Kingmaker

Journal of Alistar Varn

I am not entirely sure how to even start this entry. I find I’ve been asleep for 3 weeks. My soul encased in a magical jar by foul magics and my body being held only Erastil knows where. The entirety of our town I find killed, by atrocious abominations. Vordaki, an ancient cyclops wizard was awaken and began his diabolic plot, starting with Varnhold. Only 43 of our citizens remain. The Varnling Host has been reduced to two. Only myself and Willas remain. This means my father, Maeger Varn, is with the pantheon now. Varnhold and the Varnling Host falls to me now.

This travesty is not without silver lining though. It seems our saviors arrived with little time to spare. The heroes of the Kingdom of Veritos came to our aid, saving what was left of Varnhold. Amongst them, the most beautiful of angels, by the name of Flora. I have told the group that when Varnhold is settled and prepared, a banquet will be thrown in their honor. I hope that Flora will be in attendance.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - -

Over the last 9 months Veritos has expanded mightily. I am not sure what their secret to rapid expansion is (I am sure adding Varnhold’s holdings were helpful) but it serves them well. Already their kingdom houses five cities, including their newest, Tendertide, a market place wonder. Its settling, I presume, was a large key to their economic success. Their holdings have nearly tripled since they discovered us. I imagine further expansion is in the works. It is only a matter of time before they, excuse me, we, are a force to be reckoned with within the River Kingdoms.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - -

Finally, our town was fit for the ruling council’s arrival. All was set and I hoped to speak with Flora. And while this wish was granted, the night was all but ruined by the arrival of an unwanted guest. Baron Drelev, a ruling of some small holdings of Pitax arrived uninvited, claiming he didn’t need to provide such courtesy as the announcement of his arrival. His tone hostile, it was not long until his attitude lead to a stand off with the rulers of Veritos. He rode off into the night, presumably returning home to his holdings. I am weary that this little event will unfold into something more.

No matter. I got to see Flora this evening.

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Olah-Kakanket: Valley of the Dead

Be forewarned players. You are quickly approaching the apex of the third book, Varnhold Vanishing. The end of this adventure will test your abilities. I know that sometimes the encounters seem a little easy (sometimes even after I’ve added a little extra) because of the “once per day” nature of the game. I promise, this bit will offer some challenges unlike any other. Remember how dangerous the Stag Lord was and how close many came to death with the Owlbear. This will probably be worse. I make no guarantee that everyone makes it out alive. I will give you one tip before you venture forth and that is that your gear can be invaluable to you. That is why we are going to do an inventory of equipment (Morven’s orders) before you set out for the Valley of the Dead. If you have any questions, let me know. I look forward to setting things in motion tomorrow (Brian’s at 6) as I’ve recently put a lot of work into this section to try and draw everyone in after a lull in Kingmaker. Good luck!

P.S. Below is a new recap of the last game to remind everyone where what happened (and to tell Brian for the first time). Please read.

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Vordakai and The Fate of Varnhold

Dorian came down with a grave sickness but the Riders of Veritos still needed to find the Nomen Centaur and solve the mystery of Varnhold’s citizens. Wandering the eastern parts of the Varnling Host’s assigned territory the group eventually discovered a band of Nomen Centaur hunters. While initial contact was hostile, the Nomen were eventually persuaded to give the riders an audience with their war-priestess. But this was only possible after presenting Skybolt, a powerful longbow found in the possession of the spriggans in Varnhold.
Arriving under the stars the group spoke with Aceora Silverfire, leader of the Nomen people. She assured them that while the Nomen centaur had feuded and battled with the citizens of Varnhold, her tribe was not to blame for their disappearance. After one of our heros mentioned the name Vordakai, discovered the research of Maestro Pendrod, Aceora fell eerily silent. She warned the party of a great and ancient evil that the Nomen were tasked with keeping contained, the monster, Vordakai. She told the riders of an ancient burial ground that her people are forbidden to set foot on, Olah-lan-ka-kan-ket, the Valley of the Dead. If something so powerful and evil like the vanishing of Varnhold could happen, surely its origins rest beyond that valley.
Fearful that they were not ready with a sickened member, the team road back to Astrium to drop off their findings, guide the kingdom and restock on supplies. With Dorian out of commision, the group set off for further exploration with Jim Varkas, awaiting Dorian’s recovery. During this exploration it became apparent just how close their kingdom comes to that of southern Brevoy and its southern capital. Furthermore, several beautiful waterfalls and navigable waterways were discovered.

When Dorian returns to health, the riders have sworn to set out for the Valley of the Dead to uncover the mystery and save the citizens of Varnhold.

- Mavik Carn, Journalist
Daily Dragon

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The Founding of Tatzelford

Battered, beaten, bruised. You leave the Owlbear’s lair victorious. The greatest threat your nation has ever faced has been removed from this realm. And while you leave with bounties of treasure and a new kingdom pet in tow, you can’t help but feel your accomplishment is tainted by the nagging sense that something larger is amiss.

The map in the troll lair was bad enough. How did they manage to know about your Kingdom without someone catching a glimpse of them? And what kind of an attack were they planning? Isn’t something like that beyond the organizational level of a band of trolls? But you put aside that worry when you told yourself that Hargulka was special. He seemed to possess some level of intellect, tactics and enough leadership to organize the trolls.

But now, now things don’t add up again. There was no way in Erastil’s name that that monstrosity of an Owlbear had enough wits about him to know what a map was, let alone draw one out. And what about that dimension door set up in its lair? It was too perfect that an enormous animal beast like that just stumbled upon a lair with such a perfect and safe hiding spot. Someone had to have done that. It was intentional. And the barding the animal was wearing? Owlbears don’t just put on their own clothes. Someone put that on him.

Speaking of someone, who was the corpse in the Owlbear’s lair? His armor, weapons and gear suggested someone of importance. But more importantly, the ring he wore matched the Owlbear’s. Why? What was the plan? His intent? Questions left unanswered. That uneasy feeling still lingers.

  • * * * * * * * * *

“I’m sure its obvious that this meeting was called for several reasons.” Sigfried’s voice rang out through the castle’s main meeting chambers with an authority deceptive of his young age. “We have dealt with a grave threat to our kingdom. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury to celebrate. Many more problems, albeit more mundane ones, plague us. Primarily, two entire blocks of our city lie in ruins. Oleg?”

Sigfried cast a hand across the meeting table. Almost a dozen surrounded the table but he looked to the gruff blonde checking and rechecking numbers on a glowing abacus in front of him. “Hmpf.” Oleg acknowledge the baron, but did not look up immediately, still double checking and re-referencing information on the paper before him. “I think we can rebuild it. We’ve been doing pretty well with the market within our own economy. I mean, its going to take some time and of course some resources, but it shouldn’t cripple us. We got lucky.”

“Lucky?” The single word was partially under Roman’s breath but its intent to be heard was obvious. Lily at his side gave a stern look to the burly half-elf at her side, hoping to end any hostiles before they begin. The word’s most obvious effect took place opposite Roman, on the tongue of Kesten Garress.

“I did everything I could Roman!”

“Which continues to be not enough!” While most weapons were left at the door and the ones remaining peace knotted, the Surtova descendant’s eyes pierced just as deeply as his arrows.

“Roman.” This time Lily verbalized her displeasure, as did Sigfried.

“Enough! Quarrel on your own time.” Both men dropped the subject, readjusting in their seats. “Before the interruption Oleg, you said our self contained economy was do well. What about our outward trade?”

“Unfortunately, its been relatively poor. We haven’t generated near enough income from outside trade.”

“That’s unfortunate. I have purposefully shifted intent of my rule to benefit our economy. What is the problem?”

A pleasant but meek voice spoke up for the first time. “Sigfried, if I may,” the baron nodded to diplomat Flora’s request. “From what I can tell from speaking with the other surrounding kingdoms, we are not seen as credible. Many Kingdom’s have tried and failed to gain a foothold in the Stolen Lands. And while we have done as well or better than anyone for hundreds of years, our holdings are still small.”

“How do you mean? Astrum thrives and grows by the hundreds monthly.”

The response Sigfried received was not from the soft spoken girl as he had expected. Instead the low, guttural tones of an amphibious creature answered back. “Let me show you.” Hopalong bounced from his seat at the table and took a bag from Morven’s seat. From it he pulled an easel that seemingly should not have fit. Furthermore, the easel seemed to have no display on it. “Morven and I have been working on this. Morven?” With a wave of his hand and few choice words Morven projected a map upon the easel. “You see – ribbit – while our capital city is an impressive feat, we hold little more than 100 square miles. The Varnhold Kingdom to our west has a small central city but its land holds are easily our equal. I imagine our information is slightly out of date. They are probably larger than this by now. And Varnhold is far newer a kingdom than us. We are significantly behind.”

“Hopalong, Flora. Are you suggesting expansion?”

“If you are concerned about our legitimacy as a trading partner to other kingdoms, then absolutely,” Flora stated with confidence. Hopalong concurred with a croak.

“Then that is something we will have to consider.”

Almost as if on cue on the doors to meeting room entered and Jarrett, a young assistant around the castle emerged. “Baron, I have a man who insists on speaking with you.”

“Who is he? What is his business?”

“He says his name is Loy Rezbin. He seems quite interested in setting up a new village under your flag.”

The coincidence of such an opportunity is not wasted on the royal court surrounding the table. Chatter begins immediately amongst the kingdom leaders.

“Iomadae’s will,” Sigfried utters to no one in particular. "Send him in Jarrett.

To be continued…

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Building a Kingdom

On July 11, the Kingdom of Veritos was founded. A short while later the foundation of this kingdom was laid. On the location previously held by the Stag Lord, a bandit king, 4 adventurers and their companions laid roots forming the capital city, Astrium, City of the Stars. It has been six months since the kingdom was founded. Now in the heart of winter, the new countries leadership has quickly discovered founding a nation is no easy task. Some say they bit off more than they can chew with promoting their kingdom and keep their people happy with festivals. With some additional support from their backers and a few fortunate turns of fate, the kingdom still stands.

The country has expanded northward, claiming everything in its wake as farmlands to support its people. The capital city now holds 1,800 people with 500 more dotting the farms in small villages. Astrium stands with only a castle, some housing and a newly built smith. The people are looking for more work and hopefully at some point, some entertainment. However, most knew they signed up for a rough life style in a new nation are a relatively happy with their lot.

While the first six months may be the hardest this fledgling nation faces, the next six may be the most crucial to its success.

Council Round Table

Councilor Leveton: The people need more places to work and something to do. They grow restless. For the time being however, they continue on in peace.

High Priest Kavken: I have taken a few interested under my wing to hopefully teach them the holy ways and spread the word of the pantheon. As instructed, I keep an open mind to most religions but continue primarily with my teachings of Erastil. His tenants hold true and inspire the people here who know live on the outskirts of society in a building community.

Marshal Ismort: You have done well in exploring and clearing the lands of danger before settling your kingdom. There are few threats in the surrounding wilderness. A few wolves here or there, but nothing that cannot be dealt with.

Spymaster Varkas: Thankfully, a small kingdom means less crime. I haven’t seen any sleezy activity, but then again, we’re hardly big enough to have an underworld. Nothing to report. Can I quit yet?

Treasurer Leveton: I won’t lie to you guys, things are so good. The treasury is low and for awhile we were running in the red. We’ve got to start spending less. If we start spending a little less I think our farms can keep our people fed and we can be a little more self sustaining. The city hasn’t seen much new activity in awhile. We need to start investing in its production once we have the funds.

Captain of the Guard Garres: I have little in the way of guards but, we have little in the way of population. The streets are safe but we’ll need to make adjustments once we grow larger. I appreciate the building of the smith. It keeps my men properly equipped to deal with danger.

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Defeating the Stag Lord - Session 5

“Gotta say, I’m a little weary with them just leavin’ a bandit here with me and my wife…” Oleg spoke the words with his eyes only directly above his wooden bowl brought to his lips.

Jim finished slurping back the remaining contents of his bowl and set it down on the picnic table. “Well, I caught you the rabbit for this stew right? Doesn’t that earn me anything?” Jim’s retort, obviously somewhat in jest.

Oleg’s response was gruff. “Yeah, it does,” Oleg gestured with his spoon to the bowl Jim set down. “It earned you that bowl of stew.”

“Well I suppose that’s something.”

“And it looks like you cleaned that bowl out. Better watch it, you’ll end up with a gut on ya after long you keep up like that.”

“I like to eat everything because I don’t DO dishes.”

Already on edge, Jim’s refusal to do chores hit a nerve. “Whattya mean you don’t DO dishes?”

Jim threw up his hands with a shrug and responded in a mocking sing songy tone. “Bandit.”

“Harumpf. Of course you wouldn’t do dishes.” Oleg continued to grumble as he picked up both bowls, got up from the table and took a few steps to drop the bowls in the washing bin. He got down on his knees to start some cleaning as Jim pulled a small dagger from his belt to pick his teeth. Both at in silence for a few moments, Jim staring up at the starry night sky. The light of the flames flickering over both. Eventually, Oleg broke the silence. “So…whattya think the chances are of those four taking down this Stag Lord?”

“‘Bout impossible.” Jim’s had practically started before Oleg’s question had finished. It required no thought on his part. “Chances are the Stag Lord will tear them apart. The four will show up, try and use my password and identity to get.” Jim’s eyes were still focused on the stars. His voice was monotone. His speech was automatic. “And they’ll get it, but Dovan’ll see right through ‘em. There’ll be a blood bath. I’m guessin they’ll kill all the bandits in the common room. But Dovan’ll get that Owlbear out of its cage and it’ll tear into one of ‘em real good before the drop it.”

“THE OWLBEAR!?” Oleg dropped the dish he had in hand and it clatter into washbox. “They’ve got an owlbear!?”

Jim continued on as though Oleg wasn’t even there. “Eventually, they’ll wake up the Stag Lord. He’ll stir to his feet, drunk as a halfing swimming in a keg, and start letting arrows fly. Even hammered as he is, he’ll chance the four around the base, popping out around corners and turning each of ‘em into pin cushions. They’ll never know what hit ‘em. He’ll prolly put their heads on pikes as a symbol to anyone else who wants to mess with ‘em.

Oleg’s eyes were wide, his mouth agap at the atrocity Jim described. “But…”

“Who knows though. They might get lucky. Well, I gotta get to bed.” Jim sheathed his dagger, and stood up from the table with vest, seemingly snapped out of his grim trance. “Thank your wife for the stew. It was delicious.”

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Stolen Lands - May 2 - 17

Wow. I’m uhhh..I dont even know what to say. I was making my monthly rounds when I was caught. They subjected me to some sort of magic but it wasn’t all that bad. I mean, they accidentally shot me with an arrow, but they took care of that and I was good as new. I told them some stuff about the boss but it sounds like they they’re gonna try and get me out of the bandit business. I’m no good at it anyway. I’ve been trapping animals for pelts and lying, and saying I stole them. They say that before they ran into me they took down an Owlbear. I wouldn’t have believed them but they took care of the Mites. All of them. Those crazies literally crawled down in the Old Sycamore and took em out. The bugs too. Those little bastards had been making life out here horrible and they’re gone. Hopefully forever. I dunno, Boss’ll prolly still crush their skulls and fill them full of arrows like a pin cushion. Maybe though, maybe they’ve got a shot at ’em.

- Jim

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Stolen Lands - April 10 - May 1

The adventurers we conscripted to explore and map the southern boarder of brevory have made great progress. Within only a months time they have mapped almost half the area requested. Enclosed is the map made of their efforts, proof of their progress. By the time this letter reaches you my liege I have no doubt this band will be near completion of their task. While the path we gave them was known to be treacherous, they have faced dangers beyond our expectations and already fared well. A local bandit problem has been taken care of and the adventures send word that their relations with the Stolen Lands few inhabitents strengthen daily. One of the group has been gravely wounded but they insist they will persist on and it will not affect their campaign. Be in good spirits my lord, our plan moves forward with greater than expected haste.
R-
Karigan Sweitzler
Sword Lord Initiate

P.S. The heroes also inform us that the Brevrory kingdom has sent a small band of mercenaries to protect the small trading post on the northern skirts of the Greenbelt. It is nothing of great importance but I thought it warrented noting.

Recap
2137.5
+1475

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Stolen Lands Days - 1-9

The Swordlord’s of Restov have apparently sent explorers down south to explore the Greenbelt. Not real sure how I feel about the idea of exploration down around these parts. Exploration leads to settling and settling leads to cities and government. That’s what I left Brevoy. To avoid all that. But, while I didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt at first, these explorers don’t seem all that bad. As much as I hate to admit it, I don’t mind a little bit of stable company. Some other men to talk to. Even if one is as high as my knee. HA!

All the same, the killed Happs and the bandit crew when the came to collect their extortion. Afterwords they headed into the forest to deal with the rest of the bandits and start their exploration. It only took ’em a day or two to off that bitch of a bandit woman. I hope the hells enjoy that ’er.

They told me about some awful beast of an animal. The size of a big dog, attacked ’em at night. Thankfully they woke up in time to deal with the damn thing. Never head of anything like it. Judging by the girls wounds, it had quite the bite.

Ran into Bokken too they did. Invited the group in for tea. Nice old man, but I can’t say I would have drank that tea though. Who knew what kind of ingredients were in that stuff.

Group made it back here today and it looks like they’ll be spending the night with us. Still don’t know how I feel about whats coming, but these guys don’t seem all that bad and they sure are damn good for business.

Back to choppin firewood.

- Oleg’s Journal
March 9

- – - – - – - – - – - – -

<u>Stats Recap</u>
609xp each for Exploration and Encounters
100xp each for Good Role Playing
Total: 709xp each

Total: 422gp each for gold found and loot sold at Oleg’s

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Stolen Lands - Day 0

The city of Restov has made a move for the long uncivilized Stolen Lands. They have issued a charter of exploration to a small handful of brave adventurers. Word has it that the adventurers are to settle at Oleg’s Trading Post and then head out south to explore the territory know as the Greenbelt. Treacherous dangers await these travelers. Will it be bandits that spell their end? Perhaps native creatures and monsters will be their doom? Even the terrain itself could cut their journey short. Or, will these adventurers defy the odds and survive their exploration and create the beginnings of a new expansion.

- – - – - – - – - – -

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