Kingmaker, Part II: Rivers Run Red
With the heart of the Stolen Lands explored and the bandits who ruled there scattered, the long-contested realm finally lies open for pioneers and settlers to stake their claims. Amid the rush of opportunistic travellers, you find yourselves stewards over a new domain, tasked with the responsibility of guiding and guarding a fledgling nation struggling to grow upon a treacherous borderland. Yet the threats to this new nation quickly prove themselves greater than mere bandits and wild beasts, as the monstrous natives of the hills and forests rampage forth to slaughter all who have trespassed upon their territory. Can you hold the land you’ve fought so hard to explore and tame? Or will your legend be just one more lost to the fangs of the Stolen Lands?
The Stolen Lands have long resisted attempts at colonization. Wedged between the River Kingdoms and Brevoy, the approximately 35,000 square mile swath of wilderness has a long history of being regarded as “stolen”—from whom and by whom depending on the point of view. In Brevoy, the lands are considered stolen from that nation’s southern expanse by bandits and barbarians variously from Numeria, Iobaria, or the River Kingdoms themselves. In the River Kingdoms, the general impression is that Brevoy allowed the lands to fall into the hands of monsters and worse in order to rob the lords of the River Kingdoms of more lands to rule. Even within the wildlands themselves, lands are stolen and conquered in constant struggles between bickering tribes of centaurs, kobolds, fey, trolls, bandits, lizardfolk, boggards, barbarians, and more, all constantly skirmishing to expand their holdings while not ceding their own lands to the enemy.
In truth, the Stolen Lands belong to no one, and are stolen from no one. Many have tried to claim them, but the abandoned ruins that dot the swath of wilderness stand as testaments to the difficulty of ruling these savage lands. They have remained wild with a fierce tenacity, a haven for monsters and criminals and dangerous secrets, and as such have posed a menace to their neighbouring nations as long as anyone can remember.
Yet these times of relative calm in the Stolen Lands are coming to an end. Spurred to action in part by an increase in aggression among the bandits and barbarians of the Stolen Lands and by building political tensions to the north, the swordlords of Restov have sent agents and colonists into the disputed region to explore and settle and, if need be, conquer. The establishment of four new puppet kingdoms, all beholden to Restov’s swordlords and the rest of Rostland, would not only bring freedom from banditry and raids along Rostland’s southern border, but also the resources and clout needed to make a play for a higher station in Brevoy’s complicated political scene. If all goes well, the just return of the Stolen Lands to Brevic control could well give Rostland the footing it needs to challenge the Surtova hold on the crown.
You were issued with a charter from the Lord Mayor of Restov:
Be it so known that the bearer of this charter has been charged by the Swordlords of Restov, acting upon the greater good and authority vested within them by the office of the Regent of the Dragonscale Throne, has granted the right of exploration and travel within the wilderness region known as the Greenbelt. Exploration should be limited to an area no further than thirty-six miles east and west and sixty miles south of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of this charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful behaviour to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this 24th day of Calistril, under watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.
You arrived at Oleg’s from Restov on Oathday 1 Pharast, just at the start of spring, Over the course of approximately two months you fulfilled your charter, wiping out the bandit group led by the Stag Lord, but leaving in place a relatively peaceful kobold tribe led by Chief Sootscale. Having completed your task, you returned to Restov to collect your reward; in addition to a large bag of gold, Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius issued you with a new charter:
Be it so known that the bearers of this charter, having delivered the northern reaches of the Greenbelt from the scourge of banditry, having provided detailed maps of the lay of the land, and having done no small amount of work in the exploration of said land and the culling of hostile monsters and indigenous hazards, are hereby granted the right to rule. The nature and laws of rule are theirs to define, and the wellbeing of this new nation is theirs to protect. In accordance for providing a stable nation to the south of central Rostland, let their be a generous stipend of funds, support, and advice provided to this fledgling nation as a token of Restov and Brevoy’s goodwill, such that future relations between kingdoms might be mutually beneficial. So witnessed under the watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and by the authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.
Some useful information
The adventure is set in the Pathfinder campaign setting. See the Pathfinder Wiki for info (please avoid reading anything marked as a spoiler :).Weekdays:
- Moonday (work, religion at night)
- Toilday (work)
- Wealday (work)
- Oathday (work, pacts, oaths)
- Fireday (work, market)
- Starday (work)
- Sunday (rest, religion)
- Abadius (winter)
- Calistril (winter)
- Pharast (spring)
- Gozran (spring)
- Desnus (spring)
- Sarenith (summer)
- Erastus (summer)
- Arodus (summer)
- Rova (autumn)
- Lamashan (autumn)
- Neth (autumn)
- Kuthona (winter)
- Age of Darkness, c. -5300 – -4300: The Starstone falls, destroying Azlant and causing a thousand years of darkness. Orcs flee to the surface from dwarven pogroms. Dwarves themselves emerge later, completing the Quest for Sky.
- Age of Anguish, c. -4300 – -3470: The darkness lifts. The Pit of Gormuz begins disgorging the Spawn of Rovagug. The legendary orc Belkzen lived in this age.
- Age of Destiny, c. -3470 – 0: First and second ages of Osirion. Founding of Taldor by descendants of Lost Azlant and indigenous primitive humans.
- Age of Enthronement, 1 – 4606: Aroden, the Last Azlanti, recovers the Starstone, becomes a god, and founds Absalom. Taldor expands west into Andoran and then Cheliax. Elves return to Golarion. The Shining Crusade imprisons Tar-Baphon in Gallowspire. Baba Yaga founds Irrisen. Cheliax breaks from Taldor, attains naval supremacy and expands northward. Pathfinder Society founded. Choral the Conqueror unites Rostland and Issia as Brevoy. During this age Norgorber, Cayden Cailean and Iomedae pass the Test of the Starstone and become deities. Aroden’s church in Cheliax is prophesied to play an important part in his manifestation, heralding the Age of Glory.
- Age of Lost Omens, 4607 – present (4708): Aroden dies, leaving the Eye of Abendego behind and his church cut off. Golarion shifts closer to the Abyss, opening the Worldwound. Civil war in Cheliax; eventually diabolists take control. Revolts and revolutions in Molthune, Galt and Andoran; founding of Nirmathas. Brevoy’s House Rogarvia vanishes, leaving a power vacuum to be filled by House Surtova.
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