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Kingmaker: Stolen Land, Session 14, Part 2

March 31, 2014

Red_deer_stag_2009_denmark

This is your body.

game_of_thrones_dead_stag

This is your body after a greataxe crit.

Kids, stay safe. Don’t play with greataxes! This has been a public service announcement courtesy of the Stag Lord.

The Stag Lord Falls

The Stag Lord had snuck around the west side of the building as the party engaged with the bandits in the common area (and up on the watch towers). With the bandits dealt with, the PCs started to move out into the courtyard to confront their nemesis for the first, and final, time.

Stolen Land 14cAkiros and Boliden the enlarged barbarian charged at the Stag Lord, while the spell-chuckers brought up the rear. The Stag Lord wheeled away from his attackers, firing off arrows with practiced ease…

…And my bad rolls just kept on coming. The Stag Lord wasn’t able to hit much, to my extreme frustration. I did manage to hit with his insightful shot against Boliden, which really scared the group. I debated using the human bane arrow as well – if anyone could survive that, it would be an enlarged barbarian – but Staggy still had plenty of hit points at that point and I didn’t want to blow all of his tricks at once. As it turned out, I never got to use the arrow.

While the party tried to pin down his boss, Dovan clambered to the top of the NW tower and headed over the roof to drop down into the now-empty common room. Satampra the rogue and Salar the halfling ranger, having finally finished off the bandits up top, called out a warning to the others, and Travaris the cleric responded. He caught Dovan trying to release the owlbear from his cage, and threw a tanglefoot bag at him. Now, Travaris has a +0 bonus to both Strength and Dexterity. He is terrible in combat. So even if it was a touch attack, Dovan has a good Dexterity and Travaris’ attack bonus was only +2. And even if he hit, Dovan would probably make the Reflex save. I wasn’t too worried.

Well, the bag did hit Dovan, and he failed his Reflex save. He was rooted to the spot! If he released the owlbear now, it would have him for its first snack. And the bad rolls continued as Dovan failed to get free of the tanglefoot goop for four rounds.

Satampra and Salar slid down the roof of the owlbear’s room to come up behind the Stag Lord. Soon Staggy was surrounded. No problem, I thought. He still has plenty of hit points. Then Boliden got a confirmed crit. With his greataxe. While raging, power attacking, and enlarged. 9d6+45 damage – I think the total was in the 70s. The Stag Lord went from “good shape” to “in serious trouble.”

The Stag Lord drew his sword, took out a kobold that had stabbed him in the foot, and stepped away. Maybe he could still make it – he did have a potion of cure serious wounds. He just needed to get away for a few rounds. But then Akiros stepped up, snarled, “Back to the Abyss with you!” and brought his sword down on his former boss. The Stag Lord fell to the ground, dead.

The group ran back to the common room, where Dovan had finally managed to free himself. He tried to run, but got cut down before he could make it out the back door. The adventurers looked around. 11 bandits had fallen, plus Dovan, Auchs, and the Stag Lord. They had lost three kobolds (Mikmek survived). Somehow, against all odds (and thanks to my bad luck!), they had pulled it off.

Although there was still the creepy guy in the basement to deal with. The group was initially gung-ho to take him out right away, but saner heads prevailed and they decided to loot and rest first. When they pulled off the Stag Lord’s helm, they found a terribly scarred face underneath. Iofur the druid’s player actually guessed correctly at this point that the old man down below was Staggy’s father, and had burned him with acid.

They also found a strange ring on the Stag Lord. It appeared to be made out of green hair, woven in a loop and bound with impossibly thin gold. They were taken aback by its appearance at first, until they learned it was a ring of protection +1. Then they started fighting over it. The ring is made from the hair of (spoilers for the end of the AP) the mad nymph Nyrissa, who has plans for the Stolen Lands, and it was a token of her favor. Although the players don’t know any of that yet. They will encounter more such rings in the future, as they deal with Nyrissa’s other agents…

The Creepy Dude in the Cellar

Stolen Land 14dFirst thing in the morning, Akiros led the group down into the hidden cellar. In the far corner, the old man sat on his bed of mangy furs and called out, “Who is this rabble, Akiros? Where is my son?” Your son? someone asked. “The Stag Lord,” the old man answered, his voice turning angry. He knew where his son was. “What have you done with my boy?” The old man cast meld into stone and started buffing himself.

As it turns out, I bungled this encounter. I had wanted a confrontation with the old man, and not (as the adventure lays out) a battle with a spell-casting wolverine on the ceiling. But I should have had him already buffed as the players entered, and skipped the meld into stone bit. Because as soon as he came out of the wall, everyone had readied actions, and he got chopped down in short order.

Also, Mestinous the elven wizard and Iofur both summoned earth elementals and sent them into the rock where the old man was hiding. I wasn’t really sure how to rule on what happened there.

The old man did manage to cast spike stones, which really put the hurt into the handful of characters that wasn’t already in position when he emerged. But between his low AC and not-so-great hit points, he didn’t make it to a second round of spells.

With the old man’s death, the fort was cleared, and the Stag Lord’s treasure was theirs! Well, maybe some of it was technically Oleg’s… but we won’t mention that.

Epilogue

The adventurers loaded up their wagon with all of their loot and headed back up the Shrike river. They stopped off at the Sootscale caverns to drop off Mikmek, and to give the kobolds most of their copper pieces. The group really does not like copper. When they defeated Tartuk and were given the shaman’s pile of coins, they left all of the copper for the kobolds to keep.

Next they traveled back to Nettle’s Crossing and tossed the Stag Lord’s body into the river. The undead revenant of Nettle rose up to claim the corpse, and dragged it under the water. Neither body was ever seen again, but Nettle did leave behind his +1 ranseur.

Finally, the group ventured back to Oleg’s Trading Post, where the saga started all those months ago. They related the story of their journey, and Oleg and Kesten sent off a letter to the Swordlords stating that the Stag Lord was dead. A week later, a letter came back with a banknote for 5,000 gp and an invitation to come to Restov to be honored for their accomplishments.

End Book 1

Next: musings on book 1.

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7 Comments
  1. Pinkius permalink

    Oh man, a visit to Restov sounds like it could be fun if RPed out well. Brevoy is basically Game of Thrones land, so I’ve been told, are you aiming for a Red Wedding sort of affair?
    Of course there’s nothing in the AP for that sorta thing until book 4, But you could nab one of the many celebrations that go south from other modules.

    • Yes! I am trying to inject more Brevoy politics into the AP, rather than waiting until the second half. I am planning on having them meet the leaders (or representatives) for Varnhold and Fort Drelev, maybe some River Kingdoms, and the various Brevic noble houses. I was inspired by a discussion on Paizo’s boards:

      http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l9a9?Venture-Capital-aka-A-Deal-with-the-Devil

      where the players have make deals with various Brevoy factions in order to get their start-up funds for the kingdom, instead of just giving them the 50 build points. Who they ally with, and who they spurn, will hopefully have ramifications as their kingdom grows.

      I am pretty excited, although also a little worried. I don’t have a great track record with running political scenes, in my opinion, although I love political books & movies (including GoT).

      • Pinkius permalink

        Reading that thread, it sounds very roleplay heavy! You’re making me feel like our group is a bunch of murder-hobos!

        As far as our political scene goes, we saved Varnhold by murdering every cyclops between it and the lich (Including the lich), freed the trapped villagers once we brought their jars back to Varnhold, and organized a treaty with the centaurs. (We also saved their leader’s daughter)

        Liberated Fort Drelev, which there’s a wall of text explaining below.

        Went to war with Pitax and incarcerated Irovetti. (It was in self defense!)

        I wanna splurge about Fort Drelev.

        Fort Drelev, we received a refugee from, who warned us about their general and his army of trolls and barbarians who had come to attack one of our towns. (we mobilized a militia and killed the trolls ourselves, unfortunately the general got away) She then implored us to liberate the town; so we snuck into the town, found an underground passage to the fort – because a quick glace at the fort revealed all the giants in the front yard and we didn’t want any of that while archers shot at us – snuck in, freed Lord Numetsi, and went on a rip-roaring rampage.

        Drelev himself challenged us through a door to a duel once we’d made enough of a ruckus. To which my samurai/cavalier Edgar prompted accepted and kicked the door open; He then stepped into the room and got attacked by the guards hiding in the doorway.

        Fortunately, we had a wizard, and this wizard specialized in crafting magic items. So, Edgar had +5 mithril full plate and didn’t give a single SHIT about the guards (Unless they rolled like, a 19 or 20)

        Fun fact, Edgar sleeps in that armor, with his eyes open.

        Que Edgar ignoring the guards and Challenging Drelev to a duel, capitalized for class feature. The rest of the party made themselves busy running up stairs, and distracting Drelev from the duel by mopping the floor with the guards.

        Drelev actually fairs pretty well in duels, what with all his feats into disarming. Fortunately Samurai have quick draw, and to captialize on this Edgar carried around no less than 3 swords. One of which was in a sheath of blade stealth that we took from that Lich. So after disarming Edgar twice, and watching him whip out another sword to fight with, Drelev turned back and ran at the party’s cleric (Also king).

        Said party had just beaten up Maray the bard until she surrendered, who would later become the Cleric of Gorum (who was still the king)’s love interest.

        Edgar had even gone so far as to tell the rest of the party not to mess with his duel, and here Drelev was messing with the duel. So he got knocked unconscious, and put in Lord Numetsi’s cell.

        Then we ran around the castle messing up the guards, looking for information on the barbarians to the north. We fought the wizard brother of Drelev, who put the hurt on us pretty bad with a cage of force and some AoEs. Teleported his wife to Restov as a sign of good faith. Then after a dramatic talk with Drelev in his cell, we went to go beat us up some barbarians.

    • I think my main goal, aside from the group securing their startup funds, is getting them to care about Varnhold in advance of its disappearance. To that end, I plan on having them meet Varn’s daughter, who should catch the rogue’s eye, at the very least. If a romance builds between them between now and book 3, that will make Varnhold’s devastation all the more personal… and dramatic!

      • Pinkius permalink

        Throw in some casual racism towards the centaurs!

        We ended up making a treaty between the centaurs and… we don’t really know, it basically revolved around nobody killing eachother anymore though

  2. Pinkius permalink

    RE: casual racism towards centaurs, I believe the humans of Varnhold make some sport out of hunting the Centaurs. In our game there was a hide outside the tannery in Varnhold that wasn’t quite equine…
    They also provide some information regarding where the problem is from, and have a rather nice bow they give as a reward for helping them. Granted, in our party it’s stuck in Edgar’s hands as our only full martial character (period) with a dex mod (the wizard is the only other one with appreciable dex).

    Did I mention Edgar throws his sword at people when they’re too far away to stab?

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