The next great war has begun !

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Hey everyone, I've posted a few times now in this forum and I've gotten some good feedback so far.  I'm hoping it'll happen again !

**** Major plot spoilers ahead !!  Dan, Kory, Gabriel, Sylvain, Evan, Phil:  DONT READ PLEASE. ***


Now the story as it currently stands is kind of complex with political intrigue and the war having started but I'll post info.  Sorry for the wall of text:

Currently the situation for the rebellion and its allies is dire.  In northern Khorvaire, the forces of Thrane and Karrnath are waging an all out war against each other.  So far, the death toll seems to be in the tens of thousands but there's no real way to know for sure.  We haven't fully understood why Karrnath allied themselves with us, but what we can say is that if they had not, we wouldn't still be here.  Karrnath is effectively paying with blood to keep the rebellion going.  Thrane is so tied up dealing with the onslaught that they haven't been able to focus their attentions anywhere else.  However the pure zealotry of Thrane is keeping Karrnath tied up as well, but we need to take our blessings where and how we find them eh ?"  Explained Caspian while rubbing his tired eyes.

"When the war began, many ties between the nations were broken.  Thrane and Karrnath ruptured their alliance, Aundair was overtaken by the Templar Order but more importantly all economic ties between Breland and other nations were lost.  This effectively caused our ally
to enter recession and now they are nearing nation wide economic crash.  We are currently funneling resources, via underground networks, to aid them but there is only so much we can do at the moment."  Detailed General Caspion.

"Our ally Breland is effectively surrounded by enemy forces.  To the north of our ally, Aundair is using the ancient Mana Towers to effectively annihilate entire settlements near the border.  Currently, a major settlement is being threatened and requires help, but our forces are too spread out to effectively give aid, which is where you and your group come in along with this air ship.  Once we get into contact with our forces in Breland, we will be able to get more information."  General Caspian explained while pointing to various places on a large war map.

"South of Breland, the coast is currently under blockade by the pirate navy of the Lhazaar principalities.  They are being financed by the Templars and their allies.  Unfortunately we cannot currently compete with their coffers while at the same time aiding Breland's economy from completely failing.  The pirates are finding safe landing within the harbours of Zilargo to the west of Breland.  So far the pirates have mainly pillaged the undefended coastal villages along the coast,
but they are growing more bold by the day.  The strategic defenses of Breland against sea attacks are still formidable.  The Hilt, which is the bay that connects the sea to the Dagger River, has many defenses still intact from the last war.  Sharn, the great city, also stands as a bastion of defense against possible attacks from both land and sea.  During the last war, those defenses withstood many assaults and never fell, they are battle tested and should serve us well."  Continued
General Caspian thoughtfully.

"The nation of Zilargo is also making small incursions into Brelish land, testing the waters as they say.  If left unchecked they could ravage the farm lands and seriously damage Breland's ability to defend itself in the long run.  Brelish forces are currently dealing with that issue along with the pirate attacks as best they can.  The last news I received from them was positive."

"One of the main goals of the rebellion is to gather as many allies as we can.  For that reason, I organized the attack on the prison of Dreadhold.  We have now managed to free many Nobles with ties to groups and the Houses of Khorvaire.  Hopefully they will be more than happy to help the rebellion now that they have been freed." Said Caspian smugly.

"Certain nations are still claiming neutrality such as Q'Barra, Valenar, Darguun.  We have dispatched agents to all three but have yet to convince any of them to join our side.  Q'Barra and Valenar are said to believe this conflict is none of their business and have so far refused to budge.  Darguun is currently suffering assaults from pirate incursions as well as political and military pressure from Thrane and Zilargo.  To make matters worse, the Mournland is encroaching upon the land and expanding further and further.  Their situation is dire indeed.  Our agents inform us that the main political group called the Wordbearers are still searching for the Ashen Crown, an ancient artifact.  They seek it to rally all goblin kind to them and attempt to restore their ancient empire.  No one knows where the artifact currently is, but we fear the templars might be in possession of it and are planning on using it as a bartering chip to gain another their favor."  Detailed General Caspion.

"Another interesting point is the current situation in Drooam.  I'm sure you are all familiar with those lands, filled with the monster races of Khorvaire.  In recent years the Hag Sisters, twins actually, have conquered the once thought to be unconquerable lands.  They have sundered any and all attempts to usurp their authority by anyone or anything.  They are ruling with an iron fist and have total dominion.  The interesting bit is that they contacted both sides of the conflict
when the war began, demanding to be recognized as a nation proper ! However negotiations are not going well.  Every diplomat, representative or agent that has been sent has been returned in a pile of small half digested pieces.  That being said, if we could somehow convince them to join our side they could prove to be a pivotal part of our victory.  I say if all they want in return is to be recognize as an independant nation before joining forces with us, then so be it !  But if it was that simple they wouldn't be shipping us our people back in pieces." Mused Caspian.

"But it is late and I should let you all get your rest, there's much to do and soon we won't have the time for sleep."  With that, General Caspian grabbed a full bottle of the delicious rum, turned towards an open couch and plopped himself down in the dark to hopefully sleep away the demons of the day.




Ok so that's the main information I gave to the players.  They just spent 2 years in-game time in the deep vaults of the Dreadhold.  They were sent there for various reasons that I won't bother getting into since it's not super important.  During the escape they managed to capture a military grade air ship (think a small fast ship which can use the Mist Elemental that makes it fly to create fog around itself and infiltrate hotspots).  The players chose the kind of elemental the ship was tied to when they stole it.  They are currently headed for Breland but have chosen to avoid the main war zones between Thrane and Karrnath and instead go south east to Valenar.  As the above explains, valenar is currently neutral or claims to be.  They decided they could head there first to try and convince the mainly elven and human nation to join the rebellion.  However they don't know much about Valenar.  I've read up on it and I'm trying to think of something that they could use to convince Valenar to join their side.  The rebellion can't compete currently as explained with the coffers of the other side so that's out.  Valenar is mostly a mercenary state, if you can fight you can find a job kind of thing.  Survivors from Cyrre, they claimed the land currently called Valenar at the end of the last war.  Horse people.  Makes me think of the Horse Lords from LOTR.

anyway TL:DR How could the PC's possibly convince Valenar to join the rebellion instead of the Templars and their allies ?
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

It sounds like your players are in for an exciting storyline. A few observations, I guess, and an answer to the question you've actually asked. All of my observations are obviously given through the lens of "my Eberron", naturally. "Your Eberron" could be different.

First, I think any Zil aggression against Breland is very out of character. Zilargo used to be Breland, and even after their opportunistic move to independence, they remained so close an ally during the war that they were nearly and extension of Breland. I'd say they have nothing to gain, and much to lose, by turning on their western neighbor.

Next, Droaam- I think you may be overstating the strength of the Sisters' grip on their nation and under estimating their political savvy. Eating, slaying, or whatnot of envoys just doesn't seem their style (yet, at least). I'd think they'd be very willing to entertain overtures from the Five Nation, in general. At the very least, killing such an envoy would not be a habit, I'd think.

And Valenar-- they do love an underdog. It would not be out of character for the Valaes Tairn to aid your rebellion simply because the odds are against you. Perhaps aiding your cause offers the best path to glory, for now? I assume your rebellion is based in the Thaliost region? Getting the elves to you, in great numbers, may be initially challenging; but it wouldn't be out of character for War Clans to simply ride into southern Thrane. Whether they'd cross a portion of the Mournland, or violate Darguun's borders is an interesting detail.

Efforts might be made to establish an arrangement with the Karnns. IF the Karnns are willing (a big if, considering the history of that relationship) to allow a sizable force of Valaes Tairn to ride north into Karnnath, then the logistics of directly reinforcing the northern regions become easier. Maybe the PCs play a role in convincing the Karnns to allow the elves to enter the war on Karnnathi soil? Of course, they must cross the Sound, one way or another, and staging out of the Talenta Plains, rather than Karnnath, may make more sense, crossing Scion's Sound with (or without) Karnn support. How would the Halflings react, though? 

This is the beauty of Eberron. The history and tension are so well established that a great many scenarios can be imagined. I look forward to reading how you shape your campaign.

EDIT: Ugh. iPhones were not made for posting in this forum. :/
It sounds like your players are in for an exciting storyline. A few observations, I guess, and an answer to the question you've actually asked. All of my observations are obviously given through the lens of "my Eberron", naturally. "Your Eberron" could be different.

First, I think any Zil aggression against Breland is very out of character. Zilargo used to be Breland, and even after their opportunistic move to independence, they remained so close an ally during the war that they were nearly and extension of Breland. I'd say they have nothing to gain, and much to lose, by turning on their western neighbor.

Next, Droaam- I think you may be overstating the strength of the Sisters' grip on their nation and under estimating their political savvy. Eating, slaying, or whatnot of envoys just doesn't seem their style (yet, at least). I'd think they'd be very willing to entertain overtures from the Five Nation, in general. At the very least, killing such an envoy would not be a habit, I'd think.

And Valenar-- they do love an underdog. It would not be out of character for the Valaes Tairn to aid your rebellion simply because the odds are against you. Perhaps aiding your cause offers the best path to glory, for now? I assume your rebellion is based in the Thaliost region? Getting the elves to you, in great numbers, may be initially challenging; but it wouldn't be out of character for War Clans to simply ride into southern Thrane. Whether they'd cross a portion of the Mournland, or violate Darguun's borders is an interesting detail.

Efforts might be made to establish an arrangement with the Karnns. IF the Karnns are willing (a big if, considering the history of that relationship) to allow a sizable force of Valaes Tairn to ride north into Karnnath, then the logistics of directly reinforcing the northern regions become easier. Maybe the PCs play a role in convincing the Karnns to allow the elves to enter the war on Karnnathi soil? Of course, they must cross the Sound, one way or another, and staging out of the Talenta Plains, rather than Karnnath, may make more sense, crossing Scion's Sound with (or without) Karnn support. How would the Halflings react, though? 

This is the beauty of Eberron. The history and tension are so well established that a great many scenarios can be imagined. I look forward to reading how you shape your campaign.

EDIT: Ugh. iPhones were not made for posting in this forum. :/



Thank you for your response !

The way I've approached Zil was to have the head of the nation under Templar control.  Basically the way the PC's could solve the problem would be to restore the real government or power structure.

For Droaam, the reason I made it seem like they had total dominion is because they've had 2 years in-game time to fortify their positions and deal with internal problems.  I wanted to give the feeling that it was a brand new world and things had changed.  Now they've managed to consolidate their power structure and are moving towards more serious goals.  I figure the reason why they might have killed diplomats could be various.  Either the diplomat was assassinated by the Templar Order to stop them, they could have pissed off the wrong monster, raided on the road back, etc..  There's no details or info simply because there's no communication.  Another plot hook for the PC's to go investigate themselves.

So from your experience you would say that Valenar would join the rebellion simply because they are the underdogs ?  That just seems kind of meh to me.  Maybe they would require the rebellion to show they have honor and are worthy to fly the banner of Valenar ?

And yeah I read up on the tense relations between Valenar and Karrnath.  I'm going to be playing on that to be sure. 
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Gotcha on the shifting politics. So you're in a 1000 YK Eberron. The changes and lack of solid info can really inject some uncertainty back into a familiar setting.

As to the Valaes Tairn, I wouldn't say honor is ever really their concern. An individual elf may be emulating an honorable ancestor, and therefore have an honorable personal agenda. In general, though, the Valaes Tairn are all about reliving the deeds of their patron ancestors, most of whom were warriors in a battle against daunting foes.

They came to Khorvaire once before and picked a fight with a continent-spanning empire. They left only when a superior foe threatened Aerenal. These guys are in it for glorious battle, as their name implies, and the tougher the odds, the better. Tougher foes allow them better opportunity for emulating the heroes of Xen'drik.

In that regard, I think fighting for the underdog would definitely appeal to them. It would push them harder and bring greater glory. I wouldn't necessarily say that's all it would take to pick a side, but it would help. They need very little provocation to fight (they're still poking Karnnath even in 998 YK core), so it's pretty fair to assume they will quickly mobilize in some capacity, one way or the other. They didn't return to Khorvaire to sit the sidelines.
Yes I read that young warriors of Valenar might pick fights with outsiders or each other in order to prove themselves.  I think what I'll do is have the Valenar leadership challenge the rebellion to perform a successful attack on the Templars before signing on.  At least that way the Valenar could know that the rebellion is actually capable of action.  Of course there's still the whole Karrnath thing that the PC's will have to deal with..
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

would anyone have stat blocks for Valenar military or Valaes Tairn ?  I could use them this weekend for the session.  TY !
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)