Kingmaker

Session 18
Terrible Tree

The session begins as our heroes spend what remains of the afternoon dressing the snapping turtle that had attacked them. A fine meal of turtle soup was had and a relatively peaceful night by a tranquil pond helped shake out the stresses of the last week.

Determined to continue to map out the surrounding area of Tyg’s Landing, the PC’s head out west and come upon a very tense situation wherein a Nixie named Melianse is in a standoff with Corax, the logger. Melianse is furious by Corax cutting down some of her prized Coachwood trees and has charmed two of them to help defend her home. Walker decides to talk to Melianse to get her side of the story and Walays talks with Corax, though with slightly more devious intent. Walker determines that Melianse demands the loggers leave immediately and also replace the five Coachwood trees that the loggers have already felled. Walays convinces Corax that they are lucky to be alive as the monster they face is a known terror of the land. Corax remains slightly skeptical and wants at least some compensation for losing the ability to chop these trees. Once the two parties come to an agreeable compromise, Andrei pays Corax who loads up the already cut trees and heads off. Unwilling to allow the party to just leave on their word they will return with the feather tokens, she demands Walker leave Whisper with her, promising she will keep him save until he returns – which Walker reluctantly agrees to. The party then heads off to the west to find a dryad named Tiressia who Melianse said may have some of the feather tokens they are looking for,

After searching for most of the day, the PC’s stumble upon a dryad softly crying into pond. They introduce themselves and find out that she is being hunted by a horrible tree who yearns to eat her, known as a “scythe tree”. Seeing that these strangers are least friendly on the surface, Tiressia’s lover, a satyr named Falchos emerges from the tree line and joins the group. After the party agrees to help Tiressia, Falchos decides to start with the merry making and begins playing his flute, and getting Walays and Andrei to enjoy some of the finer pleasures of the forest. The next morning, the party sets out towards where Tiressia said she had last seen the scythe tree.

Our heroes come upon a blighted hollow, they are set upon by the scythe tree. The massive scythe tree starts truly causing havoc, though Andrei is able to hit a vulnerable spot that weakens the tree a bit. Walker and Tess try and attack the tree with fire, though are knocked unconscious for their effort. Andrei tries to get Tess a healing potion, but succumbs to the beating that the tree dishes out. It all comes down to Walays, having decide between saving his own neck and risking it by trying to help Tess recover. Bravery wins the day and Walays is able to get Tess to drink a healing potion and then tricks the tree by creating an illusory fire on his fallen colleagues. A frustrated scythe tree tries to put out its meal by dumping dirt on them, only to have the fire grow larger. Walays distracts the scythe tree, allowing Tess to heal the rest of the party. The PC’s spread out and try to coordinate just what to do. Walker, not wanting to run and lick their wounds decides to attack the tree with more fire, only to be beaten into unconsciousness in return. Tess charges in, knowing that the battle is in Gorum’s hands now. The huge tree and Tess go blow for blow and as she is barely hanging onto life she is able to deliver the final death blow. The tree comes crashing down on her, pinning her to the ground and teetering on the edge of life, which is where the session ends.

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Session 17
Witch's Wishes

The session began as the party determined that the lands around their fledgling kingdom needed to be further explored in order to know what threats exist as well as creating a buffer zone around the Capitol village of Tyg’s Landing.

The PC’s headed west to investigate the forests near the delta of the Skunk River. Only a couple hours into their exploration, distant sounds of panic drove them to investigate the cries. An urgent situation greets them as a pony drawn cart is slowly starting to get swept down the river while two gnomes are trying, rather ineffectively, save it. Walker tied a rope to the crossbar where the ponies are tied while Walays wraps the rope around a tree to add an anchor point. Andrei and Tess begin pulling as Walker turned into a pony to help settle down the panicked ponies. The combination of everyone pulling slowly gets the wagon up out of the river.

The leader of the gnomes, Jubilost Narthropple, introduces himself and thanks the PC’s for their help. Tess asks if Jubilost would like help burying the gnomes that were killed in the raid, but Jubilost says they were servants and he doesn’t particularly care what is done. After some back and forth, Jubilost tells the party that he was trying to find a long abandoned Dwarven fort. The piqued their interest, but Jubilost was unwilling to share many details and the PC’s wanted to get this gnome away from them.

After a couple more days of exploring the heroes come upon a small hut in the middle of a fetid swamp. The yard is festooned with crude fetishes and a scarecrow. Walays tried to talk with the old lady who lives there, but she insists she just wants to be left alone. Eventually he tells her she just needs to sign a document and he’ll ensure she is left alone. This makes her relent, invites the PC’s inside, and introduces herself as Old Beldame. After producing the documents, she tells the party that she would like some black rattlecaps if they could find them. She also tells them of a “Mad Hermit” who lives out to the west, though he isn’t angry, he’s just crazy. They also tell her about a delicious dessert known as “cake” and promise to bring her some.

Having explored two hexes, the party heads to see the Sootscale kobolds. Chief Sootscale tells the party it was them they raided the gnomes, as they are in need of supplies. Andrei convinces them that trading is easier than raiding and even promises to help them facilitate their first trade next week.

The party the heads south to explore the region. They come upon a large pond with several sunk rowboats and skeletal remains. Walker finds a blue-green gem and while retrieving it, is set upon by a large snapping turtle. A short battle takes place, which is quickly ended when Whisper bit the neck of the beast off, ending the session.

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Session 16
Wailing Wolves

The session begins with the dead Kellid tribesman, Kundal, at the feat of the party. Tess inquires with Walays just what Kundal said it in his dying moments, but Walays sidesteps the question saying that he was caught up in the heat of battle. The PC’s haul the body of Kundal back to town, letting Wasley the barkeep know of the body and to keep it safe until the PC’s return for it in the morning.

The next morning, alarms are raised as yet another body is found, this time of Norben, a traveling linen and fabric salesman, killed just outside of town. The scene is frustrating familiar, a person ripped apart as if by a large dog. The heroes spring into action, getting their horses as Walker changes into a wolf and track down the culprit.

After a couple hours of traveling, the party comes across a wolf den built into the side of a hill. Walker, hearing the sounds of wolves and at least one worg inside, decides to instigate them by marking their territory. Moments later, the pack of wolves, led by the head worg, burst from the den to assault the PC’s. A furious fight ensues, with the wolves slowly being picked off before the party could concentrate on killing the worg. With the fight over, Walker goes to investigate the cave, and finds five young wolf pups and gathers them up to bring them home, along with the dead body of the worg.

When the party returns, Norben has been buried by some of the citizens of the the Shieldlands. Andrei and Tess visit the parents of Saki as well as the brother of Beven. Kundal is burned on top of a funeral pyre, as is the custom for the Kellid tribe.

Another month passes, as the kingdom continues to claim land to the north, but the economy has been rather stagnant.

Early in the last month of summer, trumpets blare to announce the arrival of a enclave from Mivon. Four guardsmen and one ambassador greet the leaders of the kingdom. Overall the meeting is a bit tense as it becomes a game of the Mivon ambassador trying to size up this kingdom he feels is intruding upon lands that Mivon has had eyes on for quite some time and Walays trying to convince them that this land is quite poor and not worth the effort of invading.

After seeing the charter given to the PC’s, the ambassador declares he will be seeing the King Reagent of Brevoy about this, but Walays directs him instead to Ihvon, leader of the Swordlords. As the envoy leaves for Restov, the session comes to a close.

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Session 15
Wandering Werewolf

The session begins slightly out of order, temporally, as the PC’s leave from Oleg‘s Trading Post to find Jhod in order to request his assistance by joining the soon to be founded Shieldlands Kingdom. After traveling to the Erastil shrine and using Whisper to sniff out his trail, they run into Jhod returning from a walk in the woods. Jhod appears reinvigorated and is now displaying the holy symbols of Erastil. After a service to the meager crowd of four hunters, not including the party, the PC’s explain their need for him and, with a little convincing from Walays, he agrees to join them as their General.

The party returns home to Tyg’s Landing where time leaps ahead and all of the initial kingdom founding that occurred in the previous session is now in the past for the characters. Now, a month into summer, the kingdom expands out to include the river crossing at the junction of the Shrike and Skunk rivers. A farm begins construction where the fangberries are located.

During the 2nd month of the summer, the owner of Tyg’s Landing Inn approaches Walker, letting him know his barmaid, Saki had been brutally murdered on her way home last night and was discovered by the bus boy, Georgie. After questioning Georgie and investigating the site of the murder, the party determines it was a large wolf-like beast, possibly a Worg. As Tess and Walays help bury the body with Saki’s parents, Walker and Andrei try and track the path the creature took, only to be interrupted by a shepherd claiming his brother had also been brutally murdered two nights prior. All signs begin pointing towards a possible werewolf attack and the party reconvenes at the Tyg’s Landing Inn after Walker did some further investigating in the wilds and the rest of the group began looking at the Inn.

Eventually, the party barged into the room of a Kellid tribesman named Kundal who had been a suspicious character, having just recently come into town and didn’t have an alibi for the nights of the murders. A confrontation almost began between Walker and Kundal before Andrei stepped between them – causing Kundal to back down and start looking for an ally in the fellow tribesman of Walays. Walays, trying to further cool down the tempers offered to buy Kundal all he could drink later that night, and the very hungover Kundal happily agreed.

Later that night after several hours of drinking Kundal told Walays he needed to visit the restroom, only to wander off – unbeknownst to Kundal that he was being followed by the PC’s. As the lycanthropy began taking affect, the party struck – but a brutal fight took place with Kundal holding his own against the four PC’s. Eventually the party was able to whittle him down – with Kundal dropping to one knee, and tossing his greataxe aside, begging Walays in their tribes’ tongue to help him and save him. Walays remained silent as Tess fell Kundal and Andrei finished him off with a final stabbing of his blade.

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Session 14
Shieldlands' Start

The session begins as the players return to the Lonely Dragon in order to sleep – and Tess decides to strike up an very awkward conversation with the owner, Mila. After several minutes of unsuccessfully trying to talk to her, Tess decides to give up and go to bed.

The next day, Walker goes to wander the city, Walays goes to find potential recruits for the new Kingdom they are founding, Tess goes to find a scroll of Hallow, and Andrei goes off to visit his mother.

Tess implores the high priest of the Church of Gorum, Borvin, who decides that Tess isn’t trustworthy enough to get the scroll and instead sends a Vindicator, Dragana to complete her request.

During Andrei’s visit, his mother spikes his meal with a potion of Eagle’s Splendor and outsmarted him by having an antidote in her wine in case Andrei made her try some first, which he did. The potion attracted the attention of many women, most disconcertingly for Andrei, Dragana.

All of the PC’s get fancy clothes, more suiting of their new station and head out to Oleg’s in order to convince Oleg, Svetlana, and Kesten to become members of the leadership of the Shieldlands. After some discussion all three decide to sign on.

For the first month of the Shieldlands’ Kingdom, they expand outward to include the fangberries and build a farm. On Tyg’s Landing they decide to build an Inn and a group out houses. Everything goes well in the first month and the kingdom is off to a strong start.

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Session 13
Exuberant Exhale

The session begins as the PC’s release a collective exuberant but pained breath, having defeated the Stag Lord and the twisted, decrepit druid that inhabited the basement of the fort.

As our heroes gather the loot and prepare the dead for burial, they find Akiros has an amulet to the god Erastil as well as a tattoo above and to the right of his right breast, a revelation that shakes Tess. They also find a sleeping spot with a toy knight, dragon, castle, and princess as well as a stick figure drawing of a knight fighting a dragon to save the princess with an arrow pointing to the knight and “Auchs” spelled out crudely. Walker consoles Perlivash over the loss of Tyg whose cooked and broken open carapace still remains in the eating room.

Seeing the piles of coin, Thomas, Rickard, and Harriet turn lustful over such wealth in front of them but some quick diplomatic work by Walays turns these potential foes into friends who then help prepare and cook an owlbear for the impromptu celebration feast. Even Ubagug goes down to the seaside and gathers “fresh” sea plants and insects to make a “tasty” sea fly stew. After everyone has had their fill, Walker, feeling a deeper connection with nature transforms himself into a wolf and joins Whisper on a survey of the newly freed land as well as a hunt for small game.

As the PC’s begin their trip back to Oleg‘s, they make a detour to Nettles’ Crossing, wishing to fulfill their promise to the undead creature still haunting the place who seeks revenge on the Stag Lord for killing him. Andrei tosses the body into the river and a black mist rises up, swirls around them and then encompasses the toll booth before disappearing while a disembodied voice thanks the heroes for avenging him.

After a days journey the party reaches Oleg’s, who is excited to see them, grabbing up Walays in a big bear hug, though whether this is to show his affection for his friends or just to stop Walays’ bagpipes no one can be sure. They also deliver Falgrim Sneeg to Kesten who seems quite pleased at his reunion with Sneeg. Kesten takes each person’s request for a masterwork weapon before heading out to spread the news of a party in honor of the heroes which will be held in four days time, a bound Sneeg in tow.
The PC’s take the next few days to relax and also send a small owl, Fed, to deliver news to the Swordlords of their success. The night of the party finally came and the trading post was packed with trappers, hunters, traders, and anyone looking for a good time. Festivities were interrupted when a young maiden carrying a newborn demanded to confront Walays. A heavily inebriated Walays sobered up immediately and took her to a back room where he bluffed that he was not Walays and “removed” a Walays mask to show his “true” face. This seemed to satisfy her wrath, but she preyed on his goodwill to get a charm bracelet and a gold piece for travel.

The next morning the PC’s headed back to Restov, a two day trip by horseback. As they arrive in the town a cacophony of sound and bustling hits them, it has been months since they’ve been in such a busy place. Guard presence had greatly increased since they’d last been in Restov and even the royal guard patrolled the streets. As the PC’s find their way to the Swordlord barracks, they see that it has been closed by order of the King. Unsure what to do, Tess suggests they go to the Lusty Unicorn to wash up and see if they can get some extra information.

At the Lusty Unicorn, Tess is greeted by a mildly annoyed Zan, who tells Tess that she’s way behind on her tab. After she pays her debt and buys the house a drink, Zan’s mood becomes much more welcoming to Tess, as if he was never upset with her at all. Zan even revealed that a woman who looked quite like her came in the bar awhile ago and asked about Tess, but was chased out of the bar by guards looking to seize her. Zan also dropped her a note which told them how to make contact with the Swordlords.

Andrei following the instructions of the note given by Zan and gave the beggar in the back alley his sword when asked for coin. The beggar was a Swordlord in incognito and allowed the PC’s entrance into the storage shelter where they met with the head of the Swordlords, Ihvon. The heroes were congratulated for their victory over the Stag Lord and helping to tame the northern Greenbelt. They were presented with a new charter, to found a barony under the banner of the King. A small stipend was also included, emptying the coffers of the Swordlords who are already buoying another barony in the southwest region called Varnhold.

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Session 12
Final Fracas

The session began as the party regathered out away from the fort to discuss what just happened. As they determine how to approach the well-defended fort, they notice several reinforcements headed to the fort. Not wanting to lose what damage they did do to the personnel inhabiting the fort, the PCs ambush the trio of bandits, quickly dispatching them and then running from the long range volleys of arrows coming from the fort.

Andrei suggests that at night he go and scout out the area to see if there are any weak spots now that they have killed several people and to snipe a few of the bandits on the watchtowers. Unfortunately, the Stag Lord expected visitors that night and was up on watch. Alone, Andrei was vulnerable to the Stag Lord’s talent with the bow, taking massive amounts of damage and barely escaping with his life.

In the predawn hours, the PCs head out for a stealth assault on the fort. They sneak around the back and with a spell Walker opens a hole into the back of the fort that lets the party inside. Walays creates a false image of an empty walkway to avoid detection by the guards and after Andrei is unable to unlock the door to the Stag Lord’s bedroom, Tess smashes it in with one mighty blow.

From there, all hell breaks loose – the Stag Lord and Andrei exchange several blows, with Andrei keeping the upper hand for most of the fight. Tess and Walker fight Akiros and several bandits while Walays provides much needed magical support. Tess falls, but is quickly brought back into the fight by Andrei. Walker entangles a large section of the fort, preventing the party from getting flanked or have reinforcements arrive quickly. Slowly, the bandits fall and even Beaky the Owlbear is quickly dispatched. Dovan tries to escape but is cut down by the hunters and Ubagug, while the Stag Lord throws what is left of his strength against the man that most reminds him of his father – Walker.

Thinking the fight is over, the party finds and heads down into the basement to free the druid they know inhabits the area. The druid has other ideas, attacking the PCs with a Giant Soldier Ant, a swarm of spiders, and himself shaped as a Dire Wolverine. What was just previously elation over a victory over the Stag Lord turns into grim despair as the druid is able to fall both Walker and Tess. With Andrei succumbing to a horde of spiders, the druid finally dies and Walays quickly disperses the horde which would have fell Andrei soon.

Victory. At last.

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Session 11
Sunrise Subterfuge

The session began as the party strolls into Oleg‘s with Robert Brownpants in tow. While the previous visit to Oleg’s was a busy night, this evening the place was almost deserted except for three trappers. Walays sprung into action, tempting the three trappers with gold and stories of becoming heroes by joining up with the party to help defeat the Stag Lord.

The next day the party went to Ubagug‘s “kingdom” in search of more allies for the coming fight. After some negotiation, Ubagug agreed to help the party in exchange for a formal declaration of an alliance as well as recognizing his kingdom. After that alliance was secured, the PC’s headed back to the Temple of Erastil to consult with Jhod, who was nowhere to be found yet again.

After daybreak, the party turned towards the Soothscale Kobolds in order to see if they could convince the kobolds to help with the siege on the fort. Mikmek greeted them warmly, but told the PCs that there were no kobolds to spare as the women were brooding. Understanding, the party headed southwest to confront the Stag Lord with the party they had collected.

Overnight, Walken was startled by a familiar voice whispering from a bush – it was Perlivash the butterfly winged dragon fey. He told them while choking back tears that the Stag Lord had killed Tyg-Titter-Tut and that they’d failed in their mission. Tess was heartbroken while Andrei began considering how this affected the mission while trying not to see too cold-hearted about the loss. In the end the decision was made to continue with the plan even though things weren’t as optimal as they could be.

The next morning Walays, disguised as Robert Brownpants talked his way into the fort, though was confronted by Dovan who was less than impressed with his stories of bravely escaping capture. Walays pressed the issue, forcing Dovan to wake the Stag Lord and decide what to do with him. Further bickering ensued and Dovan drew his rapier, ready to end Walays for his lies and Walays made it look like he dove in front of the Stag Lord to protect him. An image of Perlivash appeared on Dovan’s shoulder, but was quickly dispatched by the Stag Lord. Infuriated by his underlings and no longer being able to tell who was being truthful, he demanded a duel. Walays’ quick wit and even faster tongue allowed the rest of the party to sneak all the way up to the fort without being seen.

Suddenly the trappers loosed their arrows and the fight was on. Walays ran for it, only to be pursued by an incensed Dovan and Walker summoned some war dogs to fight at the open gate. Perlivash assisted Walays while fighting Dovan, allowing him to steal Dovan’s prized rapier and do some massive damage to him. When Auchs came to assist Dovan, Walays now taking the appearance of Dovan each stated they were the real one. Walays was more convincing and Auchs went through the fort to kill the real Dovan. While this was going on Tess and Andrei snuck around the east side of the fort while Walker and Whisper went around the west. Dovan was able to calm Auchs, but Walays used the confusion to escape over the palisade. Zombies sprang from the ground around Whisper, Walker, Tess, and Andrei but were quickly dispatched, though not before doing some major damage to Whisper.

When the party retreated from the fight they had killed 3 bandits and 8 zombies – without taking too much damage themselves. The PCs now better know the area they are fighting in, but the Stag Lord knows the party that has been a thorn in his side for weeks is nearby. The first battle was won by the PCs, but the war against the Stag Lord has just begun.

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Session 10
Crappy Captive

The session began as the party returns to Oleg’s, carrying a tatzylwyrm head. A night of heavy drinking by Walays and Walker ensues while Tess continues to search for a purpose in life and Andrei studying the map of the Greenbelt. Walays, perhaps feeling the effects of a night of heavy drinking decided to have a bard-off and while he was performing well, a particularly long held note left him passed out on the stage.

Early the next morning the PCs set off for Bokken‘s in order to replenish their stocks of cure potions. They buy him out of stock for curing potions and head south in search of the Stag Lord’s fort. Walker, feeling confident Whiskey River has been domesticated, now starts saddling the stag in order to train him for riding. They reach the fort that evening and keep their distance, allowing darkness to fall before Andrei and Whisper approach the fort under the cover of darkness. They notice that two of the three guard posts are always manned, that the guard rotation seems to follow no pattern and they aren’t very attentive to their posts. They also notice four humanoid figures slowly meandering around the grounds and determine they are likely zombies.

The next morning the party sees a small group of six bandits leaving the fort and decide to shadow them. When the bandits reach the fangberry marshes the PCs strike, killing the lookout without a sound. Walays creates an illusion of a line of spearmen which sends the bandits into a panic once they turn around from their gathering. Whisper hunts down two of the escaping bandits and Andrei intimidates one of the bandits to surrender, but two bandits escape.

The party interrogates the bandit and find out a druid resides inside the fort and that Stag Lord is a dead eye shot and has a punch that can shatter bones. They find out that the three lieutenants are named Akiros Ismort, Dovan from Nisroch, and Auchs. The bandit also tells him about the seven permanent residents of the Stag Lord’s fort: Ayles Megesen, Cragger Kench, Dirty Jeb Megesen, Falgrim Sneeg, Fat Norry, Jex the Snitch, and Topper Red.

After tying up the bandit captive, the party heads to the Temple of the Elk to see Jhod. They arrive in the evening but Jhod is not there despite all of his belongings occupying a room inside of the temple. The PCs sleep overnight, hoping for Jhod to return but he is MIA. After waiting long enough they head north east towards the fey nest and arrive there around noon time. Walays plays a lively tune to get their attention. The party asks for the fey to go to the Stag Lord’s fort and prevent them from sleeping until they arrive, in return the party promises 6 shiny coins, a feast including very sweet wine and a sugary cake, and a private concert by Walays. The session ends as the party begins to head back toward Oleg’s.

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Session 9
Friendly Fire

The session began with the party returning to Oleg’s after many days out exploring and taming the Greenbelt. After the PC’s presented Oleg with Tuskgutter’s head he excitedly paid them 150GP and began work to prepare the beast for displaying. Andrei went to let Jhod know about the temple of Erastil that they had found while Tess went to discuss her doubts with Svetlana. Walker spent the day further training his stag, Whiskey River, and Walays spent the afternoon spinning tall tales of the PC’s adventures in the depths of the Greenbelt.

The next day the party, with the added accompaniment of Jhod, headed back deep into the Greenbelt, splitting off at the hot springs – Jhod heading for the temple, and the PC’s to further explore the area. What was found was something they were not prepared for – a unicorn, horn removed after death, with no normal signs of battle, but with the lingering necromantic aura of a finger of death spell.

While crossing a river in the shallows that contained the wreckage of a bridge, the party is ambushed by three tatzlwyrms. They quickly swarm Tess and Walays, knocking them unconscious, but Walker and Andrei held strong enough to kill the beasts. As Oleg had requested the head of one of these creatures, the party cast gentle repose on one and added it to their stash as well as the gold and valuables found in their nest.

After another day of mapping out the region, the party came across a clearing with yipping coming from a fall trap. Inside was a brush thylacine, hungry and desperate to get out. Unfortunately for Walker, the side of the trap gave way, leaving him with the creature. Tess, attempting to help, accidentally blinds both the thylacine and Walker, but Walker takes the brunt of the spell and is blinded for four rounds to the thylacine’s single turn. Andrei dives down in the trap and Walays provides support by turning him invisible. Tess, frustrated, gets a rope and helps the party prepare for a quick escape from the trap if things go wrong. A few quick stabs from Andrei kills the thylacine, but not before it got in a few bites to Walker.

Finally, the PC’s return to the boggard, with Tess prepared to cast “Share Language” so they could communicate with it. They learn the boggard is named Ubagug and has declared the abandoned ruins he resides as his kingdom – one of which he is extremely proud of. They learn he tried to lead a one man coup against his tribe, forcing him into exile where he was captured by the Stag Lord and tortured. He was able to escape, and founded his ‘kingdom’. Ubagug tells the PC’s if they attack the Stag Lord they will die, but still let them know where his fort is.

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