for magics. He remembers slightly the old teachings from bard school, but he was never that good at it, prefering instead debating, singing and partying. Watching Nareth pull one of the worst scams in the history of mankind he realizes he needs to do something quick, he doubts the chicken ruse will hold of the attack for long. He takes a moment and then throws a Expeditious Retreat spell on his friends and allies, which should make them significantly faster and be able to run away.

    "Run to the hills!"

    I'm using this spell list. I haven't really used it before, but IIRC we are level 4 now, so I use cantrips and level 1 spells for Colden.

  • ashafetovashafetov Member Posts: 231
    Ahaha, this is amazing!.. But I was going to wait for the next DM's reply. I can't help laughing when I imagine how it all looks like :)

    While making yet another step back, Nareth notices the Colden's spell and he rushes away after the Lorekeeper holding his loose helmet. Not expecting Gressick to answer his questions fast enough, so he offers him a very brief game rules explanations on the run:

    " ... and ya won the game, boyo! ", cries Nareth overturning royal utensils, trying to block the way to their pursuers.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    The King, his face pressed harshly into the ground, makes no comment to Colden's words, other than a feeble whimper. His life has led him here to this point, with no one loyal to him other than as a figurehead, an idea. The person, Corak, cruel in life and thus abandoned in death, looks up at his son.

    Casak, the prince, the heir apparent to a dethroned kingdom, looks down at his father and licks his lips. He looks shaken by the truth of his father, but not particularly bothered. His eyes, always calculating and cold, shift back and forth, measuring his odds.

    Slowly, he lowers his sword, and the royal guard does the same.

    "Very good," says Gressick, not looking up.

    "Father!" whines Garta. "What are you doing?"

    "I said shut up, girl!" hisses Gressick, his veins popping. "I have waited a long time for this... HE is the one who is responsible for your mother's death. HE is the one who good as murdered your siblings... vengeance is sweet, and I'll not have your notions of loyalty to a fallacious crown make it bitter..."

    Obediently, Garta bows her head.

    Then, when Nareth starts speaking, so out of place and obvious, everyone focuses on him, stunned by his pronouncement of the chicken game. Gressick looks at him in incomprehension, and even the guards on both sides shrug.

    "Hey, aren't you that Sun God's chosen guy or whatever we met at Warne-Harsard Wast?" says Chief Aros. "That was a good trick you pulled. Could you show it to me? I could really benefit from..."

    Then Colden's spell goes off with a flash.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    General Gressick blinks and twitches, pulling Corak's hair hard. Everyone is far more surprised than they should be.

    Colden's cry to run for the hills jolts you all into instantaneous motion. You turn and high-tail it for the high-ground, your legs magically empowered with speed. The royal guards fall back and Chief Aros screams, "After them, you fools!"

    You look over your shoulder to see Garta standing there, watching you leave, a forlorn expression on her face as she stands resolutely by her father. Dizrym lifts tree over his head and throws it, but it gets tangled in the brush and trees that you dive into. The last thing you see is Gressick's manic face, refusing to allow your escape to distract him from his moment of vengeance, as his battleaxe splits the king's head in two.

    Then pursuit drives you into the mountains as the orcs and barbarians take up the chase. You run hard through the darkness, unsure where you are going and unable to set a solid direction. But thinking quickly, Colden lights a minor cantrip and places Lagrord in the lead, who can see plainly in the dark.

    Unable to regroup further as the orcs catch up to you, casting spears and arrows after you, you take off immediately, cutting into the forest, weaving and bobbing, following in blind faith the trailing blue light of Colden's cantrip.

    Then storm suddenly breaks above you, casting lightning into the forest around you.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    The lightning blast blinds all of you, even Lagrord, and scares you witless. But the orcs, superstitious, hesitate in following you. The smell of ozone fills your nostrils, but you charge forward blindly, each of you struggling just to keep the light in front of you.

    Then the black, hard smell of smoke fills your nostrils and know a forest fire has started. Panic sets in truly. You must get out of the forest before it blazes.

    Luckily, you do just that, the treeline is ahead of you. You break the tree line as the rain falls. Soon you are soaked, but you do not stop. You keep up into the mountains, running wildly for your life from the smoke as it rises to the high ground. It is only a matter of time before the smoke will begin to suffocate you, and so you don't stop even to find a trail. You simply scrabble and scratch your way up, unable to go down into the waiting jaws of death by fire or smoke. You cannot go left or right, either, as the forest and mountain face stretch in all directions.

    Soon even Lagrord is blinded by the smoke as it wafts around you. Coughing uncontrollably, Jirt screams, "We have to find shelter!" But his voice cracks and he loses control of it entirely, destroyed by the smoke.

    So hurried was your expeditious retreat that you didn't even realize that he had followed you. You haven't had time to take inventory of whether or not your missing anyone. You realize that in the darkness, the only person you are sure is there is yourself and Colden.

    Unable to speak and deafened by the storm and the anyway, you blindly trust that each of your survival instincts, and that of Colden and maybe Lagrord if he is still there leading the group, will see you through.

    But your lungs demand oxygen! Clean, clear air must be yours.

    Then a sudden wind picks up from the storm, clearing enough for your to see a large cavern opening up into the darkness. Gratefully, you approach it, hoping for shelter from the smoke and rain, which has now congealed into a thick, ashy mud on your faces and hands.

    Flashes of lightning light up the cave enough for you to see that it is a sheer drop into the heart of the mountain. You don't know how deep, but the sound of a boulder shuffling from the lip and falling in as you approach lets you know it is not an endless drop.

    "This is our only option!" screams Prince Casak over the wind. You look at him in surprise, blown away that he followed you. He stands there at the lip, looking back down into the hole for a way in. A lightning strike silhouettes his steady form against the night sky. Somehow, he looks strong and steady, despite the raging danger around him and the panic in your lungs.

    "We will have to jump!" he shouts. Somehow, he voice has kept it's strength enough to speak, though it is raspy. "Don't worry, I'll go first!"

    Then, deftly, he jumps to his salvation or death, you don't know which. You look over the edge and can hear his voice calling to you, but you have no idea if he is warning you away, inviting you down, or screaming in pain from the fall.

    Unable to go anywhere else, you dive into the hole, blindly trusting that you're not diving into another symbolic fire below...

  • ashafetovashafetov Member Posts: 231
    Heavily gasping, Nareth affords himself to catch his breath for a while. He did not expect Colden's spell to be that powerful it gave him no chance to challenge Gressick and kept their tiny squad running several hours in a row.

    " M'Lord Colden? I bet ya saved our lives ", confessed the Captain, falling heavily on his knees.
    " The question is are we cowards now? Outlaws for sure... "

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,187
    Insightful as always, Laggy.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    Hello my friends!
    This is the end of Winter’s Valley—Chapter 1: Power Shift.

    As you can see, power has indeed shifted away from the king. Though that was my intent from the beginning of the chapter, the actions you took shaped not only how that Power Shift would manifest, but to whom the Kingdom of Astorwind would fall.

    I have provided below a list of the potential candidates for new King that I had in my head when the story began. Though the story was written as it went, I had in my mind several possibilities that could have happened depending on how you reacted. The story was never set in stone and I hadn’t expected it to play out quite like this. But as your dialogues and decisions turned the narrative from a story to a living event, I to adapted and changed it.

    Here is the list of other potential endings. Keep in mind that some of these were eliminated at the very beginning when you picked your character’s races and classes and backgrounds.

    1. Casak kills his father and ascends to the throne—or, depending on the players’ influence on him, is convinced to not kill his father and takes the throne when Corak is killed by one of his former raider companions. Either way ushering in an era of (I’m not going to give away any spoilers because you don’t really know him yet!!).
    2. Gressick kills King Corak, blaming the prince for regicide (the actual outcome of this story... so far).
    3. Chief Aros assumes the throne, ushering in an era of hatred and torture.
    4. Dizrym assumes the throne, ushering in an era in which he and the orcs would try to eat everyone in Astorwind.
    5. The halfling underground usurps the king and establishes either a) a democratic republic that protects freedom and tries to forgive those who committed atrocities in the name of King Corak or b) a French revolution style bloodbath that ends in the death of prominent figures of the royal family. Colden and Nareth would both be targeted in this case, increasing the incentive to make sure all is forgiven.

    Here are other possibilities that could have added flavor to the game and ideas that I came up with either on the fly or that were discarded:
    1. The players start a civil war between the bloodeye clan when they convince some of them to help Astorwind.
    2. Kagnan slays the evil chief Aros. He assumes a position of prominence in Astorwind, working to establish peace between the Bloodeye Clan and Astorwind. The trade off would have been that he also seeks to genocide all of orcish descent. This would have put Lagrord in danger, obviously.
    3. Depending on the player’s choice of race, class, and background, the possibility would have been that the player character would have ascended the throne of Astorwind somehow.
    4. The players kill the king and prince Casak, either throwing the kingdom into chaos or establishing peace depending on other factors.
    5. There are other possibilities that would give away too much of the future so I’m not going to say them.

    Also, that decision to not accompany the king and the prince along the draft changed the intended length of this chapter significantly, and removed much of the decision making from your control. That is not a bad thing. Instead of directly affecting the outcomes immediately, you instead indirectly affected the outcomes by your actions offsite.

    I share these ideas with you to show you how much your decisions affected the game and MY decisions on how to spin the story. I know I hogged a lot of the writing and perhaps some of you felt that your actions were not that impactful. But I wanted to assure you that is not the case.

    In the next few days I will open a new thread with the second chapter.

    My soft goal in this chapter has been to show how the idea of “The Greater Good” is used as a method by those who seek power to manipulate people into excusing atrocities. I hope this has been shown appropriately, in the actions of Chief Aros, Kagnan, Gressick, and King Corak.

    My main goal has obviously been to have fun. I certainly have, and I hope each of you have too.

    Please take some time to give me some feedback. Your interest and input is what gives me the motivation to continue writing this story with you. When I was gone in September, your interest in the story is what motivated me to get back into the groove again. Any form of constructive criticism or positive feedback is welcome. You can post right here in the thread or PM me if that more comfortable for you.

    Until next chapter, my friends. Feel free to post here as you desire until I write the introduction for chapter 2.

  • ashafetovashafetov Member Posts: 231
    Thank you for an awesome adventure @mashedtaters ! I did really enjoy it. The only thing I was regretting is me lacking time to react in time, but these were circumstances I was not able to avoid anyways. Now I see a bigger potential of the story, which we missed. I could have role-play my character better, I should also confess. But let's keep this experience for the next chapter! I will be looking forward to continue our quest together with guys, if you don't mind of course. And thanks to everybody for an outstanding company, your support and patience sometimes.

    From my point of view, I really should improve my RP skills further and I definitely have no objections or critique. I do enjoy the story, the plot itself and unexpected end. Thank you so much for that, without you guys and our DM this story won't be that exciting.

    I am looking forward for the next chapter!

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,341
    edited January 2020
    Colden shrugs and jumps in after the prince!

    He cast the spell "feather fall" before jumping.
    hehe I hadnt refreshed the page obviously, so posted this before you ended the chapter @mashedtaters :)

    Some feedback on the total level;

    Cool with the story being so open. I hadn't imagined it so. I felt rather convinced early it was a classic good king vs "arthas" son vs evil demon story arc :) The whole "they all know eachother and divided up the booty" twist was pretty cool. I never did fully understood Gressick's story arc though. I'm also a bit confused how to play my character around that twist since I kinda had the impression Colden had been adbising the king for a long time, yet this barbarian/Casak/Dimzyn-divide the kingdom thing can't have been too far back in time since humans lifespan is only so long and the king wasn't that old. Perhaps it was just me who hadn't read good enough in your starting pages, perhaps it was clear there and I missed it.

    Some parts where to talk-intense and too hard to get concluded IMHO. Certain steps through the barbarian chapters made me just want to take action and move on, which I did at one or two places with Colden. This was out of character for Colden, but me as a human just wanted to progress the story so chose to do it anyways. Example, the second dialogue battle with kagnan IIRC, the first with Aros was lenghty but cool with the whole refiner avatar thingy, but then it felt like you really, reaaaally strung us along so we could never really conclude whether or not barbs would join us. I would have personally appreciated a faster pace in the dialogues and closure to the task, ie "we join", "we do not join".

    The writing is always stellar! I've said it before, but you are really good!

    One comment though, reading about your "greater good" dimension, was that why you told us to play LG characters? Personally I don't really get the greater-good-feeling from any of the actions from the King, barbs or giants, hehe.. they all felt quite individual and thinking mostly about themselves :)

    looking forward to the next chapter! I will incorporate more magic from now on. I had originally intended Colden to be a "skill monkey" but since this is a very story/RP heavy rather than dice-rolls, my INT based bard kinda become a very sub-par character, haha! but with a few spell slots, at least I might have some fun stuff to throw into the mix.

    And yeah btw, a few items thrown into the story wouldn't hurt. LIke stuff that we can use to affect teh story. Like Laggies armor saving him. Wands we can use at certain points or immunity to elements that could affect a specific battle or whatever, that's always cool.

    Post edited by Skatan on
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    edited January 2020
    I’ve been thinking about and anticipating this conversation. I hope that you are not too annoyed, so I would like to explain the situation.

    When we wrote your background together, I was a little confused on exactly how to implement him into the story without giving you the end of the story. He was an advisor to the king, but the king had come upon these lands and enslaved the people to build his castle.

    I had made some suggestions that your character be in on the background and history of King Corak from the beginning maybe from a subservient role or maybe you later had a change of heart, but I didn’t feel you embraced those specific ideas enthusiastically. I didn’t want to push it on to you as a character like that is complicated. I took when you told me your character would follow Corak’s directions that he agreed with but that your commitment to good would be more important that you also wouldn’t agree with how he established the kingdom and so couldn’t be in on the conspiracy. Lawful Good was not a requirement for your, only Good. Your character is NG, as detailed in your background.

    It was kind of an awkward position for me: do I invite you into the conspiracy at end of the story, considering that you had already told me your character would not obey Corak’s orders if it involved, say, murdering innocents just to cover his crimes? You may not accept the challenge of the difficult role-playing, and then you would be aware of what happened without having a character that knew what happened.

    When you did NOT include in your final draft of Colden’s background that he helped Corak build the kingdom and may have done things he regretted, I took that as a confirmation you were not interested in role playing that kind of character and so I decided not to push the issue. My feelers when writing with you weren’t really tingling that the idea fascinated you. We would just have to sort it out later, at the end. And, here we are.

    So I made the executive decision that your character came upon Astorwind after the castle had already been built with the bones and blood of the innocent, as detailed in the intro, but sometime before the birth of Casak. As you have detailed yourself in the story, your character has been on the road before (though maybe not for a long time) and isn’t as old as the darkening. Your father had you when he was young and was not alive during the darkening. You don’t know if your grandfather was alive before the darkening, but it is likely.

    Corak is an old man, over 70, but he is a muscled, thick, hardened, fit fighter. I’ve studied under several master martial artists and made him a sort of evil version of them in my mind.

    He had Casak in his old age, around 50. Casak’s mother is NOT the peasant woman the ignorant Dizrym referred to. Corak would have killed her.

    So if we imagine that Corak conquered Astorwind in his late 20s or early 30s, that gives plenty of time to build the castle and kill anyone who could remember a time without him AND begin to build a new generation of loyal subjects before you arrived. You could have come upon Astorwind as early as when Corak was 40 and still not know the truth about why Corak was sentencing so many to death on such a regular basis. He was crafty enough not to just outright kill people, though. He would have sent the former slaves to war with Aros’s barbarians in the north to fight over the pass with the Bloodeye Clan, or found other ways to bury the truth. The halfling underground is trying to find out what happened.

    Dwarves start adventuring around 50 of 60, so you likely came upon Astorwind at that age and are now around 70 or 80. You’ve still been in Astorwind longer than most other people.

    That would place Gressick and Aros around 60, as they are younger than Corak by a decade. Gressick would have come to the Castle only a few years ago, after his family died, which is why he and Garta aren’t accepted into the community. The suspicious way of how he found his way into the castle hierarchy would have been revealed more gradually to you had the party accompanied the draft to the north.

    As I said, the whole thread got derailed on the second page lol. But I am flexible with my plans. And I have still enjoyed it.

    I’d like to say I’m sorry about making these executive decision without consulting you. I wasn’t sure exactly how to handle it. Text is very awkward sometimes.

    Post edited by mashedtaters on
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    Point taken on making the dialogues more clear on what is expected so as not to string you along. I know there is a bit of a language barrier amongst us all.

    It was possible to win over half or even more of the barbarians away from Chief Aros. I had intended to create a sort of climax where Chief Aros got exposed in the battle against Dizrym. But you are correct. Now that I have reread the scenario, I realize that each party member was incredibly clear regarding not wanting to ally with them. I do apologize if I strung you along too long despite the fact that the party clearly showed they were unwilling to ally with them. I shouldn’t have done that, but I could see the future as the DM and I wanted you guys to be able to contribute to the main battle with the giants and orcs somehow, seeing as you weren’t there. My mistake, I will try not to metagame anymore as DM. :)

    What if I did something like this? I could place out the writing of a difficult decision and then clarify what you think the consequences COULD BE in spoilers below? Does that seem like a good idea?

    Thank you for the comment on the writing. I am not a professional, but I had considered becoming a pro before I became an electrician.

    As far as the greater good, to answer your question no one had to choose lawful good characters at all. Any of you could have chosen any alignment of character, even a villain, as detailed on the first page.

    The requirements were:
    Main character/party member: must be good alignment.
    Plot npcs: any alignment, no requirements.
    Villain: must be evil alignment.

    All of you chose to be main characters. Now that the chapter is over and none of you have died or betrayed anyone, I don’t mind sharing that with you all. You can trust each other! Yay!

    And as to your other point: the greater good is always the excuse selfish people use for their actions. Stalin, Hitler, North Korea, etc..

    Even in personal relationships with toxic people: “I did that (bad thing to you) for your own (greater) good! I did that for us (the greater good)!”

    I’m glad you caught that point from the story. :)

    You can definitely use magic spells now. Your skills are about to become very relevant.

    And as far as items, don’t worry. They are on their way. You won’t be able to survive the next chapter without them...


  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,341
    Thanks for explaining :) When I created the character, perhaps I was a bit thick in the head, but I never realized just how every one of those details would actually impact the story, hehe.. Not to that high degree at least! Ok, now I know.

    And no, I'm not annoyed at all. It's your story and I'm having fun and ofc you need to take decisions wihtout consulting on every detail, that's perfectly fine. I don't have an end-vision for Colden or similar, what happens happens and it's all good.

    Wow, I gotta say.. you've got an impressive level of detail into the story, the different arcs and everything. It's like whatever we ask or do, you have a preplanned arc for it almost, or at least a draft for one, so it all fit together. Very impressive.

    With regards to the "stringing along"; I don't need outcomes in spoilers, I just need outcomes. Let's say we have an arc to kill, do nothing or rectruit a famous dwarf monk warrior, let's call him Vaga.

    Colden; Hey, you wanna join us?
    Nareth; Yeah, good idea we could use your strength!
    Laggie; "DIE DIE DIE!!" initiates reckless attack as usual ;) (sorry @ThacoBell, hahah!)
    Vaga the most famous monk of all time; conclusion; disarms laggie and joins the team OR defends himself OR defends himself until beaten but not dead, give the team a second dialogue.
    End segment.

    Then it's done and we move on, like with the golem to a degree. (whom I wish we will encounter again in the future! Colden still haven't ridden it into battle)

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,187
    I've really enjoyed this story so far. After reading the initial background of the races and their place in Astorwind, I was really worried. Playing the "standard" races is really boring for me, but you've made playing a half-orc "slave" a blast.
    Speaking of story changes, Lagrord is not quite the same character now, as how I originally envisioned him. Most of these have just been small, fundamental shifts in how he thinks and his motivations. He started as Neutral Good, but I feel like the story has been pushing further towards chaotic. I also originally had him as more restrained and held together, but uh, we've all seen him ebcome a BIT more passionate.
    I am REALLY looking forward to what the next chapter might hold.

  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,263
    And so the adventure of Winter's Valley continues in Chapter 2-Awakening.

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