Kingmaker in Eberron

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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Chapter 01 - Beyond the Sea
Our group of heroes arrive in Stormreach and proceed into the untamed jungles of Xen'drik

We turn the first pages of the book, learning of our intrepid band of adventurers and their destination across the ocean.

The Twelve. A Think Tank organization comprised of all of the Dragonmarked Houses. Each of our heroes received their orders from this powerful group. Whether by volunteering or being handed an order from their House, each participant in this grand experiment were handed an official Charter granting them authority on their mission. After the meeting of the Houses within the flying Ziggurat of the Twelve, the heroes traveled back to Sharn and boarded a House Lyrandar Wind Ghalleon headed towards Stormreach.

The Charter
“Be it so known that the bearer of this Charter has been charged by the organization of The Twelve, acting upon the greater good and authority vested within them by the offices of the Twelve Dragonmarked Houses has granted the right of exploration and travel within the wilderness region known as The Greenbelt. Exploration should be limited to an area no further than Thirty-Six Miles East and West and Sixty Miles South of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of this Charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful behavior to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this 24th Day of Olarune under watchful eye of the Patriarchs of the Dragonmarked Houses.”

The boat ride was eleven days – ample time for our heroes to study one another…most being strangers after all.

Our Player Characters…
Alanea Shercroft (d’Medani) (Half-elf Bard (Archaeologist) 1)
A 25 year old female somewhat introverted half-elf from House Medani, Alanea spent most of her youth with her face in a book. Multiple books. Perhaps even all of the books. Rather than possessing the knack for detective work that House Medani is known for, Alanea is a lover of history. Ancient knowledge, lost stories, histories of pre-human cultures…there’s so much knowledge just waiting to be rediscovered! Alanea finished her schooling in multiple subjects at Morgrave University in Sharn and received a degree in Archaeology.

Sidney Xavier d’Cannith – Dragonmarked Scion (Human Artificer 1)
The love child of Tony Stark and Maes Hughes, Sidney d’Cannith is a prodigy of House Cannith’s Southern Division with the ego to back it up. His impressive skills would have led to a promising career climbing the ladder of the House, having obtained a Dragonmark has all but assured it. His precise reasons for traveling to Xen’drik have yet to be revealed though if Sidney is looking to break into uncharted territory for the House – then Xen’drik is the perfect proving ground.

Korin d’Kundarak (Dwarf Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager) 1)
Relatively young by dwarven standards 50 year old Korin is from a great bloodline within the Kundarak House with four older brothers and two younger – each with a Dragonmark. Korin never manifested his own and has struggled to find his place within the house ever since. Still considered a Scion of the upper families of the House Korin could not find his place with the lower families…though due to his failure at the Test of Siberys his place among the higher families was shunned. Living most of his life in Stormreach Korin learned to make friends with other delinquents and oddballs, mostly from other Dragonmarked Houses. Unfortunately many of his friends died in the Last War. Those that did not are slowly moving into their twilight years. Largely written off by his parents Korin views the Charter to explore and tame Xen’drik as his best chance of proving himself to his family and House. Korin’s expertise is largely based in accounting and business management with an unfortunate streak of anger management issues. (One his direct influences is Terry Tate: Office Linebacker)

Tarvis Eathro d’Lyrandar (Half-elf Magus (Staff Magus) 1)
A gifted youth who lived on the streets of Aundair until being found by another member of House Lyrandar. Recognizing that the boy developed a Dragonmark, Tarvis was declared an ‘orphan’ and welcomed into House Lyrandar under the wing of his mentor. Since then Tarvis has grown into his station though to the rest of proper dragonmarked society he’s still ‘new money’. Xen’drik is a proving ground for Tarvis and his first venture out from under the wing of his mentor.

Valerie Anona Ardovini d’Lyrandar (Half-elf Rogue 1)
Valerie is another scion of House Lyrandar though her history differs greatly from Tarvis’. Other Dragonmarked Scions whisper behind Valerie’s back, saying that she is cursed. Valerie’s mother (Anna Colleen d’Lyrandar) was involved in a scandal after she became pregnant after having a little too much to drink at a masquerade ball. Normally such an implication, especially resulting in a pregnancy (since Dragonmarked Houses frequently hold arranged marriages and controlling bloodlines as a high priority for the continuation of Dragonmarked Lines…), was enough to hold the threat of Excoriation over Valerie’s mother…but after seeing her child was a half-elf, House Lyrandar decided not to punish the child for the mistakes of its parent. Eventually Valerie’s mother married another scion of the House (David Mathieu Evered d’Lyrandar), bringing a stern step-father into Valerie’s life along with a jealous step-sister (Roberta Catherine Evered d’Lyrandar) who never forgave her new ‘sister’ for having her father ‘marry down’ in the hierarchy of the House.
David’s stern hand with raising Valerie assured she got into good classes and received the best training though sometimes he pushed the young girl too hard. As with most scions of a Dragonmarked House, Valerie’s future built towards her eventual Test of Siberys to see if she would manifest a Dragonmark. The test went horribly wrong, and her left arm was mangled in the process.
Years have passed since then and the family has since been blessed with three new children. Jackalyn Nadia (13), Sara Garnette (11), and Carl Ignatius (6). Valerie loves her family though stayed out of the public eye as often as she could – eventually emerging back into the political light with a completely prosthetic left arm.

Shortly after arriving in Stormreach, Korin who grew up in the port city guided the rest of the group to the nearby House Orien Enclave where they received a weeks worth of rations and horses for their journey.

According to their Charter, and The Twelve, the group was to travel to the last bastion of civilization in the wilds of Xen’drik – Oleg’s Trading Post.

While the two day journey South of Stormreach was not dangerous for the party they did get to witness some of Xen’drik’s strangeness first hand.

Isolated Blizzards raging in specific areas of the jungle, not even changing the temperature outside of it. Strange Snakes that seem to hypnotize small mammalian creatures. Sand Sharks. Just gonna leave that at Sand Sharks.

The group was met warmly by the owners of Oleg’s Trading Post, Frank Leveton and Svetlana Leveton. Initially Svetlana greeted the group with stew, warm bread, some kind of tasty meat and even some wine however the couple were disappointed to find out that they were not the reinforcements from the Coin Lords of Stormreach they had been hoping for.

For the past three months the Levetons have been under the heel of a local group of bandits. The first time they arrived was with a dozen bandits – taking all the items of worth from the Trading Post including Svetlana’s wedding ring (which the head bandit laughingly called ‘compensation’ for not chopping off some of Frank’s fingers with her axe). The next month was only with six bandits, and the month after that was only five.

Not one to miss out on an enterprising venture, Korik d’Kundarak offered the services of their group to assist in alleviating the bandit ‘issue’ as a gesture of good will by The Twelve.

If their schedule was consistent – and there was no indication to the contrary – the bandits would be returning to rob the Trading Post tomorrow morning around an hour after dawn. The Levetons conspired with the heroes to setup an ambush – with Valerie and Frank planning on closing the doors of the Trading Post behind the bandits to trap them inside while the rest of the group hid in the Stables to burst out into the open when they least expected it!

Three bandits led by a mysterious man in a green cloak approached the trading post shortly after dawn, waltzing right in on their horses assuming the Levetons were sufficiently cowed.

MEANWHILE Korik began softly arguing amongst his team about the inefficiency of the bandits – completely robbing an area of all its goods every month? That was a terrible economic policy! The return of a fiscal year would yield less return over time, not to mention what the deficit would look like quarterly!

If the bandits overheard the economic debate they didn’t get a chance to react as Valerie and Frank began closing the gates of the Trading Post. Our heroes sprang into action with Korik rushing the lead bandit (who had just unslung his longbow from his shoulder) and chopping him in half with his trusty Greataxe.

The other three bandits who were still busy removing supplies from the store room had their faces frozen in terror at the sudden death of their leader which inadvertently allowed them to ignore the distracting rainbow attack washing over them from Tarvis.
Valerie, Korin, and Tarvis made quick work of the other three bandits however. While the last one standing surrendered, a quick check of the other two bodies discovered another bandit had survived though he was unconscious.

After checking on Frank and Svetlana to make sure they were okay the group agreed to take some of the bandits equipment (a composite longbow for Korin, some Alchemist’ Fire, and an Eternal Wand) they gave the rest – including the bandits horses – to the Levetons to help make up for some of their losses by the bandits. As a reward and to express their gratitude the Levetons gave the group a small bag of gold and some of the potions they had on hand…as well as offering to let them stay at the Trading Post free of charge for as long as they needed.

Next time! The interrogation of the surviving Greenbelt Bandits

Quotes from the Session
Korin: “THIS IS A TERRIBLE FISCAL POLICY!” upon charging the lead bandit and cutting him down with his max damage of 22, instantly killing the leader.

Alanea Quote: “I can promise you that the Dwarf won’t kill you.” While negotiating the surrender of the last bandit who was begging for his life.
Bandit: “I’ll take it.”

XP Earned
XP Needed to reach Level 2 – 2000
XP Earned Per Character – 601
XP until Level 2 – 1399

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Chapter 02 - Why don't you do right
Wherein the party interrogates the surviving bandits.

Why don’t you do right?

Kingmaker Adventure Log – Book 1 Chapter 2

Our Adventurers began the session right where they left off, interrogating both surviving bandits. Facing the options of either a short drop and a sudden drop or spilling the beans that they know both bandits decided to give up all of the goods they could. Especially with the promise of not getting their asses killed.

But the PCs weren’t entirely benevolent to the bandits. They would be keeping the two around Oleg’s until their information could be investigated and the rest of the bandit gang was disbanded. Both bandits informed the group that they were working for a tough SOB named Kressle, a lady bandit who joined up with the stag lord’s gang about two months ago after a bunch of bandits attempted to rob and rape Kressle herself.

A few quick murders with her pair of handaxes quickly erased any thoughts of rape. Kressle continued her murder spree all the way to the Stag Lords fort where the Stag Lord himself, impressed by her skill immediately made her part of his gang.
Since then Kressle has been in charge of running the bandit camp at the Thorn River and monitored the coming and going of the various bandits as well as enjoying the occasional tussle in bed with Happs Bydon – the poor schmuck that was punished via greataxe for his terrible fiscal policies.

In addition to learning about the bandits and their general location to the south of Oleg’s, Frank and Svetlana agreed to watch over their bandit charges for now – agreeing to keep them locked up at the trading post until the other bandits were taken care of.

Realizing that the Stag Lord himself (if he is even real) doesn’t seem to keep track of his own bandits (at least not the basic guys out in the field) the group took the four Silver Stag pendants from each of the defeated/deceased bandits for later plans of infiltration. From what they gathered Kressle was a little more on the ball as to which bandits were working for whom so infiltration an unlikely success there at least.

Frank also pointed out to the group that he frequently gets requests on his handy-dandy Request Board™ where other travelers put up requests.

(Here the group became alerted to the following quests: Moon Radish Soup, Kobolds in the Hills, Wanted: Tuskgutter, Wanted: Bandits, Wanted: Tatzylwyrm, and Svetlana’s Ring)

Taking note of the requests and with the day being only barely past dawn since their encounter with the bandits, the group spent the rest of the day exploring the Hex on their map. (While it does not seem explicitly stated, I have agreed that exploring a single hex at least alerts the group to the terrain types of the surrounding Hexes, as well as pointing out Landmark Locations if there are any.)

The next day the group headed Southwest from Oleg’s into the forest, figuring on their way to the Bandit Camp run by Kressle (referred to by the party as Croissant) they can track down some Moon Radishes for Svetlana.

And encounter them they do! Unfortunately at the same time the group came across the arrow-head shaped clearing in the forest that contained the radishes, they also came across four Kobolds that had eaten themselves sick.
Dragging themselves to their feet and barking out bravely in Draconic the Kobolds prepared to fight to the death to defend their radish patch. Death to the intruders! They would take not a single step more through Kobold Territory! This is not just a fight for the radish patch…it is a fight for the honor and dignity of all Kobolds everywhere! CHARGEEEE!

The four kobolds charged bravely into the fray, and like the first soldiers off the boat at Normandy were quickly struck down by the adventurers. One managed to get a stab into Valerie before being swiftly murdered. Gathering up all the radishes they could carry and stacking most of them into the extra saddle bags on their horses the group moved on.

The group rested that night in the forest, with Korin on 1st Watch, Valerie on 2nd, and Tarvis on 3rd. Alanea and Sidney being the primary casters they were allowed to sleep the entire night undisturbed (though they agree to shift off Watch shifts in the future). Valerie wasn’t sure what happened but at some point during her watch she simply closed her eyes for a moment and then found herself being woken up by Tarvis.

Tarvis, still a country boy at heart can rarely ever sleep in despite his new station of wealth. Reaching for his trusty quarterstaff as he woke, he didn’t find it. In fact…no one’s weapons were around. Becoming alarmed at the predicament he quickly woke everyone up including Valerie who got a stern look from the other Lyrandar Half-elf.

Valerie wasn’t sure what happened or how her blankets and pillows even got outside her tent to where she had curled up on the ground. Looking around both Sidney and Alanea realized where their weapons were….point up there, at the top of that tree.

Sure enough all the weapons of the group were perched precariously on the top branches of the nearest tallest tree a good 25 feet off the ground. Valerie easily climbed the tree to help gather up the weapons while Tarvis used mage hand to retrieve some as well. No one was quite sure what had happened but they ruled out Bandits or Kobolds since they were still alive.

The group decided to continue South East looking for the Bandit Camp and found themselves traveling though some hilly plains. While passing by a particularly nice looking crag, Korin’s money sense began tingling (having made the perception check because it related to stones) and he spotted a small hole about big enough for a medium sized creature to descend under the hill. Tying a rope around a nearby tree and then around himself, Korin declared he would now hold the rope for anyone who wanted to climb down the hole.
Valerie, being the resident rogue agreed to climb down into the cave – mouth nearly hitting the floor in surprise after she realized that the shiny glittering stones across the 30-ft diameter cave were all Khyber Dragonshards…and not just that, but if her appraisal was correct this was the beginning of a vein of them!

The group noted the location on their map, deciding to come back later when they could fully utilize the hill and hopefully start a mine of some sorts. Covering the entrance so others would not find it the group spent the rest of the day exploring the Hex and noting the terrain types of the surrounding Hexes.

Realizing that the Hex both to their immediate West and SouthWest both had a River running through it (and thinking back to the information the bandits gave them the camp was supposed to be somewhere along a river…) the group rested for the evening…
Tonight Sidney had 1st Watch, Valerie had 2nd again, with Alanea having the 3rd Watch. Again on Valerie’s turn something felt weird for a moment…Valerie’s eyes closed…and then her player handed me the Plot Twist Flashback Card – Déjà vu! Determined to not let the same thing happen to her once again Valerie managed to shake off the weird effect. Looking around unfortunately she did not see anything near the camp site. Just in case though Valerie woke up Alanea since it was getting close to her shift anyways…Alanea ever the inquisitive learner used detect magic and saw a lingering aura of both enchantment on Valerie, and an abjuration effect on Valerie’s Rapier. Taking another look at the evidence Alanea came to the conclusion that these events were likely the cause of mischievous Fae.

The next day the group headed West and back into the forest. Tarvis quickly managed to pick up a trail of horses and booted people and followed, quickly discovering the trail remained parallel to the nearby river.
Finally the group discovered the Bandit Camp! It looked like there was a sentry posted in the camp in a camouflaged wooden tree-house-thing on the eastern side where the party was approaching from…with the rest of the group holding back Valerie agreed to sneak in unseen to try and take care of the sentry.

Making her way carefully up into the tree, Valerie delivered a deadly blow with her rapier stabbing the bandit through the heart, covering his mouth so he wouldn’t make any noises with her artificial hand. The attack had begun…

And that’s where we will pick up next time!

Quotes of the Session
Korin, kicking in the door to the storage shed to interrogate the first bandit. “HAVE I GOT A DEAL FOR YOU!”
Bandit: “Please don’t kill me and stop yelling!”
Tarvis: “Yeah I don’t think he has a volume knob.”

Valerie, upon seeing the Khyber Dragonshards within the cave: “Did I fall off the rope, die and go to heaven!?”

Valerie: “That thing that happened last night just tried to happen again!”
Tarvis: “What thing? That thing where you curled up in your blankets and fell asleep?”

Tarvis: “He’s just a human, he can’t see very well.” On the fact that Sidney is the only one of the party without the ability to see in low or no light.
Sidney: “I see everything I need to cigar puff.”

XP Gained: 187 each.
(935/5)
XP until Level 2 – 1212

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Chapter 03 - Man Eater
Watch out boys she'll chew you up.

Man Eater

With the blood of the bandit still on her Rapier, Valerie scouted the area from her perch before sneaking back to the rest of the group. There was another ‘blind’ watch tower on the western side of the bandit camp a good 60-70 feet away that she was pretty sure had not realized what was going on…there was a decent bit of cover blocking sight between the two from tree limbs.

Korin meanwhile was busy untangling his arrows that had mysteriously been tied together in sets of five…another ‘joke’ by the fae that seem to have been following the group around.

The bandit camp totaled Nine Bandits and Kressle the leader. Make that Eight Bandits with the one guard that Valerie killed. So another seven on the ground with her, and another in the blind. Still, the bandits had not realized they were being spied upon yet despite having superior numbers. And after all, the party mused, the previous bandits had tried to flee or surrender once their ‘leader’ was dispatched.

Sidney, who had yet to acquire any kind of melee weapon, snuck back up into the outlook Valerie had recently cleared out to give support with his longbow once the battle started. Valerie herself snuck back into the camp…close enough to get a shot off at Kressle herself…she would be the signal to attack!

Readying her sling and aiming true her sneak attack left a bloody mark across Kressle’s face as the rest of the group leapt into battle. Having heard of her prowess in battle the group quickly targeted Kressle and killed her dead before she even got a chance to react. Three bandits fled immediately, the rest too dumbfounded to realize what just happened.

In no time through a combination of overwhelming force, finesse, and deadly mingbending rainbows from Tarvis the rest of the bandits were subdued. One surrendered, another was captured via Color Spray.

“What can you tell us about the Stag Lord? Also repent or be hung by your neck until dead!”
Facing such options both bandits decided to repent, spilling their guts verbally rather than literally. The Stag Lord is a powerful man, able to crush another man’s skull in his hand…but lately he’s been trying to find answers at the bottom of a whiskey bottle and that has started to destabilize his control of the regions bandits. A lot of the day to day running of the Stag Lord’s fort was left to three Lieutenants: Akiros Ismort who is described as a somber man with a large scar down the right side of his face and a soldiers’ discipline. Auchs, a large simple man with great strength, and Dovan a sadist/masochist that is in some kind of power struggle with Akiros.

Also apparently the Stag Lord once punched out a horse.

Among the things claimed at the camp was a crate full of greenish-looking whiskey…apparently somewhat locally made. It was intended as a delivery for the Stag Lord to feed his alcoholic habits but the group just might use that to help gain entrance to the Fort later. After all, the bandits come and go so frequently it was hard to know who was ‘in’ the gang and who was just passing through and giving tribute. The current pass-code to gain entrance is the phrase “By the Bloody Bones of St. Gilmorg, who wants to know?” and no, neither bandit knows who St. Gilmorg is supposed to be.

One of the Bandits (the other scout from the trees) was utterly convinced the group was going to kill him. Being told that he should start digging graves for the other bandits did not ease his mind. “How many?” the bandit asked.
“A giant hole” responded the dwarf. The bandit held back tears as he started digging in the background while the party discussed what to do next.

Valerie attempted to console the bandit, assuring him they weren’t going to kill him after forcing him to dig a mass grave. The fact that Valerie had just finished stripping Kressle of all of her belongings in a plan to disguise herself as the bandit to gain access to the Stag Lord’s fort, was not helping the situation.

Gathering up their two bandit captives and taking the wagon from the Thorn River camp the players began their two day trek back to Oleg’s Trading Post. They were unable to avoid continuing shenanigans via Fae however…on the first night back to Oleg’s Valerie found that her journal had been written in! There was a moving-comic on the bottom of every page that created a running small animal. Valerie actually found this adorable.

Tarvis, when getting up for his shift of the night watch picked up his trusty quarterstaff and tossed it back down in surprise when it started screeching loudly and flashing bright white and blue lights at the very ass-crack of dawn, startling everyone else in the camp awake including the two bandits.

The next day was safe travels, but more pranks. Sidney found a bunch of purple berries stuffed into his boot with spider legs attached to it to make it seem as if he just squished a spider. The groups horses were changed in color to look like the cast from My Little Pony.

Finally the group arrived back at Oleg’s Trading Post, and were greeted with an unfamiliar voice from the other side of the closed doors. Apparently the reinforcements from Stormreach had finally arrived – a mercenary captain named Septim Garress and his group of three soldiers had taken the job from the Coin Lords to provide protection for this outpost. Septim even recognized Korin among the group, the two were pals back from their time together in Stormreach. While Septim is a classically trained Blademark soldier from House Deneith something happened to cause him to distance himself from the House – the fact that he did not introduce himself as “Septim Garress d’Deneith” was indication enough of that.

Regardless Septim was also here hunting down a bounty from Stormreach. A bandit named Falgrim Sneeg was last scene heading south to disappear into the jungles of Xen’drik. The Coin Lords would send upgraded equipment to Septim’s group for the return of the convict. They preferred alive but dead was also acceptable…and while Septim was currently protecting Oleg’s he promised to share the rewards with Korin and his gang if they helped bring him in. Korin agreed to help.

The group wheeled and dealed with Frank, let their first two bandit captives go since their information turned out to be correct and replaced them with their other two captives, Valerie had some girl time with Svetlana as they prepared Moon Radish soup together, and met with a middle aged Cleric of Balinor who introduced himself as Jhod Kavken. Jhod bestowed another quest upon the party – to find an ancient temple to Balinor the God of the Hunt within the Sovereign Host. Jhod confided in Valerie that he had been having these dreams lately…that he felt something was guiding him to find this place, and that there was a “large bear that wasn’t quite right” guarding this place…it was somewhere in the south but that was all Jhod knew.

Two new quests in hand and saddle bags emptied of loot the group headed southeast from Oleg’s to begin exploring the land. The group explored an area of plains and came upon a disturbing area littered with skeletons of local wildlife – boars, bears, even humans. The group was able to spot what appeared to be two protective ‘lids’ being held open ever so slightly by big looking spiders…Trapdoor spiders. Two of them. Considering they were so close to Oleg’s the group wanted to clear out this danger…between Alanea and Valerie’s quick thinking they rigged up some Molotov Cocktails with some flasks of Oil and each managed to hit their mark – lighting the roof of the spider’s lairs on fire…forcing the spiders out into the open for direct combat!

Denied access to their cover and unable to drag individuals back into their lair the spiders were quickly dealt with and loot recovered from the spider’s lairs.

Of particular note was a cloth drawing in blood of a claw-shaped tree sticking out of a hill with a deep red “X” noted underneath it.
Tarvis mused “A treasure map? Interesting.”

The group seems intent on simply exploring the local area now that the immediate threat of bandit attacks against Oleg’s has been eliminated.

XP Gained: 803 each.
(4015/5)
XP until Level 2 – 409

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Chapter 04 - It always feels like somebody's watching me
With the threat of the Thorn River Bandit camp removed, the party has decided to start exploring the surrounding areas of the Stolen Lands

And I have no privacy

Exploration was the name of the game this session. Traveling south-east from the den of spiders the party explored the nearby hex, discovering in fact the very claw-looking tree that seemed to be marked on the map they recovered from the dead bandits bodies.

Searching around the giant tree Alanea managed to find a portion of the tree that had been disturbed recently. Valerie was quick to pick up a shovel and start digging – and after a good 10 minutes or so hit a thunk and found a wooden box wrapped in a heavy wool cloak. Jackpot!

Within the chest was a masterwork dagger, a nice silver ring (worth 75gp), a Wand of Burning Hands (CL 2nd 10 Charges left) and the remains of an old-fashioned spellbook. While most of the pages had been ruined there were a couple still legibly to Alanea and her ability to Read Magic. (Mage Armor, Reduce Person, Identify, Unseen Servant, and Silent Image)

From there the group headed southwest and found another portion of the Shrike River. Not only that, but after exploring the area there was a mostly-destroyed bridge and a small burned down wooden hut on the sides of the river. A sign post declared on each side “Nettle’s Crossing – 5 coppers – ring bell for service.”
Not one to deny her curiousity Valerie quickly rung the rusting bell. Shortly after a watery undead hand rose from the center of the Shrike River and pulled itself up to stand on top of the running river itself though seemed untouched by it. “You are not my tormentors…” hissed the creature. “Throw the body of the Stag Lord into the river…so that I may rest…”

Figuring that this tortured soul (and somewhat unique form undead as Alanea discovered through her knowledge of the undead) was the late bridge keeper Nettles, the party seemed downright amenable to the request. After all they were going to put a stop to the Stag Lord’s activities anyways. They haggled for a bit over precisely how much of the Stag Lord’s body would suffice and decided to head back to Oleg’s Trading Post since Tarvis was beginning to get low on rations.

Curiously the mischievous Fae tricks seemed to stop while the group was roaming the hills and plains areas of the eastern part of the Stolen Lands.

The group arrived back at Oleg’s without any trouble did a bit of bartering and headed back out with more rations – this time heading directly East from Oleg’s and discovering the thatch hut run by an aging and somewhat gruff and senile Lizardfolk named Bokken.

Bokken is an aging Lizardfolk with some discoloration in his scales and a bit of a sagging jowl underneath his still intimidating muzzle. Still wearing a loincloth to cover himself, Bokken walks with the aid of a nice looking cane that he traded for at some point in the past. One of his iquana-esque eyes wanders a bit when not focusing on anything in particular.

After some shouting back and forth from inside his hut to determine they were not in fact there to harm him the lizardfolk opened his hut (as long as they left their weapons outside, which the party agreed to so Valerie kept an eye on their weapons) while the group checked out the available wares.

While Korin didn’t need a potion of Cure Light Wounds at the moment he still decided to buy one, with Tarvis quickly understanding why – you need to build up a rapport with new contacts after all. Korin and Bokken chatted a bit over tea with a bit of alcohol poured in.
“Well I do some business with Oleg’s on occasion but I’ll take orders as well. I can have em ready here for ya or send em on to Oleg’s…whichever ya prefer. Ya seem like the hearty sort too. I’ll even offer ya a business deal…I like mixing in some Fangberries with my potions – adds a bit of local magic to em. Bring some back from the patches about 50-60 miles south of here and I’ll give ya a discount on my potions for a month.”
The group agreed and the bargain was struck.

The group spent the better half of a week exploring the areas between Oleg’s and Nettle’s Crossing, following the Shrike River as far east as the Shrike Cascades – a 50 foot waterfall. Deciding not to continue exploring East (since their charter did not cover farther east than this) the group headed back West and explored the Hex directly West from Nettle’s Crossing.
The group immediately saw the impressive Sycamore tree that stood easily 100 feet high. The leaf-less tree was certainly an impressive site. The group finished exploring the area and decided to sleep underneath the great tree.

Sometime after the sun went down and Korin was on the first watch of the night a dart suddenly struck him in the stomach! Howling in pain the dwarf saw that his attacker was a tiny blue-skinned critter with wide eyes and down-pointed floppy ears. Not only that there were two of them! And a Centipede the size of a pony amongst them!
As the rest of the group woke up to Korin’s yell they started gathering their things to fight. Between Korin and Valerie they made quick work of the critters (that Alanea recognized as Mites, an evil type of fae and likely the sorriest critter in existence)

Realizing that the very tree that they had decided to camp under was the home of these creatures, rather than flee like cowards they would rid the sycamore of this infestation!

Searching around the base of the tree Alanea discovered an entrance…a tunnel leading underneath the great tree. The Mites weren’t infesting the tree…they were living underneath it. Alanea and Sidney stayed up top while Tarvis and Korin climbed down quickly reaching pathways the headed West and East. With Valerie staying at the center of the T-Junction to keep an eye on the path to the East to make sure nothing came after the group, Tarvis and Korin headed West. While they quickly realized traveling under here would be a tight fight for everyone, Sidney had just-so-happened to finish working on a scoll of Reduce Person that he passed off to Tarvis before they climbed down the hole.

The first room Tarvis and Korin discovered was a workshop of sorts where three Mites seemed to be playing “catch the caltrop” by firing them at each other via catapult and trying to swallow them. Korin quickly took down two of the critters while the third fled down another hole deeper underground. Tarvis leapt after the Mite and found himself in a torture chamber of sorts.

Nine other Mites (making ten total now) filled the room. A group of five were busy threatening and torturing a Kobold that was tied against the wall, while the other group of four were cheering from the sidelines. Calling up for backup Tarvis UNLEASHED THE RAINBOW on the group of Mites nearest the Kobold – knocking out three of the five Mites along with the Kobold via Color Spray.

Korin quickly climbed down the hole as well and stood beside Tarvis shoulder to shoulder. With the dwarf having relayed the message as well Valerie also moved down the tunnels to join Korin and Tarvis, with Sidney and Alanea taking her place guarding the T-Junction.

With the three fighters of the group together they made quick work of the rest of the Mites. While they gathered up the Kobold who was still TASTING THE RAINBOW, Valerie shouldered the Kobold to bring him back up to Alanea and Sidney to take him out of the Sycamore hole.
Meanwhile Tarvis made a running jump across the 12-foot chasm that separated the ‘torture room’ from a nearby tunnel. Not wanting to try and jump that distance Korin started climbing the conveniently knotted roots that lined the ceiling…not realizing that the one he grabbed was not designed to hold someone of his weight!

As Korin tumbled 20 feet into the bottom of the chasm a dark form rose up from it having noticed Tarvis leap across. A centipede the size of a bus stared hungrily at the magus while its tails began flitting and batting at the prone dwarf.

Valerie and Alanea quickly made their way back into the tree after hearing Tarvis scream at the top of his lungs at the sight of the giant insect. Korin brought himself to his feet and hefted his trusty axe trying to bring the creature low.

Tarvis brought his wand and staff to bear trying to fight the creature off though concerned at the creatures ability to bite into the cave wall and tear stone from it.

Valerie and Alanea both arrived on the scene and tried to leap across the chasm (Valerie trying to stab her rapier into the centipedes back but missing, Alanea failing her acrobatics roll, then her Reflex Save to grab the other side, but managed to make one of her Acrobatics checks to reduce her falling damage.) but wound up alongside Korin at the bottom.

The centipede managed to strike Tarvis, nearly tearing the half-elf apart and filling his veins with a paralyzing poison that made withdrawing against the cave wall a little further down the tunnel seem like the best option…
Meanwhile the combined attacks from Korin, Valerie, and Alanea was enough to draw the centipedes attention though it did not manage to wrap its mandibles around them. Not wanting to leave his compatriots behind bravely stepped forward once more and unleashed fire from his wand of Burning Hands.

At last it was Valerie that managed to get the final blow, having stepped to flank with Korin she drove her rapier into the insect’s brain and killed it.

But this was no time to relax! Voices and movement could be heard from the tunnel nearest Tarvis!

And that’s where we will pick up next time!

XP for the session
Total: 4600 XP
Divided by 5 = 920 XP Each
Level 2 Achieved the first time the party rests!

Quotes of the Session
“So…how much of the body are we talking?” When negotiating with Nettles regarding his request for the body of the Stag Lord
The undead merchant stroked his chin thoughtfully. “At least the head…the torso would be nice as well.”

Korin: “They better be prepared to pay rent if they wanna live in this tree!” On the Mite infestation of the Old Sycamore.

“So can we hear what’s going on back in the previous rooms?” Valerie, Alanea, and Sidney asking of the arrival of the Huge Centipede
“I’m pretty sure I just screamed like a little girl” Tarvis, noting that probably everyone heard him.

“Ladies.” Korin, after both Valerie and Alanea fail to leap across the chasm and joined him at the bottom.

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Chapter 05 - The mountain under the mole hill
Unsure of just how many Mites had taken residence underneath the Old Sycamore tree, the party has descended into enemy territory to drive them out. Permanently.

Hall of the King of Mites

Kingmaker Book 1 Chapter 5

With the great Centipede Whiptail defeated, our battered and bruised heroes decided it was time to leave this den of terrible insects. Unfortunately there were more sounds coming from the hallway near Tarvis…it sounded like the pitter-patter of Mites but also the sound of something else. Something bigger.

With at least a moments reprieve the group hoped to get a headstart on fleeing the caverns under the Old Sycamore. Unfortunately with the poison coursing through Tarvis’ veins having done a great deal of damage already, his muscles were tightening up on him incredibly harshly (6 Dex damage total from the Centipede’s poison). While trying to climb down the crevice, deciding it would be easier to do that rather than attempt a leap across the chasm Tarvis quickly lost his grip, could not grab the ledge to catch himself, and quickly tumbled down 20 feet into the crevice landing bloody and dying next to Alanea, Korin, and Valerie.

Well crap.

Alanea quickly withdrew a healing potion, Korin drew his bow to try and fight off the reinforcements, and Valerie tossed a rope + grappling hook up the western side of the crevice so it would at least be easier when they finally made an attempt to escape – but all three agreed on one thing, they wouldn’t leave a man behind.

Meanwhile outside of the Old Sycamore Sidney was playing watcher for the unconscious Kobold they had rescued earlier. While it did not seem asleep anymore the Kobold was still blind and somewhat out of it, but that didn’t stop him from placing a hand on Sidney’s soldier and in a well-spoken voice that echoed in Sidney’s mind a voice declared that his friends were in trouble below – they needed him!

The voice assuring Sidney that it would be fine staying topside the artificer left the Kobold topside and began traveling down into the caverns…stumbling upon his companions in a fight for their lives!

Grabbles, the Lord of Mites had arrived along with the four members of his honor guard. Most terrifying however was the giant Tick the size of a horse that Grabbles was riding, who the mite affectionately referred to as Tickleback.

Defiant in the face of danger Alanea challenged Grabbles with a harsh rock to the side of his head from her sling that the Lord of Mites gleefully answeres, his giant Tick climbing down the side of the crevice easily to meet her in combat. While neither Grabbles nor Tickleback were terribly successful in vanquishing their hated foes much of the danger came from the Honor Guard and their dart attacks every round.

With Tarvis stablilized though not conscious and the rest of the group wounded – some worse than others – a mix of Korin and Valerie managed to kill the giant Tick. Distraught at the loss of his friend Grabbles attempted to feed a potion to his mount only to discover this was the worst choice he could have made. Weaponless, Korin took the opportunity to grab the Mite and keep him in a grapple. Alanea swiftly disarmed the Lord of Mites of his potion and Valerie gave the killing blow. With their Lord murdered the Honor Guard fled one direction, while the heroes quickly brought Tarvis conscious and got the hell out of there.

To the groups surprise they found the Kobold they had rescued asleep in the same place Sidney had left him, though he had his butt in the air and it had a smiley face drawn on it.
Alanea: “I don’t think it was the Mites that did this…”
Tarvis: “Yeah they seem more like the ‘slit your throat’ kind of pranksters…”

Regardless the heroes collected the kobold, traveled a good mile or so away from the tree and bedded down for the night.
(The party officially hit level two! Yay! And by god they earned it, things were looking grim against Grabbles and his entourage there for a little bit.)

The next morning the party sat down and talked things over with the kobold they had rescued. Introducing himself as Mikmek of the Sootscale Tribe, he was on a failed rescue mission of a sacred statue of their clan that the Mites had stolen from them in an ongoing war. After hearing that not only had the group of “scaleless big ones” defeated Grabbles the Lord of Mites but also the giant centipede Whiptail and caused the others to flee…this was a sign surely! The curse of the Sootscale Clan would soon be over!

Braving the Old Sycamore once more (and after being healed a bit in the morning – Alanea finally learned how to cast Cure Light Wounds! Magical healing in the party was finally achieved outside of potions and the Eternal Wand) the party discovered that it was in fact deserted. Apparently the death of their Lord caused the remaining population to grab what they could and get the hell out. (Fear goes both ways it seems)
Discovering the centipede birthing chamber Korin was surprisingly enticed by the eggs that were sitting on well maintined heaps of dung and dirt as well as being fed by disgusting yet nutrient rich water, and he gathered up the 12 centipede eggs that were left by the Mites.

Mikmek was also welcomed into the fold as they explored the remains of the Sycamore – they even let the young Kobold wear the armor, buckler, and longspear of the fallen Grabbles. Mikmek considered it an honor to wear the armor of their hated enemy.

The Kobold seemed both happy and hesitant at discovering the ivory statue being used as a paper weight by the Mites. The group saw this as a good opening move for the possibility of diplomacy with the Sootscales, but had their curiousity piqued at Mikmeks quiet exclamation of “Death to Tartuk” upon picking up the statue, eyeing it warily as he whispered it as if testing to see if a divine force would strike him down for such blasphemy.

With the treasures of the lair properly looted Mikmek hopped up on a horse with Valerie and they headed to the lair of the Sootscale Clan which was built into the side of a rocky hillock. Outside of the lair was a single Kobold guard along with a Mite that was kept in a man-made stick cage out in the glaring sunlight forcing the hateful fae to keep its eyes even squintier than normal.
Tarvis: “And not one of us feels bad for it.”

The Kobold guard introduced himself as Nakpik, fellow Sootscale and brother to Mikmek. Considering their arrival and recovery of the statue of Old Sharptooth to be fated they offered to lead the scaleless big ones through their lair triumphantly.

Valerie stopped their kobold guides when they reached their ‘religious chamber’. A stone slab was covered with blood, with the image of a giant angry winged kobold drawn upon the nearby wall in a mix of charcoal and blood that must surely be “Old Sharptooth” the angry deity that had cursed the Sootscale Clan. Mikmek explained that their clan had been cursed since the Mites had stolen their idol for the great and angry deity Old Sharptooth, and that Tartuk the clan Shaman had been attempting to find ways to abate his anger through…blood offerings.

The cavern areas that the Sootscale called home were much bigger than the current number of Kobolds would indicate. There had apparently been a lot of blood offerings. Finally the group passed by the commons area where upon a makeshift throne sat Sootscale himself the chief and leader of the clan, adorned with sharpened bone daggers and various tribal tattoos and bone decorations. In a voice much deeper than a normal kobolds, Sootscale addressed the scaleless tall ones and learned of their involvement with the Mites and the rescue of Mikmek and the idol.

Valerie and Tarvis earnestly discussed the desire for a peace treaty with the Sootscale clan and hoped that by returning the statue it would be accepted as the first step to an alliance. Sootscale nodded in agreement, declaring that if their desires were true then an earnest reward would be given for the scaleless ones service to the clan. (Not to mention that a letter at the Mite lair indicated a ‘shiny human ring’ was being held by the Kobolds which the group hoped to trade for by returning the statue.)

Sootscale analyzed the statue carefully, and then raised it above him with both hands for all the kobolds to see…and then smashed it upon the ground! “The curse is broken!” shouted Sootscale. “Death to the Usurper!” drawing his bonecarved daggers Sootscale charged from the room further into the caves…a challenge had been made and if Sootscale didn’t win it would be civil war.

Well that seemed fine by our group of heroes, no time to try and back anyone else! The group even handed out the stack of small sized spears they had confiscated from the Mite lair to the other Kobolds following after their leader.

Following shortly after Sootscale they came upon the shouting match occurring in the room of the “Shaman”. It was decorated terribly. Fake arcane symbols were drawn on patches of hide and placed all over the room. A cauldron was bubbling with some sort of red liquid. And there was Tartuk the purple kobold defending his actions from Sootscales accusations with the other Kobolds standing back waiting to see the outcome.

The party intervened on the side of Sootscale with Korin going so far as to march right on up to Tartuk and start poking him in the chest (it was also noted that Korin is the only one in the party that cannot speak Draconic so he was analyzing things from body language alone) with his greataxe resting against his shoulder.

“That explains it!” declared Tartuk “The idol was soiled by the touch of the scaleless ones! Old Sharptooth’s rage cannot be contained now!” and a human-sized bipedal Kobold with fearsome wings and glowing red eyes appeared next to Korin ready to deliver an angry deity smackdown.

Battle was joined! Sootscale looked for ways to flank with members of the party and even Mikmek (still garbed in his Grabbles outfit) made jabs with the longspear leant to him by the party. Old Sharptooth and Tartuk shared a glowing arcane symbol on their heads that Alanea immediately recognized marked him as a Summoner – a rare type of arcane spellcaster that formed a spiritual bond with an otherworldly entity that became shaped by the desires of the creator.

Old Sharptooth was no deity at all, it was a created outsider by this fake shaman! But man it really hurt when it started biting and clawing! Korin was the primary target of the Eidolon’s rage but the Dwarf Barbarian gave as good as he got, calling upon his new barbarian powers (re-flavored from the Beast Totem as claws made out of stone and metal) and carving pieces out of Old Sharptooth.

Tartuk had meanwhile made himself invisible, but thanks to Tarvis’ quick thinking of pouring over the contents of the cauldron onto the floor it was easy to discover where Tartuk was standing despite his invisibility! (I love quick thinking on the part of my players). With his space narrowed down Valerie managed a lucky blow with her rapier that spread his blood amongst the putrid red water from the cauldron. A combination of taking blows for his eidolon via their Life Link and a final strike from Tarvis who channeled a Shocking Grasp through his staff proved too much for the fake Shaman (initially Tartuk survived the blow from Tarvis, but Alanea’s player offered up the “Cause and Effect” Plot Twist Card! Settling on the idea that the water Tartuk was standing in caused the Shocking Grasp to deal extra damage which killed him)

With Tartuk killed and his Eidolon dispersed, the party will have to deal with the aftermath of the situation…next time on Kingmaker!

Quotes of the Session:
Tarvis: “We’re still in the hole!? I thought it was just a nightmare…” after waking up at the bottom of the crevice.

Korin: Sootscale! (shouting in a non-draconic language, being the only one in the party who doesn’t speak it)
Tarvis: You accented the wrong syllable. You don’t wanna know what you were saying.

XP Gained for the Session
9040 divided by 5 = 1808 XP each

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Chapter 06 - The sad tale of Tartuk the Kobold
A Kobold Civil War has been quickly and decisively ended, but what exactly is going on?

Tartuk the Moocher

Kingmaker Book 1 Chapter 6

A heroic cry rose from the sidelined Kobolds as Chief Sootscale declared victory over the false shaman Tartuk thanks to the intervention of these outsiders.

“We have no need of the shiny things that were laid out in praise of a false god. Take them, and the remains of Tartuk as a gesture of good faith between our clans.” Said the chief. Not ones to dispute free loot the group began rummaging through the largely useless pile of shiny things in Tartuk’s room that were given in ‘tribute’.

As it turns out there were a few decent things hidden amongst the pile of largely shiny quartz, broken weapons and armor, and glass. A nice shield…decent bits of money…hey a leather bag from the Mites! With even more cash! And some Dust of Illusion as well as what looks like Svetlana’s wedding ring!

Hey there were even a couple magic arrows (+1 flaming) and some magical Boots of Elvenkind as well.

Tucked away in an alcove behind the pile of tribute, the group found a personal journal that painted an entirely different picture. Written in Undercommon (Which Korin actually reads!) it detailed the life of a bitter con artist. Tartuk was once a gnome with purple hair that travelled the stolen lands peddling snake oil from the “far off lands” of Khorvaire – and during his latest con of deceiving a clan of native Drow he was caught in the middle of an attack by some Trolls that resulted in his death. The Drow, seemingly taking pity on this peddler that came to help their clan, managed to have him reincarnated…as a Kobold.

Hatred and self-loathing filled Tartuk. Since then he has travelled Xen’drik and infiltrated and destroyed every clan of Kobolds he could find with the sacrifices to “Old Sharptooth” as well as creating destructive infighting. The last few pages were particularly grim. When he could no longer stand his self-loathing, Tartuk vowed one day to use the scroll of Fly tucked into the back of his journal to fly straight up…greet the morning sun…and then fall to the earth and end it all.

Grim.

Right, well then. Time to deal directly with the Sootscales. Valerie offered an official extension of friendship to the Sootscale Clan…declaring that while their group was here to stay in Xen’drik (at least for a while) they would forge an alliance and be traders with the Kobolds. The group offered to not only give the Kobolds the Old Sycamore (thus ensuring it stay free of Mites in the future) but to back their claim to it should it ever be contested.

Chief Sootscale nodded…stating that their respective Clans would be officially allies and trading partners. The Chief asked for a symbol of their clan to show the rest of the Sootscales so that they would know not to attack one another on accident.

The group said they would get back to him after deciding on a Heraldry of some sort…

Tarvis: “How about a big metal gauntlet strangling a Mite?”

After letting the Chief know they were staying at Oleg’s Trading Post they packed up their loot and headed back towards Oleg’s for some well deserved rest and to unload their sweet treasure stash.

However! After setting up camp for the evening and the group was eating rations around a few dancing lights a soft feminine voice spoke out to the group as did a slightly deeper voice in their minds. At the same time an extra ration floated out of one of the nearby saddlebags and was set down around the lights.

“We think it is about time to introduce ourselves…dramatically of course! You have done well with being good sports about our pranks…and even pulled off a few pranks of your own.”
As the two invisibile figures re-appeared the group was introduced to Perlivash the Fairy Dragon and Tyg-Titter-Tut the Grig.

“You aren’t like the other bigginses.” They declared. “And we’ve been following you for a while.”

Sidney had a sudden flashback to the mysterious voice in his head back at the Old Sycamore when his friends were in trouble…and the smiley face drawn on the unconscious Mikmek’s butt. Guess that answers that.

The group was puzzled by what “pranks” they had pulled off themselves though…
Tarvis: “Well…we did kill a lot of Mites…”

After a pleasant evening of sharing wine, food, and stories the two small creatures bid the party good night – showing where on their ever growing map where they could be found to their new friends.

The party arrived back at Oleg’s in about a day and a half after meeting with the two fae creatures and sold off what they could. Frank had to bite his lip to not tear up as the party returned his wife’s wedding ring to him…kneeling down on one knee to return the simple brass ring to its rightful place on Svetlana’s hand. It was a very touching moment.

After some wheeling and dealing at the Trading Post (their reward for slaying bandits had finally arrived from the Coin Lords of Stormreach, they sent word about their alliance with the Kobolds to the Twelve, and upgraded some equipment from Frank. Also Valerie finally got some moon radish soup.) it was time to head back out into the wilderness. Heading West this time since they had mostly only explored the East the group explored a few more Hexes in the woods as well as discovering and exploring the hex that Perlivash and Tyg-Titter-Tut resided in – spotting them playing a game of tag high above the ground through the many branches.

Wanting to continue South West the group actually headed back to the Thorn River Camp and crossed at the shallow ford there, heading West from that hex. While exploring the newest Hex on their map they stumbled across a clearing through some old brambles…what was this place? An oval pool of nasty water was surrounded by a stone circle that had worn away with time. This paled to the shadow of the massive stone that shot at least 100 feet above the ground, partially built into it and partially sticking out of the stone was the shape of an Elk whose face looked downward towards the ground.

The stone had been partially hollowed out it seemed with worn and broken stone stairs leading up to the entrance. While traveling up the stairs and trying to figure out what this place was everyone except Tarvis spotted a large lumbering form inside the stone area that stood back on its hind legs and roared at the group before charging!

It was strange though…the bear seemed to react to whoever was speaking. It bothered the bear somehow. Alanea, Sidney, and Tarvis quickly deduced that this was likely a creature under a curse of some sort – a Detect Magic from Alanea confirming their suspicion. Philosophical discussions of curses and magical-spells-that-could-turn-a-person-into-a-bear were all well and good but at the same time it had managed to grab and pin Korin!

Blows were delivered fiercely while the bear seemed intent to focus on whoever seemed to be speaking the loudest or whoever seemed to hurt it the most. Alanea finally had a strange revelation.

She knew this story. She read it as a young girl in one of the many libraries she spent most of her youth in…this was a religious tale. Something about “the folly of disobeying the will of the gods” was supposed to be the moral but it changed slightly based on the culture and language it was written in.

Long ago a priest of Balinor of the Sovereign Host ran a humble temple in service to the lord of the hunt. The priest kept the tenets of the faith, offering shelter and respite to travelers, trappers, hunters…those who lived off of the land. But over time new travelers began arriving. Murderers, thieves and the like that the Priest did his best to offer services to but he could not contain his hatred for these criminals. Why had they been allowed to move into this land? Why had Balinor not punished these blasphemers and criminals? Unable to take the silence of his deity anymore the Priest researched a means of protecting the temple…but it involved the sacrifice of a live bear.

In anger at the sacrifice of the bear Balinor finally made his displeasure known to the Priest. The man was cursed to replace the bear he had killed.

But this was impossible. That was a children’s story. It couldn’t possibly be real…could it?

Sidney: “I dunno Alanea, this place is quickly approaching the ‘burn it all down and build from scratch’ level of effed up.”

Alanea pleaded with the creature as she struck with her rapier “We seek refuge from the elements and the good will of Balinor!” whether it was her words or the blade is unclear but the bear set his paws on Alanea’s shoulders as his form shifted and began drifting off into the wind.

With a look of peace in his eyes a humanoid man looked into Alanea’s eyes before falling to the ground as a skeleton and then turning to dust…

The light became noticeably brighter in the area as if a darkness had been lifted from it. The pool of water immediately became clean and carried healing properties that Korin and Valerie made quick use of.

Well, they had found the Temple of the Elk and solved the issue of the large bear that resided there. Jhod Kavken the priest would need to be brought here to finish his request, but what shall the party do next…?

Level 3 reached!
XP Gained
Total: 4400
Divided by 5 = 880 each.

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Chapter 07 - Hungry Like the Wolf

Hungry Like the Wolf

Still fresh from having defeated the crazed bear the group was a bit in awe at the sudden transformation of the holy site.
The magical healing properties of the pond were even more appealing however. After searching the rest of the site and discovering ancient rites for worshipping “Balinor” written in Giant across the inside of the cave they camped out for the night and decided to keep exploring the Stolen Lands for now. While they intended to eventually bring Jhod Kavken back to this site to fulfill their deal, there wasn’t really a time limit on it so they might as well keep going.

Heading South-East from the Temple of the Elk the group encountered another area covered in forest and explored it over the course of the day – coming across a number of broken pine trees that have formed a natural kind of shelter and within it a large boar easily bigger than their horses. This must be that deadly boar we had heard about – Tuskgutter! Determined to make the kill and claim the reward the group charged into battle with Valerie landing incredible blows with her sneak attack.

With Tuskgutter murderized and the temptation of actual food staring them in the face the group set to removing the head (to give to the old hunter that put up the request) and raised the rest of the carcass into the very shelter that had been the beasts home and smoked that delicious ham. Hundreds of pounds of bacon and pork were cooked that night and a real meal was enjoyed by all.

Well with two quests now completed and not wanting to let the head of Tuskgutter start decaying anymore than necessary, Sidney rigged up a carrier out of some nearby supplies and some of the fallen trees and attached the head to Korin’s horse. The rest of the bacon and pork filled the saddlebags of the other horses and the trip back to Oleg’s Trading Post began!

Unfortunately the group was not alone on their way back to Oleg’s. The smell of the large burning porcine as well as the literal hundreds of pounds being taken back to the trading post caught the attention of a group of wolves that began tailing the group ever since they crossed the ford at the Bandit Camp.

What was strange about these wolves was the color of their pelts. Rather than a brown or silver coat of fur, these wolves seemed to be almost a grassy-green easily blending in with the natural colors of the forest. Realizing they were either being driven into a trap or simply being followed until the rest of the pack could catch up to them. Deciding to take on the wolf pack on their own terms the party halted and tied up their horses mere moments before the wolves attacked. Three normal sized wolves charged into battle, one leaping upon Tarvis who struck it with magic missiles and the other two striking at Korin’s horse as it carried the giant head of Tuskgutter behind it.

Suddenly a giant pair of jaws emerged from a tree near Korin’s horse! A Dire Wolf that must have been leading the pack and with the same grassy coat clamped down its jaws on Korin’s horse, savaging it and dragging it to the ground! What the hell was with these wolves!? How could they move through trees as if they weren’t even there!? Xen’drik is messed up.

Despite their strange abilities in the end they proved to be just animals. After slaughtering the three smaller wolves, the leader realized it was in over its head and let the horse go – retreating back into the forest to live another day. Without further delays the group arrived back at Oleg’s and started some wheeling and dealing – adding much of their pork and bacon to the Elk Stew that was brewing for dinner. Much rejoicing was had.

Jhod Kavken was informed of the location of the Elk and would travel with the group in the morning to the site.

In the meantime Valerie took the two surviving bandit prisoners aside and bribed them with bacon and jerkied-pork to teach her how Kressle spoke – her mannerisms, tone of voice, anything that could help her master her disguise.

Deciding it was time to get horses that wouldn’t be tempted to run off into the forest at the mere possibility of being mauled by giant wolves, they asked Frank to order them some Wartrained Horses as well as some Magebred Donkeys purposefully designed to be a better beast of burden.

Tarvis’ masterwork quarterstaff finally came in as well!

The next morning arrived and after taking Jhod with them back on the road they traveled back to the Temple of the Elk.

“It’s true” said Jhod “My dream was real. Balinor really did send me this vision.” The middle aged priest was nearly brought to tears as an Elk calmly appeared out of the nearby brush and shared a spiritual moment with the cleric as if symbolizing a connection with their respective deity.

“I won’t stay here long…at least not until I can officially begin repairing a place like this. But thank you. If you ever have need of the blessings of Balinor, I will be happy to oblige.”

Two Quests resolved. The Stag Lord still at large. Hundreds of miles of the Stolen Lands left to explore. A storm is beginning to gather on the horizon.

Quotes of the Session
Alanea: I don’t think your horse is supposed to be shivering. on the state of Korin’s poor horse after being savaged by a Dire Wolf
Korin: Nonsense it’s like a massage mode. completely unsympathetic

XP Gained
Total – 3400xp
Divided by 5 = 680xp Each

Edit: Adding in an additional 600xp for completing “The Sacred Statue” from the previous session. +600xp

Total – 4000xp
Divided by 5 = 800 each

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Chapter 08 - The birth of Donkeyxote
With Jhod Kavken staying at the Temple of the Elk for now, the group continues their mapping of the Stolen Lands coming ever closer to their confrontation with the Stag Lord

The Donkey of La Mancha

Heading South-West from the Temple of the Elk the group explored the nearby forest hex, coming across a portion of the forest that had sunk into a swampy mire. Two dilapidated stone buildings that had partially sunken into the bog had apparently been turned into the home of a single Boggard named Garuum (who had a mangled hand) and his pet Slurks.

Croaking out the words “Truce! Truce!” upon seeing the approach of the strangers the party attempted the diplomatic approach. Unfortunately this turned out to be the first intelligent creature they had encountered whose language they did not know. “Boggard” was apparently a relatively new, or at least very rarely encountered, race of frog-people that spoke their own language. Valerie and Alanea made a note to look up any information of Xen’drik explorers encountering this species so they could attempt to learn the language.

With Garuum barely knowing any words in common things were going nowhere fast until Valerie’s player passed along the Moment of Clarity Plot Twist Card, allowing Garuum to understand and speak a language perfectly for 10 minutes. Suddenly concentrating hard as if remembering long forgotten lessons about this “common” language, Garuum opened negotiations.

The solitary Boggard mentioned that he lived here by himself, didn’t want to hurt nobody and didn’t want anybody to pester him and his slurks. Live and let live was his creed, especially after mentioning that his hand was mangled after “challenging the king”.

The group of course had no issue with this Live and let Live ideal and offered to even bring him items to trade in the hopes of forging a better working relationship. Garuum didn’t have much to barter with, but he did have information to trade with…so Alanea left him some rope, a crowbar, and a shovel to help make his swampy home slightly less crappy and in return Garuum mentioned that he knew of a big statue of a man with an Elk Head off to the west.

And in return for future tools Garuum also mentioned that there were “big lizards” living at a ford in the river to the south west.

With this new information gained the group decided to check on these “big lizards” figuring they were likely these Tatzlwyrms that Frank was offering a reward for…as it turns out they were right!

The river wasn’t very deep at the location they found with a number of sandy fords dotted across the water would allow for an easy passage to the other side of the river. And sunning itself lazily on a warm rock in the middle of the river was a Tatzlwyrm! Apparently it was unaware of the intruders on its territory as Valerie snuck up on it carefully and delivered a coup de grace that instantly slayed the creature…and the wyrms death cry summoned up the other two creatures that had been hiding amongst the rubbish and flotsam that had gathered into a sort of natural dam on the river!

Despite their renowned ferocity the quick thinking and tactics of the group made quick work of the other two Tatzlwyrms with a shocking grasp strike from Tarvis and some combined strikes from Alanea and Korin. Sidney continued his random streak of firing arrows that may or may not hit anything.

With the Tatzlwyrms dealt with and some creative uses of Make Whole by Sidney the group had three intact heads to bring back to Frank. Not only that but they found some treasure buried in the flotsam/rubbish that the wyrms had made their home in. Some magical Scale Mail, a nice masterwork cold iron longsword, and some coins and other trinkets.

(it was at this point I reminded my group of how low-level magic items work in Eberron – in my interpretation at least. Due to the abilities of the Dragonmark Houses and the different levels of technology and wealth assumed by the setting, obtaining magical weapons and armor of a +1 or +2 bonus can usually be found in any decent city. What you are actually buying in this case is a Dragonshard that has the magical enhancement within it. When a weapon or armor is made “masterwork” the actual cost is in creating a series of runes and inlaid design connecting the item to a dragonshard slot, effectively a Materia slot. So a +1 or +2 Dragonshard attuned to armor can be switched back and forth between suits of armor that have been made in the modern day. Magical items of higher quality or enhancement are considerably more rare and are often the source of explorations discovering ancient magical items of historical and cultural significance)

That said the skeleton was an explorer, likely from Stormreach, that had been mapping his way down the river until he got “Tatzled” as Tarvis put it. His magical enhancement on his Scale Mail was given to Valerie since she wound up in melee a lot.

Not wanting the heads to start decomposing the group headed back to Oleg’s and made some trades.

Frank gladly bought the supplies from the group and informed them their light warhorses and magebred donkey would likely be arriving in two to three days.

The true treasure they found from the skeleton however was the map the poor soul had been working on. With his rough sketches of a nice triangular area of the north west area of the Greenbelt, the group headed west after realizing they could likely explore this area at nearly twice the time it would normally take to create a working map. Not only would it help explore areas faster, but it also mentioned encountering a “group of frogs” at the base of a river.

At first the group encountered a series of bear traps that had been filling an entire area of their map…recklessly posted and without any survival markings to warn fellow hunters or trappers that there were deadly traps setup nearby. Tarvis suffered an attack by one of the bear traps but afterwards Valerie was able to quickly disable all the traps they found.

Korin: “Fantastic! We have bear traps to sell to hunters now!”
Tarvis: “You do realize these already belong to a hunter right?”
Korin: “And we’ll have plenty of traps to sell to him now.”

Whoever the trapper was that set these reckless death traps up, some poor fool suffered an untimely demise as they found a dead trapper that had his legs crushed under a falling log in a nearby hex, his outstretched hand desperately trying to reach his hand axe that was just barely out of reach. Valerie noticed that apparently the rope that had been holding up the logs were prematurely cut…by something very tiny…and they knew that their fae friends Perlivash and Tyg-Titter-Tut lived very close to here…hmmm…

His ID papers read “Breeg Orlivanch” and the party gave him a cairn burial. This may very well have been the douchebag that setup all those bear traps, but even a douchebag deserves better than being left to the wild elements of Xen’drik.

Deciding next to check on this “group of frogs” indicated by the map they found they traveled to the base of the river and discovered a huge natural hot spring that three giant frogs had made their home.

Alanea: “We should probably take care of these things. They kinda eat everything that can fit in their stomach.”
Korin: “Guests, children, paying customers. Nope, can’t have that.”

Despite their gigantic maws three large frogs proved no match for the ranged attacks of a determined group of adventurers, but not before Alanea was momentarily swallowed by one. It had been weeks since the party had a proper bath and they all relaxed in the hot springs that night.

Refreshed the group headed back to Oleg’s once more for additional supplies and picked up their newly arrived horses and magebred donkey with an absurdly strong ability to carry and drag weight.

Tarvis: “What should we name it?”
Korin: “Donkeyxote.”
AND THUS A LEGEND WAS BORN

Frank also mentioned a couple Kobold came by about a day ago. They didn’t consider them hostile since the group mentioned members of the Sootscale might be coming by…they inquired as to whether or not the “scaleless friends” had determined a symbol to represent their clan or not yet.

The group discussed it for a while and settled upon a prototype symbol…an open scroll with a crossed quill and sword underneath it.

The group headed south out of Oleg’s, finally encountering the Fangberry Thicket that Bokken had been looking for and discovering the reason for its name. The berry thicket was also covered in a thick layer of wispy spider webs.

Tarvis sent an Unseen Servant into the thicket to try and gather the berries which quickly attracted the attention of the Fang Spiders that lived inside the thicker – spiders the size of a mans thumb with twin serrated fangs. Unfortunately for the spiders they could not damage the Unseen Servant – so while Tarvis kept the spiders busy Korin snuck around to another side of the thicket and took his time gathering the berries despite occasionally being cut by the thorned bushes.

With the berries gathered, we will pick up here next time!

XP Earned
8400xp divided by 5 = 1,680xp Each

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Chapter 09 - Liquid Paradise
After finishing gathering the fangberries for Bokken the group finally tracks down the Stag Lords fort! Infiltration begins...

Liquid Paradise

With their packs fresh with fangberries for Bokken and cleaned up with some prestidigitation the group spied a fort of some kind off in the distance. Aren’t many forts around here…so why not take a closer look? No harm in that. And if it happens to be the Stag Lord’s home base then even better!

Traveling to the next area and getting close to the fort – but staying close to the treeline – Valerie decided to take a closer look by sneaking closer. Approaching from the side of the fort to get a closer look things were looking well…none of the guards seemed to be paying much attention to the sides of the fort. Well, the reason why they didn’t seem to be keeping a careful out became apparent as suddenly zombies burst from the ground and began shambling for Valerie’s blood!

In a panicked response Valerie opened her mouth and one of the zombies became dazed (GM Note here) but that didn’t stop the other from bashing Val’s shoulder. Making a strategic withdrawal before the zombies could surround her, the rest of the group either stayed hidden or gave off a few pot shots with arrows to varying affect (with some magic missiles as well). One of the guards at the fort thought this apparent turn of events was hilarious pausing to laugh at Val’s misfortune (to which Tarvis’ player offered Val’s player petty player revenge on the chump – by playing the Plot Twist Card: Sickness, infecting the guard with The Freakin Bubonic Plague)

Once Valerie got back to the tree line however the zombies stopped, paused, and then sunk back into the earth.

Korin: “I don’t think this was relevant information that we were told about.” Referring to the field of the dead and the lack of its mention by the bandits they had captured.
Tarvis: “I do believe you’re right, we may have to have a talk about that.”

After discussing their options and deciding it wouldn’t be the wisest thing to suddenly show up as “Kressle” and a band of new recruits a few hours after some stranger was trying to scout out the Stag Lord’s fort…so in the meantime they decided to head West for a little bit and explore a couple other areas while solidifying their ideas for infiltration and any Plan B stuff. What if they made a fake head that looked like Valerie’s to help get some cred..? Yeah that might work…

Further into the forest the group came across some kind of pit trap that had a few leaves placed over it, hearing some yelps and growls coming from it. Korin, Valerie, and Alanea headed over to take a look to find out what was inside…and suddenly found themselves slipping into the pit! All three managed to land on their feet though but they found themselves staring at a horse-sized cougar with a dog-shaped head, pointed ears, and a blood red fur coat that seemed to…ripple…as it moved. The creature (called a “Blood Cougar” by the group) was emaciated and obviously starving and immediately leapt for Alanea…only to be crushed by Valerie who landed a split second after the others! (Valerie in this case played the “Plot Card: Where’d That Come From?” to land on the Blood Cougar before it had a chance to claw Alanea, damaging it from her fall and negating its turn)

Korin, Alanea and Valerie defended themselves as Sidney crawled to the edge of the hole like a fiddler crab to prevent himself from slipping on the sand and falling in, while Tarvis climbed a nearby tree to get a better view without having to actually get to the edge of the hole to see down it…thankfully though Korin managed to deliver a killing blow. The body was hauled up, analyzed, and skinned. Not much meat was had though predators tend to be stringy anyway.

Spending another day exploring the forest they decided to finally head back to the fort…it was time to infiltrate. Valerie prepared her Kressle disguise becoming a near perfect imitation of the female bandit (Sidney’s player adding the Plot Card: Familiar Face into the mix to further ensure her disguise) while Sidney and Tarvis helped make a fake disembodied Valerie head to bring to the fort. With Donkeyxote getting a pep talk from Korin about staying the course of the mission, the group hooked up the cart of booze they stole from the Thorn River camp so many weeks ago and made their way up the path.

Seeing the booze and Kressle approaching (albeit a bit beat up with some extra bandages added to her outfit) they were promptly let inside.

After giving their password “By the bloody bones of St. Gilmorg who wants to know?” (which Valerie remembered perfectly thanks to Alanea’s player using the Plot Twist Card: Earworm)the group was informed that while the password was out of date they would just have to pay additional ‘taxes’ to the Stag Lord. Successful plan!

Akiros Ismort, one of the three lieutenants of the Stag Lord and current second-in-command approached to see what the commotion was and upon noticing Kressle welcomed her back in his dead-pan “I don’t really give a crap” way. Akiros stood out from the rest of the bandits present. He carried himself much more professionally with actual clean armor and a fancy looking longsword at his side.

The Stag Lord himself upon hearing that Kressle had finally arrived with his precious booze made his appearance, an intimidating muscular man – bare chested with a longbow and of course the skull of a stag made into a helmet. “Reward these men for their fine job Akiros. Let the men party tonight, and give them an extra 20 gold for their trouble.” grunted the bandit leader before ripping off the edges of the wooden cart and dragging the entire thing back to his lair…

Sidney: “Was that normal? Cause I don’t think that’s normal…”

Korin: “We get money for this? I wonder what else the bandits need…”

Korin wasn’t one to let an opportunity go to waste and quickly arranged for the group to be alone with Akiros near the owlbear cage while he retrieved their 20 gold reward. “You seem like a professional, what are you doing out here in the middle of nowhere?”

“Needed to disappear from the world. This is about as far off the map as you can ever get, apart from being in the ground. So this is where I wound up.” Said Akiros.

Through their not-so-subtle negotiations Korin and Tarvis revealed that they were in fact from a group trying to civilize the area and that if they could count on Akiros’ support they would grant him a full pardon and welcome his addition to whatever they created here in Xen’drik. While it was still a mystery as to what Akiros thought of their offer he agreed that if they made a move against the Stag Lord that he would help.

“Good to know! So what do you think would happen if the Stag Lord is removed?”

“Dovan and Auchs would likely try to fill the power vacuum. It’s a split otherwise whether the bandits would run or fight. That is, assuming you actually could kill the Stag Lord.”

After trading some information Akiros retired to his room for a while, and the rest of the group explored the area and met a number of the other bandits…

Sidney sat down to a card game with a dwarf in ‘priestly’ robes over his leather armor named “Father” Avery Tessino, a hobgoblin soldier named Markard Ironmark “The Stitcher”, a human missing a number of teeth and a near permanently dented in face named Celthric “Handsome” Kilburn and an unnervingly calm man in his 30s named Falgrim Sneeg (which the group recognized as the bandit sought after by Septim Garess). Sidney quickly managed to charm his way into the good graces of the group and convinced them to make their card game more interesting by adding a lot more alcohol to the table…

Korin, Tarvis, and Alanea searched the grounds running into a couple other bandits, some of which seemed genuinely unhappy here and some of which were simply terrible people.

Dovan, one of the other bandit lieutenants made his grand appearance followed by the child-like warforged Auchs as the sun went down and the moons rose in the sky over eberron. Making a grand call to celebrate the arrival of their “flower” back to the group more alcohol was opened and roasted pig given all around.

‘Kressle’: “Yeah and my thorns might stab your eyes out!” staying completely in character.

As the celebration went on into the early hours of the morning Sidney managed to drink his challengers under the table but was completely tanked himself.

The time was now…under the guise of a bet between Korin and Tarvis to see if Korin could touch Beaky the Owlbear’s nose before losing his hand the group headed back inside the fort…a few drunk stragglers followed after though so they would have a little bit of an audience.

Korin approached the cage of the owlbear…the time was now…

Next time! The shit hits the fan in the Stag Lord’s fort!

XP Earned
Zombie x1 – 200xp
Hexes explored – 2 = 400xp
Blood Cougar – 800xp

1400xp total – 280xp each

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