Krys Runs: Hell's Vengeance
The death of the god Aroden was felt throughout Golarion, but it was Cheliax who perhaps felt the most pain from it. It was foretold that Cheliax would be Aroden’s divine kingdom when he manifested and its people strove for hundreds of years to build an empire worthy of the god. The king, divinely mandated, prepared to give up his crown when Aroden came to take his rightful place. But the day Aroden was to arrive, Golarion was beset by horrible storms that lasted for weeks and left a permanent hurricane in the south.
Aroden was dead and along with it, the king’s divine right to rule. Though many turned to Aroden’s divine herald Iomedae, she was not Aroden and Cheliax crumbled.
Cheliax was plunged into a thirty year civil war as every noble house warred against each other for the right to rule the empire. The empire was on the verge of destroying itself with no house willing to back down and conflicts arising in every city, valley and hill. It was not until House Thrune signed a pact with Hell that the war showed signs of stopping. With their diabolic support, Thrune took control of the Chelish heartland and defeated their only true rivals in one, climactic battle in 4639. House Thrune, and hell, was in control of Cheliax.
One might expect the country to become a hideous, sweeping wasteland of fire and torture, but the country recovered shockingly well. Say what you want about Hell, at least they know how to put things in order. The monarchy was restored in short order and the empire, save for a few territories, was brought back to a state of normalcy, albeit with the worship of Asmodeus becoming the official state religion. Still, MOST other god worship was not banned (save for chaotic deities) and for all of Cheliax’s repression and authoritarianism, it’s still preferable to and endless war that would have spiraled the empire into utter ruin.
It is now 4715. Even 76 years later Cheliax still feels the sting of the civil war. Though order has been strictly maintained, it has come at the cost of freedom. Any who speak out against House Thrune are brought to ruin. Entire noble families have been wiped out along with any record of their existence. Every three months, the Hellknight Order of the Rack makes visits to the schools, universities and libraries of Cheliax to confiscate old history books and replace them with the new, official versions, with brutal sanctions for anyone who will not adopt the new ‘correct’ history.
For all their brutality though, Thrune couldn’t kill EVERYONE that opposed them and soldiers who merely followed their noble houses were not put to the sword, as one might expect. Surprisingly, the veterans were given official pardons for fighting on the side of the old monarchy, with the slight caveat that they would be barred from the capital and the cosmopolitan south, forcing them into a state of semi-exile into the small towns and backwaters of Cheliax. Longacre is one of those places. Filled to the brim with old military veterans, Longacre is a town mired in regret and sorrow, still bearing the scars when House Fex ousted/wiped out the two noble families that refused to support House Thrune. It now sits quietly next to the Whisperwood, heavy with the weight of its past.
And then the Glorious Reclamation showed up.
Many of Iomedae’s followers were Chelaxian. Iomedae HERSELF is from Cheliax. It’s no surprise many of her followers mourn what is, to them, the tragic fall of Cheliax under the rule of Hell. An untold number of followers wish to see Cheliax change and a single spark was all it took… The Hellknight Order of the Godclaw found Heart’s Edge, a blade once wielded by Iomedae herself. They loudly declared that this was a symbol that Iomedae favored the order, despite their worship of Asmodeous.
Many of Iomedae’s followers… disagreed. The Order of the Godclaw’s base, Citadel Dinyar, was raided by a massive army of zealous Iomedaean crusaders. Heart’s Edge was reclaimed almost effortlessly and with it came the citadel, a convenient foot-hold in Chelaxian territory… Spurred by the crusader’s victory, the long-silenced voices of discontent in Cheliax rose up to spark the fires of rebellion in the towns and cities of Cheliax. House Thrune responded with enforcing martial law and a new wave of repressive laws designed to prevent rebellion from spreading in any of their territories. Longacre is no different and with its population consisting almost entirely of disenfrancized military veterans that dislike or outright oppose House Thrune… the Glorious Reclamation has an excellent chance to recruit a new wave of crusaders for its supposedly righteous cause.
Perhaps you care for none of this. Perhaps you do.
Are you a patriot who has not forgotten the lessons of history and refuses to see Cheliax spiral into yet another civil war?
Are you more of a pragmatist? After all, House Thrune will not just kill you for dissent, they will erase you. Only an idiot doesn’t fight for the winning side.
Are you the type that sees the coming chaos as an opportunity? The nobles that supported House Thrune during the civil war were granted all the power, land and wealth that were stripped from those that opposed them. This new rebellion is a chance for a skilled person to rise in the ranks and earn favor in a regime that has a habit of rewarding those loyal to it. And there’s going to be plenty of foolish rebels in the days to come….
Are you just someone who just enjoys smacking the shit out of insufferably smug, goodie-goodies?
If any of the above applies to you, congratulations! The days that follow are going to be just peachy for you. And if you’re wise, skilled and, above all, ruthless, your future will look bright indeed….