The kingdom-folk hard at work, they look up from their labor to see an unknown figure pass them by. Shrouded in numerous scarves, her arms covered in bangles, a slight smile plays on the face of one Natalia Emilia Sofia Lacusta. Her disappearing trick now over, she wanders into Corinth in search of her former companions.
Soon enough, the gypsy spies one of her groupmates, Hayley Darkhawk, and approaches. A very curt greeting with a sprinkle of forced politeness ensues and Natalia eventually steps away from the awkward proceedings to investigate this new city. Hayley, less-than-enthused that her old acquaintance has returned, sets off to inform Layanos and King Samba of the turn of events.
Overshadowing this potentially troubling news however, is the arrival of a dwarven druid toting a large lizard and an even larger plant. The dwarf asks to see King Samba, who promptly summons his friends before greeting the envoy. Natalia, who happened to be speaking with Samba when he was informed of the groups’ arrival, sticks around. It’s almost as if the old gang is back together.
Meeting in the castle’s courtyard, we come upon these unusual travelers and Samba offers his greeting. The dwarf states he is from the Thorn Claw Druids sect and is here to present the plant to the King. Studying it more closely, Layanos is able to determine that the creature is a rather large Fly Trap.
Samba reveals to the dwarf that he is Coravin’s acting king and a heated conversation in druidic follows; it appears the dwarf is not pleased with a fellow druid living in such a luxurious manner. Escalating to a near shouting match, the druid assures Samba that the Thorn Claws do not appreciate our fledgling nation and that they will tear it down. Seeking a compromise but finding none, the dwarven druid goes on the attack.
Although a few of them could not understand Samba and the dwarves’ conversation, this group has faced enough danger for all of them to realize when on the verge of a battle. Hayley and Harashsh react first and charge in to attack the druid; actions that prove to be horrendous ideas.
The druid quickly transforms into a sabretooth tiger and charges at Samba. Meanwhile, the large lizard, which we now know to be a T-rex, chomps down on Hayley’s midsection and lifts her into the air, shaking her like a rag doll. Blood flies from the puncture wounds. Seeing her distress, Samba quickly casts a spell on Hayley that allows her to attempt to wiggle free of the dinosaurs’ jaws. Able to slip through the teeth thanks to her friend, Hayley lands on the ground just in time to have her neck snapped by one of the Fly Traps’ vines. The rogue falls over dead! Still out for blood, the plant then whips a limb around Harahsh and hoists him into the air by his ankle. His strength winning out, however, the half-orc is able to break free and falls back to the ground. From afar, Layanos is able to put the T-rex to sleep and it lays down to dream about tasty, tasty Hayley flesh.
Natalia gathers herself and bursts into song to inspire her comrades while Dalton gets in the sabre tooth tiger’s face. Unfortunately, Harahsh is still the closest to the plant and the foliage reaches forth once more and wraps itself around his midsection. With a giant squeeze, it breaks Harahsh’s spine and lets his body slump over next to Hayleys! Seeing the incredibly quick and tragic turn of events, Natalia takes a guess and flings all of her trail rations at the Fly Trap.
Samba and Dalton have their hands full with the druid and the halfling summons a wolf to aid in the fight. Though it quickly succumbs to the sabre tooth tiger’s teeth, the wolf distracts it just enough to allow Dalton to rip out it’s throat. The druid is finally defeated! Luckily for the group, Natalia’s ploy has succeeded and Fly Trap focuses its’ energy on munching on twenty pounds of trail rations. Seizing the moment, an invisible Layanos slides over to the castle gates and calls for help from Aikros and Kesten. The general, responding to the call, rushes in and ends the sleeping dinosaur without hesitation. Giving the plant a wide berth, they drag the two bodies from the scene and convene on the outside of the castle walls.
Trying to make sense of all that has transpired of the last few minutes, the group decides to move the conversation to a back room at the Stumble Inn so as not to attempt to pass by the plant. Luckily, the druid had a Scroll of Reincarnation on him and the trio had enough wits about them to grab it before they left the area. Samba, with his magical intellect, knows that a Reincarnation spell is akin to playing the magical lottery and that the target may not come back as they previously were. Having little options, they decide to use the scroll on Harahsh and dip into the royal treasury in order to secure enough funds to pay for the materials Jhod will need to perform a Resurrection spell on Hayley. Oleg, present for this discussion, seems to be taking Hayley’s death particularly hard. Needing at least a day to prepare for the Scroll of Reincarnation, they turn to focus back to the plant problem.
Natalia, using her mastery of tongues (and tonsils), heads back to the castle in an attempt to converse with the plant. Her warnings, pleas and politeness seem to have no effect on the creature as it happily munches on the rations. The day a relative disaster, they wearily turn in for the night and rise the next morning with the hope of bringing one of their fallen companions back from the dead.
After having a tent erected for privacy, Samba gets down to business to perform the ritual. As he begins, vines snake from the soil and surround Harahsh’s broken body. Magical happenings occur under the foliage and soon enough, a reincarnated Harahsh emerges from the wrappings. However, much to his horror, his finds his body is not quite the same as it once was. Formerly a burly and intimidating half-orc, Harahsh now finds he has been brought back as a black human being. Furious at the loss of his old form, Harahsh demands to know what has been done to him with such forcefulness that our King wets himself in a moment of royal pride. Somewhat placated by the fact that he is alive once more, Harahsh stalks off with Jhod who restores him to full strength. With three weeks to wait before the components arrive to resurrect Hayley, a bored Natalia wanders off back into town to see what sort of shenanigans she can get herself into.
Layanos and Samba, finding themselves alone, turn their attention back to the Fly Trap issue. Concocting a plan, Layanos suggests that scaffolding is built on the castle wall perimeter to allow archers wielding fire arrows clean shots at the plant.
After construction, Aikros leads the men in firing two volleys at the creature. Perturbed by the event, the Fly Trap makes its’ way within range of the scaffolding and rips it down. Luckily, no one is injured. Seeing that the plants’ movement placed in in front of the main gate, Samba leaps into action and sends a flaming sphere at the foliage; parking it on what best appears to be its’ face. All of the fire damage eventually withers the plant into oblivion and the castle is once more safe for use.
Having tackled the most pressing issues, the group waits for the rest of the three weeks to elapse and for the diamond dust to arrive. The day eventually here, Jhod uses the component to cast a resurrection spell on Hayley and the rogue awakes to find herself back in the land of the living. After being filled in on the events since her untimely demise, and being thoroughly concerned by Harahsh’s reincarnation, Hayley wanders off with Jhod to have her strength restored.
Having been put back in order and learning the steep cost of her resurrection, Hayley goes to see Oleg. He and Svetlana are elated to see their dear Hayley alive and well. Much rejoicing was had by all.
Things now as they should be, the fearless leaders of Coravin turn to bolstering their kingdom. Unfortunately, the recent deaths, dip into the treasury and troll tracks cause some unrest among the citizens and we are only able to construct a Western wall in an attempt to deter wandering trolls. Coravin’s third month was certainly not a good one.
Knowing that we need to win back some goodwill and money for the land, we peruse the jobs on the Stumble Inn’s bounty board. Scanning the options, Layanos pushes for pursuing a troublesome forest drake known to be somewhere within the gnarlmarshes. Trekking into the woods, we hunt down Old Ted, one of the town’s premier hunters. He tells us that the beast was last seen travelling South West.
Blocked by the river, we begin following it due West and come upon a group of gnomes having difficulty crossing the river with their wagons. Rushing in to help, we jump in the water and swim out to aid them. With his smooth-talking animal ways, Samba manages to calm their panicking horses and unhitch them from the sinking wagon. Grouping up, we all try to push the wagon onto land but sadly fail and watch as the vehicle is swept along down stream.
Pulling ourselves back onto dry land, we strike up a conversation with the grateful gnomes. Samba, our benevolent King, heals the bruised and battered creatures as they reveal that they are in search of an ancient dwarven fortress. Not able to help them with this quest, we haggle a bit over a map of the area they are willing to sell; however, the asking price proves obscenely steep and the two groups part ways.
That night, as Layanos keeps watch, tradition continues and he hears something approaching the campsite. The rest of us wake to the sound of a thundering herd and are soon greeted by a group of frisky wild boars storming by. Sensing the opportunity for boar bacon, we seize the moment and attack. Hayley rolls up to one and strikes first, quickly followed by Dalton. Two of the boars, pissed at Hayley’s interruption, attempt to gore her but fail.
Nearby, Layanos pops a spectral hand into existence between two more of the beasts as Harahsh runs up to Hayley and helps her take down the first bacon bit. Not to be outdone, Samba rushes up with his scythe and starts swinging away.
Using the hand, Layanos renders one mildly stupid and Harahsh moves to flank with Dalton and end a second boar. Laying on the punishment, Layanos then uses the hand once more; this time to curse the stupefied one. Striking back in its’ derpy state, it manages to wound our tiger companion.
Harahsh, all over the battlefield, returns to Hayley and sets up a flank. He severely wounds the third beast and Hayley finishes it off.
Enjoying his malicious torment of the final boar, Layanos blinds the poor beast and steps back to let Harahsh run over and finish it with explosive force.
The boars dead, we heal up Dalton and focus on cooking up some tasty, tasty boar meat.
Next time on King Maker, will we find the forest drake? Will Natalia randomly show up again much to Hayley’s displeasure? Will Harahsh ever get used to being a black guy? Tune in next time to witness chills, spills and thrills!