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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 2

April 24, 2014

Wild Nights in Restov

RestovThe group spent a couple of weeks in Restov as they finalized their ruling council positions. During that time, Satampra the rogue sought out “the best” Aldori fighting school and met the Swordlord Jamandi Aldori and trained with her. Jamandi was interested in relocating her school to some place with less competition, and was interested in hearing about the fledgling nation, until it was revealed that it currently had a population of zero. But Satampra promised to let her know when the settlement had grown some.

Mestinous the elven wizard spent some time using hallucinogenics to unlock his past, which he had forgotten during his long lifespan – actually, the character never had a back story, and the player finally came up with one because he wanted some NPCs to call upon to fill positions within the kingdom. But he placed his family near the Mordant Spire, which is pretty far away, so it will be awhile before anyone will drop by for a visit. And Travaris the cleric and Boliden the barbarian continued to enjoy Restov’s high-end houses of ill repute. Others wanted to join them until they were informed of the price tag, at which point they decided to spend their nights alone in their rooms at the inn.

One evening, as the pair was making their way from the whorehouse back to the inn on a crowded street, Boliden spotted the most amazingly beautiful woman that he had ever seen. She was obviously not a local – in fact, she looked like the physical ideal for a female Tiger Lord. And he had caught her eye, as well, as she smiled at him before disappearing into the throng. Boliden started to chase after her, and Travaris followed, until a young nobleman was bowled aside by Boliden and took offense. Boliden did not pause (and is not the sort of person you’d want to mess with anyway), so the nobleman and his cohorts accosted Travaris instead. The man’s honor had been impugned, and he demanded satisfaction, in the form of a duel (a not-uncommon occurrence in Restov). Travaris typically walked around with a rapier at his side, thus advertising his availability for such events.

For his part, Travaris (who is a terrible warrior) figured he would lose quickly and, in doing so, placate the nobleman. They agreed to duel to first blood, and it started off much as Travaris might have expected: the nobleman promptly disarmed him. But Travaris pulled his dagger rather than yield, and came at the man, who barely deflected the knife with his buckler. The duelist then stabbed Travaris for about half of the cleric’s hit points. “Alright, you got me! Well played, sir… <erk!>” The dastardly young man had stabbed Travaris again, right in the gut, and drew close to whisper to him, “Strathomir sends his regards!”

Strathomir was Travaris’ evil half-brother, who had had their father killed and seized control of their House. During the previous session, Strathomir had offered the group a couple of BP to keep Travaris out of sight, an offer that they rejected. This was his counter-offer, it seemed.

Travaris realized that he was now in trouble, and promptly healed himself while trying to run off into the crowd. His assailants pursued, blades drawn, and were about to stab him to death when an arrow, fired from above, went through the shoulder of one of the duelist’s cohorts! Looking up, Travaris could see a shadowy figure on  a nearby rooftop with a shortbow, who then ran off. The other attackers also ran off, and after healing himself, Travaris stabilized, tied up, and dragged home the one who got shot.

For his part, Boliden eventually saw the mystery woman duck into a dead-end alley, but when he followed, she was nowhere to be found.

Back at the inn, Travaris roused the others and they interrogated the trussed-up man. He revealed that someone matching the description of Strathomir had paid them a lot of gold to kill Travaris and make it look like a duel gone wrong. The city guard was summoned, took testimony, and hauled the man away for attempted murder.

The Deliberations Continue

The group had sold off their Marshal and Royal Enforcer positions to House Medyved and Restov’s Thieves’ Guild, respectively. They got to interview 3 candidates for each role, and I had come up with quick character sketches, and stats, for the 6 candidates. In each group there was one NPC that would give a +3 bonus in the position, one with a +2 bonus, and one with a +1 bonus.

On the Guild side, there was a CE female human slayer, a CN female half-elven inquisitor of Calistria, and a TN male gnome bard. Travaris immediately realized that the inquisitor had been the one to save his bacon during the earlier fracas in the street. The gnome made a pitch that he would be a non-violent kind of enforcer, using mind-influencing magic instead of the threat of violence to keep the populace in line. To my surprise, the group really liked the idea, and they were divided between him and the half-elf inquisitor. Eventually the inquisitor won out, I think mostly because I tried to play her a bit seductively. She’s actually much more of a spy, infiltrator, and manipulator than enforcer, and is there to try and sow discord among the ranks of the council so they won’t focus too much on the Guild’s activities. Mechanically, the slayer would have been the best choice, but Satampra was the only one who spoke up for choosing her.

For the Marshal, I gave them a TN lawman fighter, a LG inquisitor of Erastil (both male), and a young NG noblewoman ranger. This time there was less division, and they went for the woman, a kind of Arya Stark-type who didn’t enjoy court life and was at home in the outdoors. The inquisitor was the mechanically best choice, and the lawman was the worst. In both cases they picked the +2 candidate.

With that settled, the group finalized their own positions. Salar the halfling ranger took Councilor – it wasn’t a great fit, stats-wise, but it fit his personality and it was the position he wanted. Iofur the druid took Treasurer, renaming it “Keeper of the Grove” and turning it more into a position overseeing land use and agriculture. Mestinous decided that Magister sounded boring and took up the Spymaster position instead. Iofur tapped his uncle Joren to serve as Grand Diplomat for a little while, and they convinced Jhod Kavken to take up Magister until a better candidate could be found (“Well, I suppose that education is part of my mission…”). They approached Kesten Garess to be Warden, but before he took the offer he almost talked Boliden out of being General (“I have been raised from birth to lead, and trained in the art of warfare! Boliden is a strong warrior, true, but to command armies you need someone of noble blood, not a common barbarian raider.”). I thought everyone would reject his words out of hand, but they seriously considered making Kesten their General for a brief spell as a result of his arguments.

The site for their capital was selected and cleared, and a month later they broke ground on Stagfell. Farmland was cultivated, roads and bridges were built, along with houses and an inn. Oh, and warning signs were put up around the hill that the Stag Lord’s fort sat on – “Warning! Zombies! Stick to the Road! Do Not Play on Hillside!!!” They also claimed the fangberries hex to the NW.

While there was no event that turn, I rolled a random rumor from the table for the group to chew on. I had neglected to use the rumors from book 1, and felt bad about that, because I love that sort of thing as a player. I got “the Stag Lord has risen and has assembled an army of ghost bandits!” rumor (untrue), which caused them to travel up to the Sootscales’ mine, to ask if they had seen any armies of ghost bandits around. Which the kobolds had not. The kobolds did want to know what happened to the human slaves (well, indentured servants) they were supposed to be getting as part of the Bandit Rehabilitation Operation. Unfortunately the party had got that idea up and running right before killing the last bunch of bandits. But they promised the kobolds that they would send their lawbreakers to the kobolds’ mine in order to work off their sentences, which made Chief Sootscale happy. If the group fails a Stability check in the near future, I think the cause of the Unrest will be the revelation that they plan to hand people over to the kobolds as slave labor…

Caerelia after month 1:

Size: 2; Cities: 1; Control DC: 23

Economy: +17; Loyalty: +13; Stability: +17

Unrest: 0; BP: 47; Consumption: 4

The Council

Ruler – Satampra Zeiros, male human rogue/swashbuckler

Councilor – Salar, male halfling ranger

General – Boliden, male human barbarian

Grand Diplomat – Uncle Joren, male human druid (NPC)

High Priest – Travaris Stone, male half-elf cleric

Keeper of the Grove – Iofur, male human druid

Magister – Jhod Kavken, male human cleric (NPC)

Marshal – Lady Pelagia Medyved, female human ranger (NPC)

Royal Enforcer – Ianomora, female half-elf inquisitor (NPC)

Spymaster – Mestinous, male elf wizard

Warden – Kesten Garess, male human fighter (NPC)


 

Next: murder by monster!

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18 Comments
  1. Pinkius permalink

    I thought Mestinous had wrote more backstory to get some NPCs to tap for positions, did that idea fall through? Too metagamey?

    I’m liking this saucy inquisitor of Calistria you brought in; inquisitors are boss, and she’s already got brownie points for saving a PC. Should probably get some material ready in-case the PCs (let’s be honest, probably Travaris) ask more about her.
    Maybe a bit of tragic backstory, she was a lover scorned by a noble and their family tried to silence her; typical Calistrian fare, with the added bonus of being pretty much what Travaris’s family just pulled.

    I trust mysterious Tiger Lady will be a reoccurring character?

    It’s a good thing you gave them incentives to expand the kingdom, because without deadlines like making a town in the Temple of the Elk or such within 12 turns, there’s not really much reason to expand your turf in Kingdom Building.

    • Mestinous did (finally) come up with some history – not “more” history, the character literally had zero up until this point – but he set his origin far to the west, where there are some freaky masked elves and an island ruled by dragons? So it will take some time for his relatives to travel to Brevoy.

      I liked the inquisitor too! I was hoping the group would pick her, she seemed like the most fun of any of the candidates. Hopefully she will be up to no good in the near future. The group got into a whole discussion about whether the whole assassination plot was staged by the Thieves’ Guild to get them to select her, but they eventually decided that they were just spinning conspiracy theories. That was not my intention, but thinking about it, it is possible – the inquisitor has disguise self and a sky-high Bluff, so she could have impersonated Travaris’ brother to set the whole thing up.

      The Tiger Lady (nice nickname) that drew away the barbarian was actually unrelated to all of that – she’s a manifestation of the AP’s BBEG. She will show up again, as long as Boliden continues to wear the ring of green hair that they found on the Stag Lord.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Nyrissa’s been really passive against our party. I think the only thing she’s done to mess with us on a personal attention level has been to possess the wizards wife who got reincarnated into a brownie.

      • That sounds interesting! Both the possession and getting reincarnated as a brownie… My 1st ever D&D character got reincarnated as a brown bear (1st edition AD&D), which put a serious damper on his career as both an illusionist and a thief… but I digress. I am trying to make Nyrissa more visible from the start, so it’s not such a shock when she makes her move at the end of the AP. She’s actually fairly involved in books 1 & 2, as written, but not in a way that the players would ever find out about (she made the Stag Lord who he is, and is responsible for setting the giant owlbear loose).

    • BTW, thanks for the tips about the inquisitor. I didn’t know there was such a thing as “typical Calistrian fare” – this is my first time using the Pathfinder setting.

  2. Pinkius permalink

    Thinking back, I don’t recall there being zombies around the stag lord fort at all. Were they an addition of your own? Or perhaps our GM just dumped them as an encounter once we claimed the hex for our kingdom…

    • The zombies are in the 1st adventure, basically to keep the PCs from sneaking up on the fort. IIRC, there’s an endless supply of them but they only come up 4 at a time. I don’t remember if there’s a proposed method for getting rid of them, but I figure a few consecrate spells might do the trick. The party can’t cast that spell yet, though.

      • Pinkius permalink

        In another campaign I recall spending a hero point to cast consecrate as an Inquisitor (did not know the spell, was also out of 2nd level spell slots) when we came across a temple of said inquisitors god that was cursed. Just a caster level check. (which was a nat 20, most neat)
        Can’t Travaris cast second level spells? As a cleric he has access to the whole spell list.

      • Oh, hmmm. You’re right. I was thinking of Hallow (cleric 5). Or maybe Remove Curse (cleric 3) if I want it to be easy. Or maybe I’ll make a quest out of it…

  3. Pinkius permalink

    Iofur renaming his job to Keeper of the Grove just gives me flashbacks to Warcraft 3. That was always one of my least favorite heros… Make sure to ask if that’s the reference! I need to know if I have to root (hurr hurr) for the shambling mounds next go-around. ;D

    • Hm, no idea. Iofur’s player is out for a little while – he has a newborn and a toddler to deal with – but I will ask him when I see him again.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 1 | Daddy DM
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  5. Kingmaker: Intermission #1, Session 9, Part 1 | Daddy DM

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