The Nujel’m Conflict
This is a summary of events that took place between *** and ***. During this time, the Kingdom of Britannia faced a unique threat – not from a mystical artifact or a powerful demon, but rather a cunning man determined to seize power. Though it is not necessary, it may be useful to read the summary for “The Path Forward” as that is where many of the characters in this story are introduced. This is a very brief summary – all Guards who filed a report and wish it to be added to this summary are invited to submit a copy of the text for inclusion.
This story has a seemingly simple beginning. Trade between Britannia’s cities had increased dramatically as internal relations returned to normal with the crowning of a new King. This increase in trade, however, also gave rise to an increase in banditry. Oftentimes convoys did not reach their destination – the King’s own craftsmen were killed on their way to build a new market in Trinsic. Captain Olivia was determined to put a stop to these criminal, and violent, actions, ordering the King’s Guard to begin seeking out the bandits and bring them to justice. Caught in a sudden blitz by the Guard, the bandit threat was handled quickly. The victory was not decisive, however, as rumor spread of a new leader of the bandits – The Pirate Jor.
It would not be long before Jor began rebuilding his forces, recruiting new pirates, brigands, and mercenaries. Investigator Thorpe’s detectives learned of this recruiting, and met with Jor in disguise, learning of his plan – the robbery of the Vesper Mint. With this information in hand, Lieutenant Jeffrey planned a trap. Some of the Guard would continue to associate with Jor, and accompany him on the robbery. The rest would lie in wait, surrounding the mint. In addition, the bank manager, Karel DeMaje, found a noble who agreed to use his own wealth to further entice the robbers. The plan was simple, and success more or less assumed. What they didn’t count on was the craftiness of Jor.
The pirate and his group entered Vesper via moongate, very close to the bank. They quickly entered through mysteriously unlocked vaults, and looted the mint. Striding out of the bank, Jor loudly boasted that he would not be caught. Just as the Guard sprung their trap, a moongate glowing a dark red appeared. Jor escaped through it, along with many of his accomplices. The Guard gave immediate chase, finding themselves emerging along the mountain pass to Dungeon Deceit in Felucca. Standing before them was Jor, taunting once more – it was not the Guard who had laid a trap, but Jor himself. A battle immediately ensued, with Jor calling for his true followers to reveal themselves. Two of those who entered the mint with him stepped forward to claim their loyalty. One, an archer, announced identified herself, quite curiously, as Grilled Cheese. The other, a thief, claimed no name but would later be accused of being none other than the sitting Governor of Jhelom.
The King’s Guard fought with Valor, but eventually retreated back to Vesper as Jor and his followers entered Deceit above and his trained dragons pushed up from below. The Guard had suffered its first defeat.
Though the battle was over, the conflict continued during the next Council meeting, as the new Governor of Jhelom, Ethan, was accused of being known as the thief “Mercury Ali,” who had sided with Jor in the fight against the Guard. Little could be done, however, as their was no conclusive proof of this claim. The actions of the Captain, Lieutenant, and Investigator came under attack as it was clear that they had been out-maneuvered, and people had died because of it. Further, the city of Vesper had suffered losses and demanded recompense.
The damage to Vesper would be repaired, and Thorpe would be temporarily relieved of his position. In the Investigator’s absence, it fell to Lieutenant Jeffrey to task the Guard with exploring the circumstances surrounding the robbery. Here, the first evidence was uncovered that there was a link between Jor and previously unknown intrigue in Nujel’m. Around this same time, various Governors were targeted by attackers who claimed to be acting on behalf of Nujel’m. The King’s numerous letters to the Sultan went unanswered, so a diplomatic envoy led by Governor’s Mare Jade and Inkboy was dispatched to Nujel’m. The envoy was welcomed by Said Halabi – the Vizier to the Sultan (this being the same man who served in an advisory capacity to a previous governing council). The Vizier’s pleasantries quickly dissolved, however, when he was pressed for details regarding the attacks. The skilled diplomats from Britannia were able to calm the situation, however, resulting in the Vizier proposing a treaty enabling the two states to work together in addressing the pirate threat. Once examined in Council, however, many believed this proposal to be a trick – something to appease Britannia while also gaining important information about the Kingdom’s naval capacity.
Two weeks after the Delegation to Nujel’m returned, the newly constructed Vesper Lighthouse was attacked and destroyed during its dedication ceremony. Arriving aboard ships with allies already in wait on land, Jor’s forces quickly swept through, leaving a path of destruction before escaping to sea. Thus begun the chase of Jor.
Where is the first place one should go when looking for a thief or a pirate? The answer seemed simple enough, so Lieutenant Jeffrey sent a fighting force to Buccaneer’s Den (after an investigation confirmed his recent presence, of course). While they were successful in finding him, once again the slippery sailor eluded capture – leaving a very large, very ANGRY aquatic dragon in his place. The dragon would be defeated, but Jor remained at large. It seemed time again for the detectives of the Guard to search for more information that might lead to his capture. The resulting efforts yielded a few clues – primarily, a description of Jor’s ship (the Kaze) was provided by the Tokunese boat captain he had stolen it from. Lightly armed, it was a fast ship that enabled him to continually out-race pursuing vessels. In addition, it was suggested by a familiar tavern resident that a thief named Joshua (who might be remembered from previous events) might have more information about Jor, as he too had been seen asking about the pirate.
A newly reinstated Thorpe was questioned about Joshua, as he was rumored to have occasional contact with him. The Guard’s lead investigator confirmed this, and told the Guard’s detectives how to contact the thief. Setting a meeting with Joshua was not an easy task, but some of the Guard’s brightest were able to do so, and met with the thief in the dead of night in a Britain basement. It was here that many questions were answered. Primarily, the nature of the roles of Juwain (as a pawn to the Vizier) and Jor (the hired help) was confirmed. Joshua also warned the Guards that a bounty had been placed on the heads of Thorpe as well as his “field agent,” whose existence had been kept secret by Thorpe (and for safety reasons, his identity shall not be revealed here!). When asked how he knew so much about the plot, he cryptically explained that he wanted to see Jor captured, as he had broken the “Thieves’ Code” and wronged his father.
With this knowledge in hand, things began to move quickly. The merits of various plans were debated in Council meetings, and the Guard continued to search for Jor. It would not be until “Lord” Juwain of Nujel’m arrived in Britain, however, that there would seem to be hope for resolution. He entered the Council chamber prior to the start of a meeting, and surrendered. He offered all the knowledge he had, asking only that when the time came to fight the Vizier, his sister Altas would be saved from her imprisonment. The Governors in attendance (the King had not yet arrived) agreed to hold him under guard in the castle until he could be interrogated.
The interrogation took place a short while later. Lieutenant Jeffrey placed Keenbadger (the highest ranking enlistee in the King’s Guard) and Tobias Cardont (who had played an integral role in prior investigations) in charge of the interrogation as well as any immediate actions they believed needed to be taken in light of anything Juwain said. It was during this questioning that it was learned that Lady Constance DeMaje of Vesper had aided the Vizier in orchestrating the burglary of the Vesper mint. Juwain himself had been sent by the Vizier to seduce Lady Constance, though he would prove to be the one to fall for her. He was heartbroken to learn that he was but a pawn, that Lady Constance was already in league with the Vizier, and that Juwain himself was being set up as a potential scapegoat. Further, he re-affirmed that the Sultan had indeed been kidnapped, and that the only people to know his location was the Jor and the Vizier. The Vizier’s plan was to provoke an attack on either Nujel’m (as the one in the Old Lands had not been left the same way Britannian cities had) and to kill the Sultan and blame it on the Britannians – hoping it would help him control the populace. One bright point (of a sort) was that it seemed Constance’s current husband, Karel, was in fact innocent of any wrongdoing (he was previously a suspect in the robbery).
Keenbadger and Tobias decided that the Lady of Vesper needed to be arrested immediately. They set off immediately with the rest of the Guards in attendance, only to find that she was not in Vesper. Knowing that she originally hailed from Cove, they set off through the woods until the reached the tall gates of the small hamlet nestled in the mountains to the southwest of Vesper. The Guard quickly found Lady Constance on the docks where she shouted defiantly at them. Believing it be better to perish as a noblewoman than to spend her life in a cell she turned to throw herself over the mooring ropes into the water. Suspecting her intentions, Tobias Cardont was in movement by the time she turned, and was able to restrain her. She was returned to the castle and put under guard, remaining defiant and refusing to answer any of the Guards questions with anything other than snark.
The results of the interrogation where reported to the Council of Governors, and again possible action was endlessly debated. To make matters worse, an old foe, The Hand, had returned to Yew intending to lay claim to it. A battle on two fronts now seemed imminent, making it vital to move quickly on the Vizier in order to prevent more attacks on Britannia from his mercenaries and Feluccian allies. The King ordered a War Committee formed in order to determine a course of action. Governors Frey of Jhelom, Thom of Trinsic, and Bytor of Vesper sat on the committee and organized a meeting at which others may also present their ideas. The result was a request for another investigation in hopes of locating the Sultan (and locating Jor as a secondary objective), and then moving on the Vizier with whatever force seemed appropriate.
The resulting investigation did not result in the recovery of the Sultan, but Jor’s hiding place had been discovered. Knowing he was being pursued by both the Guard and the Vizier’s forces (the Vizier wanted him dead so he could not reveal the location of the Sultan should he be captured), Jor left a note for the Guards implying he would help the Britannians if they could stop the Vizier’s men. His hideout no longer secret, he abandoned it, mentioning he would be staying with new “friends” who could be quite violent.
Following up on this, the Guard was to muster by the King himself, commanding all present to capture Jor and bring him to Britain. The Guard (as well as non-regular adventurers) met with Lieutenant Jeffrey in Moonglow and discussed potential places to look for Jor in the Lost Lands. At the suggestion of Tobias Cardont, it was decided to seek out the tribal people near the City of the Dead. Upon arriving in Papua, however, they were shocked to find the town under attack by the Vizier’s forces. Word came to them that Delucia was also facing an attack as the brigands, pirates, and former Faction warriors searched for Jor. Before continuing, the Guard would have to first protect the people of Papua and Delucia.
Ridding both towns of the invaders, the assembled group of Guards and adventurers set out for the tribal people of the Lost Lands. When they arrived it was quickly made apparent that they were not the only ones to suspect Jor of hiding amongst the tribal people – former servants of the Shadowlords and Minax, now under command of Vizier Halabi, had already begun battle with the tribe. The Britannians entered the fray, fending off the dark wizards and angry tribal peoples until Jor appeared, fleeing from an assassin, Renault. Once Renault was defeated, Jor was taken into custody and brought back to Britannia, to answer to King Blackthorn.
Even in the presence of the King of Britannia, Jor the Pirate still retained his sense of arrogance. He did agree, however, to tell the King the location of the Sultan so long as he would not be put to death for his crimes. To this, the King agreed, and Jor revealed where the Sultan was being kept – in Nujel’m itself, on Felucca. In (under?) the cemetery, to be precise. Jor was then escorted to a cell in the prison in Yew.