Rise of the Runelords

Murder Most Foul Part 2
It's all gone grisly

12 Lamashan 4707

They arrive early in the morning. Crossing the bridge into Sandpoint, they notice a gathering outside the Lumber Mill. Approaching the group of villagers, they see two guards keeping the curious throng away from the Mill. The guards urge them to go in and she the Sheriff.

Entering the Mill they see a most unpleasant sight. It is a scene of utter chaos and carnage. Lying partially in the machinery of the saw is the remains of a woman. An hung on a wall is the mutilated corpse of a man – one of the sawmill operators, Benny Harker. Carved into is chest is the seven pointed star – the Sihedron Rune and attached to Benny’s body is a note to Rena:

“You will learn to love me, desire me in time as she did. Give yourself to the Pack and it shall all end. Your Lordship”

Tig jokes that Rena had been the subject of unwanted attention by that fop immediately after the goblin attack.

Rena surmises that the woman may be Katrine Vinder. The sheriff tells them that this is the second murder scene they have had in 4 days. The first involved 3 bodies, which they were led to by a raving local thug. The bodies had the same rune carved into them, and the same note.

The group investigate the scene and find:

  • All of the bodies and track smell of rotting meat
  • Benny has had his face ripped of and jaw removed
  • An axe on the floor has bloody fingerprints and grey ichor and flesh on the blade
  • The footprints in the sawdust indicate a chaotic event, and that one of the sets are of bare feet. Botht Benny and Katrine wear shoes
  • There are muddy footprints on the pier, with signs of claws on the feet

Rose looks carefully at the flesh on the axe and, managing to keep down her nausea, she determines that the clues likely point towards undead creatures such as Ghouls or Ghasts.

Arriving at the Garrison, Rena goes to speak to Ibor Thorn who discovered the body. She coaxes him to tell about Benny, the secret rendezvous with Katrine. He also mention that it was a secret from Katrine’s father Ven because of Ven’s lengendary temper. Ibor also says he think’s Benny had been skimming from the mill’s profits and that the owners (the brutal Scarnetti family) would take a very dim view and the repercussions could have been fatal.

In the basement, the rest of the party inspect the bodies, which have been preseved with a Gentle Repose. The bodies are in the same state as poor Benny Harker. Faces mutilated, jaws removed and a Sihedron Rune carved into their chest.

Everyone hears commotion at the garrison entrance and move swiftly to find out what’s happening. They see two guards manhandling Ven Vinder who is raving and fighting the guards. Kazillion decides to hide from the hysterical man. Ven sees the party and starts shouting at them, accusing them of being the cause of all of this death. Rena becomes quite angry and summoning all of her forceful character calms him down.

They decide to visit Bodert Quink to see what his investigations into Thassilon have turned up. After escorting Ibor back to his home, they go up to the Sage’s home. Brodert comes down to the door looking sleepy.

During the conversation they ascertain:

  • The rune is a general symbol of the Empire of Thassolin
  • It signifies many things – The seven lords of Thassilon that ruled after the death of the first emperor, the seven virtues of the empire and the seven schools of magic praised by the empire (Divination was not viewed as important)
  • Brodert believes that Thassilon fell approximately 10,000 years ago
  • Brodert believes that the empire was a cruel and dangerous place and that the seven virtues became corrupted and turned into the seven classic sins

Tig starts to wonder about the sage and asks where he was last night and four days ago. Brodert becomes slightly flustered and says he was alone in the ruins below the city. Not everyone in the party seems entirely convinced, but they decide to move onto the graveyard to see if there has been any sign of disturbance that might indicate undead.

Finding nothing of interest, Samoth sends Baztarj over to the opposite side of the river to see if there are signs of tracks there. The bird spots some tracks, so they all move over to the marshy land opposite the mill.

Finding tracks, Rose manages to follow them for a mile before losing them. Samoth manages to pick up the trail and they lead onto the Devil’s Platter, a stony shelf that rises above the hinterlands. Losing the trail here, they decide to follow the direction of travel southwards. They eventually reach the edge of the Platter and Rena recalls that near here are an old ruin and also the Sanitorium, where the witness from the first murders has been sent.

They travel first to the ruins. This is a perfect hollow cylinder rising 30’ from the ground and is hollow. They climb to the top and Baztarj flies into the hollow with a torch. Discovering it is at least 80’ deep, and with no means of scaling this they decide to go to the Sanitorium.

Arriving as day turns to dusk, they hammer on the door until a very grumpy man opens the door. A terse conversation commences, and eventually Rena manages to persuade him to let them in. He takes them to top floor to see the witness Gryst Sevilla. They pass 3 other inmates, as well as at least one orderly – a deformed thuggish looking Tiefling.

Rena starts to talk to Gryst and after his delirious ramblings he notices her and moves to the window.

“He said. He said you would visit me. His Lordship. The one that unmade me said so. He has a place for you. A precious place. I’m so jealous. He has a message for you. He made me remember it. I hope I haven’t forgotten. The master wouldn’t approve if I forgot. Let me see… let… me… see…”

“He said that if you came to his Misgivings, that if you joined his Pack, he would end his harvest in your honor.”

Grayst looks very ill. His skin is drained of colour and there is a brown stain blooming on his shoulder through the straight jacket he has been put in.

Rena turns to the manager of the Sanitorium, Erin Habe, and asks to be allowed in to treat the poor man. Erin protests that they cannot enter as it is too dangerous. They all say they can handle it, and that he needs help. Erin says that they cannot enter and besides, Grayst is an interested research case. This makes Rena quite angry and she protests quite angrily, Rose also threatens violence.

Erin shouts at them to leave, and as it becomes clear to him that the group is more likely to accost him, he flees downstairs.

The party now have to decide what they are to do next…

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Murder Most Foul Part 1
It's all gone grisly

9 Lamashan 4707

Rena has received a message from Father Zantus asking them to return to Sandpoint because of murders.

The party quickly gathers their belongings and horses and start the journey to Sandpoint.

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The Succubus Part 2
Love is cruel

9 Lamashtu 4707

They awaken with plans to continue the search for the group that aided Nualia. Then Rena receives a message from Father Zantus – Please return to Sandpoint. There have been murders and the seven pointed star has been seen…

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The Succubus Part 1
Love is cruel

8 Lamashan 4707

The group moves into the basement crypt of the chapel. Encountering 3 wights, they defeat them without much incident. Moving through the crypt, they trigger a glyph of warding, but Tig avoids injury.

They then enter the chapel, finding it apparently empty. The place has been desecrated with the remnants of slaughter and sacrifice.

They move through and find a human in an alcove behind bars. The PCs are highly suspicious and enter into a conversation with the pleading human. This continues for a brief period, but the subterfuge is hampered by Rena detecting that the figure is a strong source of evil.

The succubus drops the pretence and summons another demon. The bars it is behind prevent the heroes from properly attacking it and it has a wicked attack that severely injures anyone she touches.

The battle is long and drawn out, eventually descending into a stalemate. The Succubus bids them farewell and teleports away.

The battle is over and the group returns to the guards. They are amply rewarded and spend the rest of the day spending their funds.

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The Trial Part 2
Justice is served

7 Lamashan 4707

The group decides to investigate Nualia’s journal and the shadowy figures mentioned in it that helped her.

During their investigation, they find out about chapel to Sarenrae that was in the process of being contracted when all of the priest where murdered.

They continue their investigations and eventually discover stories of people going missing in the Underbridge area. Spending a bit more time on this leads them to encounter a guard named Kassadei, who is also investigating the case. Between them they decide to set a trap using Rose as bait.

That night they lay their trap, and set the scene for Rose to be ambushed.

She is attacked by a half-elf and a gargoyle. After a swift battle, the gargoyle is killed and the half-elf captured. They take her back to the guards for interrogation. During this, it is realised that she is under the controlling influence of a third party. Rose breaks the influence and the half-elf breaks down in remorse and regret.

The group finds out that the disappearances are due to the work of a succubus. The demon captured and dominated the half-elf into becoming her accomplice. The succubus is laired at the half built chapel to Sarenrae in Underbridge.

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The Trial Part 1
Justice is served

6 Lamashan 4707

A retinue from Sandpoint escorts the prisoners Tsuto, Lyrie and Orik to Magnimar for trial for their crimes.

After a night of preparation there is a speedy trial under the supervision of Justice Ironbriar, a severe looking elf.

All three are found guilty, and sentenced to conscripted service with the Black Arrows – a militia group that defends the civilised south from the wild giant infested areas of the north.

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Nualia's finale
Vengeance for Sandpoint

1 Lamashan 4707

The PCs move down to the lowest level and move carefully through the corridors of what are ruins of an old complex.

Unfortunately, Tig triggers a trap but manages to avoid the damaging mechanism. They then move slowly to a crossroads and open a door finding Nualia behind it. She appears to have been waiting for them.

When she sees Rena, she flies into a rage screaming about how Rena had the life she should have. She smites Rena with mighty blows and Rena is forced to retreat. Tig and Rose hold her off with damaging blows while Samoth and Kaz use magic to injure her further. Rena heals herself and rejoins the fight. Between them, they finally slay Nualia avenging the dead of Sandpoint both recent and past.

Searching the room, they find a journal that tells Nualia’s story of an abusive father and unhappy childhood. This led to her turning away from Desna. An accidental pregnancy and betrayal by her lover, led to further abusive treatment by her father and Nualia’s turning to Lamashtu as her saviour.

She then turned to evil, murdering many, many people until her eventual meeting with Tsuto and the attack on Sandpoint.

The party returns to Sandpoint and a heroes welcome. They rest, recover and rearm themselves.

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The Goblins of Thistletop Part 1
Prelude to the end

30 Rova 4707

Tig investigates the bridge over the gorge and notices that it has been rigged to give way if too many people cross at the same time. She moves across and secures the bridge safely.

They sneak in and start to move around the goblin lair. After discovering sleeping and drunk goblins, they stumble into a group in a barrack. a fight ensues which moves through the lair until they reach the ‘throne-room’ of Chief Rignugget.

The chief ask for a halt to the fighting to start parley. A tense conversation is held, culminating in the Chief proclaiming them inferior and he commands his subjects to attack. The Goblin Druid that had escaped previously decides to leave at this point and the heroes defeat the rest of the goblins after a bloody battle.

The party moves through the rest of the area until they discover stairs leading down in two places.

They choose to go down the stairs nearer the rear of the lair. This leads to a room containing battle maps and plans. Beyond this they enter a room full of research materials, and a woman in robes. She attacks them initially, but soon realises that she is hopelessly outnumbered. The party secure her and interrogate her. She tells them of the other inhabitants, and also Nualia’s location.

The group sweeps through the rest of the level, finding a mercenary that they also arrest. They also find a bugbear committing unspeakable acts to female goblins. The group wastes no time in despatching him. Also on this level is a temple to Lamashtu, with two demonic dogs called Yeth Hounds. The temple also has evidence of Nualia having burnt her fathers remains.

The group decides to rest and ready themselves for the battle with Nualia.

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A Brief Respite Part 2
cleaning up and moving on

30 Rova 4707

Borrowing a boat, they travel along the coast until they have to row the rest of the way. As they approach, they realise that scaling the outcropping will be very difficult. They spy a cave and row into it. They spy a hole in ceiling which appears to be a shaft up to the top of the cliff. As they sit there, a dark shape moves underwater and strikes the boat. It rocks sharply, but everyone stays on board. They attempt to hit it as comes round for another hit, Tig braces her spear for it but it strikes and knocks most of the group out of the boat. They realise it is a bunyip, a ferocious seal. After a prolonged skirmish, they despatch it and then go on to scale the shaft to the top of the cliff.

They emerge into a heavily overgrown thicket. Moving carefully, they encounter some Goblin Dogs, which are quickly destroyed. However they alert a cougar which runs off down another path. Samoth gives chase and sees the cougar apparently talking with a goblin in robes. He attacks with spells from a distance, and the goblin disappears into the undergrowth, moving through it as if it wasn’t there. A prolonged game of hide and seek commences, with minor damage being traded, until the goblin emerges in the form of an eagle, flies out and over the goblin compound landing behind it.

They wait on one side of the bridge deciding what to do.

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A Brief Respite Part 1
cleaning up and moving on

29 Rova 4707

After a restful night, the group head back down into the ruins to finish exploring them. They are now peacefully deserted.

They find evidence of old research rooms, some torture implements and a strange spherical room with floating objects. Black writing courses around the room like electrical discharges.

After collecting some minor treasure, they return to the surface.

Sheriff Hemlock returns and is brought up to date on events. after some discussion, it is agreed that the best course of action is for the party to proceed to Thistletop to deal with the goblins and Nualia.

They spend the rest of the day restocking and trading and rest in preparation for the assault on Thistletop.

30 Rova 4707

Borrowing a boat, they travel along the coast until they have to row the rest of the way. As they approach, they realise that scaling the outcropping will be very difficult. They spy a cave and row into it. They spy a hole in ceiling which appears to be a shaft up to the top of the cliff. As they sit there, a dark shape moves underwater and strikes the boat. It rocks sharply, but everyone stays on board. They attempt to hit it as comes round for another hit, Tig braces her spear for it but it strikes and knocks most of the group out of the boat. They realise it is a bunyip, a ferocious seal. After a prolonged skirmish, they despatch it and then go on to scale the shaft to the top of the cliff.

They emerge into a heavily overgrown thicket. Moving carefully, they encounter some Goblin Dogs, which are quickly destroyed. However they alert a cougar which runs off down another path. Samoth gives chase and sees the cougar apparently talking with a goblin in robes. He attacks with spells from a distance, and the goblin disappears into the undergrowth, moving through it as if it wasn’t there. A prolonged game of hide and seek commences, with minor damage being traded, until the goblin emerges in the form of an eagle, flies out and over the goblin compound landing behind it.

They wait on one side of the bridge deciding what to do.

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