Pathfinder Kingmaker

Probing the Narlmarches

Late March, Year 2

Sentence was decided and carried out: Grigoryi would lose his left hand, and all his possessions, and would be exiled. Given a day’s food and low passage on a trade caravan out of the realm, he would be immediately executed if found within the Mistmarches ever again. The people saw this as a just and merciful punishment, and within days the whole affair was largely forgotten.

Loy and Latricia Rezbin sought audience with the kings and asked permission to settle ‘Tatzlford,’ a town along the river, near where the kings had killed the tatzylwyrms the year before. Eager, intelligent, and armed with a good plan, the couple wanted the kings’ approval, and wanted the town to be officially recognized and incorporated into the Mistmarches. Considering the proposal, the kings agreed to it, announcing to the couple that by summer their settlement would be fully a part of the kingdom.

Anton, Kincaid, and Pik rode out on the morning after the start of the festival, leaving Zion and Reg to administer the affairs of the city and kingdom in their absence. Taking the Forest Road to the west, they quickly reached its end, and from there followed Kincaid’s lead along a series of reasonably well-worn forest paths, deeper into the dense, ancient wood.

The Murque River was to their left, and mostly running freely after the initial thaw. Patches of snow were still common in shady spots – of which there were many – and the river banks, when they came into view, still had sizable shelves of ice reaching out from them. The center of the river, however, flowed swiftly toward the south and east, toward the Tuskwater.

Nixie

At around mid-day they heard the sounds: voices arguing over something. Coming onto the scene they kings saw several loggers, led by Corax, whom Kincaid had met the week before, standing ready to attack…a pair of their own men, apparently charmed by a nixie, who was angry over the trees that they’d felled near her pond. Stepping between the parties, the kings went about working to diffuse the situation by establishing the facts and developing a mutually-acceptable solution. The trees would be replaced; the loggers would leave this area alone and would move the focus of their operations to another part of the forest; and the nixie would release the men from the spell.

Within a few hours the kings were on the trail again, steadily moving deeper into the forest, in search of the grove of Tiressia, the dryad Kincaid had previously met. Fearing for her life, she had reached out for help against some powerful beast that was moving through the southern forest, toward her home; she feared it would soon find, and kill, her sacred oak, and her with it.

Acting on information from Tiressia and scouting intelligence from Kincaid, the kings decided to rest that night in her grove and prepare spells and other plans for the next day. Doing this, the departed at first light and searched to the south, in some of the deepest and most ancient forest they’d seen thus far. Eventually the path of the beast was found: a swath of dead trees and ruined vegetation, moving from south to north, dead-ending in a blighted hollow. Searching the hollow the kings found the source of the ruin: a gnarled, dark reddish-brown tree with sharp, scythe-like branches, few leaves, and a large scar-like gash running vertically down its trunk. Arrows flew, the tree came to life, and the kings attacked with sword, bow, and spell. Both Anton and Kincaid were injured, and yet they pressed the attack, aided by Pik’s summoning of a fire elemental. The tree was trapped, and although it lashed out with all its might to destroy its attackers, it was eventually felled, burned, and broken into pieces, ending its threat to the forest.

Cas

After Pik healed his companions, the three returned to exploring the lands, spending another day in this area where none of them had yet been. After satisfactorily mapping the area, the kings moved again toward the west, in search of the ancient Elven keep Kincaid had already located.

Familiar with the land, Kincaid was able to quickly lead them to the large stone keep. Circular in design, and with four towers spread equidistant along the outer wall, the keep’s main structure was a large circular tower within the outer palisade. The outer wall itself was overgrown with vines, moss, and slime, was partially collapsed on the south side, and had an open portcullis in the eastern side. A wildly overgrown center yard was visible through the open gate, and an unnatural, unpleasant silence pushed out any sound of nature from around or within the keep.

The kings, concealed along a low, densely-forested ridge, watched the keep from the southeast, considering their next move.

Elven keep

“Hey guys! Hey guys! It’s me! I found those loggers and met Tiressia and tracked you guys here! Wow! Do you see that keep! It’s MASSIVE! I bet it’s really old, too!” Zion road down the path to their rear on his horse. His silver hair practically sparkled in the intermittent shafts of light that pierced the forest canopy, and the white and purple and yellow ‘show barding’ (which he’d bought up north, and consisted of nothing more than brightly-colored layered cloth) stood out among the branches and early leaves.

“Why are you guys being so quiet?”

Anton gritted his teeth while Kincaid waved his hands at their fellow king, trying to get him to be quiet. Pik cast his eyes toward the sky, silently asking the eternal question of “why….?”

Comments

It was the normal routine in the Mistmarches. The kings had solved disputes, slayed strange and dangerous beasts, discovered haunted keeps, mapped more lands, made more friends, made in-roads for future kingdom building, won treasure…and this was all before breakfast! But then, that what we do for our people, the Mistmarchers. Another day in the life! What a life! Anton is happy again. Life is good! Even if Zion’s barding brings back memories of his youth.
By the way, thanks for the layer of magic in the armor, Zion. Much appreciated!

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Not to mention we literally have a Hand of Justice, albeit a Bard’s hand extricated by justice but what the hell! The sisters at the Herbalist shop MUST have something to preserve something until we can get the oil of timelessness…

Probing the Narlmarches
 

They pickled it in a special blend of herbs and spices. It’s more brown than it used to be, and somewhat shriveled, but all in all pretty well intact for a severed hand. A small metal cap is fashioned for the wrist, and it is now attached to the end of a short chain.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Did anyone else raise an eyebrow about having 100+ lizardmen as neighbors to the Old Beldame? We should probably check that out. They aren’t too far from our little hut either…
Another thought occured to Anton as well, although its in the other direction: those yahoos in the dip that we brought into the kingdom were looking for some super cool magic item. We should find it first! So, lets wrap up the mysteries here and head out the other direction for a bit.
What say you my brothers?

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Remember that the forest is very dense, and that portion of the Narlmarches, owing to the presence of Beldame and the fact that the Candlemere is widely believed to be haunted, is not an area often visited by people. Fishermen stay out of the Candlemere Lake, in part due to the rapids & falls between it and the Tuskwater, and because of the island, and trappers avoid that area, too. And they all stay away from the shoreline around where the Beldame’s place is. If you look on the map you’ll see that this creates a buffer between your settled area and the area where the Lizardfolk are living.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

That sounds strangely like a kobold in a room off the side of the dragons cavern- only separated by an unlocked plainly visible door… I mean, I’m completely ok with the first edition feel of it, but it did come across that way—just sayin’.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Look, these are rustics – they live in the middle of nowhere! If they make it feel a bit 1st ed., that’s their fault, not mine.

And the Lizardfolk, by the way, seem to be relatively recent residents.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

…and happiness and glee return to the Kingdom of the Mistmarches.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Recent residents, but they already have structures setup. Is it an Occupy Mistmarch encampment?

Probing the Narlmarches
 

More like a bum squat, like those out by Littleton and the Air Museum.

Actually, on second thought, these folks are most comparable to American settlers who, before the federal gov’t created a legal structure for large-scale migration West, had already moved far west of the Mississippi by the 1850s, put up towns, and were busy doing their thing. The feds, in 1863, formalized the land ownership and titling process to make some sense and order out of what was becoming legal chaos in some areas. Lots of people think that folks rushed West after the feds created the Homestead Act when that law was actually passed to put a legal framework in place to deal with migration that was already well underway.

And now we can get back to made-up stuff. Your kingdom will expand into those lands and bring those people on board, formalizing their land titles and facilitating economic development.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Addendum: Zion was escorted out to the ruins by the same squad of Mistborn Rangers who’d found the place with Kincaid the week before. It wouldn’t be appropriate, or safe, for a king to go riding around a largely unexplored forest by himself. Anyway, those rangers were met on their way to the ruins by another pair of their team, who brought disturbing news of troll sightings to the south.

Kincaid, although the Spymaster of the realm, was also seen as the de facto boss to Sly and the Rangers, and so he decided to lead the squad on a deeper exploration of the southern Narlmarches, in order to look into these rumors.

Abandoned, supposedly haunted keep? Check. A colony lizardfolk? Check? Trolls? Maybe so. Rumors of some hidden treasure in the Kamelands? So they’d heard. Suddenly Misthaven didn’t seem so remote.


META
So Kincaid’s taken care of for next week, as he rides off to see what substance might be of these latest rumors. If the remaining kings would like any of the Rangers to stick around, let me know. I know I am not a fan of NPCs as hirelings, but in this case it’d make sense for the story. There are five Rangers in total, and then Kincaid. Three escorted Zion out to the keep, and then the other two came up from the southwest.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Rangers will be easy to run, 2 will be over watch who only shoot arrows when in combat, the other three each of the kings can direct specifically… ie, run them. Not a lot of creativity, just get into flanking positions for the kings.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Kincaid isn’t going off alone. He’s going to take 2 or 3 of them with him, leaving you guys with only 2 or 3. Or does Zion need a larger security detail? Who is this guy, P-Diddy?

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Well, p-Ditty gots Nuthin on me. I shouldn’t have to soil my hands.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Wait…Five Kings, or Four Kings and a Queen? I think you guys are going have to reprint the kingdom’s letterhead.

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Well,anton is a bit of a dandy…

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Mega Meta
I just found out that the town of Tatzylford, to be settled by the Rezbins, can be developed independently and then annexed by you guys. So let’s say this: Loy and Latricia have already started building their little town, and came to you seeking recognition, with the desire to one day be annexed once the KoMm (Kingdom of the Mistmarches!) expands to that point in the forest. Additionally, I have realized that forest hexes aren’t of much use to you, in mechanical terms. They cost much more if you want to build a city in them; they can’t be used as farms; and so unless they have a special resource in them, they’re less valuable than hill or prairie hexes.

Additionally, Tatzylford can be settled by the Rezbins, and I’ll begin building it…and then you guys can attempt to annex it – which would mean that you’d simply absorb, for free, whatever’s been built there already. I think it’d add some more depth to the story, and would save you some loot, too. Focus on the Kamelands for now…so basically, Zion’s right about the direction of expansion!

Mark this day in history! Zion’s right, and I admitted to it!!

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Wow… I am stunned.
As to expansions, I would still .lime to found a city to the east, next to the, edge of the map, just on the river. We can also build a bridge there for simple crossing. Then connect it and misthaven with roads.
Also I would like to expand oleg’s trading post. Is really like to build a garrison there.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Another FYI: building add’l cities enables you to build more economy-enhancing buildings, and make more BP.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Build baby, build!

And to bring in more people, we would issue an open invitation for soldiers and their families- experienced or not- within the surrounding kingdoms: “A chance at a better life! Determination, sweat, and innitiative, and you too could build this better life in the Kingdom of the Mistmarches!”

Probing the Narlmarches
 

I respect your desire to build, however, what would you suggest we build next? I would like the Cathedral built in order to make magical research and pathways less expensive, Fey is throwing out anything but.
What would you suggest we build my friend?

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Reg believes that, for matters of defense, a barracks would make a fine first step. However, he also recognizes that such a project would not add to the economy or the treasury, and so he’s sticking with a caster’s tower, on the east side of town, so as to provide added surveillance potential out into the Kamelands. That’s what Reg says over a breakfast of Moons Over My Hammy, his favorite.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

I think before we build the barracks, we should build the town hall. It will only cost 10 BS because we have built a castle, and we don’t go for the whole noble homes stuff. Town hall (22) bp. In half because of the castle 11, and carpenter lowers builds by 1 equals 10. With the town hall, barracks builds will be cut in half.
Meta question… Would we be able to build both at the same time and take advantage of the half cost of the prerequisite? Or do we wait till the next month?

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Good question on how many buildings per month. At the size of the Mistmarches, you can currently do up to the following maximums per month: claim 2 hexes, settle 1 city, build 2 city buildings, lay 2 hexes of roads, and develop 1 open space. You could do all of those things in one month if you had the loot. You would, however have to build the town hall first, then the next month build the barracks in order to get the half-price for the latter.

And I just read some message board comments from James Jacobs, the big-wig editor at Paizo, who said that while it seems a stretch, the benefits for all buildings take effect immediately, which implies that everything gets built right away within the month. It’s easier than trying to figure out when you bought it, when it takes effect…too cumbersome for no real gain for the game or story.

You could do this: build the town hall, for 10, in April. You could also build the Caster’s Tower, for 29. So you spend 39 of the 50 BP you have on hand right now. You’d get the following stat bumps from those: +2 Econ, +2 Loyalty, +1 Stability, 3 minor items, and 2 medium items. Then you roll and make more money.

In May, you drop 3 on the barracks, which adds to the Defense Mod and further reduces Unrest. And…in May…you will sell 4 minor and 2 medium items, for a total of 20BP (since you already have 1 minor item from the herbalist shop). That’s one model.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Anton agrees with Zion about the town hall being built first, then the tower, then the barracks.
Pro: Zion, Reg, Anton,
Con:
Fence sitters: Pik, Kinkaid
3 of 5 is a majority, but we’d like to have it be unanimous.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

Sorry to harp on this gents, I do not want the casters tower built before cathedral, then academy. To me It’s throwing BO away when we can sit on the BP for a little while then knock them out like a domino effect. Once cathedral is built, academy is at half, then the casters tower is at half and magic shop and library. We can look at the same thing with the arena. Build the big things, the smaller ones are easier and cheaper.
That’s my thought.

Probing the Narlmarches
 

You know, the way this has gone on, I believe we should just discuss the building of buildings on Saturday.

Probing the Narlmarches
Lyle

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