Rise of the Runelords

Purrcival's Session 25
Uncle Festering Spirit

(Missed most of session.)

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

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

-Team split up for some reason.

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

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

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Session 24
Foxglove Manor, not a good place

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

Session Notes:

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


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

 

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

 

Bonus Purrcival Notes:

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

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

 

DM Notes:

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

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

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

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Haunts

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

End Date: Desnus 12

 

 

 

 

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Session 23
Some Misgivings

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

 

Session Notes:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

DM Notes:

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

 

Rewards / Loot:

  •  

 

Challenges / Monsters:

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

 

End Date: Desnus 12

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Session 22
A Ghastly Murder

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

 

Session Notes:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

DM Notes:

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

 

Rewards / Loot:

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

 

Challenges / Monsters:

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

 

End Date: Desnus 11

View
Session 21
Partay!

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

Will be Level 5 at the beginning of next session.

 

Session Notes:

The party left the temple with the bodies they found being desecrated by the wrathspawn. To their surprise as they left the large indentation in the earth that held the temple there was a massive rumble an what appeared to be a wave of earth filling it in. As the wave rushed toward them and the party ran for cover, Aurelia noticed pules of energy coming from the orb that the party found on the more tattooed body. The wave of earth stopped at the bowl's edge with a strange rippling of the earth. After the party determined it was safe they approached to investigate which caused a strange keening sound to emit from the orb. Unsure exactly what just happened the party returned to the camp for lack of better options. They convened with the expedition leaders and were informed they had found an "Eye of Wrath". It is an instrument used by agents of Alaznist to find, hide, and unlock caches spread throughout her realm and her enemies. The party determined the corpses' tattoos were Thassilonian in origin, but did not recognize what it signified. Mersoolian was able to tell the party he was sold the information by an adventurer from Magnimar, Rollo Sven, but he didn't know how to get in touch with the man after getting the temple's location. The expedition leaders were not as disappointed as the party expected about the now covered temple, instead focusing on the potential that the eye could represent for future endeavors. Before leaving the island, Eydan takes the night to go game hunting where he happens on a strange cat like beast that seemed to be able to summon mist from the ground. The two played cat and mouse for a bit, before Eydan gave the creature the slip. Purrcival recognized Eydan's tale as a Bodmin, a large cat able to both summon and see through mists. They're dangerous but prefer to ambush the unaware and Eydan had been skilled enough to spot the hunting beast before it could spring. The next day the expedition boards the Winking Wyvern back to Magnimar with little to show for the journey beyond what riches the orb could represent in the future.

 

The party takes the opportunity to Magnimar to buy a few sundries and magical items. Feda insists that the party return to Sandpoint for Ameiko's coronation, so a few of the party members decide to dress up for the coronation. Aurelia especially gets into the occasion and buys a monstrosity of a dress that billows with colors and doesn't make so much of a statement as exclaim it from the rooftops (though what it is exclaiming is a bit lost in the overall loudness, the dress is clearly very enthusiastic about it). Though the party is itching to find Rollo, they honor they prior engagement and head back to Sandpoint. On his return to the Rusty Dragon, Vincent is greeted by Skivver, the (ex)-familiar of the wizard from Nualia's band. Skivver seems particularly distracted by Vincent's pack and after a bit of digging retrieves a toy mouse seemingly fairly pleased. Bethana has a few words about Vincent leaving his cat around, but accepts it staying around as long as Vincent keeps it out of her kitchen. Jaren does some of his own investigating and determines it would be appropriate to invite a date to the festivities, but when he tries his luck wooing Sevah he is left disappointed. Purrcival gamely convinces the scholarly society of Sandpoint to investigate the tattoos that were found on the bodies and with their scholarly pride on the line they agree to show Mersoolian up by finding the root of the symbols. Feda and Jaren work together to get the promised Thassilonian guard statues from Thistletop back to Sandpoint, fulfilling their bargain with Ilsoari. Aurelia goes and sees her old mentor Risa who seems impressed by her continued growth in magic, and regals her with stories of Sandpoint's founding concerning the Scarnetti's double dealings with the native Varisians.

 

After a  few days of downtime in Sandpoint the party begins. Eydan heads directly to the booze and finds Shalelu already deep in her cups. He gladly dives into that swimming pool and contributes by bringing out some Orcish rotgut. Aurelia tries to woo the Scarnettis in the hopes of gaining funding for the party's eventually regarrisoning of Thistletop but even her charm offensive cannot get through to the prickly couple. Feda meets with the elder Valdemar, Ethram who asks her and the party to join him at his estate later for some discrete business. Vincent offers Leodak any assistance he may need for the party and chats with Ameiko a bit having not known her as long as the rest of the party. Purrcival admires Ilsoari's familiar, Pett's shiny baubles and greets Mayor Deverin who reminds him that the party should convince the nobles to help fund their expenses at restocking Thistletop. Jaren meets Sevah and is surprised to meet his date, the clothier's guild mistress Rynshynn. The two ladies chat with Jaren a bit and offer to set him up with Hayliss Korvaski, the owner of Sandpoint's Boutique.

 

DM Notes:

  • A solid session that mostly consisted of social play.
  • As a DM I view D&D / Pathfinder as a trifecta of social aspects (Roleplaying, story elements, etc.), exploration (adventuring, planning, dealing with natural hazards), and combat.
  • I think I'm best at running interesting combats and setting the right atmosphere with environment and creature descriptions (though, I'm not consistent at the latter as I'd prefer. I think I depend on "tribal" knowledge of what some creatures are which leaves the newer players with an unclear picture sometimes).
  •  My weakest aspect is definitely the social aspects especially making each NPC unique and memorable. I'm working on it, and Ameiko's ball is good (but scary) practice. I will say this group has made it easier than some of my past gaming groups by doing a good job being involved and paying attention to the game.
  • I appreciate the different reactions from the characters for the ball. Everyone seemed entirely consistent with how they've been played so far. The characters I expected to dress up did and Eydan disappointed no one by diving into the cups near instantly.

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

{None}

 

Challenges / Monsters:

{None}

 

End Date: Desnus 10

View
Session 20
Undead Under the Temple

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

 

Session Notes:

The search of the temple continues with the party electing to explore the lower levels before returning to the archeologist's camp. Eydan scouts out the ladder leading downward and notices scuff marks that appear recent on the iron ladder, and once he arrives at the bottom he finds a stone and clay wall broken outward into another hallway that appears relatively recent compared to the rest of the temple. The room he finds himself in has walls covered with horrible scenes of mutilation and torture with the ground beneath the figures feet filled with tentacles that all end with various vicious looking claws and talons. It is very reminiscent of the statue that the party found on the first floor of the temple. Eydan continues scouting as the rest of the party enters the room under the ladder, to the north of the broken door he says a number of humans who to be appear frozen and preserved in various torturous positions. He watches them a bit to make sure they won't spring to life before heading to the south. The southern hallway has a large mural showing a quaint village in a mountain valley, but over the mountains oozes a tentacled horror with a terrible maw looming toward the tranquil village. Further exploration finds the hallway ends in a roughhewn wall that closely resembles the broken one the party found earlier. The adventurers gather and Feda uses her blessings from Torag to tear it down. It is broken apart surprisingly easily and the party hears a loud crash down the hallway and from the destroyed wall oozes out a thick black goo. The black ooze churns with skeletal creatures reaching out of it and before the party can react to the new threat the ooze spews out nearly a dozen skeletons covered in the thick ooze's mucus. Feda finds herself surrounded by the skeletons that bludgeon her with ooze covered claws, but Vincent is able to channel the power of Saranrae and burn away the majority of the skeletons. After Vincent channels a couple of times the undead are pretty easily managed with the undead spawning ooze offering little resistance once the minions are killed. After the combat the party finds themselves trapped by a large stone block that has blocked off the passage they initially came through. Purrcival is able to solve the problem with his Wand of Detect Secret Doors with which he quickly finds a hidden doorway. Eydan checks it for traps and opens it to find a number of ghouls and a very insane ghast priest.

 

The cleric offers no words to the party as he and his allies charge. The cleric has clearly been preparing for the party as one of his ghoul allies appears to shimmer with magical effects. Undeterred Jaren charges into the room and begins to fend off a contingent of the ghouls. He does a good job of keeping them busy as the rest of his party moves into the room. Eydan is able to shoot down the magically enhanced ghoul with a few well-placed arrows which stops it from causing any significant havoc in the fight. The ghast tries to remove Jaren from the fight with a cause fear spell, but Purrcival is able to give him a saving finale to resist the spell. The fight continues with the ghast cleric finally joining the melee. He nearly eviscerates Vincent with some sort of abyssal power, but the stout cleric of Saranrae manages to stay on his feet. With Jaren continuing to cause issues, the ghast bestows a curse on him severely hampering his attempts at combat. Another flurry of attacks by the ghast and the remaining ghoul cause Vincent and Jaren to become paralyzed. The fight is looking pretty dire, but Aurelia comes through with a clutch grease spell which breaks the cleric's momentum. The melee party members close in and manage to put the creature on its last legs despite its attempt to channel negative energy for health. Weakened the ghast leans against the central pillar where it manages to survive an absolute barrage of attacks before finally being defeated by some expert shots by Eydan. The relieved party heals up after the fight and loots the room. Aurelia recovers another piece of the Acrimony Veil, now possessing 2/4 of the mask. They find the cleric was a devotee of Yamasoth (unsurprisingly) and the room is full of murals showing despicable acts of torture. Finding another secret door back to the initial hallway the party heads north to examine the torture victims frozen in place.

 

Though ominous the statues prove harmless and the party continues forward to find a large room of flayed bodies. Throughout the room there are skinned corpses along with piles of nearly intact skins. Eydan scouts the room as is usual, and is greatly disturbed when he hears a dry rustle from one of the skin piles. Like a sheet in the wind it and a number of other skin piles come to un-life and attempt to tighten themselves around the archer. He manages to react quickly enough to flee the disgusting creatures which the clerics are able to recognize as Skinwraiths. The creatures attempt to engulf living creatures and merge with their skin so that they are whole once more. Jaren suffering from the curse becomes entangled with one of the flying sheets of skin and it desperately tries to fit itself over him. The rest of the party manage to fend off the other Skinwraiths relatively easily though no one enjoys the encounter. After fending off the Skinwraiths, the party finds another room behind a clay wall. The room is dominated by numerous corpses hanging from the ceiling by spiked wires with their eyes sewn open and their mouths sewn shut. The party initially feel as if the corpses are tracking them with their eyes, but manage to shake off the effect. The adventurers carefully move under the bodies, and manage to pass by without being disturbed. Past the corpse room the party finds a deep pit with sharp looking spikes on the bottom. Eydan attempts to navigate over a narrow lip on the cave wall, and is surprised to hear a murmuring sound turn into a roar, almost as if a mob is coming. He feels a violent tug that attempts to rip him off the wall, but he manages to resist the effect. On the other side of the hole he finds another statue to Yamasoth and on it there is a part of the Acrimony Veil. The statue teleports Eydan back to the flayed room and he takes the opportunity to sneak up on Purrcival with a shout. Purrcival lets out a none to manly scream and floofs out like any surprised cat. The party still missing the last piece of the mask once again uses the wand of detect secret doors. Purrcival finally finds a secret door in the long hallway to the south. In the last room the party finds four wrathspawn playing with two fresh looking corpses. One of the bodies is carrying a strange metal orb that detects as divination magic, but has no obvious use. The same dead adventurer has an intricate blue tattoo all across his scalp. Aurelia finds the last piece of the veil on a statue in the room, and the party satisfied with their haul and relatively confident the temple is safe begin to head back to Mersoolian's camp.

 

 

DM Notes:

  • Undead make for fun descriptions, particularly the Skinwraiths were well received.
  • Not sure I feel about haunts, I need to do more reading so I can run them more smoothly.
  • I did some ad-hoc adjustments upward on combat difficulty, but I think I'm getting to the point where I have a pretty good feeling of what the characters can handle
  • My buffer of stuff is empty, I've got to do some work to get the next adventure into roll20
  • Aurelia now has a fancy intimidating mask

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Deathless Chainshirt
  • Onyx Gem (100 GP)
  • Surgical/Torture Tools (Rare materials) (2,000 GP)
  • Acrimony Veil
  • Potion of Cure Light Wounds
  • Random Coins
  • Strange Metal Orb (Magical)

 

Challenges / Monsters:

 

 

End Date: Desnus 4

View
Session 19
Just People Bones

Present Players:  Jaren, Aurelia, Vincent, Purrcival

 

Session Notes:

The party spends a few days in Sandpoint crafting a few minor trinkets and mostly relaxing before heading out to the Hollow Mountain on Mersoolian's expedition. Mersoolian soon arrives on the Winking Wyvern helmed by Sheila Heidmarch. She strikes the party as a competent, no-nonsense captain, and she and her crew make for a swift comfortable voyage across the Varisian bay. The party soon arrives at Rivenrake Isle and to their surprise they find a fully functioning and completely decimated campsite. Mersoolian introduces the party to his two fellow venture-leaders of the Magnimar's Ruin Exploration Consortium. Halla Beusophis is a business minded archeologist who is equally interested in the knowledge available in ancient ruins as the profit that can be found within. She is originally from Korvosa but had a spat with her family that caused her to strike on her own with what the party gleans is a sizable nest egg. It becomes pretty clear she is bankrolling the majority of this operation when the party is introduced to the last venture-leader. Kovo Murse who seemed completely uninterested in the party or any of the conversation and is lost in a thick scroll seems to become a different person as Jaren shows the slightest interest in his work. Kovo enthusiastically describes his theory to Jaren. There is a moment where Jaren almost breaks the man's heart by admitting he isn't completely enthralled, but he lets the man continue. Kovo describes a theory that hasn't gotten him many friends in Magnimar's academic circles, he thinks that Lissala was once a goodly deity that was corrupted by the Runelords over the ages. Kovo describes the seven sins associated with Lissala were once the seven virtues. He makes sure that Jaren stays on the lookout for any supporting evidence. After Kovo finally stops rambling about his theories, Halla leads the party out to the temple site. The temple is in the very center of a smooth half mile wide bowl surrounded by the ruins of Xin-Bakrakhan. The party takes it slow investigating the edges of the indention but aren't able to determine how it came about. After some inconclusive investigations the party decides it seems pretty safe to head toward the temple. Feda sets up some ropes and the party begins to climb down the relatively steep and unnaturally smooth cliff. The party is slowly making their way down when a trio of harpies begin to circle the party. Jaren makes a swift, but luckily, controlled descent as the harpies swoop in to attack. Eydan, Aurelia, and Vincent find themselves on the top of the cliff face. Vincent shows off his fancy new magic boots as he leaps over the edge. The boot's enchantment stops him from taking much damage and he sticks the landing. Aurelia falls under sway to the captivating song of one of the harpies and tumbles off of the edge to the party below. Eydan manages to resist the song's allure and tries to fill the harpy singing with arrows. The rest of the party is protected by Purrcival's bard song, and Feda lands a blinding spell on the two harpies that have yet to join the battle. The blinding spell plus the not so disadvantaged party convinces the harpies that there are easier meals elsewhere. The party stays on the defensive for a while longer before continuing toward the temple. As they get near to the temple they find the ground covered in humanoid ivory bones all pushing toward the structure. The structure is protected by abjuration magic and shows no sign of the thousands of years it has stood undisturbed. The central chamber has a large mosiac of Lissala's holy symbol across the floor and a crushed statue of some unidentifiable form. Across the chamber leers a hulking 16-foot statue of a monstrous being consisting of toothy maws and dangerous looking tentacles. It stands in a five foot deep trough covered in dry red-brown stains that have long dried. Purrcival recognizes it as Yamasoth, a nascent qlippoth lord. He explains to the party that the qlippoth were the things that lived in the abyss before the demons moved in corrupting souls. The party finds a number of twisted stone statues leering with demonic looking visages spread across the bottom of the trough. High on the statue of Yamasoth hangs a gold and ivory mask held together by red silk. The party decides to explore a bit before tackling the statue dedicated to the qlippoth lord. In an adjacent antechamber they find a statue that appears to be suffering from torture wounds, but has a slight smile underneath. The statue is wearing a magical leather belt and a non-magical iron mask that the party recognizes as a replica of a Acrimony Veil. The Acrimony Veil is an ancient magic item Alaznist would grant to her favored servants. The party removes the replica mask with a mage hand, but as they tug it off the statue it crunches its teeth together shattering them across the room. Purrcival and Aurelia both try to dive out of the room as the statue unleashes super-heated steam, but only Aurelia makes it out in time. Seconds later a slightly singed Purrcival staggers out. They volunteer Eydan go retrieve the belt which proves to be an Heavyload Belt which the party hands over to Jaren so he can haul all the loot. After some debate the party decides to take the silk hanging from the statue and as Jaren lifts Aurelia up to grab the item hanging from the tentacle they hear skittering across the chamber. Eight strange spiders covered in runes scuttle down from the room's pillars. The party makes relatively quick work of the spiders and takes only minor damage from their claws and electric webbing.

 

 

DM Notes:

  • The players totally expected everyone to be dead. They aren't … Yet
  • I'm glad the harpies were able to lure someone over the edge. That's all I really wanted.
  • This party cannot roll perception checks to save their life…literally.
  • Jaren tried to go down the hole before looking at the statue. He was outvoted by an adventurous Aurelia swaying the party.
  • It was interesting to see how the party acted without the more experienced/decisive players of Feda and Eydan.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  •  Heavyload Belt
  • A piece of the Acrimony Veil (Brow and Nose Guard)

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • 8 Runespinners
  • 3 Harpies

 

End Date: Desnus 4

View
Session 18
Adventurers in the Ghetto

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

 

Session Notes:

The game starts with the party still involved in a fairly major combat with the Gnolls that have moved into the Abinor estate. They hew through the last couple of creatures standing between them and the door and begin rushing upstairs to try to save Pellius Abinor's family. The pressure rackets up severely when they start hearing the children screaming and loud thunks. After a stressful few rounds of combat they manage to rush in and roll over the remaining hyenas and Gnolls. There are two young children badly wounded and near death, but a timely channel energy from Vincent makes sure they are alive. The rest of the party try to hunt down the strange pridespawn they saw, but Miverna, Abinor's wife, tells them it went invisible shortly before the party arrived and fled the scene. Its last command to the family's Gnoll captors was to murder them and escape. After everyone has recovered, Pellius tells the party that he was forced to craft a ceremonial dagger with the Pride rune engraved into it or his family would be murdered. Thankfully, he was able to delay long enough that the party arrived and saved the day. He gives them the strange looking dagger and once again thanks the party. Miverna asks the party to inspect the children and herself for magical effects as the creature, "Vistraag" told her that he had enchanted the family with a curse if they tried to escape. Aurelia determines the magic was an arcane mark of the Pride rune, but other than that there is no real magical effect. The party is unable to determine why the rune was placed on the family members. The whole Abinor family is extremely grateful that the party arrived when they did, and gladly accept the offer of an escort back to Magnimar. Before leaving, Abinor tells them to take the remaining weapons in his forge room which provides the party with a couple masterwork shields and masterwork weapons.

 

The journey to Magnimar is uneventful besides the thunderstorm finally arriving and drenching the travelers. The guards at Magnimar's gates offer a bit of resistance to the party at first, but when Pellius makes it known who he is and that the adventurers saved his life they are quickly allowed into the city. The Abinor family offers lodging at their estate, but the party lets them know they have business in town and a upcoming deadline with a ship in Sandpoint so they won't be staying long. Pellius insists at the very least that they visit his estate in the next few days to receive a proper reward for all of their help. With a few final hugs of gratitude the Abinors head toward the Alabaster District as the party heads towards the docks. It becomes immediately clear to the party that Vincent is back at home as he easily leads them about the city and explains some of the many monuments they pass on their way. Their first stop is to deliver the war horse Shadowmist to the Iron Wheel merchant company. The party is momentarily stymied by a wildly incompetent reception (who the party strongly suspects was either hired for looks or due to being an owner's relative), but she eventually realizes they are here to deliver the missing animal and heads off to find Master Merchant, Ernie Thordon. This name, of course, prompts Purrcival to ask if Burt is around also and the reception helpfully replies, "Of course, I'll get him from the docks" before heading off. Sometime later a relatively confused half-orc shows up and introduces himself as Burt. The party, besides Purrcival, are a bit abashed but Purrcival makes some chit chat and asks for a local tavern recommendation. Burt sort of shrugs and mentions Toothless' bar and is impressed when Vincent replies with the bar's name, "The Broke Bow Tavern". He gives a nod before going back to work slightly confused. Sometime later Master Ernie shows up and invites the party back to his office. They crowd in and offer to return the horse hoping for a  reward, but Master Ernie insists it makes no difference to him since he has already gotten the insurance money for the caravan. He goes on to say the creature is no good to him and the party might as well keep him so he can avoid any further paperwork. Jaren is very happy to hear this having grown relatively attached to the temperamental animal, and after a bit of haggling they get the horse's papers. They do a bit of work to rename the animal Shadowmere and 'resurrect' it according to the paperwork and head off to the Broken Bow. Orik says his goodbyes to the party as they head into the Underbridge, saying that he is a known man down there and wouldn't want to show his face anytime soon. He tells them he'll be tavern hopping in the docks if they need him.

 

The Broken Bow is in a very rough part of town known as the Underbridge. Vincent seems very comfortable while Purrcival tells the party of the various dangers that are known to be in the area: murderers, cultists, strange spider like creatures in the bridge stonework, and even Derro are said to roam the shadowy district. The party are all rightly concerned and Eydan especially tries to make sure Vincent isn't playing the long con and bringing them into some trap. However, nothing untoward happens to the party and they manage to make it to the Broken Bow tavern. Thorg the Toothless greets Vincent with a hug and after being introduced to the party makes sure to wrap them all in his large half-orc arms. Vincent hands him a few barrels of Goblin Pickles from Thistletop and slyly slips him a bag heavy with coin. Thorg lets the common room know that these people are under his protection and he won't accept anyone trying to con them in his establishment. The party spends the evening picking up a few magical supplies in Magnimar and getting to know Thorg and his establishment. The tavern is well cared for, if not the fanciest accommodations, and the party has a good night's rest. Early the next morning Vincent excuses himself and goes to check on an abandoned shrine next door to the tavern. It is an abandoned shrine of Sarenrae that was shut down after the owners were murdered after failing to pay protection money to the local gangs. Thorg and Vincent have taken it upon themselves to look after it until it can get properly established. The rest of the party eventually awakens and has a decent breakfast before setting off once more. They get one final hug from Thorg before heading to find Orik and Mersoolian.

 

The party safely leaves the Underbridge after Eydan yells at a halfling cutpurse that was scoping out Jaren. They go to Pellius' estate and receive a warm greeting with wine and fruit. He gladly rewards them with a bag of emeralds and he gifts Feda a special war hammer that was given to him by the Church of Torag for some past work. It is a Forgefather's Sledge, and represents a true friend to Torag. The hammer can be magically lit aflame with a command word and offers minor fire resistance to the wielder. She is very impressed and grateful for the gift. After a bit of small talk, the party tells him they are going to go back by his country home to ambush the Gnolls if they haven't already returned in the night. He  doesn't seem overly concerned about the estate and seems most focused on making sure his young girls recover from the harrowing experience. Vincent asks if Pellius to learn more about the abandoned shrine of Sarenrae in the Underbridge to see if it has any legal owners. Pellius thinks he has a few contacts that may could help in the endeavor and promises it is the least he can for the people that saved his family.

 

The party has a few more loose ends to tie up before leaving Magnimar. They manage to track down Orik again and recommend he talk to Pellius about a more stable job that doesn't involve goblins. He was deep into the cups when they found him, but they leave him a note for when he finally recovers. They also go by Mersoolian's shop and find it closed. After a bit of investigation Purrcival talks to the adjacent shop, a laundry mat with halfling workers, to let him in the backway. They surprise a very busy Mersoolian and tell him that they will definitely go to the Hollow Mountain, but they have to go back to the Abinor Country Estate first. He is disappointed and tries to get them to leave right this instant, but finally admits defeat and tells them he will be in Sandpoint in a few days. The party finally heads back out into the country side, but the Gnolls have already visited the estate. Eydan manages to follow their tracks south west toward the swamp before losing them due to the previous night's thunderstorm. Admitting defeat, the party relays the information back to Abinor before heading back to Sandpoint.

 

 

DM Notes:

  • I wish I had prepared better for Magnimar, but my computer giving me a BSOD before the game stopped a lot of preparation
  • Why is it whenever I plan on having a PC gain something cool, they are almost always not there for that game night?
  • The Gnolls overall were a decent challenge to the party I feel like.
  • I don't think I did a good job of stressing the captive family members early in the fight, but when I started describing 'thunks' screaming the party got motivated.
  • On that note, man Abinor's wife refused to go down against the Gnoll whelp assigned to kill her. The Gnoll could not roll above a 5 to save his life.
  • The party responds well to pictures of spiders. Noted.
  • Vincent went a cool direction with the Broken Bow and abandoned Shrine of Sarenrae. I'll have to make sure that thread stays available to pull.
  • The party seemed unprepared for people wanting to know what to call them.

 

Rewards / Loot:

  •  1200 Gold worth of Emeralds from Abinor
  • Forgefather's Sledge
  • Ceremonial "Pride magic" Dagger
  • Masterwork items from Abinor estate
  • Summon Monster 2 Scroll from Mersoolian as early payment

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  •  Dire Hyena
  • 3 Rageborn Gnolls (Barbarians)
  • 4 Gnolls
  • ~10 Gnoll Whelps
  • 2 Gnoll Warriors (Fighters w/ maneuvers)
  • 4 Hyenas
  • Vastriig the Pridespawn (escaped)
  • Halfling Pickpocket

 

End Date: Spring 27

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Session 17
A Pride of Gnolls

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

Session Notes:

The party meets with the town leaders (Father Zantus, mayor Deverin, and sheriff Hemlock) and explain the situation at Thistletop. They are relieved that it went pretty well and that the goblin threat, for now, is gone. Sheriff Hemlock updates the party that Tsuto has been taken back to Magnimar to face trial and he will likely be sent to the Hells. The mayor promises a reward to the group, but isn't ready to discuss it at the time of the meeting. She promises to discuss it when the party returns from their errands in Magnimar. The party goes to visit Ameiko and Shalelu to figure out why Shalelu went missing and never showed up at Thistletop. They find a rather bored but fully healed Shalelu at Ameiko's estate. Shalelu explains she was scouting for the goblins as agreed. She first went to Thistletop but was side tracked when she found a war band lead by Gordknot, the second in command of the Mosswood goblins heading east. She didn't follow too closely due to the danger of being caught but used her survival skills to stay on their trail. After following them for a couple of days she came upon their camp site in utter ruin. Going by the tracks the goblins were attacked by a band of Gnolls. In the center of their camp was a horrific display of Gordknot spread eagle with his ribs broken open. On his forehead was a dark twisting rune that Shalelu didn't recognize. Very concerned about this band of Gnolls she pursued it but she was ambushed while trailing them. She managed to outrun them and stay right ahead of them but it took her way out of her expected path. After a couple of near misses she managed to lose them without leading them toward Sandpoint. She had them heading South-East when she caused them to lose the trail. Shalelu yells for Ameiko who eventually shows up with a sigh at her house guest. Ameiko greets the party and shares the frustrations on being a noble. Shalelu shares a bit of gossip that the mayor is angling to offer Thistletop to the party, and Ameiko advises the party to use her upcoming party as a chance to lobby for support from the other noble houses. Shalelu offers to join the party to hunt down the Gnolls, but admits she is hoping to find some of Bruzathamus' stashes. The party heads to the headmaster of the academy and gets him to agree to make scrolls in exchange for the guardian statues at Thistletop. They then head to the Goblin Squash Stables and are impressed to find a pretty normal looking stable besides the hundreds of goblin ears nailed to the building. The owner admits he is a bit odd, but that he has a particular hatred for goblins. The party swaps some goblin hunting tales before renting a few horses for their trip to Magnimar.

 

On the way to Maginmar Eydan warns the group in two days a big thunderstorm is going to roll through the area. The partial day of travel from Sandpoint passes uneventfully and the party camps in one of the campsites set along the road between Magnimar and Sandpoint. The second day is grey and the air is heavy with the threat of rain. About 20 miles out of Magnimar the party's keen eyes spot fire from a country estate of a local noble. The party knows it belongs to a famous weapon smith that is based  out of Magnimar. The manor belongs to Pellius Abinor, Master Weaponsmith the cousin of the legendary Cheliaxian weaponsmith Henderthanes. He lives there with his family and manufactures beautiful (and functional weapons) for the nobles of Magnimar.  Concerned, the party heads toward the smoke following a nicely made cobble path about 3 miles into the wood. Eydan scouts out ahead and confirms the party's fears that the Gnolls have attacked the estate. Eydan manages to silently dispatch 3 Gnoll Whelps that were on guard around the manor. The party see a large number of Gnolls inside with the majority of them feasting on servant bodies. After a fair amount of planning and scouting, the party comes up with a very direct plan of attack. Purrcival and Eydan rush up to the window; Purrcival opens it with a magical spell and Eydan tosses in a gem from the fireball necklace. It explodes with a whoomf and causes the whole house to erupt in a chorus of hyena-like yelps and yells in Gnoll. The party's fireball has effectively ruined the Gnoll's diner and even manage to remove a few from the fight. Like a kicked over anthill, hyenas and Gnolls pour out of the house. The party is hard pressed as the Gnolls pepper them with arrows and some raging, almost feral Gnolls engage in melee. Dire Hyena mostly taken down by Aurelia. Feda attempts to reduce the incoming arrow fire by casting obscuring mist, but the mists are quickly ripped away as a fireball explodes from an upper window hitting the grouped party. The sudden appearance of the spell prompts the party to look toward the second floor in which they see a strange twisted creature with a lolling tongue between split mandibles. Purrcival recognizes the aberration as a Pridespawn, a creature spawned from the Thassilonian  Pride school of magic. They are vaguely related to the wrathspawn the party has fought in prior encounters. From inside the house Eydan hears a voice they recognize as Abinor, he tells the party to head upstairs and save his family. A couple of Gnoll Fighters jump out the window with a flourish which earns an applause from Vincent and a head shot (crit) from Eydan dropping one instantly. The other fighter pivots and rolls to Vincent leaving a massive bleeding gash across his chest. Purrcival drops the dire hyena that Aurelia has been peppering with magic missiles with a well-placed arrow. The session ends with the Gnoll forces continuing to surround the party near the manor's patio.

DM Notes:

  • Weapons with x3 crits are to be respected
  • I wasn't sure how the party was going to approach this combat, and with that in mind I should have added more area around the house to work with.
  • The party actually has a few friends in Sandpoint. This is a change of pace from my college games where it seems like the PCs had a very antagonistic relationship with  basically everyone.
  • Fireballs were flying from both sides this combat. Pretty good for a level 4 party.
  • I have no idea what challenge rating this whole fight is, but it certainly helps the party I can't roll above an 8 for the most part.
  • Eydan had some really nice stealth rolls around the house. Everyone else, not so much.
  • Everyone learned Jaren is a lot less dexterous than previously thought ("His AC is really that low?"), but man does he continue to hit like a truck.
  • I've played a lot of games where, as a PC, I would love to have a healer like Vincent

Rewards / Loot:

  • A promise of a reward from the Mayor

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Gnoll band. I'll break it down by monster in the next update.

End Date: Spring 25

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Session 16
Malfesh-no-more

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

Session Notes:

The party starts the session with a freshly greased Eydan in the claws of Malfeshnekor. Despite the magical grease covering the archer, Malfeshnekor manages to keep his grip and prepares to squeeze the life from Eydan. However, Feda is able to assist with a magical spell Liberating Command which allows him to slip free and safely out of the barghest's large clawed hands. Growling in rage Malfeshnekor unleashes a demoralizing spell down the corridor hitting most of the party and blocks the doorway trapping Eydan. Purrcival fights against the crushing despair with a rousing comedic routine that boosts the party's spirits. Aurelia once again summons magical grease and in a shocking turn of events (Natural 1) the creature smashes to the ground prone in front of Feda and Jaren who are well prepared to deliver some hurt. Vincent finishes his spell to summon a celestial distraction/Hyena. The creature actually manages to latch onto the barghest's arm before having its head ripped off by a set of immense jaws. While Malfeshnekor is distracted Eydan tries to slip by, but he also has  a large chunk taken out of him as he maneuvers about the small room. Jaren manages to slice into the barghest and the fiendish blood seems to awaken something within his blade. The marvelous blade is suddenly covered in blue and white electrical sparks as it slices into the beast. The over confident attempts to stand but immediately regrets his decision as Feda plants her war hammer solidly on the creature's skull and Jaren lands a solid blow. Eydan manages to get far enough away to pepper the creature with arrows. Vincent blesses Jaren's weapon to cause it to grow with divine flame, and Jaren uses the magical blade to deliver a critical strike removing Malfeshnekor's head from its shoulders. The body quickly disintegrates into lifeless ash leaving the party extremely pleased that such a strong foe was conquered with no deaths.

 

The rest of the session is spent cleaning up Thistletop's loose ends. They loot the barghest's room finding a couple of Thassilonian Guardian Statues, mostly of interest to collectors, and a magical ring that creates a pane of force in the shape of a Sihedron Rune. Purrcival goes on a hunt for secret doors and waves his wand of Detect Secret Doors across the complex, but mostly comes up empty on the hunt. Feda, Orik, and Purrcival go up and begin to repair the rope bridge. It takes a bit of effort, but thanks to Feda's spells and Purrcival's climbing ability they are able to safely secure the bridge once again. Jaren gets the warhorse to cooperate and enlists it in hauling loot from the fort. Eydan and Aurelia are able to finally find the chest associated with the iron key they found earlier, but are massively disappointed that it is in a secret door behind the disgusting privy. Jaren, Eydan, and Aurelia manage to get it out with no unfortunate accidents and find a random assortment of loot that looks mostly to be stolen from unfortunate travelers. While all of this is going on Vincent busies himself trying to find Kyrie's cat familiar, he recovers the cat's bedding and a few well-worn toys from the area. He spends a long time searching the fort before eventually searching outside the walls. During his search he finds a much larger and very angry Firepelt Cougar that belonged to the Goblin Druid. The party debates on how to handle it and after a few failed attempts to gain its trust decide that they should leave the creature under the bush they found it. The familiar, Skivver, is finally find in a tree on the edge of the island and with a lot of prompting deigns to come down to Vincent.  Eydan does a bit of tracking to see if they can follow the Chief and his gecko but he eventually loses the tracks due to the creature's climbing ability.

 

With Thistletop behind them the party heads back to Sandpoint. The party is relieved to see that the town is perfectly fine. They head to the Rusty Dragon and find Amieko missing due to her new busy life as an aristocrat. However, Bethana greets the party and makes them feel very welcome. The taproom lets out a cheer as they enter and the town seems to be in better spirits now that the threat of goblin attack seems dissipated. Bethana delivers a message that has come from Magnimar, Mersoolian's expedition will be launching soon and he should be in Sandpoint in roughly 8 days. He wants to head toward the Hollow Mountain in the Varisian Bay. Purrcival confidently lets the party know that the bay was once part of the Runelord Alaznist's domain before it was sunk into the sea by a rival. The next day is spent coordinating a meeting with the town's leaders (Father Zantus, sheriff Hemlock, and Mayor Deverin). The party also gets rid of some of their loot thanks to the local merchants and the Priestess of Abadar, Sister Arva.

 

DM Notes:

  • The barghest fight went surprisingly well for the party. Malfeshnekor is a well-known party killer for this campaign path, so I'm glad the party was able to handle him.
  • Critical hits from x3 weapons don't really care if you have damage reduction.
  • Jaren's sword gets a bit more powerful though it has already made a number of fights easily thanks to bypassing magic damage reduction pre-level 4.
  • I'm glad they sniffed out the goblin chest. It is a fair amount of loot at this level.
  •  

 

 

Rewards / Loot:

  • Ring of Force Shield
  • Thassilonian Guardian Statues
  • 7,432 Coppers
  • 2,490 Silvers
  • 89 Gold
  • 3 Platinum
  • Leather Pouch with 34 badly flawed Malachites (1 GP each)
  • Medium Chain Shirt
  • Medium Masterwork Scimitar
  • Pair of Masterwork Manacles
  • Gold Holy Symbol of Sarenrae (100GP)
  • Jade Necklace (60GP)
  • Fine Blue Silk Gown with Silver Trim (150GP)

 

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Malfeshnekor
  • Tangletooth, Druid Companion
  • Skivver
  • Rope Bridge

 

End Date: Spring 24

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