Kingmaker

Arrival at Oleg's

Ten years ago House Rogarvia disappeared. Their mansions were left empty as if the inhabitants packed up all their things and fled without notice. Now House Surtova rules Brevoy which is divided into the regions of Issia and Rostland. You have been chosen to make up one of four expedition parties to reclaim the Stolen Lands, a 35,000 mile area that so far no one group has been able to hold for very long. If you succeed, Brevoy will grow that much more and the fighting over the land can hopefully cease forever. Be wary of what lies in the Stolen Lands: centaurs, bandits, boggarts and worse.

Oleg’s Trading Post has been under attack by a group of bandits. They arrive an hour or two after sunrise and take all they can carry from Oleg’s store house back with them. The first time they arrived there was a woman wielding two hatchets and a total of twelve bandits. The next two visits were made without the woman and with two less bandits each time. If the pattern holds, only six bandits will arrive this next visit. Svetlana believes that they live to the Southeast of the trading post.

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Bandits!

The next day the bandits arrive as predicted. They are more than a little surprised to see Lorn, Rudi and Bunka waiting for them but try to pass themselves off as prospective buyers. Things quickly deteriorate when Lorn asks them a few times to leave and Bunka backs him up. Haps Bydon, the leader, a squirrely looking man with a longbow on his back and a sour look on his face, makes a show of bravery. This leads to a fight between the bandits and the expedition party, while the Levittons hide in their house. Duchess makes a rather viscious end to Haps when she eats him head first and is restrained from snacking on the other bandits just in time by Gaius.

Things begin to look grim as the fight ends abruptly with the bandits surrendering, some more willingly than others. Splitting them up, you each interrogate them to establish a baseline for their stories and see how much information you can extract. Every one of them is terrified of the Stag Lord to the point of refusing any help or offers of citizenship in the yet-to-be-built city. Eager to deal justice, Lorn is convinced that the bandits should be killed. Caesin and Bunka agree, though perhaps for different reasons, while Rudi, Gaius and Rise advocate less lethal forms of punishment such as branding. Amidst the talk, Lorn pulls Caesin aside and out of earshot for a few moments. When they return the debate is swiftly ended by the solicitor hefting his hammer, then swinging it down on one of the bandits’ heads.

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Battle at Thorn River

As Lorn is walking towards Elard with his warhammer at the ready, Rise swiftly steps in between them, halting the half-ogre in his path. She then presses for a clean hanging of their prisoners, with the exception of Caith who, though a coward, has repented well enough to save himself from certain death. There is some argument of how to hang these men without proper gallows, but soon enough, rope is found, bandits are marched to the top of the gate and four bodies hang. One of the men manages to hang without breaking his neck, which causes a bit of hurried crossbow loading so as to end his pain. Elard opts for beheading, a gruesome ordeal by Bunka’s ragged blade. When all is said and done, the bodies are buried and Oleg and Svetlanna venture out of their house to thank the party. They give all that they can: 50 gold pieces and free room and board indefinitely. Svetlanna can barely hold back her tears of relief and thanks each member of the party personally, clasping their hands and touching her forehead to them.

Yet more bandits remain in the forest, and therefore present a danger to the trading post and the eventual city. With that in mind, the party leaves to find the Thorn River camp, using Caith as a stumbling, whining guide. The first day of travel is peaceful, ending with the discovery of a trap laid in the underbrush of the forest. At the end of the second day, the group finds the camp and sends Caesin and Rise to investigate first. Rise almost lands herself in hot water when her foot loudly snaps a tree branch, but manages to slip away without notice even as two of the bandits are approaching her spot. Shortly afterward, the battle is begun with Duchess bounding into the camp and mauling the first man: Murm. Now alert and more than a little startled, the bandits jump to their feet and draw their weapons. The battle is difficult, resulting in much blood shed and Rise and Rudi falling unconscious to their wounds. In the end, with the help of the massive hyenadon and the skill of the party, the battle is won. Loot is broken out and wounds are healed and there are significantly less bandits left in the Stolen Lands.

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Of Mites and Kobolds

The reinforcements showed up at Oleg's Trading post: four Restov guards stationed to the post to ensure it's protection. After getting some rest at the post, the party decides to visit Jhod, a hermit that makes potions. Jhod is a bit eccentric and speaks in a way that gives the impression of wanting to make the conversation as short as possible, unless it's about a transaction. He asks a favor of the party: pick some fangberries and bring them back to him in return for a discount.

Setting off due South, the party happens upon a grizzly bear eating the corpse of a kobold and two worgs that are apparently hunting. After dispatching with these unwelcome creatures, the party settles down for the night and continues to travel. During their exploration a hidden treasure cache is found under a tree. They also meet David Nettle, an undead waterlogged corpse who wants nothing more than the Stag Lord to be thrown into the river so that he may finally get his revenge. Promising that they will bring the Stag Lord down and to the river, the party moves on, towards the Sootscale Caverns. Outside of the caverns is a mite in a cage. There is also a kobold guarding the entrance named Nakpik who surrenders to the party and agrees to lead them to the leader of the kobolds. The party soon learns that Tartuk an evil sorcerer is sacrificing the kobolds to Old Sharptooth in order to keep a curse at bay. There are only 20 kobolds left from all the sacrifices, a paltry number. Tartuk is a purple kobold, something that should not exist and a manipulative and evil leader.

The mighty heroes retrieved a venerated (if mundane) statue for the kobolds at the request of Sootscale and Tartuk, but on their return did battle with Tartuk, convincing the remaining beleaguered kobolds to join them in the fray.  First our heroes tore the roof off of Tartuk's chambers, and then they tore the roof off of Tartuk, the little hateful purple bastard.

 

Satisfied, they then had a picnic. 

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