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Ask Baron Karzda:

Q: If this is the first time we're hearing about this, how can there be an FAQ already?
A: While the Five Kingdoms are far more advanced than the southern lands that you come from, they have suffered from constant inter-kingdom war. There has been an uneasy peace for the past four decades, but the last war left a disputed territory that no kingdom controls. That area has become a safe zone for monsters and criminals, and we need a neutral party to clean up the area and then administer it. Here is a map of the Five Kingdoms.

Q: Why doesn't one of the Kingdoms send in troops to take care of things there?
A: All five of the Kingdoms have a claim on the land, so if any Kingdom sent in troops, the others would consider it an act of war. The Kingdoms don't trust each other enough for a joint venture.

Q: Who used to own the Disputed Territory?
A: Each of the continental Kingdoms shares a border with the area and in the past their borders extended into what is now known as the Disputed Territory. Additionally, the island Kingdom of Nyngard had sent settlers there some 300 years ago, establishing the village of Gelfini, which is the largest human settlement in the territory. So all of the Five Kingdoms have controlled some or all of the territory in the past. There is no clear former owner.

Q: Won't one or all of the Kingdoms move to reclaim the territory once we clear the monsters out?
A: All of the Kingdoms possess sufficient power to clear the area. The issue is that none of the Kingdoms want to threaten the fragile peace that has existed for the past 40 years. Clearing out the monsters won't change that dynamic. The rulers of each of the Five Kingdoms have issued sworn statements vowing to accept the stewards of this land as independent rulers.

Q: Why not reach out to another established Kingdom for help, like Lord Phantar or Queen Morwyn?
A: It was considered but it's felt that bringing in another established ruler simply increases the risk of an outbreak of war. Now there is another political faction to deal with. Some parties also do not have faith in the ruling capabilities of those leaders, based on their relatively primitive kingdoms and the number of crises that have occurred in their lands over the years (which were usually resolved by you).

Q: Why us?
A: You have proven that you can handle the threats you will face in the Disputed Territory without the help of a large army. You've also proven yourselves capable of diplomacy by uniting various factions to help in the Oblivion War. And your actions have shown you to be a trustworthy group. With your power you could have taken whatever you've wanted by force, but instead you've devoted yourselves to solving the problems of your lands.

Q: Who lives in the Disputed Territory now?
A: It is largely unsettled frontier land. You will find some ruins of past attempts to establish settlements that were destroyed by war or monsters. The village of Gelfini is the largest human settlement. In general, the land is only occupied by a small number of farmers and fishermen, many of whom have loyalties to their various countries of origin and some who are not particularly loyal to any of the Five Kingdoms. You will also find some criminal groups, which we expect you to deal with.

Q: You mentioned that Gelfini was founded 300 years ago. That is almost as old as the entire kingdom of Chumera! How old are the Five Kingdoms?
A: By our reckoning it is the year 1068, but in fact our scholars know that our civilizations have been around longer than that.

Q: Will the Kingdoms interfere with our rule of the Territory?
A: Each Kingdom will provide an initial donation to fund the construction of a castle and then every year provide a small stipend to help with upkeep as well as the maintenance of a small armed force. You will not be allowed to amass an army larger than necessary for keeping the peace in your territory. You may tax your citizens and establish policies within your borders as you see fit. The river system on your northern border is an important trade route and you must not restrict access to any of the Kingdoms. You must not establish trade policies that favor one Kingdom over any of the others. You may not form alliances with any of the Kingdoms. Besides those basic restrictions, the Kingdoms will not want to interfere with your rule. The goals of keeping the land from going wild and maintaining the peace are greater than worrying about how you run your territory.

Q: We've noticed that there are few demi-humans in the Kingdoms, and those that we've seen seem unhappy.
A: There have indeed been problems with demi-humans in the past. Centuries ago, the Kingdoms went through a period of purging, destroying all monsters and fantastical creatures in the land in order to make things safer for humans, and the rulers became overzealous and extended that purging to elves, dwarves, and other creatures as well. This has been recognized as a mistake, and you will see non-humans among my own ruling party [two elves and a dwarf sitting at the table wave at you]. But the old wounds heal slowly. The fact that your group consists mostly of non-humans is not a coincidence; we see that as a way to make amends for past mistakes.

Q: What about this dragon?
A: The dragon is an ancient red dragon, most likely bigger than any dragons you've seen in the past. It came from the Disputed Territory but has taken up residence near my capital and is causing much havoc in my land. I will personally accompany you on this quest. Killing it is a final test of your abilities, and will also be great sport.

Q: I've heard that you used to rule a microscopic kingdom with an iron fist and even built yourself a centaur body.
A: I'm sure you're confusing me with someone else; possibly someone without a 'd' in their name.

Q: Do you have any magical weapons you can give us?
A: What!? No...

Q: Do you know a master bowman?
A: ...

Tags: Baron Karzda

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we're really not that particular. any magickal items will do.

We've had some dealings with dragons before. Has anyone spoken to this dragon? What did the dragon say? Does he have a name?

And any items or advice for this quest would be appreciated.

Why can no one use magic in this land?

No one here has the ability to speak to dragons. That would be an unnecessary talent. It's also very rare. But even if someone could speak to the dragon, I don't see what the point would be. This monster has been killing my citizens, destroying my towns, and stealing my treasure. What could it say that would excuse that behavior?

No items will be given to you. It is the expectation of the rulers of the Five Kingdoms that you have sufficient resources for this task. If you are not up to it, you are also not up to the task of clearing out the Disputed Territories. If that's the case, you can back out of this agreement with no ill feelings. I also could not give any items to you without jeopardizing the agreement between the Five Kingdoms. It would be seen as soliciting favoritism from you. However, I will accompany you on this quest, and this is not my first dragon hunt. I will be happy to share the fruits of my experience.

Magic is a dangerous and unpredictable force. It is legal to use magic in the Five Kingdoms, according to the rules established by the Mages Guild. The rules differ from kingdom to kingdom. Any civilized society will ensure that magic is well regulated. Even in primitive Chumera, the Mages Guild restricts the buying and selling of magic items and which kinds of magic can be taught.

If only criminals/farmers/fisherman/monsters whomever live in the Disputed area, how did they all survive the red dragon previous to his arrival in your kingdom? And has there been any indications as to why it would come to your kingdom as opposed to any of the others? What attempts have been made to be rid of it, basically why were you waiting for us to go on this quest,especially if you have hunted dragons before?

How much do the kingdoms know of our travels and what we've done in the past? Will we have to worry about proving ourselves or getting approval from the other kingdoms for our methods and results?

The small human population in the Disputed Territories have to deal with dangers on a daily basis, and they are not always successful. This is why they will welcome you with open arms if you are able to provide some security for them. However a small village and various rural settlements would not be of much interest to a large red dragon, especially if there are more attractive areas in the surrounding vicinity.

As to why it chose my Kingdom as opposed to one of the others, I could surmise that my land has mountain ranges that are located close enough to human settlements that it would be convenient for the dragon to plunder. However, red dragons are chaotic and unpredictable beasts, so I cannot say for sure why it chose mine other than another. From another point of view, each of the Kingdoms has had to deal with multiple spillovers from the Disputed Territory. It could have just been the luck of the draw that I got the dragon this time, as opposed to the harpy swarm that Nyngard had to deal with recently, or the horde of giants that attacked Orgoth not too long ago.

I of course have the resources to take care of the dragon, but without you to accompany me, I would have had to take soldiers instead, and many would have died. The agreement with the Five Kingdoms also required one final test to ensure that you don't wind up going into the Disputed Territories just to stir up a hornet's nest that spreads to the Kingdoms. It's agreed that the slaying of this dragon will suffice as this test; no further approvals will be required.

The Bards Guild in Chumera has publicized your exploits and we are well aware of your abilities. It's now a question of being able to see things firsthand.

We have our own rules and practices with regards to magick in the Southern Kingdoms. If we become stewards of this territory, we would expect to be able to allow magick as we see fit.

Will the Northern Kingdoms interfere?

Since each Kingdom has its own policies on magic use, this is already a contentious point between the Five Kingdoms. Those Kingdoms with less restrictive policies are seen as causing contention or harboring criminal elements as magic users from other Kingdoms migrate to their lands. The same Kingdoms do not appreciate the inflow of wild, often criminal, magic users, either, and wish the other kingdoms would enforce stricter emigration policies.

If you implement loose policies on magic use, you will have to deal with these sort of politics as well. And you should expect an influx of magic users from the other Kingdoms, and they will not all be desirable elements.

There will be no interference regarding your internal policies. However, if events within your borders spill out into the other Kingdoms, that will cause problems, whether it is a group of wizards summoning a demon that the goes off and terrorizes Nyngard, or a group of mages sending aid to an illegal sect in Armynth.

Finally, be aware of the restriction on amassing a large internal army. Obviously a large group of wizards would be considered in the calculation of your army size.

As an aside, I recommend not using the phrase "Northern Kingdoms" to refer to the Five Kingdoms. It identifies you as a barbarian from the southern lands. I mean no offense by this statement; just providing guidance when talking to others.

Baron karza, the five kingdoms being such a civilized and advanced culture, why not just establish a proxy govt with equal shares of soldiers and administrators to run the land. Seems like so much effort to bring us in to run the land. Lets say we do as you ask and succeed. You keep mentioning that we cannot have a large army. Who determines what is a sufficient army size? One might say that the motley crew is equal to any army out there if not greater. Will we than be tagged as a threat? No insult intended but it almost feels as if we are be set up for some end goals we are not privy to. And since there is so much persecution in these lands who would not want to flee to a new safe disputed territory. What if the population becomes so large thata well regulated militia is needed to establish peace and that is deemed too large?