The Theft of Lands

The Ancient Elves

The Adventurers, whilst investigating the Narlmarches south and west of their budding town, come upon an ancient and overgrown keep. Caiella examines the stonework: “This is an ancient elven stronghold – older than most things in this area. Clearly the elves claimed this land long ago!”

The keep is a small one, about 100 feet in diameter. It is a soft, rounded design with possibly four towers growing off of it like trees. Time has taken its toll as the forest has begun to reclaim the area. The keep is covered in vines, trees grow from the towers, and it is hard to tell where the old stonework ends and the new forest growth begins.

The group comes to the entrance on the east side of the keep. The door is open, but the group is wary and split up. Arastine and Caiella circle to the south past one of the rounded towers, and discover the wall on has partially collapsed providing a second entry into the keep. Quickly the two women scamper over the pile of rubble and into the courtyard where the spot a glowing figure casting something on the side of the wall next to the entrance-way. Caiella signals Effish, whom, along with Altanus, remained near the main portcullus, to be on the watch. Arastine rolls out to the west, hoping to out flank the magic user they saw, while Caiella sits by the southern wall.

All at once hell breaks out: something runs by Caiella, so fast she could hardly focus on it. The creature attacks Caiella, but she had prepared, and the attack misses due to here blur spell. Worried about their newly-wed ruler, Effish summons a giant frilled lizard and sends it into the courtyard to help Caiella. As the lizard enters the courtyard it is attacked by an assassin vine and the portcullus slams shut, locking Effish, Altanus, and Chucky, Effish’s apish animal companion, on the outside. A second creature jumps out and intercepts Arastine, locking her in combat with poison tipped claws.

Chucky climbs the gate to get in the courtyard, while Effish shifts into a leopard and soon follows suit. Altanus attempts to climb the gate as well, but can’t do it, nor can he lift it! He is stuck on the outside.

The quick little green monster makes another run on Caiella, invisible as it passes the lizard and ape. Still the beast detect the evildoer with the sense of smell and attack, hitting the creature who continues on, faster than can be detected, to strike Caiella in the back, this time scoring a hit before disappearing into the opposite tower.

Arastine engages the tall, green, elvish creature with her bow and point blank range, firing over and over, scoring hit upon hit. The evil fey seems undaunted and continues to beat on her with his claws. Caiella, unable to engage the quickling, pulls out her bow in an attempt to attack the larger of the two foes, while the ape, lizard, and effish in leopard form attempt to trap the quicker of the two in the tower.

As the battle begins to turn in favor of the companions a Lady begins to float down into the courtyard. Suggestively, she dances, trying to confuse the intruders, but alas the two primaries are women and the others appear to be animals – none succumb to her alluring gyrations. The Dancing Lady reaches the ground and charges to Caiella, biting her, sucking the life from her, and tearing at her with her claws.

The companions respond as one, concentrating on the Lady. Chucky attacks from the left and scores some big hits and Effish comes from behind to encircle the Lady. Fearing for the Lady’s safety the larger fey shouts and attempts to intercept the ape, preventing it from further hurting the Lady. Arastine takes advantage of the move and sends the final shots into the creatures back, putting the monster down.

Briefly the quickling comes back into the frey, hoping to feel the rush of stealing the life out of Caiella with some quick back-stabbing attacks. Seeing the battle turn, the little green creature separates itself from battle and flees. With the entire group attacking her the Lady stands no chance. Stubbornly she holds on to Caiella, sucking the life from her. Caiella struggles but can’t break free. Still, with the help of Effish, Chucky, and Arastine, the Lady is destroyed.

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Taking the Clan

Surprisingly, Mikmek sticks with the Adventurers as they clean out the mite infestation. When the four companions reach the surface the note his continued presence and become suspicious – surely the cowardly being has some motive for sticking around. Sure enough, when asked, Mikmek is eager to spit his story out.

‘You help the Sootscales, yes?’

The local Kobold clan is in the middle of a war with the mites. The center piece of the war is a Kobold religious artifact the mites stole. The Adventurers recovered the statue of Old Sharptooth – a disgusting mock statue of a kobold painted in gaudy colors. Mikmek implores the group to bring the statue to their shaman, the great Tartuk and prevent Old Sharptooth from cursing them all.

Belril agrees to bring to statue back to the kobolds and sends Mikmak ahead to warn them of the groups coming. The group gives Mikmak a days head start then follow south to an area marked on a map lifted from the Mite’s lair denoting the kobold den. They come to an abandoned silver mine the Sootscale Kobolds have been lairing in.

At the entrance the group meet a lone guard, barely awake, and completely surprised by the coming humans. He thinks about lowering his spear in protest, but thinks better of it.

‘Wait! Don’t kill me! You help please. Me take you to Cheif!’

A quick smile passed through the group, and they agreed. Viceak noticed a mite in a cage next to the entrance to the kobold lair. Belril insisted on freeing the beaten and abused monster, and received a scratch in the face from the fleeing fiend in thanks.

The shaking kobold sentry escorted the group into the abandoned mine and to the kobold chieftain – Chief Sootscale. The Chief treats the group roughly at first, attempting to hold face in front of the clan, then he learns that Belril holds their lost relic and requests its return. Belril agrees, but only upon the return of a stolen ring and an end to the kobold attacks in the area. Belril hands over the statue, holds on to it with a tight grip, and stares at it. He stares at Belril and back at the statue. As if inspired the chief lifts the statue above his head and shouts then smashes it on the ground – destroying the relic to their god.

‘No longer will Sootscale be cursed by Old Sharptooth.’ Shouting his followers into a frenzy the chief requests one more favor of the adventurers: ‘Help me kill that usurper Tartuk!’ Taken aback, Belril refuses to assassinate the shaman. But the dye had been cast and the clan, in a furor, rushes to the temple. Several shouts, thunderclaps, and disturbing moments later the horde of kobolds return from the temple dragging the limp body of the discolored kobold shaman named Tartuk.

Freed from the usurper’s religious domination Chief Sootscale ingratiates himself with his new neighbors in a hope of future peace.

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The Mighty Mites

The Adventurers move into the Kamelands, between the Thorn and Shrike Rivers, making detailed maps and clearing the area of monsters. They find a large Oak Tree in the shape of a giant claw reaching from the ground. Weary of Golems or ancient Giants said to have ruled the Stolen Lands in ancient times, the group carefully explore the area, but move on.

Further south they travel, and reach a second conspicuous tree, this one a huge Sycamore Tree sitting by itself on top of a hill. The area around the tree is well traveled, with hundreds of tiny footprints moving in and around the tree. With further investigation the group find an entrance to a cave buried in the tree’s roots.

Viceak leads the way and uncovers a dark tunnel. With his companions in tow, he follows the sound of some voices to an open room where they find a pair of small bug-like creatures firing small projectiles at each other.

Dingetooth and Uurch are busy inventing new treacherous machinations of death. Their latest doomsday machine is a catapult which shoots caltrops. The device is finished just in time, as the two Mites test the device on each other, those big ugly beady eyed humanses invade their lair.

Viceak and Belril come upon the two Mites fiddling with some weird contraption and attack!

Quick as the wind, Dungetooth turns to face the humanses but the stupid Uurgh is not so fast. A swing from the smelly one smooshes his little brother. The dummy should have been faster. But Dungetooth will have the last laugh – he has ‘The Weapon’ and unleashes it! The caltrop flies through the air and with supreme accuracy and power smacks directly into the armored opponent who flies through the air, back flips, hits the wall, cracks his head on the wall, and falls to floor gurgling. Now for his smellier opponent…

Belril takes a hit… from a caltrop? Barely feeling the hit, Belril looks at the bug who attacked him. The little monster looked so expectant that Belril yelled a mighty roar as if his hit by the mightiest of rocks in the scrotum. Seconds later: Belril finishes off the second of the Mites, this room is cleared.

On the opposite side of this little workshop of evil comes more chittering voices and a sharp cry of pain. Behind them, down a corridor comes another voice and the scrabbling of many feet.

Quoggy, busy training here favorite vermin, was interrupted by battle in the workshop. She takes a peek, expecting to unleash her babies on some kobolds, but was surprised to find humans. She runs and warns the others.

The group move to the West and South, into a large chamber. On the walls are chains and manacles, held about 3 feet off the floor. Hanging in one pair is a badly beaten Kobold, bleeding and crying.

“Please help me! Me do nothing wrong. Mikmek is good. Help. Help. Help.”

Belril hears the cries of the poor Kobold and frees him, one more point for the good guys. Surely this choice will pay off in the end. Mikmek says there are “many and more” evil Mites in these tunnels, so the group move further into the tunnels. They move down a long tunnel and nothing, the mites have moved on, so around a curve and into a deeper cavern.

“Ahhh! The trap is set!” Grabbles yells atop Tickleback, his Giant Tick mount. Grabbles releases his hoard on the humans as the come around the thin tunnel.

“Ahhh! The trap is set!” yells Belril as he leads the group around the corner. the tunnel is thin – too thin to maneuver, too thin to move. But at least the little monsters can’t take advantage of their numbers.

Ohhh… but they can! The mites attack en-force, piling on the attacks on the front-lines, the tall guy who shines, and the other guy who swings too often. Then they let the vermin loose – Quoggy instructs the beasts to climb the walls and attack the humans’ back sides. Victory is insured!

Attack left, attack right, punch through the center. Then left, then right, then center. Every swing brings down a foe. You can never swing too often. The most difficult part of this battle, Belril and Viceak think in concert, is kicking down the piles of dead at their feet so they can get to fresh meat.

Altanus and Petorin are surprised as the Centipedes attack from the ceiling of the cave. Fiercely they fight the beasts, but they just aren’t made for this sort of thing.

Belril pushes a counter attack and moves into the Mite’s common room. Viceak takes the opportunity to turn and help his two companions. Together the group clean up the straggling mites and centipedes in the tunnel.

“No! No no no no no! This can’t be!” Grubbles roars and charges the giant metal man in a fury. Belril is knocked back, surprised as he takes his first pains in this battle. The Giant Tick flails furiously as Grubbles struggles to hold on. Back and forth the battle rages, smashing tables, and chairs. Then Altanus reaches the fight – returning Belril to full health. Petrorin finds his way to the back of the Giant Tick and pounces on the fierce bug. When Viceak joins the fray the battle is all but over.

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The End of Old Tuskgutter

Old Tuskgutter he is called. An gnarled beast of a boar, older than any others have seen, tough and ill tempered. That is the reputation. Some think he is a WerePig or a Warg of Pork – a beast controlled by a hermit or with the intelligence and brutality of an ancient Tiger Barbarian trapped inside.

But Tuskgutter doesn’t think that is true. He is just a boar, and just wants to eat well and be left alone. Why must these two-legged beasts, hiding in the pelts of wolf, deer, and bear get in his way? If they would just stop throwing their wooden teeth and swinging their metal claws at him he wouldn’t have to kill them so often… they do taste good after laying lifeless for a few days, though. Still, he would choose what other rot lays around the marsh floors – there is plenty of it for all, and less fighting to get it.

When last the Adventurers where at Oleg’s, trading stories of guts and glory, the tale of Old Tuskgutter reaches them from an boar hunter – a man with a limp and scars on his face. “The gray faced board is feared more’en any other monster in the marshes, ‘far as I’m concerned. Attacked me from no-where he did! My spear buried deep in his flank, but did naught to slow ’em down! He is a monster, a beast, an evil god sent to kill us!” The young man’s companions laugh him down, and make fun of him for being bested by a pig.

But now the companions are not so sure. Viceak leads the group to a small animal lair, covered with branches, detritus, and dirt, scattered with animal bones. “Some of the bones are undeniably human” says Viceak. “And this is undoubtedly a boar’s den – a particularly large boar’s den.”

“Why do they come at me! Why must they invade my home!” Tuskgutter could not take the taunting, so out he came, outraged at the invasion. Charging one then another of the two-legged monsters, but whichever way he turned another bit him from behind. These man-beast bit harder than most, more often, and came in numbers. “Let me be!” cried the old boar as he tried to escape into the marshes. When he was young the deep cover and muck of the wet places always did well to stop his enemies from pursuing.

The wild board thrashed about then made a break for the muck behind the den, but Viceak was quicker, and the boar did not escape. Safe, now, that yet another beast of the Stolen Lands is taken down, and the world is that much safer.

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Further for Glory

After freeing the cursed Guardian of Eristil’s Temple, the Adventurers, Striker, and Stacey continued West and reach the stinking waters of the Skunk River, whereat they defend themselves from aggressive giant frogs living in the warm pools at the source of the Skunk.

Continuing on, heading South the group find the overgrown statue of a giant man with the head of an Elk. Altanus cleans the statue and thanks Old Deadeye for his help in taming this wild land. Back Eastward, now, searching the Narlmarches for good land and future resource, the group come upon a pair group of ruined buildings. Quietly they split up between two destroyed halls buried deep in the marshes at a thinner section of the Skunk River.

Striker and his crew find the lair of a giant frog-like beast covered in slime and wallowing in filth – a purple Slurk! Meanwhile Belril and his group reach the smaller ruin and find the nest of lone Boggard.

Striker sees an opportunity at surprise and charges forward, attacking the unknowing Slurk, which croaks loudly in warning. Garuum, the Boggard, takes notice and runs to his pet’s aid, only to be intercepted by Belril. In a few brief moments of fierce battle both the Frog-man and Frog-monster are dispatched, and these buildings freed for future use.

Basking in a few good deeds done, Stacey and Striker move on alone, heading North and East to find their own adventure elsewhere while the Adventures head East to further document the wild lands of the Stolen Kingdom.

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Eristil's Temple

The Adventurers talk to the folks at the trading post, selling off their radishes and other goods, and pick up a pair of new adventurers – a beast of a Fighter named Striker and a dragon-blooded sorcerer named Stacey. Together they head to the location of the hidden temple Perlivash described.

The reach the old temple – an old beaten thing made of stone and overgrowth, and roughly the shape of an Elk’s head. While discussing what to do the loud roar of a bear-beast is heard inside. The group proceed in, engage the bear in combat.

Striker makes the first move, trying to intercept the charging bear, but the bear brushes him aside and heads straight to Altanus! Completely surrounded, the bear takes hit after hit, but none strong enough to pull the beast from tasting his new prey – the priest of Eristil. With a wild smile the bear slaps the cleric with its huge paws, then bites into him. Vainly the group attempt to down the bear, the cleric attempts to heal, but all for naught! The bear, with a final tear from its monstrous maw, tears the hapless priest’s neck out and tosses the bloody corpse aside. But the bear is not impregnable and as he searches for his next feast the mighty Striker brings the beast down.

Upon the bear’s death a shadow lifts from the temple and the pool at the center of the temple glows dimly. Hoping beyond hope the companions immerse their fallen brother into the warm waters. Eristil is at hand, and holds the cleric close to mind, and heals Altanus so he can fight for Eristil on another day.

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On to the Wild

The Adventurers delivered their prisoners to Oleg’s to find a few new faces, and in so doing have picked up some new information and tasks to perform. Included in these tasks are the hunt for an old abandoned Temple or Eristil.

So into the wild they go to finally get to the task of drawing out a map.

East they head, past old Bokken’s hut (whom among other things, sends the group on the search of Fangberries), and loop back a few more days and back West of the trading post. As they enter the Narlmarches the forest fey pick up their trail and begin tormenting the group nightly. The pass an trap-filled glade and helpfully remove some of the traps. Further west they meet up with a mischievous group of fey known as Griggs. Through this encounter they begin to understand the forces which have been tormenting them. Petorin is the first to consider providing ‘gifts’ to the sprites who have been so ‘amusing’ over the last few weeks. Soon enough the entire group provides food as gifts and their tormentors – a Grigg and Faerie Dragon (named Tyg-Titter-Tut and Perlivash respectively) make themselves known, thank the group for the fun they have provided, and show the group some points of interest including the location of a hidden temple.

The group come upon an ancient grave of some barbarian warrior but respect the grave site too much to investigate. On their way back to the trading post the group investigates the death of a trapper. Was this the same trapper who laid out those bear traps in which the group had previously almost been caught? Who killed the trapper – was it those mites they have heard so much about? Those questions are left un-answered as the group proceed back North and East to the trading post, dispatching some kobolds and collecting some Moon Radishes on the way.

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Kressel's Gang
Into the Wild

The The Adventurers travel to Oleg’s Trading Post, and finding the old fort in good order, the Cleric ? announces the arrival of the the Cavalier, ? to all who would listen – which would be Svetlana. Pleased at their arrival, Svetlana invites them to meal with herself and her husband Oleg, the proprietor of the trading post.

Over sup, Svetlana implores the group to help the couple with their banditry problem, and are properly appalled when they find the group did not know of their requests for help – after all they believed the group to be the help Restov sent to deal with the bandits. The courageous cavalier accepts the chance to do right by the peasants and they begin planning. Oleg volunteers to be bait, luring the bandits into the post to take his goods – as has happened for the last 3 months, allowing the heroes to ambush the baddies while they toil at loading their cart with Oleg’s supplies. The group consider this too much risk for Oleg to take, and instead ask him to hide with Svetlana in the common building whilst they deal with the bandits. So instead they decide to ambush the bandits using the Cleric as the bait, the Cavalier as hammer, with the Rogue ? and Ranger ? in reserve to close the doors from behind and prevent escape.

On cue, shortly after dawn the following morning the band of 4 approach Oleg’s. Happs Bydon leads the pack, with 3 other bandits. Sniffing something fishy they decide to attempt to hide their banditry and instead ask the Cleric for room and board. Not falling for the ploy the Cavalier springs the trap with a demand to surrender, and the Rogue and Ranger do their part to prevent escape. Thoroughly intimidated by the quick execution of the trap and the strong presence of the Cavalier, the bandits continue their ploy of peace but move their hands away from their weapons as asked by the Cavalier.

The Rogue then takes Happs’ bow. Seeing themselves being disarmed without a fight stirs the group to action, Happs’ moves away, and the three bandits dismount to attack the cleric. The Cavalier makes quick work of one of the bandits, the Cleric an Rogue put down a second, and the Ranger takes down Happs. The battle was barely started before it began, so the remaining bandit asked for mercy and received it. In exchange he traded the location of the bandit camp on the Thorn River, south of the trading post.

With the immediate threat taken care of, and the bandits locked in what was Oleg’s office, the group travels south with hopes of finding the bandit camp before the ill-fated pack would be missed. In a bit of poor judgement, perhaps, the Cleric decides he needs to use the cart (which among other things, requires him to purchase a horse back from Oleg only hours after giving it to him).

Traveling South, as per the bandit’s instructions, at the snail’s pace allowed by the cart, the group quickly draw the attention of some mischievous forest spirits, who spend the next 6 days tormenting the group (tripping, painting on faces, undoing pants, stealing shoes…). The adventurers take the cart due south until they break free of the narlmarches’ north-eastern point and enter the kamelands. They travel the kamelands for a few hours, deep into the second day of travel and decide they have gone too far and have taken too long. They turn back thinking they may need to return to the trading post to prevent further attacks, but reach some hillocks on the edge of the kamelands and the narlmarches where they are able to examine the land to find the lay of the thorn river.

One more night in the kamelands, then the group travels westward, dropping the cart off as the enter the narlmarches to allow for faster movement, and in a few hours are at the Thorn River’s bed. Feeling they over-traveled their way south, the group follow the river north, and reach the bandit camp.

The part splits when they hear the bandits in camp. The Rogue and Ranger travel north to investigate the camp, while the other two remain mounted south of the camp to await signal. The stealthy duo travel around the southern edge of the camp gathering what information they could, until they reach the northern edge. At this point they decide to cross the road and river, which splits the camp in two. The river is shallow at this point, making it a good place to cross for a pair with armor but little skill at swimming. Unfortunately the area is wide open and the two are spotted.

Kressel, the bandit captain, fears ambush and flanking, she sends just two of her 5 companions after the two interlopers, and keeps a watch on the south and for more action on the north while remaining in camp. The Cavalier and Cleric take note of the warning alarm and charge to their friends’ protection.

The Cavalier charges at Kressel, heedless of the two archers and the swordsman as he attacks. Taking multiple hits from bow and sword, then from the bandit captain’s double axes the cavalier falls from his horse, and the bandit camp turn their attention to the cleric.

Meanwhile the Rogue and Range re-ambush the two swordmen sent after them. They attack the Rogue, doing little damage, and are flanked and surprised by the Ranger. Together the Rogue and Ranger make quick work of their prey and and rush back to the sounds of battle coming from the camp.

The cleric is ill-prepared for this type of military attention – archers, swordsman, and axe-wielding fiends take their toll, but the cleric is able to push out a healing burst which heals himself and does enough good to bring the cavalier back to the battle. Seeing the fearsome knight regain his feet, the two distant archers again take their aim, and under the combined attack from so many, the cavalier falls again. The cleric also takes a beating, falling to what must be close to death, but the hard-to-kill healer is still capable of acting. As the Rogue and Ranger re-enter battle, the cleric performs another healing burst, saving himself and the cavalier from near certain death.

With four combatants to deal with, has the battle turned? Not as yet! In one swing with her axe, Kressel hits the Ranger square on the base of his shoulder, driving deep into his chest, knocking him out of commission. The Rogue tumbles out of trouble to try and deal some damage to the axe-wielder, but takes damage himself, nearly being dropped. Another round of archer attacks split between the cavalier and the cleric and all looks lost!

But lo! Eristil must be with the Cleric at this moment – another healing burst brings the Ranger and Cavalier back into the battle, and bolsters both his own and the Rogue’s health. With new-found vigor, the group is able to absorb some hits from these outlaws, and luck seems on their side – as it always seems to be with winners, and they four find themselves able to counter-attack as a unit. First flanking the swordsman, the Cavalier and Rogue are able to take him out. The cleric falls back from battle and uses obscurring mist to stimy the archers. The ranger sends two weapons of his own at Kressel, for the first time giving her the task of battle’s pain. Outflanked, outnumbered, and severely injured, Kressel attempts to flee, hoping to use the dense fog as concealment on the way. She does not make it far, however, before she is taken down by the swords surrounding her.

In the remaining route of the archers the group manage to take one prisoner and take possession of the bandit’s second cart. They travel back to where they stored their own cart in hopes to keep one and save the other spare parts, only to find their cart sitting with no wheels.

Enduring more mischief as they travel north, they make better time, and deliver their new prisoner to Oleg’s, where they are relieved to find an answer to at least one question – how do we handle all these excess prisoners? While they were gone the post was re-enforced with a band of Brevoy guards to help protect the post (as it will become more important to Brevoy should their plans here in the south come to fruition). Kravkin Garess leads the group and has sent the prisoners left from the Trading Post battle back to Restov for trial. He will do the same for the latest prisoner bandit. Along with Kravkin and his three guards, a priest of Eristil has also come to the trading post and promises to help the group as they find the need.

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The Background
Before the beginning

Group History

The four Adventurers are a small group, recently formed, to gather funds and fame, or to pass their time. A new adventurers guild named The Varnish Syndicate has been spreading through Brevoy, incorporating smaller adventurer bands into a larger conglomerate to make it easier to match adventurers and clients throughout the vast kingdom. Naturally, our budding youths joined this guild to expose themselves to a broad range of possible jobs.

No sooner have they payed their dues then the Varnish Syndicate Office delivers them a note inviting them to apply to help explore the Stolen Lands for the Lord Mayor of Restov. Though the job does not promise a stipend or regular payment, it does promise high adventure, chance for gallantry, and ample un-taxable treasure. The group passed the initial eyeball testing in Restov and was invited to the grand city for personal interviews (this adventure business is a lot more paperwork once the government gets involved!).

A fortnight ago, as part of a feast and with great pomp, the four adventurers were awarded one of four charters from the Brevic government. Their task, says their charter, is to explore the stolen lands just south of Oleg’s Trading Post. They are to begin their journey at Oleg’s, and from there explore an area 60 miles wide, and 60 miles deep into the wilderness.

Recent Brevic History
Brevoy has been a nation in turmoil. 13 years ago the young king xxxx of house yyyy disappeared, as did all his known relatives. With no known successor the King’s Regent, [[:Lord Stetven]], took the crown as his own. Tho the transfer of power was bloodless, not all in Brevoy accepted this change. House Stetven comes from the North of Brevoy, in a region known as Iberia. Those from the South of Brevoy, in the area known as Rostland, have a deep routed historical animosity towards Iberia which only the power of house yyyy could suppress.

In the intervening years the Brevoy has become a smoldering cook-pot waiting to burst open as soon as prodded the wrong way. It appears civil war is inevitable unless someone can cool the situation. With the recent history of not-to-distant Galt and its 40 year ‘revolution’ fresh on everyone’s mind the people of Brevoy can only hope that they can avoid such chaos.

The Stolen Lands, why now?
The land south of the Rostlander road is often named ‘The Stolen Lands,’ tho who it was stolen from and by whom differs depending whom you ask. Generally the Stolen Lands is drawn as part of the River Kingdoms, though it is not claimed by any particular kingdom at the moment. Rostland, and thus Brevoy has long claimed the land is theirs, inherited when the great empire of Taldor, Rostlands parent empire some centuries ago, receded back south and splinted into so many pieces. Taldor itself still lays claim to it, though only in wistful promises of future glory and long tales of past glory.

In truth, noone owns the Stolen Lands. Even in the full power of the Taldor Empire, Taldor was unable to successfully civilize the area. Centuries later Brevoy attempted to settle the area and did not last 5 years before retracting its borders. Many a River Kingdom grew in the Stolen Lands, but all either were forced west, south, or became extinct.

But the Stolen Lands beckon to be civilized. Recently, bandit activity has grown, and since most of those bandits are humans, it is assumed their presence means the area is more ripe for civilization now then ever before. Other tales of monsters in area grow more common as well – but that must only mean more people are passing through the area and surviving to tell those tales! Finally, there is a real need to do something in the area – vital trade routes have been slowed or stopped recently due to monsters, pirates, or politics. Something needs to be done, and necessity is the mother of action, as the saying goes.

With all this, more attention is being drawn to the Stolen Lands, eyes drawn to the region by bards and travelers tales have led to recent historical and geologic studies of the area. Popular opinion (among the learned anyway) is swaying in the direction that, given a determined parent nation, a multi-pronged plan of development, and highly motivated pioneers that successful settlement of the area is possible. Of the nations large enough to take such action, Brevoy is the only nation in the region up to the task.

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