Travel: Flintrock Grassland
The site of the battlefield for the skirmish between the forces of Brevoy and the barbarian hordes is the Flintrock Grassland, which lies a good distance to the northwest of your barony. To reach there you’ll need to make a long hike through the Narlmarches, across the western bend of the Skunk River, across the East Sellen River and to Glenebon. Directions from your capital are as follows:
- West (along the Skunk River)
- North (across Skunk River)
- East (path veers north along river)
- Northwest (to reach East Sellen River)
- West (across East Sellen River)
When you arrive, venture a short distance to the west to find some barbarians milling about - potentially including some familiar faces should you have not picked a fight with Dugath and his followers. Talk to a barbarian named Gwart and he’ll express the discontent he and his fellow barbarians are feeling and will make an offer for resolving the situation in a manner that benefits everybody.
Armag and his “crazy witches” - presumably the fey Sisters who have already proven to be such nuisances - are showing distinct disrespect for the lives of the tribesmen. Not only does the battle before them seem suicidal, but they can’t even expect any decent plunder from it! Interestingly enough, Gwart is astute enough to recognize that the Surtovas stand to benefit from whatever casualties the barbarians inflict on the Swordlords. If you ask “Why are you unhappy with Armag?” you’ll get a hypothetical question you can answer via a moral choice, but otherwise it’s all plot points.
When you’re ready to move on with the plan, inform Gwart and you’ll find yourself teleported to the southwestern end of the map. Head north to find Jamandi, but before you talk to her loot a sack and a chest between her and some horses. Exhaust Jamandi’s dialogue options, then tell her about the proposal forwarded by Gwart. Her solution is simple enough: she’ll command the forces (both yours and hers), if the barbarian deserters act as intended, all the better. You, on the other hand, will be sent to the barbarian camp. With any luck a military victory will follow, leaving you with little to do but observe how things play out. If not… well, Jamandi’s only solution for you is to “improvise”. Wonder which one it’ll be?
Defeat the Manticore Pack
After that, Jamandi will leave and in her absence you’ll be attacked by barbarians, first from the east, then from the west. Their Armor Class is laughable, but they can hit pretty hard… all in all, it’s nothing compared to the horrors you survived in Vordakai’s Tomb.
More fights have broken out between the barbarians and the forces from Brevoy, but before you go bother with them, there’s looting to be done. First head east until you find a pile of branches [Perception 24] you can loot. From there make your way southeast to reach the southeastern corner of the map, where a pack of manticores dwell.
These aren’t just normal manticores, of course, they include Poisonous Primal Manticores and Venomanticores, and both variants attack quickly and have a high enough Attack Bonus to worry your warriors. Worse yet, they have high Armor Class, a mix of Damage Reduction and Concealment and may attempt to start out the battle sneakily ([Perception 33] can spot them). Spellbuff generously to boost your own combat effectiveness, and consider using Web or similar spells to break up their advance.
Defeat them and you can loot the remains of their victims - mostly barbarians from the look of things. They’re not going to need their loot anymore.
Make your way west and you’ll find another active battle between Brevoy Soldiers and barbarians, the former of which are distinctly inferior to the latter. Kill the barbarians and the Ferocious Wolves that accompany them, then turn northeast to find the scene of another skirmish. This time the barbarians include shapeshifters who turn into bears. Despite this transformation, they’re not significantly more dangerous than their normal counterparts. After this second skirmish, head west along an impassable ravine, where you’ll find a stump [Perception 29] you can loot for a variety of mundane treasures.
Return to the site of the second skirmish, then make your way northeast, as a third skirmish awaits… with an unpleasant development. Here you’ll find some Barbarian Hill Giants, who, as their size implies, can deal hefty damage with their massive clubs. Not only is their Attack high enough to regularly threaten your tanks, but their Armor Class isn’t quite low enough to guarantee hits. Some simple spellbuffing (Haste, Prayer) will help tilt the odds more in your favor, and really, what you don’t use in buffs you’ll likely have to make up for with healing.
From the third skirmish site head southeast to find another, larger fight that combines all the barbarian types you’ve seen thus far: Barbarian Hill Giants, Clerics of Gorum, shapeshifting Bear-barians, and the normal tribesmen armed with melee and missile weapons. The forces of Brevoy have also stepped up their game, now including casters of their own, who are quite effective at debuffing the barbarians. Let the battle lines get drawn, then intervene and cut down the barbarians, hopefully letting the forces from Brevoy absorb most of the punishment. Be wary, however, as a few more barbarians will trickle in from the northeast as you fight, and they’re fond of charging at stray characters.
Win another victory, and before you continue northeast, turn back to the southwest to find another, humbler skirmish. While the skirmish doesn’t offer much in the way of challenge, search some carnage near a tree to the north to find treasure, including a whopping 2,430 GP and a massive cache of Diamond Dust… enough to enable you to cast Restoration as much as you’ll ever need to.
Continue east from the last skirmish to find some Restovic soldiers, who have apparently already secured victory over some barbarians. Talk to a gnome named Dallirun Myrnas for some meaningless chatter, if you wish, then backtrack to the fourth skirmish.
From the fourth skirmish, head east until you reach a hill, then worm your way around the southern end of the hill, stopping to loot a pile of branches [Perception 25] as you go. Further east you can find some Barbarian Hill Giants led by Byrk, who seems disillusioned by the whole campaign. Fair enough, big guy. Work your way around the hill to the west, north, then northeast to find a sacked wagon at the end of a dirt path. Whatever caused its demise wasn’t very keen on treasure, as there’s a trove of it to be found here, including your usual baubles fit only for selling, the odd mundane gear, rations, and perhaps a nice magical item…
Loot the Barbarian Camp
From this sacked wagon head northwest to find a narrow strip of land between a ravine - the entrance to the barbarian camp. Naturally, it’s guarded by barbarians, including another giant and a cleric who is actually inclined to use their spells. Kill them, then proceed north into the barbarian camp.
Once inside, loot the various crates and sacks you find lying about, then turn east and open a gate. If you’re perception, you may also spot a chest [Perception 26] obscured by a tent. Loot your way west through the camp until the path running through the center of camp starts to bend southwest. At this point, veer south and follow the fence to spot a chest near some wooden racks. In this chest you’ll find the shield Child of the Wind, a Heavy Shield +3 that increases the user’s speed by 10 feet. Perfect for a tank who needs to get to the fight sooner!
Return to the road running through the middle of camp and keep following it southwest. Gwart can be found in the northwestern corner of the map, but pass by him for now in order to score some more loot. Along the western end of camp you’ll find a wagon, under which is a chest containing Reaper’s Vest, a suit of Studded Leather +3 that grants the wearer a +3 dodge bonus to Armor Class against Shaken (a stage of fear) opponents.
Finally, head over to Gwart. Before you talk to him, however, loot the various containers around his little enclosure to find a variety of noteworthy gear, including Ancient Hunt, a quiver which provides an endless stream of arrows that count as lawful and cold iron for the purposes of overcoming DR, which grant a +2 attack and damage bonus against fey. Any dedicated archers will find this very useful, indeed. You’ll also find a Ring of Evasion hidden among other, mundane rings, which bestows the effects of the Evasion spell upon the user, allowing them to negate area-of-effect damage if they pass their Reflex Save.
Now that the camp has been thoroughly looted, talk to Gwart to get updated on the developments of their little coup. Success has been mixed thus far, while Armag has abandoned his army and the barbarians assembled here routed, Armag himself is still alive and has a legion of supporters willing to die for him in Numeria. If he’s left to his own devices, another, more disastrous invasion looms, and worse yet, Armag himself may return from his little diversion even more powerful. Seems like the job for a small group of highly trained adventurers, no?
Unfortunately, you don’t know where the tomb that Armag seeks is, but that detail will have to be attended to later. Make your way back east through the camp to find Jamandi Aldori waiting for you. Oddly enough, Natala Surtova is also there, and depending on which side you’ve favored, their disposition towards you will vary. Either way, one of the two will suggest you elevate your position from baron(ess) to king/queen. The recognition of you as more or less an equal matters more than your response, which includes trying to appease one side or the other, showing contempt to both, or, if your protagonist is [Neutral], announcing your intentions to serve as a check on either side.
With that, the two rivals will leave. Your coronation date is set for whenever you resolve the issues plaguing your land. In other words, after you finish dealing with Armag and the second Bloom. Speaking of which, the quest Hour of Rage is now over, but your entanglement with the barbarians will continue in a new quest The Twice-Born Warlord. The quest Coronation will also begin, but for now it’s mostly just a super-quest contingent upon the the completion of The Twice-Born Warlord.
Either way, it’s time to return to your capital to mull over your next move, and fortunately an area exit can be found a short distance to the east of where Jamandi and Natala stood.
You can now either return to your throne room and begin searching for Armag’s Tomb, or head back to Candlemere Tower and attempt to deal with this second Bloom (refer to the page Betrayer’s Flight - Candlemere Tower). In the former case, Linzi will propose a solution… which isn’t very helpful at all. In the end, you’ll be left with looking for a lead by hunting down some ancient source in the Stolen Lands, blindly adventuring around Glenebon, or by sending scouts to do the footwork for you. Fortunately for you, dear reader, you have this handy-dandy guide, so you need not worry about the details - in the Armag’s Tomb page the location of the tomb will be laid bare.