Western Alliance Runelords Campaign

Ancient History of Thassilon Unlocked!!

In the library of the Therassic Monks, you unlock important information about ancient Thassilon that sheds some light on the greater evil facing Virisia. The clockwork librarian helps you find the following texts:
• An Accounting of the Holdings of Greater Shalast
• A Sculptor’s Guide to the Fleshpots of Xin-Shalast
• Lord of Wealth: Karzoug’s Trade and Conquests
• Tributes of Vadan, with Accountings and Predictions
• Whispers from Leng: A Guide to the Beyond
• Spires of Gold—The Rise of Xin-Shalast
• Karzoug: Lord of Lords and Master of All
• The Face above Xin-Shalast—A Lord in Primal Stone
• A Traveler upon the Golden Road
• The Golden Legion: A History of Auric Fleshworks
• Life’s Price: Speculations on Interplanar Soul Trade

This is what you have learned:

Xin-Shalast is a legendary lost city, rumored to be hidden somewhere in the Kodar Mountains. Stories hold that Xin-Shalast had gold streets and gemstone buildings, and sat under the gaze of a mountain that could see.

Xin-Shalast was the capital city of an empire called Shalast, one of seven that composed the ancient empire of Thassilon. Legend holds that Xin-Shalast lay at the headwaters of the sacred River Avah—which Varisian folklore says leads to an earthly paradise sacred to Desna. Unfortunately, no record of where this river may have once flowed exists today, and most scholars believe the river itself to have been destroyed during Earthfall.

In the final centuries before Earthfall ended Thassilon, Xin-Shalast was ruled by Runelord Karzoug, one of the lords of the Thassilonian Empire. The primary architects of the immense city were tribes of giants, themselves ruled by powerful beings known as rune giants.

The Spires of Xin-Shalast stand upon the mythical mountain of Mhar Massif. This mountain of legendary proportions pierces the skies above the Kodars, and is said to be the highest peak in the entire range of stupendously inhospitable mountains.

Mhar Massif is said to serve as a bridge to strange realms beyond Golarion—notably, to the nightmare dimension of Leng. The connections with the nightmare realm of Leng were said to have infused the region around the peak of Mhar Massif with dangerous eldritch and otherworldly energies.

Karzoug was the Runelord of Greed. While he was, himself, an Azlanti human, he was a powerful man indeed— said to be the most gifted manipulator of Transmutation magic in all of Thassilon, and to have lived for hundreds of years. He ruled a region called Shalast, part of the ancient empire of Thassilon, over 10,000 years ago.

Karzoug’s armies were composed primarily of giants who followed his every command—the giants were ruled by towering monsters known as rune giants, who were themselves runelord pawns. Karzoug counted other powerful creatures as his allies as well, such as blue dragons, eerie denizens from the nightmare realm of Leng, blood- drinking outsiders known as scarlet walkers, and immense lamia harridans who towered over most giants.

Karzoug focused his magic on the school of transmutation, magic associated in Thassilonian times with the virtue of wealth. Under his reign, though, this virtue of rule became more associated with the sin of greed. Among the runelords, his mastery of greed magic was uncontested, yet in the schools of illusion and enchantment (related to the sins of pride and lust), his skills had atrophied greatly. Many believed that weapons infused with illusion and enchantment magic, known as “dominant weapons,” would be particularly potent against Karzoug, yet no record of someone attacking the runelord with such a weapon exists within the library.

Karzoug warred with his neighbors, but none more so than Alaznist, the Runelord of Wrath and ruler of Bakrakhan. Between their nations, along a ridge known as the Rasp, Karzoug built immense sentinel statues to watch over Bakrakhan, while Alaznist built towers called Hellfire Flumes to prevent Karzoug’s armies from invading. Citizens of both nations worried that the war between Karzoug and Alaznist would soon escalate to the point where they could bring about the end of the world.

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The Library of the Therassic Monks!
Mokmurian defeated!

The party enters the library of the Therassic Monks, lair of Mokmurian. Each room is ancient and holds incredible dangers, some left from the monks who studied Thassilonian culture but others have been created by Mokmurian as a defense against intruders. The first room is cursed and causes each creature who enters to save against reduction and nausea. And there is a runeslave giant here. The next room holds the vile runeslave cauldron and a massive stone giant who pummels the group.

The next room is even more deadly. Seemingly dead giants in armor stand around this room, including a large headless figure wielding 2 huge axes. Of course they come to undead life and attack with an additional 9 zombies appearing out of the ground to surround the group. Milan runs into the room to attack and is immediately surrounded. Weakened by the two previous encounters, he is healed by Doja but not enough as 105 points of damage come crashing down on him from the Headless Lord’s hatchet’s. Milan is cloven in two by the attack and rises no more! The party get revenge for his death, but not before Miska is affected by a fear attack and goes running back to the caves. Luckily, he is stopped by Dorin and the two return to rejoin the party as they are attacked by yet another monster, a terrible Forgefiend, belching liquid hot metal and biting with adamantine teeth.

In the next hallway, they find the Library of Thassilon! A clockwork golem shows them around and they find an important resource explaining the secrets of ancient Thassilon! (More on that later!)

And, finally, they enter to chamber of the giant sorcerer Mokmurian. He is ready, having cast multiple spells of protection and walls of fog, solid fog, and cloudkill. But he is no match for the power of the group, bolstered by Dorin and ready to finally defeat the evil giant. But in his last gasps of life, it is revealed that Mokmurian is only a puppet of a much great evil, Karzoug the Runelord! Karzoug sees each of them, and says:

“So these are the heroes of the age. More like gasping worms to me—worms to be crushed back into the earth when I awaken the armies of Xin- Shalast, when the name Karzoug is again spoken with fear and awe. Know that the deaths of those marked by the Sihedron—the giants you have so conveniently slain for me—hasten my return, just as yours soon will. Fools, all of you. Is this all you could manage in ten thousand years?”

Conna the Wise will take care of Jorgenfist and return control of the giant clans to slightly less evil leaders. The party leaves with some treasure, important information about Karzoug, and a map that indicates Karzoug is interested in the ruins of something called a “Hellstorm Flume” in what is clearly the area underneath a sleepy little town on the coast: Sandpoint!

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More Caverns under Jorgenfist

We returned to the caverns under Jorgenfist, only this time we brought Dorin the dwarf fighter for some insurance. And he brought beer. This delve was much more successful as nobody died. We also lucked out by meeting Conna the Wise, the widow of Jorgenfist’s previous leader. Mokmurian arrived and killed her husband to show his dominance over the stone giant clans. Conna was relegated to maintaining the lower caverns. She also guards her husband’s shrine. She offered to help us if in return we kill Mokmurian and return control of Jorgenfist to her. “When the time comes, I will rally the loyal to me against Mokmurian and his allies. If you must kill a few stone giants along the way, so be it. They chose this path.” By following Conna’s directions, we avoided several additional encounters.

We still had to fight a few monsters, including two chained young red dragons, who we let go. They immediately flew out of the room and attacked the two lamia priestesses in the next room, their tormentors and loyal allies of Mokmurian. We also dispatched a few more giants and ogres on our way down to the entrance to the library where Mokmurian awaits.

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The Caverns Under Jorgenfist

We have found two caves along a cliff just south of the stone giant fortress of Jorgenfist. After clearing one of the caves, we notice what appears to be dragons flying into the second. Blunt and Miska decide to go check it out. It turns out to be a small group (squadron?) of wyverns . . .and treasure! Vors and Blunt lob spells into the cave until the wyverns are dead.

We go back to the first cave and discover a secret door in the scary spider cavern. The door opens into a narrow tunnel leading deeper into the cliff. Suddenly, little guys with red caps and metal boots jump out and start kicking us. Seriously! Who fights with a shoe?! It turns out that there cute little red caps are soaked with blood. Gross. We kill them all.

The tunnel eventually leads to a larger cavern. Guarding the cavern is a heavily armed kobold. After we surround him, he blows himself up in an act of final revenge.

There is a narrow passage leading form this large cavern that opens up into what appears to be a stone giant throne room. We sleep in the passage and wait for our moment to attack. As we sneak into the throne room, a female stone giant walks in with a ladle. Turns out that soup is on. She sees us and all bejesus breaks lose! Dellnia throws up a wall of fire. More stone giants come out of the kitchen. Then a stone giant wizard shows up. Good grief!

Klemh is killed.

Blunt is killed. Again.

Miska kills the stone giant wizard by doing 107 points of damage with four arrows!

After finishing off the stone giants, Dellnia teleports us back to Riddleport. We raise Klemh and bury Blunt.

Everyone gets 17,720 XP each.

Vors got a Staff of Heaven and Earth.

Klemh got 5 doses of wyvern poison.

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Attack on Sandpoint!
Time for some payback...

It was quiet in Sandpoint on the day the heroes returned…
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Within 24 hours of returning to Sandpoint, the new day dawned with the sound of boulders hitting the North Gate. Sandpoint is under attack from Stone Giants!!

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The team rallied at the gate, fending off the two giants, when suddenly another pair of giants, driving three dire bears ahead of them, crossed the river into town. In a seemingly brilliant move, Blunt cast “Haste” on Sir Gregor on his steed Shadowmist and they raced to the river. One of the dire bears fell to Sir Gregor’s lance! Gregor_attacks.jpg

The rest of the party finally catches up and defeats the monsters at the river!
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Suddenly, a red dragon swoops over the town, landing first on the garrison and then on the newly built temple, reigning dragon fear and fire upon the town of Sandpoint. Father Zantus nobly tries to defend the temple before falling to the beast!
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As another group of stone giants crosses the river, Sir Gregor races ahead to meet them in battle. But the party’s plan of hasting Sir Gregor and his mount has backfired! Because of his speed, Sir Gregor is alone as he attacks the leader of the giants, the stone giant ranger Teraktinus, who wields two large pick axes. Sir Gregor is not match to this creature and falls in battle to the ground!

As giants and dragons roam the streets of Sandpoint, the party attempts to contain them…
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The monsters seem intent on reaching The Old Light on the west side of Sandpoint.
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As the battle comes to a climax, Teraktinus is almost defeated, but has reached The Old Light and retrieved what appear to be normal rocks, before jumping on the back of the red dragon and flying away. The other giants escape to the north east into the mountains, but the party is able to capture one for interrogation. They find out that the giants were sent here by Mokmurian, leader of an army of giants, sitting in his stronghold called Jorgenfist. If someone doesn’t stop him, a legion of giants, ogres, and dragons will be unleashed upon Sandpoint and the entire region of Virisia.

The party assesses the damage to themselves and Sandpoint. Several members of the village have been abducted by the giants, others have been killed, and sections of the town lie ruined and smoldering. Sir Gregor Warsmith is dead and Shadowmist will not leave his side. Delnia uses Dimension Door to take Sir Gregor to Magnimar, where a cleric resurrects the cavalier, now a paladin, to continue his quest to bring justice to the land.

But the trail of giants to Jorgenfist will run cold soon. The party must act quickly if they hope to follow the giants across Varisia to find the giant stronghold of Jorgenfist!

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Return to Sandpoint
Intro to Fortress of the Stone Giant

At the end of The Hook Mountain Massacre, you defeated Barl Breakbones, a particularly evil stone giant necromancer who had taken control of the Kreeg ogres and drove them to attack Fort Rannick. While you did not get a chance to interrogate him(because you killed him), you did find a missive written upon mammoth hide:

“Barl – Latest contact with Teraktinus indicates he has narrowed the search. He believes a human town called Sandpoint could hide what my lord seeks. Teraktinus will lead several of the people, as well the dragon, on a raid into the town soon. When they return, they may be pursued, and I may need your ogre slaves to aid in Teraktinus’s retreat to Jorgenfist. Be ready to return at my command! – M

You are currently in Turtleback Ferry, over 200 miles away from Sandpoint, receiving more thanks from the mayor and local resident. But now you have to make a choice. What will you do next?!

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Hook Mountain: Final Chapter

Hook Mountain: Final Chapter

• The party takes up the task of searching for Commander Lamatar Bayden in the Shimmerglens. They find the swamp even darker and more haunted than it is reputed to be. Upon entering, they run into an agitated pixie named “Yap” who lives up to his name and explains that his mistress, the guardian of the forest, a nymph named Myriana, was also Commander Bayden’s lover. She is ill and the forest has become a reflection of her sickness. Yap is sure the party can save her from her terrible affliction.

• As the party delves deeper towards the center of the forest, strange apparitions and visions afflict members of the party. Faces of people, some familiar and some strange, appear in pools of water and shadows. The group encounters derelict ship in the swamp, several hundreds of miles from the sea, with a long-dead captain sitting at a moldering harpsichord. A white dog appears on deck and then darts off into the forest. Later, when leaving the forest and walking past this spot, they note that the ship has vanished without a trace.

• At the heart of the forest and the terrible sadness of this place, the group finally encounters Myriana, but she is no longer a beautiful nymph, but rather a torn and twisted ghost, still lingering where she was murdered. She rises from the muck and tells her horrible tale: the lamia matriarch Lucrecia knew that Lamatar visited Myriana here, tipped off by the traitor Kaven, and beset them both with a group of Kreek ogres the night Fort Rannick was attacked. They forced Lamatar to watch as the ogres had their way with Myriana, then took Lamatar away. Her spirit, anguished and insane became a ghost. “Return my beloved to me! Or I shall find him with my vines and my dark trees will eat the land and churn your people to bone and misery!”

• The party returns to Fort Rannick to resupply and then sets out to make a final assault on the clanhold of the Hook Mountain ogres.

• The party battles several groups of Kreeg ogres, a hill giant, and discovers a statue of a giant with a large Sihedron medallion. They also stumble across a coven of Annis hags who have infused these caves with evil. They are so powerful that they transform Blunt into…a fish! The party cleverly dumps out the witches’ cauldron, fill it with water, and dumb Blunt the Trout into it. He barely survives. At this point, with no hope of changing back their friend, Sir Gregor prays to his deity, Iomede, to save his friend. Miraculously, Iomede responds and agrees to change Blunt back, but for a price. Sir Gregor must pledge himself as a paladin of Iomede for ever more. He does and Blunt is returned to life, but now as a female servant of both Iomede and Sarenrae!

• The group next encounters Commander Lamatar Bayden, now transformed himself into a frost wight by the coven of hags, who attacks them with his bow and level draining ability, but he is quickly dispatched and his body saved for return to the Shimmerglens.

• Finally, the group enters the main hall of the ogres and discovers that the clan is not led by an ogre, but rather a very powerful stone giant necromancer named Barl Breakbones. After a near-death battle with Barl and his minions, the party is victorious in slaying these enemies and bringing peace to Hook Mountain and the region for the first time in decades.

• But they have also unearthed even darker plans. A letter to Barl from someone named “Mokmurian” lays out designs to attack the party’s hometown of Sandpoint for some purpose. Why would the stone giants attack Sandpoint? Who is Mokmurian? Where is Jorgenfist? And did he just mention a dragon? Time to saddle up and get back to Sandpoint!

• On their way back, they stop in the Shimmerglens with the body of Commander Bayden. Myriana is overjoyed and in her final act, she casts reincarnate upon him, and Bayden is transformed into a centaur warrior, infused with the love and spirit of Myriana. He takes up his role as guardian of the Shimmerglens and this region.

• Myriana also bestows upon Blunt the Gift of Lasting Inspiration, which has both short-term and long-term benefits to Blunt. (gains a +4 insight bonus on all Will saving throws, Craft checks, and Perform checks)

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Hook Mountain Recap
The Story So Far...

The story so far…

• After relaxing a few weeks in Magnimar, Lord Grobaras hired you to investigate what has happened at Fort Rannick near the town of Turtleback Ferry in the Hook Mountains. An old friend from Sandpoint, Shalelu Andosana asks to accompany you.

• After a quiet journey, you arrive at Turtleback Ferry and learn that half the town has Sihedron tattoos. These tattoos gave them perks at the floating casino on the lake, which mysteriously sunk a few weeks ago.

• The mayor of Turtleback Ferry reports that the rangers who guard Fort Rannick are known as the Black Arrows. They are constant fixtures in the town but have all but disappeared in the past 5 days.

• On the way to the fort, the party helps a trapped firepelt cougar escape a trap set by a half-ogre. The cougar leads the party to the Graul Farm, home to an in-bred, backwoods clan of deformed half-ogres. They discover three Black Arrow rangers being held captive and free them.

• The rangers are Vale Temros, Kaven Windstrike, and Jakardros Sovark. Their platoon was out on a scouting mission when the fort was attacked and taken by Hook Mountain ogres from the Kreeg clan. They mounted an attack to retake the fort but were driven off into the woods where they were captured by the Graul family.

• Jakardros is Shalelu’s father. In his younger years, he had met an elf maiden near Sandpoint and they had a child. During an adventure, Jakardros was taken captive and could not return home for months. Shalelu’s mother died during this time. Upon hearing the news from afar that his beloved was dead, Jakardros was too grief-stricken to return home. Shalelu never forgave Jakardros. Behind the scenes, she confronts Jakardros. He explains himself and asks for her forgiveness. He hopes that after this conflict is over with the ogres that he and Shalelu can start over again as father and daughter.

• The Black Arrow rangers ask the party to join them in an assault on Fort Rannick. They want revenge on the Kreeg ogres and to rescue any of their comrades still alive, especially their leader, Commander Lamatar Bayden. The party agrees and they decide a secret infiltration of the fort is better than a direct assault.

• The attack is a success but it comes at a price. Jakardros is mortally wounded and dies in Shalelu’s arms. In the last few moments, both forgive each other. The half-orc sorcerer Zhandre dies fighting the leader, Jaagrath Kreeg. Finally, they discover that the ogres gained entrance to the fort because of Kaven Windstrike. He flees to the caverns underneath the fort, where they meet…

• The lamia Lucretia has taken up residence in the caverns beneath Fort Rannick. She has marked half the residents of Turtleback Ferry with the Sihedron Rune and plans to collect all their souls when the town is wiped out by a massive flood. Already, the Hood Mountain ogres are at work on the dam at Storval Deep, which is quickly filling with water thanks to unnatural rain and flooding. She and Kaven attack the group but are killed after an epic battle. The town must be warned!

• The people of Turtleback Ferry are in trouble! A great flood threatens the town, as well as Black Magga, a giant monster that has been washed down from the Storval Deep. The party saves the townspeople and drive off Back Magga, becoming heroes to the people of Turtleback Ferry.

• Vale Temros has decided to rebuild and fortify Fort Rannick, recruiting new Black Arrows from the region. But he is worried that the Hook Mountain ogres will destroy the dam and wipe out the valley below. He believes that the entire Kreeg clan must be destroyed.

• The party ascends to the dam at Storval Keep, a massive structure built by the ancient Thassilonians called Skull’s Crossing. After defeating the ogre demolition crew, the party unlocks the secret of the dam’s inner workings and are able to safely open the floodgates and stop the dam from bursting.

• Back at Fort Rannick, repair work continues. Vale Temros is worried that the remaining Kreeg ogres on Hook Mountain will attack before the fort is ready. They have also still not found Commander Lamatar Bayden. He was last seen leaving the fort before the ogre attack to go on a “communion walk” in the Shimmerglens, a swampy area nearby. As the leader of the Black Arrow rangers it was not uncommon for him to commune with nature several times a week. However, he had not returned since his last visit to the area.

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Role Call!!

Sir Gregor Warsmith, Human Cavalier
Miska, Aasimar Ranger
Blunt, Drow Cleric
Milan, Human Fighter
Dellnia, Elf Summoner
Khlemh, Half-elf Alchemist
Zahndre, Ex-Half Orc Sorcerer

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Kreek ogres in Fort Rannick

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Fort Rannick ogres

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Jaagrath Kreeg, Leader of the Ogres

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