Kingmaker Adventure Path
Warpath's Journal (Vol 2)
The handmade journal of an adventurer.
[[Here Begins Book 2… | Prologue]]
Seasons have come and gone and are coming again. As the moon fades to be birthed anew, so has that I have so longed for. That which I lost so far ago, that which was taken from me… Family! Though not born of flesh and blood, we hold each other true, tested by battle and bound by spirit.
Jhod teaches the words of Erastil, “The first gift you ever receive is your family.” A lesson I had once forgotten. As our stern and loving father is a protector and a provider, so too, must I take upon this yoke. Farm, hunt, and trade help to provide, and the family to protect our new tribe. I spoke the old words, danced by the fires, and communed with the spirits. The winds spoke of the character of my family: Strong and proud, I am the Elk who walks among the spirits of the trees, a greenseer, and First Ranger. Cunning and quick-witted, the Fox is the master of coins. Stealth and luxury follow the Rat, a silencer of tongues. Kind and playful is the prudent Dolphin who leads the family.
6th of Erastus
It has neared the full changing of the seasons before we held able to step out of our new town. A kingdom named after a thought held on Nix’s ear, Nicenia, and its capital Dhunmoor, land of the water. Many have risked much to travel to this land, and many more still come. Tis good for the family to grow, but we must be cautious as not all seek the well-being of us all. “The first gift you ever receive is family”’ As my thoughts drifted to a sermon Jhod has preached much vigor and zeal. Jhod admires my way of life and I have learned much from him. He taught me that the months are named after the gods. May Erastil bless our wandering amidst the standing of his namesake.
A fisherman, Arven, stopped us near leaving the capital. Arven, with great exasperation, told us of a semi-legendary hookjaw turtle named Old Crackjaw had been terrorizing his favorite fishing hole. When asked where this fishing hole was, Arven was reluctant.
“It’s a secret spot,” he exclaimed. Only he knew of its location.
Wade boasted, “Keep your secret old man and never fish there again… or risk us with the knowledge of its location and be rid of the beast that plagues you.”
Arven nervously told us the location and we bid him good day. However, our travels took us away from this plight.
“Onward!” Wade bolstered. “To Waffles!”
“HIDE!” he yelled before leaping off his horse into a tree.
I am not sure if he means to use us as bait against our foes or a distraction that he may go unnoticed. Either way, axes in hand, I charged the creature. If it is a fight this thing wants, a fight it shall get. Flames burst before me, engulfing the beast. Pfft… Pfft… Arrow and bolt struck their aim and we dance through this small clearing until only one left standing. Each battle holds new scars. Some faded with age while yet others burned deep, never to be forgotten.
“If you do something so foolish like that again, I’m going to let the blasted thing eat you before and we can cut you out of its stomach later.” Katara scolded the halfling as a mother would a child. Thankfully she had sheathed her weapon or anger may have run the little man through.
8th of Erastus
The wind turned against, and with it, a strangely familiar scent: a fresh kill and wet dog. I had thought the night’s rain a hindrance, but favored us now. It is easy to stalk pray when distracted. I peered through the brush. Wolves! Four… no three and a wolf-like creature with deep red eyes. Crimson stains their mouths as they rip flesh from a mighty elk. An omen? Maybe, but now is not the time to ponder such things. Readied, I leapt from the brush cutting down wolf after wolf. By the time Katara, Nix, and Wade could act, two laid dead at my feet. The third fell just as quickly and then the red-eyed demon dog and I stood facing each other. Blind to the others, we battled scarred warriors weighed each other, waiting to strike. Waiting for an opening in the others defenses. Pfft… and arrow struck the worg’s hindquarters. The beast let out a howl that pierced the air and rode the winds. Now! I struck true and deep. A mighty trophy this shall make upon our return. I am truly thankful that Nix did not burn it too badly.
10th of Erastus
A brief travel to Dhunmoor and the wilds are beneath our feet once more. A sour stench entered our nostrils long before the Skunk River came into sight. The embankment was near riotous with excitement. A group of gnome explorers had run into a bit of misfortune. Whether cross the natural ford with too heavy a cart or tarrying too close to the water’s edge, I know not, but what is certain, a wagon and its two ponies were in danger of being swept away to the unknowns of the water’s end. I leapt from my horse and waded the water towards the wagon and its occupants. Katara, Nix, Wade aid from the shore. One frightened pony freed, Katara and Nix pulled it to shore. Process repeated and the second pony was safe on shore. Gnomes crawled the cart, pulling boxes of supplies and other tools from the cart as we tried to pull the cart to the shore. Our efforts only seemed to delay what was all but certain. The wagon creaked, a snap, then float down the current. Those that had been liberating the carts supplies fled the makeshift boat and swam to shore.
“Ruined! Those foul creatures have tried to ruin me.” Shout the perceived leader. “But this is taking it too far. Our blood-feuds run deep and often claim victims not even related to the claims and this attack has cost me greatly. And you,” he pointed at us, “You fools let my wagon float away! I shall never make it to the lost dwarven outpost at this rate.” The gnome continued in his odd tongue, but these words are lost all say Nix.“Calm yourself or I shall remove your tongue from your lips.” I threatened.
The small one did not seem deterred by this and continued spouting at his companions.
“Who are you and what going on about?” Katara’s voice soothed the air.
“I am Jubilost Narthropple and this is my expedition. We seek an ancient dwarven outpost rumored to lie in the southern Greenbelt. Now, thanks to a pack of kobolds, we have lost much valuable supplies. Ah… I am sorry I began to take my frustration out on you. Thank you for saving the ponies. I have no doubt that you would have saved the cart if we had but a little more time. Now if you please, we must take inventory and be on our way.”
“Surely you have a map, if you are exploring these lands?” Nix inquired.
“Of course I have a map. I have lots of maps. None of which would do you any good.” Retorted Jubilost.
“Maybe we can trade secrets of the land, you and I?” Nix replied.
This seemed appeasing to the excitable creature and he and Nix poured over maps, comparing, making minor notes, pointing out key features. This went on for quite some time. We shared a midday meal with the small folk, and bid each other safe travels.