Yet Another Kingmaker

Session 4

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.

Session 3

From the diary of Alazan,

“As we returned to Oleg’s, we were greeted by a hooded man by the name of Jhod. He explained to us that he had felt drawn to the Greenbelt to a ruined temple of Erastil. His dreams suggested there was some sort of guardian that would have to be dealt with.

The party resolved to ensure the road leading back to Restov was cleared of any bandit activity and so started scouring the plains south of it.

We first encountered a “man in tune with nature” named Bokken. He talked a bit about his bastard brother and asked if we had ever “really thought about trees, like, ya know, man?” He seemed nice enough and offered to sell us some potions. We thanked him for his offer and assured him we would return if we ever needed them. We found a set of large humanoid tracks leading towards Oleg’s. We followed them to the source, which appeared to be a river where we lost the trail. Since we had reached the edge of our charter, we decided to turn back and continue exploring. In the night we were ambushed by some Thawns. After dealing with them, we found the treasure described on a map we found in the spider den. Continuing on, we discovered a massive tree. We decided to explore a cavern system under the roots that we found. Inside, we were attacked by mites and a massive centipede-like creature. A Kobold, we rescued, named Mikmak, told us that his tribe had been at war with the mites for a while, thanked us for slaughtering them, and left. Exploring the cave, we came upon a map that suggested to us that Oleg’s wedding ring was in the possession of the Kobolds. Alazan started to become ill from a spider bite I had suffered during the battle, so we returned to Oleg’s."
Session 2

Last time on “Kingmaker”:

Minutes after finishing the last of the bandits, another rider appeared at the gates of Oleg’s by the name of Thaun Kai-ron. This monk also bore the charter of exploration, but revealed that he didn’t make it to the mustering grounds in time to set out with the others. He was greeted by five corpses hanging at the front gate.

After interrogating and subsequently executing the remaining bandit, the party set out to explore the surrounding countryside to get a lay of the land. After encountering jack all (minus a couple trappers) and losing a few supplies, the group headed home. At Oleg’s they encountered a small group of fighters led by the nobleman Kesten Garess. The small band included Sacha Kolosenko, a Rostlandic engineer. Her team offered to assist the party in constructing minor upgrades to Oleg’s.

Our adventurers prepared for a subsequent bandit reprisal raid and prepped a catapult. The evening’s watch went mostly uneventfully. However, Orlo noticed a noise and pointed Shafir to a note stuck to the palisade. The bandits were watching. Immediately the alarm was raised and Viktor argued strongly to immediately give chase.

Victoria led the way, but lost the trail at the edge of the Narlmarches. The party thundered to the banks of the Thorn River and after some searching they found the bandit camp seemingly deserted. Her and Thaun approached the camp stealthily, right up until she stepped on a bear trap.

The gig was up, and she shouted for help as the first bandits emerged from the treeline. A short but vicious fight ensued, leaving Thaun incapacitated and many bandits dead; Shafir and Orlo accounting for a number of rock-crushed corpses. Upon the bodies a couple of notes were found, as well as a casket of green liquor. The party took their time getting back to Oleg’s, exploring along the way. A patch of moon radishes, a gold mine, and a spider’s nest were all discovered.

Upon returning to Oleg’s Kesten informed the party that the swordlords had placed a bounty on bandits in the Greenbelt, offering a one time reward once harassment of passing trade caravans has lessened.

A new visitor was also present, a hooded man in plain brown robes. He smiled weakly at our explorers.

Session 1

Last time on “Kingmaker”…

Our band of losers and misfits encountered “Sheldon”, a man with a broken down cart, on the way to Oleg’s. Immediately wary of an ambush, the party’s suspicions seemed well founded when an arrow hit “Sheldon” in the throat. A figure emerged from the woods, covered in scars, though his face was obscured by a strange bone helmet.

After a few tense moments and one sword swipe later, the party stood down. The man approached the badly wounded “Sheldon”, calmly placed something in his hand, and killed the helpless highwayman. Saying little else the masked figure simply walked away, and Shafir gave chase in the hopes of asking a few questions. Alazan, upon examining the corpse, found a single white rose petal in the highwayman’s hand.

Our adventurer’s continued onward to Oleg’s, bickering all the way about hippies and knife ears and racism. Upon arriving at the trading post they discovered the place was run down and nearly empty, an old converted border fort barely maintained by the gruff Oleg Leveton and his more cheerful wife Svetlana. Though Oleg had been told to expect a score of soldiers or so, upon learning that the Levetons had been subject to repeated bandit raids the party offered their assistance.

Our adventurer’s set up a cunning plan to reverse the roles and ambush the bandits. The five thugs strode into the trading post the next morning, and just as one of the bandits turned to see Victoria, she dropped the massive gate behind them. A bloodbath ensued, the panicking bandits quickly (and literally) fell to pieces in the wake of the paladin’s vengeance. At Alazan’s urging one was taken alive, having been punched repeatedly in the face, manacled, bound, and with a noose around his neck. Sated with revenge, the Levetons gladly offered the four adventurers a base of operations; free food, free beds, and a place to offload and purchase supplies.

A thunderstorm now sits over the trading post, and the first few drops of the spring rains fall. Victoria points to a series of horse tracks coming from the southwest. The trail leads into the uncharted Narlmarches, a muddled mess of swamp and forest that stretches for a hundred miles.

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