Pathfinder Kingmaker

You've been a good lad
I will say nice things about you

Anton looked toward the door as it opened, admitting the five soldiers into the lord-mayor’s large office. The kings had moved into the office to hold meetings, since it held a large table and enough space to move around and consider the maps they were studying.

Captain Kesespton entered and behind him came five junior troops: two dwarves, a gnome, a human female, and a half-elf. Each wore rank insignia denoting them as volunteer auxiliaries to the Mistborn Rangers. The half-elf also wore brevet corporal stripes; and the women a holy symbol of Irori. They lined up, pressed closely together in the now-crowded room, and stood at attention.

“This is the scouting party, m’lord. They were the ones who first saw the attackers, alerted the town, and also took the initiative in ambushing the enemy’s own scouts, taking one prisoner. They were critical in enabling us to lock down the city to the extent that we could,” stated the captain, looking back and forth between the soldiers and the kings.

“And Corporal Rahway here launched the signal arrow, then went back to assist his team,” he continued as he motioned toward the half-elf, who stood a little straighter when mentioned.

Anton stepped forward and looked them each up and down, while Pik winked at the gnome and smiled. Zion raised an eyebrow as he gazed somewhat imperiously (as was his norm) at the soldiers.

“Well done. The Mistmarches depend on soldiers like you,” the warrior-king stated as he held up a small pile of papers. “Dispatches like these go out to all units, commands, and cities each day. In them the most important news and plans are shared. Your names will be read around the realm today so that others will know what you did.” He shook each hand as he passed down the line. A few minutes of shallow chatting followed between the troops and kings. Soon after, the men were dismissed.

“They did good work,” stated Zion as the door shut behind them.

“Indeed. And we’ll need to live up to that standard if we’re to resolve this mess we’re in,” added Anton as Pik rubbed his hands together and nodded.

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Paint me...I'm rich and beautiful
Functionless art is vandalism

(Begin Transmission)

King Castruccio Irovetti added another few puffs of cologne to his armpits and wrists, and then sat patiently as his assistant powdered his cheeks and attended to his hair. An artist, meanwhile, was waiting on the other side of the chamber, ready with his tools, next to a large, blank canvas.

He gazed at himself in the mirror as the makeup artist finished her work.

“You are magnificent, my lord,” she said as she stepped back to behold her work. The king smiled, then pursed his lips as if to blow a kiss at himself, and nodded.

“I am, really. It is good that the king is such a figure to behold. It is good for the people to know that they are ruled by a man of such beauty” he said as he stood and walked over to a large table that held what looked like a miniature model of the city Pitax.

The king exchanged a few moments of banter with the artist, trying to find the best angle from which he should be painted, making sure to get his best side and include as much of the city – especially the buildings he’d commissioned – in the portrait. Once satisfied, the king stood still while the artist began working.

(transmission ends here)


Meta
That’s what you pick up via scry first thing in the morning. It drops off just as some flunky in a foppish uniform approaches the king, arm outstretched and holding a piece of paper.

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In Defense of Burmovton

Anton, Pik, Zion, and Kincaid appeared on the town common in a whirl of wind and light, teleported instantly from Misthaven to the besieged city. Tessara had already climbed out of a clump of crabgrass down the street and was heading for city hall, in search of the lord-mayor and military commander, a Captain Kesepton.

Events were moving quickly, and the enemy army had already formed up for an assault, which began with a wild charge by heavy foot, supported by archers. Anton and Pik, seeing the nearly broken spirits of the people, took to the walls to exhort them few defenders to do their best. Zion and Tessara used their magic to put out fires lit on the outer wall, and to douse flames launched into the city by archers & catapults. Kincaid fired innumerable arrows into the attacking waves.

The enemy’s ferocious attack was broken, but not without dead in the city, and noteworthy damage to the perimeter wall. As bucket brigades made up of ordinary citizens – children, the elderly – formed to prepare for another onslaught, the enemy’s war horns called for another charge.

Again the walls stood. The kings did what they could from within the city. Given that no cavalry or heavy foot had been assigned to Burmovton, opening the gates to let out even a party of skirmishers would have been a dereliction of duty, should the enemy be able to take the gates. So long as the walls held, the city would stand. By about 10pm, and after two bloody frontal assaults and enemy scouting parties probing the entire perimeter of the city, the attackers withdrew to the southeast, and were last seen moving off into the dark, moonless night, seemingly toward the Narlmarches, or possibly back to the Tatzylford Pike to the south. It was also possible that they might make for the Farmer’s Road, which led directly to Myralanna, the largest city in the northern portion of the realm.

By almost midnight most of the fires had been extinguished, the dead collected, and the wounded treated to the extent that magic and healing could accomplish on short notice.

The shocked look of the people gave the kings pause. War had come to the Mistmarches. The kings had not invited it, they had not asked for it, and yet it was here. And Burmovton had felt it first, and without the army to defend it. As they moved through the town, the kings could feel the questions, the accusations, the needs of the people: what will become of us? what will you do for us? who will suffer most for this war of the river kings?


Meta
Use this post to discuss, as the kings, what to do next. Remember that this took place only hours after you returned from the tournament. It’s been a long day, kings.

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Other players on the move
On a caravan just-arrived in Freeton

It was dark, but the stars were clear and a breeze off the Tuskwater made the air brisk. Xzaela and Zahora crept up to the caravan, making sure not to be seen as they climbed in the third wagon down, and hid in the second box over. Just as they were told, it was empty. They were good friends with the leader of the caravan, and he didn’t take much to bribe. In the end, Zahora and Xzaela were getting an almost free, out of sight voyage to Pitax, and he got fifty yards of elvish rope.

After a couple weeks of hushed whispers, and a growing wish to see sunlight the caravan stopped abruptly in its first destination, Freeton. The girls sluggishly crawled out of the wagon when Moryygan, the caravan leader, told them the coast was clear. “ Thanks for the ride.” Zahora said stretching her aching muscles.

“ Don’t thank me now, we were not permitted passage into Pitax. It was taken over, a war is abrew!” Said Moryygan.

“ Wow,” muttered Xzaela, “ a lot can happen when you’re locked up in a box for a couple weeks!” She looked over to Zahora, “ I suggest we do some work here.”

“ Sounds like our best bet,” sighed Zahora, “ but I’ll never get any information about the Black Emerald in this area.”

“ Ahh, all I know is that the Caretaker knows what he wants.” Moryygan said, glancing to the side.

“ What aren’t you telling me?” Snapped Zahora “ You know more, don’t you?”

“ Why do I even try to keep secrets from you? Zahora how do you always know when I’m lying!” Moryygan sighed.

“ Well, for one you glanced left. Two your voice got softer, and not as sarcastic as usual… that was rhetorical wasn’t it.” Zahora stopped as she noticed Xzaela’s glare.

“ Look, it’s secrecy or my throat, I can’t tell you any more, okay!” Moryygan said.

“ Alright, I guess we’ll see you around. Thanks for getting us this far.” Xzaela said as her and Zahora took off towards the city. They walked around the town for a while and found a small inn to stay in while they were in Freeton. When they walked inside they saw some old friends, Zahora walked up “ Well I don’t suppose you guys have any idea what’s going on?” She questioned.

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Burn the city...
just enough so they feel the heat

Ogre mage

General Jurrg was irritated that his scouts had apparently been spotted and killed, and that he now must assume that his army’s presence was also known to the enemy. Irritating as it was, it was not really a problem. The city was in sight, and they would attack as they’d planned. Whether the defenders knew of them or not was not that important; in fact, given the short time interval, it really made no difference. His forces would rush city gates, make an attempt to take the walls, and would then likely fall back, unsuccessful. If the city fell, so much the better; if not, they’d move on as planned.

The orge mage, almost 8 feet tall in his crimson and black armor, rode a massive warhorse, and was surrounded by his top lieutenants and personal guard – not that he really needed the protection. The city was in sight, only a few miles to the north on a relatively bare plain, a few small farms and houses in the general vicinity. He’d issued orders to 1st Battalion to form up for the frontal assault, putting the penal company at the head of the van, and arraying his archers at their flanks. 2nd Battalion would act as the reserve, and make sure to make a good show of taking part in the second assault. 3rd Battalion, under the command of the officer many rightly assumed was Jurrg’s protege, had another job, and had already split off from the main force.

An attack on the city would like likely prove fruitless, and would result in some losses of men and material and some time. But those men were expendable, supplies were replaceable, and the time had already been accounted for.

Aside from the many weeks in the muck of the swamp and the resulting saddle sores and moldy toes, this campaign was going very smoothly. The general was pleased, and allowed himself a brief, toothy smile.

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We have trolls in the wire!
...and wyverns aloft!

Akiros received the report from his southern picket calmly, since this is the sort of thing he’d quietly expected. They said there were trolls on the move, armed, armored, and organized. And he’d fought trolls before, and knew what to do.

Oil was quickly spread across the two trails that led to the Myralanna Regiment’s camp, and archers were placed in nearby trees. He’d already fortified some low hills to his west and south, and so when the trolls quietly – quietly for trolls, that is – moved in on his force, his pickets, archers, and the flames took them by surprise, wresting the initiative from them before they could fall on the supposedly unsuspecting human army.

The battle last almost an hour, and the trolls never achieved any sense of momentum, being attacked with flame from three directions. Their attack, which had relied on brute force and surprise, was unable to leverage the former because the latter wasn’t achieved.

Sustaining only a few deaths and minor injuries, the Myralanna Regiment was at last blooded, having come away from its first battle victorious, with several smoking troll carcases as proof, and the rest of the raiding force dispersed and combat ineffective.


Reg realized that the Misthaven Regiment was under attack at almost the same moment he was alerted to the sighting of a signal arrow from Myralanna, which was also under attack. The screech of flying beasts filled the air as wyverns and their riders swept down on the army, camped several miles north of Freeton. Barking orders and strapping on his own armor, Reg made ready to join the fight as his archers fired furiously into the night sky. Some of the beasts had landed and were ripping through tents and troops, scattering his men as they tried to form up to offer a defense. Reg smiled grimly as he saw one wyvern shot from the sky by a flurry of arrows, and quickly swarmed by men on the ground. The beast and its rider, however, did not go quietly, killing several men before being silenced.

Soon after the attack from the air began, Reg learned that a band of trolls was attacking out of the western hills. “Damn! I knew we’d camped too close…what was I thinking?” he cursed to himself as he ran toward that side of the camp, yelling orders and trying to organize his men, some of whom were clearly stunned by the double attack.

The battle took its toll on the Misthaven Regiment, killing numerous men, wrecking a sizable amount of equipment and rolling stock, and spreading the unit thinly across and expanded area as it tried to chase down the trolls, once defeated. The wyverns, while dangerous, were few, and disengaged after sustaining significant casualties – or so it seemed in the dark. The trolls were ferocious and unrelenting, and killed many, but were eventually destroyed as a force.

Misthaven, ‘the Realm’s Defenders,’ had been caught flat-footed, and would bear the scars of its mistakes. Despite this, it had repulsed a smallish attack, and knew for certain what it faced: the forces of Pitax.

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An army on the move
...and it's not ours

Along with the mustering of the regiments and deployment of the other regular forces, auxiliaries to both the Mistborn Rangers and city guards were called up, and volunteers sought, in order to bolster the defenses of the kingdom. Hundreds of men and women from across the Mistmarches heeded the call, setting aside their lives for a time to defend their homes and neighbors.

In the city of Burmovton, northwest of the Narlmarches and a center of farming activity in the northern portion of the realm, a team of scouts was dispatched early one morning in July, 4713, to patrol the roads and hills south of the city. Mosh and Brahn, dwarven cousins strong with axe and hammer, Raquelle, a human cleric of Erastil, Totogar, a scrappy gnome, and Jimmy ‘the Hand,’ a somewhat notorious and recently reformed half-elv cut-purse, rode swiftly along the Tatzylford Pike, in search of whatever stood out as odd.

At the end of an uneventful day, the team found a good, secluded place to camp and keep watch of the southern hills. Lake Hooktongue and the Slough were visible in the distant south. Beginning with Jimmy’s midwatch, each sentry heard tell-tale sounds of movement – or at least sounds not of the forest and hills – from the distant south. At first light the source of these sounds became clear: a large force was swiftly marching up the pike, with a small cavalry screen in front of it.

Without being able to identify the force, the scouts decided to err on the side of caution, and split up, sending Jimmy, the fastest rider, north to fire the signal arrow close enough to Burmovton to be seen. The others broke camp and rushed north, seeking to head off the small party of scouts along the rode to the north.

Hours later, Raquelle, Mosh, Brahn, and Totogar set an ambush and waited for the mysterious riders to appear. Once they came into range it was clear that these were not troops from the Mistmarches and, in fact, when the drew closer, rank symbols of the Kingdom of Pitax were clear to see on a sash that each rider wore. The trap was sprung, and the four troops aggressively pressed the attack against the mounted scouts, attacking both horse & rider with hammer, axe, and bow. The ferocity and surprise gave the rangers the upper hand initially, and the arrival of Jimmy the Hand prevented the enemy from killing Mosh, who’d fallen. In the end, one of six scouts were captured, the horses were chased off, and the bodies hidden. The team made for the city, to bring details of the alert they’d raised.

Upon arriving in Burmovton and sharing the details of their find with Captain Kesempton, garrison commander of the city, they interrogated their prisoner and learned enough additional details to confirm that, indeed, Pitax was on the march. Responding to the signal arrow earlier, other scouts from the city had spotted the large enemy force and by nightfall the kings at Misthaven had been alerted and the town was bracing for attack, turning to its small garrison in hopes of holding off what seemed to be a massive assault in the making. Why the kings had not fortified Burmovton with an army of its own was beyond its residents, and many grumbled about how they’d been left to twist in the wind while the army had marched west to hold onto the most-recently claimed lands outside the Slough. Burmovton, they thought, would surely pay the price for the kings’ expansionist dreams.

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Rushlight Results
better luck next time!

The grand tournament came to an end, and with it a new Rushlight victor was named: Mivon, through its team of champions clever, strong, swift and smart, walked away with the prize and the bragging rights. Pitax came in second, much to the disappointment of the event’s sponsor, and the upstart Mistmarches barely charted in the medal count. Better luck next time, indeed.

Returning home from the festivities brought rude news to the kings: their city of Burmovton, northwest of the Narlmarches, was under attack by a massive force of foot, armed with at least arrows. And Freeton, formerly Ft. Drelev, was also under assault, by trolls and wyverns.

With events fluid and developing, the origin of these seemingly coordinated armies was unknown, but the kings had no time to wait or dither. Using the sending stone they had to contact their cavalry force, the Tuskwater Dragoons, they dispatched that unit from Tatzylford to Burmovton – it would arrive the next night. And using the last of Zion’s most powerful spells, the team teleported from Misthaven to the beleaguered city in an attempt to bolster what forces were there, to try and hold off long enough for the arrival of…the cavalry.

News from Freeton would have to wait – their sending stone used, only the two regiments and company of healers had the ability to contact the kings, and only for a few brief lines of speech. Hopefully Sir Akiros, in overall command of the expeditionary force in the west, would have what was needed to handle the attacks in his area of operations, for the kings would likely have their hands full in the north.

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An Invitation Arrives!
early June, 4713

In the hands of a herald of Pitax, riding under a formal banner and with diplomatic papers, the following invitation arrives in early June, announcing an event to take place in July.

Greetings from His Supreme and Inimitable Maginificence, Castruccio Irovetti, by the grace of the gods the rightful King of Pitax, Marvel of Numeria, Master of Mormouth, and Prince-Regent of the Sellen.

It is with great delectation and delight that I greet you, my fellow River Kings. I would be honored if you would accept my invitation to attend the fifth annual Rushlight Tournament as my guests. I know you to be discerning rulers, and trust you would not dare miss such an extravagance, for I plan for this to be the finest Rushlight yet! And to sweeten the pot, I have secured a mighty magical item, a gold and gemstone rod of lordly might, which I am willing to bestow upon the Kingdom that proves itself by fielding the true Rushlight champion! Could this champion be one of your own?

Please confirm your attendance via this invitation’s courier. I look forward to your attendance!

—King Castruccio Irovetti of Pitax

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Armies and Mass Combat
a very meta post

I don’t want to get deep in the weeds of the kingdom-building rules, however, it is important to understand how they interact with building and maintaining armies, since you guys seem to want to start a war. Below is a brief primer on the subject.

Armies cost money to raise, and then have a weekly cost in BP to maintain. Armies also take time to train before they are ‘active.’ The rules are unclear as to whether or not an army costs money to actually train, so I am only counting the weekly BP cost for active units.

Your regiments are of about 1000 men each. Your cavalry troop is about 100, as are you wands and healers. So the Army of the Tuskwater is about 2300 troops. Altogether, that will cost you 60BP per month to keep active and either engaged or ready for operations. That’s a lot of loot.

Anyway, the units I created for you are what you can reasonably afford to keep active for a season of campaigning, should you choose to use them. Wars wind down in the fall and winter, leaving you only July-September of weather generally good enough to fight in. Keeping the army in the field after that will cost you more, due to increased food and equipment needs during the winter, which is typically pretty harsh.

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