Things went downhill quickly after the stagemaster ordered the attack. The women and men in peasants garb turned on the party, drawing hidden arms and beginning an assault on the closest to them, Gavriil the Human Arcanist. The fools on stage began to use their stage equipment as weapons– weighted throwing batons, ornate swords with cutting edges, and other paraphernalia. The man who grabbed Elysia the Half-Elf Ranger began wrestling with her, and the two of them began rolling about on the ground beneath the tent. The stage master took little time in grabbing a potion off his belt to consume, disappearing from view. Eneko the Human Bard/Cavalier engaged with some of the fools and the bandits who came running out of their tents, while Gavriil ran to Elysia’s aid, enlarging her.
Noruas the Human Gunslinger, in the meantime, hung back with the wagon, firing bullets at the bandits harassing rest of her friends. Trytor, the party’s reformed bandit companion, pitched in where he could, firing arrows at the bandits and drawing his short sword when confronted head-on. The battle was brief but fierce– the enlarged Elysia spent half of it being wrestled by her captor before finally breaking free and beginning an assault with her longsword, wreaking the tent but managing to slay a decent number of enemies in the process. The stagemaster popped back up next to Noruas after a few precious seconds, and although he certainly surprised her, she managed to twist herself out of the reach of his rapier as he struck twice! In retaliation, the Gunslinger fired twice into him, leaving him barely clinging to life. “I…see we underestimated you all…” he ground out, taking in the scene before him. Then his attention was briefly drawn away by fumbling for another vial out of his pouch. As he began to down it, Noruas took advantage of the momentary distraction to shove the butt of her rifle into his head, cracking his skull and sending him to the ground, the potion slipping out of his grasp and breaking upon the ground.
The rest of the bandits were dispatched not long after that, with the exception being one of the fools, who had taken a potion of his own to disappear. Elysia and Eneko attempted to track this one down for a time while Noruas and Gavriil looted the encampment, but the duo were unsuccessful in finding their quarry. Meanwhile those looting the camp brought in a small supply of gold pieces, stripped the bodies of their arms and armor, found an unused potion of invisibility, and used the carpenter’s tools they found to disassemble the wooden benches for transport (according to Gavriil, they would make great furniture for the Mite lair that he wanted to make a more permanent campsite of).
With their business taken care of, the party made their way back to Oleg’s, where they found and talked to Oleg, giving him Svetlana’s lost wedding ring (stolen by kobolds, who stole it from mites, who stole it from bandits, who stole it from Svetlana)! He was overjoyed, and let the party know that they could have a thousand gold piece credit at his trading post! Elysia and Gavriil also found the old hunter Vekkel, who had been offering a reward for slaying the boar known as Tuskgutter– a masterwork longbow with a grip decorated to look like a dragon’s mouth, and a small number of magical arrows.
As well, the group went to talk with Jhod, the priest of Erastil who had asked them to aid him in finding a lost temple to his god somewhere in the Narlmarshes. The party had come across the temple about two weeks earlier, but had retreated back from a cursed bear guarding the area. While negotiating with Jhod, the priest almost ended up rejecting the party’s offer of help, but a talk from Eneko and a night’s rest cooled down the tensions and allowed for a more amicable solution for all parties. The remainder of the day was spent at Oleg’s buying and selling supplies and wares, and upon the next morning, the group set forth, with Jhod riding along, towards the lost temple of the Elk!
PLAYERS, DO NOT READ!
This was it– the big fight between Dovan of Nisroch and his hunting party! It went decently– not as rough on the PC’s as the fights with Kressle or the Mites. With some of the best bandits the Stag Lord had to offer, Dovan was sent out with a group of several Rangers and Rogues, CR2’s. He himself was a Rogue, and I gave a couple of them some decent potions to use in combat. When Dovan went invisible, he spent a round observing and drank a potion of Haste, determined the greatest threat (Noruas hanging back in the wagon) and moved into position to attack. Unfortunately for him, when he revealed himself with his two attacks, he rolled…a five and a two. No dice, the Gunslinger started taking him apart. Her two attacks (made possible by a combination of class features and alchemical cartridges) provoked an attack of opportunity, but Dovan’s rapier couldn’t find its mark there either.
When his turn came around next, it was clear with his single-digit HP that he wouldn’t last another round. He was going to run away. I knew that Noruas was able to use her musket as a melee weapon, and I *really* wanted Dovan to get away and report to the Stag Lord…but at the same time, he clearly wouldn’t have known she would be prepared to smack him with the rifle, and so he tried to take his second potion of invisibility to run away, getting hit by her attack of opportunity in the process, and dying. Alas…but that’s how the game goes sometimes, and it just makes this campaign of Kingmaker a little bit more special for it! Another bandit did escape to run back to the fort, so at the very least the Stag Lord will hear about the defeat– and have direct knowledge of the party’s capabilities, so as to prepare for facing them the next time.