Following our party’s heroic liberation of the Stag Lord’s Fortress, they patched up the wall of the fort where they had infiltrated, and made camp in the fortress for the night. Upon the morning, after healing themselves up a little bit, they made a beeline to Nettle’s Crossing, where they knew some kind of undead creature was waiting for the Stag Lord’s body to be deposited into the waters. Arriving two days later, having stopped the first night at the Sootscale caverns for a feast (and for Gavriil to introduce to chief Sootscale the idea of marrying Elysia, the tribe’s much renowned war-hero and Shaman-Slayer), the party approached the crossing and rang the old bell, much as they had the first time they visited. And just like the first time, the desiccated corpse rose from the waters, menacing to look at, and walking eerily along the tops of the waves.
Having already removed and…smoked…the head to preserve it for the bounty offered by Restov, the rest of the Stag Lord’s corpse was thrown in to the waters of the Shrike for the creature, who seemed to flow overtop of the body, sinking it down into the murky depths. The water calmed for a moment, before a wet yet finely crafted ranseur floated to the surface, bobbing along with the gentle ripples. The party then endeavored to cross the river, Gavriil using a new spell he’d learned to help move the wagon across, while the rest shimmied hand-over-hand across on the single rope left spanning the gap. When everyone was safely on the other side, they continued to finish exploring the remainder of their chartered territory.
Six days later, the party arrived back at Oleg’s Trading Post, where they told their story to Oleg, Svetlana, and Kesten Garess, who was quite happy to see the likes of Falgrim Sneeg, the bandit who had previously been a city guard in Restov. Kesten informed the party that he was leaving for Restov in the morning, due to he and half his men being called for reassignment. He offered to let the group travel with him and his men, since they wished to turn in their bounty on Sneeg as well as collect on their exploration charter. Agreeing, the group left the next morning after Kesten sent a messenger pigeon ahead of him to the mayor, informing the man of the PC’s quick return.
After three days of travel along the South Rostland Road, the party had arrived at Restov! Familiar to most of them, they made their way straight to the mayor’s mansion, where they waited for a few minutes before being seen by Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius. The mayor congratulated them on their success in completing their mapping charter, as well as on the death of the Stag Lord, for which the party was given a large stipend. The mayor informed them of how fortunate they were to have arrived when they did– just three days previous, their counterparts Maegar Varn and Hannis Drelev had returned from their own mapping expeditions, fulfilling their own charters. It was then that he let them in on a little secret: those that had mapped their assigned areas, would be presented with a new charter for settlement, one which granted the holders the right to claim and rule land within the Stolen Lands! In but two days, the presentation was to be made, at which time a feast and fundraising gala were to be held for the groups to raise funds for their new kingdoms. The mayor, of course, would help each of them with a small gift of resources, but the rest of their funds would have to be raised through investments with the various powerful groups present in the area; Sellemius indicated that representatives of local interest groups would be there, as well as all the noble houses of Rostland and many of the major religions of the area.
With that taken care of, and with the news of the party’s ascension to new heights, Kesten led the group to the captain of the guard, who was able to take charge of Falgrim Sneeg, asking them to return the next day to see the guard’s armorer, who would provide them with four of the finest quality weapons possible. With that, the group retired to a nearby fancy inn, the Dragon and Flagon, which was being paid for by the mayor, even going as far as to give them each separate rooms! Kesten joining them, the party had light drinks before heading to bed.
The next day, the group split up to accomplish a variety of tasks. Elysia searched for bounty boards of people looking for someone to take care of local monsters, and among notices of “lost: one shiny copper ring,” “have you seen my puppy,” and “wanted: wife,” she managed to find a man who was offering a bounty for the death of a particular Warg who had killed his wife while traveling in the Greenbelt.
Meanwhile, Noruas searched for blacksmiths and traders who might have come across traces of rare metals she had learned of during her time in Numeria from where she hailed; Mithril and Adamantine were the words of the day, and she was sadly able to find little. One blacksmith however was able to inform her of a man three years back who had brought him a sample of Mithril, which he claimed to have found in the Stolen Lands, and the smith forged it into a fine chain shirt for the man. Though few details were able to be remembered, the smith did give a reasonably accurate account of the chain shirt he made for the man.
Gavriil took some time shopping, perhaps reminiscing to the time he used to work in a magic shop himself, and examined many a magical item. He was also able to sell off several of the items which the party had accrued from the Stag Lord’s Fort, before heading off to the town archives for a study session.
Eneko, on the other hand, kept himself quite active, searching for any hint of a family friend of his who he knew had been looking into the disappearance of House Rogarvia, the noble family who up until several years ago, ruled Rostland. The sudden disappearance of the entire noble family was surprising and complete, and after a few short months rule over the country was established by Noleski Surtova of House Surtova. Eneko’s friend believed he had been on a trail of discovery the last time he talked to the Bard, yet Eneko could find no trace of the man in the city. Falling back upon some of his dead father’s contacts, Eneko learned that the last anyone had heard from the man was four months ago, when he was attempting to have a magical artifact identified, and was pointed towards New Stetven, the capital of Rostland.
Everyone met up towards the end of the day in order to confer amongst themselves, and to purchase a set of fancy clothes for their big day tomorrow, where they would need to present their best selves in order to garner the support and funding they’d need. After they acquired their regalia, they returned to the city guard’s headquarters, where they met with the armorer for their bounty reward. Eneko chose a golden-handled scorpion whip, while Elysia chose an interesting curiosity– an underwater crossbow (Elysia, already possessing masterwork or +1 weapons for her main methods of attack, simply decided to pick the most expensive-looking weapon so that she could get the most out of reselling it later). Noruas on the other hand had a much more specialized reward in mind, and with Gavriil as her voice in the matter, she worked out a deal with the armorer to have him help her forge a double-barreled musket in return for the design plans for the musket, as well as eliminating the need to give Gavriil a reward.
With all this completed, the party hit the sack for the night, preparing for their big day upon the morning!
PLAYERS, DO NOT READ!
Some of the most fun I’ve had in weeks, this session was– it was heavily role-playing focused, and had absolutely nothing to do with combat. The interactions that the party had with Kesten Garess, Ioseph Sellemius, and Eneko’s shady underworld contact were all a hoot, and everyone was laughing when Gavriil suggested to Chief Sootscale that Elysia would make a fine mate! The players had a good time, being happy to be in a city where they could shop and sell items, as well as get a bit of time to explore personal subplots.
Eneko in particular was excited to be in the city. In his backstory which he sent me, his father had been killed the night House Rogarvia disappeared, sacrificing his life in a fight against brigands to let the young Bard flee. His backstory also noted that one of his father’s close friends started looking into the disappearance, and suspected House Surtova to be involved in the vanishing of House Rogarvia and the attack on Eneko’s family. With that, I laid out the groundwork for a character subplot: Something happened to cause the vanishing of House Rogarvia, and Eneko wants to find out. Currently he is looking for his family friend who looked into the disappearance, and that is pointing him towards the Rostlandic capital. For now Eneko doesn’t wish to go there asking dangerous questions, but the possibility will be available for him when next he wishes.
Noruas has been, since the beginning of the campaign, on the lookout for all types of minerals and materials which are used in the crafting of her gunpowder and bullets, and always on the lookout for the rare metals of Mithril and Adamantine. In her backstory, she came from Numeria, and was ready to explore the Stolen Lands due to her father, who had disappeared in search of these metals and left Noruas naught but a half-drawn map of various landmarks, poorly represented and not to scale. Now she has the knowledge that there is indeed Mithril to be found somewhere in the Stolen Lands, and will be ever more on the lookout!
Gavriil and Elysia both will be getting some call-outs to their character background next session: Gavriil is a bastard child of House Orlovsky, whose financial support of the PC’s new kingdom will depend upon the role which Gavriil takes in it; Elysia meanwhile was previously part of a monster hunting guild known as the White Wolves (makes me think of The Witcher), who were heavily supported by House Rogarvia before the vanishing, and who were disbanded after an attack upon the guild by anti-Rogarvian factions. This too was phrased to place House Surtova under suspect for the attack on the White Wolves, and one of the interest groups who will be making a supporting offer to the party’s new kingdom will be a newly founded White Wolves, rebuilt with funding from House Surtova and centered around a new leader whom Elysia knows personally.
Speaking of next session: Lets hear it for the Paizo forums and Venture Capitalism, which was more finely tuned by Daddy DM, and then shamelessly copied and altered by yours truly to create an interesting experience for the players. The Kingmaker adventure path assumes that the city of Restov simply awards the party with 50 Build Points, the currency of kingdoms, in order for them to begin founding their kingdom. I, like others, find this insanely boring, because why just give them these funds when they can work for it! The venture capitalism idea takes various groups of import, and each will present the PC’s with an offer. These offers usually take the form of BP provided, with some occasionally offering other benefits to the kingdom/party. In return, strings are attached– the church of Gorum wants to supervise mandatory militia training, House Lebeda wants the new kingdom to connect a trade route to them within a number of years, and the White Wolves want a guild hall built for their base of operations. A number of the groups also wish to fill different leadership roles in the new kingdom with their own people, to boot.
In all, I have compiled a list of nineteen different interest groups for the party to talk with, and next session I would guess that the entirety of the time will be taken up by introducing and role-playing out the offers, before the party decides upon which they will take. It is easily and fully possible for the group to raise more than 50BP to start their kingdom…but doing so will place a good number of requirements upon the fledgling kingdom. I am eagerly awaiting what they will decide!