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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 13, Part 2

November 17, 2014

mushroom_teaMeet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Back at home, Travaris the cleric’s bride, Dunyasha, was devastated to learn that she was now a widow. They had been married less than 3 weeks before the High Priest’s demise. There was a public period of mourning for the fallen leader. Travaris’ second, another cleric of Cayden Cailean named Simon Wellread, assumed the duties of High Priest with minimal disruption – the party succeeded at the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty, which is a really difficult check for them.

This brings up a rules question. If a leader dies, is the position considered to be vacant immediately? They made the Loyalty check, but they would not have if the High Priest position was considered vacant at the time of the roll. That is, if leader A steps down and leader B takes his/her place, I assume you would make the Loyalty check as if leader A was still there. But if leader A dies and leader B takes his/her place, would you apply the vacancy penalties before making the check?

In any case, I felt grateful that I had asked the players to create successors for themselves, way back when. As a result, I avoided having to shoe-horn in a new character that is suddenly trusted with a leadership position in the kingdom.

We will see how much Simon differs, if at all, from Travaris. The player has said that he’s interested in taking another stab at playing Chaotic Good. I’m not sure how long that effort will last this time around. Despite the pyromania and the murder, I am a little sad to see Travaris go. He was one of the few characters who had political ties to Brevoy, and he had some juicy plot hooks that will now never see fruition. Also, it was just a couple of sessions ago where the player had the option to retire the character (when he got turned to stone), and he said he wanted to keep playing his cleric. And then I went and killed the poor fellow…

Before the next kingdom turn got started, the surviving party members rode over to the Swamp Witch’s home to give her the black rattlecaps and collect their reward. This led to some questions:

Player: “What is she going to use these mushrooms for, anyway?”

Me: <checks quest> “It says here she uses them to brew a potent tea.”

Player: “Tea?! What makes it potent? Does it do anything?”

Others: “It has a lot of caffeine.”

Others: “She just likes the taste.”

Others: “It has a unique bouquet. She’s a connoisseur of artisanal teas.”

Player: “Well, that was certainly worth our cleric’s life!”

The Old Beldame was sorry to hear that someone gave their life so that she could make some tea, and graciously offered up her services as a crafter of magic to the group – at market prices, of course. Boliden the barbarian took her up on her offer, and had her enchant his masterwork breastplate to +1.

Before they departed, Satampra the rogue asked the Beldame if she had heard of this “Hargulka” guy that everyone is talking about. While she doesn’t get a lot of visitors, she confessed that she had heard the name whispered on the wind and spoken by the streams, and they told her that Hargulka was a powerful troll warlord. With that disclosure, the players put together that there was a troll “kingdom” acting in opposition to Caerelia, and that perhaps the lizardfolk were now allied with the trolls.

Speaking of the lizardfolk, the old witch had a message and a gift to give to the group. The lizardfolk druid from the village to the south had visited her, and wished to thank the council for abiding by their non-aggression agreement with her people. As a token of goodwill, she returned the items taken from Salar the halfling ranger when he was captured. In truth, they were too small for the lizardfolk to make use of, so why not give them back?

The council wished to reciprocate the gesture, and decided to send their future Grand Diplomat (they still hadn’t made the switch yet because of Unrest problems) down there with a present of fine steel-tipped spears. Lord Vendelin protested that he didn’t know anything about treating with savage reptile-men, but hey, that’s the sort of thing you have to do when you’re running Caerelia. They sent along the Marshal and some of her outriders to protect him, and Mikmek the kobold to translate.

A few days later, the diplomatic mission returned. They had been repelled at the village itself, and not just by lizardfolk. Aquatic trolls – scrags – were also there guarding the village, and they were not pleased to see the humans. The expedition retreated without serious injury. That night, they were approached by the lizardfolk druid. She explained to them that her people could not back out of their alliance with Hargulka, but that she would try to keep the lizardfolk from taking an active role in the conflict. But if the humans were to attack, all bets would be off.

stagfell-turn9During the kingdom turn, they passed the Stability check, bringing Unrest down to 2. The treasury got hammered by the Blight event from the previous turn – the council had to secure food shipments from southern Brevoy in order to feed the populace. The alternate entrance to the Sootscale’s silver mine was finally completed, allowing the miners to get to the silver without disturbing the kobolds. Houses and a brewery dedicated to Cayden Cailean were constructed in Stagfell. And finally, the crop failure had some far-reaching consequences in the kingdom’s economic health. A failed Economy check left Caerelia with precious few resources for the next month.

After the kingdom turn, the group decided to strike west, into the heart of the Narlmarches. Hopefully this time they would find some trolls, and not be forced to retreat to Stagfell before locating any. Hey, I know where they can find some trolls of the aquatic variety…

Caerelia after month 9:

Size: 8; Cities: 1; Control DC: 29

Economy: +27; Loyalty: +17; Stability: +24

Unrest: 2; Treasury: 3 BP; Consumption: 1 BP/turn; Income: 4 BPs/turn

Next: fortress of the fey!

  1. Pinkius permalink

    Truely more adventurers have been laid low by errands for exotic foodstuffs than any quest to alter the fate of the world.
    Sort of depressing when you think about it…

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  1. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 13, Part 1 | Daddy DM

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