I'm at a crossroads with my campaign and I'm looking for some help fleshing out some backstory before my game gets together again in late July. We're taking a summer break so I have some time to pull some things together.
The gang is just coming back from Fanon's Tower with the Staff and heading back to Kaldor, where I've spent the last year of gaming building up the political backdrop of a KSC. I've also been building Panaga as a Big Bad Guy on the rise, and the PCs have finally gotten a taste of his sublime douchebaggery.
IMPH, Panaga is (as in Curse of Hlen) a 6th Order V'ii of Agrik who is looking to advance himself. That much is obvious. The question is, what does he want? My spin of it is that he's not looking for a step advancement to the next Order, he's looking to bypass the whole V'ii heirarchy and establish himself outright as a Demigod. I'm giving him a lot more ambition than CoH alludes to, I admit, but it gives him the motivation to establish his own side-pacts with Navehan and Morgathan factions on Yashain and Kethira, which further obfuscates the efforts of the PCs to pin him down.
So... they're leaving the Tower. They managed to rescue Rysal, the trapped Laranian Demigod, and as soon as Rysal was free from the Tower there is every chance that Panaga could find out that he's on the loose and go sniffing around to find out how he got loose. I'm sure that will put him on the track of the PCs, and then life will get interesting. They deliberately left him a calling card. This will be fun.
What I am considering doing is advancing the clock on Kethira for the time spent by the party camped out in Fanon's little "blessed realm" with Romon. Months, maybe as much as a year if necessary, can pass in the blink of an eye. The point of this would be to fast forward to a Kaldor that is in the grips of a KSC and in which Panaga has maybe even been pulling some strings.
What would that Kaldor look like? How bad can I make it and still have most of the damage be reversible if we should have "good triumph over evil" in the end?
Who kills King Miginath? Kinda boring for him to just die peacefully in his own sleep. I'd previously introduced to the game a doppleganger Navehan demon who was bound to Panaga's service. If a mortal wizard can summon and control a lesser demon, why can't Panaga? The PCs are already aware of it's existence, but when faced with A) track it down and kill it, B) find Sedris Meleken, or C) Fanon's Tower, they chose C. Therefore the demon and Sedris are still unaccounted for.
My theory is that the doppleganger visits Miginath's court at Olokand, where the old king has taken ill. Miginath announces before his three bastard sons that as he has no male heirs, and Kaldor needs an heir, he will give his blessing to one of his nieces to carry on in his stead should he pass away suddenly. Though he says that he wants to consider all of his nieces equally, the only two that are brought to his bedside in Olokand are the daughters of his elder brother Haldan, and Dame Erila his personal confidante. Cheselyne's rumor machine instantly produces the news that Miginath will announce her as his heir in court the next day, but he spends most of that night sequestered alone with Erila. Regular visits are made by his personal physician. At dawn he is too ill to attend court, and Cheselyne's rumor machine has made it seem like the pronouncement is a done deal. That night, while Maldan is asleep in his own bed, the doppleganger steals into Caer Olokand disguised as Maldan and slays Miginath in his own bed.
What happens next?
I really see this as that I have two options for this:
1. I can bring the PCs back in the winter and present them with this as a done deal.
2. I can bring the PCs back in the summer, during the tournament itself, and insert them into the middle of the intrigue.
I have a PC who has been one of Erila's agents/messengers. I have a Verdreth who is related to the Master Esoterica of Kaldor. I have a PC Knight who would dearly love to be at the Olokand tournament. I have a PC Knight who is a member of the High Guard. Tying them into the intrigue at Olokand would be quite possible.
The second alternative would probably be most fun for you and your players. But it would also be the one that required most work for you as a GM.