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Kingmaker: Intermission #1, Session 5

December 2, 2015

Situation: Handled

cat-i-got-thisThe players had entered the Lonely Barrow in the Kamelands, intent on leaving with its treasures. But the tomb’s korred guardian had other plans, and sealed them inside the hill – they were buried alive! Or… were they? As it happens, being trapped under a hill is no sweat for a bunch of 7th level spellcasters. Remesio the cleric looked at his spell list and said, “No worries, I’ve got this… in the morning, anyway.” So the adventurers got comfortable and bedded down for the night in the now-quiet crypt.

In the morning, Remesio said his usual prayers to Cayden Cailean over his usual breakfast of liquid spirits, and then announced that he was ready. He placed one hand on his holy symbol and the other on the rocky wall that barred their exit, and chanted a prayer of stone shape. The hill began to rumble and shake, and then the barrier melted away, revealing the morning sky!

Or it did, until the little Hairy Man of the Hills jumped down into the gap, brandishing his stone hammer. “Not so fast!” he commanded. “You can leave this tomb if you wish, but you cannot take the spear with you!” The spear had been the property of an undead barbarian warrior until very recently, and was rumored to be anathema to faerie-kind.

After a brief conference, Remesio assured the others that he had this situation covered as well, and that they should all leave. He would stay there, he claimed! The korred eyed the priest with suspicion. Why would he want to stay in the tomb? Remesio wouldn’t say, so the short fellow declared that he, too, would remain in the barrow. The others clambered out, and the Hairy Man sang his song and re-sealed himself and Remesio inside the hill.

Remesio’s plan was to use dimension door (from his Travel domain) to grab the spear and escape, but he hadn’t planned on the korred staying by his side. The Hairy Man made sure to keep himself between the human and the spear, now laying on the floor of the crypt, and also kept a wary eye on the sneaky human. For his part, Remesio tried to talk to the guardian about what would happen if the spear was taken on his watch; would his mistress do something terrible to him?

After some chit-chat, the cleric finally made his move and leaped for the spear. But the Hairy Man beat him on an opposed CMB roll, and kicked the spear away before Remesio could grab it. Remesio sighed, dimension doored out of the hill, and told his companions that he did not, in fact, have that particular situation covered after all. Oops.

Foggy With a Chance of Loot

Ah, but the party has more spellcasters than that! Next up was Iofur the druid. He wildshaped into a small earth elemental, and glided through the dirt and rock of the hillside, and into the barrow where the Hairy Man of the Hills was now searching for the vanished priest. When the Hairy Man spied the elemental, he rushed towards it, but Iofur retreated back into the walls. The druid thought about how to proceed: if he grabbed the spear in his current form, he’d be unable to use his form’s earth glide ability to escape with it. He would need to take the weapon, turn back to his normal shape, and then shift again into an elemental form, which would absorb the spear along with his other equipment. Only then he would be able to walk out through the walls with his prize.

Rather than risk getting pounded by the Hairy Man for a round or two, the druid re-entered the crypt further down and invoked a fog cloud over the area that contained the korred and the spear. He then melted into the floors and came up again around where he thought the spear was. After locating it, the druid quickly shifted to his normal form, snatched the weapon, and then wildshaped back into an earth elemental just before the Hairy Man could find and strike him. Iofur glided down into the ground once more as the korred’s hammer came swinging out of the fog, missing the druid.

With the spear in hand, the group beat a hasty retreat, leaving the Hairy Man to whatever punishment awaited him for his failure.

The City on the Hill

caerelia turn 31Caerelia spent the remainder of winter expanding and preparing for war against the Nomen centaurs. They connected their territory to that of Mivon’s, to the south, with a thin strip of the Narlmarches. Additionally, they ensured that their roads extended to their southern and eastern neighbors. Grasslands near Varnhold and the territory around Lake Tuskwater were also claimed, and mines, quarries, and farms were ordered in some of the new holdings. At this point, Caerelia had grown enough in size that it was no longer considered a barony by the rules, and was now a duchy!

stagfell turn 31Over in the captial of Stagfell, Satampra the swashbuckler’s “I’ll Show Them!” program was underway. The streets were paved with actual stones, and not logs like those dung heap cities up in Brevoy! A couple of months later, great estates for the nobility were built on the shores of Lake Tuskwater, which fancied the place up nicely. At Salar’s Rest, the town built atop the ancient elven castle in the Narlmarches, infrastructure for war was added. Barracks, stables, and housing were erected around the castle.

salars-rest turn 31While the kingdom was busy raising army units, some New Subjects (as in the kingdom event) settled in the forest south of Salar’s rest. They had traveled up from Mivon, fleeing troll attacks there, and helpfully brought 2 BP with them. Unfortunately, the following month brought an outbreak of troll fever to that same area, a Plague (event) that was quickly contained… but not before it cost the kingdom 3 BP. Easy come, easy go!

By the end of the first week of Gozran (April), the duchy had put together a force of over 300 light cavalry. The rulers sent word ahead to Varnhold, and then rode at the head of the column as it headed east to war.

Caerelia after month 31:

Size: 28; Cities: 4; Control DC: 52

Economy: +50; Loyalty: +49; Stability: +49

Unrest: 0; Treasury: 34 BP; Consumption: 11 BP/turn; Income: +9 BPs/turn

Next: off to war!

  1. Pinkius permalink

    Can’t wait to hear how terribly that cavalry plan works on centaurs. They’re like horses, but they’re not carrying a bald monkey on their back, it’s part of their body! (and thus weighs less/they’re used to it/Magic.)
    I must say, are any of your players avid Total War players? Because they should recognize this is a terrible plan, centaurs already out-field the lightest of mounted skirmishers.
    That aside I wonder if the centaurs will approach the Caerelian contingent before they meet up with the Varnholdians to discuss diplomacy… Might be interesting, I wonder if our “heroes” would entertain peace talks, or just throw Boliden at them. + some tigers, tiger lord gon’ tiger with tigers, it’s the Ciiiircle of liiiife.

    • Make a side deal with the Caerelians… that’s an interesting idea! Although I doubt it would lead anywhere. They’ve definitely thrown their lot in with Restov & Varnhold.

  2. DMMike permalink

    I have literally been reading all of your posts again in the past week, waiting for an update 😛 I’m excited to see what happens!

  3. Mei Yu Lian permalink

    This should be interesting 🙂

  4. I am glad to know people are enjoying the chronicles of my group! 😀 We didn’t get to play this week – injured kids and work got in the way – which is just as well, actually. I’m at a bit of a loss on what to do with a campaign against the centaurs. The players aren’t really in charge (they’re just contributing forces to Varnhold), the mass combat rules have been a bit of a letdown, and if they wanted to spend the time and effort, they could possibly annihilate the Nomen on their own.

    I do need to find out from the players how much input they want to have – are they just handing off the cavalry and heading back home? Or do they want to play a role? And go from there, I guess. But any suggestions are welcome.

    I also have to figure out how this is going to change book 3…

    • Have you ever checked out the 3.5 Heroes of Battle book? It has some pretty nice ideas on war as a campaign element (if I recall correctly), although I’m not sure it has any direct mass combat rules. Their philosophy is more along the lines of an adventure flow chart with victory points determining the outcome.

    • Pinkius permalink

      my group has tossed ideas around to try and spice up mass combat, things like, everyone say what they’ll be doing during the combat to try and get bonuses (aside from the general, clearly the general will be commanding the troops). Giving the pcs temporary control over soldiers for a mock battle to find out how well the army did. We came to the conclusion PCs and control over armies don’t mix well, a large scale fight can be an interesting setting for an encounter, but not an interesting encounter in itself.
      plus, the idea of 10 trolls massacring 200 armed humans is painful when a group of properly leveled pcs can kill them without losing a hitpoint

  5. Still enjoying reading your campaign notes. I would suggest that your group need a lesson in diplomacy and statecraft.
    They have pretty much aligned themselves with an unknown ally against an unknown enemy. Perhaps it is in the interested for the Varnhold to have the elite troops of their expansionist neighbours and the leaders of said upstart kingdom fighting the Varnholds battles for them. Perhaps the Varnhold will take the opportunity to strike at the undefended kingdom and annihilate the aforementioned leaders. Perhaps just after they have defeated the centaurs and are felling a little,spent?

    Perhaps I am just a nasty GM though!

    • Pinkius permalink

      And then Akiros can have another encounter with the PCs and be all “I don’t want to fight these guys again, they kicked my ass last time and look tougher now”
      Then yay, redemption plot!
      Of course, the events of the next book could occur while the Caerelians are around, all of their cavalry goes Poof! That’s certainly a way to get them invested.

    • They could use a few lessons, yes, but they would probably spend the time making fun of their instructor… I was a little surprised at how readily they agreed to help Varn, but I think to them it was part of keeping the border agreements. We give you some troops, you don’t encroach on our land.

  6. Pinkius permalink

    I have been considering, what bounds of silly encounters are too silly? And the answer is none!

    So I brainstormed an encounter that takes place in a cluster of trees that make a 3 teired platform up the side of an unclimbable cliff (or similar linear vertical path), the pcs are descending down, and the trees alight on fire (like, from nothing to full blaze, magic), it’s full of angry imps/brownies/small magical creatures and there’s a magic teleporting treasure chest (as per Tree Stride to a random location on a random tier). Blinding smoke and embers on the top tier, flames licking around at the mid tier, and full on fire on the bottom, with hot coals underfoot to boot.

    And the tree puts itself out instantly when they dismount. And the treasure disappears. Maybe the tree disappears too

    • Pinkius permalink

      What think you?

    • Anything is within bounds if it fits the players’ expectations for the game. Sounds kinda like something one might see in some of Gygax’s more random dungeons.

      It disappears when the players dismount from what? When they leave the platforms?

      • Pinkius permalink

        Yep, once they’re all on the ground

  7. Fingers crossed, but we should be back to the Kingmaker campaign next week. There’s going to be a few years of game time before we start book 3 proper, so that will probably eat up most of the next session.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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