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Keoish Intelligence Report from the Hold of the Sea Princes
Posted on Sat, June 05, 2004 by Farcluun
Osmund-Davizid writes "An excerpt from the debriefing report of King’s Agent Verilydd Jordox regarding his mission to reconnoiter the former lands of the Sea Princes and to provide a military briefing on the status of the Siege of Westkeep:


By: Osmund-Davizid
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

Keoish Intelligence Report from the Hold of the Sea Princes

Fellow agents of the Lion Throne; it has now been several years since our glorious expedition to reclaim the lands lost to us during the Greyhawk Wars has been successfully concluded (Foot Note 1). Now, our forces have established a toehold in the lands of the Sea Princes themselves. Soon we will be able to add these lands to our own and forever end the threat from piracy and slavery from the south. But these lands are rife with chaos. Many factions are vying for power, making these lands dangerous indeed.

Westkeep and the Siege

The City of Westkeep: My mission to scout the lands must first begin with a survey of Westkeep. The city has never been particularly healthy and vibrant. Being too close to the Hool Marshes, coupled with the high temperatures and muggy weather made the city a breeding ground for diseases. But the land was also valuable as croplands, and there are valuable resources to harvest from the Hools (mostly medicinal herbs from the swamps themselves and fish from the Javan) (FN 2). The former ruler of this territory, the Grandee of Westkeep, was a wealthy and powerful lord among the Sea Princes, owning huge plantations and many slaves. The Grandee was also one of the most hated enemies of both the Yeomanry and Keoland, it is thought that he engineered many plots to weaken our southern borders over the years and ambush and raid into our territory.

The population of this small city was about 10,000 before the Wars, presently there are almost 15,000 humans crowded into the dank streets and damp buildings. The city walls were expanded a few decades ago in order to protect it from marauding creatures from the Hools, now the walls are crumbling from the relentless siege of the Brotherhood. Sanitary conditions in Westkeep are dreadful, and an outbreak of dysentery has spread throughout the city, with our regimental chaplains and local priests having to work day and night to stem the plague. Our supplies only come in on a sporadic basis. Spies and saboteurs sneak in and out of the city almost at will, as our manpower is not enough to adequately seal off the city.

At night, vermin from the sewers crawls forth and presents a real danger to all people inside the city. These pests include a very large organization of ratmen. We were forced to kill one of our war wizards recently due to the fact he was infected with lycanthropy that we did not detect until it was too late. Now, all our soldiers are getting checked daily for signs of disease and any sign of wererat bites. All night long, shadows flit among the empty streets. Soldiers keep up large bonfires at strategic checkpoints and the provost marshal’s dragoons patrol the streets looking for wererats, assassins, and other creatures.

The Siege of Westkeep: Presently, Westkeep is still under siege by forces loyal to the Scarlet Brotherhood. I will not shield you from the harsh facts, our forces are pinned down within the city and morale is low. Filth and flooding are two common hazards to the soldiers stationed there. The city is surrounded on three sides by Scarlet Brotherhood troops, bolstered by humanoids and charmed monsters from the swamps. Several large machines of war are seen just out of range of our siege engines. War mages of the Brotherhood have augmented these machines to belch forth smoke and fire, and with magic sends foul vapors billowing into the city. This smoke is toxic, and has the effect of deadening the mind and weakening the body.

Opposing our soldiers is primarily a make shift army of norkers and conventional soldiers of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Apparently, the Brotherhood has bigger problems to worry about then reclaiming Westkeep, so they keep their more elite forces in the cities they still control and use their lesser troops in the siege. This is good, for if the Brotherhood committed its best troops to the siege, we may not survive. As it stands now, we can barely hold our own.

The most troubling recent development is the addition of what the Brotherhood calls “war thralls” to the besieging force. These creatures may have once been human, but have been cross- bred and magically modified to be heavy infantry (FN 3). This may be a sign that the Brotherhood is getting impatient with the siege and is trying to press the issue.

Status of Keoish Forces: Our troops represent some of the best and the bravest of Keoland, the flower of the Lion Rampant. Yet even these stalwarts are beginning to bend with the stress of constant siege, wretched living conditions, and all the other problems associated with being an occupying force. Note that the exact number of troops and equipment that is currently in Westkeep and the adjacent Fort Bulwark is a highly classified secret. I will only make a few generalities in this report. The major units currently in Westkeep are as follows:

The overall commander of all forces at Westkeep is an unusual warrior-mage. It is Lord Mirio Feadeial, a high elf lord from the Dreadwood (FN 4). His family has been a particular favorite of the Lion Throne, and has always sent its finest warriors to the armies of Keoland in times of need. He also personally leads the heavy infantry that is the backbone of the Keoish forces in the city – the Panther Battalion (FN 5).

Lord-General Baylard of Grayhill commands the largest single unit of Keoish troops in Westkeep at this time – the 6th Light Infantry - “The Iron Fists”. They have been stationed in Westkeep the longest of all the units here, and their morale is sagging. Their numbers are getting whittled away bit by bit through wartime attrition and disease. The prospect of staying in Westkeep for much longer without relief is making the soldiers grumble, but nevertheless their discipline is still good enough that they are not deserting (FN 6).

The men of the 12th Light Infantry – “The Quick Marchers” – on the other hand, are deserting by the handful every day. Most of their commanding officers have been slain, either when we initially took Westkeep, or later by assassins during the siege. As a result, their morale has plummeted. Their fighting strength is now virtually nil, causing some of the other soldiers to comment that ‘the Quick Marchers are the quickest when their march is away from the enemy’. Just where these deserting soldiers think they can flee to is questionable, as the city is surrounded by hostile forces and deadly swamps filled with monsters (FN 7).

The Provost-Marshal of Westkeep, Sir Darren Moorguard of the 76th Royal Dragoons – “The Field Hunters”, has been keeping busy trying to maintain order and discipline among the various soldiers garrisoned here. This is the only unit of mounted troops in Westkeep, and they primarily patrol through the city streets and put down riots by the civilians who are seeking refuge here, as well as hunting down wererats and agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood who have infiltrated the city (FN 8).

The mysterious Daughters of Phaulkon have been a true blessing to our forces. They are an independent force of archers that just appeared one day at the gates of Westkeep and asked what they could do to help. These women are deadly shots with their bows, and provided much needed reinforcements when our hour was bleakest. The Daughter’s spiritual and military leader is the powerful priestess Arien Brokenfeather (FN 9).

Other units: There is a small chapter of the newly formed Knights of Dispatch branch of the Knights of the Watch that have been instrumental in staging commando style raids into the surrounding siege army. A squad of gnomish sappers has the mission of manning our artillery pieces and has taken it on themselves to raise the morale of the troops with their constant joking and pranks. Some shadowy agents report directly to Lord Feadeial, and if rumors are to be believed, some of these spies are not even human (FN 10)! Finally, there are small units of both regular troops and hired adventurers and mercenaries that are given small missions to accomplish on an ad hoc basis.

The “Grandee of Westkeep”: The general opposing us claims to be none other then the old Grandee of Westkeep – Baron-Master Maag himself. Our initial intelligence reports had him as a victim of the Scarlet Brotherhood’s assassins early in the Greyhawk Wars, but apparently reports of his death were exaggerated, but not by too much. For it seems obvious that Maag is now some type of unnatural being, perhaps undead (FN 11). Brotherhood thralls carry him around in a sedan chair, and he spends all his time haranguing and cursing at the Keoish forces within the city. Some strange magic is at work in amplifying his voice, and he never rests or quits his vile blasphemies, even through pouring rain.

Maag (if this vile creation is indeed the old Grandee) is very worse for wear, for both his legs have been amputated, his body is skeletally thin, is face is gaunt and his eyes are wild and constantly rolling in his head. The effect of watching him endlessly gesture and scream invectives at us is highly unnerving, as if his grotesque appearance was not bad enough. It is unknown to any of our people here in Westkeep as to why Maag would assist the Brotherhood at all, perhaps some curse or magical compunction forces him to act as the Brotherhood’s propaganda mouthpiece.

Locations in the Hool Marshes

The Hool Marshes literally teem with dangerous creatures, both fantastic and mundane. Bottomless pools of quicksand, disease, and tribes of lizard men and bullywugs are common hazards. Trade up and down the Javan has always been dangerous, but now more barges and riverboats are making the journey. Only the last leg of the river, from Westkeep itself to the sea, is impassable to the average riverboat (due to the Brotherhood’s ships that wait off the coast to ambush them, though recently a Keoish ship made the journey from the Azure Sea to Westkeep, just to prove it could be done). Some of the more important locations are described below.

Fort Bulwark: Just six miles north of the city, a fort has sprung up to resupply Westkeep and handle river traffic, as Westkeep itself is several miles from the banks of the Javan River. Long ago, a system of canals and aqueducts connected the Javan to Westkeep to allow small boats to pull right up to the city to unload cargo. The siege makes this difficult, so Fort Bulwark has been built to anchor a proposed chain of bases to defend the supply lines to Westkeep. There is a small harbor with a garrison of troops that escort wagons of cargo up the winding six mile trail to the north part of the city. Lately, some river traffic from Cryllor and Millen have made their way from the north to Fort Bulwark, so this may hopefully be a sign that the siege will get more tolerable soon.

Obviously, the Brotherhood would want to destroy this fort at all costs. The fort consists of a wooden palisade with reinforced walls. The primary defense of the fort is a team of three arrogant, preening war wizards (the soldiers call them the “bully boys of Lashton” when their backs are turned) who specialize in casting powerful invocation spells against the enemy. The wizards are always looking for a few good men to bolster their rather meager troop strength to drive off either small parties of war thralls or other horrors from the Hools.

The Dunwater Resistance: During the short time of Brotherhood’s occupation of the Viscounty of Salinmoor, a small group of soldiers, adventurers and other patriotic worthy folk operated a spy and sabotage cell out of a series of sunken caverns and tunnels at the mouth of the Dunwater River. This lair was formerly a lizard man home, but those lizard folk left this lair in favor of a better one some years ago (FN 12). The leader of the resistance is a former excise officer from the town of Saltmarsh named Tom Stoutly. As a reward for his valuable service in both his present position and in the reclaiming of Salinmoor, King Skotti made Tom a King’s Agent and authorized a letter of marque to continue his campaign against the Brotherhood. As a side note, Tom’s brother Will is also a valued agent of the Lion Throne, he serves as an admiral in the Keoish navy and has recently made history by sailing his ship up the Javan from the Azure Sea to bring valuable supplies to Westkeep.

The Dunwater Resistance is a real mixed bag. It includes: a studious mage (who spends more time in the study of lizards and reptiles then in defending the hide out), a bayou halfling fisherman from the western Hools, a renegade lizard man warrior who serves as a scout and translator, a proselytizing priest of Pholtus who is trying to convert the dwellers of the swamp, and a former pirate/smuggler from Port Toli. Somehow, this motley crew managed to score several victories against the occupying Brotherhood troops. They still operate out of their swampy headquarters, and serve to clean out enclaves of monsters in the Hools as well as mounting strikes against the Brotherhood in Monmurg.

The Sunken Brigade: There is a legend among the Keoish soldiers that is continually whispered about. Rumor has it that when the first expedition to liberate Westkeep made its overland trek through the swamps, they were forced to remove their heavy armor and put them in a caravan of wagons that was following behind the main body of troops along a marsh trail. This wagon train got misdirected and went off the trail and sank to the bottom of a hidden bog. The soldiers were never able to find out where exactly the caravan got lost, and if this caravan could somehow be found, an enormous cache of armor and weapons (as well as several chests containing a vast payroll for the troops) could be recovered. To this date, no one has found any evidence of the location of the sunken brigade. All hands allegedly sank with their wagons or were killed off by swamp monsters. But perhaps there may be a survivor with a map somewhere with designs on capturing the sunken treasure for himself…

The Lords of Purity and the Temple of the Gaping Maw: Monks in the service of Wastri operate out of a vast, toad shaped temple (“The Gaping Maw”) in the middle of the Hools. For years they have plagued the elves of the Dreadwood and the dwarves of the Good Hills with their xenophobic raids, but now their attention turns to Westkeep. Minions of Wastri have little love for the Scarlet Brotherhood, dating back to some ancient grudge or misdeed. But war makes strange bedfellows, and among the besieging army outside Westkeep are some bullywugs, giant toads, and priests of the Hopping Prophet. In particular, these deranged priests are targeting the gnomes for assassination. The crusader knights of their priesthood are known as the Lords of Purity, and they have exhibited cunning and effective tactics in their siege-craft. In return, the gnomes are directing their most humiliating pranks and cunning illusions against these toadies.

The temple of Wastri itself is located deep in the northern part of the swamp, by a large, unmapped lake that is connected to the Javan via some tributary rivers. The monks do a brisk trade in slaves, acting as middlemen for the Scarlet Brotherhood. The monks would hold captives brought in by the Brotherhood’s vile bounty hunters, either selling them back to the Hold or using them in their own cursed experiments. The monks are obsessed with creating the perfect human-toad hybrid, either endowing humans with toad-like amphibious qualities and strengths or granting human intelligence to giant toads. They have been exchanging monster breeding techniques and information with the Scarlet Brotherhood for some time now. The fruits of their blasphemous labors need not be dwelled upon here. Suffice it to say their hidden laboratories underneath the temple complex should be targeted for destruction as soon as possible and their research notes destroyed.

H’Thiss Kaa: The most powerful force in the Hools may very well be this vile city of the yuan ti. A few weeks ago, some local swamp rats stumbled into Westkeep, hideously injured and babbling a strange tale. They claimed to have escaped from H’Thiss Kaa, a strange pyramid like structure in the deep marsh populated by the evil snake men. There is some malign temple in this pyramid dedicated to some demon prince of poison. Most of these survivor’s tales could be written off as malaria induced psychosis, but the escapees claimed to have seen Brotherhood assassins trading with these reptiles in exchange for more effective poisons. These poisons were able to cause violent changes to the victims, allowing for various effects as the yuan ti desired. One of the escapees even showed visible signs of transformation into a horrid reptilian being! The poor wretch ran out into the night and drowned himself before the change was completed, but this event has shaken even the most stalwart soldiers (FN 13).

We can only pray that the Brotherhood does not use such poisons against us. Some poison like this in our drinking water could decimate our ranks. Our army chaplains test the food and drink for poison daily, but occasionally some dastardly toxin escapes notice. Thus far, damage from this sort of sabotage has been limited in scope, these attacks damage morale far more then their physical injuries, but that can change if some potent new poison gets in the Brotherhood’s hands.

Sakatha’s Tomb and the Lizard Man Holy War: Many years ago, the Viscounty of Eor was experiencing troubles with tribes of lizard men. Details of this lizard man uprising are sketchy, but a charismatic lizard king named Sakatha was the driving force behind their attacks. Sakatha was slain by the first Viscount of Eor at the Battle of Waycombe, but it is rumored that his followers created a vast tomb to keep his body. Presently, bands of lizard men led by evil lizard kings are rallying around the name of Sakatha, using the memory of the long dead lizard lord to start a massive war on humanity. The Viscounty of Nume Eor (“New Eor”) is their primary target. The lizard kings have turned to worship a demonic prince of reptiles known as Sess’innek and have steadily gained power through this worship.

The tomb itself is said to be haunted with undead and has mystical traps scattered throughout. Some degenerate human brigands have allied with these lizard kings in the past and may be doing so to this day. Finally, the black dragon Aulicus is rumored to be active in assisting the lizard man army. The Viscount of Nume Eor is growing desperate for assistance in putting down this menace (FN 14).

The other lands of the Sea Princes

Outside of Westkeep, the Hold is becoming increasingly chaotic as the control of the Scarlet Brotherhood is breaking down. The resulting Civil War has splinted the remaining lands into various factions with no central control. I have gathered evidence that there is some kind of schism among the Brotherhood, and the resulting civil war has splintered the remaining lands into various factions with no central control.
The southern portion of the Hold is basically kingdom unto itself, and roving bands of ex-slaves, Brotherhood war parties, and renegade militias wander through the lands fighting all they encounter (FN 15). Several groups of note are as follows:

Hool Halflings: In the south western fringes of the marshes lives some unique halflings, the so-called bayou halflings of the Hools. They were survivors of an attempted invasion of the Tors by the Sea Princes over a century ago. These demihumans were fleeing from the slavers of the Sea Princes, and were lucky in that this part of the Hools has less evil monsters in it then the northern part. They have developed a distinctive culture that revolves around catching fish, shrimp, and harvesting marsh spices. While they are a little insular, they can be great allies, and surely have no allegiance to either the old Sea Princes or the Scarlet Brotherhood (FN 16).

The Cult of the All Watching Eye: With all the other problems associated with a civil war, the spread of famine and plagues is perhaps the most horrible to the common folk. A disturbing development is occurring with the commoners who live just west of Westkeep. A cult is forming around devotions to ward off the plague and famine. While this in itself may be written off as just superstition, I have noticed that barns and other buildings are being marked with an eye within a rune of possession – the sign of Dread Incabulos.

I have witnessed processions of black and orange robed cultists openly parading through hamlets and towns, claiming that they have cures for the plague and charms against famine. Their dogma circles around a pseudo-religious stream of nonsensical blather that the ignorant find persuasive. Far too many of the gullible commoners are flocking to these mad men. The Cult of the Watching Eye (as they style themselves) is very hard to penetrate, and they are steadily growing as the food shortages and diseases linger on.

I fear that if this cult is indeed a front for Incabulites, then they must be frighteningly powerful. For nowhere else on Oerth (at least to my knowledge) has a sect of Incabulos ever operated in the open. Several strange diseases have been reported in random locations throughout the Hold, suggesting that someone (or something) is experimenting with the spread of pox among humanity. I have no information as to who or what is leading the cult or even where it is headquartered (FN 17). This mystery must be further investigated; or else we may fall victim to some hell-spawned disease started by this cult in the near future.

The City of Industrious: There is a small township in the very western tip of the Hold called Industrious that has fallen under some strange spell of its own. The town made its living from working a copper mine in the foothills of the Hellfurnaces. The slave overseers were exceptionally cruel (even by Sea Prince standards), and when the rulership of the Hold changed over to the Brotherhood, the oppressed slaves of the mines took terrible revenge. Led by a high priestess of Bralm, the miners of Industrious revolted and slew all their overseers, torturing some by coating them with honey and allowing giant ants to chew them alive!

Now this same high priestess has converted all of the local populace to her religion. She exerts total control over every aspect of these people’s lives. The city still operates the mines and raises honey that is harvested over several acres of giant beehives and is a staple for the villagers’ diet. This diet, combined with the enforced religious rituals all townsfolk are forced to attend, makes the person compliant and obedient, to the point that by now most of the populace is completely under the priestess’ sway, acting like, well, drones! The copper mines are still being worked, and the village has several smithies churning out strangely shaped bronze armor and weapons. The armor is shaped so as to give the impression the soldier is an insect-like creature. The priestess also has command over a giant ant colony, a swarm of giant bees, and even a few ankhegs. This is definitely a place to avoid if one values his free will, as the city wishes to expand its numbers and influence by capturing others and forcing them to eat their drugged food and follow their bizarre rituals (FN 18).

Baffler’s Hill: An arrogant, retired master thief has built his manor home on a hill in the Tors near Melkot. He is obsessed with creating an impenetrable lair that he has exhausted nearly all his wealth to build trap after trap on the hill and within the manor itself. Little does he realized that instead of keeping the greedy out, he has locked himself in. There is still rumored to be a sizable horde left in his manor home, as well as maps and information on the thieves guilds of the southern nations of the Flanaess, if one is willing to brave the traps in order to get to them. The master thief, who calls himself the Baffler, is now alone in his retreat, with only his misbegotten money and his traps for company. He is no longer sane and is likely to be incredibly dangerous.

Monmurg: Brother Hammandaturian rarely leaves his fortified villa in Monmurg these days. Civil war once raged through the streets here and it is said that the Brotherhood heirarchy has lost its confidence in Hammandaturian’s leadership. As a result, Hammandaturian is attempting to gain some success in any quarter to improve his standing. It is likely he will throw in renewed vigor in his attempts to retake Westkeep. He is also sending assassins and spies to search out the rebel faction of the Brotherhood that may still be operating in the western Hold.

Monmurg itself has lost all its old charm. It is now a repressive, dour stronghold that his crawling with Brotherhood humanoids, monsters, and assorted soldiery. Crowds part to allow the red robed monks passage, and they do not hesitate to enforce their discipline on those who do not show proper respect. The formerly grand temple to Kelanen has been converted to barracks for the Brotherhood’s soldiers. It is rumored that a new breed of war thralls is being housed in Prince Jeon II’s old palace. It is rumored that some old followers of Kelanen have in their possession complete maps of the temple, the palace, and the jails of Monmurg and are willing to sell this information to those who would resist the Brotherhood. Contacting these rebels would be extremely difficult, as Hammandaturian’s secret police-assassins are everywhere and pose as commoners in order to detect any subversion.

The Necrohazard: A powerful Brotherhood wizard operates his experiments in undead creation out of the old Monmurg prison. The prison was always a place of disease-ridden misery, but now the situation is truly grisly, with scores of people vanishing overnight to fill the cells of the old prison with subjects for unholy experiments. The prison is located near the water’s edge (the theory that by having the jail next to the sea, the horrid stench would be blown away from the center of town). Periodically, the wizard dumps loads of expended waste into the bay, attracting many sharks and other creatures that feed upon it (it goes without saying as to exactly what this waste consists of).

The wizard’s name is Yedis, and he is dedicated to creating a Brotherhood version of the animus in order for the Brotherhood leadership to “live” forever. His best “success” so far is the twisted mockery of what once was the Grandee of Westkeep. Thus far, Yedis can not create a free willed undead without the side effect of insanity.

Yedis is working off of incomplete necromantic scrolls stolen from Rauxes several years ago. As mentioned above, to attempt to create an animus without specific fiendish assistance and the work of a Hextorian priest, the effort is doomed to failure. In his frustration, Yedis is seeking out powerful priests of evil powers, and if rumors are to be believed, a temple dedicated to the god Kyuss is being consecrated somewhere in Monmurg to assist in Yedis’ work. This development is extremely troubling, for it shows that the Brotherhood is desperate enough to turn to faiths outside their own Suel pantheon in order to make this project work.

Port Toli: In the formerly free wheeling city of Port Toli, the picture is much more chaotic. The city is only nominally under Brotherhood control. The fine docks, warehouses, and shipwrights have been walled off from the rest of the city to protect them. The police force has pulled back into the eastern half of the city and has basically left the rest to fend for itself. It is here that the rebel Brotherhood is at their boldest, making assassinations and raids of their own into the loyalist hierarchy.

The School of Fire: Just south of Port Toli was a small magic school for wizards who were interested in pyromancy. The former grand tutor met his demise when an exceptionally powerful spell he was developing backfired on him and razed the school to the ground. Some Brotherhood wizards and priests of Pyremius seek to rededicate the school and recreate much of its research, using former students to assist them. Already, the building has been rebuilt on the ashes of the old, and bright lights are seen coming from inside, as well as explosions, smoke, and great plumes of fire spouting out of the many chimneys. This is certainly a place that warrents future investigations.

The Islands: I was not able to get to the islands of Flotsom, Jetsom, Fairwind, or Sybarate to investigate there. From second hand information, I was able to gather that the Brotherhood’s control there is much stronger then on the mainland. One unusual piece of information I discovered was that there is a so-called Fading Land on Sybarate that the Brotherhood is trying to subvert to their own ends. This is the legendary Porpherio’s Garden, but from all the rumors I could gather, no evil exists in the garden itself. So it is unlikely that the Brotherhood could exploit much from it. But I have no more information regarding this locale (FN 19).

Conclusion

So fellow agents of the Lion Throne, the Hold of the Sea Princes is ripe for a fall. While the forces arrayed against us seem overwhelming, the evidence clearly shows that they are fragmented and the Brotherhood’s control is faltering. We need more soldiers and more agents to bring the fight directly to the Brothers. As long as we do not back down and hold our course, we can succeed. The situation in Westkeep is indeed grim, I do not mean to belittle the suffering that is present there. But whenever I feel that all hope is lost, I just look to the ramparts of Westkeep, and when I see the Lion Rampant fluttering in the breeze, I know that we can not fail (FN 20).

For King, For Country!


NOTES:

1: The Agent refers to the Viscounties of Salinmoor and Nume Eor, both of which were taken over by the Scarlet Brotherhood during the latter stages of the Greyhawk Wars. The counter strike by Keoish forces in CY 587 was a masterstroke of logistics and tactics. It was partly because the liberation of these territories came so easy that King Skotti decided to follow up his success with a land invasion of the Hold of the Sea Princes.

2: In fact, Westkeep was founded by the great Keoish King Tavish I. It is partly out of pride for the founding of the city that Skotti is determined to hold onto it. In addition, there is much speculation in Niole Dra regarding the motives to conquer the Sea Princes. Generally, it is said that Skotti seeks to use a conquered Hold to use as land grants to pay off his military debts. In some quarters, however, this obsession is given a more sinister motive. In the Yeomanry in particular, the rumors hint that Skotti is seeking to re-establish Imperial Keoland and will use the Sea Princes as a first step to annexing the Yeomanry itself. These are like to be just typical wild rumors, but enemies of Skotti may spread them in order to undermine the effort in Westkeep.

3: These war engines are large metal and wood battering rams capable of shooting forth either a pyrotechnics effect or a stinking cloud when so ordered by a wizard of the Scarlet Brotherhood, up to three time a day. The war thralls are an improved and armored version of the slave thrall kurg (from the Scarlet Brotherhood accessory). They are violent, strong, and have no fear of death. Treat them as kurg but they are often armored with crude breastplates and are given simple weapons (usually clubs and spiked shields). They are bred and trained to obey their red garbed masters without question, and the Brotherhood uses them in a most callous fashion, as fodder for massed assaults or as the spearhead for a charge attack. There are rumors of an even more powerful war thrall race that is being kept as a reserve in Monmurg, but to this date, no credible sightings of such a race has been recorded.

4: Mirio Feadiel is a very unique elf warrior-mage. He comes from a very lawful clan (that in itself is highly unusual) who have served in the Keoish military since before the Short War. He was hand picked by the king himself to be the administrator of Westkeep. He is high level in both of his classes (about 11-12th in each) and possesses many magical items provided by the crown that he can use to communicate directly with Niole Dra. He is a competent leader who greatly cares for his soldiers and it is a testament to his military prowess that the city has not yet fallen despite all the odds.

5: The men of the Panther Battalion are seasoned veterans of the Greyhawk Wars. They were one of the foremost units in the reclamation of the lost southern counties of Nume Eor and Salinmoor, gaining great experience and kudos for their efforts. They are typically armed with chain mail and fight with long sword and shield. Their standard is a black panther on a violet and blue trimmed field.

6: The Iron Fists are a light infantry unit, about 1000 strong, hailing from the northern provinces of Keoland. They have experience fighting monsters that wander out of the Rushmoors, and this experience made them the perfect unit to spearhead the invasion of Westkeep. They are armed with swords and shields, but only wear light armor. Also included in their ranks are some crossbowmen and a few pikemen. Their standard is a grey gauntlet on a yellow background.

7: The Quick Marchers are light infantry, now about 450 strong, mustered from the middle provinces of Keoland. They are armed with spears and wear light leather armor. Their standard bears an image of the county of Middlemead, with crossed spears superimposed over it. Their weak excuse of a leader is the cowardly and sickly Lieutenant Prezli, who spends most of his time avoiding work and his superiors (he has been selling out to the Brotherhood to save his own skin, an adventure can revolve around trying to unmask this traitor).

8: The Field Hunters (“Feldjager”) act as a military police unit, treat as elite medium cavalry. They are armed with crossbows, light lances, and horseman’s maces, wear chain mail armor, and number about 185. Their standard is a green field with yellow trim, with crossed maces displayed. Their largest single issue at present is lack of quality feed for their horses.

9: The Daughters of Phaulkon hail from an obscure monastery high in the Good Hills. They are a splinter sect of Phualkon worshippers that act as an elite amazonian bodyguard for the religion. They number about 80 elite archers. Their leader, Arien Brokenfeather, is a high level priestess (at least 11th level), who owns a magical bow, called Nevermiss, that has twice the range of a regular longbow, and all ranges are considered short when fired from it. Arien herself is an imposing figure on the ramparts of the city; she stands a full six foot two and rains death on the heads of the norkers and artillerists of the surrounding enemy. Half the garrison is smitten with this charismatic and competent priestess (the other half is equally smitten with one of the other archers under her command).

10: Of the various other units, the gnomish sappers (called Eugene’s Engineers, led by an illusionist-thief named Eugene Nimblefingers) and the Knights of Dispatch have made the most impact, but the city is full of would be adventurers and mercenaries paid for by the crown to assist when needed. These units have varying levels of competence, loyalty, equipment, and experience that an individual DM can tailor as required.

These other units include some very unusual types. There are some lizard men, Dreadwalkers (rangers who have accompanied the army from the Dreadwood), and (if rumors are to be believed) hobgoblins working as agents of Lord Feadiel, reporting directly to him and providing much needed intelligence on the Brotherhood’s armies. These enigmatic spies are not entirely trusted by the common soldiery, but the Provost-Marshal knows all the agents by sight and screens them carefully before allowing them entrance into the city via the “Smuggler’s Entrance” (a secret passage near the city’s outflow that is heavily trapped, but allows access in and out of the city).

11: Maag is indeed an undead creature. The Brotherhood was experimenting in creating their own version of the animus, inspired by the efforts of the Great Kingdom. Maag represents their best “success” thus far (without the patronage of both a priest of Hextor as well as diabolic guidance, this line of work is doomed to failure, but the Brotherhood keeps trying). Maag was attacked by Scarlet Brotherhood assassins early in the Greyhawk Wars, managed to survive the assault, but was horribly wounded. In his frantic desire to stay in power, he offered his body, life, and mind up to the Brotherhood to experiment on. This turned out to be a double curse, for Maag’s legs atrophied and became useless, so he is now tormented by being a crippled undead warrior. Treat him as an animus with the abilities of a 13th level warrior, but he can not regenerate, dominate, or exert any of the typical animus powers – he basically has all the abilities he had in life, except he is undead, with all the weaknesses inherent to that status (except he can function in daylight with no penalty).

Maag is now hopelessly demented and delusional, blaming “Yeomany spies and Keolanders” for his fate, while collaborating with the very people who assaulted and experimented on him in the first place. In life he was a powerful warrior and can still function as a competent tactical advisor. In addition to his obsession with regaining control of Westkeep, Maag would do anything to be able to regenerate his limbs and lead the assault forces into Westkeep itself. For now, he either directs his forces from afar, or he has himself tied onto the back of a war thrall and rides it into battle.

12: These events were detailed in modules U2 and U3. The lizard man tribe who eventually reclaimed their home has not been heard from since the Brotherhood invasion. The Dunwater Resistance has tried to contact them, but their promontory lair was found mysteriously abandoned. Tom Stoutly’s lizard man scout has no idea what occurred there and it remains an unsolved mystery today as to what happened to these lizard folk. Tom Stoutly theorizes that the sahuagin may have sought a black revenge against the lizard folk for their raid upon their old fortress and slew them all, but there is no proof to this.

Tom Stoutly is now a mid level warrior (about 7th level or so) with highly developed survival skills for swampy environments. His brother Will likewise is a powerful warrior (about 8th level) and has the reputation as being one of Oerth’s most foremost sahuagin fighter.

13: These yuan ti have become absolute masters in brewing poisons. The have apparently managed to find a way to make ophidian poison last long enough to be used effectively. See the Monster Manual for details on this poison and the ophidian race. The Brotherhood is trading with these snake men, and is utilizing their purebloods as spies in the Yeomanry and southern Keoland. In fact, some purebloods operate within Westkeep itself. Whether the yuan ti will honor any agreement with the Brotherhood is an open question.

14: The events described can fit in either before or after the one detailed in module I2: Tomb of the Lizard King. The tomb is located just south of the Viscounty of Nume Eor. The lizard man army has two goals, kill mankind and end the worship of Semuanya among lizard men. The army’s numbers are unknown, but it includes many shamans and witch doctors.

15: Details of the causes of this schism and civil war were detailed in the Scarlet Brotherhood Accessory. The civil war has now entered a “cold war” stage, with raids, assassinations, and undercover operations being the norm. Brother Hammandaturian is desperate to cover up any major mishaps from his superiors, as he guesses that if there are any more incidents, he will be replaced (or worse, recalled to Hesuel Ilshar to account for his actions).

16: A series of articles by Randy Richards details these odd halflings. The articles used to be on a now defunct Greyhawk fansite, but may still be found if one looks hard enough.

17: This cult is indeed a front for a powerful Incabulos priesthood. With the spread of diseases coming so easily to them in the Sea Princes, they are becoming quite arrogant and secure in their power. A high level priest is trying to create an “omega disease” that would destroy whole species of plants and animals, and sees these lands as the perfect testing fields. He is using the cult to test various effects and theories. Rooting him out will be a special challenge, as he is paranoid and covers his steps very carefully, even his name is kept secret from other cult members.

18: The priestess is very powerful (about 14-15th level) and ruthless in her control. She answers to only “The Queen” and has designs on turning the whole western lands into a vast colony for her to breed her insects and toil for the greater glory of Bralm. Her forces are training very intensely for the upcoming struggles of conquest and she is attempting to “recruit” more soldiers to her cause. The troops are heavily armored, but lack the ability to think quick on their feet, so this may be a weakness in her plans.

19: The garden is described in the module UK1: Beyond the Crystal Caves. The Brotherhood has set up a small garrison and a couple of parties has entered the Garden but have never returned. More powerful diviners have been requested in order to try to scry into the garden instead. Time will tell if these efforts yield any fruit.

20: Verilydd Jordox is a half-elf warrior-mage, middle levels (7-8 in each class), with many magic items to assist him in spying (to include his most valued possession, a hat of disguise). He is a very vocal Keoland patriot who has shown exceptional loyalty to the cause of liberating the southern territories and the Hold from the Scarlet Brotherhood. He also makes no secret that he feels that Keoland should annex the Sea Princes and establish a new “Sea March” as a vassal state. In some people’s eyes this makes him dangerous.

SOURCES: The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, The Scarlet Brotherhood Accessory, Monster Mythology Accessory, LG Keoland Triad website, articles by Russell Timm printed in the Oerth Journal for some background on Wastri and Incabulos, TSR Modules U2, U3, I2, UK1
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Re: Keoish Intelligence Report from the Hold of the Sea Princes (Score: 1)
by Alasdair on Wed, June 09, 2004
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Wow! Thanks for posting this, and nice way to tie in a couple of the old Greyhawk modules.

Good work!



Re: Keoish Intelligence Report from the Hold of the Sea Princes (Score: 1)
by mortellan on Fri, June 11, 2004
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A very thorough study Osmund. Like I told you in chat, I appreciated the Incabulous usage, mainly because I too am taking advantage of his lack of use in my articles.



Re: Keoish Intelligence Report from the Hold of the Sea Princes (Score: 1)
by Osmund-Davizid on Sat, June 19, 2004
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Thanks for the comments.

I intended this article to be both well detailed but leave enough open for other DMs to modify and use in their own campaigns. That tends to be a real tightrope act.

There really is not a lot of information out on most of the Sea Princes, so it really is a wide open area to develop as you like it.

Enjoy!
O-D



Re: Keoish Intelligence Report from the Hold of the Sea Princes (Score: 1)
by Braggi (braggi@greyhawk.gates) on Wed, July 07, 2004
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Just wanted to drop in with my thanks to you for writing this article. It's beautifully done and chock-full of stuff for players of any edition. I really got my teeth into this and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I also wanted to let you know that I used some of your data in my personal map set of Oerth. It helped flesh out the area wonderfully. The Sea Princes needed more detail and you provided it. When the map set gets posted, your article is fully credited as a source.

Thank you for writing your latest intelligence report!







Re: Keoish Intelligence Report from the Hold of the Sea Princes (Score: 1)
by Monkabilities on Sun, December 15, 2013
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Thank you. Great  article. My group is back in the Hold after many years. I plan on using elements of this.




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