Cerulean Era

Session IX: City Improvements

Player Note

(House Rule #1: The feat Master Craftsman was altered in its implementation. In this new form, the player chooses a Craft or Profession check along with the desired Item Creation feat. The Item Creation feat cannot have a caster level higher than the character’s ranks in the desired Craft or Profession skill. The feat allows for the character to use the indicated check when crafting items allowed under the Item Creation feat. The GM is allowed to veto any attempts to make items that do not merge well with the flavor of the intended skill [ex. Profession (artist) and a longsword]. The DC to make an item still increases for the prerequisites not met.)

(House Rule #2: The DC to craft a magic item contradicts in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook on pages 112 and 548. Until errata states otherwise, the game will use the information on page 112. The DC to create a magic item is 10 + the caster level of the item + 5 per prerequisite not met.)

The group spent the rest of the year focusing on the construction of the kingdom. A large number of acres were claimed, each turned into farmland with a road running through connecting the area. Kalevi spent her free time making pocket watches while Eumelia performed for the population. Eumelia was working on speaking with Aganor in hopes of restoring his paladin nature, and Kalevi had also sent a letter to her family notifying them of her situation. The month of Thadi had fortunetellers rolling chicken bones and reading good fortune for the kingdom. This news increased morale for the population.

During the month of Hanadi, a lesser prince of Tharsind named Lord Darvin came to Triptych as an international diplomat. He was willing to recognize their lands as an independent kingdom since we were the first in a long time to have a secure hold on the place. He brought his minor court with him during his month’s stay, and the economy boomed with the sudden increase in goods and trade.

Ishadi came and went without any large event. Sarbadi allowed for the claiming of the gold mine by the kobolds and setting up operations. During that month, a dwarven stoneworker created a masterpiece that drew lots of attention and visitors. In the dedication, he mentioned that it was created in New Gan Bolar, the name the dwarves use when referring to the city. The visitors also helped bolster Eumelia’s performance attendance. Her music dedicated to the turning of the season garnered a lot of interest in Sarbadi and Metadi. Metadi was also punctuated with the construction of the castle. When the area was being cleared out, a hidden treasure cache was found underneath some worn stone. Erramir recognized one of the items as something historical and important to the elves, so he claimed it for his people. The rulers also found items of personal interest in the old stash. Kalevi claimed an adamantine greataxe that possessed a slight magical aura around it. Galienne found a mithral breastplate for protection and promoting ease of movement. Erramir was kind in replacing the item he took and bestowed upon Eumelia a beautiful tiara that also improved her force of will and likeability.

Winter’s arrival hampered Eumelia’s performance, as folks started to buckle down for the cold season. Eumelia was finally done talking with Aganor, readying his heart to return to being a paladin on his terms and with proper preparation. During this month, a barbarian hero known for single-handedly defending villages to the south had come to the city to rest for the winter. He stayed in the brand new inn that had just been constructed. Initial interest in his arrival brought visitors even in this treacherous weather. Tosadi saw the creation of the town hall, although another scandal had popped up around Florris of House Borrin. They were able to keep people calm on this one as well.

Soon All Gods’ Week had come and the yearly festival took place. Spring had arrived in the new year of 852 A.B., Triptych meeting it in a hearty, blossoming state. Kalevi’s dedicated work finally paid off as she discovered a method of drawing ambient magical energy from the leylines and powering her clockwork creations. The method was still in its infancy with a great deal of trial and error in play, but now she had found a way of harnessing power without imbuing it directly into an item as a caster would.

The group decided on the first of the new year to set out and explore the area north of the river. They felt confident that they could handle the trolls should they run into them. They took a small boat to go across, something easy to tie up and inconspicuous so they could hide it until they chose to use it again.

Across the lake, they found a fenced in hut, shabby yet somehow maintained. Blue smoke rose out of a makeshift chimney. The fence and yard had fetishes strewn about with an eerie pumpkin-headed scarecrow with a pocket watch tied to its wrist sitting in the yard. By the fence was a crude iron bell with a coarse rope clapper. Bryn and Galienne searched the area for magical auras, finding several within the hut and one squarely on the scarecrow. Kalevi rang the bell after the group decided that they should at least say hello. Out of the window popped the wizened head of an old lady with greener skin than Kalevi. She was curt, to say the least. While she did not wish us ill, she did not want to be bothered. Eventually, they gave up and agreed with her to a plan of mutual avoidance.

In the morning, while everyone else was packing up, Eumelia went back to the old hag’s home. The rest of them were done trying to talk to her, but the gnome was not persuaded. Eumelia cunningly warmed the old girl’s heart with a gift of headcheese. She hobbled out of her hut, taking a moment to berate her scarecrow, in order to open the gate for Eumelia. They socialized over bog tea, headcheese, and hardtack. During this time, the old lady disclosed her name as Beldame and gave information about the surroundings since they were new in this area. She warned the social gnome about a large fellow who likes heads, some will-o-wisps at a tower in the middle of the river, lizardfolk who were keeping her from her prized rattlecap mushrooms, and the tome of the undead prince the group had dispatched about eight months ago. Beldame showed herself to enjoy conversation, being lively and coarse in her choice of words and tone. She asked Eumelia if she and her friends could go pick mushrooms for her. She agreed and bade the old girl farewell for now. Eumelia met back up with the rest and conveyed what had happened. Kalevi suggested that they bring headcheese to Beldame whenever they wish to speak with her again.

Around noon that day they rode off to the west to explore. They ran across some boars appearing to be chased out of the forest. Since they were two hundred feet away and seemed uninterested in them specifically, they chose to avoid them. They traveled west on the third day and found nothing of interest. On the fourth day, they moved northwest to explore. All they found were three bears searching for food about two hundred feet off. They chose to avoid them as well.

They headed east on the fifth day and heard loud sobbing past a hill in the distance. Only Eumelia and Kalevi understood its words since it was in Giant. It sounded like the person had hurt his tongue. They wanted to help but understood that it might be dangerous. Kalevi and Bryn decided to go up to him while Eumelia and Galienne stood back and listened to determine how dangerous he might be and how possible it would be to save the encroaching group. Kalevi and Bryn moved up to the hill, Kalevi speaking out in Giant and trying to greet him. The lummox believed his bottle was speaking to him. They found a hill giant wearing tattered blue overalls and a necklace of skulls licking up spilled moonshine and ceramic shards from a rock. Kalevi got him to stop hurting himself, but could not get any meaningful conversation or allow her to help him. She beckoned Galienne and Eumelia over. Kalevi distracted him with promise of alcohol while Eumelia worked her charms and pulled the shards out of his tongue and reassembled the jug with magic. Munguk, as the brute called himself, was still distraught over his lack of alcohol, loudly mewling over his “three step plan”. The group chose to go back and bring back a barrel of alcohol to soothe him and loosen his lips. They went back to exploring while he moped on the soggy rock.

On the ride back to the city on the sixth, they tried to decide what to do with him. Hill giants were known to be brutish and brutal, but they did not want to dispatch him so quickly. They were hoping to talk him into working alongside them somehow. In the early afternoon, they were interrupted by a fleet of worgs howling in the distance. From three hundred feet off, they chose to engage the group. This was different from the boars and bears whose aggression only ever stemmed from a want to survive. Worgs are inherently evil and wish to cause malice, so they knew they had to kill them. They chose to fight rather than avoid.

The group’s tactics were in good form. Eumelia’s music and spells bolstered the party’s competence and morale. Galienne used her deity’s power to call forth a celestial cheetah, a spiritual kukri, and blast worgs with holy sound. Bryn was quickly surrounded by worgs but cleaved his way through the bunch. Kalevi moved around the battlefield for strong hits but also suffered from being knocked down a lot. After a minute, all the worgs were either dead or dying, Bryn living up to his new title of Wolfsbane. Eumelia reminded the rest that she wanted to take one home, so they tied a decent looking one up in rope and dragged it back. After depositing the worg and picking up a barrel of liquor from a confused distiller, they rode back to Munguk.

They found him still sitting on the rock, depressed and depressingly sober. They offered the barrel, and he happily took it, unplugging it and downing half the barrel, runoff covering his face. He deemed them friends for helping him in the first step of his plan. The second was killing something, and the third was having sex with a female hill giant. He tried to join the trolls, but they wouldn’t let him, hence his melancholy. At the moment, he was too blissfully drunk to care about the rest of that. He offered the group a pickled sheep’s head as a snack. Kalevi hesitantly took it, more afraid of what would happen if they refused. Munguk tried to repay them by pulling out his “map”, a scribbled on rough piece of cow hide. Eumelia and Kalevi were still hindered with reading it because it was horribly illiterate Giant. Kalevi eventually deciphered it, realizing that it was identifying the same areas that Beldame had told them about a few days ago. While asking him about the locations, he had jammed a hollow femur into the barrel and drank more. He dozed off quickly. Before leaving, they decided to continue bringing him alcohol when diplomacizing with him, hoping to talk him out of his interest in killing sentient beings. They found a place to camp for the night away from Munguk and prepared for more exploration in the morning.

Session VIII: End to Exploration

Player Note

(A new house rule was applied in a humorous manner to counteract the players’ bad dice rolls. The first player to roll a natural one on a d20 would be forced to consume the rest of the night’s beverages in a plastic dinosaur sippy cup named “The Failsaurus”. It was explained that, hopefully, the player’s bad luck would stay with him or her and not spread to the rest of the players.)

On the 10th of Apadi, the group, with Mikmek by their side, reached the opening of the kobold lair. It was straddled by a sign and a mite in a poorly manufactured cage. The sign identified the location as the Stonepick Silver Mine in the Dwarven tongue. The entrance was a strong iron door, clearly left by its predecessors. It opened up, revealing another kobold with a spear. Mikmek cried out, “Nakpik! I’m back, and I have Old Sharptooth!”

Nakpik let him in, and the group followed the triumphant Mikmek holding the statue over his head. Several kobolds started following him, seeing his prize. They made their way to Chief Sootscale, a kobold with great decoration on his body. Sootscale surprised the group by speaking in Common, asking why they were here. Mikmek chattered away in Draconic explaining the situation and giving the statue to the chief. He took it, musing a moment, then smashed it on the ground and stomped on it a few times. He cried out, “The curse is broken! Tartuk will die!”

The kobolds ran off, their chief at the head. The group followed closely behind. They ended the march at a small room where a purple kobold was tending to a large cauldron, a crow on his shoulder. He asked what was going on, but when he saw all the readied weapons, he swore. The kobolds turned swiftly on their traitor, Bryn and Kalevi joining them but Galienne and Eumelia hanging behind, seeing no space to join the crowd. Despite being outnumbered, the shaman held his own, shooting magical bolts out of a wand as his crow pecked at the enemies. The battle ended when Kalevi grabbed Tartuk and Bryn cleaved him in two. As if roused from a daze, the crow flew away free from the arcane bond with Tartuk. Chief Sootscale thanked the group for their aid and rewarded them with the possessions Tartuk had as well as promising aid. Among the goods were elven made magical boots that granted increased mobility and Ilsa’s wedding ring. Kalevi took the boots to aid her tumbling capabilities. Kalevi pulled out the map and explained locations to the chief. She mentioned the three captive kobolds, especially the two from the radish patch, and Chief Sootscale requested their return to bolster their number. The group explained that they would send some guards to protect the returning kobolds then take the rest of Tartuk’s valuables. They said their farewells and went to explore the rest of the location before resting for the night.

On the 11th, they found a crossing on the river, a mere rope tied across the water. A broken sign indicated that this was R.J.’s ferry, and another smaller sign said “Ring Bell for Service”. There was a small bell attached to the side, and they hit it, a tin sound emanating from the toy. An undead man armed with a spear rose from the water, demanding that the Stag Lord be killed and thrown into the water so that he may look upon his corpse in undeath, as it was the Stag Lord that had killed him. The group explained that he was already dead, but they agreed to throw his bones in the river to send him along his way. Galienne disliked holding her hand in dispatching him outright, but the rest were hoping that this act would allow his soul to rest. If he did not dissipate, they would then destroy the abomination. As the man disappeared in the water, Galienne noticed that his spear was magical.

They rode back quickly to the city on the 12th, unable to progress further until the undead stopped impeding travel. On the way back, the group was attacked by four tatzlwyrms popping out of the water as they crossed the river. Everyone but Bryn was dismounted violently by the wyrms. The predators tried to subdue their prey with holding them down and breathing poison in their faces. Only Kalevi succumbed to the poisonous dose. Eumelia’s dog was also part of their attentions and fell swiftly to the onslaught. Bryn was the leading force in dispatching the tatzlwyrms. Kalevi was again in a situation where she needed a few more days to fully recover. They stabilized and healed Eumelia’s riding dog so that they could continue.

They took care of sales, and Kalevi received her stash of alchemical items from Snip. A tent from the adventurer’s guild, last encountered in Dullunar, had set up in the burgeoning city. Since the guild was multiracial and accepting, they had been driven out of the xenophobic port and came here. They continued to do business as usual, the group taking notice of their new warrants and actually collecting a reward for the “kobold threat”. They dug up the grave of the Stag Lord and deposited him into the river. Immediately, the man rose up. He laughed vengefully at the bones and vanished. They fished up his spear and, after cleaning it, gave it to Galienne. The loot from Tartuk’s room had also arrived. Among the belongings was a book in Undercommon. They found a dwarf able to read it and willing to translate. Apparently, the kobold was originally a cowardly and bitter gnome that had been reincarnated as his racial enemy. While the story was sad, there was nothing more to be done.

They rode out on the 13th to finish up the last corner of the area worth exploring. The first day was uneventful. The next day was met with a group of three wolves led by a worg. The group recalled that there was a bounty out for a worg that was causing trouble and assumed it was this one. In the skirmish, Bryn and Kalevi were unseated by the wolves’ efforts and forced to fight on foot. Galienne and Eumelia stayed back to provide support in the form of a summoned kukri and supportive music, respectively. In between notes, Eumelia asked that we try to subdue the worg and take him in alive in hopes of reform. Since it was an intelligent being, it was understandable and the fighters agreed. Unfortunately, after Bryn took down two wolves, the worg tried to flee. Kalevi noticed this and ran up to hit him. Her strike was too powerful and cut the life from the beast, far from the reach of their healer. The last wolf fled, scared by losing the leader and seeing the body of one of its dead companions. The other body existed only as the large blood splatter across Bryn’s armor. The group acknowledged Bryn’s success at decimating wolves with speed and brutality and suggested that he take on the name “Wolfsbane” to serve as a descriptive surname. Baron Wolfsbane went to clean himself off as Galienne called upon the power of Shekastra to preserve the worg’s body for return. They rested up for another day of travel, the 15th holding nothing of interest.

The 16th was punctuated by a historical find. Kalevi and Eumelia found a barrows on the hillside. A secret entrance revealed itself over time, leading to ancient catacombs. Kalevi took the front, aided by her natural ability to see in the dark, with Galienne using her heatless torch to cover the rear. The first room cried out at the light, large swarms of bats screeching and flying through the air in reaction to the stimulus. They stayed towards the ceiling, so the group chose to crawl on the floor to avoid them altogether. A short corridor collected the beginning room and the next one, a large circular room with four gargoyles perched near the ceiling. There were closed doors in front of them as well as to the sides. In the center were the bones of a lonely skeleton. Kalevi identified the area as a large trap, spanning a square of about ten feet. Examination of the mechanisms showed that triggering the trap would cause the gargoyles to shoot out some sort of magical beam. Galienne’s senses found that the ring around the skeleton’s finger was magical in nature. Kalevi told the rest of the group to stand in the hallway while she worked to disable it. As her tools ran across the old mechanisms, one of the gears snapped and set the trap into motion. Just as predicted, magic shot out from the gargoyles’ mouths and hit the unlucky eighth-orc. It left her drained of energy, listless and weak. The doors slammed open, followed by the sound of sarcophagi opening, and Kalevi scurried behind the group in an attempt to shield herself. Skeletons started rushing out through the side doors. Bryn and Galienne held them off with their weapons and her powers.

By the time the last fell, another undead appeared through the door in front of them. They could not identify him as anything more than another undead creature, but he was covered in rotting armor and held a broken falchion. Kalevi opened up by throwing a vial of alchemical fire at the creature, but it did not burn any more than usual for negatively-powered beings. Everyone had a hard time dealing damage to the creature, as it seemed especially resilient and its armor still functioned. It also had a nasty surprise it showed to Galienne and Kalevi. The hits the undead dealt to them also sucked some of their life and strength out, granting him extra vitality. Eventually, enough blows were struck and it fell. Bryn took the falchion for himself, as he and Galienne could see the magical aura on the old blade. It was especially accurate, sharp, and even more dangerous still to fey. The ring was finally claimed and understood as an item that increased one’s ability to jump. Galienne claimed it after recalling her troubles in the mite’s chasm.

Finished with their exploration, they rode back quickly to the city. Galienne and Kalevi were hoping to find a cure for the cursed aura that sapped their strength. Galienne knew that it could be cured by a powerful priest, but there were none in the city. The best they could do was bolster their resistance to the curse and try to break it. Despite Kalevi’s weaker fortitude, she was lucky and able to resist the full hit of the negative energy. Galienne was less lucky and found herself trapped under the curse. They knew it could still be dispelled, however, but lacked the resources to do so. They decided to work on the flourishing kingdom for several months, riding out only when necessary, in the hopes of bolstering trade to the point that they could find a strong priest or magical scroll able to banish Galienne’s curse.

During the rest of the month of Apadi, they further cleared and claimed the area where the old statue of Eidos rested. Orrik could take care of it in peace now. They also began work on some piers along the water border of the city. During this time, Orrik was the target of a public scandal too messy to mention casually. Thankfully, the group’s efforts managed to sidestep any permanent damage this may have caused.

The month of Eisadi welcomed another size of land as part of the kingdom. They claimed the fangberry bushes and cleared them of the nasty spiders and their webbing in order to maintain an orderly farm for the benefit of the citizens and, in particular, the alchemists. A small group of shops also popped up near the housing district, meagerly pawning the berries and whatever came via boat. During this time, Kalevi finished her work on the automatically loading ballista and drew up the plans for others to mimic later should the need arise. After receiving ledgers and estimates from Tarnak, they realized that they needed to conserve their resources and avoid overextending themselves. Their immediate plans involved incorporating more farmland and halting improvement of the city temporarily.

Session VII: Expanding the Kingdom

Player Note

After everyone had settled into the new city to begin construction, the group headed out to explore more land for discovery and thwarting other threats to the refugees. On the 15th of Balchadi, they headed southeast. They discovered huge thorned bushes bursting with ripe berries and draped in spiderwebs. These were the fangberries that Snip had requested. Bryn waded in the middle of the bushes as he was protected by his armor and knowledgable of the best berries hiding in the center of the bushes. In the middle of picking, he was assaulted by a swarm of spiders. The rest of the group cut their way to their poor companion as he suffered their bites. Eventually, he was able to swipe and smash the arachnids with his falchion. Once his wounds and trauma were tended to, the rest of the berries were gathered and stored on their mounts.

On the 16th, Galienne rode back quickly with the fangberries and a list of what Kalevi requested of the kooky alchemist while the rest explored. She returned without issue, and the next three days were calm exploration with no surprises good or bad.

On the 19th, Kalevi and Eumelia noticed an unusual vine-covered crack in a hill. Walking inside, Kalevi was able to recognize the glittering surfaces as gold. Any celebration was cut short by a lone kobold charging at them with a spear. Bryn took him down in one shot, and the rest stabilized and tied up the reptilian. They planned on taking him back with the other kobolds.

The group chose to take out Tuskgutter on the next day. On the way there, the kobold woke up. He talked of his lost rescue party and their quest for Old Sharptooth. When Kalevi questioned him on Old Sharptooth, he hissed at her. Cross, she hit him with a branch, and he passed out again. The group reached the ornery boar as he was munching on some rabbits by a pine tree. Tuskgutter charged at Bryn’s horse while Kalevi rode to flank. The deep gashes caused by the half-orc and human downed the creature quickly. Galienne cast a spell to keep the beast from rotting while they were out exploring.

The 21st was calm. The 22nd was punctuated only by the discovery of stolen goods in a hollow tree. Bryn found the goods, but they were no great bounty. Wrapped in a smelly and newly rotting cloak was a well crafted dagger, a slender stick, a ring, and a waterlogged spellbook with most of its spells washed out. The stick was identified as a wand holding a weak fire spell. Bryn took the spellbook and wand while Kalevi claimed the dagger to add to her arsenal. At night, Bryn worked on copying the spells to his own spellbook, but only succeeded on a few.

More exploration on the 23rd was met with an appreciated lack of combat. On the 24th, the group chose to ride back to the new town to help with setting it up and giving suggestions on focused efforts. On the way, they ran into a wild and aggressive slurk. It charged Kalevi’s horse and oozed its slime on the ground to impede movement. They took it down and chose to take it back to the boggard in case he wanted another slurk around as a mount or other animal companion.

The rest of the month was spent in the town with building efforts as well as distributing the goods they acquired for others and selling baubles. They also dropped off the kobold that they had conveniently named Stan. They cleared out some land southwest of the old fort and erected a watchtower and housing. Kalevi planned on creating an autoloading ballista to add to its defensive capabilities. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough to generate more resources, but it was a decent start.

On the first of Apadi, the group rode out again for more exploration and clearing. They knew they’d have to be back in a month’s time to continue shaping the city’s efforts. The first week was uneventful, with the most interesting situation consisting of a wide area full of traps. Kalevi disabled and removed most of them, keeping five on her person.

The 6th was decidedly more interesting. As they were passing through a forest, several darts flew out of the canopy. They recognized the attackers as mites, little angry fey creatures. They were easily dispatched, although at one point one of the mites looked at Kalevi funnily and she rode off quickly on her horse. Even though they knew that mites possessed a magically-infused glare meant to unnerve and scare off enemies, Kalevi felt embarrassed and blamed it on her horse.

The next two days were marked by dead bodies. A dead unicorn was found in a swamp with its horn cut off. There was a magical aura in the area, explaining the lack of decay in the body, but they could not examine or investigate further. Some miles off, they found a dead logger who had constructed a deadfall but was pinned in his own trap and died from a combination of deprivation and harshness of nature. Eumelia saw that the rope meant to hold the logs back looked chewed instead of naturally ripped, but there was nothing they could do. They buried him and went on their way.

On the 9th, they ran into a large but dying sycamore tree. It was the home of the mites. Realizing that the mites were probably killing the tree, they chose to notify Orrik later so that he could rejuvenate it. Before going in, Galienne cast a protective spell on Kalevi to steel her soul. If she were scared again, she could not blame it on her horse. They dropped down the hole into the underground nest. It was a bit tight for everyone but Eumelia. The hallway lead in two directions. One direction smelled strongly of excrement while the sounds of cursing and clanking could be heard in the other. They moved to the sounds to find two mites shooting into each other’s mouths with hand-held catapults. They dispatched them quickly and turned back to the direction of the smell. There was a single mite watching several eggs. They killed that mite and laid down the traps that Kalevi still had in the area in case they tried to sneak up on them. They chose to follow the first direction all the way through.

Past the catapult room were six mites who had been busy torturing kobolds. Three kobolds were laying dead on the ground while a lone survivor was trapped on the wall by roots and poked by sticks and daggers. When the group showed up, they turned their attention to the intruders. This group of mites was dispatched with equal haste and the kobold was freed and healed. He identified himself as Mikmek and told them he was here to retrieve the statue of Old Sharptooth. They agreed to help him. He grabbed two of the mites’ daggers for protection and accompanied them.

The next area was divided by a great chasm. Kalevi jumped over while the rest climbed across using the roots. Galienne grabbed a bad root and fell as it broke. Her fall roused a giant centipede that rushed to fill the ditch. Galienne worked on healing her wounds while the rest took it down. The noise of their battle brought the rest of the mites, a group of five with their leader riding on a giant tick. Kalevi tried to hold them off while the rest caught up. Galienne was unable to climb out from the chasm, weighed down by her armor. Kalevi was eventually grabbed by the tick, its greedy maw latching onto her chest and draining her blood. She tried to kill it with the dagger in her wrist sheath, but she lost too much blood and collapsed. By that time, Bryn and Mikmek had caught up and were able to kill everything. Galienne was helped up in order to heal Kalevi, but the lack of blood was going to take a few days to overcome. When Mikmek was done stabbing one of the bodies out of spite, he found the statue of Old Sharptooth on the nearby table. Kalevi realized that it was good craftsmanship, and Galienne recognized the depiction of a devil in the statue. She also recognized that the statue had no power, the poor kobold believing in pure superstition. Apparently, the mites and kobolds had been stealing from each other. The kobolds now had Ilsa’s wedding ring that the mites originally stole, and the mites had stolen the statue.

The next room over had six more mites singing in a circle. Galienne blasted them with a spell generating damaging sound waves and took them out quickly. Mikmek continued to explain that he wanted to give the statue to his chief in order to defeat their shaman, a dangerous kobold that was plotting to overthrow the chief and take power. On the way out, the group destroyed the eggs, clearly centipedes now that they saw the giant specimen. They chose to rest by the tree before heading off to the kobold home on the next day.

Session VI: Facing the Stag Lord

Player Note

The group now decided to explore the Old King’s Highway and find what they could further from Tarnak’s fort in that direction, hoping that the change in search would yield better results. The twenty-third to twenty-seventh of Lumendi was unfruitful and led only to a skirmish with another thylacine that almost killed Eumelia‘s riding dog and six wolves that disabled Kalevi’s horse and knocked her down. Their arrival back at Tarnak’s alerted them to a potentially missing wizard that was expected to be dead by this point, so they knew to keep an eye out for him.

They headed out on 28 Lumendi to search the rest of the highway. On the night of the 30th, they encountered a group of bandits camping by the road. For a few minutes, both sides hid their alliances until the group decided to be truthful. They told the bandits that they were looking for the Stag Lord and had already downed two of his lieutenants. The bandits, noticing the quality of their weapons and Bryn’s half plate, knew they would die in a direct battle. Instead, they struck a compromise. The bandits agreed to move to Kusnaya’s old camp to the west and hunt game until either the Stag Lord visited them or the adventurers appeared with the Stag Lord’s mask. If they prove that the Stag Lord is no more, they promise to lay down their weapons and leave banditry for good. They gave the location of the Stag Lord’s fort and left in the morning. Surprisingly, it was just east of the old statue of Eidos they found close to the hot springs to the north.

The group chose to finish exploring for the week before returning to Tarnak’s for preparations. The next day, on the first of Balchadi, they found what looked to be an old grave. The weathered markings suggested that a barbarian was laid to rest there. Galienne‘s magical observations revealed a slight aura underneath the makeshift tombstone. Only Bryn was willing to dig for the item, but on the condition that he got to keep it. The rest agreed. After about a half hour of digging, Bryn successfully exhumed the grave, finding the old battered bones of the warrior. Galienne found that the ring on his finger was the magical item. It was a simple enough looking wooden ring that avoided decay. On the side was the image of a snake and frog locked in combat. Galienne’s knowledge of magic identified it as a ring that improved one’s swimming ability. After covering the grave back up and resting the night, the group returned to Tarnak’s.

On 3 Balchadi, they talked with the prisoners to convince them to leave their evil ways. With the Stag Lord in mind, the group decided to bring the elven warriors and dwarf cleric with them as backup. Galienne went to talk to Tarnak about horses while the rest spoke with the elves sent by Erramir. While the elven lieutenant did not agree to go, he did pledge the three archers under his command. Galienne returned, letting the rest know that it would take a week’s time to receive the horses. They agreed to explore one more week before the siege. Their exploration was thorough but uneventful.

8 Balchadi brought the arrival of four black horses with riding saddles. Galienne paid the bulk of the cost, with Kalevi only able to pay for two of the saddles. Galienne felt that it was an investment to have four more horses for the sudden need to pull carts or move people in the future. Tarnak was suddenly struck with the idea to build a second story on his stables, but Ilsa told him to wait and think about it before committing to it. He also remembered that some money came in from Thrasind as a reward for removing the bandit threat. The group took it, though a bit confused since they didn’t fully eradicate them. They left for their goal, the three archers in tow, and headed towards the old Eidos temple. They found Orrik the next day and convinced him to come along, providing him the fourth horse, on the stipulation that he and the elves would stay in the back. The group had no other thoughts, only wanting them for backup and cover fire.

On the tenth day of Balchadi, they reached the Stag Lord’s fort. They dismounted about four hundred feet back and hid the horses in a partially covered old building. They saw sentries on the walls, but they were looking at the rocks to their left, not at the hillside that lay in front of them. The door to the fort was closed and appeared hard to open from the outside, so they knew they had to weasel their way in. The four decided to dress up as bandits, relying on Eumelia’s skill of disguise, and approach as though they wished to join. When they were inside and ready to cause a commotion, Kalevi chose to signal to the backup party to approach and fire on the fort in order to create enough confusion to reach the Stag Lord. They were not willing to approach further than 200 feet so as to avoid fire from the sentries up above with their shortbows. Everyone agreed, and the four made their approach, Kalevi at the lead in case there were any traps that the bandits were relying upon.

About 150 feet from the entrance, the group was surprised by four undead humanoids popping out of the ground. Galienne recognized that they were zombies and relayed to the group that they were rather slow and susceptible to cuts. Kalevi and Bryn worked on downing the zombies with their weaponry while Eumelia borrowed a dagger from Kalevi and fought them that way. Galienne, trying to hide her ability as a cleric, resorting to her wand of healing energy to damage the zombies, but dropped it twice. When there was only one zombie left standing, four more popped up. Kalevi started giving over to her orc blood with her anger. They downed the new group and looked up at the fort. The bandits were watching them, small purses and glittering coins exchanging filthy hands. The eighth-orc called up at them, “By the bones of bloody Gilmorg, we beat your test! Now let us in!”

One replied, “You’re not done yet!”

True to his word, in a few more seconds, another group of zombies appeared, only to beaten quickly by the group. They were tired, but time told that that was the last wave of them. Groans were heard by the majority of bandits who had clearly bet on the zombies. The bandit from before asked them their business. They said that they wanted to join, but the bandit countered by asking why they approached this way when others should have warned them about the undead. Kalevi quickly bluffed, stating that they must have wanted to play a joke on them. When the bandit inquired into tribute, Eumelia offered up her jade statue, an art piece she kept from a previous encounter. The bandits were impressed, although it was unclear if it was because it was made of solid jade or because it was a nude female.

Once they were inside, they were told to wait until the Stag Lord woke up. The group made mental note of the bandits inside. There were three on lookout, one matching the description of Palthis, the elf lieutenant who wanted him alive for humiliating him on the way to Tarnak’s. A man with shining chain mail sat as a guard to the Stag Lord’s room. He would not permit entry. There was another man armed with a rapier and a poisonous stare that bothered the group. On the top, there was a large man playing with a lot of dragon and knight toys. They judged by their appearance and their silver stag amulets that they were also leaders and potential threats to deal with. There were four bandits in the mess hall, the wall covered in old graffiti that suggested that a dark cult had settled here long ago. That explained the zombie presence. After analyzing their position, Kalevi went up and flashed her greataxe in the sun, making small conversation about her love of the weapon so as to keep the watching bandit unaware. After about a minute, the bandits reported a dwarf and three elves approaching. The elves loosed their arrows, catching the bandits unaware and hitting true, one unlucky fellow skewered to the palisade with a well-placed arrow. The old man by Kalevi went down, and another bandit pulled out his bow, asking her to do the same. Kalevi pretended to fire back, deliberating missing them by several feet, as the rest of the group ran up. Galienne stabilized the old man with her magic while Eumelia pulled out her enchantment wand. Before the standing bandit could question Galienne‘s ability, he was caught in Eumelia’s magic and immediately became friendly, enamored with the gnome. She asked him to take them to the Stag Lord under the pretense that they would protect him. The bandit agreed and told the big lummox with his toys to accompany them. The lumbering man agreed, and the six of them headed downstairs.

Standing in the hallway towards the Stag Lord’s room, the dark duelist stood by the side next to the pen of an angry owlbeak while the man in shiny armor stood at the end. He asked about the situation, and the charmed bandit explains that there is a small force outside the fort firing on the bandits. The shining bandit smiled darkly and turned on the fencer, cleaving him and leaving deep gashes in his body. As his aggressor threw him aside, he meekly replied, “Damn, I was going to betray you,” before passing out.

Kalevi took the opportunity to hit the large idiot while he was unaware but missed. Eumelia made use of the distraction to convince the charmed bandit to help them take down the Stag Lord. The big guy took a strong hit from Bryn, and when he tried to drink a potion to heal his wounds, the martially inclined opponents saw the opening in his defense and downed him quickly. The turncoat asked the group what their purpose was, to which Kalevi replied, “Who do you think brought those archers?”

The group unfortunately missed their chance to catch the Stag Lord unaware. Two arrows flew out from the Stag Lord’s room, catching the charmed bandit in the eye and heart, killing him instantly. The owlbear went into a frenzy at the arrival. Eumelia used her ability to speak with animals to understand its dismay. It told her that he wanted to kill the Stag Lord. Eumelia relayed this to Kalevi who then released the owlbear. Bryn moved to the door and let the backup group in, their arrows peppering the lesser bandits. Orrik called upon three celestial hounds to attack the Stag Lord. The traitor, owlbear, and summoned beasts formed a physical barrier in front of the bandit lord. The group pulled out their ranged weapons and shot at him. Eventually, the Stag Lord fell to a final blow from the owlbear. Raging, the owlbear ripped out his heart through the wounds in his back and ran out the door.

The deserter, panting as he emerged out of a barbarian’s frenzy, spoke to the group. He gave his name, Aganor Swift, and let them know that there was an old man in the basement that aided the Stag Lord and needed to be eliminated. The elves and dwarf chose to stay outside because arrows would not be useful in such a small area. They descended the stairs into the basement, Aganor leading. The light off of Galienne‘s heatless torch showed a badger hanging over the ceiling. The animal began to attack, but Galienne’s spear proved most useful against it. Its death revealed the body of a withered old man, stripped of clothing and nourishment. Galienne’s magical sight revealed an aura of abjuration in the darkness beyond her torch. Kalevi’s sight, unhindered by darkness, revealed the aura belonging to a stone door with the impressions of two daggers in the panels. Withdrawing the relics given by Erramir and Tharrid, she put them in the door. It slid open to reveal well-crafted tools and fine building materials, not insidious artifacts as the captains expected. They chose to close the door for now and report their findings later.

Kalevi grabbed the Stag Lord’s helmet as collection of money and loot commenced, remembering that it was needed to persuade the last group of bandits. They loaded up everything on a cart found in the fort and headed out. Aganor wished to join them, asking that his association with the bandits was left unmentioned. They agreed and headed back to Tarnak’s fort after burying the bandits’ bodies and offering a quick prayer to Shekastra.

Their return was not what they expected. The lone fort was surrounded by two large groupings of tents. The flags standing within the masses indicated that House Borrin and Erramir had organized them. Riding into camp showed refugees tired and dirty, lounging in and between buildings. They dismounted and walked into Tarnak’s inn, greeted by the owner and captains. Ilsa was worried that she was not feeding the gentlemen correctly, but they assured her that her hospitality was more than enough. As they sat to spoke with the captains, onlookers crowded outside the windows with the occasional recognition of the Rat Slayers escaping. THey first explained what they had found, showing that nothing dangerous had been discovered, but nothing wonderful like the coveted mithral metal was present either. Erramir and Tharrid, through his great-granddaughter Florris, then explained the presence of all the people. Dullunar was suddenly overtaken by a coup shortly after they had left on their assignment. The racist druid was but the tip of the iceberg, as the party he worked for suddenly disrupted the merchants’ guilds and took power, quickly eradicating all non-humans and humans who socialized with them. Many lost their lives, and those who escaped did so without any possessions or plans. They ended up following Erramir and those of House Borrin after they quickly sank their ships and fled. They saw the gnome captain Gambion leave on his ship but knew nothing else of him. There were about forty to fifty humanoids in each camp with more expected to come. The captains estimated around three hundred to four hundred refugees.

The captains knew that neither one was strong enough to completely lead all the refugees from Dullanar, especially when Erramir still had loyalty to his kin to the east. Aganor proposed that the adventuring group should lead the refugees and protect them. He knelt down and swore fealty to them at that moment to show his conviction. They agreed to this situation. House Borrin and Tarnak also swore fealty, the former because they had no strong tie to the dwarven lands to the north and the latter because the group protected him much more than Tharsind ever did.

With this development, the group decided that the best place to build a city was at the old bandit fort. Both the undead and bandit threats were gone, and the ruins would provide a good foundation for new buildings. They lent the extra armor and weapons to the more able-bodied refugees for protection and made their way up north. The prisoners had now been convinced to turn from their evil ways and set free to colonize the new area with the rest. On 14 Balchadi, the weary people arrived at what was to be their new home.

They knew that strong leadership would be required to make the city a success. The four adventurers chose various leadership positions to represent their strengths in organization and listening to the people. Aganor, Orrik, and Florris were chosen to provide defensive power to the city and the wilderness around it. Tarnak and Ilsa took more mundane posts of guiding the city’s treasury and learning. Palthis chose to keep the peace within the fledgling village. Kusnaya, now reformed, took the post of keeping an eye out for any potential threats from Dullunar or other humanoids and dismissing them quickly. The tools and materials within the ruins behind the locked doors were used to construct the first houses. The dawn of a new kingdom had arrived.

Session V: Further Forays Into The Wild

Player Note

The group found themselves busy with exploration and aid. Half a month was spent locating landmarks and eliminating threats. The group found a gnome alchemist named Snip northeast of Tarnak’s. They gave gifts to two fey creatures who put bees in Galienne‘s bedroll and a clearly non-local pine cone under Bryn’s pillow. They also found a lone boggard exile living away from the boggard civilization to the west. The group was able to befriend these people and gain information about their surroundings.

The group also battled some aggressive kobolds in a radish patch, a worg by a rickety bridge, a thylacine trapped in a hole, two tatzlwyrms by a river, and some large frogs in a hot springs to the north. Only two kobolds escaped death, being stabilized and taken to the stables to be held captive. The group had decided to convert their prisoners so that they may be let free and lead constructive lives. Eumelia and Kalevi were required to deal with the kobolds as they only knew Draconic.

Tarnak’s wife Ilsa rewarded the adventurers for bringing back a big supply of radishes. The dwarf cleric, Orrik Stonehammer, was pleased with the group for locating an old temple of Eidos and defeating the cursed druid within. Orrik had decided to stay at the temple and restore it. They also received a reward for bringing back an intact tatzlwyrm head suitable for taxidermy and mounting in Tarnak’s inn.

By the evening of 22 Lumendi, the four had accomplished a lot, but still had questions and more to do. They were only about one-third done with exploring the terrain and had no clue thus far about the location of the Stag Lord or the dwarven city ruins. When they had explored north by the hot springs and the river that bordered it, they spied tracks suggesting troll warbands. This knowledge alerted them to stay south of the river and avoid trouble, as they were not confident enough to fight trolls. All they had as a lead was the location of a boar that a visitor at Tarnak’s wanted for making headcheese. It had now been about four weeks since they eliminated Kusnaya’s bandit camp, and they knew they only had a little more time before the Stag Lord would be aware and start searching. If they wanted to strike with the element of surprise, they would have to do it soon.

Session IV: Onward and Out of the City

Player Note

Bryn’s search for Lady Huffington’s cat led him to a random tree in the city where a small cat lay mewling high up in the branches. Before Bryn could ascend the tree, a giant panther leapt onto the tree and caught the cat in its mouth, breaking its neck with little effort. On the panther’s neck was a gaudy collar with the name “Mister Scruffles” engraved on the silver tag. This was the pet Bryn had been searching.

He climbed up the tree in hopes of cooing the large predator to the ground, but held the sap Kalevi bought for him just in case that did not pan out. The first option, unfortunately, was not feasible as the panther bit Bryn and held him down. All Bryn could do was beat it in the head with the sap until it finally slumped into unconsciousness. Several blows were exchanged, but Bryn was the bloodied winner. He kicked the cat out of the tree before descending and tying it up for proper return to town hall.

While Galienne healed Bryn upon his return, the group discussed the nature of the three expedition forces. They decided to invite all the captains to the Dancing Pickle and talk about an alliance. While Gambion was playing with his dancing pickle dish, Kalevi explained that the earlier given dagger relics suggested a joint ownership of the ruins to the west. Tharrid had given a dagger of elven make while Erramir’s dagger was dwarven in origin. She made the argument that it would be best for all groups to pool their resources together. With the area abandoned and home to bandits, it would be best not to skimp on manpower. All captains agreed and promised to send who they could in the coming weeks. The group was given 200 gold to purchase necessities for the trip.The gnome captain was especially delighted after formulating the concept of an extendable claw, but that was a side project for him.

After buying good mounts and the extras required, the group went west on the Old King’s Highway, a long road that was owned by no country but nonetheless well traveled. Bryn’s knowledge of survival out in the wilderness allowed the group to remain healthy.

Early in the morning on the first day of the second month, they came across a fort. A man called out, “Are you from Thrasind?”

The group, confused, was not certain how to call out. Bryn eventually let out a shaky, “Yes?”

A small silence, and then the reply, “Your clothes don’t look like you’re from the west, but I don’t care! I need any help I can get!”

The doors opened, and the four trotted in.

The group was greeted by a rough-looking man in his forties. “I’m Tarnak, and I live here with my wife Ilsa. We’re robbed by bandits for about three months now. I keep sending requests to Thrasind for help, but never get a reply. They’re coming soon to pick up this cart. I just let them in and they take it. I’m willing to act as a decoy, but if you could take care of them, you can stay here for free.”

They agreed and set up. Eumelia hid by the cart in a pile of hay while the rest stayed in the shadows of a nearby building. Within an hour, they heard hollering at the gate. Tarnak opened the doors, and four bandits entered. One of the bandits was clearly the leader, appearing more surly and wearing more armor. Once the last bandit crossed into sight, Kalevi let loose a bolt from her crossbow, striking him in the gut. Tarnak quickly ran away while the rest of the group swarmed over the bandits. Eumelia did her best to distract the bandits while the rest picked them off with their weaponry and Galienne’s explosive rune. After laying them low, they stabilized their wounds and shackled them. On the leader’s neck was an amulet in the shape of a stag deer.

Tarnak and Ilsa came out to thank the group and offered the use of their inn as well as free meals during their stay. Tarnak explained that this group came from a bigger group of bandits to the north. They would start looking into their absence in a couple of days, so it might be best to beat them quickly before they can gain reinforcements. They rode out immediately to the camp up north.

The trip took all day and into the night. They arrived at the edge of the camp on the morning of the second day. There were a few more people here, but they were spread out over the terrain, some standing in rickety towers as lookouts. The group chose to attempt to sneak in, Kalevi leading the front. Before the attempt, Galienne did her best to protect the party with her deity’s energy. The group ended up not being very stealthy, unfortunately, as a shot whistled through the air and hit Kalevi squarely. As the bandits rushed forward, the group readied for the attack. While more archers shot at Kalevi since she was already wounded, she threw her vial of alchemist’s fire at the nearby tower, hitting the archer and setting the structure on fire, the sudden lack of structural integrity causing him to plummet. Bryn pulled out his longbow and started firing at the coming bandits. Eumelia bolstered the group’s combat prowess with her music while pulling out her crossbow.

As Galienne and Bryn toppled the bandits with their spear and falchion, Kalevi took the time to drink a healing potion, closing the wounds made by the arrows. Eventually, only the leader, a vicious female with two axes and another stag pendant, and a lone archer out in the distance remained. The leader went down and Kalevi, noticing the last archer running, dropped her greataxe and drew her crossbow, she and Bryn taking down the archer at a distance. With the battle seemingly over, Galienne stabilized the leader and let loose her energy, healing her party. As the divine power washed over the bandit leader, her eyes open with renewed conviction for battle. She grabbed Kalevi’s greataxe and resumed the fight, but they were able to take her down again. Properly stabilized and tied up along with the last survivor of the bandit camp, they strapped a cart to their horses and loaded it up with the captives along with crates of liquor, furs, and other valuables. They headed back to Tarnak’s fort, pushing themselves and their mounts.

They made it back on the third day without problem, dropping off their newest prisoners with the rest sitting in the stables. Tarnak again expressed his gratitude. The bandit leaders, Cair Falsward and Kusnaya, revealed that there was a bandit lord who went only by the Stag Lord, and he was the one who organized the bandits in the area. It would be a few months before the major group would be concerned about the disappearance of the northern bandit camp. While they were willing to divulge that information, they would not state where the main bandit fort was located. New arrivals at Tarnak’s fort included four elven warriors from Erramir and a dwarven cleric of Eidos from Tharrid. They were to take orders from the adventuring group in the days to come. For now, though, the group chose to rest and train this week as well as trade with Tarnak and the visiting merchants at the time.

Session III: On the Death of Stunties: or How I Stopped Hating and Learned to Love Skeletal Sheep

DM Note

The Rat Slayers followed up on a lead concerning the serial killings of newly wed dwarven couples. Using Eumelia and Kalevi as bait, the party found the culprits to be a trio of human supremacist druids that were enticed to kill the couples to prevent the spreading of “inferior” races. The party dispatched the druids after a brief struggle, and turned the only living captive over to the authorities.

The next day, the party investigated a bill concerning wolves harassing a farm just outside of Dullunar. Upon arrival, the party found a rather normal and peaceful looking farmstead, but sinister things were soon to be found. After a few misleads, Galienne used the great powers bestowed upon her by her deity Shekastra to uncover that no one but herself and her fellow party members were living in the area of the farmstead.

What followed was a massive battle involving the six farmhand, now revealed to be skeleton adventurers, and about twelve sheep, also revealed to be skeletons. The fight was made swift by the timely use of divine energy by Galienne, and the party proceeded into the barn.

Inside, they found the “owner” of the farm feeding bodies into a grotesque mound of flesh in the center of the barn. One of the fetid sacs attached to the mound burst revealing a monster composed of several dwarven, halfling, and sheep carcasses. The “owner” revealed himself to be a cleric of some lesser god, and ordered his minion to attack.

The party soon realized that the great beast was being fed unholy energy by the mound of flesh in the center of the barn. As Kalevi and Bryn bravely fought the creature toe to toe, Eumelia and Galienne destroyed the mound with fierce skewerings of their mighty spears. The mound exploded in a gruesome spray of entrails and dark energy. As the beast slowly began to falter without the healing of the mound, the cleric made a run for the door under the cover of a darkness spell. Unfortunately for the cleric, Kalevi’s orcish heritage allowed her to see him perfectly as she cleft him in twain with her great axe. The battle over, the party searched the farmhouse to find the cleric’s journal and the original bill that would be needed to claim reward for completing the mission back at Dullunar.

Upon returning, the party collected their reward for the mission, and found themselves awarded with membership in the city’s experienced mercenaries. This allowed them to receive special bills posted by clients wishing only for more experienced help.

Two such bills were available at the time the party turned in the “wolf” bill. One of the bills originated from the captain of a recently arrived elven ship while the other was submitted by the captain of a recently arrived dwarven ship. This taken into account along with a bill seen in the town square posted by a gnomish captain, the party deduced that something was afoot that had the older races looking for help in town. While Galienne proceeded to the dwarven ship, Kalevi went to the gnomish ship, and Eumelia went to the elvish ship. Bryn took this time to begin hunting for the lost kitten of a lady that he had startled with the dead body of the slain cleric.

All three captains weaved a similar tale. A forgotten and abandoned city lay out in the wilderness, and many lost treasures await the ones who can find it. Upon reconvening, the girls decided to wait for Bryn to return before bringing the three captains together so that all the truths may be told.

Player Notes

Session II: Dullunar the Trade City

DM Note

The party arrives at Dullunar during the Festival of the Twelve Gods, and they decide to participate in the ceremonies. After the festivities, the group splits up to find methods of survival in the city. Some take part time jobs to pay for their first month expenses, and all of the party looks for more heroic work in various areas.

The major source of adventuring work is found at the town hall where citizens are encouraged to post bills for dangerous jobs. In one day the party manage to clear out the southern district’s two taverns of rat problems, earning them the admiration of the lower class in the area and the nickname Rat Slayers around that part of town.

Eumelia Varsovienne contracted lycanthropy which the clerics of Hanes offered to cure if they were allowed to study the effects of the disease.

Player Notes

Write-up by Jikuu

Session I: First Session

Dungeon Master Notes: Decided on a nation building style game with strong emphasis on role playing and a decent bit of action of all kinds. Characters were rolled, and stories began to form.


Kalevi Talunen, a half-orc rogue played by Jikuu.

Galienne Del’Omagia, a human cleric of Shekastra played by Lydia.

Bryn, a human fighter played by Ryou.

Eumelia Varsovienne, a gnome bard played by Crystal.

Player Notes:

Two house rules went into effect. Any classes that possessed 2 + Int modifier skill points were improved to 4 + Int modifier. This was done to give these classes more skill points for role playing purposes.

The second house rule was that characters would level up based on their value rather than experience gained. For example, when every character in the group is using 1,000 gold pieces worth of non-expendable equipment and items, everyone would level up to level 2. This was done in order to insure a better balance of character power and enemy power, since an under equipped group can be destroyed in a proper fight of equivalent CR.

It was agreed that characters would be generated using the standard dice rolling method (4d6, drop the lowest die) rather than point buy.


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