Kingmaker in Eberron

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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