Kingmaker

Session 9

The Defense of Tatzylford

  • 8/23

    • Months went by as the party recovered from their unsatisfactory battle with Rendon Amory and his companions. Destin made a full recovery from his horrific injuries after spending a week in a coma due to blood loss, as the decimated city blocks were razed and the rebuilding process begun.
    • On this Tuesday while making rounds through one of these streets (as all the party members did when time allowed) to watch and assist with the rebuilding effort, Cadoc was approached by a messenger bearing a letter sealed with the sigil of Jendar Crain, the Right Reverend Bishop of the Order of Cayden Cailean.

      • This letter from the bishop detailed an astonishing discovery for the order; the location of the long-lost Krindan Abbey! This holy place, believed to be the first whiskey distillery in all of Golarion, was supposedly a favorite haunt of Cayden Cailean himself, as he partook of the unique and most marvelous beverages it produced.
      • According to an old journal from one of Cayden’s wandering priests, the overgrown ruins are most unfortunately situated in the swampy Hooktongue Slough, just west of Elkland.
    • Due to not only the significant historical meaning of the site, but also the opportunity to have this find supplement the growing kingdom (as well as gaining the goodwill of the best brewers in all the land), the party agreed to add finding this site to the lengthening list of important issues to complete.

  • 8/24

    • On the next day however, a messenger bird from Tatzleford arrived bearing grim news of that city. Mayor Viscount Lloyd Resbin detailed that an immense army composed of Bandits and hordes of Barbarians had emerged from the Hooktongue Slough to the West, and were marching upon the city.
    • Faced with the alarming prospect of having Tatzleford fall, the party geared up, sent urgent messages to Acorna Silverfire, Dmitri Inesque, and Ambarean the silver Dragon, and began traveling the 6 hours south to Tatzleford with all haste, sending Destin and Kodar on the two swiftest mounts to precede the rest.
      • Destin and Kodar arrived that evening and found the people of Tatzleford busy trying to prepare the city for invasion. Heading to the mayor’s residence, they encountered a woman named Cassandra Numesti who flagged them down. She introduced herself as the daughter of Knight Tyrion Numesti, who rebelled against Baron Drelev and was thrown into a dungeon for his troubles.
      • She quickly described the horde as being composed of Tigerlord Barbarians, Trolls, Bandits, and some of Baron Drelev’s own troops. The man leading this army is named Amian Trask, one of the Baron’s most trusted and ruthless Commanders. Finally, the route the army most likely will use to attack the city is from North along the river.
      • The price for this tactical knowledge was the party’s promise to free her father, and rescue her sister from the TigerLord Barbarians.
      • Destin continued to question Cassandra for information about the horde as Kodar went to inspect the bridge leading West across, to see if it could be disabled.
    • One hour later, the rest of the party arrived, and met with Cassandra, Mayor Resbin, and several other leaders of the city to plan for the attack. In the hours remaining, it was decided to fortify the village defenses with a reinforced barricade as well as disabling the bridge to force the army to wade across if that route was chosen.
    • During the night, just as preparations were finishing, a massive roar was heard from the North, and the horde was spotted running towards Tatzylford along the East side of the river. The party took their positions: Vandamar and Kodar on the rooftops, Stephanos with the archers, Destin with the ground troops, and Cadoc in support.
    • As the horde neared the walls, a reddish, arcane light surrounded Vandamar as he rose off the roof gable, and cast an immense fireball in the center of the Horde vanguard, creating a huge crater and scattering flaming body parts in all directions. As the unimpressed horde continued to surge forward, Stephanos rallied the archers and led them in picking off the nearest attackers.

      • All along the barricade, the horde approached and began to simultaneously turn it into kindling. Vandamar again concentrated and cast an expanded version of Evard’s Black Tentacles, piercing and throwing many attackers to their deaths. The barricade was broached in several spots, and the defenders led by Destin ran forward to plug the gaps. Kodar provided air support by sniping as many attackers as possible.
      • The defenders, a mix of Stephano’s personal guard and determined city-dwellers, proved to do a superb job at repelling the attackers. So much in fact that the attackers began to lose bodies at an alarming rate, and their momentum began to slow as some began to retreat.
      • Vandamar cast one more deadly version of Evard’s Black Tentacles, and nearly wiped out the remaining rear-guard. The defenders began to realize that the vast majority of the horde had been wiped out in a matter of minutes, and that victory could be attained. Pressing forward with the determination this new revelation brought, the defenders redoubled their efforts and it seemed that no attacker could withstand them.
      • Suddenly, Kodar shouted from the rooftops that trolls had been spotted moving up to the barricade, sending waves of momentary panic coursing through the defenders. The trolls sprinted and rammed through the holes in the barricade, sending friend and foe alike tumbling backwards. Grasping huge clubs the size of trees, the trolls began a deadly onslaught that no-one seemed able to resist.
      • Sensing that the trolls would bring about defeat if left unattended for too long, Stephanos ignited his sword with Holy Fire and yelled for the party to follow him. All 6 trolls turned as one as the paladin with flaming sword and armor reflecting the blaze advanced upon them. As he charged the Troll Leader, Vandamar cast a fireball at the 5 behind him, igniting their clothing and changing their rage-filled screams to panic.
      • Destin flipped over the barricade wall to set Stephanos up for a flank on the Troll leader. As Stephanos carved a monstrous furrow on the Trolls’ chest, Destin stabbed the troll in the back with both daggers, and used his momentum to carve twin bloody gashes down its torso. The troll leader died on its feet, succumbing to the huge dual attacks and the flaming swipe that pierced its heart.
      • Cadoc cast Flame Strike on the 2 rear-most Trolls to keep their clothes ignited. One of them bellowed in berserker rage and charged Stephanos along with one of the front three. Vandamar cast a Quickened Pit underneath another of the front three, as Kodar targeted the last troll in front. The last troll in the rear ignored everything but his ignited clothes, trying frantically to beat out the flames.
    • As the burning berserker troll approached Stephanos, Destin intercepted and slashed its Achilles tendons, dropping it to the ground. Before it could act, Destin inflicted 3 twin strikes on its back, throwing up a dark-red flesh-chunk filled mist and killing it instantly. As Cadoc cast Searing Light on the other troll charging Stephanos, the one at the rear succeeded in batting out its burning tunic and lunged towards Stephanos as well. Distracted with this sudden new threat, Stephanos missed a parry and the troll in his face slammed its cudgel into Stephanos’ chest, making him double over and cough out blood.

      • Seeing Stephanos take the hit, Vandamar cast another strategic fireball to finish the troll being shot by Kodar, and cast a vile spell on the troll in front of Stephanos that caused large pustules and boils to appear. Stephanos straightened up, lifting his sword as he did and split the troll from groin to mid-chest in a shower of stinking entrails as Kodar shot it cleanly through its left eye, dropping it to the ground.
      • As the last standing troll took a swipe at Stephanos, Destin butchered it where it stood – Lopping off parts and limbs into neatly-arranged piles of meat.
    • While running around with torches to “cauterize” the troll corpses and dropping alchemist’s fire down the pit, Cadoc moved Stephanos’ broken ribs back into position and healed him. Looking around at the carnage surrounding the party, it’s clear that the attacking horde was routed by the defenders even though a few of the barbarians had succeeded in fleeing. As the corpse of Amiam Trask was identified by Cassandra, only 4 of the defenders, all city-dwellers were reported killed, which in the face of the hundreds of slain barbarians and bandits seemed miraculous.
    • The party surrounded the Corpse of Trask as Cadoc cast “Speak with Dead” on it. The following questions were asked, to which the corpse responded before expiring (again):

      • 1. Why did you attack us? – “Easy Pickings for our Kingdom.”
      • 2. What armies does Baron Drelev have left? – “Hordes and Hordes.”
      • 3. What defenses does Fort Drelev possess? – “You will break your armies on the walls of Fort Drelev.”
      • 4. Where is Knight Numesti? – “(A rough cackle) Rotting in the dungeons.”
      • 5. What were you supposed to do after sacking Tatzylford? – “Sack the miserable dirt-pit capital of Elkland.”
    • Afterwards, in a meeting with Cassandra and the Mayor, Cassandra heaped praises on the party for their roles in the city’s defense, and wanted to know if the next plan was to head west. Grabbing Destin’s arm and giving him the best “Kitten-eyes” she could manage, she pleaded with him for his assistance. Helpless against this very different sort of attack, Destin stammered his affirmation that the party would do all it could.
    • Cassandra gave him a quick peck on the cheek and presented him with a very nice-looing jade ring (watching the color drain from his face as she did so). She asked him to take this ring and give it to a lady in Drelev named Setendre Moore. As Destin realized that the ring was not part of some sort of let’s-get-married-quick arrangement, Cassandra explained that Setendre ran an establishment of sorts in the Fort, and would likely help the party in taking down the Baron if the ring was shown to her.
    • After Cassandra pointed out the location of Fort Drelev on a map and took her exit, the mayor thanked the party for their heroic work. He mentioned that after things went back to normal, he asked that a road be built from Tatzylford to the Wyborn Ford to the North. With this road built, trade between the two areas would increase exponentially, generating much more revenue. As this was the area that the horde likely attacked from, securing this valuable economic investment could only do wonders for Elkland.
    • At the mention of another potential city being added to Elkland, Kodar grabbed Vandamart and began discussing the need for a messaging system to be created, so that information about each city could be quickly relayed if the need arose.
    • The party assisted with tending the wounded, and then rested that night peacefully.

  • 8/25

    • Although dawn was but a few hours away when the adventurers finally slept the night before, they all awoke as fresh as if they had experienced a full night’s rest.
    • Around mid-morning, a solitary figure was spotted walking up from the south, and was identified by Kodar through his gun-scope as Garuum the Boggard, whom the party had not heard of in a long while.
      Remembering the Boggard’s rudimentary common, Vandamar walked out to greet him, having mastered the Boggard language after the party’s first encounter with those strange creatures.

      • “Vandamar! You’re Alive! Good! gOOd! gooD!”, exclaimed Garuum, throwing out his arms as if to give Vandamar a big Boggard hug. “You came to my hut long, long ago! Me and Orc-Friend shared bugs!”, he continued, “Help! Help me now to kill Sepoko!”
      • After translating for the rest of the party, Vandamar asked who or what this Sepoko was. Garuum responded “Sepoko! A big, big priest of my people, killing all boggards, sent me into exile. Bring me his head, to feed to my pet Slork!” Vandamar was able to get a rough location of this Sepoko, somewhere deep in the swamp to the south of the lake, and the party agreed to hunt this Boggard down and retrieve his head.
    • Enlisting the Boggard to assist with the recovery efforts, the weapons and armors (most of which were quite nice) were retrieved from the slain barbarians and bandits to form the basis for the kingdom’s armory. Then, after promising to send Mayor Resbin any additional aid needed for cleanup, the party began the journey back to Centropolis.
    • The party arrived at Centropils in mid-afternoon, and Ambarean arrived around dinner time. Stephanos explained the current situation and described the battle that had just occurred the previous day. As the party had plans to journey West to take out Baron Drelev, he proposed that Ambarean shift her shape to look like him, and rule Elkland in his stead while away. She agreed, but cautioned him, saying that the black dragon Apheliak who slew her has taken up residence in the Hooktongue Slough. Stephanos agreed to caution.

  • 8/26

    • This day spent preparing for the journey west.

  • 8/27

    • A response came from Dmitri, offering his condolences about Tatzylford, and that he could not come North to meet for about another month.

  • 8/28 –9/07

    • This time spent on Affairs of state.

  • 9/08

    • On this day during the routine hours for holding court, several persons approached Stephanos with issues to address.

      • First was a man named Borzaki, and by his dress and demeanor it was apparent he was a Cleric of Erastil.
      • Addressing Stephanos, Borzaki said “Righteous Paladin of Erastil, I have a request to further my work in improving my community.” It seems that he required 6 wings of the Giant Dragonflies that reside in the Hooktongue Slough, and would reward the party with a hand-made cloak of the parts that he didn’t require.
      • Thanking the Cleric for his time, and exchanging the secret handshake of Erastil in goodbye’s, Stephanos called the next person to step forward.
    • A “pleasant-looking” young lady stepped forward, introducing herself as Genevieve Kenson. Being beautiful of body but sour of mouth, she declared in pouty tones that she had heard of a magnificent herd of horses to the west, led by a white stallion named Windchaser. “Nothing will do for me but to own one of Windchasers herd.” She exclaimed. “Bring me one of his horses, and I will contribute funds to your ‘kingdom’ she said, and walked out.
    • Finally, a local taxidermist named Kwanchi Vilicker stepped forward, bowed, and asked if the party had plans to head west, as rumor suggested.

      • At Stephanos’ nod, he explained that he would like an Elasmosaurus corpse brought to him fresh, so that he may stuff it and place it on display. After drawing a rough picture of the beast and promising to reward handsomely, he took his leave.
    • Later on this day, the party had completed preparations for the journey. General Akaros was left in charge of city security, and was briefed on Ambarean’s role. Vandamar had created several scrolls of Sending and left them with Akaros to notify us of anything severally important.
    • Exiting Centropolis through the back door, the part began to make their way through the swamp to the immediate west. Along the way, several fey-contrived bug traps and snares were spotted. The area was explored without issue.

  • 9/09

    • The next morning, as the party departed the campsite and turned around a hill, the terrain became extremely marshy and hard to traverse. A glade was encountered a few miles in, in which gigantic, gleaming Dragonflies with 6 foot wingspans were spotted flying around, as well as a large quantity of Boggard tracks.
    • Taking aim at the largest Dragonfly in sight, Kodar attempted to bring it down, but suffered a misfire – probably due to the humidity as he explained.

      • Vandamar cast Magic Missile at it instead, as Stephanos cast Knight’s Calling to draw another. As they swooped down, growing larger in comparison as they did, several of their friends also swooped down and attacked!
      • Taking advantage of the way Cadoc’s shining breastplate attracted one, Destin slipped behind the dragonfly and tore it open from abdomen to neck, leaving the wings undisturbed of course. With his target disemboweled, Cadoc turn and stabbed the next-nearest with his rapier as Vandamar used Icy Imprisonment on another. Kodar managed to get enough dry powder to take a shot, and dropped one as it flew towards him in a dive.
      • Stephanos chose to show off his masterful swordwork, whoring his cleave feat around in liberal portions. Destin, whistling as he sprinted by Stephanos, jumped on a dragonfly’s back and cut all 4 wings off as did, riding the dragonfly-torpedo to the ground like a champ.
      • Working together, the party killed the two remaining dragonflies that were attacking, and easily dispatched the frozen fly once it thawed.
    • As the party was still so close to Centropolis, the decision was made to turn around and deliver the wings immediately to Borzaki. Plus, travelling with armor and clothing encrusted with dried insect intestines has only been done on the fashion catwalks and has not yet been fully integrated into modern societal trends.

  • 9/10

    • This day spent travelling back to the glade of the Dragonfly massacre.

  • 9/11

    • With Garuum’s request in mind, the party (led by the keen-eyed Kodar) attempted to follow the Boggard tracks back to their point of origin.
    • The next area however was mostly occupied by a large portion of Lake Hooktongue. In the mid-afternoon sun, the lake sparkled merrily, and turned even the dismal surrounding swamp into something almost beautiful.
    • Being a man of action and soon bored with scenery, Destin noticed several large creatures swimming under the water about 100 feet away, and pointed this out when a herd of them surfaced at about the same spot.

      • Reading from old book covered in bloodstains and what appeared to be gnaw-marks, Kodar identified them as Elasmosauruses, and went on citing details and characteristics, the most useful of which being that they were not truly amphibious and needed to surface at intervals to breathe.
    • Stephanos pulled his boat out of his pocket (Destin backed away with hands in the air until it clearly was the folding boat that was being pulled out. Pulling something out of the pockets of armored leggings is eerily similar to the actions used when relieving oneself.) Keeping potions of waterbreathing handy, Cadoc, Stephanos, and Destin took the boat and rowed after the herd, while Kodar utilized his Ring of WaterWalk and Vandamar cast Fly.

      • About 30 feet from shore, the herd appeared. When a head broke the water’s surface, Kodar shot at it, but this only succeeded in alarming the animal and it slipped away deeper into the water.
      • Vandamar flew over, and cast a fireball down at the darkest part of the lake where the creatures fled (Kodar telling him that it wouldn’t work as the lake could be well over 900 feet deep), but at this display of fiery power, the herd disappeared from view.
    • With the rest of the party waiting at the boat for another shot, Kodar and Destin made their way back to shore to explore a bit of the area. The swamp in the area just past the beach was full of Bog Striders, and in the air flew creatures Kodar identified as Dracolisks. A few hours later, some giant leeches were encountered, and one was slain for “bait”. Evening was setting as they hauled their giant bloody carcass back to the beach opposite the boat. As the sun disappeared, the party members in the boat returned to shore to camp.

  • 9/12

    • This morning found Stephanos in grand spirits as he talked about his tingling fisherman’s intuition. Quartering the giant leech (which still contained a shocking amount of bodily fluids despite having been drained the entire night) and fixing it to a harpoon, the party set out on the boat once again.
    • Tying the other end of the rope to his wrist, Stephanos declared he would not rest until one of those “damn hump-backed monstrosities” was caught. At roughly the same spot away from shore, Stephanos let out about 40 feet of rope. In 5 minutes time, a rough jerk was felt on the line, slamming Stephanos off of his bench and into the side of the boat.

      • Cadoc cast “Bulls Strength” on the paladin as the line began to pull from a location almost directly below the boat. Stephanos slipped his ring of WaterWalk on just in time, as another tug pulled him from the boat and smashed him into the now-unyielding water’s surface.
      • Getting to his feet and tugging back, the creature on the other end made a break for the center of the lake, pulling Stephanos along sliding on his feet. Displaying true brawn (or his other ring giving him extra strength, one of the two), Stephanos proved that a man wearing 90 pounds of armor or more, can not only resist the pull of a giant aquatic creature, but also successfully pull it out of the water.
      • Vandamar was able to see it and cast Icy Imprisonment on it, slowing it down and allowing Stephanos to reel it in faster. Around 30 feet below the surface, the creature broke free of the prison and tried to dive, but Stephanos gave a might tug and brought it up to within 6 feet.
      • Destin jumped out and tried to attack, but somehow bent one of his swords on the creature’s rough hide. His second stroke severed the arterial however, and it was only a few minutes more until the creature died.
    • Enlisting the full party’s help, the carcass was dragged back to shore. Vandamar cast a series of Floating Disks to carry it, and the party began the return trek to Centropolis once again to deliver their goods.

  • 9/12

    • This day spent travelling to Centropolis pulling a slowly rotting and clammy dinosaur corpse on a bunch of magically floating disks.

  • 9/13

    • After delivering the dead Elasmosaurus to the disturbingly excited taxidermist, the party was approached by Borzaki the cleric of Erastil. After a brief lecture on the non-pristine nature of the wings delivered a few days ago, he pulled out a nice looking Cloak of Resistance +3 and handed it to Stephanos with a sniff.
    • On the way out of town back to that cursed Dragonfly Glade, the party was flagged down by a man named Chesk Ulderweed, who wondered that if we ever encountered a slug of monstrous proportions, if the party would kindly kill it and bring it back to the city. As this slug was to be used in chemical reagents for the dwarves, Stephanos agreed, while noting that the number of creature-killing quests had been usually high as of late.

  • 9/14

    • The party arrived back at the glade an hour or two after breaking camp, and took a route Due West following the Boggard tracks. Following the tracks down a path between a fungus field and a hill full of caves that more resembled a sponge than a rock, a settlement was spotted on the water’s edge of the Hooktongue lake.
    • Kodar scouted the settlement, and brought back a detailed outline of the camp. Seeing enough, Stephanos pulled out his pigsticker and strode boldly into the center of the settlement, followed by Cadoc who was muttering something about how wearing one’s own weight in steel clothing seemingly bestowed so much confidence.

      • Destin and Kodar skirted along the side, while Vandamar cast Invisibility on himself and followed.
      • As Stephanos and Cadoc reached the edge of the settlement, a loud crack was heard and a large group of Boggards dropped down from the trees brandishing spears. Before they could move, Stephanos began shouting at them, and Vandamar repeated his words in a roaring translation: “Down you frog-eyed curs! I, Stephanos of the Steel Codpiece, do challenge your High Priest Sepoko for rulership of this tribe!”
      • At the mention of the word challenge, about half of the Boggard welcoming party scurried off in the direction of the settlement. A few minutes later, a large and sweaty Boggard festooned with beads, feathers, skulls, and interesting-looking rocks waddled up. “You are the codpiece that challenge me, the Mighty Sepoko?” it spat out, “No codpiece may rule here unless it be Boggard codpiece!”
      • While this creature clearly did not understand the definition of codpiece, it did seem to understand Boggard traditions, gods, and culture, and spent about 3 minutes expounding on how no steel codpiece could ever know what Boggard codpiece’s do.
    • During this fascinating lecture, Destin had successfully made his way behind the furious Boggard, and at the beginning of what seemed to be a particularly graphic description of Boggard mating rituals, rushed forward and ‘cut’ it short with a deadly full-on sneak attack!

      • Vandamar broke Invisibility by casting a Lightning Bolt that coursed through most of Sepoko’s guards and through Sepoko himself. Stephanos hit the Boggard in front of him with the pommel of his sword to drop it to the ground, and made his way forward to the priest as Cadoc cast Flame Strike in the mass of Boggards to the Paladin’s left.
      • Sepoko turned around to Destin, reached out to touch him on the shoulder, and with a muttered word and a brief flash of light, he died on the spot.
      • When the priest dropped to the ground, the remaining Boggards went berserk, attacking everyone! Vandamar cast Fiery Snake, hitting many of the rushing Boggards as Stephanos swung his bastard sword in great arcs, hitting several with each swipe. Cadoc cast Holy Smite, which killed all of the Boggards surrounding himself and Stephanos. Destin was busy defending against 2 angry Boggards, and 2 giant frogs so Kodar shot one of the Boggards cleanly through the skull from behind and Vandamar killed one of the frogs with Magic missile.
      • The last Boggard, seeing all of his compadres killed, dropped his spear and begged for his life, but Destin had none of it and sliced him open like an Anatomy experiment. The remaining frog hopped off into the swamp.
    • After sawing the head off of the priest, Vandamar spoke to the remaining Boggards (all who looked suspiciously female) that a new ruler was only a few days away, and that he would arrive soon.
    • The party travelled to Tatzylford to share the good news.

  • 9/15

    • The head of Sepoko was presented to Goruum, and he was especially happy to learn that all of the males in the camp had been killed. King Goruum thanked the party profusely and promised that special bugs and shelter would always be available should we ever need them.
    • After a brief meeting with Cassandra, the party began the trip West to Fort Drelev.
    • That evening, the party arrived at the gates of Fort Drelev, and used a mixture of disguises and stealth to get past the guards. A few streets away was the establishment (The Swordlord’s Sigh) Cassandra mentioned, distinguished by the life-sized hand-carved figures on the roof engaged in some rather adult activities.
    • Walking inside, it appeared the establishment was part brothel part well-stocked pub. The madam sashayed up to Stephanos, introduced herself as Setendre, and asked if there was anything she could get for that big, handsome, absolutely strapping and striking older man. So tall… So… obviously not from around here.

      • In a whisper, as she embraced Stephanos, she asked “Where are you from, and why are you here? How did you get past the guards at the gate?” He whispered back, we have words and a ring from Cassandra in Tatzylford. He then cleared his throat, and said “Miss Setendre, how very kind of you! My friends and I are looking for a good time, can you take us to a more private place so we may discuss needs and services?” he said with a wink and a chuckle for the benefit of the brothel’s other patrons.
    • As she led the party to one of the back rooms, a voice called out from the bar; “Kodar? Destin? A word please!” The voice came from a gnome both knew as Belkar, and both had trained with him during their time in the Taldoran Rogue’s guild. “Both of you are urgently needed for a special assignment” he said, giving Kodar a bag full of official documents for them both. “You are recalled immediately.”

      • After explaining to Belkar that they were already on a mission of some import, Belkar volunteered to help out the party while they were away.
      • As both Kodar and Destin left the brothel on their assignment, Belkar joined the rest of the party in the back room as Setendre closed the door.
    • After introductions and a brief explanation (Stephanos not being pleased to find out that his Kingdom’s Executioner and Spymaster both had other allegiances), the party briefed Setendre on their purpose in Fort Drelev – namely, to infiltrate the castle and take out the corrupt Baron.
    • Setendre told them to pretend to leave for curfew with everyone else, but to sneak back in and hide in a room upstairs until early morning for the assault.

  • End Session 9

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