- There will be three candidates for the throne of the Reach: Prince Alrod, Jarla Jona, and Prince Oringar.
- The MQ consists of three paths with five Stages for each path. Jona's path is split into two options: supporting her and DSE (goes to Stage 5), or supporting DSW (goes to Stage 3 and blocks Jona vassalage).
- Stage One: Hired sword - Common mercenary and rough work.
- Stage Two: Trusted associate- More advanced jobs, with a higher level of trust put on the player.
- Stage Three: Loyal hireling - Access to insider and espionage jobs
- Stage Four: Oath-bound, known vassal of chosen lord, moot occurs.
- Stage Five: Champion of chosen lord, duel on Tsunholm between player and rival candidate's champion.
- Players must complete a candidate's Stages 1-3 to have the option of becoming their vassal/champion. Becoming a vassal is necessary to advance to that candidate's Stage 4 (King Barda dies); it also blocks the player from becoming any other's candidate's vassal, so Stages 4-5 can only be completed for one candidate.
- The Dragonstar conflict can be completed before or after the Reach MQ.
Son of King Barda and presumed heir to the Kingdom of the Reach, something he's known since childhood. Currently lives a luxurious lifestyle in Karthwasten's Red Palace learning under the tutelage of his father's cousin, Thane Fomir the Voiceful. Alrod's perceived as lazy and whimsical by battle-hardened Nords, but his upbringing in the trade town of Karthwasten has given him insights into mercantilism, trade deals and such areas that bring true prosperity. Despite Alrod being an insufferable snobbish brat to everyone else, his father and brother care for him.
Jarl of Dragonstar (and Karthwasten before she was exiled by King Barda), leader of the Fire-Hand Clan, and possible successor to the Kingdom of the Reach. A bloodthirsty and aging warhorse who, even thirty years later, feels cheated by the Imperial intervention in the siege of Dragonstar. Determined to stamp out the Sogat Dur-Gada and complete her conquest of Dragonstar West, before turning her attentions elsewhere in the Reach.
Son of King Barda, brother of Prince Alrod. Currently serving as a mid-level officer in the Imperial Legion at Fort Northwatch in Falkheim. As the second son of a noble, he was destined for legion greatness from birth. He was enrolled in the Legion at a young age to study generalship under a mentor, so he has some diplomatic talents. He's a "dark horse" candidate for the throne.
- This path is introduced by Blades agents after finishing another candidate's path.
- Would require high disposition and "correct" dialogue choices to convince him to make a push for the throne.
Horir the Grey is Jarl of Beorinhal and the Sundered Hills, old Reach nobility, uncle of King Barda, brother of Vorngyd, and a senile old war veteran. In the thirty or so years that have passed since the war, he has a hard time getting accustomed to not being the ruler of a frontier fortress-city any more, but rather a now slightly irrelevant fortress-city far from the border. In order to cope, he has replaced the struggle against Redguards with a struggle against the Reachman tribes in his and neighbouring lands.
- Can get 1 or 2 quests, but isn't a serious candidate.
Prince of the territories lost during Bend’r-Mahk. Can call upon Crown forces from surrounding tombas, but knows that Jona’s forces would likely overwhelm his if the conflict turns hot. Trying to manipulate the Sogat Dur-Gada into distracting Jona and weakening her hold on Dragonstar East. Retaking the city is the first step in his long-term plan to recapture the Reach.
A Crown insurrectionist faction, but disapproved by the actual Crown faction for being too extremist/murderous and generally deemed disadvantageous to the current situation. They are also highly secretive and underground. They ironically shares the interests of King Thian in getting an incompetent leader on the throne. They hate Jarla Jona with a passion though, and long to see her dead. SDG agents work, to the extent possible, on getting Alrod on the throne, as this will increase the likelihood of a Crown reconquista substantially.
A local faction of entrepreneurish Yokudan warrior-traders, who according to legend founded the modern city-state of Dragonstar (now ruled by Crown nobility). The RHC is a bit more martially inclined than your average merchant company. The RHC realizes that the city being split is bad for business, for the citizens and for them. They also realize the military supremacy of the Nords, especially seeing as Crowns can't rely on Forebear reinforcements and the resistance already being spread too thin. Because of this, they are behind a conspiracy which aims to throw out the Crowns, and unite the city. Not under Nord rule, but as an independent city-state ruled by a RHC merchant prince in vassalage to the throne of Karthwasten. Or some sort of protectorate. With lots of tax revenue tribute and favourable trade deals in that direction.
- RHC should be involved in both DSW and DSE paths.
- RHC would likely hire Bjoulsae mercenaries.
The eyes of the Emperor, the local Blades agents, are keeping an eye on the situation. The Reach exploding into instability, warfare and civil war is not a good thing in general, but especially not so, with legions about to be pulled back to the Imperial City. The Emperor wants a strong, competent and Empire-minded ruler on the throne, which means they are backing Oringar. They are waging a counter-spionage war against the agents of Thian, who are eager to see the only competent contender out of the picture.
- "Blades have at least two agents in DSE, but we can add more in taverns. I'm thinking the dead agent in DSW was a Blades agent too, posing as a SDG spy but executed when exposed"
- A Blades agent will approach the player after they complete Stage 3 for DSW, DSE, or Alrod
He has interests in getting either Alrod or Jona on the throne. Both are easily manipulated, either through Alrod’s vanity and lack of political understanding, or Jona’s hot-headed attitudes towards politics and somewhat shared goals with Thian’s expansionist politics. Absolutely against Oringar's candidacy.
- The Thian interference shouldn't be that obvious to the player, at least not at first. He has agents around in order to help things go the intended way, but he is not omnipresent.
Agents from the exiled throne of Jehenna in Farrun and agents from the king of Falkreath. Don't need to play a major role, but can serve as quest hooks or similar. ”There’s a Breton agent rumoured to be in town. "Find out who it is" or "We know of a Breton contact spying for the exiled court of Jehenna, with whom we share goals. Bring him this document and trade it for what he knows." Etc.