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Kingmaker: Intermission #3, Session 3, Part 1

May 14, 2018

The rulers of Caerelia, along with Aakif (the arcanist formerly known as Skala), led the Emperor’s Guard (Huge army of human fighter 5’s) southeast from New Stetven, stopping at enemy forts and keeps along the way. The owners of these fortifications were given a choice: walk away with your life, or die in your home. Some fled, and were replaced by subordinates who agreed to swear loyalty to the rebel side in the civil war. Many more chose to not betray their oaths to Regent Surtova, and were killed. Your average minor lord might have been able to hold out against the Guard, but a group of 12th level PCs exists in an entirely different reality.

After knocking over a half dozen fiefdoms, the PCs and their army arrived at a small castle flying the arms of House Raganus, a ball of fire flanked by ravens. Aakif had used his hat of disguise before they got too close to appear as someone else, so that he would not be recognized. For Raganus was his father’s house, and his cousins had been holding his mother hostage to keep him away. Until her safety had been secured, he could not let it be known that he was here.

The PCs and their retinue rode forward under a white flag of parley, and the captain of the guard came out onto the wall to hear what they had to say. When Satampra the swashbuckler stated their terms – get out or die – the captain was defiant. “Your army of rebels and thieves cannot stand against the magical might of House Raganus!” And so it seemed that there would be no surrender! The rebel leaders rode back to their camp to make preparations for battle.

But soon a second white flag rode out from the castle, and its bearer delivered an invitation to discuss matters. Why fight, said the message, when we can talk as civilized men? The note was signed by Bozhidar Raganus, who claimed to be speaking for the Lord Constantin Raganus. Aakif confirmed that Constantin was his father, and Bozhidar his eldest cousin.

False Pretenses

Aakif had told them that the Force sorcery was strong in his family, and his father and both his cousins had some significant but unknown amount of personal power. So to the players, the offer to talk sounded like a good way to size up the opposition, and maybe also to find some clues as to Aakif’s mother’s whereabouts. They sent the messenger back with a RSVP, and then the four PCs rode back to the castle, where they were escorted to a meeting hall.

After a short time, Bozhidar and his younger brother Sergej entered the room and warmly greeted the visitors. Bozhidar apologized for the rudeness of his captain, and hoped that they could resolve this misunderstanding as noble men, and not barbarians. “But first,” he said while indicating the disguised Aakif, “your companion with the illusion must drop his – or her – spell.” One of the qualities of nobility is honesty, after all.

Satampra put a hand on Orseen the warpriest to keep him from drawing the sword that he was reaching for, while the arcanist quickly ran through different scenarios in his head. He tried to politely refuse Bozhidar’s request, which prompted some questions of its own. Who was this person, that they come here under magic disguise and refuse to reveal themselves? After a tense standoff, Aakif agreed to leave. But on his way out the door, he surreptitiously cast a message spell so that he could remain in contact with the others.

With the Caerelian’s magical mystery man gone, the honest people could get down to business. Bozhidar expressed surprise that a rebel army had arrived on his doorstep. “After all”, he said casually, “we sent word to New Stetven since the end of the siege that our family’s loyalty was to the throne, and if the throne was now in other hands, well…” The man made it sound like an offer to betray his liege lord (the Regent) was actually an act of the highest honor. And in fact House Raganus, along with a few other families in the lands between New Stetven and Restov, having found themselves surrounded by rebels and Caerelians on all sides, had extended feelers about switching sides. “Did our message not reach its intended destination?” Bozhidar inquired.

“No, we received your letter,” Satampra replied nonchalantly. “But there’s no deal to be had. You can depart, leaving everything behind, or we can take it from you.”

“To be sure, we do not wish to fight the mighty Caerelia,” said Bozhidar. “But I must make this plain: House Raganus was given these lands for a very important reason. Our knowledge of matters arcane is great, greater by far than the fools who fill Skywatch. It runs in our blood. We have been researching a great power here for some time. Now, we kindly refrained from deploying the power against your armies during the attack on the capital, as we did not wish to get involved. You see, Emperor, we only want to be left in peace. But if you provoke us, we will unleash our weapon. And you will not prevail against it.”

When Bozhidar finished, there was silence in the room as the guests considered the warning.

The moment was shattered, however, when all of the PCs succeeded at a Will save and realized that someone – they assumed Sergej, who looked like he might be concentrating on something – was trying to touch their minds. Despite their own attempts at deception, the Caerelians acted very insulted by the attempted mental intrusion, and Bozhidar threw his brother under the bus in order to placate them. Sergej was scolded for his recklessness and banished from the room, after which Bozhidar apologized profusely.

“Not good enough!” declared Orseen, who now felt he finally had the pretext he needed to draw his blade and light it on fire! Boz’s eyes grew wide at the (somewhat) unprovoked aggression, and he dimension door’d away as his guards attacked!

Next: the power revealed!

  1. Oooooh, this is new and (potentially) exciting!

    • Hopefully it will be! 😀 This is me wracking my brain trying to think of how a dinky minor house could put up a fight against 12th lvl PCs.

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  1. Kingmaker: Intermission #3, Session 2 | Daddy DM

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