Last time on ‘Kingmaker’…
Our intrepid adventurers had grown weary of exploring and decided to take a week off to rest up at Oleg’s Trading Post. With everyone back at camp and a few travelers visiting the post, Svetlana took the time to organize a spring festival – something she hoped would become an annual event.
The morning of the event the party encountered Lily Teskerton, a young woman with a fashion sense and southern accent that stood at odds from the locals they’d thus far encountered. She seemed exceptionally eager to speak to Victoria and Shafir, both ‘knife-ears’.
Meanwhile Viktor took to asking Kesten for a proper duel…with dulled swords of course. Viktor went in for the quick kill, but his aging challenger managed to disarm the paladin with a quick flick of the wrist. The duel reset, with Lily and Victoria placing bets on the winner. The paladin was more wary and avoided an overconfident disarm and the pair began to trade blows in a slogging fight. After a solid hit on Kesten, Viktor seemed primed to take the fight, but the old man came back with an exceptional swipe to Viktor’s head that knocked Baltres out. With that, the festival was to begin.
First up was a traditional Rostlandic log toss. Breeg Orlanivich, a local trapper, was first up but after a quick roll-call it became apparent that he hadn’t made it to Oleg’s in time. Viktor gave an exceptional showing and handily defeated the treant Orlo, who instead seemed more interested in kicking around logs and clapping. Moving on to the hatchet throw, Sacha pulled out a surprise victory by nailing three bulls-eyes in a row.
The eating contest proved to be neck and neck, but the favored opponents Oleg and Bokken were taken out early – Bokken even managed to vomit two bowls in. Instead it was Alazan, having only just recovered from a rather nasty disease, who took the prize. His appetite terrified his competitors, even the disciplined Thaun and steadfast Viktor.
A three-legged race was next. Victoria and Sacha coordinated effectively and smoothly crossed the finish line ahead of everyone else. The ‘Svetleg’ pair moved slow and steady, peg-legged Vekkel and poo-covered Aleski fell out of the starting gate and argued, Orlo wasn’t the best team-player for Shafir, and Alazan and Thaun made a comeback after a rocky start.
To wrap up the day’s events, a horse race was arranged along the South Rostland Road. Our competitors were neck and neck with Sasha taking a slight lead – except for Jhod who lagged far behind – when the group spotted smoke in the distance. It was coming from a local farmstead owned by the Harnhall family. As the group approached it was clear that bandits had slaughtered the entire family except one, a teenage boy. Unwilling to speak or even look at anyone, the boy had a sign around his neck. It read, “Dovan was here. Brevans not welcome”.
Upon returning to Oleg’s with the boy in tow, our party geared up immediately to track the attackers. Sacha argued with Kesten, stating that she felt the engineers were doing to little to help, when Viktor and Victoria offered her to ride along (against Shafir’s judgment, who was afraid of her becoming too reckless).
After two days of hard ride, the party tracked the riders to an abandoned castle just before midnight. Based on the torches visible along the parapet, it seemed clear that the bandits had appropriated the ruin as a base of operations. Victoria and Thaun attempted to scout around the construction for a weak spot, but were surprised by a number of undead rising from the hillside closest to the Tuskwater. The gig was up as the pair dodged pot shots taken from the hollering bandits.
Meanwhile the other members of the party, waiting around the front, noticed a few of the bandits moving quickly to the opposite end of the fort. Taking advantage of the momentary distraction, they began their assault. Viktor proved to be a moving wall, his tower shield protecting the engineer, Sacha, as they attempted to get close enough to find a weakness in the gate. Shafir and Orlo rushed to take cover just next to the wall, and Alazan hung back to snipe at the bandits remaining in the watchtowers.
In the end, it was Orlo’s repeating slamming at the gatehouse to eventually shatter a post, and a piece of the gate fell inward. A vicious melee ensued with Viktor taking the blunt of the damage. Alazan continued an ineffectual duel with a bandit on the watchtower, and Victoria and Thaun arrived late to provide assistance. Eventually the bandits in the courtyard fell. A clanging of metal was heard inside of the keep, and a hooting call was heard.
The party moved to brace against the door, but eventually it splintered. A wild starving juvenile owlbear appears! Shafir attempted to appease the beast, though it literally bit the hand that was attempting to feed it. The fight was short, but left Viktor unconscious. As reinforcements came pouring around the side of the keep, the party dragged their wounded out. Shafir stabilized the wild beast, using Orlo and his horse to pull it with him. A particularly wiry and pale bandit called after the retreating PCs, to which Victoria answered with arrows.
The party limped back to Oleg’s, and planned for a short rest before returning to finish the job. As the following night fell, Sacha and her engineers manned the gate as the others slept inside. In the distance, they saw a lone woman running frightened towards the trading post.