Kingmaker

Trouble on the Border
Brevoy encroaches, just not officially

Desnus 13
It’s been pretty busy and I realized I’ve not been keeping up on my journal, so here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening the last few weeks.

When we arrived back at Isenfell we were informed that mercenaries had been crossing into our borders to “pursue enemies of the state” and shake down merchants on the road. Our advisors said our military wasn’t yet strong enough to risk war with Brevoy and the ambassador from Brevoy was very vague and unhelpful as to why mercenaries from Brevoy wouldn’t be respecting our borders. We were also informed that Bokken had been found dead at his hut with arrows in the back. Eran has ordered increased patrols along our shared border with Brevoy and we’ll start building a fort up there to house them. Until that’s finished and the border patrol are well set-up, we’ve been doing that duty ourselves for the last week. It seems the mercenaries don’t really wish to confront us personally as it’s been all quiet since we started. We were also informed yesterday that some items with Bokken’s mark were sold in Restov, though the trail ends there. Jiro’s a bit put-out not being able to track down his murderer, but he’s got some agents in Restov who may yet find out something.

Meanwhile, we’ve raised an army for Rechnoye, built them a granary, town hall, mill, barracks and more housing, so they’re growing nicely and should now be able to hold their own in a fight should the need arise.

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Into the Boggard Village
A timely rescue

Gozran 27
After many days of slogging through the swamp we’ve finally arrived at the area purported to contain a village of boggards. On the way we found a large patch of blue flowers, which Jiro informed us were Hail Lilies and dangerous to travelers. We removed them. Otherwise it’s just been damp and miserable with nothing to break up the monotony. Fear the brave adventurers, slayers of blue flowers! At least today was a bit more interesting…

We began our heroic rescue of the Tok-tekt’s son by having Jiro go ahead and scout, him being the only truly sneaky one among us. He reported back that all seemed quiet and he found a bogstrider tied up in the largest hut. Khismia, not to be left out of any fun, followed him back, claiming the eidolon could be just as stealthy as any trained ranger (and she was the only one who spoke the creature’s language, which was a valid point). With Khismia translating, we learned that he was to be taken shortly to the “Swamp Scar” to be sacrificed. The rest of us joined Jiro and Khismia once the bogstrider had been freed and sent on his way (he assured us that he would have no problem finding his way home safely as long as we were here distracting the boggards) to find out where the usual inhabitants of the village were. We found a statue to the toad demon Gogunta, some small huts that appeared to never be used and then the boggards apparently got up their courage (or their numbers) and attacked from behind mounds and near what I think was frog storage (as many, many frogs poured out from the building, much like a human might keep dogs in a kennel).

Those boggards dispatched, we started searching the mounds around the village for more of them. Choosing a mound at random, we meandered through the twisty passageways and just happened to end up in what must be the throne room, though it could only be accessed through a small hole in the roof above. Ilona immediately dropped through the hole to confront those down below with Khismia and her eidolon following close behind and Jiro right after her. Ilona moves to attack the boggard cleric, deducing that he was the biggest threat, but he cast a word of blasphemy. Meanwhile, Breela and Eran and I join our intrepid melee force in the throne room. Eran is grabbed from behind by a boggard but manages to escape and then uses an Oracle ability to make them unable to attack. With only the cleric left as a true threat, he summons a blade barrier surrounding him which forces Jiro, Ilona and Khismia to back off. I fail to penetrate his innate spell resistance and Eran is unable to dispel his blade barrier. Khismia decides to summon an earth elemental to just bull rush the cleric out of the barrier, which, surprisingly, works quite well. With Jiro and Ilona waiting for him on the other side, he doesn’t last long.

After the boggards were cleaned out we teleported back to the village of the bogstriders. We arrived far in advance of Tok-tekt’s son, of course, since no matter how fast he can move through the swamp, it’s not going to take him less than a day to get back here. We assured Tok-tekt that his son was coming and that the boggards no longer would. We’re about out of time for the month, so we’ll just teleport home tomorrow morning and see what mischief has been happening in Isenfell in our absence.

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A Shrine to Urgothoa
It must be cleansed!

Gozran 20
As we approached the area that the bogstrider had indicated, we noticed that the air felt noticeably colder. We came upon a flat, partially submerged stone which appeared to have writing on it. From my basic religion classes I recognized the writing as holy symbols of Urgothoa, a neutral evil deity embodying gluttony, disease, and undeath. Expecting nothing good to happen, we nevertheless stepped onto the stone hoping to figure out a way to disarm whatever trap it would trigger. It was a pretty good one as everyone but Eran and I were immediately paralyzed and we quickly became surrounded by mummies. Fortunately, Eran and I are quite capable of mass destruction of low-level undead foes and set about channeling massive quantities of positive energy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t fast enough to keep Jiro, Ilona and Khismia from contracting mummy rot from their attacks, so we’ll have to stay here an extra day to cure that. The area feels cleansed though, so we’ll just set up the fortress on top of the shrine and call it a good day’s work.

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More Swamp Fun
Potential allies?

Gozran 18
We’ve been out exploring now for ten days, though only four of those have been back in the swamp. There’s just been nothing noteworthy to write about until today. A few days back we dispatched some eels, and we encountered a raiding party of boggards, though they avoided us. We came across an unusual grove with azure lillies which Jiro recalls can be made into a valuable poison if correctly harvested. I’m not sure how much use we’ll have for a poison (nor why Jiro would know such a thing), but we’ll mark that on our map for later. The most interesting thing happened today though. We came upon a 100-foot wide ring of open water with a wooded island in the center. We could see obvious activity on the island and we were pretty sure the creatures moving about were a race called Bogstriders. Being nosy neighbors, and possessing a party member who most likely spoke their language (Khismia speaks Aquan), we headed on over like we’d been invited.

As we approached their island, they asked us to leave them alone to mourn in peace, curious. Continuing onward, as is our wont, we eventually spoke to one of them named Tok-tekt who was a bit more forthcoming. They’ve been waging a continuous war with the boggards which was not going well. The boggards had recently raided the bogstrider encampment and kidnapped Tok-tekt’s son. As a show of good faith, he told of an area nearby where no animals go. He also requested that we deal with the boggards if we were so inclined and told us of the area where we could find them (surprisingly near Fort Drelev). We’ll check out his odd area first, then probably go deal with the boggards. It never hurts to get in good with the locals when one is planning a bit of world domination…

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A New City Founded
The abandoned ferry station is in use again

Gozran 8
We made good use of our time away from the swamp by clearing ground for another city where the abandoned ferry station used to be almost due south of Isenfell. The new city, christened Rechnoye, had workers swarming over it to put in housing, a pier, an inn, watchtower, walls, foundry, smithy, shop and park. Our brand new refugees, wanting to make a fresh start, were happy to start settling down there as well as several apprentices who were ready to move out and be masters of their own trade. It’s quite a young settlement, but it has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I think it’ll grow quickly.

We’re actually back out exploring already, though in the forest instead of the swamp, so I’m merrily scribing away. We didn’t find anything interesting today other than a herd of elk, and trust me, we’ve seen enough of those to find them pretty uninteresting, so that says something about the rest of the area we explored today…

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Lots of Slogging Through the Swamp
It's way too damp here to be writing in my journal

Gozran 1
It’s been awfully damp out in the swamp, so I’ve not been keeping up with writing in my journal. Here are the highlights of the last month.

Over the winter we’d had Khismia create an instant magical fortress, so we no longer needed to fear being woken up at night by things like worgs and other natives of the wilderness. It also has heat, beds, and baths! When we entered the forests, the fey were quite friendly (according to Perlivash at least), though they weren’t outgoing enough to come see us openly. Our second day in the marshes we heard a crashing sound in the underbrush and headed over to investigate. We found a pair of giant male slugs (according to Jiro, though I have no idea how he can tell them apart) vying for the affection of a third, a female. After Jiro informed us that the winner of the fight would then mate with the female and she’d soon lay upwards of a hundred eggs, we decided we’d rather deal with three of them than one hundred and three, so we killed them and made sure we destroyed their nest.

We found a pile of bones and a small pool with trampled grass around it which fed into a larger lake. Khismia, ever the impulsive one, immediately set about luring the occupant out to dry land. While she managed to get it to follow her partway, the hydra in the lake was much smarter than other things that Khismia’s tried to lure back to us before and swam back into the deeper waters before we could get to it easily with weapons and spells. Not wanting to give the hydra all the advantages, we decided to spend the night and prepare appropriately. With many casts of water breathing and freedom of movement, we were able to easily vanquish the aquatic menace.

Shortly after that, we found a group of eighteen refugees being attacked by a giant slug, which we killed for them. Their leader, Benara, told us that they’d set out from Pitax a couple of weeks ago attempting to reach our kingdom, but had run afoul of the hydra and slugs and some people had been eaten. Feeling it was better to just deal with this problem now, we simply escorted them back to Tatzlford, which is where I sit now, writing in my journal. We’ll deal with the leadership issues that have cropped up this month and then head back into the swamp in a week or so.

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Hurray, We're on the Road Again
An encroaching army

Pharast 8
This morning we got an urgent message from the Mayor of Tatzlford requesting our presence immediately to deal with an approaching force her scouts had sighted moving toward them from the west. With time being of the essence, we teleported there immediately and got the report directly from the scouts. A woman, wearing dirty soldier’s garb and introducing herself as Cassandra Numesti had managed to locate one of the scouts and requested asylum in exchange for information regarding the “self-styled Baron Hannas Drelev.” However, the approaching army needed to be dealt with first, so we asked the Mayor to make her comfortable (and keep a discreet guard on her, of course) while we continued on to that matter.

The force consisted of troops from Fort Drelev, trolls and a bunch of barbarians (distinguishable from the troops by their rather fur-laden attire and lack of grooming). Knowing the army in Tatzlford could most likely deal with ordinary soldiers, we focused our efforts on eliminating the troll and barbarian portions of their army, which was made easier by the word “army” being only the vaguest description of their organization. It wasn’t hard at all to cut off the trolls from the rest and they were no happier to make Breela’s acquaintance than any other troll we’ve fought. The barbarians were a mite tougher, but nothing our fighting folk couldn’t handle with Eran and I providing backup. We triumphantly headed back to Tatzlford to hear Cassandra’s story after watching the rest of the abortive invasion force flee back toward Fort Drelev.

According to Cassandra, an army from Pitax, allied with the tiger lord barbarians, had descended on Fort Drelev. Instead of defending the town, the Baron surrendered immediately and formed an alliance, leaving him nominally in charge of the town still. The leader of the barbarians demanded 5 daughters of senior officers as hostages. Cassandra’s father, Lord Terion Numesti, one of those senior officers, refused and was imprisoned while one of Cassandra’s sisters was handed over to the barbarians.

Cassandra wishes us to first liberate Fort Drelev from the Baron and his mercenary enforcers and then rescue her sister from her barbarian captors, if possible. To that end, she’s given us the name of a contact, Satinder Morne, a dance hall proprietor and priestess of Calistria as well as a jade ring which we’re to present to Satinder along with a long-stemmed flower to indicate who sent us. The leader of the barbarians is a man named Armag which the cult of Gairona prophesied as “Armag the Twice-Born.” Hopefully we can find out what’s up with that as well. While it sounds like Fort Drelev is having a rough time, Eran doesn’t want to head straight there and leave any number of unknown dangers in the lands between them and us, which sounds quite sensible. We’ll start exploring to the east in the morning; unfortunately, Cassandra says there’s a lot of marshlands between here and Drelev…

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It's Nearly Spring
Going stir crazy in here

Pharast 6
It’s been a busy month in Tatzlford with the addition of another trade shop, a guildhall, mansion (for our slowly increasing wealthy merchant class), library and pier. Vygon also received a shrine to Abadar. We’ve been anxiously awaiting the spring thaw to find out the next move in the civil war to the north. Not much has happened over the winter, but we’re expecting with the roads clearing up that we’ll start hearing more. Everything should be ready to go for the spring planting as well, it’s just a matter of waiting until the weather clears up. We’ve already made all the arrangements for the spring equinox festival in case matters with Brevoy (or elsewhere, who knows?) keep us from getting to it later. Lily, enjoying festivals nearly as much as Ilona, has promised that she’ll keep matters rolling right along, even in the event we need to be absent.

In other news, Breela’s had the most aggravating cold for the last several weeks. I think we may have to just burn her bedclothes to kill it. Hopefully without her in them… Though she is a fire mage, she may just like burning for fun.

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A Month for Love...
Ilona's update...

Calistril 16
My dearest sister and readers of her journal.
I so hope that Eran finally falls in love…Evelyth would be a good match for him even though she has duties and responsibilities near the World Wound. She is everything he needs in a wife and companion, especially being an aasimar. Khismia would be only a passing trist and her prediliction for charging into battle will get her killed sooner than any of us would like. Though Lily would be Evelyth’s equal as a wife, Lily is not made of quite the same stuff as Evelyth. Lily has Eran’s best interests at heart. Wishing that he will choose between them so we can celebrate both the wedding and an heir.
We need him married off sooner than later and then we can get onto other worries.
It will also ensure our kingdom’s lineage.
I will be working our troops in extra drills and combat training in order to be prepared for anything that might happen on the northern border and on the western frontier in case Pitax decides to try something.
I have been urging Eran to make improvements and then get a garrison in Fort Drelev ASAP.
I foresee nothing but problems from Pitax.

In more fun matters, our festival for the month should prove greater than ever. I am definitely looking forward to it. Ahlissa always makes the festival grand.

Hopefully Perlivash gets me some details on Eran and Evelyth’s day together.
Might have to ask him for some help in getting into Riani’s room…She’s changed her locks again. WIll have to talk to the lock smith again….

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A Month for Love
Is my brother falling for Evelyth?

Calistril 15
Evelyth came in to visit yesterday, just in time for the Calistrian festival of love (lust?). I don’t know if the timing was coincidental, but Ilona’s pretty sure it’s not. Not that I could ask Evelyth since she immediately scooped up Eran and they went off somewhere together the whole day. I have yet to locate Perlivash, but I’m hoping he managed to follow them and can tell me all the juicy details. Ilona’s asking around by more conventional methods.

So far this month we’ve built a trade shop (and housing for the tradesmen and women) in Tatzlford and a guildhall, shrine and a couple of shops in Olegton. We’ve added a bunch more roads and a mine and a farm or two. The details are unimportant, just good to hear we’re still keeping things moving even in the winter. We’re wanting to grow large enough that we don’t look like a particularly tempting target for Brevoy to just roll over if they manage to consolidate power in the spring.

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