Encounter at Farside - Heroes Arise
rating: 0+x

By HoratioAtTheBridge

Heroes Arise

Paiman was already working his way up to attacking Herren's garrison at Farside before the adventure. The incompetence of his hobgoblins in raiding the town has tipped his hand, and even if the players failed to follow up the clues he's still going to launch an attack on the town. Herren will gather his men and ride out to meet the threat, but flees for reinforcements as soon as he sees Paiman ride up on Rock Crusher.

Depending on how things have gone the players might be in a wide variety of situations. If they are in the stockades for insubordination, they are present to see this confrontation play out. Otherwise use the following encounter to get them into the action. This occurs near Blind Cao's caves after about three hours of waiting if the player characters were sent to protect the villagers. If they were captured by Paiman, this occurs the woods near Farside:

Suddenly there's the sound of something crashing through the woods. The player characters may roll Perception + Awareness to identify it.

Basic Success (1+) - The noise comes from two members of Iron Shirt's fang supporting a third wounded soldier.

The soldiers report that the scale encountered the Fae already on the march towards Farside. Both sides were pretty surprised to see the other and things got pretty chaotic for a while. Then this huge rock thing came crashing through the woods carrying some shining armored figure who called out Nellens Herren by name. Herren took one look at the Cataphract and then turned tail to run. He shouted something about getting word to Nasaru Redoubt and retreating in good order, but the unit pretty much disintegrated after he abandoned it. The Hobgoblins seemed to be taking prisoners rather than killing folk and many of the soldiers escaped into the woods. The two soldiers kept it together long enough to see that the Fae were heading toward Farside to try to capture the people living there, so they took off for the caves to give a warning. They encountered the third fellow along the way and brought him along so that someone (preferably Bloody Handed Shen, if he's available) could take a look at his wounds.

Antagonists

Paiman - Use the Fae Cataphract QC for this character.

See Further Into the Woods for a description of this NPC and a list of his Intimacies.

Rock Crusher - Use the Fae Behemoth QC for this character.

See Further Into the Woods for a description of this NPC and a list of its Intimacies.

Hobgoblins - Use the Hobgoblin QC as the basis for this battle group. It has Size 3, Drill 0, and Might 1.

See Into the Woods for a description of these NPCs and a list of sample Intimacies.

Development

Paiman has already launched the attack on Farside when the players arrive. Buildings are on fire and hobgoblins are running everywhere grabbing civilians and looting the buildings. Paiman is riding Rock Crusher, and when the players arrive on the scene they see his silhouette against the burning inn. Just as the players are getting ready to Join Battle, announce that they feel a rising tide of heat surging out of their cores, spreading through their body, and erupting from their foreheads. The battlefield is bathed in glorious light. A voice booms from the Heavens, audible only to the players:

"Too long have I turned my back on the world. In sorrow I hid my eyes when my Champions betrayed their oaths, but now when I lift my eyes again I see your troubles and cannot deny your suffering. I will no longer stand idly by while others seek to preserve this precious Creation. If you have chosen to stand against the darkness, I choose to stand with you! Arise, Chosen of the Unconquered Sun! Be my light in the world and prove yourselves worthy!"

The players have Exalted as Solars! Well, except for Bloody-Handed Shen. Shen has been a Solar this whole time. They've been traveling in the back woods to avoid Immaculate entanglements, and has been lying low while pressed into service to avoid giving away their secret. Now that there are four more glowing Solars in the woods, all bets are off. Shen might as well unleash their full power!

If Paiman has met the characters, he says "I knew that there was some greatness in you. Come on then, mighty heroes! If you seek to test your worthiness, here I am!"

Otherwise, he says "The Solars reborn? I had not thought to face such a foe again. Come on then, mighty heroes! If you seek to test your worthiness, here I am!"

Special Action

The Realm scale is scattered but may be reformed with a Rally action using Charisma or Appearance + War.

Basic Success (1+) - The player rallies a few soldiers to their cause, increasing the Size of their military unit by 1. If the players do not already command a military unit, this creates a military unit based on the Medium Infantry QC with Size 1, Drill 1, and Might 0.

This action may be performed twice. After the second action all surviving Realm troops have been rallied to the fight. This action may not be used to increase a military unit beyond Size 4.

Aftermath

The heroes are now Solars! They now have great power, but also great enemies. See The Adventure of The Encounter at Farside for ideas on what might happen in subsequent adventures.

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