Reclamation of Iros: A Kingdom Building Pathfinder Game

In ancient times, the Quyasan Empire, ruled by demon-worshipping sorcerers and protected by soldiers picked especially for their sadism and bloodthirst, ruled much of the central regions of the continent of Craistal from their heartlands in the Iros Valley - protected by mighty fortresses guarding the only two mountain passes that could allow large armies enter the large valley, even if the outlying areas came under threat, the Imperial Legions could fall back into the Valley, regroup, wait for their enemies to weaken and come back, bolstered by still more summoned demons and fell creatures. Demons ran amok among the people, and half-fiends and tieflings, and all manner of fiend-touched beings were a common sight.

This cycle played out for hundreds of years, until, 981 years ago, the tide finally turned. The Kingdom of Ados, a small island nation off the coast, found the throne pass, by means of complicated genealogies, into the hands of a might and skilled paladin, who had led a small guerilla crusade against Quyasan in their frontier provinces. And even a small kingdom had the money and resources to fuel a much larger effort. Rallying her new subjects into a fervor, and rightly pointing out that Quyasan expansion could very easily come to the shores of Ados, this woman, Kurria the Sanctified, as history would come to know her, launched an invasion against Quyasan. It seemed a doomed effort, in the long run, but as she won battle after battle, the freed peoples of the outlying provinces joined her cause, and celestials from the higher planes joined her crusade. Kurria's Crusade took five years to finally push all Quyasan forces back to the Iros Valley, but even then, the rulers of the Empire felt they were safe. None had breached their fortresses before.

But Kurria and her army, the largest ever assembled against Quyasan, broke through at the Fortress of Galandir, and within another year, Quyasan had fallen. A new, Adosian Empire was created, despite Kurria's protestations, and her reign as Empress, for another ten years, is remembered as a golden age for central Craistal.

But her death, at the hands of a demonic assassin, marked the beginning of the end of the Adosian Empire. Her son tried to hold the realm together, but without his mother's force of personality, without the support of her celestial allies - by the time Kurria's great granddaughter rose to the Adosian throne, it was effectively all over - each region had slipped away, one by one, forming new kingdoms and realms. The world forgot how they'd worked together to overthrow the Quyasan, Ados returned to being a small island Kingdom, and the Iros Valley was left abandoned, overgrown and soon inhabited by savage humanoids welcome nowhere else - while orcs, goblins, gnolls and others could be found outside the valley, the Valley became a common home to all of them. And of course, to countless demon-haunted ruins. The Iros Valley is a holy site for demon cults the world over now, and many travel or set up shop there, leaving this large, once fertile and productive valley, something of a cancerous hole sitting in central Craistal.

And the world continued on - kingdoms forming, cities settled, orcs and goblinoids raiding, bandits rising and falling... though History remembers the twin empires, Fiendish and Celestial, it matters little to the lives of most, save the unusually high numbers of Tieflings and Aasimars in the lands where the two empires had ruled. All that history just... wasn't relevant.

Until recently, that is.

Duke Sylvain Khost, an independent lord - and powerful necromancer - whose lands but up against one of those two passes into the Iros Valley has decided he's tired of dealing with periodic orc and goblin and gnoll and more raids. Yes, they give him more bodies to animate, since he's hardly going to murder his own subjects to raise his undead soldiers (that's just unsound governance), but still, his lichdom is at hand, and he doesn't want to be fighting savage humanoids forever.

And so, Sylvain sent his armies into the Valley, securing a bridgehead in the long-abandoned lands and sent out word: He had no interest in taking over the valley, and instead, wanted to finance would be conquerors on their own efforts to carve out a slice of civilization and build it into a realm of their own. Opening the lands to settlement, also financed by his deep coffers - he'll pay the travel costs for people to settle in the valley. The only cost he asks is signed pacts of non-aggression with his new neighbors, when they form, and the negotiation of formal trade agreements.

After all, why be neighbors with savages and monsters, when you can have prosperous and stable trading partners instead?


Okay, so as this premise suggests, this will be using the Kingdom Building and Exploration rules from Pathfinder. Your characters, for various reasons, are among those who have decided to try to settle in the Iros Valley - willing to brave not only the creatures that live there, but demon-haunted ruins, and of course, the wrath of demon worshipping cults... or perhaps you hope to embrace the demons, use them to fuel your own power.

I'm looking for five, maybe six characters. While your characters are acting under the initial sponsorship of an evil necromancer, Sylvain is a very pragmatic sort of evil, has no real ambitions beyond his borders, and taking his coin to fund your new settlement/realm (that is, he'll be providing the initial Build Points you use to settle your new lands), it isn't 'working with' or 'for' evil, and as long as you can rationalize it for your character, any character of any alignment could be one of the party. I.e. if you play a paladin or say, a cleric of Phasmara or what have you, I'm not going to penalize you for Sylvain's initial sponsorship.

You'll all start in the small, new fortress Sylvain has had built in his bridgehead in the valley, and then set off to create a new realm for yourselves.

Ideally, once I decide decide which 5-6 characters are accepted, we'll work out collectively that you all have worked together on at least one previous adventure (to explain why you're all together now), but we can just as easily go with meeting each other in the fort's tavern or whatever and deciding to pool your abilities and resources or various other ideas or combinations of ideas.

I am not new to Game Mastering, or to PbP, though I am new to this site - my PbPing of Pathfinder and D&D has usually been in much smaller communities in various forums that were mostly dedicated to other things. Indeed, this Campaign was created for use on a different website that I'm no longer active on (not for gaming related reasons). I normally prefer to run more directed story-focused games (not railroads, but sort of a tree, if that makes any sense), but I'm trying a bit of an experiment here, with a much more sandboxy approach, because I'd like to try to strech by gamemasterly muscles somewhat. There will be various stories happening in the Valley that your characters may end up interacting with in various ways, but there won't be any sort of set 'path' for you to play.

Details on starting level, character creation rules and requirements, et cetera, et cetera, can be found in the Applications Subforum.

DEADLINE - March 19th, 2018, approximately 6pm EST.