Kingmaker Adventure Path
The journal of a late adventurer. It has since been lost in the Narlmarches.
24th of Calistril
Watch led to a long night, followed by receipt of this charter. This is to be a rough day. I joined the arranged caravan just as they were leaving Restov. There are too many people here to yet know whom I shall call on for aid when the need arises. I am to meet up with three others, but for now, I will pass for one of the caravan guards.
I’ve noticed an individual of some worth. Heavily armored and well equipped. He should serve well this cause of clearing the southern lands of bandits. At camp, I introduced myself to the fellow. He is… agreeable. If not for the word he preaches, I might take a liking to this able bodied warrior. He announced himself as Abijah Arealious, Templar of the Inheritor and Harbinger of Honor, Justice and Valor. He then began to recant several scriptures from the Acts of Iomedae, at which point I lost interest in our conversation. I do not question that the gods grant individuals of this world great powers, though the gods did not answer the cries of my youth, and gods be damned if I bend a knee to them now. I’ll tolerate his rambling as I do not wish to ever oppose him. Men and women of the cloth can be powerful allies.
It did not surprise me when he introduced his brother to be an elf. Abijah’s slightly pointed ears betrayed an elven heritage. Unlike his brother, Kaltegan was a pure-blood. The long, pointed ears, lithe frame, haughty, high-born attitude, eyes that seemed to glow with the magics well known to a member of his species; no, Kaltegan was in no way the warrior that Abijah had obviously become. Elves have proven accurate archers or masters of the arcane arts. Either way, if I am to accept one, I must accept the other. Kaltegan is always quiet. Seldom does he speak, except for in the solitude of his brother. A man of few words or many secrets, it is too early to know if I can trust this one.
28th of Calistril
Four days since we began our journey and the last member to our troop has all but eluded me. I admit I had been looking for warriors, but this copper skinned woman with the voice of a child is to be our fourth. She fascinates and befuddles me. Kind of heart and a beauty that rivals the elves, she is almost out of place among these lands. Katara Hakoda is from the Lake of Mists and Veils in northern Brevoy, but her skin is far too dark for any I have come in contact from that region.
Our arrival at Oleg’s Trading Post was celebrated by our hosts. Svetlana, a beauty hidden behind the dirt and grime of life on the frontier, mistook us for the troops requested of Restov. She informed us of a dozen or so bandits that have been regularly besetting the post and leaving them with little in ways of survival. Oleg, a stern man, had sustained a serious injury during the last attack. The bandits made off with an item of great personal value, Svetlana’s wedding ring. Oleg attempted to stop them when an axe wielding woman nearly lopped his hand off.
We are all in agreement that we need to help these people. Katara saw to Oleg’s arm, hoping to do more than what has already been done. Kind indeed. Abijah and I plotted a trap for these would be tormentors, while Kaltegan observed the surroundings. We will not be unprepared when these miscreants arrive on the morrow.
1st of Pharast
When early morn arrived, our trap was already set. Kaltegan spotted the raiders off in the distance: a small band of four on horses. We allowed them to fully enter the post, before Abijah and I shoved a cart, blocking the path out. If we are trapped, they are trapped with us. The tactic worked flawlessly. We managed to catch them by surprise. In a matter of moments, the bowman, who they proclaimed their leader, laid dead next to two other bandits. The last bandit surrendered to Abijah, who secured him in chains and placed him in a compost pit. Kaltegan and Katara managed to calm and stable the horses. The resources collected were displayed across the table and we claimed what we wished. The rest was given to Oleg to help rebuild his stock. In agreement with Oleg’s wishes, I aided him in stringing up the dead bandits and hung them from the South palisade wall. I retired the rest of my day to create more powder and hone a few more projectiles. Katara wished to observe my skill, to which I did not object. She seemed fascinated by my work as it must seem as different to her as the magics of the temple and the tower are to me.
Abijah and Kaltegan questioned the remaining bandit and deemed his information worthy. There is an encampment to the South, and there lies our first objective. Kaltegan wishes to head straight towards these bandits and put an end to them immediately. I refused to leave these people without guard. We put it to a vote and we came to an impasse. Two against two. After much deliberation, we agreed to survey the immediate area, as none among us were able hunters. Kaltegan seemed brash and disregards the lives we just saved. Abijah simply loves his brother too much to be levied by reason. Katara was my only advocate for staying until the announced reinforcements arrived. I am liking this young woman more with each passing day.
2nd of Pharast
The day of exploration held uneventful, though our return to Oleg’s was a matter of excitement. Kesten Garess, a dark and brooding man, had arrived leading a small troop of soldiers. Memory recalls that Kesten was born of the noble Garess House, but an embarrassing incident with a low-born woman, had left him in his father’s shame and leading a mercenary’s life. I offered my respects regardless of his current station (as he may yet hold some sway among the great houses) and pledged to hunt these bandits like dogs upon his blessing. Kesten is agreeable, though he informed us that there is to be one among them that he wished alive. Falgrim Sneed. A former brother-in-arms to Kesten, Falgrim betrayed his post and now led a life of crime. I believe Kesten wishes to carry out Falgrim’s sentence personally. I am satisfied to oblige.
3rd of Pharast
We rose early and began our preparation for the hunt. Leaving Oleg’s, we glanced a section of wall, upon which four notices had been posted. We claimed all four to hopefully be completed during the process of current mission. We headed southwest into the forest believing that our quarry would remain hidden among the trees instead of out in the open of the vast plains and rolling hills southeast of our current location. Exploration of the area revealed some kobolds, fat on radishes. Abijah and Katara tried persuading these foul creatures into sharing what they had laid claim to, but the half-lizards proved stubborn. I plucked a radish from the edge of the patch, antagonizing the creatures into drawing first strike. Against Abijah and Katara’s best efforts, the ploy work. These lesser creatures don’t have the rights to claim land for their own and by doing such relinquish their rights to breathe. The holy man sneered at me for felling these Kobolds and even tried to capture one. It escaped and attempted to maintain an attack. The poor thing should have fell on his pike and honored his defeat. I cleaned my blade and claimed our prize. Surely these radishes are what Svetlana requested of us.
4th of Pharast
Raining! I bloody hate the rain. My weapon of expertise is near useless in such weather. To top it off, sweet Katara’s hairpins went missing during the night. Of course, the half-breed holy man and his knife-eared brother accused me of taking them. It’s unheard of; I would never disgrace my honor or cause such dishonor to such a fair creature as this woman in our care. I believe there to be one more nefarious among our ranks, but I have no proof against him. I dismissed their ignorance, we haven’t the time and the current weather favors them in a fight.
The day proved a blessing. We happened across a small fortified position with archers perched in small tree-stands keeping watch over the area. Some equipment and a wagon lay outside the wall of the encampment. Surely we had found the brigands we had been in search of. The nearest archer seemed anxious and readying to fire. Ah, poor Kaltegan had been spotted, though the reactions of his brother proved more swift than an arrows flight. Abijah had dismounted, and prepared for a fight, gallantly marched to the center of the clearing in front of the camp and promptly demanded their surrender. Much to my delight, they refused. Abijah had become flanked and I refuse to let a fellow warrior, albeit self-righteous, go unattended in a conflict. This work horse proved capable of being valiant steed. It never complained of my instruction and charged to the brigands, allowing to me unleash a swift fury atop its back. I tried to ride down threats as they appeared without comprising my companions. I looked back and Kaltegan lied face down mixing blood into the rain and mud about the area. Abijah uttered words I can only grasp as invoking his god’s wrath down upon the axe wielding brigand I assume slain his brethren. She was no match to power of his deity and steel. Without a leader, and their numbers dwindling, the remaining bandits attempted to flee. I managed to ride down two of these wretched dogs before they could get away.
I returned, gathering the dead to be searched, only to find Kaltegan among the living. Abijah informed me the Katara had healed his brother’s wounds and that she was truly a miracle worker sent by Iomedae. There’s more to this young woman than meets the eye and her talent at healing will prove most useful in times of need. We collected our bounty from the dead and by count of the slain, three managed to get away. Hopefully, they have been scattered to the winds. We decided to use this fortified location to rest for the night. Some talks had been made that this location would be most useful as an outpost for when we are unable to return to Oleg’s. Katara tended the brothers’ wounds, but neither possessed the skill to aid Katara with her own injuries. Fortunately, during my time among the armies of Brevoy, I picked up a trick or two from the healer’s tent. She was grateful for assistance and the others were curious as to a man who knew so well how to kill, could possess the prowess to heal as well. I’ll let them wonder a bit longer as to the mystery I unfold.
5th of Pharast
Strangulation set upon me during the night. Something had me grappled. I managed to yell for help. Abijah and Katara freed me from my captor. My tent had fallen and enveloped me. They snickered and went back to sleep. I returned to set the tent back up. The draw line had been cut. I’m sure it was not one of these. They suffered great injury at the hands of the bandits and needed their rest. Something nefarious is about. I forwent sleep the rest of the night to maintain watch over us. This will not happen again.
We loaded the cart with as much as capable from the encampment. The travel to Oleg’s proved mundane. A blessing really, one night’s rest had not recovered us from our wounds. We delivered the radishes to Svetlana who was overjoyed to receive. She had long waited to prepare Oleg his favorite dish. Business with Oleg subsided and I joined Kesten and a stranger at the tables with a bottle of dark green spirit I had acquired from the bandit camp. I greeted them pouring the three of us a drink. Kesten accepted while the newcomer respectfully declined. Jhod Kavken, he introduced himself as and some kind of holy man worshiper of Erastil. He seems the friendly sort, but his eyes betray a worry or fear. I didn’t let his glass go to waste. The spirit proved too strong for my liking, so I excused myself and retired for the night. The days prior had proven a strain and we direly needed the rest.
6th of Pharast
We decided to further explore the areas around Oleg’s and hopefully happen across a stray bandit that fled from us two days prior. We headed out southeast of the post. Rolling hills lie before us. In a small cluster of trees, Kaltegan’s horse was bitten by a large spider. The fell creature proved elusive as it would strike and slink back into a hollow. BOOM! My first shot connected, but the result spooked the horses. My companions were unable to contain there steeds. Pfft! Webbing shot forth from under the creature, ensnaring Katara. I aimed carefully. She will not become a meal this day. BOOM! The eight-legged abomination erupts in a gooey mass mixed with fur. Katara may have a nightmare or two, but she will live.
7th of Pharast
A morning rain gave way to a beautiful day. We decided to head southwest, skirting the areas we had already explored. Abijah lied to us about hearing something, but his pointy-eared brother took his side. Maybe Kaltegan’s sharp ears are better attuned for sounds. It proved to be nothing, but a glint in the sun revealed something in the ground. Ahead of us was a small cavern in the ground, with a faint yellow glow. I handed Kaltegan a torch which he drops into the hole. The faint glow became more vibrant in the glow. None were brave enough to enter. Cowards! I lowered a rope and descended into the earth. Surely my eyes betrayed me. Sparkling in the flickering torch light, one wall of the cavern appeared to be completely made of gold. A beautiful day indeed!
8th of Pharast
We continued our journey southwest. A river surrounded by thick thorns blocked our path. A small rise in the ground brought us to a rickety bridge. Kaltegan wished to cross and scout the immediate area on the other side. The walkway would not support our horses. Abijah offered to stay with the horses and beckoned us go. Katara and Kaltegan seemed eager to see this new side of the river. Abijah is a capable warrior and surely his god will seem him well, but these others need protection. Abijah entrusted his brother’s well-being into my hands. Either he is confident in my abilities or he is a trusting fool. I shall not fail him.
Our endeavor proved uneventful and we returned.
9th of Pharast
The night’s discussion resulted in us exploring the area beyond the bridge. Having charted well any path leading away, we returned to our horses. We must be off to Oleg’s as supplies are running low. We came across the old bandit encampment and I suggested spending the night here. I had plenty of rations to share for one more day.
Stabled the horses and unrolled my pack for the night.
Kaltegan is screaming. A monster in the forest. Cornered.
No way out but to fight.