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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 16, Part 2

January 18, 2015

Troll Trouble

lego_hobbit_trollsThe kingdom had a Monster Attack event, and I chose trolls. This worked nicely with all of the troll rumors that had been building over the past several months, and enabled the PCs to finally face their enemy. After looking at the CR range for the event, I chose to have the encounter consist of two trolls.

The group had the option of going out to defeat the monsters themselves, or letting a Stability check resolve the situation. However, they were at 5 Unrest, which is a -5 penalty to all kingdom checks. And if the marauding trolls were not defeated this turn, it would mean +4 more Unrest. That would almost certainly destroy the kingdom. With some surprising reluctance – I thought they would be eager to fight – they agreed to take care of the problem themselves. When I told them that General Boliden the barbarian would be held in reserve with the militia (as his player was absent), just in case, they balked some more. Go into battle without the barbarian?!? How will we ever survive!?!

But eventually they found their courage and set out to confront the monsters. Marshal Pelagia Medyved and her scouts had determined the trolls’ numbers, and had tracked the pair to a large, shadowy hollow in the Narlmarches.

The rulers, including newcomer Breen Everstead the monk, rode to the edge of the hollow and dismounted. Iofur the druid shifted into his air elemental form, and scouted the area while flying. He quickly spotted two hulking giants with warty green skin and wicked teeth & claws, gnawing on bones while hunched over an open fire. They spotted him as well, and began throwing rocks at the strange cloud that was flying through the trees. Iofur raced back to his companions with the trolls in pursuit. The druidly quickly gave Satampra the swashbuckler the grace of a cat, and Simon Wellread the cleric gave blessings of strength and size to Breen. Then the battle was joined!

Breen, now as tall as a troll himself, charged one of the giants and… missed. Hardly an auspicious start to his career as an adventurer! His foe, in turn, ripped into him with its long teeth and jagged claws, shredding most of the monk’s hit points. Satampra shot an arrow at the other troll, scoring a critical hit! But the creature off-handedly ripped the arrow out of its gut, and the wound instantly started to heal over. In the back ranks, Simon chanted a combat prayer, while Iofur summoned a wolverine to assist Breen.

Breen drew on his inner reserves and concentrated on avoiding the troll’s attacks, while delivering a flurry of attacks of his own. His fists and feet pummeled the monster, while simultaneously ducking and dodging its mouth and claws. Satampra closed the distance with the other troll, tumbling under its long reach to slash at its leg. But the trolls’ cuts and bruises started to close and fade away as their flesh regenerated. In response, both Iofur and Mestinous the elven wizard summoned flaming spheres, one for each troll. The trolls wailed in anger and despair, and sought to avoid the floating balls of fire while they tore and bit Satampra and Breen. But soon the combination of flame, fist, and sword had brought the beasts low. The spellcasters then used the spheres to burn off all the trollflesh, leaving only bone.

As Simon healed the grievous wounds that the monk and swashbuckler had taken, Iofur scoffed. “Psh! Trolls aren’t scary. We destroyed those guys!” The melee party members scoffed and shook their heads at the flying, ranged spellcaster. Easy for him to say!

They brought the trolls’ skulls back to Stagfell to show the citizenry that the threat was over… for now. The rulers of Caerelia had ventured forth and avenged the fallen once more. Perhaps this victory over the feared trolls would be a turning point in the kingdom’s fortunes?

Rebuilding Season

As it turned out, it was. On the next kingdom turn (Arodus/August), they managed to pass the Stability check and built some city walls, which brought their Unrest from 5 down to 2. Lord Vendelin Fodorov stepped into the Grand Diplomat role, allowing Iofur’s Uncle Joren to finally go back to his village. That raised the Unrest back up to 3, but they passed the Loyalty check to avoid having the position be vacant for a turn. And the Economy started to produce a surplus of goods and taxes again after a rough couple of months.

In Rova/September, a breakout of STDs at the town brothels (and a botched Stability check) pushed the Unrest back up to 4. But this time, the council had some BP to throw at the problem, and they built a barracks and more houses to bring it back down to 2. They also received a beneficial kingdom event, a surplus of food that halved their Consumption for the next turn.

stagfell-turn13As summer gave way to fall and Caerelia entered Lamashan/October, it seemed that the troubles were behind them. Unrest fell to 1, a library was built in Stagfell, and the council started expanding the borders once more. The hex that once contained Kressle’s bandit camp on the Thorn River was claimed, with the goal of moving into the Temple of the Elk hex next. The council had agreed to build a settlement around the temple before Rova of next year, and then to restore the temple itself soon after. But they didn’t want to put it off until the last minute, as they had done with a previous commitment.

caerelia-turn13The kingdom is now 10 hexes large, and on the cusp of its next stage of development. Its fortunes are looking much better, but problems still persist. Trolls, hags, and maybe even a green dragon lurk at the borders. The undead infest the hillside that surrounds their fort. But more pressing than all of that were reports that livestock – and even some townsfolk – were slaughtered by a slavering beast during the previous night!

Caerelia after month 13:

Size: 10; Cities: 1; Control DC: 31

Economy: +29; Loyalty: +24; Stability: +26

Unrest: 1; Treasury: 20 BP; Consumption: 0 BP/turn; Income: 4 BPs/turn

Next: werewolf in Stagfell!

  1. Pinkius permalink

    Aaauuoouuuuhhhhh! We had that encounter, we even managed to redeem him surprisingly enough.

  2. Pinkius permalink

    surprising because I’m pretty sure our party was mostly shades of neutral

    • I’m going to angle for curing him as well by making the werewolf barbarian a Tiger Lord (which is Boliden’s tribe). Although Boliden’s player won’t be there, so the rest of the party might just kill him and cover it up…

      • Pinkius permalink

        We’ve yet to have a party member murder an npc and cover it up, perhaps you just need to have a group building exercise, do some trust falls.
        Trust eachother not to dick eachother over when the opportunity arises.

      • Well, Boliden was there, but Kundal didn’t make it. -10 hit points before losing rage & hybrid werewolf form = dead, dead, dead.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Somewhat of a miracle ours lived either, I suppose the DR didn’t do much to slow the damage? I eagerly await the writeup.

    • And since the werewolf encounter is supposed to be one of the first of the adventure, instead of taking place after the party has gained 2 levels, I’m going to have to toughen it up some…

      • Pinkius permalink

        So long as he doesn’t get crit at low hp or coup d’grac, or hit particularly hard at low hp at all. Barbarians are bad for dying coming out of rage.

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