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Kingmaker: Intermission #1, Session 7, Part 1

March 31, 2016

In the wake of the last round of nightmares and dark folk attacks, the group started taking some precautions. Mestinous the elven wizard researched the alarm spell and cast it in everyone’s room each evening. Remesio the cleric used a glyph of warding to protect the castle hall that connected their personal chambers. But no more nightmares came, and no more night-time incursions occurred. It appeared that Lord Ivo Tesarik had lost interest in tormenting the PCs again.

Spring turned to summer, and Caerelia struggled to rebuild the country after the pogroms and crime waves. A bard in Stagfell composed an epic poem about the rulers’ war against the trolls and Talonquake, the humongous owlbear. It was not accurate in the least, but it proved popular with the people (another Outstanding Success event). Sarenith (June) brought a surplus of food, as well as a streak of delightful weather that signaled that perhaps better times were ahead (Good Weather + Food Surplus, which was wasted because Consumption was 0). In Rova (September), it became publicly known that the Thieves’ Guild had one of their own sitting on the ruling council – the Royal Enforcer Ianomara. It also became public knowledge that she was literally in bed with the Emperor and other councilors. With the person in charge of punishing the criminals is herself one, and is sleeping with the ruler besides, is it any wonder that the kingdom has a crime problem? But the citizenry wished to put the past behind them and get on with their lives, and collectively shrugged at the news (a Public Scandal event). Marshall Pelagia Medyved, the secret source of the information, was extremely frustrated with the people’s lack of outrage.

Not-So-New Nightmare

Later that same month, Ivo’s nightmare struck Iofur the druid once more. As Iofur tore himself away from the murderous dream and clawed his way back to consciousness, the magical alarm in his room was triggered! A quick invocation of light revealed a gaggle of the short, raggedy dark folk climbing in through his window. They shrieked in surprise, dropped the box they were carrying, and fled. The druid cautiously climbed out of his bed and approached the box as other council members came running to his room. Inside the fallen container was a human eye, recently taken from its owner.

On the following night, Mestinous was Ivo’s target. This time, the intruders – three of the short, raggedy dark folk that the group was familiar with, led by a taller man-sized specimen – were not surprised nor deterred by the alarm, and advanced upon the elf and his wife. But the wizard responded with his standby, a fireball hurled at the far side of the room, which took out the three short folk and shattered the window with a burst of flame. The tall assassin avoided the blast, and bounded forward to the bed, where it stabbed Mestinous with a poisoned blade.

The wounded wizard ran, following his wife out into the hallway, and slamming the door behind them. There they met up with Iofur, Remesio, and the guards. The cleric checked Mestinous and Tamara to ensure they would be alright, and then he and the druid decided to lead the way back into the bedchamber. But when they opened the door, they discovered that the interior was now completely and totally black. The darkness swallowed regular light spells, and finding themselves without any means to remove it, Iofur nervously walked into the blackness with Remesio right on his heels.

The druid was promptly stabbed, sneak attacked, and poisoned. Remesio responded with a holy smite, which ignored the darkness and blinded the assassin. Out in the hall, Mestinous drew a dispel magic from his sword and used it to unravel the darkness. Satampra the swashbuckler then leaped through the empty window frame* and ran the dark stalker through with his sword. It exploded in a spray of burning night, leaving behind only scraps of rags and its twin blades.

* Satampra has the ring of sustenance from the Lonely Warrior’s tomb, which means that he only needs to sleep 2 hours a night. From this we reasoned that it was rare that Ivo was able to target him with his nightmare ability, but it also led to the question of what exactly does the Emperor do all night? His player decided that while the others slept, Satampra donned a mask and roamed the streets as a vigilante. While on patrol this particular night, he saw the fireball light up the castle and blow out Mestinous’ window, and ran to help.

The bad dreams continued for several days, while there were no more visits in the night, it was clear that their foe wasn’t going to stop screwing with them. And so the group resolved to take the fight to him! Spymaster Mestinous and Grand Diplomat Fodorov had their underlings put out feelers for Lord Tesarik’s location and itinerary, and by Lamashan (October), they knew he was in New Stetven, and would probably be there for a few weeks more.

During that kingdom turn, the council constructed a menagerie in Stagfell, which served as a new and better home for the long-neglected “war puma” (the Mad Hermit’s onetime pet) that had been stinking up the castle for years now. “Salar would have been so proud,” sniffed the halfling ranger’s onetime player. And in Lost Hope, scrolls containing some lost wisdom of Erastil were unearthed while clearing ground for a graveyard (a Discovery event).

Caerelia after month 49:

Size: 37; Cities: 4; Control DC: 62

Economy: +79; Loyalty: +66; Stability: +62

Unrest: 1; Treasury: 51 BP; Consumption: 0 (-6) BP/turn; Income: +15 BPs/turn

With the turn ended, the PCs set out for Brevoy’s capital with a vague plan of buffing up Satampra with non-obvious spells (i.e. no enlarge person) and then having him challenge Ivo to a duel, in the hopes of either killing him or exposing him as a monster. By the time they had reached town, however, the idea was seeming less and less like a good one. They examined what little they knew: Lord Tesarik was expected to be in New Stetven for at least a few more days for a harvest celebration, and was expected to head back to his estate in the old Rogarvia lands (about 3 days away on horseback) afterwards. A tentative new plan was put forth. What if… they headed to his estate ahead of his arrival, killed his guards, freed his prisoners, and ambushed him when he came home?

And so the group left New Stetven the morning after their arrival, riding east towards the Tesarik estate.

Next: the big bad wolf!

  1. Pinkius permalink

    Gee, wonder how if the GM perhaps hinted that plan to them ;D
    I think duelling is officially illegal in Brevoy, as of Kingmaker, though that probably doesn’t stop anyone.

    • I don’t think dueling is illegal; it’s a big part of Restov / Aldori culture at least. A public duel would have forced Ivo to keep most of his tricks hidden, although he might have been able to beat Satampra regardless, through HP attrition if nothing else. But if he was losing… does he turn invisible and run and suffer a loss of face, or does he unleash the full horror of what he is? The latter is what they were wanting to provoke, but I wasn’t sure if that’s what he would do. All things considered, ambushing him far from the madding crowd is probably a better solution.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Oh yea it’s a huge part of Aldori culture, that’s why Brevoy is in like, a Civil Cold war.
        At least that was my impression of Brevoy, the entire reason they wanted the stolen lands colonized was so they wouldn’t have to defend that border from upstart kingdoms coming in from the south to attack them during the turmoil.

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