Rise of the Runelords

Session Thirty-Two
We do this by the Book

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

 

Session Notes:

The party wraps up the combat at the house by securing the two human cultists. The one dressed in a strange ritualistic costume is outraged and demands that the guards be summoned loudly and repeatedly. He claims that he was here with the permission of Aldern and that the two faceless stalkers were hired to impersonate the Foxgloves so as to deter thieves. The party is quickly annoyed by the loudly yelling cultist and after a brief interrogation attempt knock him unconscious. Purrcival and Vincent head over to the church of Abadar to bring them in to help the situation while Eydan searches the house. Eydan is able to procure a few documents that point to some strange dealings in a local lumbermill owned by the Brotherhood of Seven organization and finds a deed that claims Foxglove Manor was partly funded by the organization and the manor's ownership would revert to them in 100 years after construction.

 

At the church of Abadar, Vincent and Purrcival wave down a middle aged balding cleric and explain that they've captured two cult members related to the recent murders and want to bring in the church's investigators. He seems a bit concerned by their apparent breaking and entering, and he quickly scurries off to find a ranking member of the church. Before too long has passed a well armored man comes over and introduces himself as Paladin Garen. He has been serving the Church of Abadar as a liaison to the city guards and has helped with the church's own investigation of the murders. Once again Vincent and Purrcival explain what happened, and once Garen has heard the story he becomes concerned about the party breaking the law and attacking nobles, even if they knew them to be dead. Garen insists on getting the city guard involved. They wait a bit and are soon escorted to the house with eight city guard where they recover the prisoners and escort the Thistles back to the Cathedral of Abadar to await the arrival of the city justice in charge of the investigation. While they wait Garen takes Feda and Vincent aside and professes respect for their deities, but he admits he has some concerns about this whole situation. The party quickly gets the feeling Garen is a strictly lawful type and doesn't believe in coloring outside the lines.

 

Justice Ironbriar arrives roughly half an hour after being summoned and interviews the two cultists. Vincent has heard of the Justice while working as  barrister and mentions he gives harsh sentences but doesn't have a reputation of being corrupt. Justice Ironbriar deems they had some legitimate rights as members of the Brotherhood, which he explains is a semi-secret cabal of merchants who try to use their collective bargaining for better prices. He has heard of the Thistles and the good work they've done in Thistletop, so rather than throw them into prison he suggests that they leave the city and stay away while the murders are ongoing. The party tries to explain their suspicions about Aldern, even going so far as to show the note they found in Foxglove Manor, but he is not swayed by their argument. Vincent and Jaren get a read on the man, and they don't think he is telling them the full truth especially about this Xanesha character mentioned in the note. They don't press the issue and Ironbriar rather abruptly leaves afterwards. Paladin Garen takes responsibility for the party and says he will escort them outside the city tomorrow, but they might as well rest for the night.

 

The party plots at their inn trying to determine what to do next, especially now that they know Aldern was sending payments on Oathday to the Seven's lumbermill. They eventually decide to play along and leave the city in the morning so as not to damage Paladin Garen's honor, then return on Oathday to investigate the mill. Not worrying too much about the paladin's honor, that night Eydan slips out and enjoys a visit to one of the more exclusive brothels, but is unmolested thanks to the hat of disguise allowing him to disguise as a pampered noble type. In the morning, while Feda does some ritual forging for Torag the party stands around discussing the oddities of religion. Vincent begs off leave to go purchase a singing Nightingale from Pug's Contraptions and Paladin Garen gives him leave to do so as long as he is waiting by the gates afterwards. It is not too much longer before Feda finishes up and the party meets Vincent at the gate as promised. The party is escorted out the gates, and they try to give Garen a warning to keep an eye on Justice Ironbriar but they aren't sure it got through to the man. The session ends with them debating when to infiltrate the city and investigate the lumber mill.

 

DM Notes:

  • The module doesn't explicitly lay out what happens between the combat encounters, but I felt like the temple / (re-)Introduction to Justice Ironbriar was a good bridge
  • The party vaguely remembered having one of Ironbriar's men picking up Tsuto from  Sandpoint after their exploits in the ruins underneath the town. It sort of surprised me, the group isn't the best with names and NPCs all the time.
  • Not much combat this session, but I expect the next couple to make up for that as we head into the climax of Book 2.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Bag of Platinum at Foxglove Manor
  • Sundry Loot from Cultists (Few masterwork items, healer's kit, some unidentified herbs (OOC: poison))

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Social Challenge at the Church of Abadar
  • End of fight with 2 Cultists and 3 Faceless Stalkers

 

 

End Date: Desnus 20 (Saturday)

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Session Thirty-One
The City of Monuments

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

Session Notes:

The party takes the Manticore statue back to Thistletop to set it up as an intimidating lobby ornament. After much direction from Purrcival, Jaren finally manages to position it to satisfy the cat's design. The journey to Magnimar takes a couple of days, but nothing bothers the travelers on the way. The party has a busy day of selling the bits of loot they'd managed to acquire over the past few days of adventure.  While shopping they hear a number of rumors, Jaren hears about their own exploits of saving Sandpoint from ghouls and solving the murders. Vincent and Purrcival hear tell that there have been some similar murders here in Magnimar. It seems like the murderers have mostly been targeting nobles, merchants, bankers, and lawyers. The bodies are likewise marked with the Sihedron rune and the corpse's jaws removed. Aurelia does not hear tell of such heavy rumors and instead focuses on the monuments around the city. She learns that the variety of monuments around the city can offer various magical effects if one takes the time to meditate at their bases. The Thistles take the time to visit Mersoolian and take back the Eye of Wrath from their earlier adventures on Rivenrake Isle. Mersoolian tells them that he was able to track down Rollo Sven to Palin's Cove near Korvosa but he isn't sure why the man was going that way. They ask if Mersoolian has any leads on why the murders have started happening here, but Mersoolian admits that he doesn't have any real knowledge. He seemed surprised that the party doesn't have a better idea of the killer's motives after dealing with Sandpoint. Feda tries to learn more about the murders happening in the city, but a combination of the temples busily making sure their own are well guarded and Feda being relatively unknown stops her from gaining much useful intel. She does learn that more of the victims have come from the faithful of Abadar than Iomedae but otherwise turns up no new leads. Feda does at least provide all the knowledge they've gained from Sandpoint back to the Temple of Abadar. While this is going on Eydan hears tell of a new drug that is sweeping the streets of Magnimar known as Dream Milk. He manages to track down a brutally honest dealer in the Underbridge district that goes by the name of Shady Pete. Pete lays it down straight and offers Eydan a wide selection of stuff (after warning him off the really bad stuff). The drug is supposed to grant amazing dreams and a full night's rest even if you only sleep a single hour. Pete does warn it is a bit addictive, but not nearly as harmful as some of his stuff. Aurelia heads to the Grand Arch district and does some shopping around the district. She tries her hand meditating at the Founder's Flame monument but doesn't seem to get much out of it. Jaren and Vincent head to the Founder's Archive and Museum of Ages to learn more about his sword. He is rebuffed from meeting the museum curator though the half-elf scribe, Sharwith, he does talk with promises that he'll be added to the schedule. Eydan signs up to be a member of the Hunter's Guild and tells them about his idea of setting up Thistletop as a sort of hunting resort. They seem enthusiastically interested and promise to assist in whatever way he needs (provided the guild gets its proper share of the revenue).

 

The party reconvenes at the Rag and Garter, which is basically a hipster bar where nobles dress down and go 'slumming' in a nice safe environment. The workers all dress down like vagrants and the food is all appropriately themed as 'poor people' food. Feda and Eydan loathe the bar (though for different reasons). Eydan eventually has to be shushed by the staff for making fun of the young nobles. The party debate their plans for investigating the Foxglove Estate here in the Grand Arch district. They decide to head to Pug's Contraptions and arrive just as he is closing up shop. They manage to convince him to tell them where he sent the cages they found in Foxglove Manor after a bit of prodding. Morgamer Pug is not very enthusiastic about the party being there and is a bit offended at claiming his goods were involved in something sinister. Things get a bit more tense when Feda on her way out hears the party debating if Morgamer could craft them things and she points out she can do it cheaper and faster. While true, it doesn't really make Morgamer very happy to hear. Feda tries to make some amends by buying Purrcival a singing clockwork bird, but Mr. Pug is happy to see the party leave his shop. Heading back from the shop Feda and Vincent pray at the Our Lady of Blessed Waters and receive a blessing that strengthens their divine spells. Eydan takes advantage of their delay to scout the estate and inside he hears some strange voices talking in a language he doesn't recognize. The party manages to sneak into the alley behind the estate and cast a few buff spells before getting into the walled in garden behind the house. They make use of a silence spell on a rock to ensure their silence, but when Feda is going to identify the language she makes a bit too much noise and the voices inside stop. They open the door and are surprised to see Aldern and Iesha Foxglove staring at them seemingly in perfect health (no undead here!). In a very tense, exchange the two parties make some small talk before Eydan shoots at Aldern. This causes Iesha to revert to a strange rubbery bodied creature with a face covered in strange whirls and swirls. Purrcival recognizes them as faceless stalkers and battle quickly follows. The party has the advantage on numbers and the combat quickly becomes a rout. It turns out the stalkers weren't alone and two humans attempt to escape, one out a window and one fleeing through the front door. Feda nearly grabs a faceless stalker, but it compresses itself into a ridiculous shape and fits into a sewer drain. However, the party is able to stay pretty well in step with the humans and is working on securing them as the session ends.

DM Notes:

  • Ankheg Chitin would use these rules (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment/special-materials/#TOC-Coral-Chitin-and-Sea-Shells ). They'd also receive a discount when enchanting for Acid Resistance (see Dragon Armor).
  • The party can buy loot in the down time between sessions to represent the Magnimar shopping trip.
  • I think the party has all the clues to figure out the murders, but they haven't put it together yet. I expect they'll figure it out eventually.
  • I sort of wish some of these combats were more difficult, buy Eydan and Jaren are able to hit so consistently against these weaker monsters it seems like the monsters rarely get to do much damage. Oh well, I expect the next module to be a bit better on the challenge scale.

Rewards / Loot:

  •  Eye of Wrath from Mersoolian
  • {Goods bought}

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 3 Faceless Stalkers

End Date: Desnus 19

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Session Thirty
Cleaning Up

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

 

Session Notes:

The party's first order of business is to let Horran meet his wife in her new form. He is extremely nervous but after some kind words from Feda and Vincent they re-introduce the two of them. The two are happy to once again be reunited after some initial awkwardness. Lettie Guffmin insists on the party coming over for a home cooked meal at some point and they both promise to help the party anyway they can. After a bit more plotting the party decides there are a lot of loose ends that they should handle before following up on the investigation from the manor. After a stern talking to from Bethana, Vincent decides he needs to find a new owner for his adopted cat Skivver. He heads off to find a new owner while the rest of the party split up to follow up some tasks at Thistletop. Eydan and Aurelia goes to the carpenter's guild and gives a tour of Thistletop to the guild master and start to plan out some improvements. Feda, Purrcival, and Jaren busy themselves recovering the giant golden helmets from the treasury in the lower levels of Thistletop. With the help of Jaren's Heavyload Belt the party manages to get it back to Sandpoint. Though they know they'll need to get it to Magnimar to be able to sale it. Vincent manages to convince Ameiko to adopt the cat, though she isn't thrilled with the idea.

 

Afterwards, the party takes a rest at the Rusty Dragon and then decides to clean up some loose ends around the Sanitorium and Foxglove Manor. They first head to the Sanitorium but send Eydan to scout it out sense last time Feda visited she was turned away. He manages to sneak around the place without being seen. Inside the asylum he sees the tiefling nurses tending patients and he sees Erin interacting with the patients a bit. However, Erin keeps giving nervous glances over to a man that Eydan doesn't recognize. The man is older and is flanked by two of the clockwork guardians while he eats a small breakfast. Eydan wracks his brain to see if he could recognize the man, but fails to figure him out. Eydan sees a chance to search Erin's office and does so by silently unlocking the window. Eydan finds notes on all the current patients with nearly daily updates, however, the patient Grayst that had been infected with ghoul fever only has a few entries that end shortly after Feda managed to cure the man. Eydan manages to hear Erin approaching and dives out the window without being spotted, but Erin is left suspicious and looks around to see if anything has been taken. Once Eydan returns the party debates heading over to the Sanitorium to confront the Erin and the old man (whom they surmise is the sanitorium's financial backer), but ultimately decide it would be too suspicious even if they end up missing the chance to confront him.

 

The party heads back to the Foxglove Manor and finishes searching the place. Purrcival uses the new bag of holding to purloin the stuffed Manticore statue. They receive the last haunt of the mansion showing Vorel's final attempt at transforming into a lich. In that same room they find some relatively new looking cages with symbols that Purrcival (somehow) recognizes as Pug's Contraptions from Magnimar. They finish up searching after finding the clue, heading down into the Sandstone caverns below. Jaren stumbles into some yellow mold, but manages to resist the debilitating effects. Feda finds an undead Dire Bat (known as a Skaveling), but manages to fend the creature off by herself. The creature vows vengeance and wings out the well shaft open in the back room. They find a couple of items that were missed the first time, and they also finally to manage to identify the strange metal book. It is a Sorcerer's Spellbook which allows a spontaneous caster to add a random known spell once a day.

 

DM Notes:

  • Solid wrap up session of a lot of the loose ends from the adventure path so far.
  • The party is heading to Magnimar next, where I believe they'll be chasing down the main plot thread and a couple of side quests.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Breaking Pickaxe
  • Gems

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Carrying a large helmet
  • Skaveling

 

End Date: Desnus 17

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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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