Kingmaker

Raining Journal 25/01/4712

25th of Abadius, 4712AR

This morning we woke to a Chet angrily not talking to Schmidtaki, who was unable to stop laughing. Once he calmed down Schmidtaki explained what happened last night.

When the rest of us were asleep the tree to the West and the South reappeared, so he went and woke up Chet. When they both went to look the trees are they were gone. So Chet went back to sleep, the moment he had gone to sleep the trees returned. So he woke him again and again the trees were gone. So this time Chet decided to stay awake with Schmidtaki. The rest of the night was peaceful and quiet. As the sun rose, Schmidtaki thought it would be a good idea to wash his hands before breakfast. Apparently he had thought it would be funny to snatch it up while Chet had the bear trap on his arm! With Chet glaring at him, Schmidtaki put down the soap and said, “What, do you want to wash up before breakfast?” Chet walked up kicked the bucket and angrily took his soap back.

After we ate we continued going west. Fresh snow covered everything as we made our way through the forest. After two hours we found our way back to our own camp site, again. This time however we were pretty confident that this was in fact the place we stayed last night. Much to our relief Mitchel pointed to a number of marks that he made during our travel. We had just ended up accidentally doubling back on our own.

At around noon we ended up finding a terrible sight. A man froze in place trapped under a log. He was setting up a dead fall trap for hunting when the log fell unexpectedly. Laying on his back, his dead body’s outstretched arm reaching for a hatchet stuck in the stump of a tree a few feet from him.

The rest of the day was relatively thankfully not stressful, but then sun began to set and we could hear wolves in the distance. As we started to make camp for the night we ended up being attacked by a group of six wolves. Working together we were able to fight them off without being overwhelmed. At the end of the fight we looked at each other and realized that we were indeed becoming better at this exploration thing. (DING, this just put us at level 3.)

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Raining Journal 24/01/4712

24th of Abadius, 4712AR

This morning we woke to beautiful snowfall. As we ate breakfast Schmidtaki sheepishly went over last nights events. Afterwards Chet went over to the pack horse to wash up but could not seem to find his soap. He started searching more and more feverishly.

He stopped and stared at Schmidtaki. Chet asked him to describe the horse that he saw last night. Having approached the horse slowly and getting close enough to touch it, sort of, he was able to give a detailed description of the horse. As he recounted the details of the horse, Chet looked up and down at our supply horse. Chet, “So what your saying is that the horse you saw last night looked exactly like our horses.” We all stood silently there just looking at the horse, who became just a little nervous. Looking through our gear we found that we were missing one other thing, one of our bear traps.

Chet then furiously stomped over to a tree just West of our camp and furiously carved into it the phrase, “NO INVISIBLE TREES! WHERE IS MY DAMN SOAP?” Chet was still quite angry about the soap situation as we gathered up our things to leave.

Between the forest and the heavy snowfall our vision was shortened to less than half a mile. After a couple of hours we camp upon our camp. Or at least it looked like our camp. There was a tree with a Chet’s message carved into it, the vanishing tree was still missing, and the campfire was there but smoldering. Most peculiar were the places where our tents would have been. In the places of our tents were rectangles perfectly untouched by the snow. All of it was as if we had just left the camp. But if this was our camp, there was not a single track here. None from where our horse stood last night, none from us leaving the camp, and none from us having breakfast this morning.

Mitchel then remembered that Schmidtaki mentioning that he felt unusually drowsy last night. “You were drowsy last night right? Hell, you a damn elf. You barely sleep at all. Even magic can’t put you to sleep right? I don’t think that this is our camp site. Maybe someone or thing was trying to move us here last night to throw us off.” It was a theory that none of liked the idea of but it was one that worried us all deeply. After a few more minutes of searching around we decided to leave this eerie place.

After another couple of hours of traveling through the quiet forest and the gentle snowfall, we found another camp site. This site was identical to the last. Including the untouched rectangle patches untouched by snow where our tents would have been. Again there was not a single track anywhere. Chet began to twitch angrily, got off his horse and marched up to the treethat he had carved into earlier with his ax drawn. There was his message. He began saying it over and over again all the while chopping the tree. After a few angry minutes of hacking and chanting at the tree, it fell. Chet while trying to catch his breath said, “There, now I feel better. Sorry about that guys, had to be done.” When he was done we move on.

Another few hours passed as we traveled and the snow continued to fall. Again we saw another camp in the distance. Much the same as the ones from before. This time the coals were cold. The tree that was chopped down was missing, in its place there was an aged and weathered tree stump. We investigated and found freshly carved into it the stump was Chet’s message, “NO INVISIBLE TREES! WHERE IS MY DAMN SOAP?”. Chet twitched angrily and walking away, “Screw this I’ll be on my horse if any one needs me.” Mitchel took out a candle, lit it, blew it out, and buried it just under the ground. We then moved on.

One hour of travel later we found yet another camp. This time the camp fire was beginning to be covered by the snow, but still our tent sites were untouched. Again no tracks. Mitchel looked for his buried candle and found it just as and where he left it. There was one thing that was very strange. We didn’t notice it at first. We all noticed it together, the tree that Chet chopped down standing there unharmed. Chet’s message almost glaring at us. Chet jumped down from his horse and charged the tree his ax drawn. Swinging wildly at the tree, his ax pass right through it and he fell to the ground. The tree then vanished. There was a circle of untouched ground where the stump should have been, ringed by Chet’s message carved into the dirt. In the center of this circle was Chet’s soap. Laying there in the snow on the side of his face he opened one eye to see his beloved soap. Crawling towards it, he reached for the soap to grab it and triumphantly raise it above his head. His arm was clamped down upon by a bear trap the moment he touched the soap.

Letting out a terrible cry of pain the trap dug its jaws deep into the bones of his fore arm. His forearm was dangling nearly cleaved clean from his body (the bear trap rolled max damage on a critical!). At this moment Schmidtaki’s humor sprang into action, “Oh thank the gods, I was really worried about loosing that trap.” Only the quick action and healing power of Mitchel was able to save Chet from loosing his arm! After using magic to make Chet’s arm whole we looked for the soap but could not find it. Chet and Mitchel then used their abilities search the area for magic and found faint auras of illusion magic. Again Mitchel buried the candle, saying a prayer the hole filled with water, and then he covered it. Again we left the camp or is it camps.

Four hours passed before we found signs of the camp again. Again no tracks what so ever in the camp site, no blood from Chet’s encounter with the beer trap, and the camp fire was cold and covered by snow. This time there was no snow where our tents should have been or where the chopped down tree was there wasn’t any either. There were pictures these places. Where the tree stump was, the circle was ringed by Chet’s message and the word soap in the center. In Chet’s rectangle was a stick figure of a man with a bear trap around his arm. In Schmidtaki’s rectangle was a picture of a stick figure holding up a smaller rectangle and a speech bubble with the words, “Hahahha.” In Mitchel’s rectangle there were pictures of a stick figure cat and a stick figure man holding a candle. Mitchel went to dig up his candle to find it was frozen in ice.

Mitchel, “I know, or atleast I don’t think this is our original camp. There are never any tracks, and I have been marking our trail the whole time we have been traveling. Anyway its getting dark and this is as good a place to sleep as any.” We made camp. We slept as usual but Chet told Schmidtaki to wake him up if ANYTHING unusual happened. Schmidtaki started the night by filling a bucket with snow and setting it next to the fire.

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Raining Journal 23/01/4712

23th of Abadius, 4712AR

We traveled due West from our encounter with the spider about six hours, entering the forest and passing by the moon radish fields. We ended up exploring a peaceful and majestic section of forest. It was a beautiful day.

That night we took our regular turns guarding our camp. Schmidtaki would later somewhat confused and embraced recount this very weird night. After the rest of us had dosed off, he heard the sound of a horse coming from the west of our camp. Creeping out in to the forest he saw a pack horse foraging for grasses underneath the snow. To his relief the horse remained calm as he approached it. Reaching out to pet it, his hand passed right through the horse and stood there stunned for a moment. Schmidtaki quickly ran back to camp to find it undisturbed.

Shaking off this encounter he sat back down by the fire. For a moment he felt drowsy but shook it off quickly. Some time later Schimdtaki heard a loud groaning noise coming from the South. He curiously peeked his head over my tent to see a large tree standing completely motionless but groaning and cracking as if it were under some sort of invisible strain. The noise grew louder and louder before the tree suddenly vanished, though the noise continued. Then unseen tree let out a loud crack as if it had suddenly snapped, followed by the sound of branches snapping as it fell, but the sound of the tree crashing into the ground never came.

Schmidtaki stood there not knowing what to think about the situation. There was now no noise, no tree, and nothing else to alert the rest of us to. He really didn’t know if it really happened. Going to sit back down he noticed the opening to my tent flapping in an unseen wind. He silently made his way over, looking in he could only see me there. Taking his time to look over the small tent, he could find no reason why the tent would be open.

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Raining Journal 22/01/4712

22th of Abadius, 4712AR

Today we headed back south continuing to map the stolen lands. We were making our way through the plains when we noticed that the snow was pock mark by a number of shallow indents each about three inches across. Mitchel got off to take a look at one and noticed Geronimo II licking his paws. His feet and the feet of all of our horses were dragging small, thin, sticky, white strings. Mitchel gathered that the string and pocks were from a large spider. “These are the tracks and silk from a large pony sized spider.”

He got back on his horse and continued to explain, “Reminds me a small pony I had as a child. My little pony Lily Blossom , oh how I miss you so.” Just as he said this a patch of snow and dirt flipped up like a door in the ground and a monstrous spider charged towards us. Sinking its fangs into Schmidtaki’s horse before jumping back into its hole and closing the top. Mitchel sent Geronimo II towards the trap door as we calmed our horses. Geronimo waited and batted at spider as it popped in and out of its lair. The rest of us timed our shots to when the trap door opened. Chet held the horses keeping them from running off. Mitchel set fire to the top of the trap door with an alchemist fire. He was hoping to burn through the door, but it did nothing to deter the spiders attacks. Having trouble attacking the spider at range. Schmidtaki got off his horse and standing next to the hole, katana drawn. Stabbing the beast as it attacked, the door closed one last time and we heard a thump from underneath the snow.

We waited a moment listening for activity from within, once we were satisfied it was safe we took the cover off the hole. Peering into the dark hole and Juicedice began, " Only one way to get to the bottom of this." He then hopped into the darkness, landing with a thud. "Oww, that was a little deeper than i thought. At the bottom Schmidtaki found a number of dedicated animals and a dead bandit. Schmidtaki quickly began to strip and search the corpse. Finding another stag headed amulet, a short sword, and set of leather armor. Then taking off the dead man’s boots, a scrap of paper fell out of the left one. The parchment bears a simple drawing of a claw-shaped dead tree atop an otherwise barren hill, with an “X” in blood scrawled by the tree’s roots.

Climbing out of the hole with great ease, Schmidtaki emerged to join us. We will be now be on the look out for this strange tree.

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Raining Journal 21/01/4712

21th of Abadius, 4712AR

Today we crossed the broad open plains east of Oleg’s Trading Post. There we found Bokken’s Hut. Again Schmidtaki’s strange sense of humor nearly got us into trouble. When Bokken asked who was at his door Schidtaki cheerfully replied, “Bandits!” After a long awkward pause Schmidtaki continued, " Na, just kidding. Now let us in." It took some convincing but Bokken finally let us in to trade.

While shopping for potions, the topic of fang berry bushes was brought up. This started a long discussion on the," horticultural rarities native to the stolen lands." While Mitchel and Bokken went on and on about plants the rest of us were nearly bored to sleep. Schmidtaki snapped out of it when he saw Mitchel exchange the fang berry plant for a 25% discount on potions for the rest of the month. Schmidtaki immediately started trying to negotiate for two or three months instead. Later when Bokken said he would be interested in getting three more bushes, Schmidtaki’s bargaining became even more bold. Eventually Bokken started ignoring Schmidtaki, after which he talked only to Mitchel. He told Mitchel that because of all the good work we were doing with the bandits, that he had a special potion he would give us in exchange for three larger fang berry bushes.

Schmidtaki seemed a little offended at being ignored and began to sneak and sulk about the shop. He seemed very interested in Bokken’s laboratory. I am not sure how he got on the topic but Bokken started talking about his older brother. Bokken spits as he did so, bitterly holding up his right hand and indicating his missing pinky finger: “Bastard cut that offa me the last time he hit my mother, Desna rest her soul. But he took off right after to live in a hollow tree down south rather than face the guards, so I guess it all worked out well enough.” Bokken decided to become a hermit a few years after his brother (whose name, like many other details of his childhood, he can’t quite recall due to senility) left home and their parents passed away. He had toyed with the idea of tracking his bully of a brother down and getting revenge, but the wildlife in the Greenbelt was too frightening and dangerous, so instead he settled down not far from the edge of Rostland to live the rest of his life in nature.

We then left the hut to finish exploring the country side returning just as the sun set to camp there for the night. While riding back I watched a look of recollection cross Schmidtaki’s face, he rummaged through his pack and pulled out five vials of various colors. I hadn’t seen those potions before and don’t remember where he got them from so I asked.

“Where did you get those from?” (Sense motive roll natural 1)
Schmidtaki, “Don’t worry about it.” (Bluff roll 2)

While camping we ended up hearing something messing with our horses. There we found half a dozen tiny, blue, bulging eyed, humanoids. We fought them off quickly, Mitchel landing an impressive shot that impaled one of them on the run. The arrow went through its shoulder, then its upper leg, finally passing through his foot leaving the little creature in a permanent running pose (rolled a natural 20 out side of the first range increment!).

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Raining Journal 20/01/4712

20th of Abadius, 4712AR

This morning we revived our first order that we made through Oleg. Schmidtaki still quite amused with his antic last night asked Oleg, “How was you night? Sleep well?” He was quite angry at him, but considering the good we are doing and our good nature he couldn’t help but smile.

We ended up trading the goods we acquire, the elks, and collecting on the Tuskgutter bounty. After all the trading was done we placed an order for various goods that Oleg didn’t have on hand. He also told us he gets the majority of his potions from crazy old coot named Bokken who lives in a hut to the East.

Order to arrive 27/01/12

  • MWK Fiddle (forest and fey motif)
  • MWK Chicken (i.e. of good breed)
  • Signal Whistle
  • Bell
  • Dwarven War Ax
  • MWK Artisan Tools
  • MWK Thieves Tools

Later we actually ended up talking to us the cleric Jhod Kavken. He is a priest of Erastil and he has been wanting to talk to us since when he arrived on the 9th. He explained that he heard of the exploration charter and came to Oleg’s to offer his help. He has been researching a lost temple of Erastil, and has recently had a vision of it. In his vision he says he sees an large angry bear guarding the temple and that the bear isn’t quite “right” about the bear. The temple is lost, forgotten, and overgrown by forest.

Jhod pledges that if we discover the temple’s site and put the tortured bear to rest and escort him to the temple, he will provide use with an and all spell casting that he is capable of free of charge for life.

We set out to meet Bokken for additional potions but decided to explore the area along the way.

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Raining Journal 19/01/4712

19th of Abadius, 4712AR

As our order should have arrived yesterday we decided to make our way back to Oleg’s as quickly as possible. Hard all day we hardly stopped for anything. As the sun started to set we found a pair of large elk fighting over a female elk. We must have gotten too close because they soon turned their attention to us. The fought feverishly and we were forced to kill them. The female elk left shortly after. We were close enough to Oleg’s that we could bring the elk, meat and all with for trading.

As we neared Oleg’s I added the skulls of the bandits we gathered to the skull post. Later we arrived well after sun set and were let in by the guards. Schmidtaki though it would be funny to kick in Oleg’s bedroom door, to get him to trade in the middle of the night. If that wasn’t enough he started hitting on Svetlana. He did not receive a warm welcome.

The cleric Jhod Kavken was still there and very eager to talk to us but he was brushed off by everyone because we were all way to eager sleep. Again.

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Raining Journal 18/01/4712

18th of Abadius, 4712AR

That morning we packed up Tuskgutter and started making our way north. We stopped to eat at around noon. After wards I packed up our things while Mitchel and Schmidtaki ended up making snowmen and dressing them up in the bandits cloths. As if on cue real bandits arrived, six of them.

The bandits made the mistake of trying to take us head on. Working as a team we quickly took out the bandits one at a time. The last of them tried to run, but we ended up capturing him alive.

Schimdtaki tried carefully to keep Mitchel out of the interrogation process. But since we were out in the middle of nowhere it was difficult to keep them apart. Inevitably and quicker than usual the conversation degraded into Mitchel shouting at the top of his lungs, " What do you know about lousy heroin! Where is Vistretta ? Are you working Gallano? I am looking for a man named Cumming! Tell us about Fort Cutaway View and Lake Water!" And then there it was am moment of clarity in Mitchel’s addled brain.

Mitchel asked the bandit, “What is your name?”
Bandit, " Uh, Dave Michelson."
Mitchel, “Wait, that is a terrible name. Its like having two first names. Might as well call you Dave David Davidson. Seriously.”
“You know what, I am done with this nonsense.” Mitchel then callously turned his head away and put an arrow into the Dave Michelson’s head. Killing hims instantly
Schmidtaki," Damn it Michel, I wasn’t done questioning the witness. I wanted to get the rest of that pass phrase that they use at Fort Cuttaway Veiw! That’s it, your off the case." Schmidtaki then put an arrow squarely into Mitchel’s foot. Their argument was over as fast as it had begun and we were all laugh as Mitchel hobbled about.

I gathered up the heads of the bandits for the skull post and moved on.

That night we camped and the night wasn’t too cold. Looking into the fire, writing this, I am wondering how much longer I am going to collect heads. Its important to bring the rule of law here, but at what cost. How gruesome do we have to be.

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Raining Journal 17/01/4712

17th of Abadius, 4712AR

I woke up to hear Chet yelling," Where is it? Where is my whistle? Oh no, they didn’t take my bell did they? Those little bastards!" The little bug men stole some of Chet’s least important items and that is all he could talk about this morning. It was actually quite funny. Just after eating he seemed to have some sort of break down. Chet dropped to his knees and started yelling at the top of his lungs," WHY, WHY WHY, WHY THE BELL! THE WHISTLE I GET, BUT WHY THE BELL! FINE, WHATEVER! THE MUSIC WAS GOOD, HERE IS A TIP! JUST PLEASE GIVE ME BACK MY WHISTLE!" He set down a stack of coins and tried to gather himself. I still do not know what significance these items held for Chet, but between him and Mitchel we have two crazy dwarves in our group.

Since our order would be arriving at Oleg’s soon we decided to head back North. Soon we found ourselves on the trail of a very large boar. Remembering the bounty place on legendary Tuskgutter we decided to try and find the beast’s lair. We found it and approached the litter strewn entrance cautiously, only to find he wasn’t there. Mitchell set up one of our bear traps in the entrance then covered it in dirt, leaves, and a pint of lamp oil.

We split up to hide all around the area around the burrow and waited, hours later the boar returned. He angrily sniffed the ground where we had approached from and walked towards its den. He stood over the trap sniffing it and shuffling around it but would not enter. Finally Schmidtaki called out an attack in Terran.

Getting the drop on the beast we were able to surround it quickly. Tuskgutter took a fierce interest in Chet, goring him furiously. Tuskgutter squealed in pain as we took turns attacking him. We made short work of the animal and it beat a hasty retreat. Schmidtaki stabbed his sword into the ground, taking his bow, and let loose a single arrow. He was disappointed with his shot the moment the arrow left his bow, as it just barely managed to nick the boar’s side. Fortunately it was just enough. The boar crashed to the ground, sliding forward completely dead.

That night we camped by Tuskgutters den and again it grew terribly cold once the sun set.

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Raining Journal 16/01/4712

16th of Abadius, 4712AR

This morning was especially cold, I woke up three times in the middle of the night because of how hard I was shivering. Chet was up early shaking hard as he tried to revive the fire.

Today we explored the forest east of Fort Cutaway View and it was another peaceful, until night fell. We made camp by an outcropping of rocks that protected us on two sides, tying our horses to trees on the other two sides. That night we took our turns guarding the camp as had become routine. I took the first shift, allowing our casters to sleep. Schmidtaki sleeps during the first shift as well. As an elf he sleeps much less than the rest of us and ends up guarding most nights.

This night Schmidtaki settled down quickly while the rest of us talked for a little while before they went to sleep. As we sat around the fire it suddenly flared with blinding light. As our sight returned began searching the area for magical auras. I could have sworn I heard strange giggling. After a few minutes of being unable to find a source we settled back down around the campfire.

Chet began to feed the fire and it suddenly went out and erupted with thick smoke that left us all coughing. Chet began to fire crossbow bolts into the darkness at the trees. This time I wasn’t the only one to hear faint, strange giggling. We walked into the forest hoping to find the source of these disturbances. Then we heard it, a happy toe tapping rhythm of a violin coming from above us. And there it was, the strangest combination of man and insect. The creature had the chimeric combination of the upper body of a man and lower body of a cricket. The sound of the violin came from the regular motion of its hind legs. We all stood in awe of it for a moment before approaching it. By the look on its face this was not the reaction it expected. It vanished suddenly and the branch that is stood on bobbed vigorously.

Mitchell told us that is was a type of mischievous fey and that we should probably not pay it too much attention for fear of encouraging it. Minutes later while we again sat around the fire, another one of these creatures appeared on the rock behind us. As it played the happy tune Geronimo began to dance an caper about. Not sure what kind of threat if any the creature proved, we approached, and it disappeared.

This time we woke up Schmidtaki, who after hearing our story, quickly hid somewhere in the forest. Again the creature or perhaps it was another creature appeared to play its song. It choose the wrong perch to play its song, because Schmidtaki was hiding in the same tree but on a branch on the opposite side. Schmidtaki watched from above as Geronimo reared up on his hind legs, Mitchell took his front paws, and the par began to dance. Amused by this Schmidtaki peered around the tree and waved at the little musician. At this point it smiled and vanished. Chet sat there watching the spectacle shaking his head but then quickly stood up and ran over to the horses. He began to search through our equipment looking form something.

We found hand full of coppers, silvers, and trail rations had gone missing. At this point Chet flew into a bit of a rage spitting all manner of curses at the tiny fey. A moment later another one of the cricket men appeared on a branch above Chet and the horses, but safely out of reach. He began to play. The rhythm of song quickly took hold of my toe, traveled up my leg, and in a moment I was unable to stop myself from dancing. I was joined by three of our horses who began to trot and sway to the tune. Mitchell and Geronimo looked at each other and decided to join us. All the while Chet tried to shoo off the little creature. At the end of the performance the cricket took a deep bow and both Mitchell and I clapped for him. We weren’t the only ones, behind us the three other cricket fiddlers clapped and whistled for an encore from their friend. After another bow they all disappeared and we could hear them laughing off in the distance as they left.

The rest of the night was peaceful. I found it very easy to sleep after such a pleasant encounter. Its good to know that not everything in this wilderness is out to kill us.

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