Rise of the Runelords

Session Twenty-Nine
Hail Mary Arrow

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

 

Session Notes:

The session kicks off with the party in the midst of combat with a handful of wyverns and the half-dragon scrag, Black Maw. Jaren is in the thick of it surrounded by a couple of wyverns and Vile Maw. He manages to weather the first charge of the creatures and giving them a few painful slices with his blade as he lunges forward to meet charges. The wyverns are largely ineffectual, but Vile Maw is able to land a number of painful hits. He summons the spirits from his haunted boots to cover himself in twisting ghostlike fog. The concealment makes it more difficult for his enemies to tie him up. Feda is able to blind a few of the enemies with divine radiance allowing Jaren more time to recover, and Purrcival piles on the crowd control effects by causing Vile Maw to go wild with laughter. The hideous laughter spell doesn't last long but effectively removes the troll from the fight as the party continues to rush toward the melee. Aurelia lends plenty of artillery by throwing a combination of fireballs and magic missiles, further enhancing her own power with her magic mask's ability. Jaren is not to be outdone and lands a number of critical strikes on his foes. When Vile Maw tries to rush for the nearby river to active his regenerative abilities he stumbles to the ground due to blindness. The scrag uses his draconic heritage to further his life a bit a longer by casting shields of force with his minor arcane talent. It isn't enough and soon he falls which causes the wyverns to send one of their members back to the nest as the rest battle to the death. Eydan stands strong as one of the creatures attempts to pin him down, but he is nimbly able to weave around and continue to pepper his enemies with piercing arrows. The fleeing wyvern is able to get into the air quickly, but a combination of long range spells from Vincent and Aurelia and the wyvern's poor flying ability manages to slow the creature. The spells delay the creature long enough for Eydan to get down to the docks where he is faced with a shot at the extreme range of his bow. The wyvern is roughly 520 feet offshore of the island when Eydan gets one final chance to drop it before the creature escapes the parties range. He lobs three arcing arrows out across the water and the first strikes true dropping the creature into the sea and stopping the wyvern's master from learning their fate.

 

By this time the rest of the party has gathered at the docks and the villagers surround the party. The villagers have vastly different opinions on the Thistles killing the envoy of the dragons. Some of them are relieved that they will no longer be paying tribute to creatures that have never provided much. However, there is roughly an equal number enraged by the party stepping in and killing the village's guardians. Loby leads this faction and seems to be trying to convince the villagers to mob the adventurers for vengeance, but Jaren is able to deliver a speech explaining the adventurer's reasoning and proclaiming they are now free to live their lives without the threat of this protection racket. With the help of Vincent and Purrcival he is able to sway enough of the villagers that Loby can't convince them to act. She continues to rant but is further shut down by Eydan suggesting she may have been working with the dragons and getting kickbacks. That is the final straw and she leaves outraged. Mesym and Vare seem much calmer about their new situation and the people go back to The Foolish Pilgrim to discuss their new situation. Feda discusses setting up a trade agreement between Thistletop and Batun since Sandpoint has such a dim view of the thorp. They are both open to the ideal and discuss it to some depth with the dwarven cleric. The next morning the party heads to Malia's hut to deal with the business of the reincarnation.

 

Malia is pleased by the Thistles dealing with the dragon's envoy, and doesn't seem concerned about any repercussions from the dragons themselves. She is very familiar with the dragon's hierarchy and explains it to the party. The Dragon's Punchbowl is the lair of an ancient black dragon by the name of Scarhorn. Scarhorn has lived at the punchbowl for at least five hundred years, but makes a point to not attract attention to her lair. She doesn't raid any villages or ships within a day's flight of her home and generally tries to keep a low profile to avoid dragon hunters. However, her younger brother Black Fang was much more rambunctious and continually attempting to make a name for himself. Black Fang was the sire of Black Maw, and would likely be very angry about his murder. However, he has recently been kicked out of the Dragon's Punchbowl because he attacked a merchant ship near Sandpoint recently. His sister Scarhorn forced him to find a new lair and he is busily trying to set himself up in a new location. Malia was unsure where his new lair was, but she doubts he is going to be interacting with Batun in the near future. Black Maw was planning to continue living at the Dragon's Punchbowl by offering the tribute to Scarhorn rather than Black Fang, but Malia doubts Scarhorn would have been very pleased with the attention that entailed. As long as the party doesn't make a point of bragging about murdering Scarhorn's kin they are likely safe from her attention.

 

The reincarnation ritual goes well afterwards. Lettie is brought back in the form of a Deep Gnome and seems to be tickled to just be alive. She spends some time getting used to her new form, seeming to be particularly amazed by her new short height and minor magical talents the form inherited. After giving her some time to get used to the form the party heads back to Sandpoint via water walk with hopes of letting Horren see his wife's new body.

 

DM Notes:

  • The party was able to effectively neuter Black Maw's DPS. He would of probably been able to kill someone if he had been able to full attack for a couple of rounds unimpeded.
  • The wyvern flight was a nice epic wrap-up, though I did find out later the wyvern should of lost altitude but not straight fallen. I think the falling made for a better story so not too concerned that we misplayed a rule.
  • The party kept a lot of the loot but returned the rest to the village not feeling right about taking it.
  • I'm glad Lettie got a decent form and not something truly weird on the reincarnation table
  • The party has yet to revisit the main plot, but really in game not much time has passed so that's probably fine. As a DM I actually enjoy side quests since it gives me a chance to be a bit more creative, but I have to be aware of the main plot thread and make sure it doesn't "pause" unrealistically while the party is distracted. 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Bag of Holding III
  • Silver Raven Figurine of Wondrous Power
  • (Strong Divination) Magic Metal Book

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Half Dragon Scrag, Black Maw
  • 6 Wyverns
  • Loby's Potential Mob
  • Reincarnation Ritual

 

End Date: Desnus 15

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Session Twenty-Eight
Wyvern uses Discern. It is Super Effective!

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

 

Session Notes:

The party prepares their spells to talk to the corpse of Lettie Guffmin the next morning at Sandpoint. The party speaks to Horran and allows him to observe the ceremony. They go into the vault that has been storing the gentle reposed corpse of Lettie and Feda casts the spell to speak with the dead. The corpse animates to answer her questions as Feda finishes the spells. Lettie comes back with a dusty gasp and Horran begins to quietly panic in the back clutching at Vincent. Lettie confirms that she does want to return to the realm of the living to once again be with her beloved husband. When asked if she would prefer to be reincarnated now or raised at some future point Lettie seems more interested in coming back immediately. With one final call to her husband that she will soon be reunited with him the corpse once again falls back to the stone bier.

 

The party then heads back over to Batun hoping to oversee this tribute and determine if they should become involved now or deal with the strange village at some future date. When they arrive the party finds a tribute setup in the small garden around the large cedar tree in the center of the village. It is being guarded by four men who huddle a bit closer to protect the treasure when the party shows up. The party stops to interrogate the men a bit, Jaren asking if they have any tales of the great protection that the dragons provide the village. The men insist of course they do, but when pressed fail to relay any convincing stories. One claims that the village's ships never get attacked by sea creatures and storms never seem to hit the island. Purrcival points out that the village is in a relatively temperate area for storms so that sounds sensible, and one of the four men seem to be a bit unsure when the leader claims ships aren't attacked. Jaren and Vincent press him a bit and he asks about the Sanderson's boat that was recently attacked. The leader assures them that they were only attacked because they were not in an area the dragons blessed. The leader of the guards doesn't really have much of a response to these comments and the party scoffs and heads over to the Foolish Pilgrim.

 

The party talks with Vare a bit deciding to split up. Eydan and Feda take Lettie's wrapped corpse to Malia's hut. The sea witch isn't present, so Feda entombs the corpse in a boulder using stone shape. Knowing the corpse is protected they once again return to the village. In the meantime Purrcival is set to guard duty in the garden around the cedar tree, but the sun is warm and he mostly naps on a comfortable stone bench. Eydan and Jaren continue their expedition to rouse the villagers to riot against the dragons. They meet with the last elder of the village, Mesym, who turns out to be the son of Malia. He agrees that the dragons are running a protection racket, but the village doesn't really have the strength of arm to throw them out. He talks a bit about his mother's past with the village, and how his father was killed when one such attempt failed. Ever since then his mother has washed her hand of the village preferring to stay on the far end of the island. They talk a bit longer before heading over to the Foolish Pilgrim for drinks. The party spends a night with Vare sleeping in the inn.

 

The next morning Vare cooks the party up a nice breakfast and it isn't long before a hubbub is heard in the street. The wyverns that signify the arrival of the dragon's scions have arrived and perch in the tree high above the village. Soon afterwards an extravagantly dressed Loby shows up to receive Vare's tributes. She is wearing a ridiculous helm that is easily 8 inches tall with a scaly covering topped off by two drift wood horns carved into curving horns. Eydan having not met Loby before scoffs at her outfit and does his usual job of charming the woman. She takes Vare's tribute and leaves in a huff.

 

Soon after the majority of the village is waiting around the tribute. Eydan hides in the crowd and as far as the party can tell the Wyverns don't seem to track his movements, but as soon as the rest of the party leaves the inn the creatures track them visually and begin to converse in some hissing language. Purrcival notices which causes Feda and him to retreat back to the inn to converse with Vincent who is staying back (due to his golden arms and armor). Jaren decides to stay out by the tribute near the front of the crowd to get a read on this Black Maw character who usually comes to take the treasure. Before long another wyvern shows up and appears to converse with the two creatures in the tree, and then it leaves shortly after a brief conversation. The crowd tenses (besides Loby who near the tribute pile seems to be ecstatic) as a large black scaled scrag comes around the corner. It has huge muscular arms and surveys the crowd with dull eyes before giving an ugly grin at the tribute pile. The creature notes Jaren as it approaches and gives him a stare down which he returns without flinching. Loby proceeds to take each piece of treasure over to the creature who slips it into a small bag at his belt. The bag seems to take in whatever treasure it is stretched over and the party recognizes it as a high level bag of holding. The creature shows some rudimentary spellcasting and detects magic on a piece of the treasure then glances at Jaren which causes Black Maw to salivate with greed. He demands that Jaren offer some tribute rather rudely, but Jaren is able to convince the slow witted creature that he may could get it more loot by talking to his employer. The dumb creature agrees to let him go off and talk to his boss, but the larger wyvern behind Black Maw lets out an angry yell in draconic telling Black Maw to not let Jaren leave (It seems that wyvern at least is smarter than Black Maw). Black Maw lets out a roar and charges at Jaren.

 

DM Notes:

  • I'm not too surprised the party is coming to blows with Black Maw. Jaren was really not approving of the racket that they were running.  Jaren very nearly convinced Black Maw to isolate himself into a more vulnerable position but the wyverns have a much better sense motive (and intelligence seemingly?) than the scrag which ruined the attempt.
  • Jaren rolled really good initiative and began to book it out of town at the start of combat, so it doesn't seem like the village will be damaged so the party did at least accomplish that goal.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Minus one Lettie Guffmin corpse

 

Challenges / Monsters:

 

End Date: Desnus 14

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Session Twenty Seven
The Hut of the Sea Witch

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

 

Session Notes:

The party heads back to Sandpoint having cleared the farmlands with the body of Lettie Guffmin, the very sick Horran Guffmin, and Maester Grump. The first order of business is for the party to drop off the ailing at the Cathedral. They explain what happened to Father Zantus and vow to make what happened to Lettie right by giving Lettie the chance to come back to life. The only hitch in the plan is that they can only afford a reincarnation, and they don't currently know of anyone who can perform such a spell. They begin planning and take a night's rest. In the morning, the majority of the party are showing various rashes and signs of disease which the two clerics promptly heal up. They also make sure that Horran is well on his way to recovery and explain their plan. He is a bit dubious at first, but agrees once the party tells him they can speak with Lettie via magic and determine her own wishes. While the rest of the party is trying to get a contact to the local druids, Feda heads to the sanitarium to make good on her promise to cure Grayst Sevilla. She is very abruptly turned away with a nervous Erin Habe telling her it is no longer necessary and no she cannot see the patient.

 

The rest of the party go and visit Niska Mvashti who has a number of contacts with the local druids. She tells them of the "Sea Witch" Malia who lives on Grubber's Hermitage. As far as she knows, Malia has been there at least as long as Sandpoint has been around. She explains that Malia is not a member of the local druid circle but she knows her through some of the more public gathering. Niska confirms that the reincarnation magic is within Malia's power, but that the party will have to convince the witch to use it. The next step is hiring a boat so the party goes to visit Turch Sterglus. It takes some convincing to visit Grubber's Hermitage; the small thorp of Batun on the island has a foul reputation around Sandpoint and Turch is worried about the witch that allegedly lives on the island. Finally Turch relents and agrees to take the short boat journey over to the island. Vincent splits from the party to do a quick delivery of a mackerel to Bethana at the Rusty Dragon asking her to feed his cat. She insists that is his cat, and she is not interested in owning one but is convinced by the charming cleric. It probably helps that Vincent offers the rest of the mackerel for Bethana's own use.

 

The party makes the short trip over to the island of Grubber's Hermitage. It is a small island roughly 7 miles by 4 miles and is hilly terrain covered in forests. As they round the island a gigantic cedar (nearly 300 feet tall) comes into view and as they get closer a small village comes into view. The little village huddles around the cedar as a scatter of buildings. The whole of the thing couldn't account for more than 80 people if all the buildings are for full families. As the party docks no one comes out to greet the party and the few people on the dirt paths that serve as roads in the village go out of their way to avoid the party. They eventually find the town's sole tavern, The Foolish Pilgrim. The building is a long low structure and as they enter the only occupants are a large brown bear and an elf standing behind the bar daydreaming. Both snap to attention as the party enters and the elf introduces himself as Vare and the bear as Telta. The party ask him about the empty streets and what's going on, but he is reluctant to explain too much. He suggests they talk to Malia about it and agrees to show them a rarely used trail heading toward the witch's hut.

 

The party follows the rough trail to the other side of the island and are greeted by a small stone hut set onto a rocky shore. The hut appears to have been shaped from a large boulder and the furniture near it appears to be driftwood that has been warped to make comfortable chairs and serviceable tables. The party is greeted by a elven lady who introduces herself jokingly as the Sea Witch. As the party explains their plight she agrees to help them, but it will be at least two days before she can prepare the ritual for reincarnation. Once that has been agreed on the party quiz her on the strange behavior of Vare and the townsfolk. She explains that the town pays a monthly tribute to some black dragon kin that enter the town. They signal the tribute is due by sending a silver metallic raven and then arrive a couple of days afterwards. The raven arrived the day prior and the village is currently on edge as they prepare the tribute for the incoming band. She is no great fan of this practice but her attempts at getting the village to stop have fallen on deaf ears. She's given up on convincing the humans of the village to stop it and now watches in disgust and keeps her own side of the island clear of the dragon's minions. The villagers situation bothers the majority of the party, but particularly gets under the skin of Jaren who wants to free them from this protection racket (as Vincent describes it). The party heads back to Batun and interview Vare about the practice. He agrees it is absurd but saw no need to rock the boat when he moved to the small village. The party pries a bit and determine he is avoiding some people in his past living in this remote thorp and is happy to deal with their eccentrics ways as long as he can avoid trouble. He tells them that the village is roughly governed by him, Loby Finnell, and Mesyrm Erwer. Before leaving the village for Sandpoint  the party visits Loby's home to see the silver raven, and while there they see her staring at them from the window. After speaking to the party through a cracked door, she eventually comes out onto her stoop and defends the villages practice saying that so far the village has seen no bad effects so clearly it is working well. She is obstinate in her argument and it drives Jaren to great frustrations before the party leaves in disgust.


Back in Sandpoint the session wraps with Vincent and Jaren visiting Niska to gripe about the village's strange practices. She isn't willing to give them her blessings on their belief to do something about the village's strange practices, but says nothing when Jaren plots a way to proof the villagers wrong by enacting a fake attack on the village. He hopes to prove that the village has been wasting their time and money with such an effort. Vincent heartily approves and the two of them race off to explain their cunning plan to the rest of the party.

 

DM Notes:

  • I wasn't really sure how to use Grubber's Hermitage, so I decided to throw an ambiguous situation at the party. I'm really enjoying how they're working through how to handle it.
  • I'm also curious on what this reincarnation roll is going to be

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • A sense of frustration for the habits of country bumpkins

 

Challenges / Monsters:

 

End Date: Desnus 14

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Session Twenty-Six
Scarecrows

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

 

Session Notes:

The party heads back upstairs being very aware of the pending suggestion on Jaren. On their way up they are attacked by a few rat swarms that get put down relatively easily. As they're leaving the house they are greeted with massive swarms of undead ravens and buzzards that Purrcival recognizes as Carrionstorms. There is a long debate on how to handle it before Aurelia pulls out a scroll of lightning bolt and blasts them from the tree. The party cleans up the remaining swarms without any major difficulties. The party begins to head back to Sandpoint without any spells and still feeling drained from the corruption spirit that haunted the Foxglove Manor; however, before they can get back to town a panicked farmer runs out waving his arms for help. The man is clearly distressed and begs the party for help explaining that the hinterlands around Sandpoint have been haunted by walking scarecrows and numerous farmers and their families have gone missing. After a bit of calming down, the farmer introduces himself as Maester Grump and explains that something dire has begun to haunt the farmlands over the past few days. He explains the farmers gathered up and went to Old Crade Hambley's farm but were attacked by undead (which the party recognize as ghouls). The creatures had eaten the farm animals and Maester Grump recognized some of the creatures as fellow farmers. He was the only to survive as the creatures attacked his band of brave farmers. He was running to Sandpoint for help, but after finding the party begs that they go check the farmlands and save whoever they can.

 

The party agrees after a few sighs of exasperation and head over to the Meddles Farm. They'd previously helped the farmer after dealing with some Ankhegs, but when they arrive at the farm they are attacked by ghoulish turned farm animals that had bought for the farmer. Jaren makes absolutely mincemeat of the hordes of undead using his training and reach to destroy the vast amount of them before they can even reach the party. The rest are put down quickly and efficiently. With the undead destroyed the party searches the farm but finds no one alive.  Getting closer to the Hambley farm the party finds it is surrounded by ominous looking corn fields. Though the corn is mostly dead stalks at this time of year. The party forges ahead with Eydan using his new ring of jumping to leap upwards and scout their path. The party is surprised as a scarecrow rips itself from the boards it was hanging on and springs at the party. Jaren reacting with his trained combat reflexes manages to cut the creature down and sheathe his sword in one smooth blow. The party continues making their way to the farmhouse. At the next intersection they see more of the scarecrows and recognize that it has another body hanging from the frame. Rather than getting ambushed Eydan sneaks up and drops three arrows into the creature before it can react. However, the party is appalled to discover that it was a living human dressed up as a scarecrow. Purrcival recognizes the corpse as Lettie Guffmin and though she was clearly deep in the throes of ghoul fever she was alive before the arrows hit. Understandable distressed the party agrees to let any future scarecrows just ambush them before filling them with arrows. They get to the farmhouse with no more ambushes and are charged by a group of undead. They recognize one as the Foxglove groundskeeper they were searching for earlier, but the ghast poses no problem as Eydan drops the creature before it can do more than charge out of the barn. The rest of the undead fall with similar ease. The party searches the undead and besides finding a now unneeded manor key on Rogors they don't find anything on the undead. In the dilapidated farmhouse they find a large lockbox that is meticulously organized with bundles of silver coins in baggies of 100 silver each. It looks to be the Hambley's life savings, and as Purrcival had heard the man appears to have been hoarding it rather than fixing up the farmhouse for him or his family. They search the rest of the fields surrounding the farmhouse and find Lettie's husband still alive (though he is also in terrible shape). He is barely coherent when they find him and he warns them about the undead in the barn and asks about his wife. They awkwardly explain that she was killed, but they promise to try to make it better. The session ends with the party discussing how they could bring her back… reincarnation?

 

 

DM Notes:

  • The party isn't too high level for the opponents, but Jaren and Eydan just absolutely wreck these relatively squishy undead. Jaren was particularly successful versus the nearly mindless horde of ghoul chickens (bwark!)
  • The carrionstorms were intimidating looking but didn't really amount to much
  • I had some unstated druids nearby, guess I should stat those up if the party is going to be looking for a reincarnation.
  • It was great timing on the party murdering Lettie Guffmin. Purrcival was just talking about how it would be really evil of them to hang up some innocent people on the scarecrow frames. I'm taking credit for DMing him long enough to instill a healthy sense of paranoia.

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • 3,400 Silver

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 2 diseased rat swarms
  • 4 carrionstorms
  • Hordes of undead farm animals (I got a kick out of it)
  • Rogor, ghast
  • ~8 ghouls

 

End Date: Desnus 12

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Purrcival's Session 26
Colonel Jaren Sanders

-Apparently, we got jumped by some rats.

-A carrion storm was waiting for us outside the house.  Couldn't figure what to do, so Aurelia stepped out and demolished quite a good bit of them.  We were worried about the numbers, but Aurelia made the right call.

-The suggestion was still on Jaren, so he tried to run off with Vincent.  Luckily, they're slow.

On the way back to Sandpoint, we spot a muddy man-Maester Grump—running from something like the dickens.  He's a farmhand.  Went to the Hambley Farm near the Meddles' place to deal with scarecrow-like creatures that've been eating people and livestock.

-Crad Hambley is a cheapskate farmer who seems to be better off than his neighbors.  Has a wife and three sons.

The Meddles' place was riddle with dead and undead bodies-including a horse and chickens.  So.  Many.  Chickens.  Jaren obliterated those chickens.

-Onward to the Hambleys', which is in the middle of a cornfield.  Get jumped by a ghoul scarecrow (don't need this Jeepers Creepers ish in my life).  Eydan shot one scarecrow we thought was a ghoul, but it turned out to be a woman by the name of Lettie Guffman gagged and strung up like a scarecrow.  

-Well, we found the Foxglove Manor's groundskeeper.  He's a ghast.

-After killing most of the ghouls, we find out this was probably intended to be for Eydan from Aldern.  We find a key for the Foxglove Manor around Roger's neck.  We also find Horran Guffman alive and strung up like his wife.

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Session Twenty-Five
Fury of a Scorned, Undead Woman

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

 

Session Notes:

The party continued the exploration under the Foxglove Manor after easily putting down a few ghouls. Unsurprisingly, they found more of the creatures waiting for them deeper in the tunnels as they trailed after the revenant. The next set of ghouls proved no more challenging, and were mostly unremarkable beyond one having a strange piece of stone jammed into its skull. The party intent on following the enraged revenant didn’t spend time investigating it or the surrounding rooms. The first real obstacle to the party took the form of a slippery slope that slanted deeply into dark waves some 100 feet below. Across the funnel like hole the party could just make out Iesha trying to bludgeon down a stone door. The party began to carefully make their way over to her, and with some thanks to Feda for shaping stone stairs they were able to make it down to her level relatively easily. However, as the party begin making the slippery climb they were ambushed by a number of goblin ghasts. These creatures proved to be a bit tougher than the previous undead thanks to their awful stench and the slippery battlegrounds. With a bit of effort the party was able to prevail and make their way over to the door Iesha was battering without anyone falling into the depths below.

 

The party uses a key from the attic to open the door without disturbing the revenant and she charges into the breach. Inside the party finds a small laboratory where Aldern Foxglove, now  the Skinsaw man, lounges. As his undead wife enters the room he drops to his knees and begs her forgiveness, but she is having none of it and proceeds to whale on him around the chamber. His two ghast allies are unable to stop the combined power of the party and the angered revenant. The ghasts quickly fall to the party and they watch as Iesha bashes Aldern around the chamber. Before long she manages to get a firm grip on both sides of his skull and crushes it like an overripe melon. With the deed done she neatly folds his arms over his chest and lies down beside him releasing her tenacious grip on her own undead life. The party spends a brief bit of time searching the room. During their search they find some belongings of Eydan that appeared to have been collected as Aldern stalked him. In amongst his belongings are a number of drawings showing Eydan being murdered in a number of gruesome ways. They also find a strange fungus on the wall in the shape of a man, while looking at it Vincent feels a compulsion to consume a bit of the fungus which he quickly shakes off. After searching the area the party decides to split up as the magic circle protecting Jaren from the suggestion spell is fading. Jaren, Eydan, and Vincent head upstairs while the rest of the party do some final investigations. Feda having consecrated the area during the fight feels an unusual foul attention on her from the house. Aurelia thinking the clean the fungus off the wall burns it with a scorching way, which causes the whole house to shutter with rage. As the spell completes the fungus peels itself off the wall in an ethereal festering mass. Feda, Purrcival, and Aurelia all start running as it begins to grow to full power. Aurelia stumbles on the slippery stone outside and falls into the depths. Feda knowing she is the slowest invokes Torag's blessing marking a ghost glyph on her weapon allowing her to better fight incorporeal foes. Purrcival easily makes across the slippery stone before the others and uses a scroll of whispering wind to notify the rest of the party to hurry back downstairs. Aurelia manages to free her wand of monkeyfish and casts the spell allowing her to swim/climb her way out of the hole. Feda joins Purrcival and waits for the evil spirit to charge. It obliges and tramples through the party. Everywhere it goes it leaves a trail of putrid fungus and slime which damages the living's constitution. Feda, Purrcival, and Aurelia manage to hold off the creature with a combination of magic missiles and an enchanted warhammer until the rest of the party arrives. Once they reunite they mostly play a game of whack-a-mole as the creature flits in and out of walls. Finally, Vincent is able to unleash a burst of holy energy to finish the creature.

 

Level to 6

 

DM Notes:

  • I was surprised the party managed to summon Vorel's spirit. Feda managed to randomly cast consecrate during the Aldern fight, then Aurelia burned the fungus. Good on them for removing the main source of the house's power.
  • Ghouls are not particularly threatening at the moment since Eydan and Jaren can basically one shot them.
  • I think the Misgivings was a really good section overall, even if I'm not the biggest fan of the haunt rules.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Silver Key Ring – 10 GP
  • Iron Key with a Round Opal – 100 GP
  • Chime of Opening (5 Charges) {Forgot to add this during the session, found near the fungus in Vorel's lab}
  • Roaring Lion Key
  • Ring of Jumping
  • Nobles Outfit – 200 GP
  • Stalker's Mask
  • Cameo with Eydan Portrait – 100 GP
  • Letter from Xanesha, Mistress of the Seven

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 4 Ghouls
  • 4 Goblin Ghasts
  • The Skinsaw Man
  • Festering Spirit

 

End Date: Desnus 12

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Purrcival's Session 25
Uncle Festering Spirit

(Missed most of session.)

-Ghoul Aldern got fucked up by revenant wife Iesha.  (Good riddance.)  Apparently, the dude's hate-boner for Eydan only grew in undeath.

-Vincent got the urge to eat a patch of tumorous, black human-shaped fungus.  Beneath it was found a broken phylactery

-Team split up for some reason.

-We fucked up and angered a festering spirit when we burned the human-shaped fungus.  After a few bad scares, we finally beat it!  (I hit it all of once.)

-Busted Monster House.  Should totally name our group Housebusters.

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Session 24
Foxglove Manor, not a good place

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

Session Notes:

The party was feeling a bit of pressure due to the magical compulsion Jaren was now carrying, but decided they would at least explore the upper floors of the home before deciding if they needed to leave. The group does a bit more exploration on the first floor. Aurelia takes the red and gold scarf that was found in the library, and the group identify the strange mummified monkey skull near the stairs as a hungry decapitant, a type of alarming device. They decide to take the strange magic item before heading upstairs. As the group gathered up to head upstairs, with Jaren staying close to Eydan's magic circle, the scarf Aurelia was carrying suddenly pounced from her hand and attempted to strangle Jaren. The party saw a vision of an enraged Aldern charging at the Jaren carrying the scarf and the spectral figure attempts to strangle him, but Jaren is able to hold off the apparition and it fades with a sigh dropping the scarf on the ground. On the second floor they followed a familiar pattern with Eydan opening each door and cautiously identifying each room from the relative safety of the hall. During the exploration they were able to find a stairwell up to the top floor of the building. The lock was smashed shut and listening carefully the party was able to hear a woman sobbing upstairs. Again, the party decided to let Eydan eye the rooms from the relative safety of the hall before investigating the various fungus covered rooms. In the final room in the attic they find the source of the sobbing. Kneeling before a mirror is an undead Iesha Foxglove; she has terrible wounds around her throat looking as if she was choked to death but something didn't stick with the whole being dead thing. Vincent recognizes the undead figure as a revenant, it is an undead creature returned to unlife with the sole purpose of finding and killing its murderer. However, the creatures can be stuck in a permanent state of self-loathing if they are faced with a memento of their former lives or forced to look at their form with a mirror. The party beats a quick retreat and discusses how to deal with the undead creature. They are relatively certain that it will lead them to Aldern (going by the presumption that the haunt Jaren saw earlier was Iesha's death).


Before activating the undead homing missile the party decides to investigate the rooms they had previously scouted for more information on what happened at this terrible house. (DM Note: The party visited every room in the house, but the following order may not be exactly correct). Exploring a child's room unlocked a haunt that seemed to focus in on Eydan. He suddenly heard a child sobbing and receives a vision of hiding under the bed while his mother and father appear to be fighting to the death. His father Vorel appears to be covered in terrible tumors and diseases wielding a long knife, while his mother fends him off with a lit torch. The vision fades as the parents begin fighting. The next room overlooks the bay, but similar to the first floor rather than showing the beautiful view there are colored glass windows depicting a variety of strange figures. Purrcival chats with the rest of the party a bit and recognizes them as spell components associated with necromancy, particularly the components related to the transformation to lichdom. The party connects the dots that the windows downstairs with the box covered in runes is most likely a representation of a lich's phylactery. In the attic there is an old observatory with two beautiful stained glass  windows depicting two wizards. One of them is partially shattered, but despite the damage Purrcival recognizes them as Arazne, the Harlot Queen of Geb, and Socorro, the butcher of Carrion Hill, both of which are associated with the process of turning into a lich. As the party explores the room they recover a telescope that needs to be repair, but could be valuable if it was fixed. During the exploration Aurelia is struck with another vision, she feels hit blossom from within and suddenly feels as if she is on fire. She sprints toward the unbroken window trying to get to the sea below to extinguish the flames but snaps out of it before flinging herself 300 feet to the ocean below. The rest of the party says the shadowy shapes of a haunt form as Cyralie Foxglove attempts to throws a lit lantern against a corner of the room. As the fire explodes out of the shattered glass Traver redirects the fire back onto his wife who throws herself through the (now) broken window. Exploring one of the master bedrooms that is strangely mold free Purrcival appears to become entranced with a piece of wood lying on a table near a dark stain. As he reaches for it Vincent tackles him to the ground before any shenanigans can happen. Purrcival explains he felt despair and the urge to kill himself before whatever caused him to kill his wife could take over again. In another part of the house the party explored a thoroughly ruined bedroom with a portrait turned toward the wall. As the party turns the portrait around they see a painting of a beautiful Varisian woman who Purrcival recognizes as Iesha. When Feda sees the portrait she is struck with a rage that Iesha is cheating on her and wants to strangle Aurelia. However, she fights off the haunt's effect and doesn't act on the foreign emotion. In another child's room Vincent feels his face begin to itch, and the party is horrified to see terrible tumors and rot utterly cover his face. Vincent begins to tear at the diseased skin and does a fair amount of damage before he is able to resist the haunt. The rest of the party attempt to just get him out of the room, but the stout cleric barely moves to their attempts. In a well-appointed study in the attic Purrcival feels a wave of depression knowing he will never again get to adventure like he used to because of his damnable wife. He shakes off the feeling, but recognizes it as Traver's foreign thoughts. The last haunt the party encountered was in the portait hall. Inside were portraits showing the generations of Foxgloves who have lived in the manor. As the portraits are cleared the haunt suddenly manifests showing each portrait at the time of their death. Vorel Foxglove explodes into fungus that begins to engulf the room. Kasanda and Lorey are both engulfed in tumors similar to what Vincent suffered. Traver's throat is slit and blood cascades down his chest. Aldern becomes ghoulish and drawn looking. Iesha's throat turns dark purple and her eyes bulge. Cyralie becomes burnt and broken. The last two portraits of Aldern's sisters ice over, but show no wounds on their bodies. Vincent acts quickly and negates the haunt with a burst of positive magic. The fungus covers the room but leaves the occupants untouched. With the rooms searched the party returns to Revenant Iesha and break the mirror. She springs up with a horrifying yell and begins to hunt down Aldern. She quickly makes her way down to the first floor and begins to dig through the rug with the strange spiral fungus in the main hall. It doesn't take her long to completely rip through the floor and drop into a hall. Below the party can see a torn up stone floor leading into a spiral limestone staircase. Eydan is the first to drop down, and he receives a vision of Aldern digging through the stone feverishly muttering, "for you". As he break through a swarm of ghouls reach up out of the darkness and tear him to shreds. The party sees this reflected on Eydan as he is covered in claw and bite wounds all over his body.

 

The party quickly recovers and heals Eydan before cautiously following the Revenant down into the basement. They deal with a few ghouls who were in the corridor with ease and the session ends with the party still doggedly following the revenant of Iesha Foxglove.

 

Bonus Purrcival Notes:

Purrcival has done a good job keeping track of the Misgivings' story so I'm going to include his notes from last session below:

  • Vorel and Kasanda Foxglove were the first occupants.  Kasanda might’ve escaped with their daughter Lorey (they both died of tumorous growths).  Traver (Vorel’s great nephew) and his wife Cyralie moved in with their boy and two girls Aldern, Sendelli, and Zeeva, respectively.  Cyralie was found dead on the rocks below the manor—burned.  Traver was found dead by his own hand in his bedroom.  Aldern eventually moved back in and probably killed his wife Iesha (he did and became ghoul while she became a revenant).
  • Mold colors:  Pale white in couch room and sickly yellows around the first floor.
  • There’s like a spiral staircase mold pattern under the rug.  Mold colors:  Dark blue, sickly green, and black.  (Same for canvas spiral on easel, I think.)
  • No secret doors detected on the first floor.
  • Scarf that Aurelia had leapt from her to try and wrap around Jaren’s throat.  (Aurelia had triggered the manticore haunt previously (Cyralie), and Jaren is under that suggestion from the dust whirlies (Kasanda).)  The scarf makes Jaren feel like his husband Aldern lost his mind and was attacking him.  Aldern was coming after him with the scarf.  Jaren believed he was Aldern’s wife Iesha.
  • As we went up the stairs, we heard that sobbing again.  Mold colors:  Green and yellow.
  • Child’s room has a fireplace large enough for a child to get lost in it.  Mold colors:  Mishmash of yellow and white.  Eydan hears a child sobbing.  He’s a child (Lorey) hiding under his bed seeing his mother with a torch fighting his father who’s festered with tumors wielding a knife.
  • Found a set of five windows that refer to some sort of necromancy.  With assistance, we realize these are specifically for a lich.  Box from the windows downstairs are related to lich, as well.  (Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit)
  • Aside from a dark stain on a desk, one room seemed mold-free.  Got hit with a Traver haunt.  Was reaching for a “dagger” but Vincent tackled my ass to the ground.  Felt that in a moment of lucidity, he chose to kill himself before whatever compelled him to kill Cyralie took him over again.
  • Found one room on the second floor that was trashed (master bedroom).  The portrait that was turned against the wall was Iesha.  Feda was overcome with hatred of women (Aldern).  She was able to resist it, but she did feel that Aldern killed Iesha and hid her body.  Believed Iesha was cheating on him.
  • Another bedroom is caked with “spongy” layers of the dark green, blue, and black molds (guest bedroom).  We hear a child asking “What’s on your face, mommy?” and then Vincent feels his face itch.  We see an overlay of tumorous skin over Vincent as he claws at his face.  Kasanda.  Had to run away from the caverns beneath the basement and went to her daughter’s (Lorey) room.  Felt the evil was already in that room.  Died there tearing at her face.
  • Lock on attic door was broken.  Lots of repair items are in the attic.  (For some reason, even the attic has a shit-ton of doors.)  When the fifth door was opened, we heard a shriek from the north.  -Found windows depicting Arazne, the Harlot Queen of Geb, and Socorro, the Butcher of Kieran(?) Hill.  Well-known in lichdom, and the Socorro window was broken.  (In observatory with broken telescope.)  When we search the observatory, I smell burning flesh coming from Aurelia.  Tried to stop the fire, but she was set aflame and tried to run out the unbroken window.  We see the shadowy figures of a man (Traver) and Cyralie.  They get into fight, she tries to burn the place, gest set on fire by Traver, and winds up jumping out the Socorro window.
  • Found Iesha undead and crying in front of a mirror in the attic.
  • I get haunted in the room with scrolls.  I hear pages rustling and get memories of voyages and adventures, but they aren’t real memories because I’m married to a terrible woman.  Felt like I had done great travels, but got hit with a wave of depression.  That was Traver.
  • Find a painting in the scroll room—“Throwdown in Swynetown” by Magnimarian artist Andosalu.
  • Back on the second floor in the room with the paintings, the figures morph into how they died:  Vorel explodes into the fungus, Kasanda and Lorey are engulfed in tumors, Traver’s throat is slit, Cyralie’s body is broken and burnt, Aldern becomes a ghoul, and Iesha’s throat gets effed up, but Aldern’s two sisters just freeze over.  We don’t know what that means for Sendelli and Zeeva.
  • Finally decide to try and get Iesha to hunt down Aldern.  She’s very good at wailing and scaring the poop out of us.  When she makes it to the first floor, she begins to tear through the spiral stain and drops down.  Eydan get hits with a haunt as soon as we drop in.  He notices an increase in the smell of rotten flesh.  Gets a vision of Aldern breaking through the floor while repeatedly saying, “For you.”  He sees a number of ghouls jump up and damn near tear him to shreds.

 

DM Notes:

  • A lot happened this session, so I may not have captured everything in the right order.
  • The Misgivings has been a lot of fun so far. The party (Purrcival in particular) is doing a good job of piecing together the story told by the various haunts and the tragedy that unfolded at the Foxglove Manor
  • Despite the obvious dangers of the house, the heroes are standing together in hopes of fending off the haunts together. Overall it had mixed results, sometimes it proved a benefit and sometimes endangered a couple of people needlessly. For what it is worth I think it is a good tactic.
  • We ended at a good point with the revenant storming through the house.
  • There was a lot of good debate on how to deal with Iesha, but Vincent made a clutch knowledge religion (Nat 20) to learn a lot about revenants. That made them a lot more confident in just getting out of the way and unleashing the beast on her murderer (who they know is Aldern at this point)

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Red and Gold Scarf (100 GP)
  • Hungry Decapitant (Alarm spell on  a mummified monkey skull) (500 GP)
  • Scroll of Lightning Bolt (CL5)
  • Scroll of Keen Edge (Cl5)
  • 2 Vials with foul residue
  • Copper Key
  • The throw down in Swynetown – An original by a Magnimarian artist (600 GP)
  • 20 Platinum Pieces
  • Broken Telescope (500 GP, has to be repaired first)
  • Decorative Silver Candelabras (50 GP)

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Haunts

    • Iesha's Vengeance (Jaren)
    • Frightened Child (Eydan)
    • Phantom Phage (Vincent)
    • Misogynistic Rage (Feda)
    • The Stricken Family (Vincent, Purrcival, Aurelia)
    • Suicide Compulsion (Purrcival)
    • Plummeting Inferno (Aurelia)
    • Unfulfilled Glories (Purrcival)
    • Ghoulish Uprising (Eydan)
  • Collapsing Floor
  • 3 Ghouls
  • Iesha Revenant (In Progress)

End Date: Desnus 12

 

 

 

 

View
Session 23
Some Misgivings

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

 

Session Notes:

Dr. Erin invites the party into the cell to see Grayst, but they are still a bit leery of trusting the man so instead Purrcival, Feda, and Jaren go into his cell. They find Grayst Savillo wasting away from a disease that Feda quickly identifies as a particularly late stage of ghoul fever. She knows that he is on the cusp of death but thanks to Torag's blessing has the magic to potentionally heal the man. Dr. Erin gives her the go ahead after having his two orderlies hold the man, and Feda goes into spellcasting. Her first spell fails to remove the ailment from the man, but she has come prepared and pulls a  scroll out of her pack. The second casting of remove disease is enough to free the man from the rot coursing through his body, but it does nothing to save the poor man's mind. After a bit of prompting he begins to mutter about razors and a face with too many teeth. He also mumbles about a being called the "Skinsaw Man". While the good doctor is distracted Vincent once again tries to talk to the manic wererat, Pidgeot, but he fails to get much of a response. The party quietly confers to see if anyone recognizes the Skinsaw Man moniker but no one has heard of such a person (or creature). Erin insists that the patient needs his rest once the party has finished the interview, and promptly escorts them out. Everyone is a bit suspicious of the doctor, but with no further evidence all vacate the premises.

 

The group decides to head back to Sandpoint and do some more research. Feda remembered that the only "Lordship" that has a particular grudge against Eydan is Aldern Foxglove. When the noble was annoyed at the group for not joining him in his hunt Eydan threw a copper in his face with an insult which caused the man to storm off in anger. Purrcival does he does best and researched the man by talking to some contacts around town. A few hours later he returns to the Rusty Dragon with a ton of information on the Foxglove's ancestral manor. It is allegedly haunted due to a series of very unfortunate events. He tells them that the manor is over 80 years old, and that tragedy struck there some decades ago which caused it to be uninhabited since. The locals call the manor the "Misgivings" and it has a terrible reputation with the locals. There have been strange lights shown in the windows, muffled screaming in the abandoned home, and even rumors of a huge bat winged devil in the caves beneath the manor. The house was initially built by Vorel Foxglove, a merchant prince from Magnimar, who lived there with his family for nearly twenty years before his whole family died very suddenly of a horrible disease. The place was shunned by the family for nearly 40 years before Traver Foxglove moved backed into the home. Then nearly twenty years ago the servant's quarter was burned down and Cyralie Foxglove was found dead – burnt and dashed on the rocks below the house. Traver Foxglove was found dead in his bedroom by his own hand, the young children (including Aldern) were sent away to distant Korvosa to be raised by a relation. When Aldern returned years later he tried to get some locals to help repair the place but had a hell of timing getting anyone to work there. He did eventually hire Rogers Craesby to tend the manor and evict any squatters but hasn't had any luck doing full repairs. Purrcival also heard rumors that the Foxglove family is associated with the Brothers of the Seven, a secretive gentlemen's club based in Magnimar that have a number of strange rumors associated with them.

 

The party decides to rest the nigh then go check out this "Misgivings" the next morning while the sun was shining brightly. They make the ride down near the manor with no strange occurrences and leave their horses a mile or so away from the manor just in case it is cursed as rumor says it is. The first thing they come upon is a burned down servant's quarters with a very deep well next to it. The well attracts some interest but no one is willing to enter into it to do a more thorough investigation when they realize it is nearly a 100 foot drop into a deep pool. With that they begin to search around the house trying to find the best way to enter. Eydan scouts about and finds a couple of entrances, and after a bit of debate they decide to approach the front door. Feda casts a circle of protection from evil on Eydan just in case the place is haunted, and Purrcival casts open/close on the front door. Purrcival is rewarded with a discordant clang in his mind as the spell fails, apparently the home did not appreciate the attempt. Eydan begins to pick the lock on the front door and after a lot of effort manages to open the rusted lock. The party is greeted with a trophy room with a huge stuffed manticore in the middle of the foyer. They glare at it for a bit, but it doesn’t leap forward to eat anyone's face so the party enters the mansion. As Aurelia gets close to the stuffed creature Eydan perceives the smell of burned hair and sees the stuffed manticore smolder a bit. Just as he is about to comment on it an ethereal, flaming face of a woman with red hair replaces the manticore's head and she screams at Aurelia as the manticore's tail snaps forward covered in flame. The flaming stinger strikes true and delivers a ferocious blow to Aurelia, then just as suddenly the manticore is once again just a stuffed hunting trophy. The party panics a bit but after a bit of conferring decide that the object is haunted. Haunted house theory confirmed. The party slowly explores the rest of the house making sure not to touch anything thinking that it would be best to get a lay of the land before spending more time in each room. They successfully get the layout without triggering anymore haunts. The manor is completely covered in molds and funguses, and there are a number of ominous and strange objects in the rooms. Vincent and Jaren spend some time investigating the drawing room where an abandoned easel and canvas has a strange circular pattern of fungus growing on it. Purrcival spends some time examining some massive colored glass windows that show large creatures (a treant, a roc, a leviathan, and a sphinx) being pulled into a strange rune covered box as the creature are wide eyed in terror. Eydan does find a badly diseased rat trapped in an iron bath tub, but puts it down with an arrow before it manages to escape. Purrcival and Aurelia examine the library where Aurelia finds a red and gold scarf that shows no sign of mold or fungus that covers the rest of the home. She pokes and prods at the scarf but it doesn't seem to be anything more than an article of clothing. Eydan finds a broken stone bookend that is covered in bits of flesh, hair, and pieces of skull near an overturned chair. He surmises that someone was brained with a statue in a surprise attack, perhaps while the occupants of the two chairs were examining a book spread between them. Purrcival checks out the book and it appears to be a Varisian family tree, but he isn't able to find any significant clues. Jaren examines little puffs of dust that show up in front of one of the fireplaces and as he steps near them he is suddenly struck with a vision. He feels that is in inhabiting the mind of a worried woman who is concerned with what her husband is doing in the many late nights he has spent in the basement. She is suddenly panicked and knows that she has to escape the house with her daughter before whatever her husband is doing brings ruin down upon them. About this time Vincent sees a panicked looking Jaren run around the corner and grab his hand insisting that they need to escape. Vincent quickly realizes that Jaren is under some sort of enchantment, but plays along as he loudly proclaims oh yes we should escape. The rest of the party reacts and Eydan runs over still blessed by Feda's magical circle. The magic of the circle is able to suppress the enchantment and Jaren explains to the party what just happened. Aurelia knows that magical effect was likely a suggestion which has a very long duration, much longer than the magical circle.

 

//Session ends with the party debating how to handle the new enchantment laid upon their warder

 

DM Notes:

  • It was neat that the party was able to heal Grayst. The module assume he succumbs to the fever during the party's visit.
  • The party  went to the Misgivings a bit earlier than I expected so I had to do some rule verifications on the hauntings.
  • The Misgivings have a weird encounter design for the haunts, due to the way the hauntings are designed that only certain people are keyed to them they aren't necessarily guaranteed to be triggered/found. Which is sort of annoying because they tell a lot of the story of the place.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  •  

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Grayst's Ghoul Fever
  • Manticore haunt
  • Diseased Rat
  • Worried Wife haunt

 

End Date: Desnus 12

View
Session 22
A Ghastly Murder

Present Players:  Jaren, Aurelia, Vincent, Purrcival (Late), Feda, Eydan

 

Session Notes:

The heroes of Sandpoint survive the rest of Ameiko's party relatively unscathed. They pick up a number of contacts around town that they had not met previously and generally leave an overall good impression to the nobles and merchants that attended. Eydan loses his drinking buddy when Shalelu passes out from his Orcish rotgut, and Eydan manages to get her upstairs and leaves her a dose of alchemist's kindness to help with the hangover. Afterwards, Eydan speaks with Belvin Valdemar to see if he was interested in partnering up for any sort of business deals involving Thistletop. Belvin seemed willing, but wasn't able to commit to anything without some sort of idea (which the relatively inebriated Eydan wasn't able to provide at the time). Belvin did mention that the Valdemar family and the Deverin family are working on funding a watermill to help ease the monopoly that the Scarnetti family currently has on grain. He suggested the party may help finish the funding and reap some of the profits with the side benefit of reducing the Scarnetti's power in Sandpoint. Belvin promised more details if that was something the party was interested in before they parted ways. Purrcival spent a lot of the time being wooed by the owner of the local Theater. Cyrdrak, the owner, wanted him to perform his own comedy show at the theater. Purrcival wasn't able to commit to a particular date but seemed interested in the idea. The party wrapped up with the noble families all pledging to support the character's expansion of Thistletop, and even the Scarnettis agreed to commit some funds though they seemed to do mostly due to peer pressure.

 

The majority of the party went straight to bed after the party, but Eydan decided to visit the Pixie's Kitten before calling it a night. He had an enjoyable time with some lovely ladies and returned to the Rusty Dragon late in the night. As he approached the door he smelled something odd from his room, it reeked as if something had died and been left to rot in the sun. Drawing his bow he cautiously entered and found his room destroyed; the arrows he had been crafting were broken and spread around the room, the bedding was flipped onto the floor, and the whole room reeked. He carefully approached the open window but wasn't able to find anything in the near darkness. Deciding that this was something better left for  the morning he went down the hall to an unoccupied room and picked the lock. Thinking this was relatively safer, Eydan drifted off to sleep. In the morning he went back to his room and investigated again. On his second attempt he found some human sized bare footprints outside his door and around the frame he found what appeared to be dried mud. He explained the situation to Bethana and brought the rest of the party back to his room to help investigate. Even before he was in the room Purrcival was able to identify the smell as a ghast, similar to the smell of the one they fought on Rivenrake Island. The rest of the party gave their own attempts at searching and cast a few detection spells but they weren't able to learn anything else.

 

As they were finishing up their investigation Bethana told them Mick was waiting for them in the dining room with a message from the sheriff. They found Mick cleaning up some of their leftovers and after reminding him that he had a message he happily (and loudly) reported that there had been a gruesome murder at the limber mill.  The party shushed him as he started going into details of the scene like how one lady had been split lengthwise by the machinery when they saw some other patrons begin to grow pale at his tales. Heading to the scene of the crime they met with sheriff Hemlock who told them this was the second murder in as many days, and he desperately needed the party's help to figure out what the hell was going on. He provided the party with a note found at the scene of the murder with Eydan's name on it that proclaimed, "I do as you command, master!" He verified that someone could collaborate Eydan's whereabouts last night, but he trusted the party enough that he wasn't too concerned. After providing the note and deputizing the party he opened the murder scene to their investigation.

 

Inside the mill they found a gruesome scene, the sawdust covered floor was soaked in gore from a body that had been cut in half lengthwise by the log splitter. The party recognized the victim as Katrine Vinder and began investigating the murder. Purrcival was able to sniff out the ghast stench over the smell of blood, and when Eydan found a handaxe with a bit of bone and flesh on it he became nauseous from the overwhelming odor. Suffice to say the party decided whoever did this also visited Eydan's room the night before. Further investigation showed signs of struggle, and the party was able to backtrack some muddy footprints out to the mill's dock. It looked as if some creature had climbed out of the river and up into the second floor window. When the party went up to the second floor they found another terrible sight. A man had been hung by metal hooks onto the wall and thoroughly tortured. The corpse was in a terrible state missing its lower jaw completely, having the majority of its face ripped off, numerous small wounds across the body, and deeply engraved across the chest was a large Sihedron rune. Purrcival recognized the body thanks to a tattoo on the lower abdomen as Banny Harker, one of the two mill workers employed here by the Scarnettis.

 

After reviewing the murder scene at the mill they went back to the guard station to compare notes with the sheriff. He told them the murder at the mill was discovered by Ibor Thorn, the other mill manager, and there had been quite a crowd before the guards were able to lock the place down. Ibor was currently down in the holding cells recovering along with Vin Vender who had flown into a rage once he discovered his daughter had been killed. Belor went on to explain the other murder scene at an abandoned barn along the Lost Coast Road. He explained the guards found the scene when a raving lunatic attacked some guards on patrol near the barn, and after subduing the man they found three bodies strung up from the rafters. The three corpses were all in the same state as Mr. Harker (ripped off faces, missing jaw, and a large Sihedron rune carved into their chest), and at the scene they found a note. The note was addressed to three local conmen who the sheriff had ran into in the past. The fourth crazed man was later identified as Grayst Sevilla and he seemed like he had been forced to watch the torture of the three men. It had broken his mind completely and he was clearly deranged and feverish when he was captured. The sheriff thought it best if he was cared for by a professional so he had the guards escort him to the local sanitorium. The corpses were placed in cold storage beneath the guard station.

 

The party went down to investigate the corpses in storage and talked to Ibor about the murder scene. The corpses didn't provide any new information and were beginning to show signs of rot. Feda thinks the time of death fits the timeline of roughly two to three days. Ibor was a bit reluctant at first, but with some cajoling the party was able to hear how he discovered the body. Vincent sensed Ibor wasn't giving them everything and after a bit more pushing Mr. Thorn explained that Banny had been skimming funds from the mill for nearly a year. He didn't know how much he had taken during that time, but it had to be thousands of gold. He pleaded with the party not to sully the dead man's good name and to avenge Banny and Katrine whenever they found who, or what, did this to them. The party agreed on both counts and decided to head toward the barn and the sanitorium after a quick pitstop at the cathedral. They informed Father Zantus what was happening and discussed their suspicions  with him, but he wasn't able to offer any more information than the party already knew about ghasts. Feda went ahead and sent a messenger to Magnimar to make sure that no one had bothered Mersoolian or the eye of wrath on the off chance that the ghast cleric from Rivenrake wasn't as dead as they thought.

 

The investigation of the barn didn’t take long at all; the scene had long grown cold but Jaren was able to piece together how the scuffle happened and found a hiding spot behind some old rotten haybales where the killer crouched. Purrcival and his nose were able to confirm that it had the same rotten smell as the other two scenes. Vincent seemed almost offended that a ghast would loiter behind some haybales to ambush some conmen and as the party headed to the sanitorium there was much discussion on possible suspects and red herrings.

 

At the sanitorium the party met with the doctor that runs the place, Erin Habe. He insisted that he was too busy to show the party around the premises but Vincent expressed the urgency of the matter along with the note from the sheriff which finally convinced the man. He introduced the party to his two tiefling orderlies and showed them upstairs where the party was surprised to find multiple automaton guards standing about. Purrcival had told the party prior to arriving the squat three story stone structure had been a bit of a labor of love from Erin right after the "unpleasantness" and it had basically bankrupted Erin. Clearly for this place to still be running he must have some outside money coming into it. After a quick tour through where Erin explained the various patients currently in residence the party was shown to the top floor where the more dangerous prisoners are kept. He explained currently there was Pidget, a manic wererat, and Grayst who was still suffering badly and hardly coherent. On the way toward Grayst's room Feda was surprised to see an operating room with very invasive (and well used) tools on display.

 

{We decided to call it there as it was getting late, we will start next session with the interviewing of Grayst}

 

DM Notes:

  • The final bit of heavy RP for a bit. I expect the next couple of sessions to see the payoff of the murder mystery and some battles.
  • I had planned for Shalelu to cause s bit of a ruckus at the party but unintentionally or not Eydan put a cork in that by drinking her under the table with Orcish rotgut.
  • I think the investigation is going really well. The party has a number of theories and are doing a good job of using what clues they have available to find potential suspects. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't comment too much on their theories until after the mystery has been solved.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Agreements from the noble houses to help fund Thistletop. Details to be worked out later, but it will help fund improvements and hireling salaries.

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Found clues at the mill
  • Convinced Ibor Thorn to share Mr. Harker's shady dealings
  • Learned the background of the sanitorium

 

End Date: Desnus 11

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