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Kingmaker: Blood for Blood, Session 5, Part 3

July 21, 2017

Baron Jaroslav Kruskel’s army had retreated to the border fort, while the rulers of Caerelia and their forces repaired to the nearby town of Oleg’s Gate. In the evening, the PCs discussed what to do next. Their soldiers were in better shape than the opposition’s, overall, and could probably take the fort without too much trouble. But that would be boring! Instead, Satampra the swashbuckler wanted to teleport into the command center of the fort and defeat the Baron personally while the armies battled outside. It sounded so cinematic, that the other players were all for it! They hammered out the details and waited until morning.

With the sunrise, the Caerelians marched north to the fort. Iofur the druid used wildshape to sneak into the gatehouse, where he summoned several large beasties to eat the guards while he lowered the drawbridge. That was the signal! The Emperor’s Guard and the light cavalry rushed into the breach, while Remesio the cleric used teleport to move himself, Satampra, and Orseen the warpriest into the fort commander’s chambers. There they assumed they would find Baron Kruskel, and they were correct!

Now, I had created the Baron as a middle-aged aristocrat 4/cavalier 4. He wasn’t much of a physical threat, unless mounted. Having thought that the players might try for an assassination and given his high station, I had already created some support to accompany him, a fighter 7 and a cleric of Abadar 7. When the PCs teleported in, they found Baron Jaroslav and his entourage directly outside the chamber, standing on the parapet and preparing to join the battle below.

Satampra immediately rushed forward to get in a sneak attack/vital strike combo on the Baron, but in true Satampra fashion, he flubbed his roll and missed. Then the cleric of Abadar dropped an order’s wrath on the Emperor’s head, and he flubbed his save as well, taking some moderate damage and getting dazed in the process! Remesio had been planning to flame strike the group of enemies, but hesitated because of the swashbuckler’s presence. “Do it,” urged Drew, “When do I ever fail a Reflex save?” When avoiding a spell cast by a party member, that’s when! 😀

After eating the full might of Remesio’s flame strike, Satampra was in trouble, hit point-wise. He was also blocking the doorway, preventing Orseen from getting into melee, so the warpriest created a spiritual weapon to stab in his stead. Then it was Kruskel’s bodyguard’s turn, and he scored a nice juicy critical hit against the swashbuckler! Man, my dice were smoking that evening! The only reason why Satampra was still upright at that point was that he had been blessed with a stoneskin before the battle.

Some healing magic was distributed by both parties, and then the Baron and his champion moved away from the door, with the bodyguard blocking the path to his boss and readying a vital strike against anyone that approached. When Satampra was finally able to act again, he advanced right into that readied attack and ate another serious wound. Then the priest of Abadar summoned a spiritual weapon of his own, which also smacked the Emperor. It was a pretty crummy day for the swashbuckler, all in all, and his vision of storming in and overwhelming the Baron was now in tatters.

After considering the state of affairs and how little progress they had made towards killing Jaroslav, Remesio made a command decision to bug out and dimension hopped all three PCs down to the mass combat in the courtyard below.

Charge of the Light Brigade

After Iofur lowered the drawbridge, the light cavalry was the first through the gate, where they crashed into the much more elite Rostland heavy horse. But the cavaliers were operating without the Baron’s leadership (as he was tied up in the personal-scale battle), and already down on numbers from the previous day’s battle. With the demoralization factor of losing the gatehouse added to that, they could not withstand the charge, and were routed!

The Emperor’s Guard weathered a good deal of arrows and stones in the meantime as they rushed the fort’s entrance. But once they were inside the walls, the peasants broke, and the House Kruskel army was cut down as Remesio and the others entered the fray. Caerelia was victorious! And without suffering any major losses, for once.

Baron Kruskel was taken hostage, along with the surviving knights, so that they could be ransomed back to their families at a later date. The Baron’s priest and bodyguard, on the other hand, were swiftly executed by the Emperor for giving him such a hard time. The Emperor’s Guard stayed at the fort to keep watch, while the Grand Magus Order returned to fortify Oleg’s Gate. The rulers took their prisoners and some soldiers to guard them, and headed back to their capital. They were weary but genuinely hopeful for the first time in weeks, for they had struck an unequivocal and serious blow against their much bigger neighbor!

Next: magic carpet ride!

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7 Comments
  1. I can’t help the feeling that Satampras has done … almost exactly the same thing before, with very similar results. Or am am I just having a cse of deja vu?

    • It’s pretty typical that he runs into battle in the 1st round, only to roll a low-single-digit result on the d20. So yeah, not unusual, although this particular time was worse than usual.

  2. That’s a bummer when the dice fail a PC like that! Tell him to put his dice in the freezer next time! 😉 Awesome recap!

  3. Pinkius permalink

    Man, Satampra loves to just… get screwed over backwards huh?
    he’s got a lot of common ground with Drelev after all. By the by, how’re you going to draw contrast between the two? They’re both swashbucklers, they both have adventurer friends, and they both seem to get crushed in mass combat.

    • Hmmm. Satampra is a mighty EMPEROR, while Drelev is just a lowly Baron. And Satampra has more powerful friends! And some sneak attack. And isn’t a pompous jerk.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Satampra: I’m YOU, but BETTER

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