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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


4,051 to 4,100 of 4,585 << first < prev | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | next > last >>

After about a minute, Ricter has recovered.

"And that, Baron, was a Hellknight Reckoning. The pain I feel now pales in comparison to the wounds the trolls inflicted, but this I cannot simply heal with magic. My flesh will have to mend itself."

He sees Malthir's reaction, or rather lack of it

"It is good to see you are not shocked, though I didn't really expect you to be. You understand the necessity of this."

The Hellknight puts his jacket back on, covering his ruined forearms. He no longer shows any signs of discomfort.

"Whilst we are here in private, there is something else I need to discuss with you. Reckonings are not the most...questionable rituals the order of the chain performs. You saw that the Order of the Chain force here consisted mainly of Armigers, the rank-and-file of our order. They are striving to acheive the disipline and strength required to don our plate armour and become true Hellknights. Before they can do this, though, they must pass a final test - the slaying of a devil in single combat"

"Thankfully, devils are not exactly common in this or any other part of the world. One cannot hunt one down in the forest. It is necessary to summon them in order to grant our Armigers the chance to progress."

"Will you constent to the Order of the Chain summoning devils within the boarder of Kardas? I can absolutely gaurantee no denzine of Hell will leave the trial chamber we construct. The Hellknights have had centuries of experience dealing with their kind"


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
Fenna Thistleswade wrote:

"Perhaps in time an arena would be a worthwhile project," Fenna nods, "but it may be some time before we have recovered enough to undertake such a thing... but it does bear thought for when Kardas' wounds have been dressed."

---

Casimir wrote:
"Of course, Fenna. And if this is about your writings, you have my full attention. Too many truths have been glimpsed from those pages for us not to take them seriously."

"It does pertain to them," Fenna confirms, placing the papers on a nearby oaken table, "or at least it may do... I am unsure. Do you recall the prophecy I told you of several years ago; the one which motivated me to join the efforts of the Guardians in the Greenbelt?"

The tiny, pale woman removes an aged sheet of parchment from the bundle, upon which is scrawled the indecipherable Azlanti script, along with another bearing a passage in Taldane. "I translated this as closely as I could, and I am fairly confident that the meaning remains unchanged."

** spoiler omitted **

Casimir studies the paper for a moment, then flips open his journal and starts to scribble on a blank page as he thinks out loud.

"Let's see if we can make sense of this..."

"The Fey-Child of the Stars shall lose herself,
Once the Eye is shattered, so too shall the Star-Child shatter,"

"This is you, right Fenna...the Fey-Child, the death of Aroden and your bleaching?"

The Seekers of Awe shalt restore the Fey-Child,
With the aid of the progeny of the Red Dragon,

"This bit I'm not sure I understand...who are the Seekers of Awe and the progony of the Red Dragon? Could we...I mean, The Guardians...be the Seekers of Awe?...and the progony of the Red Dragon? Who is that?"

"Then the Fey-Child shall travel into that which was Stolen,"

"That which was Stolen...the Stolen Lands...our expedition...that seems fairly obvious..."

"To grant peace to a haunted reflection of his creator."

"I'm also not sure I understand the last line...haunted reflection?...his creator? Any idea what this means?"


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

"I believe you have the right of most of it," Fenna confirms, nodding, "I presume that the 'Seekers of Awe' is a reference to an order of my people; The Wonderseekers. They dedicate themselves to helping their fellow gnomes in staving off the bleaching, so when I succumbed to the condition they were a natural choice for those around me to turn to for help... understand, I was in a far worse state then than I am now, if not for their efforts I think I may have faded away entirely."

Falling into a brief silence after her words, Fenna looks over the writing again before continuing, "Until recently, I had no idea what was meant by the progeny of the Red Dragon, or the 'haunted reflection of his creator'... the only potentially male subject to the rest of the words would be the Progeny, or perhaps the Red Dragon itself... so perhaps by discovering who or what is referred to by those would give further insight into the closing line."

"And as to that," She says, hesitantly placing another, folded, paper onto the table, "it is my suspicions over those answers where I fear I might be drawing irrational conclusions. This is a letter from a dear friend of mine, whom I met during my recuperation under the care of the Wonderseekers... it might be said that he too played an important part in my recovery, the care given by my fellow gnomes was keeping me stable, and prevented me from deteriorating further, but I had shown little sign of improvement until I met Galen."

Letter:
Dear Fenna,

It is I, Galen Medvyed. I miss you, but I felt heartened when I received your note- does this mean Aroden is returning? I apologise for not writing previously; as you are no doubt aware things in Brevoy are... difficult to say the least. Its still very much a game of politics rather than warfare at the moment, but assassinations are becoming more and more frequent. I've been adventuring for a year now, gathering funds and gaining the service of loyal cohorts for the coming war. I have been having strange dreams Fenna- dreams of soaring through the skies on wings of fire over Brevoy, watching the land destroyed beneath me. Sometimes I go into a daze, and finding myself looking at my friends as tools to be used to gain power... It is unpleasant. I wish I had your counsel right now, friend. I hope this message reaches you- its passage is not guaranteed in these tumultous times...

Galen


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

What you ask Ricter...it is a difficult thing. This is something for the Statkari, not for the Baron of Kardas alone to decide. If you will agree to set locations and controlled circustances, I will not oppose it.
One other thing. You are following the laws of the sworn leader of Kardas now. These matter as well as your own code. Keep that in mind as you assess guilt on yourself.


Your Humble Narrator

Quite possibly, Ricter could propose that Hargulka's lair be turned into a Hellknight citadel that has some degree of autonomy, at least enough that their rituals don't have to be "in" Kardas. Worth a thought, perhaps you were already building up to it. I must say, I didn't expect Baron Malthir to be watching a reckoning! Oh and also, F. Wesley Schneider is digging the Hellknight action ;).

Don't know if you plan to save up more loot or do a divide with what you have, but please sort it ASAP if you are dividing it now.

Time begins to slowly pass as you find yourselves just as busy back in Swordhaven as you are out on Kardas' behalf. The popular Kip has little trouble in finding a buyer for his wand- a travelling Varisian evoker who is seeking ancient lore in the River Kingdoms. named Artus. Artus has assured him that he will seek to have the funds ready by the end of the month.

DM Only:

1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17

Kip's research in the relatively new library of Swordhaven has gleaned him some information on the Worg attack on Lord Sirian's carriage. Based on the size of one of the sets of tracks that Kalev had found, Kip is reasonably certain that the Worgs were led by an Elder Worg, a powerful pack-master of its kind. Elder Worgs are not only far more physically powerful than their lesser kin, but they are also more intelligent. Such beasts are notoriously cunning and have been known to single handedly bring down a dozen or more hunters. He does not, however, come across any evidence of a powerful pack residing in the Greenbelt, by any written account.

Kip also finds several detailed accounts of encounters with the evil aberrations, will o' wisps. Some diligent research has gleaned him the following information-

Kip Only:

They are an evil abberation that feeds off fear and the essence of the dying. They are often known to simply follow armies, invisible and feasting off the carnage. They have a natural invisibility they can activate as a move action. They are usually small sized and have incredible dexterity, making a Halfling or Elf seem sluggish by comparison

In addition to a deadly shock touch attack, a will o' wisp is immune to all spells that allow spell resistance except Magic Missile and Maze.

Any time a will-o'-wisp is within 15 feet of a dying creature or creature subject to a fear effect, it gains fast healing 5.

They speak Aklo and Common but their Chaotic Evil nature means that they are rarely willing to negotiate, unless it allows them access to even greater sources of fear. They are also exceptional flyers and highly perceptive. Getting the jump on a will o wisp is almost impossible. Many of the wizards who wrote and distributed these accounts recommend the Invisibility Purge spell, although this can often mean the aberration simply retreats out of its range via flight to escape.

Kip doesn't find any more information about the Blodeuwedd or the Queen the notes claimed upon, but he does find several harrowing accounts of strange lights and noises and a vanishing clearing in the forest south of Candlemere Lake. These accounts appear to go back at least two hundred years, indicating that the Fey have had a presence there for quite some time.

Sootscales and Mikmek accompany Kip to visit some of the friendly Fey in the northern Narlmarches and make house calls to the few that now reside in Swordhaven, but although he has an enjoyable trip and makes some new friends among the Satyr in particular, he finds little useful knowledge among them. Few of the Fey are willing to even speak of the Blodeuwedd, hinting only that they are a powerful force they have no wish to cross or offend.

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

Casimir's inquiries unfortunately don't lead anywhere tangible. He has some of his men keep an eye out for rumours and suspicious travellers in his stead as he eventually gives up on it for now, focusing on assisting Fenna instead.

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

Ricter begins to familiarise himself with his new Hellknight force and in particular, Signifer Grachius. He also gives Malthir a glimpse of what it is to be devoted to Law and Order...

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

Kalev finds through sparring with the Hellknights that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. A few of the senior Hellknights could go toe to toe with him for the sparring sessions and four of them combined is an even match. The mettle of Kardas' new, albeit small army, is not found wanting. At the same time, the Hellknights are clearly impressed with Kalev's martial prowess, which surpasses any of their own. They are a dour and sombre group of men and women mostly, but they seem honest and dedicated.

Kalev's visit to Red Eyes is a little troubling, as the Wolf Lord knows of no active Worg packs in the Greenbelt. Kardas' ally promised Kalev he would keep his packs on the lookout for any further incursions and reminded him of the need for awakened lieutenants.

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

I'd like some more details on this tourney Fenna, unless you'd like me to narrate what I think you'd come up with? It will have to be relatively simple unless your putting BP into it.


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

Malthir's request to see the ritual has three motives to it:
1)He wants to learn more about who he has fallen in bed with.
2)He wants to be seen as supporting his new allies.
3)He wants Ricter to know that even though Malthir may not approve of all of the Hellknights ways, he supports Ricter and will help him in any way he can.


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

Over the following days, Fenna sets about organising a rudimentary tourney field along the banks of the Tuskwater; simple wooden benches rising up the hill to the castle allowing for seating with good views of the action, while a raised decking arrayed with chairs is put together to accommodate the Statkari and their guests; the Bow and Sword of Kardas raised on a pair of banners above.

The tilting barrier was erected on the flatter ground towards the lake, though a wide space was left open between it and the beginning of the seating, to allow space for the melee and single combats. While the recent troubles places limits the size of the purse on offer for the champions, the gnomish councillor makes arrangements for the creation of colourful sashes to be awarded to the victors of each bout.

"I had considered the possibility of asking the Hellknights if they wished to perform a military tattoo to open the tourney," Fenna comments to the Statkari during one of their meetings, "but I am unsure whether out people would see it as a demonstration of what they offer us, or what they threaten us with. Do any of you have any insight into the matter?"

Fenna will also be communing with her prophecies about Ehaism-Caesin, but I plan to do that after the conversation with Casimir.


Though he has often remained in the Hellknight barracks in the past days, Ricter is present at the meeting:

"Intimidation is central to Hellknight doctrine. It's the reason we adopt the trappings of devils whilst remaining untainted by evil. If we were to perform a tatoo it would be to strike awe and, to an extent, fear. However, with the memory of the troll attack still fresh in their minds I expect the townsfolk would be quietly thankful to have so dreadful a force between them and the wilderness."


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 finds the company of the dour hellknights somewhat comfortable, despite their very strict lawful nature and is occasionally seen drinking with a few of the warriors after sparring matches or during otherwise uneventful evenings.

After his visit to Red Eyes, where he thanks the four-legged ally and promises to remember the deal between Red Eyes and Kardas, he returns home and tells the other Statkari about his findings (and lack of same).


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:

Though he has often remained in the Hellknight barracks in the past days, Ricter is present at the meeting:

"Intimidation is central to Hellknight doctrine. It's the reason we adopt the trappings of devils whilst remaining untainted by evil. If we were to perform a tatoo it would be to strike awe and, to an extent, fear. However, with the memory of the troll attack still fresh in their minds I expect the townsfolk would be quietly thankful to have so dreadful a force between them and the wilderness."

Ricter, you know us better than that by now. We want Law and Order, not fear and intimidation.

Or at least not to our own people, our enemies should fear us...maybe a little bit of a show wouldn't hurt. I am thinking that a little magic could make it more impressive.

By the way Kalev, are you taking good care of that Owlbear while Kundal is not around? We don't want it escaping and eating some children...
Is it true he named it Fuzzychops? How are we supposed to strike fear in our enemies when it is named something like that?


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 pleased about finding a buyer for his wand. With his trip to visit the Fey a partial success, if for nothing else the new found friends he has made, he returns to the library to check into one more thing before setting himself upon the task of shopping for new adventuring kit.

He pores through the tomes looking for any reference to the "dragon" with the elven hand maidens laying claim to the forest to the south. Kip thinks surely something that has had such a formal arrangement with the elves for so long should be easy to verify in the records of the area.

Hearing of the tournament, Kip offers his services wherever requested, although he has no specific interest in the combats themselves.

He plans on revealing all that he has learnt to the rest of the Statkari at the next gathering.

We should also decide on the loot division as per Alex's request.

I also wish to point out that Kip would oppose any Hellknights employing overt fear and intimidation tactics upon the citizens of Kardas in his presence...


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

Later at the gathering of the Statkari.

General Ricter, there have been some discussions around a base for the Hellknights.
It would seem that the Dwarven hold would be the obvious choice. I would support the fort becoming their base on two conditions. The first, the term of the base is the same term as our agreement with the Hellknights. That territory will soon be part of Kardas. If we both decide that this alliance is no longer of use to either party then the Hellknights will also cede the base.
This will give the Hellknights a base of operations near to SwordHaven and Kardas, but enough distance so that they have their privacy when needed.
The second, there are a large number of trade goods in the citadel as you know. Your first order of business would be to transfer those goods to SwordHaven for use in completing the re-building of the city.
If you can agree to those terms the citadel should be the Hellknights.
What say the rest of the Statkari?
Ricter, you also have a say in the matter so speak up, as a Statkari looking out for the interests of Kardas as well.


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

Casimir reads the letter Fenna hands him carefully, then gives it back.

"Stranger and stranger...Any child in Brevoy knows the story of Choral the Conqueror and the Valley of Fire. This sounds like something Choral himself could have dreamed. Do you think there is a connection? What can you tell me of this Galen?"


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

The troll base sounds appropriate... Kip remarks with a wink. Are we sure there isn't something a little further out?

Having had his fun, Kip's tone turns more serious. Yes, the terms seem agreeable.

On a related note, are there any designs upon the elven keep we found as well? Anyone have any ideas what it could be used for? We should, at the very least, stop by and see if that rock troll is still lurking nearby...

And in other news, my researches have unearthed some valuable information regarding some of the goings on lately, which I will be glad to share with everyone... I have also made quite a few new friends amoungst the Fey, most notably some Satyrs that are smashing good fun to be around. Kip glances at Ricter for a reaction. I am sorry to report I have not found out much about the Blodeuwedd, other than they are somewhat feared and or respected by most of the Fey of the regions. I am also endevouring to learn more about this "dragon" and its "claims"...


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

Good, Kip...what have you uncovered?


Your Humble Narrator

DM Only:

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24

Kip:

Despite many hours of research, you turn up very little about the dragon to the south. From what you can gather, Elves only lived in these parts of the Stolen Lands many hundreds of years ago and precious few records even mention their presence. Most of what you comb through are accounts that survived the last, failed expansion into the Stolen Lands, which limits the material available to you.

At your lowest point where you were most frustrated, you find a single reference, not to Ehaism-Caesin but to her draconic mother. It describes an assault by "a wyrm of great size and majesty" upon the Elven city of Alberich in the Narlmarches and goes into great detail of the mighty battle- describing hundreds of Elves falling to her "powerful magic, her terrible breath which melted the people of Alberich alive in mere moments and her deadly claws, each the size of a great blade".


Ricter remains deliberately polite

"Indeed, the troll base does sound appropriate Magister. Another bastion of order built on the ruins of chaos - just like Swordhaven itself, in fact. And I'm glad you've been having a good time. Let's hear what work you managed to get done"


Statkari Meeting-

The other Statkari have little to say on the subject. Oleg, Kardas' treasurer, looks visibly relieved that the Hellknights base will not be in Swordhaven. Although he rarely visibly objects and is always polite to Ricter and civil, its clear the Hellknights make him uncomfortable.


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

"That is the source of my concern," Fenna responds to Casimir, "though I have trouble believing that such a connection might exist. Galen is a kind hearted young man, modest and even tempered; nothing akin to the prideful tyrant the stories describe of Choral... that said, I must admit he does have a way of inspiring loyalty from those around him, and he has certainly not been afraid to make use of that particular talent. But as you can likely tell from the concerns he writes of in the letter, he is not one to abuse the trust others place in him."


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

So Ricter you are in agreement with my proposal? You get the base for use while the alliance is in place, your men transport all of the trade goods back to Kardas as quickly as possible to help re-build the kingdom.


"That is more than acceptable. The Order of the Chain do not thnik themselves above hard labour when the mission calls for it. As soon as we are done here I will begin making the nexessary arrangements"


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

This is indeed agreeable. It would also allow the Hellknights to keep an eye on our southern border, where currently the greatest threats to our kingdom seems to lie.

Upon Malthir's question, Kalev smiles. I believe he did briefly intend to name it something along those lines, but we agreed on the more appropriate name Iron Beak. And the training is difficult, but going in the right direction.


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
Kalev Lehola wrote:

This is indeed agreeable. It would also allow the Hellknights to keep an eye on our southern border, where currently the greatest threats to our kingdom seems to lie.

Upon Malthir's question, Kalev smiles. I believe he did briefly intend to name it something along those lines, but we agreed on the more appropriate name Iron Beak. And the training is difficult, but going in the right direction.

@ Kalev,As soon as Kundal is able I would like to see how the training is coming. Make sure it is treated well, it is a fearsome creature, we will have to find some use for it though.

@ Fenna, Maybe you should speak with Iron Beak. We can make sure it is happy and find out if it wants anything or craves some kind of treats? Perhaps you can help a little with the training on our next break? Just something to think about, I know you are very busy with your other duties to the kingdom but it may be worth the investment of time...

@ everyone, Anything else that we need to discuss? Otherwise we are done...


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

Ah, yes, I almost forgot. Red Eyes wanted me to remind you of the promise of a sentient mate or companion.


Fenna's ability to speak with animals is not unlike a spell granted to me by our nation's patron- Erastil. However, an Owlbear is not an animal, although it is often mistaken as such. It has animal-like intelligence, but its origins are clearly not a natural thing. Owl-beaks and feathers on a bear's powerful physique- clearly the damn things were dreamt up by some sadistic Thassilonian wizard.


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
Fenna Thistleswade wrote:
"That is the source of my concern," Fenna responds to Casimir, "though I have trouble believing that such a connection might exist. Galen is a kind hearted young man, modest and even tempered; nothing akin to the prideful tyrant the stories describe of Choral... that said, I must admit he does have a way of inspiring loyalty from those around him, and he has certainly not been afraid to make use of that particular talent. But as you can likely tell from the concerns he writes of in the letter, he is not one to abuse the trust others place in him."

"Still, something is troubling him - and if he is the one described in your prophecy, you hold the power to bring him peace. What do you intend to do?"


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

Statkari meeting

"I agree that the troll citadel is perfect for the Hellknights. Your order will no doubt be able to restore it to it's former glory in short time, Ricter."

"I am not concerned about the owlbear for the time being. As long as it is kept in a secure location. At it's present size, it should possible to neutralize it if it gets loose. But is is something we should keep in mind. Hopefully, Kundal will return to us in his new form and continue the training before it becomes a problem."

"Should we try and get some kind of message through to Varn, or should we wait and see if we can restore Lord Sirian to life first?"


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 relates all that he has learned in his researches to the assembled statkari...

...the apparent involvement of an Elder Worg in the attack upon Lord Sirian...

...his findings about will-o-wisps... see spoiler above

...his limited findings regarding the Blodeuwedd... see above also

...and finally his discoveries regarding the "dragon".

Despite many hours of research, I turned up very little about the dragon to the south. From what I can gather, Elves only lived in these parts of the Stolen Lands many hundreds of years ago and precious few records even mention their presence. Most of what I combed through are accounts that survived the last, failed expansion into the Stolen Lands, which limited the material available...

I was able to find a single reference, not to Ehaism-Caesin but to her draconic mother. It describes an assault by "a wyrm of great size and majesty" upon the Elven city of Alberich in the Narlmarches and goes into great detail of the mighty battle- describing hundreds of Elves falling to her "powerful magic, her terrible breath which melted the people of Alberich alive in mere moments and her deadly claws, each the size of a great blade".

I found no references to her offspring, nor to any agreement granting the dragon claim, then, or for her progeny.

I find this curious to say the least...

After a moment in contemplation, Kip remarks, I find this claim improbable as presented. It is my guess that this "claim" is a ruse of some sort. What better way to restrict out expansion, and possibly more importantly, our investigation of an area very close to our kingdom, than with onerous claims of lawful ownership. Adding the presence of a "dragon" to the mix only lends an implied threat to the claim. What better to cause pause, in even the strongest of adventurers, than invoking the mightiest of beasts? An area this close could be used to marshal and protect elements unfriendly to the good people of Kardas. I find this an untenable situation...

I shall seek out some other long lived inhabitants of these lands to double check the veracity of this story. My new friends among the Fey should prove useful in this en-devour. (If Kip did not ask of the dragon while visiting the Fey... he will do so at his first opportunity. Even if it means missing some of the tournament.)

Kip turns to Fenna, Have you been able to learn anything via your revelations?

Kip has no intentions of participating in the tournament himself.

More to come... :)


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

I think that messaging Lord Varn is the right thing to do... we shall revive Lord Sirian regardless, but it makes sense to apprise Maegar of the situation...

Kip's smile vanishes in an instant. B**$$$$s! How could we have been so stupid and self absorbed! We have assumed the death of Lord Sirian is either an unfortunate happenstance, or an indirect attack upon Kardas and her interests.

Standing for emphasis, Kip adds, What is if the attack upon Lord Sirian was the first of a plan against Maegar himself? Or Varnland? We have withheld valuable information from one of our closest allies! Our delay may cost them and us dearly!


Ricter nods in approval as Kip explains his doubts about the dragon

"Your logic is sound, as is your plan to consult the other inhabitants of this land - though good luck getting the truth out of them"

In response to Kip's revelation:

"The nature of the creatures involved makes the attack look less like part of a war effort. Nonetheless, you're right that we should not sit on this any longer. We need to send a member of the Statkari, perhaps even one of the Guardians, to Varnland. I know speed is important but there are some things you can't sum up in 25 words of magical message"


Your Humble Narrator

Please continue your discussions as in particular, i'd like to know if you do send a rider to Varnhold. For now though, i'll focus on the tournament.

The hastily organised tournament was held in the centre of Swordhaven, and the monument of Sid Edric Orlovsky presided over the events. Simple wooden fences were erected to cordon off areas for the various events to take place and stall owners eagerly took the opportunity to sell refreshing cider, souvenir items and food to the gathered crowds.

The Jousting Tourney-

The simple listing used to host the jousting tourney received a great deal of attention when Malthir entered his first bout. He handily defeated an armiger who didn't appear quite strong enough to unhorse him but was then unhorsed himself on his second pass against a young Hellknight Chelish man named Korvus. The Hellknight was gallant enough to swiftly dismount himself and offer Malthir his hand to bring him to his feet.

To the surprise of several of the Statkari; Jhod Kavken also entered the tourney and defeated several opponents atop his horse, only to be unhorsed himself by none other than Noleski "Troll-Blooded"; the young teenager who aspired to be Malthir's squire. Noleski also defeated Kressle, who had entered several competitions.

Korvus eventually won the jousting tourney and wore his hard-earned sash proudly.

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

Strongman Tourney-

In keeping with Kardas' culture of being a new nation recently built in the River Kingdoms, the competition had been organised so that the winner would be he who first built a solid wall of heavy rocks around a giggling child, representing the citizens of Kardas. Although Kalev gave an excellent account of himself, beating several other entrants and narrowly defeating Kressle, Akiros Ismort, the warden of Kardas, beat him soundly to achieve first place in the competition. Akiros was a slightly smaller man than Kalev but he seemed to call upon great inner reserves of strength and stamina during the event that eventually led to his victory. He accepted his Sash from Fenna, nobly bowing his head as she awarded it.

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

Archery Tourney-

The archery tourney had less participants than most, with Jhod Kavken, Kressle, Sootscales participating as well as a handful of armigers; the Hellknights appeared to favour melee but were also competent with bows.

Jhod Kavken beat Sootscales only to himself be defeated by Casimir; whose archery seemed to be on top form throughout the competition as he defeated all comers. His wife Kressle's prowess also left many in awe and at the end of the competition, only the two of them remained.

The husband and wife grinned as they competed with one another, and the target was whittled down to become smaller and smaller and then placed further and further from the pair as they seemed to be having little trouble making even the most difficult shots. The archery contest had gone on for an usually long time and eventually, the two found themselves firing at a distant target set upon on the very wall of Kardasholme and Artius, the prominent Wizard in the city and owner of Artius' Artifacts, kindly provided a scrying pool from his tower, focused on the target.

The other two tournaments had by now finished, and all eyes were on the target. The crowd were in awe of Kressle's final shot (Casimir gallantly insisted "Ladies First")- a close to perfect bullseye at over six hundred feet. Stunned silence followed however, as Casimir's perfectly aimed arrow split Kressle's in half and imbedded itself directly into the centre of the target.

Rolled some seriously high rolls for both Casimir and Kressle, but a natural 20 on Casimir's part and a slightly higher modifier meant he won out.

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

Single Combat Tourney-

After the first three events, the tournament everyone had been eagerly anticipating came- the single combat tourney. The arena for the event was a 25 by 25 foot enclosed area, with crowds pressing on the fence to eagerly watch. Some debate over the rules had initially ensued but eventually it was agreed that no spell casting, divine or magical abilities other than those conferred by worn items would be permitted and that all blows would be aimed to be non-lethal. A bout would end either when one participant yielded or was knocked unconscious. There were sixteen participants in the single combat and their foes were randomly drawn from names in Sootscale's hat. Once the bouts had been determined, they were posted publicly on a wooden board.

Basically, the only thing permitted are enhancement bonuses to attack and damage and the stat boosts/defences from your gear. Flaming, for example, would not be permitted on a weapon. In particular, Casimir's arcane strike would be prohibited, Malthir's lay on hands, any Smites, spells etc. if in doubt just ask. You will be fully healed between fights. All fights begin with combatants 15 feet apart.

Round 1-

Statkari Ricter VS Armiger Rutilus

Statkari Casimir VS Signifer Grachius

Statkari Kalev VS Armiger Narsius

Baron Malthir VS Noleski "Troll-Blooded"

Warden Akiros VS Hellknight Korvus

Kressle VS Armiger Salgarth

Hellknight Pellius VS Armiger Brutus

Hellknight Zoresk VS Armiger Aerodus

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

Statkri Ricter VS Armiger Rutilus-

Armiger Rutilus was one of the more experienced armiger's in the Hellknight contingent, and stood ready to fight Ricter with his spiked chain gripped in both hands; wearing solid breastplate armour and looking a little nervous as he waited for the whistle.

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

Ricter acts first.

Statkari Casimir VS Signifer Grachius

Clad in full Hellknight plate and with a solid metal tower shield, Signifer Grachius expertly twirled his longsword as he waited for the whistle. His facial expressions were not visible underneath his full helmet.

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13

Casimir acts first.

Statkari Kalev VS Armiger Narsius

Armiger Narsius was the one tipped to be next to become a full Hellknight and was easily the most dangerous of the armigers in Swordhaven and among the strongest, having performed well in the strongman competition. Kalev had sparred against him before and beat him soundly, but that was when Narsius had been practising with sword and shield. He was now garbed in breastplate armour and was using an usual combination of weapons- a serrated, metal whip and a folded net, with two or three extra nets strapped to his belt beside his sheathed sword.

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12

Narsius acts first.

As the whistle blew, Narsius surged forwards and hurled a net at Kalev, trying in vain to catch him before he brought his weapon to bear...

I'm assuming your using your polearm, which means that his ranged attack grants you an AOO despite being flat-footed (Combat Reflexes). Hes 10 feet from you and you have an AOO.

Baron Malthir VS Noleski "Troll-Blooded"

Noleski stood proudly in banded mail and sporting an Iomedean-style longsword and a heavy wooden shield as he faced up to Malthir. His easy smile made it clear he did not expect to win this fight but he clearly intended to enjoy it. The young teenager was now among Kardas' militia and one of the few survivors of the battle upon the walls, a fight from which he had learn many harsh lessons.

1d20 ⇒ 13

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21

Noleski acts first.

As the whistle blew, Noleski raced forward eagerly and to Malthir's surprise, hit him so hard in the helm with the flat of his longsword that the impact left him reeling.

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23 Crit threat
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 Unconfirmed
1d8 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 Non-lethal damage


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

Malthir looked onto his surrogate son with pride. A well struck blow, although he should have gone for the neck.

Well Nol, let's see what kind of punishment you can take!

+2 longsword pwr atk 1d20 + 10 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 ⇒ (3) + 10 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 = 11 dam 1d8 + 4 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 2 + 4 = 15
+2 longsword pwr atk full attack 1d20 + 10 - 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 ⇒ (1) + 10 - 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 = 4 dam 1d8 + 4 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 + 2 + 4 = 13

Malthir smiles as the young man easily evades his blades.

HP 61/67.


Your Humble Narrator

A pleasant chuckle erupted from the crowd as Malthir was struck and failed to make an aggressive counter attack. Noleski pressed his advantage but Malthir almost casually parried his sword with his own having settled into the rhythm of the fight, his shield not even coming into play yet.

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10


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

Malthir swings at Noleski again, the boy yet again evading his dual strikes.
+2 longsword pwr atk 1d20 + 11 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 ⇒ (6) + 11 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 = 15 dam 1d8 + 4 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 + 2 + 4 = 11
+2 longsword pwr atk full attack 1d20 + 11 - 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 ⇒ (5) + 11 - 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 = 9 dam 1d8 + 4 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 2 + 4 = 14

Focus yourself Nol, force the advantage!
Malthir looked down at his sword wondering if it knew who he faced and his desire not to hurt the boy.


Your Humble Narrator

Malthir's sword clanged off Noleski's banded mail harmlessly and the younger man encircled his mentor warily. At Malthir's encouragement, he moved in for the attack, his sword work clumsy and easily parried, but his heavy wooden shield caught Malthir off-guard once again as he suddenly shifted it from defence to offence- sending Malthir back a foot or two as he slammed the face of the shield into Malthir's full-plate forcefully.

1d20 - 1 ⇒ (8) - 1 = 7

1d20 - 3 ⇒ (20) - 3 = 17 Hit + Crit Threat
1d20 - 3 ⇒ (12) - 3 = 9 Unconfirmed
1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 Non-lethal Damage


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

Better. You used the shield to good affect... as he swings at the boy landing at least one stinging blow.
+2 longsword pwr atk 1d20 + 11 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 ⇒ (13) + 11 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 = 22 dam 1d8 + 4 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 + 2 + 4 = 13
+2 longsword pwr atk full attack 1d20 + 11 - 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 ⇒ (4) + 11 - 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 2 - 4 = 8 dam 1d8 + 4 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 + 2 + 4 = 16


Your Humble Narrator

The flat of Malthir's sword dealt Noleski a stinging blow just below the neck, Malthir having to change its course to batter into his breastplate and leave the young man staggering back rather than potentially seriously injuring his apprentice. Noleski attacked recklessly and found a way past Malthir's sword with his own, only to have his efforts to land another hit foiled by the Baron's darkwood shield, several times over.

1d20 ⇒ 17

1d20 ⇒ 6

Considering Noleski can only hit Malthir on a 20, posting modifiers seems redundant.


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

Mithril armor and sword gleaming in the sun, Casimir regarded his opponent carefully.

His armor is better, and that shield is going to make him tough to hit. But it also makes him slow. I will have to use that to my advantage. Calm, find my center, strike like a snake. He twirls that blade nicely enough - let's see if he can hold on to it...

His eyes narrowed, he shifted his footing, flexed his two-handed grip on the sword - and waited.

As soon as the whistle sounded, Casimir exploded into action. The aldori sword shot forward, slipping in between the longsword's crossguard and Signifer Grachius' gauntlet, and twisted.

move action to close
Disarm - 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23


Now we actually have more than one combat on the go, i'll be using bold to separate them.

Casimir VS Grachius-

Signifer Grachius did not react swiftly enough to prevent Casimir's aldori blade being positioned to disarm him, but the strength of his arm was powerful and his grip sure. It took quite some doing on Casimir's part but after a momentary struggle, the Hellknight's blade clattered to the ground with another swift change in direction. Although the Hellknight had a backup weapon sheathed in a shoulder sheath (a mace of some kind) he stooped to pick up his fallen longsword.

AOO for Casimir...


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

Casimir VS Grachius-

Casimir smiled broadly as the Hellknight's sword clattered to the ground.

Now, signifer - how would the Inheritor feel about you dropping her favored weapon like that. Best get a tighter grip on your sword if you hope to defeat me.

With that, he slams the flat of his blade down on the signifier's helmet, ringing it like a bell.

AoO - non-lethal - 1d20 + 13 - 4 ⇒ (16) + 13 - 4 = 25
dmg 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14


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

Malthir sighs a little then presses his advantage deciding to not strike as hard.
+2 longsword atk 1d20 + 11 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 4 ⇒ (9) + 11 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 4 = 20 dam 1d8 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 4 + 2 = 13
+2 longsword pwr atk full attack 1d20 + 11 - 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 4 ⇒ (13) + 11 - 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 - 4 = 19 dam 1d8 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 2 = 10

Not knowing how tough Nol is I don't think I want to turn the damage into lethal just in case.


Your Humble Narrator

Malthir landed two more solid blows with the flat of his sword, the second blow landing with enough force to send Noleski reeling, knocked unconscious by the powerful three blows that had landed on him. The crowd applauded the young man's bravery and Baron Malthir for his victory.

Both men were immediately taken to see Jhod, who used a spell or two to restore both of them to full fitness.


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

Malthir quickly channels positive energy into Nol and himself. Helping the young man get up. 4d6 ⇒ (1, 6, 3, 3) = 13
You accounted yourself well Nol. I had the unfair advantage of superior equipment to tip the scales well in my favor. In a few short years you will be pressing your advantage on me!

He has Nol join him in a quick prayer to Iomedae, asking for her blessing and thanking her for the victory and that no one was seriously hurt.


Casimir VS Grachius-

Although Casimir's blade did indeed ring the Signifer's helm like a bell, the mighty Hellknight plate armour seemed to absorb the punishment without complaint.

Just about a miss i'm afraid, AC25 doesn't cut it.

The Hellknight said nothing in response to Casimir's word- his only response was to finish picking up his blade as though he had not even heard the man. As he rose from the stooped position he was in as a result of fetching his blade, he trapped Casimir's leg in the crook of his arm, heaving upward as he rose. For all his strength, the Signifer only just barely managed to keep the agile duellist's limb trapped for long enough to pull off his move- and Casimir was sent tumbling to the dirt, tripped.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22 (CMB to Trip, Success)


Your Humble Narrator

Noleski smiled brightly at Malthir's praise and modesty and seemed happy just to be in his lord's presence.


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

Casimir VS Grachius-

Ouff...didn't see THAT coming.

Twirling his blade in a defensive pattern, Casimir rolled backwards and sprung to his feet.

Total defense - AC 31 - and stand up


Casimir VS Grachius-

Grachius's longsword found no hole to exploit in Casimir's bladework as the duellist got to his feet, parrying Grachius' lunge as he rose. The crowd were already murmuring in excitement at the tense fight, with neither combatant apparently able to hold an advantage.

1d20 + 9 - 4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 9 - 4 + 4 = 12 AOO (Miss)

The Hellknight attacked relentlessly even after Casimir got to his feet but he seemed to be testing the Statkari's swordwork rather than risking his defence to make a vital lunge or slash. Casimir had little difficulty warding off the longsword.

Fighting Defensively

1d20 + 9 - 4 ⇒ (5) + 9 - 4 = 10

1d20 + 4 - 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 - 4 = 2


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

Casimir smiled, spun and once again smacked the sword out of Grachius hand - then he backflipped away, retreating to lean casually on the railing.

Disarm - 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (11) + 13 = 24
Acrobatics to avoid AoO - 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (17) + 19 = 36


1d20 ⇒ 2 AOO

Grachius once again picked up his blade, but did not pursue Casimir. He stood, almost motionless, blade held up at the ready.

Casimir is up.


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

"What's this...the brave Hellknight fears to engage the enemy? Might it be that you are afraid of dropping your blade a third time, signifer?" Casimir mocks mercilessly, obviously playing up to the crowd.

Intimidate - demoralize 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27

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