Kingmaker

Enesto's Journal
the next 28 weeks

After the battles at the owlbear cave, Baron Bors had no further need of my assistance and I went back to patrolling with the goblin brigade.

We went east to the mine first, where we tracked down bandits who had been stealing ore. Turns out I knew a couple of them from the Stag Lord days, but they were already dead by the time I recognized them. Too bad.

The mines had become infested with strange fiery worms the like of which no one had ever seen. But of course I knew them as thoqquas, a creature summoned by druids. I didn’t know how to kill one aside from having an owlbear tear it in half, and we didn’t have any of those handy. Turns out they die well enough from arrows though.

From there we scouted north along the eastern border, but encountered no threats besides wolves and mountain lions.

We returned to town and I ran into some of my stepfather’s kin who had wandered up this way. They wanted revenge when they saw me, but I gave them death instead.

I purchased some supplies in town and took them out to stock the old hermit’s tree I’ve been fixing up. If my luck turns for the worse, I’ll have a place to hide out. I concealed a number of bear traps around it to discourage visitors.

When I came back again, Poog was gathering troops for a raid on some bandits in the north end of the forest. I joined in for the chance at loot, but these bandits had not known much success.

I spent last few weeks hunting a goblin murderer – not a goblin who murders people, that would describe half of my friends, but a gnome illusionist who was murdering goblins. At least, I’m pretty sure I killed the right guy. I’m not a detective or anything, but he looked guilty.

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part X
New allies come to the party, and some fall (including me)

The trip back to Borston was very somber. Bosco had fallen. Upon our arrival, I had the High Priest cast a speak with dead spell onto Bosco’s corpse. Bosco refused resurrection because he claimed to be very happy in the after life. He liked that his death truly lived up to his title of “the Brave”. And Bosco most certainly did as his sacrifice meant that Maximo would live. A memorial shall be erected in memory of Bosco’s noble selflessness.

Our rest was very short. In order to fully make safe New Hope we had to continue surveying and securing the surrounding areas. Poog and Maximo decided that they would sit this one out. Bosco’s death may have affected them more than I realized. But Poog recommended one of his rangers – a fellow named Enesto. Enesto is very capable with the bow. Poog also introduced a new goblin, who turned out to be an alchemist by trade. Mustafa decided he wanted to join as well. The next day, the four of us set off.

The next few days we encountered a creature called a Hodag in its lair. We made short work of it. We continued westward and were met by a Druid. He wanted to join our excursion and we saw no harm in bringing him along. Further encounters included a herd of elk (it was decided that we would hunt one for food) and a Hill Giant. The Hill Giant was out of place here and sensing that it was evil, I took immediate action to attack. It could be a scout for a larger group of Hill Giants. No sooner had I unsheathed my sword that my allies sprang into action and made quick work of the Hill Giant, Enesto’s arrows striking with deadly accuracy, and the goblin alchemist and the druid lobbing deadly potions and spells from afar.

As we continued exploring the Southeast, Poog came upon us with dire news. Borston had been attacked! Rushing back with full speed, we learned that an owlbear had destroyed the barracks and the tavern. Taking the night to rest and resupply, we made our way back south in search of this owlbear. It must have been a very large owlbear to be able to do such damage to city and with no soldiers able to stop it.

We came upon the owlbear’s lair the next day. As Enesto and I set about laying a trap at the entrance to the owlbear’s cave, Mustafa decided to explore a secret back entrance on his own. This proved to be unwise as Enesto ultimately had to rescue him. Mustafa had been strangled. And he had only been gone for not even a minute! I quickly healed him and we proceeded to finish the trap. It took a good bit to provoke the owlbear out of its lair, but it eventually showed itself. And it was a HUGE owlbear.

We had never seen or heard anything like it. And its bite was far worse than its hoot. It knocked me unconscious and dying in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, I woke, but with very severe injuries. As I came to, I was relieved to see that my companions had defeated this unusually large owlbear. And there was a strange eagle that made crow sounds that kept close to us. I later learned it was the druid in his animal form. I also learned that Mustafa fell in the battle with owlbear and he was beyond coming back, outside of powerful resurrection spells, which we did not have at our current disposal.

Exploring the inside of the cave itself we came across the rest of its dangerous inhabitants. From moving mushroom people to giant spiders to a shambling mound that served host to a swarm of centipedes… We had our work cut out for us in clearing this lair. The spiders were easily defeated by setting fire to their webs. Chasing the spiders as the fled the fire, we came across what was clearly the grim scene of a mother owlbear protecting three of her young from a band of five or six bandits. Of the three owlbear young, only one seemed to have survived. And it was in pretty bad shape.

I healed and fed the owlbear with what I could and carried it along. This proved to be fatal as the shambling mound’s centipede swarm crawled all over me, with the centipedes biting and stinging at me all the while the mound kept hugging me, trying to crush the life out of me. I managed to shake off the venom of the centipedes, but the owlbear young did not.

The cave finally cleared and the owlbear defeated, we made our way back to Borston with our loot and one less party member. But since we had secured the kingdom of New Hope from any further damage from the giant owlbear, our kingdom enjoyed increased prosperity (+ 4 Economy, + 4 Loyalty, + 4 Stability)!

The people shall know that if it is very safe from attacks of any sort as long as I am its ruler. And I could not do it without having surrounded myself with very capable advisors and generals. Things are coming together for New Hope. And we will recover from this attack. We will rebuild that which we’ve lost, and continue to add more.

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part IX
Dragons, Trolls, and a Fallen Friend

We returned home after dealing with the lizard folk. The Halfling lawyer left, saying he had personal things to attend to. And no sooner had I greeted Aerith, my wife, that an envoy from the Sword Lords of Restov arrives bearing another decree. We were ordered to make immediate preparations to finally see to the trolls that had been marauding the south.

After a couple of nights rest, we set off. We decided to take Poog with us. He may not look or seem like much, but our little goblin friend is an able tracker and scout.

A couple days into our mission, we noticed a large green beast flying overhead. This could only mean one thing: dragon! Deciding that the trolls were more important, we pressed on, figuring we would deal with this green dragon en route back. But no sooner had we continued on that we encountered our path getting narrower and narrower. And soon enough, our forward progress was blocked by a swamp with very thick overgrowth. It would take several hours to cut our way through this.

As we pondered our options, the green dragon made its return, flying overhead and circling us once more. Only this time, it didn’t leave. We readied ourselves for battle once the dragon began its descent. It spewed forth from its vicious maw a green fog. This fog hurt a good deal, so I made sure to step out of it. Having an extreme hatred towards evil dragons (and this one was definitely evil), I called forth the blessings of Iomedae, and proceeded to smite my foe! With just two simple swipes of my blessed blade, I was able to fell the terrible drake. It’s presence will no longer be a poison to the swamps around these parts.

Poog was able to find the tracks that led to the dragon’s lair. There wasn’t much there – a sign that this drake hadn’t been here for very long. We continued southward and a bit to the west a lo’ and behold, we finally found our troll quarry. It turns out that they had taken up residence in an old, abandoned Dwarven lookout post. I may re-establish this place for my own purposes once we cleared it of its troll inhabitants.

We made relatively short work of the first two troll guards at the main entrance. They were reinforced by a third who came running down from a flight of stairs leading up. Bosco proved very capable in this fight as we soon learned that these trolls were quite prone to his fire magic. We went upstairs and it seemed to be the primary lookout room that the original Dwarven occupants used. Heading downstairs, we encountered a fourth troll, and his troll dog. They were eating an unfortunate Halfling. We made rather short work of both now that we knew their weakness. Further exploration led us to the kennel of these troll dogs. Two were occupying this kennel and we dispatched them both with relative ease, but not without learning that their bites cause some sort of disease, as Bosco was unfortunate enough to learn. I healed him of it straight away.

Moving on to the unexplored portions of this mountain stronghold, we passed a room with a rather large cache of mundane supplies (bolts of cloth, supplies, etc.). While this room was worked with Dwarven craftsmanship, there was a wall that was completely torn through and led further down underground. Now we were traveling through dirt tunnels.

The tunnel split into a fork and we decided to take the left. We were met with a rather large and brutish troll. It even had two heads! This battle would be tough because not only was our opponent rather fierce looking, but a lot of our resources in terms of spells and my healing had been exhausted. Tired and bloodied, we charged forth no less. Maximo was the first to fall as the two-headed troll rend him to bits early into the battle. I was able to run up to Maximo and heal him well enough so that he could get up and get away. I stayed toe-to-toe with this troll to keep it distracted. Unfortunately for Bosco, however, he also tried to help Maximo by giving him a healing potion. This put Bosco in range of the troll’s reach and the troll ripped our little gnome friend in two with his claws.

Maximo took Poog’s side from distance and Poog was taking shots at it with his crossbow but it seemed to have no effect. I remained toe-to-toe and exchanged blows with this fearsome troll, smiting him and calling on Iomedae to instill her righteous powers into my blade. I nearly fell for the troll was quite deadly with its claws and teeth. But the powers of Iomedae surged through me and I, along with my companions left standing, were able to fell this two-headed behemoth. Unfortunately for Bosco, however, it was too late. My powers of healing were not enough to bring him back. I had failed to protect our longtime Gnomish companion…

We decided that we needed to rest for a night before continuing on. Poog went along to scout ahead and informed us that there were several more trolls inhabiting the other fork of the tunnel road, one of which looked very dangerous. Too exhausted to continue on, we thought it best to sleep out in the forest and try again the next day. The trolls would know that they were under attack, and the element of surprise would now be gone, but their numbers were now severely cut. Over night, Brand, the crazy Alchemist, showed up. He felt that his cousin had passed and now sought vengeance.

The next day we made our way back to the abandoned Dwarven lookout post and found another pair of trolls guarding the entrance. We made quick work of these two, our strength and energy renewed. Continuing back the path we came, but taking the right side of the fork, Poog scouted ahead once more. Our goblin friend came crying back with what looked to be some sort of troll that had rock and stone for skin. Taking no chances, Maximo and I charged forth to meet this stone troll hand-to-claw while Poog and Brand did their handiwork from afar. Brand proved quite capable as his potion bombs did much to injure, and ultimately kill, this stone troll. Brand was more useful than I thought. Especially in a fight with creatures such as these.

Continuing on, we came across what seemed to be the final area of this entire troll stronghold. This final troll was in a room where a full wagon seemed to be its bed and a large stump fashioned in a way to be his throne. This troll fancied himself some sort of chieftan. With a roar, he tossed beads at us. But these beads exploded and hurt us. Seeking to break our clustered formation, Maximo and I charged forth once again while Poog flanked out and Brand remained behind where he could toss his bombs from distance. The combination of Maximo and myself flanking this boss troll while Poog shot from afar and Brand tossing bombs with surprising accuracy and effectiveness, we dispatched our troll foe in efficient order and no losses of our own.

These trolls had been busy for they had quite the treasure trove. There was just one room left to explore before we head back home to New Hope…

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part VIII

We set off in search of the rumored Trolls that have been terrorizing to the South. Though we had not heard of any such activity in quite some time, it was inevitable before we would once again hear of these Trolls wreaking havoc once again. For the sake of the Kingdom of New Hope, it was time to finally seek them out and prevent any such things from happening in the future.

Bosco and I set off with two newcomers. The first is one named Maximo. Maximo proved himself to be a very able-bodied warrior. He is very loyal, too. It is because of this, he has become one of my personal bodyguards. But he is no mere bodyguard. I understand that he is using this post as a means with which to gain prestige and rank within the kingdom’s court. The other is Bosco’s personal barrister – a Halfling (whose name escapes me) with not only a sharp mind, but with some magical aptitude very similar to that of Bosco.

After agreeing to allow this new blue stone product to be sold under governmental supervision, we four made our way south in search of the Trolls.

Progress was going quite well until we encroached upon a swamp that had fortifications surrounding a substantial portion of it. After several failed attempts to hail any possible inhabitants (and failed attempts by Bosco and the lawyer to scale the wall), Maximo and I decided to break down the main gateway through brute force alone.

Once we broke the door down, we were immediately attacked by these lizard warriors. The stood upright, unlike lizards I had come to commonly know, and they were bigger than even we were, wielding spears menacingly at us. Not that I would blame them, however. We did just break down their front door. To our credit, we did announce ourselves.

After a brief skirmish, we advanced, leaving about eight or ten lizard-people corpses in our wake. Maximo fought very well. We then decided to inspect the huts within. At some point, Bosco and the lawyer went off on their own, while I inspected a hut. Finding nothing, I decided to see where my mates had gone off to. I heard a commotion coming from one hut and upon entering, I saw Maximo go into a hole in the ground. It turns out that Bosco and the lawyer had decided to explore this hole, which turned out to be a tunnel.

I squeezed in after Maximo. When we got to the end of the tunnel, it opened up to what appeared to be the floor of another hut. But we were greeted by three lizard-people waiting for us. One of the lizard-people was clearly the clan leader of some sort as he was much bigger and adorned in gaudy ornaments. He was also armed with a menacingly large trident. Maximo put himself on all fours so that I could stand on his back and combat the three lizard folk. I was at a significant disadvantage, but this was the only way we could engage them.

The clan leader proved to be a very formidable opponent. There were several times where he had severely injured me. It was only through the divine powers of Iomedae that I kept my strength to be able to continue fighting this very dangerous chieftan. After what seemed like a losing battle, I struck true with one blow and emerged the victor.

Climbing out of the hole, I was met with the sight of the unconscious lawyer, and three smaller lizard-people, clutching a broken fetus. I immediately rushed to the aid of the lawyer and was attacked by the three lizard-people. Dispatching of them quickly, I turned my attentions back to the lawyer.

Seeing nothing more to this room, we gathered anything of use (Trident to me). We searched the last hut and an evil presence made itself very known to us. It attacked us from behind, but after a brief skirmish, it made its retreat. Searching through the hut, Maximo found a ring, which he kept for himself.

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I May Have Found a Home.

After years and months have passed me by without a whim of hope I may have found a village to call my own; New Hope is the name of the kingdom. I must admit at first I was weary of the town due to how many of its citizens were appalled by the Dukes “selfish acts” and thirsty for adventure, when he was to be taking hold of the kingdom by the reigns. Nonetheless it was none of my business to place my opinion here or there, I was just a traveler. That same night I became quite thirsty and hungry for a grok to help take the edge off of the day over at the inn. Everyone was in a bit of an uproar over the prior events of a man being jailed for speaking on how unfit the duke was, i did not care all i wanted was a hellish drink to relax my muscles and mind. The Duke showed up to the inn and offered to buy every man and women a drink, hell i haggled the brewtender for 2 drinks for the cost of one whiskey, at the time i thought it was a wise idea, until more free drinks came my way. I do not recall much for the rest of that night until i found myself awake in a very clean inn with great amenities and fine linen. Dazed and confused i heard a fury of knocks and a yell for my name “Maximus, it is i the duke.” The duke? i asked myself. I woddled to the door with the smell of boos dripping off my tongue, “how can i help you” i asked. He replied that we have spoke the night before about getting breakfast this morning to discuss the events of nights past. We met for breakfast and apparently i stood up for the duke at the inn after all of the criticism he was getting, and for that i believe i have befriended this duke of New Hope. As i am writing this i am on an adventure with the duke, and three other men i do not know so well i will continue this log when i have time to do so.

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The life and times of Bosco the Brave | New Hope, Year 2
A Gnome Sorcerer's rhymes of hustle and flow

The Turtle

It was time again to explore the area to the south of our fledgling kingdom. Maybe we can finally find those trolls Poog let us know about.Anyway, we happen upon a large pond in the forest. It’s doesn’t seem magical or evil or anything, so we begin to move on. Like clockwork,
a HUGE shelled creature roars out of the pond and attempts to bite me. Obviously, i side step out of the way and remove it from my vicinity. It disapppears back into the pond and later appears to bite the hapless druid. Poor guy almost got pulled in. Some of my more fiery pals wanted to KILL the stupid turtle/tortoise thing, but I was able to convince them to leave it alone. It’s just an animal. A story is no good if it can’t be told. After this, we realized just how poorly prepared we were. We were still walking everywhere. We didn’t have any proper survival gear. I blame Zirul, he should have made sure we were all decked out before adventuring. I’ll have to speak
to him about it at the next shadow meeting.

The Beast

It’s time I finally got serious about this adventuring thing. I’ve been so reliant on my team, but no longer. Bosco the Brave won’t be subject to anyone! Specifically, having to ride like a child on someone else’s horse. This time, I’ve got my own. Well…. horses are still too big and donkeys are too dumb and ponies are too fragile, so I went with a crossbreed of a dog and a sheep, called a “sheep/dog”. 333c935b1f32e50ae6e29be27c9290ae
I had heard of OwlBears, but this is a new one. Maybe the humans wanted to make the dog side more docile,or see a sheep with fangs, because it’s hilarious. And woah, this dog is hilarious. It makes this obscene noise called a “bark”. It’s easy to ride though, and just my size. It’s name is Ruff. I also bought some alchemist’s fire from Jam, it’s nice to see him progressing as a merchant. It’s a lesser form of magic, but this alchemy still has it’s uses.

The Head Worg in Charge

We head back into the wilderness, to kill a Worg, who has been terrorizing the members of the kingdom. After finding the pack, we divide and conquer. The Druid entangles the stray wolves, and I burn them to death. Easy Peasy. Nice to see him make a difference this time. The others take care of the pack leader, the Worg. As Chief Diplomat, I know all about branding and I see an opportunity. We pack the wolves into one our tents (that we actually had, this time) and will bring them back to town.



The Undead Friend

During our time back in town, someone re-found the treasure map from the druid who used to
live in my tree. Back on the road we go, and eventually find a small dungeon that will hold some sort of sword or suit of armor. It’s never anything I want to use. Anyway, we begin exploration, with Jam leading the way. There were traps and he lost some of his vigor from some sort of smoke. Not magic, though. I checked. That was the first sign that the night wasn’t going to end well. Further into the dungeon, a skeleton busts out of a coffin and re-animates. I’ve seen it all now. I’ve heard of these things happening but to see it through my own eyes was utterly terrible. It was grimy, just grimy. Next thing we know, Jam is on the ground and the creature is fighting someone, I couldn’t tell. I checked Jam and he was dead. Or seemed dead. Angry, I toss a handful of flames at this monster or vampire or zombie or undead. He merely touches me and I feel the life drain out of me. Even worse, Jam returns to his feet and begins attacking me! If I hadn’t seen a dead thing re-animate minutes earlier, I might have fainted. I can’t even deal with
this. He was … He was a hero. We took his corpse back to town. Bors says that it’s possible to resurrect him. I can only hope.

Back in town, I send the pelts to the tanner and embark with Zirul to Brevoy, to get this draining taken care of. The group donated much of our Worg reward money to heal my conditions. I may never let them know, but this group of men means a lot to me. We find a cleric, she takes our “offering” and I feel my vigor return. Since we’re in Brevoy, Zirul and I take care of some business we can’t do back home in New Hope, namely, beginning our spy network. We thrown an event at the local pub, The Smiling Satyr. It attracts the type of people we need and we find a few good candidates. I also make a bit of coin performing in a big city, so it was fun to do that in front of a proper audience again. Along with more people, Brevoy has more goods. Zirul gets some stuff for himself, and I decide to treat myself with a Mithral shirt. It’s thin and light and strong and doesn’t bother my spells too much. It gets in the way a little bit, but I think I can handle it.

The Thatch-roofed cottage

One of Jam’s relics is the hut with the animated scarecrow (he broke in). Bors, the goody two shoes, of course wants to make amends. Even though I almost died. We visit the hut and this ugly HAG opens this door. She and Bors talk. He says she wants us to retrieve some fungus and she’ll call it even. It’s obviously a trap, but off we go. We find the swamp pretty easily but that’s where the good parts end. A GIGANTIC mushroom stands up and starts
walking towards us. It grabs Bors and literally eats him. He’s in the stomach. It’s ironic, I know. I throw a flask of acid at it, but it doesn’t even flinch. I burninate the blighted abomination while this huge fighter fights it hand to hand. It dies, and we try to cut Bors out. It wakes up, must have been sleeping. Burninate again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually we kill the thing after I set it and my comrades on fire. There was nothing I could do,
it had to be done. The druid grabs the mushrooms and we head out. Back at the hut, i’m incensed. I’m not surprised but still livid that this witch actually tried to kill us again. She’s a threat to our community and Bors is too trusting to leave her alone. I fire a single magic missile at her,hoping to catch her by surprise. Then…

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part VII

Giant Turtles and Talking Worgs…

Our city of New Hope looking a lot more prosperous, our retinue of adventuring companions decided to further explore our immediate surroundings. We made our way south and happened upon a pond. It was very muddy so I dared not explore, lest I sink. Everyone else, on the other hand, decided to inspect what I considered a mundane thing. Not long into inspection of the pond, Bosco was suddenly attacked by a large snapping turtle. Our Gnome friend seems to have bad luck with inspecting bodies of water. And this turtle had a taste for Gnome flesh, it seemed.

As I watched helplessly, I drew my bow. Bosco cast a spell and the turtle disappeared back into the pond. Jam inspected the pond closely, which was inadvisable. No sooner had Jam stepped close than the turtle sprang out and caught Jam unawares, attempting to drag him into the pond. Fortunately, Jam was able to escape the giant turtle’s grasp and we all left the turtle as is. It is merely a large turtle living in a pond and seemed harmless unless people got too close. We’ll have to set up warning signs in the future.

Realizing that they had forgotten some of their potions, we made our way back to New Hope so that Bosco and Jam could adequately prepare. We all made arrangements to purchase horses (and a riding dog for Bosco). Before setting off once again, there was that had been put up by the townsfolk offering a reward for a marauding Worg. A decision was made to take care of this errand and the reward would be used for the people. They are our wards, after all.

Making our way directly East, we happened upon the Worg and a few wolves feasting on a recent elk kill. The Worg demanded that we leave he and his companions be, but I saw fit to dispatch of the evil creature as it had killed a few of the townspeople. It was not long before the Worg and his wolves lay slain. Bosco and Jam wanted to keep the pelts so that cloaks could be made later.

A Companion Falls…

We remembered that we had a treasure map that we had collected off of the hermit who attacked Bosco under the guise of serving tea. And the location of the treasure on said map lay directly East, and not too far off. Since we were in the area, we decided to check it out.

The location of the treasure turned out to be some sort of tomb. Getting in was not easy as a swarm of bats were the first to greet us, biting and nipping at us, before finally flying away. Then Jam, a thief albeit an inexperienced thief, bumbled his way through the corridors, setting off just about every trap imaginable. He set off some sort of smoke trap that left him looking weak and decrepit.

As we made our way to the actual tomb itself – Jam leading the way – we came upon the final resting spot of the tomb’s main occupant. As Jam inspected the surrounding area, the corpse reanimated and immediately attacked. Jam fell within short order, and then I was able to get the abomination to focus its attentions on me. As I went back and forth with this undead abomination, smiting it this way and that, Jam reanimated himself and started attacking Bosco and Ganon. I managed to get zombie Jam’s attention and after a short while, was able to smite the Wight and Jam into oblivion. We collected the sword of the Wight and wrapped up Jam’s body to take back with us to New Hope.

Upon our return, we buried Jam with full honors. We hope to be able to resurrect him, but we currently do not have the coin to do so, nor do we have anyone capable of performing such a feat. We spent a few weeks grieving. Bosco was injured from the fight and had to go to Brevoy to seek proper healing. Zirul accompanied him, while I stayed behind to oversee construction of a new set of housing for our nobles.

A Witch’s Errand…

We decided to return to the hut that Jam and Zirul unceremoniously unlocked, and where a scarecrow guardian attacked our party. Upon arrival, I noticed the scarecrow was in its original place. But as I approached the hut, alone, it was merely a scarecrow and nothing more. Knocking on the door, the inhabitant (who happened to be a witch) answered. She was not happy that we had destroyed her scarecrow guardian. And she was not happy that we were trespassing on her lands. As a show of apology, I promised that I would personally fund her materials with which to make a new scarecrow guardian. She warmed to me slightly at this offer. She also asked that we collect some black cap mushrooms for her to the south. Since we needed to continue further exploring the south, it seemed like a small errand to do given it happened to be along the way.

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The life and times of Bosco the Brave | New Hope, Year 1
A Gnome Sorcerer (and Bard) tale of intrigue and woe

The Foundation

It’s been a year since I returned to Oleg’s. Times have change more than I ever could have imagined. We’ve begun building a city, a kingdom. Since we’re such an eclectic group of individuals, we’ve decided to recruit settlers of all kinds, and races. We’ve begun to build farms and houses. It’s truly amazing. Oleg’s has turned into a true trading post for our fledging kingdom. His wife, the beautiful Svetlana, is now our Magister. I don’t know how I feel about that, considering I’m a much more accomplished mage. I’m sure there will be something I can do.


The Civics Lesson


Turns out there is a place for me in the kingdom’s leadership. I’ve moved into the castle and taken the position of chief diplomat. Looks like all that talking in class is paying off now, Miss Bobbledock. As chief diplomat, my responsibility is to maintain open lines of communication with other kingdoms and spread the good word of our “New Hope” No one has actually told me that, but it sounds good, eh? Bors is the ruler (since he could probably beat the rest of us in a fight) Zirul is our “spymaster” . Ganon, the druid to be all druidy and inexplicably Poog as our marshall. Yes, the one guy smaller than me is in charge of patrolling around the castle and town. That said, he does have the help of a bunch of other goblins we saved from Poog’s village. I never told him I killed his brother in that encounter whilst hiding in a tree. Let’s keep that to ourselves.

The Inventory

Now I’ve setup a shop. For me, I’m mostly concerned with selling my potions, but I’ve also been handling the buying and selling of things for the kingdom. It’s been interesting running this shop. I’ve become very skilled appraiser of all the things people want to sell. Our inventory has increased 10 fold and I’ve made a good bit of gold selling my potions as well.

The Master and the Apprentice

Zirul brings around a guy for me to speak to. Calls himself “Jam” and has a lot of ideas. Most relevant to me is his desire to sell his alchemical items. Now, personally I always felt alchemy was a cheap imitation of proper arcana, but Mother always said it takes all kinds. I’ve taken him on as apprentice for now. He also has some martial skill, so I’ll bring him along on our next adventure.

The Alliance

At the latest meeting of our leadership council, Bors had many announcements. First was that we should ally with the much larger Elven nation to our south. Some had second thoughts about this, considering the way those grimy elfish hate everyone who isn’t tall and thin with pointed ears. I fought for the alliance, however, we need alliances. Besides, I haven’t actually talked to many other kingdoms and I’d like something to do as the Grand Diplomat. Then the second announcement comes, Bors wants to marry some elfish princess. The elfish princess from the kingdom to the south. Of course, he now wants to ally with that country. Then she walks in. She was like a cool breeze in a hot swamp. And she knows magic, and can probably teach me a thing or two. I’ll need to get to know her. Then the master of bad timing walks in, Poog the protector. He’s battered and bloody, after sustaining an attack from a few trolls to the south.

The Land to the South

A few weeks have passed and the party has begun to begin mapping the south borders of this new kingdom. With me are Zirul, our lead cartographer. Bors, our paladin. Ganon, the druid who should be very helpful in the woods and our new friend Jam. Jam is a truly odd duck. Zirul and he go ahead of the rest of us for a bit. When we catch up, we find that he’s picked the lock on an unattended hut. Just because something is unattended does’nt mean we can steal from them! We let him know that it’s not how things are going to work in the kingdom of New Hope and then I decide to look into the ponds on this property. I was thinking there could be fish that we could buy from the landowner. Turns out the scarecrow was an alarm, it attacked me, we had to fight back. Ugh. Thank goodness for backup, I would have died.

The Fog

This was crazy. We encountered a lighthouse on a lake. I awoke when a glowing orb of fog zapped Bors. Then it disappeared. I decided to disappear as well. A story is no good if it can’t be told. I aafter running a safe distance away, I cast dancing lights on it. That way, my team could still find it even if it disappeared again. Some of the other party members finally went back to fight the glowing orb, emboldened by my courage and quick thinking. The druid then changed form to a raven and flew over to the lighthouse to see if anything was there. He flew quickly back, complaining of “evil presence” I wasn’t in the mood for another fight (it was the middle of the night, after all) so I downplayed it and we left the next morning.

The ruined cup of tea

I don’t know about these druids. I lived in a tree house for 30 years before I left home, so understand the love of a tree, but these guys are too much. We find a druid and ask for his help in locating the trolls that attacked our town. There is way too much posturing going on, so I decide to have tea with the man. We talk a bit, he tells me he hasn’t seen any gnome women, and before even pouring me a cup, he shanks me in my side. Needless to say, I was surpised. Not surprised enough to not burn his face off, but definetly taken aback. His stupid cat guards the door, so my team can’t help. After another dose of fire to the face, he bounds out of the room over his dead cat and into the forest. Our sharpshooter spymaster fells him with one shot. I claim the tree for myself, since it reminds me of home, and we loot the “druid” like the scum he was. Afterwards, I had the tea. It was pretty good.

The lycanthrope and the calm

Lycanthropy is when a man becomes a wolf. It’s hit our town like a longsword, even one or two hits will panic a common person. After returning from our exploration, we learn that two of the citizens have been killed. After some wonderful detective work, we find out about the werewolf. Ganon find him first, and stupidly decides to attack him. I intervene, forcing him to laugh, and soon enough the other leaders come through. We figure out a way to heal him and put him to work, giving him a new hope. Looks like we picked a pretty good name.

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The Story of Bors and Co., Part VI

An Announcement…

We have finally arrived at the one year anniversary since we founded New Hope. A meeting was called for all of New Hope’s appointed council, with the exception of Marshal Poog who insisted that exterior patrols required his personal attention. I understand his desire to be on the front lines, but routine patrols are something that leaders are not required to handle personally. I will speak with him later on this matter.

The events of New Hope’s first year were discussed. But the bigger announcement was the revelation that I was engaged to the Elven Princess, Aerith Edasseril, sister to Queen Telandia Edasseril of the Elven Kingdom of Kyonin. There was some reservation about the announcement, however. Concerns about the Elven Queen and possible ulterior motives were brought up, but I reminded everyone that we were still a fledgling nation and we were without an formal allies who would lend military support. Allying ourselves with the Elves to the south would do well to secure our southern borders, in addition to our northern borders (which we share with Brevoy).

What’s more, Aerith and I have actually fallen in love since we had first met. This marriage arrangement is not exclusively in the interest of political maneuvering – we want to be together in personal union. Aerith intends to bring a group of Elven mages to come stay in New Hope, as well as her own personal guard. If more of her kin wish to come live in our fair nation, then so be it. Admittedly, I had hoped that more of her Elf kin would be open to living with us but their xenophobia is more prevalent than I realized. I wonder how many of her people will come to the wedding celebration..

Trolls…

Towards the end of the council meeting, Poog burst through all beaten and bloodied. I rushed to his side, muttering a prayer to Iomedae to help me heal my good goblin friend. When he recovered, Poog announced that his patrol was ambushed by a group of Trolls while scouting towards the south. Not wasting any time, my core group of friends made immediate preparations to find these Trolls. We would leave in two days.

Before we left, however, Zirul and Bosco introduced a rather reserved fellow who went by the moniker “Jam”. Zirul had been actively recruiting for his spy network and felt that Jam would be a fine addition to his retinue. He and Bosco recommended that our Troll hunt would be a fine opportunity for Jam to prove his worth, and for Zirul to test his skill. Since both Zirul and Bosco vouched for Jam, I took it at their word and agreed that Jam come with us.

A Scarecrow’s Hut…

Our first day out, Jam and Zirul encountered a hut. It was evident that someone still inhabited the hut but was not presently home. Jam had picked the lock of the door, though. I asked, “Did either you attempt knocking first?” to which Jam and Zirul looked at each other, and then to me but procured no logical explanation to such an obvious approach when trying to determine if someone was home.

It was at this point that Bosco decided to examine a nearby pool of water (we were in a swamp after all), when all of a sudden the scarecrow who was serving as the hut’s silent guardian, sprang to life and attacked Bosco unawares. The idea of a living scarecrow seemed to haunt Bosco as he was clearly shaken throughout the entire encounter. The combined might of the five of us prevailed and soon enough the scarecrow lay scattered on the swamp.

Not wishing to disturb the hut any further, I wrote on the door using a piece of chalk, advising the owner of who we were who had stopped by, and where we could be found. I’m sure that whomever this hermit is, once he or she came home and saw the scarecrow’s remains littered about, would wonder who would do such a thing, and why their door was unlocked. Seeing no other reason to being in the area, I suggested we move on, much to the chagrin of Zirul and more interestingly, Jam. I hope that Jam doesn’t turn out to be a simple thief whose primary pleasure in life is to rob people when they are away.

Candlemere Tower…

The next day we came upon a tower which seemed to be isolated on an island in the middle of the lake adjoining our nation city. It seemed a peculiar thing, but we did not have the present capabilities with which to examine the tower up close and personal. Seeing as it was rather late in the day, we decided to make camp next to the lake with the tower in clear view from our campsite.

I took the first watch. As I was reflecting on the year’s events, I saw in the horizon a glowing ball of energy coming from the tower. As it floated closer to me, I detected a strong aura of evil present in this ball of energy. Furthermore, there was a rather sinister looking skull that could clearly be seen from the floating ball’s center mass as it approached closer still. I decided that this was some sort of evil spirit and immediately roused my companions to prepare for battle with a vengeful spirit.

As we prepared for battle, it seemed that my companions had all abandoned me. They had all simply vanished. And what’s worse, the ball of energy seemed to have vanished too. Still being able to detect an evil presence, I did not let my guard down. My hunch proved true as the ball of energy suddenly appeared in front of me right out of thin air, and shocked with with a very painful electrical charge. I took a swung at it, calling upon the name of Iomedae, but the electric pain must have had lingering effects as I nearly dropped my sword.

Receiving another electrical shock and still missing on a blow that would easily fell an Ogre, I decided that I was clearly outmatched. This was confirmed as Zirul yelled for me to run, which I did, Zirul covering my escape in a hail of arrows singing past me and somehow hitting the ghost. I had only been on the run for a minute when I suddenly saw Jam easily catch up to me (I do wear full plate armor) with the ghost quickly gaining ground on him. If he couldn’t outpace this ghost, there was no way I could. I decided to make a final stand so that my companions could at, the very least, escape. I stopped running and turned around.

The energy ball zapped me a couple more times, but I was able to heal myself enough to offset the pain, all the while finally being able to strike true and inflict some pain unto this ghost-energy ball thing. My companions also decided to make a final stand with me as it was clear none of us could outrun this thing. Finally gather ourselves and coordinating our attacks, we were able to dispatch of this evil spirit. This was something I would rather not fight any time soon.

A “Druid” and his Oak Tree…

After our encounter with the vengeful spirit, we then came upon a rather large oak tree that was currently inhabited by a druid and his large mountain lion companion. Like the energy ball from the night before, I sense a very prominent evil emanating from this outwardly friendly druid. What was most peculiar was that Ganon attempted to speak to this druid in a language unknown to us all, even the supposed druid. We then began communicating in the Elven tongue and this ‘druid’ did not appreciate this.

While we discussed, in Elven, our next best course of action, Bosco went into the druid’s oak tree home for some tea and biscuits, albeit unbeknownst to all of us. Moments later we heard Bosco shriek in pain and we immediately sprang to action. The druid’s feline companion stood guard, but we made quick work of it. I charged into the abode of the ‘druid’ and after a few bouts of smiting him, the ‘druid’ had had enough and decided to make his escape by tumbling past all of us, going through the front door, and leaping away – but not before Zirul placed a few well shot arrows into his back.

Going through his possessions, we were able to recover a very nice and magical set of leather armor for Ganon as well as a ring for our new companion, Jam. We also acquired a treasure map that would lead us to a magical crossbow of some sort.

Another Werewolf??

Unable to figure out where to go next, we decided to head back to New Hope. Poog had originally told us all that the trolls that attacked him were directly south of our city, but Zirul had, for some reason, taken us on a steady western route. I found this to be most curious as to why Zirul would lead us west when our quarry was directly south, according to Poog. Granted, trolls are not known for staying in any one particular location, I still found it odd that we were heading west when we should have been looking to the south. Maybe Zirul has his own agenda to fulfill? It was at this point, I decided we should head back to our city and rest and regroup.

Upon returning, we were immediately greeted by Svetlana. Sveltlana informed us that there had been two murders – a young farm boy at one of our farms and a young farm girl from the city proper. Both had been attacked at night and had wounds that indicated a wild animal to be the culprit.

We decided to investigate the matter further by meeting with the parents of the young girl, who happened to live within the confines of our city. Upon meeting the father of the poor, unfortunate girl, Bosco thought it would be best to compensate the family with 1 gold to cover funeral expenses. I thought this to be rather low, but Zirul interjected and insisted on seeing the body of the girl. When we inspected the poor girl’s corpse, Zirul looked as if he were trying to determine the cause of death. He didn’t seem to be making any progress so I decided to take a look myself and was able to determine that this girl had suffered the wounds similar to a large wolf – or werewolf, based on the descriptions we had received and my own personal knowledge of lycanthropes. The girl was also missing one of her ears.

As we left, I handed the father a platinum and a couple extra gold coins to help cover funeral expenses. He was more than grateful. As we traveled our road towards the farm where the other victim was found, we found that the tracks were wolf-like going towards a copse of forest trees, and then human heading towards our city! It was at this point that I realized we had focused entirely too much on commerce and industry development and not nearly enough on security. To have a werewolf simply coming and going at its leisure within our nation was a clear indicator that our defense was far too soft. If a single werewolf can come and go as it please, what about an army of ogres, trolls, or even goblins and kobolds? Our citizenry are entirely too vulnerable to such attacks. We need to beef up security.

A New Ally…?

Heading back towards our town, we went to the town hall to inquire about someone who seemed out of place and visiting our town. As it turned out, the innkeeper at our town hall (we do need a proper inn so we don’t have to use our town hall to serve as one) revealed that there was a traveler who had been staying at our city recently. He was from one of the nearby barbarian tribes. He carried a large axe and was rather large in stature. We asked for the key to his room and upon inspection of the barbarian’s room, we found a severed ear with an earring under the bed. It was clear that this ear belonged to the girl who had been murdered recently.

We then sought out this person. It was Ganon and Bosco who found this barbarian first as he was in an alley drinking himself away. And it was only midday. When I showed up on scene (Warden Kesten and a group of 10 guards in tow), I demanded that the barbarians cease and desist his actions and that he immediately submit and come with me. When he refused initially, I told him of the ear we had found under his bed. He then broke down and spoke of nightmares that he had been having and that his drinking was his way of alleviating those nightmares.

It became clear that he was the culprit behind the murders but he showed remorse for his actions and was willing to atone for his heinous crimes. I could detect an air of evil around the barbarian. Kundal was his name. And he wasn’t completely evil – he was just prone to it due to his curse of lycanthropy.

We sought out our resident cleric, Jhod. Aurora could not help him, but advised us that Jhod may. And Jhod was more than able to lift the curse of lycanthropy from the poor Kundal. Kundal, his curse of being a werewolf completely removed, was now indebted to us. I told him that in order to attone for his crimes, he must help see to the burial of the girl and boy that he murdered during his werewolf state. He would also assist in Jhod in all other matters, but this was more so that Jhod could keep an eye on him.

Kundal readily agreed to all of this and offered me his great axe as thanks. I gave him my silver greatsword in return, that he may fend off any possible lycanthropes who might be a threat to him, or anyone, in the near future. Finally, I told him that I would send for him in a couple of months. Kundal has clear martial prowess and it would be better served elsewhere once he had atoned for his sins. He has to prove himself first, however.

Securing New Hope…

In the next few months, we re-adopted a posture of security. We put to construction buildings focused to promote our nation’s security from within. We built an Office of the City Guard so that Kesten and his guardsmen would have a place with which they could focus exclusively on the security of the city of New Hope without being distracted by exterior, military affairs when he and his men were housed in the barracks.

We also built a jail to house criminals. We don’t typically have a problem with criminals as of yet, but we need a place for Kesten and his men to house them. When we first dealt with Kundal, my first instinct was to lock him up so that we had a place to secure him while we figured out what to do with him. At the time we did not have a jail, and imprisoning him in a house seemed like a very ineffective way of securing someone prone to transforming into a werewolf – a creature likely to easily break out of house. A jail, by its very nature, is ten times more secure.

A smith was the last thing that we built. Our army is small, but it is growing. Furthermore, the guards that augment our army is are increasing in number, so I needed a structure that would enable me to produce weapons and armor en masse. And I would also need more smiths to help me outfit our soldiers and guards. A smith would enable me to do all of this.

Walls and such are going to be the next considerations. It may seem like we are taking a very paranoid posture, but it is necessary as we are, as I’ve said several times before, A BUFFER for Brevoy and also Kyonin. We need to be able to withstand an attack before we build structures focused on commerce and industry. And with groups of trolls still at large in the south, large tribes of lizardmen to the west, and several untold hazards and dangers all around New Hope, security must be of primary import.

I am more than willing to take on this role of making the executive position for such a posture. My years of training to be a Knight of Iomedae, as well as a soldier in her majesty’s army for so many years, has taught me the importance of military might.

A nation cannot have economic and industrial power without military power to protect those interests.

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Zirul's Year in New Hope

As we look back on this past year it is quite amazing to see how things have evolved in such a short time. It seems like only days ago that we were living in the remains of the Stag Lords fortress and wondering what to do once our charter was completed. In the early months it took all of our time and resources to prepare a foundation for this city and to built the castle and town hall which now stand out amongst our city.

The first month was also filled with a bit of personal excitement. As I was out on a walk in the forest the one day I encountered a small raccoon who I was able to get close to. He was quite an exciting fellow and while I wasn’t able to pet him it does seem that he might be friendly.

Our second month was marked with some unexpected excitement as a delegation of of nobles from Restov came here to celebrate with us and to see what we were up to. While it was nice to have the resources that they brought I am left with a concerned as to why they have come so quickly after we started our work here. While I probably should have spent time celebrating with the others it seems best to spend time talking with our guests and watching them as best I could. Over the course of the last month I have not noticed anything too suspicious, but I think that as spymaster I really need to learn how to do a better job next time.

After some time I have been able to make friends with and train the raccoon I met a few months ago. He is a wonderful fellow and I have been able to train him as a hunter. I have a feeling he will be a major help and maybe a good guard to assist during our travels. In fact we were able to do some hunting today and I found him to be an excellent companion and have decided to name the little guy Ricky.

Our third and fourth months have been an exciting times for the city as we were finally able to begin establishing some housing for our people including the beginnings of our farms. It has also been an exciting time personally as I have begun working towards recruiting some help to scout and spy for our city. It maybe paranoia but I still think that visit in our second month was a sign to be careful. I am not sure what the true difference is between a Nobel and the bandits I grew up with but if the one has taught me anything it’s to be prepared.

While I have come to realize I am not as well suited as Bor’s is for developing our new home I have been able to spend the last few months helping where needed and using the rest of my time to work amongst our small but growing force of troops. With some practice and some of the bows we have collected we have seen some wonderful progress amongst the warriors in our army. I am sure that many of them will make fine archers who can guard the walls of the castle and maybe one day the walls of this city. In addition I have been able to put in some time to build up our collection of bows and arrows which should help keep our men well stocked for some time to come. I am hoping to be able to recruit a few of the best of them as scouts to assist in our advanced defense.

Month 7

Bor’s has done a wonderful job with the troop train and it has been great fun being able to spend time amongst them. We have a number of fine troops and a couple of may proof useful as advanced scouts, but we’ll see how they do as we continue to train and drill.

As this month draws to a close I think it is time to get out of the city a bit so I will be taking some time to travel our woodlands and see whats going on. Maybe I will even stop by and see about that restoration work for Erastil’s temple in the woods. It seems a good excuse to be out of the city for a few weeks and maybe I can get in some time to go hunting. Maybe I can even get in some time making a few more bows and arrows as I relax in the woods.

Month 9

I have spent much of the last two months traveling the area between the temple of Erastil, Oleg’s trading post and the city. It has been an enjoyable time of travel in the area. I am excited to see the progress but also to have an opportunity to spend some time hunting in these woods. My little friend Ricky has proven to be quite the helper.

Month 10

I have received some updates from the spy I was able to send out though the information seems quite limited. It seems that at this point there is neither a positive or negative wind towards our city.

Our city has expanded substantially while I was out wandering and it seems that the roads are in place. We have almost managed to make it to Oleg’s. Maybe I will go and see how things are there

Month 11

I am somewhat depressed that to realize that the Elf who did damage to our Goblin’s could not be dealt with. He might have made a wonderful addition to help as our official assassin. I must make sure not to share my thoughts with Bor’s he might not like that idea.

Month 12

I have spent much of the month working on weapon production and spent some time training a few men to help with scouting. Just need to work on getting some reassignments.

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