It's a mystery!!! Could use some ideas


Kingmaker


OK, here's the setup.

We're in between modules 3 and 4. After 3, Restov released my players' kingdom from vassalage. However, Noleski still considered the players his vassals. He visited the kingdom to get the PCs to renew their oath of fealty to him (instead of the Swordlords). Instead, my players negotiated with Surtova to get their own sovereignty, recognized as an independent duchy. They gave him a payoff (around 20 BP -- I should have had him ask for more), and in exchange he agreed to let them off the hook in Brevoy's coming war, with the understanding that my players wouldn't intervene on the Swordlords' behalf. There was also a subplot involving Noleski's former mistress, currently pregnant with his bastard, and his sister Natala being upset AND trying to take the daughter of an NPC paladin as ward.

The whole thing ended with a public treaty signing .... at which four assassins, including a Red Mantis assassin, showed up and tried to kill the king. In a moment of inspiration, I had each assassin yell "For (PCs' kingdom name) as they attacked. My players managed to take out the assassins, while Noleski's "court jester" teleported him away to safety.

Now here's the thing. I know who hired the assassins. It's a Swordlord secretary back in Restov, who used to be the Swordlords' ambassador to the players' kingdom. My players hated that guy, he hated them, and I think he wants to make the players look bad with the assassination attempt.

My players will try to investigate next session, I think. So ... does anybody have some fun ideas for clues, red herrings, and so forth? I want to give my players a little bit of a fun mystery (which I haven't run before) before a certain person stumbles into Tatzylford with an army chasing her ...


It seems odd to me that a Red Mantis assassin was trying to kill a king... anyway, what's your current party level (& mythic tier)?


You may have already included a nice red herring. Canonically, the Red Mantis refuse to go after monarchs. It has to do with Achaekek's place in the pantheon as an agent of divine will and his inability to target a divinity combined with a divine right of kings theology for the Mantis. (Although, to be fair, the restriction is that "rightful" kings are safe, so if they could be convinced that the Surtovas are not "rightful"...)

Who else have they interacted with geopolitically? Any of the other major houses of Brevoy, along with Mivon and Pitax could be good suspects.


Or you could have that the Red Mantis was instead an impostor, and maybe during the investigation a real one Red Mantis emissary shows up to say:
"We are not involved, and are very angry because our name was defamed. Find the one who pretended to be one of us (if the NPC survived) and his instigator, in exchange for one of our services"


T.A.U. wrote:
It seems odd to me that a Red Mantis assassin was trying to kill a king... anyway, what's your current party level (& mythic tier)?

As I recall, Noleski Surtova's not a rightful king. The Surtovas took over after Rogarvia vanished, and Noleski uses the title "King regent." I stole something of this plot point from RedCelt's game of thrones. Noleski can't truly become king unless he can gain the support of Brevoy's Great Houses.

Despite this, I rather like the idea of a Red Mantis impostor. I had the Red Mantis person die in a spray of red mist, but I can retcon that as an illusion of sorts, as it was obvious that there was a wizard among the assassins.

My players, incidentally, are level 10, mythic tier 4, if I recall correctly.


IMC The Surtova are 'rightful' as long as the Rorgavian are vanished. It doesn' matter that the Orlovsky and the Swordlords recognized them only as regent to the Throne.

About the investigation, one of the best thing you could do is to have a long, and maybe crossed, multiple trials to follow to find who is the instigator.

I.e. the 4 assassins were hire separately, only knowing that "they will not be alone", each of them was hired by a different person, who were hired by someone else, and so on, until this net of contact-people goes to the original instigator (the ambassador). Of course in this net there will be suddenly some holes (dead intermediaries).

This will made the investigation not so easy, even for a high level party using divination spells.


T.A.U. wrote:
IMC The Surtova are 'rightful' as long as the Rorgavian are vanished. It doesn' matter that the Orlovsky and the Swordlords recognized them only as regent to the Throne.

I'm playing it a little differently, but a Red Mantis impostor is still a good idea.

The politics are kind of dizzying. My players are actually trying to wash their hands of the Brevic mess, which I'm going to take as a signal that they're not interested in that particular plotline. I won't force them into it (although I think they'd love to conquer Restov), but I like the idea of Brevoy's political intrigues offscreen, but still a threat to spill over into my players' kingdom.

Quote:

About the investigation, one of the best thing you could do is to have a long, and maybe crossed, multiple trials to follow to find who is the instigator.

I.e. the 4 assassins were hire separately, only knowing that "they will not be alone", each of them was hired by a different person, who were hired by someone else, and so on, until this net of contact-people goes to the original instigator (the ambassador). Of course in this net there will be suddenly some holes (dead intermediaries).

This will made the investigation not so easy, even for a high level party using divination spells.

This might be pretty good; I think I'm going to structure three or four trees, similar to a chase sequence, and put them in my GM notes. My players did capture one of the assassins alive. Red Mantis Lady left behind no remains, and another member of the group, a wizard, was burned to a fine ash.


Red Herring: They were hired by Noleski himself through an intermediary specifically to fail. Something something Noleski's using it as a pretense to force the PC kingdom's loyalty in the upcoming war. You could have a messenger or a letter arrive to that effect in the next session or two, supposedly signed or sent by the Surtovas (whether it's actually them taking advantage of the situation or your actual mastermind muddying the waters is up in the air).

In fact, if your PCs have an assassin alive, that could be the way to send them on a false trail. The assassin was hired by someone with a Surtovan crest on their clothes, or something.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Kingmaker / It's a mystery!!! Could use some ideas All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Kingmaker