Hawkes Bay Kingmaker

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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A Plan so cunning & the Paladin gets some new breasts

With the plan finally decided upon, Imajica made his way to Pitax. When he return he informed us on what had transpired, he had organized us a ship that was dock in the harbor to hide out on. We teleported to the ship, which got us inside Pitax without any hassles, the captain of the ship had also given Imajica a bit of a lead, we needed to follow the smell of cheese, not sure what that meant but at least it was something and i do like cheese so if it turns out to be a dead end hopeful i can get some cheese.

So with our disguises on Roche used his new womanly attributes to get us some info from some of the locals, as we headed on wards we ran into some patrolling guards who informed us that there was a curfew in affect and again Roche managed to sway the guards that he… wait, she really need some cheese and that nothing was going to stand in her way. The guards gave us a bit of leniency and we carried on, with the guards following, guessing they were just keeping an eye on us. The cheese shop was closed but that did not deter Roche and off she went again ( this is one woman i wouldn’t want to mess with) until the owner was awoken from slumber and came down to see what was going on.

With the message whispered in the owners ear, we were let in and shown a room that was used for meetings, and we decided that once we got back to the ship we would teleport back here to discuss our next plan of attack. With our purchase of cheese, some for the guards to show a little gratitude, we made our way back to the ship.

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In which plans are made...unmade...made...unmade...etc...

It all seemed so simple. We teleport as close to Pitax as possible, use a hat of disguise to make our way as close to the palace as possible, assault the king, end the threat to our kingdom and be done.

Instead, Imajica made the trip himself, did some scouting (he appears to have gained new spells or skills that he has not previously utilised) of his own. as there was nobody else with him, it was with interest that the rest of us waited for him to return.

He came back bearing some news. He had secured some form of lodging in the harbour with a friendly sea captain, paying for the use of his ship while it was in dock. And there was a slightly unusual addition to that request. One of his so-called travelling companions was to be a woman.

I was unsure why this particular detail was require, other than to cause somebody some discomfort. As it turned out, it was to be MY discomfort as I needed to use my hat of disguise to become a woman.

Once we teleported directly into the ship (neatly getting us inside Pitax, the captain informed Imajica that we should follow the smell of cheese in the city. With no other leads (as the original plan appeared to have been veto’d somehow without my knowing), we made our way into town to find this cheese.

I used my new found feminine wiles to coerce some information out of the local populace. By the time we got the information we needed, dark had fallen and the bells tolled midnight. Again, with little patience to hang around when not required, I immediately starting making my way (dragging the rest of the group in my wake)) towards our destination.

We were held up briefly by the local constabulary (who also helped direct us…maybe being a woman has some additional benefits?) and they then followed us to ensure we were actually going where we said we were.

We were also informed that there was a curfew in effect, and we were in breach of it. Luckily , the guards were easily convinced to leave us alone. The trip towards the cheese and meat shop also took us towards the palace, so at least we also learnt our targets location.

The shop was well closed by midnight, but some lusty calls got us inside, along with the whispered message about following the smell of cheese. A room was made available to us as we were friends of those against the crown (in a manner of speaking), so a decision was made to teleport to this room once we got back to the ship. This would throw off any potential pursuit.

A purchase was made to ensure that the guards were satisfied that we actually bought something. I also made my way over to the guards and shared some of the cheese…it never hurts to thank people…

So all that remains is to wait for Imajica to be in position to teleport us to our secret room, from which we can hopefully make our assault on the King.

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We must with haste immediately attack .... in a weeks time
How a simple plan windes up going to get cheese

The plan was simple:

1: Get disguise hats for everyone
2: Make a wand of Invisibility
3: Wait till night, put hats on, drink pots, Land on Palace.
4: Find window or place to enter and get as close to King as we could before fighting.

What we ended up doing.

The mage wanted to sight see before we infiltrated Pitax. So he decided to teleport to close to the city and get inside somehow and peruse at his own leisure .

The next day he arrives back home and tells us he has managed to get a boat to stay in.
This at least was a good thing.
We now were in the city and ….. well that’s it.
BUT he had told the captain of the ship that some of us were Female’s….. this posed a problem as we are not.
Rock paper scissors – the pally was now a lovely plump lass.

The rest of the plan could have stayed the same….. BUT he was told to follow the smell of cheese for some help.

Later on than evening we decided to roam the city to be oggled by everyone in sight increasing our chance of being discovered and loosing the chance of any surprise.
This made me very anxious and was trying my best to act casual…… this all ended when we spent four hours questioning people only to find at midnight where the cheese place was – a very normal act i’m sure.

We headed towards the cheese place and were confronted by some of the city guard asking why we were breaking curfew, and were told that one of us the Female Pally ( HEE HEE ) wanted some cheese. Now these guys must have been tired because its midnight and the stores are closed and why does it take six people to get cheese??

Anyway they let us go but kept a close eye on us .

We woke up the neighborhood trying to get into the Cheese and Meat shop and were greeted by a bury eyed looking lady wondering what the hell was happening and it took a few seconds before she realized what we were after.
She showed us in and took us to a secure basement turns out it is used for secret meetings for people that she dislike’s. Lets just hope the same people we dislike she dislike’s

We decide to gather some cheese and give the kind guards a slice or two then head back to the ship.
We plan to teleport back to the secret basement room and start the search for the king the next evening.

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THE INVASION

While we were out exploring we receive word from the Centaurs that our Kingdom was about to come under attack. With a quick discussion, we all teleport back to Shrike City except for Roche, who would be joining us momentarily. Learion and I stayed to organize our armies while the magic uses went to Varnhold to help defend, and after Imajica had rested he went back to get Roche.

We shall defend our Kingdom, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight them at the walls, we shall fight them in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight them in the mountains; we shall never surrender.

With troops on both sides in position and ready to attack, the time had finally come to show these bastards who they were messing with. We took care of there air support first and then move onto the trolls, and with them down the Pitax army was next, which we soon had retreating back to the mountain pass. After regrouping they came at us again, which was a ballsy move but this time we broke them and they fled in all directions.

With the invasion over and us victorious it was time to attend to the wounded and then pay respects to the fallen and send them off in a manner in which they deserved. Now it was time to devise a plan to clear our names and end this once and for all.

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In which betrayal fails to breach walls of stone and men(ish)

Our quest to find the shawl and gather more information on the mystical fae sword Briar came to an abrupt end.

A messenger bird came to us from the centaurs. They utilised a magical item we gave them some years back and what a time to use it! Varnhold was under attack from a large army, consisting of a huge contingent of Pitax men, a unit of Wyverns and a unit of Trolls.

Our tower in the mountains served its purpose, but the men died to send the the message of invasion. We owe them a debt that shall be difficult to repay.

Imajica was able to teleport Khan, himself, Io, Oret and Learion to Shrike City, leaving Oret and Learion to marshal the armies of Elklund, while the remainder were teleported to Varnhold to assist in defending the township.

Thankfully Learion had been very insistent on setting up defensive perimeters around every settlement in our kingdom, and in the end, these very walls were crucial to the defense of our realm.

Once Imajica had rested for a day, he teleported back to Fort Drelev where I was waiting and immediately took me back to Varnhold, where I was humbled by the dedication shown not only by our own subjects, but by our allies, the centaurs, and even a group of treants!

The centaurs had mobilised and were already in the town, along with the aforementioned group of treants. Perhaps having a druid for king pays dividends in certain times of strife? All of the magic users we sent to the town performed heroic feats of magic, increasing our already substantial defenses and boosting the armies morale.

When the armies attacked, they were beaten back over and over. We focused on the Wyverns initally since they could simply fly over the walls and give us considerable trouble. Once they were dealt with, the Trolls were next. Large, powerful and regenerating troops at the walls didn’t seem like a prudent tactic.

The Trolls were also destroyed, but somehow one survived and some fast talking from Imajica saw they turn coat. I’m sincerely hoping they are left to go their own way once the battle is done.

Two units destroyed and the army of Pitax starting to take a beating, the men turned and withdrew, heading to the very pass they spewed forth from.

We followed them at a safe distance, sure in the knowledge that by this time, Learion and Oret had blocked the other side of the path with our main armies, trapping the Pitax legion in between.

With no hope of holding out, they attacked en mass. To their doom. Well defended, and flush from crushing the armies at their very gates, the armies of Elklund were decisively victorious, causing the invaders to break apart like the sea over rocks and flee into the mountains or be taken captive.

Once the invasion was over, Io and Khan spent some time with the centaurs, healing their wounds as best they were able. In the battles, the only people to have casualties were the centaurs. They were the most dangerous and unfortunately that made them a target. For defending our kingdom and honouring our alliance with honour, we owe them more than any simple debt. Our agreement to leave their lands and forge an alliance was both wise and fruitful.

After discussing this more at length, it was decided that these invaders had to have been mobilised before the Rushlight Tournament, meaning that the feeble excuse given to declare war was a sham.

Learion’s plan was to assault the very King of Pitax himself. If we can get to him, potentially, we can end this war before it becomes even larger. This means that we shore up our kingdoms defenses and make our own way into Pitax…

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Archers , Trees , and a big fight
Walls are good MKay

So we start of search for the Neriads cloth thing and the sword named Briaer or something, slowly making our way to Pitax.

Three days pass and we get a magical little bird come to us ( this was the bird we gave to the Centaurs a wile ago ).

Our Fort is under attack !

We mobilize a plan, all the magic users will teleport to the fort and on the way drop off The Monk and myself . then teleport to the Fort and start the defense of our little city.

The Pally is left to wait for a day or so till the Mage can comeback and pick him up.

I ready our army’s at our capital and march them to the City under attack, this should take three days to arrive.
Hopefully the rest can hold off the advance till we arrive.

I am told that on the second day they attacked.
Thankfully a group of friendly Tree-Ents were wandering on by and lent a help full hand to take up arms ( or huge rocks ) against our Pitax foe’s. Possibly thanks to our Druid King being there.

There were Trolls, Wyvern’s and a army of men Two thousand strong. Looking to destroy one of our founding settlements.

I never made it to that battle but I am told the gods were with us that day and our little force and a very help full group of trees and legendary Centaurs laid waste to the invaders.
With the Army of men the only ones left standing they broke formation and retreaded the way they came for the night.
Little did they know the rest of the party and our main Army was coming up behind them – they were trapped.

We decided to hold them in the pass until they surrendered, but this was not to be the case. They attacked so we came at them from both sides. It was a total victory on our part with the invaders from Pitax fleeing in every direction.
Some Centaurs were unfortunately lost in the encounter, we owe them a dept of gratitude.

Pitax must pay.

Time to cut the head off the snake.

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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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