[THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

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[THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Sturm » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:02 pm

Here is the link to temporary html file (to be updated with a Vault of Pandius link once uploaded there):
http://digilander.libero.it/Halag/Thres ... lotov.html
I've also included the wonderful illustration (I think by I. Calvin, correct?) that appeared in the article.

I love Yuri Molotov and the adventure opportunities he could provide. He could lead a traladaran rebellion, but traladaran rebels would be willing to ally with him?
Magda Marilenev maybe?
What if Argos is using him?
What if the Dark Triad is using him?
What if he allies with the Church of Nyx? (further comments on this when I post the html versions of my articles from issue 1)
I think a full adventure path could be built with this character, involving relations between Thyatis and Traladara and much more!
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:49 pm

Thanks for posting this Sturm, the Yuri Molotov article is one I'm particularly proud of! The illustration was indeed done by my daughter. It seems so long ago now... I think it was one of her first attempts at subject matter and background together.

This idea actually started back on the MMB (if I recall correctly), when someone (again I think it was Havard) started a thread about Mystaran Death Knights. I had already written a little piece about Yuri and stuck it into the history and lore of Hytiliaph, and so when I started thinking about Mystaran Death Knights, his name jumped to the top of the list.

I would actually love to expand this article into something more. We could definitely squeeze a couple of adventures from it - perhaps even enough to create a full blown campaign, with Yuri at the center. If anyone is interested perhaps we could start throwing out some ideas here in this thread.
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Sturm » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:37 am

I have not decided yet how to use him..
If he is a pawn of Argos and evil immortals, he could be a classic villain, but if he allies with the Church of Nyx, he could be a villain with rightful motivations :) Either way I suppose using him in a campaign would shake Karameikos quite a bit...
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:03 pm

My initial take on a Death Knight was that it would be impossible for it (because of it's nature) to have any kind of good will towards anyone or anything... even those things that it once loved in life. Yuri was certainly a Traladaran patriot in life, but I don't think he feels anything but hatred in his undeath. That's not to say that he wouldn't prey on the patriotism of others in order to get what he wants, but I don't think he feels it himself anymore.

One question I never put much thought into is which immortal "sponsored" him along the path of Death Knight? Thanatos is a possibility, but he seems overused. Orcus might work, and he has some ties to Traladara and Karameikos already. Nyx could also work, though that Yuri would be a very different one than what I originally envisioned (and in that case I think you could keep more of his "in life" motivations intact). With the cold aspect that I tried to weave into Yuri's story and powers, I'm actually thinking that Stodos might be a good patron. I need to think about that some more, but I like the direction that would take him in.

Another random idea I had was that it would be cool to have Yuri working with some "dark" Tinkers/Travelers - Traladaran gypsies that have forsaken their own path and in turn taken up with darker powers. They might have just enough magic at their disposal to keep Yuri at bay (and convince him that they are indeed worthy of an alliance). I'm not sure yet exactly what their motivations would be, but they would have to overlap with Yuri's to some degree. Of course ultimately Yuri would plan on betraying them... but in the meantime thy would have their uses.

Another aspect I'd like to explore is the rivalry between Bruhminghet and Hytiliaph. In life the white dragon was no match for the gold, but perhaps in death she is a bit more dangerous. I don't like having dragons around just as "brute force" - I like them to have goals and motivations all their own... so I think that Bruhminghet should have her own schemes in motion as well.
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Sturm » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:30 am

The best thing IMO would be to have him involved at the same time with Argos and the Dark Triad and the church of Nyx, both trying to trick him or persuade him to assist them. Neither would be really interested in his original traladaran cause, as both groups do not care about the thyatian/traladaran question.
Anyway interesting ideas, gypsies could well take a part in this :)
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:27 pm

Random thoughts:

My first inclination is to start Yuri off in the Altan Tepes Mountains just above Castellan Keep. I can see him taking over a small frost giant village as his "starter" base, and then launching attacks against Castellan Keep as well as raiding caravans along the Duke's Road. Under his command would be the following:

Bruhminghet - An undead white dragon, formerly Yuri's mount in life. When Yuri was made into a Death Knight, Bruhminghet was also infused with dark energies. I like the idea of having her be something more than merely a skeletal dragon... though perhaps not as powerful as a dracolich.

Yuri's Lieutenants - In life these warriors served in the Order of the White Drake, before it betrayed the Thaytian Empire and was disbanded. Each of them swore an oath to serve Yuri to the end, and since he was raised from the grave, so were they. These undead still have some will of their own (and thus might be sent out by Yuri as overseers of his plots and schemes), and each ride an undead white wyvern. Not sure what type of undead these lieutenants would be, but we could have a variety of corporeal undead represented here.

Undead Frost Giants - Giants from the village who were slain by Yuri and then brought back to unlife to serve him. For the most part these are mindless undead... but perhaps one of them still retains a portion of their former will... and a deep seated hatred of Yuri for destroying their family and village.

Undead Soldiers - As a Death Knight, Yuri has the power to draw nearby undead to his banner and control them. These skeletons and zombies are mindless warriors and a direct extension of Yuri's will. Yuri's soldiers could be drawn across the span of centuries as well as from any racial type found in Karameikos (human, elf, dwarf, humanoid, etc).


(Possible) Allies - In addition to the forces that Yuri controls directly, he can also call upon his allies for support (though it is probable that at some point he also plans to betray them):

Traladaran Rebels - Yuri may have convinced any number of "Traladaran freedom fighter groups" that he intends to free Traladara of Thyatian rule. This is of course a lie. Once the Thyatians are dead, Yuri will turn on his own people as well.

Humanoid Tribes - Yuri may have contact with several humanoid tribes (perhaps even having a hand in the establishment of the Caves of Chaos). In manipulating these tribes he may come into conflict with Bargle and his master, the Black Eagle Baron. It is doubtful that Yuri and the Black Eagle would ever find any common ground, much less trust one another.

Witches of Dymrak - Although the witches are obviously playing at their own game, they may assist Yuri in destabilizing the area.

Argos the Worrier - Argos and his goblinoid hordes may also assist Yuri... as long as their own goals are met at the same time. When Yuri makes his final march to claim Rugalov Keep, it is very possible that Argos and his goblins either march with him, or use the confusion to attack Kelvin or the Vyalia elves.

Other Giant Tribes - Though traditionally, Yuri has been an enemy of the giants (in life he hunted and destroyed them), there may be some tribes willing to ally with him now in order to secure their homelands in the Altan Tepes Mountains, and drive out all of the human invaders that have been encroaching on their territory.

Darkers - Though their power base tends to be nearer to the Cruth Mountains in the west, the Darkers may use Yuri's campaign as a distraction. While he rampages in the east, they may initiate their plan to take over western Karameikos. Should that happen (and Karameikos is ruled by a Death Knight in the east, and Darkers and other creatures spawned by Nyx in the west), we may be looking at a New Taymora rising in the middle of the Known World.

Next I may post some thoughts on how Yuri might conduct his campaign of terror, and what his ultimate goals could be.
Last edited by Chimpman on Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Sturm » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:49 pm

Oh plans and strategies :) I think players of the PbP might hear something about him :)
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:39 pm

Synopsis
The Death Knight Yuri Molotov has acquired an ancient artifact that can issue forth an endless winter wind. Winters run long in northern Karameikos while Yuri builds up his initial forces and prepares to plunge the Known World into a new ice age. His ultimate goal is to capture Rugalov Keep and access the portal to the Plain of Air that the Aerodrome was once built over. With the portal opened, Yuri can spread the power of the Winter Horn throughout all of Karameikos and into neighboring nations.

Act I – Prelude to War
During the first phase of Yuri’s plan, he will build up his own forces and establish alliances around Karameikos, while at the same time sow dissent among his enemies. Yuri and his lieutenants are all former members of the Order of the White Drake, a flying order of knights that rode white drakes and wyverns into battle. They are fast, mobile, and as undead are tireless, and Yuri will use all of those abilities to his advantage.

Yuri’s main goals during this phase include:

1) Rebuilding the Order of the White Drake (now known as the Order of the White Death). Although several of Yuri’s lieutenants have already returned from death to serve him, the order is still not at full strength. Many of his old compatriots still lie buried in unmarked graves throughout Karameikos and Thyatis. Once Yuri has found the bodies he can reanimate them with a dark purpose.

  • Six Knights of the White Death currently serve Yuri. Two stay with Yuri at all times, while the other four travel in pairs doing his bidding.
  • Two knights are buried in unmarked graves in fields near the city of Luln, where they were caught by the populace (their own people) and hung for fear of reprisals from Thyatis.
  • One lies in The Moor, east of Kelvin, where he fell from the skies while doing battle with Demetrion and Hytiliaph and other Knights of the Air.
  • One lies at the bottom of Vorloi Bay, after his throat was slit by family members who feared authorities would stumble onto their business while searching for him.
  • Two lie in unmarked cairns in the mountains north of Threshold, where brigands betrayed and slaughtered them.
  • Three share a shallow grave outside Thyatis City, where they were tried and executed as traitors to the crown. One of them, Sergei Volaga, was tried as Yuri Molotov (since Yuri’s body was never recovered by the Thyatians after the Spike Assault).

2) Gaining allies. Although Yuri has a formidable force of undead followers, they are far too few to mount the kind of assault against Karameikos that Yuri has planned. The humanoid tribes populating the Altan Tepes and Cruth Mountains will play a pivotal role in Yuri’s conquest, but in order for him to secure success, he must also forge alliances with the inhabitants of Dymrak Forest.

  • Leghorn Orcs – Yuri knows these orcs often raid the Duke’s Road, and plans to use them to shut down the mountain pass through northern Karameikos once the real fighting starts. He has promised the support of his order in helping the Leghorns dominate nearby tribes.
  • Brokenshields – the kobolds and their harpy allies would well supplement Yuri’s own airborne forces. He has impressed them with the raw power of the undead drakes and wyverns under his command.
  • Ilyana Penhaligon – Yuri and his agents have been feeding the Mad Queen with dreams of conquering her neighbors to the west (Threshold, High Forge and Kelvin).
  • Vlackkag – Yuri has been enticing this tribe (especially the winter wolf riders) with the prospect of an endless winter brought about by his artifact. The hobgoblins believe that such circumstances would give them an advantage over their enemies.
  • Gray Rats, Horned Heads, and The Chaos Horde – These tribes inhabit the Caves of Chaos, and Yuri has promised to help them overrun the nearby Castellan Keep. The evil high priest of Orcus who leads them is willing to take Yuri up on his offer, but plans to betray him and rule northern Karameikos on his own.
  • Vileraiders – These hobgoblins also have ties to the Iron Ring, and Yuri has promised to feed them a steady supply of slaves from Luln and the Shires should his plans succeed.
  • Greyslayers – Yuri knows that this tribe sometimes works for the Black Eagle Baron, and plans to use them to frame the despot of Fort Doom and to instigate an all-out war with the Shires. In return Yuri has promised to help the Greyslayers exact revenge on their many enemies (mostly other humanoid tribes).
  • Blackstone – These orcs have long dreamed of conquering the Hin of the Shires and reclaiming the glory of their ancestors who once ruled those lands. Yuri plays on those desires and has sent several bands of undead to reinforce their numbers.
  • Witches of Dymrak (Gnhasska, Kloss-Lunk, and Dread Horde tribes) – The Witches are wary of Yuri and his real motivations, but may decide to ally with him to further their own goals.
  • Argos (Green Raiders, and River Wolves tribes) – Like the Witches, Argos is wary of the Death Knight, but sees the power that Yuri is amassing and would rather be on the winning side of the battle.

3) Destabalizing the Churches of Traladara and Karameikos. Yuri and his undead will fare better with the both the Church of Traladara and the Church of Karameikos in shambles. Through various agents, Yuri is promoting the belief that Stephan Karameikos is Halav reborn, with the intent of sowing discord among the general populace as well as church hierarchies.
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby RobJN » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:01 pm

This sort of thing could prove useful in, say, an adventure with a title like "War of the White Lady." Said White Lady being known as the "Winter Queen" or the "Ice Queen" in some stories due to her affinity to all things cold and wintery.
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:39 am

RobJN wrote:This sort of thing could prove useful in, say, an adventure with a title like "War of the White Lady." Said White Lady being known as the "Winter Queen" or the "Ice Queen" in some stories due to her affinity to all things cold and wintery.

Oh, I like that idea a lot. I was struggling with the "generic cold inducing artifact" but making it into a person holds some appeal. Consider the idea stol... appropriated. :twisted:
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:49 am

Act II – Feint Part 1
Yuri is an expert tactician, and knows that battles can be won through guile as often as through brute force. He plans to destabilize Karameikos by instigating two major conflicts in remote regions of the country.

Yuri’s main goals during this phase include:

1) Internal strife and misdirection. Yuri wants to weaken the military forces of Karameikos, and at the same time hinder their ability to engage his own forces. He plans to instigate two major conflicts on opposite sides of the country, one in western Karameikos and the other in the northeast. Yuri doesn’t care about the outcome of these conflicts… only that they draw the Duke’s forces away from his real targets. Above all, he will try to suppress all conflict in eastern Karameikos, urging his allies to hold their forces in check until the timing is right to strike.

  • Framing the Black Eagle – Yuri’s first task is to frame the Black Eagle for attacking the Shires. He hopes that the Shires will retaliate, and that Duke Stephan and his forces will be pulled into the fray, at the very least to diffuse the situation.

    • Blackstone orcs slowly build up forces inside the Blight Swamp, and are joined by a band of Yuri’s undead soldiers (all wearing the armor and brandishing the colors of the Black Eagle Barony). They await a signal from Yuri before launching their attack, making sure that none who enter the swamp are allowed to leave with tales of what they have seen.
    • A large warband of Greyslayers issues forth from the Cruth Mountains near Myskmyr Falls and sets upon the village of Aergruth. The orcs are bolstered by undead frost giants and several of Yuri’s lieutenants riding undead wyverns. Their mission is to raid and pillage until they are confronted by Hin troops (presumably from Rollstone Keep). If Aergruth falls, they will move on to Wereskalot, and then Mallofern, but Yuri expects the host will be engaged before then.
    • Once troops from Rollstone Keep leave to engage the Greyslayers, the Blackstone orcs and undead legions will emerge from Blight Swamp and raze the undefended keep. Once the keep has been destroyed they will march north toward Mallowfern along the Wardle River, burning croplands and razing bridges as they go (in an attempt to slow reinforcements from the rest of the Shires). Should Yuri’s plan succeed, they will meet up with the Greyslayers, surrounding the Hin forces and destroying them.
    • Both orc tribes are charged with planting evidence against the Black Eagle during their rampage. They all carry banners of the Black Eagle, and the Blight Swamp force may also have newly slain undead Barony soldiers under its command. Such undead would be left for the Hin to find, making it look like human troops also participated in the raid. Once their objectives have been reached, both forces are ordered to return to their home territories.

[There are several flaws with Yuri’s plans. Foremost, the Greyslayers don’t get along with most other humanoid tribes. Should the plan succeed and the Hin forces from Rollstone Keep are destroyed, the Greyslayers are just as likely to attack their erstwhile allies as they are to return to the Cruth Mountains. Likewise, once the Blackstone orcs have occupied Hin territory, they may be very loath to give it up. Rather than returning home, they may decide to fortify their position in the Shires.

The largest unknown however, is the Black Eagle Baron himself. Yuri isn’t sure what the Baron will do once he realizes that he will be blamed for the attack. The Black Eagle could do anything from rushing to the Hin’s aide, to fully committing his own forces to enjoin the attack.]
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:10 pm

Act II – Feint Part 2
Yuri is an expert tactician, and knows that battles can be won through guile as often as through brute force. He plans to destabilize Karameikos by instigating two major conflicts in remote regions of the country.

1) Internal strife and misdirection. (Continued)
  • Conquering Castellan Keep – Once the conflict in the west is at a head, Yuri will pull all of his lieutenants back, and focus their efforts on taking Castellan Keep. At this point, Yuri’s involvement in these dealings is probably known to all, and Yuri wants them to think that his real goal is the conquest of Castellan.

    • Leghorn orcs along with Brokenshield kobolds and harpies shut down all travel along the mountain passes north of the Duke’s Road Keep. Yuri doesn’t want any word of his attacks reaching Darokin, Alfheim, or Ylaruam.
    • The Chaos Horde, bolstered by Gray Rats and Horned Head tribes, sieges Castellan Keep. They make sure that some of the messengers sent from Castellan are able to reach the Duke’s Road Keep and Penhaligon with pleas for help. Lady Penhaligon has no intention of sending help, but will pass the word further south to the city of Kelvin, that the northern keeps are under attack.
    • Should any force from the Duke’s Road Keep leave to lift the siege of Castellan, Vlakkag hobgoblins will ambush them on the treacherous mountain trails leading to the northern keep. At the same time, Yuri will bring the full brunt of his forces against Castellan, overwhelming them with airborne attacks and undead frost giant artillery. His goal is to smash the defenses of the keep and take it as quickly as possible.
    • Lady Penhaligon will call for aid from Baron Kelvin. She claims that her forces have been depleted due to repeated hobgoblin attacks over the past several years, and that she will not be able to defend the north with her forces alone. It is probable that the Duke's forces are still pinned down in the west, so the Baron will have little choice but to send aid. In truth, the brunt of her forces, along with Faceslasher gnolls, have been gathering in The Moor.
    • Kelvin and Penhaligon forces will march north along the Duke’s Road in an attempt to liberate the Duke’s Road Keep, and to reopen the passage to the northern lands. Once in sight of the keep, Vlakkag hobgoblins will surround the humans. As soon as the attack begins, Penhaligon forces will turn on their “allies”.
    • Forces from The Moor will march upon Kelvin. Rifllian and High Forge may both attempt to send reinforcements to the city; however the Hillfollow River will make this difficult to do. Despite having its guardians depleted, it is very likely that Kelvin can still defend its walls from Penhaligon’s forces, however without reinforcements it is unlikely that they will be able to drive the attackers off.

[Yuri has several problems with his plans to conquer northern Karameikos, mostly centered on keeping his allies in check. The Evil High Priest of Orcus, will undoubtedly betray Yuri at the first opportunity he has, probably just after his forces are in control of Castellan Keep. He sees no need to share the spoils of his labors with an acolyte of Stodos. Likewise Lady Penhaligon will also turn on Yuri once she has achieved her own goal of conquering Kelvin (as unlikely as that might be).

Luckily for Yuri, neither of those betrayals will set his plans back, since neither Castellan, nor Kelvin are his real targets. In fact, once the northern keeps have been vanquished, and the Barony of Kelvin is in disarray, Yuri will pull his forces back leaving his former allies to fend for themselves.

The Callarii elves are also a definite wild card in his schemes. Should they come to the aid of Kelvin, they may succeed in diminishing Yuri’s triumphs. He wants the north to remain unstable for a long time – pulling as much of the Duke’s forces into the conflict (here, as well as in the west) as possible.

Goblinoid tribes of Radlebb (none of which Yuri has any formal agreements with) may also take this opportunity to attack Rifllian (especially if that town sends aid to Kelvin), although this will help Yuri rather than hinder him. Giant and humanoid tribes may also take advantage of the situation in the north. Some may wish to extend the attack into Darokin, sacking the village of Reedle. This will bring unwanted attention to Yuri’s plans, and may bring Darokin, Alfheim, or Ylaruam into the mix.]

2) Sealing Karameikos off from its allies. Yuri doesn’t want anyone coming to Karameikos’ rescue until it is much too late. To that end he will try to close off the Duke’s Road (leading through the Altan Tepes passes), and turn the Hin against Karameikos.

  • Seal the Duke’s Road pass – Once the two northern keeps are secured, Yuri will have his undead giants physically block the mountain pass. They will attempt to bring down portions of the mountain to create rockslides that block the trail. In addition to that, the extended fierce winter will be a natural barrier to travel through the mountains.
  • Prevent Hin support – In addition to turning the Hin against Karameikos (or at least turning them against the Black Eagle Barony), Yuri’s forces also destroyed all bridges across the Wardle river, making reinforcements from the west difficult at best.
  • Support from the sea – It is possible that Karameikos may receive support from the sea, either from sympathetic Hin (if there are any left), or from trading partners like Ierendi and Minrothad, or even from Thyatis. This is an eventuality that Yuri cannot prevent… but he hopes that calls for help will come once it is much too late to prevent his schemes. Regardless, any such support from the sea will likely be targeted at Specularum, Karameikos’ largest port city. As long as Yuri can keep his true goals secret, such support should be headed for either the western or northern fronts, which won’t bother Yuri in the slightest.
  • Not alerting Thyatis – Perhaps the most important of Yuri’s goals, if he can’t keep Thyatis out of the fray, it is very likely that his plan will not succeed. Any support from the eastern empire would undoubtedly be marched down the Eastron road, and pass through Rugalov Keep. To that end, Yuri has urged his southern allies to keep the Eastron Road clear of danger, and to keep eastern Karameikos free of any conflicts.

[The largest danger to Yuri and his plans comes from Thyatis. Should the empire hear about the resurgence of the Order of the White Drake, at the very least they will send Knights of the Air to investigate. Yuri is on a definite timetable once he openly reveals his forces. He must conquer Rugalov Keep quickly, before Thyatis intervenes.]
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:55 am

Act III – Eternal Winter Winds
While his previous engagements have been violent and spectacular, Yuri’s intends to take Rugalov Keep without throwing a single stone at its walls. As the rest of Karameikos burns, Yuri will quietly build up his real power base, preparing for the real death and destruction that is yet to come.
Yuri’s main goals during this phase include:

1) Capturing Rugalov Keep. Yuri remembers all of the secret ways that his order used to enter the Aerodrome, many of which still apply to Rugalov Keep. Yuri believes that with stealth and surprise on his side, he and his undead knights (his lieutenants – all members of his Order of the White Death) can take the keep quietly from within.
  • River Wolves and Dread Horde tribes will quietly patrol the area around Rugalov, feeding Yuri intelligence about the keep’s guardians, as well as any nearby travelers with the keep as a destination. Yuri will wait for the opportune moment (when he knows his attack won’t be noticed or interrupted by unwanted passersby.
  • Yuri and his knights will take extra precaution to make sure that they are not seen riding their mounts anywhere near Rugalov Keep. They will enter the keep on foot, sneaking into the heart of Rugalov through secret ways. They kill many of the defenders in their sleep and take the rest by surprise. Once the keep is secured, Yuri will reanimate its defenders as undead under his control.
  • The Witches of Dymrak will use their powers to hide Yuri and his undead both before and after the attack. Ancient rituals will prevent both divine and arcane attempts to elicit information about the keep or its guardians, and illusions and glamours cast upon the undead will make them appear to be the keep’s original defenders.

2) Rebuilding the Aerodrome. The real power of Rugalov cannot be harnessed until the Aerodrome is rebuilt, and the next phase of Yuri’s plan relies heavily upon this accomplishment. This is the most vulnerable stage of his scheme. Should his plans be discovered before the construction is complete, Yuri may be forced to withdraw and start over.
  • Yuri’s undead will work tirelessly to reconstruct the Aerodrome, however they are lacking in both numbers and resources. If hard pressed, they could complete their task by cannibalizing the rest of the Keep, but that would also weaken Yuri’s defenses. He would prefer to quietly acquire the resources and labor that he needs over a longer period of time.
  • Inhabitants from Rugalov Village across the Rugalov River will slowly be recruited into press gangs that are either sent to gather resources from the nearby wilderness, or used as laborers inside the keep. Villagers that enter the keep are never seen again, as Yuri works them to death before reanimating them as skeletons and zombies.
  • The River Wolves use their war machine to transport goods and resources down the Rugalov River to the Keep. Goblin workers from the River Wolves and Green Raiders have also begun to fortify nearby terrain, and excavate the lower levels of the keep. In return for their help, Yuri has promised Argos the bulk of any treasure found in his new domain.
  • Secretly Yuri is negotiating with all of the Dymrak tribes disenfranchised by the Witches and Argos. He knows that eventually both of his allies will turn on him and intends to replace their goblin servants with his own – loyal only to him and worshiping his patrol immortal, Stodos.

3) Installing “Winter’s Heart.” Once construction of the Aerodrome has been completed, its full powers can be utilized, and Winter’s Heart can be installed at its peak. Once this is done, Yuri’s drake and wyvern riders will be free to raid the countryside, and the cold chill of winter will begin to spread across the land.
  • Decades ago, knights of the Order of the White Drake use the Aerodrome to reach distant destinations in the blink of an eye. An air elemental is summoned and used to create a tunnel of air that flying mounts can pass through. The tunnel magically increases the speed of the mount allowing it to reach faraway lands in mere seconds. [This power is very similar to that used by some Shadow Elves who can summon earth elementals to help them traverse through the crust of Mystara.] Once the Aerodrome has been completed, this power can be accessed once again.
  • With Winter’s Heart installed in the Aerodrome, not only will Yuri be able to send his knights on far reaching raids, but he will also be able to send ice and snow attacks across great distances. Yuri will use this ability to target his enemy's crops, with the long term goal of starving them to death (or at least weakening their resolve to march against him).
  • The territory surrounding Winter’s Heart will freeze over, as if eternally in the dead of winter. With each passing season, this territory will continue to grow, until the entire Know World falls under its freezing embrace.
  • Upon activation of Winter’s Heart, large portions of the Dymrak forest will be covered in sleet and snow, and the shorelines near Rugalov will be choked with ice.
  • Stodos will send icy fiends to bolster Yuri’s defenses once Winter’s Heart is activated.
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Sturm » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:55 am

Good plan!
A full adventure arc is now ready :)
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby RobJN » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:01 pm

This plan sounds remarkably similar to that of Zadamar, the self-styled Winter King from the first arc of Thorn's Chronicle. And yes, Stodos was involved there, too. Please feel free to use the icy beasties if you want :twisted:
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:24 am

Thanks guys! I'm going to post a Conclusion section then maybe think about going back and fleshing out some actual adventures.

@Rob I remember that story arc! I'll have to go back and check out the beasties again ;)

One thing that I keep thinking about is how much travel actually takes place on the Eastron Road? It is the only major (land based) thoroughfare directly from Karameikos to Thyatis, so I suspect that a fair number of merchants (going in both directions) would traverse it. That far south (and that close to the coastline) I don't imagine that a normal winter would hinder travel too much. One might have to put up with more storms than normal, and perhaps a bit more mud than in the summer, but I doubt that the route would ever truly shut down at any given time of the year. Thoughts?

Depending on how many travelers Rugalov sees through its gates, Yuri's "disguise" could become very important once he gains control of the keep. I suppose a few such travelers could go missing, but if everyone starts disappearing, then somebody is going to investigate.
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby RobJN » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:40 am

Chimpman wrote:Thanks guys! I'm going to post a Conclusion section then maybe think about going back and fleshing out some actual adventures.

@Rob I remember that story arc! I'll have to go back and check out the beasties again ;)

One thing that I keep thinking about is how much travel actually takes place on the Eastron Road? It is the only major (land based) thoroughfare directly from Karameikos to Thyatis, so I suspect that a fair number of merchants (going in both directions) would traverse it. That far south (and that close to the coastline) I don't imagine that a normal winter would hinder travel too much. One might have to put up with more storms than normal, and perhaps a bit more mud than in the summer, but I doubt that the route would ever truly shut down at any given time of the year. Thoughts?

Depending on how many travelers Rugalov sees through its gates, Yuri's "disguise" could become very important once he gains control of the keep. I suppose a few such travelers could go missing, but if everyone starts disappearing, then somebody is going to investigate.

I ran an adventure back in the day about a mercenary band that took over a keep, manning its walls during the day to make everything look normal.... Goblins lairing in the mines, the original keep's defenders reanimated to work the mines, a mad Queen intent on getting her hands on one of the Grand Duke's secret silver mints. Good times ;)
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Sturm » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:52 am

I suppose the Eastron road is heavily trafficked.
Also in my 3.2 mph map of Karameikos I place several towns on it, mostly taken from fanon info on the Vaults:
http://www.pandius.com/kara1020.html
It's for 1020, but all the towns should already be present in 1000 AC.
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:59 pm

Cool map Sturm! I agree that there would be plenty of small villages dotted along the road, and you may be right that the road is heavily trafficked. I guess the real question is how much of that traffic passes through Rugalov Keep? In my mind there are probably two uses for that road:

1) Deliver goods from Karameikos to the capital city of Specularum. In this case, I don't think a lot of traffic will pass through Rugalov, because the Keep is basically situated at the border between Karameikos and Thyatis and wouldn't do a lot of "internal regulating".

2) Deliver goods between Karameikos and Thaytis (in either direction). This is the traffic that will mostly pas through the Keep. This is also the traffic that Yuri would be most worried about, as he doesn't want any information about himself making its way to the Empire.

On a side note, there is a big gap of water between Rugalov village and Rugalov Keep. How do you think folks cross from one side of the Rugalov River to the other?
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Sturm » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:50 pm

There was a thread about river and keep here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13521&hilit=Rugalov
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Yuri Molotov

Postby Chimpman » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:50 pm

Thanks again Sturm, that is a very useful discussion! I'm going to be spending some time on a Threshold article for the next week or so, but once that's done I plan on coming back to this discussion and fleshing out some more ideas.
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