Kingmaker 4.0

Merry Pranksters

Players

  • Alan: Caernarvon L1 Half-Elf Paladin (Desna)
  • K: Aenarin L1 Half-Elf Bard
  • Steve: Nikita L1 Elf Avenger (Desna)
  • Tim: Ceridwen L1 Eladrin Psion
  • William: Kuono L1 Minotaur Runepriest (Iomedae)

Log

Though it took quite some time, the group was to make their first friend in the land they hoped to rule. They were strange friends, to be sure, and not overly reliable ones at that. But adventurers learn to take friends where they can find them.

22 Sarenrith 4170

The day started clear, but the clouds built through the day, and the group spent a hard afternoon slogging through the rain and mud getting a detailed map of the last area near Oleg’s. Greatly relieved to be out of the weather, they returned to the Trading Post at night, to find a trapper had also stopped by. He was a young man, by the name of Yevgeny. Aneirin tried to make friends with him, only to find that Yevgeny was as taciturn as everyone else they’d run into. When asked where he hunted, the only answer he gave was ‘South.’ Still, he was happy enough to have drinking companions, and the two put away more than a single bottle of vodka. While the hunter wouldn’t talk much of himself, he did warn the party about another hunter, by the name of Breeg, who had a tendency to trap large areas and not check them very often. He either didn’t know, or wouldn’t say, where to find Breeg, but since the drinkers were soon to become insensate, this wasn’t much of a loss.

23-26 Sarenrith 4170

The cold rain that started the previous day continued, and got worse. Thunder and lightning were now regular occurrences. Under the dark, cold sky, the party quickly passed through the plains they’d explored the previous day to seek some form of shelter in the forest. The dense pine forest was certainly foreboding in its own right, and the darkness of the day made it worse, but at least the trees were some shelter from the rain.

It’s never that easy, of course, and they found that out when Nikita triggered a bear trap, escaping with a nasty cut along her leg. The trap had clearly not been checked in some time, and the party decided they were in Breeg’s hunting ground. The traps had been sitting for a good length of time unchecked, and many had not been triggered. Nikita and Caernarvon concluded that Breeg wasn’t hunting, he was hiding something, and the traps were to discourage anyone looking too closely. So, naturally, they would look closely.

They spent days poring over this section of the forest, mapping every tree and bush they could find. They hunted rabbits, and the occasional piglet, for food, but stayed out in the woods for 4 days. The rain continued for 3 days, but finally broke on the 4th, with sunlight streaming through the pines in the afternoon. During this time, though, they became the target of some mysterious pranks. Caernarvon’s shield was painted with a red-and-white bull’s-eye while he slept. Kuono’s porridge, one morning, was switched with grass and berries, which he proceeded to eat. Ceridwen, despite his protestations that he could see perfectly fine while meditating, had his eyes painted with ash to look like a raccoon. Ceridwen realized that they were under ‘assault’ by some faeries, and the party took to leaving small offerings at night. It seemed to help, but mostly in the selection of targets.

Eventually they found an old, abandoned camp they believed belonged to Breeg. The camp had been cleaned out, packed up, and left for the better part of a month. Finally growing frustrated, they moved on.

27-28 Sarenrith 4170

With the return of the sun, the temperatures rose quickly. It finally started to feel like summer, as the temperatures rose into the mid, and then upper, 80s. Now the forest was good for shade, instead of just protection from the rain. Exploring further to the south, a branch of the Thorn River cut through the forest. While the Thorn is over 50’ across at its narrowest, it was not terribly deep at this portion, and still easily fordable.

The pranks continued apace despite the regular offerings they left, and one other encounter of some note also occurred one night. While they’d seen elk regularly, a whole herd of them came wandering through their camp while the party slept. Ceridwen was able to spot the elk in plenty of time, and the party took the simple route of climbing trees and hiding while the herd passed through. Two of the elk were the magnificent River Elk variety, standing out from the rest by their large size and impressive appearance.

Some more exploration the next day at last led them to the source of their tormentors. Two fey, a grig and a faerie dragon, had been playing with the party while they traveled. Aneirin took the lead, and tried to be friendly. Somewhat to his surprise, his overture was well received. The grig introduced herself as Tyg-Tutter-Tut, while her friend the dragon was named Perlivash. They’d thought the party were ‘bad biggies,’ but had now decided they were OK. Ceridwen gave the pair a piece of candy, which thrilled Perlivash. Tyg was soon distraught at the thought that the ‘tricky biggies’ had them owing a gift, and so she gave the group a moon radish, and was even willing to show them where there was a whole patch of them. Tyg was clearly impressed with her own ability to draw a crude map in the ground.

Aneirin followed this up, hoping to learn more about the area, and especially the kobolds who they’d found in the radish patch. In that, at least, he’d be disappointed. Tyg showed neither concern nor interest in the kobolds, except that they were mostly funny when they ate the radishes. She knew about some ‘really bad biggies’ who lived nearby and Nikita realized that Kressle was still camped in roughly the same area they’d once encountered her before. Ceridwen hoped to learn about Fangberries for Bokken, since the faeries clearly knew about the Moon Radishes, but was disappointed. Tyg disliked even thinking about Fangberries, and was emphatic that she didn’t know where to find any.

She did, however, know that there was an old temple to Erastil, who she called ‘the unfunny Old Deadeye,’ to the south. She also knew of some hot springs further west of that, and recommended to the party they seek those out. After 6 days in the woods, they were all getting a bit ripe.

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Moon Radishes

Players

  • K: Aenarin L1 Half-Elf Bard
  • Steve: Nikita L1 Elf Avenger (Desna)
  • Caernarvon L1 Half-Elf Paladin (Desna)
  • Tim: Ceridwen L1 Eladrin Psion
  • William: Kuonu L1 Minotaur Runepriest (Iomedae)

Log

The group returned to Oleg’s for the night, a luxury they knew couldn’t last forever. It wouldn’t be long before their exploration would take them beyond the range where they could easily return to a cot at night, so they should enjoy it while it lasts. Better yet, this afforded some variety, as there was another visitor at Oleg’s.

A wild maned man introduced himself as Jhod Kakven, a follower of Erastil. Nikita tried to get some additional information from him, but he showed little interest in speaking to a woman and a follower of Desna. Instead, he turned his attention to Aneirin, and told him that he’d had a dream of a temple in the Greenbelt. This lost temple has a guardian, a bear-but-not-a-bear. He would ask the party to defeat this guardian and reconsecrate the temple to Erastil, and he in turn would tend to the Temple for them. Sadly, he had no details on where to find this temple, other than to the south.

21 Sarenrith 4170

The next day dawned, but it was hard to tell. A light rain was falling, and promised to continue throughout the day. The weather was not reason to hold up, so they set off again, exploring another nearby area, their first venture into the forest. The rain was gentle but constant. The day started pleasant enough, but got fairly wearying as it went on. There was a significant break in the exploration in the middle of the day.

A clearing in the forest where a stream ran by a hill was also the site of a fairly large, wild patch of radishes. Nikita called a halt to the party while she snuck up to examine this more closely, to find a bunch of kobolds sound asleep in the rain, right in the midst of the radishes. Puzzled, she began to circle around, only to see more kobolds in the same state. The rest of the party followed, but were nowhere near as careful, awakening one of the sleeping lizards. It called out an alert to its fellows.

They roused quickly but unsteadily. They saw Aneirin and began moving in his direction, only to shift to Nikita when she charged into the clearing. The kobolds appeared dazed, or confused, early on, but quickly shook off their disorientation. Nikita was overwhelmed; she’d led the way into the field, and the kobolds quickly fixated on bringing her down. They almost succeeded. It took the combined efforts of Aneirin’s healing music and Kuonu’s runes to keep her on her feet.

But with some effort, the kobolds began falling about them, but they never gave a thought to running. Kuonu, who spoke the kobold’s language, heard them yelling to each other to “Defend the radishes.” One of the kobolds spoke at least pidgin common, and croaked out “Ours. Leave. Ours.” This was an opening for Aneirin, who hoped to gain a surrender, and a chance to interrogate the kobolds, perhaps learning about the Sootscale Tribe they hoped to eliminate. Between gestures and slow-spoken words, he hoped to convey the chance for them to give up. Caernarvon tried to back his play, acting as the heavy, and threatening more violence if they did not give up, and quickly.

It came to nothing. Nikita, her prey in her sight, was unrelenting. She continued the attack, not giving any quarter, or any chance for them to act. Seeing the way the wind blew, Aneirin and Caernarvon joined back in, and the last of the kobolds was quickly put to rest. The radish guardians dispatched, Ceridwen soon confirmed that the plants were Moon Radishes, the same type Svetlana had asked them to watch out for. Ceridwen surreptitiously bagged a few for himself, while the rest of the party more openly gathered some samples for their hostess. Svetlana received them with some joy, and well out of Oleg’s sight. She disappeared briefly, only to show up again with an old silk purse she opened, to pay them with a moonstone, a few gold coins, and a healing potion she admitted to pilfering from her husband. She smiled more broadly than the party had previously seen. The walk in the rain and mud was worthwhile, it seemed. Best of all, the rain had broken shortly before nightfall, and the next day looked a bit better.

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A failure to communicate
The mission fails

Kressle opened the negotiations with what she possibly thought was a friendly tone. She advised Viggo, when he found Nikita again, to ‘skin the bitch who ran off.’ Whether this put Viggo off entirely, or whether he simply misjudged the situation badly, is hard to tell.

Viggo tried making threats, indicating that he and his men were advance scouts for an incoming Brevish army, and that Kressle should surrender and he’d see they were given mercy. Given that Brevoy had been abandoning patrols and forts for the last several years, and that 2 of Viggo’s men lay naked and helpless nearby, she dismissed this as mere posturing. She made a counter-offer in three parts.

She would give Caernarvon and Sajan a blanket, that they could make it back to camp, in return for the cash Viggo still had on him. Next, in return for their weapons, the party would declare a truce for a year-and-a-day, that they would not attack Kressle, and would back off from any target she or her men attacked during that time. Finally, in return for armor and the rest of their gear, if the party succeeded in establishing a kingdom, she would be made queen.

Viggo would have none of it. He reiterated his threats, that the Brevish army was returning, and that Kressle would be one of their first victims unless she pled for mercy. He offered only the name of the man organizing the army, and a promise of a farming plot. She was put off by this, finally determining that there was no point to continuing the negotiations. She turned to the other two, only to make a discovery of her own.

While she’d been speaking with Viggo, Nikita had snuck back into camp, liberated Caernarvon, and stolen off his gear. She was returning again, hoping to rescue Sajan in turn, when Kressle discovered this. A fight broke out, and Nikita had to make a final retreat. They waited for Viggo and Sajan for two days, but neither ever showed up.

The remaining pair finally had to admit their mission had failed. They began the week-long trek back to Restov, hoping to gather some new allies and return to claim the Greenbelt.

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A Big Defeat
The bandits win one

Players

  • K: Sajan L1 Minotaur Seeker
  • Pat: Viggo L1 Half-Elf Ardent
  • Steve: Nikita L1 Elf Avenger (Desna)
  • Caernarvon L1 Half-Elf Paladin (Desna)

Tech

Ongoing complaints about my mike, but they seem better if I’m quiet. I’ll try to remember that, and also keep the gain a bit lower. Steve was unable to use macros, but he also thinks he didn’t have the stack size set properly. K and Pat using them made things a lot easier on me, so please check stack sizes in the future.

End of turn saves don’t show up as cleanly as I thought, so we need to remember them, or I need to write a new macro to remind us…

Log

The party decided to pursue the bandits at all cost. They pushed on into the dark and cold of the forest. Between Sajan and Nikita, they had an almost trivially easy time following the bandits’ trail back to their camp. They did, however, move slowly as they had to look for the tracks regularly. They thus went deep into the night, refusing to stop just because of darkness. Again, Nikita and Sajan were good enough trackers that mere nightfall would not stop their pursuit.

Almost 30 miles distant from Oleg’s Trading Post, they came across a river ford. The clearing raised Nikita’s hackles, so she went in alone to scout the place, only to spot a concealed bandit archer in a raised platform. It was most unfortunate, but he’d also spotted her. As she turned back to alert the party, the archer loudly raised an alarm, only to die an instant later as Nikita called down Desna’s wrath.

The battle started as a hunt through the dark. It was shortly after 4 in the morning, and there were plenty of trees to block each party’s view. The bandits had the advantage of knowing the area, but neither side knew the others’ strength or location. Further, neither side was willing to set off any lights. Both the party and the bandits split their group into two, and circled about the central trees.

As the groups met, their strengths became better known. The bandits had 4 archers, one already dead, 2 guards, 2 bandits, and their leader, Kressle. The party got off to a strong start, as Nikita took out another archer, leaving the two who had gotten onto another platform. One of the guards also died in fairly short order. But soon the weight of numbers on the other side began to tell.

Caernarvon was surrounded, and even with his great armor, he couldn’t stand up to too much beating. Kressle joining the fray proved telling as well. She threw her axes with fantastic skill, and each time with a new and often deadly poison. Caernarvon was the first to fall, with Sajan to drop shortly after that. Nikita turned Desna’s eye to the other archers, and they were soon out of the equation, as was the last guard. Viggo bought Sajan back up, only to see him drop almost immediately.

Nikita boldly charged Kressle, in what she swore was a suicide charge, only to be driven back by Kressle’s flurry of axe work. That was enough for her, as she broke and ran. Viggo stayed, and tried another attack, only to be startled when Kressle offered a truce. Apparently uncertain of her own position, with only her and 2 bandits still upright, she offered to heal the two party members and take their stuff, but otherwise allow them to leave. She also offered to let Viggo join them as bandits under the Stag Lord, as she said with a rueful smile that she ‘needs some new men, it seems.’

Viggo was considering his position. He was also a little surprised to find some mercy from his opponent.

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Interrogation
Happs Bydon's Defeat

Players

  • Alan – Caernarvon L1 Half-Elf Paladin (Desna)
  • K – Sajan L1 Minotaur Seeker
  • Pat – Viggo L1 Half-Elf Ardent
  • Steve – Nikita L1 Elf Avenger (Desna)

Tech

Maptools worked far better, we were even able to use some of the macros (though not the ones I considered ‘finished.’) One problem was on my end, making sure trusted macros were in an uneditable state. The other problem was at the user end, in that we needed greater stack sizes (4MB seems to be minimum, and I’m recommending 6 or 8.) I finished some additional macro work the day after the session, so I hope to put them into full use next session, hopefully speeding up combat even further.

Session Log

The cliffhanger ending to last week’s fight was swiftly resolved. The players came back with a vengeance, taking out the bandits with an almost astonishing rapidity. This was not without cost, as the bandit archers were able to concentrate their fire on Viggo at one point, and bring him to the ground. Viggo wasn’t having any of it, though, as he rallied before any of the party was able to come to his help. His job was to help and lead the others, not to be the recipient.

Once she had a line, Nikita charged on the bandit leader, Happs Bydon. She pursued him mercilessly, and soon had him down. As soon as their leader fell, the remaining bandits gave up the ghost and began fleeing. Two of the archers nearly got away, only to find Nikita and Caernarvon in pursuit. They soon caught the bandits, and killed them as soon as they could. While those two pursued, Viggo and Sajan called out Olegand Svetlanato aid in putting out the fires that were still burning along the wall.

When the pursuers returned, the party checked to see if any bandits were still actually alive for interrogation. Only two could be recovered. Happs Bydon himself, and one of his archers. For the remainder, Viggo wished to chop off their heads, and mount them on pikes about the trading post. Oleg put a stop to that, as he was not having such gruesome decorations about his post. As soon as he spoke up, Sajan agreed with him, and that plan was soon put to rest. They did, however, go about building a makeshift gallows, to which Oleg raised no objection. While the party started the interrogation, Oleg and Svetlana began building a pyre as simple means of disposing of the bodies.

Viggo offered Bydon a deal. Bydon could give up everything he knew about the bandits in the Greenbelt and serve them for 20 years, or he could die. Bydon in turn indicated that the bandits in Greenbelt were under the command of the Stag Lord, and the party could save themselves trouble by just surrendering now. With a bit more provocation, he revealed that he worked for a bandit named Kressle, who in turn worked for the Stag Lord. He opined that the party was nowhere near her equal, let alone the Stag Lord’s, and offered not to inform on them in return for his freedom. Nikita tried to make a deal with Bydon during this, and Viggo pulled her aside to point out that they must remain united, and there would be no mercy for the bandits. They must accept the offered deal or die, and there would be no compromise. Shortly after this, they hung Bydon.

That left the lone archer. Accustomed to being on the bottom of the food chain, he was nervous, until he realized the party wanted the information he had, and he was their only source for it. He tried to bargain for his freedom. When Viggo offered him the same deal he had Bydon, the archer dismissed it with the simple statement, “Slavery is an abomination.” Nikita tried to get a bit more by learning where he was from, to find that he came from Gorax, a country that doesn’t exist anymore. His family died in the wars, and he’d lived with the bandits ever since. Viggo ultimately offered to let him live one additional hour in return for information about the numbers and locations of Kressle’s camp. With no chance of freedom, the archer decided he at least wouldn’t’ enter the Iron Halls a traitor, and accepted his death. It was an ugly death, as his neck didn’t snap, and he bounced and kicked in the air for almost a quarter hour before finally dying.

With their grisly business concluded, Oleg approached them. He said that since the bandits were killed on his land, he figured letting the players keep their goods, including the horses, was their reward. But then he added that not everyone agreed, as Svetlana glared on. So he added an additional reward from his stores, giving them 70 pieces of gold and a potion of healing. While he complained about the damage done to his walls and especially to the gate, he did add a rather grudging, ‘good job.’

Nikita followed up this good will by asking him about the people in the area, who came here and when. Oleg mentioned a man named Bokken, and then clammed up and became very noncommittal. Nikita pressed on, as Oleg became progressively cooler, quickly dissipating much of the earned good will.

The afternoon approached, as the morning had been taken up with interrogations and hangings. Oleg and Svetlana lit the pyre, giving Nikita and Caernarvon odd looks when they blessed the bandits, but otherwise staying silent. The party decided not to rest, but to try to track their foes before the trail went cold. They got a good start, following the tracks the bandits had taken for a few miles, until they came to a forest. They’d decide whether to pursue further next session.

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Session 1
Session

Players

  • K: Sajan L1 Minotaur Seeker
  • Pat: Viggo L1 Half-Elf Ardent
  • Steve: Nikita L1 Elf Avenger (Desna)
  • Caernarvon L1 Half-Elf Paladin (Desna)

Technical

We got off to a poor start with Maptools. The slow start was entirely my fault, as I hadn’t realized my local IP had changed, and I was forwarding the port incorrectly from my router.

Beyond that, we had a lot of problem with the macros I’d set up for the players. They didn’t work at all, where I’d hoped to make things much smoother with them. I’m continuing to look into this issue. If anyone has time this week, I’d like to set up a midweek test, where we see if we can get them working in an online setting. This would be a ‘fake’ session, where we are really just testing out the powers.

Log

Some Brevish nobles, wanting the Stolen Lands pacified, have put together some groups of explorers. The intent is to find people strong enough to claim their own kingdom, but sufficiently loyal or honorable that they’re unlikely to attack them in turn. This particular group was given a charter to explore the area of the Stolen Lands known as the Greenbelt.

The four took a weeklong journey from Restov to a once-abandoned military fort that has been revived as a trading post for trappers and hunters. They arrived to find the post nearly empty save for the owner and his wife, Olegand Svetlana. The pair was initially pleased to see them, as they’d been waiting for a response to their plea for help against the bandits. Oleg’s attitude soured quickly when he realized the party knew nothing about this earlier plea.

While they were more than willing to help out against these bandits, Oleg’s attitude never improved. He moved from insulting comments against the nobles of Brevoy, to similar derogatory comments about his new rescuers. Viggo was quite put off by this, though the rest of the party seemed to assume this was simply Oleg’s nature. His much younger, pretty wife mostly suffered through this in silence. She was able to show some actual gratitude when Viggo spoke with her personally.

In the event, the players were able to learn that a group of bandits has been attacking Oleg’s Trading Post for the last 4 months. The initial attack involved over 2 dozen bandits, led by a harsh woman very skilled with her axes. The bandits have arrived at the beginning of every month since, though with progressively smaller numbers, and never again with the woman. The band leader instead is a cloaked man with a bow.

Nikita and Viggo took the lead in discussing their response to this. Initially, the discussion concentrated on ambushing the bandits on their way to the post, in order to deflect blame from Oleg and Svetlana. They abandoned that plan due to the difficulty in predicting the path the bandits would take. Given that they’d have to attack so close to the post, they figured on taking advantage of the defenses the walls offered. The post, once a military fort, had some abandoned war machines, but the party had neither the parts nor the time to repair them. They decided instead to simply man the walls.

This led to an early difficulty, in that half the party had no ranged weaponry. They were able to take some of Oleg’s supplies, which included short bows for the hunters. They closed and barred the gates to the trading post, and waited for the bandits to arrive, while Oleg and Svetlana were told to wait inside their home.

The bandits arrived. There were 9 in total, led by the cloaked man, Happs Bydon. He had 8 others with him, 4 archers, and 4 bandits. Viggo called out a challenge to him, which in combination with the closed gate, led Bydon to immediately order his men to dismount and take up battle formation. Bydon addressed Oleg, ordering him to open the gates or ‘face fire.’ The party opened fire, and Bydon began throwing flasks of alchemists’ fire at the walls. Once two areas had caught fire, Bydon took up his bow, as he and his archers began trading fire with the party, all while watching the fire slowly spread.

The exchange of arrow fire was proving inconsequential, and the party was growing worried by the spread of the flames; which appeared to be the main point of them. Eventually they decided to take the fight to their enemy, and jumped over the walls. Sajan was widely separated from the rest of the party, and the bandits took great advantage of that as they closed in. Bydon and Nikita traded yelling threats, with most of Bydon’s threats directed towards Oleg, though even more towards Svetlana.

Through weight of numbers, the bandits hold a decent advantage, already bringing Sajan down, and only the grace of Desna bringing him back up. Still, the party’s superior skill has resulted in 2 of the bandits going down, and Bydon’s threats are now directed as much to his own men as to Oleg, as he orders them to press on.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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