Knights of Kaldor: Adventures & Background

Created by Joe Adams

21 Jan 07

I've added some notes about the execution of the first act of the Knights of Kaldor campaign here

I've also started the second part of the campaign with an adventure that does not have chases and bandits. The PCs find themselves in Hyzevel solving an ancient riddle.


Comments? Questions?
Email me or send me a private message at HârnForum.

The Three Bandits

In playtesting the Knights of Kaldor campaign, three of the Bandits of Chyle managed to escape the final conflict at Vorsten. After a sorrow-filled negotiation with the Sheriff's knights-forester, the three outlaws struck out toward Tashal across the Kirsta and Lonemar forests. For the first time in a long time, they are aimless. While they might fade into the background, they might also present the chance for recurring NPCs with a continued plot line for the GM to us. The key to the Three Bandits (Galdyk, Garis, and Crial) is that they are men ruled by passion. Each is in his current situation because he followed his passion and accepted the consequences.

Galdyk's passion is, of course, Lysella. He has lost his position, been disowned by his family, and is now an outlaw because of his love for her. The fact that she ran away from Emerule with him confirms that she loves him but, at the same time, has shown him that he needs to be able to provide more for her than the life of a bandit. He is now more committed than ever to steal her father's treasury and ride off to live in another kingdom with her.

As he is plotting his future with Lysella, he has also been having a sort of spiritual revival. With Garis' help, Galdyk is returning to the Laranian lessons that he learned as a boy. He is especially sensitive to the White Lady's lessons about protecting those that are weaker. The trip west from Vorsten has provided the opportunity for him to put these lessons into practice.

With Galdyk thinking ahead and being more mature and less impetuous, I think that he needs to adopt some sort of disguise or persona. The Sheriff of Neph is happy to let everyone know that the renegade Squire Galdyk is gone, so it is in Galdyk's best interests to let the Sheriff be lulled into a false sense of security. Because Galdyk has spent years in Fethael Hundred, he has heard stories about the Black Bandit of Blixth. My thought is that Galdyk might add a mask and a black cape to become the new Black Bandit. Or we can come up with a better sobriquet. This persona is going to become important in Tashal because I can't see a newcomer romping around a city as small as Tashal without gaining a lot of unwanted attention. Galdyk's plan is to play the bumpkin who has come to the city seeking work. By day, he plays the hayseed. By night, he is the Black Bandit and the protector of the weak.

Garis is probably the least developed character of the trio. His passion is for life and living in the moment. Good food, good wine, and raucous company are his expressions of his credo, "Live for today for tomorrow we may be in Dolithar". The hard life of a bandit has sharpened his love of Larani and he has become Galdyk's mentor as the boy becomes a man. Garis is the source of Galdyk's resurgent spirituality, especially as it gets channeled into protecting the poor and the weak. The trio no longer steals from serfs. Now, they take what they want from tithe barns and, when possible, from manor houses.

Life for Garis has taken on a new meaning and he has no desires to return to the cloister, not that he thinks for a moment that they would ever take him back. He is happy to move to Eastside and minister to the poor; not as a Peonian might peach humility and accepting one's lot in life, but as a Laranian who protects his charges and teaches them to stand up for what is right.

I was thinking about the new personas as I drove into work this morning. I had the idea that there would be a children's fable about a fox, a badger, and a bear. The story, like most fables, has a moral lesson about working together to use each other's skills and strong points to overcome incredible odds. The Three Bandits take this idea and assume the roles of the characters in the fable. Galdyk is called the Fox. Garis is the Badger and Crial becomes the Bear. I will develop this more as I go along.

Crial has suffered the most for his passion.  His love for Penele drove him to murder and exile. When he was possessed by the ghost of Saint Freden, he killed her and was desolated. Although healed in body, his spirit is shattered. Garis has worked hard to keep Crial from sinking into depression but the priest knows that the young yeoman feels that he has nothing left to live for. The answer, as Garis sees it, is to give Crial a new purpose - protecting Galdyk and supporting this burgeoning crusade to help the poor and downtrodden.

Crial is slow to warm to the priest's crusade but is less depressed when he has a purpose and things to occupy his mind. The noise and bustle of Tashal are not comfortable for him but he stays to protect Galdyk and help Garis; they are his family now. The persona of the Bear is very suitable for Crial's powerful, silent demeanor. He was never talkative but, since Penele's death, he has become grim.

The Trip to Tashal

The Three Bandits' trip to Tashal begins at Vorsten. Garis has convinced Galdyk to let Lysella return with the PCs to her father. The deal with the PCs was that Galdyk would leave the Hundred, if not the Shire, to deflect Sir Chimin Indama's wrath. Crial, who killed his wife Penele while possessed by the ghost of Saint Freden, is a shell of a man. Once energetic, he now shuffles behind the other two bandits as they hike west through the Lonemor Forest. A quick hit and run raid on an iron mine yields supplies and horses to speed their escape. They ride west and north, robbing clergy on the road and raiding small manors on their way.

Crial's mood has become violent during the trip. He alternates between morose silence and berserker-like violence. Garis is not concerned that Crial would attack him or Galdyk but he worries that Crial's instability might draw the attention of the authorities. Garis takes him to the Peonian temple in Querina. He explains to the priestess that Crial has suffered a great loss (omitting the part about being an outlaw, of course) and is now slipping into madness. The priestess performs a healing ritual on Crial, restoring the yeoman's sanity. She tells the trio that Crial is no longer standing on the cliff of lunacy but has to find his own way back to happiness.

With Crial healed, Galdyk's attention turns back to the calendar. Kelen has slid into Nolus and Galdyk is worried that the Indamas may already be in Tashal. He leads the group to Heru, traveling fast and only stealing when they need to. The spend a few days poking around and find out that the Baron has not been to Heru yet. Gladyk has to be very careful in Heru, as he might be recognized by servants and squires in the keep. There does not seem to be a hue and cry, so the trio take to the road again and go to Tashal.

The Three Bandits enter the city around the 15th of Nolus and manage to find lodgings in Eastside (I recommend using Kerry's fanon article here). They find jobs in a small tavern as laborers. The pay is almost nothing but food is included. Galdyk and the others commit a little petit larceny no and then to cover the rent. While Garis and Crial are trying to make a new life in Tashal, Galdyk is planning his next move. His plan is to run off with Lysella and her father's treasury. Having been reunited with his love and secured enough wealth to see them safely and comfortably to Chybisa, Galdyk plans to take passage on a talbar to Jedes and then ride hard, cross country if necessary, to get to Burzyn.

While in Tashal, however, the group assume the personas of the Fox, the Badger, and the Bear. Maybe they actually wear masks of the animal characters. They do some good deeds in the neighborhood and gain a small reputation as vigilantes, rather than robbers. The poor start to like them. The Lia Kavair want to know who they are and why they are not "bumping up" tribute. The Guard want them to stop interfering.

In Tashal:

Galdyk has been in the city for several ten days before the Baron arrives. He may have made some underground contacts (he has to be earning a living somehow) and he is going to be looking out for the Barons arrival to see about making a grab for Lady Lysella again, but I was thinking that some other element will get in the way, to help foil his plans again. By the way there must be a limit to how far he will keep going after her, before he gives up?

Side Plots in Tashal

  • The trio slips back into its old ways and mugs a Laranian priest. There is an outcry from the Temple and the Guard starts a manhunt.
  • Crial protects a street waif from a Lia Kavair collector. The criminal's retribution draws Galdyk into a fight with Brulin (from Kerry's Eastside article). Brulin is the local gang enforcer. Escalation leads to a conflict with Lady Perl [Tashal #E7] but Firan (Eastside article #2) plays the Three Bandits off against Lady Perl to see what he can pick up out of the fight.
Last Update: 21 Feb 2009