OK, so I set up last that the King of Northern Jelling must go. The choice of who will assassinate the king is left for the players; possibly a NPC with motive will do it hooking the party into hunting that person down bring them back to justice; you know, the typical who done it. I also am open to presenting a NPC that will come forward and offer the group a chance to remove the king for a price; these dungeons tend to go badly among good parties. A third option is that I have this episode ready in case the party meets the king and decides he must go on their own; some parties are that way, they can smell a bad ham a mile off, and “in game” start plotting on their own to do something about it. Actually as a game master I like it when the party takes initiative to go and change the world.
This info here is the kind that offers some background into the king’s behavior. To start with, he knows he is king by birth being several minutes older than his twin sister Jillian, the trouble is that his father, King Brunarn Ivenent, who died from old wounds caused by a fiend attack while visiting colonies in the west. Ok his father “The True King” was touring Duftown and was attacked while on a hunt with other nobles from the colonies; on his death bed, he said in his last breath that he wished for both of his two children, Artin Ivenent and Jillian Ivenent to rule equally and together all of Jelling. This had to be a curse, because the siblings fell into fighting before the king’s funeral pyre was even lit.
It did not help that the Church of jelling also split after the elder Ivenent passed; some say it was because of a dispute over allowing a Yollian Doctor to treat the True King’s infernal wounds. The Doctor was hung which is one reason there are few Yollians in southern Jelling. 40 winters later it is Jelling year (jy) 1667 and Artin and his Knights of Nordoon are infamous in the North. He has made good work of the land, in the districts of Nordoon, Canton, Lakewatch and Thoon brigands are rare as are trolls and giants. His rule has been just but he never embraced his father’s and sister’s ideal of allowing commoners to be educated; he believes in the strength of men and that to do better in life you must be strong and determined, education muddles human nature and makes men week; when men sit and think the fields grow wild. He is a man of action, through and through, and will allow a commoner to be knighted if he has skill on a horse and with a sword and bow. The only sour spot in recent history is that a treaty dispute with the dwarves caused a delay in him leaving port to help defend the Island nation from invasion from Kirkland two winters earlier. In a rage the king left negotiations with the dwarves of the Black Diamond Clan taking with him his knights, he stole the S.S. Brazen Wolf from the dwarves, but through no fault of his own the great steal juggernaut ran aground at the mouth of the sea cave and became fowled in the harbor chains blocking all shipping to and from the sea cave for a month; delaying his war plans to the point that all major battles were over before his army was able to reach the battle fields. This blunder of course made his sister Jillian even more popular because she had organized the defense of the island nation and was there on the front lines for some of the major battles.
Note: The actual birth right is in dispute, where his sister Jillian, believes to be first born and since the split in the Church of Jelling, the birth papers have been lost, add to this that the majority of the castle staff were purged in the first few days of infighting so no one really knows who was the first born anymore. I suppose if someone does know they may not be willing to say, or have been paid to stay quiet; potentially another adventure there BTW.
Back to the king; the King of Northern Jelling is basically a hot head, but that is normal for him, which is why he slipped easily into the role as barbarian king; he’s a barbarian through and through. He has solved more problems with his fists and caused nearly as many to keep him healthy and busy for years to come. He is also a ladies man, edged on by his new arch bishop; he has made many acquaintances with ladies of wealthy northern families. His church tells him he can have one wife and as many mistresses as he has fingers; so he has nine, his wife got in an argument with him and cut off his left pinky forcing him to drop one of his “girls”. His wife now lives in a private residence outside the keep in North Point.
The king knows people want him dead. He is not as nice, and definitely not as predictable as his sister to the south. Three times in the forty years he has ruled the Northlands, someone has tried to kill him. His wife lit his bed on fire, an assassin from Kirkland tried to poison him while hunting, and the one and only time he ever road in a carriage by himself, the driver drove off a bridge into the harbor; ok the third time may have been an accident. Since the nearly three attempts on his life he has added a poison tester, an alchemist by trade who helps keep his food safe. His personal guards, the Knights of Nordoon protect him from physical attack and maintain his security at all times. His court wizards; he has four, are all quite skilled at seeing invisible and blocking most forms of instant transportation like teleport and plane shift. His skills as warrior are well known he fights with both a sword and an axe and even in his fifth century of life he still enjoys joining the knights in tournament games where he often boasts that he’ll give over his kingdom to any who can best him in melee combat. All sorts of folks have taken him up this offer; at last count 241 have tried and all have failed. About 10 years back a priest of Bilunoc really came close, but in the end, conceded; the king was so impressed he made him archbishop of the Northern Church of Jelling, a position usually held by Yol priests; this has set off all kinds of trouble for the king with the churches power structure.
Maybe this guy is not so bad and a party may see this and try a more covert approach to getting the King of Northern Jelling exiled making the adventure more role playing based. Jelling does have laws for players to follow
Possibly Related Posts:
- New Badguy to Test My Players With – The Jabberwock
- Ruins in the Woods
- I Hate Swarms
- Making a game world one small step at a time
- Ogres of Nordoon and Mt. Revenge