Hawkes Bay Kingmaker

In which the Kingdom grows, settles and omens begin to show

Our return to Shrike City was brisk. Teleportation is both powerful and extremely useful.

Our first port of call (after checking in at the castle) was to see our resident Nereid. With both her shawl and the mighty sword, Briar, in our possession, she was very glad to see us. Re-united with her magical shawl, she seemed to regain a measure of her knowledge of the sword as well.

The evil (and now, at least partially insane) nymph fell in love with the wrong being and was cursed by those ruled the First Realm (the realm of the fairies) to never be able to love again, and cut away that part of her soul and crafted a mystical sword from it…Briar. This explains why she is looking for it. She’s looking to get back her soul. Whether she can do anything with it remains to be seen…

The sword has a myriad of powers, but apparently, these are mostly dormant, and will be activated again by killing fae. I sincerely hope that the sword doesn’t become any more powerful than it already is. Killing fae seems almost sacrilegious for some reason.

With no other immediate leads and no other pressing business, we turned to the scouting reports we had waiting in the war room.

Plenty of land had been explored and claimed on behalf of our now large fiefdom. We are now approaching the size of any of the other kingdoms in the area.

Some armies had been seen, some wyverns and a talking mammoth.

The wyverns had destroyed a small town, decimating it, leaving no survivors. Once their source of relatively easy food disappeared, they flew off, dispersing as they did so.

Two other armies were of more concern however. A large giant cavalry, riding captured mammoths and a gigantic army of barbarians loomed at the edges of our kingdom. Imajica had the bright idea to send the two armies off to fight against each other (since they appeared to hate the other anyway). However, he decided for some reason to send them off to fight each other, but not to the same place.

An unusual tactic and one that I fervently hope doesn’t cost us in the long term.

Once they had been dealt with, an ancient, talking mammoth was next on the list to investigate. It seemed that the mammoth burial grounds were sacred and all the other mammoths had been kept away out of fear of some form of gigantic flying snake. Imajica assured me that it was called (to be filled in when I can remember what the creature is).

We knew where it resided as the mammoth was able to tell us that much. With little other information to go on, we simply prepared as best we could with blessings from Iomedae, nature and arcane as well.

A gigantic snake, wingless, rose from the end of a box canyon, spewing magma as it rose. For all it’s obvious size and physical intimidation, this beast proved to be little more than that, a beast. As such, our powerful combination of preparation, magical abilities and items along with years of fighting as a group meant this creature was never in with a chance. Its death spelled the end of its reign of terror and the mammoths were able to return to their sacred place.

Throughout all this, Briar has felt right on my hip. It grows more comfortable each day, and the investment in a couple of magical items to help utilize it more efficiently have paid dividends.

The obvious threats Elklund now taken care of, I turned my attention back to our newly acquired city, Pitax. Returning there, I intended to set up some manner of way we could maintain control while leaving it essentially to run itself.

One name stuck out to me, but there was ample risk as well. Ashularae. Somehow, Imajica had found her and convinced her to return to Pitax, allowing me to offer her a role under our pay.

The role itself didn’t seem to interest her, but digging deeper, it seems that the village the wyverns destroyed was her home, and her family had still resided there. With a promise made under the eye of Iomedae to find and resurrect her family, she suddenly became significantly more appreciative of the offer and I feel that she can now be left to run things from behind the scenes.

Hopefully this means a time of peace for Elklund…

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We are now worthy of a full explanation ?
Looks like there is trouble ahead.

After the downfall of the King of Pitax we needed to make sure the city was looked after so panic did not set in.

We decided to make the four original family’s that were in power before heads of state that answer to us. I was not part of the talks but i am told it went well.

We went back home and gave the Neriad her shall back and showed her that we have the sword Bryier.
“Owwww Fantastic now i will tell you everything i know . i could have before but now i see you with the sword its now different” Sigh

Now we know why this Nymph wants it so bad …. its part of her. you know i would want it back too if i were her. But i think she is a little crazy now thinking she is a god so it looks like there is trouble ahead.

Not really knowing what to do next we looked at the scouts reports and looked at anything interesting that they had found.
They found a few army’s, a nest of Wyrverns, and old Mammoth. They had done quite well even though having Dirz with them.

Our more talkative members tried to pit the remaining army’s against each other will some success.
This left us with time to go talk to the mammoth who could speak common .. . . not a everyday occurrence.

He told us his kind were being attacked by a type of dragon and showed us where we could find this beast.

It was a kind of Snake dragon it flew with no wings ( nothing much surprises me anymore )
Spewing out “Magmaaa” it was a terrible sight. The height of many men it did have some trouble hitting us it tried and tried to bite us with no success.
Oret put an end to the eminence creature by hopping on its back as it lifted from the ground. a few sharp smacks to the head and it fell to the ground.

Where to next ? not sure looks like we should make some plans in case this Nymph turns up looking for part of herself.

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And what is behind door number 1???

Door number 2 – 1,000,000

After getting into the Pitaxe kings castle it became obvious just how insane he is (was hahahahahahahaha).

We get in and have to fight legions of defenders because we decided to go in a service entrance which was highly guarded (EVEN AT NIGHT!!!!!) yet the main doors had no guards go figure.

After some brilliant controlling of the fight we managed to rid ourselves of the troublesome guards and search the castle. We finally found the king after going through hundreds of thousands of doors and dispatched him and his pet Naga.

We have now found the shawl and sword we were looking for.

Onwards to victory ……. and beyond!!!

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The King is dead Long live the King
Its Oret

I had had enough of waiting at the back. The spell users were making it less than ideal to go and stand toe to toe with the ogers so i went to see if i could strike them from behind.

After a bit of walking and going through MORE doors i managed to find another way into the hall where the enemy were fighting.
There were also many more guards. Thinking it would be foolish to charge at them i decided to snip them with my crossbow.
But before i could let one bolt loose they all surrendered.

After a little chat they showed us a secret door and said that where the king goes for the night.

The floor plan to this place is insane we were greeted with a plethora of doors.

There were doors leading in every direction. The King ( ours ) decided to clear the main floor before venturing down however this did not stop him taking a detour up a flight of stairs at his first possible chance ( yes i smell hypocrisy upon you sir ) we were then attacked by a nasty looking cat thing. Apparently it was nasty but our mage took one look at this nasty cat thing and decided to turn it into a sheep….. A SHEEP and what is worse or better depending on how you look at it the nasty cat thing now thinks she is a Sheep.

I do fear this is not the last we will see of this now Sheep.

Eventually we went down one of the stairwells only to find the king and his pet naga.
I let out some inspiring words to the party to make them hit any target with precise accuracy hopeing to end this fight quick.

Well it didn’t. Hitting, Grappling, Bamphing, Fire, Scrolls, Healing, Pushing, natching of teeth and finally he dies.

He had spent nearly all the kingdoms money on himself and whatever he was after.
His last words were “she did not come for me” we surmise it is the Fey lady that is after the sword. The sword we now have it was in a secret area of his room.

Now i think we need to appoint the old family’s leadership rolls under our command of Pitax at least until we know what and how we are going to deal with this Fey creature that has caused so much grief.

And i need to know if it is her that has been impersonating me and my family and what really happened to my farther.

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In which kings fall and the sheep of a nation becomes our nemesis

With little to recommend staying in the same place, I flew over to the Ogre Mage to ensure that it couldn’t simply keep casting spells at us and harming the rest of my friends.

I’m glad I was flying however, as Khan decided to turn the ground beneath me into a hot pool of tar, trapping everybody in the next room in the black, sticky, foul smelling stuff. The Ogre Mage wore more blows from my sword as I called on Iomedae to assist in ending the evil creatures life.

Between my sword, the burning tar and the insane, blind troll attacking as well, we broke the Ogre Mage’s morale and it fled somehow, simply disappearing somewhere before my very eyes.

Turning and looking into what could only be the opulent throne room, there was a large number of Pitax guards looking concerned as I flew towards them.

“Stand down and you’ll live.”

It turns out Imajica had no desire to waste more of his precious arcane energy on mere guards. I flew towards them swinging my sword at the same time, and as I arrived, the whole group of them dropped their weapons and raised their hands in surrender. Imajica clearly has a way with words…

The guards were not able to tell us where the King had gone, but one of them was able to give us the vague direction of a possible secret door.

What followed was a frustrating search through more doors, followed by more doors, frequently hidden behind more secret doors.Our moment of concern showed its face in the upstairs library. While searching through yet more doors (this whole palace needs to be razed to the ground and rebuilt…), Khan felt the unmistakable feeling of somebody watching him and called out.

Weapons ever at the ready in a hostile environment, we turned, looking for the threat. When nothing was forthcoming, it was only Learions clear headed battle training that allowed us to act without being surprised.

Khan was able to identify the creature as a weretiger, even as her blades were finding their way through his armour and into his kidneys.

“More like were…sheep!”

There was an odd mumble from Imajica as his arcane powers came to the fore again, and suddenly, in the place of a menacing humanoid tiger, a sheep stood in her place…

The suprise was total from most of us, except Imajica, who simply laughed in the face of our former enemy.

What we have never, as a group or individually been able to explain afterwards is where the sheep got to. She simply disappeared, with the eerie feeling that our deaths had been fortold…by sheep…

Many more doors and even a few more secret doors were found, but eventually, we found a way down, which Learion swore was the way to go, and for once in the last several hours of searching, Khan and he agreed on a direction.

Down the stairs we marched, with Oret confirming that there was likely the King behind the very door we discovered, along with an unknown female.

With a few seconds to prepare, Io called upon the blessings of Iomedae and we burst through the door, directly into a hail of razor blades being fired from the strange staff King Castruccio Irovetti had been carrying around.

His female companion was some form of snake woman that I had not seen before. She immediately started casting spells and therefore became public enemy number one for everybody except Learion, who continued to focus ALL of his attention (and any of ours he could command) on Irovetti.

The snake woman was quick to go down under the combined fire of everybody in he party, but when Oret attempted to grapple with the King, he simply disappeared. Horrow that he might escape yet again, we frantically looked for any sign of him.

Thankfully, he was as keen to kill us are we were him, and he called us out from beyond the ornate drapes between us and the rest of the room the King inhabited.

A large, natural cavern with a large watery section was found, and the king was waiting for us.more spells led to Oret attempting to grapple the King again, although this time, the King was blind. Irovetti teleported again, past the wall of fire that had been set up behind him into a small semblance of freedom.

He rummaged around in his belongings for something, fished out a scroll, unrolled it and stopped momentarily as he cursed, unable to read it through the magical blindness. A very short time later, the evil King was dead, Iomedae’s blessing thankfully providing the means to defeat him.

Plenty of chests littered this area. It was clearly the treasury. The chests were all empty, Irovetti having bankrupted his kingdom for his own pleasures. We were able to find a final secret door that led into a watery area.

Floating in here was a large piece of cloth, in which, wrapped a fantastic sword. The cloth was identified as our Nereids shawl. The sword? this appeared to be the very sword the Nereid was trying to protect.

With nobody else keen to carry it, I slung it on my hip. It was strange, but it really felt like it belonged there. I think more time will be needed to find out what this sword is capable of.

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Limbo

A strange thing happened whilst in the Fight of Pitax.

In the middle of the combat just a the King showed his face and joined the fight, time seamed to stand still. It felt like an age had passed before it started once more.

I am unsure if it was a spell of an higher being or not for it own amusement but being self aware of ones self and not being able to move or act is a cruel act indeed.

I call this state Limbo.

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In which trolls become as common as the garden gnome

Our King had a back up plan…

…I’ve not seen our King have a back up plan before…

…I was momentarily stunned.

Of course, the back up plan was turning into a humming bird and then squeaking out orders, but it was effective none-the-less as he appeared near the back of the corridor I was currently facing off with the marauding guards in.

With my blade now insubstantial, the armour of the men in front of me was suddenly worthless to them as I cleft my way through them. Learion and I took turns thrusting, parrying and riposting (on in Learions case, simply swinging his large sword mightily), rending the life from Villamor Koth, although a lucky blow from my sword hamstrung the man before he could flee from the battle like the coward he so obviously was.

The room beyond was filled with a sparkly cloud that made sight impossible (Khan’s influence on the battle I’m told), so I stumbled forward and eventually we found the last of the guards, silencing him forever.

What followed was an exhaustive search of what felt like hundreds of doors. Imajica found one that was the most important. Well, in this case, it was actually a curtain. Unfortunately, I was in another room initially, but leaving Oret and Learion to dispatch the guards that stumbled upon us (I pity those guards) I made my way to where Imajica had been.

I arrived to find a shape, elf-shaped no less, made entirely of glittering golden flecks. Some form of new magical defence I would assume.

In front of him was two trolls, heavily armoured and looking threatening. Imajica cast another spell I’ve not seen and the front troll simply dropped away into a pit. The horrific crunching noises suggested it wasn’t simply a flat bottom to the pit.

An idea crossed my mind and I taunted the other troll towards my. Apparently, calling their mother Steve offends them. However, this did the trick as the other troll lumbered towards me, intent on crushing my skull. Instead, it slipped and landed in the pit directly on top of the other troll. Even in the midst of battle, this was an amusing sight.

While the noise of combat from Learion and Oret hit its crescendo, our troubles felt like they were only beginning. From across the room, another curtain flung open and a veritable horde of people and trolls waited.

The pit holding two of the trolls disappeared and they found themselves on the floor in front of us. Magic started getting thrown around like I’ve rarely seen, from both the orge (yes, apparently orges can cast spells) and Imajica, Khan and Io. In the midst of so much magical firepower, I simply tried to get in front of Imajica so that he wasn’t able to be hurt by the brutes in front of him.

I’m at a loss to explained what happened then. Colours flew, ash and brimstone erupted, trolls started disappearing, dying or simply going insane from the exposure. The sounds coming from our wizards mouth was almost evil…

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Where do they sleep??
Trolls, big old Trolls

The fight with the champion was over nearly before it began a few wacks from the pally and myself and it was good night for him.
It was then just a matter of cleaning up the rest of his men.

After the initial fight we then spread out looking for the king as fast as we could ( there are so many doors this could take some time )

I opened up a set of double doors with two very naked lady’s on a bed.

Looking quite fearful i put them at ease with a “stay put and no body needs to get hurt” in a nice way of course then closed the doors to continue the search.

Listing very carefully we noticed some doors opening and closing behind us the pally, monk and myself took care of the first few with a spell placed by the druid.

Then the pally went off to see what the Mage was up to.

About 18sec later i hear some laughing coming from the other end of the room.
I am told something about stupid trolls and a magical pit of death in the ground – Guess you had to be there.

The laughing stopped soon after when the rest of Pitax showed up including about 10 trolls ?? where do they all sleep???? all of them to kill us and the man himself made an appearance ….

This will end soon one way or the other.

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In which a castle looks like it fell through the rabbit hole

The following morning arrived and as per Imajica’s preference, we teleported to the new location under the Cheese and Meat shop then.

We spent a significant amount of time discussing battle places and in particular, times to attack. We finished with attacking at night, while flying and invisible (although the discussion did make me decide to check up on our own guard rotations when I’m back home as Learion seems to think that there are less guards required at night for some reason…which mean we potentially have a lack of guards at night).

Flying over the castle led us towards what looked like the back door for the servants. The other option was a direct attack from the top and neutralising three watch towers at the same time (something we were unlikely to be successful at without setting off the alarm).

It turns out that we might as well have attacked the towers.

The room, a description that only loosely covers the area as it was really more of a murder zone, was only ten foot wide, solid walls on both side with arrow slits at regular intervals and another five foot on the other side of each wall, in which a large number of archers hid, waiting for us.

Long and short of it…Imajica and Khan provided both cover and attack with their spells, Io blessed us while Oret, Learion and I waded through any guards we could find. Of course, this immediately set off the very alarm we were trying to avoid.

A search around the surrounding area led us to believe that the architect must have been changed every few months as there was a plethora of different styles in the building, often mashed together in the same room.

A more thorough search may be required, but at this point in time, guards keep finding us and attacking. We stumbled into a smaller version of the main room in the entrance, but with only three archers in there, they were largely unable to harm us.

The biggest issue arose when Villamor Koth, our adversary from the Rushlight Tournament found us, followed by a large number of guards. The door between us slammed shut after Imajica seared through their ranks with a lightning bolt spell and Io dropped some heavenly fire on the enemy, trapping our King in the other room, by himself!

Luckily, I recognised that the door was actually an illusion and informed the others of this. Of course, when weapons sliced through the door as though it wasn’t there (which of course it wasn’t!), that also provided some clues.

I called upon Iomedae to bless my sword and it has grown insubstantial. I hope that I can get to Khan before he perishes before so many enemies.

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The walls are lined with traped people
This guy is mad

We decide to assail the palace at night after much deliberation.
We made ourselves invisible and flew to the palace and quickly decided the roof was a no go due to the three guard towers.
We would have had to take them out at the same time as not to raise the alarm.
There were two entrances one was the main entrance and the second was the tradesman entrance. We went for the latter.

Still invisible the mage unlocked the door with one of his spells and we ventured inside only to be greeted by a small army of men in the walls with arrow slits.
Still invisible one of us took the opportunity to surprise the men in the walls and attacked with spells.
more spells affecting the air , ground , our vision were hurled around impeding their and our movment.
I do not think they know how much they distract me from my craft when they do that.
A minute or so later the alarm had obviously been raised as we quickly tryed to move through the rooms, that by the way look like a mish mash of buildings plastered togeathet by a blind child – we must be in the right place.
Next hallway and again guards in the walls shooting at us.
Is this whole place lined with people? This guy is a mad man.

Again wall guards taken care of – poor guys looks like there is no way in or out for them, cause I’m sure with the party members we have and their amazing abbility to spot the tiniest imperfections they would have spotted any secret openings, if not I would like the maker of secret openings if any to come and do our palace.

We looked in a few more doors then to have the far doors at the end of the corridor to fling open and another small army of men and Pitix"s own champion stand there and declare war upon us. . . Stupid people they should lower their weapons and or fight with us. They are working for a Man that became King on a game of cards,
oh well we raise our weapons and enter into glorious combat.

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