Kingmaker

The Oaktop Silver Mine

Moonday, Pharast 14, 4711

While Mikmek was overjoyed at the sight of Old Sharptooth, as the adrenaline wears off from battle, he thinks of his dead comrades in the room behind you. As the party prepares to leave the Old Sycamore, Mikmek asks for help with his comrades. On the walls of the Torture Room were three other Kobolds who had been killed at the hands of the Mites.

“When a kobold dies in battle, the tribe destroys any unhatched eggs of his clutch. Normally his carcass is tossed atop the trampled nests to rot and serve the nourishment of future growth of the tribe. But we cannot take them back. They must be cremated with all their possessions,” he says.

Regardless of whether or not you help, Mikmek begins to take the dead down from the wall and to the surface. Gathering dead branches, he builds a makeshift wooden pyre for his fallen comrades.

Afterwards, the party travels south for an hour or so to clear away from the Old Sycamore and then sets up camp exhausted. Anod and Cornath agree to set the watch themselves so that the swordlord and the knight can rest.

The next morning, Momo remains sluggish and has trouble tying and clasping his leather armor. Brixton feels weak and tired. As he dons his armor, Brixton pauses to examine the large red wound where the Tick pierced his skin. The area around the wound burns with a red ache.

Mikmek is upbeat and cheerful again. His brothers were honored. He has the statue. He is on his way home. The first to awake. He left camp and returns with a deer for a celebratory feast. The temperature is warmer than normal with a high in the mid 60s. A light gentle breeze no more than a few miles per hour comes from the Tors of Levenies looming to the east.

The party, in no rush, breaks camp and begins the trek to the home of the kobolds. Mikmek leads the way with Cornath keeping a sharp eye. The party is not exploring this area yet. They are heading straight to the entrance. After another hour has passed and thinking you are maybe halfway there, you encounter a battlefield of sorts. The eight spider riders are slain in a large field. But Mikmek can only count the dozen or more dead kobolds mixed with the mites. He whispers their names as he recognizes their faces.

“They must be burned” he states grimly. As you make preparations to gather the field of dead, you think you hear Mikmek whisper, “Death to Tartuk.” But any questions along this line draw stark denials and words of Tartuk’s power and benevolence. Tartuk has made the kobolds strong and has led them to prosperity.

The name of the Sootscale kobold tribe changes each time their chieftain changes—currently, they are ruled by Chief Sootscale, and so they are known as the Sootscale kobolds. They have lived in this old silver mine in the side of a hill just north of the Shrike River for several decades, periodically clashing with bandits or mites or trappers but always enduring even through the most disastrous of times. The Sootscales all have dark gray or black scales, and have a particular fondness for swimming in the Shrike River and catching fish with their tiny teeth.

In fact, Chief Sootscale is not the actual leader of these kobolds. Their true leader is a frighteningly intelligent and manipulative kobold sorcerer named Tartuk who came to the tribe a year ago from the east.

An outcropping of large boulders emerges from the weathered face of a nearby hillock. A narrow opening in the rock leads into darkness below. A fallen sign leans against the side of the cave entrance, and a cage made of branches and sticks sits on the other side.

The fallen sign is weathered and bears a few faded words: “Oaktop Silver Mine.” Originally used by Taldan explorers, this mine was abandoned long before its potential was played out as the Taldans realized the mine was far too distant from other settlements to be viable.

A lone kobold stands constant watch here, crouched behind one of the big rocks at the cave entrance, he spots PCs, and he chirps loudly in surprise—he was expecting mites, not bigger foes.

The kobold hesitates for a few moments, confused since he has no actual orders regarding big folk, then makes an unusual decision driven by an uncharacteristic stroke of logic. He hails the PCs and cries out, “Wait! Wait! I wanna talk!”

As the party approaches, Mikmek strides forward and says, “Nakpik! I am back.”

Nakpik smiles or what you guess must pass for a smile among lizards, “Mikmek!”

Mikmek queries, “Has the curse killed anyone yet.”

Nakpik, “No not yet, but Sootscale still worries. We all worry.”

Mikmek holds the statue of Old Sharptooth above his head and shouts, “We worry no more.”

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Comments

Momo now has DEX 13.

Brixton now has STR/CON 16.

Anod moves at 20 feet per round for 2 more days as his ankles heal.

You may ask any questions prior to the cave entrance if you like, make any adjustments, cast any spells, etc. You can alter the oration ( I do help, no I don’t help, etc. This is your story too so please add to it).

Anod, I need your spell load out for this fight . . . err, peaceful exchange of cultural differences and ideas.

Who is taking the Lesser Restoration Potion and/or using the Cat’s Grace potion.

Momo is the better candidate for the Lesser Restoration because he still suffers from the following:

Sluggish: A character rendered sluggish by Dexterity poison has dulled reactions. He takes a –2 penalty on Reflex saves and all Dexterity-based attack rolls, ability checks, and skill checks, as well as to AC.

Stiffened: A character stiffened by Dexterity poison feels numb and stiff. He is considered flat-footed and is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC, even if he has uncanny dodge. He can’t make attacks of opportunity.

Make your plans.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Momo also takes the lesser resto potion.

What are sluggish and stiffened? I am unfamiliar with these conditions. I can not find them on the PFSRD.

We burned charges on our CLW wand to heal up including myself.

AT this point I think you want us to return to Oleg’s so I am changing my vote.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Not true at all. Anything that hinted at the fight with Tartuk was closer to smack talk than divine guidance. More like mwuhahahaha than, “Guys Tartuk is a dragon from the 4th module.” Tartuk will need to roll like the Centipede to TPK you guys.

In fact, if I were to guide you, I would point out that it is Monday and the Stag Lord was expecting his shipment by the end of this week. So back to Olegs, rest, down to the Kobolds would almost certainly make you late to the Stag Lord which means you would be fighting the mini Boss of this dungeon on alert rather than caught off guard.

Also Mikmek will not leave the statue and does not want to go to Oleg’s so your choice would be give him the statue or fight over his religious symbol. You would again win, but Mikmek would be crushed.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

As for Stiff and Sluggish, it comes from this page:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/afflictions/

Scan down to “Dexterity Poison Track” and Momo failed saves twice, so I read the chart as saying he inherited the first two conditions.

Brixton’s special rules were different so he didn’t go on this chart.

The fact that you say you have never heard of this means I am guessing I did something wrong, but the rules looked official. But I do like scenarios so giving players odd effects (like you limping for three days) seems cool to me for story purposes.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 
“The poison track simulates the progressive effects of poison in the body. A character who is poisoned rolls a saving throw after the listed onset at the listed frequency. On an initial exposure to poison, regardless of whether her save succeeds, a victim takes an amount of poison damage equal to the poison’s DC – 10, divided by 2 (for example, 5 points of poison damage for a DC 20 poison). This is hit point damage, not ability damage. If a victim is exposed to additional doses of the same poison, a failed save progresses the poison track by one step and increases the duration by 50%, but doesn’t increase the DC.”

There is no stat damage with these conditions. The damage is the condition. So either Momo and Brix are down stats or they are down conditions.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

The plan is to present ourselves as saviors of the Kobolds and breakers of this terrible curse. We intend to exalt Sootscale over Tartuk and earn the favor of the tribe, at least that is our hope. Allowing Mikmek to carry the statue seems to place the glory upon him and we would not allow Mikmek to do that. If the image of Mikmek carrying in the statue is just story fluff and we preserve our position as the true victors against the mites then I am fine with that however our approach and entrance needs to convey our strength.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

How long does the Lesser Resto Potion last? If “long” time take now.

Believe we should allow MikMek to carry statue and exalt us as the saviors. We saved MikMek, killed the mites, returned the statue, and have come to restore order to the Sootscale Clan.

If we attack Tartuk without claim, we may have the entire clan on our back. We must get Chief to side with us against Tartuk.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Alec, I see what you are pointing to, but then how would a Lesser Restoration effect the Poison/Disease track. It targets ability damage and the Poi/Dis track doesn’t have any. Is this an attempt to elevate Remove Disease/Cure Poison?

Mark, a Restoration would permanently cure ability damage. For this encounter, the Restoration will work even if we later decide the optional Poi/Dis track applies.

Alec, how do you take the statue from Mikmek? It is his people’s holy symbol. It was the target of his team’s raid. Both Mikmek and the four Kobolds have suggested that his people are suffering a curse because the statue is missing. So the holy symbol of his people, the object that is cursing his people, is now within his possession and you are are going to diplomatically say, “Yo Mik, I want credit for buying the big salad. If you carry the big salad and give it to Elaine, she might think you bought the big salad.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2zTrBmI1nI

Anod = George
Mikmek = Julie
Kobold Tribe = Elaine

Other than punching him and taking it when he drops it, how do you diplomatically pull that off?

For this encounter, Restoration works for either the Track damage or ability damage. I think we will use the optional Track damage when appropriate. However, Brixton’s had different rules so he has actual ability damage (current STR 16 and current CON 11). Since Momo looks like he is taking the Restoration, he will neither have ability damage or conditions.

In the future, we will use the optional Poi/Dis track. Restoration will do magic ability damage and we will elevate Cure Disease and Remove Poison to be more useful.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Brixton, do you need the Restoration potion? Was not trying to jones it from you…..roshambo for it….if Brixton does not need Momo takes potion.

Believe we should allow MikMek to carry statue and exalt us as the saviors. We saved MikMek, killed the mites, returned the statue, and have come to restore order to the Sootscale Clan.

If we attack Tartuk without claim, we may have the entire clan on our back. We must get Chief to side with us against Tartuk.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Nonsense swordlord the potion is all yours.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

If you use the optional rules then resto does nothing for poison or disease. it only cures ability score damage.

As for Mikmek possessing the statue that was a decision you made. This is the first I am aware of it. How Mikmek came to be in the possession of the statue is a bit of a mystery. We took possession of it in the Mites lair and then gave it to Mikmek?

If the party is ok with Mikmek carrying the statue that is fine. Since kobolds respect strength and guile allowing Mikmek to carry the statue confer incredible power onto him, at least in my eyes and understanding of kobolds. If Mikmek proclaims himself the liberator of the statue and we his minions then we will have lost our bargaining position. The only recovery would be to kill sufficient Kobolds to break their spirit, which is exactly what we hope to avoid.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

If you want we can go back to the Mite Lair and redo the discovery of the statue. I didn’t imagine a different outcome. If 4 Navy SEALs discovered the Holy Grail while traveling with a Bishop, it seems to me the most likely outcome is the Bishop would carry the Grail. Substitute Buddha’s Tooth with a Buddhist or the Blessed Sandals of Mohammed with a Muslim.

If we go back to the Mite Lair, Mikmek will ask to carry the statue and then escalate to insistence and eventually a suspicion that you are stealing the statue as well and a suicidal attempt to retake it by force. Now I admit that I am biased against religious people being nuts and fanatical about their imaginary sky fairies, but that bias exists in the real world where the “gods” really are fake. In the universe of Pathfinder the gods are “real.” So my assumption, is the reality makes them even more fanatical.

Also projecting forward, how do you project the handoff? Let’s assume the Chief or Tartuk comes outside and asks for the statue and then walks into the Kobold Lair to gather his people and hold the statue up? Are you going to tell the Chief/Tartuk to gather all the Kobolds so that they can see you hand the statue to the leader?

Brixton and Cornath need some input. Momo is OK with Mikmek carrying the statue. Anod wants to carry the statue as the liberators. So let your opinion be known.

Momo takes the Restoration potion and is cured. Alec, I agree that in the future the Resto would only do ability damage and you would need Poison/Disease to fix. However, since we boggled the rules a bit, I am assuming the presence of the Restoration Potion is because the designers assumed someone might get hit by the Centipede or the Tick and so the Resto was provided to deal with that. With these new rules, the potion likely would have changed to Cure Disease (Tick) or Cure Poison (Centipede). Upon leaving the Kobold Lair, Restoration is ability damage, Disease cures Disease, and Poison cures Poison.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Let’s talk to MikMek and tell him what we want:

1. Be exalted as his rescuer, savior of the statue, and vanquisher of the mites. Mikmek (puts in good word for us as trusted comrades)
2. We want to support the Chief.
3. We believe Tartuk is source of evil in the area and want him removed
4. We do not want the statue, to kill Kobolds, or take over the clan.

Will Mikmek do this for us?

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

If 4 navy SEALS entered a situation with orders to recover a statue then the bishop better be ready to take second position on the ownership of that statue. Our party entered the mites lair for the express purpose of recovering that statue.

If Tartuk asked it would be a fight if Sootscale asked it would be his to do with as he pleases. Our goals has fuck all to do with the statue but rather to alter the mindset of Sootscale in our favor. If he looks like a God to the kobolds that would tend to work to our advantage. Elevating Mikmek to conquering hero and we just the minions following behind him place Mikmek in control of our fortunes. If he decides to present this to Tartuk who are we to say boo about it.

Had we taken the statue, killing Mikmek if he became aggressive, we would enter the kobold halls as the slayers of the mites, killer of Grumbles, in possession on the statue, and [embellishing here] blessed by their God Tiamet to carry this statue to the one true chieftain … Sootscale.

That narrative works much more to our advantage than trailing behind Mikmek and hoping a 6 INT Lawful Evil creature does not get the idea to work this to his advantage.

We are spinning our wheels here since Duncan pushed this narrative it is doubtful he will use it against us. So long as this does not get thrown back at us I do not care if Mikmek carries the statue. The goal is to get Sootscale beholden to us for placing him back on the throne. Since this will probably entail a showdown between us and Tartuk (plus any loyal minions) that might be all we need to accomplish.

I know if I am GMing and the party decides “Hey stupid evil creature, please carry are fates in your hands and don’t screw us over.” The party fortunes will not fair well.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Not pushing any agenda or storyline. I seriously didn’t imagine the alternative and didn’t realize it would be as vital as you are suggesting. We can easily go back to Mikmek being dead and you guys having the statue. Right now it appears to be 1:1 with you and Momo so we need Cornath to vote. Brixton I don’t think has his computer so Cornath will be the deciding vote.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Mark, going to hold off on answering your questions because Mikmek may be dead and the questions pointless. Cornath what say you?

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

“I seriously didn’t imagine the alternative and didn’t realize it would be as vital as you are suggesting.” This is why I do not object to Mikmek carrying the statue. If I did not know your mind on the subject then it would be issue. Since you will not make an issue of it then it is a moot problem.

If you have no intention of altering the story based on Mikmek carrying the statue or not then there is no reason to delay.

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

I agree with everything momo said, as far as what to do with the statue

The Oaktop Silver Mine
 

Let’s proceed with MikMek having the statue….

Let’s talk to MikMek and tell him what we want:

1. Be exalted as his rescuer, savior of the statue, and vanquisher of the mites. Mikmek (puts in good word for us as trusted comrades)
2. We want to support the Chief.
3. We believe Tartuk is source of evil in the area and want him removed
4. We do not want the statue, to kill Kobolds, or take over the clan.

Will Mikmek do this for us?

The Oaktop Silver Mine
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