(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.