I wrote a post musing about the lore of the Armor of the Shadow Lord, and what it might mean for Asher and for the campaign:
Days 24, 25
The party traveled South towards the Stag Lord’s fort. They felt it made tactical sense to be rid of the bandits, and then they could quickly finish up mapping the region.
The party passed themselves off as the new liquor couriers, and easily gained admittance into the Stag Lord’s fort.
Kaleria, an old friend of Asher’s, stopped by, explaining that she had a few days in the area and she’d like to help any way she can. The group accepted her and continued mapping the Greenbelt, starting with the North end of the forest and working their way South and West. They came across a patch of Moon Radishes and slaughtered a group of kobolds that had been feasting. At night, the party was randomly attacked by wolves.
The party found a fairy nest occupied by a fairy dragon named Perlivash and a bizarre fairy named Tyg Titter Tut. They provided the party with information regarding the Temple of the Elk and a taztlwyrm lair on the condition that the party not report the location of the fair nest to the officials in Restov. Finally coming across a fresh stream, the party bathed, much to everyone’s relief.
The party quickly located the long lost Temple of the Elk, and defeated the temple’s guardian – the old cleric cursed to be in bear form until someone worthy of Erastil defeated him. The temple magically restored itself, and the temple pool was found to have minor healing magic imbued in its waters. Not wanting to miss the high priestess of Sarenrae back at Oleg’s Trading Post, the party hurried back Northeast.
Asher had the high priestess of Sarenrae remove the curse of the Girdle of Opposite Gender, and was ecstatic. Feeling much more like himself, he declared himself the rightful Shadow Lord.
Asher and Sparrow loot the ex-gladiator’s house, then burn it to the ground. Back at the inn, they enlist Jack to check and see if any of their newly found loot is magical – and it turns out, much of it is. Most notably, Jack earns himself a lot of enchanted jewelry, Asher gained Armor of the Shadow Lord, and Sparrow quietly bagged herself 14 bars of pure platinum. There were also envelopes from Restov royalty and a journal, placed into Asher’s bag for later investigation. Sparrow cashed in one of the bars at a bank, and went shopping with Asher. She proffered Jack’s discretionary services in exchange for a rebate on some magical goods.
The party attended the execution of Bernard Orlovsky, who was charged with the murder of Rufus Orlovsky over a Restov charter to explore the Greenbelt. Sparrow and Asher collected their refund from the merchant from the previous day. Jack went about his own business. Reyes stayed at his grandfather’s forge to work on his new set of armor. The party heard rumors of a woman a few towns over predicting a return of a long lost king. The news was as unsettling to Asher as it was comforting to Reyes.
I wrote a post on Tales of Asher, called “Good Murder.” It’s about the folly of conforming to the antiquated notion of alignment, and how that affected a discussion about my character on Reddit.
The party journeyed back to the gold mine.
Early in the morning, as they were breaking camp, a wil-o’-wisp ran into the party. It hovered around ominously for a few minutes, before becoming downright menacing. Sufficiently creeped out, the party attacked, and destroyed it. They then traveled on North, toward Oleg’s Trading Post. At night, they were attacked by a squad of bandits. The party reacted with swift, merciless anger, easily slaughtering the lot. Jack used magic to force the last remaining bandit to attempt to copulate with a tree for several minutes before killing him. There were incredulous grumblings from the party, in slight disbelief that any bandits dare attack the party, after the dozens of bandits the party had already easily routed.
The party arrived at OIeg’s Trading Post, and spent all day enjoying home-cooked meals, cold beverages, and telling tales of their adventures. Oleg and Svetlana were ecstatic to have the wedding ring returned. A couple of guards that had come from Restov rewarded the party handsomely in cold hard cash in exchange for doing so much damage against the bandits. Oleg also rewarded the party, with some cash, and also a 1,000gp credit for anything at the trading post. Asher and Sparrow also took the opportunity to inform the party of the massive horde of treasure the party had accumulated: over 20,000gp in value. The party would have to head back to Restov to spend that kind of money! They spent the night sleeping comfortably at Oleg’s.
The party headed in to Restov, where Asher and Reyes worked to sell their unwanted goods. Asher advised Reyes on prices and values, as well as seeking out connections to profitable vendors; Reyes did all the talking. Over lunch, the party evenly split the money – 5,400gp for each member, with the leftover cash remaining in party funds. The party then split off to go on a well-deserved shopping spree. Reyes introduced Asher to his adoptive grandfather, who ran a forge. After placing orders for armor, Asher headed to Reyes’ grandfather’s favorite alehouse to celebrate. When he was joined back Jack and Sparrow, the three managed to kick off a rowdy, naughty party in the alehouse by sundown.
Jack, being the most gorgeous of the trio, attracted much unwanted attention from other patrons, particularly a middle-aged woman he couldn’t convince to leave. In desperation, Jack paid Asher 100 gold coins to make the woman leave. Asher slapped her, hard, and ordered her out of the tavern. He then attempted to buy liquor for everyone, but the barkeep refused Asher’s business, explaining that he had just slapped the wife of a famous ex-gladiator, and the gladiator was probably going to seek revenge against Asher and the barkeep.
Asher paid a drunk to pretend to be him, earning himself a cheap decoy. He waited a while for the gladiator to show up, but he never did, so Asher tracked down the gladiator’s house. Asher killed a vagrant, dumped the body in the gladiator’s front yard, reported the body to a guard, and watched as the gladiator and his wife were arrested and escorted away for questioning. Sparrow then revealed herself to Asher (she had been shadowing him for quite some time) and demanded to know what he was doing. Asher suggested they rob the house and burn it down. Sparrow happily agreed.
Back at the tavern, Reyes’ grandfather came in after closing his shop to spend some time relaxing with Reyes and the party, and was shocked at the rambunctious party. After the grandfather remarked about how strange Reyes’ friends were, Reyes and Jack suddenly realized that both rogues – giddy with being back in the city after two weeks in the country – had been gone for some time now.
Brian wrote up a post on designing a kingdom for Kingmaker on his blog, Tales of Asher. Hit the link to read more about it:
He discusses the reasons for choosing the colors and symbols he did, as well as a potential name for the Kingdom: The People’s Republic of Draconia.
This probably won’t be the final name, or flag design. This is only the first!
Here’s the finished version of the flag:
In the morning, the party discussed their plans and pooled their knowledge concerning the kobolds. They realized that these are the Sootscale Kobolds, so-named for their blackish scales and their leader, Chief Sootscale. They live in what was formerly “Oaktop Silver Mine.” The party set out in the afternoon, and found the lair at sundown.
The party informed the sentry that they wished to talk with the chief, but when the party revealed the ivory devil statue recovered from the mites, the sentry took the party to the kobold shaman, Tartuk, instead. Tartuk thanked the party… but in truth, Tartuk did not want the statue to be recovered. As the party would later learn, Chief Sootscale is just a puppet leader, with Tartuk pulling the strings; as long as the chief and the other kobolds are preoccupied with war and recovering that statue, Tartuk can continue his schemes unnoticed.
Nonetheless, the statue was an idol of the kobold’s diety, and the tricky situation nearly developed in an all-out fight a couple times as the party tried to negotiate for the wedding ring, and perhaps, the kobolds’ alliance. While Sparrow and Asher robbed the kobolds blind, Jack and Reyes hashed out a deal with Tartuk, wherein Tartuk would convince Chief Sootscale to begin working the mine. The party would earn 25% of the profits from the silver, and in return, ensure the kobolds’ protection and prevent the kobolds from becoming stagnant and bored.
On their way out of the kobold lair, laden with many stolen goods (including, at last, Svetlana’s wedding ring!), the party unfortunately ran into trouble. Chief Sootscale came around a corner with a handful of guards, and, believing the party to be hostile invaders, ordered an immediate attack. Reyes, Jack, and Sparrow demonstrated dazzling spectacles of violence in dispatching this entire kobold force within seconds — capped off by Reyes’ beheading of Chief Sootscales.
As they left the lair, with an angry Tartuk and several other kobolds hot on their heels, Reyes tossed the chief’s head back into the lair and angrily reminded Tartuk to uphold the agreement with the mine.
The party headed towards the sycamore tree for most of the day, but discovered a virginal vein of gold in a cave along the way. After some discussion, the bandit prisoner was judged to be of no further use, and a burden, and was executed by Reyes. Reyes was in an interesting mood after having buried Fionn the previous evening.
The party arrived at the old sycamore tree, and found the entrance into the mites’ lair. The assault was rapid and aggressive; no prisoners were taken. The party showed little patience or mercy. It was learned that the mites were breeding giant centipedes, and the party took care to destroy all centipede eggs. The party also found primitive documents that described a war between these mites, and a tribe of kobolds called “Scootscale” to the South. There was a record of a supply theft by the kobolds… and the party assumed that the kobolds were now in possession of Svetlana’s wedding ring.
Presently, the party is loaded with cash and supplies, and has been out in the country for almost a week. As they made camp on the sixth night, they promised to debate pressing onward to recover Svetlana’s ring, or returning to Oleg’s to offload some supplies before continuing on their quest.