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Kingmaker: Intermission #2, Session 1, Part 2

March 10, 2017

At the start of Arodus (August) 4718, the territory that had belonged to Varnhold west of the Tors was formally annexed by Caerelia. It had been under Caerelia’s protection since the inhabitants of Varnhold town had vanished, but with its rulers confirmed dead and with no clear successors, it made sense for Maegar Varn’s daughter and son-in-law to claim those lands. The mountain pass and the ghost town of Varnhold were also taken, as per Caerelia’s agreement with the Nomen centaur tribe. Aside from the town, the remainder of the Dunsward was left to the horsefolk.

I handled the sudden expansion using the “Subjugation” section of the Vassalage Edict as inspiration, namely the bit about how it “may cause friction between your established citizens and the newly conquered.” The first of three Loyalty checks was easily passed.

To represent the cloud of superstition that now hung over the place, I gave Varnhold town the Cursed settlement disadvantage in all the positive settlement stats (Law, Lore, Productivity, Society), but otherwise treated it as a normal town. While it’s true that everyone who lived there was kidnapped, killed, and zombie-fied by an ancient cyclops lich… there was also some prime real estate that was going for practically nothing! And the town’s infrastructure was still mostly intact, making it a rather valuable location, all told.

caerelia-turn95-croppedDuring the rest of the turn, the kingdom rapidly expanded its borders into the area south of Lake Silverstep in the Nomen Heights, gobbling up territory that the rulers themselves had only recently explored. Farms were built in the region to offset the increase to consumption.

Caerelia
NG Autocratic Kingdom (pop. 56,450)
Oathday, Arodus 08, 4718 (Turn 95)

Size: 117; Cities: 7; Control DC: 147
Economy: +204; Loyalty: +159; Stability: +180

Fame: +37; Infamy: +6; Unrest: 0; Unrest/Turn: 0
Treasury: 285 BP; Consumption: 10 BP/turn; Income: +37 BP/turn

varnhold-district1-turn95

Over in newly-resettled Varnhold, the bridges over the Kiravoy River were rebuilt, and new walls were constructed. The other remaining task to deal with was the burial of the dead Varnholders, or at least those whose bodies had been recovered. This included Empress Sojana Varn Zieros’ father, the former ruler of the Varnhold colony, Maegar Varn. Sojana requested that her father be buried in Varnhold, and that a new graveyard be constructed there to house his remains. varnhold-district2-turn95The graves, along with a monument, were built near the chapel, and a grand ceremony was held to commemorate the victims of the Varnhold Vanishing.

Varnhold
TN Autocratic Small Town (pop. 1,800)

Corruption: +4; Crime: -1; Law: -2; Lore: +2; Productivity: -3; Society: +8

Defense: +6; Base Value: 1,000 gp; Purchase Limit: 5,000 gp
Maximum Spellcasting Level: 2nd; Danger: +0; Maximum Qualities: 2

Qualities: Superstitious

Disadvantages: Cursed (Society), Cursed (Law), Cursed (Lore), Cursed (Productivity)

Rumors and Portents

While the rulers of Caerelia mourned the fallen and celebrated their victories, travelers brought troubling news from their neighbors.

To the north, suspicion was running high that Regent Noleski Surtova would finally declare that the royal house of Rogarvia was gone forever and make himself king of Brevoy. It had been more than 19 years since the Vanishing took the entire royal bloodline, and no trace of the Rogarvians had been found in all that time. In response to the rumors, many of the great houses of Brevoy were calling their banners and preparing for a possible war.

To the west, there were conflicting reports that Fort Drelev had either fallen to a barbarian attack, or had suffered some sort of internal coup against Baron Drelev. News out of the area was incomplete at best, and nothing new had been heard for a couple of weeks. The council was naturally concerned about the possibility of a barbarian attack; word was that a new warlord had arisen in the far west to unite the Tiger Lord clans, and since then the barbarians had become even more aggressive than usual.

The rulers, obviously worried about war spilling into Caerelia, ordered several watchtowers on the borders to be upgraded to forts and given garrisons (Medium-size armies of human warrior 1’s). The garrison near Hooktongue Slough and the Wyvernstone Bridge was given the morale-boosting name of Tiger Watch (“But, there aren’t any tigers in the swamp.” “So what? It sounds cool.”). The garrison near Oleg’s Gate was called Oleg’s Troubadours, and guarding the Varnhold Pass was Varn’s Hellions. Yes, the players spent quite some time coming up with inspiring names for these almost certainly fated-to-die troops.

I Don’t Need Your Civil War

The council debated how to react if a civil war broke out in Brevoy. Back when they were soliciting investors for what would become Caerelia, the PCs had allied themselves with the anti-Surtova factions (Restov, House Orlovsky) and had specifically spurned House Surtova and its allies. So it seemed that if they were to enter the war, they might be forced into fighting against the would-be king.

But… what if they could prevent the war from ever happening? By, say, finding House Rogarvia! Sure, the resources of an entire nation, both mundane and magical, had been deployed to look for the missing royals. But they didn’t have 10th level PCs! After some thought, they figured the Owl Prince might know something, and resolved to go visit his faerie court and ask him about the Vanishing when the moon was right.

Do Your Job!

Before that meeting could come to pass, however, the council was paid a visit by a secret envoy from the Swordlords of Restov. The envoy had heard that the Nomen centaur tribe had suffered serious losses, and reminded the council that there were huge chests of gold waiting for them, should the Nomen be dealt with on a permanent basis.

Why couldn’t the Swordlords do the deed themselves? They would have been glad to, but they needed their armies close at home in case war broke out. Caerelia was under no such restrictions.

Satampra the swashbuckler tried to reassure the envoy that the Nomen were harmless, precisely because they had lost so many against Vordakai. But to the Swordlords, that just mean a temporary respite in their conflict with the horsefolk. And besides, wouldn’t Caerelia want to expand into the fertile plains of the Dunsward? And did we mention this huge reward for wiping them out?

Satampra consulted his wife, who had helped wage war on the centaurs as part of Varnhold. She had no love for the Nomen, but she explained that they had allied with Caerelia at great cost to themselves in the fight against Vordakai, and to turn on them now would be a dastardly act. The Emperor nodded; he had felt the same but wanted Sojana to be on the same page.

And so the council had to tell the envoy, sorry, but no dice. Caerelia was going to honor its agreement with the Nomen, which ceded the lands east of the Tors and south of the Shrike to the centaurs.

Next: have a hoot!

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6 Comments
  1. The Civil War poster seems an interesting choice for this post…

  2. Updates will probably be on hold for a bit. My wife was injured and I’m behind both in my game prep and in writing up the sessions.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Kingmaker: Intermission #2, Session 1, Part 1 | Daddy DM
  2. Kingmaker: Blood for Blood, Session 1, Part 2 | Daddy DM
  3. Kingmaker: Blood for Blood, Session 4, Part 1 | Daddy DM

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