Kingmaker - Dawn of a New Age

[S81] A new morning dawns in Stagsheart
and hope rises with the sun

Once the corrosive enhancement was ensorcelled upon the cat’s maw and claws, a word and pointed finger was all Khumbu needed. The great cat’s rippling muscles rippled as he pounced upon the many headed hydra. (I think this would be a fun 1-1 combat to play out). Bloodied and punctured by the bestial bites of 10 heads but ultimately unbeaten, Khumbu returns to Sleestak’s side. Hydra heads, with necks chewed fully through, lay scattered and separated yards from the scaly body. That look of victory – a smile? – was on Khumbu’s mouth.


Nyrissa’s corpse, still savagely perfect in eternal repose, even sans head, is returned with the party to Ashhaven.

All must know who was behind all the cursed mayhem that had befallen the kingdom in the last few years. The telling of this story ruminated in Queen Alarah’s mind. Her speech to the gathered masses would be sincere, bold, and confident.

Sleestak’s labors kept him busy – he had seen so much blood, had taken so much life – he had been the cause of all this death around him, and he took little pleasure in it – that weariness was taking him. He could rationalize it was only the hunt. But it wasn’t. It was more. A test of resolve. Could he kill not just for meat, not just to provide, not only to protect, but for justice? Such concepts were alien to his lizardfolk upbringing. Killing those who deserved it, killing those who stood in the way, killing for vengeance. The darkness of those motives had tainted him some. So much killing. He viscerally felt the arrow wounds he impaled as if they were blood on his own hands. The final necessary work around the kingdom kept his mind off the offensive slain and focused on the future of Stagsheart. Would he ever take joy in the hunt again? He yearned to see his son…

Emmond, able to look upon Nyrissa’s bare skin and not suffer blindness couldn’t help the occasional peek, but more to his interest was the recovery of Candlemere’s citizens. Little was permanently lost, in his city, and across the kingdom, and for that he was grateful. Once only magic was his concern, but now with Candlemere’s growth and open gratitude of the citizens, HIS citizens, a new horizon was unveiled in his thinking. He was to be important, and not just in his knowledge, but in leadership. Many would flock now to the Academy. Many would study under him. Some would be forever, and deeply, changed. And the friendship of Perlivash brought some much needed levity, and reminded him to stop studying and start playing.

No greater joy in her life struck Alarah upon seeing her children alive and healthy. She knew it would take time to drive the image of their charred bodies from her memories…hell, she may have to learn how to remove it herself, an attainable goal. But the normal warmth of their skin, their smiling faces, the pure adoration only they could express…it warmed Alarah’s heart, which had endured such cold and dark feelings. Despair. Hatred. Revenge. Gods willing, those feelings would sleep, and in their place come contentment, hope, charity. A kingdom needed its leader, and Alarah drew strength from the shared experiences of facing the greatest evils together. Sleestak. Eurik. Emmond. Khumbu. They had been through hell, and only barely escaped with their lives. It was time to start living.

Eurik found more than economic opportunity in moving to Stagsheart. What it lacked by being curse-prone it made up for with optimism. A sense that tomorrow will somehow be better than today. It didn’t hurt that that kind of thinking led to loans and easy commerce. The accountant had seen the numbers, and although blanching at first at the recent damage caused – were these reports really accurate? – Eurik knew the kingdom finally had what it needed to grow properly – time. Time unimpeded by insane fey, power-mad barbarians and duplicitous sovereigns. Neighboring nations would not see a defeated kingdom ready for conquering, but a free, open, ready market. And in turn, Eurik would bring prosperity to the young nation like no other leader had. And he had friends. Friends who, like forged armor, had been hammered and beaten in the fires of battle, but came out stronger and shining. Those bonds would be as strong as adamantine and as valuable as mithral in the coming years…

No one could find Slink to comment on the situation. But his touch was evident everywhere. A clue here, a report there, surprises that were least expected and brought almost to tears in some cases…these said he was a loyal servant to the kingdom, had its best interests at heart, and could be counted on in a pinch should diplomacy fail. Perhaps he went on vacation because he was rarely needed anymore…

While events around the borders of the kingdom of Stagsheart endured great change, a time of peace, good cheer, growth and prosperity came, and whether it was a blessing of Old Deadeye that families were strengthened and good hard work was done, or some stroke of Desna’s luck, scholars will always look back at this era.

When what could never be tamed was, and when those from the humblest beginnings rose to lead a great nation to stand among the pillars of the world and in Golarion’s history.

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Off-world into Thousandbreaths
The time when reality turned upside down

The party seeks the Castle of Knives, deep into the Brenthlend Mountains. It is surrounded by gates of nymph statue sentinels.

The party enters, and true to the map of Luddiger’s picnic, the areas available to travel correspond so far.

Mire worms, a gargantuan rook swooping Alarah off, and four armed frost giants, just like in the story, just like the blooms they had fought in their homeland.

What was next?

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Part 5 finale
In which the annoyance Grigori receives...

…his arrowed comeuppance.

The party infiltrates the House of a Hundred Doors, beginning a concerted effort to draw out or corner Irovetti, the despised King of Pitax.

After a thoroughly harrowing battle between Irovetti’s generals, guards and troll marauders, the party heals up, and makes it way deeper in to the domicile.

Discovering numerous secret doors and systematically searching hidden rooms, the party uses Akiros’ knowledge to eliminate the possible hiding places the king would flee to.

Passing deeper into hidden passageways, the party is assaulted by a spirit naga, Irovetti’s consort and protector. It dies almost instantly after shocking the party with a lightning spell, shot to hell with Sleestak’s arrow fire.

The bard that haunted Ashhaven’s early history then fires a strange kind of glowing green fire cloud while Irovetti shakes targeted flechettes off his alien halberd at Alarah.

Grigori is menaced by magic and pierced by projectiles, falling into a heap above the island mound in the underground lake.

Irovetti is captured, then summarily judged and executed before the populace of Pitax in a public beheading.

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Quest for part 6 Sound of a Thousand Screams
News comes to you from these sources

Chasing Lightning
Source: A traveling druid.
Task: Vezakus Windthorn, a traveling druid who has come to the region to observe the strange
blooming manifestations of the First World, seeks bark samples of lightning-scarred treants. These monsters, the druid believes, are more common in the First World, and he would like to study how lightning causes the treant to transform into a strange new form of life.
Completion: Secure a lightning treant bark sample.
Reward: A wand of barkskin (CL 12th, 20 charges).

Bo t t L e d essence
Source: A strange tiefling wizard.
Task: Anamar Lellewen wants to know why some fiends, when they perish in strange corners of the multiverse, become devourers. He is willing to pay handsomely for a vial of “depleted essence” (essentally blood) from a powerful devourer that perished in the First World.
Completion: Find a devourer in the First World, kill it, and bottle a sample of essence.
Reward: A scarab of protection with 9 charges.

St o p t h e et t i n S !
Source: Reports from the field.
Task: Reports from a nearby fort claim that a dozen ettins led by a helmed satyr have been causing problems. While their leader is intimidating, it’s the twelve ettins who have been doing the most physical damage. Stop them before they cause any more devastation!
Completion: Defeat all twelve of the ettins.
Reward: The defeat of the murderous ettins raises the kingdom’s spirits, resulting in Stability and Loyalty increasing by +2 each.

A “Li t t L e ” Li n n o r m
Source: A curious scholar.
Task: Not all linnorms are equally huge. Rarely, one of these dragons doesn’t grow to full size. Tarlen Zheed, a noted scholar of all things draconic, would like to see proof. If one could find a linnorm runt, Tarlen promises a significant reward for the delivery of samples of its blood, flesh, teeth, and eyes.
Completion: Slay a linnorm runt and collect the parts.
Reward: 4,000 pp.

A he r o i c ch A L L e n g e
Source: Aurex Thewsen, abrasive “hero.”
Task: Hailing from Pitax, Aurex Thewsen often brags about his dragon-slaying skills. He challenges the leaders of the Stolen Lands to prove their worth by slaying a dragon themselves, in order to prove why they should remain leaders in the River Kingdoms.
Completion: Seek out an infamous true dragon and defeat it in combat. The legendary black wyrm Ilthuliak would suffice, if one could find her lair.
Reward: The PCs’ fame for becoming dragonslayers increases the kingdom’s Economy by +4.

th e pi xi e’S Si S t e r S
Source: Limm Ticklewing, worried pixie.
Task: Limm Ticklewing is worried for her six sisters. A month ago, they were all captured by a “nasty
wizard made out of worms.” He and a scary witch put Limm’s six sisters into a magic cage and gave
that cage to a mean troll. Limm escaped, and desperately wants her sisters to be saved.
Completion: Rescue as many of Limm’s sisters as you can.
Reward: For each rescued sister, Limm promises a gem worth 5,000 gp.

The Houten Legacy
Source: Belinda Houten, proper noblewoman.
Task: Belinda Houten is looking for a legacy; she wants a theater and several monuments built and dedicated to her family name. She happens to possess a book that a strange fortune-teller told her the leaders of the Stolen Lands would some day need, but she won’t part with it untill she has her buildings.
Completion: Build a theater and four monuments in Belinda’s honor (all must be in different cities).
Reward: A mint-condition copy of Zuddiger’s Picnic worth 5,000 gp.

A Flying Owlbear
Source: Loris Shadwest, eager taxidermist.
Task: Loris wants to stuff a winged owlbear. While lesser taxidermists might just stich a giant bird’s wings onto a normal owlbear, Loris wants his masterpiece to be “real.” He’s promised a powerful magical item to the first person to deliver to him a real winged owlbear carcass. IN GOOD CONDITION!
Completion: Kill a winged owlbear and deliver it to Loris.
Reward: The magic item Loris promises is in fact a crystal ball that’s been in his family for years.

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[S72+] Attack on Pitax
The siege begins

With the miles of territory surrounding Pitax cleared of opposing forces, the armies of Stagsheart march upon the capital.

The forces split into smaller groups, short distances apart, to cut off trade routes by land and water. The goal: No supplies coming in to Pitax.

[FYI, there have been many posts in the forums of the site – go check and respond, if you’d like. Preparing for next Sunday!]

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[S71+] Where the campaign goes from here
War with Pitax, Arodus 3, AR 4714

Having foiled an assassination attempt, the PCs know it’s only a matter of time before a desperate Irovetti marches armies into Dragonswood, Tatzylford, Candlemere, and Ashhaven directly.

Whiterose Abbey can be rebuilt as a temple (no additional BP costs).

The party retires to Ashhaven, holding a council with all lords and ladies and discusses their options.

The White Fang Riders are sent to scout the plains for these armies, and to report back to the leaders of Stagsheart their number and composition.

After a week of scouting, reports are ready. Use online rollers to resolve checks.

https://www.rpglibrary.org/software/securedice/ – please specify which check you are making

A copse of trees one hex east of the Rushlight Tournament area is the campsite for a Huge Army of Humans (Knowledge Local for more – DC 20)

Two hexes northwest and one west of Pitax is the conquered town of Littletown, holding a flight of wyverns.

Two hexes northeast (toward Dragonswood) of the Rushlight Tournament hex (three NE of Pitax) is a Gargantuan Army of Humans. (Know local DC 10-20)

Three hexes almost due north of the Rushlight Tournament area is a Small Army of Hill Giants mounted on Mastodons (Knowledge – local DC 10-20)

Pitax itself seems to be guarded by a Colossal Army of Humans, and 2 Medium Armies of Troll Marauders (Know local DC 10-20).

In addition to the camped armies, a grandmother wyvern roosts in the the forest abutting the Branthlend mountains. (Know Arcana)

Also, north of said mountains one scout witnessed an apparently intelligent elephant-like creature attacking a wingless dragon, but it had to retreat (Know Nature DC for elephant; Know Arcana for dragon. The dragon has taken residence in a massive graveyard of bones (Know-History)

Lastly, a female human, dressed in furs and dual wiedling short swords camps at the forest’s edge two hexes north of Littletown. The scout did not make contact. (Know local DC 20+).

Enjoy the virtual rolls.

I’m happy to play on the 15th if y’all like. I won’t be around the 22nd.

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[S70] Rumors abound
a sampling of what's been heard recently

A f light of wyverns has destroyed the village of Littletown, and they say that King Irovetti actually gave the wyverns permission to do so!

A lot of folks are unhappy with Irovetti’s rule, including a woman named Ilora Nuski, who once led the River Razors. She’s said to be hiding out in the wilds still, plotting a way to raise an army against the king.

Irovetti caught a huge remorhaz several years ago. He marched it through Pitax and still keeps it in his dungeon as a pet.

There’s a mammoth graveyard in the Branthlend Mountains—whoever discovers it will surely make a great fortune in ivory!

Some say that the black dragon Ilthuliak is dead, but a friend of a friend saw her flying over Glenebon just last month!

The old abbey on Whiterose Hill is still haunted by the priests of Cayden Cailean who were murdered there years ago.

The mother of all wyverns, Minognos-Ushad, lives in a cave just at the easternmost edge of Thousand Voices.

Irovetti’s fallen under the spell of a vampire priestess of Urgathoa who lives in a secret cave under his palace. She wants to turn Pitax into a necropolis!

The mastodon-riding hill giants known as Tusker’s Riders are on the march! They say King Irovetti hired them, but I don’t believe that.

Somewhere in the tangled forest of Thousand Voices lies the mysterious Castle of Knives, but never in the same place, it seems.

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[S68?] The Kingdom Expands
Ambitious plans for growth

Blueprints are drawn; architects have signed off on some of the most ambitious building by any nation in recent history in the River Kingdoms.

Labor is visible everywhere – the cutting and dropping of parts of forest; the quarrying of stone to provide foundations for buildings; animals put to work doing Erastil’s labors – trenching for irrigation, plowing for seed crops.

Town forges are busy melting ore for the creation of tools to make the work easier. Teams of blacksmiths in Ashhaven beat upon the metal, forging weaponry to outfit the raising of an army.

Meanwhile, a land rush is underway to settle the west beyond the Narlmarch forest, into the lands surrounding the Hooktongue Slough. Roads must be built to Midford, and to extend trade beyond the kingdom’s borders to the northwest toward Numeria.

Meanwhile, in Dragonswood, a tailor works busily to craft the pennants that will fly for Stagsheart at the upcoming tournament…

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Lands cleared of dangers for miles and miles
Time to build!

So, the party cleared threats, on its west side completely, it almost makes itself more vulnerable to attack now with nothing standing in the way.

A group of 18 refugee humans were safely escorted to Dragonswood, coming from Pitax.

The group had time to celebrate the twins birthday.

The PCs now have the means to become all-season adventurers, persisting their explorations through foul winter weather.

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The western flank of Stagsheart expands
The rewards of hexploration

The party continues to clear miles and miles of wilderness of major threats, making it safe for settlement and the kingdom’s expansion.

The swamp and forests make two natural barriers on it’s western flank.

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