Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session Twenty-One

The party having been hit by a fireball, they now found themselves attacked on multiple sides– a massive two-headed troll (which Noruas the Gunslinger fondly remembered from when Hargulka had come to visit the Sootscales) was pushing itself through the tunnel to the party’s left, grunting and roaring his defiance from dual mouths!  Noruas wasted no time in filling the newcomer with bullet holes as she stepped away from the mouth of the cross-tunnel to avoid the next fireball streaming in between the bodies of several other trolls within sight.  Elysia the Ranger’s white wolf, Tyr, was forced to retreat as his fur started to burn, and Gavriil the Arcanist followed behind, administering magical care to the creature.

As Eneko the Bard sent an Ear-Piercing Scream into the two heads of the monstrous troll flanking them, Elysia ducked her head around the corner and fired multiple arrows into the trolls facing them, who until this point had stayed back from the chokepoint.  At the provocation, the trolls moved in– led by a large, stony-skinned rock troll who seemed very unhappy that the party had intruded upon his home.  As it turned out, the rock troll wasn’t very smart, and blocked up the choke point so that none of his fellow trolls could get past and attack.  Even so, the fireballs from the back didn’t stop– another came rushing from the darkness further back, and exploded into the midst of the fray!

These trolls didn’t last long at all, and soon all but the mysterious foe shrouded in darkness were slain.  The shadows shifted, and as the party prepared, he stepped into the light…revealing none other than the troll king himself, Hargulka!  His arrival was met by an immediate salvo from Noruas, which he was barely able to weather.  His response was a mighty set of blows aimed back at her, with two huge swings of his spiked club walloping her upside the head.  With her last vestiges of strength, she was able to fire off one final round into Hargulka, putting an end to the king’s life.  As he bled out on the cave floor, he gasped out his final words:  “No…this cannot be…she said…she said that I would win…but at least…it’s too late….for your city….”

With those foreboding words, the caves grew quiet once more, and the party had little trouble examining the rest of the fortress.  Spoils were collected, treasure counted, and rooms were explored.  With some time still left in the day, the group got together with the rest of their leadership present (Chief Sootscale, Davik Azazael, and Jamandi Aldori) to discuss what to do next.  Gavriil expressed great concern over what was happening back at Elbat Dnuor based upon Hargulka’s last words, and Elysia agreed that they should make all haste back to the capital.  Noruas reminded the group that they still had the Lizardfolk tribe to deal with, and so the plan was made for the party to travel by themselves (for they were much faster than the remaining armies) to the Lizardfolk island in order to pull them properly into line.  The remaining forces were to head back to the capital, led by Jamandi Aldori, with an expected arrival of several days from then.

Negotiations were short and to the point:  The PC’s had King Vesket’s head, and what few old and weak Lizardfolk remained were in no position to argue with the terms the kingdom dictated upon them.  That situation settled, the group made speed for their home, arriving on the morning of the second day after the battle against the trolls.  What they saw…was destruction.  The wall they had built around part of their settlement had been broken down in several places, and as they walked through the town they came across many a shell-shocked citizen staring at the destruction that had been wrought.  Many structures had been damaged in some shape or other, but the worst seemed to have been dealt to the monument to Brigh and the shrine of Nethys, which were both utterly decimated.

Gavriil and Noruas were quick to offer their help in aiding survivors, while Eneko began making his way through his city, offering words of encouragement to those he met on the street, helping to console their losses and bring them new hope.  It did not take long for messengers to find the PC’s and let them know that their Councilor Eleo Massim had set up several relief stations around the town for the citizens, and that she would be able to provide them with an account of events if they would find her in the Silver Knight Inn.  Elysia made her way there immediately, while the rest would find themselves slowly trickling in to see her afterwards.  The Ranger reported on the results of the fight with the trolls, and then got Eleo’s perspective on what happened at the city.

Early that morning, before dawn, a great commotion had been heard along the shores of the Tuskwater lake.  This noise was so fierce and great, the town guard had been sent to investigate…and never came back. Not long afterwards, the creature was upon the town itself; massive, angry, and destructive, it wreaked havoc upon the capital before finally leaving the area about an hour before the PC’s made it into town.  Eleo could not confirm it herself, but had gathered from others that the monster who had attacked was a massive bear-owl-creature!  She also mentioned to Elysia that Arcanus Toklo, the kingdom’s Magister, was busily attempting to divine more information about the creature and the attack in his tower.  Once the entire group heard this news, Noruas went out to the walls to begin looking for ways to track the beast, while the rest of the party met up with the Magister, who was quickly able to summon up a picture of the Owlbear in question, a massive brute of a beast, and give them an idea of the direction it was heading.

With that information, the group was provided with a new direction– south-east, to track down and stop his city-destroying beast!  Tune in next time to see what the fate of the party and their owlbear prey will be….




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