Kingmaker

Session 22
Puppy Power!

The session begins as Jhod comes to the council with Loy and Latricia Rezbin who tell the PC’s that the hunters, trappers, and other woodsmen have been pushed eastward by encroachment of bandits and the M’Botuu tribe. They request permission to join the kingdom and setup a forward outpost for people who are out in the wilderness to come together for mutual defense and safety. After a short discussion, the royal council approves this and the trio leave to get started on this outpost in the Narlmarches.

The November council meeting comes with the following findings: people are generally happy, but the lack of any military combined with Brevoy’s borderline civil war has cut off economic trade. The Shieldlands desperately needs to establish relations with its neighbors and the Old Beldame may become an internal threat soon.

Walays heads out to Varnhold and establishes a diplomatic relationship with them, there was also a verbal agreement of non-aggression treaty once they determine that both of their respective kingdoms were denounced by the King-Regent.

Andrei has spent the last few months really getting used to the Stag Lord’s bow, gaining proficiency with it.

Thomas, Rickard, and Harriet return to Tyg’s Landing, successfully destroying the trapdoor spider lair, and are rewarded with 50gp and are deputized by Walker. Shortly thereafter two horsemen from Brevoy appear, demanding Ihvon be surrendered to them – some quick legalese work by Walays seems to frustrate them into leaving though.

Walker decides with this late burst of warmth before winter it is the perfect time to take the six month old wolf pups out to test their mettle in combat. Luckily, Melianse had pointed Walker to some recent invaders headed towards town and the pack was off. Specter, Haggis, Scrappy, Dani, and Hopper met a group of Biloko and ravage them.

With a week of free time, the PC’s head out for more adventuring, only to discover an old abandoned keep. A quickling stalked them and used hit and run tactics to cause a bit of damage, though Tess, wielding her newly acquired fey-bane greatsword seriously injured the quickling. Before it fled the scene, it gave out some very interesting tidbits of information. It has claimed to recognized Andrei and killed Andrei before, and that he remembered the good times in the past where he tortured the Swamp Witch for her insolence when he has killed Andrei. He said he was going to get his queen and go finish off the Swamp Witch once and for all since the party was so boringly slow and not a challenge.

The session ends as the PC’s disable the portcullis trap that had injured Tess and wonder what to do with this information – and if any of it was true, or just a carefully laid out trap for them.

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Session 21
Friend / Foe

The session begins as the party helps dig Tess out from under a huge plant which pinned her to the ground as it expired in combat. As the tendriculos burns, the PC’s gather up the black rattlecaps that grow in the area for Beldame. They spend the next day traveling out to Beldame’s hut, who welcomes them in as repays their favor by mending the magic sword which was looted from the Lonely Barrow.

During the visit, Tess asks Beldame how she feels about Bokken’s request for a pinky from his brother Bonnek. She reacts quite strongly, telling Tess she cares very much for him – and even casts Charm Person on Tess, telling her to not harm Bonnek and tell her friends not to hurt him. The next day the party heads west, the location that Bonnek is known to inhabit.

During the night watch, a large four legged beast stalks the campsite, keeping the PC’s from sleeping well during the night. After a day spent exploring, the next night sees the return of the four legged beast again, this time with Whisper deciding to stalk the beast about 100 yards from camp. The stalker becomes stalked, as Whisper is set upon by Bonnek and his pet puma turns to join the fight. The alarm is raised in the camp, but the fight which sees Whisper and Walker fall before the party could engage. As the fight turns, Bonnek decides to take one of the PC’s horses and try and ride away, but Tess was able to knock him unconscious, causing him to fall out of his saddle, except for one foot which drags him – killing him.

Our heroes spend the next few days exploring some hexes, without much of anything being discovered before they head home to handle ruling business. The night they get back to Tyg’s landing, they discover Jubilost has enraptured the crowd with stories of his exploits. A “discussion” takes place between him and Walays wherein Walays claims the council would vote on him being given membership in exchange for his maps. Before the council can deliberate, Beldame sees Walker wearing the armor of her now deceased lover and demands retribution. Andrei demands she leave after she demanded one of their loved ones be given over to her – an eye for an eye. She swears vengeance on the party and storms out.

After much deliberation, the council summons Jubilost and offers him temporary status as a member of the council. Jubilost requests his offer be made public, which Andrei denies. After several back and forth exchanges over why he’s being offered the position if they are unwilling to admit to it publically, Andrei rescinds the offer and exiles Jubilost. That night Walays spies on Jubilost as he is saying his goodbyes to the town, never mentioning the council argument or offer. Jubilost and his group of gnomish hirelings leave the next morning to the west.

A mild start to the winter allows the kingdom to help stock up on their food stores and keep the economy running strong, but there is always the niggling fear of a long and harsh winter which could crush the fledgling kingdom.

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Session 20
Walays' Wager

The session begins as the heroes head twenty miles to the west southwest to explore undiscovered territory in their region. After almost a half of a day of exploration, the PC’s discover a long forgotten barrow that had been carved into the side of a hill. As the sun sets, the adventurer’s slowly head inside, arms at the ready. Walker and Andrei lead the party into the first chamber, when a massive cloud of bats are disturbed and begin flying towards the exit of the cave in a panic. Andrei runs out of the cave while Walker escapes further inside. Unable to react quickly enough, Walays gets enveloped in a colony of bats, which leaves him nauseated and bleeding.

After some quick patching of wounds, the party heads back inside the barrow, catching up with Walker who is waiting at the other end of the first chamber. Walker’s staff glowing like a torch uncovers four large faces sculpted into the sides of the central chamber, which Tess is able to recognize as depictions of the four winds, incarnated as malevolent elemental spirits. Walker is able to find a trap, which Walays carefully marks with chalk. As Walker raises his staff to search the easternmost chamber, he sees six skeletons which animate and begin to attack the invaders in their resting place. Six more skeletons arrive from the westernmost chamber. Tess, wanting to end these abominations, channels Gorum’s energy and destroys all of the skeletons in one radiant burst.

The celebration is cut short as a wight approached Tess from behind and begins sapping her energy. Andrei and the wight exchange blows while Walker calls lightning down on the wight and Walays casts blur on both Tess and Andrei. As the battle wages on, the wight finds itself positioned in front of one of the mouths of the four wind carvings. Walays, hoping to finish the fight quickly, triggers the trap – which unfortunately backfires as a ray of exhaustion seeks out living souls. While heavily fatigued, Walker is able to finish off the wight with a bolt of lightning which evaporates its essence

Sensing they’ve been significantly weakened, Tess and Andrei decide they need to head to Bokken‘s in order to get a restoration potion for each of them. The party rides through the night and most of the next day in order to get to Bokken’s in time. While there, Bokken asks them to bring him the pinky finger of his brother, Bonnek, as revenge for biting Bokken’s pinky off several years ago.

The party rides back to finish exploring the barrow, only to find the Narthropple expedition finishing up looting the burial site. Jubilost and Andrei trade pleasantries while Tess gives him the cold shoulder. The cavalier gnome offers the heroes some of his favored gnome wine while offering thanks to Cayden, much to Tess’ chagrin. The PC’s offer to escort them back to Tyg’s Landing, but the expedition took a very relaxed pace, forcing the party to charge ahead and have Walays spread the story of the battle in the barrow before Jubilost could offer his spin on the events.

After “setting the record straight”, the PC’s headed south to the location Old Beldame gave for where the Black Rattlecaps would likely be located. A muddy bog is the home to these precious fungi, and while gathering them, a Tendriculos arises from one of the bogs and begins to assault the group. Andrei and Tess are quickly grappled while Walker conjures a ball of flame and breaks the elemental gem to summon a large water elemental and Walays casts grease on the armor of his allies to help them slip out of the Tendriculos’ grasp. Tess is swallowed whole but is able to cut her way out of the beast’s gullet. Trying to help distract the huge plant, Walays creates an illusion of a dozen gnomes running around as an easy meal, but the plant is of single mind to destroy those who are assaulting it. Walker delivers the killing blow by striking the monster with lightning, though for the second time, a gargantuan tree comes crashing down on Tess. Walker runs over and begins setting the tree ablaze as Andrei and Walays help pull Tess out from under the tree, which is where the session ends.

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Session 19
Ally's Asylum

The session begins as the party recovers from the hard fought victory over the scythe tree. Cutting off a few of the largest branches in order to claim a tangible prize, the PC’s burn the rest of the tree before heading back to Tiressia.

Tiressia had already been informed of their victory through the “wind and leaves” and has already been celebrating with Falcos when the PC’s arrive in the evening. They partake in some of the celebration and Tiressia gives them the rest of the feather tokens she promised as well as saying she would be an ally for the newly formed kingdom.

In the morning the party goes to Melianse giving her the feather tokens. Whisper and Walker are also reunited, happy to see his wolf companion unharmed. Not to be outdone by Tiressia, Melianse also promises to be an ally for the kingdom.

After returning back to Tyg’s Landing for some relaxation, the party returns to rulership of their kingdom. The second month of fall comes and Ihvon Zupan visits the kingdom, bringing in a huge influx of people and money. Ihvon runs a tournament which Andrei performs middle of the pack. Near the end of Ihvon’s stay, word comes from Brevoy that the king-regent has declared Ihvon wanted dead or alive and that the Shieldlands’ charter is false. The PC’s are shell-shocked by this, but still grant Ihvon asylum. Walays and Ihvon work together to make a speech in which he thanks the rulership of the Shieldlands for their hospitality, but also has omninous words for the king-regent of Brevoy.

Still reeling from the news the party heads to the Sootscale kobolds in order to facilitate a trade for food with local hunters in order to prevent any further raids near the kingdom boundaries. A trip to Bokken‘s in order to get some potions as well as asking about his crazy brother and going to Oleg’s to get cake from Svetlana rounds out the day. Tess casts “gentle repose” on the cake, which they deliver to Old Beldame, who finds the desert above reproach and even softens her tone about being a hermit – leading to the PC’s to offer her a role of magister.

The third month of fall is less tense, but the party plans to push out and explore more of the Greenbelt before winter takes grasp of the area, which is where the session ends.

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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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