Rise of the Runelords

Session Sixty-Five
Visiting Old Friends

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent

 

Session Notes:

The party splits up in Magnimar to do some shopping around the town, or in Feda's case takeover a forge offered by the Church of Abadar to do some forging on personal projects. Jaren buys Boots of Speed and a fancy dancing scarf feeling that his moves aren't letting him keep up with his enemies. Feda spends time crafting some spare weapons and begins tinkering with the blueprints for the Multimetal Mace that Ivan gave her. Vincent spends some money on a metamagic rod, basically accepting the fact that he isn't one to be using a real weapon in combat. Purrcival spends some time unlearning the ways of the arcane healer and picks up a number of versatile performances meaning he is effectively all-in on skills.

 

While Jaren and Vincent are out on the town they get stopped by an old man who recognizes Jaren and Celestial Fury. He explains there was a popular article produced by Dr. Ernst Landis and that he'd love to see the blade in person. Jaren obliges the man and the two Thistles decide to drop in on the good doctor. They are quickly shown to Dr. Ernst's office in the museum by Sharwith the half-elven intern. Dr. Ernst is initially disappointed that Jaren still hasn't decided to turn the blade over to the museum, but quickly gets over his disappointment as they begin talking about what else Jaren's managed to learn about the blade. As the three men are talking, Dr. Ernst brings up the "Alara'hai" which are the seven swords of sin. At first Jaren and Vincent wonder if Celestial Fury could be one of those blades reforged, but when the Sword of Wrath is mentioned Jaren gets strong empathetic feedback from the blade expressing its distaste and anger at the ideal of being the Sword of Wrath. Vincent and Jaren bandy a few theories back and forth before deciding to invest in some stronger magic to learn more of the sword's history. They buy a scroll of Legend Lore for Purrcival and have him delve into the lore of the strange blade.

 

Purrcival describes a battlefield from long ago where the sword is being wielded by an aasimar warrior. She is leading a rebellion against the Runelord of Wrath who has assembled a large army of her serpent folk warriors. The warrior leads her much less well equipped army into battle and makes some headway against the better equipped forces, however, when the Runelord of Wrath herself enters the battle the battle quickly becomes a rout. The aasimar tries to rally her forces but is struck down by the Runelord's cruel magics. However, as the warrior falls a brilliant light from heaven streaks down and reinvigorates the aasimar who seems to be something more now. Purrcival is able to her for what she truly is and recognizes the power of a Star Archon. The Star Archon singlehandedly manages to destroy the majority of the Serpentfolk army and badly wound the Runelord who manages to teleport away. As the battle wages the Star Archon begins to fade away as if their presence on the plane is draining it away. It slowly fades from sight until the blade falls to the ground. The last thing Purrcival is able to see is the Serpentfolk army managing to recover the blade and present it to the Runelord as she returns to the battlefield to squash the rebellion. Purrcival's story generates a lot of discussion on next steps to determine what really happened on that battlefield, but the party decides to revisit the matter at a later date.

 

The Thistles return to their original haunting grounds of Sandpoint the next day. They visit their numerous allies in town making sure to visit the Mayor Deverin, Father Zantus, and Ilsoari. Ilsoari is amazed to hear the party's tales and they give him the twenty pound Sihedron Medallion to go into his collection since they can't imagine a use for it. He happily trades his scroll scribing ability in exchange. They revisit Thistletop and find it in much better repair compared to when the goblin's ran the place. Eydan is running a successful hunter's encampment in the local area which serves as double duty of allowing Eydan to scout the area and look out for threats. The once shaky rope bridge has been replace with a more sturdy wooden bridge and the dock has finally been assembled. They use the dock to visit Grubber's Hermitage again to make sure the blackmailing dragons haven't returned. The hamlet has been peaceful since the Thistles last visited and there has even been a bit of trade between Grubber's Hermitage and Thistletop. Feda makes a point of using stone shape to better cover up the entrances to the Catacombs of Wrath under the glassworks in Sandpoint. They check on the various commoners they've taken under the party's wing. Eliza and Henrim have been well integrated into town after being saved from the Feaster's of the Heart. Lettie and Horann have gotten back into the farming lifestyle with some re-sized furniture and farm implements for Lettie. Lettie has become fast friends with a few halflings in Sandpoint and has become a lot more understanding for the vertically challenged. Tomasz and Erin are still doing well with Erin having high hopes that Tomasz will one day be able to reintegrate into society. Finally, Vincent pays a visit to Ameiko at her estate and gifts her the lavender scented gloves of swimming and climbing from the dam trolls. Ameiko is a bit concerned with Vincent's new companion Rann, but is laughing at his antics with the strange doll before the night is through. As the night winds down Ameiko gives Vincent a solid kiss and invites him to visit whenever his adventure's allow.

 

DM Notes:

  • http://www.pathfindercommunity.net/magic-items/artifacts/major-artifacts/seven-swords-of-sin
  • I felt a bit bad that it was the Vincent/Jaren show, leaving Feda a bit off scene for a lot of the session.
  • Shopping was done more "on-scene" than I would of liked but there's a ton of items in pathfinder so that's understandable.
  • I think we're back to more serious adventuring next week as the party looks to return to Turtleback Ferry to deal with Prism's Valley and the Ice Witch (who they are concerned with because they just knocked off a whole coven of witches). They've even talked about visiting Kaer Maga to see what Lucrecia is plotting.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  •  

 

Challenges / Monsters Defeated:

  •  

 

 

End Date: Erastus (July) 17

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Session Sixty-Four
Tap, Tap the Needle into the Cranium

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

 

Session Notes:

The party treks back to Fort Rannick from the defeated ogre clan's stronghold and it is thankfully uneventful. They rest there a night before heading back to Turtleback Ferry. The town is still on the road to recovery from the recent floods, but the townsfolk are happy to see the returning heroes. The gnomes have sent a large contingent of their local defense force, the Badger Company, from Sipplerose and are lending their aid in defense of the town and helping with what repairs they can. The Thistles meet the leader of the gnomish band, Brittle Rose, while giving Baroness Foxglove an overview of what happened in the mountains. The briefing is attended by the Thistles, the Baroness, Brittle Rose, and a strange gnomish figure. The large gnomish figure is introduced by Brittle Rose as Zilryn who hails from Sipple Rose and occasionally offers them aid for the more interesting challenges. He is a powerful kinectist and when he hears of the party's exploits he offers them his aid if they'll have it. The party is happy to accept his offer of help and Zilryn joins them on their mission to return Lamatar's body to Myriana in Whitewillow. They are quickly met on the outskirts of the swamp by Yap who once again leads them through the darkened swamp to Myriana's grove. Once again the ghostly nymph arises from the pool, but this time doesn't strike the party blind and seems to get a grasp on her sanity once again when she sees Lamatar's body. Vincent carefully brings up the body before beating a hasty retreat. Myriana intones a powerful spell beyond a simple reincarnation and is able to return Lamatar's spirit back to the material plane at the cost of her own existence. As her spirit fades away a bit of its favor flits about Purrcival before settling on him and twinkling away. Lamatar is brought back as a Duergar, which is another shock beyond just being returned to life. Jakardros now embraces his slightly shorter commander and does his best to explain the situation. As Myrianna's ghost fades from existence the rest of the swamp is released from her despair and a slightly nicer atmosphere seems to return to the area.

 

The party spends some time trying to re-investigate the celestial ship with their stronger magics, but they are unable to determine anything new from the wreck. The sword shaped hole that would enable it to fly never does surface despite their best efforts to imagine one somewhere in the hold. The party talks to Yap a bit more and tries to pry interesting adventuring opportunities in the surrounding area, but the pixie is very flighty and the party is unimpressed by the neat snapping turtle nest he knows about and as far as they can tell he has a bit of trouble tracking time on the mortal plane.

 

The party returns to Turtleback Ferry and the as per the news of their latest sending spell the followers of Abadar arrive with barges of supplies led by Paladin Garen. The party fills him in on the local situation and decide to investigate the wreckage of the Paradise they'd heard about when they first arrived in town. The wreckage is under 40 foot of water, but it provides little difficulty to the party's magical abilities. The wreckage is inhabited, unsurprisingly, by the notorious Pink-eye, a huge freshwater gar, that quickly falls to Zilryn's astounding psionic magic. The ship gives them no clues beyond showing obvious signs of sabotage. The party hauls in Pink-eye for a going away fest and leave on the barges the church of Abadar used from Magnimar. Vincent does make a point of getting some more of Keecher's delicious cranberry turtle egg pies and gets berated by Keecher when he offers to return the earlier pies he never got around to eating.

 

The barge ride back is uninteresting with the party spending a fair amount of time crafting and sharing some of the more interesting languages they'd picked up on their travels. They report back to Proctor Jyronn and tell him the news of Turtleback Ferry and the news of the Runelords. The party is a bit surprised at how stoically he takes the news, but he explains he's worked with the Pathfinder Society long enough to not try to micro manage a competent party of adventurers. He gives the Thistles his full confidence and offers them what aid he is able if they find a need of it.

 

Feda becomes a bit stubborn on convincing Purrcival to use the newly found Lore Needle and insists on Vincent tapping the large six inch magical needle into her skull. After a few delicate taps into the skull, she shows Purrcival that it isn't cursed and works as advertised. With some hesitation he agrees to use the item despite his misgivings and after insisting it be sanitized lets Feda perform the surgery to install the Lore Needle.

 

DM Notes:

  • Magnimar shopping done off screen, but next session will cover some RP in Magnimar and Sandpoint. We'll head back to the dungeons there after!
  • People who have played the campaign before may notice I didn't jump right into the next book. I'm not a huge fan of the lack of downtime in the AP as written, so I've got things slightly slowed down (though with the dates already set so we'll see what happens on the party "lollygagging" around.

 

Challenges / Monsters Defeated:

  • Pinkeye the Giant Gar

 

 

End Date: Erastus (July) 10

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Session Sixty-Three
Bookkeeping and Heralds

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

Session Notes:

After defeating the last of the giants, the exhausted party decides to camp in the Ogre Clanhold. Feda makes camp after setting up their Monkey Head alarm and goes straight to bed while the rest of the party finish up their work in the caverns. Vincent and Jakardros clean up Lamatar's body and prepare to take it back to the swamp, though the more knowledgeable casters are unsure it can be raised given its recent undead state. After that grim task is finished the party begins looting the combatants. They find a large silver needle, nearly six inches long, that they recognize as a Lore Needle. If a willing creature inserts it into their brain they are given great insight into the various knowledge skills. There is a lot of debate on if such a strange item is worth it that ends with them saving it for further debate. Searching the coven's lair they find a few magical bottles, a magical doll, and a magical book. Vincent takes the lead on attempting to identify items, but they fail to figure them all out so they decide to wait until Feda is awake before taking anything. Everyone is a bit creeped out by the battered knit doll but as far as they can tell it isn't hostile. The "statue" from the front hall is identified as a Rune Giant's body being preserved by a Sihedron Amulet. When the party takes the item it collapses into a pile of desiccated giant flakes. They gather the rest of the loot without incident, and their watch is uneventful.

 

Vincent is startled to awaken the next morning with the doll nestled in the crook of his arm and awakens with a scream. The rest of the party awaken and there's a lot of debate on what happened. Feda is able to recognize the doll as a Needful Doll. It is a cursed item that returns to its owner and if it is mistreated will curse them with nightmares. It is devilishly hard to get rid of with magic, but if it is accepted by a willing new owner then it will leave the former owner in peace. As the party discusses various ways to trick the doll into leaving Vincent alone it forlornly slumps over though no one is sure if it is the cold winds blowing through the cavern or the doll itself. Eventually Vincent just decides to treat the doll right and endeavors to make it feel welcome by naming it and putting it in a place of honor on his pack. None of the other items are cursed, and Feda is able to decipher what each does. The magical book is a Book of Secrets which allows the wielder to whisper a secret in and be told one in turn helping them with knowledge checks. The bottles are a bottled scream and yeti fur. The doll, "Rann", is crafted some rough cold weather gear and Vincent goes outside to pray in the morning sun while Feda goes to use the Ogre's forge for her prayers to Torag.

 

Vincent is surprised to notice two figures watching him as he finishes his prayers to Sarenrae. They introduce themselves as Fetsni and Ivan. Fetsni is a fair skinned human with wheat colored hair. She is dressed in simple but practical clothes and isn't wearing any armor or weapons of note. Ivan is a stout black haired dwarf wearing armor and he has a large well-worn war hammer strapped to his back. They introduce themselves explaining they were in the area on a different errand and decided to pay the party a visit. Vincent is struck with a familiarity to Fetsni, but can't exactly place the feeling. Deciding to trust the two strangers he invites them to meet the rest of the party. Ivan joins in with Feda praying to Torag using the forges while Fetsni walks to their campsite with Vincent.

 

After their prayers, Ivan and Feda have a short chat. Ivan gives Feda a wax paper wrapper package that seems to contain schematics to a weapon she'd been designing. The blueprints are for a "Multimetal Mace" which shocks her since she has shown no one her plans. Ivan isn't quick to explain himself and they both go join the rest of the party. Fetsni sees that Ivan has been handing out gifts and gives Vincent five prisms made of clear stones. She explains Ivan and herself were in the area dealing with Prism's Valley, and she encourages the party to go visit if they happen to have the time. She tells them there isn't a particularly rush, but if they did visit it might save the two of them future trips. The two divine casters begin to clue in on these two being fairly powerful servants of their deities and agree that they'll head that way as soon as is reasonable but they have some prior obligations.

 

The party wraps up the session by questioning Barl Breakbones the Stone Giant Leader using the Speak with Dead spell. The Q/A is captured here:

  • Where is Kaven?

    • The lap dog is with Lucrecia
  • Where is Lucrecia?

    • She has gone to Kaer Maga in the service of our master
  • Who is your master?

    • I served Lord Mokmurian
  • How do you serve your master?

    • We prepare the way for the Runelord of Greed, Karzoug
  • How long do we have until he rises?

    • The giant refuses to answer

DM Notes:

  • A non-combat session, but given the two prior were basically all combat I think that's ok
  • As a general rule, I feel like by level 10 clerics should be attracting attention of their deities (really, I think any class at level 10 should be relatively renown and expect there to be repercussions [good or bad] for that)
  • The Needful Doll was a big hit. I'm glad Vincent's player decided to lean into it rather than just scheming ways of getting rid of it as soon as possible

Rewards / Loot:

  • Bottled Yeti Fur
  • Book of Secrets
  • Bottled Scream
  • Needful Dolls
  • Black Onyx Gems
  • Masterwork Earthbreaker (LG)
  • Rough Gold Nugget
  • Stone Giant Bag Loot
  • Barl's Spellbook
  • Mammy's Spellbook
  • Masterwork Quarterstaff
  • Masterwork Ogre Hooks (LG, 2x)
  • Lamatar's Loot
  • Sihedron Amulet (Gargantuan)
  • Sihedron Amulet
  • Lore Needle
  • Multimetal Mace Schematics
  • Prism Stones (x5)
  • Shocking Longsword
  • Gargantuan Masterwork Glaive

End Date: Erastus (July) 1

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Session Sixty - Sixty-Two
The Siege of Hook Mountain!

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

Session Notes:

  • The party finds a dragon bone archway that Vincent recognizes as a Blue Dragon
  • They find a gigantic statue that Purrcival recognizes as a Rune Giant, but the party defers messing with it until after the buff / fighting. They see a magic amulet on it but leave it for now.
  • The intersection fight doesn't last that long. The 2 guards and hill giant serving as little more than a speed bump to the well buffed party, but they do cost a bit of time on the buffs.
  • Under strict orders to not charge they refuse to be baited and yell "NO" at Feda's taunts
  • Lunderbud begs from help, but he also receives a chorus of "NO"
  • Feda mother hens Jaren and Jakardros
  • The ogres in the Clanhold room try to stand strong but get steamrolled by the buffed party. One is lucky enough to connect on a thrown axe.
  • The lesser ogres don't matter much but the fighters manage to connect a few times with Feda and Jaren
  • As the last two fighters make their stand, both manage to connect with 2 hits on Feda and Jaren
  • The party quickly about faces as the last of the ogres in the Clanhold room fall.
  • Feda drops a wall of stone in front of the southern hag area, and the party continues onward to the altar room
  • Lamatar hits Jaren with an arrow, and the party charges into combat. Jaren manages to nimbly dodge the stone spikes while Mammy d-doors behind the party invisible with an ogre ally
  • Purrcival runs from the smell and drops a glitterdust successfully illuminating an ogre zombie and Mammy Graul. Graul fumbles the save and is blind for a round!
  • Jaren is force caged by the hidden hag coven. The party is still unaware that they're hanging out under the veil from their coven
  • Some poor rolls has the party on edge. Jaren barely survives some Baleful Polymorph.
  • Vincent being ultimately too suspicious of the saves on Jaren and the women being in the room drops a holy smite behind Lamatar which catches 2 of the hags. One is blinded and hisses out in pain which allows Vincent to pierce the illusion with his will power.
  • Purrcival drops a haste on the party as Jaren pulls back
  • Spiritual Ally was flubbed
  • Mammy slaps Jaren with her staff, but he tags her as she retreats
  • Mammy angrily pursues Purrcival but is unable to land a spell
  • Feda drops Lamatar and a hag
  • Mammy tries to exhaust Jaren but misses as her flab gets in the way
  • Jaren is able to move up and drop her with the benefit of True Sight
  • Purrcival is able to pierce the hag's DR with his arrows and drop the second of the trio
  • The last falls pretty quickly thereafter to Feda's hammer
  • Feda decides to check behind the curtain leading deeper into the dungeon and finds herself faced by 3 living stone giants and 2 zombie stone giants
  • From a massive throne in the back a deep voice laughs at the heroes
  • While the stone giant honor guards stand and watch, the two zombies pound the party
  • They put some heavy dents in Feda and Jaren before one is dropped by a serious of hammer blows and a flurry of arrows from Purrcival who drops it
  • The final zombie falls to a counter attack by Jaren. This causes the two living stone giants to stop standing at attention and readying themselves
  • Barl casts a fireball on the back line
  • Feda summons a veritable army of spiritual weapons and spiritual allies on one of the stone giants. Jaren manages to land some blows as he dodges forward from ranged attacks.
  • Vincent drops a flame strike roasting all 3 stone giants
  • Barl casts a wall of blindness/deafness around the two melee fighters (Jaren / Feda)
  • A swarm of ghostly forms overwhelm one of the stone giants as Jaren flows away in mithral style
  • Barl comes back in with an ray of exhaustion on Feda
  • Purrcival managers to cast hold monster from a scroll and the Stone Giant Wizard rolled a 1
  • Jaren's blade gets stuck to the wizard and he loses it
  • The spiritual weapons continue to swarm the wizard who flies about with Jaren's sword stuck to him
  • The spider nobly tries to web the giant AND DOES SO
  • Barl fails to break it like a pansy
  • Feda allows Jaren to ignore the strength damage
  • Barl continues to flit about but is stopped from casting spells due a lot of webs from the summon monster
  • Purrcival manages to drop the giant leader with a trio of well-placed shots

DM Notes:

  • Nice dungeon overall, the players were completely tapped at the end and had a pretty climatic final fight

Rewards / Loot:

  • Next Session! We don't have time for looting, there's buffs running!
  • Reached level 10

Challenges / Monsters Defeated (Approximately):

  • 8 Ogre Workers
  • 2 Ogre Fighters
  • Frost Wight (Lamatar)
  • Fast Ogre Zombie
  • Mammy Graul
  • 3 Annis Hags
  • Barl Breakbones
  • Relentless Stone Giant Zombies x2
  • Stone Giants x2

 

End Date: Sarenith 30

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Session Fifty-Nine
Fervent Toadstool Duel

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

 

Session Notes:

The party sets off for the Kreeg Stronghold early the next morning and is soon deep within the wilds near Fort Rannick. Jakardros warns the party there's a hill giant in the area, but it seems to be uninterested in humans so the Black Arrows have left it alone. As luck would have it, the party gets through his territory unmolested by the giant or any other creatures. Once the party gets higher up into the mountains the party are well served by their cold weather gear and Endure Elements spells because the air quickly gets into hypothermia territory. The party is surprised to find some friendly faces in this very hostile terrain. The Thistles come upon a trio of gnomes from the local gnomish village of Sipplerose. The gnomes invite them to share their fire and introduce themselves as: Exultant Maple (Female Gnome Ranger, Leader of the Band), Startled Dove (Gnome Female Druid, inexperienced but knowledgeable), and Fervent Toadstool (Gnome Male Fighter, Overconfident and inexperienced). While Feda trades for a few of the gnome's slipstream potions, Fervent Toadstool declares he will duel Jaren and if Jaren wins he can have the potion. After a bit of hesitation, Jaren agrees to the excitable gnome and has a relatively easy time of scoring touches on the smaller fighter. He has potential but can't match up with Jaren's experience. The two parties chat a bit more and the Thistles learn the gnomes are in the region finding magical components for their village's crafts.

 

Their lunch is cut short when a gargantuan ice tarantula attacks. The gnomes had warned the party that there was a witch in the area cursing creatures by turning them into ice statues and the spider seems to have fallen to such a fate as it skitter forward in an unnatural rage. The fight is a short one with only Feda taking a bite from the spider's poisonous fangs. Fervent nearly charges to his death, but some quick thinking by Jaren convinces him to hold the line. After defeating the gigantic icy beast the two groups split ways, but not before Exultant gives the party a token and an invitation to Sipplerose.

 

The final trek up the mountain is arduous but thanks to Torag's magic  granting Feda the ability to walk on air, and some very skilled party members the Thistles avoid any further dangers. As they get nearer to the peak the weather begins to kick up and become dire. However, just as visibility is dropping they spy a trickle of smoke from a cave with two ogre guards nearby. Vincent is able to blind both the creatures with a well-placed burst of radiance, and the two blind ogres quickly fall to the party.

 

The siege of Hook Mountain has begun!

 

DM Notes:

  • The gnomes were well received. I was glad Jaren played along with the duel.
  • I described the potions as edible plants which I think is partly why the party traded for them even though the spells aren't that impressive.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Potions of Slipstream

 

Challenges / Monsters Defeated:

  • Icy Giant Tarantula
  • 2x Ogre Fighters

 

End Date: Sarenith 30

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Session Fifty-Eight
Kreeg Throwdown

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

 

Session Notes (Pretty much combat only):

The session starts with us confirming that Feda did not perish in the last fight, and then we jump right back into the fight. The party continues to tangle with the remaining leaders of Kreeg clan. Dorella manages to drop a sleep spell on the party, but fortunately for the party the only person that succumbs to it is the already confused Purrcival. Vincent returns the spell play with a holy smite that blinds the lesser ogre fighters. Jaagrath continues to try to use his Human-bane ogrehook to end Jaren and Vincent. Feda manages to get some healing from Vincent and whales away on the barbarian ogre which gets him low but he rages toward Jaren. Jaren uses one of his remaining maneuvers to dodge under the massive ogre hook and slice the ogre chieftain down. Dorella who at this point had turned invisible rages at the party and drops another confusion catching Purrcival again. Feda casts True Sight on Jaren revealing the invisible ogre and drops her low with a flurry of strikes. Vincent confirms the kill with a flame strike from the heavens which leaves the ogre sorceress as nothing more than cinders.

 

Afterwards, the party takes some time to make sure the fort is clear of any other ogres and helps with the remains of the Black Arrows that the ogres had desecrated. They recover a few magical items from the commander's room and with Jakardros' permission take them in the hopes they'll be useful. With the fort secure, they decide to head deep into the Hook Mountain and strike directly at the Kreeg clan hold. They take a rest at the fort and head out prepared with cold weather gear in the morning.

 

DM Notes:

  • Tough fight, but the party pulled through pretty well

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Boots of Mire
  • Large Human Bane Ogre Hook
  • Large Masterwork Leather
  • 3x Large Masterwork Ogre Hook
  • Wand of Acid Arrow (44 Charges)
  • Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (3)
  • Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds

 

Challenges / Monsters Defeated:

  • Jaagrath Kreeg
  • Dorella Kreeg
  • 3x Kreeg Fighters
  • Kreeg Ogre

 

 

End Date: Sarenith 29

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Session Fifty-Seven
I get +2 on Wednesdays

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

 

Session Notes:

The party returned back to mostly flooded Turtleback Ferry, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been had they not sent back their allies to the town as soon as they heard the floodwaters. The rest of the party were a bit battered and negative energy drained from a very brief struggle with Black Magga. The creature was enraged when it washed into town and it took everything Urtar, Aurelia, and Jakardros had to turn the creature from the town. The Thistles went to see the Baroness of the town, Lady Foxglove. The party briefed her on how they managed to defuse the situation at the dam and explained in the future it would need to be manned with new batteries. The party does what it can to aid the injured townsfolk before heading back to the fort the next day. They decide it would be best to leave the still hurt Urtar and Aurelia, but Jakardros insists on returning to Fort Rannick with the others.

 

Approaching the fort the Thistles find it strangely empty, but still decide to approach cautiously using an airwalk spell to approach the keep's solitary tower. The party hears a few ogres on the top floor so they go in expecting a fight, but end up nearly starting one they weren't prepared to handle. The party finds the Chief of the Kreeg clan along with a good part of his very incestuous family tree. Jaagrath is a massive ogre with arms the size of the largest python's the nearby swamp could hold. His daughter/wife Dorella is an ogre with an early head wound that seemed to unlock her mighty sorcerous powers. Finally, the few ogre fighters are led by the pair's son who has a terrible metal contraption strapped to his face.

 

Jaren nearly loses his head to an early critical hit by an ogre hook. Feda came prepared for the fight with a righteous might, but is very disappointed when Dorella manages to strip the magic away with a well-placed dispel. Shortly thereafter Dorella again causes headaches with a confusion spell that causes the bard and ranger to go a bit loopy.  A few of the lesser ogres fall in battle, but the overall fight isn't going well for the group. Feda tempts fate by repositioning from the middle of the ogres and provokes a number of hits. Her dwarven training causes  a few to miss, but she takes heavy blows. As Jaagrath follows up with his own heart she is nearly cleaved into two pieces, but a talisman jumps to life granting her a timely healing spell.

 

DM Notes:

  • There was a bit of confusion at the end of the night with two characters being "killed" but then Feda was able to pull a trick out of the bag with a previously purchased talisman of healing (Side note: It wasn't tracked on the normal sheet which made for a slightly grumpy DM). That surprise item plus me forgetting an ogre had dropped his weapon trying to grapple caused some confusion if the dwarf was dead. Then Jaagraath promptly dropped a 104-damage crit on Jaren, but with the surprise dwarf resurrection we had to roll back time. End result, Feda not dead but unconscious and Jaren was untouched.
  • We ended the night on a bit of a confused note, but I worked it over the downtime. The above reflects the canon events.
  • A tough fight with the barbarian ogre and barbarian sorcerer husband/wife combo.
  • Jaagraath is a massive tank and is able to one shot anyone if he can land his full attack. However, all the ogre fighters are mostly crit fishing with Feda's dwarven giant training.
  • Relevant Order of the Stick: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0034.html

 

Challenges / Monsters Defeated:

  • 1 Ogre Warrior
  • 2 Ogre Fighters

 

End Date: Sarenith 28

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Session Fifty-Six
Pit Fiend Batteries

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

 

Session Notes:

The party continues to explore the dam's lower levels and next to the Scrag's lair find a chamber with the same skull motif, but in here the skulls burst into a piercing sonic scream. Out of the room lumbers a large scorpion like construct made entirely of skulls. The Skull Ripper is a terrifying creature that attempts to forcibly attain other people's skulls and aid them to its growing bulk. The mere sight of it causes the stoutest warriors to flee, which in this case causes the bard to panic at the sight of the skull covered scorpion. As fighting begins the screaming skulls continue to be an annoyance as they pelt the party with magic missiles doing little damage but consistently pelting the party from the four corners of the room. Purrcival is able to use his bardic countersong to negate the sonic damage but stays well away from the sight of his panic. The skull ripper nearly gets its signature move off on Jaren but fumbles at the last minute. The fighting is intense, but the room eventually grows silent as the last of the screamers are crushed under the parties' weapons.

 

Inside the now quiet room they find what appears to be a control panel, but it seems entirely inactive. Feda uses some of her engineering knowledge to surmise there's a missing power source so the party continues exploring. Back in Grazuul's lair the party slowly dismantles his mountain of skulls to reveal two double doors. The stone doors open into a small room with two arcane summoning circles on either side of the room. One circle is empty besides a stain of crimson ash, while the other still holds a terribly withered Pit Fiend. The creature surprises the party as it pleads for its life. Feda isn't willing to deal with an evil creature as is expected from a divine servant of Torag, but surprisingly even Vincent is unwilling to grant the fiendish creature any attempts at aid knowing the unquenchable evil that makes up the fiend's very existence. The creature introduces itself as Avaxial and offers untold wealth and knowledge to Purrcival. Purrcival seems at first tempted but doesn't agree to any terms given his party's disposition to the creature. Avaxial refuses to interact with Jaren proclaiming him a planar binder with a glare at his blade. Celestial Fury itself clearly hates the fiendish creature so no parley is coming from the warder even if it was requested. Eventually the party teases out the Pit Fiend was ripped from the hells and thrown into the summoning circle thousands of years ago with another fiend in the other circle. Over the ages as the rains have flooded the Storval Deep their life essence has been drained to power the dam. Guessing it might be enough, Vincent summons a celestial gecko in the other circle which promptly gets drained for a bit of life as the dam's flood gates kick back into action. The drain on Avaxial is too much as the creature collapses into a crimson ash.

 

DM Notes:

  • I was entertained by Purrcival's consideration of the fiend's offer.
  • The Screaming Skulls were a good addition to the Skull Ripper fight. They helped cover its lack of range and offered some consistent threat so the party couldn't abuse its leash range.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Pale Lavender Ellipsoid (6 spell levels left)
  • Eye Gems (4000 GP)
  • Pit Fiend Ash Remains

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 4 Skull Screamers
  • 1 Skull Ripper
  • 1 Energy Drained Pit Fiend

 

End Date: Sarenith 27

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Session Fifty-Five
A dam's con-troll room

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival

 

Session Notes:

After taking some time to heal after their brief encounter with Black Magga in which they also searched the ettin's lair, the party continued toward the dam's center where the party assumes there must be some sort of control room. The "control room" is made up of three large skull shaped buildings forming a bulbous growth in the center of the dam. The structure has clearly seen some battle as both sets of door show where creatures have brute forced their way through. One has been hastily fortified, while the southern set of doors seemed to be locked from within. The party opts out of dealing with either door and goes in through one of large eye sockets that make up the building's windows. Inside the skull shaped room they find a collection of rough, filthy heaps of trash that creatures are using for bedding. Opening the door leading out of the sleeping chamber the party finds themselves looking into a room that has seen recent battle. There are a couple of dead ogres and 4 very angry trolls looking toward the party. The two groups charge into battle with Feda's defensive giant training leading the way. The trolls lead with warcries of "KILL DEM FOR DA WET PAPA!" and "MURDER THEM FOR GRAZUUL!" and put up a pretty stout fight. However, the party has plenty of access to fiery magic that stops their regeneration and Feda proves a bulwark against the creature's aggression as Jaren moves in and out of combat slicing them up. There's a couple of hairy moments where the party is flanked by a clever troll, but the party is able to reorient and deal with the threat to the backline.

 

After the battlefield is clear and the regenerating trolls are permanently cleared the party clears out the rest of top floor of the dam. They find a bit of a stash the trolls have hidden behind a loose brick and Purrcival illuminates the party on some of the native plant life when they come across a room full of smelly Hag's Hair moss. The final room the party explores has double doors covered in more trollish scrawling warning any intruders that "THE GREAT GRAZUUL" rests below. that The party descends further into the dam following a corkscrew shaped stair that leads into the dark, damp center of the structure. At the stair's base they find double doors which reveal the "Wet Papa" that the troll's seemed to worship. As guessed by Purrcival the trolls were worshipping a freshwater scrag wielding a massive adamantine trident. The creature uses one of its trinkets to summon a few water elementals to aid in combat, but its efforts are for naught when a spell strikes it blind. The party is able to pretty quickly strike down the disabled scrag and search the room. They find a stone chamber with multiple doors leading out. One set of double doors is blocked by a large pile of skulls that must number in the hundreds. Each of them polished clean and lovingly stacked in a gruesome monument to something.

 

DM Notes:

  • Some well-placed blinds stopped a number of hits from landing in the troll and scrag fights
  • Grazuul dropped fast thanks to his pitiful AC. He had some good striking ability, but he rolled a 1 and then became blinded so he dropped faster than his minions.
  •  The party is understandably nervous about any room that mentions fungus or heavy vegetation.

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Cracked Emerald
  • Golden Comb in the shape of a Behir
  • 330 Gold Coins
  • Barbed Troll Claws x4
  • Gauntlets of Rending
  • Potion of Bull Strength x2
  • Potion of Protection from Energy (Fire)
  • Pink Frilly Gloves of Climbing and Swimming
  • Vicious Adamantine Trident (Large)

 

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 3 Troll Brutes
  • 1 Troll Berserker
  • Grazuul, Wet Papa
  • 4 Water Elementals

 

End Date: Sarenith 27

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Session Fifty-Four
Dam Big Problem

Present Players:  Jaren, Feda, Vincent

 

Session Notes:

After a bit of debate the party decides the potential catastrophe of Skull's Crossing was the biggest threat so the party heads toward the area to see what the damage could be. The party decides to send Urtar, Aurelia, and Jakardros to help Turtleback Ferry from whatever damage the flooding might have caused. The party follows the river towards the dam and sees the whole riverbank has been badly torn up by the massive wave of water. The party makes it to the valley that the dam spans and finds a large chunk of it has fallen away. Purrcival and Vincent are able to see what looks to be a crew of ogres hard at work on the other side and the party (correctly) assumes they are the villains that broke the dam. The party casts a few longer lasting buffs and begin air walking up the stone stairs on the western wall of the valley. The trail is covered with threatening signs written in broken giant warning any trespassers they are in the Skull Taker's territory. The large stairs led them to an ominous cave mouth that reeks of animal musk, but since no one in the party is particularly stealthy they trot right in walking on air. Feda hears some sort of odd pidgin language of giant and orc and charges loudly into the cavern. Thanks to Torag's blessing they are able to skip over some of the crumbly rocks that litter the floor and she comes around the corner facing down a two headed giant wielding a crude flail made of rocks and rope. The ettin is soon joined by another of the two headed giants and both seem to have two large dire boars trained to fight, but the creatures quickly fall to the party without a whole lot of effort spent on the party's behalf.

 

Feda takes no time to survey the cavern feeling like she is on a timer with her divine spells ticking and charges right through the cavern towards the top of the dam. The party follows and they find 4 ogres sitting exhausted next to the dam's edge. The creatures tiredly reach for their weapons and prepare to battle but the fisticuffs is interrupted by an absolutely terrifying monstrosity arising from the water. The creature that arises from the Storval Deep looks similar to a plesiosaur's head on top of a writhing mass of tentacles. Purrcival recognizes it as the legendary Black Magga. A creature the party has heard tales of while in town, and that Purrcival knows is well beyond their current power. The creature has a number of dangerous abilities and is allegedly a creature older than many gods. The party quickly begins to run, but not before the massive creature unleashes a foul black miasma that causes everyone but the divine casters to be confused. The two casters that kept their sanity shephard their party back into the caves. The ogres also try to run, but are stopped by the party despite the ogre's best efforts to push through them. The ogres serve as a useful buffer as the vile creature tears through them in a blind rage. The ogres bulk delays the creature long enough that the already damaged top of the dam partially gives way, causing Black Magga and the ogre commander to tumble off the face of the dam heading downstream.

 

DM Notes:

  •  Black Magga invoked appropriate terror, but the Ogres worked as a great meat wall
  • We're lucky that a couple of people made their saves. It would have been awkward if everything had gotten confused.
  • The party had heard rumors of the creature throughout this book and didn't even dare to poke at it. Probably a wise choice.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • 693 Gold
  • 1240 Silver
  • Jade and Ivory Scroll Case (300 GP)
  • Phylactery of Positive Channeling
  • Scroll of Cone of Cold
  • Scroll of X (Hold Monster)
  • Scroll of Y (Telekinesis)

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 2 Ettins
  • 2 Dire Boars
  • 4 Ogres
  • Black Magga

 

End Date: Sarenith 27

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