Pathfinder Kingmaker

The Story, to Date
April, 4706

Armed with a charter from the Sword Lords of Restov, the brothers set off to clear the Stolen Lands of bandits, and claim themselves a kingdom. They defeated a group of bandits threatening Oleg’s Trading Post and, working off intelligence from captured bandits, began exploring south of the outpost. Over a period of weeks they dispatched a giant spider, found a hidden treasure cache, discovered a long-abandoned gold mine, initially fought then established friendly relations with a band of kobolds, and even assisted their new allies in routing a band of mites.

Between forays into the Kamelands and Narlmarches, the brothers returned to Oleg’s to catch up on news from the north, and manage relations with another group of would-be adventurers, led by a somewhat mysterious Issian. After several successful treks to the south, the brothers were met and befriended by two other Rostlanders who’d come south after hearing about the charter, and the success that two individuals were having – success no one else had been able to produce to date.

Working as a team, the four braved the dense, trackless Narlmarches to find the camp from where bandits had been operating these many months, menacing Oleg’s, the trade roads, and the northern Stolen Lands. They attacked the camp from two directions, and through their coordinated effort were able to eventually, after a tough fight, dispatch all but one of the bandits, whom they took prisoner.

Harvest Bazaar

Upon returning to Oleg’s, the party is greeted with an unexpected development: a growing gathering of trappers and farmers, camped around the trading post. Apparently a local tradition that had stopped due to bandit activity, the Harvest Bazaar is on again, with residents of the northern Kamelands and Narlmarches meeting at Oleg’s for a few days of trading, sharing of news, and minor festivities.

By the morning after their return, there are over 50 people setting up tents and displays, trading furs and food, and swapping stories. All of them want to meet and talk with the adventurers, who are looked on by many as heroes, and some with suspicion. These are, after all frontiersmen, many of whom left civilization in search of liberty and a buffer between them and what many see as a coming civil war in Brevoy. Braving bandits and the wilderness is preferable to these folks than sitting still in the towns and farms of Rostland.

Retail Politics

It is said that all politics is local. It’s all fine and good to talk about big-picture plans and policies – ‘A Stronger Narlmarches,’ ‘A Brighter Future for the Kamelends’ – but what people really want to know is that they will be secure in their homes and with their families. And with this lot of settlers, that they’ll be largely left alone. A ‘chicken in every pot’ is helpful, too, so moving around the northern farming settlements to meet the locals and let them know who you are and what you’re up to is a good idea. Thus far, you’ve experienced a positive reception, and word of your accomplishments seems to be spreading quickly. Even more important than that, there seems to be a very positive feeling surrounding you and your accomplishments to date. The locals are happy to see you ride by, and some of them are even comfortable enough to go out of their way to talk to you, and even feed you.

The northern Narlmarches are largely mapped at this point. You have a strong sense of the lay of the land, where resources can be found, where settlements are and could be placed, and what issues are unique to various areas (the faeries, for example). No one seems the least bit sad by the passing of Breeg Orlov, the trapper. And Jhod is extremely grateful about your brave fight to reclaim the Temple of Erastil. He’s also appreciative of your offer to stick around for a day or two after the fight. He does, however, insist that he will be safe on hallowed ground as you four continue exploring southward.

Late in the day after the fight with the bear, the weather turns and it begins to rain, and continues to do so through the night. The next morning comes with a thick fog filling the forest, blanketing the ground and obscuring your vision. The temperature, which had been in the 70s during the day, drops into the low 60s, and lower at night. It’s humid and cool, with damp air, mushy ground, and a lingering smell of rain as you continue south of the Thorn River.

Heading South
It's getting cold out here...

After reclaiming the Temple of Erastil, and leaving a very happy and eager Jhod behind to clean up the site, the team heads southward to find…? Something? Are they after the fabled Tuskgutter? Or perhaps the coveted tatzylwyrm heads Oleg promised to purchase? And beyond those, there is still a great deal of wilderness to explore, map, and subdue.

The major issue on the trip south is the weather – it’s getting cold and wet. Travel in the forest is slow, due in part to the dense woods, but also due to a few days of heavy rain that turn game trails and established paths into muddy rivers, forcing the party to take refuge among the huge trees for parts of each day, and walking their horses at other times. It’s wet and cold, and when it’s not raining, it’s cold and foggy, with visibility in the forest limited at times to 50 feet or less. And there are definitely more animals out there…more sounds, just beyond the range of sight.

Victory Piled on Victory!
...and the party hits a minor snag

Heading south into the Narlmarches, the party discovered – by way of a sneak attack – that a troll had been shadowing them for some time. Despite the beast’s ability to regenerate most damage taken, the team eventually laid it low through a combination of fire, acid, and a few ferocious blows from Sir Anton. A minor flap resulted from this encounter, however, as the stalwart cavalier took exception to Zion’s reckless use of alchemist’s fire, which harmed two members of the party. Regardless, the team continued southward, tracking the fabled Tuskgutter, boar of great renown and local boogeyman.

A few days later, through the skilled and stealthy scouting of Kincaid, ranger extraordinaire-to-be, they found the beast’s lair, and, while planning a tactical masterpiece of an attack on said lair, were masterfully charged by the dire boar, which was trying to creep up on them as they so masterfully planned.

After an epic battle of sword, spell, tusk, and color (eh?), the vile and violent beast finally gave up its last breath and collapsed, making an opening for Sir Anton to charge Zion and beat him to a pulp for barfing color spray on poor Pik, the little guy. It’s always the little guy who gets picked on, right? Pik’d on. Huh. Anyway, since men are able to beat on each other then talk it out and shake hands, whereas women will cry and agree on consensus then harbor anger and plot against each other for months, all was resolved quickly and fully.

The beast was brought back to Oleg’s; a great feast was held for the locals; plans were made for the construction of an advance base; more land was explored; a funky dead guy was encountered; kobolds were bargained with; and the aforementioned advance base was mostly constructed. Winter is coming, shortly, and before will likely be an onslaught of bandit activity the likes of which our intrepid team have not yet seen. Hopefully our heroes will be up to the challenge of defeating the bandits, and in doing so protecting their reputation among the locals.

And 3rd level was reached, too.

Rumors in the Air
Like a thief in the night, taking more than their share, taking more than their right...

Within a few days of arriving at the advance camp and settling in, the team establishes a regular set of patrols in the area. Kincaid, using his extensive knowledge of all things related to trees, forests, dirt, plants, trails, and nature in general, suggests that going out in pairs each day, on a rotating schedule, will help the team become aware of the detailed lay of the land around the camp, and will help them establish regular contact with trappers operating in the area, too. This should have the effect of extending their ‘eyes and ears’ outward – southward – from the camp.

After settling into this routine, trappers from the south report that, as expected, bandit activity has increased. One party of trappers is overdue, having missed a scheduled rendezvous with another team, which then found evidence of a fight at a burned-out camp about 15 miles to the south. Another pair of trappers also reported being stalked by what they believed was a team of the Stag Lord’s men. They were able to get aware, however, before being attacked.

Are the bandits following their seasonal trend? Are they looking for something, or someone? The Thorn River Camp has enough supplies to keep 4 or 5 people fed for about a week or more, and the weather is cooling off quickly. The fall rains should come soon, say the locals, and after that will be a short dry spell, then the quick change to cold fall, and winter. Time is running short…

ps: Where’d I get the post title and tagline? 50 XP to whoever gets it correct first.

Target in Sight

Going off rumors heard and news of the missing team of trappers, the team headed south once again. After some more exploration, the team discovered a trapped Brush Thycaline, which Pik was able to communicate with. They decided to free the animal – Urgh’Targh – and traded food for information and the likelihood of good future relations. The animal, leader of its pack, was happy to give what information it had about the area, including two places it and its kind avoid.

Since avoided areas typically mean ‘trouble here!’ the team, of course, headed directly for one of them, a low swampy area west of the Temple of Erastil. There they discovered a pair of ruined buildings inhabited by ‘King’ Garuum, wayward Boggard, and his trusty steed, a sizable purple slurk. Seemingly interested only in being recognized as sovereign of his patch of stinking mud, and in being left alone, Garuum was happy to accept tribute from the team, and allowed them to go about their business without swearing the traditional oath of complete fealty to him and his reign.

South of Garuum’s realm the team found the tatzylwyrm lair they’d heard mentioned at Oleg’s, and proceeded to destroy the happy home of the kindly demi-dragons, killing both of them, smashing their nest, stealing their dead adventurer, and making super omelets with their eggs.

After returning to the advance camp, and checking in on a very productive Jhod on the way, the team re-provisioned, sent the field-dressed tatzylwyrm parts north to Oleg’s, and learned some more information from various trappers, by way of Torvald. Led by Torvald south, they found the campsite of the three missing trappers, and were able, based on evidence left there and Kincaid’s keen eye, determine that the men had been attacked by a group of five or six, coming from the east, and that it was highly likely that they were killed and their bodies tossed in the Skunk River.

Following the river east, and out of the Narlmarches, the team discovered, at very long last, the Stag Lord’s fort, strategically placed atop a large man-made hill, surrounded by a 15-foot palisade, and seemingly only accessible by way of a long (200+ foot) earthen ramp that runs directly south to the fort’s front gate.

Utilizing their masterful skills at stealth and riding, the team made its way closer to the fort and found a good hide site, from where they could observe the fort. The next morning, upon observing a party of riders depart from the fort, the team broke camp and shadowed them, until they were able to catch and engage the bandits, attacking by surprise from behind.

A few moments and four dead bandits later, the team had one captive, whose miserable state made him highly susceptible to suggestion and interrogation. So what do you want to know, team?

Speak English or Die!
...or, please tell us everything you know about our adversary

Based on the discussion and feedback you folks provided, here’s what happens:

You question Scrunk Tomlinz, in an intimidating manner, with Anton taking the lead and the others either staring hard at him or looking stone-faced. Clearly, some of you are hostile…others, who knows? Pik plays the role of potential nice guy, but stays back while Anton tells him how it is: they’re going to question him, he’d better tell the truth, and then they’re going to do it again, with magic to make sure he’s being honest. Answers that match up are good; answers that do not will earn him demerits, which he’ll have to cash in at the gift shop when they’re finished. The gift shop offers things like broken teeth and fingers, a wrenched shoulder, dislocated knees, maybe a gouged-out eye, and even (for 50 scrip!) a hanging with a nice, loose rope (so it lasts). Those are the rules. And the questioning begins.

Round 1

  1. Do they have any spell casters? No.
  2. Does anyone have any attacking pets? No.
  3. Has he taken his own prisoners in the form of the trappers? No – they’re dead.
  4. Is there another way into the fort? I don’t know.
  5. How many “guards” are typically on duty? It depends – a few.
  6. Other than hand-held range weapons (bow, sling, etc.), does the fort have any other ranged weapons? No.
  7. What sort of traps do they have for any who would do a frontal assault? None.
  8. How much and what does the Stag Lord know about us? He knows you’re out here, somewhere, but isn’t too worried – he’s a tough guy. Never seen him lose a fight, even against several men.

Round 2 (with spells)

  1. Correct!
  2. Correct!
  3. Correct!
  4. Bullshit!
  5. Correct!
  6. Correct!
  7. Bullshit!
  8. Correct!

And then the spell runs out, after asking him the questions over again, and having him stall just a little during that round. A kick or two to the side doesn’t help much, since he had to gather himself and get his wind back after being whooped. You get the sense that he’s holding back information, but maybe not lying – he’s feigning ignorance when he has more to say. You also get the sense that the Stag Lord is a very fearsome character, who keeps his men in line through intimidation, brutality, and a few key lieutenants who share his vision of things. Scrunk is also very serious when saying that the Stag Lord is an unrepentant lush, and is almost always drunk or hungover – and he’s an angry drunk, too. As for information about wintering, Scrunk knows little, since he only joined the ‘company’ this last spring.

So what now?

Accounting We Will Go...
...collecting stuff and reaping rewards...

I have created a new page describing the fort and listing everything that you found there. There are some things I forgot to mention last night, and they are included on that page.

I have also moved the original charter to a new page, and replaced it on the homepage with the new one you received from the Sword Lords. You can find that page through the wiki, or here. We can use that page as a place to start bringing together your ideas about the formation of your government, and all the logistical, political, and legal issues that will come with that.

Anyway, to summarize, you preserved the SL’s corpse so that you could show it off. North of the fangberry patch you ran into some trappers you’d already met, showed them the body and told them the great tale, and they took off northward to spread the word. It seems that the locals are getting used to you guys slaughtering bad guys, then having a big tailgate party at Oleg’s, so it’s something they’re eager to make happen. When you make it back to the advance base (which needs a name, really), Reg, Breen, and Torvald are there to greet you, and with news that the word is spreading quickly. By the time you arrive at Oleg’s, over a week after you leave the SL’s fort (under the watchful eye of some trappers you ran into), quite a crowd is gathering. Representatives from each of the farming communities to the west of Oleg’s are there. Several trappers have arrived. A kobold emissary is even there, having been dispatched by the chief upon hearing the news. You set up the body in a cart under the ‘Bandits’ Graveyard’ sign and let people come by and spit on it. Pik regales the crowd, over and over ad nauseum, about what happened, how you found the fort, learned its secrets (the list of which seems to grow with each telling), cleverly gained access, then smote the baddies with heavenly forth, even defeating a giant, rabid owlbear pet of the Stag Lord himself. The righteous fury with which you stormed the fort even moved the Stag Lord’s top lieutenant, Akiros Ismort, to switch sides, then thurrender completely, then swear complete fealty to the charter holders.

A copy of the charter itself is nailed to the Stag Lord’s chest, as the team is congratulated, thanked, and held in increasing respect by the large crowd. The festivities last for a day or two, with necessity bringing the event to a close – people need to get home to deal with winter.

The corpse is delivered back to the river, where the ghost of Davik Nettles receives it, offering up its +1 ranseur in thanks, and then departing this plane forever.

Winter arrives. Now what?

ps: whatever did you do with Scrunk, tied to the tree?

What kind of government?
...and several other questions...

I’ll leave this post for you folks to use through comments to discuss what type of government you want to create, and how you’d like to start filling the leadership positions. I also created another wiki page with information about the kingdom management rules.


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