Kingmakers!

Elina's amazing notes

DND

Fireballs.
Explosions.
Blinding flashes.
Singed troll flesh.
Earth elementals!
Grapnel hooks.
VICTORY!

Cassandra: Great! now that you’ve defeated the horde, you should go to Fort Drellev cuz they’re weak now. The fort was taken over because Baron Drellev capitulated to the barbarians. He hasn’t even explored all of his lands — his first choice was to come in and build a fort and live in luxury. Small elite team should be sent in to infiltrate

Hey that’s us!

Elina: Are the people in the town being well taken care of?
C: Give the mercenaries what they want, or there will be trouble.
Thrash: Will an elk be noticed?
C: Kind of. They know who you are, but they’ve never seen or met you.
E: When should we go on recon?
Graeme: We should fix the bridge, and gate.

All: We should do this at a later date then! Soon!

Easiest march is just to go up to Wyrmsway to Tatsleford to check in with them and then from there probably just a straight shot over, we’re going to try and use the boat and basically go across the river here and here and try to enter the city, from the north. Because it is the quickest way to get there, and nobody really expects us from that side.

Benji: I’m going to keep these, and these. Who else? Istvan, yoink! Elina, do you want me to hang onto yours just in case?
Tom: Sure!
B: Um, okay! SO, I have all of the NPCs, well all of the pages. So if you need them, they’re here.
T: Um, okay, so, william had written that his next available date was August 20th, does that work for people?
Devin: Uh, you mean the day before Ms Victorias?
Guy: Probably.
D: That is what he means.
All: Yep! I’m good.
D: Which date?
T: August 20th.
M: I have a haircut, but I can make that work.
T: That works for everybody? What? Really? Holy crap! And then moving into September, uh, let’s see… the 11th is your birthday. Maybe the tenth though?
D: Who’s birthday?
B: My birthday!
Micah: I’ll be at the boathouse.
D: The tenth is going to be weird for me… my product is launching.. wait, no. Either the
T: Next is Sept 17th or 18th.
G: The 18th is Ms Victoria’s, dear.
B: Yeah.
T: Let’s look at the following weekend then.
G: We did happen to mark that it’s the California Ren Faire, but, we didn’t say we’re going to go.
T: It’s not just one weekend, it’s okay. There are a lot of them out here.
G: oooooh. It’s a theme weekend — I marked a couple of those.
B: And we can’t do the weekend after, because GaymerX
T: What about Sunday the 25th?
B/D: That might work!
G: That’s Folsom, I think. Let me check…. September 25th
B: How about the 24th then?
G: Uh… Okay! That is… Christian Walter’s birthday.
T: We might lose William because Folsom.
T: Okay, so, August 20th and September 24th.

T: Okay, if I’m done DMing, I’m going to drink wine now.

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Home and garden edition
There's a new elk in town

So we finally got back home for some well deserved R&R. It didn’t last long though, I had just finished my spa day when Akiros rushed in to let us know some jackass was up on a soapbox by the fountain badmouthing us. So we went to go check it out. The boys got hot headed real quick and I had to step in and calm everyone down. The rablerouser was this drifter named Dmitri that was unhappy with the protection in the city. We offered him a chance to help improve by being on the construction committee but that didn’t seem to please him. Meanwhile, Thrash, acting as new spy master, found out all kinds of dirt on our new friend Dimitri. Next week, dispite our efforts, Dimitri was back at it again flinging shit at us. So I invited him to dine with me and talk. He did and haughtily told us that stronger powers from the Riverlands wanted to see Staghelm crumble. All along he was just sowing discention! The prick. Well, we placed him in holding for treason and trying to overthrow the government of our fair city. We informed the public and set the court date for the following morning.
Placing Handel on guard duty was sadly a mistake, he was so exhausted from the past days efforts of acting bodyguard to Dmitri, that he fell asleep and the prisoner escaped in the night.
The rest of the month was positive though, we finished up the second wall and several of our other important projects. And to help the common voice be heard, we created a community forum with a committee to help oversee while we are off protecting our lands.

Once that was in place and running smoothly, we headed south to tie up some loose ends. We managed to get the witch to open up and chat with us. Sweet old lady named Beldame, a herbalist by trade it would seem. Well, she’s not as young as she seemed, and needed some help getting supplies,  we agreed to a trade, herbs and mushrooms for her and in return, we would get potions and some magical items.
We then headed to Candlemer Lake to the tower. It was dusk when we finally got there. Graeme remembered to bring the collapsible boat so we climbed in and set sail. Not an easy thing to do with Thrash’s “new” elk. We got to the tower dispite several party members growing feeling of dread (or seasickness). Thrash burned down the local flora producing a sickening smog when it burned. We managed to get inside only to be confronted by a will o’wisp. Handle smashed it and the calmly strode forward and into a hole.
We threw down a rope but apparently he was engaged with some more evil weeds or some such nonsense. Thrash and I stayed up as lookout and Thrash noticed that a woman was upstairs crying. Meanwhile, the rest of the party finally finished weedwacking and wanted to prance around in the basement. We rolled our eyes and joined them.
We discovered a jail with a poor fisherman who was looking for his family, we told him to escape while he could and we would look for them. We turned the corner and we’re beset upon by another wisp and a malicious satyr. We defeated them and discovered the remains of the fisherman’s family. Poor sods. We then got back upstairs and discovered that the woman was but a shade. Unaware of us and seemingly trapped in her own little world. We checked the cabinets and found a nice dinner set that will go lovely next time we have company drop in.
The next floor was was more ghosts dancing to some eerie music. Graeme was surprised to feel an arrow strike him and we we looked around for the mysterious attacker. Having none of this shit, Graeme burned the whole floor up and toasted the evil pixie that had attacked him, Gregario nearly tripped on the other one and threw glitter on it so we could all see it. Handle smacked it and it fled.
We then turned to climb the stairs once more.

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The Defeat of the Evil
Well, we had been hacking through cyclombies and came to a cursed water elemental. I tried to cut it off from its water source with a moonlit bridge, but it just moved around it. Oh well, it still gave Handel and Elean a place to stand while fighting it up close. (The rest of us stayed back) Handily defeating it, we opened the door expecting to find more rooms an puzzles but instead caught off guard by Vordakai! gasp

Handel rushed in before I could provide him with some protection but luckily Graeme knew better and ran off to the corner and popped a purple bubble up to create cover. I blessed those in range and ran after Handel. Elean slipped into the shadows. (I realized later, this would be the last I see of him, his disappearance still a mystery)
Just then, a tiny colorful blur streaked past me in a whir of feathers. A small halfling began singing, (decently catchy tune I might add) and we all felt a new resolve. I was just about to ask where this strange creature came from when human woman raced past us towards the evil necro-cyclops-lich (would have run me down if I hadn’t floated out of the way)

A great battle commenced; the lich took hold of Handel’s feeble mind and made him into a very angry puppet. The halfling bard saw the situation and tried to turn him back but Handel continued to attack us. I finally caught up and tried to free him with a protective spell but Vordakai’s grip was too great. Meanwhile, Graeme and Thrash rained hellish vengeance down on the lich while the woman was caught up trying to fend off both Vordakai and Handel.
Just when we were gaining an upper hand, and had surrounded Vordakai, he stepped into the void and disappeared.
We ran around trying to find him and rushed out of the room thinking he had fled. Suddenly, we heard a shout! The necrolich had reappeared! We rushed back in to see the woman and Thrash keeping Vordakai at bay. Thrash managed to slip past his defenses and finish off the ancient horror. Vordakai burst into flames and disintegrated to bones and ash. Thrash picked up the large ruby – like eye and then like a possessed man, tried to claw at his eyes, luckily he dropped the sphere before it took hold of his mind.
I picked it up with mage hand, and we discussed how to destroy it and break the curse. We ended up unable to break it but broke down the wall with the eye key hole. We also discovered that a handful of the Varnholdians were still alive (in jars)
Confident in our success, we rode back to the centaurs and informed them of Vordakai’s defeat. We then rode to Varnhold and freed the country folk.
We gave them our protection in rebuilding their quaint village under Heartswood loving guidance. With a new township under our belt and some new allies, we finally made it back home.
 

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Cold Wet Stolenlands Summer
or : Which way did she go George which way did she go?

We entered the dungeon after fighting with giant zombies. At the end of the hall, we found a gold pile. Untapped, we investigated the pile and found the coins are ancient cyclopian gold pieces. Image of all seeing eye on one side and a fist on the other.

We entered a large room with a zombie giant hanging out of a wall it busted down. After Thrash got nearly destroyed, another zombie giant pushed out of an adjacent wall, also beating Thrash’s ass.

After a lot of healing and cleaving, we took out the second giant zombie

Further exploration revealed an outlet of a river. magic pinging revealed magic items under water and rock pinging revealed a monster under water. We throughly dispatched the monster’s head from its body and looted the waterbed. We found a magic message bird and a ruby ring that does (huh?)

The only way out of the the room was to swim. AND SWIM WE DID. We came through the other end of the submerged tunnel to discover another hallway with broken pottery, painted with Cyclops and Centaurs in conflict and some other Cyclopian life stuff. We took a giant pot and stuffed it into the bag.

We ventured further into the dungeon nearly drowned when someone who we wont mention triggered a waterfall trap. Troubles quickly multiplied when we were attacked by two zombies…. While drowning. Thanks to some quick thinking (and great fighting skills, and a lovely elemental), we were able to disable the door locking mechanism. We swam out and walked up a staircase where we flopped like fish.

Wet and pooped, we entered a large chamber which absolutely does not contain any sort of evil magics. Nope. Not all all. Def not a place where evil is worshiped. We thought this would be the perfect spot to pitch a tent and got some sorely needed rest.

We’re still looking for that centaur’s daughter, the chamber we’re in the trail has gone cold.

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Into the valley of the not quite alive
Doooom

So, we had just left the centaur camp when we ambushed by bunch of pit spiders. After taking care of them and making sure the horses survived, we continued on our way. We came to a fence of sorts made from skulls. Pleasant. Figuring we were in the right place, we kept going. We passed several large stone markers on which were written the names of some long dead tribe in a language no one recognized (but was reminiscent of giant but much, much older).
We camped for the night near the mountain outcrop.

That night, we were attacked by some sort of dark-cloud-spirit thing. With claws of course. It wreaked our camp and ripped most of our tents to shreds.
After we had defeated it, Graeme and I realized it was probably that dark forboding we had felt the past few days.
The feeling lingered but we were able to get back to sleep.

The next morning, we followed the stone stairs we found and encountered several giant zombie sentinels. Several party members bemoaned the lack of a cleric in our midst but somehow we survived the inconvenience.
At the top of the stairs, we found a waterfall of nasty looking black water. In the middle of the stream was a small island with a large stone pillar. We crossed over to check it out, with our handy dandy moonlit bridge (suck on that, clerics) when we were attacked by wyverns. Much grappling later, we kicked their scaly butts and found a neat sword and an ominous entrance to the underground. And I started hovering 6 inches off the ground.

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Spriggen Lair Continued
and a butt-load of centaurs

So, no sooner had we wiped out the spriggens in the courtyard, Handel, (acting all power-hungry and hopped up on Thrash’s enlarge spell) charges the front door and immediately falls in a large trap hole. Luckily, he was still hopped up on previously stated spell so he climbs out and bumbles around trying to figure out how to get in.
Taking the initiative, and realizing we were being shot at from the roof, Isolda flew Handel up there to take them out. Graeme, unsure of the goliath’s ability to complete the mission by himself, decided to fly up and join him.
They had a grand adventure, as they told us after, and killed many, many spriggens with magic, and elementals, and smashing them dead.
Meanwhile, Elean was able to sneak up to the front door and fell into the pit, but also managed to not die, as well as get the front door open. ELean and thrash (with Isolda a safe distance behind) discovered……another door.
In true Thrash fashion, the small halfling decided that this was too many doors. And burned it to the ground, as an added bonus, several spriggens also caught on fire.

After the smoke cleared, literately, we all explored the remains of the keep and found an armory, a ruined library (in which Greame may have squealed and then cried over the destroyed books), a neat centaur bow, and a BAG OF HOLDING> which we let the halfling hold…….

We then debated over our next course of action. Isolda felt it wise to return to Restov to report the disappearance of the VArnholdians and get some much needed supplies, but was outvoted in the plan to search the eastern wilderness in hopes of finding the centaurs and possibly more answers. We finally did find them (with the help of Desna of course) and returned the lost bow to them. We spoke to their leader, Aecora Slivertire, but sadly she had no idea what had happened to our neighbors, BUT had a delightful quest that we could not turn down. It seems her daughter, Xamathe, had wandered into the valley of the dead, (sounds pleasant) and had not returned. Welp, off we go then.

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Into the Spriggans' Lair

Our heroes wander for hours through the empty town of Varnhold. They investigate the blacksmith/stables (dead horses! Crows galore!!) and a variety of other mostly empty buildings. In a house tucked into the side of the hill, they find a box and then later, in the tavern, they find a Spriggan with a death wound, holding a book, paralyzed. They take the book and leave the Spriggan alone. They explore the town temple, and find a bunch of kick-ass clerical spells. The gang then rested in the house where they found the box. After resting, they wind their way up to the keep on the top of the hill. Elean does some scouting by levitation, and then eventually flies up into the keep and sneaking down to open the gate for the others. He fails spectacularly to be sneaky, and the gang immediately gets into a big fight with a bunch of Spriggans in the courtyard. Fortunately, the gang is, by now, a well-oiled murder machine, and the Spriggans are pretty much all fucked up beyond recognition in minutes. Elean makes another astounding kill, eviscerating a Spriggan from hiding despite being blinded by an awesome pyrotechnics spell that Thrash cast.

Now the party ventures deeper into the keep.

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The Mystery of the Empty Keep

Having vaporized the vaporous menace of the Wiitikowan, our intrepid heroes returned to Stagholm. They continued about their business, slightly anticlimactically after destroying a legendary monster. After some debate, they allowed Istvan and Marik to go back to Varnhold, and did some administration work around town. A few days later, Istvan and Marik come riding hard back into town, claiming that the people of Varnhold have disappeared!!

Our intrepid adventures saddle up and head out to Varnhold to try to solve the mystery. On the way, they’re trapped in the pass by a Bulette, who manages to vaporize Laurence with a well placed claw-claw-bite. Thrash is psychologically destroyed, but the party solders on to Varnhold, where they find the town mostly abandoned, except for a Dire Boar who pops out and totally gets fucked up all to hell by Handel and Elean, who are basically this team’s superstar players. Like, seriously, these guys are monsters of monsterslaying.

Anyway, our intrepid adventurers wander around town a bit more, stopping into the tannery and finding some tanned centaur hides, which is gross, because centaurs are sentient and nice. Marik and Istvan claim that Varnhold has been having some trouble with the local centaur tribe. Maybe they’d have less trouble if they didn’t skin and tan the hides of their enemies. Shit is gross.

Then our heroes wandered across the bridge, and we stopped game.

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Fae-d to Black

We decide to take a little time to focus on civic projects, and Graeme starts working on some magical Bracers of Armor. He completes one pair and starts on a second when…

teddy-bear-omg.jpgIn the middle of the night we’re awoken by the town guard, because apparently a strange bear is attacking the wall, a bear that won’t die. We groggily, except for Isolda who seems quite excited by night adventuring, make our way to the city wall to look down upon the bear. Graeme Lightning Bolts it, and it runs toward the farms, so we leap over the wall with a Feather Fall and chase it down. We eventually kill it, and discover that it’s under the effect of some sort of fae possession.

After Isolda consults Desna, she decides to completely ignore her goddess and takes us on a wild goose chase into some empty plainsland near Stag’s Helm. We encounter a few other fae-possessed animals, but nothing significant. Attempting to track these animals to their origin is also fruitless. Altogether, it’s an excellent waste of a couple of days, so we return to town.

As Graeme completes his second set of magic bracers, our second scouting party fails to return at their appointed hour. Off we go again!

We encounter a scouting party from Nomen, or the remains of one. Merick and Istvahn have lost the rest of their party while hunting the Witikowan. After conversing with them for a moment, the air grows noticeably colder. It quickly becomes apparent that this is not a normal temperature shift, and the party prepares for battle, dismounting and finding defensible positions.

The Witikowan materializes from rising mist. Combat ensues. Graeme casts the force sphere, and the party attacks, eventually dispatching the strange creature after it discovers that it cannot escape via mistform. Hooray!

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Bored now. Let's explore!

leucrotta_1_color_Ryan_Rhodes.jpgWhile waiting for a response to our diplomatic message, we send Handel off with a party of workers and a cart to retrieve the heavy valuables from the Elven Keep. We also decide that the remainder of our merry band will explore some new territories within our charter.

Our first encounter is a Leucrota. It tries to ensnare us by mimicking a woman’s voice screaming for help, but thankfully its ploy fails. It’s a bizarre bony stag-badger thing, but we efficiently dispatch it.

hill_giant_chief.jpgMoving on, we hear some loud slurred speech coming from over a nearby short rise. It’s a language that we don’t recognize until Isolda casts her Comprehend Language spell. Long story short, there’s a (hill?) giant named Munguk who’s sad that he’s run out of moonshine. A crazy plan is hatched whereby Isolda attempts to communication with him via Ghost Sound, but this proves challenging, and she eventually simply stands on the rise and converses with him normally. Thankfully, he understands Common. Munguk is not only lacking moonshine, but also friends. Isolda offers to be his friend, and he informs her that he also needs a big lady friend. After an uncomfortable silence, the subject is changed, and we discover that he tried to befriend some trolls. They didn’t like him. We ascertain roughly where the trolls are located within our chartered lands for future reference. Eventually, Munguk follows us like a lost puppy, a very large lost puppy, as we continue to explore.

The next area we enter is a bit marshy. Upon encountering a strange clump of mushrooms and vegetation, we decide to investigate, but as we approach… OH MY GODS, WHAT IS THAT THING?!? It rears up on a viney snake-like body and roars through its scary dripping, thorn-lined maw. Elean attempts to circle the thing looking for a vulnerable area to strike, and he gets engulfed and partially digested for his troubles. Thankfully Murguk, our giant friend, is with us, because he decimates the thing with a particularly powerful greatclub strike.

After successfully exploring the chartered areas we set out to see, we decide to return to Staghelm. Elean rides ahead of us to warn the town about our new giant friend, and we determine that he would make a good mascot and ally for our burgeoning capitol city. Kept happy with a steady supply of moonshine, he will likely act as a good deterrent to marauders and invading armies.

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