Rise of the Runelords

Session Forty-Two
Soap

Present Players:  Vincent, {Late}Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

 

Session Notes:

The Thistles next destination is the far flung village of Turtleback Ferry. It is the furthest holding owned by Magnimar and involves a long journey from Sandpoint. After some debate the party decides to take a relaxing ferry ride to the small village. During the voyage Aurelia and Feda work on various items using their crafting skills. Urtar, however, tries his best to be useful on the voyage by constantly badgering the crew on how he can be helpful. This constant pestering does not earn him any friends and he mostly ends up with simple tasks like mopping the deck which Urtar does with Vigor. Vincent makes a point of sampling all of the local cuisine at the various village stops along the way. He manages to get through the trip without food poisoning and is treated to some very unique cuisine.

 

Once in Turtleback Ferry the party is treated to a very small village and begin trying to learn the local lay of the land. They spend a day talking to villagers and learning about local rumors. They hear a variety of tales ranging from the giant Albino Gar known as Pinkeye sinking a pleasure cruise to the horrendous sounding Black Magga that lives in the Storval Deep, the massive lack held behind an ancient Thassilonian dam known as Skull's Crossing. There were also some rumors that the Leader of the Black Arrows is known to visit the nearby Shimmergleans for some unknown purpose.  Urtar spends some of his day shopping at Turtle's Candles and Soaps Shop, and buys a variety of soaps for the party. While shopping he notes a villager sporting a Sihedron Rune tattoo and tails the suspect throughout the day. He stalks the man to his home eventually and lets the party know what he has seen. Later that night Urtar also presents Aurelia with some nice smelling soap with rose petals in it because she is a lady and likes pretty things. For Feda, he presents her with a "manly" mineral based soap because she is not lady like.  He also presents Purrcival with a bar of the same soap because he is dainty and also likes pretty things.

 

The next day the party heads toward Fort Rannick, but on the way Purrcival hears the sound of a distressed animal. Investigating they find a firepelt cougar trapped in a large bear trap. The animal is clearly in great pain as they approach but reacts relatively calmly. Jaren easily recognizes it as a trained companion and the party begins working to free the creature. However, shortly after they begin breaking the trap the rest of the party hears a loud singing and the barking of hunting dogs. The singer turns out to be an ogrekin and is intent on murdering the trapped cat. The party heard that there was an ogrekin family in these woods known as the Graul who are known to be cruel, and this creature introduces itself as Rukus Graul demanding they let him murder the kitteh. The ogrekin sets his dogs on the party but it proves a quick fight as a well-placed fireball by Aurelia leaves the majority of the hounds staggered on their feet. Rukus does a few tenative thrusts with his spear before fleeing the fight as his dogs all fall to the party's fighting skills. Urtar and Aurelia (enchanted with expeditious retreat) manage to catch and defeat the fleeing ogrekin. The party continues following Rukus' trail and after passing some strange humanoid shaped fetishesand end up on the edge of a decrepit looking farmhouse and barn. The crops are all large but wrong looking — moldy and festering. The party following the firepelt's lead sneak over toward the farmhouse. The cougar stays crouched on the edge of the clearing while the rest of the party sneaks toward the house. They find the front porch adorned with numerous hanging bone windchimes. After seeing some very large bugs on the porch (a moth the size of a shovel head!) the party opts to use a side door instead of braving the porch. The side door opens into an absolutely sickening kitchen that smells of days old meat. The table has a veritable buffet for some large rodents that appear to be human fingers and thumbs in a bowl with the (relatively) freshly de-fingered hands in a bucket nearby. Feda veritably charges through the house (buffs have durations!) and eats a few traps in the adjacent dining room. The final room she charges into appears to be some sort of playpen with not so clean skulls and horrible finger paintings across the walls. Inside they find a collection of ogrekin who all look in attention at the dwarf that stumbled into their room.

 

DM Notes:

  • Rukus didn't really bring much Rukus
  • I'm using a new scaled rebalancing of the encounters. I'm curious to see how much it is going to be felt by the party.
  • Jaren finally got to let his maxed Handle Animal shine.

 

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Acid Large Spear
  • Quilt made of Blackarrow patches

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Rukus Graul
  • 6 Graul Hounds

 

End Date: Sarenith 23

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Session Forty-One
Vampires Found-ry

Present Players:  Vincent, {Late}Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

 

Session Notes:

The fight gets quickly under the control of the Thistles after some well-placed crowd control. Urtar grapples the vampire sorceress and forces her to use gaseous form to escape. Aurelia blows away the remaining vampire spawn with an empowered magic missile. Vincent uses the last bit of channel energy to deliver another massive wave of positive energy against the undead forces. Purrcival pretty well negates Charito the vampire rogue by dropping a glitter dust to blind her. Celestial Fury is a mithral blade which easily cuts through the rogue's damage reduction sending her back to her coffin. Upon reforming the sorceress is quickly pounced upon by a combination of Feda and Urtar. The last vampire makes a valiant last stand, but the channel energy and pounding of Urtar's first prove too much. They search the foundry and recover the documents that the Pathfinder Society were looking for behind a golden statue of Lissala. The party is disappointed to see that it is only plaster covered in a thin film of gold. Vincent takes care of the surviving members of the other initiates. Eliza Tarus, ex(?)-acolyte of Calistria, and Henrim Tirlea, a farmer who recently lost his family and fell into deep depression, both survive and seem to be clinging to each other after their near death experience. Nora, the other remaining initiate seems disappointed by the cult's destruction as she hoped to use it to cause a noble to fall in love with her. Ultimately using the noble's wealth to lift herself out of relative poverty. Vincent escorts them out of the forge only to be greeted by a group of black cloaked figures discussing what just happened. Apparently, the robed figures in the front of the foundry were all under the domination of the vampires and greatly confused after their destruction. Vincent helps get them all to safety as the rest of the party wakes up Tomasz. Jaren and Urtar give him a pep talk to the addled, confused young man. Jaren convinces him to make his own choices and not just try to live up to his mother's expectations. Urtar assists by convincing him that he must make his mind strong, then his body, then follow his own path. They eventually decide to take him to Habe's Sanitorium despite Vincent's misgivings about the sanitarium. Vincent invites Henrim and Eliza back to Sandpoint since Palin's Cove wasn't really working out for either of them. After reviewing the notes they remember the cult was looking for the Eye of Wrath, and once they pull it out of the bag of holding it makes a small chirping noise that leads them back to the foundry. It opens a secret door that leads to an ancient temple to Lissala. There they find a holy symbol that seems to take the shape of the deity the holder worships. The symbol allows the wielder to shape their channel energy which Vincent happily takes. The Thistles leave the Church of Abadar to handle the clean-up from murdering a (vampire) noble and the totenmaskes at the asylum. On the trip back to Magnimar, Vincent makes a light pitch to Eliza on the idea of worshipping Sarenrae as she and Henrim enter a new stage of their life. Jyronn gladly takes the documents for insight into the cults trying to get a Runelord back to life and promise to relay any important findings to the party.

 

The party makes their way back to Sandpoint and gives Henrim and Eliza a round of introductions. Vincent makes sure they have a nice nest egg to get started and makes a point of introducing them to Mayor Deverin. The party is happy to meet Lettie and Horann Guffmin again, and accepts an invitation for dinner. They are served a surprisingly tasty deep gnome dish that Lettie has been working on, and spend a night catching up with their friends and introducing the two couples. Tomasz tries his best to not be too awkward, and mostly takes cues from Urtar and Jaren during the meal. He mostly succeeds and the next day they head to Habe's sanitarium to "help improve Tomasz's mind". There Urtar and Jaren take Tomasz up to the Sanitarium. There they find a very nervous Erin Habe who seems intent on getting the two of them to leave as soon as possible. However, Urtar is not easily moved and when a voice from the other room demands his "servant" come and serve him Urtar investigates. Urtar opens the door and is confused by an angry wizened looking old man who vows to destroy him with his magic unless Urtar leaves. Urtar listens to a few threats and after the old man begins stomping and threatening that the beast from below will crush him, Urtar jumps into action springing across tables and patients to absolutely waylay the old man. There is a brief brutal combat and the old man lies dead and Erin explains everything. The old man was a necromancer who stole a lot of sczarni loot and basically blackmailed Erin to be his manservant and threatened his patients. The man lived in his basement and did untold experiments on deceased patients and whatever bodies he could buy or steal. Erin was very happy for the assist and agreed to help Tomasz.

 

DM Notes:

  • The vampires folded pretty quick once Urtar and Vincent got moving.
  • I sort of hoped the Eye of Wrath connection would have been more obvious, I imagine it will get used more going forward
  • I'm glad the party is still shepherding around their favorite NPCs. In the past I've had parties be purely antagonistic to NPCs.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Malleable Holy Symbol
  • Evil Whip
  • Gold Unholy Symbol
  • Fangtide Scale Mail
  • Masterwork Rapier
  • Platinum Locket
  • Coins and Gems
  • Masterwork Dagger

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 8 Vampire Spawn
  • 2 Totenmaskes
  • Milena Talich – Vampire Sorceress
  • Ilan Kosta – Vampire Oracle
  • Charito Menas – Vampire Rogue

 

End Date: Sarenith 15

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Session Forty
Sali continues to Struggle

Present Players:  Vincent, {Late}Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

 

Session Notes:

Jaren gets split off the group as he volunteered to be the weakest in the group along with Tomasz who eagerly volunteered as the strongest. Jaren and the rest of the party suspected that whoever was the weakest was not going to get out alive, and they were nearly proven correct as Tomasz is told to cut out Jaren's heart and feast on it. Jaren manages to dodge the initial stabbing but after he rips off the canvas bag from his face he finds himself in dire straits surrounded by three vampires and an overly eager Tomasz. Roughly at the same time, the rest of the party is huddled into another room with similar bags obscuring their view. As they hear the ruckus in the other room, the party surges into action and realize that they have their own set of vampires to deal with. Vincent and Urtar almost immediately fall under the sway of the vampire spawn's dominate power. However, Feda responds with a magic circle vs evil that stops the effect. Urtar does his party by bringing a flying lunge at the nearest vampire easily pulping the creature's face with his iron like fists. Aurelia is in her own struggle as one of the vampire spawn attempts to grapple her to begin draining her blood. It manages to get her in a grapple and it foils her initial spellcasting attempts.  Eliza, one of the commoners met at the standing stone tries her best to assist using some simple clerical magic to keep the drunk farmer from dying. The other two people appear to be under the domination of the vampire spawn. Urtar absolutely obliterates the stern faced Nora with a kick to the face dropping her like a sack of rocks. Sali attempts to apprehend the monk, but it is a laughable attempt. Feda uses her divine reliquary weapon to anchor a consecration effect on the battlefield, setting Vincent up for a chance for a massive channel energy. He does so on the next turn channeling positive energy into the room and following by a quickened positive energy that absolutely obliterates the vampire spawn in the room. He easily renders 5 of them into their gaseous forms. Jaren makes pretty quick work of the vampire spawn in his room and knocks out Tomasz who Jaren considers more of a victim than an attacker. The Chelaxian vampire manages to escape Celestial Fury's wrath by transforming into gas herself.

 

Following the gaseous vampires the Thistles open the door to the next room and are greeted by a volley of spells. The party finds themselves covered in webs, which entangles the majority of the party. The vampire sorceress uses her next few rounds to drop lightning bolts across the party, nearly dropping the two clerics. Aurelia tries to counter with her own magic, but the entangling webs cause her huge difficulties. Charito, the Chelaxian vampire, sneaks back in and gives Jaren a stab in the back before hiding in the webs. Sali, the last dominated commoner, is also caught in the webs but continues to try to execute the commands to stop the party. However, he was not excluded from the web and mostly spends the next five round struggling. He is then unceremoniously destroyed by a stray lightning bolt. The other vampire caster in the room continues to throw divine spells at the party, but his repeated blindness spells fail to land due to Purrcival's saving finales. Purrcival manages to throw a kink into the enemy caster's plans by teleporting Urtar into the middle of them, but the sorceress surprises the party by dodging the flurry of blows.

 

DM Notes:

  • The party absolutely managed to wreck the vampire spawn by using consecrate and channel energy. The next part of the fight is going to be more difficult without that burst. The web also managed to bottleneck their main melee power, so I expect the second half to be a bit rougher.
  • I'm not surprised Jaren didn't murder Tomasz. Tomasz probably got off lucky that it wasn't a different party member.
  • Nora getting absolutely trampled by Urtar was hilarious.
  • Sali turned into basically comic relief, and then got melted by a lightning bolt to pretty much everyone's enjoyment

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Nothing yet

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • A number of Vampire Spawn. Expect the exact count after the next session notes.

 

End Date: Sarenith 9

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Session Thirty-Nine
It was the Foundry *shocking*

Present Players:  Vincent, {Late}Purrcival, Urtar, Aurelia, Jaren, Feda

 

Session Notes:

The Thistles regroup and decide they need to talk to the patient Tomasz alone so they can learn what he knows. The party waits until midnight before making the attempt. The compound is not well guarded and under the cover of invisibility Urtar and Aurelia are easily able to infiltrate asylum. They recover a ring of keys from the Nivolo's office and use it to unlock the gate barring access to the patient's cells. Once they arrive at the cell Tomasz tells them that the he won't tell the adventurers anything until they help him escape, and that he wants to be taken out of the asylum so he can help his mother who he claims is a high priestess of the Feasters of the Heart. Urtar and Aurelia consider the offer briefly before deciding they'll break the man out of the asylum. Using another invisibility spell they guide Tomasz out of the asylum. Urtar threatens him with a stunning blow if he makes even the slightest noise, but Tomasz stays well behaved as the adventurers help him escape.

 

Once outside the rest of the party is a bit shocked at three people returning from the asylum, but they adapt quickly and head back to Gerhart's home to learn more what Tomasz knows. Once the party is back at Gerhat's home they examine Tomasz for wounds and Vincent realizes the man is a dhampir, effectively a half-human and half-vampire. He also realizes the wounds on his face appear to almost as if someone has turned the skin around his eyes to putty and smeared it about. After conferring with Feda they realize with a simple surgery they could cure his blindness. When asked what did this to his eyes, Tomasz tells them that two of the orderlies turned into spindly green skinned humanoids with moldy flesh and tortured him in the asylum. Tomasz says the Thistles should kill all the orderlies and remove the monstrosities from town. Tomasz also tells the party how to be recruited to the cult, they must wear black robes and be at a large Menhir about half a mile down the coast at midnight during a new moon. The party realizes that Tomasz is really unstable, but that he truly believes everything he has told the party. Deciding that it is the best source of information they have, the party buys robes and prepares for the quick journey to the Menhir.

 

When they arrive there are already four other people waiting who are clearly not from the cult. The four of them huddle nervously in the dark night under the Menhir. Each introduces themselves and all seem to hope the cult can offer some sort of solution for their individual problems. One is a haughty noble who seems excited to be involved with whatever debauchery the cult offers, which causes Jaren and Vincent to instantly start throwing snark at him. Aurelia, disguised as Avisa, quickly apologizes for her rude courtiers. Soon thereafter another man wearing dark robes and carrying a lantern comes to the Menhir and bids the group to follow him to prove their devotion to the feasters of the heart. The party returns to the forge, which shocks no one since the Thistles were already eyeing it as the likely cult location due to the nefarious rumors. As they enter the forge Feda realizes that the room they're in only covers about half the size of the building. The group of initiates are encircled by black robed figures and asked to swear their devotion to Lissala. Each of their group is asked to receive the brand of Lissala which is delivered by a white hot glowing brand pulled from the foundry's trough of melted metal. Tomasz quickly volunteers and before the party can stop him he they hear a searing hiss as the hot metal is pressed into his flesh. Despite the smell of burning flesh, Tomasz doesn't let out any cries of pain and seems jubilant to finally be getting nearer to his mother's cult. Everyone else in the group of the initiates refuses the brand except for the noble Sali and another human female named Eliza. Both of them receive the brand and claim to feel stronger after receiving a writhing brand in the shape of a Sihedron rune.

 

Next, the group is bid to walk in to the forge after proclaiming their devotion to Lissala. Tomasz again leaps to volunteer proclaiming his devotion to his mother and Lissala before charging into the forge. The door clangs shut and the party quickly hears screams, but not of pain instead it sounds like he is joyously singing praises to Lissala. Other members of the initiates slowly file through and stand in the forge after proclaiming their devotion to Lissala. Aurelia notices that there are runes around the doorway that seem to cast a protection from fire spell as soon as you enter. She suspects it is keyed to someone proclaiming their devotion to Lissala before entering. Feda also proclaims her devotion to Lissala, but instantly feels the sacred connection she has as an exalted of Torag fade. However, when she enters the forge she is protected from the flame. She does however take the time to cast a number of buffs on herself using her silent rod to escape detection. Vincent is the last to enter and tells the hooded figures that they know who he truly serves in his heart and then promptly walks into the inferno of the furnace. The runes do no protect him, and he suffers in the blistering forge for the 30 seconds. He resorts to using Sarenrae's magic to heal himself and walks out a secret door in the back of the forge mostly uninjured.

 

He joins the rest of the initiates in a small 20 × 20 room where he is greeted by a different robed figure. The figure applauds them all for pledging their devotion and showing their faith by walking through the flame. He then gives them five minutes to pick the weakest and strongest amongst them before joining the Feasters of the Heart. Tomasz instantly proclaims himself as the strongest and most devoted. Nora, one of the four townspeople from the Menhir, volunteers to be the weakest but the Thistles outvote her and Jaren volunteers. The party strongly suspects whoever is the weakest is going to be sacrificed so they feel more comfortable sending Jaren who can watch after himself. Feda uses the final charge of her silent rod to cast a resist energy communal on the party in case they have to head back through the furnace. The session ends with the feaster returning and having the party put thick canvas bags over their heads. They are escorted to another room with Tomasz and Jaren being split off on their own.

 

DM Notes:

  • I wasn't as prepared as I'd prefer for this adventure. I thought I'd already had the foundry fully setup with NPCs, but forgot to setup the tokens. Luckily, we ended right before that would have been a problem.
  • I was proud of Vincent's player for not bowing to the peer pressure and staying devoted to Sarenrae. Feda's player really wanted to do so also, but decided that Feda would of tried to stay undercover.

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • -

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Rescue Tomasz from the Asylum
  • Walking into the Forge

 

 

End Date: Sarenith 9

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Session Thirty-Eight
We're mad for asylums

Present Players:  Vincent, {Late}Purrcival, Eydan, Aurelia, Jaren

 

Session Notes:

During their recovery week the Thistles spend some time around Magnimar and Sandpoint healing from their wounds and taking a break from their recent life of adventure. Vincent heads back to Sandpoint to check how Ameiko and her new cat are getting along. He brings a gift, a mechanical songbird from Pug's Contraptions. Skivver seems to have claimed the home and seems happy with the new situation. Vincent catches up with small town life, and is happy to hear that nothing of particular note has been happening after the recent spate of murders. After spending only a day in Sandpoint he heads back to Magnimar. The rest of the Thistles stay back in Magnimar and get more familiar with the city. Jaren takes the opportunity to retrain some of his combat styles and finally gets the appointment with the curator of the Museum of Ages. Sharwith, the half-elf intern, that Jaren and Vincent initially meet when visiting the museum is happy to claim credit for the appointment. Jaren and Vincent get the feeling that Sharwith doesn't get much credit for his work around the museum and is a bit attention starved. They are shown to an impressive office that may have once have had the hectic look of a true academic, but now more closely resembles the office of an elected official. However, when  Doctor Landis does finally return to his office Jaren is impressed by the man's knowledge. He recognizes the sword as the ancient blade, Celestial Fury. He gives Jaren a brief history on the sword, and he is able to recommend a few further avenues of research that may prove fruitful. Specifically he wonders if more information could be found from researching the Marilith the demon statue represented or if the dragon that imbued the blade with power is perhaps still around though it would be a truly ancient creature by now. After giving them a bit more info Doctor Landis is excited to offer Jaren the chance to donate the blade to the museum, but Jaren decides to hold onto the blade since he still has some use for it. Doctor Landis insists that he could easily write it into his will that the museum gets the blade in the event of his untimely death but Jaren insists that's not necessary. Doctor Landis settles for getting sketches of the blade and sketching Jaren posing with the blade. He is excited to write a report detailing how the blade was recovered and its current owner for other academics who have interest in ancient artifacts. Aurelia takes her week a bit more slowly by spending time around town at various shops and investigating the monuments around the city. She is very pleased to find one that seems to stave off any seasickness for the duration of a voyage expecting it might prove very useful for the upcoming trip to Palin's Cove. Eydan spends some nights in debauchery around Magnimar but eventually decides to stay in Sandpoint to look after Thistletop rather than investigating the cult in Palin's Cove. Feda spends her downtime crafting a beautiful suit of full plate armor. Jyronn agrees to provide any sending spells needed if anything happens in Thistletop, and the rest of the party plans to use their wondrous figurine to send messages back to Eydan. 

 

At the end of their down week the party has a lavish feast with Lord-Mayor Grobaras. He promptly faints when he hears that the Brotherhood of the Seven was looking to assassinate, but once he recovers the Lord-Mayor grants the party individual bags of gold (though he is a bit lost when he realizes that Eydan is missing, and with a shrug sends it over to "Sir" Purrcival). Purrcival is understandably excited by his new title, but a rather stern looking man quickly assures him that it was a term of endearment and he is in no way a knight of the realm. The trip to Palin's Cove is surprisingly easy for the party as the Cathedral of Abadar uses its vast number of contacts among the merchant ships to get them passage. Once they arrive at Palin's Cove it quickly meets their expectations of a full own industrial town who's most notable features are a constant haze in the air and a hacking cough among the majority of the residents. The Thistles head over to the Church of Abadar where they meet the Pathfinder that Jyronn mentioned prior to leaving Magnimar. They find a very large man who is nearly bald besides a long white ponytail, and the man loudly introduces himself Urtar, a servant of Irori. After a brief round of introductions the party heads off to meet their contact Gerhart. Gerhart meets them at the Baited Hook Inn, and he is a grizzled old Pathfinder missing his right arm. He explains the party's cover story for the party. Avisa Dmitrov is a daughter of a minor noble house with a reputation of being rich, amoral, and none too bright. Aurelia agrees to play the part of Avisa and the rest of the party will be her bodyguards and various court members trying to gain favor. The party spends the next couple of days gathering rumors around town and hears a number of concerning rumors. There are rumors to a secret shrine devoted to an ancient goddess of love, but when the old maid is pressed for more information she doesn’t know if that is a deity of true love or something closer to lust. There are a couple of very concerning rumors about a woman gone missing, but the party quickly guesses that this could be the Pathfinder that went missing prior to the arrival. Other rumors consist of bodies being found drained of blood and people disappearing or going to the town's foundry and hardly leaving work. Finally, there are a number of rumors swirling around the town's asylum and the fact that a noble lady Milena Talich supposedly visits regularly. When they arrive the party is met by a clammy, creepy man who introduces himself as Nivolo Belodia, the resident alienist. He guides Aurelia by the hand to his office (his hand is cold and vaguely damp), and is eventually convinced by the party to give a tour of the facilities. When he insists they can't bring weapons or holy symbols the party agree to just Aurelia and Urtar for the tour. The asylum is not nearly as well maintained as the one near Sandpoint, and the patients look as if they are barely being taken care of. The tour eventually arrives at the cell of Tomasz Kosta who's eyes are completely scabbed over with layers of scars. The madman insists that he is visited at night by his mother who is a high priestess of the moon, and he claims that she will soon reach her full power and free him from this asylum. He seems scared of Nivolo who insists that they should continue and quickly ends the tour after the encounter. With a final clammy kiss to the back of Aurelia's hand, Nivolo insists that the party should go as he has to get back to caring for his patients.

 

Celestial Fury History:

"Celestial Fury was crafted long ago, before even the Runelords ruled the lands. The blade's initial purpose was to slay a silver dragon that roamed the skies calling down lightning and thunder on the wicked, but when the warlord attempted to slay the creature the dragon proved the stronger. It added the beautiful blade to its horde and the sword stayed there for centuries. In what the dragon considered an amusing twist of fate it fed the blade with its own power to enable the righteous to more effectively battle against evil. Eventually the silver dragon fell in love with a human warrior. The dragon bequeathed the blade to the warrior and it once again entered the realm's history. "

 

 

DM Notes:

  • Eydan's character took me up on the character swap offer and came in with an Oread Monk, Urtar.
  • The party is getting real distrustful of asylums.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • 750 Gold Each

 

End Date: Sarenith 8

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Session Thirty-Seven
Leaping Lamias

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Eydan, Feda, Aurelia, Jaren

 

Party reaches Level 7

 

Session Notes:

After being surprised by a Lamia appearing out of nowhere and the party finally getting out of the bag the battle joins in earnest. The gods were not with the party as they were sullied by relatively weak healing magics which allowed Xanesha to keep the upper hand at first with Jaren being nauseated by Xanesha's enchanted spear and Feda being left with crushing despair in the aftermath of the magic. However, luck quickly turned on the lamia as Jaren repeatedly ignored her five mirror images and hit with devastating blow after devastating blow. Vincent manages to skirt the edges of the battle and bring Eydan back to consciousness before death could snatch him. Vincent even managed to protect the archer from Xanesha's attack using his shield to block any errant spearing. With Eydan rejoined in the battle and making good use of his seeking bow to also ignore the mirror images Xanesha is forced to retreat by jumping off of the tower. As she is falling she casts feather fall, but is unable to turn invisible thanks to an earlier glitter dust form Purrcival. The range is no issue for Eydan and Aurelia who continue to rain pain down on the fleeing snake but Jaren is frustrated with his inability to follow. Feda comes to the rescue by tossing Jaren her snapleaf which turns him invisible and enables him to also benefit from a feather fall spell. She tries to prolong her life with a sanctuary spell which stymies Eydan's arrow storm, but Aurelia and Jaren pay it no heed and continue to blast and slash at the monster. This assault proves too much for the Lamia and she is vanquished with a final slash from Jaren's enchanted blade.

 

After the excitement is over and the party heals up they spend some time looting. In an impressive display, Vincent joins Jaren down at the base of the tower using his magical boots to leap from the tower. Jaren manages the gathering crowd while Vincent fetches some support from the Cathedral of Abadar. The cathedral brings in support and helps manage the scene while the rest of the party carefully escape the top of the tower. They reconvene with Jyronn at the temple to discuss what went down and the party's next steps. From Xanesha's stash they managed to recover a few different burned notes from a brazier, and with the help of some divine magic are able to fully repair the notes. One describes a cult in Palin's Cove known as the Feasters of the Heart that seems to be applauding the Lamia's efforts in Magnimar, and the cult is seemingly in the process of bringing a second Runelord back to life. The other note is from someone calling Xanesha sister, and is bragging about their own efforts in the small town of Turtleback Ferry. The note also makes mention that there was a plot to murder Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras, but that has seemingly been put to rest with the destruction of the Brotherhood of the Seven and Xanesha.

 

The party spends the next few days taking a break from their recent hectic life of adventure to do some training and to continue to decipher the notes from Judge Ironbriar's ledger. They eventually do get it translated and it confirms that he has been a guilty party leading the Brotherhood of the Seven his entire tenure as a judge. It goes on to say that he was involved with the Vorel Foxglove and recently made a tidy sum of gold by selling something known as 'Vorel's Legacy' to the Red Mantis Assassins though the purpose is unknown. The session ends with the party having a meeting with the Lord-Mayor and a trip to Palin's Cove in their future

 

DM Notes:

  • The book's climatic battle went pretty well. The dice were definitely helping the players a bit with some real unlucky mirror image rolls and Xanesha spending at least a couple of rounds being completely useless with a spear, but sometimes the dice gods can be fickle beasts.
  • I offered everyone a chance to swap characters and retrain a bit between books just in case someone was growing bored with a character. In my experience, it is a lot easier to swap a character between adventures rather than having someone suddenly become suicidal in the middle of a book.

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • 33,000 Copper
  • 8,100 Silver
  • 900 Gold
  • 100 Platinum
  • Assorted Jewelry (Mostly Silver and Emerald) 4,200 Gold
  • Four Potions of Cure Moderate Wounds
  • Ring of the Osprey
  • Golembane Scarab
  • Enduring Bloom Morningstar
  • Boots of Escape
  • Medusa Mask
  • Impaler of Thorns
  • Snakeskin Tunic
  • Partially burned notes in small brazier

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Xanesha and 4 Faceless Stalkers

 

End Date: Desnus 31~

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Session Thirty-Six
Danger o' Clock

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Eydan, Feda, Aurelia, Jaren

 

Session Notes:

Out of the hay charges a large golem seemingly sewn together of various human parts with thick wire and rope. It lays into Eydan staggering him with heavy blows. Purrcival realizes it is some strange sort of flesh golem and tells the party to use fire to slow the creature down. With the knowledge fire slows the creature Aurelia and Feda make it sluggish while the rest of the party whales on it with their blows. The creature's tough hide stops some of the damage, but they soon batter it down despite its bulk. Rather than searching the first floor they decide to continue upward to preserve the most time they can from  their buff spells. Eydan is turned invisible by Aurelia, and he scouts the stairs that lead up into the tower. The stairs wrap around the inside of the tower but are poorly constructed and have not aged well over the Shadow Clock's lifespan. Eydan quickly moves upward but soon finds a 20 foot gap of stairs missing. He lets the party know and then manages to nimbly leap the gap with the help of his magic ring of jumping. Feda not fancying a jump searches the first floor, but comes up empty besides a moldy leather pouch from the flesh golem's haystack.

 

Continuing upward Eydan manages to find an area where the stairs have completely collapsed. While he investigates this a large snap is heard from the top of the tower and one of the four large bells that were at the top of the clocktower plummets toward the party. It luckily misses the squishy party members, but Jaren takes it on the chin and then falls some seventy feet to the ground as the large bell collapses the stairs beneath the fighter. After the dust settles Jaren manages to brush himself off not that much worse for wear, but he recommends the others take the stairs instead of the fast trip down. The rest of the party heads back down, but Eydan does manage to snap a shot off at the silhouette that dropped the bell. It lets out a strangle whistling shriek as the arrow hits home and the party recognizes it as another one of the faceless stalkers. The party regroup downstairs and debate their next steps. Eventually they vote against leaving the tower to get outside help because they are worried whoever is at the top of the tower may escape. They eventually agree to turn Jaren and Eydan invisible and smuggle the rest of the party in a bag of holding. With the benefits of the monkey fish wand the two of them manage to easily scale the tower's crumbling limestone walls and at the top they find a very bored looking faceless stalker slowly running his fingers through the whirls and whorls that makeup the creature's face. Jaren has a quick internal debate about kicking it off the tower but decides that getting the party out is more important and bypass the creature. The next level of the tower is accessed by using a rough stairwell built into the upper levels of the tower. The level appears to be part rookery and part machinery, and inside Jaren hears more of the strange faceless stalkers talking. Eydan and Jaren again bypass the fight and head to the top of the tower. At the top they search but don't find anything besides the pillows and silk behind an angelic statue that has a more malicious tint to it with the age and moss that grows on it.

 

Eventually Jaren decides it is safe and begins pulling out party members from the bag of holding. It is a long process since the bag is overfilled with weight. He first draws Aurelia is still invisible from earlier, she silently crawls out seeing that her party members are still hidden. Next is Purrcival who is not invisible and when he hits the floor and sees himself on alone on the tower he is given pause which quickly turns to panic as a strange half snake half human woman appears out of nowhere. It reveals itself just as the spell it was casting finishes and Aurelia (invisibly) falls into a deep slumber next to her party. Jaren itches to join the fight but continues slowly drawing the rest of the party as Eydan breaks his invisibility with a volley of arrows. Purrcival gets away from the dangerous snake lady and begins his comedy routine. Finally, Jaren gets the two clerics out of the bag and prepares to join the fight about the time when the faceless stalkers from below show up to the battle. The lamia tries to turn Purrcival to stone using her magical mask, but the cat resists the effects with an effort of fortitude. Surrounded, the faceless stalkers manage to knock Eydan unconscious while the rest of the party groups up to facedown the Lamia.

 

DM Notes:

  • I intentionally delayed the party from having easy flight to see how they'd figure out the tower. They managed to do so pretty well, but them staying invisibility to so long made the fight on the roof harder.
  • The Lamia was invisible waiting after the bell drop and neither group could perceive the other which made for an awkward few moments as Jaren and Eydan scoped it out.
  • I didn't even get to use the Major Image the book suggests the Lamia use to distract the party, but that's good because illusions in combat can be awkward.
  • This fight is going to be pretty tough, the Lamia got a few more rounds than expected since the party had to slowly extract from the bag of holding

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Coins from the moldy leather sack (128 Gold Pieces, 309 Silver Pieces)
  • A tarnished silver ring (75 Gold)
  • A silver mirror (50 Gold)

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Scarecrow, Awakened Flesh Golem
  • Falling Bell Trap
  • Shadow Clock Climb

 

End Date: Desnus 26

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Session Thirty-Five
Temple Panic

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Eydan, Feda, Aurelia, Jaren

 

Session Notes:

After the battle, the Thistles gather the defeated foes (dead and unconscious alike) and try to determine their next steps. Vincent and Feda make it a priority to investigate the unconscious man upstairs and they're mostly able to determine that the man is alive and suffering from … something. A few spells later they are able to restore some consciousness with a lesser restoration spell, and a follow up spell to delay curses seems to bring the man fully conscious. He introduces himself as Xyn and explains he was just coming out of the Mermaid's Tit with some big winnings when he got jumped by some strangely dressed people. When the party presents a Skinsaw Mask to him he nods enthusiastically that they were the culprits. He doesn't remember much and once he realizes what the party had to fight through to get him he agrees to agree to whatever story the party wants. The Thistles quickly realize that this guy is not the best of witnesses but beggars can't be choosers. They loot the rest of the Lumber Mill finding an iron box that they open with the key from Justice Ironbriar's corpse. Inside there are a number of books and a coded combination journal and ledger. As a whole the party recognizes the letters making up the journal, but it will take some serious study to learn anything of value from it. Xyn is very concerned about his winnings from the Mermaid's Tit, but there is no sign of the "large" sum of gold he assures he had won. The party puts their collective brains to work and eventually decide all the victims have shared some sort of greedy nature, and they decide that there must be a Runelord of Greed just like there has been Runelords of Wrath and Pride. They don't know how the Runelord may be involved, but they at least have a prime suspect/motive around why the murders have been happening in Sandpoint and Magnimar.

 

Feda, Vincent, and Xyn head to the Church of Abadar to involve a more "lawful" authority, but when they are greeted by a balding cleric of the temple and ask for Paladin Garen they get the sense that he is suddenly very nervous. The cleric explains Paladin Garen hasn't been seen since early this week when he escorted a group of adventurers banished by Justice Ironbriar out of the city. The cleric tells them to wait right here while he goes to see if anyone has heard from Garen, but wise clerics quickly see through this ruse and scamper before guards are called. Eydan is extremely disappointed by this turn of events and decides to go with them to the next temple. The party decides Desna may be a good choice and head over a couple of districts. However, when they arrive at the Temple of Desna they quickly realize that the acting head priest is in way over her head. Priestess Vanis is very excited to help (after some convincing) but admits she doesn't really know what she is doing as the current head priest is on pilgrimage (It is the month of Desnus, holy to Desna after all). Eventually, the party escalates it to the current leader of the Cathedral of Abadar. Proctor Jyronn shows up and hears the party's tale. He believes them and comes to investigate the Lumber Mill. He agrees the issue is serious and pledges whatever aid he can offer. He gets a number of guards from the Cathedral to keep the scene from being tampered with by anyone, and locks the still living cult members in the Cathedral's prison for later. He lets the party stay at the Cathedral with his blessings and the next day creates them an enchanted meal to gird them for battle. He also enchants the party's non-clerics with a  status spell so he can know there whereabouts throughout the day.

 

The party heads back to the Lumber Mill after the meal and release one of the ravens to determine their destination. They see it fly under the Irespan and land at the Shadow Clock. Vincent and Purrcival tell the party what they know of the decrepit clock. It is allegedly haunted and the city has banned anyone from entering after numerous deaths from people trying to explore the structure (allegedly from falling). They head over to the Shadow Clock and investigate the area. Eydan manages to hear something inside that sounds like a rock being crushed under something huge, but when they get the door open he doesn't see anything looming. He tells the party he saw some hay at the lumber mill that shows signs of a large creature resting under it and suspects it now lives here but is unable to spot it. The creature quickly reveals itself as Eydan gets further in the room, a large golem with a scythe charges from cover!

 

DM Notes:

  • I'm glad the party didn't jump right towards the next encounter. I prefer to balance the sessions so that we don't have full sessions of combat back to back.
  • The party has started the process of earning a valuable ally in Proctor Jyronn, not so much with Vanis.
  • Eydan and the golem playing hide and seek was a near thing. That golem was lucky it invested in a Cloak of Elvenkind.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Books of a historical nature, sea charts, rock etchings, maps (Useful for Knowledge Geography / History in some cases)
  • "Forgotten" Schools of magic Alchymyc (Aurelia and Purrcival quickly debunk it as drivel)
  • Fine painting depicting a city carved from a vast frozen waterfall with towering ice cathedrals and domes (200 GP)
  • Wizard's Spellbook
  • The Syrpents Tane: Fairy Tales of the Eldest (500 GP)
  • Ironbriar's Journal

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Social Challenges: Cathedral of Abadar

 

End Date: Desnus 26

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Session Thirty-Four
Rumble in the Lumber Mill

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Eydan, Feda, Aurelia, Jaren

 

Session Notes:

After dropping a fireball and fleeing via gravity, Aurelia regroups with Eydan on the first floor of the lumber mill. The cultists take a moment to recover and take the much slower route of actually using the stairs, and during that time Eydan and Aurelia ready themselves. The rest of the party hearing the commotion begin running down the street to join the brawl. Eventually the cultists make it downstairs to be greeted by another empowered fireball from Aurelia and a volley of arrows from Eydan. The two of them are hard pressed as the cultists push into the room with almost all of them showing a duplicate image weaving in and out making targeting tricky. From the second floor Aurelia hears chanting and soon two lemures join the battle on the side of the cultists. As the rest of the party arrives Feda makes an opening in the mill wall using a wood shape spell so they can assist more quickly. Aurelia gets extremely low but manages to survive a volley of attacks thanks to her mirror image spell. She is split off from the rest of her allies throughout the fight,  but eventually manages to cast an invisibility on herself to escape. Eydan gets abused by a few of the cultists spell making him drop his bow, and then Justice Ironbriar himself drops a suggestion spell on Eydan urging him to flee to the city. Feda attempts to dispel the suggestion, but Ironbriar's magic is too strong. She does however manage to suppress it with another of her divine blessings. Tsuto manages to pepper the Thistles with arrows, but is quickly removed from the fight when Feda summons her ancestral spirits to harry him off the battle. The two spiritual dwarves quickly render the archer unconscious. Purrcival manages to keep the party's spirits buoyed by his bardic magic but his tune takes an odd turn as Ironbriar drops a confusion on the party using the inherent magic of his mask. When the first confusion doesn't take hold on everyone he uses the same item again which manages to confuse Jaren. However, he also tags a number of his own minions causing them to battle with themselves and babble incoherently. Jaren during his confusion smashes his sword into Feda, threatening a critical hit but she manages to interpose her armor to avert the majority of the damage. With his minions mostly destroyed Justice Ironbriar attempts to make an escape using the river and a potion of water breathing, but the party is not ready to let him escape so easily. Feda casts an air bubble spell on Aurelia and Aurelia uses her wand of monkeyfish to follow the fleeing cleric. However, her plans are interrupted a bit when Ironbriar dispels the air bubble spell. Jaren tries to stop the fleeing cleric, but falls victim to a hold person spell while in the water. The party reacts quickly to save the sinking warder, but he manages to resist the spell on the following round. Vincent summons an electric eel to chase the slow moving cleric of Norgerbor. While the rest of the party is chasing Ironbriar, Purrcival is left fending off a few of the remaining cultists. He is harried back and forth across the docks but manages to survive despite his own confusion thanks to the cultists babbling and his own mirror image spell. Once Ironbriar is too far underwater to pincushion, Eydan turns to assist the catfolk ducking and dodging under the war razors. Ironbriar does eventually fall to the combination of Aurelia, Jaren, and a persistent electric eel. Jaren lands the final blow with a critical hit on the river's muddy floor killing Ironbriar despite the difficulty of the swing.

 

DM Notes:

  • This was a really long fight. The clerics being able to make user of their trickery domain hampered the weapon users, and the spellcasters weren't able to get great angles beyond the first couple if fireballs Aurelia dropped
  • Aurelia got really low, and I think her player got to appreciate the wonders of Mirror Image.
  • Eydan also got really low and fell victim to a couple of will saving throws, but he got over to the rest of the party a little easier than Aurelia.
  • Confusion AoE was pretty great, Purrcival's saving finale stopped it from going real bad for the party but it worked well enough to get the party nervous.
  • Ironbriar was so close to escape but the party was really persistent and got some really good perception rolls. Feda's player expected the fight might get towards the river so she came prepared for that prospect much to the party's benefit.
  • The dice were not totally on Jaren's side this session so the mooks got to survive a lot longer than usual

 

Rewards / Loot:

Masterwork War Razor

Lumber Mill

Hand Crossbow

Lumber Mill

Leather Armor

Lumber Mill

Skinsaw Mask

Lumber Mill

Mithral Chain Shirt

Lumber Mill

Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds

Lumber Mill

Masterwork Buckler

Lumber Mill

Masterwork Short Sword

Lumber Mill

Masterwork Hand Crossbow

Lumber Mill

Bolts (poisoned with… something?)

Lumber Mill

Reaper's Mask

Lumber Mill

Masterwork Composite Longbow (+1)

Lumber Mill

Iron Key (D7)

Lumber Mill

Various Coin Purses and Pouches

Lumber Mill

Masterwork Padded Armor

Lumber Mill

Holy Symbol to Norgorber

Lumber Mill

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Tsuto
  • 13 Skinsaw Cultists
  • 1 Cleric of Norgorber
  • 1 Justice Ironbriar

 

End Date: Desnus 25 (Oathday)

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Session Thirty-Three
Boom goes the Sorceress

Present Players:  Vincent, Purrcival, Eydan, Feda, Aurelia

 

Session Notes:

Outside of Magnimar the party regroups and decides to send everyone except Eydan back to Sandpoint. Eydan is going to lay low and scout out the lumber mill until the next Oathday to see if he can learn anything more from the comings and goings. Using his skills at stealth and the magical hat of disguise he loiters around the mill for a few days. During that time it seems to operate pretty normally for a mill of its size, there are two main shifts that change at morning and dusk. He does notice a rookery at the top of the mill that sometimes sends out ravens, but he hasn't been able to track their location beyond somewhere to the northwest. After a number of boring days staking the place, Eydan notices a familiar face behind a well done disguise. He recognizes the half-elf Tsuto that the party last fought below the Glassworks at Sandpoint. He was supposed to be spending the remainder of his life in Hell (Magnimar's prison), but it looks after being taken from Sandpoint by Elthon, Justice Ironbriar's lieutenant, he was released for some reason. At this point Eydan is pretty convinced that Justice Ironbriar is guilty of something, but still lacks evidence. He trails Tsuto to a tavern but Tsuto is able to see through his disguise. Eydan and Tsuto try to avoid making a scene, and Tsuto manages to leave the tavern first. He quickly heads back to the lumber mill, and when the next shift change happens at dusk no one comes out but all the normal workers go in. Concerned, Eydan regroups with the party and they prepare their next plan.

 

By this point the rest of the party has returned to Magnimar from a quick excursion to Sandpoint. Feda brings Eydan his newly improved bow, now enchanted with a seeking enchantment. Eydan updates the group with what is happening and they go to survey the now lumber mill. The party begins to stake out the mill hoping to see what they do now that they know Eydan is in the area and to see if the meeting happens at midnight as predicted by the note from Foxglove Manor. Eventually they hear the mill machinery spin down (not off, but clearly not in use) which Eydan notes is unusual. Midnight comes and goes, but there is no new activity at the mill. The party confers, and they decide to have Eydan and Aurelia scout it out. Aurelia casts her invisibility spell and Eydan uses his natural stealth talents to search the mill. It is bizarrely empty until Aurelia checks the very top floor. There she finds a large group of cultists listening to Justice Ironbriar giving a speech on the glory of Father Skinsaw and talking of how the murders they commit will change the path of the city. The two Thistles retreat and inform the party. They debate storming the sawmill, but hold off to see if they can gather more evidence. Aurelia heads back in and as she returns to the top floor she sees Justice Ironbriar about to plunge a dagger into an unconscious man on a table. She tosses an empowered fireball blowing up a group of the cultists to stop the murder, then jumps down the stairs (taking a hefty fall in the progress). The session ends with initiative being rolled.

 

DM Notes:

  •  The session slowed down a lot midway which I prefer to avoid. It didn't help the party was split up so it became focused on Eydan for most the session and left the other players a bit bored.
  • Aurelia got a high note in using her magic to sneak in and then (hopefully) save the bound man from  a group of cultists.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Nothing of note, Eydan paid Feda to get his bow enchanted with Seeking

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Stakeout Rolls

 

End Date: Desnus 25 (Oathday)

 

 

 

 

 

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