Western Alliance Runelords Campaign

Fort Rannick!
Attack on the Ogres!

After defeating the backwater Graul family of ogrekin, you rescued three members of the Black Arrow rangers. Jakardros, Vale, and Kaven. Jakardros is Shalelu’s stepfather and they have a tearful reunion. They report that they were sent out on patrol by the leader of the Black Arrows and while they were gone, the ogres somehow got into Fort Rannick. Now, it is up to them to take back the fort and get revenge for the deaths of so many good warriors. The PC’s decide to help and devise a plan to sneak into the fort via the waterfall on the west side. Thanks to the insider info from the rangers, the group gets into the caverns behind the fort walls, battles some shocker lizards and a specter, and discovers that Kaven has slipped away from the party.

The group tries to sneak into the main keep building but are spotted by ogre guards and the fun begins! Wave after wave of ogres attack the group but somehow they stave off the assault, taking down ogres and stronger ogre fighters. The half-orc sorcerer Zahndre is particularly good at this as he sends a massive fireball into a decrepit building and drops the entire thing down on three ogres, killing two instantly and severely injuring a third. unfortunately, Jakardros is killed during this battle, and Vale drags his body into the keep along with the party.

Inside the keep, the group discovers the grisly remains of the Black Arrows, their body parts being used and eaten by these monstrous ogres. It is easy to turn this rage into revenge, as the party clears out the first floor and moves to the second. It is here that the climactic battle against the ogre leaders takes place. The party is split between three groups: a couple of ogre fighters, an ogre sorcerer, and the huge leader Jaagrath Kreeg. Mid-way through the battle, Zahndre finds himself fighting toe to toe with Jaagrath and while he fights valiantly, he is mowed down by Jaagrath and killed. A few rounds later, the battle is over but Zahndre is lost. What will happen next? the only place left to look is in the catacombs below the Fort…

Everyone should be at 9th level at this point. Tim will need to decide whether to roll up another character or tell us to resurrect Zahndre.

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Turtleback Ferry and The Grauls!
A backwater town and banjo playing hillbilly ogrekin!

A Friendly Guide
Just before you are scheduled to leave, there is a knock on your door. You open it to find a familiar and friendly face: the elven ranger Shalelu Andosana. You first encountered Shalelu in Sandpoint when she schooled you on the different goblin tribes in the region. She was in Magnimar and heard from one of the merchants that you were buying supplies for a journey east to Fort Rannick. She would like to accompany you. “I am heading that way anyway.” And “I have my reasons”.

ELF FIGHTER 2/RANGER 4 CR 5
Female elf fighter 2/ranger 4
CG Medium humanoid (elf)
Init 3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (
4 armor, 3 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 natural)
hp 53 (6d10
16)
Fort 10, Ref +8, Will +3; +2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk short sword +8/
3 (1d6+1/19–20)
Ranged 1 composite longbow +11/6 (1d8+2/×3)
Special Attacks favored enemy (goblinoids 2)
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 1st; concentration +2) 1st—resist energy
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +7; CMD 21
Feats Dodge, Endurance, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot,Skill Focus (Acrobatics), Weapon Focus (composite longbow)
Skills Acrobatics +12, Knowledge (nature) +8, Perception +12, Stealth
15, Survival +10, Swim +10
Languages Common, Elven, Goblin
SQ elven magic, favored terrain (forest +2), hunter’s bond (companions), PC gear, track +2, weapon familiarity, wild empathy +3
Combat Gear sleep arrows (10), potion of delay poison, potions oflesser restoration (2), wand of cure light wounds (25 charges), antitoxin (2); Other Gear +1 studded leather, +1 composite longbowwith 20 arrows, masterwork short sword, amulet of natural armor +1,campfire bead, cloak of resistance +1, backpack, bedroll, climber’s kit, flint and steel, manacles, silk rope (50 ft.), sunrods (3), trail rations (4 days), waterskin, winter blanket, wooden holy symbol, 8 pp, 2 gp

The Road to Turtleback Ferry

On the third night of your journey, you have set up camp for the evening and set a watch. At Midnight, you are attacked by a pack of 7 Boggards.

Turtleback Ferry
(see page 392)

Population: 430
Mayor and Priest: Maelin Shreed (Erastil)
Inn: the Turtle’s Parlor
Tavern: Bottom’s Up
General Store
Smith: Irontooth’s Metal Goods

Rumors on Page 395
Most of the locals will direct strangers and adventurers to Mayor Shreed at the Church of Erastil. He offers free spellcasting services to the party if they can determine what is going on at Fort Rannick just north of the town.

Biggest backstory: Things have been odd of late: rains came early, livestock missing, hunters and trappers missing. A month ago, the pleasure barge “Paradise” sunk and nearly two dozen people died. And then they lost contact with the rangers at Fort Rannick. Mayor Shreed sent out a group to find out why and they did not return. That is why he sent word to Magnimar’s mayor Grobaras to assist them.

Paradise
Casino barge run by a beautiful red-haired woman named Lucrecia. It attracted locals and neighboring villagers, bringing both money and sin into Turtleback Ferry. No one know how or why it sank and efforts to recover evidence have been blocked by particularly vicious fish that have converged around the wreck. (397)

Mark of the Sihedron
Each day, PCs make a DC30 Perception Check to notice people with the tattoo. Most deny they even have it let alone how they got it. But if made friendly, a townsfolk will admit he got it at the Paradise barge. For a small feel, the tattoo would allow admittance to Paradise without paying the cover fee. Also, many received special perks once on board.

Road to Fort Rannick
Old road leading up along the banks of the Skull River. As the party crosses an old wooden bridge to the western shore about 3 miles north of Turtleback Ferry, they should make Perception Checks. The highest check hears a yowl of pain in the woods nearby, like a wounded cat. Kibb the firepelt cougar is caught in a bear trap. As the party investigates and helps the cougar, they hear barking and breaking of twigs as Rukus and his dogs approach.

Kibb the firepelt cougar leads you down a trail towards an old farm. He clearly wants you to go there, so you follow…

The Graul Farm

The Grauls dwell on a sickly farm in a clearing in the forest. The woods around their land are decorated with several hanging cornhusk-and-leather humanoid-shaped fetishes meant to ward off intruders—an investigation of any of these fetishes reveals they’re stuffed with what appears to be a mix of dirt and human hair. A tangled field of corn and other diseased plants grows in the eastern section of their land, while to the north slump two sagging buildings: a barn and a farmhouse. Both have had their windows boarded over, and moss and fungus grow heavy on the shaded sides of the decrepit structures.

Crowfood
Just outside the farm, you are attacked by an 8-foot-tall ogrekin named “Old Crowfood.” Crowfood’s grotesquely deformed head resembles a giant pumpkin on the right side—a huge puffy mass of tumors and overgrown bone giving his head a lopsided look. The ogrekin stalks the perimeter of the farmstead day and night, constantly on the lookout for intruders and working to scare crows and other animals away from his pride and joy: the cornfield.

You defeat Crowfood and his hounds, but now you are faced with how to approach this old, grotesque farmhouse, and what might be inside… (cue banjoes!)

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Intro to The Hook Mountain Massacre
Part One: The Road to Rannick!

Having defeated the lamia matriarch Xanesha and uncovering her plot to reap souls for an even darker force, something connected to the Sihedron Rune, our heroes are taking some days to relax. It was Xanesha who had manipulated several people in both Sandpoint and Magnimar into a world of lies, deceit, and murder. Even the Lord Mayor of Magnimar was targeting for assassination, but you have successfully saved him and hundreds of people from suffering the same fate. Now, with the Skinsaw Murders solved, your wounds and sore muscles healed, it may be time for the next great adventure!

Winter has come to this part of Virisia which means heavy rains and flooding threaten folks in the wilderness and those in the city of Magnimar are growing tired of the inclement weather. Having gained the favor of Mayor Grobaras, you have decided to stay in Magnimar and enjoy the City of Monuments for a few weeks. The Mayor graciously gave you the deed to Aldern Foxglove’s townhouse since no one could claim it. This has served you well as a base of operations during your explorations of Magnimar. The townhouse is located in the Grand Arch District, not far from Starsilver Plaza.

One of the troubling clues left behind from Xanesha is a letter she received from her sister. In it, this sister reminds her that their purpose is to gather greedy souls for their “Lord’s rise”, which happens when pure souls are marked with the Sihedron Rune and killed. She also invited Xanesha to visit her sister in “Turtleback Ferry” and that “Fort Rannick should be in our control”. In the last few weeks, you have done research and discovered that Turtleback Ferry is a remote village not far from Hook Mountain, west of Magnimar. Although closer to Korvosa, Magnimar has offered to protect Turtleback Ferry and thus control an important trading outpost in the west. Thus, soldiers were sent to garrison in Fort Rannick and fend off any threats to Turtleback Ferry. The most common threat in that part of Virisia are the clans of ogres living in the hills.

Mayor Graboras now comes to you with a request. The rangers of Fort Rannick, known as the Order of the Black Arrows, have not communicated with Turtleback Ferry in weeks. The council is pressuring the Mayor to send a battalion to investigate but Grobaras doesn’t have enough men to spare right now. He offers you 750 GP each for travel expenses and to fulfill this request.

The trip to Turtleback Ferry will take one week by horseback through lightly patrolled rural areas along the north bank of the Yondabakari River.

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The Skinsaw Conspiracy Solved! (Treasure and XP)
My Party went to Magnimar, and All I Got was this Impaler of Thorns!

Here are the totals from Saturday’s adventure! I converted all of the gems, jewelry, coins, and unclaimed items into gold. I used the standard 50% of value for selling items outlined in the

2200 XP per character

9441 GP per character (includes the 6000 gp we each received from the Lord Mayor but not the 1000 GP we received earlier in the night)

Here are the items with owners listed:
1. Hat of Disguise – Blunt
2. +1 Ring of Protection – Miska
3. Ring of Jumping – Dellnia
4. Chime of Opening (5 charges) – Miska
5. Mithral Chain Shirt – Miska
6. +1 Falchion – Zhandre
7. Masterwork Hand Crossbow with 10 poisoned bolts – Blunt
8. Reaper’s Mask – Blunt
9. Impaler of Thorns – Gregor
10. Medusa Mask – Dellnia
11. Snakeskin Tunic – Miska
12. Golembane Scarab – Dellnia
13. Ring of Jumping – Gregor
14. Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds – Gregor, Miska, Dellnia, Zahndre

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The Man Behind the Murders!
Uncovering the truth of the Skinsaw Man

After investigating two murder scenes, the party arrived at the startling conclusion that the creature responsible for the murders in Sandpoint, known as “The Skinsaw Man”, is none other than Aldern Foxglove. He clearly has been obsessed with Blunt since their first encounter during the boar hunt several weeks ago. The next logical place to investigate is the old Foxglove estate, known to the locals as “The Misgivings”. In other words, the place is cursed and quite possibly haunted!

How right they are! The entire Foxglove family tree is littered with dead bodies and evil rites. Vorel Foxglove used the house as a place to practice necromancy and tried to become a lich, only to be foiled by his wife. However, his evil soul seeped into the very stones and floorboards of the mansion. The resulting energy drove his descendants mad. One of them, Traver Foxglove, tried to reclaim the family estate, only to be driven mad, killing his wife and himself but leaving his son Aldern and his sisters behind. When Aldern himself tried to reclaim the home, he fell in with a group of investors to help him fix up his house who turned out to be part of a Magnimar cult that only wanted him to bring back some of the diseased rats in his basement for experimentation. Aldern was bitten by one of the rats and contracted ghoul fever and was transformed into a ghoul. He then began following orders from Magnimar to reap souls by killing and marking the bodies with a seven pointed star: the sihedron.

The party explored Foxglove’s home room by room and found themselves attacked by the house itself. When they finally discover Aldern’s now undead wife Iesha in the attic, she leads them deep into the cellars beneath the mansion to a cave where Aldern is waiting, Vorel’s old laboratory where his attempt to become a lich 80 years ago still remains in an evil fungus that coats the walls. Aldern is here, a twisted ghast version of himself with a war razor. Iesha attacks him and the party helps, eventually defeating him. Iesha falls to ground lifeless now that her torment is over.

The party discovers several interesting items and clues here, including:

  • cages with a small symbol of a pig with a lock for a mouth and an inscription that reads “Pug’s Contraption – Magnimar”
  • Chime of opening (5 charges)
  • pearl ring (300 gp)
  • adamantine longsword
  • hat of disguise
  • 156 gp
  • +1 leather armor
  • +1 war razor
  • ring of jumping
  • +1 ring of protection
  • Iron key with an opal
  • Bronze key, head resembling a roaring lion
  • Letter to Aldern from Xanesha, Mistress of the Seven, telling him to kill victims, do the sihedron ritual, and to return to his townhouse in Magnimar if he runs into trouble.

The party exorcises the evil spirt of Vorel from the house and then order it to be demolished and burned. They receive high praise from Belor Hemlock for finding the murderer. However, there are still clues and they are leading them away from Sandpoint and into Magnimar, the City of Monuments!

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The clues so far...

Sandpoint Lumber Mill Clues

SANDPOINT LUMBER MILL: The most recent murders took place here—the bodies are still present, and little has been done with the crime scene itself. Sheriff Hemlock suggests that this should be the first place the PCs investigate, since he would like to clean the mill up right away and get the bodies buried.

IBOR THORN: Sheriff Hemlock has interrogated Ibor, the man who discovered the bodies at the lumber mill, and doesn’t suspect the frightened man knows much more.

VEN VINDER: This merchant is Sheriff Hemlock’s only suspect, although the sheriff is fairly certain that Ven is innocent and that the murders were committed by someone else.

THE FIRST MURDERS: Three con men from the town of Galduria were found murdered in an abandoned barn south of town a few days ago—their bodyguard survived the assault but has gone insane and was sent to Habe’s Sanatorium—a privately run respite for the insane.

THE RUNE: The star carved on one victim’s chest certainly has significance to the killer, but Hemlock’s at a loss as to what it means. Perhaps an expert on runes (such as local scholar Brodert Quink) can be consulted?

Mill Operators: Ibor Thorn, Banny Harker

THE TIMBER PIER: Timber is delivered to the mill via a small pier that extends out into the Turandarok River. A DC 15 Perception check made by anyone investigating the pier reveals a set of muddy footprints that leads from one end of the pier up to the mill itself. A DC 15 Survival check reveals that a barefoot human man clambered up from the mud under the pier, crossed over to the mill, and then scaled the wall to an upper-floor window.

THE MURDER SCENE: The mill interior is coated with sawdust strewn with footprints and splashes of blood. A DC 10 Survival check reveals what should be obvious— that a desperate struggle took place here several hours ago.

THE ROTTEN SMELL: The lingering scent of decay in the air is curious—it smells almost as if an animal had died somewhere in the room and its remains were allowed to ripen.

KATRINE’S BODY: Poor Katrine was killed instantly when pushed into the log splitter. Her mangled, ruined remains lie on the mill’s lower floor amid heaps of bloodstained firewood. A pale-faced, obviously upset guard stands at attention nearby. The log splitter itself is powered by a waterwheel and consists of a chute in the floor with rotating saw blades that cut logs as they are fed in.

HARKER’S BODY: Harker’s body has been horribly desecrated. The poor man has been affixed to the wall by several hooks normally used to hang machinery. The body is mutilated, the face carved away and lower jaw missing entirely. His bare chest is defaced as well, bearing a strange rune in the shape of a seven-pointed star. This rune (the Sihedron Rune) should be familiar to the PCs, especially if they own the Sihedron medallion once worn by Nualia. Its appearance on the chest of a murdered man should drive home its importance to the PCs, yet they should be at a loss still as to what the rune means. A DC 25 Knowledge (arcana or history) check is enough to identify the marking as the Sihedron Rune, an antiquated glyph that symbolizes arcane magic once practiced in ancient Thassilon.

Closer examination of the body combined with a DC 15 Heal check reveals the presence of several additional wounds. Unlike the deeper slashes on the body, these smaller gashes almost seem to have been made by claws—claws on a five-fingered, human-sized hand. The rotten scent seems stronger near these wounds. The body is only recognizable as Harker’s by a faded tattoo of a raven across his lower abdomen. With his missing face and jaw, his body is in no shape to function for a speak with dead spell.

THE SUSPICIOUS AXE: A handaxe is embedded in the floor near the log splitter, as if it had been dropped there. The handle is covered with bloody finger-marks, and a close examination of the head reveals two things of note. First, smears of what look like rotten flesh and fragments of bone are caked on its blade, and second, the rotten meat stink is strong on it. Someone who makes a DC 15 Knowledge (religion) check can identify the lingering stink of corruption as beyond that which a dead body can normally produce—the axe was likely used within the last 24 hours against some form of corporeal undead.

THE MARSH: If the PCs think to investigate the marsh on the other side of the river from the mill, a DC 20 Perception check reveals a relatively dry spot that bears a number of barefoot human tracks and a lingering stink of rotten flesh. A DC 15 Survival check made at this point reveals that the tracks lead from and into the river, but never away from the site. The spot is hidden by several low banks of nettles, but offers a perfect view of the mill to anyone hidden here.

STORY AWARD: Award the PCs 400 XP for identifying the Sihedron Rune, 400 XP if they deduce the fact that the murderer watched the site and perhaps used the river to cover his tracks, and 600 XP if they discover that the murderer may have been an undead creature

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More background on the murder!

Sheriff Belor HemlockHemlock.png
“First, let me thank you again for all you’ve done for Sandpoint. It’s fortunate you’ve proven yourselves so capable, because we’ve a problem I think you can help us with—a problem I wish I didn’t have to involve anyone with, but one that needs dealing with now before the situation grows worse.

“Put simply, we have a murderer in our midst— one who, I fear, has only begun his work. Some of you doubtless remember the Late Unpleasantness, how this town nearly tore itself apart in fear as Chopper’s slayings went on unanswered. I’m afraid we might have something similar brewing now.

“Last night, the murderer struck at the sawmill. There are two victims, and they’re… they’re in pretty gruesome shape. The bodies were discovered by one of the mill workers, a man named Ibor Thorn, and by the time my men and I arrived on the scene, a crowd of curious gawkers had already sprung up. I’ve got my men stationed there now, keeping the mill locked down, but the thing that bothers me isn’t the fact that we have two dead bodies inside. It’s the fact that this is actually the second set of murders we’ve had in the last few days.

“I come to you for help in this matter—my men are good, but they are also green. They were barely able to handle themselves against the goblins, and what we’re facing now is an evil far worse than goblins. I need the help. But I’m afraid you’ll need the help too. You see, I’m afraid that this particular murderer knows one of you as well.”

At this point, Sheriff Hemlock hands you a bloodstained piece of parchment that has the name “Blunt” on one side and this message scrawled on the other:

“We have spoken of this before, my master. Now it begins. Join the pack and it will end.” – Your Lordship

Hemlock explains: “the note was found pinned to the sleeve of the latest victim by a splinter of wood. I know that none of you were involved in the murder but clearly someone is trying to frame you or at least send some kind of message. If word of this note gets out, the townspeople here may not be as understanding as I am. Will you quietly help me in this investigation?”

If the PCs agree, Hemlock deputizes them, explaining that he doesn’t have enough men to both investigate the murders and protect the town. He will give them any support they need but they need to try and keep this investigation quiet.

Sandpoint Lumber Mill Clues

SANDPOINT LUMBER MILL:
The most recent murders took place here—the bodies are still present, and little has been done with the crime scene itself. Sheriff Hemlock suggests that this should be the first place the PCs investigate, since he would like to clean the mill up right away and get the bodies buried.

IBOR THORN:
Sheriff Hemlock has interrogated Ibor, the man who discovered the bodies at the lumber mill, and doesn’t suspect the frightened man knows much more.

VEN VINDER:
This merchant is Sheriff Hemlock’s only suspect, although the sheriff is fairly certain that Ven is innocent and that the murders were committed by someone else.

THE FIRST MURDERS:
Three con men from the town of Galduria were found murdered in an abandoned barn south of town a few days ago—their bodyguard survived the assault but has gone insane and was sent to Habe’s Sanatorium—a privately run respite for the insane.

THE RUNE:
The star carved on one victim’s chest certainly has significance to the killer, but Hemlock’s at a loss as to what it means. Perhaps an expert on runes (such as local scholar Brodert Quink) can be consulted?

Mill Operators
Ibor Thorn
Banny Harker

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A Murder Most Vile!
The Skinsaw Murders Begin

We are at the Rusty Dragon relaxing after ending the threat from Nualia and the goblins. The sheriff comes in and asks for our help. There has been a murder, and it reminds him of the work of The Chopper. About 10 years ago, there was a string of murders in Sandpoint. Over the course of a month, there as a new victim each day. Each time the corpses were found dismembered, eyes and tongue removed. There were twenty-five victims in all. The sheriff at the time discover The Chopper killing a victim in an alley one night. The sheriff was killed but the town watch followed a trail of blood to Stoot’s Island (named after the island’s only resident, a man famous for his carved birds). It turned out that Stoot was The Chopper! When the watch found him, he had removed his own tongue and eyes. It appeared that he was offering tongues and eyes to a demon. Soon after, there was a fire that destroyed the church. (We know now that Nualia burned it down). The locals call all of this The Late Unpleasantness.

Now there is a new string of murders. Two victims were found last night at the saw mill. There were discovered by Eyebore Thorn. This is the second set of murders in the last few days. The sheriff believes that the murderer knows one of us – Blunt. He believes that a note found at the scene addressed to Blunt was meant to throw off suspicion from the real suspect. We need to keep this quiet or the villagers may come to suspect us. The sheriff deputizes us in exchange for our help.

Clues

  • The Sandpoint Lumber Mill is the crime scene. The bodies are still there. It is operated by Eyebore Thorn and Banny Harker. It is owned by the Scarnetti Family.
    Sheriff Hemlock interrogated Eyebore.
    Katrine Vinder is victim #1. She is the daughter of the merchant Van Vinder. He has two daughters: Katrine and Shaless.
    Banny Harker is victim #2.*

We go to the sawmill. There is a crowd outside. The mill typically runs late at night. There are signs of a desperate struggle in the last twelve hours. One set of footprints is of a barefoot humanoid that smells of rotten meat. There is a lingering scent of decay. Katrine’s body is a log splitter. Harker’s body is nailed to the wall, his jaw removed, a sihedron symbol carved into his chest. His body shows signs of of slashes by five fingered claws. He smells of rotten meat. There is a handaxe nearby – it smells of rotten meat and is covered in blood. Blunt believes that undead are involved – possible some kind of ghast.

Miska follows the tracks to a timber pier. Muddy footprints lead from the end of the pier to the mill. We find tracks on the opposite shore that lead into the woods.

When the sheriff told Van Vinder that Katrine was killed, Van flew into a rage because she was at the mill.

It appears that both bodies were desecrated using tools.

In the previous murders, the town guards were accosted by a crazed man who led them to a barn. In the barn, they found three bodies and a letter. The letter read:
“Your lordship,
These men were con men.” All had sihedrons carved into their chests. The bodies are currently at the sheriff’s office.

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Burnt Offerings Concludes
We kill an evil priestess

We head back down into the Thistletop dungeon to the second level. The floor is angled and the air is fresh. We head through an open door. There are chisel marks on the door. There are statues in the next room of men holding glaives. There is a shiny patch on the floor. We detect a trap and decide to pull the statue over with a rope – on the third attempt! We pull it over and the trap is sprung – the statues chop at people trapped by two portcullises. We decide to jump across. Everyone makes it across except Sir Gregor. He steps into the empty alcove while the trap goes off.

We hear water to the north. The door opens to reveal a room with burning skulls, stuffed beasts, and a deformed woman. Nualia! And a yeth hound! The yeth hound howls and Miska and Blunt run in fear. Blunt ends up in the trap and falls through the floor. Miska cowers at the portcullis. Nualia hits Milan who falls over almost dead until Cox rolls a nat 20 to stabilize! Zhandre lands the killing blow. Dellnia sends an earth elemental down to rescue Blunt.

We find a sihedron medallion (a seven-sided symbol somehow connected to the rune wells). We find Nualia’s journals. Here plan was to burn Sandpoint and describes how to use the rune well. We realize that Nualia was a pawn in a bigger plan.

We enter the next room. There is a stack of coins at one end and a door flanked by skeletons at the other. We through the door. In the next room, statues fill a column-lined room. At the end of the room is a statue with of a man with a glaive and a book. There are sarcophagi in the alcoves. Miska and Gregor open one and Gregor smashes a skeleton. A ghostly figure appears. We kill three shadows.

We find a secret door in the room. It leads to a room filled with a tide pool. On the crumbling walls, there are murals. One shows a mountain with a face carved into it looking over a city with spires. The face looks like the face on the statue. In the there is the remnant of a treasury including a giant-sized helmet. Zahndre casts detect magic and stuff glows. The helmet rotates and a claw attacks Gregor. It’s a giant hermit crab. Milan delivers the killing blow.

We go back to the hallway with the statue of coins. There are two coin slots next tot the statue. We put two gold coins from the pool room in the slots. The statue rotates into the floor and reveals a room with three doors. All creepy looking. The room has been untouched for years. We head to the north. The room has a throne with a ghostly figure who appears to be speaking to a group. Dellnia figures out that he is speaking in Thassilonian. The ghost is telling someone to remain and that Alzenast’s wrath is nothing compared to his strength. We move to the east door. There is a series of tables with bones on the floor and tools. Zhandre figures out that this was a transmutation lab working on human flesh! One tool looks like a sihedron star.

We go to the southern door. There is no handle but a space for a sihedron star. We put the tool in the slot. The room beyond has a burning pit that smells of burning hair. A feeling of crushing despair washes over us. Gregor is attacked and immediately goes down. A giant bat/monkey/creature says, “You all shall die!” It’s called Malfeshnekor. Milan goes down. Dellnia summons a mud elemental twice after the first one is obliterated. Miska lands the killing blow with a +1 returning dagger. It was a greater barghest.

We return to Sandpoint. We divide the treasure and each character receives 966 gp. Thus concludes Burnt Offerings.

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Thistletop Part 2

So much happened in this session…where to begin?

After crossing the rope bridge on to Thistletop itself and dispensing of a few more goblins, the party freed a trapped horse named Shadowmist that was immediately befriended by Sir Gregor. They then ventured into the keep and found the throne room of Chief Ripnugget, leader of the Thistletop goblins. Astride his giant gecko, Ripnugget was a powerful foe but he was defeated finally in a bloody battle.

Next, the party stumbled into the lair of the bugbear ranger Bruthazmus, who was found partially clothed with his harem of female goblins. With his loincloth around his ankles, the bugbear was no match for the PCs. Next, they encountered a hired thug, Orik Vancaskerkin, who quickly realized he was no match for the party and whimpered his way into servitude to Sir Gregor, who ordered Orik to retrieve Shadowmist and get him safely across the bridge. The last lackey the party discovered was the wizard Lyrie Akenja, who was brought here to study the Shrine to Lamashtu inside Thistletop. The party battled and defeated the young wizard, as well as two Yeth Hounds, evil dog creatures. With this level of Thistletop cleared and the discovery of a staircase down, the party left to heal and rest outside the dungeon. It was evening anyway so there is a good chance no one will notice how quiet things are in the keep. They did discover Shadowmist, standing next to the cliff, with Orik hanging on for dear life to Shadowmist’s reins. The party saved him and were able to get Shadowmist across the chasm safely.

It is now morning and time to re-enter the keep before Nualia and any other creatures stir within!

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