Hawkes Bay Kingmaker

On the Run

So we have framed for murder. Lerian with help from a “friend” managed to aid us in our escape. I spent time making sure all was well back at Shrike City while the others went galavanting looking for Io. We have met up again and are now searching for a magic sword that some watery tart lost along with her shawl. Interesting developments Pitax have skirting our kingdom and look to be launching an attack on another kingdom. WTF??? I will keep you informed

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In which the law is forsaken...begrudgingly...

The situation went downhill rather quickly. As a law abiding paladin of holy Iomedae, I asked whether we would be subject to a fair trial. Taking a fellow ruler on their word, I believed the King of Pitax when he informed us that he would preside over the trial.

That being the case, I drew my sword, reversed it and tried to find a guard to hand it over to. While there were dozens in attendance, actually finding one to take my sword proved troublesome…so I simply stood there, sword blade in my hand waiting for a guard to take the weapon, while our erstwhile King remained seated, unfazed and continued drinking.

Oret and Imajica looked troubled when they were asked to give themselves up and subject themselves to manacles. It was at this point that I suggested that all this was on the word of a single being, so surely if we were to treated in this manner, surely our accuser should be as well?

Suffice to say, that is one dwarf we are unlikely to friendly with any time soon.

Learion and Grigori of all people turned up. How these two joined forces was beyond my ken, but it certainly didn’t bode well for Learion’s side of the story if he was in cahoots with a known and reviled activist.

With little option, as Learion had convinced the others to flee (he and I have very strongly similar world views, so his suggestion did carry some extra weight) the opportunity to talk through the situation and Grigori cast a phantasm that covered our tracks as Imajica teleported us to safety. Our King, Khan, bravely opted to remain behind as Imajica was unable to teleport us all with his spell, as Khan could transform into a flying creature and make his way home that way.

Learion informed us he apparently saw his father, aged and alive at the tournament. And that there is apparently a dead ringer of him around, acting as Learion himself. This presents numerous problems. Once home, I did some cursory investigations into any unusual actions our Learion impostor may have made, but alas, this proved to be a dead end. This imposter appears to be acting on a VERY long scale, only making a very few select acts, but they seem to be impacting on us fairly significantly.

With little else in the way of plans, we were surpised to have a message from Andromeda about Io. With my son potentially in trouble, we all made haste to his last known location.

This is the point where the two earlier log entries take place. Refer to those to fill in the missing information.

Wanting to speak to somebody who was at the scene of the crime, Io was able to cast speak with dead and we chose the very priest who was responsible for the atrocity.

This plan was interrupted by two massive shambling mounds. Having fought them before allowed us to smoothly attack them as a well oiled unit. Magic was flung, fists pumped, swords swung and the debris settled. One of the massive creatures had launched a devastating attack on Learion, but fortunately I was able to intercept it. Other than that, the fight was efficiently dealt with.

On to the plan at hand. Cryptic, short and ultimately of limited help, we were able to find out that it was not the sword that drove the priest mad, but a spell that caused his actions. Who and why still remained to be found.

The nereid that Learion freed was able to give us more information. She had been guarding the sword for centuries and it was hidden at the bottom of the pool beneath the monastery (for some reason, I seem to want to say monkery…bizarre) , and it was this that gave the monks alcohol the distinctive delicious taste.

The sword has power few can fathom, but apparently it is capable of slicing a piece of the world and making it part of the fey realm. And for this, it seems to be of utmost interest to a particularly notable nymph.

This nymph had lost station and was apparently looking to claw her way back up the fey political landscape, and the sword was integral in her plans. It has now gone missing, along with the nereid’s shawl. Both of these items appear to have been picked up by Pitax about fifteen years ago after the massacre.

No immediate options presented themselves, so the group is going to work our way through the unexplored areas between the monastery and Pitax and see if inspiration strikes us.

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A Nymph ? are they not just eye candy ?
How did we not see this coming?

So i have this sword with my family crest on it covered in blood after following my father who was not a ghost ( should have been my first clue ).
I took it back to our lodging cleaned it up, while doing so i noticed my guards were not at their posts (must have a word with them later).
Hid the sword and the cloth i used to clean it with and was about to go back to the feast when an old “friend” turned up.

I recognized him immediately this was the man trying to tear our kingdom apart a few years back through lies and deceit.
We had locked him away in our secure holding cell at the time ( a very secure tent ) and he had escaped.
He told me that the party was in trouble in the feast hall and were going to be arrested for the death of the female competitor of Pitax ( no great loss i thought since she knew all the bad things that happened to our kingdom and claimed responsibility ).

It then dawned on me about the sword so i picked it up and the cloth and then assembled all my gear ready to help my team.
I asked the man why was he helping me and he said it was repayment for all those years ago when i released him from our prison tent.
I kept my mouth closed as there was no way i released him.
He sounded very genuine so there must be someone posing as ME, and has done so for a long time, maybe even has been posing as my father to lead me to the sword.

We come up with a plan to free the rest of the team not a great plan but a plan.
I walked on in and told them to release my friends and we did not murder whoever was murdered. Our pally was ready to hand himself over to the authorities for a fair trial but we had been framed and people looking like me walking around there was no fair trial to be had here.

Our ex prisoner made a convincing illusion of us escaping in a cloud of smoke wile our mage teleported us to our lodging to grab our gear and then again teleported us back home.

I informed the party that we have has someone playing a long game against us for what ever reason.
Our pally went around the city asking if I had made any strange requests.
Trying to see if he could see if this imposter had done anything else …. good idea but i did notice he only asked about me and no one else. ( i will be making my own investigations into the other party members with the pally first ).

We then went on the save Io trip, but i forgot to say that we found the dead priest grave after a battle with some shambling mounds, we communed with the dead and only found out that it was not the sword that made him go mad it was a spell.

We know that the sword and possibly the Neriads shall was taken to Pitax.

We know the guy that tried to destroy our city escaped with help from some one looking like me and then he helped save us in Pitax and now gave all our information to the people at the Abby to help them kill us, maybe he too has been impersonated.

We know that the Fey world is involved in all of this and a nasty Nymph is looking to get the sword and use it on our plane of existence.

I personally think she has done something to the King of Pitax.
But i can not figure out why she would turn Pitax against us – if i were to look at it as a tactical point she or whoever it is is turning us all against each other to dwindle our numbers to make it easier for them to attack and join our part of the world into theirs.

supplementary note are Nymps not just something nice to look at?

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We are the CHAMPIONS

With the archery event up first it was time for Imajica to shine, and shine he did, the strategy he had paid off and he won the event. I did spot someone cheating and with the help of Roche we managed to convince the judge to check the his arrows and he was kick out of the event.

Up next was Lerian the lumberjack (and he’s ok) in the log cutting event, and again the strategy he had saw or more chop his way to another win, so with 2 events down it put us in a good position. Unfortunately Roche did not do well in his events which was the boasting and the drunken joust but we did manage to catch another cheat in the boasting event, and it all came down to last years champ of the Jousting event to win the event and have Pitax take the lead and win outright. But his opponent got the better of him and that gave us the outright win, not bad for our first time at the event.

As we sat around the fire eating, drinking and being merry Lerian excuses himself, a few moments later it all came to a sudden holt when the king of Pitax came forth and accused us of murdering a competitor from the boasting event.

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Champions

So I have been doing a lot of looking and watching and drinking. Unable to take part in any of the events due to them involving skills either not becoming of my status or that I have not tried before. Myself and Oret managed to feret out a couple of cheats in a couple of events. We did very well and ended up champions of the games.

The Pitax King is obviously a very materialistic person and likes to display his lavish art works, etc. He has a menagerie of animals that should either be roaming free or destroyed for be abominations to nature. However I held my tongue on the matter.

At the victory Banquet we have just been accused of killing one of the Pitax champions. Lerian does not appear to be with us. This could get interesting….

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In which plans...apparently ALL of them...come together

The day prior to the Rushlight Tournament led to some interesting times.

The first stop in our little excursion led us towards the art exhibition. Overhearing a discussion between Ashularae and another group of visitors did little to impart any real knowledge, so we made our way through the gallery. Not being a lover of art in any form, it was difficult to find something to hold my attention (I would not have gone at all had there not been a fairly insistent nudge from what must have been Iomedae).

Wandering aimlessly through the paintings I stumbled across a picture that looked strikingly like young Io, shortly after I found him in the village all those years ago. A quick discussion with Ashularae informed us that the King had lost a young son many years ago, and the timing seems strangely co-incidental. I requested an immediate audience with the King.

In the mean time, we had a look around the menagerie. While stocked full of beasts of renown and mystique, I found the display somewhat garish. They really should either be free, or destroyed if they are causing trouble. To parade them around like a trophy felt as though it diminished all involved.

I was also able to send a message via bird to Andromeda regarding what I had tentatively found out about Io.

The audience was granted and it took all of my diplomatic powers to have what appeared to be an extremely painful discussion with the King. The loss of his son still seemed to upset him greatly, even after all these years. The discussion ended on a somewhat threaten note with the King vowing to have Io returned to him. Perhaps the offer of information in good faith was not my wisest course at this time.

The day done, it was time to rest for the first day of the tournament. Imajica was first in all respects. His discipline (archery) was first, he was the first to shoot (and in combination with elven skill with a bow, some magic, and a little luck) and also able to finish in first place. Elklund immediately on the leaderboard.

Learion was second, partaking in the lumber chopping discipline and his tactics and sheer strength, combined with some of the better tactics netted him first place as well! Elklund was the current clear leader.

The boasting was next, and while I’m not one prone to boasting, I do have the most skill and experience in oratory, so it was deemed best for me to step up. Sadly, a middling performance left us in third place and therefore no points were garnered, but Elklund was still in the lead.

Last was the jousting, but in this, we had nobody capable. This really left a hail mary attempt, which was me, on a horse, with a lance. Suffice to say, it went badly and I have renewed respect for those who are skilled in this discipline. While I finished last, the unexpected victory over the previous years champion from Pitax left us with the most points and we were deemed the champions! In our first ever appearance!

A feast was held and our prize was presented. Drinking followed and at some point in the night, Learion disappeared and before he came back, a great cry came up from the Kings guard, claiming a competitor had been killed.

Of course, we all leaped to our feet, intending to rush to the aid, but the cries turned against us. WE were being blamed. With guards, heavily armed and armoured, approaching us from all sides, Learion missing, the situation has become dire…

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Dad ?
Lerian the Lumberjack

We decide to go and investigate the area and find out what we can about this King and the City known as Pitax on our free day.

The pally and I head off to the Art gallery and have a look. There are a lot of paintings of the Kings Family stretching way way back way way too far. It seams like something is very wrong here.

One painting catches the eye of Roche as it does seam to look like a very young Io standing next to the King.

Something is up with this place no one can tell me about before this guy became King and if they do its i guess it was his father and his fathers father. Nothing solid to go on yet.

We then head off to the menagerie (is for guests only) to have a look at the wonderful beasts there.

I did overhear a rumor about a very strange snakelike being that is said to have been paraded through the city by the king and is said to be held around his personal quarters, but that is only a rumor.

The pally goes off to tell the king about Io and see what comes of that ( lest just say it was an intense talk ).

The next Day the tournament begins and it starts with the archery.
Our mage Imajica starts off the day with a full 12 seconds of casting spells and then in the next 12 seconds fires off all his six arrows with only one not sticking in the mark of the far ends target, I am impressed for a mage he has done well, and so well in fact that he won that competition giving our nation 3 points.

Also we caught a cheater thanks to our observant Monk and the stern words of our pally.

The next competition was the wood chopping.
I did the best i could with the strategy that our group came up with. Thanks to the group for telling me to take off my Armour ( it did feel strange swinging an ax with no armor on )
I cleft 4 or 5 logs in twain and damaged the last, its all a blur now the heat of the competition must have got to me.
Hooray Our proud nation is victorious in another part of the tournament.
This gave us a grand total of 6 points and two other nations have 1 point each.

With two more rounds to go we were in a good spot.

The boasting was next.
Again there was cheating ( our group would never stoop so low ) and spotted again by us.
Our pally was good but not as good as two other Boasters and no points were awarded to us.
One of the Boaster got up and basically listed off all the annoying and bad things to happen to our City and said that it was all her doing.
This upset Roche and after the tournament he marched right up to the king of Pitax and demanded some sort of compensation , this did not go down to well and i am told Roche was told to leave in no uncertain terms.

Next was the Drunken Joust. Again it was our very hard to hit Pally looking very funny indeed on a horse.
Turns out that he is very easy to hit on a horse and was the first to be eliminated from the Joust.
It was down to the last two, one was Pitax and if he won Pitax would win the competition.
Luckily for us the other City won and we were Victorious.
Hopefully this shows the other nations that we are indeed here to say and deserving of their respect is a kingdom of the Bandit Nations.

At the Feast we were awarded the Magical item that was up for grabs but more importantly I saw my father at the entrance to the Feast Hall.
I immediately excused myself and went to investigate.
I did not find my father but he led me to a tree with a long sword leaning up against it.
On closer inspection I saw it had our family crest on the hilt. I picked it up and it felt slimy. I immediately placed it back down and gave it a closer look. Blood on the blade but more out of place was Blood on the handle. Fresh too.

I decided to take it back to our lodgings to inspect it further.

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LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Pitax is holding it’s annual games, in which surrounding kingdoms come together and compete for glory, and altho i’m not really into this sort of stuff it will be good for our kingdom to meet surrounding kingdoms and hopefully make some good connections.

We arrive at Pitax to a spectacular welcome and are introduced to the king of Pitax, we chat, drink and present our gift, which seems to impress the King which makes it a good start for us. We say our goodbyes to the king as he has other visitors to meet and greet. So we make our way to our lodgings checking out the other lodgings for the other visitors on the way, and prepare for the events that are being held tomorrow.

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Kingly Duties Call

Our kingdom is finally being recognised by the other Kingdoms with an invitation to the Annual Pitax tournament of Champions. So off we travel, the usual group with the addition of my lovely wife. We are meet with the King of Pitax (he is an artdork). We have a look at our lodgings and then start talking with some of the other visitors. Low and behold I find myself face to face with (insert name here). That is a real blast from the past. It was good to have a catch up and she filled us in a bit on the events to come. Sounds like I will be watching most of it and not taking any active part.
Time for bed Quintessa is calling…

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In which kings and men mingle

Pitax holds an annual tourney. Something that most of the border Kingdoms are invited to. This year is the first year in which Elklund appears to have made the following nations realise that we are, in fact, a legitimate nation, even if we are somewhat small in comparison to others.

The work I had put in over the preceding years must have helped build some form of good favour, and as such, we made our way to the tourney as a group, led by Khan, as always, our King.

Io was gifted a vision from our Goddess, iomedae herself, and such a divine message can not be ignored. He made the pilgrimage willingly, and I was proud to see him follow our Goddess and continue her good works.

This did leave a gap in our group as we decided to make the trip. Luckily, Khan’s marriage to the lovely Lady Quintessa Maray had resulted in a bond forming between her and the original members of the party, and she offered to go in Io’s stead. She was gladly welcomed by all.

A quiet trip resulted in a generous welcome to the outskirts of Pitax, where we were greeted by Nunzio Arpaia. On behalf of his King, he bade us welcome and invited us to sup and greet the leader of Pitax, none other than King Castruccio Irovetti himself.

The meeting was both pleasant and fairly short. Queen Quintessa is somewhat the scholar and bard of renown, and the entrance to King Castruccios tent was lined with works of art. She was able to hold her tongue however, as she later informed us of the obviously gaudy nature of most of the pieces, even if they were of financial value.

The sheer gleeful interest in art from the King allowed us to gift him with a work of art from our own vaults resulted in a very friendly meet and greet, along with breaking our fast. Smart thinking from Imajica there, as the gift was his idea.

Once bid good day, we were bade to explore our lodgings, and our guide was to be the lovely Ashularae, whom we had the pleasure of meeting twice before. She was very friendly yet again, but there did seem to be some tension between her and Learion which seemed to shorten her stay.

After investigating our lodgings carefully (it was prudent to check for traps, magical or otherwise and any other unwanted things), we made a slow trip around the small lake where all the visiting dignitaries were housed. Learion chose to remain behind, to bathe and wash off the dust from the road.

We did find most of the lodgings empty. Perhaps the visitors were enjoying other sights?

One lodging housed somebody familiar to Khan however. She was one of three representing another faction, but the short story seemed to involve he rescuing Khan from some daemon during his formative years.

From her we learned more of the tourney and taking our leave, we planned our participation in the events…

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