The session begins as the PC’s settle down from adventuring to spend some more time in their burgeoning kingdom ruling the masses. Walker heads out to visit Bokken in order to get a potion of suggestion that will be used to convince his older brother Barrin to peacefully leave the Shieldlands in order to prevent arrest and execution. When Walker arrived at Barrin’s hiding place, he found Barrin more willing to leave that he thought he would be. Barrin showed some remorse for his actions, and, after Walker spiked a drink with the potion to “seal the deal”, agreed that he would leave peacefully. Barrin got together his meager possessions told Kimber he would miss her and, before leaving showed some emotion thanking Walker for what he’s done for him.
While Walker is out dealing a Fort Drelev envoy arrive with a cart containing the “dowry” for the marriage of Liliya and Andrei, with a letter congratulating the young couple and hoping the marriage happens soon.
On a walk in the outskirts of Fort Voronkov, Melikova come upon a scene with 5 men beating a lizardfolk on the side of the street. She decides to intervene, taking quite the beating for her troubles, but smashing the leader’s fibula as well as her loyal dog Butch quickly bearing down on them decide to withdraw. The lizardfolk, bleeding out from a dagger to the gut, is stabilized by Melikova who runs down to the area on Tuskwater Bay and fetch some other lizardfolk to help. Melikova discovered that the lizardfolk tend to keep to themselves as there is some a lot of suspicion and hatred directed towards them from the other denizens due to the attack on Fort Voronkov by their kin. Luckily, Melikova spoke their only language, Draconic, and was able to convince them she was there to help. After getting him into a hut, they tell her that while their medicine will heal him, a cleric would be much better – so Melikova runs to grab Tess. Melikova interrupts Tess, who is in a ritual ceremony where she gives herself ceremonial cuts on her arms, and let’s her know that help is needed. Tess and Melikova return to the lizardfolk housing, where Tess heals the injured lizardfolk. After some discussion, Melikova discovers the injured lizardfolk felt he should be able to venture throughout the town without fear, like any citizen and that the guards should protect him.
In another part of town, Babus sees a hovel smoking as a hue and cry is raised and a bucket brigade is forming. Babus snaps into action, quickly opening the door as cries are heard on the other side, to see a young human girl surrounded by smoke. Babus grabs her and takes her out, returning to find the girl’s parents. A grisly sight of both parents already burned on the bed greets him, with no evidence as to why the fire started. Not sure how to interact with children, Babus tries his best to calm her, eventually taking her to the inn for food as well as housing her in the guest quarters within the fort.
During the council meeting, Oleg let’s everyone know that there have been some inconsistencies in the kingdom tax collection records and he is trying to figure out what has caused them – as there is 10 BP worth of missing money. Regardless, a festival is planned for the first year anniversary of the founding of the Shieldlands.
Over the past few weeks Walays and Melikova have separately decided to keep an eye on Liliya, who until now has been quite guarded. Walays accidentally interrupts Liliya late at night while she is reading some documents detailing the goings-on within the Kingdom, and Liliya scrambles to go back to her room with a less conspicuous book. Melikova is also watching this scene, though has noticed the sound of quick small footfalls within odd areas of the castle. She spends several days trying to ferret where the noise is coming from, unsuccessfully.
Liliya and Andrei have spent the past few weeks getting to know one another and, in a clever play, Liliya tricks Andrei into revealing spring is his favorite month which she “graciously” decides to have the wedding during that season – delaying it for three-quarters of a year.
For the Anniversary celebration, all was going incredibly well until a drunken fight broke out between several hunters and millers – leading to an intense brawl between what ostensibly has become the original hunters and trappers from the stolen lands and the refugees and settlers with the town of Fort Voronkov. To make matters worse, several days after the celebration, the nobleman Edrist Hanvaki approaches the council to show that his brother has been kidnapped and he is being extorted for money. Edrist stresses his desire that the council takes care of this personally, for which Andrei agrees to before excusing Edrist.
What has previously been a kingdom growing strongly through the leadership of our heroes has quickly turned into feeling as though the region is balancing on the edge of a blade.