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PCs traveling in the Magdar Kingdom of Midgard may discover all manner of rumors. Are they true or false? Decide for yourself as you plan adventures for your players!
The Magdar Kingdom
This cosmopolitan kingdom is steeped in the ideals of chivalry and noble warfare. Its people are generally healthy and happy and quite willing to share their opinions about the state of the world.
Eyewitnesses have seen the ghost of King Stephanos riding along the Sultan’s Road between Marroc’s Stand and Valogrod (in what is now Mharoti territory). He appears to be looking for something.
True? King Stephanos has risen as a ghost knight templar (see Tome of Beasts 3) and now haunts the Sultan’s Road searching for his lost symbol of office, a scepter of majesty (see Vault of Magic). The scepter was taken by an adult green dragon named Araxyra whose lairs within the Gennecka Forest. The king’s soul cannot rest until it is returned to Queen Dorytta.
False? PC investigation reveals that Magdar resistance fighters are spreading these rumors to prevent Mharoti soldiers from using the Sultan’s Road. The PCs must decide whether to help the resistance fighters move refugees across the border or turn them over to the Mharoti Empire for a sizeable reward.
Soldiers stationed at Thunder’s Seat repelled an attack by a large band of centaurs from Demon Mountain. It is said that one centaur carried a strange green staff that fired reddish bolts from its tip.
True? A force of over 50 centaurs wearing the colors of the Master of Demon Mountain attacked the fortress, with unclear motives. The centaur chieftain (see Creature Codex) leading the centaurs carried a rod of hellish grounding (see Vault of Magic) that it used in the battle. The centaurs were driven off during the first assault but have regained their numbers and plan to attack the fortress again before the next full moon.
False? A fanciful bard made up the bit about the staff, and the centaurs who attacked the fortress were actually a much smaller pride of lamias using mirror image spells to make themselves seem like a larger group. They still definitely plan to attack the fortress again before the next full moon.
Thalonius, a priest of Thoth-Hermes from Margado, was found murdered in his bedroom. The acolytes who discovered his body claim the priest had black ink leaking from his eyes and mouth.
True? Thalonius racked up considerable gambling debts which he couldn’t repay. One of his creditors, an assassin named Cervistus, made an example of him. Cervistus forced Thalonius to swallow an entire bottle of ink before strangling him to death and taking his holy symbol. If PCs investigate, they must delve into Margado’s criminal underbelly to bring Cervistus to justice.
False? Thalonius committed suicide by hanging himself rather than being killed by his creditors. The acolytes made up the story about his murder to grab attention for themselves. Unfortunately, Thalonius’s spirit does not rest easy. He rises as a terrible wraith shortly after burial and begins stalking the acolytes.
Great rending cries have been heard from caves in the Smolten Hills. Some say the cries are those of a wounded dragon. Others claim they are from some foul supernatural entity.
True? A black shuck (see Tome of Beasts 3) has settled in the Smolten Hills and begins slaughtering the local miners within a few days of the rumors spreading. The black shuck lurks within a series of abandoned mines, which are also home to a band of troglodytes and several angler worms (see Tome of Beasts 1).
False? Dwarven prospectors spread the rumor after discovering a rich gold vein. Unfortunately, the rumors have had the opposite effect. Now, even more people are showing up, asking questions. The prospectors seek the PCs’ aid in driving off a group of wannabe monster hunters from their mining site. The monster hunters are of equivalent power level to the PCs and take poorly to the dwarves should the deception be revealed.
Duchess Baretta is a wild child. She frequently flies about Runkelstad, drunkenly shooting pigeons with her wand of magic missiles. They say that the Runkelstad Wands are covering up her misdemeanors and blaming them on a case of mistaken identity.
True? Duchess Baretta has been struggling to deal with the demands of leading the Wands at such a young age and has begun drinking and carousing with several knights of questionable character. If the PCs investigate, the Wands may ask for help in keeping Baretta away from her new friends.
False? The Mharoti Empire sent a doppelganger spy to kill and replace Baretta. Fortunately, the doppelganger failed at assassination. Instead, it now impersonates Baretta to tarnish her reputation. The doppelganger lairs in an abandoned house in Runklestad, where it conspires with a Mharoti kobold wizard (see Creature Codex) with access to the fly spell (which it casts on the doppelganger when it masquerades as Baretta).
In a recent joust, Faramond the Fair, known for his magnificent pearly locks, lost to Andolinna the Just, a lesser-known female knight. Shortly after the joust, Faramond accused Andolinna of cheating by hiring someone to spike his wine. It brings great shame to the Order of the Undying Sun since they both belong to the group.
True? Faramond was indeed poisoned and lost to Andolinna. The culprit, however, is not Andolinna, but a knight named Ser Renlin who seeks to discredit her after she rejected his advances. Ser Renlin is a knight of LE alignment who is typically accompanied by half a dozen retainers (treat as guards). He reacts harshly and violently to any attempts to bring him to justice. The Order might hire the PCs to investigate the incident, particularly if one of them is a cleric or paladin of Khors or Lada.
False? The rumor is a complete fabrication started by Ser Renlin to bring shame to Andolinna. As mentioned above, the Order may hire the PCs to look into who started the rumors, eventually bringing them into conflict with the black-hearted knight.
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