Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
Traladaran Campaign Ideasby Jennifer Guerra
So, how do you integrate this information into your Kingdom of Karameikos campaign? It's not at all difficult, though it does take some setting up. First off, you must have your campaign established in Karameikos, and preferably have at least one PC of Traladaran blood. While it may be interesting to have a party of Glantrians or Darokinians meddling in the land to the south, it just won't mean as much to the characters, and revolution is an emotional thing.
So let's presume that your campaign is established in Karameikos, with Karameikan or Traladaran characters. What happens next? Here are some ideas, drawn in part from sourcebooks such as Gaz1: Grand Duchy of Karameikos and Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure:
- Traladaran characters may hail from one of the old Clans, and want to see their country free of Thyatian rule. It would only get them killed to just storm King Stefan's castle. And it is very difficult to reasonably have a small group of people stir up a revolution all on their own, without risking martyrdom. So you, the DM, must employ plot devices designed to put the PCs in a pivotal role in Traladaran history.
The best idea along these lines comes from Gaz 1. In this scenario, the PCs begin as agents of the Church of Traladara (perhaps after finding the Shield of Halav from Hail the Heroes); or perhaps bodyguards of Magda Marilenev. Lady Magda and other Traladaran leaders (including Patriarch Alekseyev Nikelnevich) have been speaking out in public about the King's policies - perhaps his free aid to Thyatis, or his allowing a school of magic to be built on the sacred ruins of Krakatos. These demonstrations try the King's temper, but he is afraid of another widespread revolt should he suppress them. The speakers continue, flirting with sedition, but never quite crossing the line. Meanwhile, Oliver Jowett, Patriarch of Mirros (Church of Karameikos), dies. Sherlane Halaran, content with being a Baron in Threshold, declines the Patriarchy, and the job goes to the fanatical Alfric Oderbry. Oderbry campaigns for the King to declare the Church of Karameikos the one State church, and ban the Traladaran faith. Stefan has had enough of Traladaran agitation; Oderbry's request does not fall on deaf ears. Stefan declares the Karameikan Church supreme, and bans the Traladaran faith, though only in the capital at first. The demonstrations turn to riots; Patriarch Alekseyev must be rescued from house arrest in Mirros. Unrest spreads with word of the proclamation, and troops loyal to the King, including the Order of the Griffon, are called out to keep order. And there is a Wild Card: The Cult of Halav, dominated by Traladarans, nonetheless believes in the divinity of King Stefan. What happens next? Only your PCs can decide...
Or, alternately, the PCs can join a Traladaran guerrilla band in the wild lands of the country - robbing from rich Thyatians to give to poor Traladaran families, and striking out at the King with hit-and-run missions (such as infiltrating the King's hunting lodge, as presented in X12: Skarda's Mirror). The PCs are heroes to the Traladarans, but have bounties placed on their heads by outraged nobles (and the king). If captured, they will have to escape - perhaps with the help of one of the major Clans. Should the King strike back at this Clan, violence erupts in the capital...
- Thyatian PCs:
- Thyatian PCs must struggle in the above scenarios to maintain the supremacy of their class and the rule of the King in Karameikos. They may be a noble's son, out to avenge their parent's humiliation at the hands of Traladaran bandit/guerrillas, or members the Order of the Griffon charged with maintaining order in the capital during the unrest following the ban of the Traladaran Church. You can easily adapt B6: The Veiled Society into a module for loyalist PCs, searching for a kidnapped Thyatian while trying to collect evidence of the treachery of the Traladaran families.
- Mixed-Blood PCs:
- "New Karameikan" characters are torn between their Thyatian and Traladaran heritage. By guiding them through the above events from both sides (perhaps they're a loyalist guard who is captured by, and begins to sympathise with, Traladaran freedom-fighters), PCs can choose a side on which to fight. Or perhaps they remain neutral, selling their services to both sides, or even working as an agent of an outside country.
- Karameikan Demihuman PCs:
- Callarii elves are likely to be loyal to King Stefan, as he maintains an all-Callarii guard unit and good relations with clan leaders. Vyalia elves will tend to empathise with the Traldaran plight, though they are very insular, and will tend toward inaction. Alfheim refugees will act in the best interests of their clan; see "Mixed-Blood PCs." Hin, Dwarves, and Gnomes will tend to favour the Traladaran side; the former because of Stefan's prolonged "ignorance" of the Black Eagle Baron's tyranny, the latter two because a free Traladara will likely translate to a free Kingdom of Highforge.
- Outlander PCs:
- So, your PCs are from elsewhere, but they're still interested? Many nations can hold a vested interest in the outcome of this revolt. Thyatis would like to see Stefan defeated and Traladara free - and ready for reconquest. Glantri would benefit (if only in ego) from the destruction of Stefan's magic school; PC saboteurs could easily blame terrorist acts on Traladaran radicals. There are many, many scenarios which you can, as DM, envision for foreign PCs based in Karameikos.
So, what are you waiting for?