Kingmaker

Candlemere

Desnus 12th – 18th, 4715

The party hires a local fisherman to sail them to Candlemere Island so that they may explore the area. Ten gold pieces later they find their man. A few days and a giant eel later the group approaches the foreboding island. It tilts out from the lake West to East, going from beaches and forest up to plains, hills, and lakeside cliffs. At the pinnacle of the island a strange tower dominates the landscape, it is forever battered by a thunderstorm that hovers over the structure.

The group gets to the shore and hides the boat (and pilot) as best they can. They travel around the small forest, seeing evidence of some local game (boars and deer). During their travels they see glimpses of red and blue humanoid figures wandering within the trees. As they round the forest and enter the plain they see numerous of these figures. They appear to be human but are translucent and glow either red or blue. The red ones seethe and shout in anger, the blue whimper and cry for help. Strangely, while Scotia and Caelan can sense the spirits, Adal can only see them, Quinn can only hear them, and Eugene cannot sense them at all.

They make for the tower, a huge piece of unique architecture (a twelve sided structure which starts as if carved from the granite at it’s base and gradually leads up to a metallic crown. Will o’wisps dance at it’s top.) Along the way they find evidence of a lizardman encampment and they themselves camp in a sheltered location among the rocky landscape close to the tower. They approach the tower over the foundations of an ancient town. They see (and are seen by) a group of lizardfolk which is guarding the tower. They make short work of these exterior archers. They know the lizardfolk worship a “thunder god” on the island. Inside they do battle with another, larger, force of lizardfolk. This one lead by a huge muscular warrior. The ensuing battle is difficult but they eventually prevail.

Sadly Eugene, blind monk and hangman extraordinaire, ran out of luck (and lives) and was slain by the lizardfolk leader.

The group begins working on what they perceive is a puzzle involving statues of Aroden on the first level. As they work on this the Spymaster Castiel, who had been exploring the island as part of his reconnaissance for the upcoming war, stumbles upon the group and joins in the exploration. The puzzle is solved and a stairway to a basement opens up. The group descends only to find all the doors locked. They determine they need a key of some sort to decipher the locking mechanisms so they go back up to explore the upper levels. After some time they discover and figure out how to use a series of teleportation circles which connect the different levels of the tower.

As the group explore the tower they learn that this was once a center of worship for a sect of Aroden. It was lead by a man named Ardwen. Something had obviously gone horribly wrong. They eventually learn that Ardwen had been obsessed by Arazni, the herald of Aroden, and in through his misguided love damned himself and all of his followers. The eventually figure out that the holy book of Aroden, found in the footlockers of some doomed knights, is the key they need for the basement.

Once in the basement they discover a vault (and the trap protecting the vault which almost claims Castiel and Quinn), they plunder the treasure. The two other doors they can access have ancient symbols, one of masculinity and one of femininity. They choose female first. They discover a kitchen, eating area, sleeping area, and finally a room packed with zombies trying to get in to a large set of doors. The red and blue spirits flit about this room in greater numbers than elsewhere. On the male side they discover the exact same layout, along with another room full of zombies and spirits. A few fireballs later the zombies are dealt with. They open the door to discover Ardwen the Betrayer.

After a tough fight they stand victorious. However the general had been grievously injured (level drained) by the creature’s touch. The group quickly makes for home, sailing day and night to get back to Deepwater just in time to cure Quinn’s ailment.

The game concludes here.

As a side note they discover the tower is a building of considerable arcane power. The casting tower at the top of the structure has immense power over electrical and weather spells on the island itself.

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Funeral of Kesten Garess

Desnus 8th – 12th, 4715

On a beautiful Spring day the funeral of Kesten Garess took place. The former Warden of Innisfree died defending Deepwater from the attack of the giant owlbear. The funeral was attended by a large number of locals, the entire ruling council, members of the Garess family whom had travelled down from their holdings just North of Restov, the Swordlord Callum Argyle, and Mayor Raston Selline and his entourage from Mivon. Elder Jhod conducts the ritual and the Duke follows with a eulogy for the ages.

After the rituals the gathered people talk, cry, laugh, and remember a fallen friend. Duke MacCallan comforts the Garess family and presents them with Kesten’s sword wrapped in a flag of Innisfree. Marshall Chadast meets with the ruler of the River Kingdom of Mivon and agrees to have him meet with the council the next day. General RedFox meets with Callum Argyle and as well promises a meeting with the council. Executioner Lockwood excuses himself immediately after the ceremony and is presented with two confessed bandits by the new Warden Akiros Ismort, the two criminals are quickly hanged. High Sorcerer McFadden kept an eye on Grigori and schmoozed with the common folk. That night the General directs what troops he has in town to aid in security to protect Innisfree’s guests.

The next day the council convenes to meet with the foreign dignitaries. The meeting with Callum Argyle is fairly brief, consisting mostly of gestures of friendship and basic politicking. The Swordlord does request to share a whiskey with those he sent out here years ago, it is agreed and he leaves. As he leaves Mayor Raston Selline of Mivon is let in (a tense moment given the history between the Rostland and the River Kingdom). The mayor is not impressed a head of state had to wait on a mere noble. Once the doors are closed Raston wastes no time, he claims the budding kingdom of Karros is a threat to both Innisfree and Mivon. The sooner it is destroyed the better it will be for all involved. However, Mivon is not willing to take all of the losses and wishes a coordinated offensive against the Greenhand. Not prepared for such straight talk of war the council debates and deliberates. They are told Mivon is ready to march when they are. In the end it is decided more information is needed. Mayor Selline is told that Innisfree will be ready in 3-8 weeks. Grand Diplomat Deoryr Slyss is sent back with the Mivon contingent so that he will be able to teleport between the two nations when instant communication will be required, he is also told to do some research into Hargulka the Greenhand.

It is decided that their Spymaster, Tyg & Pervilash, and Guglielmo (if he can be found) will begin spying on Karros to try to get intel on their forces. In the mean time they will begin raising an army and purchasing oil and alchemist fire.

The group’s private meeting with Callum Argyle is a friendly one. They learn of the increasing tensions back in the homeland and the fact that Rostland is trying to keep as many of their forces close to home as possible. They learn a bit of the other groups that were sent out. Baron Hannis Drelev has established a Fort past the great swamp to the West and Maegar Varn has established a small barony called Varnhold in the foothills of the Tors to the East. Argyle apologizes for the state of the “settlers” he sent their way in the early days, he emphasizes that Rostland cannot be seen as being the sponsor of Innisfree in any way. He also thanks them for their help in Whitefield. Finally, sympathizing with their situation to the South he commits the Rostlander shock-troopers “The Kilted Maniacs” to help as mercenaries in the upcoming war.

That evening Scotia ends up finding a young cleric of Sarenae to send to the Sootscales to do missionary work. Her name is Eisa and she is a enthusiastic but green cleric. Scotia gives her some money for holy books and trinkets. Scotia and Quinn take her to the Sootscales for a proper introduction and establish that she as well can “talk” to Sharptooth. Daral of the Radish Patch is charged with looking out for the young human.

Adal is introduced to a good prospect for his wardens by Dralt Stonebeard. The young dwarf, named Brons, is a skilled ranger and a disciplined follower, but he has an intense hatred for giantkind. Adal agrees to recruit him and sends him along with some veterans to work the North area of Innisfree. Caelan learns of a religious tension growing between the towns and the country, this is embodied in the relationship between Elder Jhod and Bishop Grimald.

The game concludes with everything set into motion for dealing with Karros and the group planning to take a bit of time to head down and explore Candlemere Island.

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Giant Owlbear!!!

Gozran 25th – Desnus 7th, 4715

On a cold sleety spring day the group enters the cave of the giant owlbear that had attacked Deepwater. They open up by entering a large cave full of fungi. After a sudden fireball the violet fungus attack and the shriekers go off. As the group is finishing off the violet fungus a shambling mound comes shambling in from a side cavern. Due to the noise, the shambling mound fight is still going on when a gigantic barded owlbear comes up from a deeper cavern.

Due partly to tactics and partly to luck the battle goes fairly well. It is difficult but in the end the group stands victorious with injuries but no casualties. The group clears out the rest of the cave system (which includes a nasty sink hole with green slime and a bunch of spiders). They also find the remains of some humans along with their equipment. Amongst this equipment is a cursed ring of animal friendship (which only lasts for a short while, then the creature goes berserk and seeks out signs of civilization to destroy.) The remains of the owlbear’s mate and chicks is also found (along with one live chick which is killed).

The group heads back to Deepwater, following the owlbear’s initial trail. They find the other missing warden along the way.

Once back to Deepwater they find out Oleg is alive! Svetlana had a family heirloom that was able to be used for a raise dead, Jhod was only too happy to raise one of the most devoted of his congregation. Akiros Ismort has shown up and has done a decent job in a difficult situation, he is promoted to the council as Warden.

They found out 48 citizens were killed in the attack. A new town hall begins to be erected, it includes the skull of the giant owlbear.

Letters are sent to Kesten Garess’ family to inform them of Kesten’s death. A letter is also sent to Callum Argyle to update the situation in general along with informing him of the funeral. Kesten Garess’ funeral will be held on Desnus 8th (beginning of next game).

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A Busy Few Weeks

Pharast 10th – Gozran 25th 4715

The group takes the last month of inhospitable weather to do some planning and kingdom building. Guglielmo eventually returns to report that the old elven keep is now inhabited by strangely disciplined trolls and hobgoblins, the banner of the green hand in a circle flies everywhere. As the council finishes its business the group gets ready to head out and speak with these newcomers.

As they get ready to leave (the 8th of Gozran) a number of meetings occur.

First Chief Sootscale comes to speak with his grace the Duke of Innisfree. He tells the Duke, the General, and Eugene about a kobold of the Bloodscale tribe having visited them. An offer was extended to work for a new boss to the South. Promises were made and many of the Sootscales liked what they heard. Chief Sootscale wanted Caelan to come speak in support of the Chief’s leadership, and he wanted “speaker” Quinn to tell the kobolds what Sharptooth advised. Duke MacCallan agreed to come speak with the tribe immediately.

Meanwhile Adal learned that one of his men was overdue in returning from the South-East. The warden was sent down there to see if old Crackjaw had any eggs. A new batch of giant snapping turtles would become a problem in a few years.

Meanwhile Scotia had a visit from Tyg-Titter-Tut. Tyg and Calcifer met, it did not go as well as Calcifer would have wished. Tyg reported that she and Pervilash were visiting with Tiressia, Falchos, and Greybark when they saw something big, green and scaly heading North in the approximate direction of Stagholm. She said that Pervilash was following it. It was assumed (by the Fey and Greybark) that the creature was forced Northward by the Trolls.

The group gets together and discusses the situation. A message is sent to Stagholm telling them to prepare themselves for a possible dragon attack. The group makes for the Sootscales with haste. The Duke makes an impassioned speech asking the kobolds to stay true to their chief, the kobolds are given trinkets, and the “speaker” tells the kobolds Sharptooth wants them to stay and work hard. The threat to Sootscale’s leadership is all but extinguished. They spend the night, enjoying the kobold’s hospitality.

The next morning the group hurries to Deepwater, then ride for Stagholm. They discover Stagholm on alert but calm. No dragon’s sighted yet. Hearing that a warden is missing they head West along his route. They find Tyg, she says the creature is on the hunt. The group encounters and kills the creature. While it wasn’t a true dragon, it was still a deadly predator. A forest drake, a cousin to true dragons. They discover the mostly eaten body of Adal’s warden in the creatures newly constructed nest.

The group returns to Stagholm with the body then make straight South to Tiressia’s tree. They find the Treant Greybark along with the Satyr and Dryad. The group learns that the Treant was forced out of his home by the encroaching trolls and hobgoblins. They chased him out with flame and axe. They learn from Falchos that the border is half a day South.

The group make for the old elven fort, straight into this newly discovered country, the country of Karros. They encounter some pig farmers and wood cutters before running into a patrol. The patrol escort them to the keep (where the group thinks the leader of this new country dwells). They speak with the local commander, a troll named Llort. They discover that the real ruler, one Hargulka the Greenhand, lives far to the South and that this keep is just an outpost. They also discover that every troll and hobgoblin along the border has been ordered not to harm the “pink skins”. Llort is truly impressed the Duke of Innisfree personally came to speak with him, a grudging respect is sensed. The Duke gives an official greeting and requests that Karros grow no further to the North. Llort tells the Duke that he will send the message and the greetings along to Hargulka.

The group then head home, skirting along Karros’ border. When they get to Deepwater they are shocked to learn that the city has been attacked. It is a scene of chaos and destruction, the population stand in shock. They learn that it was attacked by an Owlbear of gigantic proportions. Sadly many lives were lost (including two of the council: Kesten Garess and Oleg Leveton) and there was much damage to property (including the flattening of the old Town Hall).

The group send for Akiros Ismort to take control of the mess left in Deepwater. They make haste and track the beast (quite easily at that) South. The game ends as they reach the Owlbear’s cave.

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Kingdom Building and a Crazy Cult

Lamashan 7th 4714 – Calistril 30th 4715

This session consisted mostly of kingdom building.

Over these 5 months Innisfree grew into a true Duchy. Growing into the forest (near Tyg’s home, which they turned into a preserve) and plains. A fort was built by the dome and the land around it readied for farming. Some roads and bridges were built and some river areas cleared for transport. Stagholm and Deepwater had various new building added including several houses, a jail, a hospice, and a work house.

During these months the group had to contend with: slums springing up in Deepwater, unionizing government workers, rumors of trolls to the south, and a cult of Gyronna. The cult was lead by one Goody Niska, a former midwife. She and her embittered cultists sought to wreak havoc in the kingdom. The cult was uncovered with some good detective work by General Quinn and an act of kindness to the prostitute Kataryn by Eugene. After a brief battle the cult was no more. It was discovered that they had been sacrificing babies at their wicked altar. Their bodies were put on display at the edges of the city as a warning. This happened in the month of Neth.

In Abadius it was also reported that the formerly abandoned elven keep now flew banners showing a green hand within a green circle. The group used their favor with the Janni Guglielmo to get him to go explore the area and report what he saw.

Game ends with the council voting to allow the government workers of Innisfree to unionize. They await Guglielmo’s report anxiously.

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Prison Break

Rova 11th – Lamashan 7th 4714

While the group is sleeping the watch hears the sound of combat from back the way they came. The group moves in to investigate. They discover a longspear wielding half-orc in the garb of the faithful of Pharasma fighting with the fire elementals the group had seen earlier. After the battle they learn that he is Castiel, an inquisitor of Pharasma who was sent by his church to track down the Baron. He is there to let them know the church of Pharasma has moved into Innisfree in force and that the new local bishop, one Alaric Grimald, wishes an audience.

The group rests a bit more then continues to explore. The next area they come across has a planar tear into some sort of jungle (experiencing a rain storm at that moment). The area is rich with life and pools of water dot the environment. Here they run into: centipedes, a gray ooze, a plant which can turn its victims into zombies, the remains of an armor wearing and weapon wielding gorilla, and a swarm of stirges. They see signs of regular harvesting in a room dominated by mushrooms.

They discover a number of stone disks, each with a symbol carved into it. They assume (correctly as they will learn) that these are some of the “rune stones” mentioned by the programed illusion. They circle the outer edge of the prison, finding a few doors that are locked and beyond their current ability to open. They continue their investigations into the interior.

They enter an area punctuated by occasional traps. These traps looked well maintained. They also find other signs of recent habitation. Strangely, in a side room which had been greatly damaged by what looked like some ancient explosion they see a wraith hiding in the cracked floor. While it’s eyes burn with a murderous hatred it simply looks at the group then retreats into the cracked floor.

They come to a room where a make shift wall and door had been set up. The door is about 7 or 8 feet off the ground (the wall below it). The group knocks. Here they find the Janni Guglielmo along with his iron cobra. After briefly believing that he’d gone mad Guglielmo expresses great relief at seeing intelligent and non-hostile creatures. They discover that he is an explorer who stumbled upon this place through a planar rift in the sewers of Axis (a planar city). While he was exploring the tear had been repaired from the other side, trapping the curious genie. He tags along with the group, though is far too frightened to do anything to help in combat.

The group rounds out exploring the first level by fighting some hell hounds, discovering the area where the final human inmates made their last stand, and fighting some bloody skeletons (who would not stay down!) that were totally focused on killing Caelan and Scotia.

The group rests and make their way back to the center of the prison, where they had appeared. With rune stones in hand they are able to get back to their own world.

They arrive to find the dome closed up. Forcing their way out they find the work camp replaced with a scholars encampment. The people there are surprised to see the group, a cheer strikes up. It is discovered that the group had been gone for over two and a half weeks. People had begun to think the worst. Kesten Garess had even begun preparations for taking on the role of stewart.

The next few days are a blur of activity. Jhod, on direct orders from the Baron, raises Eugene from the dead. Eugene returns with a sense of purpose, he has been tasked with a quest from the gods. The group re-assume their roles on the council, there is a lot of chaos since leadership was in the process of changing when the group returned. Caelan has his meeting with the church of Pharasma. He learns that they wished to see if Innisfree would survive before committing. Now that it looks stable they have moved in with significant manpower and resources. Bishop Grimald offers the Baron a specially crafted amulet (with prot from energy drain) bearing the insignia of Innisfree circled by the swirl of Pharasma. The Bishop also requests the church have a seat on the council, they feel that as the representatives of the country’s largest religion they should have a voice.

At the next council meeting it is announced that Dralt Stonebeard will be replaced by the pharasmite inquisitor Castiel. Dralt is given a variety of new responsibilities: he is now Mayor of Deepwater, he will run the new exotic craftsman building the council will build, and he vows to be the voice of the new Dwarven population.

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Starhold Prison Discovery

Rova 9th – 11th, 4714

A report has come in from Pandora and the dwarven work crew saying the mound is ready to open (thanks to the special dwarven made drills she acquired). The group heads out immediately. They arrive to see the thing is a huge dome of smooth dark grey stone, 200’ high and 400’ across. Before they can appreciate the spectacle they notice the work camp is abandoned. The sounds of battle can be heard from the other side of the structure.

Getting to the other side they see a battle between the dwarves and soldiers of Innisfree and a familiar trio of trolls. It is clear the trolls are winning despite having already lost one of their number. The group runs to assist. The general regroups the troops (three of whom were running for the hills). The others attack the trolls with steel and sorcery. The battle is won but at a heavy price. 4 dwarven workers and 7 soldiers are dead. The three would be deserters are sent back to Deepwater to explain what had happened and be punished.

Pandora reports that they waited to actually open the dome (though she believes it is actually a ball half buried) until the group arrived. The next morning it is opened. Inside they discover the dome is hollow. A green glow emanates from the center. Occasionally green arcs of energy shoot out, dancing along the walls. The walls and floor have rings of alien runes etched into them. Not sure what else to do they decide to send their public executioner, Eugene. Within moments he is struck by a bolt of the green energy and is utterly consumed by it. Shocked the group charge boldly forward, wishing to share whatever fate had in store for Eugene. They are eventually all zapped (one by one) by the energy, each time disappearing with no trace. Scotia, Quinn, and Caelan are able to make it to the center where they see strange dim green “cracks” of the energy spreading out from the edge of a 40’ diameter circle of runes.

Meanwhile, on the inside.

For the blind monk there is confusion. He suddenly cannot hear or sense his friends and there is nothing around him. He hears a strange voice speaking a strange language. He sits to contemplate the situation. Adal appears next to him in a short time. What he sees is a projection or illusion of a tall blue skinned alien creature talking (and cycling through languages). It finally settles on an archaic common. It says: “Welcome to Starhold Prison, at one time the multiverse’s premier incarceration facility. We appreciate your interest but we regret to inform you that we were forced to abandon this facility in the year 6565 Prime Standard Date. For your own safety we highly recommend returning through the gate immediately. The rune stones you used for entry into the facility will also allow passage out. To repeat, we highly reco…co…co…co…co……….breaches currently open..en..en..en..en…..From the Mercane Trade Federation please accept our deepest apol..ol..ol..ol…” It degenerates into a jumble of sound and color before snapping out altogether.

With hardly a moment to take in what they had just experienced Adal and Eugene hear approaching footsteps. Two hell hounds enter the large circular room. During the fight the remaining group members appear in the entrance chamber of Starhold Prison.

They begin their exploration, discovering many interesting rooms. They find the remains of a big cat and a hell hound, both of which have been fed upon. They find evidence of an ancient battle between an iron golem and various humanoids with magic weapons. They find a fire mephit named Calcifer, who is immediately attracted to the fire sorceress. They discover that he is a newcomer here as well. He tells them of a nearby one way portal from the plane of fire. The group continues on to find the salamander Firnce and his hell hound. The creature wants to make this area into his own personal domain. He offers the group a chance to join him as followers, only to be told that Caelan is his own king. Offended and threatened Firnce attacks. During the battle Eugene (though he fought valiantly) is killed by Firnce.

The group collects Eugene’s remains and continue on, hoping to find a way home. They find the room with the portal from the plane of fire, several fire elementals dance around it. They look at the group threateningly and they retreat (and are not chased). The group soldiers on to discover a badly scarred (by fire) 4 armed white ape inhabiting a ruined room. After they kill the animal they hear the sounds of rain and a lively forest of some sort ahead of them.

Game concludes here.

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General Quinn gets new information from the Dwarven party

“Quinn cannot unlearn what he has learned…. ":http://andersson.elfwood.com/Dwarven-Farmer-of-War.3533132.html

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June sessions

General Quinn’s misinformation campaign is a success. There is not even any news or rumors coming out of Innisfree.
[[Or we could recap the sessions in this post.]]

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Meeting some of the locals

Gozran 26th – Sarenith 8th, 4714

The game opens with a vigorous debate amongst the inner council (PC’s) and the interrogation of the bard Grigori by General Quinn and the Baron. He stands by his claims that he hasn’t done anything wrong. He does admit that his act plays off of the council due to the popularity of the material. He says he receives enough tips from the Pandora bit alone to pay room and board. Quinn and Caelan do their best to reason with the comedian, going so far as to offer him a position in the kingdom. Grigori declines. Finally he is told in no uncertain terms that he is to cease his rabble rousing during his act or on the streets.

In response to the negative publicity caused by the whole Grigori incident the council erects a monument to “The People”. They also declare that the area surrounding the monument is a zone in which citizens and visitors enjoy complete freedom of expression. It is a soapbox for folk to give speeches, have debates, and preform oratory on whatever issue interests them. They also include a grievance box and stipulate that the Councilor is the only government official permitted to enter the area (so people truly feel free to express their opinions).

The group then head out to the SW for some exploration. They find Old Beldame, the fabled witch/hag of Tuskwater Loch. They stand at her gate a while, shouting in an attempt to get her attention. They finally decided to barge into her yard, only to be attacked by Old Beldame’s guardian scarecrow. The group destroys the scarecrow and discovers the witch in her hut making soup. She is deaf and had not heard the group. Caelan apologizes for destroying her guardian and asks her if she would mind the kingdom moving into the area. The old woman, whose name is Elga, is just an old hermit and sorcerer. She takes a shine to Caelan and says she would welcome a kingdom growing up around her. At her age she is having a harder time with keeping the local dangers away from her land, she only asks to be left alone except for the occasional person coming by with supplies. (She can also make magic items.)

A few days later the group comes across a mad hermit with a large cougar. He sings, dances, and talks to people who aren’t there. Out of nowhere he stabs Scotia and laughs hysterically. The group dispatches him fairly quickly. Continuing West they come across a strange, dark, and dieing patch of forest. They see bones strewn on the ground. Unexpectedly a huge blackened tree attacks the group. They later learn it is a Scythe Tree. They kill it and take it’s treasure.

They begin heading home. On the way the come across a delicate situation. A group of loggers (lead by a man named Corax) and a nymph named Melianse and her two charmed loggers. The group is able to get between the two parties and negotiate the emotions down. The loggers are upset that the fey are always in the way of their jobs, the nymph is upset the loggers chopped down some of her favorite trees (friends). The loggers are convinced to go work on a grove of coachwood trees to the North and Melianse is calmed by promises of replacement trees (feather tokens) and that the trees that were taken from her shore would be used for a noble purpose.

The group arrive home to discover that Grigori is back at it, but ONLY in the authorized area by the monument. While it is a nuisance, the rabble rouser’s influence is greatly reduced due to the good faith the rulers showed the populace by building the monument.

The game ends with the group getting ready for some kingdom building.

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