Kingmaker

Vordakai's Tomb

The group ventured into the black, monolithic tower. Inside they found what appeared to be an ancient cyclopean tomb. They were attacked by the reanimated mummified guardians and navigated a few traps. One seemed to be a complicated mechanical trap that Barok and Denea were able to bypass, the other was a mystical deal on a door that summoned cold fire.
After further exploration, the group found a room with a strange, carved ceiling. As soon as the entered, a strange fiendish creature appeared. It seemed to be part squid, crab, and man. It demanded to know who had sent them, to which Nikolai responded “”/characters/vordekai" class=“wiki-content-link”>Vordakai." This seemed to appease it, and it did nothing. The group continued and found Xamanthe, Aecora‘s daughter. She was badly injured and weakened. Barok and Ram were able to use their magic to heal her, and she told them what had happened to her. She explained that she was subdued immediately upon reaching the tomb, and had been kept alive. All of her weapons had been taken from her, but the group gave her the magical great sword they had found earlier.
The group left, and was attacked by the strange fiend immediately after Xamanthe entered its room. The beast was dangerous, but the group was able to kill it. The threat wasn’t over, however, as both Denea and Korjun were poisoned. The venom acted quickly, but Barok was able to restore their strength.

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The Nomen

After days of searching for the Nomen, the group finally came across their tracks. Soon they were approached by a small band of warriors that quickly surrounded them. They were told to leave, but when their leader saw the darkwood longbow, they were captured.
They walked for several hours until creating a hill, revealing the Nomen camp. Several hundred centaurs lived in the camp, and most seemed capable of fighting.
The group was met by Aecora, the priestess and apparent leader of the camp. She interrogated them about the bow, and seemed satisfied by their answers. She told them the spriggans, the Culchek, came from a nearby cave. They had been harassing the Nomen for some time, and managed to steal the bow months ago. She also said that though the Nomen had no love for Varnhold, the centaurs were not responsible for what happened there. She was very pleased to see the bow returned, and allowed the group to stay the night.
As she was leaving, Nikolai asked her about the bracelet, showing her one of the charcoal drawings. She seemed disturbed by it, and told them they would speak again in the morning.
In the morning, she told them that the glyphs on the bracelet were not Nomen, but she did recognize them. Though many of their ancient traditions and lore had been lost, she told them, they still remember part of their original goal in this area.
Aecora told the group about the Valley of the Dead, a terrible place that the Nomen had sworn to protect ages ago. They don’t know what it is, exactly, but an ancient evil called Voredkai rests there. The glyphs on the bracelet match some found on standing stones within the valley.
Recently, she said, scouts saw movement within. It is forbidden to Nomen to go into the valley, but Xamanthe, Aecora’s daughter, went in alone to investigate.
When the group told her about how the bracelet had been found, she became angry. She said that it had to be a lie, and a human must have ventured into the valley and stolen it, awakening whatever slumbered there. Aecora said that because humans caused this, humans would fix it.
Nomen scouts led the group to the edge of the valley. The grass there was sick and brittle, and a wall of bones seemed to mark where the forbidden area began. The group ventured forward, eventually coming to find hundreds of black standing stones, etched with glyphs. The stones seemed to have been there for thousands of years.
Continuing on, the group came to a cliff in which large stairs had been carved. Lumbering down the stairs was a cyclops, though it looked dead and mummified. It fought with a huge, metal axe, but was destroyed by the group.
Ascending the stairs, the group found a black stone road, partially covered by dirt and grass. Following it, they found another set of giant stairs leading down to a lake. In the center of the lake was an island, almost completely dominated by a huge, black stone tower. Black fumes escaped out from a vent somewhere near the top.
While climbing down the stairs, the group was attacked by a pair of wyverns. Though Nikolai was almost thrown from the cliff, the group killed both.
The group rowed across the lake, approaching the tower…

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The Search for the Nomen

The group continued their exploration of the Dunsward and the Tors of the Levenies, searching for any signs of Varnhold’s inhabitants or the Nomen centaurs.
In their travels, they came across a field inhabited by large, aggressive spiders, a wandering bull mammoth, a hunting manticore, and a savage and deadly bulette. Though the mammoth and bulette were dangerous, the group was able to kill all of the beasts they came across.
Though they were able to map and explore a huge swath of land, they were still unable to find the missing colonists or the centaurs.

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Attack on the Spriggan's Fort

The group attacked the fort. Splitting up, they scaled the walls. Sentries in the blockhouse spotted them, and began to fire with crossbows. The group quickly killed the spriggans in the courtyard, and forced their way into the blockhouse.
They cleared the first floor of the house, room by room, finding nothing. They heard rustling upstairs, but when they made it to the second floor it had been set ablaze.
Making their way back out, the group saw the rest of the spriggans, grown to their giant size, waiting for them. Left with no choice, the group entered the courtyard, surrounded by the spriggans. Ram was grievously injured, but Barok was able to heal him.
After a grueling battle, the spriggans were all killed.
The group thoroughly searched the rest of the town, but found no signs of its inhabitants.
In the inn, the group found a spriggan, frozen in an aura of orange light. It was holding a book, and the back of its head was cracked open.Barok identified the aura as a Sepia Snake Sigil spell, a type of magical trap that freezes anyone that looks at the Sigil.
The group gathered all of the notes and books left in the inn, and made camp for the night.

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The Varnhold Vanishing

The Knights returned with news from the east. They reported that they had found the town in the mountains, but it seemed abandoned.
The group then set out to Varnhold. They crossed the Kamelands, into the Tors of the Levenies.
They journeyed into the town, and found no trace of its inhabitants. The houses had been looted and ransacked, but there were no signs of struggle or other violence.
While crossing the river into the town proper, a large crablike monster attacked. It was vicious, but the group killed it quickly.
On the other side, Denea and Nikolai triggered a mechanical pit trap. Nikolai quickly jumped out of the way, but Denea wasn’t as lucky. She fell onto the spikes at the bottom, and was injured.
While searching, they came across a mass of crows, spooked by their arrival. Korjun‘s eyes were scratched badly, and he couldn’t see. The group decided to press on and investigate.
In the well, they found the drowned corpse of a strange, blue-gray creature. They fished it out, and Nikolai was able to identify it as a spriggan; a cruel fey-like creature capable of growing in size. They then decided to move back to a safe vantage point and wait.
At camp, they saw three spriggans come out of the town’s fort. They investigated where the group had been, then went back to the fort.
The group then waited for daylight to prepare for their attack on the fort.

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Freehold Grows

The group wintered in Tusk. Over the next several months, Freehold continued to grow. A food shortage sparked investment in infrastructure, with a granary, sewer system, and cistern built in Tusk.
A new settlement, Narlton, was formed, bring the elves and the quarry workers together. It is being administered by the elves, with Tessara in charge.
An army was formed, comprised mostly of Rostlanders.
Dimitri became the new spymaster, after he revealed himself to be an expert at intrigue and deception. Denea became the Grand Diplomat, and Pich set up an office for her in the Embassy.
A group of Numerians settled in the north, bring with them valuable metals and trade materials.
When the spring came, the group set out to explore. They were able to map the Narlmarches, and found the Hooktongue Slough to the west.
While exploring the swamp, the group came across a small ruin, nearly completely submerged in the swamp. When they came close, three preserved corpses wearing bronze funeral masks emerged from the water. They attacked immediately. They were difficult enemies, but the group was able to destroy them. However, both Denea and Korjun were afflicted with a strange curse, causing their skin to rot away.
The group immediately left for Tatzlford. By the time they arrived, the curse had taken hold of both. Barok called on the blessings of Abadar to heal them, and after several days (and the help of Jhod), they were free of the curse.
The group returned to Tusk in time for Founder’s Day. When they arrived, they met with Jamandi Aldori, the First Sword of Restov. She explained the deteriorating situation in Brevoy, and told the group that Restov will not be able to directly aid Freehold.
She then told the group about the town of Varnhold, in the Nomen Heights. Restov has lost contact with Varnhold, and they are unable to send agents to look into it. She asked the group if they will investigate what happened there. Korjun then tasked Knights with exploring the Kamelands and finding the pass leading to Varnhold.
At the Founder’s Day festival, Nikolai (with the aid of Dimitri and Roland) used storyteller’s dust to tell the story of Freehold’s founding, as well as the group’s exploits since then. The audience was enthralled and impressed. Jamandi went toKorjun’s lodge with him that night, and all of Freehold knew what the group had done in their name.

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The Forest Drake

The group returned to Tusk, and Barok decided to stay with Trin while she recovered. The others decided to go back into the Narlmarches to continue their exploration.
During their travel, they came across a strange hermit living in the woods. It was difficult to speak with him, and he seemed very happy to have been given food.
After leaving the mad hermit, the group continued their exploration of the Narlmarches. Later that night, at camp, the hermit came out of nowhere and attacked Ram. His trained mountain lion came went afterNikolai. Ram was seriously wounded, but when Korjun entered the fight, it ended quickly.
The group returned to Tusk, and found that Trin, the woman rescued from the lizard folk, had recovered.
While preparing to set back off into the woods,Denea received an urgent message, calling her away. The others went back into the woods to find the dragon they had heard lived in the Narlmarches.
Ram was able to find the dragon’s tracks, and they began to follow it. It became clear that the creature suspected it was being followed, and began to try to circle around the group.
Finally, the dragon ambushed them. Moving incredibly fast, it spit an acid cloud, then rushed in and attacked the group as they left the cloud. It was very dangerous, though the group was able to surround it. It tried to escape by flying up, but Korjun brought the beast down with his magic.
Eventually, the group made it back to Tusk to prepare for the winter.
The months passed, and Tusk grew.
A letter came from a noblewoman, Elora Valinet. She asked to relocate to Tusk to restart her shipping ventures.

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The Lizardfolk's Rebellion

The group ventured back into the Narlmarches. They quickly found the lizard folk village, and attempted to make peaceful contact. When they approached, they were send away by the guards.
Deciding to leave them alone, the group continued with their exploration. Later that night, they were approached by the lizard folk guard that sent them away. Using alchemy, Nikolai was able to understand and communicate (in a basic way) with him. He said that his name was Thissk, and that he wanted peaceful contact. He seemed to be under the impression that the group was looking for something, and that his village had it. When the group told him that they didn’t know what he was talking about, he explained that they had captured a human woman, and had been torturing her for some time. Though most of the village thought it was wrong, an ancestor spirit told their king it was right. He had began to doubt that this spirit was really their ancestor, and he suspected the king to be mad. Thissk told the group that there were others in the village that thought the same thing, and that if they could drive away the spirit and kill their king, they could have the woman.
The group decided to help, and began to plan their attack. Thissk said that he and his comrades would let them in, but that they couldn’t help fight.
The next morning, the group followed Thissk back to the village. They easily dispatched the loyal guards before the king knew what was happening.
The king, a giant lizard folk and skilled warrior, was furious. He sent his pet blood caimans after the group, and fought viciously. The group was able to kill him, and then the spirit began its attack.
The group had already suspected that this spirit was actually one of the will-o-wisps. It tried, in vain, to fight them, then it tried to rally the village and send them after the group. Thissk convinced them to let the group be, and they were able to kill the will-o-wisp.
The group was able to get the woman, a Kellid named Trin out of the village. Later that day, Thisk found them again. He gave them some of the king’s things, and told them that they were always welcome in the village. He did warn them, however, that other humans aren’t welcome, and they shouldn’t go near the village.
The group got Trin safety back to Tusk to recover. They then went back out into the Natlmarches, stopping first at Vanya’s to let her know what happened in Candlemere and with the lizard folk.

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The Ruins of Candlemere

The group ventured south to take care of unfinished business there. Their first stop was Candlemere, to investigate the will-o-wisps.
Upon reaching the island, they noticed that it was covered in poisonous bushes, and that it was unnaturally still and quiet. Clearing some of the brush, they made their way to the ruined tower. With no sign of will-o-wisps, they investigated the ruins and found a large stone disk that had previously covered a portal leading below. The disk was covered in a strange script, that the group was unable to translate.
Going into the portal, the group found themselves in an ancient stone corridor, covered by a thick, black sludge. A heavy feeling of dread and terror came over them, but they pressed on.
The corridor opened into an empty room, and while searching the floor, Barok noticed a glowing beneath the sludge. A thick, yellowish green mist rose from the floor, annihilating the sludge and choking the group. The escaped back into the hall, and waited for the mist to dissipate.
After it had disappeared, they ventured further. They came across another large room, though this had a large portal set in the center. The cover had been moved slightly, with a gap wide enough to squeeze through. The walls of this room were covered in more of the strange script, which upon further study Barok was able to identify as Aklo.
Nikolai mixed a few alchemical substances and was able to allow himself to read it. What he read was incomprehensible, strange and horrible invocations of ancient and terrible beings.
Despite this, the group went further into the strange dungeon.
The portal opened up into a huge chamber, seemingly carved from the natural stone beneath the tower. A long, spirally path lead down into the depths, clearly unnaturally made. Winding down the path, the group found a landing with two large columns, and two hideous creatures; screaming blobs of flesh, eyes, and mouths. The group engaged them, and after a difficult fight, they were able to destroy them.
Following the path, the group came to the bottom of the cavern. Though they didn’t see anything, they did hear a scraping sound. Then, Barok was attacked by an unseen creature. Korjun went forward to face the beast, and was picked up into the air by it. Barok called on Abadar to aid them, and the creature revealed itself. A huge mass of tentacles, some with mouths, stood before them. The group attacked. The thing let Korjun go, to better defend itself against Denea‘s onslaught. Once free, Korjun brought his earth breaker down into the thing’s center, crushing it’s body. It turned to dust, and with that the feeling of dread subsided. The path that lead them down then began to crumble, and the group raced back, trying to avoid fissures and falling stones.
Making it safety back to the surface, the group still had not seen any will-o-wisps. Exhausted, the group left the island and camped on the shore. That night, they saw the lights again, this time over the lake itself.
The next morning, they went back to the island to further investigate it and continue clearing the brush. That night, the lights returned, again over the water. This time the group rowed out to meet them, with a blessing that allowed them to walk on water.
When they came close, the lights went out. Barok then called upon Abadar to reveal the creatures. Three spongey, floating orbs appeared over the boat. The group attacked. Two of the orbs flew away, and the third shot a bolt of electricity into Barok. It was quickly destroyed, and the group jumped onto the water to chase the others. They escaped, flying off into the night.
It seemed as if the will-o-wisps had been driven away, and whatever strange curse had been afflicting the island was lifted.

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Rebuilding Tusk

The past few months have been very eventful in Tusk. Though still small, Tusk is becoming more and more prosperous. Work crews have been busy building roads to Tatzlford and to the trading post in the north. Paths were cut through the Narlmarches to retrieve the treasure and goods the group found in the trolls’ lair and the ancient elven keep. Freehold is preparing to establish trade between the Sellen and Restov.
A group of mounted knights were spotted in the east. Korjun, Denea, and Nikolai went out to meet them. They spoke with Lady Alma Lirran, their leader and Roland Mathias, her second in command. They explained that they are the Knights of the Blue Rose of the Order of the Shield, dedicated to protecting those that cannot protect themselves. They said that they had heard tales of Freehold, and came to assist. The agreed to patrol the east, staying far from Tusk. With them is a dwarven scholar, Igmar Thelan.
Construction of the golem was completed, and now it stands guard in the center of town. Most aren’t sure what to think of it.
A census was completed, and military instructors and equipment were purchased to begin work on a standing army.
The Knights of the Blue Rose were able to find Nettle’s Crossing, but were not able to find Nettle’s restless corpse. They did find a body, which was buried.
Among the treasure brought from the south, the ancient elven statue was determined to be made from mithral, not silver. An expert metal smith was hired to begin to smelt the statue down.
With most preparations in place, the only thing standing in the way of regular trade are the dangers of Candlemere and the southern part of the river.

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