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Stag Lord's Fort

Nathan Garvin
Scott Peers
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Travel: Stag Lord’s Fort

You shouldn’t need any specific preparations before heading off to this place, although you may want to buy some rations - enough to rest twice without any hunting success should suffice (you can’t rest inside the Stag Lord’s Fort area, but you can always exit to the world map and rest). If you want to be successful, you’ll disabuse yourself of the notion that you’ll be assaulting some keep and routing the defenders in one great action. At least, if you want to win, that is.

Instead, routing the Stag Lord’s garrison will ideally involve infiltration and the surgical removal of isolated pockets of bandits without any escaping to summon their friends. Only when all of these groups are destroyed should you make your move on the Stag Lord, himself. There’s a lot of fighting to be done, and you may have to burn through spells to ensure a clean victory, which may, in turn, require you to retreat and rest a few times during the larger operation - a good reason why you should have left yourself at least two weeks for the trek and the assault.

Once those preparations are made, all that remains (you know, besides all the fighting) is traveling there, which you can achieve with the following directions (from Thorn Ford):

  • Southwest (cross the river)
  • Southeast (along the river)
  • Southeast (along the river, a third time)
  • Southwest (along a different branch of the river)
  • Southwest

Kressle’s Rebellion

You’ll arrive along the southern edge of the map. From here, follow the path north where, if you spared her earlier at the Thorn Ford camp, you’ll find Kressle. Her old loyalty to the Stag Lord is gone, and now she - and a group of her fellows - seeks an audience. As far as strategy goes, Kressle is useless, and if you indulge her straightforward approach by picking the dialogue option “It’s a bold plan and I like it. It’s time to pay the Stag Lord a visit!” she’ll come to a bad end - and you probably will, too. The Stag Lord’s personal guards are enough of a fight, but if they end up joined by other bandits (not to mention the Stag Lord’s pet Owlbear) you could easily end up overwhelmed.

(1 of 2) If you spared her, Kressle will offer to help you with a frontal assault.

If you spared her, Kressle will offer to help you with a frontal assault. (left), Not all options are good options, however, and the Stag Lord is quite difficult to defeat in a head-on confrontation. (right)

That being the case, pick the dialogue option “Direct attack might not be the best option. I’ll look for other ways to enter the fort. Stay alert and join me when you hear the sounds of fighting.“ Don’t worry about the wording, she’s not as impulsive as all that - you’ll only have to worry about her coming to your aid when you confront the Stag Lord, or if you slip up and the alarm is sounded.

Clear the Eastern Moat

If you continue northeast along the southeastern end of the map you’ll eventually reach the fort, which consists of wooden walls behind a shallow ditch, inside of which lurk some Thylacines. It’s not terribly interesting, but you can find a corpse in the moat, on which is An Ancient Rostlandic Coin and some other trinkets.

(1 of 2) Defeat the Thylacines scavenging in the ditch around the fort

Defeat the Thylacines scavenging in the ditch around the fort (left), then loot a corpse to find An Ancient Rostlandic Coin. (right)

The Front Door

After turning down Kressle’s direct approach, it’s somewhat silly to try the front door, but the approach isn’t entirely without merit. Interact with the door and you’ll have a number of responses you can make, most of them being varying degrees of useless. Claiming to be a traveler will just make them raise their guard and keep the door locked, while threatening to attack will achieve the same dubious result. Picking the [Lawful Good] option will indeed gain you an audience with the Stag Lord, although you’ll be fighting the Stag Lord’s personal guards, this time without the aid of Kressle, making it an even worse option.

Succeeding at a [Bluff 21] check might be worth the results, however, as it’ll get the doors open. Unfortunately you’ll be recognized by one of the guards, but with 6-on-3 odds, it’s too little, too late. This is a pretty straightforward fight that shouldn’t really be one you can lose (you may wish to rethink this whole “baron” thing if this battle presents you with any trouble).

There is a complication, however, and it’s one that you’ll need to keep in mind for every fight in the fort. Once a group of bandits has been reduced to one survivor, that survivor will attempt to flee and sound the alarm. If you’re not positioned advantageously, they could very well succeed, given that most of the bandits are more lightly armored than your warriors, and hence can outrun them. That being the case, prepare for this inevitability ahead of time by switching your focus off severely wounded bandits in favor of stronger ones, and try to have several characters near the soon-to-be last bandit before killing their last remaining ally. Done correctly, Attacks of Opportunity should spare you some grief. If you fail and the alarm is rung, you may as well just reload, rather than attempt to fight the entirety of the Stag Lord’s forces. Spells like Hideous Laughter and Hold Person are also invaluable here, as you can keep a bandit from running with it, deal with their allies, then finish them off at your leisure.

(1 of 3) Succeed at a Bluff check to get the bandits to open the gate.

Feel free to talk your way into the gate and exterminate the gate guard - it’s honestly not a bad way to eliminate this group of Bandits and secure a way into the fort. Whether you do this or not, however, there’s merit in seeking out another approach as well, so after you defeat the gate guards, abandon your gains for now and leave the fort.

Slay the Zombies near the Western Wall

In addition to the gate, there’s another way into the Stag Lord’s Fort that’s somewhat less direct, although you’ll have to fight to get there. Make your way northwest along the moat surrounding the fort, killing Zombies as you go. While they may be new foes, they’re not much of a threat, having a fair share of HP, but little to speak of in the way of Attack or Armor Class. Their only noteworthy feature (besides being undead and hence immune to mind-affecting effects) is their Damage Reduction 5/slashing or bludgeoning.

Eradicate them and continue northwest along the moat until you find a larger, more dangerous group of Zombies near some ruins, which are led by two Zombie Lords. While somewhat stronger, they’re still weaker than basically every bandit you’ll have to fight, but unlike normal Zombies, at least they’ll drop Masterwork Scimitars for your trouble.

Once you’ve fought through the Zombies and reached the western end of the fort you should notice (hold down the “Tab” key) a variety of ways to interact with a less than well-maintained section of the wall. Succeed at an [Athletics 20] check to force open a satisfactorily large breach in the wall, or a [Mobility 20] check to climb over the wall. If you fail the Athletics check it’ll alert the fort, while failing at the Mobility will remove that as an option. On the plus side, however, once you succeed you can freely travel back and forth without incident.

(1 of 4) Dispatch numerous mobs of zombies near the ruins outside the fort.

Note this potential entry point, but don’t pursue it just yet, as there’s more undead to kill and loot to obtain. From the western wall, head southwest along the northwestern edge of the area, killing another group of Zombies near some ruins. When they’re all dead, loot some stonework north of the Zombies for a Taldan Warrior’s Dog Tag then pass a [Perception 6] check on some more ruins to the southeast to find another Taldan Warrior’s Dog Tag. To the southwest of the Zombies you can find a pile of corpses - properly inanimate ones, this time - one of which possesses a whopping 723 GP. On the other corpse you’ll merely find some trinkets. Finally, you can also find a Heavy Pick +1 just sitting among the debris… fitting, I guess, if somebody was tearing these ruins down.

Sway or Slay Akiros Insmort

Now that the exterior of the fort is cleared, return to the western wall and gain access, either through Mobility or Athletics. Once through the wall you’ll find a man named Akiros Insmort, who you may have met before, if you went to the Thorn Ford bandit camp before going to the Ancient Tomb, and if you did so in a timely manner. Given the benefits of not doing that, however, you probably didn’t, so you may want to introduce yourself. Don’t want to be rude, after all.

Akiros isn’t nearly as chatty here as he was (or would have been) at Thorn Ford, but you’ll largely get the same information from him, both textually and subtextually: he’s much more reasonable than the Stag Lord, and would rather legitimately rule than terrorize the area’s inhabitants. That said, his loyalty to the Stag Lord has diminished somewhat in recent days, making him susceptible to a [Diplomacy 23] check (which is also a [Neutral Good] act). Succeed at this aforementioned check and he’ll join your fight against the Stag Lord under the same conditions as Kressle: he’ll only show up when you encounter the Stag Lord himself, or when the alarm is sounded. Still, he’s a sturdy warrior, and every bit of help is appreciated. You can also achieve this end by passing a [Lore (Religion) 18] check, which is done automatically at the beginning of the conversation. If you find the [Lore (Religion)] option available, it’s because you passed the check.

(1 of 2) Try to coerce Akiros to your side or talk him out of fighting.

Try to coerce Akiros to your side or talk him out of fighting. (left), Or you can just kill him. (right)

If you can’t gain an ally, you can always try for an [Intimidate 18] check (a [Neutral] action) to convince him that this isn’t his fight. If your protagonist is Lawful, you can select a special dialogue option that convinces Akiros to leave and surrender himself to justice. If you fail either the Diplomacy or Intimidate checks listed above, Akiros will attack, a matter you can expedite by simply picking the [Attack] option.

Should hostilities break out, Akiros won’t fight entirely alone, as his call will summon some nearby bandits: a group to the southeast and another to the northeast. You can delay these bandits with area denial spells (Grease, Entangle, Web, etc.), as the ground to the southeast of Akiros - between the nearby stable and the fort’s wall - is just large enough to accommodate this spell. Cast one of the aforementioned spells (or two) in the aforementioned location, gang up on Akiros and cut him down, and hope at least a few of the bandits to the southeast are caught by the spell so you can pick them off with ranged attacks. In particular, go after the Alchemist first, as he’s the real nuisance in this fight. Just be wary of the ruined stone wall, as it can give your targets cover - a benefit you won’t receive.

Given all these complications, it may be easier to eliminate these groups of bandits that Akiros would otherwise summon before talking to Akiros.

Cutting Off the Reinforcements

To eliminate the southeastern group, you may find it easier to enter via the front gate (Akiros will spot you if you go through the western wall and don’t immediately talk to him) and turn west, where you’ll find them hiding behind some wagons. These impediments make a direct ranged assault unlikely to succeed, and if you find area denial spells too messy, there’s another, arguably better solution. Approach with your Cleric just close enough to spot the Bandit Alchemist and hit him with a pre-emptive Hold Person spell. With his terrible Will Save there’s a great chance you’ll take him off the board with a single spell, after which you should rush him, cut him down, then deal with the others.

This requires a little more planning that it may seem, however, as your character may struggle to navigate the terrain (and enemies) to get to their target in a timely fashion, plus you need to get past the Bandit Brawler, who is quite a bruiser in combat. Line up your warriors to the north, near the well in the middle of the fort, and buff one of them with Blur and Shield of Faith and make sure they lead the charge. Once the Hold Person is cast and combat begins, charge, and pay attention to your warriors to ensure they reach their target. Lastly, keep an eye on the Bandit Bard, as he’ll target your characters with Hideous Laughter. While only a [Will 14] save, he can still make a nuisance of himself with it, and should be smote immediately after the Bandit Alchemist.

Failing that, simply spell-buffing (Bless, Blur, Bull’s Strength, Shield of Faith) and attacking may suffice. Send your tank around the wagon to the north to occupy the Brawler (and draw the attention of the Alchemist) while the rest of your warriors move south between the wagon and the wall. While your tank draws fire and takes damage, cut down the Bard and Alchemist, cast a Hold Person spell on one of the two surviving bandits, then clean up.

(1 of 3) Target the alchemist and try to take this troublesome bandit out quickly.

As far as loot goes, you can find a satchel [Perception 22] [Trickery 17] near the well north of these four bandits who would have come to Akiros’ aid, inside of which is a Wand of Vanish and an Amulet of Natural Armor +1. Near the wagons those aforementioned bandits gathered around you can also find a chest with a Potion of Shield of Faith.

Kill the Bandits Near the Alarm

From the bandits between the gate and Akiros, head north around the well in the center of the fort. Approach until you can see the southern-most bandit (a Half-Orc specimen whose size makes him clearly stand out) and cast a Grease, Entangle or Web spell (or two!) just north of him. This should subject the entire group of bandits to the spell’s effect, and two such spells will all but end this fight outright. After the spell(s) are cast, have your characters use ranged weapons to pick off bandits preferentially, starting with the Bandit Illusionist, then working on the Half-Orc, if for no better reason than the fact that his high HP will make him hard to stop should he be the last one remaining. The two southernmost bandits (including the Half-Orc) are inclined to melee combat, and once they’re gone, it’s a straight shoot-out.

Be wary of one thing, however: the straggler on patrol to the east. He should join the fight soon enough, and after both melee bandits and the illusionists are down, target him, as well. So long as you eliminate him when he shows up, you should be fine. Otherwise, if you forget about him and he’s the last survivor, he’s right next to the alarm, and will be unimpeded by the spell(s) the rest of his fellows are suffering through. As always, when there are two bandits left, consider using Hideous Laughter or Hold Person to neutralize one and save the held foe for last.

Alas, unlike the last group of bandits, these ones weren’t the guardians of any great treasure. Not only is their equipment paltry, but the only container they guard is a chest, wherein you’ll find a Potion of Reduce Person and a Potion of Enlarge Person.

Once these two groups of bandits are gone, you can freely interact with Akiros and pick whatever fights you wish. If you kill him, he’ll drop a Bastard Sword +1 among other, less-interesting treasure.

Clear the Southeast

Find a new home for these items, then make your way back to the fort’s gate, as there are more bandits in need of a good smiting. You’ve cleared the gate and the western-most corner of the fort, now it’s time to head southeast from the gate and deal with the bandits in the southern corner of the fort. Here you’ll find another three foes, including a Bandit Brawler, a Bandit Alchemist and a Bandit armed with a sword and shield.

This time the Bandit Alchemist does you a favor by pacing from the campfire her fellows are gathered at to the wall to the southwest. Get close enough to spot her, and when she approaches the wall, rush her and cut her down quick-like. After that, you just need to deal with the two remaining bandits, a comparatively simple affair, since it’s a straight melee fight. The Bandit Brawler can dish out the damage, while the other bandit is more sturdy. Either try to spread your damage out evenly during the fight to prevent them from fleeing when isolated, or have a Hold Person ready to stop the last bandit.

(1 of 2) Wait for the Bandit Alchemist to wander away from its companions before launching an ambush.

Wait for the Bandit Alchemist to wander away from its companions before launching an ambush. (left), Kill some wolves in their pen. (right)

Don’t relax your guard after defeating these bandits, however, as more fighting awaits. Just east of their campfire you’ll find a pen where four Ferocious Wolves lurk. By now these are paltry foes, and you should need little instruction to deal with them.

(1 of 2) Move the boxes out of the way

Move the boxes out of the way (left), and claim the treasure hidden behind them. (right)

Kill the wolves, then get to looting. There’s a chest (Trickery 15) near some crates south of the watchtower in the corner of the fort which contains a Potion of Shield of Faith, among other trinkets. On the eastern front of a house east of the bandit’s campfire you’ll find a chest containing a Potion of Shield of Faith and a Potion of Enlarge, while on the northwestern end of the house you’ll find some boxes you can move ([Athletics 19], otherwise the task will take four hours). Do so, but be careful, as bandits lurk both behind the house and further northwest, including a wandering archer who may spot you and start a fight. If you killed this wandering archer - whose patrol took him near the Owlbear cage - when you eradicated the bandits in the shadow of the fort’s well, you won’t need to worry about this nuisance.

This can prove to be an opportunity more than a hindrance, however, depending on your luck and strategy. Cast a Web spell (or two!) north of the wagon that forms a barrier between you and the bandits, then equip all your characters with ranged weapons and start shooting the bandits behind the house, as there are two in sight who are easy targets. Don’t give them your undivided attention, however, as there’s a Bandit Priestess back there, too, who will make her presence known shortly by casting Bless. Her following spells aren’t as nice, and include Hold Person, so target her immediately and shoot her down, then focus on the bow-armed Bandits who will undoubtedly return fire and who can score Sneak Attacks with their bows.

At this point it should be your six characters shooting at two bandits, as the melee-inclined bandits (of which there are several) will either get stuck in the Web trying to get around the many objects between you and them, or they’ll take so long to get to you that you’ll have ample time to prepare a character to meet them. The only concern now is the potential for you losing track of a bandit, killing all his fellow bandits, and being unprepared to stop him as he runs for the alarm.

(1 of 2) Carpet the area to the north with Web spells to hinder the bandits there.

Carpet the area to the north with Web spells to hinder the bandits there. (left), Be prepared to intercept any ambitious bandits that make it through the Webs. (right)

Be aware of this potential and seek to eliminate it through vigilance - kill the Priestess and the archers to ensure that the only bandits left will be either stuck in the Web spell(s), moving to engage your party, or actively attacking in melee. Always focus on any bandits not stuck in the Web spell(s), and when there are two left, consider using Hold Person to neutralize one of the two, as extra insurance that they’re not going anywhere.

While doing this, be sure not to have any characters too far to the northeast (in the wedge formed by the logs and the wagon), as if you provoke the wandering archer, he’ll bring in his five friends. They’re somewhat less suitable for this strategy, as all but two of them will employ ranged attacks of their own, and many are too far out to be reliably stopped by a Web spell.

If you wish to avoid provoking this second group of bandits to the northwest, just make sure their archer isn’t wandering nearby, and use the time when he’s away to loot the chests. You can also do this to avoid any confrontation here, if you wish to deal with the group of bandits behind the house in a different fashion. The large chest contains a Glaive +1, while the small chest (Trickery 21) holds a Cloak of Resistance +1.

Neutralize the Owlbear

Now that most of the bandits here - all but the personal attendants of the Stag Lord - make your way back to the alarm bell. This device is just east of the bandits who camped north of the well, and unfortunately you can’t disable it. You can, however, deal with the Stag Lord’s pet Owlbear, which is penned up just south of the alarm bell (southwest of the aforementioned camp, northeast of the aforementioned well).

This large, dangerous aberration would have been all too eager to attack your flank should you have neglected it in favor of confronting the Stag Lord. Having fought your way through the camp, however, you have a variety of ways to deal with this beast.

Interact with the gate to bring up a dialogue box, where you can choose to make a [Lore (Nature) 18] check to calm the Owlbear down and convince it you’re not a bad guy, after which you can free the Owlbear (a [Chaotic Good] action) and let it wander its way to freedom. Not a bad idea for kind-hearted do-gooders who perhaps lack a bit of foresight.

You can also simply perform a [Chaotic Good] action and free the Owlbear, but if you don’t pacify it first, it’ll attack you. While dreadfully strong (it boasts around a +20 Attack bonus and will likely deal no less than twenty damage per hit), if you are fully healed, protected by defensive spells, engage with your tank, and have a bit of luck on your side, you should be able to cut it down. Your only reward for doing so, however, is some experience and a Bear Pelt. A hard sale, honestly.

(1 of 2) Interact with the owlbear pen to get a variety of options for disposing of the beast.

Interact with the owlbear pen to get a variety of options for disposing of the beast. (left), Including the inelegant solution of just putting the beast down. (right)

A safer, more neutral option is to pass a [Trickery 14] check to simply seal the Owlbear in its cage. No animal cruelty, but also you won’t be letting this Owlbear wander around the countryside, or worse, attack you as you fight the Stag Lord.

Finally, you can try to put the beast down by passing a [Stealth 19] check. A caged animal isn’t hard to kill, but failing the check will result in you doing so somewhat less than quietly, effectively alerting the Stag Lord and whatever surviving bandits he has left, which may not be much of a downside, depending on how many you’ve slain thus far.

Beat the Bandits Behind the House

From the Owlbear pen, head east to get behind a house along the fort’s southeastern wall. You should have killed the bandits in front of the house earlier, and possibly the ones behind it, as well. If not, the tactics for cleanly doing so from this direction are similar to the tactics employed against the bandits camped in the shadow of the fort’s well or for dealing with this same group of bandits while behind the house to the south, for that matter.

Creep forward to spot the northwestern-most bandits, cast a Web spell (or two!) just southeast of them, and shoot down webbed bandits starting with the Bandit Priestess followed by any melee foes. When you’re down to two targets, paralyze one with Hold Person and finish them off. Once the bloodshed has ceased, loot the Bandit Priestess for a Masterwork Club.

Deal with Auchs and Rovan

Mighty fine progress! With this much of the fort clear, there’s a good chance you can confront the Stag Lord directly and hope to win. Still, there’s more you can do to shift the odds further in your favor. Two of the Stag Lord’s top goons can be found nearby, northeast of the house the last bandit group (with the Bandit Priestess) hid behind. Here you’ll find Dovan from Nisroch and Auchs, who were mentioned much earlier, then scarcely brought up again.

They’re relatively strong opponents, but not so overwhelmingly strong that you should feel compelled to make use of debilitating spells like Hold Person or Web. Buffs like Mage Armor, Shield, Bless, Blur, Shield of Faith and in Jaethal’s case, Divine Favor and Judgment should suffice. Auchs fights with a Greatclub, making him a somewhat heavy-hitting opponent, albeit one who has a laughably poor Armor Class (a weakness he’ll partially offset by chugging a Potion of Barkskin) and nowhere near enough HP to compensate.

Dovan is more well-protected, and will play to his strengths by drinking a Potion of Invisibility and a Potion of Haste, and while this is enough to allow him to store a telling first strike (via sneak attack), it’s not enough to make him challenging. The only thing you need to watch out for with Dovan is allowing him any opportunity to make repeated Sneak Attacks, flanking with Auchs being the primary concern.

(1 of 2) Dovan's weak Will Save makes him vulnerable to Hold Person

Dovan's weak Will Save makes him vulnerable to Hold Person (left), after which you can promptly smite him before he gets up to any trouble. (right)

If you can eliminate Auchs, Dovan won’t be as much of a threat, but there are other tactics you can employ and other things to keep in mind. First, there’s a trap [Perception 16] just west of Auchs and Dovan which you can easily avoid during the fight, then disarm [Trickery 19] it later. Second, while Dovan is the clear threat and wily with his potion use, he’s got a fatal weakness: a joke of a Will Save. You can start this fight out in style by hitting Dovan with a Hold Person spell, after which it should be trivial to rush him and cut him down. This stops him from using his potions (although you won’t get to loot them) and from performing sneak attacks and otherwise making a nuisance of himself.

(1 of 2) When bested in combat, Dovan will have the good sense to surrender.

When bested in combat, Dovan will have the good sense to surrender. (left), Surprisingly, he's honest about his stash. (right)

After defeating Dovan (whether or not Auchs is defeated yet) he’ll do what any sensible villain in his position would do: he’ll try to strike a bargain to save his sorry hide. This might seem like a classical good party vs evil party decision, but well, you may want to let the actual loot involved be your guide.

If you spare Dovan (a [Lawful Evil] act) you’ll indeed find his stash in the ditch to the left (northwest) of the gate. This stash contains a Diamond (sells for 1,250 GP) and an Amulet of Natural Armor +1. On the other hand, if you kill him you can loot his Agile Rapier +1, Chainmail +1 and Potion of Cat’s Grace. While the magical Chainmail is nice, and you probably have no shortage of characters who can use it, the Amulet of Natural Armor is more versatile but you’ll get more of them to the point where you’ll likely be replacing it before long, anyway.

In either event, you can loot Auchs for his Greatclub +2 and Belt of Mighty Constitution +2. This club is a potential upgrade for Amiri, although it’s not an uncontested upgrade; it should raise her Attack bonus by +3, but lower her damage per hit by a good bit, as well. It really depends on what you want out of Amiri; if you’ve spent feats bolstering her bastard sword, you might as well stick with it, otherwise feel free to equip this weapon and make use of it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should shift focus, feat-wise, especially since there’s plenty of great two-handed weapons out there you might want to alternate between as the situation demands. The Belt of Mighty Constitution +2 should go on a front-liner, either on a character whose Hit Points are somewhat suspect (Jaethal) or a tank that’s expected to soak extra damage (Valerie). Don’t worry too much about it, though - it’s only four HP at this point.

Deal with Auchs and Dovan however you deem suitable, then make a [Perception 16] check to spot a satchel you can loot behind a ladder south of the campfire Auchs and Dovan were at. North of the same campfire you can find a barrel, while further north, near a building, you’ll find a pack with a Scorched Fragment of a Necklace in it.

With that, you’re done clearing out the fort, save for the Stag Lord. It’s about time you introduced yourself perhaps after a spot of rest to make sure you’re in top form.

Battle: The Stag Lord

If you’ve completed everything listed above in the walkthrough, you should have a fine shot at defeating the Stag Lord. There’s no guarantee, however, as the Stag Lord still has minions to guard him, and he’s no slouch in combat, himself. When you approach the estate at the northern end of the fort enough to provoke one of his guards, the Stag Lord will be called for, and he’ll answer the call.

After the cutscene he’ll move himself to a platform southeast of the estate’s door, from which he’ll merrily shoot at anybody within sight. He’s a deadly archer, with a high Attack Bonus and a healthy supply of HP, but the worst bit about this fight is how troublesome it can be to get your characters to move onto that balcony. You’re basically limited to attacking the Stag Lord and hoping for the best, as far as pathfinding goes. Against an unprepared party lacking buffs, who get caught up in the Stag Lord’s minions, and who have trouble focusing on the Stag Lord due to the platform he’s on, he’s quite capable of wiping the entire party. And no, he won’t provoke Attacks of Opportunity if you close on him.

On top of the Stag Lord himself he’s joined by a Bandit Priestess (on the opposite balcony) and a bunch of lesser bandits who either will engage in melee or with ranged weapons. They’re nothing you haven’t dealt with many times over by now, but with a foe like the Stag Lord taking advantage of every delay and distraction, they can be troublesome enough. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to deal with most of the Stag Lord’s minions: the Stag Lord is loath to leave his platform, so you can simply provoke some bandits, retreat, then cut them down out of the Stag Lord’s sight.

(1 of 2) Rout the bandits on the ground

Rout the bandits on the ground (left), then ascend to the Stag Lord's platform and kill him. (right)

Another possible solution - depending on your previous actions - is to simply let Kressle and/or Akiros help in the fight. They should appear after the fighting starts once the Stag Lord is summoned, in which case they’ll occupy the Stag Lord’s minions, allowing you to circle around to his platform and attack with your entire party.

Of course, buffing up before you engage, hitting the Stag Lord with a debilitating spell like Tasha’s Hideous Laughter or Hold Person to buy yourself some time to mop up his minions also works well.

Suffice to say, you’re spoiled for options.

Vanquish the Stag Lord and you’ll get a series of moral choices ([Chaotic Good], [Lawful Neutral], [Lawful Evil] or [Chaotic Evil]). Choose whichever one you find most fitting, as the result is the same either way. Some odd magic going on there, and who is this “her” he’s talking about? Mysteries to be solved another time. After defeating the Stag Lord, vanquish all his minions, and when the fight ends you’ll be able to get to looting.

Most of the lesser bandits have little of interest, but the Stag Lord, fittingly, is a treasure trove. Search his body to claim his Savage Bow, Woodlan’s Aegis, Stag Helmet, Boots of Elvenkind, Lesser Bracers of Archery, Cloak of Winter Veil and The Stag Lord’s Broken Charm.

The Savage Bow is a Composite Longbow +1 that has the “Aspect of the Falcon” ability which, when used, gives you a +1 competence bonus on ranged Attack rolls and an expanded critical hit multiplier. If your protagonist is an archer, you just scored big, but anybody with a high Strength score can benefit from that Savage Bow and it’s not like you haven’t been switching to and from melee weapons regularly by now, anyway.

Woodland’s Aegis is +2 Studded Leather armor that allows the user to cast Barkskin once per day, which further grants the wearer a Natural bonus to Armor Class. Except for your protagonist, the Woodland’s Aegis will go well on any character who can wear light (but not medium) armor. Anybody who can wear medium armor likely already has a suit of armor that gives a +7 Armor bonus to Armor Class. Regongar will make fine use of it.

The Stag Helmet gives its wearer a +1 Attack bonus against flanked and flat-footed foes. The Stag Helmet will ideally find its way on a character who can regularly perform Sneak Attacks, although if you bestow Precise Strike on your warriors, it’ll do well anywhere.

The Boots of Elvenkind give their wearer a +5 bonus to Mobility checks. Any character who may make Mobility checks frequently - whether it’s a ranged character who may need to retreat from enemy attackers, or a warrior who might want to charge through foes to reach their vulnerable allies - will put the Boots of Elvenkind to good use. Failing that, put them on your character with the highest Mobility score to make future Mobility checks that much easier to pass.

Lesser Bracers of Archery will bestow a +1 competence bonus on Attack rolls with ranged weapons. A character who uses ranged weapons almost exclusively (Linzi, Octavia, perhaps Tristian or possibly your protagonist) should get these. Give them to the most dangerous archer in your party, favoring your protagonist, then Linzi, then Octavia. They’ll get the most use out of it.

(1 of 3) Defeat the Stag Lord and make a moral choice regarding how to send him off.

Finally, the Cloak of Winter Veil acts as a Cloak of Resistance +1 (+1 bonus to all Saving Throws) and gives the wearer Cold Resistance 10/-. Assuming you have all your casters covered, give this to your tank, as there’s a higher chance they’ll be used to draw the attention of critters that deal cold damage (or any damage, really) than any other character.

Now that the Stag Lord’s loot has been covered, make your way northwest along the front of his stronghold to find [Perception 21] a Kukri +1. Might not be the most epic bit of loot you’ve found thus far, but it’s a welcome treasure, nonetheless.

Search the Stag Lord’s Estate

Unfortunately, you’re not quite done yet. After distributing the booty, head into the Stag Lord’s estate and put on your trap-finding goggles, as there’s plenty of them about. It takes a stable genius to lay booby traps all over their house. In the room to the southeast you’ll find a trap stretching across the room [Perception 20] [Trickery 20], and another one on a hide rug [Perception 19] [Trickery 19] - not the rectangular carpet. Disarm them, then loot a chest [Trickery 23] near a bed to score a Punching Dagger +1 and a suit of Padded Armor +1, then loot a small chest behind a chair [Trickery 14], a makeshift desk along the wall, and a bookshelf obscured by the foreground to get various bits of low-quality treasure. You can also score a Light Hammer +1 off the makeshift desk.

(1 of 2) Disarm some traps in a room to the southeast

Disarm some traps in a room to the southeast (left), then loot some treasure. (right)

Return to the antechamber and from there head into a small room to the northeast, where you can spot [Perception 15] a chest [Trickery 15] which contains a variety of trinkets you can sell.

Backtrack to the antechamber yet again and this time head northwest until you find a doorway to the northeast, the room beyond which clearly serves as a prison. Disarm a large trap [Perception 18] [Trickery 18] on the floor, then unlock [Trickery 15] the cell door to the northwest. The prisoner - Nugrah - will immediately turn hostile. No “enemy of my enemy is my friend” business going on here. He’s a fairly strong spellcaster who will start out the fight with Thorn Body, followed by Flame Strike, so rush him, and mind you don’t let your warriors bottleneck the doorway. Once he’s dead, loot him for a Masterwork Club, a suit of Hide +2 armor and Nugrah’s Crumpled Note. Now that this druid is gone, the mist should vanish entirely. The last thing to do is examine the empty chest in Nugrah’s cell which can be filled by using the same technique as in the Abandoned Hut earlier in the game, by adding in the “Herbs” you used then and exiting the chest. It will glow, and when you reopen it, there will be a Wand of Cat’s Grace, a Scroll of Stoneskin and a Scroll of Freedom of Movement, plus the book Of Transmutations and Bodily Poisons, Part II. The book is part of the quest An Ancient Formula, so hold onto it.

(1 of 2) Unlock the cell door

Unlock the cell door (left), then kill Nugrah. (right)

With that, there’s naught left to do but return to Oleg’s Trading Post and tell him the good news. You may want to rest along the way, if you’re injured, as it’d be an awful shame if some random encounter did you in on the eve of your victory. There’s also another matter of business you can deal with along the way back, so be sure to swing by Nettle’s Crossing as you return.

Nettle’s Reward

Drop by Nettle’s Crossing and head to the river, where Davic Nettle will pull himself out of the water, mumble to himself, and give you your rightful reward. Be sure to loot his body for a Shortspear +1 to add some material compensation on top of the experience you earn. Spears have merit as a weapon due to their reach, allowing an otherwise vulnerable character (like, say, Tristian) to attack from a distance, ideally behind your front-line warriors.

(1 of 2) Return to Nettle's Crossing and bid Nettle farewell

Return to Nettle's Crossing and bid Nettle farewell (left), and more importantly, claim his promised prize. (right)

Final Business in the Trading Post

Once you’re back in Oleg’s Trading Post, inform Oleg of your victory. After congratulating you, he’ll contemplate what this means for the Stolen Lands, then encourage you to return to Restov with the news.

Reward: For telling Oleg about your victory over the Stag Lord
90 XP

When you're ready to leave Chapter 1 behind, return to Oleg's Trading Post and tell Oleg the news of your victory.

It’s not a bad idea, but you may want to consider your options. If you still have time left, you might want to spend more time exploring the Stolen Lands. There are always random encounters you can get into if you want to score more experience, but you should be especially keen on clearing all the areas listed above if you haven’t already.

Whenever you’re done exploring the Stolen Lands, return to Restov by picking the appropriate dialogue option while talking to Oleg.


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While it runs contrary to many expectations of the game, I found soloing as a Sylvan Sorcerer with only active characters & skill users getting EXP to be quite profitable because level 3 & 4 spells in chapter 1 just work well! Stag Lord and co weren't built to withstand Fireball spam, and higher level spells and higher skill totals often matter more mechanically than more characters/more actions per round. The right mods amplify this.

haeravon (Staff)

Yep. Icewind Dale was like that, too.


Hi, this guide is brilliant and so helpful I doubt very much I'd be able to get throughthis game without tears of frustration without all the effort you put in. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I thought I'd mention that I can't find the scorched fragment of the necklace that you mention is just north of one of the buildings in the stage lords fort map. And yet I've collected all 7 pieces and forged the necklace. So perhaps it was moved in a patch? Sadly I can't recall where I picked up the fragment as I just tend to frantically loot everything. The loot horder that I am

haeravon (Staff)

Glad you're finding the guide helpful! Lots of minor changes have been made to the game via patches, we've been trying to keep things update, but that may have fallen through the cracks.

View Entire Discussion (4 Comments)

Hi, this guide is brilliant and so helpful I doubt very much I'd be able to get throughthis game without tears of frustration without all the effort you put in. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I thought I'd mention that I can't find the scorched fragment of the necklace that you mention is just north of one of the buildings in the stage lords fort map. And yet I've collected all 7 pieces and forged the necklace. So perhaps it was moved in a patch? Sadly I can't recall where I picked up the fragment as I just tend to frantically loot everything. The loot horder that I am

haeravon (Staff)

Glad you're finding the guide helpful! Lots of minor changes have been made to the game via patches, we've been trying to keep things update, but that may have fallen through the cracks.


While it runs contrary to many expectations of the game, I found soloing as a Sylvan Sorcerer with only active characters & skill users getting EXP to be quite profitable because level 3 & 4 spells in chapter 1 just work well! Stag Lord and co weren't built to withstand Fireball spam, and higher level spells and higher skill totals often matter more mechanically than more characters/more actions per round. The right mods amplify this.

haeravon (Staff)

Yep. Icewind Dale was like that, too.

View Entire Discussion (4 Comments)

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Deep Silver
  • Platforms,
    Linux, Mac, PC
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    29 January 2020
  • Last Updated
    21 April 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin

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At the mansion of the Swordlord Jamandi Aldori, adventurers have gathered, lured by the promise of dominion should one of them conquer the nearby Stolen Lands and oust its current overlord - the Stag Lord. You are one such adventurer, and Jamandi’s offer isn’t just a benevolent call-to-arms to make the Stolen Lands safe for normal folk, there’s political angles to its conquest, and the ultimate allegience of its new ruler. More than that, however, a sinister, primordial force has her own interests in the Stolen Lands, and a desire to see new rulers rise… and fall. The Pathfinder: Kingmaker guide includes a full walkthrough of the game’s main campaign, including various side quests, companion quests and strategies.

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