Kingmaker - Dawn of a New Age

[Pre-session 5] A Bounty awaits...
A mite bit cold...

Tuskgutter’s corpse is being shucked and dressed for consumption and return to Oleg’s. Sleestak’s knife flashes, working furiously to bring apart the large boar into manageable portions.

Emmond’s air of superiority is adequately maintained with over-the-shoulder comments expressing appropriate amounts of condecension ( : )

Alarah’s snippets of verse and song make the work go by fast, and keep the party’s spirits warm in the cold temperatures.

Eric adjusts the new breastplate uneasily, where it seems to be a bit snug in places and loose in others.

The party considers another night out in the cold, as the sunlight begins to wane…

[Pre-session 4] Temperatures drop...
Late Winter in the Stolen Lands

Another few-day spell of cold weather assaults Oleg’s Trading Post. This morning a strong wind swirls around the dilapidated buildings, bringing with it a chill that finds its way through your clothes like icy, probing fingers.

The wind picks up during the morning hours, reaching 30+ miles an hour, coming down from the northwest. It would be warmer, but swift moving clouds blot most of the sky.

Svetlana offers to put the radishes gathered into some of her tasty borsht, and prepare the venison with some watercress and other local herbs for the evening meal.

Kesten Garess and his 3 men spar with wooden blades in the courtyard, and then follow with whetsones upon their swords and spun cloth upon their armor.

Oleg continues to repair a leaky roof, stirring some pitch and splintering some wood into shingles.

At mid-morn, Kazov, one of Kesten’s men, rolls back the gate to reveal Jhod Kavken. Jhod, with an earnest smile, and strong armclasp, greets you warmly. He unloads his furs with Oleg, and then joins up with you. He asks about your travels, and if you need any assistance. Only later in his conversation does he inquire about you having come across a bear or ruin in the last week…

One month in... [Post-session 3]
[Post-session 3]

Starday, the 24th of Pharast

A month has passed since first starting out from Restov, in southern Brevoy, with the exploration charter in hand.

The party looks back on its victories, its close calls, and its strange encounters, takes a bite of mutton, a swig of spirits, and has a few laughs in the relative safety and warmth of Oleg’s Trading Post.

A colorful mix of personalities: from Swordlord Mettleton to Slink, the map-trader, to hosts Oleg and Svetlana, Jhod Kavken, Kesten Garess and his 3 guardsmen, and now Bokken, the crazed potion-maker.

Somewhere out in the wild a savage beast roams, scenting for Sleestak. A few angry witnesses bear mention of a group of defiant adventurers carving their way through the wilderness to unspoken masters. While the snow softly falls, blanketing the fort’s roofs and courtyard, one cannot help but wonder what myriad secrets lie beyond the palisade, undiscovered in the Stolen Lands…

Thrice more Into the Wild
The Intrepid Four continue their journeys [Pre-session 3]

Oathday, the 15th of Pharast

Ice crusts the puddled waters in the courtyard of Oleg’s Trading Post after a long, cold night in the wild and an early morning ride in. Svetlana sees your approach, and busies herself with bringing a flaming brand from her quarters to yours, lighting the hearth fire. She then takes the reins of your horses and leads them into the stables. You dry out your gear, sharpen your weapons, prepare your magicks, and discuss your plans for the coming day.

Scanning over the map, your notice the immediate adjacent hexes to the south and southwest are marked as explored. There remains unexplored areas along the plains to the southeast, and farther south, along the border of the Narlmarch Forest and the Kameland plains, and then deeper into the Narlmarches themselves.

Somewhere Tuskgutter roams, tatzlwyrm heads lie comfortably atop their bodies, and the Sootscale kobolds and a rumored mite tribe go about their business…

We’ll take a look at the campaign website together, finish character backgrounds, review some posts, and you four can discuss your options…the hungry maw of the Stolen Lands awaits your stumbling steps…

Session 2 summary
Exploring the wilds

The PCs explored 7 hexes, and made notes on the master map. Encounters included 4 radish crazed kobolds, a flighty trapdoor spider which poisoned a hero, and a crowded campsite popular with bandits. Also some unexplained mishaps…

Wanted Posters
at Oleg's Trading Post

In the late afternoon on the same day as the fort’s liberation from bandit coercion, Oleg tacks up a poster…

Wanted: Bandits

Capture or defeat at least six bandits infesting the Greenbelt, proof is necessary.

The Swordlords will pay a bounty, in gold crowns, for each bandit, up to six total. (The bandits you previously defeated do not count toward that total.)

as well as three others that were there previously:

Wanted: Eliminate the Sootscale threat

The Sootscales live in a cave somewhere in the Kamelands. Normally not a problem, they have been active lately. Find their lair and ensure that the kobolds aren’t going to continue to be a threat – either slay or make peace with them.

The Swordlords will pay a large sum for completion of this quest.
Wanted: Tatzlwyrm
I want a Tatzlwyrm head! This place needs a symbol of conquest! Bring me one – with no damage! mind you – and I will pay you a small fortune in gold crowns and silver links.
Uh, the rumors of Tatzlwyrms being vicious, deadly and undetectable are probably not true.
For better or for worse, these wyrms are quite rare. Remember: head unspoiled!
- Oleg
Wanted: Tuskgutter!
Vekkel Benzen wants his revenge! After losing a leg to the monster a year ago, he’s putting out a bounty.

He will turn over his family’s bow and some magic arrows to whomever can kill Tuskgutter. Bring the monster pig to me, here, and I’ll arrange payment. Vekken will also share the head cheese he’s going to make with Tuskgutter’s head.
- Oleg

A Matter of Honor
Bandit Crises at Oleg's Trading Post

Emmond stands over one body, presence enough to dissuade Oleg from snapping it’s neck. The other four however, get their heads kicked, as Oleg empties his rage upon them, cursing.

The door to the living quarters opens, and Svetlana calls out “Oleg? Is it safe?” which shifts the big man’s visage to one more peaceful. With a deep sigh, Oleg turns and “Da, my little babushka. It is done at last.” Svetlana races in to Oleg’s widespread arms, a few tears trickling over her cheeks.

Embracing her, Oleg shouts “Friends…you are welcome to stay as long as you like. Make yourself at home, we may be awhile.” With that, he lifts Svetlana whose smile stretches ear to ear, and carries her into their quarters. Over his shoulder, her palm comes to her mouth and then quickly away, and her last words for awhile are “Thank you, friends”, and then a giggle as the door closes…

At that, the horses spring up and backstep toward the gate. Sleestack calms them down, and after a minute they rustle noisly, but under control. Alarrah tends to the slash wound upon Erik’s right arm, while Emmond considers the scene.

- D

Once upon a time...

When you heard rumor of the nation of Brevoy’s need for explorers, something piqued your interest. Whether it was the long hours with little pay, or the severe conditions you must endure, or the ever-present paranoia of having to watch over your back, you knew right away you were IN!!!

I’m sure you had other reasons of your own, and we may never know why. That is up to you. One thing is certain. The frontier city of Restov, in Rostland, calls you. Brevoy is enduring entropy after the death of Choral the Conquerer, with two nations always seeking the upper hand (Issia in the north, Rostland in the south). Currently Issia’s nobles rule, with their royal line of the Surtova family upholding the kingdom. Tales of civil war brewing may have grains of truth (and hops of sedition…)

You may have lived your whole life in the Stolen Lands, a buffer zone on Brevoy’s southern end and rife with shifting borders claimed by local warlords in the northern River Kingdoms.

Or you may have wandered into the area, finding yourself knowing nothing of the wild expanse that stretches out before you. Perhaps you are fleeing persecution elsewhere, or want to disappear from authorities in a foreign land, trying to carve out a new life from a savage wilderness.

One thing is certain; danger awaits.

Staying to the roads, you luckily avoid banditry and other hazards. You eventually succeed in entering Restov, your wits about you.

True to rumor, Restov is a frontier city of 43,000. It is also the home of several Aldori and Taldan sword-dueling academies, none of whom are modest enough to go undecorated. Colorful banners flap in the wind, trying to draw distinction to themselves.

Hushed words whispered in back alleys suggest that dissenters against King Noleski Surtova dwell here too. Not all support the king, and the Rostland faithful’s ostentatious displays border on open rebellion.

As you make your way to the Swordlord headquarters, a myriad of youthful nobles, busy with wooden swords, practice parries and dodges. Many sneer at your presence. Your inquiry about a commission to explore the Stolen Lands draws dismissive upturned noses, condescending looks, or raise a few eyebrows in curiosity. At least one helpful noble points you in the right direction.

Waiting for the meeting, you notice a few other mercenaries, and others who don’t fit that description but are here nevertheless. One group of stout men-at-arms, some bearing heraldric crests upon their tabards, stand ready to receive orders for their noble commander, who arrives with a flourish. Barking orders with confidence, his company departs, heading toward the city gates.

At last, your audience is granted. The Aldori Sworldlord representative, one Sworldlord Tavius Mettleton, listens to your pleas for employment. Tavius notices a glimpse, a promise of success perhaps, in the way you stand, the cut of your chin, your knowledge of trolls, your sharpened blade, the confidence of your word.

He then hands you a charter. [Player Handout 1]

His manner of excusing you connotes that he doesn’t expect you’ll succeed. You’re one of several adventuring companies he’s sent out over the last year, many of whom have not returned. He remarks that they were better outfitted than your group, with Brevoy’s noble houses sponsoring them.

He informs you to meet the others assigned to your team at the Sprite’s Rapier, a local tavern, at midday.

Together, over a mug of your preferred beverage, you greet one another, and unseal the document, which reads…

Swordlord Mettleton recommended Oleg’s Trading Post as a first stop, about 40 miles distant…


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