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"I Don't Believe in Faeries!"


Kingmaker

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Shadow Lodge

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Given all the Fey influence in Kingmaker, I've been poking at the idea of retooling the later parts slightly. The biggest difference being setting-related: rather than having the First World and the Eldest, my world has the more traditional Summer and Winter Courts and the Wyldfae in-between. So I've been trying to revamp the core plot to take that more into consideration.

Here's what I have so far:

1. Nyrissa is a noble of the Summer Court.
This means a lot of things. Firstly, one of the things I'm going to add as the story rolls on is Summer's influence becoming stronger in the Stolen Lands as she gets closer and closer to the completion of her plans. All seasons will be warmer but most especially winters, with the "northern US/southern Canada"-style weather giving way to more temperate seasons as the years roll on. At first it won't be more noticeable than "this winter is pleasantly mild, the following summer is a bit warmer than you'd like", etc. Eventually it's going to get really bad, about the time the blooms kick in or shortly before, perhaps during the Pitax scenes.

It also means that for her to be focusing so much on the Stolen Lands and her plans there, there has to be something in the land that would be beneficial to Summer for her to present it to Titania (in place of the Eldest) to appease her. For this I'll be borrowing Gentleman's idea of Nyrissa's Stolen Ambition. This also answers why Winter would be in competition for the region: if Winter can prevent Nyrissa from reclaiming her Ambition, that's preventing a major potential power-grab by Summer, even if they can't claim it for themselves.

This also provides the PCs an opportunity to ally with Winter, a dangerous but possibly alluring prospect that might help them in the short-term but cost them in the long run.

The main question I have yet to ask is who stripped Nyrissa of her Love and Ambition in the first place, and why. Should it remain another noble above her station, and thus the punishment be handed down from Titania herself? Should it have been a dalliance across the lines of conflict with a Winter consort, and if so who caught them - her Summer superiors or his/her Winter ones? Or could it have simply been a cruel act by a Winter foe or a Summer rival looking to torment her for some reason? Up for suggestions.

2. Fey and Eldritch Horrors Don't (Usually) Mix.
I'm a Lovecraft fan by miles, so there's no way I'm going to pass up the opportunity to play up Yog-Sothoth's presence in Candlemere. Fey, being the embodiment of all that is natural and primeval, are not fond of the gibbering horrors from beyond the stars whose very existence is anathema to everything natural. That said, I'm thinking they're not against manipulating them for their own benefit.

I'm going to use Candlemere as sort of a "restraining bolt" put in place by a Winter agent, to prevent or at least slow Nyrissa's attempts to claim the land; said agent may still be in the tower somewhere, driven mad and/or warped by the experience had while performing the task given them and their proximity to the Old One's presence. Yog-Sothoth of course has no oppositions to his worship being spread, even by fey (who of course he doesn't consider near as much an enemy as they consider him and his kind), and now that he's here his presence is somewhat loathe to leave, and in fact may well be spreading.

This will leave the PCs in a bit of a conundrum, once they find out what's going on: if they brave the tower, they can (attempt to) cease the spread of the unnatural presence. However, unbeknownst to them, doing so will rid the Stolen Lands of Yog-Sothoth's taint, allowing Nyrissa to accelerate her plans. This could also be taken as a sleight against Winter, who might send a representative to demand reparations for costing them a significant foothold in the conflict.

3. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Puck!
If I'm going to have Summer and Winter present, you can be darn sure The Puck will make an appearance as well. The question is whether or not he should be more ally or opponent to the party. While normally a servant of Summer, being Oberon's cohort and all, it would also be perfectly in-character for him to bungle up Nyrissa's plans if he thought them (or her!) more a detraction than an aid to Summer in the long run. Given his position in the Court, and the fact that he's not on shaky ground with them already like Nyrissa is, he also tends to have a longer leash about what he's allowed to do.

I plan for him to start tormenting the party in the next couple of chapters. Thinking of perhaps having Perlivash and Tyg share a few tales of the Puck's endeavors, to introduce the party to their ideal of a master prankster, then have Puck himself take an interest in the party after they actually succeed in starting something in the Stolen Lands where so many more have failed. Any ideas of things for him to pull would be much appreciated.

That's it for now, but any other random ideas or extrapolation would be much appreciated.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

:o Everytime you say that a faery dies.

Shadow Lodge

I half expect my party to try that eventually.

Shadow Lodge

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Okay! Done some thinking and expanding on this. So here's some ideas.

Nyrissa's Backstory.
Here's the tweaks I've come up with for her history:

Rather than Count Ranalc, Nyrissa's dalliance was with Oberon himself, "King" of the Summer fey and consort of Titania, the Queen Who Reigns. (Taking a page from Jim Butcher here and having the courts be ruled by a triad of fey queens apiece - the Queen Who Reigns, the Mother [Queen Who Reigned], and the Lady [Queen Who Will Reign].) This is hardly the first infidelity Oberon's committed nor will it be the last, and Titania usually bears them no mind; she knows Oberon's heart in the end is truly hers, and is more than eternally patient. But when Nyrissa started making claims that her trysts with Oberon had elevated her status above the nobles and to the places of the Queens, Titania would have none of it. She had Nyrissa brought bound and captive and laid it upon her daughter, the Lady Cordelia, to administer a suitable punishment. Cordelia stripped Nyrissa's love - sparked by her attentions from Oberon - and ambition - which drew her to claims above her station - from the nymph and cast her out, revoking her position as nobility of the court; the last thing she saw was Cordelia crafting her stolen love into the form of Briar, which she attempted to present to her mother, but Titania was uninterested.

However, for a fey Queen, Cordelia is still young, and she made a grave mistake: she did not destroy the aspects she tore from Nyrissa, but merely cast them aside. As her gift went unappreciated she discarded the sword into the hands of one of her retainers; Nyrissa's stolen ambition she scattered to the winds of the mortal realm. They were carried to the wild terrain of eastern Olorunium, at the time unclaimed territory beyond the then-meager boundaries of the barony; in time, those wild lands flourished and thrived, and though many brought forces to bear, they could not curb the vigorous spirit of the Stolen Lands.

Nyrissa desperately wishes to regain her place within the nobility. Her personal demesne, Thousandbreaths, was luckily not stripped from her with her title, and from there she was able to search until she found the land where her ambition had been cast; when attempts to regain it alone failed, she determined the only manner in which it could be claimed would be to take the Stolen Lands as a whole. In time she completed her plan: seize the Stolen Lands in a bottle and present the lands - infused with her ambition - to Titania as recompense: she does not trust Cordelia to appreciate nor accept her offerings, but hopes by bypassing her and going directly to Titania herself she can appease the Queen That Reigns and earn her forgiveness, as her word will overrule any objections the Lady may have.

Winter, however, has not been idle. The details of the internal squabbles of Summer may not have reached them, but the sudden demotion of a noble and the scattering of raw fey power onto the mortal realm could not be missed. Queen Mab of Winter is far too busy with her own plans and direct conflicts with Titania to intervene, but her daughter Lady Desdemona is not. Desdemona sent her underlings to the Prime to determine the source of the event and what could be done to take advantage of it; the infusion of the land was swiftly reported back, as was the discovery of Briar. The Lady had the weapon seized, and after determining its nature, and learning from her spies in Summer lands of Nyrissa, placed it under the guard of one of her servitors, the nereid (whose name I cannot remember). While the details of Nyrissa's plans are still unknown to Winter, Desdemona is aware that the nymph desires to recover the energy within the Stolen Lands; such a boon, especially if presented directly to Titania, would tip the scales slightly in Summer's favor, and the Winter Lady has taken steps to prevent such. Until she can learn more, Desdemona has had her agents take steps to prevent the Stolen Lands being claimed by anyone, mortal or otherwise - the wildness of the land caused by Nyrissa's ambition is only encouraged further by Winter's activities, and the cult of Yog-Sothoth lured to Candlemere brought the attentions and essence of the Old Ones to the area; their presence serves as a restraining bolt that prevents either of the Courts from claiming the region until it is removed - Desdemona may not be able to claim it, but neither can Nyrissa, and this stalling tactic suits the Winter Lady fine until she can figure out what to do next.

The main decisions that need to be made right now are which Court (if any) the various Fey scattered throughout the AP are affiliated with. Tyg and Perlivash are wyldfae, unaffiliated with either court. The Dancing Lady and her contingent are probably going to be Summer. Beyond that I haven't decided much.

(For the curious: Mother Summer's name is Miranda, Mother Winter's is Ophelia. They will likely not be making appearances.)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules Subscriber

What you've got sounds like it will be really cool.

Orthos wrote:
Nyrissa desperately wishes to regain her place within the nobility.

This is just a nitpick, but you may want to change the word "ambition" to something else. The above quote certainly sounds like an ambition to me.

Perhaps what was taken wasn't her ambition, but instead her Luck (good and bad, so she's stuck with mediocrity in her ongoing pursuits)? Or perhaps her "influence" or even her "nobility." Or some other term that would fit with the wildness of the Stolen Lands, but not detract from Nyrissa's current plans.


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Nymphs are hawt.

Shadow Lodge

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

Continuing the above... removing the Eldest from the picture and having Titania uninterested in acting directly, where then did Nyrissa obtain the blood of the Jabberwock with which to create her lesser servitor and Phomandala?

Like Cordelia, Lady Desdemona is young for a fae Queen and not as crafty as her mother Mab; she's prone to taking direct routes to her goals, rather than the complex convoluted intricacies fey nobility are best known for. When she discovered the disgraced Summer noble Nyrissa was the head of the plot she had unearthed, Desdemona presumed "removing" the nymph would solve the problem rather neatly, and dispatched the Jabberwock - a "pet" of the Winter Court - to eliminate her. Nyrissa managed to survive the assault, however, and Desdemona was forced to make more indirect assaults and preventative plans instead.

To celebrate her victory, Nyrissa has made the Jabberwock - once one of her Court's most feared enemies - sort of a personal symbol. In addition to creating the Lesser Jabberwock, she has infused several creatures with its essence, creating what effectively amount to "Half-Jabberwocks". These creatures have the Half-Dragon template, but modified: instead of a breath weapon they gain a weaker variant of the Eye Rays and their added Burn, as well as variants of the Burble and Whiffling abilities. The medusa Phomandala was the first successful such infusion, but Nyrissa has also applied the process to several beasts and creatures in her keeping.

I'll write up and post this Half-Jabber template when I get home =)

In addition to outfitting her realm with Jabberwock-derived servants and defenders, she's taken the creature as a symbol literally. Mortals who have gained her "favor" - The Stag Lord, Hargulka, Irovetti, etc. - are given a ring made with her hair then coated in FaeReie glass - the same material used to make her Glass Knights (see the Sound of a Thousand Screams thread). Imprinted on the glass is an etching of the Jabberwock. In addition to the normal mechanical benefits of a nymph's favor, each ring grants a small boon to the wearer based on one of the Jabberwock's abilities or defenses. For example, the Stag Lord's ring will give him a small amount of the Jabberwock's impressive DR/Vorpal (probably no more than 5). Each serves as a small benefit to her pawns, as well as a way to thumb her nose at Lady Desdemona.

Shadow Lodge

Whoa, ninja'd while I was posting.

Cintra Bristol wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Nyrissa desperately wishes to regain her place within the nobility.

This is just a nitpick, but you may want to change the word "ambition" to something else. The above quote certainly sounds like an ambition to me.

Perhaps what was taken wasn't her ambition, but instead her Luck (good and bad, so she's stuck with mediocrity in her ongoing pursuits)? Or perhaps her "influence" or even her "nobility." Or some other term that would fit with the wildness of the Stolen Lands, but not detract from Nyrissa's current plans.

Yeah, now that you mention it that does make sense. Nobility works best I think. How else do you explain a land that attracts would-be kings like flies, and creates cultured Worgs (Rannulf the Pack-Lord is an extremely well-spoken Worg and recurring NPC in my game that the players have allied with) and noble Trolls (Hargulka's rewrite from Dudemeister's Monster Kingdom idea)?

Plus, it creates a fun dichotomy that the players can see being acted out. Nyrissa styles herself a Queen, or even an Empress (given how many "kings" she has under her thumb, as someone pointed out in another thread); by the time the players are ready to face her, they're probably expecting someone just barely short of Titania and Mab themselves. When they finally meet Nyrissa though, she doesn't talk, act, or carry herself like royalty or nobility. Her cunning, her sensuality, her long life and experience, and her magic have been influential thus far with the would-be kings of the Stolen Lands, but by this time her opponents - the party - will be tried and proven royals, and will know at first sight that the creature before them has very little or none of the nobility she claims.

There is more to a king/queen than the crown they wear, after all. Her posture when she walks is more of a strutting performer wanting to be noticed by the audience than a ruler by right standing before her court. She handles her possessions, her underlings, and her home casually, uncaring of the destruction or damage, as if unaware of their worth. Her tactics are based more on emotion and whim than understanding of the capabilities of her attendants. And so forth.

Shadow Lodge

Half-Jabberwock

Apply all the adjustments of a Half-Dragon except the following adjustments:

CR: Same as the base creature +3. Half-Jabberwocks are slightly stronger than your average Half-Dragon.

Special Qualities and Defenses: Energy immunity is of the same type as its eye rays.

Special Abilities: A Half-Jabberwock does not gain a breath weapon; instead, it gains the Eye Rays ability.

Eye Rays (Su) wrote:
The Half-Jabberwock can project beams of (element of choice here) from its eyes as a ranged touch attack as a standard action, with a range increment of 60 feet. It projects two beams, and can target different creatures with these beams if it wishes as long as both targets are within 30 feet of each other. A creature that takes damage from an eye beam suffers Burn.

The beams deal 1d6 hit points of damage per 2 HD possessed by the Half-Jabberwock, and inflict Burn unless a reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 creature's HD + creature's Con modifier) is made. This Burn deals 1d6 points of damage per 4 HD per round for 1d4 rounds.

The Half-Jabberwock can use its Eye Rays once every 1d6 rounds. Any gaze attacks the creature possesses are not functional on a round where it uses its Eye Rays. Once the element of the rays (and the Half-Jabberwock's immunity) has been chosen it cannot be changed.

In addition, the Half-Jabberwock gains the Jabberwock's Burble ability. The DC is 10 + 1/2 creature's HD + creature's Cha modifier, and it is usable every 1d6 rounds. While Burbling a Half-Jabberwock cannot speak or use spells with verbal components.

Half-Jabberwocks of Large size or larger gain the Jabberwock's Whiffling ability. Creatures two sizes smaller than the Half-Jabberwock must make the DC 10 Strength check to approach it; creatures three sizes or more smaller are blown away unless they make a DC 15 Strength check.

Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +8, Con +6, Cha +4.

Shadow Lodge

After the Stag Lord battle, amidst the rest of the chaos one player - Elegy the Oracle, prospective queen-to-be - found the glass jabberwock ring on the Stag Lord's (severed) hand. Liking the look, she claimed it for herself.

The bond between the favor and the Stag Lord is of course broken by his death, and thus does not confer its bonus (DR 5/Vorpal) on her; however, Nyrissa is still aware of its existence, and aware that it no longer is on the hand of the Stag Lord. She can thus use the item as a focus for scrying or other similar effects.

Shadow Lodge

Also the party absolutely despised Dovan and were very eager to kill him off. I must find some reason for Nyrissa to consider him worth bringing back. Perhaps as a variant Deadly Dancer from the 3.5 Tome of Magic.


Good stuff. Keep it coming.

Shadow Lodge

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Danke =D

Thanks to Dudemeister I have all the adjustments to Chapter 2 I'll need, other than my one personal tweak to Hargulka. Where the Stag Lord had the ring of the jabberwock's skin, granting him a small part of its immense physical resilience (DR 5/Vorpal), Hargulka will possess the ring of the jabberwock's blood, which will grant him the Half-Jabberwock template posted above (immunity/eye ray element fire). Irovetti will have the ring of the jabberwock's voice, which will give him Burble and Frightful Presence. I haven't decided what Armag's going to get, I want it to be thematic but he already has plenty of potential to break things.

Beyond that, pretty much just taking the Monster Kingdom ideas and running with them, so that's all handled.

Chapter 3 however is another story. Varnhold Vanishing is the only one of the chapters where neither Nyrissa nor any of her agents has any visible activity. The BBEG, Vordakai, isn't one of her minions. The only fey involvement is the spriggans, who are little more than squatters in the town. I intend to change that.

Someone mentioned having the Spriggans here because another group of Fey booted them out of their old lair. I'll be bringing that up, but with a twist. The Spriggans and this other group (type to be determined, but suggestions welcome!) are playing out the Fey War in miniature and in shadows in the empty streets of Varnhold. The Spriggans are Summer, their opponents are Winter. And the party? Simply obstacles in the middle of their battlefield. The fey will either be irritated with them for getting in the way, or try to persuade them to take care of the other side for them.

The Spriggan leader whose name escapes me is a former lieutenant of Nyrissa's who was pretty useless and not all that helpful to her plans, and she eventually forgot about him; he wandered off out of Thousandbreaths and ended up in the Stolen Lands. Desdemona, unsure why the Spriggans were leaving but unwilling to let a pawn move unchecked, sent a group of her own to "take care of them". They've been bouncing skirmishes across the eastern Stolen Lands ever since; Varnhold is just their latest battlefield. The Spriggans came as a fallback and to loot the place after finding the humanoids gone; the other side just pursued, having already claimed the Spriggans' old lair as their new base of operations and pushing further east.

The Nomen will be Lupin (wolf-folk from the 3.5 Dragon Compendium) rather than centaurs, as their geography makes them placed wrong for centaurs in my setting (Jaekah, the Centaur PC in my game, came from the hinterlands north of my Brevoy equivalent); also because I have a centaur PC the diplomacy part would be disappointingly simple so I want something the party doesn't have a direct representative to. Otherwise I don't think they need many changes, though I might try to work some Nyrissa into their mythologies and stories. And of course some foreshadowing for Ilthuliak.

Shadow Lodge

Also: Elegy got in a fight with the party Magus Errol over the Stag Lord's ring. They were both able to identify the picture on the ring as the Jabberwock, but never discerned much beyond that. She ended up removing it and giving it to Svetlana along with all the rest of the loot. It will conveniently "disappear" sometime soon, and probably be among the trinkets Nyrissa has collected by the end.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
Chapter 3 however is another story. Varnhold Vanishing is the only one of the chapters where neither Nyrissa nor any of her agents has any visible activity. The BBEG, Vordakai, isn't one of her minions.

In my campaign, Nyrissa charmed the fellow who intruded on Vordakai's lair, and gave him the map that he followed to find it; thus, Nyrissa actually triggered Vordakai's awakening. Nyrissa also left the Oculus for him to discover and use; she previously used it (and a large number of mirror-portals) to capture all the blood-descendents of Choral the Conquerer - that's my campaign's version of the Vanishing, and the Rogarvians will be found in mirrors used as Soul-Jars in chapter 6.

In any case, Vordakai doesn't have to know a thing about Nyrissa for her to be using him...

Shadow Lodge

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Hm, I may have to borrow that. It also gives yet further reason for Agai to be eager to win the little battle going on in the abandoned town - if Nyrissa's acting directly in the area, he'll see it as a chance to further impress her by getting rid (or at least keeping busy) the attacking Winter force.

Choral will be making an early appearance in my game, popping up between Chapters Five and Six and attacking from the north. (My world's layout is a bit different, my Brevoy equivalent is east-northeast from my Stolen Lands; straight north is mountainous wildland inhabited by mostly barbarian tribes and loose villages.) The idea is twofold - first to stretch the campaign out, pushing So1kS up to the point where the PCs will be likely near or at 20 when they take Nyrissa and her cohorts on, and to add another step in the general progression of the plot:
Stolen Land - Tame the Region
Rivers Run Red - Found the Kingdom
The Varnhold Vanishing - Prove Goodwill (aid neighbors, etc.) and Establish Alliances
Blood For Blood - Secure Borders
War of the River Kings - Face a Mundane Political Threat
Conqueror's Calling - Face a Supernatural External Threat
Sound of a Thousand Screams - Face a Supernatural Internal Threat

I've been pondering how to work in Choral's incitement to attack; simple conquest might do the job, but it seems lacking, and the Northlands have never been big on spreading their territory as much as they have simple occasional raiding. Having Nyrissa use the Oculus to take his descendants captive some years prior would do the trick - especially if, as I heartily suspect will happen, Errol claims the Oculus for his own after Vordakai is slain; Choral (who will probably be renamed, as most Golarion-specific NPCs have been) may not know who stole his offspring, but a bit of research (he's a dragon, he has time) will point him in the direction of the magic item used to do so, and it won't take him long to track down an arcane caster in the general vicinity walking around with a ruby eye.

Plus it makes sense in-scheme. If the PCs win, they get rid of an undead infestation in "her" territory, and then get exterminated by Choral later. If they lose, Vordakai rids her of the pesky PCs... then gets exterminated by Choral later. I'm going to have a few of Nyrissa's minions in the dragon's cohort, as well, and perhaps a few half-fey dragon and/or half-dragon nymph offspring.


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Orthos wrote:
Someone mentioned having the Spriggans here because another group of Fey booted them out of their old lair. I'll be bringing that up, but with a twist. The Spriggans and this other group (type to be determined, but suggestions welcome!) are playing out the Fey War in miniature and in shadows in the empty streets of Varnhold. The Spriggans are Summer, their opponents are Winter. And the party? Simply obstacles in the middle of their battlefield. The fey will either be irritated with them for getting in the way, or try to persuade them to take care of the other side for them.

How about Twigjacks? They're perfect for harassment and attrition/guerilla combat.

Shadow Lodge

Macharius wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Someone mentioned having the Spriggans here because another group of Fey booted them out of their old lair. I'll be bringing that up, but with a twist. The Spriggans and this other group (type to be determined, but suggestions welcome!) are playing out the Fey War in miniature and in shadows in the empty streets of Varnhold. The Spriggans are Summer, their opponents are Winter. And the party? Simply obstacles in the middle of their battlefield. The fey will either be irritated with them for getting in the way, or try to persuade them to take care of the other side for them.
How about Twigjacks? They're perfect for harassment and attrition/guerilla combat.

I like. Thinking of having them be led by a Springheel Jack.

Andoran

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Orthos wrote:

Danke =D

Thanks to Dudemeister I have all the adjustments to Chapter 2 I'll need, other than my one personal tweak to Hargulka. Where the Stag Lord had the ring of the jabberwock's skin, granting him a small part of its immense physical resilience (DR 5/Vorpal), Hargulka will possess the ring of the jabberwock's blood, which will grant him the Half-Jabberwock template posted above (immunity/eye ray element fire). Irovetti will have the ring of the jabberwock's voice, which will give him Burble and Frightful Presence. I haven't decided what Armag's going to get, I want it to be thematic but he already has plenty of potential to break things.

How about a ring of the jabberwock's spirit, which grants fast healing 10? This is in line with his being a combat machine and annoyingly tough without granting him any more offensive abilities.

Shadow Lodge

Perfect. Thanks =)

Choral will have a ring too, but I think his is just going to contain a spell gift like a wish or something. He won't need any buffs.


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Can I just say:

"Summer Is Coming!"

:)

Thanks a lot, going to use this in my campaign. Did you by any chance go through any of the other fey in the AP and decide on their alliances?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
Macharius wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Someone mentioned having the Spriggans here because another group of Fey booted them out of their old lair. I'll be bringing that up, but with a twist. The Spriggans and this other group (type to be determined, but suggestions welcome!) are playing out the Fey War in miniature and in shadows in the empty streets of Varnhold. The Spriggans are Summer, their opponents are Winter. And the party? Simply obstacles in the middle of their battlefield. The fey will either be irritated with them for getting in the way, or try to persuade them to take care of the other side for them.
How about Twigjacks? They're perfect for harassment and attrition/guerilla combat.
I like. Thinking of having them be led by a Springheel Jack.

You might want to check out my changes to Chapter three as well. Guess what? Twigjacks!

Shadow Lodge

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Hassy wrote:

Can I just say:

"Summer Is Coming!"

Hehehe. I was planning on having occasional fey enemies murmuring or screaming something like that as they die. Not sure exactly what yet, wanting to make it a little more cryptic, as my party is already well aware of the rivalries between Summer and Winter Courts.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
You might want to check out my changes to Chapter three as well. Guess what? Twigjacks!

Yeah I think it was yours I read. I think I'll borrow those Thornjacks, and replace Thorn Jill with my Springheel Jane. ;D Though she might have the rose spear anyway, that's a cool looking item.

Hassy wrote:
Did you by any chance go through any of the other fey in the AP and decide on their alliances?

Chapter One:

Tyg and Perlivash are Wildfae, unaligned with either court. Also Perlivash basically is TootToot.

----

Chapter Two:
Melianse the Nixie is Winter Court. In my game she'll be less concerned about the destruction of the trees, and more concerned about the mess the loggers are making of her lake; she may request the trees be replanted just to spite Corax though.

Tiressia and Falchos are Wildfae.

The Dancing Lady and the Grimstalker are Summer Court. Rigg Gargadilly is Wildfae, but he's happily working for the Dancing Lady as he owes her a debt (as of yet undecided, but saving her life would pay it solidly) and he's rabidly infatuated with her, which she hardly notices, so he makes a point of never quite fulfilling his obligation, prolonging his stay. (Thus, add to his Morale statblock that he fights to the death if the Dancing Lady is threatened, and never flees beyond the keep grounds. Also if he gets a chance to backstab the Grimstalker and blame it on the PCs, he may take it.)

----

Chapter Three:
The Fey in Lake Silverstep are Wildfae, and do NOT want to get involved in the squabbling between the Twigjacks and the Spriggans.

The Dancing Dryads in the supplementary are Summer Court, but unaffiliated with Nyrissa and uninterested in participating in the conflict.

----

Chapter Four:
Ngara the Naga in the Boggard Lair will be replaced by a fey creature of some sort, though I haven't decided what yet, as Naga (though of the "human torso with snake for legs" variety rather than "human head on snake body" standard that D&D/PF tends to use) are a separate race (and one available to PCs, though no one's used one yet) in my homebrew world. Whatever she becomes, she's Summer Court and an emissary of Nyrissa, though one who's far behind on getting anything effective done, as she's been using the boggards to sate her own desires rather than doing missions for her mistress.

The Fey Pranksters are Wildfae, but want desperately to impress Nyrissa so that she adds them to her retinue and grants them membership to the Summer Court.

Any Nuckelavee the party runs into on random encounters will be Winter Court hunters, but they're just as happy to slaughter mortals as they are Summer fey, even if in theory the mortals would be aiding them in the conflict, unless said mortals carry some kind of emblem of allegiance to one of the Winter Queens.

----

Chapter Five:
Evindra the Nereid is Winter Court. The water clock she's trapped in will be covered in frost and filled with frigid water regardless of the time of year. She was originally Wildfae until Desdemona found Briar and solicited her to keep care of it, so she's not as cruel or harsh as most Winter Fey. Yet.

Engelidis the Naga will, like Ngara, be swapped for some type of Fey. She'll be Nyrissa's direct representative, there to keep an eye on Iorvetti (whose name I'll also be changing, though I haven't picked what to) and keep him on-task searching for Briar. Unlike in the book, he's somehow managed to keep the fact that he's found the sword from her, and she's also not charmed so she can't be turned against him... though if the party reveals or gets Irovetti to admit Briar's been found, she'll swiftly execute him ("Your task is complete, your services are required no longer") then try to flee with the sword back to Thousandbreaths.

----

Chapter Six:
The Horned Hunter and his retinue are Wildfae, but have been hired by Nyrissa and are loyal to their word; they would die before betraying her.

Everything else is, of course, Summer Court and directly loyal to Nyrissa.


Orthos wrote:
Hassy wrote:
Did you by any chance go through any of the other fey in the AP and decide on their alliances?

Chapter One:

[...]

Awesome, thanks!

Tiressia screms Summer to me, so I'll probably just have her ignorant of Nyrissa's plans. She might drop some hints later if the party befriends her.

I'm also keeping score about whether the PCs help Summer or Winter more, with the effects apparent in weather and (later) Nyrissa's exact power. Should be fun watching them dig their own grave (they already killed the Mites, who were agents of Winter).

Shadow Lodge

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Forgot about the Mites. I just had them as wildfae. Didn't figure them important enough for either court to care about.

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Beltasar Havelock and the Magocracy of Shadrach

Have to admit, when I saw Dudemeister's plan for Steampunk Latveria Pitax, I was immensely amused and intrigued. Sadly, I can't borrow (read: rip off) that idea for my story, as the point in the timeline where my Kingmaker occurs is well before the invention of gunpowder, much less steam power.

So instead, I invented the Magocracy of Shadrach.

Without burdening everyone here with an extensive discourse on my setting, the simple version is that the PCs' sponsoring kingdom, the barony of Olorunium, had just prior to Kingmaker been involved in a rather nasty war which they came out on the poor end of. They lost a region on their eastern border to secession, creating the territory of Naltaskar, and their loss in the war caused them severe trade losses and unpleasant reparations to their opponent, their (now other) eastern neighbor the theocratic kingdom of Galadae. The Vanguard Lord, the ruling nobles and territory lords of Olorunium, have been sending colonists west into the Stolen Lands in an attempt to recuperate their losses from the resources of the untamed wilderness.

Shadrach was the first, and thus far most successful, of these colonies. It was actually founded before the war began, as an experiment by Vanguard House Domari. The colony lived, grew, and thrived, and provided its sponsors with vast resources, wealth, and populace. Then the war came, and while the Domari were happy to continue with the tribute Shadrach sent, their control over the colony waned heavily thanks to the distraction of Galadae, Naltaskar, their rival nobles, and most of all the awakening of the Second Child of Perdition, Tiamat, from the sea to the south.

Two things happened during the war that changed Shadrach - and the course of the Stolen Lands - completely. One was a growing appreciation of arcane art, fostered by its nobility and later by its ruler. The second was a change of regime when Beltasar Havelock came to power.

Havelock is my substitute for Irovetti, obviously. A self-proclaimed noble and upstart seemingly from nowhere, similar to Iorvetti's own backstory, he's actually Galad in origin, though he's swift to keep that information well hidden. As his name might imply, he's very heavily based on Lord Vetinari of Discworld fame, and his method of rulership is very similar: he is heavily informed of the movements within and without his kingdom, legalizes and organizes most any organization even those usually considered unlawful, heavily non-interventionist otherwise despite his "dictator" capability status (though his title is "Lord Archmage", as all the recent rulers of Shadrach wear), and yes a loathing hatred of mimes.

Unlike Vetinari, my Havelock is not quite so unassailable, nor did he come into his knowledge, information, skills, and capabilities unaided by anyone but his own training. His fortuitous meeting with Nyrissa years ago, when he was first passing through the Stolen Lands, ended with him receiving her token in the form of the ring of the jabberwock's voice; in addition to giving him the mind-twisting burble of the legendary beast (a trait he dislikes, despite its usefulness, and sometimes can't control; as a result he only wears the ring when he absolutely must) it also increased his potency with the spoken word, further lining his already-silvered tongue. Nyrissa also granted him Engelidis (who, as stated above, will be some kind of Summer Fey rather than a Naga, though I haven't decided what yet) as advisor and partner, and commanded them to the task of tracking down Briar. Havelock himself will be a cane sword-fighting Magus, rather than a Bard/Fighter, as befits his place as ruler of a Magocracy.

Havelock has been watching the party for some time, and he didn't need Engelidis's warnings to be certain that in time they would interfere with his - and Nyrissa's - plans. His indirect methods of assault (Grigori, Drelev, etc.) will sate him for a time, but eventually he will try to capture them in his trap by inviting them to Abednego, Shadrach's capital, for the tournament and festival. He will be looking for any excuses he can at that point to declare open war, waiting only for the approval and demands of his populace, so he can "give the people what they want".

Haven't quite worked the details out beyond that, at this point, but there you go!

Shadow Lodge

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It's Grigori Time!

Yes, you heard me right folks, I imagine that around early to mid December I will be bringing everyone's (least?) favorite bard out to play. So it's time to start putting his ammunition together!

I fully intend to play him as a very upset Brian Blessed, complete with "BRBRBRBRBRBBBRBRRRBRBRB *SHAKES JOWLS VIOLENTLY*" when he gets riled or wants to make a point... or drown out the opposition ;) YES, GRIGORI SPEAKS ONLY IN ALL CAPS!! ALL CAPS I SAY!!!

Here is the journal for our campaign thus far if you want to read up on the occurrences for reference, but here's a short summary of what I have to run with:

  • The party, when first exploring the wilderness, made alliances with every living thing they encountered. The kobolds no one minds, since they're a standard, accepted race in my setting. The Worg and his packs, and the Arachne (Drider) and her brood, though... Even worse, within a couple of months after claiming the Worg (Rannulf, who also happens to be the kingdom's Warden)'s territory as officially part of the kingdom, two things are going to happen in short succession - Kundal is going to arrive and start killing people in the capital, and Howl-of-the-North-Wind is going to start raiding farms. Guess who Grigori is going to blame?!
  • The party has an NPC advisor from Olorunium (my setting's equivalent to Brevoy) who was sent to assist the adventurers into the world of politics. Grigori is going to accuse him of being a spy, a puppet of the barony, and of controlling the kingdom behind the scenes.
  • He's going to accuse Elegy, the Duchess, of being clearly insane. Which, unfortunately, she is - her Spellscar Oracle powers came from an unfortunate trip through the Fey realm. She's had a few moments where she's reacted badly, and one of those she frightened off a whole bunch of bandits by claiming that she WAS insane. Said bandits never made it back to the Stag Lord and have been living semi-peacefully on the fringes of the kingdom, so word eventually got to Grigori when he poked around.
  • If Elegy's insane, Errol the Magister is downright sociopathic. He talks to his blood-red, bloodthirsty sword, bickers with his comrades, commits arson for fun, threatens lives casually, and all in all is no less a criminal than the bandits he and his cohorts drove out. He's probably fey too! Look at his pointy ears!! (Errol is a half-elf; Elves in my setting usually live on the other continent, so people in this region aren't familiar with them!)
  • Lilith, the Spymistress, is clearly something fiendish or another dastardly fey. She has fangs, she disdains the light, she's almost never seen in public, and she's lived all her life (that Grigori knows of) in the wild woods of the Narlmarches. This is actually probably LESS damning than the actual truth - Lilith is a Dhampir - but still bad for press.
  • And Takeshi, the Marshal! He's a foreigner, from the islands to the far far west (or east, depending which shore you leave ;) ), and nobody - not even the rest of the party, or the NPC Councilors - knows his history. How do we know he's not some rogue criminal? He certainly loves to fight! This is the man we have enforcing our laws, commanding our Watch, and making sure our streets are safe? This brute, this bully, this thug?
  • In only the second month of the kingdom's existence, the spider-witch (Akiniyi, the Arachne Sorceress and kingdom Diplomat) summoned the party out to the Temple of the Elk; they were gone about half a week, and as soon as they returned Jaekah, the General, directed the kingdom's workers to start building smithies and a barracks! What in Tartarus are they doing out in the woods, only two months after the kingdom is founded, that implies potential war?! (Answer: getting threatened by Hargulka ;) )
  • And why is a barbaric Centaur who can't read or write appointed to be our General?!?
  • Errol kept AUCHS. Run with that.
  • In the kingdom's fifth month, they claimed the Gold Mine and set up a mining operation... just in time for a blizzard to hit. Who starts a mine in the winter?!

If anyone can think of more, suggestions welcome!!

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Okay, going to have to scratch that last one; since the weather situation had been a screwup on my part, the players wisely recanted their intents to build a mine in the dead of winter and thus avoided the situation entirely (though they did claim the hex, they just postponed starting work on it until spring).

Other stuff:

  • In addition to Errol keeping Auchs on-hand, the group carted back the survivors from the Stag Lord's gang - namely Ayles (the torturer, yes!), Father Avery and Silent Valkeri (both added in the six-player conversion), and Fat Norry. (The rest died when Akiniyi dropped them in a create pit.) They also brought back Akiros, and proceeded to make him their Councilor. In addition they had also brought two bandits from Kressle's camp, Dav and Tory, and left them mostly unsupervised at Oleg's during their exploring in Chapter One. Most of these ex-bandits are still at Oleg's, which has been left under the command of Mara, Abner, Tolin, and Delilah, Kesten's soldiers. The exceptions are Akiros, Auchs, and Valkeri, who have all relocated to the capital.
  • The group has been warned twice about the dangers of the "Singing Tower" of Candlemere - first by the Old Beldame, then by Tiressia - but haven't yet seen to it. They're a little scared of the things living there, since the Magus and Rogue made their high Dungeoneering check to recognize the aberrations calling it home. (They're not Wisps in my game.)
  • Speaking of Tiressia, the group is really kind of eager to make alliances with fey, for people as fey-phobic as they are in action. The Spymaster has Tyg, Perlivash, and Ledipte on her payroll, and the group agreed to an exchange where they killed off the Scythe Tree in trade for Tiressia and Falchos being their "advance notice" against a potential troll attack. In actuality they were pretty paranoid and readily searching every last word for loopholes or misunderstandings that might get them in trouble... but either Grigori doesn't know that, or he's deliberately omitting it from his spiel. This one could be even more fun if I run the "Tyg is kidnapped, Perl is being blackmailed into pranking the PCs" side plot from Dudemeister's RRR thread before Grigori shows up.
  • Really, we can get a lot of mileage out of the lack of time passage. These people are not fit to be rulers! They can't even sit still and manage their kingdom for six months without running off and getting into trouble! Can't even manage it for TWO months!


Quick tip: Gregori should always have an escape plan. Your talking points are great but they get wasted with things like the silence spell or a short tempered barbarian.

If the players get too frustrated have they fairy dragon pull a prank on him. My PCs hired him as a Jester, which I made a position for their kingdom (Jester can drop 1unrest on a successful perform role, 1 D 4 unrest on a perform if during a month with a festival but failure means he took it too far and creates 2 unrest, 1 D 6 if Nat 1)

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The Hunt Is On!

My PCs are just now coming out of their first winter (their kingdom is located in the southern hemisphere), and are two months away from their first Hallow's Eve. They've befriended (loosely) the Old Beldame and her apprentice, who will be arriving in their city once winter clears and they can travel, so they'll have someone familiar with local customs and legends to advise them, should they listen. But I'd like to take the opportunity to play up the Halloween vibe a little, and remind the party that "Yes, your new little kingdom is very pretty, but these lands are still very much wild".

And since I just read another Dresden book, what better way to do this than unleashing the Wyld Hunt in their yard?

This might be too nice of me, but planning this in advance I'd intentionally give them a pass on the Kingdom Event that month, as this is going to cause some significant upheaval, and depending on how the party handles it could definitely stir up some unrest (and fodder for Grigori - I imagine he's going to show up around Yuletide, so the party's Midsummer). Given the "thinness" of reality between FaeReie and the Prime at Thousand Voices, the Hunt will emerge there and surge east; they won't reach Iomrall until nearly midnight, but when they do, they'll tear through the Narlmarches bound straight for their capital, then rip through heading eastward toward Varnhold, then move on beyond the Stolen Lands.

I'll think of this in more detail when I've had more than 4 hours of sleep =P


Which version are you intending to sicc on 'em? ;)

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Mostly going to be inspired by Dresden's version, obviously, so most of the creatures in it are going to be fey. However, other suggestions are more than welcome =)

It'll pick up wild animals, bestial humanoids, barbaric folk, and the like along the way. The whole shebang will be led by the lord of the Wyld, Cernunnos the Stag King, who I intend to make deliberate comparisons to the Stag Lord with. He might also want that duplicate of his helm back.

Also! On an unrelated note: I've been adjusting the world-setting a little, and with the recent change to Iomrall's weather and such with reorienting the continent properly into the southern hemisphere, my assumptions of the region to the north have changed. Instead of a mountainous Nordic territory, the Northlands are now a rocky badland much like real-world Morocco. Since that is where my version of Choral the Conqueror is going to come from between Chapters 5 and 6, I need to decide what kind of dragon he is. Red no longer seems to fit as well, plus between now-dragonized Jaekah (he died to a Barghest and got reincarnated as a Magma Dragon, if you haven't read the obits thread) and the Jabberwock I think I have plenty of fire dragons about. Blue maybe?


Thinking of converting/making pathfinder malks, interested?

Cold days was awesome

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I'll definitely use them, yes =)


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Great Wyrm Blue + the nasty +10 all stats template + eternal should work nicely. Added nastiness if your Choral picks up an anti-Paladin 2 class package. ^_____^


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*Disclaimer: Malks are an adaptation of Jim Butcher's critters for use as a pathfinder monster. Since Jim Butcher is a known gamer geek I do not think he will mind.
**Further disclaimer: Jim Butcher clearly based this off of the Chesire cat and this poster has no permission or affiliation with either Jim Butcher or whoever owns the rights to the intellectual property of the late great Lewis Carroll

Malk (lesser,uncontracted) CR 5

CN Tiny animal fey
Init +6; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +5
DEFENSE

AC 20(often invisible), touch 16, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +2 size, +4 nat AC)
hp 36 (5d8)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +1 (-2 v.s. geas or contract type spells)
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft land, 30 ft climb
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d4+1), bite +7 (1d6+1)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +0; CMD 6 (10 vs. trip)
Feats Weapon Finesse, Alertness, Agile Maneuvers, Pounce
Skills Acrobatics +9, Climb +12, Perception +14, Stealth +18; Bluff +10 Racial Modifiers: +4 Climb, +4 Stealth, +4 bluff)
Spell like Abilities (treat as 3rd level caster for Dcs): Jump (at will), vanish (5/day), ghost sound (at will), cause fear (1/day), obscuring mists (1/ day), daze (1/day), grease (3/day), bungle (1/day), reduce person (1/day)

Lesser uncontracted Malks are wild fey that typically prey on grips, sprites, and other tiny fey. Unlike their contracted cousins they are chaotic and easily distracted. This means typically only 1D4 are encountered. As a sidenote they are -2 against "catlike distractions" (ghost sound mouse scurrying, dancing lights, ect.

Contracted template does the following: Change alignment to lawful neutral or evil (depends on master but never good aligned.) Adds +4 to will saves and bumps them to 12 will, they gain a form of pollymorph power that allows them to become hasted unseen servants for was many rounds as a wizard of the same character level of their controller (this accounts for malks disappearing and inexplicable ability to get things done as though they had hands.)

to come: greater, and noble malks


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Greater Malks (these malks have consumed at least 6 hd of size small fey, and automatically gain contracted template but remain Chaotic unless someone has actually contracted them)

As lesser malks with the following changes strength 14 (+1 damage to all attacks), 14 con, size small (-1 ac) +2 to BAB, HP 54, add teamwork feat precise strike, treat claws as adamantine for the purpose of overcoming DR. add SLAs blink (at will), entangle (1/ a day), pyrotechnics (1/ a day), mage hand (at will), spider climb (at will), and rage (1/ a day) CL is now 5 and add 1 use to all other SLAs.

***correction to lesser malks add DR5/cold iron greater malks DR10/cold iron

Greater malks not serving a master have 2D4 lesser malks in a pack

Shadow Lodge

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Winter Howls

For a party of 5 7th- or possibly 8th-level characters. Will be accompanied by some 2- or 3-HD wolf consorts (read: fireball fodder), a Trollhound, and a Hound of Tindalos.

Howl-of-the-South-Wind:
HOWL-OF-THE-SOUTH-WIND
CR 10 - XP 9,600
Male Winter Wolf Witch 6
NE Large magical beast (cold)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +20

DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+1 Dex, +7 natural, –1 size)
hp 132 (6d10+6d6+36)
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +6
Resist Fire 10 (1/day)
Immune cold
Weaknesses vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE
Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +15 (1d8+7 plus 1d6 cold and trip) and hair +8 (1d4+2, 10-foot reach)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (every 1d4 rounds, 15-ft. cone, 6d6 cold damage, Reflex half DC 17); hexes (cackle, evil eye, misfortune [+2 DC], prehensile hair; Will DC 17)

STATISTICS
Str 20, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 18 (+2 included), Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +15 (+14 with hair); CMD 26 (30 vs. trip)
Feats Ability Focus (Misfortune Hex), Alertness (when Gloaming is near), Eschew Materials, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception), Spell Focus (illusion), Weapon Focus (Bite)
Skills Acrobatics +12, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (Arcana) +11, Knowledge (Nature) +11, Perception +20, Spellcraft +9, Stealth +10 (+16 in snow), Survival +10; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, +2 Stealth (+8 in snow), +2 Survival
Languages Common, Infernal, Giant, Goblin, Sylvan
SQ familiar (Gloaming, Snowy Owl)
Gear ring of Kenna (Resist Fire 10 vs. first fire attack to hit him each day), collar (choker/necklace) of intellect +2

SPELLS DC 14+spell level; Patron: Winter
Cantrips - bleed, guidance, message, read magic
1st (4) - chill touch, delusional pride, frostbite, peacebond
2nd (4) - beneficent breeze, foehn, glitterdust, haunting mists*
3rd (3) - call the void, ice storm^, mute*
^ Patron spell
* Illusion: +1 DC


Currently running KM and getting a lot of mileage out of the 6-player conversion and integrating the courts of winter/summer is gold.

The modified Howl is pretty dang scary.

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The Race for the Sword

So here's a bit of detail on my party and their latest shenanigan, and in particular introducing Briar as early as Rivers Run Red.

The dramatis personae are:
Duchess Elegy Medvyed, LN Human Spellscar Oracle, scion of Vanguard House Alvaris, and somewhat unwitting envoy of Queen Mab (only recently discovered, that last)
General Jaekah, TN Centaur-reincarnated-to-Dragon True Primitive Barbarian, Elegy's right-hand man and bodyguard, and all-around generally good guy
Magister Errol Genio, CE Half-Elven Bladebound Magus, seeker of hidden lore and great power, weilder of Red Right Hand, a sword crafted of soleuri crystal (which can only be mined from the mountains that surround Caisleán Solas, the palace of Queen Titania).
Spymistress Lilith Blackheart, CN Dhampir Rogue/Psion aiming for Arcane Archer (houserule there), long-time wilderness dweller who's mostly joined to make sure that Civilization doesn't run amok in her homeland, friend to the Wyldfae, insanity check on the rest of the party.
Marshall Takeshi, TN Human Ronin Samurai, stoic and steel-hearted seeker of battle.
All just reached Level 7.

Right off the bat, you can probably see a brewing conflict between Winter-touched Elegy and Errol with his Summer-forged sword. Red Right Hand was created as, in his own words, "an empty vessel" and given the drive to seek battle, hoping to meet his opposite number on the field... and destroy her.

Red was crafted by Cordelia, daughter of Titania, and given to Errol - in payment for his memories and the capture of his former wife by Summer; she'll be making a return visit later in the story - for the purpose of attempting to reclaim Briar, the source of much of the three-way contention in the Stolen Lands: Nyrissa of course seeks to regain her stolen love, Winter seeks to keep power (their knowledge of what Briar actually IS is somewhat incomplete, but they know it's immensely powerful and deadly) out of the hands of Summer, and Summer seeks the return of what is theirs without it falling back into Nyrissa's hands.

In Red's case, he is quite literally an empty vessel. The black blade will, upon encountering Briar, begin trying to destroy it... something that normally wouldn't be possible for a thing of artifact-level power such as Briar, but Red Right Hand was created for this exact purpose. When Red destroys his opponent, "he" will die as his "empty vessel" is filled by Briar's essence, and will transform INTO Briar. It will be at this point or shortly after that Cordelia will come calling to regain what is hers, perhaps offering Errol the return of his memories and his bride from his former life in exchange for the blade.

This of course will be a problem for Elegy. The Duchess's backstory ties her to Winter - shortly after first meeting Jaekah, and trying to lead the centaur out of town before he's executed for destruction caused in a confused flight and rampage, the pair of them stumbled deep into the Winter side of FaeReie through a fairy ring someone (likely one of Mab's own servitors, natch) set up just outside the town. After wandering cold and alone through the region Elegy stumbled upon a tower, one of Mab's many retreats, and there met the Winter Queen herself; unaware at that time who she was speaking to other than that she radiated immense, overwhelming power, Elegy agreed to accept Mab's favor and requested only to be returned home; Mab's price was the retrieval of Briar, which was "stolen" from her (or more precisely from her appointed guardian, the nereid Evindra). Knowing Elegy would never be able to complete this task as the level-1 Aristocrat she was, she imbued her with the tools necessary to perform the task, specifically her Oracle powers. To pay her debt to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Elegy needs to retrieve Briar - which she knows the name of, that its shape is malleable and changes to suit its wielder, and that it is likely a weapon of some sort, but nothing else - and return it to Mab.

And meanwhile Lilith is doing her damnedest to keep the party as un-involved in Fae politics as she can. Good luck with that.

Briar is currently in the hands of Archmage Lord Beltasar Havelock, ruler of Shadrach, my setting's equivalent of Irovetti and Pitax respectively. Havelock himself is also a Bladebound Magus, with Briar in the form of a Cane Sword as his black blade, and I perfectly intend on him challenging Errol to a one-on-one duel when the time comes.


Add "kensai" to "bladebound", as a suggestion. They add together very, very nicely.

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I somehow did not notice that. Thanks for the heads-up >=D

Shadow Lodge

So finally got around to replacing Engelidis and Ngara, the two Spirit Naga placed in the campaign whose presence didn't suit my homebrew setting, given the differences between PF's Naga and mine (based more on the Rokugan/Oriental Adventures Naga, and an available PC race).

Ngara, hanging out in the Boggard Swamp, became a Rusalka. As previously stated, she's gone somewhat lax in her search for Briar, having become lazy and content being the "queen" of the Boggards, occasionally entertained by a prisoner or unlucky passerby, and has stopped expecting Nyrissa to come calling. If she's in need of class levels to boost her up, I'll probably have her level in Druid rather than Sorcerer.

Engelidis I made Nyrissa's direct envoy to Shadrach, Havelock's partner-in-crime and lover, and the one in charge of making sure the mortals keep searching for Briar, though she's unaware that Havelock actually has it and has been carrying it around (the cane portion of his cane sword is enchanted to hide the sword's nature, and he hasn't had reason to unsheathe it since finding it and forcing it to assume his preferred form). I made her a Half-Fey Yuan-Ti, one of Nyrissa's many children; given the Yuan-Ti's scheming, conniving nature, I imagine Nyrissa mothered her exactly for this purpose, so that she could have an emissary cunning and clever enough to get the job done. Should she survive the encounter with the party, she'll flee back to Thousandbreaths (with Briar if she can) and either engage the party somewhere early in Chapter 6 or be present for the final battle. She'll still likely be a Fey-bloodline Sorcerer.


Absolutely LOVE IT!!

Shadow Lodge

Glad you like =D

The party tangoed with Howl last night, and with surprisingly good tactics made him significantly less of a threat - he got off one spell, his haunting mists, which managed three drains (for a total of -5 wisdom) on the Barbarian/Cavalier and one on the Samurai over the course of the battle, before the Oracle cast silence on the Samurai, who proceeded to use his high Acrobatics and excellent move speed to chase Howl around the cavern, preventing him from getting out of the silence radius and casting again. He blasted the party with his breath weapon once, nailing the Barbarian (a Magma Dragon now, due to reincarnate shenanigans, and thus vulnerable to Cold) and Samurai for decent damage, and managed to trip up the Samurai with the Hair attack after failing to Misfortune him (by one measly point on the Will Save!).

Due to the Lovecraftian monsters in my setting being tied to sonic energy (they're known as the Dark Song in my mythos), my revamped Hound of Tindalos sadly was even less effective, as the party discovered that the thing made of sound got pushed around by the edge of the silence like it was an invisible wall, and ended up shoving it into a corner then the Oracle casting silence directly on it before its turn came back up and it could corner-jump across the room, it bombing its Will save (LOVELY time for a 2) and taking a ton of damage. I think that after discovering this they'll be much less scared of Candlemere now.

Still, between what Howl did manage to do, the Oracle and Magus getting antimagic fielded by a Dweomercat, and harassment from a Shadow Mastiff, Elusa Hound, Trollhound, and a bunch of mundane wolves, the party used up a good majority of their resources and everyone got thoroughly scraped up. The poor Magus never did get off his fireball though, something he griped about for the whole session. =)

Shadow Lodge

The party will be taking a few months' break time for kingdom building, though their original plan of taking longer off (possibly as much as a year) will likely be disrupted by the Spymistress losing contact with her Wyldfae friends Tyg-Titter-Tut, Ledipte, and Perlivash, who as per Dudemeister's RRR rewrite have been nicked by one of Hargulka's trolls. Right now all three are actually being held prisoner, but the troll is under orders to only hold them until the humanoids start investigating their disappearance; once they do, he's to release Perlivash with his pranking instructions and send him to the group's capital.

Meanwhile, the party is near dead broke, and found some maps of the southern Narlmarches and Kamelands in Howl's lair; among other things, this will give them directions to the Lonely Barrow, Ruined Keep of the Dancing Lady, and the lair of the Forest Drake (BTW: Suggestions MUCH wanted for the Lonely Warrior and Forest Drake encounters - they're currently written as solo, which in my party means they die quickly and don't inflict much harm in return. Need minions!). So after a few months of kingdom building and recovering, and probably after seeking out the fey and rescuing them, I imagine the party will go treasure-hunting, hopefully before charging off to deal with Hargulka - they'll need the better equipment and money.

At the rate they're going, those three encounters plus the Mazewood - an enchanted pocket of forest between the party and Hargulka's lair, where the whimsical Robyn Goodfellow [AKA The Puck!] seeks mortals for his entertainment - should put the currently-level-8 party at mid-9th or early 10th, just in time to take on Hargulka's army.


Lonely Warrior: make the barrow Unhallow-ed with the silence effect, and add in some skeletal champions (Warrior was entombed with his bodyguards). If you're feeling extra-mean, make them Wraiths or - even worse - Dread Wraiths. PRD Wraith/Dread Wraith. I'd suggest you could use a Banshee instead, but at CR 13 alone I suspect it would be too much for a APL 8/9/10 party. You could use Greater Shadows, though.

Forest Drake: a weaker [dragon-kind] of the opposite sex as a mate is usually suggested on the Advice and General Discussion for making [dragon-kind] encounters more challenging, as is making the most of environmental conditions. I'll have to read up on the encounter and think about it some more before offering up anything more specific.


Orthos I added a new tribe of green scaled Kobolds with class levels to King of the Forrest with a nifty subplot of feeding sootscales, Tatleworms, and trying to nab the Hodog for a ritual to make the Drake an actual green dragon.

If you want more details it was actually a great design with potential uses of mass combat depending on how it all played out. IF there's enough interest I'll post a thread on it, I am trying to avoid doing too many campaign "vanity" threads about my extra encounters but if folk want I got allot of spice to add to that encounter.

For the Lonley Warrior I replaced the skellies with burning skellies and tossed 2 mummies and 2 skelly archers to add some danger to the tomb.

Shadow Lodge

There's no specifics on the Drake's lair other than it being in the depths of the forest. I imagine most things that would make a Green Dragon encounter tougher would work for a Forest Drake - adding lots of vegetation for its Stealth and SLAs to work with, poisons it can ignore that the party can't, etc.

Thanks for the advice =)


Basically I made my PCs sh*t themselves when they got there. There were 200 kobolds all fascinated except the Chieftain (4th level ranger/3rd level rogue), the Shaman (Oracle of Scalykind 7 custom abilities), 4 Kobold heroes (5th level barbarians), and their god-king the Drake!

The area was a massive clearing, each hero had a prisoner: 2 tatzleworms, 1 redscaled kobold, and Mitnik! The Pcs approach in time to see the Shaman complete a feeding ritual (they let this go on) that kills all the prisoners except mitnik and gains the Drake the advanced template. When Mitnik is next on the chopping block they attacked the Drake with ranged.

The round the Drake goes down puts a timer on things if it dies the other 200 2nd level barbarian kobolds can act the following round. If the PCs manage to kill the Chief, Shaman, and all 4 heroes before the other kobolds can act they flee as you've killed their god and all their leaders.

I figured if my PCs failed at this they'd go back and get their militia and we'd do a nice mass combat. If they failed to beat the kobolds to the hogdog and/or take too long then the Drake gets to be a young green dragon, but 1/2 the tribe gets sacrificed in the final ritual.

My PCs played it perfect and lucked out by killing the chieftain (last standing) in the round the rest of his tribe was going to be able to act. They succeeded in part because they had Munguk the Giant to help.

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