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Kingmaker: Intermission #1, Session 2

October 13, 2015

The terrible nightmares continued to plague the five PCs who had orchestrated the ambush against Lord Ivo Tesarik, although their frequency diminished after a couple of weeks. The group abandoned their immediate goal of going after Ivo, and planned on confronting him during the upcoming celebrations in New Stetven, Brevoy’s capital. There would be a grand ball commemorating the anniversary of Brevoy’s founding – the day when Choral the Conqueror united Issia and Rostland into one kingdom – that Lord Tesarik was known to always attend.

Dangerous Post

While Grand Diplomat Vendelin Fodorov worked on securing invitations for the PCs, the council finally found a suitable replacement for Councilor. The previous holder of that title, Breen Everstead, had been eviscerated by a rock troll in Hargulka’s lair, and the position had remained vacant for the past two months. Finally they selected Aurelius Heptamus from the pool of Breen’s lieutenants as a worthy replacement. Aurelius was a knight from Mivon who had journeyed to Caerelia with his sister, who was getting married to a minor lord there. After his sister’s wedding, he met Councilor Breen and been so taken by the monk’s wisdom that he stuck around.

The council, now back at full strength, debated the looming deadline to build a Black Market for the Thieves’ Guild of Restov, and decided to bite the bullet. After building the market, they didn’t have much leftover funds, and declined to make any more improvements.

Welcome to My Nightmare

With the kingdom turn concluded, the PCs began to look for ways to deal with the nightmares. Mestinous the elven wizard knew that the night terrors were the result of powerful magic, but had little idea on how to ward against it. So the weary group of sufferers headed over to the Old Beldame’s hut. The Beldame was an old crone and a powerful witch, and if anyone could help them, it was she.

The Beldame, unfortunately, couldn’t give them much aid. Seriously, the nightmare spell is a major screw-you, with no real countermeasures short of killing the caster. They asked her about vampires in Brevoy, as they believed Ivo to be a bloodsucker, and she spun them some tales of the undead, but nothing that was particularly useful to their cause. Finally they told her of Ivo’s search for a blade, and that caused the old witch to recall an incident from a few years back.

When the Stag Lord first consolidated control over the bandits of the Greenbelt, he came calling on the Beldame with many men. He sought a sword that he thought was lost in the Stolen Lands, and hoped she might know of where he could find it. He described a finely crafted weapon whose hilt was wrapped in thorns. The old witch did not know of this blade, however, and the Stag Lord bothered her no more.

So the thorn-wrapped sword was sought by the Stag Lord, and Ivo Tesarik, and had appeared in the dreams of those who wore the Stag Lord’s ring. What could it mean? Why was the Stag Lord looking for it? They recalled that the only surviving member of the old bandit group was Akiros Ismort, who was now serving as General in Varnhold. They talked about paying him a visit, but that would have to wait until after the ball.

In Memoriam

At the start of Rova (September), the council finally rebuilt the barracks in Stagfell that had been flattened by Talonquake. They also rebuilt the watchtower on the Murque River, which had been destroyed by the rampaging trolls. With those acts, the physical damage to the kingdom from the brief war against the trolls had been erased.

They also claimed the hex with the abandoned elven castle, where they had battled the Dancing Lady and her vile fey cohorts, and ordered the woods around the castle cleared in preparation for a settlement. It did not take the council very long to decide upon the name Salar’s Rest for the new village, in memory of the brave halfling ranger who fell there.

Caerelia after month 24:

Size: 16; Cities: 4; Control DC: 40

Economy: +43; Loyalty: +30; Stability: +41

Unrest: 2; Treasury: 36 BP; Consumption: 3 BP/turn; Income: +7 BPs/turn

My Balls Are Always Bouncing

Rivers Run Red 28aOnce the kingdom turn was concluded, the adventurers rode north to Oleg’s. There they waited for the arrival of Satampra the swashbuckler’s date, the Swordlord Jamandi Aldori. Once she joined them, the group ventured north into Brevoy. It took them several days to reach New Stetven, the capital city. Also known as the “City of Wooden Palaces” because almost every building (and even some streets) was constructed from timbers, New Stetven was a mucky mudhole of a town.

The PCs found lodging in one of the finer inns, and got busy making preparations for the confrontation. Going from the idea that Ivo was a vampire, they all laced their clothing with garlic (save for Satampra, who didn’t want to stink) and carried flasks of holy mead prepared by the cleric. On the evening of the grand ball, the six rulers arrived at the Ruby Fortress fashionably late and were announced to little fanfare. They then spread out, searching for their quarry.

Mestinous the elven wizard spotted Lord Tesarik first after recognizing his personal device. Ivo was a handsome human man, tall and lithe, with pale skin and dark hair. A ruby-studded brooch in the shape of a crescent moon, the symbol of his house, was pinned to his cloak. He was chatting with a number of minor lords and ladies, who seemed a bit uneasy in Tesarik’s presence.

The wizard found and notified the others, who causally positioned themselves in a wide ring around the enemy. Except for Aurelius. The newest council member didn’t know much about this Ivo fellow, but he knew that he wasn’t scared of him! The warrior strolled up to where Tesarik was holding court, and rudely interjected himself into the conversation while playing drunk. He had poured some of his holy mead into a cup, and did his best to get Lord Ivo to drink it. When Ivo demurred, Aurelius “accidentally” splashed the drink over him, being sure to drench some exposed flesh.

Nothing happened. Which is to say that Ivo’s skin did not begin to burn, since he’s not actually a vampire. What did happen is that guards were summoned, and they hauled Aurelius off and tossed him outside into the mud.

The remaining five rulers converged. Ivo looked up from wiping off his clothing and, seeing the approaching group, seemed amused by this turn of events. “Greetings, m’lords,” he said with a wolfish smile, “I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced. But I feel we’ve met before – have you been to Fort Drelev recently, perhaps?” The jig was up, and rather than dissemble, Satampra decided to put it all out in the open. He introduced them as the rulers of Caerelia, where he was Emperor (this declaration set off a chorus of titters in the other lords and ladies), and demanded to know why Ivo was holding Iofur’s (pointing at the druid) parents hostage.

“Ahhh, so that is what this is all about, is it?” Ivo gazed at Iofur with hunger. “A son! How scared you must have been, to have lost your parents. To be abandoned in the wilderness, and at a rather young age, I presume? How delectable.” He gave an amused laugh before waving away their demands with one hand. “But your parents were trying to rob me, and rather than execute them for banditry, I have graciously taken them into my service. You should be grateful that they’re alive at all, boy.”

Iofur grew angry and repeated the demand that his parents be released. In response, Lord Tesarik grew quite serious. “I’m afraid that isn’t possible, boy. They have information that I need, even if they aren’t aware of it. But I am a reasonable fellow, so I will make a deal with you: I seek a special sword, one with its hilt wrapped in thorns, it is said. Your parents may have seen it, or viewed its location, before they tried to rob me. But if I have the item, then I have no need of your progenitors. Find the blade and give it to me, and I will release your parents back to your loving embrace. For am I not a kind and merciful lord?” The minor players around him agreed, a little too enthusiastically perhaps, that he was indeed most merciful.

After a few tense moments, Iofur agreed that they would find the sword and bring it to him, in exchange for the druid’s father and mother. Awkward farewells were given, and the group dispersed. They stayed for a bit longer for appearance’s sake, and then retired to their rooms. Back at the inn, they discussed their options, and concluded that the only thing to do was to go on the attack.

Next: borders & books!

  1. Pinkius permalink

    I dunno, I think making a fake would have also been an acceptable assassination plot, the Briar is an artifact, so anything short of Legend Lore is going to ping false. Plus if they left it ambiguous about the sword being legitimate or not during the fight, he’d have to keep hold of the thing or risk it getting lost again. being down a hand is a big handicap!
    Sneaking into his estate and stabbing the shit out of him is probably simpler though. Less likely he’ll have bodyguards stationed around and all.

    • Pinkius permalink

      Another thing to consider, could Ivo have kept his cover at the ball if the party attacked him? I’m sure the guards had something to do with the party retreating, how many of them were Ivos minions?

      • They were the royal guards; the ball was in the royal palace.

        IF they attacked, Ivo would have turned on his fear aura and then fled himself. As a shadowdancer, he can disappear really easily if he wants to.

    • They haven’t (yet?) come up with the idea of giving him a fake sword. Hampering that is that they don’t really know what it looks like aside from the general details, but maybe they could recreate one that matched Boliden & Mestinous’ dreams. Ivo might not even really know what it looks like. I’ll have to read book 6 again to get a better handle on the sword’s history.

      • Pinkius permalink

        I never really understood the swords history and my character was the one swinging it around. I know it was crafted to kill Nyrissa by a high fae lord due to her ambitious ways, she escaped, and it was entrusted to a nereid.

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