I was going through some of my old files and happened upon this piece of fiction I wrote for the County of Urnst. To give you a little background, the regional plot from early in the year, started with the death of the previous Countess (Contessa Elone) and all of her family. What followed was a storyline where we presented a list of four candidates to the PCs over span of 3-4 months, and had them chose the replacement for the Countess (basically influence the nobles in their choice).
The four choices were:
Duke Gellor a duke from the Bandit Kingdoms. He never actually appeared, but his followers promoted him as a possible choice. He came in last.
Archbaron Ragnar Gellor the old salt. Ruled one of the County's most powerful archbarony, and definitely someone who was used to power. Of all the candidates, he had the more secure-seeming family line, with three children of adventuring age (IIRC: Two warrior sons and a daughter who was a priestess of Pelor). He came in third.
Lord Darius Dane The career politician who had managed to save the County during some tough times. Lord Dane was a well-liked character with a clear and practical view of the County and its future. He was the only serious challenger to the eventual winner. (More details about the winner after the story).
URC06-M03: The Council of Peers
To the assembled crowd of nobles, dignitaries, soldiers and notables, the Lord Regent stands. The crowd speculates who it will be.
Two priests of Heironeous wearing heavy armor enter the room, bringing with them the Count's sword, representing his power to declare war. Then come two priests of St Cuthbert carrying the Count's scepter, representing his power to render justice. Then come two priests of Pholtus carrying a glowing orb of rulership, symbol of the Count's role in protecting the people from darkness. Two priests of Pelor form the last of the procession as they carry the Count's mantle and crown, symbol of his burden to the people of Urnst. The 8 priests gather around the Lord Regent.
"The Council of Peers has come to a decision." Silence falls upon the room as everyone awaits Lord Duncombe's next words with anticipation...
"The Council of Peers, composed of the entire population of the County of Urnst has selected..." Lord Duncombe pauses for impact.
"My beloved daughter, Lady Rachel Duncombe" The young woman stands there shell-shocked for a moment looking around as if she'd suddenly woken up from a very vivid dream. She walks to her father as if stunned.
The Regent speaks first, using the first used at the coronation of every Count since the County was formed. "Rachel Duncombe, do you accept the charge of Countess? Do you accept to lead the people with wisdom, compassion and with their better interests at heart?"
Silence fills the hall as Rachel looks around the room, as if searching for a way out. Her voice barely louder than a whisper, she answers. "Duty is not to be shunned, with power comes responsibility. I accept."
"Countess Rachel the First, let me be the first to kneel before you and swear my allegiance to you. LONG LIVE THE COUNTESS! LONG LIVE RACHEL THE FIRST!" The crowd begins to chant "LONG LIVE THE COUNTESS! LONG LIVE RACHEL THE FIRST!"
Drowned amongst the cheers, Lord Duncombe stands once more and whispers something to the Countess. The father smiles until the daughter replies something that seems to stun Lord Duncombe. At that point, the Countess smiles to the assembled crowd.
After the eight priests bless the sacred artifacts of rulership, they place them upon the new Count with the exception of the crown. Lord Duncombe picks it up, raises it as if to present it as an offering. "The Archpaladin, The Cudgel, The Blinding Light and the Shining One have given their blessing to this crown and to the new Countess. I, Terard Duncombe II, Archbaron of Eastmarch, Regent of the County of Urnst and Lord Chancellor of the County present this crown to all the gods in the Heavens that you may bless our new Countess."
Lord Duncombe turns to the kneeling Count(ess). "This crown bears the blessing of all the gods in Heaven and the hopes of the people of Urnst. Rachel Duncombe, before the gods and the people it is my privilege to bestow upon you the title of ruler of the County of Urnst." As he places the crown on the new Countess's head, the assembled crowd erupt in acclamation once more!
Some of the Silver Swans present will later paint, write or sing about the sweet melody that must've been trumpet archons playing in unison the coronation of a new Countess. Some of the same Silver Swans also noticed the absence of ambassadors from Nyrond or the Duchy of Urnst.
Lady Rachel Duncombe was a knight paladin and the second in command of the Countesses' own knightly order, the Knights of the Swan. She was the black sheep in a family of very pragmatic and opportunistic rulers. She was the only one who did not want to rule, but her candidacy was promoted very strongly by her Father.
As year six came to a close, we finally had in hand all of the tools we needed to write some of the best stories the campaign had seen. I must say that we were cruising along with bigger and better ideas when the death knell of 4e happened. Still the council of peers managed to receive no less than 500 favors from the players (just under 300 went to Rachel, 150 to Lord Darius, most of the rest to Lord Agnard).
This event was one of the most interesting I had the pleasure of putting together, and the players really got behind it. Definitely a success in my gaming career.
*Sigh* I miss LG.