Intrigue and adventure in Káldôr

The player characters are royal agents of the Crown of Káldôr, a landlocked state in eastern Hârn.

They answer to Lady Eríla Káphin, the Keeper of the Privy Seal, who is commonly held to be the mistress of the ageing and sickly King Míginath.

Characters must be human, and can come from anywhere on the continent of Lythia, which covers an area roughly analogous to Earth’s Europe, Asia and Africa. It is most likely, however, that characters from Hârn, and in particular the kingdom of Kaldor, will fit best. All characters, from wherever they hail, must swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown of Káldôr as part of the pre-game. Characters from outside Hârn must spend one background point (out of five total) to be able to speak Hârnic.

As royal agents, the PCs will be troubleshooters. They should solve more problems than they cause. They have no special legal powers, but if acting openly will find their status opens doors and gives influence. Depending on the mission, they may choose whether to act overtly or covertly; some missions may require they act openly or undercover.

Agents should also know when to act forcefully, and when to be subtle. They should understand social heirarchies and protocol, and when and how they might circumvent it. While they have a good deal of latitude in how they perform their missions, they are answerable to Lady Eríla, and through her to the Chancellor of Káldôr and ultimately to the King.

Suitable agents

Agents can come from almost any walk of life. So long as they’re resourceful, loyal and effective, anyone from a knight to a peasant could be useful to the crown, though most agents are freemen with useful skill sets.

Warriors: Landless knights, men-at-arms, mercenaries, yeomen and common soldiers can provide useful muscle when required. Lady Eríla prefers to recruit warriors who demonstrate resourcefulness or have other skills to back up their swordplay, though.

Guildsmen: Guildsmen and guildswoman have a variety of useful skills and contacts. Some have had militia training as well. Former members of a thieves guild (the Lìa-Kaváir) may have extremely useful skills, though their former associates may take a dim view of their new role. Current members of the Lìa-Kaváir had better keep their new role secret if they want to keep their skin.

Religions: Worship of Agrik, Morgath and Naveh is punishable by death in Kaldor. People suspected of following these faiths will not be hired as agents, but investigated and prosecuted. See Religions.

Priests: Priests and priestesses, though they may have very useful skills, are almost never recruited as agents, as their loyalties would be divided. On some missions, a cleric may be assigned to aid agents if his or her church supports the mission.

Peasants: Foresters, hunters and trappers certainly have skills of interest to Lady Eríla. Farmers and herdsmen, not so much.

Arcanists: Arcanists, particularly members of the secret orders of the Shèk-Pvâr, definitely have useful skills, though some of them are rather too sedentary to make good field agents.

Prejudice (or lack of it)

While most people on Hârn are white, the Misty Isle attracts travellers from all over Lythia, come either to trade or to investigate its curiosities. Some settle. Cities are trade centres and are relatively cosmopolitan. Rural areas are less so, and people of different ethnic backgrounds may attract mild curiosity, but people have enough to worry about – hostile barbarians, murderous gargun and whether the harvest will be sufficient to feed their families – without adding prejudice into the mix.

Likewise, sexual prejudice is not prevalent. Women hold senior positions in government and in guild organisations. Some even train as knights – Lady Eríla herself did so.

Nor is there any particular issue about sexual orientation. Most of the nobility in Káldôr follow the goddess Larani, the Reluctant Warrior, but their interest in producing heirs is a matter of custom, not religion. The gentle goddess Peoni is a fertility deity; her church tends to regard sex as a means of procreation. The church of Halea, goddess of pleasure, is open to pretty much anything two (or more) consensual adults can get up to.

Further Reading

In addition to the background on this site, I recommend players download the free Venârivé Player Guide from Kélestia Productions Ltd.

Trademarks and copyrights.

“Hârn” and all compound terms & words containing the word “Hârn”, and all major placenames are trademarks of Keléstia Productions Ltd.

Statement of Derivation

This fanon publicaton is based upon the original copyright work of N. Robin Crossby & Keléstia Productions Ltd. No challenge to such intellectual rights as may pertain is intended or implied.

Statement of Compliance

This publication is in complaiance with the Keléstia Productions Fanon Licence as approved by Keléstia Productions Ltd.

Copyrighted images

Some maps and images used on these pages are © Keléstia Productions Ltd. They are used with permission.

Agents of the Crown

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