Pete's Kingmaker campaign

A Royal Charter
introduction

I Naias, orDreizehn von Richter as it is recorded on the charter, have accepted a comission from the mayor of Restov to explore the greenbelt and strive against banditry and unlawful behaviour in the area. I was informed of the location of a tradingpost on the edge of this territory, owned by a man named Oleg, which would make a good place to start out from.

Whilst collecting my charter I met a half-orc named Gorefang Wolfskinner who was also accepting the same comission. On our travels to Oleg’s trading post we got to talking and it seems that we have a lot in common. We are both halfbreeds who have suffered because of our race and we are both skilled hunters. for myself it is an escape from the troubles of my youth, whilst for him it was his profession. I was plesantly surprised at how well we seemed to get on, which bodes well for this undertaking.

I have been told that there are other adventurers who are accepting the same comission and we should meet up with them at Oleg’s.

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Oleg and the Bandits
First session

From the journal of Naias von Richter

Oathday, 1st Pharast 4710

We arrived at Oleg’s trading post, which was housed in an old fort. Oleg seemed like a grim, surly, burly man, whilst his wife Svetlana, who greeted us, was both charming and beautiful. It is just a shame that she is married. She informed us that we were expected and of their trouble from bandits. a group of about a dozen bandits had been raiding their trading post, forcing them to hand over all their goods. They were led by an archer and a bad tempered woman who wielded twin axes. For some reason she brought to mind a tale I had heard from some of my father’s men, of a psychotic axe-woman named Ardwyn. Apparently they werre expecting the bandits to return the next day. A cleric of Erastil, named Jhod Kavken, was staying in their guest lodge and offered to help us if we planned to fight the bandits.

2nd Pharast 4710

We waited in ambush for the bandits. I was hidden on the roof of the stables with Johd, whilst Gorefang was hidden with his orcish double axe in the storage shed. When the bandits arrived, demanding entry, Oleg let them in and told them the goods were all in the shed. One of the bandits opened the door and Gorefang struck. The bandits were shocked by the attack and we were able to shoot first, injuring two of them. The leader of them shot me and i was amazed by the power of the arrow as it pierced my body. I would probably have died from my wound if Johd hadn’t prayed to Erastil to heal my wound. I managed to shoot the leader through the skull and gorefang decapitated one of the bandits. Whilst their attention had been on us, Oleg had closed the gates behind them and run. With no obvious escape the remaining bandits surrendered.

The bandits had ridden here and brought an extra two horses to lead Oleg’s cart. We gave those to Oleg as a gift and also traded another horse for two potions which he had hidden away in his house. Apparently he had traded them from a hermit, who lived out in the hills nearby. This sounds like a useful person to meet later on.

From Gorefang interrogating the bandits we learnt that their camp was nearly two days south, along a tributary of the thorn river, towards the eastern edge of the forest. The archer who had shot me, had an exceptionally well made composite bow, nearly as good as my own, which I gave to Gorefang. He also had a nice silver stag amulet, which the bandits told us was the symbol of The stag lord, to whom most of the bandit groups in the forest swore allegiance. Their band was led by Content Not Found: Kressle, the axewoman. The leader also had two flasks of alchemist’s fire, which Gorefang and I took.

Speaking with Johd, we learnt that he had come to this area because of a dream about a beserk bear in a temple of Erastil. In his dream the bear was somehow cursed by Erastil for some offence which it had caused. He hoped to explore the area and find the ruined temple. Gorefang and I offered to help him in his quest in return for his help on ours.

We took the bandits to the nearest village on the road to Restov, riding hard in order to return the same day. The trip was also used to send a letter containing our findings to the mayor of Restov. Whilst there we learnt that a bounty was to be offered for fighting the bandits. It offered 400 GP for slaying or capturing 6 bandits. Unfortunately these two would not count. We also met a small company of 4 soldiers on the road to Oleg’s, who had been sent to help protect the trading fort from attack. Their leader was named Content Not Found: kestin-garess, a nobleman from one of Brevoy’s seven ruling families.

3rd Pharast 4710

After a decent rest we set out south into the forest. On the first day we stumbled across a few kobolds, who had gorged themselves on raddishes. They were jealously guarding their patch of wild raddishes, but there seemed to be no reason to fight them and so we continued on our way.

4th Pharast 4710

In the morning, after briefly losing the bandits trail, we discovered their tracks again, following the thorn river to a small tributary and eventually reached their camp. We did not know it was their camp at first, but the sight of an abandoned cart by a ford in the river made us suspicious, and so, whilst the other two held back, I made my way cautiously forward, trying to stay out of sight. Unfortunately my chosen route, skirting the edge of the trees, brought me right next to a raised hide which was being used by the bandit’s lookout. Before I could get off a shot, to silence him, he threw a thunder stone, deafening me, and alerting their camp. I shot him, but he moved back out of sight and so I threw a flask of alchemist’s fire at him, which seemed to engulf his platform and had, i later learnt,killed him.

Johd and Gorefang ran forward, to use the cart as cover, and shot across the river at where the bandits were shooting at us. I moved to join them. Several arrows were fired but as we were all behind cover it was hard to hit anyone. The bandit leader did not have weapons which could reach us, but was unwilling to break cover, to atttack us. One of the bandits tried charging us, but Gorefang brought him down with a single mighty blow. He then ran across the river and hurled his alchemist’s fire at their leader, but missed her. She moved to attack Gorefang and her bandits were moving from their hiding places to support her. Johd also charged forward to support Gorefang. Seeing one of the bandits was about to break cover, to attack Johd from behind, I held my shot until he charged forwards and hit him on the thight. He didn’t stop, but the shot had thrown him off and he missed his attack. A second shot killed him outright. Johd and Gorefang had a difficult fight against Kressle. She was exceptionally skilled with her two axes, and although Gorefang is a tough, muscular mountain of a man, clad in scale, she nearly killed him in a single blow, however his Orcish fortitude helped him to remain standing and he was able to bring her down. The last of the bandits tried to flee and so I ran after him. He was slightly more nimble than I was and it was clear that I was losing ground, and so, when I thought I had a decent line of sight, I decided to sisk all on a single shot, before he was too far to reach. Thanks to Erastil, my arrow found its quarry and brought him down.

Johd healed the woman, Kressle, and the bandit which I had brought down enough for them to be brought back with us to stand trial. The other three were beyond saving. Their camp had a large collection of booty which had clearly been plundered from Oleg’s. We divided their gold between the three of us and then made camp. In the morning we intend to make the return trip, to Oleg’s trading post with our prisoners and to return the stolen goods. I should definitely have some of that drink to celebrate my birthday tomorrow.

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Mite Hunting
Second Session

From the pages of Gorefang’s Diary

7th of Pharast 4710 (Sunday)

Me and Naias returned to Oleg’s in the morning with the bandits and stolen goods. When we arrived, we met with two more adventurers who had the same charter as us. One was a small, plain-looking human girl called Red Lotus, while the other was a tall, elfish man with golden hair and eyes, wearing shining scale-mail. He introduced himself as Calandrel, and we welcomed them both.

We questioned the bandits (Calandrel had a very intimidating look. Must be the golden eyes) and they told us about the Stag lord. The first two bandits went on about how he was a very dangerous man, both strong and a skilled archer. Their leader, Kressel, said that he once was, but now he was a drunkard, and not what he used to be. My original fears of this man lessened greatly when hearing this, but a drunk warrior is still a warrior, and I think our battle with him is becoming more unavoidable by the day. Before handing the bandits over to Garess, they told us that his camp can be found on the north bank of the river Thorn.

We returned Oleg’s stolen goods, and he was very pleased. But a look of disappointment was on his face after searching the crates. It seemed the bandits had taken Svetlana’s wedding ring. We asked the bandits about this and they said that their own camp had been raided several times by small creatures called Mites. Mites are small, blue, evil creatures that were weak on their own, but were quite deadly in a pack, a fact which I quickly told the others. Svetlana said that we shouldn’t waste our time with something so trivial as it was dangerous, but we decided to explore the hills south of Oleg’s in an attempt to find both the Mites and the Stag Lord’s Camp. After spending the rest of the evening hunting the land around the trading post, we settled in for the night.

8th of Pharast 4710 (Moonday; half moon waning)

We set off in the morning south-east, to the low-land that lay between the post and the hills. While exploring the lands near the forest’s edge, we came upon a large area of scattered bones. I recognised the bones and a mixture of small and large animal bones, as well as some human. Troubled by this, we readied ourselves for attack from whatever creature left these remains. Red Lotus spotted a large webbed area of ground and told us that it looked like the lair of a giant Trap-Door spider. While we thought about the best course of action to take (it would be dangerous to fight the beast, but just as dangerous to leave it to kill), Caladrel took a large pole and decided to poke the web! It seems his shiny armour and intimidating eyes are to make up for his lack of intelligence! Before we could react properly, the spider jumped out of its web and sprayed Cal with its webbing. Naias let an arrow fly straight into the spider’s hide, while I brought my axe swiftly down on its head, but this was not enough to stop it. Red let fly a jet of green liquid at the beast, but missed. It appears the small-human girl has some magical aptitude, but the quickness of the spiders attack had affected her aim.

Suddenly, from the forest, a half-elf wielding a large staff and clad in furs and leather jumped out and attacked the spider. He brought his weapon down upon the creature and crushed it with a single blow! With the spider dead (and leaving quite a mess), we thanked our new friend, and he introduced himself as Aramil Planespeaker Wildstiller, a travelling druid who had come to the forest to tend to it. He had a strange birthmark on his face in the shape of an Oak-leaf, and I thought that it must be some sign that he was destined to follow the path he walks, in the same way my blood takes me down mine. I asked if he would care to join us in helping rid the land from bandits and other evil creatures, and was pleased when he accepted.

Cal suggested that it would be good to search the spiders hole to see if anything had been left by any of its victims, and we agreed. He had a tough time of climbing down (I admit chuckling to myself once or twice), but he got to the bottom and found the corpse of a bandit among the debris. Searching the corpse, Cal found another of the Stag-Lords amulets, and a small parchment. When he returned, we saw that the parchment was an image of a claw-shaped tree alone on a hill, and in its roots, someone had drawn a large X in blood. We discussed the drawing as we made camp for the evening, and decided that should we come upon the tree, we would investigate, as it was clearly important to the bandits in some way, either as a marker, or a place to hide their stolen goods.

9th of Pharast 4710 (Toilday)

After a restful night, we continued south-west into the hills, following the edge of the forest. After a while, we came upon a rocky outcrop with a large seam at its base. We investigated the dark crevis and while inside, Cal’s sword lit up as bright as day. We saw that the walls were glittering in the light with a shine not unlike gold. We decided to make a note of this place and return at a later time.

We wandered the hills for the rest of the day. The evenings hunting was exceptionally successful. Naias and Aramil proved to be great hunters themselves, and the three of us managed to secure enough food for a few days.

10th of Pharast 4710 (Wealday)

Another uneventful night. We decided to trek on south towards the Thorn river. We came upon a small ravine with the river running through it and an old bridge crossing. I voiced my concerns over the safety of the bridge and our horses. Naias reminded us that the bandits camp was on the north bank of the river. We decided to press on to the east and come upon the bandit camp from the north.

As we travelled the hills, we came upon the scene of a recent fight. It appeared as thought a band of kobolds had been set upon by the same Mites we had been told of. The entire kobold party was dead, and a single Mite body was found. The Mite tracks headed east, so we followed. We soon saw a lone tree and assumed it to be the one from the drawing in the dead bandits boots from a few days ago, but as we got closer we saw it was a lone sycamore. The Mite tracks ended here and after a brief moment of searching, Cal found a hole amongst the roots. We decided to leave the horses here and enter the lair, and I left my trusty orc weapon in favour of the smaller hand-axe taken from Kressel. Naias took this opportunity to question Cal on his profession, and he informed us that he followed the paladins path. This, I thought, would explain his shiny armour and glowing sword.

Aramil and his pet, Lick the jaguar, entered the cramped tunnels first. At the first turn we went left and soon entered a large chamber with a steep slope. Aramil climbed first and when he reached the bottom, he was set upon by a pair of Mites. He quickly killed one and the other ran down a nearby tunnel. We pursued and entered into a second chamber, one full of wet slime dripping from the walls and celling. Here we witnessed the first Mite informing a second of our arrival, and upon entry, the second commanded a group of 3 giant centipedes to attack us. Aramil and Lick quickly took out the first two while I buried my axe in the third.

We chased after the Mites and saw that they had scrambled through thick roots over a small chasm. We decided to quickly scale the roots down into the chasm and climb up the other side. Aramil and Naias climbed down ready to help Cal should he need help (He got stuck and couldn’t move. Silly Paladin). While waiting, they were attacked by an even bigger centipede, possible the mother. While Cal climbed swiftly downwards, Lotus attacked with more of her acidic spray. I went to climb down, but grabbed a root that had been cut through and fell to the bottom, right infront of the beast! Cal quickly stepped over me to defend me, but the creatures long tendrils attacked me as I stood up. Red and Naias hit the beast with their attacks, but I could feel its vile poison slowing me down as I slumped too the floor. Before I could fall unconscious, but orc blood gave me strength for one last action. I quickly grabbed a potion from my pack and emptied the vial down my throat. Its magic worked fast and I managed to stay awake. I saw the others surround the creature after it downed Aramil. His pet finished it off by tearing out its throat. We regrouped and Cal helped the druid with his magic, while Naias gave me a second potion from his pack. We steeled ourselves, ready to face whatever vermin we would encounter next…

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Kobold Usurper
Third Session

From the pages of Gorefangs Diary

After our short rest, we were attacked by more Mites from above the chasm. Calandrel quickly jumped to the wall and started to climb, while Naias shot and killed one. A dart flew past Cal’s head, and I let out a cry of anger. My wounds were not yet fully healed, and I felt unable to aid my friends. Aramil, though still injured, started to also climb with Lick on his back. Red Lotus continued her ranged attack from the other side, as Cal lost his footing once more and fell back to the ground. I searched around for the dart that had been thrown, ready to use it as an alternative weapon should I be forced to remain on the chasm floor. Just then, Red shouted ‘There’s a large shape looming on the other side!” and she let forth another stream of acid. She must have hit the shape, as all of a sudden, a loud chittering sound echoed around the walls. As Cal reached into his pack, muttering something about caltrops, I decided to begin climbing the wall myself to offer aid to Aramil. The druid had finally reached the top of the wall, and I heard Lick growl and pounce as Aramil shouted “It’s a Giant Tick!” Red fired another of her acid shots across, and I could hear a mite scream in agony before going quickly silent (she later told me she had melted the mite-rider of the tick). From his station below, Naias let fly another arrow, and Cal had discovered a grappling hook in his pack, which he apparently didn’t know how to use properly (his first attempt missed the edge completely). The battle above continued as Red and Naias attacked from afar, and finally I reached the edge. The creature was more repulsive than I had imagined, and I saw Aramil laying on the ground. I instantly rushed to attack it with my axe, but no sooner had I done so than 4 more mites attacked from a nearby tunnel. Lick and the Tick fought, but the jaguar proved to be much more than the Tick could handle, and it quickly fell. Two of the mites moved in to attack while two more stayed back. They opened their eyes wide and I could see Lick was shaken by them. As I fought the two mites, I grabbed one and threw it off the edge. Unfortunately, I had misjudged Cal’s abilities with the grappling hook, and the mite met with him as he had (so far) been successfully scaling the wall. They both fell, and though the fall had killed the mite, Cal proved that paladins are made of far sturdier stuff than evil faeries. Naias took his place on the rope and within seconds, had scaled the wall to join us.

As me, Naias and lick finished off the mites, Cal soon joined, and as Red made her way down into the chasm to join us on the other side, we took stock of the new room. Along the edges of the room were pegs with small clothes hanging on them, and in the middle was a small table with a red and white cloth. Roots, dirt and rock covered the table in what looked to be a map of the area around the mite’s lair. There was also a strange ivory carving on the table of a crouching, horned lizard-like creature. Under the statue was what appeared to be a list written in the mites language. These things seemed important, so we took them with us.

Somewhere within the hollow, we could hear the screams of a creature. It sounded as if it was being tortured. We quickly headed towards the sound, upwards through a tunnel in the wall/ We came to a large, damp room filled with broken objects that must have been stolen by the mites. Six mites. We instantly attacked and overran them, killing them all within seconds. More came and after seeing their slaughtered friends, they dropped their weapons and raised there arms in defeat. We tied them up and had them escort us through the rest of the caverns to the source of the screaming. At this point, Red Lotus chose to voice her opinions on the nature of good an evil. There was a brief discussion on the ideals of nature versus choice, that was quickly ended when we remembered about the tortured soul in the mites possession.

We entered the final room and found 3 mites torturing a helpless kobold, the bodies of two more lay broken on the ground. In anger, I charged at the nearest one and killed it in a single swipe. Naias’ arrow found the head of the lead torturer, and Cal rushed to kill the third. The kobold was grateful of his rescue and he introduced himself as Mikmek. When he saw the ivory statue in our possession, he was overjoyed. It seems that the statue is a depiction of the local kobold’s god. We decided to rest up and return Mikmek and the statue to the kobolds the next day. Much to Mikmeks dismay, we decided to release the captured mites and scare them away. I hope they don’t cause too much trouble where-ever they end up.

10th of Pharast 4710 (Oathday)

We started out early and took our time to cover the land between the mite’s home and the kobold’s. Mikmek eventually lead us to an old mine. The sign read “Oaktop Silvermine” and outside stood a kobold sentry on watch near a caged mite. Mikmek and the guard started talking quickly in their language (strange, yet oddly familiar), and the guard seemed unwilling to let us enter. Naias and Aramil suggested I show the guard the statue, so I pulled it out and were instantly hurried down into the mine.

The passageway was small and cramped, and our guide stopped several times to point out traps to us. Soon, we entered into a large chamber, the walls of which were covered in blood and charcoal in decorative pictures. We were lead into the main cavern, a space filled with beds and cooking areas. Thick warm air surrounded us as kobold children started to crowd around us. We were lead to a kobold covered in ornamental armour who took the statue from us and gazed at it in glee. The kobolds cheered as he rose it high, and I felt a small amount of pride for having returned an important item to these simple creatures.

Suddenly, the leader threw the statue to the floor where it smashed. The cavern went quiet as we stared in disbelief. The leader introduced himself as Sootscale and told us that the god was a tyrant god that would hold sway no-more over his tribe. He spoke to the other kobolds, rallying them round and asked us to help remove the shaman, Tartek, who had been taking over the tribe using fear of the god. Before we could answer, he was leading us deeper into the cave. We rounded a corner and saw a large metal boiling pot, bubbling over with a strange water. Over it was a purple-scaled kobold in ritual dress, a raven hovering around him. Without hesitation, Sootscale charged forward with a cry of “Die Usurper!” and attacked Tartek. Tartek seemed ready, and quickly hit the chieftain with a sickle. Naias moved to flank Tartek, while I moved to cut off his exit. Cal moved into combat to help Sootscale, who’s blows were being deflected by a magical shield. Red attacked from the entrance and hit through the shaman. I saw this as my chance and with a mighty roar, I bore my axe down upon Tartek’s head and cleaved the evil shaman in two. The raven, seeking revenge, began to peck at my face, by a quick arrow from Naias pinned it to the wall.

The kobolds cheered and Sootscale thanked us. Aramil checked the shamans body and found several magical tools, which we gave to Red. The kobolds welcomed us to stay the night, and we took up their offer. As we lay in the caves, a final thought came into my head before I fell asleep. After all the trouble we had gone to clearing out the mites nest and returning the kobold, we had forgot about Svetlana’s Ring!

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In the Kobold Mines and beyond
Aramil's thoughts and fears

So there we were in the cavern standing over the dead shaman with the Kobold Chief Sootscale.

I had only heard bad things about kobolds but it turns out that they can be pretty grateful -if nothing else. The chief gave us Svetlana’s ring -this was apparently important, something my new comrades had been seeking since they left civilisation.

Sootscale also gave us a bag of loot from the Mites, Cal was pretty sure that this had originally come from the bandits who had in turn stolen it from Oleg. The bag contained a range of coins and a pouch. Red took a look at the contents and so did I. Red was unsure but I think that we had just been given a dust of illusion. Not the sort of thing to test out in a hurry. Probably best to keep quiet on that one and wait until we get to a wizard who can tell us once and for all.

Nais started trying to invest in Sootscale’s mine, and become the high trader of the tribne, rings were involved, convoluted yes, dishonest -probably. I am not sure what this would mean or bring to the area.

At this point Red began singing. She did not stop. Ever.

We bedded down with our new loot and rested. Cal had a good idea, we borrowed a kobold guide who showed us around the area and told us the bandits camped somewhere to the South. So, we headed North, of course. Perhaps it was North East. We stopped to watch some enormous Elks graze besides a river, there was no need to hunt these beasts and I restrained the party from trying to slay them. We moved on along the river and found a more or less ruined bridge, just a rope across and no planks.

Looking around Cal found a sign “Nettles’ Crossing” and a bell. Ding! Ding! Ding! before any time had passed a zombie arose from the water. “Nettles” pointed to the ruins of a house where he had lived, the Stag Lord had killed him and he thirsted for vengeance -his runnig river would never sate his thirst. Nais committed us to exacting the Stag Lord’s death and Nettle sank back into the waters.

Nais lashed himself together and began crossing the river, safely across he went “scouting”. He returned sccreaming and we watched with interest, nothign happened and he clambered back over. He is indeed very strange. We took time to rest.

Heading North West we watched Red get baited by Nais…this was more interesting than the hills. Then Cal found a claw shaped tree -blasted by lightning. However it was I who found a dark hollow in the roots, the earth had recently been dug over. A cloak buried there had a orange tipped wand, a fine dagger, a silver ring and a tattered spell book within. Red took the dagger and the wand -it would let her cast Burning Hands!

We rested again.

On the next day we headed East -the land was as empty as my pockets -so quite empty.

We rested yet again.

After all our travelling Nais took us North Westacross some very dull plains -where I found all the food! Nais then insisted we head North East.

By the Forest! This land was a desolate and miserable Wilderness!

Then A hut! With a crazy hermit! Named Bokken. He worked for this man named Oleg making potions. He offered us a deal on potions where if we brought some delicious berries for him to make seven potions with -he would give us a great deal.

He sold us some healing potions. Nais kept haggling -note to self, never make or sell anything in front of Nais.

We rested again.

On Nais’ watch a wolf thing attacked. Cal as the grand paladin he so assuredly is absolutely mangled it with his greatsword.

We rode back to Oleg’s -he was very grateful to the adventurers and by extension me. The news at Oleg’s trade post was that a Unicorn once regularly sighted had disappeared.

Nais and Gore kept wanting to industrialise the silver mine. I will oppose this. This is less about bringing peace and safety to the land as it is about money and taking.

There was also a wanted poster for Tusk Gutter -a massive boar in the area, a big bounty was offered by a retired hunter that had lost his leg to it. He offered his old bow and arrows -the arrows were reportedly enchanted and the bow as grand as any hunter should bear.

We headed West into the forest. We found a radish patch, I was not surprised when Nais began trying to trade the radishes with the kobolds we found there picking them. This man is a one man Trade Mission!

We continued along and were ambushed by several bandits, there is little to say other than we made short work of them…now we have one prisoner, I am grateful that I wear my own skin not his, once Gore gets through with him, I can’t see there being much left.

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Bears, Fey, and Temples, Oh my.

So, we took the bandit captive. Then Naias and Aramil negotiated some sort of agreement for him to spy for us, while I was muttering to myself about not being able to kill him. I saw Aramil handing the bandit 2 gold, which seems to be more than he’d make in a good month normally, but then, not my money (yet). Then we finished mapping the area (sadly, nothing else to kill), and set up camp for the night.

21st: Today we explored to the west. While mapping, Naias spotted something that wasnt there, and we all looked for it. This broke the monotony of the trees, however. Some time later, Gor’s Horse set off a clumsy tripwire trap, which wouldnt have hurt much more than his pride anyway. Some time later, some bear tracks showed up, we talked about it, and then carried on as normal, because we’re like that. We made camp, but the fire went out, and the bear decided to arrive in the odd smoke the fire made. Then it fell asleep. Then some crazy beast-thing and it’s pet talking dragon show up and think we’re bandits. We tell them we’re not, they share some stories with Red. Yay. Eventually, we manage to get to bed and sleep.

22nd: We move on west today. The only highlight was some idiot (possibly the chap with the trap from before) caught in his own deadfall. He had a particularly nice axe, which I took.

23rd: We move on North-East. There are plenty of bear-traps, one of which I set off to convince the others that i’m really a paladin. Must remember to do that without hurting myself in future, despite the druid’s help. We proceeded to collect a few more traps, and then camp.

24th: We finish clearing out the traps in the area. In the last, is a Boar. When I went to put it out of it’s misery, its mate charged from the underbrush, and the boar gored me while i was distracted. Doing miserably recently. Anyway, the druid’s spells, Naias’ arrows, and Gor’s Axe deal reliably with the boars. At least the idiot trapper has run out of traps by now.

25th: Boring day, headed back towards Oleg’s.

26th: More travelling. Yawn. This adventuring lark isnt very reliable money. Thinking about heading back to the city.

27th: After returning to Oleg’s, me and Naias headed out and negotiated buying some radishes from those Kobolds. Turns out we made a massive profit. Maybe there’ll be more people out here to scam like that. Also, Red managed to translate the stuff none of us could read. That Kobold Shaman bloke turned out to originally have been a Gnome. Rather angry gnome, not big on bravery. Pretty good scam artist, however.

28th: Along with the other shopping, Naias let me take the breastplate he’d ordered as it would be more use to a Paladin. Sucker. I’ll probably have to pay him back eventually, I guess, but hey. Jhod got back today, too, so we’re off to the temple tomorrow.

29th: We trundled off and did more mapping. Found a bandit camp, but Naias, Gor, and Jhod cleared that before we even got to Oleg’s. No loot to be had.

30th: We do more mapping. Yawn.

1st: We found the temple today! It was quite impressive, but ruined and somewhat dreary. Also, occupied by a bear. Which didnt like us, apparently. It charged us, but was no match for my mighty new shield (Bought from Oleg, but I forgot that at the time). We assortedly beat it up, without meaning to kill it, because it seemed un-natural. When it was knocked out it turned out to be a man. He disolved, oddly. Apparently he was some blasphemous priest of Erastil, Jhod’s and this temple’s god. Must remember not to annoy Sarenrae too much. The temple seemed to look much brighter once the bear was gone, however, and the pool in the middle of the area is apprently healing now, not that we need it, after my shield doing its work. Good buy, that.

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the tatzelwyrms and the unicorn

Extract from Naias’ journal

Gozran X

It has been nearly six weeks since we took the charter to explore this territory and it seems as though our mission may soon be drawing to a close. We have managed to resolve Jhod’s quest and I believe that we have found favour with Erastil. It is always good to have a god on your side when planning some great undertaking. I’d estimate that we should have completed our exploration by the end of the month, and two months to explore and map 4,320 square miles of monster and bandit infested wilderness seems like fairly decent progress. There is no doubt that it was a good idea to accept this commission. No amount of drill and training could have caused my skills to improve as much as pushing myself through life and death situations. I have become faster and more accurate with my bow and have got the hang of judging the movements of people in battle, so that I can time my shots to hit only foes, not friends. I’m almost as effective with it now as Gorefang is with his axe, although it is clear that he has been improving rapidly too. I honestly haven’t noticed much change in the others. Cal is still clumsy and seems no more skilled whilst Aramil is too far overshadowed by Lick for his own skills to be obvious. Lotus seems no more effective, but her singing is starting to be a bit more tuneful, although it is still really irritating at times. Having allies who I can rely on going to be a great boon in the future. When the time is right I think I will confide in a few of them about my goal and see whether I can get their aid. Cal will help, as it is the sort of quest that would appeal to a paladin, and my friend Gorefang is always up for a good fight. With her strong feminist militancy, I think I can count on Lotus too, despite our occasional differences. I’m not sure about Aramil though. I think that the condescending druid likes us, but he seems to be more interested in keeping us from doing unnecessary harm than in performing acts of heroics. I have a feeling that when we leave this area he will go his own way.

My acts of devotion to Erastil have also served to help me in gathering a warband. The mercenaries I’m hiring to protect the workers, repairing the temple, may become the start of my band. If I can persuade Johd to aid us, then having a Cleric of Erastil would be invaluable. It seems I may have also found a way to finance things for myself as well. The prospector who I had hired has reported that there is indeed gold in the gold mine and ores containing silver in the silver mine. The old saying about needing a gold mine to pay for a silver mine need not apply in this case, as the Kobold tunnels in the old mine already go deep enough to reach the ore we need to remove. I have told the others about this, because another act of generosity on my part should help bring us closer together. Having lent Gore the money to buy a breastplate and given Cal the other which I had bought I have already made them indebted to me. Besides which, money is of no use unless you spend it. I’m not sure if we will be able to start work in the mine without attracting the attention of the stag lord, but there is no reason Why a few silver miners could not be escorted to the Kobolds, to teach them how to extract and process the ore. With trade established the Kobolds should become a lawful part of the local community and they may prove to be useful allies.

I have decided to keep the ring hidden. Having a magical ring of swimming could be of use to me whenever I need to cross rivers, but if the others have cause to detect magic and notice it on me it will cause me to fall in their standing. Since I know now, from the events at the cairn that the magicians cannot detect magical barriers through solid objects, I decided to get myself a small lead lined box in which to keep the ring until I need it or decide what best to do with it. Oleg doesn’t have anything suitable in stock, so I’ve left the ring with Svetlana for safe keeping, for now.

Gozran X+1

Having had a good night’s sleep in a warm bed we have set out once again to the south. I really am starting to become a creature of habit. Even here in Oleg’s guest house I found myself waking up just before dawn, at the time when my watch usually begins. Lotus has been persuaded to trade in her pony and buy a riding horse, so that she will no longer be slowing the rest of us down. We acquired a few bits of wood and painted a small sign to leave in the gold mine, in order to stake our claim to the land before this area is annexed by Brevoy. It doesn’t seem safe to try mining there when a large bandit group are living in those hills. We have decided that we should go after the bandits first, before mapping the remainder of the area. I think there is a good chance that the old Verician that Kestin Garess is offering us 4 masterwork weapons for, Falgrin Sneed, may be with the stag lord. We reached the mine without event and have made camp. There was an amusing interlude when Gore started discussing possible names for our adventurer band. Such ideas as the stag party, the order of the lick and Plan B were suggested, but we decided to wait until we had completed some memorable deed before seeking a name for ourselves. One thing this does mean is that Gorefang intend for us to remain together doing heroic deeds even after our charter is fulfilled. This is ideal as it fits my plans too.

Gozran X+2

The night passed uneventfully and we continued to the old rickety bridge across the thorn river. Going across on foot one at a time, whilst Lotus stayed with our horses, we were able to search the far bank, but found nothing of interest. It seems odd to have spent a whole afternoon without Lotus’ endless singing. That’s probably why we are hardly seeing any creatures whilst travelling. That stupid woman is alerting them to our presence long before we get to them. Her voice may be scaring the animals, but if she is back with us again when we get close to the bandits, we really need to get her to shut up.

Gozran X+3

We returned across the bridge to rejoin Lotus and to finish searching the north bank of the Thorn. I’ve decided to name this bridge the Red Lotus bridge, because it’s unstable and makes a lot of noise. I’m glad Lotus was fine. She may be an annoying, opinionated, highly strung, noisy, idealistic dizzy little airhead, but she’s also strangely likeable. We followed the river to where the thorn joins the shrike. Apparently the Shrike flows all the way from Restov, but the rapids upriver make it unsuitable for river trade. Near were the two rivers meet we found a wide, shallow area which was easily fordable on horseback. I decided to name this place Goreford. We crossed over and are now charting southwest of the thorn. The Shrike is now flowing southeast, which means we are on the north bank of it. I can’t recall which river the bandit said the stag lord’s camp is to the north of, but I believe it is now south of us.

Gozran X+4

The weather has continued to be dry and it is becoming a little warmer, which is nice as none of us have yet decided to invest in a tent. As far as I can tell from the maps we have been making, we are now as far south as our charter requires us to explore. Rather than following the river to the south my companions have decided to finish our job and map the western area of the stolen lands. After a few hours we reached a deep valley, filled with berry bushes. These must be the berries which the old hermit had wanted. I don’t remember what he said the berries were, but these look like fangberry bushes. It is going to be hard to pick them without getting lots of cuts all over ourselves. Aramil pointed out that it would be best to get the berries to the hermit when they are fresh, so we are going to come back and pick them later.

Gozran X+5

Continuing west, we have entered the forest. After a while, the sounds of yipping attracted us to a pit trap into which one of those brush thylacine creatures seemed to be caught. The edge of the pit was unstable, but we avoided falling in. It would have been easy to finish off the creature, but this seemed like a great opportunity to win points with Aramil and so I proposed rescuing it, which he fully supported. We were unable to calm the creature, but I lassoed and hauled it out of the pit. As he tried to remove the rope from it the creature bit Gore viciously and then ran off. No good deed goes unpunished, it would seem. We are rangers. We hunt wild animals. It really is a bit frustrating to be going out of our way to be nice to them, just to keep the druid happy. The new wand of healing proved useful though.

Gozran X+6

After another uneventful night we continued west and reached another small river. This one is probably the river which begins at the hot springs were we had fought the giant frogs. When I get back to Oleg’s I’ll ask if there is a name for this river. The river meandered through this area and looked too deep to ford at the point where we found it. Cal’s folding pole does seem to be useful for things like checking rivers. Travelling north, following the river, we came to an area where a few small debris strewn islands were scattered across the river. The water was much shallower and it was easily fordable. On one of the islands a tatzelwyrm was sunning itself. This was a great opportunity as Oleg had offered us a large reward if we could bring him a tatzlewyrm head.

I moved to the edge of the tree-line, from where I could safely get a good shot. The tatzelwyrm stirred and started moving towards us. I shot it, but them my rather reckless companions decided to rush forward. Being extremely nimble, Lick was able to reach it quickly but for once the cat had bitten off more than it could chew. Another tatzelswyrm had been hidden under the rubble. The two of them attacked lick from either side. Before anyone else could reach them the tatzelwyrms had both bitten lick. One of them took him in its jaws, lifting lick into the air, shaking him violently and raking him with its claws. It then dropped the cat’s broken body and turned to face my companions. When I tried to shoot it, to avenge Lick I must have overdrawn as my bowstring snapped. (It might have been from water damage over the last few weeks or from being kept strung so long. I’ll need to wax my new string more often and unstring it at night to prevent this happening again.) Cal got bitten pretty badly by one of the wyrms but Gorefang cleaved one in half in a single blow with his axe. He truly has become quite formidable. The other wyrm tried to slither away, but I drove Perry forward across the river and cut it down.

Aramil was able to save Lick’s life with our wand of healing. He had been lucky. If Cal hadn’t interrupted the wyrm, causing it to drop Lick before he was completely dead, we would have lost as valuable companion. The wand was also presumably used for healing Cal too, but I was not paying attention. At the time I was more interested in a skeleton which I had noticed buried under the rubble. Digging it out I found that it was wearing a very fine suit of scale armour and nearby was an extremely well balanced cold iron broadsword. We gave the sword to Cal, as it seems like just the sort of thing which a paladin should use. The armour is apparently magical, but Gore was reluctant to touch it until we could determine what the enchantment is. He seems to be extremely fearful of it being some sort of cursed item, which I think is extremely unlikely. After pulling the skeleton out we also found a tattered pack containing some money and a scroll case. In the case was a map of the north western part of this land. Most of it is area that we have already mapped, but at least it confirmed that the river joins up where we expected. This person must have been another adventurer, hired to map these lands. Judging from his gear he was probably more experienced than ourselves, but had made the arrogant mistake of setting out alone. If I had not decided to join up with Gore when I left Restov it might have been me lying dead there now. Once again I find myself glad to have such talented friends. I decided to name the crossing Calford in honor of the heroic way that he tried to face down the two Tatzelwyrms and save Lick. More importantly, I want him to feel an attachment to this area. With a temple, as small mercenary band and a gold mine in the area I’d like to persuade them all to stay here and further chart the area, whilst we grow in wealth and prowess.

Gozran X+7

Our sleep was disturbed by the arrival of two Grigs, just before dawn. They said that they just wanted to say hello, because it was such a wonderful morning. Since I was up on watch anyway I was not bothered by the disturbance and was happy to chat with the irritating little critters whilst cooking some breakfast for the others. Gore was a bit more grumpy about the disturbance and tried to get back to sleep. We travelled west, to the furthest south western territory covered by our charter. We came across a marshy area which seemed to be unnaturally still. There was no sound of animals or birds and an ominous feeling of death seemed to pervade the very air. Moving forward we found a shallow pool with the body of a horse lying in it. On reflection I think the most unsettling thing was that there was not even the buzz of flies. At the time I didn’t realise why the silence had been so unsettling, but to find marshy ground and a corpse but no flies is extremely unnatural. At first we thought that this was simply a poisoned waterhole, but as I went closer I noticed that the horse was in fact a dead unicorn, whose horn had been removed.

All of us had heard tales of evil monsters and wizards seeking a unicorn’s horn for the magic properties which it holds but none of us knew exactly what properties those might be. A faint magical aura of some sort seemed to linger over the area, especially over the unicorn. I think that somehow the act of desecrating so pure and noble a creature as this unicorn had cursed the area. We discussed burying the unicorn, but none of us have any shovels and it would take a great deal of labour to do that. Cal is currently digging with a crowbar and a dagger, but I’m pretty certain that he’ll give up soon. We really need to get some shovels from Oleg. Preferable ones with folding handles, so as to be easier to handle. Aramil pointed out that we had heard weeks ago that the unicorn had not been seen for a long time. The body must have been here for months and yet it does not seem to have decayed. We resolved to somehow find the unicorn’s horn and return it. Johd probably knows more about this sort of thing than any of us, so we have resolved to go and ask him. The temple is close to the remaining uncharted sections of forest, so it is not out of our way. It’s probably just as well that we have a reason to head that way, as I will need to pay my workers and mercenaries in a week or so. On the way we can even stop off at the statue of Erastil and pray once again for his blessing. I don’t know when, but at some point in the last few weeks the enchantment which he placed on our weapons dissipated.

Gore is acting a bit strangely. He says that he can feel some sort of power awakening in him. It is probably just the unnatural aura of this place getting to him.

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Down with the Stag Lord!

... Much discussion ensued about exactly what our plans to kill the Stag Lord (Dun dun DER) might entail. None of it was particularly complex, or required too much deception, but Aramil made the good point that trying to bluff our way in would probably end badly with the shiny paladin along (Hurr, Hurr). In the end, we agreed that some scouting was in order, followed by informed planning rather than mucking about at Olegs with silly ideas.

So, off we rode to the south. We set up camp at the goldmine. I really need to work out a way to profit from this place.

During Gore’s watch, ANOTHER Tatzelwurm sneaked up on the horses. We need to work on training those guys to take care of themselves. I woke as soon as the fighting began, and ran outside, but I only had time to watch Gore chasing the badly injured wurm for a few seconds before Naias finished it with an arrow. Apparently he had reacted quickly enough to save hte horse, and quickly beat the thing back. Aramil then used that wand of healing (need to get me one of those. I’m fairly sure I can figure out how it works) to fix up my horse, who was quite pleased.

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So, onwards to the Stag Lord’s (Dun dun DER) camp.

We head towards Goreford, and the only event of the day was a lone wolf eating it’s prey beside the path we were following. Gore growled, it ran off. Boring. At least the loot from the Stag Lord’s (Dun dun DER) camp will be good, I hope.

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So. In the afternoon, we explore further south, following the river. We see a lake in the distance to the south, and a small walled camp with 3 guard towers and a keep. Its on top of a cleared hill, but appalingly laid out, so shouldnt be hard to storm. A small disagreement on how to proceed ensues, then we agree to go over the walls at night.

So, Night-time rolls round, and off we trundle to storm the castle. Hurrah. In case we’re rumbled, Naias prepares an arrow with a small note complaining about how whatever bandit it’s found in gave his woman (Kressel? Someone they killed before I got here, I think) crabs. Cant blame him for trying.

We sneak forwards, using the scattered rocks on the slope for cover. Suddenly, Zombies! Four of them. From the ground. Quite a good trap, I have to admit. Anyway. Lick reacts quickly, as usual, and has a go at one, tripping it to the floor, while aramil ponces around with some magic. Gore removes a second zombie rather efficiently, and naias shoots one. The fourth shambles forwards, and i’m so busy being impressed by the trap, I forget to block. Ow. Meanwhile, Naias’ one heads for him and flails at him ineffectually, while lick plays with his food. I give mine a good chopping, but it manages to stay up, while Gore removes the one attacking Naias. Naias then shoots the guard out of the tower overlooking our direction before he can raise the alarm (he appeared to be too busy laughing at us falling for the trap, teach him). I distract my zombie with a cunning distraction, but manage to distract myself too, and fail to seize the advantage. Bleh. Lick takes advantage anyway and ends the zombie for me.

We move on closer to the walls, and get most of the way before, you guessed it, Suddenly, Zombies! Again.

Lick trips one again, Naias appears to have noticed that his arrows had little effect on the things last time, so hits one with his axe. Gore removes one again, I stab one. Lick plays with his food again, Naias gets hit by his zombie, while mine flails. Better choice of zombie this time, I suspect. We quickly finish them off, Gore getting the last blow before they can manage to get any more attacks in. Silly zombies. We appear to have managed to do this quietly, as the only reaction from the camp is someone below us calling drunkenly to be quiet (well, the guards heard nothing, so its all good).

We get to the wall. Naias throws my grappling hook (with attached rope) up onto the tower, and scales the wall with ease. I hear the gentle sound of the bowstring as he kills another of the sentries, and Gore follows him up. At this point, however, the last sentry appears to have noticed the second one’s death, and calls out to his comrades, apparently unsure if they’re okay. There is some mucking around trying to get Naias a shot, and eventually he is heaved into midair, takes a shot at the last guard, hits him, but fails to kill him. Obviously, the alarm is called at this point, so me, Aramil, and Lick quickly cross the wall and move to try to deal with the barracks which appeared to be in this area. It, however, had no entrance from here. We all quickly move round the keep to the only entrance it has, and ready ourselves to storm it.

Gore runs into the entrance, and roars, at least one bandit looks somewhat taken aback by this, and most of them are still grabbing their gear. Naias shoots one bandit, Gore charges another and kills him. The bandits try an assortment of attacks on Gore, but fail. Lick charges in and takes the scared one (turns out to be the guys who we can capture and take back for money) to the floor, while I charge another and engage him.

A very large chap drops in from above in between us and Naias, roars in a somewhat pitiful way, and gets shot twice by Naias. Smart chap, this. Gore drops another bandit, and then one hiding at the back nips accross the room and opens a grate. Scary, right?

Lick wounds the guy he is attacking quite badly, although doesnt kill him, while aramil smacks the large chap around a bit. I charge and kill the last remaining ordinary bandit.

Another bandit comes down some stairs from above, looks at the scene, and rips off his Stag Lord (Dun dun DER) amulet, then moves to attack the guy at the grate.

The big guy drops to his knees and begs for mercy, which showed more intelligence than I thought, while Naias’ arrows and Gore’s Axe quickly down the guy at the grate. He was useful.

But then, an owlbear charges out from the grate at Gore, although failing to do anything worthwhile.

Aramil knocks the big guy unconcious, while Lick bites the Owlbear’s vulnerable parts for massive damage. Go Lick.

I Cant get at the owlbear, and the bandits are all down (or changing sides), so I ready myself in case of suprise. The traitor bloke takes a swing at the owlbear but doesnt do much, while Naias hits the owlbear with one arrow. Then he hits Gore, because he’s still not perfect with that bow. Gore responds by smacking the owlbear with both ends of his axe. It looks horribly injured and close to death, but manages to grapple Gore, so I throw my dagger at it, but miss.

From Nowhere, the Stag Lord (Dun dun DER) appears from the shadows and takes a shot at Naias. It misses. Not so scary after all (also, drunk).

Lick kills the owlbear, while Aramil quickly wands Gore to heal his wounds. Traitor bloke looks rather angry and charges the Stag Lord. Naias then shoots the Stag Lord, but fumbles trying to shoot too quickly and drops his bow. Gore charges the Stag Lord and hits him, while I try to nip past the melee into position to cut off the Stag Lord’s retreat. He turns out to be faster than expected, and trips me on my way past. He then steps back, and tries to shoot the traitor, forgetting that the large Gore can hit him from there, and hence getting a smack for his troubles, although one of his shots managed to hit the traitor anyway. Lick nips into the fight and has a go at the Stag Lord, but it less effective against him than previous opponents.

Aramil heals Gore again, while the traitor smacks the Stag Lord another good blow, and Naias recovers his bow and hits with another (slower) arrow. I get up from the floor and move into position to attack the Stag Lord, but while i’m readying myself, he decides taking a potion is clever, and tries to sneak it down without getting a stab. Needless to say, Gore and Lick dont like that idea, so kill him rather resoundingly for his trouble…

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The Quest ends and a new Saga begins

From the journal of Naias Von Richter

Gozran X

Having plundered the corpses of the stag lord and his tastelessly dressed gay-emo-rogue lieutenant we took stock of the situation and Aramil healed us a bit. From speaking with the traitor barbarian, whose name we learnt is Akiros Ismort, we learnt that there were other bandits out foraging and raiding, but none remaining in the fort. The unconscious hulk of a man, who we had been referring to as Mongo is apparently called Ocks and is a complete simpleton. That certainly explains his actions. Akiros also told us that there is a hidden chamber in which the stag lord kept some old man locked up. We decided to check this out, leaving our new ally Akiros to watch Falgrin Sneed. Before going down we decided to see which magical items were of use to us. Gorefang took the amulet of natural armour and I took the masterwork broadsword, for when we have to deal with more zombies later. Being the only one who might use such a thing, I also took the camp rogues rapier. Assessing the stag lord’s helmet Cal told me that it was blessed with divine magic, sacred to Erastil. As well as aiding the perception of the wearer it could be used to aid in any ranged attacks a few times a day, but only once by non-followers of Erastil. Although it looks terrible it is clearly more suited to me than to anyone else. Nobody wanted the gimp leather armour and Cal refuses to use the magic bow, which he considers to be beneath the dignity of a paladin.

Down in the dark chamber below we found a great deal of the stag lord’s plunder. A lot of it is too bulky to carry, but we took the chest full of gold and the bag of jewels. Whilst scouting the darkest areas Cal and Gore noticed a crazy looking old man crawling on the ceiling. When he was seen the old git turned into a wolverine. Aramil and I tried to reason with him, me in common and Aramil in a strange language I haven’t heard before. I suspect that it may be a secret druid tongue. The old man started chanting something. We were wary that he might be hostile, but I didn’t want to attack without provocation. This didn’t seem to be the sentiment of Gore or Cal, who jumped up swinging their weapons at the old man, but not reaching. A giant ant suddenly appeared beside myself and Aramil. Aramil and Lick immediately attacked it, whilst I shot the mad druid. I hadn’t realised when it happened but Lick had grown considerably during our time in the fort. He is now a fully grown, and even more formidable leopard. This is clearly some sort of druidic magic making him stronger. Gore may have briefly surpassed lick in terms of combat prowess, but the cat has now grown far more deadly than him. Gore enlarged himself and struck the druid wolverine whilst I shot him again, killing him. I’m still not used to the idea of Gorefang as some sort of spellcaster. I’m certain that this isn’t ranger magic, but I can’t understand what it is. Cal moved to support Aramil and with the aid of Lick, they easily killed the ant, which vanished about thirty seconds later.

Cal pointed out that the crazy old druid and the stag lord bore a distinct resemblance to each other. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me that this ragged, filthy, emaciated guy could look like the burly outlaw chief, but there is some resemblance. Could it be that the stag lord overthrew his father, imprisoning him here beneath his lair. It is perhaps a lesson to me, that a son struggling against his father is in danger of becoming like him. Returning to the surface we explored more, gathering all the valuables. At the back of the camp we found a long disused secret passage out of the fort. We decided to hide the heavier plunder there, so that no returning bandits would find it. We healed Ocks, so as the bring him around and had Akiros talk to him to calm him down. I then tried talking to him, to see if I could make him more friendly. He really is like a small child. Treating him kindly and joining in his games was enough to get him to be more friendly. He loves playing with toy knights and since I told him that we are knights on a knightly quest he seems to like me. The others seem not to have any interest in dealing with a simpleton. Gore lacks the patience, Cal probably considers it beneath him and as for Aramil; who knows. I don’t mind. He could become a useful ally.

Gozran X+1

After a good night’s rest we cleared the area of zombies. There were only another 4 lying in wait, which was a bit of a surprise. We then explored the area around the north bank of the Tuskwater. We didn’t find anything of interest and Akiros wasn’t very forthcoming with information about the area. The reason he gave for betraying the stag lord was simply because he didn’t want to be on the losing side. I’m trying not to let my feelings be known but I really don’t trust this man. Something tells me that treason is second nature to him and he may well be the most evil of all the stag lord’s band.

Gozran X+2

Travelling north we reached Sootscale’s tribe and had a chance to catch up with our old friend. The Kobolds seem quite friendly to us, but reluctant to let other strangers stay in their lair. I like these guys. I’m really glad we were able to form a peaceful settlement with them. I just hope whatever Rostlanders settle the area honour our agreement with them. We have decided to bring the stag lord to Nettles before returning to Oleg’s.

Gozran X+3

We reached Nettles’ crossing and ringing the bell we summoned the zombie Davik Nettles. We showed him the staglord and asked if he needed the whole body or if we could keep the head, so as to claim the bounty on it. Actually Cal said that it was so that others who had suffered from his evil could be put to rest. That was a little white lie, but that is not the sort of thing that a Paladin should do surely. Yet more reason to doubt that he is really a paladin, but if he wants to claim a more noble title than he deserves, who am I to care. He is still clearly a good, honourable man, even if he has fallen from grace. Nettles repeated that we should cast his body into the river, so we decapitated it and threw it into the river. Nettles gave a final ghostly sigh and sank into the water. A few seconds later a ranseur rose out of the water and drifted to the banks. None of us use polearms, but it is an interesting and useful weapon. Clearly this is Nettles’ reward to us for helping his soul gain rest. We then went north a bit, past the lone tree where we found the wizard’s stash, before camping.

Gozran X+4

Another uneventful and dry night followed and a quiet voyage back to Oleg’s. On the way I decided to ask our prisoner about Kesten Garess. I figure that out of spite he would be likely to spill any dirt he knew about Kesten. He admitted to his theft, as Kesten had told us, and also told an interesting tale. Apparently, Kesten had been cast out from his family for having a relationship with a common born weaver’s daughter. This was why Kesten was working in Restov as a mercenary. I had been wary of his motives before. An aristocrat from house Garess in Rostland might be an obstacle for whoever settles this area, but a man who put’s love before status is ok by me. I wonder what happened to his young lady.

We arrived shortly after midday and handed Falgrim Sneeg over to Kesten. Kesten was glad at having the traitor in his hands and took him away to vent his anger on him, both verbally and physically. We left him for a while before asking about the bounty. Gore asked for a composite bow with a 300lb draw weight, the very limit of the power which he could draw. Cal asked for a greatsword and since I have all the weapons I could need I asked for another powerful bow, for Cal to use on the occasions when he might need to. Aramil insisted that he didn’t need anything and so Kesten very generously offered to pay the cost for the double axe which Gore had just ordered back when we took out the bounty. It seems a bit unfair that Gorefang should get gold and a weapon, whilst Aramil gets nothing, but I guess that worldly belongings mean little to a druid. I really don’t get Aramil. Sometimes he seems like such a selfless idealist, whilst at others he is brutally pragmatic. I’m just glad we had him and Lick around for this quest. There is still no sign of Red Lotus. I wonder where she got to. Oleg had the darkwood shield which I had ordered as well as a note from Jhod saying that we would need a lot more labourers and a proper architect to restore the temple. I think he is having far grander ideas about what to do with the site than I did. I’ll probably return from Restov in a week or so and discuss this with him. I have decided to give Oleg an edited copy of the map, which he is no doubt going to sell to other visitors to the area. Although it is probably worth lots I see no reason to ask anything for it. I may never see him again but it is best to leave a favourable impression when departing an area.

Gozran X+5

Since we have mapped everywhere that we can, other than a small section beyond an unfordable river we are returning to restov with word of our findings. We should get there in another day. There was a bit of light rain today, but nothing worth worrying about.

Gozran X+6

Today our quest was completed, but it does seem now that our quest of the last few months was merely the prologue to a far greater undertaking. After arriving at Restov we made our way to the council hall of the swordlords. After waiting a while and explaining to some officials about why it would be a bad idea to leave Lick outside we were met by the same swordlord who gave us our initial charter. I believe he is the lord mayor, although his name escapes me at the moment. He was pleased by the map and by our success. I don’t think he was impressed by Cal ejaculating the stag lords decaying head onto the floor of the palatial building. He gave us a reward of 5000 gold pieces for the defeat of the stag lord. Even more importantly he also decided, based on our success in the area, to give us another charter. This one offered us the right to establish a new country in the Greenbelt, with the recognition and support of Restov. They are giving us supplies, specialists and a large number of colonists, whilst encouraging more to continue to join us. I still don’t feel like it is real but it seems as though I’ve stumbled into getting my own kingdom.

We spent most of the night celebrating (with the stag lord’s booze) and discussing plans for our fledgling kingdom. I don’t want to be a monarch, because it would be too much of a temptation. The others seem happy to establish an oligarchy, run by a council of equals. Or at least they were once Gore realised that an Oligarchy was not an Oleg-archy and that I did not want Oleg to be king. Since Oleg’s post has a lack of natural supplies we realised that the best location to establish a capital for our new country would be at Goreford. Gore definitely liked that idea, and is keen on keeping the name as it is. I then had a wonderful nice warm bath before finally going to sleep. Treasure!

Gozran X+7

Today was spent shopping. I never enjoyed shopping quite as much as this before. Cal knows the most about the price of gems and jewellery, so we let him haggle with merchants about the value of our assorted treasures. The total value of all our goods, including the magic items, was more again than the bounty on the stag lord. I then set out to convert it into something more portable. My first purchase was a magic quiver. I had hoped to have a quiver of infinite arrows, but the closest any enchanters can make is one which holds 60, but also holds several bows or spears. Since business had been slow he was able to get to work on it right away. One of the enchanters also had an enchanted breastplate in stock., which I bought for myself. I asked him how much it would cost to have a ring of swimming made for myself. Apparently they cost 2500 gold! With that price in mind I persuaded another enchanter to trade my ring in exchange for him enchanting my bow. Since it would only cost him 1000 gold, which is less than half the cost of the ring, and because I have become quite good at reasoned argument, he agreed to do the work for me. It’s nice that this bow which I set out with will continue to be my greatest treasure. Hopefully it will serve me well throughout the forging of our new nation.

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The foundation of Midgard
Progress report of the council of Midgard

Desnus

Having been granted the charter to establish a kingdom in the Greenbelt we awaited the arrival of the first group of immigrants from Restov and led them to Olegs trading post. We have agreed to begin the development of our new republic here, although we plan to build our capital at Goreford, one we expand that far. Rule of the republic will be shared jointly by the council of 5. The name for this new country we have decided shall be Midgard, in honor of the prominance which we hope it shall one day develop to. Oleg Leveton has accepted the position of treasurer of Midgard. Svetlana has agreed to be our councillor and people’s representative. She was reluctant at first but was made to realise that the general store of a new frontier town is the centre of the town socially as well as economically, which places her in the best position to listen to the concerns of our settlers. The advice we had in Restov suggested that an assassin or public executioner would help to prevent public unrest. As we do not want to be evil tyrants we decided that our state would not endorse assassination, we have instead persuaded Ockus to accept the role of executioner. Jhod is our highpriest and the state religion is Erastil, although all non-evil religions are welcome. Red Lotus is our court magician and advisor on arcane magic. Gorefang Wolfskinner has been appointed general. Calandrel is warden, in charge of law and order in the city. Aramil Planespeaker Wildstiller is marshal, in charge of partoling the rural areas. Naias von Richter has been appointed to lead our scouting service, gathering information on kingdoms and territories beyond our borders. Akiros Ismort has agreed to act as our chief diplomat, as he has both the social skills and self reliance necessary to travel far and wide on our behalf. We have decided to establish laws which are idealistic and promote virtue. Legal cases are to be presided over by a magistrate but the spirit of the law is to be considered as important as the letter of the law. Laws to be fairly simple, rather than overly restrictive. (neutral good kingdom alignment) A large amount of food and raw materials were supplied by the mayor of Restov. Development of this area has now begun.

BP 50

Sarenith

The area around Olegs was developed and building began on our new town. The town has been named Leveton, after Oleg and Svelana, the first settlers of this region. Areas of housing and a new Inn have been constructed. A road to the south has been laid. No taxes were levied but productivity in gathering resources was good.

BP 39

Erastus

There was some unrest from our settlers. We believe it is just frustration at being confined to the town of Leveton due to the potential dangers beyond our borders. The marshals and scouts have patrolled and cleared the area to the south east of Leveton and farms are being built in that area. A larger residential area has been built and a smithy has been constructed. The south road has been extended through our new territory. Productivity was slightly better this month.

At our council meeting Loy and Latricia Rezbin asked for permission to establish another town of their own at Calford. They have family and friends wanting to help them develop the area. We agreed to their terms and offered them aid in resources on the conditions that they would accept being part of the Republic of Midgard when our influence has spread that far and that they maintain the name of the town as Calford, as that was the name given to the area when it was discovered.

BP 29

Arodus

The populace seem more content. Our scouts have claimed the territory in which our gold mine was located and mining has begun. A large series of stables for use by our patrols, as well as others, has been constructed in Leveton. Farms have been established in those hills. We have decided that Midgard now has a sufficiently viable economy that we are going to tax the people at a fairly normal tax rate on income from farms, mines and other businesses. Some small attempt to use our resources to promote the reputation of our country is also now being undertaken. Productivity was fairly good, but lower than last year.

BP 18

Rova

The people seem content with our rule. Our scouts have claimed the area to the southeast of the mine. The entrance to the Mite’s cave has expanded so that it can act as a place of shelter for herdsmen etc. caught out in the wild. We have developed an area in Leveton as a municipal dump and begun a nightsoil collection service. The roads have been extended through our new territory. More farms have been established in the new area, mostly raising sheep in the hills. Productivity this month was slightly improved on last month. We intend to slow development of Leveton, in order to gain resources for the development of Goreford once the area has been fully mapped.

BP 14

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