Several weeks ago on the Thursday game...
Using his newfound powers as the Knight of Cups, Robert willed himself and the rest of the party back to Winter, where he found her poring over a large war-table along with the upper echelons of her court: the Kings, Queens, Knights and Knaves of Wands and Pentacles respectively. There was only one place left empty - the place for the Knight of Cups - and Robert found himself sliding into the place as naturally as any sidhe.
The battle line between Summer and Winter wavered, and although both sides made small pushes into each other's land, neither seemed to hold the advantage for very long... until Titania whispered something into the King of Wands' ears, who then nodded and continued staring at the table. In that moment, Robert saw a large surge from Winter's side into the lands of Summer, and unlike the other sides, this sortie seemed to be holding its own.
Seeing how Titania was intent on the war and not truly acknowledging his presence, Robert decided to seize the initiative. Focusing on the war-table - in particular, on the small island of Winter in the middle of Summer that was quickly being surrounded and overwhelmed - Robert projected the whole party straight to the frontline, where he found the King of Wands being besieged on all sides by the forces of Summer.
As they yelled at each other over the din of battle, the party eventually managed to figure out the King of Wand's purpose: to, come hell or high water, hold this small region of Winter as a beachhead until Titania arrived with the war-banner. Feeling somewhat useless against the infinite numbers of Summer bannermen that surged against the King's walls, the party instead decided to fight their way into the nearby cloud of darkness that was directly between the King and his route back into Winter.
As it turned out, the cloud of darkness was being maintained by Oberon's Knave of Pentacles. Although her will of steel and innate control of fire proved to be dangerous to the party, a powerful strike from Borock and Oathbringer eventually shattered her unshakeable concentration and, along with it, the spell that she was maintaining.
The magical darkness lifted, the party now saw that although the King of Wands lay dead at the hands of Summer's bannermen, his death was not in vain: Titania had taken to the battlefield as a titan of living frost and writhing shadow, and with her every step left death and destruction in her wake. With her veil ripped away, the Summer Knave was now exposed to Titania's scrutiny, and it was a small matter for the Lady of the Unseelie to destroy the Summer Knave with a gaze and a simple wave of her hand.
Back at the war-table - for, in truth, Robert had not left the Winter court; or had he? - Titania finally deigned to acknowledge Robert with a smile. "You've done well, my knight," she said, her voice as sweet as evensong and the first fall of snow. "But I think you have done all you can for our war effort here in the Feywild. I need you back in the Prime Material Plane, fighting our battles against Oberon's forces there; for although we have claimed a great victory against Summer today, the Eternal War will not be won so easily or so soon."
Motioning him to approach the throne - for Robert was not at the war-table, nor on the battlefield, but was in actuality kneeling before Titania's throne in the heart of Winter; or was he at all three places at the same time, doing three different things simultaneously? - Titania touched him on the brow; and in that instant, all three of Robert's selves awoke. His steed and armour disappeared, but they no longer seemed quite as important: for in their stead he found himself crowned in knowledge and shadow, in wood and starlight, in frost and steel and all things dark and deadly.
Titania's voice was a laughing brook in early winter, a nightingale's song welcoming the evening breeze. "I seem to be missing a King... so rise, then, my new King of Wands, and behold your kingdom." Robert rose, and with new eyes that Saw for the first time looked upon the Feywild: his Feywild.
Robert, the King of Wands
Winterstorm is located between the lands of the Queen of Cups (formerly known to the party as the Lady Fisher) and the Lying Tree. Having shaped the keep to superficially resemble Northreach, Robert is able to freely travel (and bring any number of people with him when he does so) between Winterstorm's and Northreach's great halls. Within the former, a deep red carpet serves as the castle's Path, while the throne serves as the beginning of the realm's Path.
Robert can now know anything that happens within his realm as soon as he thinks about it. If he so wishes, he can find out how many blades of grass there are in his kingdom (9,317,492,633 and growing), how many fey live within his borders (60,420), or even who the youngest fey within his kingdom is (little Morian, born to the satyrs Dhee and Khal just five minutes ago) just by asking himself that question.
Robert also has a deep wealth of knowledge about the fey and the Feywild, but because that knowledge is so vast and deep, if he wishes to know anything beyond the most superficial, he must research his own knowledge within Winterstorm's library: a place which is, in actuality, nothing more than a manifestation of what he instinctively knows. The library only contains books on things that Robert already knows, but serves as a convenient way for him to properly internalise that knowledge.
In the inner courtyard, where Crow's tree would have stood in Northreach, is instead a gnarled and twisted tree that opens into the Free Marches. While in the Free Marches, Robert is able to gradually paint in the scenery using nothing more than his will, thus allowing him to travel to any place on the Prime Material Plane whose features he has chosen to commit to memory. However, as the magic of the Feywild is weakest in urban places, he may only use the Free Marches to travel to natural places of power.
While within the Feywild, Robert is able to fracture himself threeways by sheer force of will. While no Robert is less than any other - each is fully capable of making decisions on his own, much like Robert would - Robert will only know what another Robert knows and has done when he unfractures and merges with himself. This necessarily means that if a Robert is left fractured for too long, his personality may start to diverge from the others thanks to his vastly different experiences.
It is important to note that while Robert is able to make his way onto the Prime Material Plane while fractured, should more than one Robert attempt to do this at the same time, the very laws of reality will start to bend as they reject this very idea. It is unclear what will happen when reality itself starts to breakdown.
Robert currently commands the loyalty of 10,000 bannermen, of which the vast majority is currently on the frontline of the Eternal War. When a bannerman dies, its immortal fey soul is returned to Robert, who must then expend a small amount of his personal energy to give it a new body. He may not gain more bannermen save by expanding his domain.
The Lying Tree has sent an ambassador - a fluttering swarm of purple butterflies - to Winterstorm's great hall, in the hopes that the Tree might treat with the King of Wands and possibly form some sort of alliance with its new neighbour. The Queen of Cups, on the other hand, is strangely quiet.
As King, Robert has secured the Marquis of Stone a promotion into Titania's court as the Ace of Cups, thus paying off his obligation to the Marquis. He has also convinced Titania to allow him to decide when the Knight of Wands should be freed, with the understanding that he will only free him when he has secured the Knight's loyalty to Winter.
It is the ??th of Late Winter.
The party has ??gp, the treasury ??gp, and Mordai's chapter ??gp.
Notable items in the Keep include:
- Bugbear Chieftain's Head: frozen in a perpetual silent scream. It has been expertly preserved by the local tanner and is now mounted on a fine piece of rough lumber, ready to be hung either in the Great Hall (where it will intimidate or disgust visitors) or in the Baron's personal quarters (where it will warm the cockles of his heart every time he looks at it).
- Golden Bracelet: the gold of the bracelet frames a thin sheet of marble that features, in the far-eastern bas-relief style of Lacio, the scene of an archer firing a greatbow at a dryad emerging from a pond. Two symbols of Krubivax - the empty circle of the new moon, and a skull with a worm crawling out of its eye socket - appear in the corners of the scene.
Notable guests of the Keep include:
- Nicodemus, chief steward of the keep
- Eldraz, Borock's clutchmate who's missing both his hands
- Tyd, the Azer smith in the keep's forge
- Egoveus, the human wizard living in the keep's tower
- Garle, representative of Ankers & Co.
- Halvenpaul, widowed captain of the guard
- Gilran, lieutenant of Mordai's chapter
|Taxes - Fishing Village||1500gp|
|Taxes - Farmsteads||1500gp|
|Unskilled hirelings x20||200gp|
|Skilled hirelings x10||900gp|
|Stipiend - Wizard Egoveus||200gp|
|Patronage - Ankers & Co.||150gp|
The general morale of both the fishing village and the farmsteads is currently positive, with most people feeling safe and content. The roads are safe, although there have been an increasing number of reports amongst the farmsteads of people having terrifying nightmares. The mimics are still a problem, but they at least have been keeping banditry down and at a minimum.
Downtime Action #1