Hawkes Bay Kingmaker

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…

In which ale may be made again

“These events follow the events in Pitax at the Rushlight Tournament – Log 2 of 2”

The isle was guarded.

A large number of Will-o-Wisps descended on Oret as he charged ahead into the ghost that was floating, menacingly, on the other side of the small bridge.

Spells started flying from all parts, but the most surprising was Imajica as he literally transformed into something else. Suddenly, his archery was potent, the arrows striking were previously, while he clearly knew how to use a bow (part of his elven heritage I understand), he was now hitting targets he would have struggled with and leaving a solid impact.

Oret focused on the ghost, but was surrounded by Will-o-Wisps. Luckily for him, Learion was able to take care of them fairly quickly. While immune to most magic, they were not impervious to large swords slicing clean through them.

I tried to take the fight to the ghost in between this. I was unfortunately unable to be particularly useful as it primarily ignored me and I had serious difficulty connecting with it. Io was able to sear it with Iomedae’s fire however, and combined with the multitude of other hits from Learion and Oret, the ghost dissipated.

A small room was found, a door cleverly hidden as a cask.

Inside was clearly the mad priest’s resting chambers, sparse as they may be. A rod and an ornate water clock were the only items of any real interest, Both indicated magic, and potentially some value, usable or financial.

Learion, however, had other ideas. Taking the water clock, he threw it violently to the ground, shattering it to pieces. From the wreckage, the water seeped together and formed a Nereid. A beautiful…and very naked…Nereid.

A spare cloak was offered to her as a way to cover herself, although she didn’t seem overly concerned. Imajica was able to tell us something of these magical creatures from another plane.

She thanked us for rescuing her, although in truth, it was Learion in a moment of possibly divine inspired clarity that was mostly responsible for her freedom. She also enquired as to a shawl. Apparently this item of clothing is magically important to her.

We had unfortunately not found such an item and suspected it had been taken back to Pitax all those years ago when the monastery was destroyed and Pitax soldiers cleaned up the mess.

Luckily, she was able to make a new shawl, but finding her original one would still be very beneficial to her. No guarantees were made, but I did promise to make an effort to search should I be in the position to do so.

Io’s quest done, as far as he and I were able to discern, the party made their way back to Shrike City.

So she works for an art lover
To late for you.

We went in the cave below the abbey to find some dancing lights and a ghost of the mad priest.

The glowing lights were Willow Wisps… again and they posed no problem the the mad ghost did offer a challenge to our monk who struggled to hit him but in the end he fell … again ( I do wonder how he died though, from what i understand about ghosts is that they have some unfinished business and i have a feeling it is to do with Pitax)

I found a hidden compartment and a clock that was very cool it had flowing water and everything and it even talked to me.
It asked me to destroy it and as we know destroying things can be quite fun so i did.
And out popped a Niad. A very naked and beautiful Niad.

She had been locked away in the clock by the priest and he had taken her shall that is very very important to her and her survival.
We agree to find this shall while she starts knitting a new one if we are unsuccessful.

We ask if she could accompany us to our city where she can work in piece and maybe take up residence with our witch.

I do have many questions for he about the realm she comes from. she seams to know about the sword he mad priest was using to kill the monks and maybe what drove him crazy we will see.

All this information could have been useful a few weeks ago when we were in Pitax for the annual Bandit kingdoms tournament as we could have asked them about the mad priest and the missing shall then.

The tournament is a few days worth of fun and skill all the best of the best come from most kingdoms to show off their best and most skilled people from their little neck of the woods. Some kingdoms have not turned up must look into this.

We turned up and were taken to meet and greet the King of Pitax ( an odd choice of King – I say that knowing we too have a very odd choice of King so i know what i’m talking about – the King of the cultural center of the bandit kingdoms i expected to be carried with grace and have an aura of sophistication about him how wrong could i be.

He seams like a man out of place and with very little knowledge of ART witch stands out in the cultural center. But who am I to judge.

We break some bread with the man and offer him a gift ( picked out by our mage ) a…. lovely painting ….. not what i would have given … i would have given something very important to him, like a Great-sword but he did seam to like it and then hang it upside down, each to his own.

We then came across a old friend the teefling that i once would have taken to be my wife if she had not politely refused, but its to late for her now i am taken.
She shows us to our lodgings and then takes her leave.
I take this chance to have a lovely bath on the lake next to our bathhouse wile the other went to explore ( really i was watching our quarters to see if any people decided to enter our house wile the rest were away as it is widely known we are not accepted or liked. thankfully nothing happened).

We now must make the decisions on who will take part in the events coming up in the next few days we have archery, wood chopping, boasting, and jousting i am wanting to do the chopping something i know ill will be good at and and hopefully get the group this magic stick that is on offer for the winning kingdom.

Meanwhile, back in Durz's Shrike City


Durz turns on Mulio, eyes wide, a furious and righteous anger forming faster than most men can take a single breath.


Mulio sighs as he nods, for about the twentieth time.

“Durz, it’s ten thirty in the morning, and I’m already having to cut your tab off. Piss off and sober up before you come back again. Hell, DON’T come back again (at least for a couple of days, your money is still good) you bloody barbarian.”

For some reason, the completely justified fury that Durz intended to unleash on Mulio’s establishment seems to fade. Durz shakes his head and squints. Turning slightly, he spy’s a city constable gingerly backing away, dropping a billy club, holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender.


Durz turns in fury on the poor sap, his anger growing, like the unrelenting tide. He blinks again. Turns again, only to see another city constable quickly backing away, but still brandishing his billy club.


Another thud sounds nearby. Durz dimly gathers that by nearby, his brain is in fact telling him, this means his own skull. Strange how that sounds about four feet to his left currently. He staggered, the blows to the head doing less than the copious amounts of alcohol to his balance.


Mulio sighs.

“Thank whatever bloody God is listening…Constables, if you would be so good as to guide our good friend, friend in the loosest possible manner of course, to your cell again so he can sleep off his latest episode?”

Here ends but ONE mighty tale, among a plethora of such mighty tales, of Durz the Mighty, conqueror of all he sees, founder of Shrike City and proud member of the Horde in the Sky when his time comes due…

In which witches witch for Iomeade

“These events follow the events in Pitax at the Rushlight Tournament – Log 1 of 2”

After two years of relative peace in our kingdom, my son, Io Brightheart came to me once fine morning.

“I’ve had a vision from Iomedae father. She has directed me to an abandoned abbey, I think, to cleanse it of some past taint. I only saw myself in the vision, so I believe this is a test from our Goddess, for me, alone.”

He has even been the more devout of us, and is closer to Iomedae than I have ever been. When Io declares something like this, I believe him. While, like any father, I wish my son to safe, and failing that, to go along with him to help ensure said safety, I trust both him and Iomedae.

Several weeks go by, and this is nothing unusual, for I have no idea where Io’s quest has taken him.

However, Andromeda Niska, our resident witch, and lately, tentatively, friend, appears to have been keeping an eye on my son. Up till this point, she has not interfered as she believed him to be completely safe. Her latest scrying suggests that while Io is alright presently, something seems amiss, and Andromeda believes that Io could be in danger.

Her scrying has given her a location, and I immediately ready myself for travel, only to find those mighty companions, friends and powerful allies all, ready themselves to come with me. Learion, Oret Eberheart and Imajica were all in Shrike City at the time and determine to make the trip by my side. Iomedae has blessed me indeed to give me such valiant and loyal friends. It’s was with a heavy heart that we left without Khan Getafix, as he was away on some pressing business for the realm. Such are the duties of the King.

It was a long trip, but thankfully Imajica was able to teleport us almost half the required distance. From our newest stronghold, Fort Drelev, we made our way deep into territory considered to be the rule of Pitax.

An abandoned abbey was a indeed our destination, and Imajica seemed to pull historical facts of the place from seemingly nowhere. Such is his depth and breadth of learning I suppose.

Oreo was made invisible and he bravely scouted the area ahead to give us any sort of understanding of the layout above. Unfortunately he was unable to discover much, but there appeared to be a guard in the bell tower, situated off to one side of the abbey itself.

Not knowing if there was trouble or not, we made no effort to hide (Learion and myself would have struggled at that regardless) and made our way directly to the bell tower. I bade Oret to climb the side of the tower while the rest of us approach in a more orthodox manner. Opening the door, we found the room to be empty, but Oret found an area above in the broken rafters where a guard could have been situated.

From there, our only real option was to investigate the abbey. Going straight in, we were confronted by stairs up on one side, down on the other, and curtains directly in front of us. I chose the simple, direct route and made for the curtains.

This is where I found my precious son, seated serenely in front of a large flower, on top of which, was situated a jewel of some kind. I immediately went to him, but before I made more than five feet, enemy combatants emerged from all over the place, none of whom appeared to have been there before. Sorcery!

“Kill the human!”

Some form of creature was aiming an arrow directly at Learion (Imajica assured us it was a wererat, and devised us not to get bitten by it). Well, a threat to a friend is a threat to me, so I called on Iomedae and intercepted every arrow that was launched at Learion.

The fight was brutal, but surprisingly quick. Learion was able to do some significant damage to a surrounding melee combatants before he fell. Oret saved him from certain death while Imajica kept the enemy at bay best he could with magics. I simply concentrated on defence to start with and was able to call on Iomedae to heal all of us, thankfully preserving the life that Oret fought so bravely to save.

Learion had one last trick however and blasted the wererat from his perch with what can only be a divinely guided bolt from his crossbow, allowing us to make short work of the remaining ambushers.

We were able to discern that the rabble rouser, Grigori, that we temporarily captured when Shrike City was still being formed was behind the ambush. Learion has made plain his desire to end the threat to our kingdom once and for all, and I wholeheartedly agree.

The jewel Io was seated in front of was the key. It transported us to what seemed like a memory of the past where a crazed priest of Iomedae was slaughtering the peaceful monks. There seemed no way to change the memory, so we finally decided, on Oret’s suggestion, to make our way down to the monks brewery.

A long and deep tunnel was carved into the hillside, ending in a small cavern, consisting of a large body of water and a scum covered isle, with just a rickety wooden bridge adjoining them. I made my way to the isle, intent on cleaning it up, hoping this might help our cause…

Who knew flowers could do that?
"Get the one with the big sword" ..... Wait what?

A lot has happened in the past two years but will get to that at a later date.

We are looking for Roche’s son whom has gone investigating a abbey because he had a vision from his god. ( I know right … crazy ) ( but i followed a vision of my father so who’s judging? )

We get to the outskirts of this Abbey and walk through the gap in the stone wall everything looking run down and not used.

The first thing we notice is the smell … Musty and only as soon as we pass the wall.
We decide to send in the monk with a invisible spell on him to scout the area.
Ten minutes later he comes back with a very vague description of the area but he had noticed a man in the bell tower whom was quite jumpy.

We all head straight to the bell tower to confront this man but he had gone. There was a weird sound of bells ringing in the distance but it could only be herd from within the bell tower.

Next was the Abbey its self. We walk in and start our search for Roche’s son it did not take long to find him sitting down in front of a small weird looking flower.
We did not get a chance to go see to him though as many many many people appeared from the vats of wine on the side of the room maybe even had the appearance of the barrels put on them.
I heard a voice from up in the rafters say “get that one the one with the big sword” GULP.

The fight did not last long as i knew they were after me for some reason, maybe word had got out that my fighting style was one to be cautious of ??
Turns out no that’s not the reason the Rat in the rafters was specialized at killing humans and i was the only one in there.

One big swing and i managed to hurt or kill many of the melee fighters within range. then one more swing at one fellow was my only contribution to the fray as i was focused on and knocked unconscious …. twice.

After i was roused for the second time the group attacking us had surrendered.
The Rat was put to death by Roche with no complaint from the rest of us.
Only two others from his band of men was still alive and we questioned them and then let them go as it turns out they were just mercenary’s for hire.

They told us that a man we knew of had let them know all our vulnerability’s and where and what we were doing. I will make it my mission to find him and with no warning once found will run him right through his gut, he has vexed me he has terribly vexed me.

We tried to see what was effecting the son of Roche as he was not responding to anything we did.
The only thing that cam to my mind was touching the flower that was in front of him.
I found myself in the Abbey but its was looking fine with no signs of wear and tear i touch the plant again and find myself on the floor with a sore nose.
I tell the group what I saw then i decide to go back and investigate a little more.

This time i take a walk outside and i see a man laying waste to the monks but i can not do anything about it it all looks like a vision i head back inside and I hear a familiar voice from behind me . . . Roche’s son at this point Roche turns up in this version of the world and we decide we need to investigate the tunnel that the monk found in is scouting.

We head to the tunnel and there is a small island with dancing lights and green mold surrounded by water.
We head in …………

In which we tie up loose ends

After rescuing the Bog Strider and clearing the Boggard camp, we made our way back to the Bog Strider camp. Being greeted by the ex-captive was a relief! He made it home safely.

While there was no monetary rewards (the satisfaction was more than enough reward), the Bog Striders were able to give us much more detailed information for our map, and this allowed us to make a decision on where to head next.

There really only seemed like one remaining threat that was urgent. Some sort of woman with no legs that had the Bog Striders concerned, so we made our way over to investigate.

We were actually greeted by a Boggard standing front of something massive, that looked like a tree, some forty round, lying flat on the swampy ground. When greeted, the Boggard bade us wait for the lady as she wanted to speak to us.

Some form of snake woman slithered out to see us. I wish I could say that diplomacy was the order of the day, but her first sentence was something to the tune of needing more slaves to serve her and then she cast some sort of spell.

Luckily nobody seemed to be affected, so we spread out and looked to end this decisively.

The snake woman had other ideas and proceeded to cast spells to hamper us and succeeded in trapping some of our group in some form of terrain, all the while, slithering away and keeping her distance.

Learion had the Boggard covered, so I immediately moved toward the snake lady, with Oret moving to my assistance. Io was trapped, but both our casters were free and casting away themselves (Imajica cast haste and Khan summoned a massive fire elemental).

Just as we got close to the snake lady, she teleported away, and re-appeared a fair distance away, way up on top of the tree.

Khan commanded his fire elemental to follow her and proceeded to summon an air elemental as well, while Imajica beckoned the rest of us over to him and used his dimension door to teleport us up to where she was.

With very little room up there, we were pressed right up against the edge and at risk of falling a long way down if anything happened. Luckily for us, Learion happened to her instead. With a couple of well placed blows, he cleft her in twain and another danger to our budding kingdom was taken care of

I have also dispatched all my followers to each of our outlying settlements to help bolster their defences.

Threats taken care of, we returned home to Shrike City to continue fortifying our kingdom so that attacks from the likes of Fort Drelev can no longer cause us trouble…

In which we meet the (less than) mighty Boggards

Battleplans tend to need to be set and then remain fluid. This allows for some structure and then the ability to alter as required to ensure victory is yours.

Somehow, between Learion, Imajica and I we were completely unable to come up with a plan that we agreed upon. Instead, we simply teleported to the nearest hut and wandered round until we found an entrance.

It was at THIS point that we found out the Boggards skill in noticing things. That is, complete and lack of said skill. Learion and I wandered round the base of the hut, with two Boggards in a tree right next to us. Learion found the entrance and called out and I moved to joined him. At no stage were we spotted or heard…

In the hut was the Bog Strider leaders son, whom we promptly escorted out and Imajica led us back through the dimension door and the Bog Strider immedaitely thanked us and said he could find his own way home from where we were, now he was no longer a captive.

Magic entrance now used, we were forced to simply approach the Boggard village on foot, alerting them to our presence. The first guards were quickly cut down, so Io and I moved to the nearest mound (the Bog Strider had informed us the mounds were entrances to the Boggard underground holdings) and lifted back the leather flap to reveal a chamber with what looked to be a priest and his minions.

The minions were hard up against the wall, cowering in fear, but the priest appeared calm. Io cast a wall of stone to block off two of the three exits from the chamber and I dropped down and guarded the other, while Io, less graceful than he would have wanted, simply fell face first into the same chamber.

Outside, the sounds of magic and fighting were prevailent. Oret dropped into the chamber as well. As he did so, the priest summoned a giant scorpion, which immediately attacked.

While defending us, I missed the priest casting yet another spell. This time, the water that was merely a foot deep in the chamber at the time, suddenly surged up to the roof and washed Io, myself and the scorpion down the one remaining corridor, leaving Oret by himself in the chamber with the priest.

After picking ourselves up, Io and I found that the scorpion had followed us involuntarily, and was now stuck in the tunnel between us and Oret. With only one course of action, I attacked the summoned creature while Io held back. With it being trapped, the creature was not really in a position to be dangerous, and I simply put it out of its misery.

Once it was dead, Io and I were able to pull the creature out of the tunnel with some difficulty and then struggle (well, Io struggled, he had previously cast freedom of movement on me, so the tunnel was easy to move in) down the passge to the chamber where Oret was trapped.

Turns out he was not so much trapped with the priest, but the priest was trapped in there with him. By the time I got back in there, the priest was taken care of and the other Boggards were still cowering in fear against the walls.

With the priest taken care of, it simply remained to check the rest of the underground lair and find any survivors (we let them all go free as they would struggle to mount a threat now) and retrieve any valuables.

It was time to head back to the Bog Striders and see that the son had arrived safely…

In which we meet new friends

Our travel is now into weeks. Time must be divided between ruling our kingdom and exploring the swamps around Fort Drelev.

By necessity, the ruling is done quickly as we must make the new additions to our realm safe for trade and most especially, for living in.

The ruling focuses on joining our realms together with roads and farms to support our growth. By gathering more lands and utilising them well, we have seen many people flock to our fledgling empire, and Shrike City has grown faster than we all believed possible.

Unfortunately, this may mean we become a target for other kingdoms, as Fort Drelev made so obvious, so fortifying all our towns with walls and defences is an absolute must before the luxuries can be added to make our citizens lives more comfortable. I think being alive is better than comfortable and dead!

Otherwise, it is slogging through a swamp we go. We are looking for boggards that cause trouble in the area, interrupting trade and making life difficult for our new city state of Fort Drelev.

As we explored, we stumbled upon a race of beings I had never seen before. I was assured that they were called bogstriders and were both intelligent and likely to be enemies of the boggards.

Khan and I approached them, after being asked to remove our weapons. Thankfully Imajica had a spell that allowed me to converse with them in their native tongue, and Khan, who has an incredible command over language, was already able to talk to them.

After brief introductions, it became obvious that these beings were not really warriors, but putting on a brave face and demanding our acquiescence. While I revel in the role of diplomat, I do not do so from a position of subservience, and sought to treat all as equals. This did make the discussions more difficult however and may not have been the best option at this time.

We were able to find out from their leader where the boggards made their camp and a good estimate of their numbers. It sounds as though there is about fifty of them, making this a sizable village.

It was also pointed out that the leaders son has been taken hostage, and in their passive aggressive style, we were bid to rescue him. While I would do so willingly. it seemed our best recourse was to do so quickly as there was no real telling what could have happened to him in between being captured and now.

With this mission ringing in our ears, we made haste for the boggard encampment and have started casting defensive magics on ourselves as we walk directly up to the camp…

In which we meet old enemies

In our travels we were naturally very thorough. We explored as much terrain as possible to ensure that there would be no dangers (or prizes!) left undiscovered.

One such danger was the lair of a chuul. Having been attacked by one of these a few years ago, where Learion lost his horse and nearly provided a meal for it under water, it was deemed to evil to live.

Moving forward, I challenged it to a fair fight (and possibly with Imajica trying to lay bets in the background for some reason), but something in the grasses startled in (turns out it was Khan controlling the very grass we walk upon to inhibit our enemies) and it retreated into it’s cavern.

Following it in appeared to be a mistake as two more erupted out of the water from behind us, but between the lot of us, we have learned a great deal since those days, year previous where one such creature could trouble us and short work was made of all three.

Learion did, however, try to provide one himself as a food source…again!

Further travel found us deeper into the bog and we came across a large area that appeared to have been flattened by something massive. So Learion immediately threw a large rock into the water surrounding the area and proceeded to alert the creature to our presence…

It turned out to be a thirteen headed hydra. A monstrosity that we haven’t encountered before, but Imjaica understood their ways and informed us that the beast was best killed by blows to the, as the heads would keep reforming and doubling in number.

Khan provided some form of magical impediment and damage to the creature and Iomedae protected me as I went forth and faced it and I was lucky not to be hit particularly often before Oret and Learion, under the benefit of the haste spell, were able to cut it down.

Our greatest trouble was to come however!

We had previously encountered four large black dragons, flying as a group. They tormented us once, had one of their number find us again and attack us, although at the cost of its own life and finally, the remaining three found us as we set off their ambush.

At first, we thought there was only one as it surprised several of us by erupting out of a swampy patch of bushes. It immediately called for help and something about the foul beast terrified Io and shook the resolve of Oret.

Moving forward to the beast, I lost sight of Imajica as moved out of my line of sight. Io fled, terrified in the opposite direction of the dragon, Oret moved to flank it, moving freely through the dense terrain thanks to his ring of freedom of movement. Learion moved in front of me and Khan, in the form of a large air elemental took to the sky.

At this point, the remaining two dragons landed on either side of our party. Breaths of acid were flying through the air thick and fast, and even as I was calling on iomedae to bless us and protect us from acid, I was moving to slow to save everybody.

Oret flailed at the first beast side, unable to do much damage through the thick hide of the dragon. But Learion was nearby to Oret, and a plan formed. Iomedae allowed me to shared my sacred link to her power and I allowed the other melee to smite the dragon in my stead.

Iomedaes power is vast and that dragon felt the full brunt of it through fist and blade. I did my part by calling on her healing powers to keep Oret in particular alive.

As this was happening, a huge fire elemental appeared and fought for us, under the control of our druid, Khan. This bought us precious flanking and distraction, allowing me to heal while others simply focused on killing dragons.

Then we were smothered in a fog cloud, cast by another dragon. Oret was in a bad way and since he provided the killing blow for all dragon kind to see, he was the primary target. He wisely kept moving as I made my way over to heal him and Learion used the remaining power of Iomedae to smite a second dragon.

Suddenly, Io appeared near us, out of thin air and another elemental appeared behind the last dragon left alive. The timing of these events was fortuitous and through our combined skill and power, we all survived, more or less intact and the dragons were vanquished!

The glory belongs to Iomedae, however, I worry that these four are the children brood for something much older…only time will tell.


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