Kingmaker in Eberron

Book 2 Chapter 15 - Culture Clash

Kingmaker Adventure Log
Book 2 Chapter 15 – Culture Clash
Stisshak, guardian god of the Lizardfolk tribe of Vesket, had been outed for what it truly was – an aberration of nature. A Will-O-Wisp.

The terrifying lizard skull, wreathed in green flames disappeared and reappeared in a moment cackling madly as lightning sparked forth from its mouth nearly frying Dox in an instant.

The lizardfolk village erupted into a battleground as those who had sided with their king and our heroes tried to hold off the attacking forces still loyal to their tribal god. Fires were set. Hunting lizards and crocodiles attacked one another as brother fought brother.

Alanea stuck by the wounded King Vesket, providing some healing as best she could while at the same time casting Heroism on as many of her friends as she could. Even while protecting Vesket she continued trying to find out just what was going on – how long this imposter had been manipulating the tribe.

The Lizard King could only look at the scaleless outsider with sad eyes. “This is perhaps the saddest of all of this. You still do not understand…that is our god. He has been guiding us for over 400 years.” Even with the barest bits of information they had been given regarding this society it made the pieces fall into place. A Will-O-Wisp feeds on fear…this creature, calling itself “Stisshak” came to this tribe so long ago and declared itself one of their guardian ancestor spirits. Anytime the tribe started growing too large or too self-sustaining suddenly there was a call to war or a cleansing of nearby land that always resulted in death and worship.

Stisshak had grown strong through the centuries by this subtle manipulation. And no one in the party knew quite how to tackle this angry ‘god’. It could apparently disappear and reappear seemingly at will…and while both Eleanor and Boudreaux (who had turned into a huge sized Allosaurus) could track the creature with their scent they couldn’t do so reliably and couldn’t pinpoint its location without being right next to it.

It was becoming a slow war of attrition. Stisshak was faster, seemingly immune to magic (such as Faerie Fire which they tried to use to locate it), and could strike from anywhere. The defense of the greater portion of the lizardfolk tribe, the fact that Stisshak could only hunt one person at a time, and the use of Communal Resist Energy – Electricity helped turn the tide in their favor – however it was the foul mouth of Dox that truly managed to change the battle.

With the combined Plot Twist Cards of Festering Insult, Erratic Behavior, and Tranquil Moment the changeling bard managed to strike a nerve with the aberration. Using the language of Aklo, the natural language of aberrations, Dox caused Stisshak to fly into a rage at her use of “Not ending a sentence with a preposition” and began hurling insults one after another…
“I’ll kill you! Kill you all! Before you infect me with your legs!”
“You disgusting mutation of a beautiful creature! Like the result of an irradiated third cousin fucked by a dog!”

Once its focus was placed solely on Dox the creature’s tactics became sloppy. Not caring that it was suddenly grappled in the mouth of an Allosaurus, or caught in a net by Ogg, it continued trying to murder the changeling bard who had created multiple copies of herself via Mirror Image as the one defense she had left against this creature. Finally, the creature was chomped into pieces by Boudreaux’s jaws.

The fighting stopped. The fires died down. The noise settled into the quiet sounds of the distant night. Lucius finished making his way to the second largest mud-hut in the village, finding the young red-headed Tyg Tannerson once again tied up to a torture device. The young boy was cut loose but clearly in shock.
Vesket spoke up to break the silence… “Perhaps it would be best for you and your kind to leave now. Take the child with you. We have some…things we need to sort out.” Vesket gave the group his personal trident…a symbol of the change their tribe was undergoing. “Take the offerings we placed for our fallen god. There are few things as damning as chains that one willingly puts on. But no more.”

Within eight hours the small island of lizardfolk’s entire culture had been uprooted, killed, and buried. As they made their way back to the capital of Waterview with the young boy in tow, Alanea could not help but think of her diplomatic battle with the troll Hargulka.

“Your presence here will damage the native cultures. Destroy their heritage. Leave this place.”

What started as a friendly wave across the river to an unknown village toppled everything that had guided their history for the past 400 years.

XP GAINED!
3120XP Per Character!

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Book 2 Chapter 14 - Guardian Gods
Guardian Gods

Aka “Show me your Honor!”

When we last left our heroes they had negotiated entry into a small island kingdom of lizardfolk and discovered a captured human child strapped to a reed branch and buried up to his neck in a pit of mud. Realizing they were in a delicate situation, the group politely enquired as to the status of the child and the reason why he was here. The lizardfolk guards noted that indeed there was a non-drow scaleless child here and the he was chosen by their god to undergo trials.

“And uh…how long has he been undergoing these trials? And what have they been like?”

Oh, just a couple days or so. The lizardfolk told the tales of the trials of the young boy…there was the one where he was held upside down above hungry monitor lizards until he passed out…there was the one where he was forced to find his way through a swampy sea of reeds while avoiding crocodiles…

“And uh…how long does your god plan on testing the boy?” The lizardfolk shrugged. That was for their god to decide. As long as their king, Vesket received word from their god the trials would continue.

“We would be greatly interested in a meeting with your king…” They had been respectul guests so far, willing to leave their weapons outside the village, using diplomacy rather than brow beating and they didn’t immediately try to kill any of the lizardfolk after discovering a young scaleless child screaming its lungs off. A meeting with their ruler seemed the least they could do. Some of the lizardfolk guards emptied out a nearby mud hut of its resident family asking them to vacate the premises for a couple hours while they entertained some guests. A family of lizardfolk complete with a youngling bowed and graciously left for a bit so our heroes could have a place to wait for an audience with the king.

A pair of lizardfolk guards stayed with the group, tossing some small lizards on spits above the family firepit to get some food going. Not ones to bow out from trying the local cuisine the offer of sharing some of their Gur’kash meat was met with great approval…a simple glance at the state of the lizardfolk island kingdom was enough to realize they didn’t seem to have any kind of grazing animals or even any kind of farming techniques. Various symbols adorned the shoulders of the lizardfolk ‘braves’ that monitored the safety of the village, which Ogg recognized as similar to a system of medals or soldier ranks like a military would have (Profession Soldier for the win!) while Alanea recognized that these very symbols were similar to the symbolism sometimes used by the Sovereign Host deity Dol Dorn, god of Strength and honorable combat (Knowledge Religion!). This was not the first time our heroes had encountered strange offshoots of religious practices once believed to have been exclusively a part of Khorvaire…after all the Temple of the Elk they had found had language written in ancient Giant worshipping the deity of the hunt Balinor.

If nothing else this discovery regarding the lizardfolk culture reinforced the notion that they were a warrior-like honorable society that valued strength and proper forms of warfare, which meant they were unlikely to try and do something sneaky behind their backs. At the same time it was rather curious why they would be torturing a human child…from a warriors standpoint – or a warrior society anyway it made a few decent points. Where you find one outsider, especially a child, there are bound to be others. The lizardfolk had admitted to running into Drow on occasion and it didn’t sound amiable. One way to test how ‘strong’ the outsider could be would be to see the extent their young ones could go to. But still something wasn’t right about this.

One other remarkable aspect of their culture was the treatment of the deceased. The lizardfolk valued the strength of other warriors but once deceased well…meat was meat. There were no burial cairns in the small lizardfolk community.

Dox, for her part being a precocious troublemaker periodically kept changing her appearance in front of the lizardfolk causing no end to the confusion as to just what was going on…with the lizardfolk trying to keep up a polite diplomatic position and not insult their guests by asking just what the deal was.

About an hour into their shared meal the group was finally brought into the largest mud bowl in the village with ornate bits of bone and animal hide ornately decorating the outside of it. A pair of lizard skulls had been fashioned into spears crossing one another over the top of the door. Sitting atop a throne of mud and bones was a nine foot tall imposing lizardfolk wearing an impressive array of clan-tattoos adorning his scales. Introducing himself as King Vesket of the kingdom of Lizardfolk he welcomed these outsiders to his lands and wished to negotiate peaceful trade with these strangers in a strange land.

Getting to the point of the matter Vesket didn’t seem to be the type to dance around the large-sized mammal in the room.

“Ah…the young child. It is true we have been testing him. Our guardian god has seen fit to see the merit of this young (he paused) …boy? While I regret that someone of your kind has lost one of their young, I cannot go against the wisdom of our god. Xen’drik is a harsh land, and our younglings are taught at a young age to wander off alone is to invite all manner of peril. It is unfortunate that your kind has yet to learn this lesson – but it is one you should take to heart. The parents of the child should be publically punished for letting their spawn out of their sight.”

As a king, Vesket was responsible for the welfare of his people but also to act as royalty should – and in this case it meant not bowing and scraping to outsiders despite the matter in question being a child of another race. Ogg and Alanea cooked up a plan however…after all if the desire of their guardian god was to test the abilities of these outsiders, perhaps a grown warrior would do even better as a substitute. Ogg, who spoke perfect Draconic (dropping his usual ‘stupid speech’ act…which is rather hard to pull off in a language such as draconic anyways) asked if Vesket would consult his guardian god to see if a grown warrior – perhaps even the mightiest warrior of these new outsiders could be suitable as an exchange for the child.

Vesket nodded…it was a gamble, but they are a warrior culture. He would have to commune with their god to see if it would be an acceptable answer but one he would be able to accept. The group adjourned for a short time while Vesket communed with the spirits…coming back to the group a short time later with an answer.

“Stitsshak, our guardian god has agreed to your proposal. A battle of honor shall take place between two champions to determine the worth of your kind.” Ogg stepped forth.
“Gather your weapons and your courage, for it is I King Vesket that shall be your opponent. Be warned that you represent your people. If you yield, you yield for all of your kind. If you are slain however your defeat is yours alone.”

Alanea: So…basically what’s going on…?
Ogg: If I give up the fight I surrender for all of us. If I die, it’s just my loss.
Alanea: Oh…well then.

Ogg gathered his scimitar from his collection of weapons and readied himself for the battle to come.
There didn’t seem to be anyone with magical prowess in the entire tribe but having buff spells cast on Ogg was against the Cavalier’s personal sense of honor if not completely against the spirit of this duel. Boudreaux however was having none of it and cast a Barkskin on Ogg (Ogg for his part rolled his Will Save against the spell but still failed. His character Flaw came into play though since he was against the spell being cast – causing him to be Shaken for 1 hour)

Dox however was completely fine with using her Bardic Music to help him out – and with her Song of the Heart her Inspire Courage was an impressive 3/3.

Vesket brought forth his large trident and the battle started!

While the lizard king was larger than Ogg, the half-orc was faster! Closing the distance and landing a deadly blow with his first strike. Vesket retorted with leaning his body into the scimitars blade, twirling the Trident around, boldly declaring his combat ability and making strikes against the challenger to display his prowess. This proved to be Vesket’s undoing…Ogg declared “Less talk, more fight!” landing two more solid blows against the king. This was…quickly not going how Vesket expected.
(If you act like a Samurai, the dice treat you like a Samurai!)
Recognizing that his opponent had lost a lot of blood the only thing that prevented a killing blow to the lizard king was Ogg pulling back on his strength (not using Power Attack for that round)

In less than half a minute the greatest warrior of their tribe, and their kind had been defeated by an outsider almost effortlessly. The tribe was deathly silent. Alanea approached the body of the king to determine he was still breathing…casting a healing spell upon him to make him conscious.

“That…was unexpected. I admit defeat.”

A burst of green fire appeared in the sky with a large lizard skeleton bathed in it. This was the guardian god of the tribe – the great Stisshak! The lizard skull (which was the size of a full grown man) called for the death of these outsiders! Alanea recognized this thing…it was no god at all! This was a Will-O-Wisp! And a huge one at that!

The librarian adventurer called out the guardian god for the fake that it was…that for all of its bragging they had already won the duel honorably. The tribe was frozen in decision. Half of them seemed to be going for their weapons to obey their god while the other half were rallying to the side of their wounded king and the honor of these outsiders.

“Fine then…I shall prove the strength of the gods! The strength of Stisshak the guardian spirit of the Lizardfolk tribe of Vesket!” Battle was once again joined! The lizardfolk tribe erupted into battle, with ¾ of the tribe on the side of our heroes against the last ¼ who were still loyal to their guardian god.

Next time on Kingmaker…a Light in the Darkness!

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Book 2 Chapter 13 - Random Rabble Rousing

After resting at the spiraling marble tower for the evening and packing things up in the morning, our group of Boudreaux, Ogg, Alanea, Lucius, and Dox were once again ready to continue exploring the wilderness of their new homeland. They had yet to run into the rumored ‘Forest Drake’ that was said to be somewhere in the southern Narlmarches forest, and really who knows what other weird things might be out here? This is Xen’drik after all.

Our travelers headed southeast from the marble tower and further into the forest, coming across a solid 1/4 mile or so of the local area that seemed to be covered in spider webs throughout the forest canopy. Lucius had Aurum take the long way around to get a look at this part of the forest from the air to get another perspective…after a half hour or so the man-sized bird returned and thanks to Lucius’ Mark of Handling he used his Speak with Animals to discover that the webs were indeed visible from the tops of the trees.

It was at about this time that our heroes noticed that it looked like there was some kind of gray ash beginning to fall through the forest. Lucius, and Dox however realized there was something else going on here…this wasn’t some kind of “natural” (natural for Xen’drik anyways) phenomenon. The tiny motes flowing through the air were actually tiny spiders each clinging to a small thread of webbing. The wind had picked up moments earlier and it seemed as if dozens if not hundreds of tiny spiders were now flowing through the forest – and that meant trouble for our heroes!

As if in response to the tiny spiders having found food, four man-sized spiders quickly started climbing their way towards the group and battle was joined! Albeit without Ogg or Alanea even realizing it for the surprise round! There were spiders…spiders everywhere! Inside Ogg’s helmet, crawling over his warhorse, hiding in the thick arm hair of Boudreaux, absolutely everywhere. And they were biting! While this would be a hazard capable of heralding the doom for a group of unwary travelers the Ruling Council of Valdrik would need a stronger opponent than these vermin to be a serious threat. (Oh the difference that is made between Level 1 and Level 6 characters)

Some Flaming Spheres from Boudreaux and a Fire Trap from Lucius made quick work of the Spider Swarms while the rest made quick work of the man-sized spiders, and all without managing to set the forest on fire. With the threat dealt with the webbing in the forest should slowly degrade on its own and return to normal…time to continue heading east from here!

But as they do…we find ourselves traveling back in time a number of days, shortly after our current group of explorers left Waterview. Septim Garess had called for a meeting of the other half of the Ruling Council of Valdrik to bring some items to their attention. A couple of requests by the townsfolk had made their way to different ruling members respectively which should be assessed and dealt with…and thus they reviewed the new quests they had been given.

(Quests Received! Shamblesap, Where’s Tig?, That Damn Turtle!, I Swear I’m Sober, and A Lady’s Desire)
Book 2 Quests

There was also other issue that had started up a couple days ago…a newcomer in town that had started having public speeches about the state of Valdrik in general, and it wasn’t all good things. In fact it seemed to be questioning the decisions of the leadership of the country which while not illegal was causing some trouble with the general populace. The man’s name is Grigori Tulsa a somewhat heavyset man in moderately fine clothing.

Cassie: Hmm…well we’ve been fairly accepting of all kinds so far. Why don’t we send him an invitation to the castle to air his grievances directly to us?

The others agreed save for Korin who wanted nothing to do with this rabble-rouser causing problems in his town. A letter was penned by Valerie the CEO herself inviting Grigori to come and speak with them. A return letter was received the next day politely declining the request. Valerie decided it was time to walk amongst the people again and try to catch one of these speeches to see just what was going on. Tarvis arranged to have some of his spy network spread out enough to guarantee he would have someone that could catch the next speech but decided not to make a personal appearance.

It wasn’t too long while Valerie was out and about that a small crowd had begun gathering outside a nearby tavern where a heavy set man that matched Grigori’s description stood atop a couple of wooden boxes that had been pressed together to being speaking to the crowd. “Thank you citizens for listening to the humble yet troubling words of Grigori.” spoke the man.
“I wish to continue my discussion today on the dangerous choices of the ruling council of this wonderful country of Val’drik…and how over half of the ruling government decides to go galivanting off into the wilderness heedless of the important roles they are supposed to be heading within the kingdom itself! While yes it is true they are managing to still ensure their duties are fulfilled…for how long can they keep such a gamble going? If they were to fall prey to The Traveler’s Curse and get lost in the wilds? Or killed by bandits, monsters, or worse and never found again?” There were murmers of agreement amongst the crowd…it did seem sometimes stupidly dangerous to send out the rulers of a kingdom to go exploring…
Grigori held up a hand to the crowd, clasping a letter in it. “I have here a letter written by the ruling council themselves inviting me to join them in their newly created grand castle…but I was forced to politely decline! The voice of dissenting opinion should not be given the chance to be silenced, regardless of how polite the invitation! It is here that the words of Grigori belong…among the people!” There were a few cheers at the mans skill of swaying the crowd and even Valerie had to admit there were a few good points the man was making. But she was here to observe, not to make a spectacle…she was even speaking softly with an older woman next to her, a mother she had met a few times out in the farmlands of the kingdom. Her son had been injured in some foolhardy attempt at a new game the youth in town were playing – Gur’kash tipping. The fool boy had injured his leg running through a field in the middle of the night but should be back in the fields by the end of the week.

“Hey! Lady Valerie is right here!” Shouted someone next to her in the crowd. The people around Valerie parted to reveal her presence in the crowd. Grigori noted her presence with a pleasant smile. The man didn’t seem phased at all to be speaking ill of the country and ‘caught’ red handed doing it. While it wasn’t illegal, it was still in poor taste.

Valerie waved to the crowd and re-emphasized the council’s desire to take the troubles of its citizenry seriously and wanted to once again offer not only a meeting with Grigori but that any of the citizens here could accompany him to a public room within the castle to share their troubles with Valerie and the others.
“I must once again politely decline Lady Valerie” said the orator “I cannot risk the opportunity to be spirited away into another room of the castle…while the kindness of some members of the Council are publicly known there are also many citizens that could speak of the temper of Valdrik’s head Accountant.”

Somewhere in the back of the crowd two metal objects tinked together in agreement.

“And should I step out alone for but a moment and fall prey to subterfuge the ruling Councilor of the kingdom is a publicly known Changeling. While Lady Dox has been forthright in her nature the same can not be said for all members of her race.” Valdrik has been a fairly egalitarian society so far, and yet there are still the murmurs of racism…a distrust of changelings as thieves and liars, and deceptive by their very nature.

It seemed this was not a matter that was going to be resolved with a simple request for peaceful understanding. It was time for a debate. Valerie and Grigori battled with words, each scoring two victories over one another but each step towards victory was not gained easily (Even with Valerie’s Rogue Talent that allowed her to roll two d20s for a Diplomacy check twice a day at this point, Val’s player had to use the Plot Twist Card – Black Mark to give Grigori a -20 on one of his Diplomacy checks, specifically his statement about Changelings). Grigori’s accusations hit home with many of the villagers regarding the dangerous aspects of Xen’drik. The creature known as ‘Wolf’ that was sentenced to death only a few months ago was a wild beast…and who is to say that such a dangerous creature would never have come to this place if the Dragonmarked Houses had not tried to bring civilization to Xen’drik in the first place? That the encroaching kingdom on its territory may have forced its hand.

Valerie retorted. The council was doing the best they could, and while yes the Dragonmarked Houses initially funded the expedition all of the people in this kingdom (or as far as folks know anyways) were not forced to come here. They came to this strange new land knowing it would be full of opportunities, but also dangerous. This is Xen’drik, the Stolen Lands, the Untamed Lands, the birthplace of the Elven Race, remnants of the ancient Giant Civilization…and by the Twelve it will be protected.

While Valerie was countering his argument Grigori could barely take his eyes off of her. She was a master orator – there was rarely a person living or dead that he had encountered in his life that could match him in an argument. (It was at this point that Boudreaux’s player decided to complicate the situation by playing the Plot Twist Card – Lust on Grigori…towards Valerie). The orator found himself unable to meet his rival’s eyes (And yes there were “I Hope Senpai Notices Me” jokes around the table) acknowledging that she had made some points that Grigori was going to have to consider and calmly excused himself from the public eye. Things seemed resolved at least temporarily.

AND NOW WE RETURN TO OUR HEROES IN THE WILDERNESS
Once again we join Lucius, Dox, Alanea, Ogg, and Boudreaux as they traveled into a swampy portion of the Narlmarches forest. At a particularly swampy part the discover that the river parts around a small island barely 150 feet in diameter…surrounded by a ten foot high palisade with sharp wooden spikes pointing outward with a single wooden entrance on the eastern side of the island. The tops of small mud huts could be seen just above the palisade with a bit of smoke rising up from the inside of the island.
As the group passed by they could hear the distinct voice of a child, a human child screaming. It wasn’t the kind of screaming you would hear from someone being hurt but it was the kind of screaming you’d hear from being scared.

Seeing a couple of Lizardfolk waiting on top of the palisade near the one gateway into the island, Ogg called out to them in perfectly accented draconic – dropping his usual façade of monosyllabic speech. “Hello! Do you hear that screaming?”
The two lizardfolk guards waved from the island. “Yes of course. Are you friendly?”
Ogg: “Yes! Though we are concerned, is that a human child making that noise?”
The lizardfolk cringed in acknowledgement, as if they weren’t entirely comfortable with the idea of having a human child in their midst but they weren’t willing to give it up either.

Ogg: “Can we come visit? We would like to speak with you!”
Lizardfolk 1: “As long as you leave your weapons outside the village, you are welcome to come inside.”

The group agreed, leaving the various animals on the shore of the river as well as the majority of their weapons. Dox made a sleight of hand check to slip a Sap inside her dress in the hopes it won’t be noticed…

Boudreaux: “Donkeyxote, you’re in charge until we get back.”
dramatic closeup of Donkeyxote with a solemn nod

The river was calm enough that the group could swim across…Ogg not making a big deal of his swimming across in his Full Plate. Once at the front gate the two guards seemed satisfied with their lack of weapons and opened the door. Inside was a small collection of mud huts with a single leather flap covering the entrance to each one, a small hole built into the top of each mud hut where smoke slowly filtered out. Lizardfolk families traveled about the small village…there were young lizardfolk here as well. There were maybe 30-40 of them in all but it would be hard to get an exact count just from the entrance.

The source of the screams became apparent as the groups focus was brought towards the very center of the village. Tied to a wooden staff and buried up to his shoulders in a mud pit was a young red-headed human child screaming his lungs out. This could quickly become very complicated….

Clashing Cultures…next time on Kingmaker!

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Book 2 Chapter 12 - You! I wanna take you to a Fae Bar!

With the deadly Scythe Tree menace defeated for good, our group continued following their treasure map created from the deceased Big Bad Wolf. It was still leading to someplace around here…after traveling around a bit they finally came upon the end of the treasure map – a ring of mushrooms in a perfect circle.

Alanea and Boudreaux realized what this was. A fairy circle. These kinds of things happen on occasion but are almost never permanent…this one however seemed to be. Occasionally the plane of Thelanis and the plane of Eberron have a physical overlap that manifests in the form of a fairy ring or a fairy mound. The mushrooms in this sense have grown in the exact same position in the exact same pattern on both Eberron and Thelanis which has resulted in a stable portal. If you walk into the circle you’ll travel to Thelanis and vice versa. This particular portal since it was stable would grow back even if you chopped the mushrooms down. It would take burning down the local area to destroy this portal.

As the group was discussing what to do about this discovery a small sized critter with a pickaxe and a red cap came wandering out of the portal, paused as it realized it was not alone and slowly stepped back inside the portal…

Boudreaux, Ogg, Lucius, and Dox decided to travel through the portal. Alanea didn’t want to chance getting lost in the realm of the Fae so opted to stay on the other side just in case…besides, the animals in the group refused to enter the portal. Somethin about it just wasn’t right to them. So someone should stay behind to tend to them. Ogg stepped forward first and spotted a huge tree growing into the twilight sky off in the distance with glowing lights on the inside…was that a wooden door on the outside too?

Finding the door open the group made their way inside to discover a bar room made of the inside of the tree. Stairs leading higher into the tree led to rooms for rent, and there was even a bathroom. Walking up to the bar they met the owner and bartender of the establishment, a talking Raven. It flittered back and forth picking out bottles and pouring drinks for the varied customers of the fae speakeasy while a dryad waitress named Doris did most of the delivering of the drinks.

Thelanis, being a realm of the fae dealt with different ideas of currency than on Eberron. Eating food or drink didn’t bind you to the land or curse you in some way, however everything still had to be ‘paid’ for through some kind of barter or trade. This usually took the form of giving some kind of banter as the currency but other items are possible as well. Emotional responses, memories, even parts of a soul are up for grabs if the price is right. A couple jokes were given to get some drinks while the group tried to find out some information out the original Big Bad Wolf…unfortunately though the Raven could only say that if the original had been around these parts his Inn wouldn’t be. Makes it hard to run a business if a primal force of nature would be eating round these parts. You could ask the monkeys, they might know more…after all they like to gossip a lot.
At some point the red capped small creature stepped out of a nearby room labeled “W.C” once again pausing after realizing the large people were not only here again but in the bar…slowly stepping back inside the bathroom and closing the door behind him.

The group seemed satisfied with that answer for now and didn’t want to spend too much time exploring Thelanis…after all every day spent here would be equal to a week’s time back on Eberron. Bidding the Raven good night they headed back to the portal, once again the red capped creature froze in place having apparently gotten stuck in the window trying to escape the bathroom, frantically pushing itself back inside the bathroom after being spotted. The group then met back up with Alanea.

Deciding to continue exploring, after all according to the map locations they traded with Jubilost Narthropple there’s some kind of abandoned keep near here. Following the signs on their map the group could see the top of a large white tower off in the distance…but as they continued trying to make their ways there something strange was happening. Everytime they stopped to gain their bearings the tower always seemed off in the distance. Boudreaux was the group’s tracker and guide through the forest, but Lucius is no slouch in that department either. Checking after Boudreaux’s directions Lucius began noticing something strange. Where signs seemed a bit obvious regarding what direction to take to get to the tower, Boudreaux’s sight seemed to glaze over the bits of evidence and focus on something misleading instead. Lucius began pointing this out periodically and finally the group became oriented once more. Whatever this tower was…there seemed to be some natural defense against finding this place as if the very surrounding area didn’t want it to be found. Having figured out that there was a defense of some kind allowed the group to finally reach the abandoned keep.

The clearing within the forest was a strange area. That much was evident even just from arriving. The ‘abandoned keep’ appeared to be a giant tower approximately 140 feet tall made of spiraling white marble that led to a single point at the top. To the left of the tower was a great chasm in the earth as if two mighty hands had torn out a part of the land itself…even stranger this appeared to be the beginning of the expansive river that led to their own kingdom – and it was flowing backwards out of the chasm as if gravity had decided to say “fuck it” and let the river do its own thing.

To the right of the tower was a well that still contained crystal clear water. Lucius sidled on up and took a drink…and immediately dropped to the ground asleep.

MEANWHILE…Somewhere in Khorvaire…
One of the Vadalis family heirs, a younger cousin to Lucius was traveling across the vast ranch on a beast that had never been seen before. It was a prized beast and would be the talk of the year, if not the decade among the Vadalis heirs. It was here that Lucius found himself. “Lucius? What are you doing here? A might strange to find you on the ranch…but I’m headin towards a chocolate waterfall full of strawberries. Wanna come along?”

“WOULD I!” But everything went white before he made it there…

Lucius’ eyes opened up. He was on the floor…apparently out cold for a good ten minutes or so. The others were gathered around him. Dox had already changed into a prince and laid a smacker onto the sleeping ranger to try the ol “Prince kissing the sleeping Princess” thing. Apparently the water in this well has some lingering potent magical properties in it. Dox immediately tried a dose as well, slumped to the ground for a few minutes and then woke up. Apparently she didn’t have an experience like Lucius did. Weird.

Anyways, on to the tower!

The white spiral of the tower was about twenty feet across at the base and slowly narrowed all the way up to the top until it was only about ten feet across. Ogg decided to leave his horse at the bottom since it would make turning around a little awkward…and horses don’t really do backwards walking that well. The entire building was smooth leading up to a single point at the top. A metal grate about the size of a manhole cover rested atop the tower. As they inspected it they unwittingly set off a defensive trap! A Fire Trap to be specific! Fire exploded out from the cover as a voice bellowed out in the Giant language “Beware! Leave this place!” and other general threats and warnings about the tower. A little bit of fire was not enough to dissuade our heroes from attempting to unlock whatever this thing was.

Lucius gathered his thieves tools, steeled himself against the flames, received some magical Guidance from Boudreaux and some Heroism from Alanea (along with two Plot Twist Cards to provide a total +10 bonus to his Disable Device checks – Epiphany and All in the Details respectively). After being burned multiple times he finally managed to succeed at raising the cover from the top of the tower.

Peeking into the hole they had uncovered the group could see a blue light somewhere down in the utter darkness of the inside of the tower. Whatever the light was coming from had a slow hum coming from it and seemed to grow and fade in a timed pattern, but nothing else seemed visible. Lucius and Dox volunteered to take a closer look inside the tower…but even with the combined rope of the party reaching an impressive 250 feet, it was still not enough to reach the glowy blue thing below them. That distance alone proved to our heroes that not only was this place incredibly big – the building actually continued underground of its current location. Whether this was by design or some accident buried this place was uncertain. Using the rope they had as a hand hold Lucius and Dox (with the help of some spider climb spells from Boudreaux) quickly went down to the end of the rope to try and get a better look at their surroundings. While Dox had no method of increased vision in the dark, Lucius was able to concentrate and call upon the various animals he had studied over his years of training with House Vadalis to grant himself Sight Beyond Sight! (Thundercats theme cue) to gain Low-Light Vision temporarily.

Reaching the bottom of the rope they figured out a few more things about this place. The thing that was glowing below was a column of solid silver covered in arcane writing at least 30 feet across. They still couldn’t see the bottom floor of this place. The two paused in the darkness, dangling from the thin rope…was that…skittering? Was something moving out there in the darkness? Yeah time to climb back up. After reporting the new information Boudreaux decided to take one last look through this place, transforming into a hawk and scoping the place out. The Silver Cylinder they discovered was about another 200 feet tall and finally reached the bottom floor of this place, making the entire height of the tower a staggering 530 feet tall (approximately) and well below ground level. Boudreaux did indeed spot a large metallic scorpion that was scampering across the marble walls but thanks to his speed and size could outmaneuver it enough that as long as he was flying it was unlikely to be a problem. On the bottom level there was the outline of damaged massive double-doors that probably served as the main entrance to whatever originally built this place, as well as human-sized alcoves built into the walls covered by an opaque covering to hide whatever was inside.

Flying back outside the group made the consensus that they currently do not have the means to properly analyze or excavate whatever the hell this place is…and if they sealed the top of the tower again they’d have to go through the effort to unlock it again…but if they leave it unlocked and something else comes along they’d be able to get in. Deciding to leave it unlocked for the time being the group camped over by the fountain before continuing their exploration in the morning….but not before trying out the magical well water just one more time.

Dox took a drink and once again passed out, finding herself backstage at a lavish theater. Exploring the actors area she discovered the once other person in this area – none other than artist, actor, writer, and pop-star extraordinaire Basilia Baxton! Attempting to contain her inevitable fan-girl outburst Dox introduced herself and bantered for a while with her idol.

“Oh you’re Dox! I’ve gotten your letters. I was actually just working on my reply you know. I’ll be heading to an airship port soon to meet up with House Cannith representatives to head towards Xen’drik.”

Basilia for her part was surprised there was another behind the curtain. She was usually alone at her makeup table before making her appearance on stage but…hey since you’re here anyway, why not pick out an outfit and we can do a duet together? About halfway through their duet everything went white once again and Dox woke up…

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Book 2 Chapter 11 - Expansion and Talking Trees

With the departure of Hargulka and his retinue of trolls, Chief Sootscale slowly slid down his makeshift throne as all of the tension seemed to ease out of him. Arranging for both diplomatic envoys to arrive at the same time in order to force the two to sort things out was risky business but ultimately paid off. Not only would the Sootscales be granted citizenship in the kingdom of Valdrik but be given access to things like proper health care, readily available food sources, and modern comforts like beds.

With the diplomatic issues resolved Chief Sootscale invited our heroes to partake of the birthing ceremony. Within the birthing chamber lay dozens of kobold eggs that over the course of the celebration began hatching. Delicious food was served and toasts were made to the uniting of the two tribes for a more beneficial future.

Upon their next Kingdom turn the two bits of map that belonged to the Sootscale clan were officially added to the domain of Valdrik – the landmark of the Old Sycamore (formerly inhabited by Mites) and the abundant silver mines of the Sootscale homeland (a working Silver Mine that counts as a Resource). Sootscale himself was given the title of Viceroy of all Kobolds. Within the two areas under the control of the kobolds, Sootscale would still have primary authority over local laws. After having a meeting of the ruling council, these are the following rules they decided upon regarding the Sootscales.

1. Chief Sootscale would henceforth be known as Viceroy Sootscale of the kobold territories, with the territories of the Old Sycamore and the Silver Mines being granted to Sootscale and his clan as lands belonging to the position of “Viceroy”.
2. Any issues of crime and punishment would be handled by the local magistrate within the kobold territories (either Sootscale himself or someone appointed by him) however people may appeal to the Director of the Interior.
3. Viceroy Sootscale may attend and speak at council meetings though he does not have a vote in ruling matters.
4. Dox will be the direct contact for Viceroy Sootscale outside of council meetings.

A month passed to integrate a small portion of kobolds into the population of Waterview. Their kingdom had grown from a small village into a large town – just on the verge of transforming into a proper city. There was still the matter of tracking down wherever the Big Bad Wolf was hiding, which was likely connected in some way to the treasure map they had created from one of the wolves skin. The group of Boudreaux, Ogg, Alanea, Lucius and Dox decided to head out into the wilderness west of Waterview to begin exploring the area, add new explored territories to their map, all the while following the created treasure map from the fallen afflicted Big Bad Wolf.

Following the path west, and then southwest into the territory that was said to contain a terrible tree monster thanks to the information they traded from the Narthropple Expedition. After exploring the area they discovered the very forest hollow they had been informed about, and all but Dox had been able to pick out the foreboding large tree blending in with the rest of the tall trees. What passed for ‘branches’ were actually four large wooden tendrils with sharp blades blending into the canopy. Alanea and Lucius had heard a little bit about this creature but it was considerably rare. The official term was “Scythe Tree” and it was known to be an intelligent albeit malicious tree capable of understanding both Treant and Sylvan. The other bits of information they had gleamed was a particular weakness to fire and that the tree itself could uproot itself and move under its own power.

While they were discussing what to do about this particular creature…the tree in question was slowly crawling closer in the background of the scene, pausing every time someone looked back at it. However again only Dox was fooled by the ploy and Ogg called out to the creature in Sylvan to attempt to deal peacefully with it. The Scythe Tree paused. It had never run into food that talks before. Well, food that it understood anyway. While Ogg attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution – that the Scythe Tree could remain here unmolested if it agreed to not eat anything that could speak.

The Scythe Tree on the other hand could not turn down the opportunity to cut up food whose screams it could actually understand. Battle was joined!

Despite the menacing scythes of the tree it became clear it was horribly outmatched. Between the combination of Boudreaux’s multiple flaming spheres forcing it move around the hollow, Ogg’s powerful lance charges aboard his faithful warhorse, and the powerful bardic music of Dox made quick work of the Scythe Tree leaving it a burning mess. Checking the local area they discovered a number of small treasures under the soil where the Scythe Tree had originally been sitting and added that to their treasure hoard.

Continuing to explore the local area…next time on Kingmaker!

XP Gained!
3 Hexes Explored – 600xp
Scythe Tree – 3600xp
Kingdom Size exceeding 10 Hexes – 3000xp
Three Filled Districts – 2000xp

Total for each character: 1840xp each.
Level 6 Reached!

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Book 2 Chapter 10 - Stormreach and Kobolds

Some time passes in the kingdom of Valdrik. Dox, Alanea, Boudreaux, and Lucius decide to travel to Stormreach while they had some downtime between running their kingdom. Boudreaux and Alanea teamed up to hit the books at the various (albeit somewhat small) libraries around Stormreach – hoping to learn more about this “Big Bad Wolf” before deciding upon any kind of permanent solution.

While the libraries of Stormreach contained a horrible mishmash of various collected texts from across the world that were either donated or requested to be added over the years which made concentrated research rather difficult. There were a few things that the two were able to narrow down at least. There are mentions of a ‘Wolf’ character in the stories of many ancient cultures – so if this is all pointing to the same creature then it is some kind of Unique Fae that has existed possibly as long as civilizations have.

There were also slight notable characteristics that differentiated whatever this thing created as opposed to regular lycanthropy…standard werewolves in this case, only gain their supernatural toughness (Damage Reduction in this case) when in either their animal or hybrid forms. “Big Bad Wolves” however have this toughness all the time. (This linking to a flashback where Lucius, in his attempt to intimidate their captive ‘Wolf’ smacked him in the face with a saw but did not hurt him at all)

The native plane of existence for the Big Bad Wolf is most likely Thelanis – otherwise known as The First World, and realm of the Fae and primal forces of nature. This clue also pointed out another connection. ‘Wolf’ didn’t look over a man in his early 30s, and yet claimed to have come from a place in Aundair that was destroyed over 50 years ago. If ‘Wolf’ had crossed over to Thelanis at some point, the time difference made sense. For every day you spend on Thelanis, a week passes on Eberron, and depending on where you enter and exit between the two planes of existence could also explain how he managed to travel across the ocean from Khorvaire to Xen’drik.

Due to the unique nature of this creature it was most likely to ‘big’ in a spiritual sense to actually cross over between Thelanis and Eberron in any normal means, and even if it could it was unlikely to be anything permanent. While there was no known way to kill this creature (not with the resources on hand anyway) it did seem like it would be possible to banish this creature if it ever crossed over, or to perform some kind of ritual to keep it from crossing over much in a similar means of ritually summoning a ghost or powerful outsider and ‘exorcising’ it to prevent it from coming back to Eberron.

MEANWHILE…
Lucius d’Vadalis wanted to check in with the House Vadalis enclave in Stormreach. Popular belief was that there was no Vadalis enclave in Stormreach, and that’s the way the House wants it. While technically outside the city limits of Stormreach, Vadalis in truth most likely had the largest enclave in Xen’drik. The enclave is a sprawling ranch known as Blackbriar after the black colored vines that formed the outside walls of the area. Created by a Vadalis druid sometime during the Last War the unique vines that surround the ranch are rumored to be able to grow and shrink based on the whims of the enclave headmaster and didn’t take kindly to uninvited guests.

Tyris d’Vadalis is the current leader of the ranch and met with Lucius after finishing some of his chores around the enclave. A sharp looking man in his late 20s, Tyris had unfortunately not heard about this “Big Bad Wolf” before but was definitely interested in anything that created something resembling lycanthropy. And you say you have someone that has been ‘cured’ of this disease in your kingdom? House Vadalis would definitely be interested in studying this phenomenon. Could you get us a sample of its blood at least? Lucius nodded, yeah that was probably doable.

Speaking of working for the House, were there any unique animals of Xen’drik that they were looking for? Lucius was in a rather advantageous position to keep an eye out for some. Tyris seemed more than willing to provide a list of some rather elusive creatures the House had a definite interest in. While they preferred them alive, dead would also be acceptable in the capture of these animals. Descriptions and sketches on the level of a National Geographic were given to Lucius to bring back to Valdrik with him.

1. Old Silverclaws is a 20 foot tall gorilla with an extra set of arms. His fur is a shining silver which accents his black face and enormous hands. The beast’s otherwise impressive coat is marred with thousands of scars, a legacy of countless battles. Rumor has it he lost an arm about five years ago to a fire giant’s axe before tearing it limb from limb.
2. Lurking Two-Maws A hulking thunderlizard (T-Rex) whose most terrifying attribute is the yawning circle of bristling fangs at the center of her chest, which is surrounded by a morass of grasping tentacles. Survivors of her attacks testify that she can scoop up a dozen men at a time, stuffing one after the other into her razored chest-maw.
3. Glimmerdoom a creature with no physical picture to go by, Glimmerdoom appears to be a large scaly creature that somehow reflects not only magic but light itself.
4. Dream Serpent a coiled up snake that bears a strange pattern of glistening silver scales down the length of its back and easily as big as a horse. It supposedly has a hallucinogenic poison and is capable of forcing its victims to sleep with its gaze.
5. Tentacle Spider a spider-thing the size of a man with fang-filled jaws and four tentacles surrounding its head. The only pictures they’ve managed to recover of these things have been mid-feeding on some poor corpse.
6. Til’xin Bird a red-feathered hummingbird that moves supernaturally fast. They’ve only managed to get pictures of these birds from having mages concentratin slow spells in bird feeding areas.
7. Fernian Firepeppers Rare plants that typically grow only on the burning plains tied to Fernia, but gourmands across Khorvaire covet them for their exquisite flavor and strength.
8. Gurk’ash A thick-skinned beast that resembles a bison with the hide of a rhinoceros. Traveling in herds, this creature appears to have been warped by the lingering magic of Xen’drik causing its milk and meat to decompose supernaturally slow.

With list in tow Lucius spent the next few days exploring Xen’drik and catching some tawdry Burlesque shows with Dox before the group headed back to Valdrik.

MEANWHILE…
Dox wanted to hit the theater scene. It had been a while since she had gotten back to Stormreach since accepting her new position in Valdrik. Sure she was the official Councilor and had increased her fame from creating new contacts for the kingdom as well as promoting the country but there was something about the nightlife of Stormreach that just can’t be found anywhere else.

Dox found her mentor, Karklos ir’Ilsir the playwright that had taken her in and taught her to act, sing, and dance her way to fame and fortune (and a few other things along the path of her adventuring career). A fairly (in)famous playwright that became an overnight sensation after the production of his play Throne of Angels opened to rave reviews in Breland. The fame and fortune made Karklos more bold – pressing the issues of the times and creating political undertones in his future works. Who Mourns? Caused his exile from Breland. His next play after finding a new home in Aundair, Wine, Magic, and Moonlight opened with descriptions of the debauchery of “Queen Arielana’s” exiled son “Jurianos”…which promptly got him exiled. And so on and so forth until he wound up on the shores of Xen’drik.
Still a beloved actor and playwright Karklos has become known for randomly participating in his own productions on occasion – regardless of the gender of the role.

Dox arranged for free tickets to both a burlesque show and a classy
show to get the entire Stormreach Theater experience.
Dox pulled a few strings for Lucius and Eleanor – going so far as getting a private booth for the two of them complete with binoculars and guides to the plays. This of course, led to the scene of Lucius and Eleanor viewing the play through tiny binoculars and periodically discussing the events on stage via Lucius’ use of speak with animals from his dragonmark.
Eleanor: “I do not quite understand. The female and the male should solidify their relationship by killing and consuming the beta male. Why do they not quickly go for the throat and celebrate?”
Lucius: “Relathionships are…complicated.”

After everyone concluded their business they traveled back to Valdrik. A month later it was finally time to gather up the original members of the expedition to meet up with Chief Sootscale to celebrate their birthing ceremony and discuss diplomatic solutions regarding their two lands.

Alanea, Tarvis, Korin, Valerie and Sidney traveled to the Sootscale caverns and were met positively by the guards. They were quickly shown inside, taking the time to disarm all the local traps before being greeted by Chief Sootscale himself.
Sootscale: “I’m glad you could make it. We’re looking forward to seeing the birth of the next generation of Sootscales, and to see just what path our clan will travel towards the future.”

And with that Sootscale took a seat on his throne, and for the first time our heroes became aware of the other group in the room. The larger group in the room. A group of trolls in fact. The leader, or at least the one in front carried himself a little straighter than the others and wore a rather fashionable bow tie. Other notable trolls include one covered entirely by rock, and a two headed giant.

Sootscale: “I have been approached by another group who have a similar proposal. In this manner I can provide both of you a chance to talk about your desires for an alliance.”

The leader of the trolls stepped forward, as did Alanea.
“I am known as Alanea of Valdrik.” She introduced herself.
“And I am known as Hargulka.” Replied the troll leader in a very gentlemanly and elegant fashion not typically associated with trolls. After a pause he continued “I do not have a last name in my culture.”

Alanea shook her head. “In this regard, I am Alanea of Valdrik because Valdrik is the country that I come from. It is the land I represent.” She gestured again towards Hargulka for him to respond.

“Ah, then in this instance you may refer to me as Hargulka of Xen’drik.” Laying his claim for the entire continent. “For you see, as the true inheritor of the giant civilization the right to rule this land is mine by blood.”

And with that the fate of the Sootscale clan began! A battle of Diplomacy as Hargulka and Alanea (assisted by Valerie) debated over whether or not the Sootscales would have a better life staying as they are or integrating themselves into the society of Valdrik.

Hargulka’s arguments emphasized the nobility of the Kobold race, how they may be the littlest dragons but their culture would be tainted or even lost – tantamount to cultural genocide if they were to integrate with these ‘scaleless ones’ in the kingdom of Valdrik. Introducing technological or sociological ideas that the kobolds are not culturally prepared to understand and accept would irrevocably change who they are – and would ultimately damage their progress as a species. Even the so called technology of Valdrik, nay of all humanoid races is merely based off the leftovers – the merest hints of power and technology gleamed from the picked over ruins of the giant civilization.

Alanea countered on each point that all races are welcomed equally and will be treated fairly in the kingdom of Valdrik. The Sootscale Kobolds have already had their culture changed from what ‘it should be’ since they have already made contact with other species and occasionally even trade goods and services. And no one would be forcing any other culture or religion upon any other citizen of Valdrik so long as they obey the rules of the country.

The debate went on for a good half hour before Chief Sootscale raised his hand and declared that the representatives of Valdrik have made their point and made it well. The path of the Sootscale kobolds would walk the path of the scale-less ones rather than ally themselves with Hargulka and his followers. While Hargulka was not pleased with this result he still bowed graciously, thanking Sootscale for the opportunity to debate his points and left with his retinue in tow – but not before leaving a warning.

“We may have met peacefully here, but I cannot promise the same should we meet again in the open. Your kind are not welcome here. Leave Xen’drik to its rightful inheritors – or be prepared for the consequences.”

XP Gained – 550xp Each

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Book 2 Chapter 09 - Aftermath

Book 2 Chapter 09 – Aftermath
The surviving members of the Narthropple expedition and the Corax Co. lumberjacks buried their individual dead from the Big Bad Wolf attack. Among the enemy forces, there was one wolf left that still had a pulse. Exhausted and out of magic after the battle our heroes rested for the night at the encampment after ensuring the wolf would be tied up securely (and likely unconscious for the time being).

The surviving wolf had awoken in the morning albeit in human form once more. Despite his capture he seemed perfectly willing to stay where he was, at least for now. Our heroes discussed amongst themselves what their options were…could they get information from this guy? Would any of it be useful? Should they bring him back to town for an official trial?

Lucius stepped up in the interrogation scene since none of the others were really that skilled at it…
Valerie: “I’m more focused on bringing people together, not threatening to tear people apart…”

…to less than ideal results. Without using any silver weapons hurting the wolf seemed unlikely, and torture wasn’t really an ideal solution anyways especially with a Paladin nearby who would vouch for the protection of an enemy combatant that had been taken into their custody. They did manage to get some information from the captive wolf though.

For looking like a man in his 30s, he claimed to be over 50 years old and from Khorvaire originally. He didn’t go into how he got here, or how he met the other wolves just that “sometimes we run into one another and form a pack.” Whoever this man used to be that life was left far behind, he didn’t even remember his name anymore – and told his captors to simply call him “Wolf”. Any threats of incarceration were met with a laugh – the party deduced fairly early on

“It’s true, I was remade by Father Wolf. But he doesn’t lead his flock, nor does he travel with us. Father Wolf does what it wants…and if you’re truly going to try and face him you may as well try and stop a hurricane with your bare hands. He is a force of nature. It cannot be stopped – it simply is.”

Interesting information at least.

Boudreaux in the meantime set to work on restoring Melianse’s trees for her pond which would take at least two days. At the same time, he performed a somewhat grizzly spell ritual on one of the fallen wolves – Create Treasure Map which created a treasure map out of the hide of one of the fallen wolves that would lead to its perceived most treasured possession. The map pointed out further west from the current location.

Once the immediate danger had passed Valerie approached Mirasandra to finally discuss what she had seen during the fight. Expecting perhaps a judgment or a reprimand regarding her aberrant mark Valerie was surprised at the Paladin’s reaction. Sadness, even empathy regarding the weight of such a burden. Appearing almost motherly in her treatment of the young CEO, Mirasandra even wiped some dirt off of her cheeks as Valerie described the fate of all aberrants – to eventually go insane from the power of their mark and be removed from her position. Hopefully before she hurt herself or others.

Mirasandra: “This is not something I can make go away or a burden that I can help you carry – though I would if I could. All I can say is I will be there to talk to if you need someone. I can promise my silence on this subject.”

Valerie: “Thank you.”

Having finally composed himself, the gnome explorer Jubilost Narthropple introduced himself to the group officially – offering his services as an explorer and cartographer. He had been hired by an investor (whose identity has yet to be disclosed) to map out this part of the Stolen Lands and had been doing so when he was stopped by a group of lumberjacks who turned out to be the Big Bad Wolf pack who kidnapped them to keep them as a ready food source. Grateful for still having his life Jubilost offered to sell his services to the council of Valdrik at a discount – for a mere 500 GP per Hex, he and his company would explore an area and report their findings. While they wouldn’t take care of any dangerous monsters there, they would at least make them aware of their lairs if possible.

The group stayed around the lumberjack encampment for another day to ensure their bargain with Melianse was finished (as well as explore the current Hex) – having restored her trees back to their original form. In gratitude for being helpful non-immortal people Melianse said she would keep an ear out through the waterways for any possible threats to the kingdom – increasing the Stability of their country!

Returning to Waterview with ‘Wolf’ in tow the group stopped off for a moment to pick up the Narthropple’s damaged wagon to also bring that back to the kingdom. The offer to allow the expedition to use Waterview as a temporary base was gratefully accepted.

A public trial was held for ‘Wolf’. The council leveled the crimes of murder, attempted murder, assault, and kidnapping. None of these were denied by the accused. Witnesses were called to similarly verify the story. Mirasandra the Paladin recused herself from the trial.

The council made sure during the sentencing that this creature was not being punished for what it was but rather for what it did. There was no crime in being a lycanthrope, or even a “Big Bad Wolf” (though this label was left out during the sentencing) – but if you endanger the citizens of this country you will pay the price.

Having been found guilty, ‘Wolf’ was hung by his neck until dead.

A month has passed since the trial.

Before exploring more into what the plans of this original “Big Bad Wolf” are or where it is the group has decided to do some more research on the matter by exploring whatever information they could find from Stormreach and beyond.

Where to go from here? Next time on Kingmaker!

XP Gained!
1 Hex Explored 200xp

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Book 2 Chapter 08 - Welcome to the Jungle

Eight lumberjacks had come wandering into the clearing where Corax and his lumberjack community had been staying. Caught red-handed with a small collection of gnomes trapped under the floorboards of the guest cabin, and Tarvis blatantly stating they had been tracked down by the group, there seemed only one course of action to take.

Before the eyes of our group of heroes including Mirasandra the paladin of the Silver Flame, Corax the lumberjack, as well as the survivors of the Narthropple expedition and the other lumberjacks the ousted group of eight dropped their axes on the ground and began changing into the now familiar form of a werewolf. Initiative was rolled and the pack of Big Bad Wolves seemed to be at complete ease within their favored environment of the forest. With a simple gesture from the alpha of the pack, three of the wolves broke off to circle around the clearing, Lucius and Boudreaux recognizing this as a pack tactic. Surround your prey to prevent anyone from getting away.

Rather than keep a track of round by round tactics, the following is a general record of how each character spent the fight. Taking down eight Big Bad Wolves pretty much took the entire session this week, and we will be picking up at the aftermath of the battle next session.

The rest of the pack, including the alpha charged at the most threatening members of their prey – Tarvis, Boudreaux (and Eleanor), Lucius, and Mirasandra. Valerie at this point was still hidden by the door of the wolves’ cabin, and Cassie was playing the part of a helpless blind girl.

The battle was fierce, the vicious rending claws and terrible bites of the Big Bad Wolves proved to be almost fatal on multiple occasions. Cassie let loose her full array of living energy during the battle, transforming into a creature of pure positive energy that healed with a touch, bursting positive energy around her to heal her allies, and calling upon divine energies to heal others as well. Mirasandra was not a slouch in this regard either – most Paladins of the Silver Flame were taught to master the bow and thus also learned to heal allies at a distance.

Boudreaux and Eleanor used their own pack tactics when dealing with the wolves that bore down on them but even their normally iron-clad attacks weren’t as effective as usual. The druid and his lovely elegant lady companion were constantly rotating around the two wolves that assaulted them in the attempt to gain the upper hand if even for a moment.

Lucius being a ranged specialist without any ability to heal himself spent most of the battle trying not to bleed profusely while leading his own werewolf on a merry chase around the battlefield, eventually climbing on top of one of the cabins to get a higher ground advantage. The Wolf snarled “You really think hiding on a roof will help you?” before kicking in the door to the cabin – knocking it off its hinges. Realizing he would have only moments until the wolf would try and break through the roof to get to him Lucius quickly laid a firetrap on top of the roof – silently stepping away from where he just was. Sure enough the wolf came bursting up through the wooden plates in a vertical Kool-Aid Man moment and was set on fire by the ranger’s trap.

Mirasandra claimed divine retribution on the wolves, filling her opponents with divinely infused arrows that glowed with a silver flame though even she was tackled by one of the wolves, and was forced to draw her silver blade to fend off the creature. Near the end of the battle Valerie charged to her defense and skewered the wolf with her silver rapier – the tip coming out of the were-creatures mouth before dropping to the ground dead.

Valerie remained hidden for the beginning of the fight and stepped out of hiding to help Tarvis face down the alpha of the pack. Her face was still partially covered due to the recent growth of her Dragonmark…but she had to tap into her newfound power until now. Drawing forth a burning energy from within, Valerie electricity crackled across her hand and struck the alpha wolf in the shoulder. Quickly realizing that this new power was more taxing on her body, the CEO of Valdrik drew her silver rapier and joined the battle saving Mirasandra from one of the wolves. (Valerie’s new Aberrant Dragonmark power has manifested as an electricity themed Scorching Ray power)

Tarvis wins the “Tommy Tough Nuts” award for this battle, facing down the alpha of the pack with his +1 quarterstaff and a lot of moxie. The alpha tried, and failed, to intimidate Tarvis by sundering his quarterstaff – barely leaving a scratch in it. In an almost mocking response Tarvis reinforced his staff and retorted with a few spellstrikes – easily bypassing the DR of the BBW after enhancing the magical power of the staff with his arcane pool. After trading blows for a few rounds the alpha finally just disarmed the magus and snatched up the staff in his mouth – moments away from snapping the quarterstaff like an oversized walking stick. A magus without his staff is still a magus however, and after taking a single step backwards Tarvis plugged three holes in the alpha killing him where he stood with three well placed magic missiles.
The rest of the pack was demoralized at the death of the alpha but were determined to fight on. Slowly but surely the BBWs were brought down but not without leaving their marks on our heroes.

Finally there was one wolf left. Valerie had attacked it to take its attention away from Lucius who had plugged it with an arrow. The wolf lashed out at Valerie in kind staggering her as it sank its fangs into her neck. In utter defiance the ruler of Valdrik stabbed the wolf in the side with her silver rapier before losing consciousness trying to kill the creature with her last attack…unfortunately for her however the wolf remained standing with the rapier embedded in its side. Tarvis charged to her defense critting not only with his staff strike but with the shocking grasp he channeled through it as well – striking the wolf in the back of the head so it released Valerie and then slamming its head into the ground with electricity coursing through the BBWs body like an overcharged cattle prod.

The battle was over and somehow our heroes had survived. A few of the bystander lumberjacks and gnomes had been killed by the rampaging wolves, Mirasandra (and possibly others) had witnessed Valerie’s aberrant dragonmark powers, one of the guest cabins had been damaged and lit on fire, and one of the wolves had survived but was unconscious.

Have our heroes tracked down the Big Bad Wolf? Did they already kill him? Let’s find out…next time on Kingmaker!

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Book 2 Chapter 07 - Over the River and through the Woods

Valerie, Lucius, Cassie, Tarvis, and Boudreaux along with Mirasandra the paladin of the Silver Flame headed West from Waterview to try and track down the Big Bad Wolf.

Gathering up some supplies as well as calling on the help of Donkeyxote the Mule of La Mancha they followed the river towards the forest. It wasn’t long until Aurum, Lucius’ faithful Dragonhawk spied something strange stuck in the river. Pulling their horses aside to investigate the rapids the group discovered a traveling wagon that had apparently slipped from the path near the top of the bank and gone careening into the river.

Eleanor (being a Spinosaurus with a swim speed) and Tarvis (boosting himself with a Bulls Strength) swam out to the carriage to take a closer look. There were indeed two ponies that had been pulling the cart. Both horses were still strapped in place though it looks like they had been pulled under by the surging river and drowned. Tarvis cut the straps and let the bodies continue down river.

Judging by the spacing of the shelves it looked like it was inhabited by small size humanoids and the various equipment (axes, pickaxes, wet paper, inks, roped, camping supplies) all pointed to some sort of expedition.

Tarvis did manage to find a hidden compartment that contained some kind of Emergency First Aid kit with some healing potions in it along with a single potion of expeditious retreat. Wrapping some rope around the carriage the combined strength (with mostly Donkeyxote leading the pack) of the group pulled the carriage out of the river and up onto the bank.

Boudreaux took a look around the scene looking for tracks (this being the first of really high rolls my players made tonight, they were on a decent hot streak when their rolls really mattered.) and pieced together the situation. The carriage had been traveling alongside the river. Some medium sized humanoid tracks approached the carriage. The carriage stopped, and the small sized humanoids stepped out. Something spooked the ponies and the carriage slipped off the side of the bank and into the water. The medium sized humanoids left the scene, their foot prints weighing heavier in the damp ground than when they began indicating they took the small humanoids with them.

With Boudreaux leading the way and calling upon the tracking abilities of Balinor, lord of the hunt via the spell Deadeyes’ Lore the group moved at full speed into the forest. The medium humanoid tracks split up at teams – meeting back up at others until finally they appeared to move into a small clearing that contained two log cabins.

Off in the distance the group heard arguing, one loud brash voice full of cursing, and another equally loud voice though distinctly more calm. Heading over to investigate the group saw that the nearby river took a sharp turn in its path opening into a lily pad covered pond with several recently chopped down trees dipping their branches into the water. Mist curled around the branches and seeped out across the top of the water.

A good thirty feet away from the bank stood a group of lumberjacks (And They’re Okay) whose leader was shouting angrily at a figure sitting in the pond. That figure being a young girl with a slightly blue and green tint to her skin whose head was just above water that was responding in a much calmer vocabulary but was equally as loud.

The girl as it turned out was Melianse, a Nixie whose home was the pond. She was rather upset at the recent felling of the trees that surrounded her home. Trees that were over 200 years old. Trees that Melianse had been trying to protect by peacefully attempting to shoo the lumberjacks away with threats of ghostly calls at night and ominous fog surrounding the local area. But it was to no avail, and the trees were cut down. In retaliation for disrupting the look of her home Melianse charmed two of the lumberjacks to protect her as she forced a showdown between the two.

The lumberjacks were led by a gruff salt-o’-the-earth man with a bushy beard named Corax and he didn’t take kindly to some fairy workin their witchcraft on his men. Course he was going to cut down the trees this place was a fantastic site to setup a lumber mill. The trees gave great lumber and the proximity to the river allowed for fast delivery of supplies.

Boudreaux acted as an interpreter for Melianse, while the majority of the diplomatic situation was resolved by Valerie. The ruler of the country has been slowly coming into her own as a practiced diplomat and took the time to hear the arguments of both parties.
Valerie pondered for a moment, considered her options and resources and came to a conclusion.

Regarding the trees, Boudreaux was pretty sure that he could concentrate a Plant Growth to help regrow the trees that had been cut down but only because this particular area had a stronger connection to the natural growth of the world (in addition to spending an Action Point to make this possible). That would satisfy Melianse for now – though she would not give up the lumberjacks until the trees were restored.

Regarding Corax and his company, Valerie revealed their identities as part of the ruling council of Valdrik and their desires to expand westward into the forest and establish a sawmill in the Narlmarches forest. The group could move slightly down river to not disturb Melianse’s pond and still have access to the water. If Corax was willing to agree to these terms they’d look into a contract for manning the sawmill for Corax.

Tarvis, having taken a lesson from his experience with the Silver Flame decided to sit out on the negotiations this time.

However for the time being peace would be maintained and it seems like everything will work out. While Mirasandra had been traveling with the group she had mostly been silent, allowing the ruling council to decide things for themselves. A nod and a smile to Valerie gave indication of her appreciation for the pursuit of peace in this instance.

Back to the matter of tracking down some small-people kidnappers and the Big Bad Wolf. Corax had encountered a traveling group of gnomes led by one Jubilost Narthropple that had been mapping out the local area, but hadn’t seen them lately. While Corax had built the two local cabins, he and his men used one and typically rented out the other to travelers for a bit of extra money.

Boudreaux and Valerie asked Melianse if she had seen anything strange recently…anyone coming through possibly carrying small sized people…maybe a seven foot tall killing machine calling itself the Big Bad Wolf? The Nixie went quiet at the mention. “We don’t talk about him.” she said but she did lean in conspiratorially, whispering “Don’t stay in the other cabin…”

The other group renting the cabin was currently another group of lumberjacks that came and went at random times but often traded information with Corax regarding good spots of lumber in the forest. Otherwise there didn’t seem to be any sighting of something weird going on. Things still seemed off though…our heroes didn’t want to break into the other cabin to investigate especially with trying to foster a good relationship with Corax. Peeking through the windows seemed okay though. Finally after giving a knock on the door and hearing a thumping noise on the other side the group explained that they were looking for dangerous criminals – enough to give probable cause to Corax to lend them the master key to check out the other cabin.

Suspicions were confirmed through a cursory once over of the insonspicuous cabin…in addition to being the ruler of the country and a talented diplomat Valerie was also familiar with how to search for deadly traps, find hidden doors and on occasion, break open a lock or two. There was a place in the floor that was slightly more hollow than the rest. A closer look revealed a locked hidden door that had been rather crudely made…leading into a 10 foot pit filled with several beaten, manacled, and gagged gnomes. The pit seemed a mix of dirt and rock and appears as if the gnomes had managed to climb on each others shoulders to try and open the lock.

While the gnomes’ hands were manacled their feet were not. And about this time as Valerie and Boudreaux were helping the gnomes out of the hole, Tarvis decided that this would be a really awkward time for those lumberjacks to show up again…and wouldn’t you know it eight of them came wandering out of the nearby woods. This was about to get seriously awkward.

Confrontation was going to be inevitable. Tarvis’ diplomatic skills continued to be as delicate as a minotaur in a sarlonan antiquities shop flatly pointing out that they had followed them here and discovered the gnomes in their cabin.

The leader of the lumberjacks looked rather angrily at another…an alpha to a beta apparently. Reaching up to leave a bleeding claw mark across the others cheek as a sign of his displeasure. “You don’t hunt the wolf. The wolf hunts you.”

“Well that doesn’t seem true considering we hunted you here.” -Tarvis

And with that, the lumberjacks dropped their axes and transformed into seven foot tall killing machines.

Wolf Pack vs. Our Heroes, Mirasandra, and a group of confused and scared lumberjacks and gnomes.

XP Gained!
“A Delicate Situation” Melianse and the Lumberjacks – 4545 XP
The Narthropple Expedition – 3600 XP
Quest – Replacing Melianse’s Trees – 2000 XP

Total Gained 2020 XP Each!

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Book 2 Chapter 06 - Faith in Government

The unconscious half-orc/afflicted Big Bad Wolf was taken into custody – discreetly. Unfortunately without a proper prison or…well any official holding facilities really, the suspect was taken to the next best place – Septim Garess’ house. (This poor guy’s life, despite being the Warden, is quickly becoming a recurring joke in game. Which is hilarious.)

The rest of the council was notified to gather at Septim’s house and filled in on the situation – except for Valerie who declined to leave her home for the time being.

The rest of the evening passed uneventfully except for the night terrors that seemed to possess the unconscious man. Finally around 9 in the morning the half-orcs eyes slowly opened and began taking in the situation. Tied to a chair, in an unknown house, surrounded by guards with silver-tipped crossbow bolts pointed at him. Yeah something was up.

Korin: “I assume you know who we are.”

?: “I’d heard of you but haven’t met anyone in person…you’re the ruling council of this city?”

Korin: “The country really. Which is currently one and the same.”

Pressed for information the half-orc revealed his name was Kundal and he’d only arrived in town three nights ago. The man was a professional hunter and seeing as there was a relatively safe haven south of Stormreach now it was the perfect place to start looking for exotic animals to find in the deeper parts of Xen’drik. Sometime on his first night out in the wilderness, while on his way back to town after laying some traps he though he heard a voice calling out to him. Figuring it was either someone in trouble or one of those voice-mimicing weird animals you occasionally hear about (parrots not counting of course) he went to investigate. Something big leapt out at him in the darkness and took a bite out of his leg. Before he even had the chance to react it ran off into the forest.

Tarvis: “Do you still have this scar? To prove your case?”

Kundal motioned to his leg which revealed rapidly-healing scars covering the majority of his left leg. For a wound that big and having obtained it less than three days ago it looked like an old war wound that would have faded to time after decades. But it was still unmistakably there and whatever did this was clearly intelligent – a bite like that would normally have enough force to completely tear that leg off if it wanted to.

The other signs of lycanthropy were there, Kundal had clearly been having bad dreams the past few nights. Waking up in strange places not knowing how he got there…having a coppery taste in his mouth. Deep down he knew what was happening but hoped it wasn’t true.

(At this point Lucius/Sidney’s player turned in his Birthday Action Point in regards to the knowledge check regarding lycanthropy. This is something I like to do for my players if their birthday happens to come up during the course of the game – they get a special action point they can hold onto as long as they want and turn it in for a rules breaking moment. An extra round of actions, some extra skill points, a bonus feat, being able to declare that a single action succeeds or fails – things like that. Use it for something awesome. SO, since he turned in this action point he pieced together the puzzle)

Alanea knew that there was a possibility of curing someone of Lycanthropy, an afflicted one anyways, that involved the ingestion of the poison called Wolfsbane or receiving a Remove Disease or Heal spell cast by a powerful divine user within three days of being infected. Unfortunately, the end of that third day was…last night.

Lucius chewed a piece of grass in his mouth. Sounded bout right only there were some ol family legends passed down among House Vadalis. It was risky, but possible to cure an afflicted lycanthrope even after the three day waiting period. Harder sure, but it was worth giving it a try. You’d need a Break Enchantment as well as Wolfsbane and Heal. In addition, if the ritual was successful it would suppress the ‘disease/curse’ but not remove it completely. Kundal would need to be a vegetarian the rest of his life – the mere taste of meat could cause a surge in the wolf again. Given the options, Kundal offered to try the ritual. A life of salad was a better option than no life at all.

There was one more thing. If they were going to do this ritual, it would have to be done today. Once the moons came out at night the window of opportunity would be over and they’d have to kill Kundal.

Not only did Lucius know about this folksy home remedy for curing Lycanthropy but he thought about some of the stories and legends he was told as a young’un. House Vadalis specializes in not only rearing animals, but learning from them. Stories around the campfire say that civilization as modern folks know it wasn’t an invention of critters on Eberron at all – but rather all those folksy tales and moral analogues you hear about to keep kids from runnin off in the woods at night? Based on real legends. If this poor Kundal fella really was an afflicted Big Bad Wolf then the real one, if there is one, is probably the progenitor of the very idea of the trickster predator. A unique type of Fae that lives somewhere in the First World – Thelanis, one of the planes of existence that goes ‘round Eberron alongside the other planes of existence occasionally touching dimensional barriers.

All those old stories to teach lessons to folks…well a good possibility it had to be real in some fashion right? So if this thing is real there’s a good possibility it’s still out there.

MEANWHILE…AT THE HOME OF VALERIE d’LYRANDAR…
Valerie had been refusing to go outside since waking up in the morning. She stared at the mirror in shock for a good ten minutes before trying to go back to bed, convinced it was a bad dream. Unfortunately there were not enough snuggly pillows or warm blankets in the world to make it go away. She had to face the music. Her Dragonmark had grown overnight…becoming more powerful and creeping its way up her neck and cheek.

A knock and a letter covertly-retrieved without being seen provided the answer to one of our heroes dilemmas. The letter was addressed to Valerie (whose player had used the Plot Twist Card: Lucky Day) informing her that a benefactor had taken out a Jorasco Life Insurance Policy in her name which came with a free sign-up gift of a Scroll of Heal! If she wished to continue with her policy however it would only be the small matter of paying 500gp per month (promptly of course) to House Jorasco for its services in the unknowable future.

While Valerie had been kept up to date on the situation via messengers she hadn’t yet mustered the courage to face the outside world, so she arranged for a messenger to deliver the scroll to the group. One object down, one left to go. (Fortuitous Circumstance FTW!)

MEANWHILE…BACK AT SEPTIM’S HOUSE…
Tarvis double checked his records (being the spymaster) correlated them with Korin and learned that there was in fact a (after realizing that single items worth less than 2000gp could be found within their kingdom) scroll of Break Enchantment available! …At the Shrine of the Silver Flame! Awkward.

So Tarvis moseyed on over sure that the speaking power of money would provide these religious folks with all the convincing they would need to hand over their scroll no questions asked. After being politely escorted into a meeting room by some of the flame faithful, Tarvis was met by Mirasandra ir’Thavar the local leader of the faith and paladin.

Mirasandra politely informed one of the founders of the nation that while indeed they did have a scroll of Break Enchantment in their possession, it was a gift penned by one of the Cardinals of the Silver Flame as a gesture of good luck to their pilgrimage to Xen’drik . Without being given an adequate reason they could not part with it.

Tarvis, unwilling to reveal their “L” problem simply offered to purchase the scroll for a hefty sum of money. He was then escorted from the premises.

Finally Valerie wrapped her face up in a heavy scarf on top of her usual high collars after repeated visits from messengers requesting her presence with the rest of the council and braved the outside – only after being serenaded by a barbershop quartet in a last ditch effort by a harried messenger who was told by Korin to “bring her here. Find a way. Make her feel pretty. Buy her flowers. Do something dammit!” to do his job.

A bouquet of flowers and four acapella singers seemed to make things better, and really what couldn’t be made better by adding those? Apologizing for her absence she revealed her expanded Dragonmark to the rest of the party…but that was something they would decide on later. In the meantime the Silver Flame were nice folks if perceived as a little Lycanthrope Stabby based on their past Crusade against Lycanthropy that was officially ordained by the Church…but that was hundreds of years ago at this point. The fact they carried so much silver even today though seemed worrisome.

Next was Dox’s turn to visit the Silver Flame, apologizing for Tarvis’ behavior. They unfortunately could still not reveal why they needed the scroll but that it was to save a life. Mirasandra seemed to believe Dox’s earnest plea and would provide the scroll free of charge – with the understanding that you would owe us one. At the very least this would imply giving the go-ahead for an official church of the Flame after the celebration of the second Founding Day, perhaps even having the government pay for ¾ of the building rather than the initial half. Dox…was unsure of giving the go ahead on that kind of arrangement…excused herself to confer with others in the council but promised she would return with an answer.

After much debating about how to approach the situation, Sidney spoke up as the voice of reason – it was time to fill the Flamers in on the situation and as a matter of public health request the scroll of Break Enchantment for the good of the people of the country.

Not having any kind of official meeting space yet, and Septim refusing to have both Silver Flamers and a dangerous (albeit tied up) psycho big bad wolf werewolf thing in his house at the same time, the council cleared out one of the Tavern/Inns in town (they are the leaders of the country after all, the innkeeper handed them the keys to the building and disappeared for a few hours) and held a meeting there. They sent a messenger to the church – informing them that the Ruling Council of Valdrik was issuing an official Summons for someone who could speak for the Silver Flame faithful. A ballsy move.

Within the hour Mirasandra and a small retinue of three younger acolytes arrived at the Inn, introduced themselves politely and took a seat at the table. The council came clean, they had someone was an afflicted lycanthrope kind of thing…and they had a chance to save him, but they would need the scroll. Mirasandra’s reaction was not to immediately begin a city-wide hunt to track down the afflicted. She acknowledged that there was a crusade, but it was over.

Was this man going to be a danger to himself or others in the future? Were there proper means of keeping tabs on this person? While it can be considered somewhat harsh the paladin mentioned that placing a Geas on the unnamed afflicted – while not a perfect means of preventing a ‘relapse’ would help to keep him on the straight and narrow path of a vegetarian diet. She also recommended bi-weekly or monthly sessions of counseling to address both the spiritual and psychological state of the afflicted with a member of the church. This would also act as a means of keeping tabs on him while at the same time helping him on the road to recovery.

The council agreed, if they were going to the effort to save this man then they would accept the responsibility of keeping him within the country. After all if he ran off and turned wolf again that guilt would fall on them. As for the current relations they had with the church…the country of Valdrik by no means intended to establish the Silver Flame as the dominant religion…however given the help they were receiving from the Church in this matter they would unofficially guarantee to help build a Church for them shortly after the new year.

Negotiations were finished. Mirasandra even offered to allow the council to use their consecrated area within their shrine to help with the ritual. Anonymity was still guaranteed for the afflicted (although there would be members of the church that would know what had happened, Mirasandra vouched for their silence on the matter.) and with all of the proper items in place Kundal managed to survive the ordeal and did not turn into a ravening beast under the moonlight. Thankful for keeping his life and somewhat burdened by the guilt of having killed two innocents the hunter offered up his magical Greataxe and Armor to help with any payments to the church or the families.

The afflicted was saved, but the real culprit was out there somewhere. According to Kundal, he was attacked a little over 12 miles west of here – in the Narlmarches forest.

Next Time On Kingmaker – Time to round up a posse and go hunting The Big Bad Wolf!

(As a finishing note on this session I just want to note how proud I am of my players. The major question I had as a GM going into this situation was “How far are they willing to go to save one person? “ and as it turns out? Pretty far. They dealt with both political and religious questions and the delicate balancing act of maintaining the safety of their citizens while also respecting their rights. The negotiations with the Silver Flame at the tavern/inn were tense but handled very well – despite Korin’s angry banker outbursts and both parties I believe came out of it more at ease than when it had started. It was the exact kind of ethical questions I was aiming for in Kingmaker.)

XP Gained!
1500xp Each for resolving issues with the Silver Flame as well as saving Kundal!

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