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Kingmaker: Intermission #1, Session 4, Part 1

November 1, 2015

father_timeIofur the druid’s player was able to make an appearance for this session, which led me to believe that maybe we’d get some progress on the situation with his parents. Note to self: don’t ever center plots around players who have spotty attendance! But instead, the group was content to settle in for the winter and focus on building up the kingdom (and do some spell research, in Mestinous the elven wizard’s case).

Out of Spite

Satampra the swashbuckler’s pride had been stung on their recent trip to New Stetven, where Caerelia was often unfavorably compared to a hole filled with mud. While browsing through the settlement options, he spotted the paved streets improvement, and immediately seized upon that as a status symbol that others would respect. Unfortunately, the kingdom’s treasury was not sufficient to pay for such an extravagance. But one day, the Emperor vowed, his capital would be a shining beacon of civilization to make all of Brevoy jealous.

Instead, the council claimed more territory on their eastern border, in an attempt to keep the Varns from taking it first. They settled the hex with Lonely Warrior’s tomb, and the hex south-east from there. Technically you can’t claim hexes that still have encounters in them, but the tomb was sealed up tight after their previous visit, so I allowed it. Prevented from building his paved streets in Stagfell, Satampra instead ordered a Town Hall and a Park to be constructed in the center of town. Take that, snooty Brevoy nobles! The council also re-oriented the Spymaster’s attention from the Economy, which was doing great, to the kingdom’s Loyalty, which was not.

That month also brought a visit from a local celebrity, the Countess Magda Masci of Mivon (say that 10 times fast!). The Countess was well-known as a champion of the common folk, and crowds of people braved the cold to come see her – and maybe to catch some of the copper coins that she was known to toss out to her fans. Her presence in the capital led to the collection of a whopping 10 extra BP for the turn! In addition, she brought a message from the River Kingdom of Mivon for the council.

Now that the troll threat had (mostly) been dealt with, and it seemed Caerelia was actually going to last, their southern neighbor (that’s Mivon) was interested in establishing a mutually beneficial trade route. If Caerelia could extend a road down to Mivon’s territory, they promised a balanced trade agreement in return. And as it happens, Restov had promised way back when to award the kingdom 10 BP if they build a roadway between Brevoy and Mivon, so this was a way to remind the players of that. It was also a way to strengthen their ties with Mivon, a non-presence in the published AP. And it was also a way to get some mileage out of the Visiting Celebrity event. 🙂

Happy New Year!

caerelia-turn28

It’s getting hard to fit the kingdom in one image!

You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if Father Time was in one of the Bestiaries. Paizo mines everything for its monster ideas. He’d probably be CR 20, with a +5 scythe of speed and a cherub companion that wielded an hourglass of time stop.

Anyway, with the new year came another kingdom turn, and the council hopped to satisfying Mivon’s request. They completely forgot about securing the eastern border against the Varn’s encroachment, and instead took two hexes in the Narlmarches and built roads there. I’m starting to think I can get the players to do anything if I just have a friendly-seeming NPC request it. In Stagfell, they ordered some Stables built, and at Lord Mayor Jhod Kavken’s request they added an Inn to his town of Last Hope.

stagfell-turn28Caerelia after month 28:

Size: 22; Cities: 4; Control DC: 46

Economy: +45; Loyalty: +43; Stability: +47

Unrest: 0; Treasury: 34 BP; Consumption: 1 BP/turn; Income: +7 BPs/turn

Not So Silent Hill

The session was apparently not going anywhere terribly exciting, and it appeared that the group had no intention of pursuing Iofur’s parents. So I tried to entice them to re-investigate the Lonely Warrior’s tomb. I told them that newly settled farmers in that area had reported strange lights and sounds atop the very hill that held the crypt. The hill was cursed, they said, and the settlers didn’t want to live near it. Obviously, the matter needed to be addressed at once!

Rivers Run Red 30The players gladly took the bait, and rode out on a chilly Abadius (January) day to investigate the rumors. A cursory examination of the mound revealed nothing, so the rulers supped with their subjects before venturing forth to find a good spot for a stakeout.

That night was bitterly cold, but the druid used his nature magic to keep his companions comfortable as they watched and waited. Around midnight, strange little dancing lights did indeed appear on the hilltop, and the frozen wind carried faint traces of music. Satampra decided to approach alone while the others remained hidden.

When the Emperor reached the hill, he spied tiny little creatures flitting about, dancing in the air and playing tiny little pipes. They had tiny little humanoid upper bodies, and tiny little firefly lower bodies. He carefully ascended the snow-covered slope. When he reached the top, the tiny little faeries tittered and motioned for him to join their dance.

And so Satampra danced. He actually has ranks in Perform (dance), and often looks for opportunities to show off, so the situation seemed perfect for him. The faeries and the human formed a ring and danced in circles on top of the hill, and the little bug-folk squealed and giggled in delight. And then the music, and the dancing circle, got faster. Satampra was able to keep pace, but started to slip some. And then the music got faster. The swashbuckler was struggling at this point, and was only able to keep on his feet thanks to his boots of elvenkind and his innate agility. The ground was hard and slick, and he was only pretending to dance at that point. And then the music got faster still.

The faeries were rapidly flying and weaving in a circle, and Satampra was practically just running along with them, heroically trying not to fall. He didn’t know how much longer he could maintain the pace – he was dizzy and weary and his feet were constantly slipping on the snowy earth – or what he would do if the tempo increased again. Fall, probably. But he was spared that fate when his companions approached (Remesio the cleric prominently carrying a keg), which caused the music to suddenly stop as the faeries wailed in fear before disappearing altogether.

Satampra slowed and then came to a halt, panting and swaying, as the others climbed the hill. A stern harrumph from behind caused the group to turn, whereupon they spied the Hairy Man of the Hills, guardian of the crypt beneath. The Man stood there, rigid as stone save for his wild, ever-moving hair, and scowled when he recognized the swashbuckler.

“Ach. Not you lot, again!”

Next: tomb raiders!

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4 Comments
  1. Mei Yu Lian permalink

    Good use of the Visiting Celebrity event, I agree!

    And your players do seem to have the attention span of gnats at times, but most players do I think.

  2. Pinkius permalink

    He’s totally forgiven them for the first time by now right? They did give him booze after all. Nothing like a little attempted robbery between fae and humans! They steal babies, we steal ancient artifacts.

    • Hey now, they gave those babies back! That reminds me, the PCs still owe the local faerie lord a favor for that…

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