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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 12, Part 1

October 27, 2014

wile_e_coyote_by_fagian-d2ykt4eWith the kingdom turn over, the council turned to more personal matters. Iofur the druid and Mestinous the elven wizard rode back to Restov to investigate the noble who held Iofur’s parents. Salar the halfling ranger spent his days cuddling with the killer puma. In other words, those players couldn’t make it for the evening. In the past I had said that we wouldn’t play unless we had a majority (4 of 6) of the players present, but I figured Salar would be showing up later after his class ended, so it was ok to go ahead. At least one player may not thank me for that decision…

The weddings of Mestinous and Travaris the cleric had made Satampra the rogue realize that he wanted love, too. In particular, he wanted to be romantically involved with the Swordlord Jamandi Aldori. But their relationship had been strictly professional up until this point. He thought that he could woo her if he procured an impressive gift for her – ideally some kind of antique sword that had some history behind it. Y’know, the sort of thing that a Swordlord would find impressive. And as it happens, the group had discovered a map to a magic weapon guarded by the undead. What harm could there be in checking out the map’s veracity while their friends were busy?

And so, Satampra, Travaris, and Boliden the barbarian rode out of Stagfell one rainy spring morning, heading east into the unknown.

Beware Clerics Bearing Gifts

They searched the grassy hills and tors of the Kamelands for days, and found little but rain and mud and rocks. Finally, Boliden spotted a dark crevice in one particular stony hill, and they rode over to get a closer look. Upon closer inspection, it seemed that the crack in the hillside went deep into the earth. The trio dismounted, Travaris prayed for the group to be hidden from the sight of the undead, and they prepared to enter the hole…

…when a 3’ tall man with a wild mane of hair and a long, long beard stepped out of a rock atop the hill and bade them to halt. His skin was brown, his hair was dark and moved of its own volition, and he rested on a stone hammer and carried a stone shield. He was a hairy man of the hills (a korred), and he informed the humans that, regrettably, this particular hole was off-limits, by order of his Lady.

Rivers Run Red 12aI had placed the korred here in part to strengthen the fey presence in the adventure path, but mostly as a means to put some much-needed magic items in Salar’s hands. Salar’s player is one of those people that has great ideas, zero system mastery, and is resistant to suggestions. In short, he’s the last person who should be playing 3e/PF D&D. He wanted to play a halfling ranger “tank,” which is already not a great concept mechanically in Pathfinder, and on top of that wanted to be a finesse fighter with no Strength, which just made it worse. His character needs some major help, and I thought this encounter would be a good way to put some much-needed treasure in his hands while still tying it into the story. Fitting, then, that Salar was not present when the group reached it.

Anyway, the adventurers wanted to know, which Lady was this? The hairy man rattled off a few of Nyrissa’s titles, some of which they had heard before – the Mistress of Whispers, the Green Lady – and one they had not – the Queen of Forgotten Time. Could they meet with this Lady? No. Where was she? In Thousandbreaths, in the First World. How do we get an audience with her? You don’t. What’s inside the hill? It’s better that you don’t know.

As a result of their alliance with House Medyved, the PCs have a Diplomacy bonus with non-hostile fey, which the korred acknowledged. But he also countered that he knew they were not true friends to his kind – they had invaded the mites’ home and hauled off their king, after all. And while he conceded that mites are pathetic a-holes, they’re still Team Faerie. When Satampra wanted to know how the guardian had heard of that event, the korred whistled, and a couple of mites crept out of hiding, hissing and booing at the party. They were then shooed back into their holes. Apparently some of the scattered remnants of that mite hive had found their way here.

Travaris told the small man that they would depart, but he wished to give the fey guardians a gift to atone for the council’s past misdeeds. He unloaded a travel keg from his donkey and set it on the ground. “It’s fangberry ale,” the cleric said, and the korred involuntarily licked his lips. “Please, take it. We will leave you alone now.” And they got on their mounts and rode off. But of course, they had absolutely no intention of leaving well enough alone.

Guess Who Has a 7 Wisdom

The rainclouds had been absent that day and remained far away that night, and so it was calm, clear, and cold when the three adventurers snuck back to the forbidden hill. From a distance they spied the korred on the hilltop, passed out, with an arm wrapped around the keg. Boliden and Travaris took cover behind some rocks about 100’ away while Satampra crept closer.

As the rogue approached the hill, he spotted several mite sentries scattered around the area, but he was able to slip past them without being seen. His companions saw him sneak into the hole and disappear. Inside, Satampra found a rough-hewn passageway that led deeper into the earth and a powerful stench that assaulted his nostrils. He lit his bullseye lantern, but opened its door just a crack so as to not create too much light, and warily advanced.

Rivers Run Red 12cThe passage opened up into an octagonal room that was the source of the awful smell. The floor was slippery with animal droppings, and Satampra sensed movement above him. He pointed his lantern up, and found that the ceiling was completely covered in bats! Several awoke and took to the air in protest of the light, which caused a chain reaction. All of the bats descended and swarmed around the rogue.

Satampra quickly threw his cloak over his head and arms and hunkered down, which stymied the tiny predators for a moment. He then drew a vial of alchemist’s fire and broke it upon the blade of his sword. He stood back up, throwing off his cloak and waving around his now-flaming weapon.

The flames set several bats alight, and many more headed for the exit. The barbarian and cleric, as well as the mites, saw a few bats fly out of the crevice, which was soon followed by lots of bats, some of them on fire and dropping out of the air. The mites starting jabbering to each other, and one ran up the hill to shake the korred awake. Boliden stood up from his hiding spot, the Stag Lord’s bow in hand, and loosed an arrow that buried itself deep in the side of the mite trying to wake the hairy man. It staggered back, only to have its skull vaporized by a searing light summoned by the cleric. The time for stealth was over!

Rivers Run Red 12dSatampra ran further into the tomb, waving his blade and throwing another alchemist’s fire at the bats that still pursued him. He came to a room with three other exits, and four monstrous faces set in the walls. He heard a “click” and dove to the floor. A sheet of flame filled the room, and purplish beams of black magic shot out of the faces. The rogue avoided getting hurt, but the flames dispersed the last of the bats. As he picked himself up, he realized that he had landed on a skeleton, which still had a copper ring on one bony finger. He snatched up the ring and was examining it in the light of his lantern when he heard the clink and clanking of armored figures from the north and south exits. Two large groups of skeletons were approaching from either direction!

Next: flight or fight?!

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7 Comments
  1. Pinkius permalink

    Ooohh I recognize this map, we fought off the skeletons easily enough, we had a full party in there, but everyone except the rogue realized the sword in the dead person’s hand was an obvious trap, so she merrily ran up and tried to nab it.

    • Our rogue did the same thing! As you will see, soon enough…

      • Pinkius permalink

        RIP. that guy dual-wielded sword and board in our game and utterly wreaked us. TWF and level drain at level 4? We never stood a chance…

        And Satarmpa certainly doesn’t, unless he runs, he’s going to end up a wight

      • Ouch. A wight with TWF? That’s eeeeevil. By the book, the Lonely Warrior just uses his sword.

      • Pinkius permalink

        he crit too 😦

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 11, Part 2 | Daddy DM
  2. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 30, Part 1 | Daddy DM

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