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Kingmaker: Intermission #4, Session 2, Part 1

September 6, 2019

Attempts to use sending to get more information from Feywatch, the outpost next to the Castle of Knives in the Thousand Voices forest, went unanswered. The PCs quickly gathered and buffed, and then teleported over to the small town.

It looked… different… than it had the last time the rulers had visited. The place was empty of people and wildly overgrown, as if it had been abandoned for decades, if not centuries. Aakif the arcanist’s first thought was that some great amount of time had passed in just this locale, but Satampra the swashbuckler and Orseen the gnoll warpriest shook their heads. “We’ve seen this before,” said the swashbuckler.

Varnhold,” spat the gnoll.

They wandered about for a while, looking for clues as to the townsfolk’s whereabouts. Much like Varnhold, it appeared that everyone had dropped whatever they had been doing and left town, only this time very little time had passed since their disappearance. The group started to head down the road out of town and towards the gate of the Castle of Knives, reasonably assuming that their people must have gone in that direction. But they had not gotten far when they chanced upon the most beautiful woman imaginable! She was walking down the overgrown lane towards them, flowers and plants springing up from where her feet touched the ground. It was her: the Green Lady, Nyrissa, the Mistress of Whispers and the Queen of Forgotten Time; the almighty faerie queen who claimed the Stolen Lands as her own.

My intention here was for the players to finally meet Nyrissa, interact with her, and learn some of her capabilities rather than never seeing her until the final scene of the adventure. I thought a great deal about how to play her, how she would regard and respond to the PCs in preparation for this session. But that all went out the window pretty quickly thanks to the irreverence of Bill, Orseen’s player.

Aakif, Satampra, and Kwin the dwarven cleric all failed their Fortitude saves and were struck blind by the sight of the Lady – their minds erased the woman’s appearance from their memories and refused to see anything more to protect them from being further overwhelmed. Orseen was the only one to make his saving throw.

“Hey!” called out the gnoll champion. “Are you the Green Lady?” He wagged his tail.

Nyrissa frowned at this commoner’s familiarity with her, and the warpriest was momentarily crushed with the thought that this beauteous creature was unhappy with him. “I am a Queen of the First World,” she replied, “and will be addressed as such by the likes of you.

“Orseen, what is happening?! Oh gods,” moaned the other PCs. Aakif, who had crafted a Circlet of Mindsight for himself during the downtime, moved quickly to gather together the blind.

“So I had this great thought!” continued the humanoid puppy, instantly forgetting the Queen’s warning. “What if we give you the sword, you know the one, Briar, and you give us the Stolen Lands? It’s win-win!” This was an idea that Bill had come up with in the wake of being ordered to give up the sword – a way to get “his” weapon back and end the impending crisis in one fell swoop.

Nyrissa’s frown turned into a snarl. “You dare talk to me as an equal?! …wait.” Her demeanor shifted from angry to quizzical in an instant. “I know you. You swore to bring me the sword to me.” She eyed the warpriest’s greatsword, which was clearly not what she was looking for. “Why have you not kept your word?

“I haven’t yet,” replied Orseen. “But I’ll give it to you, as soon as you agree to give us these lands in exchange!”

You will bring the sword Briar to me now, faithless cur, and with no further delays.” And with those words the Queen of Forgotten Time placed a geas/quest on the gnoll.

At that point, Aakif had heard enough and teleported the group back to Stagfell.

So I missed this in quickly reading over Nyrissa’s spells, but geas/quest has a 10 minute casting time. And for good reason, because there’s no save and if you’re prevented from performing the quest you soon take a -12 penalty to all attributes. Oops. Well, I reasoned that Orseen’s previous dream-pledge to Nyrissa had created a bond between the two, that allowed her to place him under that effect much more quickly than normal.

Bad Puppy

Once back home, the Emperor immediately called for priests or potions or something to restore his sight! And the others as well, of course! While the servants were scurrying around, Orseen got really close to Satampra. “So, here’s the thing,” the gnoll explained to his liege, “I really need your half of the key to the chest to the thing that leads to the sword. The Green Lady is totally going to bargain with us once I show it to her. Oh, and I’ll need the password,” he said, looking at Aakif, “and where to find the chest,” he pointed at Kwin, not that the blinded dwarf could see Orseen’s furry finger. “Then we can wrap this whole thing up!”

The others tried to convince Orseen that he was under the Lady’s spell, but he refused to believe them. And when Satampra declined to give up his half of the key, the gnoll started getting pushy and aggressive. So Aakif summoned a cloak of dreams and stood next to the warpriest until Orseen failed a save and fell asleep.

The gnoll came to in the dungeon. “Sorry, buddy,” Satampra told him, “but we gotta lock you up until we can get this curse off of you.”

Once Aakif had diagnosed the warpriest as having been geas‘d, the party struggled with what to do next. There wasn’t really any way around a geas/quest short of some very powerful spells, and Orseen would just waste away if he stayed locked up. The arcanist was capable of casting limited wish, the lowest level spell needed to undo the compulsion, but he didn’t know the spell and didn’t have access to a scroll. Someone floated the idea that killing the gnoll and then raising him might end the effect, but Aakif was not so certain it would work. Bereft of options, they resolved to bring Orseen to the Owl Prince to see if he had the power to remove Nyrissa’s enchantment.

Meanwhile, the council was panicking. The Green Lady had arrived! Their doom was nigh! But… no doom arrived, save for the missing inhabitants of Feywatch. No further First World incursions appeared, and no other towns or hexes came under attack.

However, as rumors of the Feywatch Vanishing spread, those living in and around the Thousand Voices forest fled the region before they, too, disappeared. Pitax, still recovering from the war, became inundated with refugees, and the council rushed to supply aid and fortify the city. But still, no attack came.

Owl’s Well That Ends Well

The Owl Prince was unable to restore Orseen, but he did indicate that Nyrissa’s quest was only possible while the connection between Thousandbreaths and the Castle of Knives remained open. Once the way between worlds was closed, the power of the compulsion would slowly fade, and Orseen would eventually return to normal.

But that wasn’t soon enough for the PCs. They had been trying to reach Thousandbreaths for a year, and now it was right on their doorstep! However, they’d be foolish to go in without their meatshield champion, or with him in his current state.

And so, the day after their meeting with the Owl Prince, Satampra presented the caged warpriest with his heart’s desire: the thorn-wrapped sword known as Briar.

Next: a visit with the Queen!

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4 Comments
  1. Pinkius permalink

    Ah ha! The good old favorite trick of adventurers and children alike, technicalities!
    You did give her the sword if you stick it in her!

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

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