Sunday, March 9, 2014

Adventures in Adventureland - Catching Up

So last year I had great intentions of documenting our Pathfinder Kingmaker Adventure Path campaign here, but I have fallen woefully behind.  At the time I last posted about it we had taken a break, and now we're taking another one. My intent here is to get this caught up, but because there are 6 months worth of game sessions to catch up on, I'm going to have to make it an abridged update.  Some of the information may not be presented in the correct chronological order.

In the intervening months since the campaign picked up again last August, our party came into possession of a fort that had been taken over by our enemy the Stag Lord, but we wrested it away from him with extreme prejudice - he was actually present and we slaughtered him.  We had also learned that he was really just a figurehead, a puppet being manipulated by Nerissa the necromancer.  Although the fort had an unfortunate field of undead surrounding it, a piece of ground sacred to the goddess of undeath Garona (sp?), we took over the fort and made it ours.  In a hidden room below the semi-ruined fort, we discovered a hill giant named Munguk locked away in a cage.  After he was freed we befriended him.  We found that he wasn't able to stray far from the fort - whatever curse Nerissa had placed on him held him there.  We took advantage of that to give Munguk the task of guarding the fort in our absence.

We also took a chance on using an amulet we had acquired to contact Nerissa herself and let her know we'd slain the Stag Lord and taken the fort.  She warned that she was sending some forces to punish us, but her "punishment' didn't pose a great threat to our party.  We found some new settlers and craftsmen in the area to start rebuilding the fort, which we renamed New Hope and designated our stronghold.

Along with gaining a fort, our party found some worgs that were likely were-worgs, and discovered that a deadly vampire lich who had been imprisoned by the dwarves centuries ago had been released from imprisonment.  This was bad news, but at that point our characters weren't sufficiently powerful to try tracking down the lich.  All we could do was fight against Nerissa's plots and schemes to control the Stolen Lands.

We befriended the lizardfolk living on an island in a large lake in the southern part of the territory we were trying to reclaim, and they in turn gave us access to some extensive dwarven archives they had salvaged from dwarven ruins in the region.  We also aided a local dryad druidess by destroying an evil plant creature that had invaded her territory.  .We recruited all sorts of farmers, loggers, boatbuilders, and carpenters to settle the territory around New Hope and help build its economy.  We also recruited a band of gnome explorers to map the territory and document any threats we should take care of to keep the settlers safe.

One such threat was a group of trolls and cyclopes serving Nerissa, who had occupied an ancient elven ruin.  Our group was able to eliminate the trolls and clear the ruins, which of course was very satisfying for my elf cleric.  Later we had some more trouble with trolls, as well as facing off with an image of Nerissa.

While we were out and about dealing with monsters and menaces, a cleric of Garona settled at Oleg's Fort, the town where our adventures began.  There were reports of people joining the cult, and also of children disappearing.  Investigations revealed that some women had babies that were never seen again.  When a full moon approached that would give this priestess greater power, our party decided to make our move.  But when we tried to destroy the shrine of Garona that had been created outside the town, we were transported to another plane of existence.  It took us a while to get out.  While there we fought against this priestess and her minions, most of whom were under some kind of mental control.  We rescued some children they had kidnapped to use as future cultists.  We also managed to interrupt what we thought was a ceremony to free a lich, though eventually what we learned indicated that the priestess had actually been trying to siphon power from the lich for unknown reasons.

We were met there by a celestial being, who gave us information about a special weapon we would need to reassemble to fight the vampire lich.  After the celestial returned us to Oleg's, we continued our task of clearing dangers from our territory.  In an old mine we fought a huge spider that had a message about the lich in its stomach.  Later we returned to a cave where we had seen what was possibly another necromancer, and realized that the lich had probably been imprisoned in that cave at one point.  My cleric consecrated the cave and established a shrine there.

After all this, our territory and economy had increased enough that Garrick the inquisitor/monk could be declared a duke.  My cleric is now the magister of the dukedom.  A new town has been established, Thorn's End, and both New Hope and Oleg's Fort - now Olegton - have grown.  Olegton includes a bunkhouse especially for our characters where we can relax when we visit there.

But all was not well in the dukedom.  A rival group of adventurers had settled in a nearby existing town, Varnhold, but contact with Varnhold had been lost.  We decided to investigate and explore the possibility of incorporating Varnhold and its surroundings into the dukedom.  In the mountains near Varnhold we found a dragon living in a cave.  We made a deal with the dragon that we wouldn't bother him as long as he didn't take any cattle from the ducal subjects.  We also learned that the dragon had a deal with the vampire lich.  After parting from the dragon we went to Varnhold, where we found all the buildings empty except for spriggans.  The spriggans told us that the lich had taken away all the residents.  A swarm of storm crows swooped over the town daily, apparently looking for more townsfolk or visitors.  Using some personal items we found in the town, we were able to do a 'sending' to some of the missing townsfolk and learned they were being held as slaves at the lich's tower.  All of them were forced to wear slave collars, for which the only key was held by the lich.

As I mentioned above, the game is on hiatus again.  Our GM has had a lot of health issues recently and feels he isn't able to give his best to the game, although he's still with us as a player.  In the meantime another player has offered to GM a new Pathfinder campaign.  Should I decide to document that game here, I'll try to be more regular about it.

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