Rise of the Runelords II

Catching Up

After a little rest, the party gathered around to discuss the next phase of the attack on Fort Rannick. To everyone’s surprise, Torag chose to grant a one-time blessing on the entire party in deference to their assistance to his chosen Paladin on his recent giant-slaying ventures. Everyone was restored to full health, and all spells were restored – even though it was still the middle of the day!

Taking this as a sign that they should move forward, the party began a frontal assault on the fortress.

Long story short… They were able to clear Fort Rannick of any remaining ogres, and discovered a Lamia Matriarch who seems to have been the mastermind behind the fall of the Black Arrows. She delighted in letting the party know that Kaven (whom they had recently rescued) had been the traitor she used to betray the group… Unfortunately, Lucrecia – for this was her name – was able to cast foul sorcery and escape the party. Perhaps they will see her again?

The party is granted stewardship of the fortress, by the townspeople of Turtleback Ferry… In exchange, they agree to be the protectors of the region. Winter is rising, and bringing storms that make returning to Sandpoint at this point difficult in any case. Within days, the banks of the Skull River begin to flood… Only this time, it’s worse than normal! The party reaches the town in time to save many people from danger, but that’s only the beginning.

The Black Magga has risen… A powerful sea monster, an ancient beast of legend that lies within the lakes outside Turtleback Ferry, has broken the dam – and she is angry. The flooding river sweeps her in to the town, and the party finds themselves fighting a tentacular water creature. With a little teamwork, they prevail… Black Magga flees back into the lake. But now they must check out the Dam.

As it turned out, the Black Magga was doing them a favor. She has heard what they have not. Ogres have been trying to break down the dam, and she has killed the majority of them. While investigating the scene, the party discovered a strange scene… A pair of circles, one of which contained a nearly dead pit-fiend. The pit-fiend, who introduced himself as Avaxiel, was out of his mind with pain, and could remember nothing from the past 10,000 years – except for the name of his captor… Karzoug.

He was able to tell the party members how the gates worked, and while he tried to convince them to free him… He seemed grateful when one of them stepped in to the other circle, accepting a negative energy level, and burning Avaxiel to ash. As the magic circles activated, the floodgates of the dam opened, releasing the pressure of the water, and reducing the flooding of Turtleback Ferry.

The party returned to the town to be hailed, once again, as heroes.

View
The Frontal Assault

After the events in the Graul homestead, the adventurers decided to rest and recover for a day or two in the town of Turtleback Ferry. Ragnar, in particular, stocked up on scrolls for party health – feeling that his channels may not be enough to combat the injuries in the days ahead.

The party also began discussing tactics with Jakardos and his men:
“I’ve got a plan! FRONTAL ASSAULT… Bad idea.”

Jakardos recommended a stealth approach, utilizing a hidden cave behind a waterfall.

While Bastion created a minor disturbance at the east gate, the rest of the party gained the cave without discovery.

Once inside the hidden cave, the party discovered Shocker Lizards. However, Wharlon’s faithful bard companion was able to convince the lizards that there would be food outside the caves.

Finally, the party was in position next to a secret door just outside the barracks. Kaven offered to do some scouting around of the area, as he knows the fortress, and is comfortable with stealthy maneuvers.

However, he tripped and fell coming out of the cave, and caught the attention of the gaurds on duty.

About this time, the east gate portcullis began opening.

The party was split up, and fighting on two fronts.

A dozen raging ogres charged Bastion and Lord Garet.

Lord Garet attempted to run one of them down with his mighty lance, but was blocked.

Fortunately, with a few well-placed fireballs, Bastion was able to decimate the oncoming storm.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the rest of the party had their hands full with 3 ogres – plus their captain, Karly-Lop Kreeg.

Kaven and Vale were knocked unconscious, but saved by the power of the mighty Ragnar.

Wharlon, Tanrov, and Ragnar successfully killed the ogres, but at significant cost to their own health.

Bruised and limping, the party met up with Bastion and Lord Garet… Only to find 5 more Ogres charging down out of a guard tower!

Mintuck Kreeg had heard the comotion and was not to be out-done. Vale once again was knocked unconscious, and the party members took many significant injuries… But the ogre guards were killed.

Lord Garet dealt the final blow to Mintuck, when he rammed him from behind with his Mighty Lance.

After spending a few minutes healing, Lord Garet began searching the out-buildings.

He was not prepared to find Jolly Kreeg fixing a cooking up a Gutworm pie out of dead Black Arrow Rangers.

Lord Garet charged at Jolly, possibly attempting to ram yet another Ogre, but only dealt a small amount of damage before being knocked out cold.

The rest of the party charged in to help.

Tanrov and Vale (you’d think Vale would learn by now, but noooo) were both knocked out quickly. The rest of the party was able to stay in the fight a little longer, and they managed to kill Jolly, thanks in part to the crippling damage dealt by Tanrov in the moments before his near-death experience.

There has been some talk of returning to Turtleback Ferry and leaving Fort Rannick to the rest of the Ogres, but the prevailing sentiment is that if the party can find a place to hide for a few hours, they can heal up and continue the fight later.

View
The Graul House

Having freed the Black Arrow captives and discovered that Jakardos Sovark is in fact Shalelu’s long lost step-father, the decision was made to put an end to the Graul threat.

Tanrov of the Lyrune-Quah lead a quick charge up the front stairs to the front porch of the Graul homestead, and attempted to open the front door.

Unfortunately… This did not go according to plan.

The house was booby trapped.

A lot.

Throughout.

Lots of injuries were sustained.

The Black Arrow guys stayed far away.

Eventually, however, the party found Mammy Graul, and proceeded to attempt to kill her.

She got away.

In the process, she made Simon insanely ugly, and blinded Tanrov.

However, Tanrov’s quick thinking saved the day, and he was able to lead the party to her in the barn outside. The party quickly immolated her, and she will trouble them no more. Maybe.

Continuing to explore the charnel house otherwise known as the Graul Home, the PCs discovered Muck Graul.

Muck had been cursed by Mammy for being too pretty, and he had been changed. He is now more plant than mammal.

Muck had very little left of his old self, but he did recognize that the PCs did not belong in his cellar.

He made quick work of Silence, swallowing her whole in the first round of combat.

If not for the magical healing of the other PCs, Silence would certainly be dead now.

Beaten, bruised, and bloody… But victorious, the PCs have managed to lay waste to yet another group of bystanders. The Graul Family has been wiped from the face of the Earth.

The PCs stand at a precipice now… What will they do next? Where will they go?

View
Party On

After several more days of travel, and a couple of roadside bandit attacks, the party arrived in Turtleback Ferry.

Fionna Foxglove was pointed out as the remaining Foxglove relative by Mayor Maelin Shreed, who is both the Mayor of Turtleback Ferry and the local Cleric of Erastil.

The locals seem anxious about the weather. It is storming early this year, and there is some concern that the harvest won’t go well. The whole thing has gotten them anxious to the point where they go indoors by early evening and resent intrusions by strangers.

There is also some concern due to the fact that the Order of the Black Arrow, which is usually responsible for safety in and around the thorp, has been strangely absent. This seems to be taking a backseat to concerns about harvest and weather, however.

In other news, a floating casino, the Paradise Barge, recently sunk near town.

Fionna Foxglove

The PCs met up with Fionna Foxglove and turned over the deed to the Foxglove Manor. She had nothing good to say about her brother, Aldern. She had gotten into a family altercation with him several years ago and struck out on her own. She felt it impolite of the PCs to pry in to the specifics of the affair, and asked them to leave once they finished their tea.

Paaarrty

Tanrov announced to the village that he was throwing a party. Throughout the party, due to lowered inhibitions, the PCs were able to observe tattoos of … gasp… the Sihedron Rune.

When asked about the Rune, villagers were jumpy, and most refused to discuss it. One finally admitted that it was a pass to the V.I.P. section of the Paradise Barge… And asked that you not tell his wife. Apparently Lady Lucrecia marks all of her… favorite… customers with the Sihedron Rune. Fortunately, she went down with the boat.

It’s a Bear!

Moving on to find out what is happening in Fort Rannick, the PCs go to cross a bridge a few miles outside of town. They hear a low whine, which Shalelu Andosana identifies as a bear. Possibly one caught in a trap. Investigating further, they find that it is a Ranger’s familiar, and it is indeed caught. The PCs free the bear, and it communicates that they need to follow it to rescue its master.

Graul Farm

The Bear leads the PCs to a worn down farmhouse. The PCs are greeted by a massive half-ogre\half-human cross-breed. It is big, ugly, and tries to kill them. Tanrov lead the charge (surprise!), and together the PCs quickly put down Crowfoot.

Rukus and his hounds weren’t far behind, but a fireball from Bastion made short work of the hounds, and Rukus didn’t last much longer.

The Barn

The PCs wrapped up the evening by cleaning out the Kennel. Joppo, Hograth, and Sugar weren’t paying attention to the fight outside and were taken by surprise when Tanrov came barging throught the barn door.

Biggin’ almost did better, but there were just too many PCs and too few Spider Arms. He was put to death and won’t be bothering anyone for a long time.

View
The Morning After

Meeting the Mayor

The morning after the big feast, Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras sends a messenger to the PCs to request their assistance with a minor issue of property rights. It seems that there is a Foxglove relative living somewhere in central Varisia. He would like to send the PCs to visit this relative to deliver the deed to the Foxglove manor and townhome.

He explains that finding the records for the new Foxglove will take some time, but he will contact them when he has found the appropriate records.

Spending Time in Magnimar

Before returning to Sandpoint, Silence decided to spend some time investigating the Sihedron Rune in Magnimar.

She was able to track down a thieves guild lieutenant by the moniker of Bayard. When presented with the Sihedron Medallion, Bayard explained that he had lost several thieves during the Skinsaw murder spree. He is glad the cult is disbanded, but recommends that the PCs not go around flashing the medallion around at random strangers.

Bayard agreed to try to scrounge up information about the Skinsaw Men, but was doubtful that it would come to anything. He will pass information along to “common friends”.

Returning to Sandpoint

The PCs arrived safely back in Sandpoint without further incident. They spent about 8-10 days renewing old acquaintances, cleaning out Thistletop, and crafting items for future travels. Mostly, they waited on Grobaras to send Launce with information about the next leg of the “Big Adventure”.

Ancient Thassilonian Runes

Brodert Quick provided some interesting information regarding the Sihedron Medallion. After studying the rune, he is much more subdued than normal, and won’t even discuss the light. Rather, he explains that, in the past, the Sihedron Rune has been used in conjunction with Human Sacrifice to power Runlord magic. Runelords haven’t walked the earth in over 1000 years.

When asked how the Runelords died, he responded, “Who said ‘Died’?”

Apparently, the Runelords disappeared, but scholars don’t agree on where they went.

It seems to terrify Brodert Quick to think that the Sihedron Rune may be in play again.

On the move

Finally, Launce arrived to let the PCs know where to go. Apparently, Aldern Foxglove had a sister, with whom he never got along (ya know, cuz he was a total jerk), and she now lives in Turtleback Ferry. This is convenient, because The Order of the Black Arrow have missed their second check in. The Black Arrow is a military order stationed close to Turtleback Ferry, charged with keeping the Giants, Ogres, and other undesirables at bay. They are funded by Magnimar, and are expected to send regular updates. They were due to send a status report this month, and Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras would like the PCs to see why they have missed their second update.

Launce is authorized to pay 300 gp per person for the mission.

The PCs chose to travel by Horseback along the Yondabakari River to Whistledown, and from there up the Shimmerglen River to Turtleback Ferry.

Travel – Day One

The day was uneventful, but in the evening, the campsite was attacked by a swarm of Stirges. Tanrov took the brunt of the attack, as Wharlon allowed Silence to petrify him, trapping 5 of the Stirges in his petrified form. Tanrov allowed the Stirges to attach themselves to him, and dived into the campfire, essentially killing them.

Travel – Day Two

The PCs encountered a group of Goblins on their way home from a raid. The PCs dispatched the goblins quickly, with Simon jumping right into the middle of the group. Because the Goblins were coming home from a raid, they had a pouch of gems worth 500 gp.

Arrival in Wartle

Arriving in Wartle, the PCs noticed that the town seems comprised primarily of Gnomes. They looked around in amazement as Gnomes of every hue and color walk around, doing their daily business. The only thing more colorful than the gnomes themselves is their clothes. No two sets of clothing are the same.

As they were getting their bearings and making their way into the settlement, they heard an explosion and mad laughter in the distance.

Rumors

  • There is someone in the southern parts of Sanos Forest who has been waylaying travelors and demanding a toll for passage. There hasn’t been a sighting. The voice comes out of thin air, and the travelors are overcome with a fear that makes them drop their treasure and run.
  • Someone in town is looking for a new topic of study.

Folrick and Gahariet

The PCs are approached by Folrick Looprick. Folrick is a member of The Wonderseekers. He has a problem. A gnome in Wartle has begun the initial stages of Bleaching. Folrick would like to know if the PCs would allow the gnome to travel with them until he has found a new thing to study. When the PCs agreed to allow a fellow traveler, Folrick introduced Gahariet.

Gahariet is a little more subdued than the typical Gnome, but has not lost much of his color. Apparently he is still early on in his Bleaching cycle. The PCs agree that Gahariet can stick with them (Gear to the Rear) until he finds something new to study or do. He has some skill as an armorer and a scholar.

Mytarlacoraxithryl

Myrta is a Green dragon who has been terrorizing a stretch of Sanos Forest from Wartle to Whistledown. Lately he has been around 4 hours out of Wartle. The PCs decided to eliminate the threat.

After Silence’s initial attempt to trick Myrta out of the trees, Myrta noticed that there were other travelers hiding in the trees as well, and attacked.

The PCs made quick work of Myrta, especially with a well-placed critical strike by Shalelu Andosana.

Unfortunately, as the dragon is now dead, the Adventurers cannot follow her back to her lair.

Enemies fought

  • 11 Stirges
  • 8 Goblins
  • 1 Goblin Dog
  • Myrta – a young Green Dragon

Treasure Gained

  • 500 gp
  • 300 gp / person
View
The Story So Far

BURNT OFFERINGS

SUMMARY

The PCs arrive in the town of Sandpoint to attend the Swallowtail Festival (a local ritual to consecrate the town’s new cathedral), and end up defending the town from a goblin raid. During the cleanup, the PCs notice that the goblins involved were from multiple clans, not just one, and that it was a well-planned assault, not a hasty job.

In the days to come, the PCs come to terms with their new-found fame by making friends, taking jobs, and helping to train a small militia within the town’s citizens. As rumors of massing goblin armies build, the disappearance of a local tavern owner leads the PCs to uncover treachery within the Sandpoint Glassworks, and the existence of an ancient catacomb below the town.

Investigating these discoveries reveals two important details: monsters dwell below the city, and the goblin raid was only the first of many.

In order to save the town of Sandpoint, the PCs decide to travel to Thistletop and confront the most powerful of the Goblin chiefs, Ripnugget.

IMPORTANT NPCS

Nualia: Primary Villian of Burnt Offerings. She was the girl who was becoming a Succubus, and empowered Ripnugget to unite the goblin tribes. She also was encouraging Tsuto to betray the village by leading him on with womanly wiles. She escaped from the party in the final confrontation. Worships Lanashtu (“The Mother”)

Fr Zantus: Local priest of Desna, but ecumenical in matters of faith and worship. Allows any of the good or neutral deities to be worshipped in his Cathedral. Jovial and good natured. Offers free healing at low levels.

Tsuto: Another Villain. He’s a whiny emo brat who thinks no one likes him so he has to go get it on with a succubus. He’s better off dead. Opened the city up to the goblins.

Sherrif Hemlock: Town Sheriff. Dour and cynical. Capable of running the town, but not of running a militia.

Ven Vinder: General Store owner. Yes, that’s right. The general store owner’s name is Vinder. Whatever. He’s overly protective of his daughters, but when so when he catches Shayliss and Gnag getting it on, Gnag had to give up his adventuring and marry the girl. On the up side, the rest of the PCs get a 25% discount on general goods at the shop.

Aldern Foxglove: Foppish dude who seems obsessed with Wharlon. Goes hunting with him. Buys everyone a horse.

Shalelu Andosana: Elf Ranger bounty hunter. She brings news about RipNugget and helps get the party started on their search to find him.

Ripnugget: The big goblin warchief. You don’t know much about him cuz he pretty much was a stain on the carpet when you finished with him.

Orik Vancaskerkin: Human Fighter you found in Thistletop. He had hired on as a mercenary for Ripnugget, but was bored and agreed to come work for the PCs instead. He was starting to feel like the people he was working for were bad news, and was looking for a way out. Surprise! You provided one.

Brodert Quick: The local sage. Kind of a cross between Yoda and the turtle dude from A.E. Okay… Mostly the turtle dude from A.E.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Sandpoint: Your new home. Learn it. Love it. You’ll be spending lots of time here. Catacombs of Wrath: This is the area under Sandpoint. Of particular interest here is the pool towards the end where you fought the quasit Eryilium. As you walked into the room, she was creating Aberrations by cutting her wrists and allowing blood to fall into the pool.

Thistletop: This is where Ripnugget was plotting the takeover of Sandpoint. It is a big pile of crap. You can attempt to salvage it if you want to, but it sucks.

The Old Light: According to Brodert Quick, the Light is a Weapon. Yeah, Right.

ITEMS OF INTEREST

Star-Shaped Rune: You’ve seen a 7 pointed star in several places, rather like the one on the front of this document. As yet, you don’t know what it represents, or what it can do. You frankly don’t even know what it is called. Nualia had one, as did Tsuko. They did not wear them openly. In at least one place, it has served as a key to open a door.  

THE SKINSAW MURDERS

SUMMARY

The PCs are asked to investigate murders in and around Sandpoint. They are especially interested when notes addressed to Wharlon were found on the scenes of some of the crimes.

The trail of the murders lead to Foxglove manor. Aldern Foxglove had recently been through town on his way to the manor with the intention of renovating the place. Upon arrival, the PCs found it on the verge of collapse, seemingly held together by sheer willpower. The manor was, in fact, haunted by the ghosts of Foxglove’s ancestors. Aldern himself had become a particularly insane ghast, and was feeding on local townspeople. As it turns out, many of his targets were at the behest of a larger conspiracy based out of the city of Magnimar.

Continuing to follow the trail, the PCs uncovered the cult of the Skinsaw Men. Striking against the cult, the PCs uncover one of the city’s chief justices, Justice Ironbriar. Yet even here, there is another pulling the strings. He confessed to working for a criminal mastermind headquartered in Magnimar’s “Shadow Clock” (a crumbling tower in the most dangerous part of the city).

Once more following the trail to it’s natural destination, the PCs face yet another villain. This time, it is a Lamia Matriarch named Xaneshia. However, they also find Nualia there as well! The fight was long and hard, but the PCs manage to put an end to Nualia, as well as Xaneshia, bringing an end to the Skinsaw Murders.

Upon searching the Shadow Clock, the PCs find a list titled “Sihedron Sacrifices”, with the 7-pointed rune at the top. The list has an extensive list of names, cities, and professions, many of which are crossed out. Some of the names are residents of Sandpoint, but the majority are local to Magnimar. Many are merchants, moneylenders, gamblers, and thieves – greedy souls all. The most prominent name by far is Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras, of Magnimar.

The Lord Mayor, upon hearing that the PCs have saved his life, proclaim the heroes and give them the keys to the city in a rich and lavish feast. As a reward for defeating a cult of murderers, he grants each PC 6,000 gold pieces.

IMPORTANT NPCS

Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras: You saved his life. He owes you. He’s a greedy SOB though, so be careful.

Xaneshia: The main villain of AP2. She was a lamia matriarch (weird snaky woman) who was organizing all the murders. You aren’t sure yet why. Though you might be venturing some guesses.

Justice Ironbriar: I frankly don’t recall if you left him alive. We can deal with that at our first session. He was under a mind control spell, so if he is still alive, he is a jerk, but a normal jerk, not a psychotic jerk.

ITEMS OF INTEREST

Sihedron Rune: You should now be able to figure out what the 7-pointed star is called. It is the Sihedron Rune. Good luck figuring out what to do with that information

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.