The Art of Diplomacy Report | World Anvil | World Anvil

The Art of Diplomacy

General Summary

Life since we left Baradrad has been about one thing... surviving. You don't get have unshakable principles when you live that way. Morals are a luxury for people like you, Jafar. People who aren't hunted everyday of their lives.
— Gulshan Auloro of House Auloro
The heroes have had five days to recover from the horrors that unfolded in The Depths of Muldrak before word reached them about the mustering of the army and the march on Beldon. The heroes reported to Fort Bannonburn on the eastern edge of the city to meet with General Belthaser Gaspar. Gasper is one of three men in charge of the city's army and has been tasked with liberating Beldon.
When they meet with General Gasper they find a very stern and harsh man with a begrudging respect for what they accomplished in Muldrak. The heroes have heard that the army needs scouts to track ahead and they volunteer their services to Gasper. The General says he's in need of men to ride ahead and gather information as well as to prepare the village of Beacon Hill to act as the staging grounds for his eventual siege of Beldon.
The heroes spend the rest of the day at Bannonburn and prepare to ride out in the morning. In that time they found out that most of the soldiers are very aware of who they are and that they've become celebrities of sorts to them. They also find out that the Grand Order of the Lion has volunteered their services as well and intend to fight alongside the army. General Gaspar has little respect for the Lions though. He views them as sell swords who are obsessed with a dead tradition.
They spend the night in the company of the army. Tyrwin's sleep is again plagued with terrible nightmares. He sees visions of his friend and old company bannerman dragged down by the fae, he dreams of a darkness to the east, in the direction of Beldon and he wakes in a cold sweat and steeped in a dread that he just can't shake. For him, he's eager to set out to Beldon and end this threat quickly. He, Artemesia, Gero, Jafar and Rewyn head out to Beacon Hill while the others prep their estate for their time away and speak with the army further about the plans for the siege.
Artemesia decided it would be best and safest to take the main roads rather than shortcuts through the less traveled wilderness. Her seemingly paid off when, on the second night, they heard considerable chaos coming from a distance off the main roads and into the wilderness. Her and Rewyn investigated and found that a caravan of travelers from Homestead decided to try one of those shortcuts and had fallen victim to one of the Dougal Clan giants and three other familiar figures. The three ogres they encountered back at the slavers' meet some months back: Wedge, Boggle and Lil' Twist.
Artemeisa confronted them while Rewyn scrambled back to the others to get help. The giant introduced himself as Laurdur, son of the Butcher, one of the previous giants the heroes killed. They all managed to slay Laurdur together and reasoned that rather than killing the ogres they could be useful in the coming battle. Tyrwin negotiated with them as best as he was able and finally managed to convince them to follow his orders.
I AM THE SMARTEST ONE! And I'm thinking yer offer ain't so bad. We're done bein' Tenderizers for the Dougals. We'll be yer Tenderizers now!
— Boggle the Ogre taking ownership of the conversation away from Wedge and cementing the agreement
Tyrwin tries to wrap his mind around the idea that the title of Tenderizer among the ogres and giants is basically a mixture of diplomat, scout, raider and kidnapper while they prepare for the last leg of their journey. They finally reach Beacon Hill around sundown and immediately head for the mayor's tower. The guards there refuse the heroes entrance but they're forced to relent when they're presented with the writ from General Gaspar that empowers the heroes to speak in official capacity.
They're lead upstairs and into Mayor Marbul Cormin's dining room. The halfling major is surrounded by his villages' few nobles as well as two finely dressed foreigners. These two newcomers have all the trademark looks and stylings of nobility from Baradrad. Artemesia recognizes something else though, the jewelry and icons they wear are from House Auloro, Jafar and Jasmine's treacherous family.
As the scene plays out the heroes come to realize that Gulshan and Kaspaer Auloro are pretending to be diplomats from Baradrad (when in fact they are wanted criminals who are hunted by their home city) and claiming that no attack actually occurred in Beldon. Rather, Baradrad is seeking an outpost in the north and Beldon chose to ally itself with them. And, the army of Ghal Pelor is marching out to seize control of Beacon Hill and Beldon to prevent an otherwise peaceful expansion. Their point is driven home by the fact that Ghal Pelor has taken relatively little interest in both cities aside from collecting their taxes. The Mayor, whom Tyrwin decides is being entirely over dramatic about everything, proclaims that his town is tired of being taxed by the distant capital and never seeing any benefit, trade, defense or help. He declares that Beacon Hill is choosing independence and to be an ally of the two fake diplomats.
Ghal Pelor only knows how to send tax collectors and soldiers! Where is your army when we have to defend ourselves against zombies, wolves and bandits! Where are your apothecaries when we need medicine and why does the main road go nowhere near our village? These diplomats from Baradrad have brought magic, medicine and the promise of equality! Beacon Hill chooses independence! Not your stale brand of tyranny!
— Mayor Marbul Cormin of Beacon Hill
They try to reason with the mayor. They even try to detect magic to see if he is under any kind of spell but he is not. The conversation becomes more heated and eventually Tyrwin and Artemesia decide to arrest the Mayor for treason. He continues his rant about their despotism and is roughed up a bit by Tyrwin in the process before being thrown in the small dungeon there along with about three quarters of the city guard who are loyal to the very popular Mayor. Only a young soldier named Percival and three others choose to be loyal to the heroes.
Artemesia and Tyrwin go about turning the village into a defensible position for when the rest of the army arrives. They know that the army will take at least six to seven days to arrive and they'll have to keep this place secure until then. The ogres eat the remaining feast on the mayor's table. Wedge later confesses to defecating that table when they were done eating. Meanwhile, Jafar goes to the in to speak with his sister about their true purpose here. He finds his brother, Kaspaer, packing up their coach quickly. He decides not to bother speaking with him because of the longstanding rival between the two. However, he finds his sister at the bar having a last bit of wine looking rather unsatisfied with the turn of events.
He asks her what they're really doing here and if they've actually allied with whatever is behind the ghoul hoard that's infesting Beldon. She confirms his suspicion: Mother and most of the family are in some kind of alliance with a necromancer that's controlling the ghouls. When Jafar tries to explain to her that such an alliance is wrong she throws back at him that it's easy to judge their decisions when Jafar isn't the one hunted everyday by bounty hunters. They're on the run and desperate. This necromancer offered them safety and a promise- help him secure some magical trinkets scattered in the area around Beldon and he'll help House Auloro return to Baradrad take control of the city. No more running, no more being hunted. She even said this necromancer can't be that bad of a person. He's wrestled control over hundreds, maybe thousands of ghouls and has them contained. Under his will. Not roaming the countryside devouring innocent people. She tells him they were sent here because one of those items is located beneath an abandoned temple to Malyse The Libertine at the edge of Beacon Hill. They're job here was to secure the item peacefully and prevent this place from being used as a staging ground by the army. They failed in both tasks and are now returning to Beldon.
Jafar decided to investigate the temple on his own. While exploring he realized he was being watched and eventually Gulshan revealed herself. She said she wanted to know exactly what the item was. Jafar and his sister Gulshan always cared about each other and he trusted her enough to explore with him. Together they found a hidden passage and a room beneath the temple cluttered with locked chests and scrolls. A scant few radiated with magic but one in particular stood out and intensely powerful. Jafar ordered his scarecrow to break the thing open. Gulshan took the opportunity to criticize her brother for using a magical construct that is fueled by fear magic yet he condemns the rest of the family for using their necromantic magic to survive by any means possible. Before they can argue the point much further the scarecrow shatters the chest and reveals its contents
Inside is a skeletal hand coated in gleaming gold, precious rubies and a scrawl of ancient runes. Both Jafar and his sister immediately recognize the old words. They belong to a civilization long turned to ash and consumed by the desert. The language of Skyrir. And the hand something they know well too, it's found in their history books. The Hand of Zharkhaddos, the Lich-King of Skyrir and the ancient enemy of Baradrad.
They both realize the necromancer in Beldon is out to collect artifacts that belong to the very being who may have invented necromancy itself. Zharkhaddos used his magics to destroy the old kingdoms, transform the southlands into the scorched desert it is today and to come very close to seducing Baradrad into joining him in undeath. Jafar fears that this necromancer could unleash a terrible new plague of undeath on the land should he get his hand on the lich's items. He also wonders what else he may have already collected from beneath Beldon. Gulshan's mind is not changed though, she believes the promise that was made by the necromancer and she's always believed that magic itself is not good or evil. That it can be harnessed and used toward any end. And, that Zharkhaddos' tools can be used to get the Auloro's back home and in control of the city that currently wants to see them executed.
Jafar leaves the temple with the hand but not with his sister. She says she won't betray their mother and that she has to return and let her know what's here. She says she misses him, that she loves him, but that they're not the same side of this.

Rewards Granted

Experience Points
Hill Giant killed 3200
Boggle, Wedge and Lil' Twist recruited 2400
Securing Beacon Hill as a foothold for the army: 1000

Notable Treasure Recovered
High-quality diamond found on the Hill Giant
Suit of Chain Mail found on the giant

Missions/Quests Completed

Beacon Hill has been claimed and defenses are underway

Character(s) interacted with

General Belthaser Gaspar, Mayor Marbul Cormin, Percivel Tauller, the ogres, Gulshan and Kaspaer Auloro,

Cast of Characters

Player Characters
Artemesia Level 8 Human Archer Fighter

Tyrwin Level 8 Human Cleric

Jafar Auloro Level 8 Human Wizard Necromancer

NPC Adventurers
Gero Seward Level 8 Human Sorcerer

Rewyn Level 6 Gnome Fighter

Jafar and Gero's Scarecrow Construct

Boggle, Wedge and Lil'Twist the ogres


Laurdur Dougal

Hill Giant

Wedge and Boggle


Gulshan Auloro

Gulshan Auloro

Kaspaer Auloro

Kaspaer Auloro
The Purge of Beldon
Report Date
27 Mar 2018
Primary Location
Beacon Hill
Secondary Location
Farmlands of Ghal Pelor

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild