Present Players: Eydan, Jaren, Purrcival, Feda, Mick (player joined Late)
The session started with the party officially meeting Mersoolian and Lucinda. The couple was grateful for the rescue and offered the loot from the ruins as payment. He also told Purrcival to hang onto the wand he dropped while escaping from the goblinsnake. The party and the rescued expedition went back through the Raven Roost hills with no disturbances and arrived back at Sandpoint with nothing of note happening. Mick and Herk, the guard that was rescued, headed off to report to Sherriff Hemlock, while Mersoolian and Lucinda excused themselves to see her grandfather. Lucinda invited everyone over to tea tomorrow. The party wanting to divide up the loot visits the Red Dog Smithy and sells off the masterwork items they found in the pit of the ruins. Purrcival warns the party Das is a bit of an ill-tempered man who the local children mock with a cruel song about his murdered wife and child. Feda who has done a bit of business with the man agrees on the ill-tempered part at least. While Das appraises the gear he puts Jaren on the spot by asking if he was the "monster hunter" of the group. He then mentions that the Sandpoint Devil allegedly lands on Chopper's Isle every full moon. He backhandedly suggests that the party investigate the area and let him know if they find the remains of his son who the guards never did find after the murder of Jervas Stoot (The artist turned serial killer who used to live on Chopper's Isle). The party (minus Nick) knowing the full moon just passed agrees to go and scout out the area the next day to see if they can find any sign of the Devil.
The group reconvenes (Nick is off being a guard / sleeping off a hangover) and agree they could scout out the relatively small island (2 acres or so) before tea time. On the way they meet Gorvi, the half-orc dungsweep of the town at Junker's Edge and have a brief conversation. Junker's Edge is basically a cliff face that overlooks a sandy beach; during low tide the beach is exposed and people dump refuse over the edge then when high tide comes in the junk is (mostly) swept off to sea. Gorvi was busy dropping a load from his red wheelbarrow when the party arrives. At first he is a bit suspicious but warms up to the party when he confirms they aren't guards after him for peeking at the Pixie's Kitten. Gorvi suggests a path down to the beach to reach Chopper's Isle after telling the party they wouldn't catch him dead on the Isle. He lets them know it is haunted and anytime he hears something going on out that way he hides himself under his pillow. Ignoring the flabby half-orc's warning they proceed to cross the beach where the town's refuse is thrown and find themselves at the bottom of a 120 foot cliff. The party finds the remnants of old stairs that were built into the rock face and discuss a strategy to climb when they noticed they've gained an audience who are watching from Junker's Edge. Soon they see Mick coming to meet them, he was sent by Sherriff Hemlock to discourage them but quickly forgot and joined in on the fun. The party manages to scale the cliff without too much effort using a combination of ropes and Purrcival's climbing abilities.
The party follows a short path to a ruined cabin where Jervas used to live and investigate the area. Mick is the first to find the basement via a rotten floor that collapses under him which drops him heavily 20 feet or so down into the earth. The party is able to quickly join after finding a staircase downwards and help him with his wounds. They find themselves deep in an ancient looking room. Feda uses her Dwarven stone cunning to estimate the room is from the Thassilonian time though slightly different than the previous Thassilonian ruin the party found themselves in. The room is dominated by a looming, man-shaped wooden statue, with legs and talons of a giant eagle, two sets of eagle wings, a twisted, gem-studded avian head, and a snake in place of genitals. On the two stone doors leaving the room the party finds seven-pointed stars which Feda and Purrcival are able to identify as symbols of Lissala, an ancient deity who was worshipped by the Runelords of old. No one is able to put a finger on what the statue is beyond very intimidating and likely demonic in nature. As the party explores the room they hear a child's laughter and retreating steps from the northern door. They investigate the room and find a tome on a pedestal and the room strewn with old, mildewy papers. Built into the walls of the room are alcoves and each alcove sits eyeballs and a tongue that still look moist as if someone has only recently ripped them out of a victim. The tome and papers are the work of a diseased mind overflowing with hellish avian figures, Sihedron runes, and what appears to be the Sandpoint Devil. Seeing the tome the party is able to finally piece together the hideous statue, recognizing it as Puzuzu a lord of the Abyss associated with fiendish avian creatures. Purrcival retells a few stories about Puzuzu granting a wish at the cost of the wisher's innocence. The party again hears the giggle of a child and retreat to the main chamber to investigate the other door. They open it to find a spiral staircase heading down deeper into the depths. Eydan leads the way and sees a strange figure bludgeoning his head bloody against the wall while wearing a feathered cape and holding a small carving dagger. The figure turns on Eydan and has bloody pits where his eyeballs would be and blood leaking from his month. As the creature lunges onto Eydan cutting bloody, bird shaped wounds into him Eydan recognizes it as Jervas Stoot, the Chopper. The party only sees Eydan thrashing about but not the creature he says is attacking him. After a short time the figure disappears just leaving a bloody Eydan behind. The party cautiously searches the stair only to find a rusty carving knife laying nearby. Continuing downward the party finds a steel grate with a small room beyond it. The room is littered with small animal bones, each carved with small hellish avian figures. In one corner a pile of moldy blankets sit undisturbed. The party investigates and finds the stones underneath show some signs of being moved, Jeran volunteers to move the cobblestones and as soon as he does so a ghoulish child sized arm lunges upward. From the whole crawls an undead monstrosity in the shape of a child. Around the beast a whisper of childish giggles, cries of anguish, and childish rhymes swirl as it stares at the party with bloody eye sockets and a tongue-less mouth. After a brief skirmish where Purrcival is able to dispel the whispered aura with his countersong the party defeats the creature. Further unearthing the stonework shows a small child's bones and a reddish, moldy red doll in the shape of a dog. The party suspecting they've found Simon Korvut decide to leave the Chopper's dungeon but not before destroying the statue of Puzuzu.
A search around the island reveals a cache of bones and a relatively fresh boar corpse. The party finds a few scratches in the stone and Purrcival is able to make a plaster cast of one of the claw prints. Feda grabs a femur that has been chewed as further evidence. The party returns to the cathedral and meet Brother Walter. He is a monk of Saranrae (Deity of Healing and the Sun) who has a burn scar across his right eye and scars around his wrists. Feda has met him a couple of times and knows him as a silent man with some interest in demonic creatures. He listens to the party's tale and is a bit surprised they recognized Puzuzu. He confirms that none of the items are currently detecting as evil and makes a comment about the priests of the cathedral discouraging anyone from visiting Chopper's Isle due to it being haunted. He is a bit surprised a guard such as Mick was participating in such an expedition, but he is ultimately thankful they were able to find Simon's remains. He places Simon's bones in the family crypt as the party goes to let Das know. He also lets the party know that the isle is technically for sale and if they were interested they should talk to Sister Avra, priestess of Abadar.
The party goes to let Das know what they found and he breaks down at the sight of the stuffed doll. In a bit of a madness he runs to the cathedral and collapses at the sight of his son's bones. The party is politely discouraged from hovering and is eventually greeted by Brother Walter who explains that Das needs some time right now but they should visit the smith in the coming days. Afterwards the party makes it to tea time with the Quinks. There is a bit of an awkward back and forth between Brodert and Mersoolian (while Lucinda mostly just appears exasperated) about the lore of the town's ruined lighthouse. The party quickly gets the idea that there is no love lost between Mersoolian and Brodert. Mersoolian does invite the party to an upcoming expedition to an island in the Varisian Gulf and tells them to visit his curio shop if they ever find themselves in Magnimar. The party agrees, pending what's going on at the time, to both of his suggestions. Mersoolian also gives Jeran a Snakefolk Amulet that kept the Iron Cobras from attacking in the ruin as thanks for rushing to his rescue though he isn't sure the trinket will prove much use anywhere else. The group discusses a bit of the runes and notes found in Jervas' cabin and they witness another argument over Thassilonian lore before finishing teatime. The next session will start with them heading off to the general store as Purrcival is convinced he knows a password to get some quality Orcish Rotgut from Vin Vender.
- It is a bit of a cheap trick, but I've resorted to providing pictures for all the NPCs as I'm no good at giving distinct voices. On the plus side, most of them provide the correct name spelling and for the town NPCs their roles.
- There wasn't a whole lot of combat this session, I'm curious how the players felt about that. We spent a lot more time on exploration. I don't really mind this as I generally try to aim for a mix of combat / roleplaying / exploration.
- There's a lot of lore in this adventure path, but a couple of the characters are either dumb or not interested. Hopefully I can find some more interesting hooks for them as we continue.
- The Chopper's Dungeon went well. Sawcy/Purrcival did a good job of helping the mood by reacting to the general creepiness and let's be real, child ghosts/undead are always creepy.
- The NPC name dropping barrage continues, but I think everyone is coping pretty well. I need to do a better job of describing the NPCs as I introduce them, oftentimes I assume I know their traits so clearly the PCs should which is … sort of dumb on my part.
- I should probably include the map of Sandpoint on the "default" Sandpoint Roll20 map. I feel it will give people more idea of where things are located. I should also make some "default" maps for the surrounding areas.
- I lowered the challenge rating of the child spirit a bit, but I'm not convinced I needed to do so. It went down quicker than expected, though I did expect it to be an "easier" fight given the action economy advantage a full party has versus a single creature.
- The Jervas Stoot "haunt" went pretty well, though the party had no clue how to "defeat" it. I feel like the rules for haunts are neat, but this party is not particularly well suited to handle them at the moment.
- We started a bit later than I would of liked. Next week I should give everyone a 30 minute warning so they can wrap up tasks / get food before the game.
Treasure / Loot:
- A handful of Onyx Gems worth 30 GP
- A Summon Monster III Scroll (Keyed to only summon a winged fiendish constrictor snake)
- Ramblings of Jarvis Stoot
- Plaster Cast of a Clawed Footprint from Chopper's Isle
Challenges / Monsters:
- A concealed Pit Trap (Mike found it)
- A "haunt" of Jarvis Stoot
- A Whispering Spirit of Simon Korvut
End Date: Spring 3