September 4, 2010

Erastus 30

We awoke the next morning and Gale of Kesten’s riders was approaching us from the north. He approached us and informed us that he had just come from Oleg’s. Kesten was not doing well, he was probably having some guilt over the number of men he had lost during the battle at the Stag Lord’s keep. Also, the charter had arrived along with a lot of people ready to settle the land, and they were looking for their leaders. Kesten was in no shape to lead, and he hoped that we could ride with him back to Oleg’s and establish our new kingdom.

Unfortunately, we had to finish this business with the kobolds before we would feel comfortable leading these people to start living in this land. I informed Gale that we would hurry, and hopefully negotiations would be short with the kobolds and we would travel to Oleg’s soon. With that, he rode off to inform the people that we would arrive soon and to prepare to travel to the location which we would start our kingdom.

Arodus 1

The dawn of a new day, a new month, and a new kingdom was upon us. We arrived at the kobold mine and were once again greeted by Natpek. He took us straight to the chief and we talked over our plan for stopping Tartuk. The chambers which Tartuk stayed had two entrances. The chief Sootscale and half of our party would take the front, while the other half and Natpek would cover the back to prevent Tartuk from escaping. I know we had sworn never to split the party again, but the kobold mines were relatively safe, and this time each half had a good mix of fighters and healers to prevent the same tragedy that had befallen us previously.

We arrived at Tartuk’s chambers to find him performing some ritual and making something in his cauldron. Chief Sootscale marched right in, followed by his small band of kobolds in tow and orders the charge to attack! Tartuk quickly pulls the dragon statue we had recovered from the mites from nearby and holds it aloft, causing all of the kobolds following Sootscale to drop to the ground in worship and fear. Sootscale, however, is not as convinced of its power and pulls it from Tartuk’s hands, raises it high before smashing the idol against the ground! The silence that fell in the room was deafening. The kobolds had no idea what to do and were just in shock that their chief would do such a thing. Before anyone could say a word, Kressle appears behind the shaman and buries both of her axes into his back, severely wounding him. As we move forward to confront the shaman, he casts a spell of invisibility on himself, causing the raven on his shoulder to take flight and all of us to lose sight of him.

Oz is quick to react, knowing his magic, and begins to scan the room for magic. He senses the aura of magic surrounding Tartuk and obscuring him from view, and makes that aura visible to us! Palinus confirms his location and Hern rushes in, swinging wildly with the obsidian sword that we had just acquired. The sword seems to swing through the air before finally meeting flesh and piercing through Tartuk, creating a fatal wound. Tartuk slumps to the ground and the kobolds let loose a great cheer that they no longer have to live in fear!

We find a few trinkets in the room, Tartuk’s wand, a masterfully made sickle, magical bracers, and the shaman’s journal. Reading the journal we are shocked to discover that Tartuk was no kobold, but rather a GNOME! He had apparently lived in a village that was attacked by giants quite often. He had gone out to surrender his village one day when he was killed by the giants. Thinking that he had gone to try and defeat the giants, the village had resurrected Tartuk as a “hero”, but he came back as a kobold and even more evil than before. He destroyed that village and many more gnome and kobold villages before arriving at this mine. His life was a miserable one, and becoming tired of it, had actually planned to kill himself after destroying the mites and kobolds here. He had planned to just fly into the sky until the flight spell wore off. It was incredibly sad to hear what he had done and how much of a miserable life he had lived. However, we could not focus on this for very long.

Sootscale and Palinus formed a treaty that the kobolds would not bother us and we would be allies in thanks for helping us with Tartuk. With that, we had to go. People were waiting for us at Oleg’s.

Arodus 2

Our own kingdom.

It was impossible to imagine, yet here we were. Deciding who would have what position in the new kingdom was not easy, but certain positions were filled pretty easily, others were fought over. Picking Palinus as our ruler was a safe decision. He was tall and commanded respect. Quite the opposite of myself actually, which is pretty funny. I was now the kingdom’s high priestess. I suppose that’s typical for a cleric, though I think it will shock some of the worshippers of Erastil when they see we have a temple to Sarenrae. But that’s ok, they can build a temple to Erastil if they wish. Oz obviously is our magister, and Idhthas became our marshall. It was the rest of the positions that were interesting to put in place. Gale was chosen as our councilor. Not necessarily because he fit the position well, but more due to necessity. He seemed like a good man to Kestin, and I think that he would make a good councilor to Palinus in time. Druss was now our general. Hern had wanted the position, but accepted the royal assassin instead. LiTzu was picked for the position of spymaster, Oleg the treasurer with Kressle in a position to collect the taxes. Kesten was granted the position of warden, and Akiros a lieutenant. We still had an opening for our diplomat, but hopefully we could find someone for that position soon.

With our positions filled, we decided to start our kingdom on the site of the keep formerly occupied by the Stag Lord. We informed the people of this and they started off to begin building houses and farms to begin our small town.

Arodus 3

With the kingdom started, and people beginning to build, we decided it would be a good idea to continue exploring around our new city and make sure it was secure. We spent two weeks exploring the land. We were fortunate to only be attacked by the wild animals once. A pack of wargs thought we might make a tasty dinner, but in the end we were no dinner. We work well as a team, watching each other’s backs and made quick work of those wargs.

Arodus 15

As we set up camp for the night after having defeated the wargs, a thought came to mind. A verbal curse later, I was fully reminded that Tartuk was supposed to have had Oleg’s wife’s wedding ring. We would have to travel back to the kobolds and see if we could find it. That would make Oleg and Svetlana very happy if we could return that ring.

August 21, 2010
Loose Ends

Erastus 26

After taking a moment to enjoy the defeat of the Stag Lord, we decided to search out the keep for Dovan, who had disappeared during the fight. Akiros showed us a secret trap door to a cellar where he could have gone. He warned us that there was a man down there, “the creeper”, who is chained down there. We go down to search for Dovan and find that this is where the Stag Lord kept all of his loot. We continue to explore and find the creeper chained in the back of cellar. He was an old man who looks like he has been malnourished and beaten for many years. After speaking with him, we learn that he is actually the father of the Stag Lord and his name is Nugra. Lish informs me that the old man used to be a druid, but he had apparently been exiled. After speaking with him for a short time we find that his wife had died and he had used evil power to raise her spirit back from the dead. For this, he was banished by the druids and cursed by his own wife for performing necromancy. I tried to convince the group that he could possibly be redeemed and we should let him go, but before I could protest, Druss drew his sword and beheaded the man. It was terrible, but Palinus told us that he was evil. There was nothing I could do, so I guess that would have to suffice for now.

I spoke with Kestin, and we agreed to split the charter reward for the Stag Lord. Kestin also agreed that we could share the kingdom that we would establish here. I’m not entirely sure he’s trustworthy yet for a position in the government, but he did show and help attack the Stag Lord. I suppose we will have to see how it all turns out.

Erastus 27

Lish’s wolf companion picked up Dovan’s scent, so we decided to follow it to see if we could find him. The trail led us to the Thornriver Camp, but we lost the scent from there. With no other trails to follow, we decided to follow up on some loose ends.

Erastus 29

The group decided that it would be a good time to take the body of the Stag Lord to Davik. We returned to the keep and they bundled the bodies of the Stag Lord and Nugra. Arriving at Nettle’s Crossing, Davik was summoned and he accepted the two bodies. In return, he left the crossing and is peaceful towards us, as well as a magical spear.

Erastus 30

The next loose end we had was the kobolds in the mine nearby. We traveled south and discovered the mine. Upon entering, we spotted a kobold named Natpek. He started to flee at first, but we convinced him that we meant no harm and asked him about Mikmek. He told us about Tartuk and how he has been controlling the kobolds, and how he had sacrificed Mikmek because he and the dragon statue he had recovered had been tainted by our hands. It saddened me that Mikmek met with such a terrible end, one that we could have avoided if we had traveled back with him. Eager to make things right, we asked Natpek to tell us what we could do to help. He brought us to Sootscale, their leader who was in charge before Tartuk’s rule of fear. Sootscale, using Natpek as an interpreter, told us that Tartuk was quite powerful with magic, and that we would need the sword of a fallen warrior who had been sealed away by Tartuk, if we were going to have a chance to beat him. He showed us where we could find the cave, and gave us three magic scrolls; a scroll to break the seal, a scroll to protect us from evil, and a scroll to resurrect if the need arose. I hoped that we would not need the last scroll.

We arrived at the warrior’s tomb, and discussed the plan. Hern would move the stone from the door once the magic seal was removed, and would hopefully keep whatever evil lay inside away from the rest of us. We would use the scroll of protection from evil on him to keep him safe. The rest of us would wait and jump in to help while those of us who could, would keep our distance. Upon removing the seal from the tomb, a skeleton who was now undead rose and charged against us! He was armored and wielded a black sword that sparked as if it had diamonds in the blade. He attempted to strike out at Hern, but the protection held! We struck out at him, missing through the gaps in his bones, and even when our weapons struck true, he seemed unfazed by them. It wasn’t until we managed to hit him with our magic and magic weapons did we realize that our normal arms of steal were useless against him. He fought furiously, and smote Lish even though she tried to stay away from the undead anti-paladin. We continued to fight, and I moved quite a distance away, using my prayers to heal my allies while also sending him back to the evil realms from whence he came. We were victorious! I made my way to Lish, but it was too late. I thought of the scroll of resurrection that was given to us, but she had already informed us earlier that it was an abomination to druids to resurrect them, no matter what our intentions were. Her spirit gave me calm and understanding so I was able to let her rest, despite being deeply saddened that she had so quickly met her end after joining our charter. The black blade of the undead warrior carried with it an incredible burden. It apparently sucked the souls from those whom it had slain. Hern attempted to wield it and was met with great opposition. Hopefully he will be able to control the blade if we are to defeat Tartuk.

August 7, 2010

Erastus 11

We emerged from the mite den to even more horror today. Kressle, Jihad, and the druid’s wolf were missing. The only evidence of their presence was now a blood trail of a body being dragged off towards the brush in the distance. We quickly followed the trail, which led us to Jihad’s body. He was propped up against a tree with a dagger in his heart. He didn’t look like he had many wounds, so the dagger to the heart was a precision and deadly blow. Palinus pulled the dagger from Jihad’s body and discovered that while plain, it was a silver bladed dagger. Definitely unusual. Haps had never seen it before and could not confirm if it was Kressle’s. Hearing a noise nearby, we quickly found the wolf cowering and hiding in the brush a bit further away. The druid was able to pacify her companion enough that I could heal its wounds, but it seemed quite wary of Jihad.

LiTzu followed the blood trail beyond Jihad. That’s when he came across Kressle, badly wounded and near death. She was in hysterics and was babbling about Jihad and a lycan. LiTzu came back to get me and I spoke quickly with Kressle who informed us that Jihad was a werewolf, who had turned and attacked her and the wolf. Fortunately, she had a silver dagger and was able to stop Jihad before he mortally wounded her or the wolf. I tended to her wounds, using the new prayers that Sarenrae had blessed me with recently. Seeing that she was stable, I returned to the group to tell them what had happened, and told Haps that we had found Kressle. Haps immediately ran off to her while I explained what happened to the rest of the group. Examining Jihad further, we determined that he was most definitely dead. Palinus and I were already set on giving the three companions who had died in the mite den a proper burial, and now we were going to add Jihad to that plan. Palinus removed Jihad’s equipment and symbols of Erastil, so we may present them at the statue of Erastil the next time we are there and offer up prayers for Jihad. With evening quickly approaching, we spent the rest of the day for the burial of our companions. Kressle was hurt pretty badly, so we rested for a while there in the clearing until she was well enough to move. We traveled from there to Oleg’s and continued to take time to rest and restore our minds from the horrific events. When we departed from the tree, we sent Mikmek off to the kobold mines with his statue of his god to return to his people. He claimed that they were sick and would die soon without it, yet we did not have time to travel there ourselves. He swore to us that when we were able to arrive that we would be rewarded for the return of the statue and for saving his life and his brothers from the mites.

Erastus 24

The twenty-fourth of the month came quickly, and we met up with [[:Kestin Carrace]] at the lightning-struck tree. He had met up with someone on the inside of the [[:Stag Lord]]’s camp and had devised a plan to attack at dawn the following day. His informant was none other than Akiros, second-in-command to the Stag Lord! This was a surprising turn of events to us, especially Haps. We had assumed that Dovan was the one who would be most likely to turn. The passphrase that Akiros had taught Kestin was “By the bloody bones of St. Horace.” Haps said that this phrase is only used when everything is ok, but if they had discovered something was wrong then the phrase should have used a word beginning with “E”.

Speaking with Kestin, we devised a new plan in which we would deliver supplies to the keep under the guise of Kressle’s bandits. This would delay the attack one day, but it would allow us to attack from within and ensure the gates would open for Kestin. Disappointed in the delay, Kestin was convinced that it was a better plan. He still would not listen or heed our “ghost stories” about the undead around the keep, but I hoped that he would change his mind by the time it came to attack. We also gained two new members of our party; Rogar, a dwarf fighter and Calathes Ozmodeus, a half-elf wizard. Considering our recent losses, they were a welcome sight if we were going to be taking down the Stag Lord.

Traveling to Oleg’s for supplies, we picked up what we needed, especially more beer, and traveled on to the keep. Getting there shortly before nightfall, we were able to get in with little trouble and make the delivery. We explored the keep and determined a plan of attack. We also found Auchs, who is quite large, but quite easily fooled as well.

Erastus 26

Dawn came, and we took our places around the entrance and on the top level of the keep. Seeing the shimmering light from Kestin in the tree line, we commenced our attack! The Rogar easily charged and took down the first guard in the gate tower, while Haps and I attacked the other. The third guard rose the alarm but it was already too late. Palinus and LiTzu removed the bar from the gate and opened it for Kestin’s charge. Unfortunately, Kestin had ignored our warning and no sooner had they entered the field than the undead rose from the ground and attacked them. We were on our own for now.

Auchs heard the alarm and came out to fight, but Calathes was able to convince him to attack the guard who was closest to him instead. Auchs easily overpowered the guard, but Haps was unaware that he was working with us and shot him through the neck with an arrow. The guards below had begun their attack on Palinus and LiTzu, Rogar quickly raced down from the tower to join them. Kressle ran off after Dovan, while Akiros approached and began to spar with the dwarf, putting on a show but not landing any serious blows against the dwarf. I moved quickly out of the way of Auchs, who was now charging towards Haps. I reached the bottom of the stairs and said a quick prayer to the goddess to bless our attack. No sooner had I begun to help with the guards when I was blindsided in the back with Auchs’ club. Calathes tried to stop Auchs, but startled him instead and took a hefty blow to the head. I began to channel healing around me, helping all of our allies nearby. The guards now had been dealt with but that was when something quite worse showed up. The owlbear. It had been released and was now grappling Rogar. We began to attack it, and even Akiros was pretending to attack the dwarf but would miss and hit the beast. Auchs, confused by all around him, now attacked Palinus despite Calathes trying to convince him otherwise. Despite having my compassion for being so easily taken advantage of, he was a threat and my allies had to take him down. We then were able to focus our attacks on the owlbear, defeating it shortly thereafter.

That was when Dovan showed up. Kressle followed closely behind him. He began to attack Rogar now as well. Even Kressle attacked him! Calathes was able to cast a spell on Kressle and convince her to attack Dovan instead. I had been healing as much as possible, keeping the dwarf and half-elf alive, but they had taken quite a few blows. In the confusion Rogar attacked Akiros, hurting him badly. Akiros responded in kind and knocked out the dwarf. Dovan proved to be a tough fighter, and quite nimble. All of our attacks only struck the air around him. And then we had more than Dovan to deal with.

The Stag Lord had come to join the battle! He was drunk, but he was quite a sight to see and intimidating! Dovan used his appearance to try and escape from us, and Palinus nearly landed a heavy blow on him, but he was able to twist and take the glancing strike and again ran off. Kressle followed him as they disappeared into the roasting room. Kestin’s men had finally dealt with the undead, but not without a couple losses of their own. They entered the keep to find the Stag Lord and Akiros remaining. That was when Akiros officially switched to our side. With a whisper, he declared that the tides had turned and he would now fight the Stag Lord with us. With no distractions to keep us from fighting at full strength, we surrounded the Stag Lord and attempted to take him down. He was able to block and dodge many blows, but Kestin caught him off guard, landing a critical blow nearly disabling him! The Stag Lord would not be so easily stopped, however, and turned and knocked Kestin out cold. Kressle had come back after not finding Dovan, and using her dual axes she buried them into the Stag Lord’s neck, killing him.

Victorious! The threat of the Stag Lord on this land was now no longer. I tended to the wounded, and we had found that Haps had also met his end during the battle. Dovan was missing, and a search of the area revealed a trap door to the cellar of the keep. It would have to wait….

July 24, 2010
Mite Problem? No Problem!

As we traveled East from the Trapdoor Spider’s lair on the 11th day of the month of Erastus, we were found and greeted by Kesten Garess and his group of Free Irregulars. Kestin warned us not to try and take down the [[:Stag Lord]] as he was recently given a charter to do so. When we prompted him to inform us further as to why he thinks he would have a better chance at the Stag Lord than we would, he mentions that there is a man on the inside who was going to help him and his irregulars defeat the lord. Kestin was to meet the insider on the 23rd of this month by the clawed tree.

I (Aji) asked Kestin if he would like us to help, rather than stand aside, as two groups working together would be more effective than working separately, and he appreciated the offer of assistance and asked us to meet him on the 24th at the same tree, to go over what the contact informs him and what the next course of action would be.

With that plan set, Kestin and his Free Irregulars ride off, leaving us with a new member of our group. Her name is [[:Lish Vanadala]], a druid who wished to join up with us and had traveled with Kestin until they were able to find us. Her skills will come in handy and her wolf looks like it would be a valuable asset to the group.

We then moved on, discovering a very large tree in the middle of the plains we were traveling through. The tree must have been 100 feet tall, perhaps higher, though also dead. As we got closer, we found a large hole under the tree. I say large because I could easily fit into it, but the taller members of our group were too big to walk in. It seemed to drop about twenty feet straight down. We talked amongst ourselves to form a plan to explore it, and considering we have a few gnomes and a halfling in the group, we decided to go down and explore a ways before calling back to the rest of the group. Krolmnite Belmont, Zarzuket, (Jake), and myself were lowered into the hole using a rope and the roots on the walls. Hernable stayed up above the hole attached to the other end of the rope and slowly lowered us down. As we reached the bottom, Zarzuket lit a sunrod so we could see as we moved along. We saw that the passage split to the left and right. We decided to follow the right passage to see where that would take us. After another short slope we reached an opening into a room.

In the room were Mites! Little blue goblin-like creatures playing a game. A horrible game, but it must have been a game to them judging from how they were reacting. They had built small catapults and were flinging caltrops at each other. There were only two in the room, and we probably could have surprised them if Zarzuket hadn’t fallen out of the hole and into the room. As he hit the floor, the rope became taut. Nite jumped in after his brother as the mites attacked. I untied myself from the rope so I could also help, but Hern must have heard the yells and thought we were in trouble. The rope quickly began to move backwards, pulling those still attached up and back 20 feet! I was able to quickly step out of the way or I would have been slammed into. I quickly called up for him to stop pulling as Zarzuket was still in the room by himself! As we made our way back to the room, we were able to quickly smite the mites and clear the room.

In the back of that room we found another tunnel leading down and further into the den. We found a root to secure a rope to and made our way down and to the entrance of another, larger room. Here we found a group of six mites teasing and torturing a kobold. I was thinking of a way we should surprise them when I saw a crossbow bolt fly out towards the mites. It missed, but it sure got their attention! They rushed over towards us, and we prepared ourselves for battle. Within a few short minutes we had defeated the mites, using the entrance to the room as a pinch point to keep them from overwhelming us. The kobold’s name was Mikmek and he was part of a group of kobolds captured recently trying to infiltrate the den to regain their god, a small dragon statue. Despite not liking kobolds, I felt that he could help us and he would follow his word as he swore to fight with us to find the statue and to thank us for saving his life. I healed his wounds and Nite gave him a sword.

We proceeded to explore the room and found that at one end there was a large chasm blocking us from going further. We found that the mites had set up hand holds in the ceiling, using them to cross the gulf. Zarzuket was first, and made it about halfway across before slipping and falling into the chasm. His brother, Nite, followed and made it himself, as did (Jake). As they were crossing, they discovered that some of the hand holds were false and would break if grabbed. Mikmek pointed this out, allowing us to cross safely. As I was about to cross, Zarzuket let out a long, piercing wail. Something was down in that chasm! Night jumped down to find a whiptail centipede attacking his brother. In one vicious bite the centipede knocked his brother unconscious and I could feel his life slipping from him. Hoping to dispatch the centipede quickly, we attacked. That’s when they started to fall. The centipede was too strong. Night fell, then (Jake) tried to fight, being the next to fall. I couldn’t help from where I was. I was too far away. But it was too dangerous to get any closer, and my skills with the scimitar strapped to my back are weak. I summoned a fire beetle to help defeat the centipede, and Mikmek followed his promise and jumped down with the centipede. My beetle was easily destroyed and Mikmek fell next. I was alone. The centipede had killed, yes, three of my companions, my summoned beetle, and the kobold addition to our party was now unconscious. Worse yet, I had run out of fire spells. I had used everything I had and there were no more. There was one option remaining. No help was coming. I had to save Mikmek. I had to save someone! I pulled the scimitar from my back, it’s blade still sharp and clean, unused since I had purchased it. I slid down the chasm wall, using the momentum of my run to cross the distance between myself and the centipede. As I ran I pushed forward with my scimitar and swung hard. I brought the scimitar down with every ounce of strength I had and felt the blade dig deep in the centipede. My eyes were closed, ready for the end yet it did not come. Opening my eyes I saw that my blade was deep in the centipede’s head. It’s eyes were lifeless. Rushing over to Mikmek I healed his wounds. We used each other as support and made our way to the next room where we heard the sounds of a battle already in progress.

Opening the door, we saw the larger members of our party hunched over, having just finished taking care of the mites in the large common area. Even a giant tick lay dead on the floor. I didn’t know what to think at that moment. I was angry. I knew I shouldn’t be but here they were, in the den of the mites but they had gone another way. They could have been there to help. We could have saved their lives. It was all I could say, just simply “They’re dead, and we’re burying them properly.”

We made our way out of the den, and only more horror met us outside. Jihad’s body was on the ground. Dead. Kressle was missing as well. We stayed near the tree for a while. The others were reveling in their gold and success in battle but I wasn’t happy. We dug proper graves for our companions and I slept terribly that night. The next day I was informed as to what had happened. They heard us cry out from the first room, but on their way down they took the other direction through the den. They had encountered four worms and two rooms of many mites, but they were better at combat than we were. They easily made their way through. They had even found the dragon statue and a list of things that the mites and kobolds were fighting over. That’s when something caught my eye, a human-sized gold ring. Taking the day to pray and recover from battle, I thought about what was to come. Jihad was dead, Kressle was missing, many questions were left unanswered and I hope to find answers soon.

July 3, 2010
Pathfinder Kingmaker Stolen Lands

More details later

June 12, 2010
Pathfinder Kingmaker Stolen Lands

More details later

May 29, 2010
Pathfinder Kingmaker Stolen Lands

More details later

May 15, 2010
Pathfinder Kingmaker Stolen Lands

Third night – more details later

April 17, 2010
Pathfinder Kingmaker Stolen Lands

Second night – defeated bandits camp – more info later.

March 20, 2010
Pathfinder Kingmaker Stolen Lands

First night – defended Oleg’s Trading Post – more details later.


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