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MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

The kitchen contains the cooking utensils needed to operate the Feedmill—kettles, skillets, knives, a mortar and pestle, roasting spits, a sieve, and a butter churner. Of particular note is the kettle of turnip porridge sitting on the counter, next to Bort’s large bowl.

Perception DC 18:

Although the remnants are starting to dry out, you notice an unusual, faintly floral, smell in the porridge remaining in Bort’s bowl. The smell doesn't appear to be a match for any of the herbs in the kitchen, or of the spices sitting in the mortar and pestle.

What you don't find in the kitchen is the cook: Amora hasn't yet come in and - given the kitchen is closed for the time being - it doesn't seem she is likely to.

According to Delma, Amora lives just outside town in what was once the apple orchard.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Wandering around town randomly asking questions doesn't get you very far, and eventually you end back in the taproom of the Feedmill. Delma serves you a drink (the kitchen is still closed) and listens to your questions: "Like I said last night, I really didn't see anything. Your best option is probably to ask the rest of my staff: Kolnral, Trin and Phinick were serving, and Amora was cooking. They might have seen something. Edra is the stablehand, so she probably didn't see much, but you can talk to her if you like."


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:

6d20 ⇒ (12, 18, 3, 7, 6, 8) = 54

Nariel's earth-moving activities uncover some grisly secrets buried beneath the moss-like turf. Near the surface lie the still-decomposing bodies of around half a dozen unfortunate woodsmen/hunters, in various stages of decay; none of them are more than around six to nine months dead.

Under that is a veritable carpet of bones, most of them tiny, far too small to be humanoid. The flesh has long since decayed away, but some of the connective tissue and cartilage still holds the skeletons together. In addition, you spot numerous cricket- and grasshopper-bodied forms: the chitin has held intact where flesh has long since decomposed.

Your best estimate is that these bodies have been here for well over a year, but probably less than five years.

Arianna notices, tangled in the roots of one of the scythe trees you defeated, a battered and twisted set of shears. Once the dirt is cleaned away, the glint of (badly-tarnished) silver is clearly visible.

The shears are worth 150 gp


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Aivar's valiant wrath is more than the tree - already cut and slashed by Sasha and Arianna's attacks - can bear; it falls to the ground with a mighty crash.

Combat over!

Seeing that the fight is over and the danger now past, Nariel's hawk familiar swoops down from overhead, landing on Nariel's shoulder.

Nariel:
Fascinating. Ayluin's voice is fierce, predatory; like talons on a chalkboard. He looks around, his keen eyes piercing the shaded gloom. Are you aware you have been standing in a boneyard?

He glances over at your injuries. Also: Is the concept of 'ducking' too complicated for your wingless-monkey brain?


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

The sheriff waves off Dar and Giuseffe's concerns. "Where you stay isn't my problem. If you leave, that will be your problem."

He looks a little dubious at first as Fliss starts jabbering at him, but he eventually nods, possibly swayed as much by the idea of having some help solving this mystery as much as her Abadaran symbol. "Hmm. Deputies. Yes, I guess that could work. Just, you know, report to me regular and don't cause any trouble."

Once Bort's corpse is stowed in the cellar (the coolest place it can be in a town that doesn't have a mortuary or a jail), he touches his cap respectfully to Delma and to Tamli: "Sorry for your loss, all." He then takes his leave.

The half-orc scowls as she watches him go. "Good riddance. Right, come on everyone - we're going to do this properly." Without waiting for a reply, she leads all the members of the caravan out to where the wagons are parked. Tamli clears her throat, uncertainly. "Right, then. Tomorrow is full of uncertainty and doubt, but tonight is about remembering the past. So. I first met Bort when..." she tells a tale of her years travelling with the caravan, and then the others contribute their stories. Tales of remembrance are told through teary eyes, and rare bottles of elven wine from Kyonin are passed around for all to share.

Tamli is more than happy to keep quiet after her initial speech, but at the end of the night, just as the sun is about to rise, she speaks once again. "Bort was more than just a merchant, more than just the boss. He was my friend. We won’t leave here until we’ve found out who did this. That sheriff's a fool, but I’d be an even greater fool if I thought I could get to the bottom of this. Fixing wagons and moving goods, that’s my job. But you,” she says, pointing at all of you, “you might be able to figure out who killed Bort and get justice for him.” She holds back tears as she says, “For all of us. Will you help uncover who did this?”

There's a general murmur of agreement.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:

Branch v Ar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 1) + 6 = 8

Branch v S: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (4, 1) + 6 = 11

Branch v S: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 4) + 6 = 12

Confirm?: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (3, 4) + 6 = 13

Somehow the tree resists the might of Aivar's holy wrath - but as Nariel reappears, a burst of arcane force streaks past the paladin, slamming into the tree and knocking it down. It does not rise again.

Another one down!

Sasha and Arianna combine their might to carve chunks out of the tree they are facing, although it still stands. Its retaliation leaves Arianna untouched, but two scything branches cut deeply into Sasha: despite the young rogue's desperate attempt to dodge she is left badly injured. (Sasha takes 36 damage)

Sasha: you need to update your character sheet to level 5

Status:

Aivar 53/65
Arianna 51/51
Nariel 13/35
Raquel 45/45
Sasha 9/45
Tristan 40/40

Red DEAD

Yellow -72

Green DEAD

You guys are up


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:

4d20 ⇒ (14, 13, 19, 20) = 66

Fliss doesn't spot anything suspicious, but she does spot Delma returning to the tavern with the sheriff just behind her, in time to stop Dar from leaving the scene of the crime - an act that would no doubt be looked on with suspicion.

It becomes clear very quickly that Sheriff Garley is way, way out of his depth: he turns pale when he sees the body, and hastily orders it to be covered with the nearest cloth. He then takes everyone in the taproom out to the stables, and talks to them individually to ask them what happened. (Possibly just out of a hope that one of them will confess to the crime and this whole thing can be over with.)

As the ones nearest to Bort when it happened, you are interviewed first, although the fact that you didn't really know him that well and (more importantly) had nothing to gain from his death, as well as the fact that you rushed to help him as soon as it became clear he was in trouble.

The other members of the caravan are then called forward, but only Olf and Ulf were in the taproom at the time, and they were gambling at cards with one of the farmers. Tamli the half-orc, her face lined with grief, confirms that she would be the inheritor of the caravan in Bort's absence, but she was nowhere near the tavern.

The next person to be interviewed is the cook (and purveyor of out-of-tune singing), Amora. Proud of her work, she stands her ground and stubbornly insists that it wasn't her food: food poisoning doesn't work that fast, so it must be poison. And she would never poison the food she makes. The sheriff looks inclined to agree with her, but insists that nothing in the kitchen be cleaned or moved so that he can investigate more closely. Amora removes her apron in a fury, throwing it to the ground and storming out of the room.

Growing increasingly frustrated, the sheriff turns to Delma: "Is this everyone who was in the room at the time?"

The tavernkeeper frowns. "Hang on. Yes. No, wait - two of my staff aren't here. Trin was hit by a flagon during the brawl, and I sent her home. Phinick..." she frowns. "Phinick was here earlier, but I can't see him. Still, he'll turn up. This sort of thing distresses him, I think. Oh, and Sir Lawren, of course. He left when the fight started."

Sheriff Garley nods, understandingly. "Oh, of course. Of course."

Giuseffe, Shaumatiel:
There's a tone and mannerism to Delma and the sheriff's conversation when discussing this Sir Lawren. You've seen it before when a family/clan/close-knit community closes ranks to protect one of their own.

He then turns to you. "Well, it looks like I can't solve this one immediately. There is no clear suspect, but no member of the caravan - that's you lot - can be ruled out. I will need to turn this investigation over to a circuit judge who visits the town occasionally to deal with serious legal matters and crimes." He sighs. "Unfortunately, the judge, Lord Mubbage Cranberry, is not due back for another month, so I'm going to have to tell you not to leave town until then."

Every member of the caravan looks appalled at the prospect of staying here in the boondocks for that long. Tamli balls her fists, and scowls, the lines of grief turning rapidly to anger. "Now, look here, lawman..."


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

I have to say, DMing in PF2 is actually quite fun. The combats flow smoothly, the stat-blocks seem to be well laid out and things just generally work.

I still think the numbers are slightly screwy (DCs are almost uniformly too high, in my opinion; and creatures are slightly over-powered, especially their AC and to-hit bonuses) - but the sense of annoyance/barely-suppressed rage that I felt during the playtest is (so far!) completely absent.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Fliss is able to determine that Bort is not choking on anything: his windpipe is swollen shut. Despite her best efforts to revive him, whatever poison he ingested is too powerful, even for his dwarven constitution.

In a matter of moments, he is dead.

The crowd that was starting to gather falls silent - as does the rest of the tavern - and everyone begins eyeing one another (and their food).

Delma is so pale her skin is almost white, but she keeps her composure. "I - I'd better go and fetch the sheriff again." She bites her lip, and looks at the corpse. "Gods. Nothing like this has ever happened here."

Dar:
You see only what you'd expect to see: shock, disbelief, consternation. No sign of guilt on anyone.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

OK Nariel, you're now awake, you're at +13 hitpoints, but prone (also invisible, but it doesn't seem to be much help to you right now).


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:

AoO: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (3, 4) + 6 = 13

Attack v Ai: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 2) + 6 = 10

Attack v Ai: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (4, 1) + 6 = 11

Attack v Ai: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 4) + 6 = 12

Attack v Ar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (4, 2) + 6 = 12

Attack v Ar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (3, 2) + 6 = 11

Attack v T: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 3) + 6 = 10

Crit confirm?: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (3, 1) + 6 = 10

A wickedly sharp branch catches Arianna as she moves forward, drawing copious amounts of blood. Nevertheless she buries her handaxe deep in the tree-trunk. In return the thing flails at her with more of its evil branches, but her magical protection prevails and she escapes further harm for now. (Arianna takes 13 damage)

Tristan is also lucky: his attack inflicts some damage and he escapes retaliation.

Aivar inflicts more serious damage on his opponent, but the thing is obviously roused to a fury and strikes the paladin even through his armour and divine protection. (Aivar takes 32 damage)

Raquel channels her god's healing once again, and Nariel's wounds start to close; she is still unconscious, but breathing and no longer in danger of bleeding out.

Status:

Aivar 25/65
Arianna 38/51
Nariel -3/35
Raquel 45/45
Tristan 40/40

Red DEAD

Yellow -22

Green -68

You guys are up


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

OK, gonna wrap this up.

Dar and Shaumatiel manage to drop their opponents to the floor, just as Delma returns with the town sheriff, a man in his late 20s who seems more interested in his neatly-groomed beard than he does in keeping law and order. Nevertheless, at his appearance the fight dissipates and he takes the farmer who started the whole thing to one side, for a stern talk, before taking his leave once again.

Once the brawl has subsided, Bort's good humour (never far from the surface) reappears. "Well then, that's all over, come and have pudding - and another round of drinks! You don't want to miss out on this turnip porridge, do you? I have to say, of all the foods I've encountered on my travels, this turnip porridge here is my favourite." (That probably explains the extra-large bowl he has in front of him.)

The dwarf readily resumes the tale he was telling before the fight broke out: "So there I and my companions were, captured by Fire Giants! Luckily, though I say it myself, I think fast on my feet: even as I was being lowered into the kettle, I managed to persuade the cook - a vast giant with a bright-red beard that fell down to his ankles, that's no word of a lie - that dwarf-meat isn't digestible unless you cook us with a rare plant called "frostbloom" which I happened to have on me. So, when he tasted the broth before putting us into it, it froze his mouth shut and we were able to esc-"

He starts to cough and choke slightly. "Huh. Just a bit of indigestion, that giant chef's revenge from afar, no - no doubt..."

The coughing becomes more serious, and his eyes start to bulge. A few moments later it is clear that Bort is in genuine distress. He begins to turn purple and his mouth begins frothing. Seconds after, his eyes roll into his head and a rumble can be heard in his guts.

Suddenly, he slumps in his chair and falls to the floor. He does not get up.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:

Unarmed v D: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Unarmed v D: 1d20 + 5 - 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 - 5 = 19
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

Unarmed v F: 1d20 + 5 - 2 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 5 - 2 - 2 = 4
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Unarmed v F: 1d20 + 5 - 2 - 2 - 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 - 2 - 2 - 5 = 13
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

Unarmed v S: 1d20 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (11) + 5 - 2 = 14
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

Unarmed v S: 1d20 + 5 - 2 - 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 - 2 - 5 = 5
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Thrown mug v G: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Damage: 1d3 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Thrown mug v G: 1d20 + 1 - 5 ⇒ (20) + 1 - 5 = 16
Damage: 1d3 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Shaumatiel and Dar land a few hits, but fail to take their respective opponents out of the fight. Dar's opponent hits the half-elf twice, landing solid blows each time. (11 nonlethal damage) Shaumatiel's foe is obviously intimidated by Giuseffe's words and demeanour and fails to strike her. Fliss's opponent kicks at her from the floor, but doesn't manage to connect.

A thrown mug comes flying out of the melee to hit Giuseffe; more by luck than anything else, it hits him square on the nose, causing eye-watering pain. (8 nonlethal damage)

You guys are up


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker
Giuseffe D'Azzo wrote:
We're still alive! All of us! I mean, what could truly go wrong when your leader is a goody-two-shoes paladin of Shelyn, right?

I wouldn't know

Waiting on Dar and Giuseffe


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

That probably sounds really creepy to anyone who doesn't know you work in an animal research lab.

Waiting on Arianna & Sasha.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:
Will save: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13

Fist: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

Fist: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Thrown mug: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Damage: 1d3 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

Thrown mug: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Damage: 1d3 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

Thrown mug: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Damage: 1d3 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Dar, Fliss and Shaumatiel: just a reminder that you are Fatigued, so you take a -1 to AC and to saving throws

As the fight escalates into a brawl, Delma runs out of the front door, presumably to fetch help. Bort stands up, trying to use his personable demeanour to calm things down, but ducks as a chair comes flying in his direction. He quickly stands down and looks to you to do something.

Kolnral manages to get to safety behind the bar, where he crouches down and waits for things to subside. Trin, the serving-girl, isn't so lucky: a mug catches her in the face. Clapping one hand to her cheek, she flees the building via the stables.

Olf and Ulf, the two redhead twins, laugh with glee and jump into the fray. They don't seem terribly concerned about restoring order or calm.

The farmer that Shaumatiel lays a hand on glazes over as his will succumbs to hers, and allows himself to be led out of the fray. The cleric gets a tankard of ale thrown at her for her troubles, which clonks her painfully on the back of the head and drips warm turnip beer down her back. (5 nonlethal damage)

Fliss subdues another brawler but takes a punch to the face from one of the other combatants. (7 nonlethal damage)

Another thrown mug bounces off Dar's forehead. (4 nonlethal damage) Evidently people aren't being very discriminating in their choice of targets.

You guys are up!


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker
Raquel Cailean wrote:
Hey GM, please stop trying to murder my elven girlfriend smoking hot platonic life partner. Thanks! Love, Raquel.

It's not personal: last fight it was Arianna who almost died, and the time before that it was... Raquel, I think? Can't remember that far back. Anyway, the point is, I like to spread the love around.

Heh. Thought you'd appreciate this, Sarah :)

Although for avoidance of doubt, when she says our tabletop group is "deceased" she means we no longer meet rather than, you know, that I killed them all. I'm happy to kill characters - killing the actual players would mean having to do inconvenient things like dispose of the bodies.

@Nariel: Raquel's channel energy has a 30 ft range so it catches you in it. Just as well, since you're (probably?) still invisible.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:

Attack v A: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 2) + 6 = 9

Attack v A: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 3) + 6 = 11

Attack v A: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 1) + 6 = 8

Confirm?: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26
Critical Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (3, 4) + 6 = 13

Attack v N: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 3) + 6 = 11

Attack v N: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 2) + 6 = 10

Attack v N: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 4) + 6 = 11

Raquel channels her god's favour in a desperate attempt to keep Nariel alive. Aivar and Arianna combine to take down one of the trees, which splinters apart under the fury of their attacks, falling to the ground. The paladin's follow-up does significant damage to another of the foes. Tristan lands some hits, but his rapier does no damage against the tough bark. Sasha misses with her attack.

Nariel teleports away; but discovers to her horror that there is one more terror to these trees: they can see invisible creeping elves. The wizard desperately ducks one flailing branch, but two others nearly decapitate her: she falls, bleeding, to the ground. (Nariel takes 22 damage, putting her at -8 hit points.)

The other tree lashes out at Aivar - its wicked, scything branches punch through his armour and his goddess' protection, leaving him bleeding badly. (Aivar takes 24 damage)

Status:

Aivar 41/65
Nariel -8/35
Raquel 45/45
Tristan 40/40

Red DEAD

Yellow -4

Green -23

You guys are up! Only 2 more of these things to kill


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Yeah, no. These aren't photosynthetic trees. They feast on flesh.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Bort nods appreciatively at your stories, and looks as though he's about to ask Fliss for her contribution; she is spared having to say anything by the arrival of dessert (warm turnip porridge). The dwarf beams as he gets an extra-large bowl, and is about to tuck in when Kolnral accidentally bumps into one of the farmers, causing the man to spill his ale over himself. Off-balance, and apologising profusely, Kolnral succeeds only in pouring a generous serving of turning porridge into the man's lap.

Purple with rage, the farmer stands, bawling drunken, angry profanities at the hapless barman - Kolnral backs away alarmed, causing the punch being thrown to catch another farmer in the back of the head. With a roar of anger, the man just punched gets to his feet (none too steadily) and hurls himself at the farmer; the two men sprawl backwards into the next table.

Within seconds, a bar fight erupts in the common area of the tavern as a dozen drunken farmers wind up in a gigantic brawl. This is evidently how the locals get their entertainment.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker
Shaumatiel wrote:
If anybody excels at soul crushing character drama, it's Wastrel.

...you love it, and we both know it :P


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker
Fliss Cooper wrote:
(I STILL can't believe we let you run that Kingmaker-meets-Game of Thrones on us).

Yeah, about that...

Sorry for delay in posting, I'll get us moving again tonight.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Tristan: Sleep will NOT work


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

I'm not sure what opportunity I will have for long posts tomorrow so am posting the next round now. Sasha, feel free to post your previous round's action and I'll slot it in on the next update :)


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

GM Screen:

AoO: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 2) + 6 = 10

AoO: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 3) + 6 = 11

Attack v Nariel: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (4, 3) + 6 = 13

Attack v Nariel: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 1) + 6 = 8

Attack v Nariel: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 1) + 6 = 8

Attack v Aivar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 4) + 6 = 11

Attack v Aivar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (3, 1) + 6 = 10

Attack v Aivar: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 1) + 6 = 9

Attack v Tristan: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 4) + 6 = 12

Attack v Tristan: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (2, 1) + 6 = 9

Attack v Tristan: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 4) + 6 = 11

Raquel channels healing energy, while Aivar channels divine wrath, his glaive slashing through the bark in a spray of thick, inky sap. Tristan's rapier does minimal damage. Two of the trees slash at Arianna as she loses her footing, but her erratic movements protect her as she stumbles out of the way of their lashing branches (more by luck than by judgement).

Nariel's protective spell fails and she remains visible as one of the trees unleashes hateful fury upon the frail elf. Razor-sharp branches lash through the air, almost flaying the wizard where she stands. (Nariel takes 29 damage and has 1 hit point remaining. Guess these things really DO hate elves.)

Aivar fares better, as the protection of his goddess wards off all harm and the paladin stands untouched. Tristan is badly hurt, and but for the protection of Nariel's spell would be in mortal danger. (Tristan takes 21 damage)

Status:

Nariel 1/35
Raquel 39/45
Tristan 18/40

Red -59

Yellow -4

Party is up!


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Arianna identifies your attackers as scythe trees: malevolent plant creatures found in heavily forested areas where they naturally blend in with normal trees. Scythe trees are carnivorous by nature and draw very little sustenance from sun, air, or water, preferring a diet of dryad or elf flesh. The scythe tree is an intelligent plant but does little with its intellect other than devise new and cruel methods to torment its food once it has secured meals.

They are vulnerable to fire, but resistant to all damage apart from slashing weapons.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Tristan, Sasha - still need your actions. If I haven't heard from you I will move things on to the next round, to keep things moving.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Firstly, Sarah - thanks for sharing your perspective. We always benefit from hearing how the other side lives. All I would say (apart from my sincere hope that you never felt uncomfortable at any of my gaming tables) is that PbP relies entirely on the written word, which doesn't allow for much in the way of tone or body language. That means that picking someone up on what they have done and/or expressing discomfort is best done separately from venting.

Secondly, Shaumatiel/Brainiac - thanks for de-escalating. I'm glad to have players who rise above the normal calibre of internet interactions ("you suck!" "No, you suck MORE!!!11").


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Hi Arianna - not a problem, have a great holiday :)


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

@Aivar - scythe trees are evil so you can smite them

@Raquel - yup, for once I didn't forget your Adoration ability ;)


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

@Sasha: I have to admit that I forget what abilities Rogues have - it may well be that you would get to act in a Surprise Round even if you failed your Perception check.

If so, you get to post an action in the same way as Nariel (basically post your Surprise Round action and Round 1 actions together).


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

10-15 ARODUS (VIII) 4719

Your travel through the hills of the Greenbelt (as this part of the Stolen Lands is known) is unhindered and you reach the (relative) cooler shade of the Narlmarches without incident, disappearing beneath the canopy of the ancient forest. Despite the blazing Arodus sun, the light here seems dim, almost other-worldly. The heat however remains: the air is still, lifeless, apart from the ever-present midges.

You easily pick up the exploration where you left off, at the den of the river-drakes. The natural crossing here makes travel much easier, although as you travel South you are forced to pick one side of the river at a time: this far from its headwaters the Skunk River has long-since lost its sulphurous smell, but it is swift, wide and fast-flowing. Trying to cross it would be a treacherous endeavour, even for the hardiest swimmer.

Hex M7 explored!

16 ARODUS (VIII) 4719

GM Screen:

Ai,Ar,N,R,S,T: 6d20 ⇒ (12, 8, 10, 12, 8, 11) = 61

Random attacks: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 6) = 13

v Flat footed AC

Branch v R: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (4, 3) + 6 = 13

Branch v N: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (3, 3) + 6 = 12

Branch v T: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Damage: 2d4 + 6 ⇒ (1, 1) + 6 = 8

Following the river as it turns Eastwards, you quickly surmise that the Skunk will feed into the vast lake that forms a feature of this part of the land, although the tree-line makes it difficult to see much beyond thirty feet or so, much less the horizon.

Shortly after midday, you catch a scent on the faint breeze: not the sulphur of the Skunk headwaters, something both sweeter and fouler - rotting flesh. Pursuing the smell means heading in to where the trees grow thicker, denser. Leaving the horses behind, you proceed on foot into a clearing thick with moss; and bones. This last you discover when Aivar's armoured foot goes straight through the mossy covering and shatters a humanoid skull with a crunch.

Only Nariel, with her more than human perception, spots the hazard, although she is too slow to evade it as three of the vast trees seem to come alive, threshing at you with razor-sharp branches! Nariel, Raquel and Tristan are all wounded before they can even act.

Nariel gets to act in the Surprise Round (one standard or move action); then everyone (including Nariel) gets a full round of actions; and then the trees go again.

Status:

Nariel 23/35
Raquel 32/45
Tristan 32/40


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker
Giuseffe D'Azzo wrote:
"Alright, okay. Delma, t'is time for something stronger!"

"Well, there, I like the enthusiasm, but maybe hold up a bit - the night's only just started!" Bort returns from his various errands, chuckling at Giuseffe's enthusiasm, before deftly swiping from Kolnral's hands the bottle of liquor that Fliss is currently considering. "Ha, that's an old trick they play round here on newcomers. Trust me, girl, you don't want that."

He smiles at you all. "Anyway, join me for dinner - it's on me, by way of thanks for your help against those wolves earlier today."

The dwarf has reserved a table on the dais, next to what appears to be the town bard, whose lute is missing two strings and who - it seems - only knows parts of three different tunes. Fortunately as the tavern fills with the chatter of townsfolk arriving for drinks and food, the hubbub of rising noise more or less drowns him out. As the number of visitors increases, the bar-staff switch roles, with Delma tending behind the bar and Kolnral and Trin act as wait-staff, occasionally assisted by the goblin, Phinick; although he mostly stays in the kitchen.

As the first dishes come out (wild game and roasted turnips with a side of burnt seed cake, coupled with watery turnip ale), Bort has just finished regaling you with another of his improbable (but well-told) stories: "...Alas, the Lady of Graves could not decide on my fate because her hair was being tussled by the storm winds that brought me and my crew before her. Well, not wanting to be inconsiderate, I dug through my lockbox and found a silver comb that I gave to the Lady to tame her hair. So impressed was she by the gift, the she returned me and my entire crew to the shores of lake Encarthan, alive and well." He bangs his tankard on the table for emphasis. "And that's no word of a lie." He gives a big, beaming grin. "Now, how about you tell me a little of yourselves?"


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

5-9 ARODUS (VIII) 4719

Slowly, life returns to normal in Thornhold: Merrim is buried in a small ceremony and gradually the shock of the attack against the small community wears off. The speed with which the perpetrator was apprehended, as well as Aivar's fair conduct towards him, goes a long way to restoring a measure of trust.

Unrest is halved. It now stands at 2

Kesten and Yuri transport the manacled prisoner up to Nivatka's Crossing, accompanied by Jhod who will submit the depositions and indictment. The rest of you continue in your labours of running the town and the province, and the outline of the new mansion starts to take shape down by the river.

Last chance to do any shopping/last-minute roleplay before you head off into the wilderness once more


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Fliss has some RL stuff going on - going to give her a bit longer to post before moving forwards.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Disagree: if it comes to a fight, it's more merciful for it to be over quickly :)


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

@Tristan: Upwards is the one direction on the map that you don't need to explore :)


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

That's fine. Where do you want to explore next?


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Delma gives Dar a smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes: the sort you give when you don't want to piss off a paying customer. "Between running this place and looking after my father, it doesn't leave me a lot of time for dalliances. Especially with people who will be leaving after breakfast tomorrow and most likely won't be coming back."

She winces as another burst of song filters through the door from the kitchen. It shouldn't be possible to butcher a Galtan folk-song that badly - by the law of averages, you'd think at least one note would be in tune.

But no.

"Sonnay lemon teener, sonnay lemon teener..."

Grateful for an excuse, Delma hurries away behind the door. A few moments later, the singing mercifully dies away.

Kolnral looks puzzled at Fliss' question, his brow furrowing under his mop of sandy hair. "Um, I'm not sure, Miss. Oh, hang on, there's this..." He rummages behind the bar for a few moments before producing a bottle of clear, viscous liquid, stoppered in place by a corroding cork.

"This is made from apples. Well. Mostly apples."


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Yeah, Investigators don't count as casters in that way. I'd overlooked that one.

I'm also enjoying the interaction between Arianna and Nariel - they're both applying their intellect in very different ways, and it makes for some great reading!

@Nariel - no problem, go ahead and mark the gold off and we'll say that the scroll will arrive at the end of Arodus.

@Everyone - because the trolls and then the werewolf interrupted your kingdom-building, you will need to stay in town from 5-9 Arodus, which gives you a few days to bury your friend as well as do general role-play and run errands (no crafting, retraining or other downtime activities though).

Alternatively we can just skip ahead to 10 Arodus when presumably you will go exploring once again.

I'm conscious the game has dragged slightly in the last few weeks, so let me know if you just want to kick ahead.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Yup, buying the stuff will save you time, at least once you have the right shops, but it will cost you money; and in this campaign, money might - on occasion - be the most valuable thing that you have.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

4 ARODUS (VIII) 4719

Evening

It's a sombre night in the Inn of the Swooping Shrike. Karl, the proprietor, wordlessly keeps the group's drinks topped up, repeatedly waving away any proffered payment ("No, no, this one's on me") as the townsfolk and people from the nearest of the outlying farmsteads come by to murmur and quietly pay their respects to a girl who turns out to have (in an unobtrusive way) been generally well-liked. The air is thick with sympathy - or maybe it's just a haze of alcohol.

Happy to move this foward, but it seems like a good opportunity for some quality RP so I'm going to hold for now

Aivar:
The knock on your door late that night (or possibly early that morning?) is quiet, just loud enough to draw your attention to it.

Opening it, you find yourself faced with Eva, much the worse for drink (judging by the smell, her poison of choice is strong liquor). She holds a hand up before you can get a word in. "Don't worry, I ain't gonna make another 'offer', I bin talking to Jhod an' he told me 'bout your goddess and 'ow you don't believe in sleepin' around, made me realise I pretty much dun the worst fing I could've to get yer attention, but that's, that's..."

She waves one hand. "That ain't the point I wanna get into right now, well, sort of, I mean, how. How. How do you stay, I dunno, so good? I mean, this. This is a pretty f***in' terrible world, right, we seen that today, I liked her, I ain't never had many friends but I liked her, an' that, that THING just took her like, like she dint even matter. An' you, you dint give in, didja?"

She takes a shaky breath. "I mean, I woulda had it die screamin' but you said, no, we ain't gonna do it it like that, an' I could see you was right, I just you know, didn't wanna. So I'm glad you was there to make us do it right, I just..." Her voice is small. "I just hope that this world don't drag you into badness with the rest of us."

She leans up and plants a kiss against Aivar's lips. "Stay good, 'kay?"

Her lips taste fiery, although that might have something to do with the aforementioned liquor.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Thanks - it does.

Bear in mind though that it takes 1 day per 1,000 gp value of the magic item (which is the base value, not the half-price you get for creating it). You can't go adventuring or do ruling-type stuff at the same time as crafting.

It's still a good discount, but it will cost you your time; and in this campaign, time might - on occasion - be the most valuable thing you have.


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Purchase limit at Thornhold is currently 500 gp; a scroll of Fox's Cunning costs 150 gp so it's technically available, although - as Arianna pointed out - you don't have a magic shop.

What I'm going to say that you can do is place an order for it, and it will be delivered via travelling merchant in the next few weeks or so. Once you have a magic shop of some sort, you'll be able to purchase scrolls in the usual way without having to wait.

Hope that's a satisfactory compromise: it doesn't stop you getting the spell you need, but it keeps the incentive to build stuff like that more locally :)

EDIT: Nariel, I don't remember that conversation (sorry!) - any chance you can link me to it?


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

In amongst the sadness, there is some good news: you have negotiated the tangled web of favours and disfavour and made your first tentative dabblings in Brevoyan politics. You have also set up a nascent province in unclaimed territory, and built a town, as well as successfully defended it from outside trouble.

Please advance to 5th Level at your convenience :)


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Eva gives Aivar an odd look (sort of, equal parts respect mixed with annoyance) before spinning on her heel and following Raquel to the tavern. "Fine. In that case, I'm gonna go get drunk."

Jhod gives her a sympathetic glance as she storms away, before returning his gaze to Aivar. "Aye, I think tha does right in sending yon beast before the courts. I can draw up the charges and affidavits, and I'm sure My Lords Garess and Wenislaus would do escort duties. I've no doubt tha place is here, with the people - and tha friends - as they come to terms with what's taken place here."

He shuffles the papers between his hands, clearly keen to get going. "I've done one too many funerals, of late. I trust tha'll accept if I take a leave of absence for this one."


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker
Fliss Cooper wrote:
Fliss makes her way upstairs, pausing briefly to admire the quality of the lampshade.

...well played :)


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

"It's alright, I've got him." Kesten Garess walks forward, and grasps the prisoner firmly by the arm in one armoured gauntlet. His voice is measured, but his face is set in an expression of tranquil fury. "By the Goddess, I've never yet harmed a prisoner while he was bound, and I don't intend to start now. But I have to admit, I'm tempted." He drags the man almost off his feet. "Let's get you to the blacksmith so we can fit some proper restraints." The Ulfen snarls in protest, but isn't in a position to do anything against a fully-armoured warrior.

"Yeah? I ain't got no problem stabbin' someone when they're tied up. Best time to do it, right?" Eva appears on the scene, her face red as she glares at Yuri and Karinna, who are standing prudently close to her on each side.

She looks beseechingly at Aivar: "C'mon, five minutes with him, that's all I'm askin' for. Five minutes an' a dagger. I'll leave him alive, don't worry, I'm just gonna, you know... make him sorry. Fair's fair, right?"

Karinna's expression is carefully neutral. "Obviously, I don't approve of that little plan. But nobody would blame you, my Lord, if you decided to carry out justice here and now. The status of such creatures under the law is not clear-cut. If you decided to rule that he has none of the usual protections afforded to - to normal people, for want of a better word - nobody would gainsay you."

Yuri (who, like Kesten, is more comfortable with procedure) looks slightly uneasy. "That's fine, although you'd then be setting a precedent that could haunt us in future. But it's your decision, My Lord." He bows, while doing his best to keep a cautious eye on Eva.


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MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

Delma returns Dar's wink with a smile: "Of course. Kolnral!" At her call, the door behind the bar opens (allowing the sound of a woman singing - badly out of tune - to filter through) and a young man with a mop of sandy blonde hair arrives. At Delma's direction, he speedily pours several pints of watery turnip ale and sets them at one of the tables.

Leaving Kolnral to it, Delma addresses Shaumatiel's question: "The founder of the town, Etran Bolmere, wanted his house to have a suitably impressive location so he built it on a hill, too far from the river. It burned down one night, killing him and his family. If you're interested in history, my father knows more about this town than anyone."

The large man slouching at the bar gives a dirty laugh: "You should tell 'em he's forgotten more about this town than anyone. Man's not all there anymore, Delma, and you know it." He slams his tankard down on the bar, and puts his cloak back on. "Be seein' you, darlin'." He gives Delma a leer as he departs.

Pink spots appear in Delma's cheeks, but she gives the man a civil nod, presumably not wanting to lose a regular customer.

She brightens as Fliss requests a bath: "No problem, I can have Phinick and Trin bring you some hot water from the kitchen." She indicates the goblin and another server, a woman around Fliss' own age.

She leans in and drops her voice slightly: "You may be wondering how a goblin ended up on the staff, given that we're in Isger and it's barely 20 years since the Goblinblood Wars ended. I find it's best not to question these sorts of things. Oh, and mind your head on the way upstairs, dear." This last is addressed to Fliss. "The lamp there hangs rather low."


MAPS: FoP I Kingmaker

The twins look as though they're eager to take Shaumatiel up on her offer, but there's a creak as the caravan starts to move onward again and they are called back to their place a few wagons ahead of your own.

The rest of the journey takes only an hour, and the wagons roll into the town of Etran's Folly a few hours before dusk. All of the wagons head for the Feedmill, the only inn and tavern in the small community.

Most of the simple wood-and-thatch homes in the town look identical to one another and are in a similar state of disrepair. A number of the houses clearly look abandoned, their roofs collapsed. As you pass through the middle of town, the wagons go around an ancient stone, a large, flat, cylindrical rock standing 2 feet high, with a hole in its center and a bowl-shaped depression off to one side.

Upon arrival, the jocular Bort directs you (under Tamli's supervision) to secure the caravan for the night while he travels around town to conduct business with the crafters and families that call Etran’s Folly home. He takes the twins with him as porters, much to their evident displeasure.

Heading to the stables, you are greeted by a halfling who evidently knows the caravan well. She exchanges a nod with Tamli "Ah, you lot again, is it?" She fusses over the horses, evidently concerned about their condition after a long journey. "Go oh, I've got this."

With nothing else to do, you head for the taproom of the Feedmill. At this early evening hour, it is almost empty save for a giant of a man slumped by the bar, being supplied with food and drinks by a cringing goblin waiter. The only other occupant is a young woman, evidently the proprietor of the tavern. She greets you all with a curtsy. "You must be with Bort. I'm Delma. Glad to have you here."

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