Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red Session Twenty-Three

Having just finished managing their kingdom for the month of Lamashan, our band of intrepid adventurers made the decision to take a few days of rest, and then continue some more affairs of state.  The kingdom turn for the month of Neth was conducted, with Tolemac’s leadership rebuilding the monument to Brigh that had been destroyed in the Owlbear attack the previous month.  The rebuilding was not the only thing that happened; the diplomats that the leadership had placed in the cities ruled by House Medvyed and House Lodovka had been hard at work, and 10BP worth of relief aid arrived in the kingdom that week.  Additionally, Lord Regent Noleski Surtova, current leader of the entire country of Rostland, sent his congratulations and 2,000gp for each of the new nation’s leaders (Eneko the Bard/Cavalier, who has long been suspicious of the Surtova’s rise to power, only accepted the gold begrudgingly)!

With the capital’s affairs taken care of, the party wished to venture forth yet again, for some more exploration!  Heading south, the band ventured through the hills along the Little Sellen river, managing to find an old abandoned ferry station that crossed the river near where it meets the Shrike that flows out of Candlemere.  Further exploration the next day brought them more excitement than an abandoned building, however– Elysia the Ranger was the first to spy it, a large brown-colored humanoid, slowly walking about with a club made of bundled sticks in one hand and a large jug in the other.  Cautious but secure in their abilities, the party advanced.

Gavriil the Arcanist was first to make introductions when Eneko identified the creature as a Hill Giant.  With his magic he was able to communicate with the giant, while the Bard translated the conversation to the rest of the party.  The giant’s name was Munduk, and as it turned out he was quite inebriated, mourning his lack of alcohol and luck.  Though he didn’t take much of a liking to Gavriil, Eneko started to grow on him as he told his story about how the ‘tusks’ wouldn’t let him into their ‘thing.’  Eneko invited Munduk to come join him in his own kingdom, where he would have plenty of things to smash and lots of wolfberry wine to consume.  After mulling it over, he was convinced by Noruas the Gunslinger, who promised to forge him a mighty hammer with which to smash things!

With their new friend Munduk the Hill Giant traveling with them, the party slowed significantly.  They determined that it was in everyone’s best interests to forge the large warhammer for the giant as soon as possible, and took the rest of the day to utilize Noruas’ portable furnace in order to forge the weapon.  Thus mollified, Munduk was convinced to travel with the party to the Tors of Levienes, a mountain range to the east that the PC’s had partially explored, and in which they had found an old crumbling tower upon which a huge bird was known to make its nest.  After half a week of hard travel they arrived near the tower, not having seen the avian yet…however, upon approach to the tower, they were greeted with the sight of the huge Roc, taking flight from the top of the tower and soaring into the sky above them, letting loose a fierce cry of fury!

Initiative was rolled, and the battle began!  Gavriil was able to buff Elysia and Noruas with his wand of Cat’s Grace that he’d previously crafted, and Eneko began an inspiring song of courage to lift his ally’s spirits.  The Roc, in the meantime, dove down from the sky, angling in towards….Tyr, Elysia’s white wolf animal companion!  It swooped down and snatched the wolf up in its talons, carrying the creature away from the ledge the party was standing upon!  Noruas lashed out with her rifle butt, and Munduk swung his own warhammer at the enormous bird, both managing to deal some damage but not anywhere near enough to stop the creature.  As it soared higher into the air and further away from them, Noruas shouldered her double-barreled musket and let loose with two full salvos!  While she was fortunate enough to hit the bird both times, the damage was so significant that it slew the Roc, sending both it and the wolf it carried plummeting towards the rocky mountainside below!

Fortunately for Elysia (and Tyr), she was saved the loss of her close friend when Gavriil was able to quickly cast a Levitate spell upon the wolf, allowing it to safely descend to the ground.  The Ranger clambered down the rocky slope towards her friend, Eneko moving to assist as the two worked to bring Tyr back to the group.  Noruas and Gavriil on the other hand focused their energies into ascending the old tower to the nest above them.  Once there, they found three Roc eggs in the huge nest, and visions of trained Rocs began to form in Gavriil’s head.  After some consideration, he determined that he had enough spell slots to cast Floating Disc, one for each egg, for a long enough time to transport them down the mountainside– though it would take almost all of his magical ability to do so.  Fortunately for the group, they had no further trouble in their travels that day, and were able to descend to the hills below the mountains without issue.

Their next goal was to head to the nearby Cockatrice den that they had found several months ago while exploring.  The original idea was to see just what they might be able to do with the creatures (tame them?  Use them for food?), but due to the possibility of them being exceedingly hostile Gavriil wished to deposit the Roc eggs somewhere safe so that he could have his spells available.  Circumventing the Cockatrice nest, they went north and stopped at one of the farms constructed near the Shrike Falls.  After a bit of convincing not to make huge omelets, the eggs were secured and the party made their way back to the nest.

A bit of experimentation and an unfortunately-made rooster sound later, the cockatrices were having none of the party’s shenanigans.  Determining that they were too wild to be tamed, and too poisonous to be food, the group picked off the creatures from range, managing to take out almost all of them before the gap between them was closed.  Fortunately for the party, no one got bitten, and thus they had no one turn to stone– a dangerous side-effect that Cockatrices often inflict.  With this threat dealt with, the party returned to the farm to collect their eggs, which were none worse for wear, and returned to the capital.  The eggs were turned in to Eleo Massim, the kingdom’s Druid Councilor, for safekeeping, and they asked her to send out advertisements seeking a master falconer in order to help them train the Rocs when they hatched, which Elysia determined would take about three months.  With those matters taken care of, the party decided to spend the next four days in their capital having some personal time, before beginning another kingdom turn at the beginning of the month of Kuthona.

During their downtime, Noruas, who brought Munduk back to her mother’s house to live with them, spent much of her time smithing new armors for herself and her friends, assisted by the hill giant who was quite happy to lend his hammer arm to her efforts.  As the session came to a close, Elysia made a note of checking the local bounty boards to see if there were any odd jobs to be completed– the White Wolves had been practically gutted in the fight with the trolls, and she thought that there might be some monster-hunting that needed taken care of.  As it turned out she was right, as she found a posting from a local merchant who was offering a reward for the individuals responsible for bringing to a halt the attacks on his caravans, traveling from Elbat Dnuor to Hargulka’s Stronghold, where they were engaged in moving supplies back and forth.  For the last week, the caravans sent south had gone missing, and the tracks found near the route suggested that Tatzlwyrms were responsible for the deeds.  With that new piece of knowledge, the session came to a close!

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2 thoughts on “Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red Session Twenty-Three

  1. The Tatzylwyrms will be a bit of a cakewalk after the trolls, giant owlbear, and roc…

    I’m curious, how do you feel about Noruas’ firepower? It seems the gunslinger kills everything with a shot or two. Is it good because you spend less time in combat and can spend more time roleplaying? Or is it more frustrating that nothing short of dozens of trolls can challenge the party? Or something else?

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  2. I personally think that the immense firepower can be a wonderful thing in the smaller encounters that the group has– the majority of them enjoy roleplaying much more than combat, so it works out fine with that. The times when it becomes frustrating for me is when we have a boss fight or something that’s supposed to be extremely dangerous….and it’s slain in two rounds. More on that in the next session post when you get to hear about the ‘tatzlwyrms’ that the party faced.

    I find it difficult to give the party a balanced combat experience– anything that would be a normal challenge for the party is easily blown away, while the harder enemies are still blown away– but most of the other characters would be ineffective against it. One of the best balancing factors I used previously was large groups of enemies– Noruas could only hit so many one-shot kills per round, and then the rest of them would get a chance at the party. That strategy is requiring ever-increasing numbers of foes as time moves on however; at seventh level with a full-round action, rapid shot, and Haste (handily provided from a wand that the Arcanist is getting full value out of), several creatures can be picked off at a rapid rate.

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