Kingmaker

Hex 24... up to the Epic Battle at Stag Lord's Fort!

Still in Hex 24…
After the boggard fight we rest for the night. In the morning we part ways with Drixt, who leaves us for his own adventures. Lochnar returns with a new traveling companion, a gnome summoner named Gilgamesh, with a snake companion Gir. Lochnar also has some salt, sent from Oleg, along with a message that if we run across any elk, Oleg sure would love some elk meat. Ooookay. Also, things back at the trading post took a crappy turn: Garess is wicked pissed because Kressle tricked the guards and escaped.

After this bit of news, we spend the rest of the day continuing our explorations…

…We move into Hex 25…
A thick fog begins to roll in and a strong storm blows up. Petra does her best to find shelter for the party; the best she can do is find a large tree to huddle beneath. It’s a torrential downpour, so the tree doesn’t really do much to shelter us, but it’s better than nothing. Night begins to fall, and of course it’s way too wet to start a fire, so we pass the night awake and miserable, huddled together. No sleep happenin.

At one point we start to hear croaking in the bushes nearby. Lochnar, Gir, Sirene and Gilgamesh go out to search the perimeter. It’s boggards, and they waste no time attacking us. There are 7 of them — presumably the 7 that got away from us at the river the day before. After a fight, we are finally able to kill all 7, and we chop off their hands to take back to Garum as proof that they’re taken care of.

We pass the rest of a miserable night beneath the tree, and Lochnar and Sirent come down with colds. In the morning, we head off toward Garum’s encampment. When we arrive Garum is overjoyed at the sight of the boggard hands. He gives us Svetlana’s ring as promised, plus some of his treasure:
210 g.p,
1 chunk of iolite (gem)
1 deep green spinel (another gem)
1 shard of blue quartz.

We spend the night at his encampment and get some much-needed sleep.

Next day (Hex 26)…
As we’re traveling along, we hear bizarre animal noises in the undergrowth nearby — whatever it is, it sounds distressed. We investigate, and discover it’s a thylacine, and it’s trapped in a pit. Gilgamesh summons an earth elemental and lifts the creature out of the pit. It seems to single out Petra — it approaches her and snarls. She snarls back! The thylacine retreats, but stays within sight, following alongside us as we continue on our way, and even as we camp at night.

Next Day (Hex 27)…
We spend an uneventful day traveling, not encountering anything beyond the typical woods and the strangeness of our thylacine companion, always a few yards away.

That night, while Sirene and Lochnar are on guard, another crazy fog bank rolls in. Sirene notices a light in the distance, and hears someone cry “help me!” More lights dance erratically. Sirene & Lochnar wake the rest of the group. Lochnar, Sirene and Petra go to check out the noise… It’s coming from all over the place, and we can’t see anything. It’s super confusing! Suddenly we hear the cries again, followed by a sound as if the person fell a great distance, screaming. We discover there’s a cliff nearby, and we can barely make out the shape of a woman lying at the bottom. Lochnar lowers himself down via rope and scouts out the situation, only to discover that it’s not a woman at all… it’s a log! Suddenly he hears growling all around him, and discovers he is surrounded by a pack of thylacines! Then a will o wisp appears!

Meanwhile, back at camp, the remaining party members are approached by our friendly thylacine, who tells them “your friends are in trouble! Let’s go!” They come to our aid. We lower ourselves down the cliff to help Lochnar, who’s dealing with these slavering thylacines. The crazy will o wisp watches… Apparently they feed off of negative energy, so this one just sits back and enjoys the carnage. We fight! The thylacine that’s been following us jumps down and guards Petra from the others in the pack. Fight, fight, fight! It’s going pretty well, and the will o wisp seemingly gets bored… there’s not enough negative energy to feed off of, so it leaves. We defeat all the nasty critters.

We go back to camp, our thylacine with us. He stays, and we name him Carlo.

Next day (Hex 27)…
We come across a ravine, in which is a patch of fangberries! Bokken wanted some, remember?? Oh no! They’re covered in inch-long, razor-sharp thorns, so OF COURSE we shall go pick some. Before we get started Petra uses her nature knowledge to look a little closer, and discovers the patch is covered in spiderwebs belonging to chew spiders, which attack in swarms. Rather than diving in, August uses his mage hand to pick the berries. It’s slow-going — it takes FIVE DAYS — but we are spared any injuries from thorns or spiders, and we have a sack full of berries. Sweet!

Venturing on, into Hex 28…
Traveling through more forest, suddenly the magic types get a bad feeling. Looking around we discover boar tracks and skeletons everywhere. We believe this could be the Tuskgutter, for whom we have a wanted poster. We carefully look around… Lochnar finds a nest of brambles, and just as he’s trying to tell us it looks like Tuskgutter is at home right now, it comes charging out, knocking him over! FIGHT! Eventually we kill it, taking its tusks as proof of its death so that we can present it to… uhh… whoever was offering the reward.

Next day (Hex 29)…
We arrive at Nettle’s Crossing. It’s super run-down… there’s a building that’s been burned down, everything looks real bad, and there is apparently nobody here. We spy the ferry, which is actually over on the opposite side of the river. Killia shimmies across the rope, heading toward the ferry. As she’s doing this, a creepy waterlogged zombie rises from the river!
It’s Darvic Nettles! He says the Stag Lord killed him and we need to kill the Stag Lord to avenge his death. We tell him that’s what we’re planning on doing, but he doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor… he responds that we MUST do this, or else he (Nettles) will curse us! He then dissolves back in to the water. Killia makes it to the other side, fetches the ferry, and we cross.

Hex 30..
It’s uneventful. We swing back through Hex 15, coming upon the rickety bridge to the area we haven’t explored yet. We decide to try crossing it, and we make it! Yay! Explore the rest of 15.

Hex 31…
Nothing…till nighttime, when we all have the same dream… We dream about Dervic Nettles. Two bandits appear at his ferry crossing and demand extortion money. Nettles’ dogs chase the men off, but later that night the men return and torch his house. They murder Nettles and throw him in the river. The bandits then take over the crossing, until one day Nettles rises from the river and skewers them.

Next day…
We cross into Hex 17 to finish up exploring part of it we didn’t get to before. Nothing happens.

Crossing back into Hex 32…
Uneventful.

Hex 33….
We arrive in the hex where the Stag Lord’s camp is reportedly located. We sneak around till we find it, then we stealthily approach to spy on it. It’s on a high hill and surrounded by a palisade patrolled by 10 archers. There’s a gate at the base, which is closed. The situation looks pretty impossible.

We retreat to try to formulate a plan…. We can’t agree on anything. After an utterly ridiculous amount of plotting, debating and arguing, we somehow arrive at the preposterous notion that the best way to approach this is to simply mosey up to the gate in plain sight, dressed as bandits. So this is what we do. We walk up there and try the password that Kressle told us about lo those many weeks ago when we tortured her. It actually seems to work, and they let us in.

Once inside we are greeted by a man whom we recognize as Akiros, the fallen paladin. He says “so, you wanna join up, huh?” We try to play it cool, but it’s intimidating… we’re surrounded by a shit ton of people everywhere, all of which are interested to see what we have to say. Akiros asks us another really weird, cryptic question, obviously some kind of password. Dumbfounded, we just stand there like a bunch of idiots. Akiros gives the order “ATTACK!”

We’re besieged, and it’s absolutely terrible — a complete bloodbath! People are falling right and left, knocked unconscious. When Killia and Petra are the last ones standing, we finally just surrender. It’s really weird, though.. we swear it looks like Akiros is trying to give us some kind of subtle signal or sign.

We’re captured and tortured. Gilgamesh & August have their tongues cut out and hands broken. Sirene has the absolute shit kicked out of her by Kressle, and her hands broken as well. The Stag Lord appears and decides he’s done with us, and orders us to be crucified along the road leading up to the fort.

Things are looking really bad for us. We’re crucified, and we hang on our crosses for a couple of days, drifting in and out of consciousness. At some point in the night, Mekmek and his band of kobolds appear — they totally freak out. They’re trying to figure out how to help us, when suddenly we see a figure approaching. The kobolds scatter…. As the figure draws near, we see that it’s Akiros. He apologizes… says he’s been wanting to leave the Stag Lord’s service, but he’s been waiting for the right moment. He then tells us that he wants to help us… he says he can get us back into the fort so we can get our stuff back and hopefully take down the Stag Lord.

The kobolds jump out, as if to ambush Akiros, and there’s a bit of confusion as we try to explain to each that the other is not a threat. They finally take us down from our crosses, and Akiros shows us a map of the fort, including a trap door we can access, and also the place in which he’s hidden our gear. He also tells us we need to be very, very careful and not venture too far off the path because the hill is haunted. This is actually another layer of security for the fort. Geeez!

Sirene channels and heals us, and we settle down to rest a bit and formulate a plan this time! Akiros tells us that he’s alone; no one on the inside is with him on this, but he’s committed to helping us. He really wants to be free of the Stag Lord. Plus, we have Mekmek’s kobold war party of 10… they are very eager to help us as well.

We formulate a pretty decent plan which involves Akiros going back inside and strategically distracting guards while we sneak in through the trap door. We gain entry through a stable, and sneak into the location where Akiros has stored our gear. Once geared up we sneak around and observe the goings-on in the great hall. There’s crazy shit going down… A crazed caged fighting bear! Dovan raping a young bandit! Etc, etc! Eventually our cover is blown, of course, and a BIG…………HUGE………..LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG……………INTERMINABLE FIGHT!!!! ensues. It’s really rough — we’ve got our hands full. Highlights: Auchs taken down by Lochnar after an epic battle! August makes a pit to trap the bear in, and then Dovan is thrown down into it and ripped apart by the bear! Cool! Eventually we reign victorious, killing everyone including the Stag Lord, and we take his head as proof of his death.

Akiros tells us there’s a secret basement dug under this fort, which actually used to be a monastery. This basement is where the bandits stash their loot, and there’s a crazy old man down there who guards the loot. Akiros believes this to be the Stag Lord’s father, who is a completely crazy, bad m-f-er. He used to beat the Stag Lord, and also splashed acid on his face, which disfigured him. That’s why he always wears that stag helmet.

We decide to take a rest before tackling the crazy old man in the basement. We take a look around & loot stuff.

Magic items found:
• A broken arrow, which appears to be a Human Bane Arrow. +3 when used against humans, plus an extra 2d6 damage, reusable as long as it doesn’t break. Sweet! The Stag Lord shot it at August in the fight but missed, and it broke. Petra takes it.

Stag Lord’s Helmet (also magical). It’s a sacred object of Erastil. We are unable to divine the magic… perhaps we should take it and give it to Jhod? Lochnar tries it on and tells us his hearing & eyesight are enhanced, but not much else.

Sirene heals us. We rest.

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More adventuring! Hexes 18 through 24...

Days later, back at Oleg’s…
August presents Svetlana with her wedding ring…. She says it’s lovely, but it’s not hers! Bummer. She describes hers in further detail, which probably would have been helpful when she originally asked us to look for it. Petra disdainfully thinks Svetlana is a ditz, but August doesn’t seem to mind.

Lord Garess thanks us for our alliance with the kobolds, but he’s kind of a dick about it. He has yet another wanted poster for us — makes you wonder what the hell he and his men are for if they can’t take care of any of these problems! Anyway, this poster is for a man named Akiros Ismort. Apparently he was once a paladin, but at some point in the past he started messing around with a married woman — not too noble for a paladin. He ended up slaughtering both her and her husband (!!), and he fled, going off to live with some barbarians for awhile. He is now employed by the Stag Lord as his second in command. Garess tells us that Akiros has recently replaced the Stag Lord’s former second in command, a man named Dovan, but we don’t know why. He also tells us that Akiros is extremely dangerous.

That night while we’re sleeping, Jhod the mysterious traveler jumps from his bunk, screaming “Friends! Friends! I have had a revelation! Erastil has finally spoken to me!” Svetlana makes us some tea in the kitchen and we all gather round while Jhod tells us of his vision… Erastil has sent him on a journey to cleanse a temple. He’s been following signs up until recently; the signs led him here and he’s been waiting for more. Tonight he had a dream, and we were all in it helping him cleanse the temple. He says he would like it if we were to accompany him on his journey and help him; though he has no money to pay us, he will gladly offer us sanctuary there whenever we may need it. We agree to help him.

The next morning we awake to find that Jhod already has the wagon loaded up, and he’s all decked out in chain mail and carrying a mace. (A cleric, I guess?) He’s going to lead the way to the temple. We set out.

We camp at the Thorn River Camp. That night, while Lochnar and Drixt are on watch, they see a spectral apparition. She talks to them, telling them that she’s a spirit of the forest and we’ve transgressed into her sacred forest. She wants payment! Specifically HONEY! The boys tell her to piss off… she gets really angry and informs them that we are now cursed. At this point they decide to wake the rest of the party. Drixt tries to take a swing at her, but his sword goes right through her, and she doubly-curses Drixt. So being superstitious folk, we decide to give her one of our 2 jars of honey, which seems to placate her because she floats away and leaves us alone. We then hear rustling and giggling in the bushes. After much searching about, we come up with nothing, so we just go back to bed.
The next morning there are tracks everywhere, which Petra identifies as grigs and a fey dragon. They seemingly flew away. We infer that Drixt is not truly cursed; it was just an illusion.
Come to think of it now, we probably should have realized that’s what was going on, considering that Bokken told us about how much grigs love honey. Duh.

Next day (Hex 18)…
We travel on, and finally reach our destination: the Temple of the Elk." It’s pretty run-down. Vines covering everything, crumbling structures, and a fountain in the middle that’s all stagnant and yucky. Jhod tells us that one of the priests here committed sacrilege. Erastil cursed him and turned him into a bear. This bear still lives here, and is in constant pain. It’s stuck here. Our job is to kill the bear and subsequently cleanse the temple.

Petra notices some assassin vine nearby. It’s nasty stuff — it can move on its own and kill things to make its own fertilizer! Gross! A fight with the vine ensues, and as soon as we get the vine taken care of the bear shows up and starts kicking our asses in an epic fashion. We fight and fight and fight, wearing him down until Jhod deals the final death blow. The bear turns into an old man and then crumbles to dust. The fountain suddenly clears up, too.
We take a look around and find the cave where the bear lived, but there’s nothing in there of interest. We fill some flasks with holy water from the fountain and help Jhod get set up for his purification. He’s completely different; he seems as if a tremendous weight has been lifted from his shoulders. He’s going to stay here, he says, and we are welcome here anytime. He tells us that this is his penance for a terrible act he committed. He says that a long time ago his village had been troubled by murders of innocent citizens. The victims had all been obviously attacked by a vicious monster — clawed, mauled, etc. About this time a strange, hairy traveler had come to the village, and Jhod falsely accused this man of being the murderer. Jhod reasoned that his hairiness meant he was a werewolf, which went along with the vicious way in which the townsfolk had been attacked. So the village lynched this stranger. But, to everyone’s horror, the attacks continued. Come to find out, the attacker was actually a band of warts in the region. Jhod was banished for his false accusation. And now that he has made things right with Erastil he is redeemed. Yay for Jhod!

The following day, in the woods of Hex 19
We see a tree with a mite skull impaled on some branches. Sirene & August have a bad feeling about it… Sirene tells us that this is an area of First World history. The veil between the planes is very thin here; magic can leak through, and things can turn sour very quickly if the magic turns. Sirene throws a bag at the tree… Nothing happens.

We discover a ring on the ground — it’s blue with a fish on it. It’s a Ring of Swimming! We give it to Sirene.

We walk on a bit and discover a ford in the river and start to cross it. We make it as far as a sandbar in the middle, and just as we do so, a taztlwyrm slithers out of the water and attacks us. We kill it fairly easily. But then…. another one appears — it’s HUGE! The previous one must have been a baby, and this one is the mama! A big ol’ battle ensues — it’s pretty rough. Much grappling in the water and such! Kobie the dog dies, but we’re able to bring her back. By the end of the battle, we’ve killed 2 babies and the mama. We take all 3 heads with us.

Next day (Hex 20)….
Still riding through the woods. We spy a pile of some indeterminate substance lying up ahead; there are flies buzzing around it. August rides ahead to check it out, and discovers it’s a pile of purplish flesh. After he gives us the go-ahead, we ride up to join him. Petra recognizes the substance as troll placenta. There is a sound of crying coming from somewhere nearby… as we are trying to determine where it’s coming from and what it is, a huge boulder flies out of the woods and crushes August’s horse! August falls off and hurts himself. A huge troll comes lumbering out of the forest; she tells us to leave the horse flesh and she’ll not bother us anymore. We tell her we’ll leave her alone without a fight, but she needs to remember this in the future. She says this is fair enough. We ask her name; it’s Grasha. We then leave her in peace to eat August’s horse. August rides with Petra on her horse.

As we travel along the river, the terrain becomes increasingly marshy. We come upon a sunken area, where there are some odd buildings, in the middle of which is a high tower. Something up in the tower waves a white flag and calls to us in boggard. When we don’t respond, it says in common, “me friend! No fight!” We notice there are 2 Slurks down on the ground, not too far away. The creature in the tower yells something in boggard to the slurks… we THINK he tells them “no.” They seem to stay put, eyeing us as warily as a toad can.

We ride up toward the tower, and the boggard calls down to us: “This my kingdom. Are you peaceful?” We assure him that we are, and he comes down to speak with us. He tell us his name is Garum, and that he tried to take over his tribe after eating sacred blue dragonflies that gave him visions that told him to do so, but it didn’t work. His tribe captured him, and he maimed his own right hand in order to escape. He holds up his hand to show us — it’s nasty and looks quite painful — and we recall the encounter we had with those nasty boggards a few nights before — the ones who were looking for him.

After noticing that he also has Svetlana’s wedding ring (wtf?!) we strike a deal with him: If he promises to give us Svetlana’s ring, we will heal his hand. Plus, we will go seek the boggard search party, and when we find them we will tell them to go home and leave Garum alone. If they do not comply, we will deal with them. We will return after this is accomplished, and he will give us Svetlana’s ring. He accepts gratefully, and offers to let us stay here tonight. Nothing happens that night, and he seems honest and good on his word.

Next day (Hex 21)…
After leaving Garum’s place, we spend an uneventful day exploring. That night Petra and August are keeping watch and notice something rustling through the grass, headed toward us. Some kind of small animal. We wake Lochnar, who with his darkvision describes the creature to us: Some kind of iguana-like thing… a sparkly green dragon-y type creature with huge saucer-like eyes and a horn. We address it… the creature says his name is Blud All Innookee, and he’s a carbuncle. He tells us he’s a friend and he wants to travel with us. He says he was cursed and kidnapped by a wizard, but he managed to escape and now he’s trying to go home. Carbuncles, he points out, are shy creatures who use trickery and telepathy to keep people away from their areas; he’s able to make people see things and think things, and this could be valuable. He can also help people see into the future. If we help him go home, he tells us he’ll give us his horn — which is valuable for alchemy — in return.

Next day (Hex 22)…
In the morning, Lochnar has to leave on an errand. He will join back up with us in a couple of days. The rest of the day is uneventful, except for the fact that Blud seems to have really taken a shine to August.

Next day (Hex 23)…
As we’re traveling through the forest the magic folk suddenly get a bad feeling again, just like before, as if the boundaries between our world and the First World are very thin. We find a dead unicorn with its horn broken off, and there’s no apparent decomposition. The whole thing has a very negative aura — it was killed by a death spell, and its horn was removed post-mortem. Blud tells us it’s cursed with bad magic. Sirene sprinkles the unicorn with holy water, and it explodes all over us. Gross. Our work being done here, we move on.

Next day (hex 24)…
Nearing the Skunk River we discover boggard tracks. We stealthily track them… and discover this is the party looking for Garum! There are 10 altogether. Sirene calms 6 of them, and we attempt to parley with them. They’re having NONE of it, of course, so we have no choice but to fight.
It’s HORRIBLE… we get our asses kicked big time. It’s fairly apparent that we’re out of our element here in the river. In the end we manage to kill only 3, while 7 escape into the river. Damn it!

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The Adventure Continues... Hexes 7 through 17

Next day (Hex 7)…
The morning after we discuss our plans to raid the bandit camp with Lord Kesten Garess we rise early and head out in the direction of the camp. Along the way, we notice lots of bones scattered all over the ground — kobold, animal, etc. Suddenly the ground begins to move and shake beneath our feet, as if there’s something underground. It’s a giant spider! It leaps out of a hole and attacks; we fight and eventually roast it with alchemist’s fire. We drag the carcass out of its hole, and notice there’s a shaft leading downward. We lower Nelbin down the hole on a rope. He finds the body of a bandit down at the bottom and loots leather armor, some nice doeskin boots, a short sword, some gold and a Stag Lord amulet from the body. Also he finds a map in one of the boots — on it is a drawing of a tree that looks like a claw on a barren hillside; on it is a red X marking “treshure.”

Next day (Hex 8)…
Riding through some craggy hills, we find a 5 ft. wide crack that leads into a cave. We go in and discover there’s a huge vein of gold in the wall. We mark it on our map “potential mining locale.” We exit & conceal its entrance.

Next day (Hex 9)…
We arrive at the bandit camp. Nelbin talks to a bird, who tells us that there are currently 6 bandits there. Nelbin does a sleep spell on a guard up in a tree; August climbs up and assassinates him (and subsequently finds a thunderstone on the body).
A battle ensues. We kill 8 bandits (way to count, bird!), and capture Kressle.
Loot: 7 longbows; 8 shortswords; 8 daggers; 8 sets of leather armor; Kressle’s 2 masterwork hand axes; 200 g. worth of furs; 90 g.p., 321 s.p.; silver earrings; a wooden music box; 8 bottles of absinthe; 2 Stag Lord amulets.

Back at Oleg’s…
We cage up Kressle. Lord Kesten Garess awards us our promised mastercrafted weapons.

While there, Nelbin has to leave — There’s a half orc fighter named Lochnar at the fort who takes Nelbin’s place in our party. (Something about being hired to look for Nelbin’s parents?) Also joining our party is Drixt, a half elf ranger.

Kressel summons Sirene, saying she wants to give the cleric her last confession. Tells Sirene all about the Stag Lord — says he’s a drunk. He usually has at least a dozen men and several lieutenants with him (one of which she says is a fallen paladin). She says the password to get into his camp is “By the Bloody Bones of Saint Gilmog!” (and the proper reply is “who wants to know?”). She tells Sirene that the Stag Lord’s men are terrified of him… He has a horrible appearance — scary! — and lots of his men think that’s his actual face, but Kressel thinks it’s just a helmet.

Oleg tells us what he knows about that awful hunter — which isn’t much. He says the dude’s name is Breeg Oglavich and he’s a misanthrope. (no shit!)

Svetlana makes us breakfast. While we’re eating she jabbers on about some people she’s worried about — she wants us to check on them. One of them is a hermit named Bokken, who makes potions. The other is a guy named Darvic Nettles, who runs a ferry across the Thorn River. She hasn’t seen or heard from them in a long time. And “oh yeah, don’t forget that Tatzlwyrm head I want!” Gimme, gimme, gimme. Sheesh.

Next day …
We head out. We explore 10 & 11 without incident.
Hex 12
We find Bokken’s hut (which is weird, with a creepy talking door). He invites us in and gives us some disgusting root tea, and brags about some potions he has for sale. They’re very tempting; we want to buy some, but we can’t afford them. He makes us a deal: he’ll give us 50% off every potion he’s got for a whole month if we get him some Fangberries. He also tells us that Grigs like sweets and will leave us alone if we give them sweets… He offers us some honey to purchase for this purpose; says it will come in handy. We also buy 5 anti-venom potions. He offers to allow us to spend the night there; we gratefully accept.

Next day (Hex 13)…
While exploring we find a rock jutting out of the ground. It’s a cave! We send Lochnar in (with his darkvision and all). After he tells us it looks clear, we follow him in. Further in we come upon a pile of rubbish (odd). Keep going, and the passage leads into a room. There’s a fire with something cooking, and yet another pile of rubbish in the corner… under which something is moving! We look closer and notice that’s no pile of rubbish!! It’s a giant figure! We hear sobbing…. We call out “who’s there?” This thing looks up — it’s HIDEOUS!! It’s a super deformed ogre who tells us he’s been cursed by a “fey queen.” Just then another hideous ogre comes in and they both decide they’re going to eat us. Goody.
A trap is sprung, and we fall 20 feet through the floor and into a pit. And the door slams shut over us. After much ineffectual rumination, we finally decide to oil ourselves up and squeeze out through a narrow escape tunnel. We emerge in the daylight to find one of the g.d. ogres standing by our horses, eyeing them hungrily.
A horrible fight ensues. After much frustration and ass-kicking, we finally kill him… only to be faced with the second ogre. Another hideous fight… The ogre is finally slain, with August dealing the death blow with his telekinetic fist!
We go back into the cave to check it out. It has veins of black powder that can be used for alchemy. Petra inspects the bodies and decides they’re Thawns, also known as mud giants. They’re so ugly don’t even like looking at each other.

Next day (Hex 14)…
We suddenly come to the Crooked Tree from that treasure map we’d found in the boot at the spider cave! We dig and find some booty… wrapped in a heavy leather cloak: a masterwork dagger; a magical wand of burning hands; a silver ring (really nice, but not magic); an old spell book.

Next day (Hex 15)…
We make it to the Shrike River. There’s a really old, rickety bridge. After MUCH vigorous debate, the decision is made to not cross here; it is decided that the bridge will not hold our horses, and we don’t want to go without them.

That night as we’re camping… A humanoid figure sneaks up to our camp, and when we call out, it croaks in reply. Boggards! Seven of them in all. They tell us they’re looking for one of their own who tried to kill their “god-king.” This villain’s name is Garum, and he has a maimed left hand. They tell us they’ll be traveling up and down the river, and if we kill Garum they’ll give us 1,000 g.p. — But we need to provide the hand as proof. Apparently Garum is extremely dangerous; not only does he have 2 pet slurks, aka saber-toothed toads with squirty venom, but he’s also very tricksy. He’ll try to trick us! For this reason we must kill him on sight, do not let him speak!

Next day (Hex 16)…
We come across a huge sycamore tree, very ancient and imposing, an obvious landmark. Drixt identifies some tracks at its base as both fey and kobold, and the tracks lead into a hole at the base of the tree. Drixt and Kilia go down into the hole, where they encounter 3 mites. They kill 2 and one gets away.
The rest of the party joins them down there, and encounter more mites. We pursue them into a room where we see 10 mites, as well as several kobolds who are bound and being held captive by these mites. After killing the mites in this room we examine the kobolds and discover that all but one of them is dead. He tells us his name is Mekmek and he’s from the Sootscale Tribe. They came to this cavern to retrieve their sacred idol, and the mites captured them. We free him and try to find a way out; it continues to lead into more & more rooms, all the while encountering more mites which we have to fight, as well as a nasty giant tick and a giant centipede. It’s grueling, but we manage to kill these and press on.
Further into the cave, we find a statue of Zargoz, Mekmek’s lost idol, as well as a map to the Sootscale Camp, and a piece of paper, upon which is written “Us: kobold statue, lots of spears, coins. Them: magic dust, lots of coins, shiny human ring.”
After this we encounter yet more mites… Lochnar intimidates them and they’re easy pickins. Also we slay an icky mite menage a trios. Gross. We finally make it out of this cave. Whew.

Next day (Hex 17)…
After resting up for the night, we head toward the Sootscale Caves to take Mekmek home. When we arrive there we discover it’s an old silver mine. Mekmek confers with some other kobolds, who allow us to enter, telling us to take the idol to Chief Sootscale.
We travel deeeeeeep into the caves. We’re led to a room where we are told that a tyrannical priest named Tartuk forces them to sacrifice their own if they’re deemed “not devout enough.” Tartuk tells them that those who are not devout turn yellow. (??)
We meet Sootscale, who tells us he plans overthrow Tartuk and free the tribe of his tyranny! We use careful diplomacy to convince these kobolds to ally with us, telling them we’ll help them overthrow Tartuk if they agree to forge an alliance with us here in the Stolen Lands. It is agreed.
We stage an attack on Tartuk and his kobold flunkies. There is of course an enormous fight, and Tartuk proves a challenging opponent, what with some general slipperiness and some crazy invisibility crap he can pull. But we finally manage to slay him. Sootscale is overjoyed and thanks us.
When searching the room after killing Tartuk, we find his journal. It’s written in undercommon, which is very strange because that’s totally NOT a kobold language. Come to find out….. Tartuk used to be a gnome! Long ago his village was besieged by ogres, and rather than fighting them he sided with the ogres. The ogres, however, were not so forthright, and they ended up killing Tartuk. Eventually the ogres were run off, and the surviving gnomes reincarnated Tartuk as a kobold as punishment for his treachery. Horribly bitter, he worked his way into a kobold tribe, using his wily sorcerer’s ways. He worked his way through tribe after tribe, killing them all, and was working on this tribe, starting a war with the mites. (I somehow did not record the deal with why the “unfaithful” were yellow… I remember this had significance, but I don’t know what. Oops.)

Tartuk’s Loot:
302 g.p., 132 s.p., 7420 copper.
Masterwork light metal shield
(7) +1 flaming crossbow bolts
Pair of boots of elven kind
Masterwork cold iron sickle
+1 bracers of armor
+1 cloak of resistance
Wand of magic missiles
A soiled leather bag containing…..
13 platinum, 249 gold, 321 silver.
1 dose of dust of illusion
1 GOLD WEDDING RING!

Sootscales LOOOOVE us — we’re heroes! They pledge their alliance to us, and agree to sign a treaty to this effect.

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The Adventure Thus Far... Hexes 1 through 6

Our party:
Nelbin – gnome bard
August – human wizard
Kilia – half elf rogue/monk
Sirene – half elf cleric
Petra – human barbarian

The Sword Lords of the Dragon Scale Throne of Restov have hired us to clear bandits and explore the Stolen Lands. We travel south to Oleg’s Trading Post. Oleg has asked for help against bandits in the region, and Restov is sending troops for help.
We arrive at Oleg’s to discover it is inhabited only by Oleg Leveton and his wife, Svetlana Leveton. They tell us all they know about the bandits:

  • They come once a month and demand money, and while there they steal goods.
  • There is one who seems to be in charge: a woman named Kressle, a badass armed to the teeth with handaxes. Her second in command is a man named Happs.
  • Bandits work for the Stag Lord… they steal this stuff because he demands tribute.

That night the bandits come (right on schedule) and we fight… Kill them all except Happs, whom we capture, strip, and put in a cage. We stable 6 horses. We also take Happs’ silver necklace with a stag’s head pendant.
Kilia tortures Happs and discovers:

  • There are 50 bandits in his camp, which is called the Thorn River Camp; he shows us where it is on a map (it’s south) (Happs lied about there being fifty bandits in the River Camp as the party discovers when they attack)
  • Stag Lord is the leader of all the bandits.
  • Many camps in the area (a lie as the party discovers only the Stag Lord Fort and the River Camp)
  • There are 4 lieutenants — Kressel is one.

Oleg is very grateful; he gives us 50 gp each, 3 potions, and tells us we are welcome to stay there whenever we want — free room & board.

Next day….
We explore area around Oleg’s. Lots of prairie.
That night we are attacked by Grigs — cat-sized, 1/2 cricket 1/2 fey creatures, like a fey centaur cricket.

Next day (Hex 1)…
We’re riding through the woods, and there are bear traps everywhere. A horse gets caught in a trap and we’re attacked by something we can’t see… it shoots crossbow bolts that cause magical bleeding. We attempt to fight, to no avail — we can’t see anything! We’re getting our asses kicked, and things are looking extremely bad, but Nelbin frees the trapped horse. We heal it and retreat from the area. Whew!
The whole woods is set with bear traps occasionally… giving us trouble.

That night, we’re attacked by Thylacines, which are native to this area. We defeat them and take their pelts. Later on, we’re attacked again, this time by Mites. We manage to fight them off.

Next day (Hex 2)…
We’re exploring more woods….
We come across a 15 foot high statue covered in vegetation. It’s an image of Erastil = god of nature & community. We also notice the faint remains of a building. The statue has an aura of good. If we show respect to the statue it will grant us a favor. Our weapons glow…. they gain the Keen Edge spell effect (good for one week!).
Also, we notice that no animals seem to approach this area, so we decide it would be a safe place to camp. So we do. Pass the night without incident.

Next day (Hex 3)…
We arrive at the Skunk River Hot Springs. We explore it! Nelbin knows that this has hot spring been used for ages for medicinal purposes, so he & Sirene decide to take a dip. The rest of us decide to stay on dry land (Petra in particular is very suspicious). After awhile, a bunch of giant frogs start leaping around in the water. Petra recognizes them, and warn the party that they are very aggressive — they can grapple you with their tongues! About this time, they begin to attack us — a huge battle ensues. At one point Nelbin is swallowed by a frog, but August awesomely uses his enlarge person spell to bust Nelbin out of the frog! Nelbin nearly dies, but Sirene heals him, and he’s okay.

Next day (Hex 4)…
We encounter a fresh grave in the woods, with a stump nearby. The stump is like a headstone, with a very nice, very well-made handaxe stuck in it (Kressel’s??). Looks like someone had set a trap and it had since been sprung… The rope has been chewed through — by tiny, sharp teeth — to set it off prematurely. Kilia wants to take the axe, but we are leery and out-vote her. We leave it there.

Next day (Hex 5)…
We notice a strange nest in the trees with strange creatures flying around it. We identify these creatures: 1 Grig, 1 fairy dragon (?). Petra climbs up there and hears something growling. The tree starts to get slippery, so I make a hasty retreat back down to the ground. August then gets tangled in some animated undergrowth. Sirene deduces that someone nearby is casting spellsVERY high-level spells! We turn tail & leave! (we are chicken-shit, aren’t we?!)

That night, as we are camping…. We encounter some Kobolds. They want gold as a toll to pass through their land. We try to negotiate. When this doesn’t work, Petra succeeds in intimidating them. The tell us that they work for a certain Chief Sootscale. Just for diplomacy’s sake, we agree to pay them 5 g.p. each. They then tell us that there is a “bad hunter” in Hex #1 (no shit!); they call him “Big Hunter.” Clever, huh? The kobolds tell us that nobody likes him. He’s tricksy and mean, and he only works solo. He hides his traps, which is unlike other trappers.

Next day (Hex 6)…
In the morning we begin to head east. We encounter yet more kobolds… Five of them this time, these are lying scattered about the ground and groaning miserably. When asked, they are very defensive about some crazy radishes. Being opportunists, they agree to sell us 2 radishes for 20 g.p. Then they start going on about “Tartuk the Magnificent.” We’re not sure what they’re talking about, but we bluff them, telling them that we’ve been talking to Chief Sootscale — to which they reply “did Tartuk approve of this?” Not sure what that’s all about.

Back to Oleg’s……
We decide to head back to Oleg’s outpost. When we arrive we are surprised to note that there is a guard on duty — just one. Oleg informs us that 2 guards have been killed by snipers. Bandits have been scouting around and Oleg fears that a raid is imminent.

Svetlana is overjoyed with these radishes! She tells us that they’re like Viagra, and offers us 250 g.p. as credit. What a deal!

We meet a Kesten Garess, who is the captain of the guard sent from Restov. He & his men arrived the day we departed Oleg’s outpost. He confirms that 2 of his men have been killed by snipers; now there are only 3 left, plus himself. He also agrees that a bandit attack will happen at any moment. He also tells us he thinks we ought to go take out the bandit’s camp nearby in order to prevent this attack. Easy for him to say. He also wants us to kill Kressel while we’re at it, and is offered a mastercrafted weapon as a reward. To get a little more info on the situation, good ol’ Nelbin goes and talks to the friggin’ horses! They tell him that there are about 14 bandits at the camp, usually 7 remain at camp at any given time. Who knew horses could count?

Oleg takes this moment to inform us that to add insult to injury, the bandits have stolen Svetlana’s wedding ring. If we return it to her, he will offer us 1,0000 g.p. credit. Oh, and also…. he wants a Tatzl Wyrm head, and he’s offering 600 g.p. credit for that.

Also at the outpost is a strange dude named Jhod Kavken. He’s a traveler from the north who has sought shelter at the outpost. He’s quite mysterious; he’s scraggly and wears a great hooded cloak and carries a bow. He tells us that he’s been looking for a temple of Erastil (hmmm…. the same one we know??), because he wants to restore it. He’s had a vision… He says we must be careful at this temple because there is a guardian there who needs to be killed. Jhod is very very odd, and seems a bit guarded and solemn, but he also seems sincere.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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