Hawkes Bay Kingmaker

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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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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