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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 14

November 23, 2014

dc-flashWe’re Going on a Troll Hunt…

For the third time in as many months, the rulers of Caerelia rode forth from the capital of Stagfell to find some trolls to kill. Their first attempt had ended prematurely when they started an impromptu war with some lizardfolk. The second expedition was cut short by the cleric’s death. But now they had a new cleric, and a newfound determination to find and kill some trolls.

They headed west, following the Skunk River until it turned north. They continued westward, into the area of the Narlmarches where the dryad Tiressia lived. They started mapping the deeper reaches of the forest, turning southeast when they hit the “edge” of the map. I did tell them that they could continue going west, but they opted to remain on the Greenbelt map.

Along the way they were beset by a pack of thylacines, a dozen man-sized spiders, an owlbear, and a manticore. None posed a serious threat to the adventurers, although the manticore scared them a bit, as they had never seen one before. Salar the halfling ranger wanted to keep it alive so that they could make friends with it, but the rest of the group voted him down and dispatched the foul beast. They then took its head and its tail as trophies to bring back to Stagfell.

Rivers Run Red 14aHeavy thunderstorms forced the explorers to seek shelter for a day. On the morrow, they found the source of a major river – probably the Murque. And later that evening, they stumbled across an ancient elven fortress. Mestinous the elven wizard recognized the architecture, and theorized that it was a remnant of the elven empires of old, before his kind fled Golarion and the Age of Darkness. The structure was a big stone drum, with four circular towers at the “corners,” and a circular central tower. There was an overgrown path that led to an open archway in the east wall and a big hole in the wall on the south side.

The party chose to enter via the hole in the south wall, thus avoiding the falling portcullis trap. The courtyard was choked with heavy undergrowth that had to be waded through. This slowed down everyone except for Iofur the druid, who strolled through the bushes with the greatest of ease.

Fastest Fey Alive

Rivers Run Red 14bAs the group struggled through the undergrowth, mocking laughter echoed off of the castle walls. “Welcome, humans!” the voice cried out. “Welcome to your deaths! Your blood will look so pretty, coating my blade in the pale moonlight!” The party struggled to identify where the voice was coming from, but they found out soon enough. A small figure, moving so fast that it just looked like a blur, zoomed up to Satampra the rogue, stabbed him, and zoomed away.

The group hurled arrows, sling stones, and magic missiles at the blur, with only the magic missiles doing any damage. The quick little fellow simply laughed, and vanished into the brush. Those with ranged weapons and wands readied them in case the streak should appear again, but all they got was his voice, mocking them from seemingly every direction.

And then Iofur summoned a dire bat.

And I do mean dire. A size Large bat? Yikes! The monstrous bat was able to pinpoint the quickling’s location in short order, and it swooped down on the figure that only it could see. It missed, but now everyone knew where to aim. The quickling, however, was still invisible, and had Improved Evasion, and so was still safe, I thought – until Simon the cleric dropped a sound burst on the fast little fellow. One failed Fortitude save later, and the quickling was stunned and an easy target.

Iofur summoned another dire bat while the rest of the group slammed the quickling with arrows and spells. When the stun wore off, the little blur took off in a flash, running into the south west tower. “Ah, you lot are no fun, with your bats and your spells!” The bats gave chase while the rest of the group struggled to catch up. The giant flying rodents were quickly dispatched, and the party’s assailant escaped. “Tata! But don’t worry, I’ll be back to murder you in your sleep!”

A search of the tower turned up some blood, but no other signs of the flash. Everyone failed at all sorts of Knowledge checks to identify what they had just fought, but Salar tasted the blood and pronounced it to be faerie in nature. Their investigation of the tower also turned up a mithral elven statue, which coincidentally was exactly what one Lily Teskerten, a flirty woman back in town, had asked them to find.

It was now quite dark, and Satampra suggested that they camp in the castle. “Is that wise?” asked Iofur, noting that the blur had threatened to kill them in their sleep. “Probably not,” replied the Baron, “but then, I have a 7 Wisdom.” Iofur insisted that they get back on their horses and ride for at least an hour before resting.

The group awoke the next morning, still among the living, and rode back to the crumbling castle.

Bark at the Moon

Rivers Run Red 14cA few hours after sunrise, the party arrived back at the ancient elven castle that they had discovered deep within the Narlmarches. They decided to enter through the broken south wall again, and to head for the central tower.

Nothing notable had changed about the castle or its courtyard, although it certainly looked less sinister in the sunlight. The group advanced cautiously, on the lookout for any signs of the blur that had attacked them on their previous visit. But they spotted no signs of life as they made their way to the tower.

The inside of the tower walls were covered with frescoes of elven life, and there was a stone staircase leading to a second floor. Satampra the rogue searched the area for traps, but neglected to find anything. So they all advanced into the room to explore it further, which triggered the trap that Satampra had missed. The elven figures on the wall opened their mouths and breathed out a purple mist that filled the room; the mist, in turn, filled the explorers’ heads with visions of moonless nights, twisted trees, and rivers of dark blood. Unfortunately, everyone made their saving throw and the insanity mist had no effect. They all fled from the room before they inhaled more of the deadly gas.

Rivers Run Red 14dAnd that’s when Rigg Gargadilly, quickling rogue, struck! He was hiding by the entryway of the tower, waiting for Iofur the druid, bat-summoner extraordinaire, to come outside. When Iofur did, the fast little guy stabbed him in the surprise round, won initiative, stabbed him again, and then ran around the circular tower wall. Simon the cleric kept Iofur from collapsing due to blood loss, while Mestinous the elven wizard took to the air with a fly spell and the others readied their weapons.

The central tower had entrances on opposite ends. Rigg raced around to the other entrance and then charged right at Iofur again, who had not moved in order to summon another dire bat. Rigg’s attack was not enough to disrupt the summoning spell, and the druid placed the bat right behind the quickling. Suddenly the deadly blur was flanked! The martial types moved up to engage, and Rigg (still wounded from the previous fight) realized that this wasn’t going well. He turned to run, trusting in his high AC and concealment to keep him safe from attacks of opportunity. But at that moment, the dire bat not only managed to hit the little guy, it got a critical hit! As he turned to flee, the monstrous bat bit Rigg’s head clean off. Take that, Ozzy Osbourne!

With the quickling dead, the group reflected upon the experience of their recent encounters (hitting level 6), and prepared to ascend the tower stairs.

Next: the Dancing Lady!

  1. Pinkius permalink

    I did not participate in this part of the campaign! Quickling rogue eh? Sounds… really obnoxious, doesn’t Mestinous prepare glitterdust? Every wizard should prepare a glitterdust.

    • Pinkius permalink

      On the other hand, it reminds me of a particular encounter involving 4 invisible stalkers and a surprise round on the healer.

    • It would have been more obnoxious if it weren’t for those damn bats! Oh well. Iofur usually rolls pitifully, like low single digits, and he did manage to get 2 confirmed crits in with the bats this session. So I guess I can’t complain too much. And the ambush attack on the druid almost took him out. I probably should have had the quickling run off, and take out any summoned bats far away from the party, so that he could go back to sniping at them.

      Mestinous isn’t big on utility spells, aside from casting enlarge on the barbarian. He mostly sticks to magic missiles and fire spells.

    • Oh, and if you think a quickling rogue is bad, wait until you see the Dancing Lady…

  2. Bad weather plus deadlines meant no session this week. 😦

    • Pinkius permalink

      Blurg, I’ve been experiencing the problems with irregular work schedules

    • …and Boliden’s player is now a daddy! So he will be out for a while. Hopefully I can plausibly use his character as an NPC in the upcoming encounter without getting him killed…

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  1. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 13, Part 2 | Daddy DM

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