Kingmaker Adventure Path

10th of Erastus 4711

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.

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8th of Erastus 4711

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.

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7th of Erastus 4711

A troll blocked our path. Once again, the half-man ruined any tact that we may employ.

“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.

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6th of Erastus 4711

A full changing of the seasons have passed 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. As leaders of this new kingdom, we have elected a few of our good and trusted friends to help us rule this land. And we have even made deals with those I would rather never have seen again. Like scavengers coming to live off of the spoils other have worked so hard for, Darkie and Iolana resurfaced and have offered to help us leader our kingdom. I would rather have hung them then and there, but Nix made the point that their help would greatly boost our economy. I care naught for whatever this “economy” is. I care only for the safety of my family. Katara sides with Nix and accepts the help of these two. I will watch them carefully. Should they move against my family, it shall be the last move they ever make.

“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 and also that 4711 winters have come and go since the creation of our world. Jhod says these are called years and that is the year 4711. 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!”

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Here Begins Book 2...

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.

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Here ends Book 1...

On account of the holiday season, Kingmaker has been put on a brief hiatus. It will resume after the New Year with the next Book in the Kingmaker Adventure Path: Book 2, Rivers Run Red!

See you next year for more adventures in the Stolen Lands!

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11th of Sarenith

Once back at Oleg’s Trading Post, Kesten took custody of Falgrim Sneeg. A grin stretched Kesten’s face as he escorted the captive beyond the walls and out of sight. Falgrim pleaded us not to let Kesten take him. If his crimes cost Kesten his station, then no man could stay what was to come. Oleg, Svetlana, and the others were pleased to see us. Our return began talks of a celebration. The Stolen Lands had been liberated from the bandit influence and word was sent to Restov. Svetlana prepared a great meal and we ate ‘til our eyes grew heavy. A rare indulgence. Surely Erastil could forgive such after the trials we have been through.

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9th of Sarenith

We flung the Stag Lords body into the waters of Nettles Crossing. A corpse rose from the waters to drag the dead down.

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8th of Sarenith

We returned to the fort. Nix used the magic dust from the mite tree to change his appearance to that of our attackers. I feigned his captive and we approached the main gate. Katara and Wade headed to the south wall to climb in behind the bandits as we drew their attention to the north gate. We held brief conversation with a bandit lieutenant. Our ruse seemed to work and we were allowed in the gate. But the moment we stepped inside, the bandits attacked. We were ready for such. Nix released me and took aim on the big one. I turned my blade against one and fell him in a single blow. The lesser of the men fell quickly and I looked and saw a man lurking in the shadows. This bandit I recognized, the one that raped my sister and murdered my people. He released a great beast. Bear and owl combined into a defiler of nature, the creature tore into one of the bandits. This thing served no master and killed for the blood. I could not take on the tattooed man as I desired, for this fell beast threatened all. I was left little choice but to attack the beast head on. We traded blow after brutal blow when an arrow bore deep into my side. I looked up to see a tall man dressed in leather gloves and his chest left bare. On his head, he wears a helmet fashioned after the skull of a stag. This must be the Stag Lord. I may have been able to take this demon bear in single combat, but not with a pest buzzing around. Arrow, beak, and claw took their toll on my bruised and broken body. Withdraw to live or stay to die, I had no choice. I fled around a wall to drink a healing tonic. As I began to feel strength return to me, I saw the owlbear chase after Nix, tossing bombs over his shoulder as he raced through the fort’s front gate. Then, the Stag Lord stepped into view and an arrow pierced me. My eyes felt… heavy. Once again, I awoke to Katara’s lovely face. I was to protect her, but she has always been there when I have fallen. Battle stirred me to my senses. The Stag Lord is all that is left and Nix, Wade, and the lieutenant were standing against the man in combat. I ran full power at the man and buried my axe deep. Katara conjured another orb of water, but the bandit dodged and it was, much to my dismay, Wade that struck the final blow. I sank to the ground and breathed relief. A search of the fort revealed much: trade goods, jewels, trinkets of war, all shall be put to a good cause, though to what end has yet been revealed to us.

The lieutenant introduced himself as Akiros and he admitted that the life of a bandit was not for him. He wished to leave this life behind him and so we allowed him to journey with us back to Oleg’s.

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3rd of Sarenith

Heavy injuries forced us to return to Oleg’s to restock and lick our wounds. Routed and on the brink of defeat, if the bandits had dared follow, we may not have lived the night.

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