The Kingmaker

"Enter the Stolen Lands, a wilderness claimed by nobles, bandits, and beasts alike. Into this territory the fractious country of Brevoy sends its emissaries, tasking them with subduing the lawless folk and deadly creatures that have made it a realm of savagery and shame. Beyond the last rugged frontier stretches the home of voracious monsters, capricious fey, wily natives, and bandits who bow to the rule of a merciless lord none dare defy. Can the PCs survive the Stolen Lands, bring their dangers to heel, and lay the foundations of a new kingdom? Or will they just be one more fateful band, lost forever to the ravenous wilds?"

The Stolen Lands, a wild lawless place awaiting the hand of strong justice. A politically ambiguous place where many parties vie for control. Into this cauldron of woe walk five heroes-in-the-making to create their own nation. Patriots—but to what cause?

Kingmaker is a Pathfinder Adventure Path role playing game published by Paizo Publishing under the terms of the Open Game License. It provides a rich backdrop for a group of pioneers as they attempt to bring civilization to a wild, untrammeled land. This website is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Paizo Publishing.

This blog represents the letters of one of these characters, Marquand, a bitter, righteous man—an Inquisitor defending his faith in the deity Erastil against all the enemies of civilization.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Letter 24—The Lily Coincidence

Dear Pino,
We mounted the stairs, circling upward to an unlocked door. Cane went ahead into a large entryway where he spied two guards and returned to fetch us. Thanks to Lev's spell of invisibility we were able to capture them instead of killing them. There would be no more of that.

We searched several empty rooms, including a kitchen and cloakroom where Cane found two trap doors, one in the ceiling, one in the floor. The one in the floor was locked and we couldn’t open it. We decided to finish searching the level we were on first. Finding nothing we went to the floor above.

Cane went first, finding two doors. There was a low murmur behind one, silence behind the other. Cane dropped a ladder, carrying Sizzles as the rest of us followed. We opened a door leading into a library where three large bookshelves dominated the room. A reading desk and chair sat by the window and a woolen rug reminded me of the weave covering Bert Askew’s head. Three doors exited the chamber.

There was a book open on the desk to a page depicting ooze-like aberrations with notes in the marginalia. We found a folded sheet of parchment below it containing a map of the Hooktongue Slough marked with the campsite of the “Tiger Lords.” There was also written the tale of a barbarian called Armag—twice-born—who terrorized the northern plains during the Age of Destiny.

Leading his people out of the realm of the Mammoth Lords into southeast Numeria, Armag's people clashed repeatedly with other barbarian tribes, pushing through the Rostland plains until butting heads with the Iberian warlords and the centaur tribes of Casmaron. These conflicts earned Armag the favor of Gorum the iron lord and god of war. 

As success begat success Armag became careless and boastfull, claiming that he was beyond Death and would never die. Mock not the gods, Dear Pino! When Pharasma heard of his blasphemes she dispatched the creatures of her Boneyards to aid Armag’s enemies. This in turn angered Gorum. While Armag engaged his enemies on the Material Plain, Gorum and Pharasma engaged in a battle of wits in the great beyond for Armag’s soul. 

A great red dragon finally laid Armag low but Gorum got the last laugh, infusing Armag’s soul into his sword, Ovinrbaane, preventing him from entering the Boneyards. “The blade seeks only war and conflict, protecting its wielder from hostile magic and, it is said, infusing him with a portion of Armag's legendary power.” Gorem then sent visions to a Tiger Lord shaman named Zorek, inspiring him to construct a great tomb for Armag, hidden deep in the barrow mounds of the Tiger Lords. It is guarded by the spirits of the dead who await "the one" to claim it as his own. 

We heard a noise behind us, a dust mephit, a small irritating critter from the Plane of Air with leathery wings and small horns. He was easy enough to disperse but more disturbing was knowing that it was probably in the thrall of some greater being.

We found an empty foyer and another door with a stairway leading upward. Steeling ourselves, we returned to the door where we’d heard sounds and carefully opened it. As Cane entered the room his eyes met those of a very surprised guard who was soon very dead. 

Copyright Paizo
I peeked around a corner to be rewarded with two quick arrows to the leg and the ridicule of my comrades. As Vlad bound up my wounds I cried for Justice! They charged with cries of their own. 

“They’re out for blood!” Trask cried, shooting one in both eyes as Lev released a loud thunderous clap. 

“What’s going on?” Cane said in a confused voice. “Hey, guys, what are we doing?” he cried, slashing himself like a penitant. “I cut myself,” he burbled and then tripped over Sizzles. “Big girls don’t cry!” he sang. “They don’t cry, aye, aye!”

One of our opponents had cast a spell on him.

Another one circled around us, jumping on a dais while giving a rousing speech. Inspired, two others attacked me with such eagerness that one stumbled and killed the other.” “Mama,” the man called as he died. The other was so shaken that I easily put him out of his misery, although missing the opportunity to take another. I was besieged by four more as Trask shot  the wizard, who immediately disappeared. 

Vlad backed me up as I fought desperately, in too deep to retreat. Trask convinced the bard to disappear for her own safety and the tide of battle turned. I cast invisibility purge hoping find them but had to admit that they had transported away.

We stripped the bodies and then went upstairs where we found an art gallery containing a statue decorated with the ceremonial armor of Choral the Conqueror, and another of a two-headed red dragon.

Choral Rogarvia
As every schoolchild knows Choral Rogarvia invaded south of the Lake of Mists and Veils in 4499 AR after forming an alliance with House Surtova, conquering the Aldori Swordlords with his red dragon allies at the Valley of Fire. Afterward,  House Rogarvia  united the nation of Brevoy, ruling from the city of New Stetven until just a few short years ago when they unaccountably disappeared. 

We came to a locked door, which Cane quickly broke down. Behind it was a simple room with plain bed facing a window along the north wall, bookshelf, table, chair—and very angry wizard. 

Trask, yelling “Leave it to the men!” fumbled his attack like an overeager schoolboy, but we fought as a team until, with a flash, the wizard once again teleported away.

We discovered notes describing his interest in the more recent Armag the Barbarian. It turns out our Tiger Lord is claiming to be the reincarnation of the original. He’s being assisted by some priestesses of Gyronna. My partners turned their eyes to me accusingly.

“Is it my fault?” I finally stuttered.

“I bet it’s Lily,” Trask taunted. Now where did he hear about that? He wasn’t even with us when that—incident—occurred. I failed my duty on account of love. 

“I’ve heard of it referred to as a debacle,” Trask said mockingly. “The Lily Coincidence?” 

I hope we're finished with this place soon.

Eat your greens,
Uncle Marquand

1 comment:

  1. The weave explains why Bert wears a fedora. Interesting.