The Kingdom of Ospo is a summer-length roleplaying scenario.
Kingdom of Ospo:
Corellon Larethian (elves)
Ehlonna (halflings, gnomes, half-elves)
Garl Glittergold (gnomes)
Ospo is a diverse kingdom, and its capitol, Loron, is a thriving city where many cultures intersect and live in (more or less) peace. It wasn’t always this way—legends say that before humans came to the region, Ospo was a constant war zone between the races. Elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and even orcs killed one another for centuries, with a racial hatred that grew so deep it seemed they would kill each other out entirely before making peace.
Then humans came in from the North and the West, explorers impressed by the fertile fields and dramatically beautiful scenery forged from centuries of explosive magical warfare. At first, no one thought much of these typically peaceful and usually annoying newcomers. They brought spices, goods, weapons—they were tolerated as traders and as pawns. But as the years passed, more and more traders were lured in by the market the warring tribes presented, until Opso the Merchant stepped foot into the battle. A devout worshiper of Heironeous, he found himself appalled by the chaos around him, and the waste of so many lives.
Ospo the first, as he was later called, began gathering people to him, humans first and then later the cast-off members of the other races, urging peace. With his leadership, his army of peace set about pacifying the other races (usually through force,) until he managed to seat all their leaders down together at a table. Only the orcs didn’t show up (instead, they defiled a temple of Heironeous, murdering most of the clerics, including one of Ospo’s sons.) Ospo ordered the kings to choose one king from those seated at the table, one to whom they would all defer.
Being as he was the only not-them at the table, he was of course elected high king.
So King Ospo the First established the kingdom of Ospo, setting down rules that would force all the members to live in peace:
1. There would be no killing of elves, humans, gnomes, dwarves, or halflings within the lands (Ospo wasn’t fond of orcs. They were pretty much wiped out by the end of his reign.)
2. There would be no holy wars in the country—temples were to leave on another strictly alone, unless a direct violation of the law could be found.
3. No racial temple would be granted special privileges over the others, for any reason, at any time.
4. Of all the king’s children, the people would be allowed to choose the one they liked best to become the next king (Yes, there have been several King Susans)—but no heir may have been convicted of violating a major law at any point in time.
5. Every nobleman would be assigned (at the time of his acceptance into court) two advisors, each from a different temple, to guide him. They could be replaced if and only if convicted of a high-level crime, so that no spoiled brat could fire advisors he didn’t like just because they gave him good advice.
King Ospo, as you can imagine, was highly unpopular amongst many of the people. The temple of Hextor gained a sudden and very large following. However, as Ospo’s laws proved effective at enforcing the peace, the temple of Heironeous grew as well. The two rival temples became the strongest special interest groups in the kingdom, and thus, nearly every nobleman had an advisor from each.
In later generations, the following laws were established from the loopholes of the first five, as incidents and questions on the matter came up:
6. It’s okay to sacrifice half-elves, if and only if: they are willing, they are more than twenty years old, and the sacrifice occurs in a *dedicated* temple *which has been in existence for at least twenty years.* It’s not okay to kill them on the street, in a private home, or in a newly established temple.
7. It’s okay to kill half-orcs in a temple. It’s not okay to kill them in the street.
8. It’s okay to kill orcs anywhere *but you have clean it up yourself.*
9. No other full-blood intelligent races may be killed based on race. *Not even drow.* *Any half-bloods will be considered half-elves for the purposes of sacrifice.*
10. Any race which tries to take over the country or start a racial war is considered an orc. (including: mindflayers, Kuo-Toa, cloud giants, JubJub, black and copper dragons, and troglodytes)
11. Temples may adopt any orphans they find, and if they can successfully brainwash them into becoming willing sacrifices, hey—one more kid off the streets, right?
12. Any temple caught violating 6-9 is immediately and permanently disbanded.
13. No racial temple can provide advisors to a nobleman.
14. The advisors of an heir are allowed only limited contact with their temple.
15. All heirs have exactly three months to sway the people to vote for them, after the death of the current king. *If there is only one heir, he or she is immediately elected.*
16. Heirs do not have to be born of the king’s spouse.
17. Half-orcs may not be elected king. Half-elves must be more than 7/8 human before being considered human enough to be king, *and must marry human women.*
18. Descendants of kings must be at least three generations removed before they may be sacrificed in a temple, willing or not.
19. If there are no living descendants of a king, cousins will become heirs first, then uncles/aunts, then second cousins. Siblings and half-siblings may not be considered. *Only full humans will be considered.*
20. The Temple of St. Cuthbert will decide all conflicts. They may not provide advisors to nobles.
*addition to law made at later date*
All the members of court vote, from the youngest and least influential to the most powerful. The legal age of voting is twenty-four, which is considered the “debut” age and the time at which advisors are assigned, although most noblemen and women appear in court at eighteen to watch the proceedings and make connections.
King Charison ruled Ospo for thirty-seven years, from the time he was thirty-four until his death at age seventy-one. That happened last Wednesday. His known heirs, before Wednesday, were Hanrall and Ford. However, on his deathbed, he admitted that he had one more son: Kinsill, a minor nobleman who had debuted in court last week, at the voting age of twenty-four.
Hanrall, the eldest at thirty-one, is an open follower of Vecna. He is known to have a grudge against the temple of Hextor. He’s very charismatic: a natural leader with a gift for song, and disproportionately popular with the female population of the city.
Ford does not admit to belonging to any temple. At twenty-five, he’s something of a wild card, known for his unpredictability and his dislike of the rules. Still, he’s very popular with the people, especially the commoners and the gnomes. He frequently promises to shake up the institution and ‘root out corruption,’ but there are rumors he’s more interested in shaking things up than actually helping the poor.
Kinsill was, for all intents and purposes, a nobleman of twenty-four years of age whom no one expected to be of much relevance past his debut and the king’s death. Everyone knew that the king liked him, but neither prince seemed to share their father’s favor. He was assigned only a token team from the temples, since his influence was expected to be minor, and was debuted in court last Monday. Everyone was dumbfounded when he was declared heir—Kinsill most of all. Lawful neutral, he’s spent most of his life so far negotiating debates between the temples. Despite being young, he has his own ideas. You’ve only just been assigned to him, and have worked with him for less than a week, but you already have the impression of a young man with a firm sense of self and a firm belief in following the letter of the law. He listens to you when you speak, but he also listens with equal weight his other advisor. You do think he’ll always consider your advice, even if he doesn’t follow it.
You’ve got three months to convince the court to support your heir and vote him in as king. You’ve got some resources on your side: a personal aide, whatever local support you’ve gathered so far in your life, whatever friends you have amongst the high and the low, and your temple—although the latter is allowed only very minor contact with you. You’ll get a chance to ask one question at the beginning of each session, the answer of which may or may not be given to you by the midpoint of the session (depending on whether or not your temple can find the answer.)
You may choose any class, as long as you are lawful and a member of either Heironeous or Hextor. Maximum starting level is five, but you may trade up to two levels for additional benefits listed below:
- Rumors about dirt on one heir, which, if you’re clever enough to find the proof, are true.
- A +4 to your temple’s investigative score on whatever question you ask.
- Support from a minor temple and a racial temple besides your own—in other words, votes you’ve already won.
- Good intuition: the GM will give you a hint of something you’ll definitely need if the situation might put your heir’s life will be danger.
- Drinking buddies: the heir likes the same kind of wine as you, and will drink a bottle with you on occasion. (+2 to influencing his decision in your favor)