Kingmaker - Dawn of a New Age

[S37] Seeking the lost of Varnhold
Not a clue anywhere

After searching the surrounding hexes of Varnhold, little evidence of the villagers’ fate was to be found.

Though not her own subjects, the fate of a neighboring people wore on Willow’s psyche. Though her faith in Erastil was strong, she couldn’t ignore that the plight of Varnhold could replicate, if not investigated.

Plus, the humans were not necessarily evil, either, so an attempt to rescue them should be made, in her reasoning. But where in Heaven were they?

After reexamining the Ulfen ranger’s journal about a bracelet being found, and rereading Maestro Pendrod’s notes on “Vordekai’s isle”, the party goes further south. They reason that staying to the east side of the Tors of Levenies would allow villagers a more expeditious journey. Farther south they discover the Ghost Stone, and make a hesitant deal with an intelligent phase spider to kill “invaders” who took up there recently in her home. Somehow the Ghost Stone is connected to the Ethereal Plane.

Willow moves in with a plan to detect if those at the Stone are evil, thus ruling out them as Varnholders potentially. Sure enough, they are four-armed, red skinned otherworld demons known as Xill. Willow’s armor saves her from much of their attacks (claw, claw, claw, sword, bite).

Emmond lined them up for a lightning bolt (they were using the Stone for cover). The party battled, with some xill using two bows at once. Somehow noone suffered the poison effect of their bite.

Khumbu grappled two. Erastil’s blessed slashed quite a few, taking one down of the five. The party stood victorious, and the phase spider revealed an extra-planar chest of major magnifence. Inside were a wand and a spellbook.

Later, the party explores even further south, just a hex away from where the centaurs said a Valley of the Dead lay. There, they think they’ve discovered “Vordekai’s isle”, a 100’ tall fumarole in the middle of a deep wide pool in the river. It smokes menacingly.

Emmond casts flight on Sleestak and he takes a wide berth from the isle, flying over the waterfall, and looking for tracks on the other side, near what appears to be a trail. He finds evidence that humans, a larger humanoid, and unshod horse prints (centaur?) traveled there recently. It is impossible to tell where they were going or to follow them, even for Sleestak.

The party weighs its options. [See the map in the map section of this site for tactics and planning.]

[Post S29] Revenge
On the trail of devastation

After taking just a day to discover the extent of damage to their beloved town, the party chooses to trust in the resilience of Stagsheart, and prepares to wage war on whatever manner of birdbeast caused this mayhem.

The hunter and others track the obvious trail back to a gaping hole in the side of a hillock. Investigating, they set off the mushroom alarms, bring a plant creature, with its inhabitant centipedes, to investigate. The Baroness engulfed in the plant creature, suffering the ill effects of the hungry centipedes. The others pummel it with their magic, claws and arrows until it falls. A weary, but unbeaten Eric emerges.

The party decides the cave may be too dangerous to further explore, depleted of its resources. It chooses to rest to regain its strength.

The PCs venture in the next day, with a singular goal – confront what wrought devastation on Ashhaven. Going deeper into the earth, the party passes piles of carrion and offal, eventually staring down an enormous, armor-wearing owlbear. It’s bloodshot eyes terrorize the PCs, and its piercing screech-grunts echo through the chamber. It charges Sleestak, hammering him back against a wall, where he collapses. Khumbu, seeing its friend fall, leaps to the attack, in turn, getting hammered down. Sparks fly, and the baroness’ shield deflects some of the attack, while Alarah inspires the group and attempts to keep everyone alive, long enough to let blade and fiery spells to eventually drop the massive beast.

A sigh of relief passes between the PCs. The spine-breaking slam did not slay Khumbu, contrary to what was witnessed. Alarah and the Baroness knit bones and cat-flesh together, and Khumbu’s wide eyes pop open warily.

The party discovers a corpse with some valuable gear. Alarah notes the habiliments of the corpse remind her of an Iobarian barbarian, from the northeast. A tainted magical ring was also found on the corpse. Did the barbarian try to tame the owlbear? Was it successful? The armor indicates something of success. A map on the corpse shows the owlbear lair, and Ashhaven, circled…

[Post-session 27] A stand up fight

The party, after clearing the elven ruins of its remaining denizens, including the assassin vine-commanding Grimstalker, and the truly annoying Rygg Gargadilly, returns to Ashhaven.

Then, after almost a week’s rest, they bashed, slashed, arrowed and fired their way into the troll lair, downing 3 trolls and 2 trollhounds. The party takes a deep breath and considers their options…

[Pre-session 27] Further into the elven ruins...
more secrets await

Nice session last time. I’m hoping we can at least finish the elven ruins next session, and perhaps even plow into the troll’s lair. There remain a few unexplored hexes as well, and kingdom building to boot.

Oh, and nice epilogue, Ron!

[Post-S26] Let's Dance!
Put on your bloody shield and dance the blues

Baroness Eric wriggles in the grasp of the baobhan sith’s embrace, shifting to get her sword into position for repeated strikes. Keeping that sword hand free is enough to repeatedly slash the flesh beneath the finely woven gown, drawing screeches of pain and feral snarls from the otherwise alluring maiden. At long last, as the fascinating spectacle winds down, vines recede, and the onlookers come to their senses.

Somewhere in the wilds nearby, Rygg Gargadilly flees, swearing to return only a long time later.

[Pre-session 26] The elven ruins and troll lair await
Quickly, quickling!

I’m prepared to go in whatever direction you all choose, including building the kingdom more. See you tonight, Dakle

[Post S25] Here comes the bride!
All dressed in...blood?

The kingdom advances a month and a half- on Desnus Day, the wedding is set.

All goes well with vows and ceremony. It is not until later, when the party begins and food is served, that all chaos breaks loose.

It starts with envy (the men’s plates fuller), then poison, then a spiteful coven of delusional women, Lily and Svetlana included, being thrown into a rage and willing to use violence to settle imagined slights. Coaxing it on is Malgorzata Niska, a cleric of Gyronna, who channels negative energy into the men, bringing them within an inch of their lives, and then calling upon a ghostly dagger to kill the only woman who had love, Alarah. After Alarah counters the priestesses magic, leaving the women stunned and in despair, the priestess escapes, but the PCs pursue. Eric calms the women and drunk, threatened men, while Alarah goes after the hateful one. First Sleestak, then Emmond, then Khumbu are slapped awake by Eric, who tells them Alarah’s in danger. Emmond slips through dimensional cracks to arrive, gobble down a live spider, and web the priestess up with his magic. Sleestak moves swiftly to find the prey. Alarah’s summoned eagle almost defeats the woman-hag. However, in the web, she heals and strengthens herself. Then silence, and then confusion descends upon the group. Now, nothing makes sense, and irritations grow into action, with harsh words and physical assaults accompanying the bickering. Meanwhile the woman struggles from the web. After Eric notices it is too quiet outside, she summons her steed, and rides in, eventually subduing the evil priestess, but not before another round of negative energy hurts the heroes.

Later, the PCs discover the cult’s site, and the six cribs within. A nefarious plot to replace Ashhaven’s children with changelings is revealed. To repair what was done will take months of resolute and delicated investigation and a touch of diplomacy.

Then, the priestess is publicly tried and executed to end this nightmare.

People could only wish to have that much fun at their wedding.

Easily are the willing charmed

Melianse saw a powerful ally in Emmond. Powerful and mysterious.
Should she compel him to her will her own safety would be guaranteed.
Safety for not just for herself but the safety of her home.
So then she was about her charms and ways upon him.
And so as was expected of her seduction of the White Mage he acquiesced.
Inviting him to the depths beneath the surface of her pool and in to her realm they both ventured.
Drawn together below she lead him.
And there they both took respite.
There they shared the tales of one anothers world. They shared all that they could of the ways and means of the life each knew.
There each found peace.

Upon the morn Emmond rose from his watery bed.
“I must away with myself.” he sorrowfully said.
“Will you return?” Melianse asked with surprise.
“I shall.” was the truthful reply.
“Please,” she said longingly, “Please come back to me.”
“I promise.” And with that Emmond left their shared sanctuary.

[Post-session 24] Reforestation
and other fine works

The PCs find Tiressia Leafcrown and her satyr Falchos distressed over the appearance of a marauding scythe tree. Their encounter with the scythe tree is quite dangerous, especially to the great cat, but eventually successful. The dryad gifts them with the magical tree tokens they needed to complete the nixie’s quest. Melianse openly flirts with Emmond, at one point attempting a charm which she thought was successful (but Emmond was amazingly able to bluff).

[Post-session 23] Loggers/Nixie and Lonely Barrow
A reasonable intervention

After defeating the cairn wight fighter and his burning skeleton minions, the party claims a magical ring and longsword, whose magic is moderately strong. The blade is warm and has an almost indetectable hum when in hand.

The party, making its way toward the dryad, comes across some angry loggers and a charming nixie, at odds with each other. The party negotiates with each party, and takes on the coachwood tree restoration project for the nixie, as it coincides with their journey to see the dryad anyway. The party sends the loggers to a nearby sawmill, hoping the forest nearby will provide work and wages for them.


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