XDMC #13 : Constitute a Royal Court
Amaonne, the Jungle Queen of Baequilar
The nation of Baequilar resides in a remote jungle. Large trees tended by the dryads provide homes for the elves and eladrin. The elves have lived in relative peace for untold ages. They continue to worship the Spider Queen despite her evil reputation to the outside world. While most spiders are carnivores, the Baequilar citizens revere the kiplingi, a spider that primarily feeds on plants.
The kiplingi feeds on the Acacia trees which have a symbiotic relationship with a species of ants for defense. The powerful legs of the spider allows it to leaps around the tree eating quickly and escaping before the ants can attack. The unique species is the only spider known to have such a predominantly vegetarian diet. The people of Baequilar also hold to a mostly herbivore diet saving meats for special occasions and feasts.
The Spider Queen continues to bless the most powerful nobles of the nation with the metamorphosis to an elsaider. The elsaider is similar to the drider. The spider body is leaner with strong legs enabling them to jump many times their size. They do not produce a web or poison. There is no overt test to under go the transformation but legend says all eladrin are tested during their life. Those who show an uncommon wisdom are rewarded with the change.
Historians and religious scholars would undoubtedly recognize elements of many of the rituals and customs of the people. It is almost as if the civilization was frozen in time. The roots of the elven, eladrin, and drow ceremonies are clearly noticeable.
No outsider had visited the nation in thousand of years until the arrival of an unusual elf. The dark skinned skin elf was discovered in the jungle delirious with fever. Her clothes were torn and dirty. The spider clasp of cloak was seen as a sign of the Spider Queen by the village priests. King Galruil himself came to see the wonder as the priests tended to her wounds and illness but it was his daughter Amaonne who took the most interest in the woman.
Firstborn of King Galruil, Amaonne was destined to assume the throne. She became friends with the drow, Theraphosi. Theraphosi had been part of an expedition to retrace the steps of her people. The drow had discovered records indicating a long journey deep underground before climbing to the surface. Amaonne was enthralled with the tales of her long lost sister civilization.
Theraphosi was with Amaonne when the transformation to an elsaider occurred. While not the youngest to have ever receive the alteration Amaonne was still rather young. The people were thrilled.
The lost of her father shortly thereafter came as quite a shock to the kingdom. There were whispers that the transformation was to give Amaonne the strength to lead her people. On the day of her ascension to the throne, a dark omen clouded the celebration. A unicorn gave birth to a dusk unicorn.
Since then a series of disasters has caused much discord among the people. Parasites infected several trees spreading the disease among the dryads. The archmage Nalkenea fell into a catatonic state. Theraphosi had risen with the ranks of the arcane order and reluctantly took his place at Amaonne's request. The river Sumari clogged upstream until cleared by the people of Baequilar. Reports of newcomers at the jungle's edge has concerned the people. The newcomers do not look like elves. Some are reported to look like lizards while others have horns.
Amaonne believes her best chance to avert disaster is to support her friend Theraphosi. The drow wizard has been working to construct a teleportation circle. With such a construct they might request the aid of the drow.
Amaonne Gysraheal, female good elsaider. Str 15, Con 13, Dex 17, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 19. Skills: Diplomacy, Nature, Religion. She wears a crown made of roses and some light garments usually white. She resembles a beautiful young eladrin girl with the lower half of a pale spider. Her golden hair is typically braided down her back. Amaonne is unsure of herself. Her father's death has thrust her into a role she feels unprepared for. At Theraphosi's suggestion she avoids talking to individual citizens favoring speeches to large gathering. Unfortunately this detachment has decreased the people's support of the queen.
Bagheera Rulryad, male good elsaider. Str 18, Con 15, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 12. Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Endurance, Intimidate. Bagheera caries a sword, wooden shield and thick hides. His strength is apparent from the physique. His spider lower body is larger than most and covered in short brown fur. Bagheera is the master of arms. Baequilar has not had much need for a defensive force in the past but he has been training an increasing number of men. He believes in Amaonne and will follow her to the best of his ability.
Theraphosi, female evil drow. Str 10, Con 10, Dex 12, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 12. Skills: Arcana, Bluff, Insight, Streetwise. Theraphosi stands out from the rest of the Baequilar people. Not simply for her dark skin but the unusual. She wears a dark blue cloak with red runes along the border which she prefers to keep wrapped around her. Underneath she has a dark dress with a wand stuck in her belt. Theraphosi has been lieing since she first awoke in Baequilar. While she was part of an expedition based on old records, she came in search of new lands to conquer. She has been sowing discord within the mage guild and other people in the village.
Lingkal Teasym, female good elsaider. Str 12, Con 13, Dex 17, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 10. Skills: Heal, History, Nature, Religion. Lingkal carries a morning star styled to look like a spider. Normally she wears simple fur vestments but has a barkskin armor to done if she expects trouble. Her hair has turned silver due to age. Her spider body is a light brown with a black strip along the side. Lingkal is the high priest to the Spider Queen. Lingkal is concerned about the comments she hears from the people. Up until now she has been heeding Theraphosi suggestion of not discussing the matter with the queen. She believes Theraphosi is trying to help but waiting for Amaonne to find her strength may not be possible.
Theraphosi needs more time to complete the teleportation circle but Amaonne has been thinking to send an envoy to the newcomers. Fearing that the people of Baequilar will learn the true nature of the drow, she suggests Lingkal and Bagheera lead the envoy. She expects that spider forms of the two elsaider to startle the people to attack.
The adventurers are collecting a rare ritual component for a wizard or their own needs when they are surrounded by a group of elves. Should they surrender they are brought before Queen Amaonne.
The adventurers hear crying within the woods. They soon discover the source to be the Queen Amaonne. Theraphosi completed the teleportation circle and lead drow warriors into Baequilar. She only barely managed to escape. She needs help to free her people.
1. Contrasting Popularity: Either the monarch is popular with the peasantry and the retinue is not, or vice versa.
2. Dissension: A member of the court causes internal turmoil.
11. Xenarchy: No member of the court shares the same race with the three most common races in the kingdom it governs.