Shattered Crown

April 26, 2019

Regency Fantasy, Military, Political,

Thrusting the party into a larger conflict is often the nature of a campaign. Dragons, deities, and ancient legends take work and effort to defeat. But what of conflicts more on the mortal scale? When nations wage war the party can find themselves acting as agents of the crown; spying, being diplomats, or just trying to be disruptive to supply lines. Where they fit in during a country’s conflict can lead them to glory, or doom.

Baroness Honora Bierkas
Person
The land bearing the title of Bierkas has been in the family’s hands for eight generations. As the kings and queens have passed the throne, the Barons of Bierkas have served them with their magical talents. Honora was no exception to the family’s legacy and spent her youth mastering the arcane arts at the capital before returning home. Now, decades later she sits at the head of the line, oathbound Baroness to protect her the sworn land her family has been granted and to protect the region from those looking to invade.
Baroness Honora Bierkas is a strong woman who upholds the nation’s traditional values. Loyalty to her oath, her station, and the schooling has brought her prestige along the eastern annex of the kingdom’s border. The Bierkas region profits from her knowledge of the seasons, her instinct in recognizing the mystical properties of the lands her forebearers protected, and now profits from her green craft in the woods. Many a spy has been caught from her tree sentries, and more spirits of the wood join her cause daily.
But the Barony lies far from the capital and the wonders of the court. Though the Bierkas are loyal and good servants of the crown, Honora’s influence ends at the territory of the Earl guarding the border to the north and south of Bierkas. This stifled growth has prevented the region from growing as large and influential as the Baroness’ dreams, and rumors have sprung up that the magic the Baronness weaves into the land is to do more than just protect the kingdom from invaders. Some say she’s bonding it to her entire line so that it can never be taken from her.
Fitting Baroness Honora Bierkas In
The Baroness of Bierkas is a watchful ruler. She’s very protective of her lands and her people. Though she does not have the royal ear, she does everything she can to protect her family’s investment in the land. This includes creating points of synergy within the region to focus her and her family’s magical power. Consider any building of importance to the region as giving Honora and any other Bierkas a natural boost to appropriate magical skills and attributes. Honora is concerned with anyone coming to her Barony from the capital, and will take great measures to ensure visitors will be guided to her estate. Once in her possession, she will draw out their reasons for their interest in her lands before allowing them to proceed. Royal decrees do not impress her this far out from the capital.

The War of the Glass Dragon
Conflict
A war of succession, the conflict between the two siblings of house Coelmunr began when the elder child gifted their parents with the Dragon of the Midnight, a sculpture crafted from raw mage stone. It’s shimmering glass like surface hid the gift’s true purpose; to serve as a magical focal point for mages loyal to the elder child’s claim of succession. When the statue ruptured in the middle of the high court, dozens of the loyalists to the crown perished, as did several of the elder Coelmunr’s parents and several siblings. Only the youngest child survived by being ferried out of the country. Both children bear their father’s name of Nazerai.
Now the younger Nazerai stands with a foreign army at his back ready to invade the kingdom. Lords within the realm are taking sides and territories are being accounted for. The conflict promises to be violent and disrupt the lives of the average citizen. Already the king has ordered all magic users with elemental prowess to the capital to join the ranks of the new rifled soldiers. Mystical goods for aid and growth are being rationed as the new medics began to brew their tinctures for the expected injuries and death of war. It is said even the demons of the dark realms have inched closer, eager to cross the borders of the world with the growing smell blood and conflict.
Fitting The War of the Glass Dragon In
This is a conflict of two advanced powers clashing in open warfare. It’s a time of rising technologies during the age of the line infantry and smooth bore firearms mixing with the ancient arcane arts that once were the determined power in the land. The players, especially those with magical talent, will be expected to join sides in the conflict if they’re in any way involved with the politics or business of the kingdom. Magical characters that show combat capabilities may be granted small titles and land if they promise to serve the kingdom and aid in protecting the new line soldiers. Conjurers and elementalists are specifically sought out as the barrier between the realms have thinned after the destruction of the Glass Dragon artifact, and demons and elementals can make quick work of those not gifted with magic.

Shards of the Wyrm
Thing, Artifact
They say the Glass Dragon rested above the throne of the first kings, a symbol of their control of the supernatural world and ability to bring peace to the kingdom. But like the names of those kings the sculpture passed into myth and legend for over a millennium. When it was discovered deep in the crypts of the fallen god many doubted it was the genuine article, but it was enough to convince the great lords who sought to change which king was sitting on the throne. When the statue shattered and killed all those who claimed the crown that day, its legend became clear as the protection is offered was lost to the land.
The barrier between worlds is thin and portals can be easily opened to draw in denizens of other realms. Now these portals linger once opened, and creatures not bound to a summoner are slipping in. That is, unless the ritual involves a shard of the Wyrm. The shards still hold properties of the Glass Dragon, and can be used to seal gateways between the realm and the others. Further, as embodiments of the magic of the kingdom, they offer spikes in magical energy to those who have called these lands home for generations. In the hands of Barons, Earls, Dukes, and Counts, even those without the gift of magic in their line find themselves touched by the gifts of the mystical realm.
The trade of the shards has begun to get violent. Mages seek them to adorn themselves with the shards as rings, pendants, or tokens on the ends of wands and staves. The market has grown dangerous and even the most cut throat thieves have begun to avoid it. Only the desperate or blind still take work involving the remains of the statue.
Fitting Shards of the Wyrm In
The remains of the sculpture are powerful. Their innate ability to lock out a region from extra-planar beings alone makes them a useful magical token. But the power they grant someone of the blood of the kingdom is far more dangerous. If the players are foreigners to the land, letting them have a shard is a good way of drawing them into the events of the kingdom. They’ll find themselves hounded after by mages and members of the court looking to gain power or prestige from possession of the artifacts. Play up the insane drive these people have for the tokens; make the players fear the idea of letting it be known to others they have even the smallest shard. If the players are members of the kingdom, be careful how much of the sculpture you let them have. The shards are powerful in the hands of those of the blood, especially royal blood.

Using Shattered Crown
The Whole Block

The Shattered Crown scenario is a about a bloody conflict of succession between siblings of the line of Coelmunr. The event that started the war occurred ten years ago, with the destruction of the Glass Dragon sculpture within the main court. Many great houses lost their leaders, and the destruction of the literal and symbolic protector of the realm has had terrible repercussions. The barrier between the worlds is thin, and a bloody black market has been born with the trade of the shards that might help seal the land again. The distant nobility, the Barons, Counts, and Earls along the border, deal with the initial invaders as well as serving host to the standing army of King Nazerai the Fourth. These men and women have become desperate as the crown’s conflict destroys their lands and brings ruin to their fortunes.
It’s a good place for adventurers to find work. Both sides of the conflict will have use for spies, diplomats, and soldiers. Both sides also want the shards of the Glass Dragon to help prove their claim to the throne. Setting a campaign around getting their pieces could serve as a good plot device wrapped around the war. Keep in mind this campaign is designed to be set during a regency era campaign. Knights and robed wizards have given way to musketeers, privateers, and nobility wielding arcane arts under formal doctrines.

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