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NRSASD
2016-09-18, 11:57 PM
Hello Playground! I need 7 relics for the PCs to recover, but they don't need to be powerful or even useful, (but they could be). Here's the premise:

500 years ago, the Elven Kingdom and the Human horseman tribes united to destroy a Goblinoid kingdom and create a Human one where it once stood. This alliance between the Humans and Elves broke down when the Elves closed their borders for undisclosed reasons about 10 years after the Goblinoids were driven out. The Elves became radically xenophobic, but one incident created an exception to their policy of absolute isolationism.

A band of Goblinoid slavers abducted 7 Elven children from the Kingdom during an especially bad winter, and had successfully eluded their pursuers in the storms. Before they could make it back to the Goblinoid territories, they had the misfortune of encountering Maria Dauntless, the founder of the knight order known as the Band of Brightwater. She slew the Goblinoids and took the children back to her home town of Stonebridge, where she shared what little food she had. When a lull in the storms came, she escorted the children to the Elven border, despite the risk of being killed by the Elven patrols. The Elves, touched by the kindness Maria had shown them, asked what they could do for her, and she (being a paladin) asked for trading rights between Stonebridge and the Elves. With this new trade, Stonebridge could survive the winter, and the Elves agreed.

This treaty has endured to the present day and remains the only point of contact between the Elves and the Humans besides the Elven embassies in Human territory. Each year, the treaty between Stonebridge and the Elven Kingdom is symbolically renewed by exchanging 8 relics, representing Maria and the 7 children. In the current campaign, the BBEG has just ambushed the caravan carrying these relics and stolen them, and now the PCs have to recover them before the Elves call the treaty off and/or get revenge for this insult.

So what precisely are these relics? The relic representing Maria is her literal skull (which is what the BBEG is after), but the others only need to have some significance to either the Elves, the Humans, Maria's knight order, or the Elven children. They could be anything really, they just need some link (however tenuous) to some part of these events or the alliance and a bit of flavor text.

As always, any and all input is appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Pfhagthyeh
2016-09-27, 02:05 AM
I'd recommend making each relic distinctly different from the rest. The skull of Maria Dauntless is one, so the other seven would have to represent something other than the paladin hero herself. While the number eight is meant to symbolize Maria and the seven children, the items themselves don't necessarily need to be directly tied to the children themselves and in my mind would probably serve as better ceremonial symbols if they summed up the history of the two kingdoms' histories with one another. Here are some ideas off the top of my head.

1. A Shattered Crown, forged for the rulers of the old Goblinoid kingdom in the days before the war. It is forged of twisted iron (to symbolize the cruelty and savagery of the Goblinoids), and has rusted over in places (to symbolize the decline of their influence). It was broken when the Goblinoids' last king/queen fell on the battlefield against the combined forces of men and elves.

2. A Spear of Mithril, made to cement the first alliance of men and elves against the goblinoids. For generations it was wielded by the leaders of the human horsemen in warfare, and eventually became the ancestral ceremonial weapon of the human nobility as they settled down in their new kingdom (like Joyeuse, the legendary sword wielded by Charlemagne).

3. A Cloak and Shroud made of Snow-white Silk, representing the pure and innocent souls of the Elven Children. Depending on how long elves live in this setting, some of these children may still be alive to participate in the ceremony of renewing the treaty, personally handing them over for the exchange.

4. A link of Iron Chain, which was used by the Goblinoid slavers when they kidnapped the children. It represents a grim truth: that the work of this alliance isn't quite over and that men and elves still must depend on one another if they wish to avoid further attacks on their people. The chain is attached to a set of manacles at one end, but shattered at the other. It was broken by the blade of Maria Dauntless.

5. Maria Dauntless' own Silver Shield, which is instantly recognized as a powerful and famous symbol for the Band of Brightwater. Its surface is marred by scratches, punctures, and dents from countless battles. In the ceremony of Treaty renewal, its beaten surface represents the risk Maria Dauntless placed upon herself when deciding to defend these children. Of all the relics, this one is believed to be the most powerful because it was wielded by a powerful paladin.

6. A Simple Wooden Bowl, in which Maria Dauntless cooked her last stores of food and fed them to the elven children, going for days herself without eating a thing. Representing her charity to the children, its surface is stained and faded with age after many decades of use and transfer back and forth.

7. A single Golden Coin, minted specifically for the first ceremony establishing the treaty of trade between the two kingdoms. It bears the royal crests of both kingdoms, the elves on one side and the humans on the other. It was the first piece of currency exchanged in trade between the two nations since the elves closed their borders, and represents prosperity through the mutual exchange of materials, resources, and ideals between them.

hymer
2016-09-27, 03:40 AM
Great story, OP! I may steal that for a future campaign! :smallbiggrin:

Since we're talking children, I'd be tempted to go with something seemingly simple, but with a lot of potential. Say, an empty book, an egg, an acorn, a simple flute, an abacus...

hifidelity2
2016-09-27, 06:56 AM
Great idea and as stated above may well use it sometime if not as a major plot but as a good side quest

Anyway Pfhagthyeh ideas are great you might want to make them slightly magical over the years they have picked been imbued with up various spells
so

I'd recommend making each relic distinctly different from the rest. The skull of Maria Dauntless is one, so the other seven would have to represent something other than the paladin hero herself. While the number eight is meant to symbolize Maria and the seven children, the items themselves don't necessarily need to be directly tied to the children themselves and in my mind would probably serve as better ceremonial symbols if they summed up the history of the two kingdoms' histories with one another. Here are some ideas off the top of my head.


1. A Shattered Crown, forged for the rulers of the old Goblinoid kingdom in the days before the war. It is forged of twisted iron (to symbolize the cruelty and savagery of the Goblinoids), and has rusted over in places (to symbolize the decline of their influence). It was broken when the Goblinoids' last king/queen fell on the battlefield against the combined forces of men and elves.
This could have Command Goblin (X times / day) when worn


2. A Spear of Mithril, made to cement the first alliance of men and elves against the goblinoids. For generations it was wielded by the leaders of the human horsemen in warfare, and eventually became the ancestral ceremonial weapon of the human nobility as they settled down in their new kingdom (like Joyeuse, the legendary sword wielded by Charlemagne).
Any +s spear you want or a spear of Goblinoid slaying


3. A Cloak and Shroud made of Snow-white Silk, representing the pure and innocent souls of the Elven Children. Depending on how long elves live in this setting, some of these children may still be alive to participate in the ceremony of renewing the treaty, personally handing them over for the exchange.
Cloak of resist (Normal) cold given by Maria to a child to shelter them from the cold


4. A link of Iron Chain, which was used by the Goblinoid slavers when they kidnapped the children. It represents a grim truth: that the work of this alliance isn't quite over and that men and elves still must depend on one another if they wish to avoid further attacks on their people. The chain is attached to a set of manacles at one end, but shattered at the other. It was broken by the blade of Maria Dauntless.
Either some form of hold (Elf) spell when attached or even a dominate (Elf) spell when attached person who attaches it has total domination of the imprisoned elf


5. Maria Dauntless' own Silver Shield, which is instantly recognized as a powerful and famous symbol for the Band of Brightwater. Its surface is marred by scratches, punctures, and dents from countless battles. In the ceremony of Treaty renewal, its beaten surface represents the risk Maria Dauntless placed upon herself when deciding to defend these children. Of all the relics, this one is believed to be the most powerful because it was wielded by a powerful paladin.
Either a +s shield or access to some Paladin like abilities


6. A Simple Wooden Bowl, in which Maria Dauntless cooked her last stores of food and fed them to the elven children, going for days herself without eating a thing. Representing her charity to the children, its surface is stained and faded with age after many decades of use and transfer back and forth.
Makes food go further fill with stew and it will feed everyone for 1 hr


7. A single Golden Coin, minted specifically for the first ceremony establishing the treaty of trade between the two kingdoms. It bears the royal crests of both kingdoms, the elves on one side and the humans on the other. It was the first piece of currency exchanged in trade between the two nations since the elves closed their borders, and represents prosperity through the mutual exchange of materials, resources, and ideals between them.
When present all within X yards / Miles (your choice) can speak Human / Elvish so allow the trade to flourish

Other items could be some kids toys
A child's doll, a toy soldier - something that the child was able to give over to thank the Paladin

NRSASD
2016-09-28, 10:45 AM
Thank you everyone for the input, and especially thanks to Pfhagthyeh for that excellent list!

Bulhakov
2016-09-28, 11:43 AM
Since you're going with Maria's actual skull, the rest should be related to the children (or who they became once they grew up). Maybe toys or dolls? Maybe candles imbued with some of their ashes.

I would definitely give the relics some non-combat "white magic" powers. Maybe the light of the candles greatly boosts both natural and magical healing, as well as stabilizes anyone in the proximity.