Kingmaker

Raining Journal 15/01/4712

15th of Abadius, 4712AR

We woke later than normal thanks to last nights encounter. We discussed it over breakfast and it was clear to us that we were not yet ready to tackle Fort Cutaway View. We decided to continue with the exploration portion of our mission in hopes that it might yield more information about the Stag Lord.

As we traveled Mitchell steered us around a particularly nasty razor sharp field of brush. He called them fang berry bushes and he stopped to gather up one of the smaller bushes. He wrapped it in a burlap sack taking special care to keep the roots and dirt intact.

As we stopped to eat, Mitchell started cutting up and stitching together bits of leather armor taken from the bandits and trying make it into set that will fit Geronimo. Mitchell claims that he has talked to Geronimo II who is both tired of being cold all the time and jealous of our armor. I started to talk to Geronimo, “Your jealous of everyone else has armor? I don’t wear armor, come on man I am looking to you for some solidarity. Besides your an animal this wilderness is your home, how can you be cold?” I stared at Geronimo for a moment waiting for a response, until I reminded myself that animals can’t talk. I think Mitchell’s must be starting to rub off on. I am terrified.

The rest of the day was thankfully peaceful, especially when compared with yesterday. The only thing that we had to deal with today was the cold and a few scratches from the brush.

Rainfall

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Raining Journal 14/01/4712

14th of Abadius, 4712AR

Today we followed the river south where it emptied into a large lake. Mitchell proclaimed the lake be named, “Water!” Though in all actuality this is probably the Tusk water that we have heard so much about. Heading east along the shore of Lake Water we found a large dilapidated fort. It was just as described to us by the numerous bandits that we have interrogated. The area surrounding the fort is almost completely barren with a path that leads up to the front gate. From a tall hill we were able to get a decent view of the fort, that gave us a nearly cut away view of the structure. Schmidtaki took it upon himself to name the fort, “Cutaway View”. We decided to keep our distance and explore the surrounding country side, saving night fall for our first attempt to scout the Fort Cutaway View.

That night Mitchell and Chet stayed with our horses while Schmidtaki and I snuck towards Fort Cutaway View. As we got to within sixty or seventy paces of the dimly lit palisades the earth began to rumble. Suddenly rotting corpses burst from the ground charging towards us. They caught us by surprise and I was quickly overwhelmed by blows from our grizzly opponents.

As I fell everything grew dark. For a moment there was only stillness and silence. Slowly my head was filled with the sounds of torment and screams. As I opened my eyes, I could see Fort Cutaway View but it was well lit and in good repair. There was something more, a single blood shot eye. The screams grew louder and were coming from the fort. Then the zombies returned. Approaching me from all sides they dragged me towards a deep grave. They dragged me in and we began to sink beneath the dirt all the while their claws held me tight. As the dirt covered my eyes all I could see was that large blood shot eye. The screams grew louder as I was pulled under and somehow the eye grew only more vivid as the dirt embraced me.

Suddenly I awoke to Mitchell standing over me bandaging my wounds. He shouted back to Chet, “You don’t NEED spells to heal, see!” While fighting of an zombie Chet replied, “Grow a beard asshole!”

I found myself laying in shallow grave half covered in dirt as the rest of our party fought off undead. Schmidtaki shoot two of the zombies in the knee and then paused momentarily as if expecting them to turn into town guards. The zombies continued to shamble forward and look of disappointment on his face was palpable. As I got to my feet Mitchell healed me again, ironically enough with a spell. I reentered the fray only to see Geronimo surrounded by three of the corpses. Each slammed into the great cat one after the other though he refused to falter. We rallied around the feline, Chet holding an icon of Desna high into the air as we attacked. We attacked as the waves of holy energy slammed into the undead creatures.

Just as we put down our foes more began to rise from the dirt. Again we laid waste to the evil creatures and again more began to rise. On the walls of the fort, Schmidtaki spotted guards preparing and setting arrows aflame. We beat a hasty retreat while flaming arrows began to illuminate the battlefield.

After escaping the parting shots of the bandits we made our way back to our horses, quickly broke camp, and traveled three hours north to avoid any possible pursuers. There we made camp in a thicket of fallen logs. After this battle and the harrowing vision sleep was difficult to say the least.

Rainfall

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Raining Journal 13/01/4712

13th of Abadius, 4712AR

This day we carefully made our way back to the camp by the old bridge. Our camp, tents, and whatever gear we left behind was in ruins and strewn about. We could not find any of the remains of Geronimo, my chicken, or the giant hooded figure. All that was left were large pools of blood and the large burlap cloak. Mitchell suspects they were all eaten. Chet found his armor though it torn up and broken. Through out the day Chet prayed to Desna while trying to mend our broken equipment, managing to mend much of the damage by nightfall.

We all stood at the spot where Geronimo died and tried to console Mitchell. He responded, “I’m just gonna need some time to get over this. Like an hour… tops. And another meal. I’ll have what I’m having. You know, I like to have a beer with my beer, its like desert.” During his hour of ‘mourning’ Mitchell gathered up a bunch of herbs, burned them, all the while chanting or purring. I’m not sure which. He also crawled around on all fours like a weirdo cat. At the end of this ‘mourning period’ a mountain lion jumped out of the brush and startled everyone but Mitchell. Mitchell loudly proclaimed, “This is Geronimo the Second!” I have never seen a cat let out a depressed sigh but I am almost certain that this one did just that.

Leaving the bloody scene we headed south through shallows that merged with another river and headed due south. As sunset neared we made camp and were ambushed by more bandits. They approached us from the north and west. Keeping their distance they used their superior numbers to pepper us with arrows and keep us at a distance.

Geronimo II and I attacked the group to the west, while the rest of our group attacked the group to the north. The cat ended up disemboweling one of the bandits and laying low another. The outlaws attempted to divide us, successfully. Schmidtaki was left bleeding on the ground and as I attempted to rescue him I was overwhelmed and knocked out.

Chet ended up telling me that he, Geronimo II, and Mitchell were able to turn the tide of battle reviving Schmidtaki. Mitchell then called upon the forest itself to entrap and bind our enemies. This spelled the end for our opponents.

Later I was woken up buy Chet healing my terrible wounds. This battle pushed me to the brink of death and left me nursing wounds that leave me longing for the boredom of monastery life. This encounter is having me question my desire for exploration and adventure but I still cannot find it in me to abandon my friends and our mission. These encounters have left us all with many experiences to think about. (DING! Yes, we leveled!)

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Raining Journal 12/01/4712

12th of Abadius, 4712AR

While the others were praying and preparing themselves, I ended up putting up a new sign at a sign post a few miles outside of the trading post. The sign reads as a copy of our charter with the section about, “The punishment for unrepentant banditry remains, as always, execution by sword or rope” being emphasized and made bold. I ended up placing the skulls of poles that I placed into the ground a short distance from the sign. As I finished the rest of the party rode up with my horses reigns in hand.

We continued to travel past the old bandits camp farther south along the river. There we found a sturdy and wide, but old rope bridge. Looking into the river below we did not dare cross the bridge. Exploring the area was very peaceful but the night proved otherwise. Schmidtaki ended up sleeping first but woke after only a few hours, as he usually does. Then the rest of us went to sleep next as Schmidtaki guarded us from a tree top.

I awoke to shouts, as my tent collapsed around me, and I was clobbered by an powerful unseen force. Grabbing my backpack, I crawled out of my from under my tent to the sight of a giant green skinned monster standing over me. A distance away another giant cloaked in burlap, lobbed a head sized rock at Schmidtaki narrowly missing.

I was barely able to craw away, towards the fire. Schmidtaki bravely covered our retreat and Geronimo charged into attack the green monster. Looking back I was horrified by the sight of Geronimo being torn limb from limb by the green beast. It then turned to glare at me. As I crawled back, I bumped the sack that held my pet chicken and she clucked. Without thinking I pulled out the chicken and threw it towards the beast. With a swipe of its claw my chicken was reduced to a bloody puddle and a cloud of feathers. This distractions gave me a moment to get to my feet.

While running to our horses, Schmidtaki exchanged attacks at range with the cloaked giant. The hooded figure stumbled and collapsed with Schmidtaki’s final parting shot. We narrowly escaped that night, retreating to the old bandit camp.

This narrow escape has reminded us just why this region is known as the stolen lands. We have to be much more careful in the future. Maybe work on making our camping safer somehow. Who knows what other creatures lurk in the nights of these lands.

Rainfall

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Raining Journal 11/01/4712

11th of Abadius, 4712AR

We packed up our horses with the bandits supplies to make our way back to Oleg’s Trading Post. Before we left we piled up the campfire with wood and the bodies of the slain bandits.

As we arrived at the trading post, we were greeted by a group of four guards sent by the Swordlords to secure the post. Their leader is a man named Kesten Garess. He introduced himself to us and explained that he knew about our charter. He told us that though his authority extends only to the security of the post, he is eager to help us however he can.

There was a new arrival named Jhod Kavken, he is apparently some sort of cleric. He seemed eager to talk to us but he was brushed off by everyone because we were all way to eager to trade the bandits gear.

We quickly depleted Oleg’s cash reserves and agreed to credit at his store. We ended up pooling our funds and store credit to send away for a larger order through Oleg. It should arrive on the 18th of Abadius.
(1x MWK Kama, 1x MWK Katana, 1x Wand of Cure Light x30, and a sextant.)

I shared my plans for the bandit heads with Oleg who was a little surprised but happy to see that such definitive progress with dealing with this problem. Oleg told me that he does not want the skulls displayed at the his trading post for fear of reprisal or souring his regular business. Though he did like my spirit. He took me outside to show me a message board that he put up. He tore one of the pages off the wall and handed it to me. With a smile he said, “I hung the board back up when the guards arrived. Looks like I owe you some money.” Oleg did suggest that I hang the skulls near a sign post about a two miles down the road, and even offered to make us a sign to to put up at the cross roads.

Later we ended up interrogating the bandit that we captured. Cleric was reluctantly healed this rogue just enough so that he could speak. Mitchell immediately began his tirade about Vestreta, Gallano, and Cummings. He furiously screamed these names at the very confused bandit. After holding Mitchell back we were able to have a meaningful conversation with the outlaw. We asked him about bandits in the activity in the Greenbelt and what would happen now that Kressel was dead.

He pointed to the amulets around Mitchell’s neck and told us about the most powerful bandit in the Greenbelt, the Stag Lord. He said that whether or not they work for or with him, every thief in the region paid tribute to him out of fear. He told us that Kressel worked directly for the Stag Lord. He seemed genuinely frightened as he described a beast of a man who wears a antler crowned helmet. The Stag Load always wears this helmet and is never without a mask. Having never seen the face of his master, he wondered if the mask is the Stag Lords face. He described the Stag Lord as a master marksman known for making impossible shots. The green herbal liquor that we had just sold to Oleg was for the Stag Lord, part of a regular shipments. The bandit warned that without a regular supply of this alcohol, the Stag Lord becomes exceptionally cruel, unpredictable, and violent. He laughed painfully “But I guess that’s your problem now.”

Mitchell could not be restrained any longer and returned to yelling, “Where is Cummings?!” The bandit replied, "I told you I don’t know who that is! Listen I’ll tell you whatever you want, just get him away from me. I’ll tell you everything. Listen, it’s hard keeping track of who’s working for the boss, so we use a master phrase as a sort of password to get in to the fort. Its on the northeast shore of the Tuskwater. Unless it’s been changed recently, the current phrase is, ‘By the Bloody Bones of St. Gilm….’ ” An arrow pierced the bandits skull in mid sentence. We all looked back to see Mitchell holding his bow as he said, “Captain Schlitz your order’s up!” None of us know who Captain Schlitz is but we all hope that we won’t need that pass phrase.

Later that night we all sat around the camp fire joking about our great skill and good luck in dealing with the outlaws. Then in a moment of silence Cleric blurted out, “MY NAME IS CHET MANNLY!” He then got up calmly and went to bed. I think he may have said it a bit louder than he would have liked.

Rainfall

(P.S. No we don’t care what the bandits names are!)

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Raining Journal 10/01/4712

10th of Abadius, 4712AR

We continued to explore South ward, finding the river, and followed it down. When we spotted the smoke from a camp fires Mitchell stopped us. Getting down from his horse he faced his palms towards him chest, crossed them, and linked them by his thumbs to make them form a bird. He then began to whistle and tweet quickly. A small sparrow apparently returned his calls before quickly flying off. Mitchell then stood there quite satisfied with himself while we stood their in awkward silence. Nearly a minute passed as we stared at him. To our surprise the sparrow returned and after a quick exchange of twitters, Mitchell fed the bird a lump of bread. He then explained that the bird told him that the camp ahead had many people there and one of them was in a tree. We decided to make temporary camp a good distance away to hide and wait for the darkness to strike at the bandits.

Schmidtaki went to scout the camp and would later recount his adventure. He slowly crept into the camp approaching from the north and going through the shallows of the river. As he did he spotted the guard in the tree, he was asleep. He moved towards the campfire and the small shack. The bandits were drinking and singing around the fire. At the edge of the fire’s light he found the ladder to the lookout. Schmidtaki carefully climbed up. Covering the bandits mouth he slit the rogues throat, who then died with a whimper. He made no sound climbing down the ladder but as his feet touched the ground the icy ground crackled. He was spotted! One of the bandits sitting by the fire stared right at him. Though dressed as one of them he apparently didn’t think much about it. Schmidtaki casually stepped away and snuck back along the same path he came in. (Stealth, Stealth, Stealth, Disguise, Bluff, Stealth, WIN. Can we say iconic ninja!)

With their lookout dead and armed with Schmidtaki’s knowledge of the camp we approached in force. Myself and Schmidtaki approaching from the north of the campfire and our dwarf friends coming from the east. The bandits were for a moment disorientated by our attack but rallied around their leader. Kressel, just as Oleg had described her. At first it appeared that the fight would be over quickly, but Kressel’s brutal axes quickly turned the battle against us. Cleric and Mitchelle were able to keep us from succumbing to the wounds she dealt.

I was fighting a loosing battle trading blows with Kressel but I managed to trip her as we surrounded her. Cleric landed a terrible blow, lopping off her head with a single slice of his battle ax (Max damage on a Crit roll!)

The bandits were clearly disheartened and should have fleed, but they could see that we had little fight left in us. One bandit landed a lucky blow against Schmidtaki who slumped to the ground still clutching his sword. Mitchell chittered wildly as he raised his writhing fingers to the sky. A massive centipede crawled out the ground to attack a bandit before scuttling off. Then Geronimo quickly climbed to the top of the shack and began swiping at the bandit that attacked Schmidtaki. Then it got worse. There was a rustling from inside the shack. More bandits!

Cleric took to one knee praying for Desna’s grace and we could all feel her healing graces closing our wounds. Unfortunately, so did the bandits. Then as a bandit charged forward, Schmidtaki plunged his sword into the bandits belly ending of him. Schmidtaki was fighting from the ground and surrounded on two sides managed to deftly dodged the blows of his enemies. Fighting his way to his feet he took on the two himself as we held the rest of the outlaws at the shack’s door. As we did an unseen sniper launche arrows at us from the darkness.

As the last bandit fell there was a moment of silence before another arrow narrowly missed Cleric. The chase was on. The sniper ran off into the forest. Striding out of the gore Mitchell dropped his spear and shield, and drawing his bow. With Cleric’s hand on his shoulder he drew his bow and landed an amazing shot on the sniper. Geronimo charged into the forest after the wounded sniper. We chased him down to find Geronimo chewing on the face of the nameless sniper.

Standing in the quiet and still of the night while we all tried to gather our breath, Schmidtaki asked, “So its ok to loot the bandits, right?” Strangely we all laughed. Outside of the bandits regular equipment we found a wooden music box, three crates of furs, and 8 bottles of green herbal liquid. Mitchell found another stag amulet on the ground where Kressel lost her head.

Perhaps it was Kressel’s axes, or her headless corpse, but a brilliant though gory idea came to my mind. To make it known that banditry would not be tolerated I would collecting heads and placing them on pikes outside of Oleg’s. Taking one of her axes I lopped of the heads of her and her companions, safe for one bandit who we found was clinging to life. We bandaged him up to question him later.

That night we slept at the bandits camp.

Rainfall

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Raining Journal 09/01/4712

9th of Abadius, 4712AR

This morning as the Cleric preformed his daily prayers and we prepared the mounts, Mitchell did something quite unusual. He climbed on to the roof of the barn, spread his arms, and began to flap them slowly all the while practicing different bird calls. He did this for nearly an hour. I still can’t decide weather he did this just to aggravate Cleric or if it served some purpose. At one point my pet chicken replied to his calls. Schmidtaki asked him about it. Mitchell answered, “What that, I was just gathering my senses for the day to come.”

With our new mounts we set off to the South. A few hours into travel Mitchell informed us that we were traveling through an area of unique soil conditions that were perfect for growing moon radishes. Apparently they are a rare delicacy and grow in every nook and cranny in this place. (+10 to survival checks to forage for food in this area)

In the afternoon we encountered a group of kobolds that have stuffed themselves on these radishes. They did not take kindly to us and attacked immediately. They stood no chance. Outside of this event today’s exploration was uneventful. Making camp was particularly pleasant due to the unseasonably warm weather.

Rainfall

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Raining Journal 08/01/4712

8th of Abadius, 4712AR

We have arrived at Oleg’s Trading Post. The extent of the banditry problem became apparent the moment we spoke to the trading posts owner Oleg and his wife Svetlana. He told us of the terrible harassment that they have suffered at the hands of a group of bandits lead by woman named Kressel. Schmitaki choose this unfortunate moment to joke with Oleg about the bandits. It did not go over well. Oleg described his dealings with the bandits including their leader Kressel and how they initially kidnapped Svetlana to break Oleg’s will to resist them.

Oleg told us that he was expecting the bandits to arrive later that day to collect their “taxes”. This was quite fortunate timing as we could start our fight against banditry immediately. We decided to plan an ambush in his house, with each of us hiding in a different room. I could feel my heart race as I heard the bandits enter the house with Oleg. Then the Mitchell cried out the work “Surprise” in Terran. We burst out of the doors, Schmitaki entering the front door to prevent escape. During the battle Oleg was severely wounded and briefly taken hostage by one of the bandits. Schmitaki was able to cut the bandit down and save Oleg. Mitchell and his pet proved to be competent fighters, much to my relief.

We managed to take the leader of this troupe of bandits alive, his name was Happs Bydon. I say was because he did not survive Mitchell’s interrogation. Mitchell kept screaming about people named Vestreta and Gallano. About how he was hear to “lean on” someone named Commings. I did not know what to make of this but I hope these are real people and not figments of his imagination. In the end he ended up putting a crossbow bolt through the bandits head.

We did get one piece of useful information from the bandit. He told us that his group is camped along the river to the south. Oleg was able to tell us that the bandits usually head in from the south.

Now that I have time to reflect, I now realized the gravity of what we have been sent here to do. We will have to kill many more men to restore peace to this land. I don’t know what to think about this. As Cleric healed a severely wounded Oleg, he remarked about how extremely happy with the out come of this fight. Soon after Oleg was burying the bandits in the trash pit. It seems disrespectful to the dead, but considering their crimes I can not blame Oleg.

Oleg and Svetlana have offered us free room and board whenever we wish as reward. On a positive note we now have the bandit’s five horses with witch to explore the land. Happs had a silver stag head amulet, that Mitchell took for himself. As we traded away the rest of the bandits gear, Schmidtaki tossed me one of their sets of cloths and said, “Put this on. We might need to be able to fool, go unnoticed, or other wise get the drop on these bandits.” We plan to set out tomorrow after we rest from the battle.

Rainfall

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Raining Journal 07/01/4712

7 Abadius, 4712AR

After a more than a weeks journey we have nearly arrived at Oleg’s trading post. We have been sent here on a charter to pacify banditry along trade routes in the region known as the Greenbelt of the Stolen Lands. Our party consists of four members, an unusual mix of characters to say the least. In addition to my self there is a roguish elf, a pair of strange and religious dwarfs, and their pet. However our party shares an unusual bond, we all happen to speak Terran.

The elf by the name of Schmidtaki Juicearu hails from the Dragon Empires of the East just as I do. In this land we are oddities and to have two of us in the same place is beyond rare. Never the less, I am very please to be journeying with someone who understands the traditions of my home land.

In my travels I have never meet any as strange as our dwarf companions. It has been nearly two weeks since various powers have brought us together to take on this mission and travel to this most remote territory. While we have all grown friendly with each other the dwarf cleric has yet to reveal his name to any of us. He is secretive but polite. I have gathered that he is a worshiper of Desna. At his request we simply refer to him as “Cleric”.

As unusual as our Cleric is he does not compare to the other dwarf in our party. He is a worshiper of the green faith and named Mitchell or as he likes to says M-m-m-m-m-itchell. He has not told anyone his sir name. With the exception of his side burns Mitchell is clean shaven. I have been informed by Cleric that this is a sure sign of madness in dwarfs. Cleric seems genuinely concerned over Mitchell’s mental state and as I have grown to know him, so an I. Mitchell consistently hums unusual songs from ages ago, "waka chicka waka chicka waka chicka ". He also dresses his ape pet, Geronimo, in what he calls a “cowboy” hat. He will be our map maker and navigator, he is good natured but I am reasonably concerned.

I am ever eager to explore and adventure but have my doubts about trusting my life to the hands of this eclectic party.

Rainfall

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The Stolen Lands

Each one of you has your reasons for answering the call for a exploitation in the Stolen Lands. Get rich quick schemes mostly. So you got together with some friends and strangers (that didn’t look to crazy at the time) and answered the a call from the city of Restov to aid in exploring the Stolen Lands and help get the bandits who live there under control.

So you lied to your employers and they were most impressed by your fantastic credentials. They issued you a charter to explore and you were off!

Be it so known that the bearer of this charter has been charged by the Swordlords of Restov, acting upon the greater good and authority vested within them by the office of the Regent of the Dragonscale Throne, has granted the right of exploration and travel within the wilderness region known as the Greenbelt. Exploration should be limited to an area no further than thirty-six miles east and west and sixty miles south of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of this charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful behavior to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this 1st day of Abadius, under watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.

After a couple weeks of travel you find yourself out on the rugged wilderness just outside of the Orkish Trading Post.

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