Our latest session begins at Oleg’s trading post; our home away from home. We find ourselves with a week to kill as we await the arrival of the caravan bearing goods from the Lady of Brevoy. During this time, our halfling friend Samba performs a daylong ritual to summon a new tiger companion and the striped beast, cleverly named Dalton, wanders out of the treeline and into our hearts.
After Samba is made whole again, we convene and begin discussing what to do with the gold we recently acquired from selling off numerous goods to Oleg. With the understanding that we are about to undertake a costly process, we consent to divide the take four ways: one portion for each of us and the other as a beginning fund for our fledgling nation. That settled, we all turn to purchase some new and wondrous items for our personal needs.
The rest of the week relatively uneventful, we allow it to transpire and welcome the caravan’s arrival. Much to our surprise, we are also graced with the presence of 150 new settlers for our tiny kingdom and we quickly reason that it would be best to found things at the Stag Lord’s fortress. Gathering our not-so-insignificantly sized party, we begin the trek to the South to break ground on our new territory. However, the first night of our journey is not as smooth as we had hoped.
While on watch, our Warlock Layanos hears a familiar noise in the distance; the booming “Who” of an OwlBear. Having a lapse in judgment, Layanos calls out to the entire encampment about the threat. This call sets off a minor panic as our new settlers see one of the land’s dangerous creatures for the first time; however, Getty, the blacksmith and leader of the caravan, manages to calm the masses while we stride off to protect our people.
When we leave the confines of the encampment, we get a good look at the beast and charge in, showing no fear to the trembling onlookers in the distance. His better judgment returned, Layanos immediately places the creature under a heavy sleep. This allows Hayley and Harashsh to essentially coup de gras the snoozing OwlBear to raucous cheers from our caravan. The threat vanquished, we all return to take advantage of the few fleeting minutes of darkness left and sleep soundly. The next day, Layanos proves he’s adept at stirring up the masses once again.
As we cross the Thorn River Camp river crossing, Layanos, tired of the relative stink with which the settlers seem to live, becomes fed-up with the stench his dainty half-elf nose has to endure. Putting on a spectacle involving Stinky Pete, a wispy young lass, Samba and the river, he uses his vast intelligence to essentially cajole them into bathing. What follows is a much more pleasant-smelling and unhampered trek to the fortress.
Finally, on June 17 we arrive at our destination and are forced to sit down and make some tough decisions about the workings of our new kingdom; the most pressing of which seems to be who should rule. Coming to a consensus, Samba is appointed our new interim King of our neutral nation of Coravin whose founding city, Corinth, is so named for our fallen comrade. What proves even more challenging than this is getting some of our trusted friends to agree to hold positions of power within our nation. Layanos naturally takes the Magister position while Hayley relishes being the land’s SpyMaster. Oleg, Svetlana, Kesten, Aikros, Harashsh and Johd eventually find suitable roles and we are able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we have relatively trusted individuals in place to handle some of the biggest jobs in Coravin. While we allow them to get a feel for their new positions and let them mingle with out 150 settlers, the five of us (Harashsh included) set off to finish exploring the surrounding area.
While roaming through some tall grass on horseback, our group is attacked by some fast-moving and well-organized wolves. They quickly kill off two of our horses and send Layanos and Harashsh tumbling to the ground. The beasts are on the fallen two instantly and begin tearing into them. The rest of us are then able to get our bearings and get into the fray and we eventually see Layanos and Harashsh make their way to their feet. These beasts prove to actually be worgs and they bite and tear at us with great efficiency.
Layanos is able to put one to sleep and blind another, while Samba entangles a third with a spell, turning the grass into living cords. The blinded one soon stumbles into the entanglement himself and two of the worgs are out of the fight.
Hayley is able to maneuver into a flank with our newest animal compatriot and lands the first killing blow of the battle, raking her short swords through worg hindquarters. Nearby, Samba strikes with what should be a hefty hit but angles his scythe in such a way as to not deal as much damage as he should.
When the non-blind worg breaks free from the tangling grass, he sees his fellows in dire-straights and lights out for greener pastures. Meanwhile, Harashsh has been having a painful back and forth with one of the creatures and is finally able to best it with some aid from Layanos’ slumber spell. Across the battlefield, Dalton fiercely wrestles with a worg of his own and eventually puts it out of its’ misery.
One remaining, the blind and entangled beast has its’ faculties further affected by Layanos’ spectral hand/touch of idiocy combination attack. Sparing it a pitiful future, Hayley ends its’ life with a well-placed crossbow bolt.
After patching up our half-orc Slayer, we fetch the two living horses who bolted when they saw their four-legged comrades fall and return to the fortress. Gathering up the mass of people, we set them to the task of clearing the area and making it sufficient for building upon. The necessary sweat shed, we turn the dilapidated fortress into something grand: a castle dubbed The Fortress of Attitude. When the castle stretches sufficiently into the sky, we then turn our attention to constructing housing for the new townsfolk.
Our founding structures in place and Coravin underway, we being declaring some edicts for the people: the regrettable yet necessary taxation edict, our land’s promotional edict (“A brighter future for the Greenbelt”) and six holiday edicts:
- Long Night – January 25
- Remembrance Day (Tiger Day) – April 13
- Founder’s Day – June 3
- Archer Feast – July 3
- Harvest Feast – 2nd Monday of November
- Winter Week – December 10-16
The first month full of hard labor and now behind our new country, we come together in frivolity to celebrate our first holiday: Archer Feast. King Samba gives a nice speech to the citizens of Corinth before the festivities begin and Layanos and Hayley get in on the crossbow competition. Shocking herself with her crossbow antics, Hayley wins and is ecstatic to receive the 50gp prize. The rest of the feast transpires with joyous celebration.
Our first holiday successfully under wraps, we head out the next morning to attempt to finish exploring all remaining areas of our original charter. Shortly after departing, Kesten crosses our paths and beckons us to examine some tracks he discovered. Determining that these footprints belong to a troll, we decide to tackle the problem straightaway and grab General Aikros to set out on a troll-hunt with us. What we end up discovering in the pursuit is much more complicated.
A few days into tracking the troll, we come upon an old mine with nearby kobold tracks. A skittish kobold at the mine entrance strikes up a conversation with Layanos in his native Draconic. He claims a curse has been placed on the kobolds since the mites stole their sacred statue and that the troll we’ve been seeking is in the mine attempting to get the kobolds to serve the troll king. After some back and forth, we agree to follow this little creature to his leader to try to get more information about the situation we’ve stumbled into.
Conversing in turn with the kobold king and the troll, we’re left facing some difficult decisions. The troll assures us that his king will destroy our new settlement and the humans there eventually, regardless of our course of action. The kobold wishes us to help retrieve their statue or deal with the oppressive troll menace. Knowing that our forces are not currently strong enough to deal with a group of trolls, we look further into retrieving the kobold statue to perhaps make a tentative alliance with the race. The kobolds are holding a rather whiny mite prisoner and Layanos converses with him in the mite’s native tongue. From all the information we’ve received, it seems that the large mite tree we burned out many months before is now home to something sinister the kobolds call “not-mites” and that they now reside in the tunnels under the tree with the statue most likely in their possession.
Pondering this new turn of events, we finish exploring the remaining land of our initial charter and head to the expanse near Corinth where we work to set up farms for the people. During this second month of kingdom building, an unfortunate event befalls the fledgling Coravin, but we must wait til we resume to face it.
Next time on King Maker: Will Coravin be obliterated before we have a chance to build it up? Will Natalia ever show up again? Will we find out what these “not-mites” are? And will King Samba ever make a formal decision as to how the citizenry should address him? Find out next time for what is sure to be another session full of harrowing adventure and close calls!