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Kingmaker: Stolen Land, Session 4

October 17, 2013

Sad-Finn-Jake-Get-Wet-In-The-Rain-On-Adventure-TimeAh. 1st level, when rain and hypothermia are still threats…

So, our intrepid adventurers returned to Oleg’s trading post with several more horses and a wagon full of bodies and loot. Oleg was very pleased to hear about the demise of the bandits that had been tormenting him and his wife for months, and he enlisted some of the mercenary guards to help him string up their bodies. The bandit lieutenant Haps Bydon was still alive, and given over to the mercenary captain, Kesten Garess. Kesten allowed for some testimony of Haps’ crimes, allowed him some spiteful and defiant final words, and then put an end to the outlaw’s life. Haps’ body was strung with the rest, a grim warning to any who might consider robbing the trading post in the future.

Oleg and Svetlana quickly put together a warm meal, and a small but lively celebration was held in the heroes’ honor. Stories of their battle with the bandits were told again and again to the delight of those that had not been there. The wine flowed freely, and Mestinous broke out his private stash of pipe weed to share with those gathered. But one could not help but notice that Kesten stood apart, barely smiling when others laughed, and after eating quickly excused himself and went back on watch duty. Santampera followed the guard captain up onto the post’s walls. The two men exchange pleasantries before Kesten asks Santampera about his home, a far away city that the exile was kidnapped from. Kesten is far from home as well, and unhappily so, but won’t say much about why.

In the morning, Iofur and Halas were laid low – they had partied a bit too hard the night before, it seemed (their players were absent!). As the remaining explorers saddled up, a lone figure was spotted approaching the trading post along the South Rostland Road. He was an old man, dressed simply and carrying a staff and a bow. When he reached the walls, he introduced himself as Jhod Kavken, a humble village priest of Erastil. He had received a vision from his god, of an abandoned temple deep in the forest. But when he approached the temple in his vision, he was driven off by a dark and malevolent bear. The group invited him along, but he declined. He was no adventurer. No, Jhod elected to remain at Oleg’s, and hoped that the group of adventurers might find this temple for him, and defeat its awful guardian.

Stolen Land 4The party decided to head east, into the tall grasses and rolling plains just north of the Kamelands. That day they encountered a grizzly bear and elect to leave it alone, before coming across a lone hut. The hut belonged to Bokken, an old herbalist whose mind is quite addled. They do get him to ID some potions they found in the Thorn River bandit camp, and buy a potion of cure light wounds that he had on hand. They learn about his nameless brother, who cut off one of Bokken’s fingers, killed their mother, and ran off to live in a tree down south, and also that Bokken is on the lookout for fangberries. Two new quests in one day!

As they continued to head east, and then south into the hills, they get hit by a series of storms, and then a cold snap. They persevere as best they can, but some nights are so cold that they start the next day shivering and fatigued. However, their luck takes a turn for the better when they come across a lone lightning-scarred oak tree in the hills. Salar noticed that a patch of dirt in-between the tree’s roots looked like it had been dug up recently. They dug into the dirt, using their blades as improvised shovels, and found nothing. They kept digging, and found nothing. They kept digging, and finally found a bundle wrapped in a thick leather cloak. Inside the bundle they found a well-crafted dagger, a burnt wooden wand with a copper handle, and a water-logged book. Santampera managed to blindly activate the wand, revealing its spell to be burning hands before Mestinous was able to properly ID it. The book is a spell book; water has ruined most of the pages but there are still a handful of 1st-level spells that are still legible.

A couple of days later, Santampera notices a deep, overgrown crevice in the hills. A rope is tied around Salar and he is lowered into the hole, which ends after about 20 ft. in a 30 ft. wide cavern. The rock walls of the cavern glitter in his lantern’s light, but he is not sure what to make of it. After returning and telling the others, Santampera goes down into the cave and realizes that the glitter is evidence of a gold vein! A brief discussion follows as to whether they should put that on the map they’re making for Restov or not…

On the following day, they head north out of the hills and back into the plains, with the plan of returning to Oleg’s on the day after. But while the explorers are mapping the area, they come across a strange field of bones! Animals and humanoid skeletons are scattered about in a wide area. The party dismounts and starts to poke around the bone field, when suddenly a man-sized arachnid pops up out of the ground and bites Salar! The halfling is caught off-guard by the attack, but still barely manages to avoid getting poisoned. The others run to aid their companion, but the spider bites him again, nearly killing him, and darts back into its hole. As Travaris heals Salar back up to consciousness, Mestinous and Santampera aim their bows at the last spot they saw the beast. When it emerges again, intent on dragging away the halfling, Mestinous casts a sleep spell that causes the spider to collapse. Salar, though conscious, is barely able to move as the spider’s venom robs him of his strength. Santampera stabs the sleeping monster with his rapier, but it still lives! It starts to rise up to attack again, but a well-placed arrow from the elven wizard kills it.

Down in the spider’s hidey-hole, the party finds a dead man wearing the same silver stag amulet that Haps and Kressle had. Mestinous spots something in the corpse’s boot, and pulls out a crude map that details the buried treasure that they had already found.

That night, the adventurers were attacked by a war band of four kobolds. Mestinous tried to parley with them, but the little scaly dog-men were not interested in talking – only killing! Unfortunately, they didn’t do a very good job. Three were captured and the fourth managed to run away, without taking down any of the tall ones (or even the halfling, who was still at zero hit points).

Next: what happened to those bandits?

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