Authors Note: Please be aware these are in character journal entries, from the perspective of my main character in the CRPG Pathfinder Kingmaker. As such, they will contain story spoilers because these are her thoughts on the events as they occur. You have been warned. Also this entry is very long as I accomplished quite a bit in my last stream (which these journals as based on) so please be aware of that. Kassandra had a lot to talk about after all!
Well it’s been almost a week now since my last entry, journal. It seems odd to be speaking to you as if you were a living creature…are you a living creature? I have heard of mimics and I wonder if Oleg sold me a mimic now. He seems like he might be a practical joker. I suppose if you try to bite my hand that might indicate a sentience.
No matter! There has been a lot going on since my last entry. We have fought a troll, wererats, and March apparently has discovered a talent for Bardic magic! I am getting ahead of myself, I imagine. So let’s start at the beginning, as any good recording does.
After we Dragons got together, we headed out in search of Tartuccio. There was a fog that had crept in as well that first day and it felt…odd. Unnatural. We didn’t have many leads on the gnome, so we headed instead to the Bandit Camp Oleg had pointed out as the staging point for the attacks on the outpost. Before we left, Svetlana had asked me to retrieve her wedding ring from these bandits and if possible to not kill one who wielded twin hand axes. She said the bandits name was Kessel.
We headed to the camp and quickly found Kessel and company, and I was able to talk her down from attacking. She didn’t provide any information, but did give me back the ring and left. The bandits also had a prisoner, a priest of Erastil named Jhod! Brandon and Godless quickly untied their fellow clergyman and after a brief discussion (where Jhod asked us to find the lost Temple of the Stag) we sent him to be safe at Oleg’s. We also found a note asking Kessel to “burn an old hut down” at the request of the Stag Lord, with directions to the hut. We made sure to mark that as perhaps there would be clues there. Oh journal, there were…but I will get to that.
That night as we camped, we were approached by what I assumed was a Vagrant. However, this strange man, muttering bizarre things about the fog, proceeded to tell me he knew where my rival was! I can only assume he meant Tartuccio, as I don’t imagine I have any other rivals. If I do, I am very unaware of them. Brandon, and surprisingly Magnus, were hesitant to believe the man, given his state, but he told us all that my rival was in a temple south, and even gave us directions to the location. March and Magnus have been keeping a map record of our journey to help us in exploration, so they quickly added it to their creation.
That very next day we decided to head out into the wilds in search of this temple. Magnus and Brandon were again hesitant to believe the ravings of a madman. However, given my own dreams of late, I was certain something was going on in these lands. And sure enough, after nearly a day of travel we found some ruins. And upon entering them we heard voices…and I recognized Jaethal and Tartuccio! We quickly rushed the room, and I was able to convince Jaethal at least to leave that bastard gnome’s service. Harrim however was not swayed, and in the fight against Tartuccio’s hired thugs the gnome and Harrim escaped. We quickly explored the tomb to try to make sense of why the sorcerer had been here after sending Jaethal to Oleg’s.
Linzi, who had been following us as our “chronicler” as she put it, was able to point out strange carvings and bas-reliefs that seemed to indicate some sort of artifact. Why the little gnome was hunting for this is beyond me right now, but we were able to pick up his trail outside the tomb and track him for a bit before losing the tracks (which had somehow turned into clawed footprints…is he not a gnome? Is it a disguise? This is troubling!) up a steep hill.
We did see a massive Sycamore tree however in the distance and as a group decided to head there to make camp. However when we reached the location we ran into Kesten, the mercenary from Jamandi’s! He recognized me and I quickly made introductions to the rest of the Dragons, and he explained that Jamandi had determined that Tartuccio was the spy! Praise Gozreh I have been vindicated! I am not above saying that I let out a joyous whoop which startled the rest of the Dragons and Kesten. Kesten did ask that we deliver Tartuccio either alive or dead to him to be returned to Jamandi for judgement, and then admitted he was not sure where the gnome had run off to. We promised we would do so, and Kesten returned to Oleg’s to await news.
We made sure to clear out the area around the giant tree to make it safe to camp. Mostly some highly aggressive Thylacines and Wolves. I have a feeling that some of these animals are being effected by the Fog, as not every Thylacine or Wolf was aggressive. Most stayed away, slinking in the bushes nearby. There was one wolf, older and meaner and spoke to us, which was unnerving. He wanted us to bring him BODIES! BODIES!!! He wanted us to FEED HIM. Brandon was very clear on this point, that this wolf was an abomination and it was our duty to deal with him. And we did, and it was during this battle that March showed off what Linzi had been teaching her the past few days.
March began to sing.
I cannot put into words the song. I just can’t. It was ageless, beautiful and haunting and yet comforting. And I could feel the magic in it, much like I had when Linzi had helped me in the Swordlord’s manor. March has always been the more naturally talented of the two of us. Her own magic is natural and internal, where mine is divinely granted to me. She almost has never had to really work on figuring things out, where I have to train and push myself daily to match her. And here she was, learning bardic magic as if it was nothing. Even Linzi seemed surprised at how fast she had grasped the magic in song. From my understanding, afterwards in talking to Linzi, they had only been working together in secret for three days!!!
After we finished March blushingly asked the group if we liked it. I don’t think she expected us to dog pile on to her and hug her while laughing and crying. Even Linzi had to wipe a tear away and ask March where the song came from. March simply shrugged and said “It seemed to fit the land, so I sang what I felt.”
Stupid talented sister. I love her but she irritates me at times with how GOOD she is. And she doesn’t even realize it!
After we secured the Sycamore, we decided it was time to try and visit this old hut. After a stop at Oleg’s for a rest and getting rid of a lot of the gear and supplies we had recovered from the various bandits and ner do wells, we headed out to the this abandoned hut. I feel we are missing something about this tree though. It seems off.
After a bit of travel we reached the hut and low and behold that weird Guardian appeared before me, and ONLY me. I had a one sided (to the Dragon’s perspective) conversation with her, which caused Brandon to question my sanity briefly. After I explained the situation he nodded. I suppose if anyone is used to communicating with an entity no one else can see it would be our Cleric. We began an exploration of the area around the hut and ran across visions. Visions that seemed to concern both the Stag Lord and what appeared to be his Druidic father. The first vision was the druid abusing the child, and the second the roles were very very clearly reversed. After some more searching near a shrine (and killing a very angry and feral wolf) we found a note that seemed to indicate the location of some ritual.
That location was the Temple of the Stag! We headed back to Oleg’s quickly so we could inform Jhod of our discovery, and he begged us to go there and verify what was going on, and if that place was the source of the strange fog. So after another nights rest, we headed out.
Before we could even GET to the temple however we took Amiri to go kill this giant boar called Tuskgutter. And before we could even reach Tuskgutter we were accosted on the road by some Technic League members. The Technic League demanded we turn one of our number over to them to be a slave?! As if they had such authority! Slavery is illegal in the River Lands first and foremost, and second I hate the very idea of slaves! I quickly said no, a fight broke out, and the leader ran away. We were, however, able to track her and find their camp. We quickly routed the entire band of em and rescued four slaves, two of which wanted to join our merry band. A Wizardress named Octavia, and I think a Magus named Regongar. At least I think he is one of those Magus types. He seemed adept with a sword, and I let him kill the Technic league party leader. It seemed like justice to me. He was kept as a slave, and it was his hand that put down his former master. We sent them to Oleg’s to rest, recover, and guard. Then we went and let Amiri fight Tuskgutter one on one, which apparently was a ritual she wanted to do to prove her worth to join our clan. Was a nice gesture.
Then we finally headed to the Temple of the Elk. May Gozreh have mercy on what we saw there. Corrupted animals forced into being guardians, a bizarre corrupted pool of water that clearly should have been clear, and what I can only describe as a giant bear made of wood fighting a cleric! I also got another visit from the strange Guardian spirit, who let me know that we had to purge the corrupted animals in order to clense the pool and stop the fog. We quickly cleared all the animals out and sure enough the pool was clear. We also rescued a cleric of Sarenrae named Trstian. Once we were sure he was alright we accompanied him to Oleg’s, where we reported to Jhod our findings. Jhod believes that with some time, the remaining fog will clear out and we will be able to find the Stag Lord’s home.
One thing I have not mentioned are the dreams. I really don’t want to put these to paper, because they are horrifying and have been keeping me up at night. I can’t sleep well as most nights I am haunted by visions of my death. The dreams are always the same. I am in a burning room, and no matter how I try to escape, I end up being shot to death by arrows as a man in a stag helmet looms over me. I then end up drifting down a cold river, and I FEEL the cold, even upon waking. I always encounter a corpse, bloated and disgusting who says “Shrike River” every single time. I wake up screaming at this point. It’s gotten bad enough that Godless and March have taken to sleeping next to me, ready to hold me should I wake in horror. I….I hate it. I want it to stop. I WANT IT TO STOP. It’s as if…It’s like the Stag Lord KNOWS I am coming for him, and is waging a war inside my mind.
We have spent the last few days exploring the area without the fog, with a focus on the banks of the Shrike. We have found NOTHING to indicate ANY help to stop these nightmares. Brandon has tried prayer, March has tried her new songs. Even Naticus tried creating a sleeping potion for me at one point. Nothing has stopped them. I am tired all the time as of late. If it’s not the dreams, then its bandit attacks when we sleep. I swear the Stag Lord is waging war on me personally, and I am going to wage a war just as heavy against him!
And speaking of Naticus, I am very much reminded these past few days of just how important he and his concoctions are. In our travels we have encountered Swarms which his bombs made short work of, a Troll which his bombs helped stop from regenerating, Wererats that his bombs helped deal with, and more. I am thankful the Dragons are with me every day I am out here, as each of us supports the others.
I am going to find this Stag Lord. I am going to find Tartuccio. I am going to end both of them. Tartuccio, well, as far as I am concerned the blood on his hands should be met with a swift and painful end. I doubt I will bring him back alive.
And after these nightmares, these torments? The Stag Lord will lie dead at my feet. He has caused too much pain for me, and for the people of these lands. And if I am going to one day rule as a fair and just ruler here, I need to be willing to mete out Justice in equal measure to the crime.
And maybe, hopefully, killing the Stag Lord will stop these nightmares.
Oh, and we got Bokken back at Oleg’s his radishes and berries. I think he is a bit of a drug addict. Those radishes seem to have a…strange effect on people. Magnus tried one when we found em near the Sycamore, and for the next few hours talked about how he could taste color and see into the future.
Again, these journal entries are an In Character record of the thoughts and adventures of my Pathfinder Kingmaker team, the Dragons of the Stars and WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. This takes place in the Owlcat Games PC RPG Pathfinder Kingmaker. You can watch live on Twitch on Sunday’s (starting 4pm EST) until the adventure is concluded. You can view This Post for a list of all the archived footage, updated as I go. Please be aware Episode 1 involves a differently built character, but the actions that take place in the first episode were mirrored with the new version (so the choices / decisions / events stayed the same even if the class/build/party are different)