In-Game Almanac.   Posted by DM Kandagger.Group: 0
DM Kandagger
 GM, 9 posts
 Dies Irae, Dies Illa
 Solvet saeclum en favilla
Fri 13 Nov 2020
at 21:50
In-Game Almanac
This is a thread for anything you want to add or copy from IC threads you want to save and look up later--specifically for persons, people, factions, places, locations or anything else that might need archiving.

Pre-Game: What Your Characters Know.

Where Are We?
You are in Elturel, a Holy City about two-hundred miles from Baldur's Gate and the Sword Coast.  It sits at a crossroads of several trade routes and is prosperous and cosmopolitan--however it is also a bastion of devotion.  Tyr, Lathander, Kord and others have rock solid populations of the faithful.  Much of the wealth is invested back into the city, making some of the loveliest temples, cathedrals and other places of worship in the entirety of Faerun.  But loveliest of all is the symbol of the gods' favor.  Hanging in the sky, right in the center of the city, is The Companion--a giant glowing orb, shining like a second sun, bathes the city in holy, evil-banishing light.  The more traditional priests discourage the populace from actually praying to the holy artifact...but it's really really hard to ignore hanging there, and, well, people can actually SEE it.

Who Are We?
The Holy Order of the Angel's Charge (aka "The Hellriders") are one of the oldest paramilitary factions in Elturel.  It was founded when a literal freaking angel descended from the Heavens with a holy task to attack the Abyss with the best and brightest of humanity.  The best and brightest refused.  So, the angel searched for the unworthy.  She scoured the streets, plumbed the poorhouses, emptied the jails and gathered the dregs of society to her--and proceeded to hammer them like steel into a fighting force worthy of Heaven.  This army then travelled with her into the depths of Hell and the Abyss, intent on making the forces of evil quake in their boots.

And, for one brief moment, she succeeded.

How exactly the Angel's Charge ended is not recorded (it is presumed to have ended badly), but the survivors of that fateful day returned to Elturel and continued the work she started.  Taking the unlovely and unwanted and turning them through fire and fervor into soldiers of the light.

That sounds overly harsh...are there other options?
For you?  No.  The Hellriders is what you get.  But for the city in general there are several other holy orders working toward the Holy City's benefice.  Including:

The Covenant of the Companion--The general police force for the city.  Composed of stalwart members of the various churches of the city united under the Covenant of the Companion.  These fuddy-duddies are exactly what you'd expect from a church funded police force--sticklers for rules, mildly condescending to everyone less holy than they, and brutally fanatical in their punishment of evil.  You might know individuals who are okay, but taken as a whole the "Cult" of the Companion kind of sucks.

The Knights of the Silver Shield--A mercenary group based out of Baldur's Gate.  The most mercantile of the orders, the Knights are a fairly stereotypical adventuring company.  You need goblins murdered?  You pay them (or you can't pay them, and you come to the Hellriders instead).  Despite their rough-and-tumble nature, they're generally on the up-and-up.  Simple folk of simple pleasures.  Keep them fed and boozed, and they'll be your best friends.

The Loyal Order of the Holyphant--A boys club for local nobles.  They technically do charity work, and support programs for the betterment of the city--moving a ton of money around.  Generally they're considered the best and brightest of the Elturel Orders, but, to us on the ground level, they're just the worst.  Rich, exclusive, and condescending to the greatest degree, the Holyphants are just as useless as the non-existent mythical-flying-elephant-thing on their banner.

What's with this Companion thing?  It seems kind of strange.
Well, after two hundred years of shining nights, the city just sort of got used to this strange artificial second sun.  It sprang into existence in Elturel's direst need.  A Vampire Lord of terrible cunning and might descended upon the city with his legions of undead.  In his desperation Father Thavius called for every citizen of religious baring--regardless of creed--to bow their heads in ritual prayer for the city...and the Companion sprang forth from this miracle of unified faith.  It has remained fixed in the sky ever since.

Wait...who is this Father Thavius?
Well, he's in charge.  Of Elturel.

...Still?
He's pretty spry for a man reaching for 250...he must know that wizard trick for not dying of old age.  He's considered a fairly reasonable ruler, bringing justice and mercy to the populace...and really, do YOU want to be the guy to run against the man who gave you a second sun?

Well, if this place so great.  What does it need US for?
Well, like any city, there's the layer they WANT you to see...and the several layers they don't.  Crime still happens, and normal people still get hurt and killed.  The Hellriders help resolve those injustices.  There's also a lot more territory under Elturel's purview than just the city itself.  Acres of farmland, trading posts, smaller villages and similar bastions of order in the untamed wilderness, all receive the benefice of Elturel despite not standing directly under the Companion's Light.  There's also the caverns under the city where the other orders refuse to tread (cough COWARDS cough) that need regular patrols.  Nope, the Hellriders have their work cut out for them...especially since they're also the clean-up crew for the messes they and the other orders make.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 21:24, Thu 03 Dec 2020.