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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 17, Part 2

February 5, 2015

Black Hole

After putting down Kundal the barbarian werewolf, the party members decided they had been sitting around Stagfell long enough, and set out to do some more exploring. First on their agenda was a big, black hole in their map of the northern Greenbelt: several hexes around the northern tip of the Narlmarches. Along the way they wanted to check up on the Temple of the Elk, as they were preparing to found a settlement there and restore the holy site. So they saddled up with Magister Jhod Kavken, who spent his time between kingdom turns at the ruined temple, and rode off into the forest.

Rivers Run Red 17aAlong the way they ran into a hungry owlbear, which was quickly dispatched. At the temple site, acolytes of Erastil were working on clearing the area around the temple and the pool. The explorers spent an uneventful night there and in the morning, bid farewell to Jhod and headed deeper into the forest.

To the west of the ruined temple, they re-discovered the Skunk River and found its source: hot springs! Several of the adventurers stripped down and sank into the warm water, which felt especially good on this cool fall day. However, the springs were inhabited by giant man-eating frogs. One tried to swallow Mestinous the elven wizard whole, but as he was being dragged towards its mouth he pulled out his mega-wand of magic missile (it fires 5 darts) and blasted the amphibian to pieces.  The other frogs were dispatched or run off, and the party had a fine dinner of giant frog legs.

Over the following few days, they left behind the Narlmarches and mapped a couple of hexes’ worth of rolling grasslands. During that time, they encountered wild boars and elk, and ate very well. Then they turned east and started to explore the northern tip of the forest. Satampra the swashbuckler ran afoul of a bear trap that, his player noted, would have killed him if they had found it at 1st level. The found many such traps scattered indiscriminately throughout the area, although now they were on the lookout and suffered no more injuries. Later that day, they came across a dead trapper, who had been crushed by falling logs while trying to fashion a trap. They should have found the trapper ages ago, but I missed the encounter when they explored that hex. It worked out better this way, I think, given how much time had passed between their explorations of the two hexes.

Rivers Run Red 17bWith their mapping journey complete, the group mounted up in the morning to head to Oleg’s Trading Post. Or tried to, anyway. Every time that Boliden the barbarian tried to saddle his horse, the saddle slid right off. As did he, when he tried to ride the horse with no saddle. That’s right, the prankster faeries were back! But the party declined to engage with them. Boliden doubled up with the light-weight Mestinous, and they left the greased horse rider-less until the effect wore off.

The council members spent a pleasant day catching up with Oleg and Svetlana, and then rode south. They stopped off at the Sootscale mine in order to say “hi” to the kobolds, and then explored one more hex before returning to Stagfell for the kingdom turn. After their visit with Sojana Varn, the council wanted to map out the entirety of the Kamelands between their kingdom and Varnhold, lest they trade away valuable territory.

The Trouble with Thieves

The kingdom turn started off with a failed Stability check. And just when I thought their troubles were behind them… I tied the Unrest into one of the turn’s kingdom events: Smugglers! I re-wrote the event a bit to utilize a plot-hook that had laid fallow so far – the council’s alliance with the Thieves’ Guild. When the players were looking for investors for Caerelia, they narrowly decided to accept a generous offer from Restov’s Thieves’ Guild, which gave the guild certain allowances within the kingdom. The guild would inform the council of their activities, and the council would see to it that those activities were not hindered by law enforcement. And if something unfortunate should happen, the guild would supply a fall guy or gal.

Well, something unfortunate happened. The city watch accidentally stumbled upon what looked like a burglary, but was actually much more sophisticated. Thieves were breaking into a noble’s home to replace expensive pieces of art with forgeries. A watchman was slain, one of the thieves escaped, and one thief was captured. As word of the crime spread, the wealthy citizens of Stagfell found that some of their own had already been victims of the art-forgery ring.

caerelia-turn14The council was in a bit of a quandary. They didn’t want to execute the captured thief and anger the guild. They considered letting the jailed thief “escape,” but felt that would reflect badly on them. The guild provided a look-a-like to be executed in their operative’s place, but it turned out to be some innocent fellow that they kidnapped just for that purpose. In the end, they went ahead with executing the fake thief and letting the real one go, although Satampra was unhappy with the situation (Simon the cleric, Travaris Stone’s replacement, had no qualms, which makes me think the player’s desire to play Chaotic Good is once again going to go down in flames). In the future, Satampra told the council, he doesn’t want to know about these kinds of shenanigans. And Spymaster Mestinous promised to handle future unpleasantries before they reached the ruler’s ears.

stagfell-turn14They claimed the Temple of the Elk hex, built a road and a sawmill in the Thorn River crossing hex, and built a Jail in Stagfell to show their commitment to law and order. There were two other events: Good Weather (a good fall harvest), and the recurrence of the Troll Rumors. More refugees were fleeing from the advance of the marauding trolls. But this time, they passed the Loyalty check. The council had proven to the kingdom that they could protect their citizens, at least from external threats.

Caerelia after month 14:

Size: 11; Cities: 1; Control DC: 32

Economy: +31; Loyalty: +30; Stability: +29

Unrest: 0; Treasury: 18 BP; Consumption: 3 BP/turn; Income: +5 BPs/turn

Next: a cry for help!

  1. Pinkius permalink

    Rule 1 of Adventuring, if you can kill it, loot it.
    Rule 2 of Adventuring, if you can’t loot it, eat it.
    Rule 3 of Adventuring, repeat rules 1 and 2.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 17, Part 1 | Daddy DM
  2. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 20, Part 2 | Daddy DM

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