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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 26, Part 2

July 19, 2015

Rivers Run Red 26eAfter obliterating the giant spiders, the adventurers traveled down a slim passage that led to another Very Large Cave. As they poked around, they heard a noise – Talonquake had awoken and was heading their way! The group quickly retreated back into the small tunnel, doused their light, and discussed in whispers what to do next. They considered throwing some of those damned summoned tigers at the giant owlbear in order to soften it up, while they remained safely beyond its reach. I couldn’t imagine a more anti-climatic ending to the module, but I had to admit it would probably be a very effective tactic. But they ended up discarding that plan, reasoning that if it the tigers were out there alone, Talonquake would make short work of them. That was probably true, but the damn tigers have enough hit points that they could have done a lot of damage in the meantime. Not to mention that they could have peppered my monster with ranged attacks while it dealt with the damn tigers.

Rivers Run Red 26fThey relocated to the compost chamber, figuring rightly that the large tunnel on the far end led to where Talonquake had been snoozing. They spotted and avoided another shrieker, and set up shop just inside the big cave with the underground lake. Talonquake could be heard angrily GROOTing from the nearby cave as it searched for the intruders, but when it did not find anyone, it headed back towards the PCs’ location.

Buffs were hurriedly handed out – bull’s strength and enlarge person for Boliden the barbarian, cat’s grace for Satampra the swashbuckler, and prayer and haste for everyone. When Talonquake spotted their light and stomped towards them, Mestinous the elven wizard and Iofur the druid started gating in their damn tigers while the others raced to the attack! Satampra and Boliden slashed and hacked at the creature, whose DR 5/cold iron didn’t mean much against attacks that hit for 25-30 points of damage. 😦 The tigers, for once, fell flat on their faces, barely hitting at all, but even so, after a round of blows my climatic encounter was almost over. The owlbear stomped, clawed, and beaked the humans as well as it could, but it couldn’t hit often enough, or hard enough, to drop either of the front-line combatants.

After a single round, the situation looked grim for the monster, so I began to pull out some of its faerie tricks while I still had the chance. It long stepped away from the pointy bits and next to Iofur and Mestinous, who had been sitting safely behind the front line, then cast a quickened entangle around said front line, and then stomped on the wizard (a re-flavored claw attack, for the medium-sized opponents) and grappled him. But entangle can’t do much to slow down hasted PCs, and so it only bought the monster a one round reprieve from Satampra and Boliden and the damn tigers.

Technically, Talonquake was felled by a tiger attack after only getting two actions, but I didn’t want it to end like that, so I gave it just enough hit points to survive until its initiative came up again. On its last turn, it ground the elf into the cold, hard cave floor and lashed out at Satampra and Boliden before vanishing from sight. Surprisingly, the invisibility succeeded in protecting it from the next round of sword and axing, but then Iofur invoked a faerie fire. It wasn’t hard to guess a square that contained the beast for the spell, and its invisibility was rendered moot by the fire’s ghostly glow. Iofur’s tiger leaped onto the giant’s leg and sank its teeth into a femoral artery. The mighty Talonquake was no more!

This encounter, more than any other, made me really long for the monsters of 4th edition D&D. At this point the damage output of the PCs is rather astronomical, and there’s no way a single creature with a single round of actions can stand up to 6 PCs. Even with maximum hit points, which I give to all named opponents. Going forward, I might start importing some 4e ideas for “boss fights,” like giving such foes extra actions.

Victory Lap

Rivers Run Red 26gA casual looting of the caves occupied by the owlbear turned up a bunch of magic and mundane items, along with an owlbear egg, which the players were rather excited to find. They neglected to dig through the chambers full of rotting matter – despite numerous prompts – and so missed some other items. I made the mistake of informing them of what they had missed at the end of the session, to which the players replied that of course they had gone digging through the offal and waste! Except that they hadn’t thought of it until I brought it up. I will be sure to keep my mouth closed next time.

They did discover a chimney in one of the big caverns that led up to a lair of ettercaps and more giant spiders. Satampra, the only one who was interested in climbing up there, handled them all on his own, with a late assist from Iofur in bat form. With the mostly insignificant foes slain, they found some more treasure and another exit to the outside.

Their next challenge was determining how to transport a giant owlbear head back to Stagfell, because they damn sure weren’t leaving without a suitably impressive trophy. Boliden went outside and felled some trees, and they fashioned a crude sled for their memento. Some days later, they returned to town triumphant! By defeating the monstrous threats that had ravaged their town, they received a +4 to all of their kingdom stats, along with an erasure of all Unrest! That last bit was the important one, since Caerelia’s Unrest had climbed up to 9 by this point. And furthermore, the River Kingdom of Mivon rewarded them for dispersing the trolls, with 3,000 gp for their personal coffers and 10 BP for the kingdom itself. This reward was supposed to be from Brevoy, but I figured the trolls would have been bothering Mivon as well, given the location of their lair, and so I thought it made more sense to come from Caerelia’s southern neighbor.

In theory that’s the end of this chapter of Kingmaker. But I plan on advancing the timeline several years before starting chapter 3, so I have asked the players what, if anything, they plan on doing during that time. They still have the buried tomb of the Lonely Warrior to plunder and Iofur’s parents to rescue, and will have some political issues to handle as well.

End Book 2 (mostly)

Next: musings on book 2.

  1. Pinkius permalink

    Just don’t sell the totally-not-cursed ring of animal friendship, it’s uh, neccesary. For things

    • Since I’m not using the module’s bizarre and inexplicable rationale for why the giant owlbear attacked their town, I just gave them a non-cursed version of the ring.

      Or did I? Hmm… Now that I think about it, I suppose it could still be cursed. But the group hasn’t shown any particular interest in it, anyway. Maybe if I remind them about the puma they have locked away in their castle, they will try to use it.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Ours was cursed, but we sold it, and the shopkeeper got back to us about selling him faulty magic items. We just bit the bullet and paid the difference

  2. Pinkius permalink

    This is a bit late to mention, but I was diving the archive, and I remembered Cayden Callien has the liberation domain.
    How IRONIC/heretical is it that a cleric of Cayden Callien used a hold person spell to subjugate a citizen.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 26, Part 1 | Daddy DM
  2. Kingmaker: Blood for Blood, Session 10, Part 2 | Daddy DM

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