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    Original Lord of Hommlet?
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    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Aspedri

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    Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:53 am  
    Original Lord of Hommlet?

    As I endlessly rework T1-4 for my own amusement, I noticed that in the Player's background it states "Prosperity was great, for the lord of the district [Hommlet and environs] was mild and taxed but little." Does anyone have an idea where this lord may have lived? According to OJ 8 and 9, the nobility of Verbobonc are land-owners invested by Aerdy.

    I am approaching this in two possible ways:

    1. Is that the local lord had a fortified manor somewhere in the triangle between Nulb, Etterboek, and Hommlet. When the Temple originally rose and came to dominate the region, the manor was destroyed (dungeon for the characters to explore) and the family killed. I plan to have Lareth and the resurgent Temple seek to sow chaos by supporting a pretender to the title and challenge the legitimacy of Burne.

    2. The local lord was absentee and lived most of his time in Verbobonc. While there was a manor house (similarly burned) the family was largely unscathed. They resent the loss of some/all of their domain to Burne, and may unwittingly aid in undermining him.

    I am developing my campaign so that Lareth and the Greater Temple try to sow chaos and discord in Hommlet in the lead-up to the characters finally clearing the moathouse. Their is going to be a consistent pattern of someone undermining the village council in the run-up to the adventure. Doe anyone have any suggestions for the local lord who predated Burne?
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Jun 18, 2022 4:11 pm  

    All sorts of options are available. I'm not aware of any canon on the issue that would limit whatever path (or paths) you want to explore.

    This is a case where you can do both. It's quite possible the original lord and his family were caught in the rise of the original Temple and killed or sacrificed. Might be interesting to have the former lord's signet ring turn up in the Temple somewhere. Some member of the family might well survive in the Temple as a slave. Or there might be a few more people hidden in magical slumber alongside Prince Thrommel...

    And if any of them have good claims to the lordship of Hommlet, Rufus and Burne might find themselves in a nasty legal custody battle.

    On the outside, if there was a legitimate - or even somewhat illegitimate - heir to the local territory, the Viscount would never have appointed Sir Rufus and Sir Burne as local lords. However, there might be more distant relatives with far weaker claims to the title who might contest it. Since the Viscount IS the court, for all intents and purposes, they're not going to have much in the way of legal options. However, they may choose to pursue their claims through subversion and other covert means. This might even make them allies of convenience to Lareth the Beautiful, so long as they are ignorant of the Temple connection.

    Proving their connection to Lareth, and from there to the Temple, would probably be sufficiently treasonous to get them exiled, if not executed, if presented to the Viscount. Proving Lareth's connection to the Temple to these would-be ursurpers might get them to recant and throw their support behind Rufus and Burne. Or it might make them double down and throw their own military forces into the fray against the PCs and Homlet.

    So... yeah. You can have a situation where the heir to the original lord somehow survived and wants his lands back - and he has the popular support of the villagers; distant relatives refuse to recognize the heir - claiming he's a pretender being used by the Temple to subvert the area - and are pressing their claims; and poor Rufus and Burne have to defend themselves against both sets of claimants AND the Temple...
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 11, 2009
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    From: Aspedri

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    Sat Jul 02, 2022 4:00 am  


    Thank you for your ideas. I am going with legitimate line of the family having been wiped out in the rise of the Temple. The Temple is going to have steered a confidence man into making a claim for the title; he is aware someone is engineering the situation, but not who it is. The characters will have to explore the ruined manor house at either 1st or 2nd level looking for evidence that the claimant is an illegitimate child of the last baron; I am not sure what form this will take, but it may be as simple as letters or records or the lack of them. I think it may even be the baron's will making note of his offspring, legitimate and otherwise, and simply having no mention of the claimant.

    This adventure will introduce the Heralds of Ferrond and also be a simple dungeon crawl that build experience on the way to confrontation at the Moathouse with Lareth.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 02, 2022 7:01 am  

    Why not have Lareth be the legitimate heir, thought dead when the Temple slew or abducted his family? That way he pumps up the pretender and then can dramatically appear with proof of his legitimacy.

    From a timeline perspective, there's 10 years from when the Temple is established to the default CY 576 start of T1. If the previous lord was abducted/killed around CY 568, then that's 8 years for the tender mercies of the Temple or Lolth to turn a 12 or 14 year old boy into the dark hope of Chaotic Evil.
    Adept Greytalker

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    From: Aspedri

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    Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:44 am  

    Lareth, you have a suitably Machiavellian mind as your namesake might have. It is a very tempting idea, complete with a moral or at least a legal quandary for the characters. What would a paladin do in such a circumstance? It also make Lareth more than just the moathouse's boss monster, which is what I am striving for.

    That having been said, I am going to consider both concepts. I do like the idea of introducing a charlatan to the campaign who may pop up again at later dates. For a cruel twist, I was also considering making the con man the actual heir, but he does not realize it, and when his double dealing is revealed, he loses any chance of establishing a legitimate claim to the title... a little tragedy goes a long way.
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