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DM Alexander Kilcoyne's Kingmaker PBP- Chapter 2 (Inactive)

Game Master Alexander Kilcoyne

"We are essentially pawns in a larger game - what we have to find out is who it is that are making the moves, and what we can do to become masters of our own destiny."

Spymaster Casimir, Aldori Duellist & Statkari


3,801 to 3,850 of 4,585 << first < prev | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | next > last >>

Your Humble Narrator

Thats not how I interpret that line in Arcane Mark. Read magic would make invisible words clear; the words, if any, are already clearly visible. They won't translate into Common for a Read Magic spell.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

Okay, an Arcane Mark can just be a symbol so Read magic doesn't tell you what it means, but my interpretation of " A read magic spell reveals the words, if any." in context of the spell seemed to indicate that is it was a word it would be revealed, but I could be wrong. Either way is fine and we can move on since we don't know what it is.


Your Humble Narrator

Read over it several times before I devised the mark but my interpretation stands, that section is all about making it visible.


Your Humble Narrator

Leaving the Arcane Mark alone for now, you continue to explore the region. A couple of hours pass and you run into several more of the same runes, each identical to the first you encountered and placed upon large trees or rocks. You are starting to get the impression someone might be using them to mark his/her/it's territory.

DM Only:

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9

Party Perception:

Casimir- 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Malthir- 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
Fenna- 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14 (GM reminder- + 19 at night)
Ricter- 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Kalev- 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (15) + 15 = 30 (GM reminder- terrain bond)
Kip- 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16

The forest is rather dense throughout the region, but even through the thick hedges, trees and branches regularly in your way you begin to hear someone playing a flute somewhere in your rough vicinity. Whoever is playing is obviously attempting a tune beyond their expertise, or perhaps the instrument is out of tune. The bad flute playing contrasts with the quiet, reverent feel of the area, producing a sound that is quite irritating to listen to.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

Let's find out who may be leaving these marks eh. It's time they find out who this area really belongs too!


Male Taldan Human Fighter (Weapon Master) 5/ Hellknight 3 HP:81/81 AC:28 F:+11, R:+6, W:+8, CMD:25*, P:+10, I:+2, AOO:+16

Ricter draws his flail and shield

"This woodland reeks of the Fey"

Let us hope the one making that racket gives me an reason to destroy it


Your Humble Narrator

DM Only:

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19

Perhaps the player has found his or her stride with the flute, because as you approach the tune becomes far more agreeable, even pleasant.

Lying back lazily on a branch ten feet from the ground, a slender and beautiful young elven maiden ceases her playing as she spots you. Her long hair is a soft golden blonde, brushed to perfection and held with a beautifully crafted clip shaped like a holly leaf. Her eyes are deep and green, currently looking at your approach with a hint of worry in her soft eyes. Her face is completely unmarked, almost artificially perfect with no signs of blemishes, wrinkles or freckles. She wears an intricate pair of golden earrings, each with a shining green malachite held inside the circular golden frame and she also wears a simple silver chain with a silver pearl dangled just by the centre of her neck. Her clothes are simple and suited for the outdoors, both in function and in colour (earthen brown and forest green) but do little to hide or chain her beauty. This is very likely the most beautiful Elf you have ever seen. Her small lips and perfectly shaped, distinct little nose are hauntingly beautiful and somehow familiar to you.

In contrast to her fine appearance however, a two-handed, wickedly curved elven blade lies next to her, draped across two branches. Seeing Ricter armed and striding towards her, her hand moves slowly to its leather-bound hilt, her gaze questioning.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

Ricter, this women has given us no reason to think she means harm. Put your weapon away..

Malthir activates his detect evil before saying.

Elven:

Good day to you miss. We were traveling through these woods when we happened to hear your song. wait to hear the results of my detect before saying more...


Your Humble Narrator

Malthir:

You don't detect any evil.

The maiden looks at Malthir with a discerning frown on her beautiful face and her lips curl up into a small smile. She delicately and gracefully lifts herself into a seated position, holding her blade in a relaxed posture over her lap as she sits and looks down at you, finally speaking, in fluent Taldane rather than the Elven language Malthir used. Her voice is soft and melodic, having a far more pleasant ring to it than her flute playing.

Are you so paranoid, good sir? Do you always check for signs of evil before conversing with anyone? Do you think its fair to assume evil until proved otherwise? Would you like to reassure your companions that I pass your inspection?

Those with Spellcraft trained can always make checks to determine when someone is using a 'Detect' ability, as its essentially using it as the spell- thus its not discernible to people untrained in Spellcraft.

We have been expecting your arrival for many moons now... she muses quietly.


hp 48/66, AC 26/17/20, CMD 23/24, F: +8, R: +11, W: +7, init: +5, per: +10 Human Bard 6/Fighter 2

"We?" Casimir says pointedly, scanning the area for signs others.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

I am sorry if I have offended you lady....? he says in a questioning manner, obviously looking for a name.

You seem to have us at a disadvantage in knowing who we are but the same is not true of you.
About the detection...the evil beings in these landsare plentiful, we have fought many and have found it to be prudent to be cautious.
Yes...you have passed my "inspection".

Malthir dismounts and walks closer to the elven maid attempting to be non-threatening.
What can we do for you?


Your Humble Narrator

DM Only:

1d20 + 19 - 10 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 19 - 10 + 5 = 34

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
1d20 ⇒ 20

The elven maiden nods graciously at Malthir's "apology", but does not offer her name.

I have a tale to tell first, if you would indulge me. Six hundred years ago, these forests were still under the care of my people. You may have seen the only building left in the area that has survived this long period of time- the elven keep to the north-west.

She smiles shyly as she begins her story.

From the keep I have mentioned and the many settlements surrounding it, the elven domain encompassed much of what you now refer to as the "Stolen Lands" as well as the entirety of the "Narlmarch" forest. However, the elves had made a critical mistake when settling the lands. They had not discovered the mature dragon living in this very area of the woods.

The inevitable followed. The elves claimed dominion over the lands, and demanded the dragon leave. She tried to reason with them, but their hearts were full of fire, passion and xenophobia. They were expecting to carve a mighty elven empire for themselves and would not tolerate such a powerful entity's presence within their borders. The two went to war and many elves fell assaulting the dragon's domain. Neither would back down and the fight went on and on for almost a hundred years, the elven force slowly dwindling, for they could not replenish their numbers swiftly enough to maintain such a war.

But at the end of the hundred years, the dragon was pregnant. She sent dream visions to an elder of the fledgeling "empire", wanting for the Elves to thrive once more and to raise her child in peace. The elder was swayed, and a treaty was arranged. The elves granted the dragon this small area of land her arm moves slowly to encompass the area around her and in return, the dragon would be left to her own devices. The elves granted the dragon the deed to this land. In addition, a small family of Elves were to take care of the land and serve the dragon. I am the youngest of this line and our duties include etching and maintaining warning symbols at the edges of the dragon's border; I have little doubt you have encountered some already. They read 'Beware' in the Draconic tongue.

The original dragon has now moved on, and the Elven "empire" crumbled with time; but her child remains here and I serve her to this day. She wants little but to hunt, ponder and contemplate within the several miles of her territory. Dragons are territorial by nature and my mistress has been made aware of the borders of your lands expand.

The Elf looks directly at you.

She wishes me to serve as an envoy, to assure you that her intentions are not malign and she does not seek battle. She expects to move on from these lands in a decade, at which time the territory will be ceded to Kardas. Will you honour her lawful rights to these lands?

Carefully, almost reverently, the maiden produces an old piece of parchment from a pouch in her clothes.

I have the original deed to the land right here, for your perusal.

Despite the strangeness of the circumstance, you find yourselves inclined to believe her story is genuine.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

sense motive 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21 although you may have already rolled this....

Malthir attempts to be a little more gracious in his approach...
diplomacy 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31

Fenna, perhaps you can review the deed and give us your thoughts.
The kingdom of Kardas will consider your request. The deed between two ancient parties for these lands does not bind us, yet we are not ignorant to tradition and can recognize the advantage of gaining allies vs enemies.
For the moment we can offer you this. For the moment we will warn our people to stay out of the area marked by you.
We will also negotiate our own treaty with you and your master.

Malthir then proceeds to introduce all of the Guardians,

Perhaps by sharing your name we can start to build a relationship based upon trust?
We will return in several months to treat with you or feel free to come to SwordHaven were you will be our honored guest. Is this a fair offer?
Now we have pressing matters with the trolls of these woods and we plan to end their threat once and for all...and will be on our way and out of your territory.

Guardians, any other thoughts or questions for the Lady before we move on?


Your Humble Narrator

I almost always roll sense motives for you in social interaction, either in a DM Only spoiler or off-thread. Its not a skill I like PC's to roll themselves as the quality of the roll itself provides info (although I won't roll for you in a combat situation so you will want to toll yourselves there or PM me). If in doubt or if you'd like me to roll a sense motive for your character in any scene, let me know in a spoiler or PM me.

Fenna, if you'd like to inspect the deed i'll roll a linguistics check on your behalf, let me know. Malthir's diplomatic efforts (I assume the roll was to improve attitude) appear to have made the Elf friendly.

The elven woman seems to appreciate Malthir's consideration and etiquette, but frowns as Malthir speaks of negotiating with her master.

It is a pleasure to meet you all. My name is Calanwen. The name of my mistress is not given up lightly, but she has taken a liking to the name my ancestors gave her- Ehaism-Caesin. It roughly translates as Face of the Forest. I'm afraid she has no desire to negotiate with you personally, but I have been entrusted with her wishes and can be considered her voice and ears. We shall consider your invitation to visit your city- perhaps my mistress will allow me to visit from time to time.

She pauses at the mention of Trolls.

Ah... They came through here a couple of weeks ago, in a mighty war party. It reflects well on your nation, and on yourselves, that they were unsuccessful. My mistress will respect your strength, I am sure. I will assure you up front that although their leader sought an alliance with my mistress, she refused to aid them against you. I have my mistress' permission to offer you this small favor, should I find you civil. You will find that the giants used an old Dwarven fortification as their home, to the west of my mistress' territory. My mistress tells me that the fort was built long ago, in order to guard a long-forgotten trade route. I would ask that you respect my mistress' boundaries and seek out their lair via another route, returning the way you came and circling around.


Male (HP 44/71, AC- 23 T- 15 FF- 18 CMD- 28, F +11, R +10, W +6, P +15*, In +3*, AOO +17) Half-orc Ranger (Guide) 7/Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager) 1

Kalev has been silent for a while, partially captured by the maiden's beauty and partially digesting the news of a dragon living in the area.

Fair lady Calanwen, your mistress' request seems reasonable to me, but can you tell us more about this dwarven fortress, so we may quickly find it and succeed in routing out the trolls that threaten Kardas? Are there any landmarks near it that we might spot?


Your Humble Narrator

She nods slowly, reciting as though recalling something word for word.

The entrance to the abandoned guard post sits high on a cliff face among forested hills on the side of a rocky hill and is accessible only by a carefully concealed path. Cunningly constructed, the entrance cannot be easily seen from below. A watchtower disguised as a natural rock outcropping also rises from the top of the hill, giving a good view of the surrounding area.


Male Taldan Human Fighter (Weapon Master) 5/ Hellknight 3 HP:81/81 AC:28 F:+11, R:+6, W:+8, CMD:25*, P:+10, I:+2, AOO:+16

Ricter's stows his weapons, the shield slotting into place on his back with a metallic thud.

"As my leige says, there are many destructive beings in this land."

As Calanwen bristles at Malthir's detection, Ricter hurridly releases the magic building in his own gaze.

"How far does your mistress's territory extend from here?


Your Humble Narrator

In game terms, essentially this whole hex. A hex is 124 square miles.

Calenwen hesitates a moment before answering.

This small section of the forest. A little over a hundred square miles.


hp 48/66, AC 26/17/20, CMD 23/24, F: +8, R: +11, W: +7, init: +5, per: +10 Human Bard 6/Fighter 2

"There are many dragons - what kind is your mistress, if you don't mind me asking? And is she the only dragon in these woods? We have had reports of a dragon being sighted to the south, and I can only assume it was your mistress."


Your Humble Narrator

Calenwen looks down at Casimir disapprovingly, clearly feeling the question is rude or perhaps irrelevant.

My mistress is a True dragon, not some clumsy Tatzlwyrm that gets spotted by a band of hunters; we've heard of that incident. No doubt you received reports of a forest drake that had stumbled into the Narlmarches; a drake that my mistress took care of personally. Ehaism-Caesin is now the only dragon in the area, save for a few Tatzlwyrms; and regardless of her colour or lineage, her intentions have been made clear and she has a lawful claim to these lands. Would you hunt her down purely based on the color of her scales? she challenges Casimir.


Male Halfling 8th level Fey Bloodline Sorcerer
Stats:
Init +6 Perception +4 AC 20 Tch 14 FF 18 HP 62 Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 Spd 20' CMB +2 CMD 14 Acro+4 Bluff+11 Climb-1 Diplo+6 Disg+16 Esc+2 Fly+10 Know (Arca+6 Loc+7 Nat+7) Sense+0 Spellcraft+13 Stealth+14 Use Magic+12 Swim-1

Kip shifts in his saddle as he listens to the back and forth between the two parties. Wouldn't it be grand if this maiden actually was the dragon in some illusory form? Kip muses to himself. Or the dragon could be watching us right now via divination magic... or possibly hiding nearby observing us with its keen senses. Kip scans the surrounding area...


HP: 39/60 AC: 22, T:13, FF:21, CMD:16. Fort:+5, Ref:+5, Will:+8(+7). Per:+14, Init:+0, AoO:+8

"Of course, I shall take a look." Fenna says, moving forwards to read the deed. "As our Baron says, our own nation has no obligation to abide by agreements made by our predecessors, but the request is not an unreasonable one; there is ample space in the region for Kardas to grow over the next decade without any need to impinge on this area."

"I would be more comfortable with the agreement if your mistress were to allow us to survey her lands, for the sake of completeness in our records," she comments to the elven emissary, "but I can understand her desire for privacy. May I ask, though, why is it that your mistress plans to leave this place, which has been her home for so long? I hope our presence is not causing her to feel that she cannot remain here."


Your Humble Narrator

Casimir and Kip don't see any sign of anyone else in the area; but in the dense forest, they can't be sure...

The Elf's voice is a little sorrowful, perhaps she is contemplating leaving the only place she has known for much of her life.

It is true that your presence here provides an impetus of sorts, partly based on an expectation that you would only "consider" our "request" and would eventually not honour our lawful entitlement to these lands easily. Forgive our caution; the last colony to settle in these lands spoke in similar terms before they failed; I suspect they would also not have recognised the claim.

She spreads her arms slowly, speaking from her waist.

But my mistress has hinted that powers even beyond her measure have plans for the whole of the Stolen Lands. Perhaps she would be more forthcoming with her vast knowledge once our claim to these lands is seen as legitimate in your eyes.

Fenna has examined the deed while you converse. Calanwen sits patiently, smiling softly as she waits for further questions. You feel your beginning to get a measure of her and it seems shes as perceptive and intelligent as she is beautiful; her keen eyes miss little and theres a definitive spark of intelligence behind them.

Fenna:

The deed certainly seems old enough to the eye, although its unsurprising that its been preserved well- Elves are particularly skillful at keeping such documents in good condition. The deed makes it clear that the lands have been granted to Ehaism-Caesin and the beautiful, flowing Elven-style script has convinced you of its authenticity.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

It is not that we don't recognize Ehaism-Caesin's claim Calanwen, it's is more that we are men of the law and your deed is not our law.
If Kardas does infringe upon your border and we wish to protect this land beyond the years of our actions and words, your legal rights should be protected within the laws of Kardas, not by laws and agreements between parties that no longer exist or hold sway upon this region.
We could give you some off hand word or promise now, but it means little 50 years from now when we may be gone or forgotten. We know how long lived Elves and Dragons are.
You will find that those before you now are creatures of honor and would protect you and your dragon as one of our own if you so seek alliance and friendship with Kardas.
Come to Kardas and treat with us. If Ehaism-Caesin decides at that time that we are worth helping, then please share with us what you know of the threat to these lands. I will not ask this of you in exchange for the deed to this land though, it should be of a desire to help each other...


Your Humble Narrator

Calanwen arches an eyebrow at Baron Malthir.

I care not for what might happen in fifty years time when my mistress does not plan to return once the ten years have passed. My mistress is the legitimate authority in this land, by a claim far older than your kingdom of Kardas. You are known to us as an honourable ruling council and you travel with a Hellknight; we would accept your oath as quickly as we would accept an official document.

She nods her assent to your suggestion.

I will travel to your city in due time, if we do not have your answer within a few months.


Male Halfling 8th level Fey Bloodline Sorcerer
Stats:
Init +6 Perception +4 AC 20 Tch 14 FF 18 HP 62 Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 Spd 20' CMB +2 CMD 14 Acro+4 Bluff+11 Climb-1 Diplo+6 Disg+16 Esc+2 Fly+10 Know (Arca+6 Loc+7 Nat+7) Sense+0 Spellcraft+13 Stealth+14 Use Magic+12 Swim-1

Kip nods hopefully as an understanding is seemingly being reached... He desperately wishes to speak with the enchanting maiden, but remains silent, memories of his disastrous interjection in the encounter with the Nixie. Kip pushes the thoughts from his mind and focuses his attentions on the present.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

If no one else has any questions then we will be on our way...back the way we came.
Thank you Calanwen for the information regarding the trolls, we will be sure that they don't bother anyone else in these woods.

With information to the trolls lair, the Guardians speed back north then west towards their foes lair....


Male (HP 44/71, AC- 23 T- 15 FF- 18 CMD- 28, F +11, R +10, W +6, P +15*, In +3*, AOO +17) Half-orc Ranger (Guide) 7/Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager) 1

You have been most helpful in your description of the trolls' holdout, fair lady, and for that I thank you. Once the troll menace has been removed, I hope we can talk more. About the future of Kardas and your mistress' lands. Kalev bows slightly, apparently unused to such maneuvres.


Male Halfling 8th level Fey Bloodline Sorcerer
Stats:
Init +6 Perception +4 AC 20 Tch 14 FF 18 HP 62 Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 Spd 20' CMB +2 CMD 14 Acro+4 Bluff+11 Climb-1 Diplo+6 Disg+16 Esc+2 Fly+10 Know (Arca+6 Loc+7 Nat+7) Sense+0 Spellcraft+13 Stealth+14 Use Magic+12 Swim-1

Kip clears his throat before asking, Forgive me fair Calanwen, but if the purpose of the markings upon the trees is to serve as a warning to others, why do you use a language that not many understand? It would seem to me to be more effective to use the common tongue, and perhaps given the history of the area, elven and sylvan as well? Just my humble opinion.

As the Guardians prepare to ride off, Kip turns to ask one last question. How many other elves such as yourself are currently serving the dragon?

Upon hearing her responses, Kip likewise bows before taking up his reigns and riding off with the others.


Your Humble Narrator

Calanwen's smile is almost a grin this time as she answers Kip.

I'm afraid my mistress is somewhat... old-fashioned you might say. The original warnings were agreed to be in Draconic as every Elf was expected to learn the tongue anyway and my mistress has resisted my efforts to change her mind. With Kardas so near, I will see to it that the warnings begin to be placed in Taldane.

We number less than a dozen. Our duties are few.

Farewell and good luck... she calls as you ride back out towards the north-east.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

Just in case you are waiting on us, we will ride west then south, skirting the warnings as agreed.


Your Humble Narrator

Btw, A60 is not explored as you've never visited the island in the centre of it. Just reminding as I look at it on the map.

DM Only:

1d100 ⇒ 54

1d100 ⇒ 12, 1d100 ⇒ 17, 1d100 ⇒ 85

You respect the dragon's territory and back out of the area, heading west. The forest here is a lot more lively and natural but by the time you've adequately explored the area night has fallen. You set up camp in a small clearing chosen by Kalev and ponder the events of the day.

Feel free to Flextime some conversation at the camp; I know Casimir in particular was somewhat suspicious of Calanwen & her mistress.

Party Perception:

Casimir- 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Malthir- 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (17) - 1 = 16
Fenna- 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (5) + 13 = 18 (GM reminder- + 19 at night)
Ricter- 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Kalev- 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (10) + 15 = 25 (GM reminder- terrain bond)
Kip- 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19

25XP for exploration of A58.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

2nd of Pharast, 4713

The campaign started on 10th Erastus, 4710. We're coming up on 3 years of in-game time once we reach that date in 4713; please keep tabs on your characters age (ok Fenna I can excuse you seeing as your essentially immortal).

DM Only:

1d100 ⇒ 48

1d100 ⇒ 15

1d100 ⇒ 2, 1d100 ⇒ 42, 1d100 ⇒ 27, 1d100 ⇒ 34

You head south-west into the area the Troll headquarters is rumoured to be located and begin to map and painstakingly search the area. The area is extremely dense and it takes you the entire day to successfully map it and locate the troll base- as Calanwen promised, it was difficult to find but eventually Kalev's keen senses led him to it. You now stand at the base of the path leading up the hill; the old Dwarven fort above you almost entirely obscured by trees and vegetation and the watchtower looming over you almost indistinguishable from a natural rock outcropping. The Dwarves that built this place were cunning, it would seem.

Kalev does make out a single pair of tracks leading up into the cave; but not the troll tracks he would expect to find. The tracks seem to belong to a single humanoid; a heavy-set man judging from the indent. The man seems to not have been wearing any footwear.

A narrow path winds its way up the hill, a steep cliff face on one side and a sheer drop-off on the other. At the top, the path follows a wide ledge, where the corner of a weathered stone building juts from the side of the hill.

25XP for exploration of the hex SW of A58. Note that once you've explored the Dwarven fort, claiming this hex will add a 'Cave' to your kingdom, as described in the kingdom building rules- Caves can be used as defensive fallback points, storage, or even guard posts or prisons. A cave hex increases a kingdom’s Stability by 1.


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

We should cast a few defensive spells then go up there. Anything tha stands in our way should be crushed.
Fenna, can you put a protective ward on Kalev, Ricter, and I? That should be enough unless yo have some longer lasting spells you wish to cast.
Lets go up there and see who this is and if there are any remnants of the trolls left over. With Ricter and I in the front and Kalev, Casimir attacking from the second row...I wouldn't want to cross that wall of steel.

Is the path up 10' wide? Just wondering since the trolls and such were wondering around this place.


Your Humble Narrator

Its not per se but its pretty obvious that the comings and goings of large creatures have 'enlarged' the path.


Your Humble Narrator

Lets save a few real-time days of preparation; i'll assume Shield of Faith is cast on Kalev, Ricter and Malthir and that you enter... I'm going to quick-march you through the dungeon. Please use the following map as a 'Key', keeping it open as you read the descriptions.

Map Link!

You ascend and begin to slowly and carefully enter the fort from the narrow ledge( R1), noting that the stone door has been broken for quite some time, almost carelessly torn off its tough stone hinges. The door is the only route into the fort that you find, and leads into a Barbican (R2), a tough defensive bulwark. The fort is still very sturdy despite its age, with strong reinforced masonry both acting as protection against burrowing creatures and keeping the fort firmly imbedded into the hill. A layer of dust has begun to settle, further evidence that the troll presence here is no more. You spot two discarded sacks full of coin, piled into a corner.

83 silver pieces, 201 gold pieces.

Arrow slits overlook the approach and outside ledge to the north and east. Daylight shining through the arrow slits and half-open door light the room with dim illumination. To the south and west, darkened, wide stone staircases lead up and out of the room. You are uncomfortably aware of the silence, yet at the same time relieved that Hargulka's plan did not have you assaulting this fort; it would have been extremely tough to approach with the watchtower and barbican overlooking a narrow ledge.

You head south out of the Barbican (R2), towards a circular building (R3). A wide, flight of stone stairs leads 100 feet up to a circular chamber with a high ceiling; the watchtower you spotted from outside (R3). A foul stench fills the air, emanating from the layers of filth caked on the floor. It has arrow slits for defence as well as an old trapdoor on the ceiling. Forcing it open, you come out onto the top of the watchtower, 30 feet above the hillside, with a magnificent view of the Narlmarches and the hillside itself.

You head back through the barbican (R2), deeper into the hillside, through a corridor and into some kind of main hall (R4). A large stone table takes up the center of this large chamber, whose walls are decorated with ancient carvings that have been defaced and vandalized with crude graffiti in several languages. A headless humanoid corpse lies atop the bloodstained table; an unlucky halfling the trolls apparently tortured and slew. Exits lead north and south.

You go north first, into a smaller chamber (R5). A dozen thick chains are bolted to the northern wall, and the floor is covered with bones, half-eaten rotting meat, and mounds of foul-smelling dung. It seems clear that you have found the former kennels of Hargulka's trollhounds.

You head back through the main hall (R4) and south into another smaller chamber (R6). Most notably, this is the last room of fine Dwarven craftsmanship- the southern exit from this room is through a section of wall that has been destroyed, leading deeper into the hillside via dug caves and tunnels of hewn stone. The room itself seems to have been used as a storeroom. Stacked boxes, barrels, crates, and bags fill this room from floor to ceiling and line the crude wooden shelves along the walls. A thorough insection reveals little of use to an adventurer or Statkari and no items of indiviually high value, but the goods stored here, including preserved foodstuffs, lumber, mundane tools, household supplies, animal hides, bolts of cloth, and so on, are worth a total of 6 BP if you returned it to Kardas- but it would take several full wagonloads or equivalent to transport all of the supplies to civilization. Alternatively, if you were to leave the supplies here, they could aid towards construction in this hex, if you wished to do more with the old Dwarven fort...

You leave the storeroom (R6) and follow the hewn tunnel, staying to the left as you reach a junction. You enter the next chamber (R7). The rough tunnel widens into a forty-foot-high cavern hung with dripping stalagmites. Gnawed bones litter the floor, while the northern portion of the room holds a collection of severed, humanoid heads arranged around a large circle drawn on the floor with dried blood. You have little doubt this was the room of the two-headed troll Ricter dealt the killing blow to. While searching it thoroughly, you come across a concealed niche in the northwest corner of the cavern which contains the dead troll's stash.

The stash consists of 502 sp and 188GP.

Confident now that the fort is abandoned, you stop being quite so cautious and leave Nagrundi's room (R7), marching deeper into the caves. The next chamber (R8) is a little larger than Nagrundi's, though not nearly so tall. This floor of this wide cavern is littered with well over a dozen pallets made of branches, leaves, and smelly, uncured hides. You appear to have found the troll's barracks (R8) although you find little of value.

Leaving the room via the north exit, you come to another junction and head north- into a room that could well haunt you for many years (R9). You have found the fort's "larder". The air in this cavern seems somewhat cooler than that of the rest of the complex, but the stench of decaying flesh hangs heavy in the air. Along the walls are stacked the carcasses of dozens of beasts, from foxes and wolves to deer and elk, as well as a couple of horses and what appears to be a skinned bear. The southern portion of the room holds a grislier collection of corpses: the bodies of several humanoids, from gnomes and halflings to humans and elves. Most of the cadavers seem to have been decapitated and many have been gnawed on.

Moving into the final chamber (R10), you find the Troll King's personal bedroom and throneroom. The ceiling of this cavern arches thirty feet overhead. A wagon with its wheels removed sits against the eastern wall, heaped with smelly furs, and a single barrel stands in the southwest corner. Against the northern wall, a crude throne carved from a giant tree stump sits atop a makeshift dais made of boulders, with a large bearskin spread on the floor before it. Here you hope to perhaps find some answers- and you spot, tacked to the western wall of the cavern, a large map drawn on the back of a thylacine hide.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Several locations, including this base, Swordhaven and Northgreen are marked on the map, some marked with large X marks along with several arrows and other marks showing planned raids and routes of attack. Casimir's knowledge of the Giant language becomes extremely useful here, as the intelligent Troll warlord left detailed notes. After a few minutes of careful study, Casimir comes to the following conclusions-

1. The trolls have been carrying out a series of organized, planned attacks in the region against locations where civilization has intruded on the Stolen Lands; Maegar Varn's fledgeling Barony is marked on the map for raids, as well as a place called 'Fort Drelev' to the west; clearly named after the leader of that particular expedition on behalf of the Swordlords. Some targets around Pitax had also been noted.

2. Hargulka was either staggeringly intelligent for a Troll to have organised this in such detail, or he had help from some very intelligent allies. Some of the intricate raid plans and notes on political situations as well as contingency plans were more ingenious than could ever have been imagined. Swordhaven itself was marked with the largest X; notably, this X was drawn in blood, and almost all of your villages were also marked.

3. Whoever drew the map took painstaking care to mark areas where Fey were known to reside and plan around them, even going as far as to add several days to a raiding parties route just to steer clear of their territory. The trolls were clearly avoiding the Fey of the Stolen Lands; or perhaps they had some kind of deal with them...

4. Hargulka's raids had fuelled alliances with "several factions within the Stolen Lands from my personal share of the plunder"- but unfortunately, Hargulka was smart or paranoid enough not to write down exactly who he had brought into his alliance...

Finally, you crack open Hargulka's personal treasure chest where he kept the greatest spoils for himself. The key found in Hargulka's bone bracelet opens the high quality lock and inside you find a small hoard of mundane spoils...

In the case of multiples, the value given is total, not per item.

A small statue of a dragon carved from exotic wood worth 200 gp.

A gold necklace with a jade pendant worth 250 gp.

Several pieces of minor jewelry worth 225 gp.

Two medium quality gemstones worth 150 gp.

Three bottles of fine wine worth 27 gp.

An engraved silver tankard worth 50 gp.

184 cp, 1,205 sp, and 152 gp.

Based on the size of the chest and the fact it was only a quarter full, you suspect Hargulka's "allies" received a large proportion of the money he had coming in from raids.

Ricter:

Something about this place is really calling to you. Perhaps its the excellent Dwarven craftsmanship, the remoteness of the location, its superbly disguised defences or simply a sense of "fit for purpose" left by loyal and lawful Dwarves... But you find yourself envisioning a Hellknight citadel here.

This place has real potential, once its been thoroughly cleaned of gore that is...


hp 48/66, AC 26/17/20, CMD 23/24, F: +8, R: +11, W: +7, init: +5, per: +10 Human Bard 6/Fighter 2

Flextime
Casimir does not press the matter. "I apologize if my question offends you. It was not my intention. I merely wish to be able to sort fact from the wild tales of trappers and traveling merchants. It is good to hear that your mistress has dealt with the forest drake - one less dangerous creature to worry about."

After the Guardians have left, however, he voices his concerns. "I have a feeling there is more to this elf and her dragon mistress than meets the eye. The answers she refused to give may tell us far more than the ones she gave. We should indeed heed the runes and beware of our new neighbour until we are more certain of her nature and intentions."

Note to self: add draconic to languages know next level.


hp 48/66, AC 26/17/20, CMD 23/24, F: +8, R: +11, W: +7, init: +5, per: +10 Human Bard 6/Fighter 2

After studying the map, Casimir nods to himself.

"It seems like we have neutralized a major threat, not only to ourselves, but to this entire region. We should send messages to Varn, Fort Drelev and Pitax, noting that we have eliminated the trolls. This could do well to place us in favor with them - and serve as a reminder that we are capable of defending ourselves."


Male (HP 44/71, AC- 23 T- 15 FF- 18 CMD- 28, F +11, R +10, W +6, P +15*, In +3*, AOO +17) Half-orc Ranger (Guide) 7/Barbarian (Invulnerable Rager) 1

Flextime

I agree that we should be cautious, as these lands have often shown us. Yet, I hope we can gain friendship instead of enmity. I would not care to face a dragon full of wroth, and perhaps this fair elf is speaking the truth...

Back at the present

I don't like this. Where are the trolls? Have they split up after the death of their leader? Even splintered, we should do well to hunt down as many as possible...a single troll could kill many of our people. And what about the boot prints outside? Should we see if we can track them and learn their owner?


Male Halfling 8th level Fey Bloodline Sorcerer
Stats:
Init +6 Perception +4 AC 20 Tch 14 FF 18 HP 62 Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 Spd 20' CMB +2 CMD 14 Acro+4 Bluff+11 Climb-1 Diplo+6 Disg+16 Esc+2 Fly+10 Know (Arca+6 Loc+7 Nat+7) Sense+0 Spellcraft+13 Stealth+14 Use Magic+12 Swim-1

Flextime

Kip nods in agreement with Casimir's assessment, before adding his own thoughts. I find many things peculiar as well. Mostly little things... but they add up to give me queer feeling about her.

She seemed somehow familiar to me. Ddid anyone else get that same feeling?

And the manner in which she recited the directions to the troll lair. Something didn't seem natural about the way she spoke. Perhaps her actions are not entirely of her own free will. Some type of compulsion magic possibly?

I am also uncomfortable considering any alliance or agreement when the true identity of the other party is unknown.

Present

I think considering the trolls eradicated may be too hasty. We have not accounted for the many trolls that fled Swordhaven, nor for rock troll at the elven fortress. I would at least hold off announcing such a victory until we are sure. It would look bad to prematurely signal their defeat and then have them return...


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16

Flex, I don't trust her or this "Dragon". As Kalev says we are in no shape to fight a dragon as well. We will do what we must to buy time for Kardas.
I also thought that Fenna could read into the future when we get back to SwordHaven and find out what this "agreement" may hold for Kardas. If this creature is just buying time itself and doesn't plan to be friendly, we will deal with it in time.

Current,
We should arrange to have the goods removed soon and brought back to Kardas. They are needed there the most in the re-building efforts. I will send messages back to Vaysh asking her to start making the preparations and we can return to SwordHaven in a few days and bring the caravan back here. Perhaps we can repair the stone door at some point...
Kalev, do the tracks lead back out of here? If they never left...that would lead me to believe that maybe we should double check the fort and caverns to make sure there are no secret entrances or exits?

While we are out here we should finish scouting the known lands around here.

Will work on the map but we can move to the SE to A72 and work our way east then come back around the Dragon's territory and explore A51,52 when we next leave SwordHaven with the Caravan.


Your Humble Narrator

Ok, your next route is noted. Will wait some time before I update though to give people a chance to post.


HP: 39/60 AC: 22, T:13, FF:21, CMD:16. Fort:+5, Ref:+5, Will:+8(+7). Per:+14, Init:+0, AoO:+8

Flexitime
"I can indeed consult my texts on this matter; as Casimir observes, Calenwen was not entirely forthcoming about all of our questions... though what she did say seems honest enough. What concerns me more is her mention of this 'power' that has plans in the region."

Present
"Yes, it may be worthwhile to attempt to find the one who left the tracks... perhaps he was merely a curious explorer, but given the well concealed nature of the place I suspect he was coming here with some purpose in mind. Perhaps he has been working with the trolls and knows more of their alliances."


Male Taldan Human Fighter (Weapon Master) 5/ Hellknight 3 HP:81/81 AC:28 F:+11, R:+6, W:+8, CMD:25*, P:+10, I:+2, AOO:+16

"Following the footmarks is a good plan, though we should be careful to stop if we reach the Dragon's territory"

"So the Trolls were avoiding the Fey, almost as if a treaty of some sort was in place. Perhaps the peaceful chaotic beings of the region aren't as enarmoured of Kardas as they pretend."

"Tell me, Baron, what plans do you have for this structure?"


Duke of Kardas, First Sword of Iomedae HP:76 AC:27 F:+14, R:+8, W:+12 CMD:23/24 P:-1 Init:+0 AOO:+16
Ricter Vorsk wrote:

"Following the footmarks is a good plan, though we should be careful to stop if we reach the Dragon's territory"

"So the Trolls were avoiding the Fey, almost as if a treaty of some sort was in place. Perhaps the peaceful chaotic beings of the region aren't as enarmoured of Kardas as they pretend."

"Tell me, Baron, what plans do you have for this structure?"

The fey...with each step there seems to be a side to them that has plans for these lands...they will find that those that oppose us will be crushed. Those that want to live in peace with us will find favor and peace...it matters little, nothing can stop us now.

This place holds little value, other than it can store some supplies and be a good defensive position.
he looks around at the marvels of Dwraven architecture
This place reminds us how short lived we are, this place will still be standing while we are long gone.
But not Kardas...the ldeal, the vision, she will still be here when this marvel has turned to dust...Iomedae will see to it.
For now we have a roof over our head, tomorrow we face whatever else the Stolen Lands throw at us.


Male Halfling 8th level Fey Bloodline Sorcerer
Stats:
Init +6 Perception +4 AC 20 Tch 14 FF 18 HP 62 Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 Spd 20' CMB +2 CMD 14 Acro+4 Bluff+11 Climb-1 Diplo+6 Disg+16 Esc+2 Fly+10 Know (Arca+6 Loc+7 Nat+7) Sense+0 Spellcraft+13 Stealth+14 Use Magic+12 Swim-1

Kip is quite nauseated by the whole experience of the troll lair and as soon as it is clear that no threats remain within, excuses himself to retreat back out of the caves into the fresh air. Once outside, he finds a suitable spot to sit and watch the surrounding area while he waits for the others.


Your Humble Narrator

I've been pausing to allow for more RP and discussion of the information you've found etc., but with Kalev and Casimir at a convention perhaps thats a lost cause. Lets move on.

You spend the night in Hargulka's bedroom, as its the most comfortable room and the least gory. Kip isn't particularly pleased with spending the night here but the exploration has taken the best part of the daylight.

Are you taking the map and Hargulka's notes?

3rd of Pharast, 4713

You head south-east to the very edge of the Greenbelt, still deep in the forest. The day is spent exploring the area in detail. Though you discover no noteworthy locations, Kip catches a glimpse of what looks like a massive white stag, but doesn't see it again.

1d100 ⇒ 82

1d100 ⇒ 59

1d100 ⇒ 97

25XP for exploration.

4th of Pharast, 4713

1d100 ⇒ 65

1d100 ⇒ 1

DM only:

Kip- 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Malthir- 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Ricter- 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Fenna- 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Kalev- 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Casimir- 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13

Kip Knowledge (Nature)- 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15

You continue to move east, some of you perhaps getting sick of endless forest. Kalev though, seems at home in the primal Narlmarches and has little trouble identifying noises, animals and landmarks that the rest of you often miss during the exploration. Your most of the way through your routine of mapping the area when something strange happens to Kip...

Kip:

You suddenly become aware that your mind feels somewhat fuzzy. Perhaps it is your Fey bloodline that allows you to suddenly overcome whatever was affecting you, but the forest before you slowly fades away, revealing that you have begun walking through a massive clearing of small plants, lush grass and wildflowers. The clearing is huge, and you can barely make out the forest on the far side from you. It includes several large hills that make it impossible to see much of the clearing from your current position. You also notice wild horses roaming the area as well as a large lake to the north- as well as what looks a wooden hut on the southern edge of the clearing (your on the western edge).

You have no idea what this clearing could be home to, which worries you. The others don't seem to be alarmed.


Male Halfling 8th level Fey Bloodline Sorcerer
Stats:
Init +6 Perception +4 AC 20 Tch 14 FF 18 HP 62 Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 Spd 20' CMB +2 CMD 14 Acro+4 Bluff+11 Climb-1 Diplo+6 Disg+16 Esc+2 Fly+10 Know (Arca+6 Loc+7 Nat+7) Sense+0 Spellcraft+13 Stealth+14 Use Magic+12 Swim-1

3rd of Pharast, 4713

As Kip spots the massive stag, he looks about to see if anyone else notices it. Seeing that he is apparently the only one, he spurs his pony and tries to spy it again. Unable to catch another look, he remarks to the others, Anyone else see that large white stag over yonder? It was moving quite fast...

4th of Pharast, 4713

Kip feels a tingle in his mind. Something is not right... he muses. Shaking his head to clear away the fog, he is alarmed as a veil is lifted to reveal that the surrounding terrain is an illusion. The forest melts away to reveal a huge clearing of lush grass and wildflowers. A large lake to the north and a wooden hut to the south.

Turning to the others he realizes they are still under the influence of the glamer. Oi! Everyone! Our senses deceive us! Illusion magic is at play and the forest we ride within is a false vision! Shake off the shackles upon your mind! We may not be alone here!


hp 48/66, AC 26/17/20, CMD 23/24, F: +8, R: +11, W: +7, init: +5, per: +10 Human Bard 6/Fighter 2
DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
I've been pausing to allow for more RP and discussion of the information you've found etc., but with Kalev and Casimir at a convention perhaps thats a lost cause. Lets move on.

Yup, we're both pretty busy, so don't wait for us - we'll be back in action late sunday or on monday.

Casimir reigns in Shadow and looks about.

"Another fey illusion? I swear, sometimes it feels like we are exploring the First World."

Will save w/+4 to disbelieve the illusion. 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 + 4 = 14


Your Humble Narrator

Malthir- 1d20 + 10 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 10 + 4 = 30
Ricter- 1d20 + 8 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 8 + 4 = 28
Fenna- 1d20 + 7 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 7 + 4 = 31
Kalev- 1d20 + 6 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 6 + 4 = 26
Casimir (Reroll)- 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 4 = 12
Casimir (Reroll)- 1d20 + 4 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 + 4 = 25

With Kip actively pointing out the deception, everyone but Casimir manages to shake off the glamer affecting their senses. With the rest of you insisting to him that it is indeed an illusion, Casimir's mind finally overcomes the glamer as well. The forest before you slowly fades away, revealing that you have begun walking through a massive clearing of small plants, lush grass and wildflowers. The clearing is huge, and you can barely make out the forest on the far side from you. It includes several large hills that make it impossible to see much of the clearing from your current position. You also notice wild horses roaming the area as well as a large lake to the north- as well as what looks a wooden hut on the southern edge of the clearing (your on the western edge, having entered the clearing only a couple of minutes ago).

Your uncomfortably aware that its entirely possible that this is not the first time you have passed through other such hidden terrains, and that if Kip had not had the mental strength to realise what was happening this place may never have been found...

As the group takes in their surrounding, a small fox scurries through the wild flowers nearby and moves over to Kip expectantly. Its holding a folded note in its teeth.


Male Halfling 8th level Fey Bloodline Sorcerer
Stats:
Init +6 Perception +4 AC 20 Tch 14 FF 18 HP 62 Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +8 Spd 20' CMB +2 CMD 14 Acro+4 Bluff+11 Climb-1 Diplo+6 Disg+16 Esc+2 Fly+10 Know (Arca+6 Loc+7 Nat+7) Sense+0 Spellcraft+13 Stealth+14 Use Magic+12 Swim-1

Kip hesitates briefly, glancing around once again, before reaching down and taking the offered note gingerly from the fox's teeth.

Straightening back up, he pauses again to speak before opening the note. I haven't had the best of luck with these... he comments, thinking back to the note he found from Grigori in the tavern. ...you may wish to give me a little space.

Realizing it will likely prove a worthless effort, he nevertheless concentrates on the note attempting to discern whether any magical aura exists upon it... detect magic

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