Ye Gilde

Osirian - part 1
Meet the dust digger

A strange request for aid arrived at The Guild in Absalom. The strange part was that it gave little information aside from “trouble in a small village” and a reward of 100gp each upon completion. It got stranger since the request was sent from the distant city of Ipeq in the deserts of Osirian. An unnamed mage was the benefactor and it was promised that transportation was covered for the lucky guildies selected. Chad called together the first trio he could find and that he considered ‘expendable enough’ to send away on such a vague and time consuming mission. His superiors claimed that any chance to expand the connections and renown of The Guild would be valuable. And so Lieutenant Kass the aged rogue, Jerro the doll ninja-priest and the newly inducted and untested Apu the merchant-investigator would head to the docks and begin the mission. They had hoped for more aid but that was all that was available on such short notice.

The trio set out with their booked passage on the sea barge named The Crustacean. She was a large cargo barge that supplemented her income by accepting the occasional passenger. The trio was put to work by the captain who claimed it to be part of their booked passage. Kass swabbed the decks, Apu gutted fish, and Jerro used his divine magic to repair the ship. During the journey a curious traveler bound for Osirian, his motherland, overheard their discussions and offered his assistance. M’aiq the catfolk priest-rogue of the drinking God made a deal through Apu to join the mission. He asked few questions since his finances were dire, but promised them that “M’aiq knows much!” He also did not bother to inform them that their passage did not require working aboard the ship like servants. It was entertaining to watch them toil.

Weeks passed as they transferred from sea barge to river barge and sailed their way to the docks of Ipeq. Upon arrival the party was greeted by an intense woman in dancer’s garb, a mage of some local renown going by the name Iseret hero of the restored river. Evidently she and her companions had managed to remove an ancient curse, thwart a powerful effreeti and return a flowing river to the deserts in this region. When questioned about why she would call on aid from The Guild in Absalom, she informed them that some of her companions once belonged to their guild and had recommended them since they were engaged in other endeavors. She also offered the aid of one of her assistants if they so desired. The pair were odd indeed, a young boy that stuttered and marked his body in glowing tattoos and a tall beautiful woman with green hair that dressed oddly and seemed exceedingly dramatic. After a quick debate they chose to take the woman, Uth, with them.

The mission was to venture to a nearby goat-herding village named Saleemis. They questioned the locals and found that all manner of rumors were spreading about a new curse in the land and even the rising of the dead.
When the party set out on their journey a single day’s walk from Ipeq, the heat proved too much for poor Apu. He complained the whole way and demanded a chance to rest due to fatigue and heat exhaustion despite the others’ desires to push on and reach their destination in one night. During their rest period they were attacked in the dark by what they thought were undead. Apu knew better. He identified them as Adhearers, a dumb race of savage humanoids that were quite difficult to kill. The party worked together to bring down two of the four assailants and drive away the other two injured but at a heavy price with both Uth and M’aiq temporarily losing their weapons stuck to the creatures bodies. The party’s injuries were severe and they crept the rest of the way to Saleemis and used all their healing abilities and skills to restore themselves.

In Saleemis they were greeted with high hopes and open arms. M’aiq immediately felt the shift in the air. He validated the claims of the villagers that a cursed wind blew over their lands now. He could feel the evil. Jerro used his magical talents to detect and then survey the tainted magic in the air and land. This place was definitely cursed with some sort of necromantic energies. The villagers spoke of missing members and lost goats or camels. They spoke of the environment growing more hostile and the natural creatures becoming more aggressive. They even mentioned rumors of their praised scout and guardian, Hazeed, telling stories of spotting dead rising from the sands. The party agreed to question this scout after a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast of gruel. Hazeed reluctantly decribed where he first spotted these dead crawling from the sands almost two weeks ago. After a short debate, Kass encouraged them to have the scout lead them to this sight. Apu suggested they bring shovel and pick and a sacrificial goat in case they needed them. Everyone agreed on the tools but M’aiq, Jerro and Kass felt that taking the villagers’ only livelihood was excessive. So they set out for a two hour hike some 3 miles distance with Hazeed leading the way and pick and shovel in tow.

When they neared the location where he claimed to have spotted the dead, everyone found a surprise. A ruin was uncovered in the sands, it’s entrance open to the sunlight. Hazeed assured them this was not there originally. He seemed spooked. The scout waited at a distance while the party advanced to investigate. M’aiq let them know he could feel the evil growing stronger here and Jerro could sense the magic increasing. As they approached the entrance the sands beneath their feet gave way. Tentacles sprouted from the earth and a large maw filled with rows of sharp teeth spread wide. Five tentacles lashed out at them all striking everyone save for Uth who tumbled away to safety. M’aiq’s catlike reflexes let him spring away with a few scratches and Kass fell back with scratches as well, but Apu and Jerro were not so lucky. The tentacles wrapped about both merchant and doll, snatching Jerro from his perch on M’aiq’s shoulder. The tangled pair were dragged screaming into the dustdigger’s mouth. As M’aiq and Kass flanked the beast dealing as much damage as they could muster, Uth shot ineffective blasts of telekinetic force. Jerro and Apu were swallowed whole. Hazeed looked on in horror from a distance thinking the village’s saviors were no more. In the belly of the beast the pair refused to give up. Jerro coated his blade in poison prepared to hack his way free while Apu emptied his mutagen into the creatures guts. That was enough to nauseate it and the dustdigger puked the pair up before darting deep beneath the sands and vanishing from sight. Only heavy doses of its blood and puke coated the sand.

The party collected themselves, bandaged wounds, and Apu suggested they head back to the village to rest. The others cast him an annoyed glance and inspected the ruin entrance. They decided that there were multiple tracks coming and going from this sight and most disturbingly that it had been recently excavated. There were runes, picture writing, scrawled about the entrance in an ancient tongue. Luckily every member present save for Uth was familiar with linguistics. They quickly pieced together its meaning:

“Here rests the tomb of Khuman-RA. He who trespasses shall be cursed for all eternity. He who enters shall endure a worse fate and he who dares disturb the body of the pharaoh shall suffer death at Khuman-Ra’s own hands.”

Kass also noted that the entrance was unstable and could be easily collapsed. They ended here, debating what to do next …

Kass, Jerro, Apu, M’aiq and Uth each earned 1,020xp

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Trail of the Hunted VI

The trail of nature allowed the PC’s to leave without consequence. The idea of getting away from these judgmental centaurs put the team in high gear. About two hours into their journey Ulo (male elf), the Chernasardo Ranger appeared jotting alongside with another person came up to greet the adventures. The Phaendarian refugees were glad for the break in hauling the cart. They were already disgruntle about the pulling this damn cart! Ulo introduced Trobjorn, a dwarf who was looking to help the cause but was a little lost in the Fangwood Forrest. Introductions were made in some manner.

Ulo mentioned that Valoras and Courage got word you guys were safe. Valoras is still sway the elder druid council in favor of taking part in this war.

It was obvious that the caravan’s wooden wheels were going to need daily repairs due to the rough nature of the pounding holes in the ground. Bali used his shape wood ability to restore the wheel into good condition. The blacksmith helped with the bearing portion. He was just limited without tools.

The crew pushed the the forest with noises that were foreign to its nature. Within another three hours travel Thom’s paranoia mindset kept him sharp and on the edge to spot three hobgoblins in wait. The hobgoblins had arrows knocked into their longbows. Thom shouted “hobgoblins….ambush!”

Thom started to approach the ambushers, he almost noticed the swarms nest in doing so. He was mindful of the last encounter and advanced in a semi-circle. Thom noticed once he got close enough to the hobgoblins they had a residue applied on their persons. Milton took charge of protecting the refugees while sitting on the caravan’s seat! While the majority of were closing in on the hobgoblin scouts, one of them threw a pouch with rocks. A massive flying ant swarm exploded from the forest floor.

Trobjorn mistook the swarm for a group of angry gnats. He quickly reassessed this conclusion once the flying ant swarm attack him. David cast faerie fire on two of the hobgoblins. The hobgoblins were shooting arrows and steeping back. Thom got close enough to one and damaged him. Bali flew to try and cast a spell. He triggered one of the snag net traps in the process. Bali was on the forest floor crawling under the weight of the net in pain saying “oh my wittle wings!” Ostane was fiddling around with the unknown bombs then decided to use the acid bomb on the swarm but missed.

A few of the hobgoblins arrows hit true, when the female hobgoblin hit there was an extra stinging effect. Thom finally killed one of the ambushers. Ostane and Trobjorn were handling the swarm! Trobjorn’s healing seemed to be the tide turner! The female hobgoblin ordered a retreat, but wanted to grab the net with Bali in it and drag him with them. Lucky Thom cut the net first.

As the second hobgoblin fell, the female was backing up and shooting David. He had tripped her and was annoyed. She was making a dash for the caravan! The group stopped her but not before she withdrew a bomb and smashed it upon the ground. A huge fire explosion engulfed the surrounding area which fortuitously hit the swarm as well.

The group running in and out of the swarm finally killed it. Too many of its ants had been consumed in eating the PC’s. After all treats were eliminated people began looting the spoils.
Wounded and still banged up they marched on and made their way to an encampment. Watches were as normal and when they awoke one of the refugees had been taken in the night, only small pointed footprints and blood remained!

(Ostane, Bali, Thom, Milton, David, Trobjorn)

EXP Rewards: 833 – Fast Track

Rewards:
Composite longbow with magical bonus +1 and strength bonus of +2, 3x potions of Bull’s Strength CL3, Black adder venom (3 uses left), Vermin repellant

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Trail of the Hunted V

The group decided to start looting the caravan. Thom looked over the cart and found the double doored entrance locked. He got out his new toys and started to use them. He was able to undo the lock but then a sudden spurt of acid sprayed forth from the keyholes on his person and his tools. Bali splashed him with water, to help of course! Upon reaching the next part of the caravan was another locked double doored compartment. Thom this time was able to disarm the trap and recover it with help from Ostane. The lock was troublesome but without the need for urgency he finally conquered the device.

Inside the team found an arsenal of weapons and armor for about thirty-five troops. In the far corner of the cart was a smaller chest. Inside was a scroll from Quartermaster Vexthrull to Minos spoke to supplying him a special request. Magic items were found in this chest. The group sorted through them attempted to find what they do but with little success.

The next order of business was trying to figure out how to get all these spoils mobile. Only one horse remained after Milton tried to help the beaten one on the ground. Thom had tamed the foul-smelling battle yak and tried to harness the yak. The creature reared and hate filled his eyes. Thom and Ostane planned to pull this cart themselves.

David then showed up out of nowhere. He spoke about the human refuges being taken by four legged horse guys. Luckily one of the Chernasrado rangers not long after sprinted to the group. The ranger confirmed the centaur tribe taken the human refuges. Their leader spoke of restitution for two members of his tribe dead. He wanted to meet the leaders of this band. The ranger had an idea to seek out the elder clan to try to help this situation. He needed help and Courage and Valoras were anted for that task.

With the multiple injuries the PC’s decided to camp for the night. Bali had a vivid dream that night. When he awoke he was telling everyone about it. Just before dawn Bali and Thom were on watch when Thom heard a clatter. Two ogres were spotted sniffing the air. The mated pair spotted the yak found it aroma enticing. The ogres were speaking giant which Ostane knew how to speak. Ostane felt the need to mock them. The party decided to fully engage and challenge the ogres for their meal. David was able to disarm both ogres’ great clubs. The group took a few hits from the ogres but the only true lose was the battle yak.

The crew started out to where they had left their refuge band of townsfolk. A thirteen-hour march got them to their destination. They did spot two centaurs shadowing them. They PC’s waved them over but the centaurs only said stay the course and we have no need to talk. When the group got a little off track the centaurs pointed them into the right direction.

When the group approached all the townsfolk were caged in a makeshift wooden semicircle prison. An older male centaur with only three legs stared at them. He held a staff in place of his missing limb to help support himself. He beckoned with his hand for them to come up. He had asked why they killed two members of his tribe. Thom spoke about them trying to poison them but the centaur leader didn’t seem pleased. Bali spoke to him and told him about this dream. The centaur said show me. Bali placed his tiny hands on the ground and each grew into a large bear, wolf, and panther prints. The centaur leader seemed perplexed at these signs. He merely said we will leave no doubt and let nature decide if your trespass was just or not. He asked them to pick wood, fire or earth. Bali instantly spoke up and said wood.

The centaur leader gave them healing and one night’s rest before the trail of wood. Bali did see a centaur preforming a ritual but failed to understand exactly what it meant. One more day passed until the night of the trail.

A humongous vine-wooden dome was formed with fireflies all around it causing it to light up. It was a true night time spectacle. The leader spoke of the rules, leave and you fail, die and you fail the trail meaning you are guiltily! The centaur tribe gathered around the domes circumference. The group stepped inside, only to be block by thick vines. A word was shouted and the thick vinery retracted into the dome. On the other side of the dome stood an enormous treant. Thom applied his salve, David flew to the top, Bali got his cloak out, and Ostane started to engulf his potions. The treant attacked and the battle began! The PC’s were successful in their trail and the leader simply said you are free to go. The people started to shout calling Constable Milton, The Savior Constable Milton!

(Ostane, Bali, Thom, Milton, David)

EXP Rewards: 810 – Fast Track

Rewards: Off Dead Hobgoblins – Alchemist formula book, various weapons, and four strange bombs on a bandolier (researchable once a day)

Cart – (1,600 Lbs.)

Scroll from Quartermaster Vexthrull to Minos, 2,300 gold, 1 recovered acid trap 3D6, arsenal of weapons/armor shields – outfits 35 troops

leather armor/ light steel shields / daggers / longswords /spears

20x Ironfang Legion Banners

30X Armbands

20 × 50 feet ropes

150x food rations

25x small tents

25x manacles

Small journals (written in goblin):
35 copies of Legend of Azaersi (Promotes the cause and instructs to kill humans first and foremost)

Magic items:

Amulet of natural armor +1

3x Oil of Darkness

4x horseshoes of speed (Special)

Burglar’s Bracers

bastard sword +1 w/ Corrosive

2x Stone Salve

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Trail of the Hunted IV

The group woke up to a beautiful morning only an untamed forest could provide. People started to stir in the cave and began their morning route. Valoras and crew decided to send out the two scouts and the hunter to survey Phaendar’s invaders activities. Bali was creating water on David’s cats. David spent the time herding his cats back.

The group decided to also start to go back to town and see things for themselves. An hour into their journey they heard the clash of steel! They rushed to see five people taking on a Ironfang scout group, all which were hobgoblin. The oracle sent half orc, Courage heard the cling of steel and ran in that direction. He had been wondering the Fangwood Forest for a few days looking for these refuges.

Once the group got closer they noticed five similar people fighting this pathfinder Ironfang group. Bali noticed one elf in the tree firing down upon his foes. Thom and Valoras noticed a flank element of the group approaching the faction of five. The group engaged the flank element.

The flank element was commanded by a hobgoblin sergeant. Thom almost spotted the trap for the group. A small trench with sharpened spikes. Only Ostane fell in! The battle was won by both the PC’s and the introduced five Chernasrado Rangers. The demographic among the five was two elves and three humans. The female elf obviously took a liking to Valoras.

The two parties shared quick information and decided to leave the area. Valoras and crew guided their new friends to their cave camp. Upon hearing the news Arubran was in the camp gave the rangers great joy. They asked to talk to her privately. After which the rangers sat and spoke of tales of the land over a nice campfire cooked meal. They also shared a map of what they know to be Ironfang Legions territory. The female elf was happy to give her map of Nirmathas to him so the tales of the land could be visualized. The group asked questions and the information they received:

• After the Goblinblood War, a single hobgoblin survivor was said to raise from certain death wounds. The say she got away just before the Isgeri humans set the dead goblin ablaze. Azaersi fled into Molthune and started a bandit outfit. Proven to be a very successful military mind, she was employed by Molthune to terrorize Nirmathas. Over a few years apparently she stole goods and supplies and started to recruit monsters and hobgoblins to her new banner – Ironfang Legion.

• The Chernasrado Rangers are sanctioned by several faction’s druid circles, witch covens, centaur tribes, etc to operate freely in certain lower section of the Fangwood. It is dangerous as a non-woodland creature to venture deeper into the woods without resistance. It is these factions the Ironfang Legion is also trying to recruit.

• They agreed with Valoras that you need a semi-permeant home for the refuges. They recommended a vast network of interweaved caves up to the northwest part of the Fangwood, roughly a fifty-mile trip. A large tribe of troglodytes lives in most of the caves. The tribe name is “Children of Stone.”

• The Chernasrado Rangers have about thirty wings each wing consisting of a dozen to two dozen members.

• Spoke about the conflict between Molthune & Nirmathas. Molthune wishes to establish a huge empire by taking lands in Nirmathas.

• Kraggodan is a dwarf-keep who is natural in regards to the Molthune – Nirmathas conflict. They just want to be left the fuck alone!

• They do not know the ballpark numbers overall of the Ironfang Legion.

• They are on a mission to gather up the different factions within Nirmathas to aid in the war with the Ironfang Legion. They are also still collecting intelligence.

• A powerful crystal dragon feeds off the Nirmathas wildlife.

• Gave a map of Nirmathas with locations of special interests.

• Gave the group two Guide Stones.

• Many worgs in the forest.

The rangers took their leave in the morning while creating obvious tracks. The rangers did this so is scouts are about hopefully it gave the group a day or two to move with the refuges. They also took Aruban with them. Shortly after Valoras and crew got everyone to pack and ready for the journey. Two hours into the trip Bali spotted two centaurs. Bali rushed ahead and spoke to them. He did a great job of speaking to them on his friend’s behalf. Yorc the male told Bali to bring your leaders and we will provide food and water.

Bali flew back and informed this crew about the centaurs. He also said don’t mess it up! The PC’s advanced on the centaurs trying to present a respectful first impression. The male centaur gave them apples and asked them to partake in fruits of nature. Thom noticed a resin that was hard to notice on the apple. He had some across this before, it was a poison to knock the subject out. Ostane drew notice to Thom and he identified it to be oil of taggit. When questioning the centaurs about the apples resin they attacked!

The centaurs seemed confident about taking these filths to their graves but, lost their lives in the end. A weird looking armor was identified as magic on the female druid centaur. The PC’s also found two scrolls on the make centaur. One was to the Children of Stone, the other a message scroll to the centaurs. Both were a join us or die option by the Ironfang Legion. The scroll instructed the centaur tribe to scout and assure the supply caravan arrived to the Shoz outpost without harm. The scroll mentioned the Chillax trade route. Milton knew there was a large boat fairy along the Inkwater River. The team decided to assault the caravan just after it arrived past the fairy point.

(Not going to write out the entire battle would take 4 more pages. Those who were there know the tale!) The caravan was pure chaos! The PC’s tried to sneak up to the caravan but were absolutely unsuccessful. A long-fought battle ensued with the PC’s the victor.

Background Information:
http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Goblinblood_Wars
Clarification Kraggodan is a dwarf-keep who is natural in regards to the Molthune – Nirmathas conflict. They just want to be left the fuck alone!

http://www.pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Molthune – The Chernasrado Rangers would have told you some of the basic broad stokes of this conflict. The Chernasrado Rangers are very much like the Night’s Watch in Game of Thrones in a sense. The only difference they are not bound by any man’s laws, they to do as they wish. To ensure freedom for Nirmathas is the ultimate objective.

(Ostane, Bali, Thom, Valoras, Milton, Courage)
EXP Rewards: 1,080 – Fast Track
Rewards: +1 lamellar armor, Two breccia Guide Stones, Oil of Taggitx3, *attached document with other loot

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Trail of the Hunted III

Valoras and his group are regarded in high esteem by the refuges. They have proven their competence in several areas. Guiding the people, providing shelter, supplementation of food, and battle honed. So when Bali and Milton felt a server lighting storm on the horizon and told all to seek the caves shelter. Overall everyone were happy campers.

During the night a vicious storm rattled through the sky. Trees rattled and broke from the strong winds. Lighting bolted down from the sky in rapid streaks. Bali was on watch when one of the warrior refugees called him over. He told Bali that him and his two commands had taken ill. All three had slight coughs, bleeding noises, puppy eyes, and dry throats. Bali awoke Valoras and showed him the three with stated feelings they were going to die.

Valoras assessed the situation and realized the connection between the three. The sick warriors were sharing the same water skin. Valoras ordered them to be as apart from the others as possible. Bali finally took a closer look at concluded that these people had been poisoned. He was still certain these people were going to die. A few hours later into the night a few more people had taken ill with the same symptoms.

The morning came with thunder rolling in the background and moderate rain still falling. This marks the 5th day the team fled for their lives from the hobgoblin invasion. Upon waking up and Ostane heard the news he looked over the food supply. He was astonished to discover the entire lot was poisoned! Valoras ordered some people to remove the food supply. Ostane then started to help the herbalist make a remedy to ease the poisons effects. David went about his normal business of taking care of himself and his cats along with his ostrich. Thom woke up for stand too. He feed his panther cub and began to strut around. Valoras ordered the sick ones out of the cave. He tasked some of the townsfolk build a shelter for them outside the cave for the sick people. Valoras ordered a rotation of the sick people come and warm up by the fire.

The man (man-bun) who they had tied up had puppy eyes and started to convulse widely. He flailed around like a fish out of water. Not too long after his convulsions stopped he seemed to expire. Bali went to confirm this suspicion. Bali told his friends he was surely dead! Valoras had some refuges take and dispose of the body of man-bun man. Bali took another look despite his grim outlook on the end result and found this poison can be flushed out by natural laxatives.

People who knew how to gather certain plants and herbs went out to gather it for the tonic the herbalist made with Ostane. During all the commotion just before dusk a refugee came back with the news that man-bun man was gone, only lose ropes remained.

Thom found that unacceptable and everyone but Milton gathered themselves up to track down man-bun man. The group arrived at a ravine with a tiny body of water moving down the slopping ravines path. Not too far off Thom could see a body lying in the stream. Thom went for a closer look when Milton showed up with his illumining touch. Thom vaguely could make out odd bite and scratch marks on the body. By this time Milton caught a chill in his old bones are spotted man-bun man’s killers!

Four bloody skeletons and two floating grotesque hollow animated skins spotted the bright light and attacked their next victims. The skirmish was short, suffering little wounds the group came out on top. Milton recognized one of the bloody skeletons. This was a human from the tiny settlement in the Fangwood Forest named Gristledown. Between the bright torch and Thom’s cat frenzied cries the scene was very pronounced throughout the forest.

The group hurried back and found all to be in good order. Milton once again relayed on his old bones to tell him when danger was close. The group spotted a worg crouched down in brush observing the cave and its occupants. Once the magical beast understood he had been spotted he shot off.

The group once again not willing to bend on losing chased the oversized dog down. Bali had it trapped with his forest powers then blinded and stunned it with a spell. David finally grappled something, the worg while it was practically helpless but boasted nonetheless. Valoras heard goblin dialect throw a howling voice, his kept company only heard howls. The howling voice spoke in goblin “replay……..replay!” Then no more noises were heard.

The top of the morning was pleasant and bright once again after the storm. The food was running thin and so the group went out and foraged for food. Thom was out foraging for food when he was ambushed by a hobgoblin scout party. Four hobgoblins and a worg assaulted Thom and caught him by surprise. His companions were not in his imminent area and thus alone. It was obvious that the scouting party was trying to net him and “catnab” Thom.

Thom held his ground even though sustaining multiple wounds. His friends finally arrived on scene and as a team took the scout party down. Ostane knocked one of the lesser ranked hobgoblins out.

Once the group recollected themselves back at the cave Valoras wanted some answers! He had Bali heal the scout and rattled off harsh words in the hobgoblins face! The hobgoblin started to spill his guts. He spoke that the leader of this scout group named Semfet. She was dispatched under the Ironfang Legions special division called “Night of the Fangs” leader Lieutenant Scabvistin. He looked very scared as he spoke about the bugbear. He said he is a hunter and skilled killer. Scabvistin regards the refugees escaping the invasion a black mark on an otherwise perfect military operation. He has made it his personal mission to erase that mistake. He with his son named Sergeant Scazvinious have come out into the Fangwood forest to set up a permeant camp until all escapees are dead or in slave shackles.

http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Goblinblood_Wars

(Ostane, Bali, David, Thom, Valoras, Milton)

EXP Rewards: 933 – Fast Track

Rewards: Light steel shield x2, net, Studded leather x2, Masterwork padded armor, Potion of cure light wounds, Oil of darkness, Longbows x2 w/ 45 arrows total, Masterwork handaxe, Masterwork battleaxe, Longsword x2, Flint and steel

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Trail of the Hunted II

The PC’s noticed the injured people would not keep. An hour and a half past the wood line looked to be safe for a quick encampment. Suddenly oversized spiders descended from the forests canopy. Milton had rescued one other townsfolk and decided to head towards the sound of danger. Valoras and his group had heard the commotion and started in that direction. The main group dispatched one of their hungry predators while the other one withdrew.

Milton and Valoras caught up to the larger group. Arubran and other townsfolk chattered about just waiting out the invasion. Milton knew this to be the course of action most often taken in these circumstances. Valoras spoke his protest in regards to just “sitting around.” The portal was point of concern. It was obvious that providing for everyone here would be a huge task. The people asked for someone to be the guide for the group. Arubran elected to advise but not lead. Valoras steeped up and took charge.

The next few days was comprised of finding food, crafting shelter and managing personal for these tasks. David just feed his cats! Valoras wanted shelters to be built so that they would be portable. Still talk of the game plan was an ongoing discussion. Bali and David decided to go and scout the town but got lost in the woods, luckily they found their way back to the camp. The Fangwood Forest was protected by eleven magic.

One night before dusk the group heard a loud low pitched growl not too far from camp. Bali identified the howl as a panther. All but Milton decided to muster to the threat. Upon reaching the source of the growl the scene was quite unexpected. The team noticed that the panther had just given birth to offspring. Three swarms of maggot mites were swooping in and killing the helpless cubs. The mother was fragile from birth but still pawed at the swarms with fierce effort.

Thom and David didn’t hesitate to help these animals. The swarms quickly attacked the group. Ostane chopped at the first swarm. Valoras used a spell that damaged all of the swarms at once. From there Ostane and Thom took care of the rest. The team was able to rescue three out of eleven cubs. Thom instantly took a babe in his arms and licked the placenta mucus off of the cub. The mother was diseased and could not be saved.

The exploration netted three panther cubs that if nursed and taken care of could become fierce companions. The cave that the mother panther occupied was cleaned was an ideal shelter for the refuges. Valoras moved the group to the cave. During the next midday as the group started to forage for more food they caught sight of a human from town running wildly through the woods.

The red eyed man with his man bun style hair looked fatigued. His clothes were torn from branches striking them when he ran. He told the group hobgoblins were chasing him and he was scared. Thom lead the charge and the team started to backtrack this person tracks. It didn’t take long to discover that there was no evidence of hobgoblin traces. Thom shouted “quick back to the cave!” Upon returning to the encampment Eban as he was called was gone.

The party had no problem finding Eban especially with Bali’s help. Thom scared the man into telling the truth. Eban pulled out a poster from his back pocket. Thom swatted at it a few times after he snatched it.

bounty.png

Eban had told them that they were tossing people into the river to scout and gather information to where the refuges. He told them his sister’s life is in the balance if he doesn’t report back. Bali made sure he was telling the truth. Eban relayed the information that an improvised rope bridge was being built rapidly. He mentioned the hobgoblins talked about their General Azaersi like she was a god.

Valoras heard him mention general Azaersi. He called a story recalling this clever hobgoblin died in the Goblinblood Wars. The rumor says she raised from the dead and become a ruthless and calculated bandit in Molthune. Hobgoblins declared her Aza the immortal. A supposed witness to this was a hobgoblin named Scabvistin. She is known for the creation of the Ironfang Legion .

Overall the townsfolk are in good spirits and moral is high. Food is stocked up and plentiful at the moment. They are happy with Valoras and his odd friends leading the way.

http://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Goblinblood_Wars

(Ostane, Bali, David, Thom, Valoras, Milton)
EXP Rewards: 837 – Fast Track
Rewards:

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Wrath of Thrune VI
You May My Glories and State Depose

Thinking with the Wrong Head

Eager to avenge her stained honor following her defeat and imprisonment by the Glorious Reclamation, the newly-rescued Hellknight Zara Orcelani volunteers her advice and her assistance throughout your endeavors. First, though, she asks that you help her regain her Hellknight plate armor, which is being held at Narikopolus Manor by Faydreth Zaine – it is a point of pride for her, and she refuses to go into battle without it.

Luckily, you are aware of Faydreth Zaine’s weakness – he is deeply desirous of the beautiful Palaxia, whose unusual magic and curvaceous physique make her a very interesting subject for the wizard. Palaxia invites the entire party over to his house for a dinner, silencing Faydreth’s protestations about inviting “that rabble” to his home by promising him a very special dessert just for the two of them.

Along with the party is an uninvited guest – Zara Orcelani, under an invisibility spell, is hidden in a closet near the front door of the manor, waiting to burst out and reclaim her armor upon an agreed-upon signal.

The dinner is not even finished and the guests are still seated when Palaxia hustles Faydreth up the stairs to his bedroom. He doesn’t like the idea of leaving the rest of you unattended in his dining room, but the promise of finally possessing what he’s lusted for for weeks is too great. Palaxia strips him naked, making sure to throw his clothing ten feet away from the bed – including the bundle of scrolls that always hangs from his belt.

She pushes him roughly down on the mattress and, straddling him, manacles his wrists to the frame. Faydreth struggles weakly at the bonds, asking if they could delay the kinky stuff until after they got to know each other a little better, but he is cut off by Palaxia belching loudly. As Bob’s black phantasmal form pours from her lips, Faydreth begins screaming.

Bob begins to pummel and grapple Faydreth, but the elven wizard keeps calm enough to murmur a word of magic and disappears from his bonds. Regina orders her wasp, Zebub, outside to circle the house and look through the windows. The wasp spots the wizard frantically raiding his desk in his study, a room right next to the bedroom, and the bee bursts through the window to confront him.

Faydreth is completely naked, but he kept a spare spell component pouch in his desk, so he is not completely helpless. However, the scroll-less scrollmaster cannot summon enough magic to hold back your forces and is struck down – as is the Glorious Reclamation’s last powerful presence in the town outside of Valor’s Fastness.

You find Zara Orelani’s Hellknight plate in a storage room off the master bedroom, and the Hellknight dons it happily. You also find an artifact that Zara recognizes as a Brimstone Barbazu – a statue of a leering bearded devil that, when broken, summons a bearded devil. They are used by the Hellknight orders as part of the trials undergone to join their ranks.

Open Rebellion

Zara Orcelani, armed with her longsword and dressed in her distinctive Hellknight plate in the exposed musculature style of the Order of the Rack, is a fearsome sight, and when she appears as if by magic outside of Narikopolus Manor, just across the street from the busy tavern, holding Faydreth Zaine’s head, the townsfolk are terrified.

A call goes out over the city that anyone who desires it can come inside the thick walls of Valor’s Fastness for shelter while the Glorious Reclamation roots out the dissidents who have attacked Kantaria. Zara Orcelani leads Reclamation forces on a chase out of Kantaria, and her presence in town grants you temporary immunity to the suspicion of the Reclamation, who now blame the Hellknights for the attacks on the town and let you in without questioning.

The refugees are held in sacristy of the fortress. Pews line the room facing an altar, and a statue of Iomedae stands in the corner. There are around 20 townspeople there, plus a small force of Reclamation knights and squires, as well as a hiracapath, a silvery armored ram with curled horns that glows with golden radiance. For now, you are locked down and unable to make a move without a meddling Reclamation knight ordering you down, but you bide your time and wait for an opportunity.

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Wrath of Thrune V
Something Wicked This Way Comes

The cast: Palaxia, Asriel, Corva, Regina, Lazzero, Tyku, Dakash, and Maledictus.

1,700 Experience

A. New Blood (Thursday)

Your meeting with Linton Demeer left you with more questions than answers, but you had little time to ponder them, as the accuser devil Razelago appeared to you in a concealed alleyway with some news. Fex was sending further reinforcements to aid you in your efforts to undermine the Kantarian government. You met them at the Little Uskwood, where they had arrived at noon.

Dakash, a samsaran arcanist who spoke with the easy authority of nobility, immediately told the rest that he was there to be the face of the party. Asriel raised an eyebrow at this, but was forestalled from saying more by the introduction of Lazzero Dalvera, human cleric of Asmodeus, and Tyku, tiefling witch. Tyku spoke little, but glared dourly around at the group. A bat hung upside down underneath his dreadlocks, and his dark skin was patterned with tribal tattoos.

The afternoon was spent catching up the new party members on the situation in Kantaria and plotting for the future. Tentative plans were made for breaking the captured Hellknight out of Hardship’s Hearth, and in the meantime, you focused on more achievable tasks: capturing the healing supplies you knew the Glorious Reclamation was storing in the northernmost watchtower in town, meeting Linton in the woods later in the night, and sabotaging the docks.

B. Sword Tower Raid (Thursday night)

You met on the edge of the forest northwest of the watchtower near midnight that night. You were pleased to see that the number of guards on the tower has been reduced. Your efforts to stretch the already stressed resources of the Glorious Reclamation even farther has succeeded, with Nevilindor sending out troops to patrol for the Narikopolus bandits after two brutal attacks on merchants and travelers outside of town, as well as posting more guards in public places to control whatever devilry has been causing the townspeople to panic and attack each other.

Palaxia, her phantom Bob, and Tyku, all invisible, snuck into the tower while the others looked on, ready to lay down cover fire and spells in case things went sour. Lucky for everyone, the guards were not paying attention. Indeed, one, a halfling slinger, was drifting off against the crenellated walls, while the other, a Reclamation Knight, was night-blind from being too near the glowing sword statue that crowned the watchtower. Bob pushed the knight off the side of the tower while Palaxia, humming a few bars of ‘Short People’, slashed at the sleepy Halfling with her scythe. Maledictus, Asriel, and Dakash acted quickly to silence the fallen Knight, although not before she had channeled energy to harm Maledictus. Tyku, Zebub, and Palaxia finished off the Halfling, and Bob grabbed the chest of supplies.

Shouts were heard coming from the town – obviously someone had heard the knight’s scream as she fell from the tower – but you took the time to engage in some senseless brutality. Zebub dutifully flew the halfling’s body back to Regina, who carried it further into the forest and began feasting on its flesh. Maledictus cut off the knight’s head and threw it into river, and Corva knelt beside her bloody corpse and filled a small vial with her blood. Meanwhile Bob crushed the halfling’s skull into shards. You disappeared into the woods with less than a minute to spare.

C. Something Wicked This Way Comes

Further in the woods, you hid yourselves with varying degrees of success around the agreed-upon meeting place with Linton Demeer. Five minutes passed, and you began to suspect ambush; your suspicions were heightened when you at last heard not one but two people making their way through the brush to your location.

Around a tree came two men: Linton Demeer and… Linton Demeer. One of the Lintons quickly began to assuage your doubts. He told you that he was an ugothol, or faceless stalker, and part of the long line of ugothols that attacked Kantaria when Iomedae held the town against them for a hundred days and a hundred nights ???. Linton’s ancestor had thought of the arrangement, and this line of de facto ugothol leaders continued in Linton.

Instead of ravaging the town and moving on, these ugothols took on the identities of the humans they killed and lived among them unnoticed. Linton used his connections as the town healer to bleed the sick who came to him, thereby providing food for his people without devastating the population.

It was not a foolproof plan – occasionally a flesh-hungry ugothol would lose control and slay another townsperson. Linton had always used his connections with the Iomedean church and the governing council to hush it up. After all, this is Cheliax, and people went missing all the time; he simply played up the idea that they were probably dissidents against House Thrune who got what was coming to them.

However, he lamented, gone are the days when a person could disappear without a trace and everyone just looked the other way for fear of angering House Thrune with unruly questions. The Glorious Reclamation ran a much tighter ship, and any disappearances were certain to be noted. Linton confessed that he is worried one slip-up will cause the end of the ugothols’ “peaceful” existence in Kantaria.

In exchange for you allowing the ugothols to continue to live as they were, he offers you their services. With their shape-changing abilities, they could listen for or plant information, or even take on a new identity. Linton’s terms were easy for you to agree to, and you left the meeting place with new allies.

D. The Destruction of the Docks

On the way back, you decided to sabotage the docks. The docks played an important part in the town’s economy and were now being used by the Glorious Reclamation to screen traffic coming down the Sedna River. Boats were forced to dock at Kantaria, thus incurring docking fees, and any supplies found on board were appropriated by the Glorious Reclamation. Crippling this asset would do a lot of harm to the movement. Asriel used his magic to turn Palaxia and Tyku invisible as well as imbue Tyku with enough strength to carry Palaxia as he flew them both over the wall around the docks. Palaxia pointed out the spots in the dock that she had identified as weak points, and Tyku went to work, prying apart supports and cutting ropes.

They made short work of two docks, but the last was too strongly constructed. Nonetheless, reducing the Reclamation’s ability to dock ships by two-thirds was a blow.

E. Betrayal (Friday night)

The alliance with the ugothols was the final puzzle piece needed for you to attempt to raid Hardship’s Hearth and break out the imprisoned Hellknight. Linton Demeer sent with you his lieutenant, the only ugothol in town currently without an identity, who agreed to take on the appearance of Jalila Hadjara and try to conceal the disappearance of the Hellknight for as long as possible.

Exploiting your friendly relationship with Jalila and your knowledge of her feelings of loneliness, isolation, and frustration at being cooped up at the prison, you surprise her with a warm dinner that night. She is delighted to have company that she doesn’t have to order around, and she insists you all sit down and eat, even though the nine of you plus her made a squeeze in the small breakroom in the command post.

Jalila helped herself to a plate of food while chatting happily. “How are things in town? It’s been almost a couple weeks since I was there last and –“ Suddenly, although her mouth was still moving, her voice stopped – courtesy of a Silence spell cast by Dakash. Jalila paused, and her face flittered from confusion to dawning horror as your hands went to your weapons.

It was barely a fight – Jalila was overwhelmed and brought down within seconds. Palaxia collected Jalila’s keyring and unlocked the Hellknight’s cell. The door creaked open and on a bunk against the wall sat Zara Orcelani, Hellknight of the Rack. Her eyes flicked past Palaxia to the breakroom behind her, where Corva was seated on the floor lovingly flaying the skin off Jalila’s body. Zara gave a satisfied smirk.

“You…” she said as she stood, looking around at everyone. “I like you.”

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Trail of the Hunted I

Trail of the Hunted I

4/14/2017
Phaendar is nestled in southern Nirmathas. It is a living example libertarianism. The small populous are rugged and proud of their freedoms. This town has been around for three centuries. It has endured countless orc hoards raids, sickness, goblin raids, droughts, and wars with its imperial neighbor to the south with constant intent to sack the town and place their banner where Phaendar stands. The buildings in this town are made of wood, due to its inherent danger. Only three structures are reinforced with stonework and a foundation. Its main commerce is not coin by bartering in most cases. The silver and hard iron, stout and robust lumber from the Fangwood Forrest, protein stocked fish from the Marideth River, and vigorous livestock provide great resources for the town. Recently in the last two months a bridge was built over the city large river. As a result, it opened up a quicker trade route by removing significate time from the previous Cheliax trade route.

A local Legend Aubran the Green lives here. She is said to throw the great parties that rival big cities. Mostly retired Aubran aids the town when she can. Many battles and older age have taken most of her endurance but not her feisty spirit!

Bali is a fey creature whose home is somewhere around Phaendar. David the gnome is the local troublemaker but often times a welcomed one. Bali’s obsession with gnomes allowed him meet David and be his admirer. David has his twenty-five cats and follow him because he feeds them all the time with yogurt. When these two happened upon a plump catfolk with matted fur. Shortly after a half-orc came out of the woodwork. Ostane seemed passive aggressive with his shoulder shrugs. Once it was established that everyone was a cat person it seemed to be predetermined they would meet. The newly introduced group banded together to “meow-eander” around the town. The buzz of the Market festival celebration had people retiring their occupation at noon.

Bali was zipping around flying poorly from person to person saying hi! He was meet with various greetings, some cautious eyebrows and a few curious smiles. David knowing that Bali can go a bit overboard even by his standards kept a close watch on Bali.

Meanwhile Ostane and Thom decided to stay on the outskirts of the town. Where they meet a person, who was already drinking. He told them he should come to the Taproot Inn and he get them free drinks. The local kept mentioning a rival of his and he would be there at the Taproot Inn.

The only pup establishment in town was shoulder to shoulder with split ale on its warped wooden floor. Unintendedly It had a number of broken windows to ventilate the swear and ale from his pores. The local who encouraged Thom and Ostane to come here was now mopping in the corner after catching sight of Zenith. Zenith was a stocky handsome fellow and seemed very popular from the happy greetings he was given by the inn’s patrons. It was soon discovered to Thom and Ostane this Zenith had stolen their “friend’s” wife. The local broke down crying and tried his best to eager Thom and Ostane to handle Zenith.

Bali and David got word that Thom and Ostane were going to get into a brawl at the inn. They rushed over to the inn to see that no such thing happened. The weeping drunk man was escorted out and drinking commenced. Aruban the Green was in attendance and had her tales in full swing with a bard on stage. As the hour weaned down to nightfall Thom decided to keep an eye out on the roof. Shortly after nightfall Thom witnessed a huge black oval portal near the Riverwood Shrine.

Scores upon scores of hobgoblins surged from the portal and instantly Phaendar turned into a bloodbath. Thom noticed a large bugbear directing the forces. Thom yelled at the top of his lungs to warn people in the inn. The next instant three hobgoblins jumped in the broken windows. One with a crossbow left fly a bolt that struck true. Auburn had a poisoned bolt sticking out of her left shoulder. The other two hobgoblins shouted and demanded everyone’s surrender. Almost all people quickly fell to the floor in obedience. Bali rushed over to aid Aubran and saw she was indeed poisoned.

Aubran mumbled through bubbled saliva “ssaave people, gggett supplies.” Bali replied “use your words.” Thom finally descend from the roof as David started to fly. Ostane still a little rattled from the hobgoblins shouts took his axe and gutted one of the hobgoblins. Thom then scared six folks from cowering and sprung from the floor to flee. The two remaining hobgoblins were dispatched by Ostane and Thom. It was evident to all the three hobgoblins wore the same armband. Through more yelling, Thom managed to convince another eleven-rattled people to follow them. As Thom started to carry Aubran she was able to get a Bull’s Strength spell off.

With the screams and yelps down to echoes, the party noticed the invasion was well orchestrated. The team knew inner weaving patrols were now surrounded the town. The group had to sneakily escort the nineteen people they convinced to save themselves. Aubran spoke once more through strained effort to say “get supplies and save more people and burn that bridge!” David and Bali decided to go to Oreld’s Fine Shop, the healing building to get supplies. Thom and Ostane escorted the group into a patrol of two hobgoblins. Ostane and Thom struck them down. When they arrived at the bridge a worg and a hobgoblin guard its entry. Thom and Ostane defeated these foes but not without Thom ragging and going cat crazy on the worg.

Meanwhile Bali and David were flying over the town to get to the healing shop. On the way, there they sighted a strange tall cow-headed humanoid with horns. He was surrounded with worgs and hobgoblins. David decided to make them all glow with fairy fire, just because.

Bali once in the healing building created light for two injured people. Bali healed them and then asked them to retrieve supplies. The two-people found two healing potions and a masterwork backpack. The got near the edge of the Marideth River and Bali shapechaged a wooden table into a small makeshift boat. They crossed without a problem.

Thom and Ostane smashed lanterns on the bridge. The lanterns oil provided better kindling then wood ever could and the bridge was set ablaze. They head a thick voice yell as they ran into Fangwood forest “You will be hunted!”

(Ostane, Bali, David, Thom)
EXP Rewards: 1,050 – Fast Track
Rewards:
Two potions of cure light wounds
Masterwork back w/a nice looking cloak in it

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Wrath of Thrune IV
Daggers in Men's Smiles

The cast: Asriel, Palaxia, and Maledictus.

2,933 experience each.

Sinderbos: This pitch-black +1 flaming warhammer is bereft of any ornamentation beyond an engraving on its face of a bull’s head with an open flame, the unholy symbol of the archdevil Moloch. Whenever the wielder of Sinderbos successfully strikes a creature with the hammer, he can create a cloud of ash around the target as an immediate action. This ash shares the target’s space and persists for 1 round before dissipating. The ash does not obscure sight, but the target and any creatures that enter the cloud must succeed at a DC 14 Fortitude save or take a –2 penalty on attack rolls for 1 round as they cough and choke on the fiery ash. Holding one’s breath provides no benefit, but creatures that don’t breathe or that have any kind of fire immunity or resistance are immune to the cloud’s effects.

If Moloch is the wielder’s patron, the wielder can forge masterwork armor and weapons with Sinderbos, which reduces the DC of the Craft check for items’ masterwork components to 10 (the Craft DC for the items’ standard components are unchanged). Items crafted in this way have a faint evil aura for the purposes of detect evil or similar effects.

Part 1: The Supply Shipment

You spend Friday night and the whole of Saturday resting up after the hazards of the Blooming Caverns. On Sunday morning, Razelago appears to check in with your progress and let you know that Fex’s information network has word that a supply shipment is expected in town on Monday evening.

The Reclamation has engaged in trade negotations with the various mining operations in the Menador Mountains to help secure their hold on Kantaria. While none of the groups have yet offered full support to the Glorious Reclamation’s rule, they have contributed small amounts of resources and supplies that, altogether, forms a sizeable shipment for the town. Razelago asks you to waylay the shipment however you can.

To ambush the shipment well outside of town, Palaxia, Maledictus, and Asriel leave that day. Asriel and Maledictus together find the perfect spot for an ambush – a bridge where the road crosses over one of the wide curves of the Sedna River. However, before you can plan your attack, your mission is nearly ended when you are attacked by a quartet of hungry giant dragonflies.

The dragonflies engage in vicious flyby attacks, taking hefty bites out of their targets. Palaxia immediately goes invisible while the whole party laments leaving behind Regina, the vermin-specialized hunter who may be able to calm the beasts. Asriel takes several hits and is knocked unconscious while Palaxia goes to Maledictus’ aid, turning her invisible as well. A dragonfly scoops up Asriel’s body in its many legs and, weighed down by his 300-pound bulk, begins a clumsy flight south.

However, Asriel has tricks up his sleeve. Brought back to consciousness by his fast healing ability, he bided his time riding in the dragonfly’s legs. When the dragonflies reached a forested area and gained elevation to avoid having to fly through the close-set trees, he rolled out of the dragonfly’s grasp and broke the clay snapleaf he wore on his robe – turning himself invisible and gaining slowfall. He drifted slowly down to the ground in the forest while the dragonflies darted over the tree canopy, looking for their mysteriously-disappearing prey! He met an astonished Palaxia and Maledictus – both of whom had given him up for dead – back at the bridge.

You form a plan: Palaxia would turn invisible and cross the bridge to meet the wagon. When it was within distance, she would pop the cork on the discord bottle. Meanwhile, Asriel had used his crowbar and wiresaw to sabotage the bridge’s support – unfortunately, in his zeal and lack of engineering knowledge, he’d left the bridge sagging slightly, but you hope the havoc caused by the discord bottle would distract the driver from the unsafe crossing.

The plan goes off without a hitch. The wagon, pulled by two heavy horses, trundles up the path the following morning. A Reclamation Sergeant sits at the front next to the human militia volunteer driving the horses. In the back of the wagon amid a cloth-covered mound, two halflings hold sling staffs. At the wagon’s side walk another halfing and two more militia volunteers. Once they enter the radius of the discord bottle’s gas, both horses, the human driver, and all three halflings fall victim to the mind-altering gas. The driver whips out his guisarme and stabs one of the horses in the hindquarters while the two halflings riding in the wagon swing their staffs, hitting the Reclamation sergeant in the back of the head with stones. The horses take off at a run as they try to bite each other and escape the harness. As the wagon crosses the bridge, the heavy load collapses the unsteady supports, dumping the entirety of the shipment as well as the driver, one of the halflings, and the sergeant into the river.

The two other milita volunteers then face off on the north bank with the affected halflings while you look on, hoping they would thin their own numbers before revealing yourself. Meanwhile, the horses, who’d broken free of the wagon and leaped to the south bank, run off, nipping at each other’s necks and lashing out with their hooves. The remaining humans kill the halflings, and are in turn killed by Asriel’s arrows and Bob’s blows.

Asriel follows the river for some way to make sure there are no survivors. He finds no evidence of the Halfling and the driver leaving the river, but he does find the sergeant, wet and tired, trudging back to the bridge on the south side of the river. She hails him from afar with a weary wave; Asriel responds by shooting her with an arrow. They exchange arrows as they approach each other, but Asriel gets the better of the water-logged sergeant. Asriel loots her Reclamation tabard and wooden Iomedaean holy symbol and as a final insult, carves the symbol of Narikopolus into it and sets up a scarecrow as a warning.

You return triumphant in the evening. Feeling amorous, Asriel seduces a very willing Loredana, and Palaxia visits Faydreth at the Narikopolus Manor. Pleased to finally find himself alone with her, he invites her in and gives her a tour of the house, proudly pointing out the house’s defenses and traps.

Part 2: A Friend in Need

Tuesday was spent reconnoitering Hardship’s Hearth, but finding the defenses of the prison too intimidating, you return to town and look around the dock with the thought that destroying Kantaria’s ability to enforce docking fees on all passing ships would hurt the Reclamation economically. Palaxia finds several weak points in the dock’s construction that she believes could cause them to collapse with a minute’s work. Unfortunately, none of you have the dexterous skills necessary to take advantage of this.

You wake up to a message on Wednesday – Linton Demeer, proprietor of Healthy Heart Alchemicals has requested a private meeting with you that day. You postpone your plans to sabotage the docks and instead visit the alchemist. A sign reading “Closed due to illness” hangs on his door, but when you knock, he answers the door looking completely healthy, although he seems hurried. The more discerning among you realize that he does not seem like he’s going to harm you, but more like he is wary.

Once inside, Demeer explains his invitation. He has a friend who was one of House Narikopolus’s retainers before the Glorious Reclamation. While most of them had been killed or imprisoned during the conquest, a handful escaped and proceeded to harry the town, calling themselves “Narikopolus loyalists”, although the Glorious Reclamation named them rebels. His friend – a man called Gregor Ardain – was one of these.

He tells you that Gregor kept in contact with him about the loyalists’ location and movements, but it has been over a week since he last heard from Gregor. Linton is worried about the fate of his friend and tells you that Gregor’s last missive indicated a stop at the Blooming Caverns. Maledictus immediately blurts out that you have been to the Blooming Caverns and that you tried to get the myceloids living there to come back and attack the town. There is a stunned silence as everyone gapes at her massive gaffe

Asriel quickly attempts to bluff him by saying that Maledictus has a particularly macabre sense of humor. Gregor is not fooled, but says that he would pretend he hadn’t heard what she’d said in the interest of figuring out what happened to Gregor. He offers you 3,000gp for discovering Gregor’s fate, and to sweeten the deal, tells you that Gregor was in possession of a magical warhammer called Sinderbos – the very warhammer that used to belong to Tychus Groat before it was taken by Gregor after Oppian Nevilindor defeated Groat in combat.

Part 3: Return to the Blooming Caves

You agree to go to the Blooming Caves that day. You easily retrace your steps through the cave, and this time come as a group to the cavern where the fully-grown myceloids sit rocking gently in their chairs. They seem unperturbed about the deaths of their “children” and go on at length about how they came to the caves.

“Well, it all started with this family of four humans we killed, oh, I’d say a couple of weeks ago, ain’t that right, Pap?” Pap nods his large mushroom cap head. “Anyway, Pap here was pulling out the male’s intestines while I was clawing out the female’s eyes, and their children were just hollerin’, ‘Mam! Pap! No!’” The myceloid embellishes the tale with movements of her stunted limbs.

“I turned to Pap right there and then and said, ‘We’re getting too old to keep wandering around like this, we need to settle down and start a family.’ Of course, he wasn’t called Pap then, we just heard the children yelling for their parents and thought ‘isn’t that precious?’ If it worked for that human family, it will work a trick for ours!”

“We discovered these humans hiding out in these caves, and it was just the perfect place to settle down in! Oh, bless their hearts, they were so starved, we slipped right past ‘em and infect the whole group.” She says with pride. “Look at this beautiful glowing fungus – just the kind of place I always dreamed of raising a child.”

They also mention one of their children they call “the Wrong One.” “Whatever human spawned the Wrong One wasn’t, he just looked like one. So now we have our special little guy who just needs some extra love.”

Pop says something in gruff Undercommon and Mom swats at him gently and shakes her bulbous head. “Pop thinks the Wrong One’s a bad egg, but I ain’t never heard of a child what a little love and family can’t fix! After all, hands can build a house, but it takes hearts to build a home.”

You find the Wrong One down a cavern tunnel that you had not noticed the first time you visited the caves. A pile of corpses sits in a corner of this cavern. Each gaunt cadaver has been split open down the center, exposing hundreds of purple mushrooms growing out of the rotting flesh inside. In the middle stands the Wrong One, who is currently being tormented by two of his “siblings”, who are jabbing at it with sticks. The young myceloids squeak and hide near the pile of corpses when they see you, but they shout something to the Wrong One and fall into a fit of giggles as the horror attacks you.

The Wrong One is more aberration than fungus, resembling a writhing mass of living rubbery flesh in the shape of a vaguely humanoid mushroom. Dozens of crude humanoid faces, each contorted in agony, adorn the mushroom’s cap, and its long arms drag on the floor as it charges.

Asriel edges around the cavern while Maledictus and Bob engage the Wrong One. The Wrong One lashes out with claws that leave bleeding wounds when he hits, and the faces on his mushroom cap contort into the faces of his attackers, Bob and Maledictus, the sight of which fills them with horror but they continue fighting. Maledictus tries to get the two myceloids to intervene, but they just smile and wave and say they’re happy someone is playing with the Wrong One.

Meanwhile, Asriel retrieves Sinderbos from the pile of corpses as well as a half-written note addressed to Linton Demeer. The note describes how the starving loyalists found the cave and were infected by the myceloids, as well as the progression of the illness. Gregor admits that he too has contracted it, and wonders what it will do to him in particular – a statement you find odd.

Everyone but Palaxia begins to flee the cavern once the treasure and the proof is recovered. Palaxia’s summoned spiritual scythe lands a devastating blow on the Wrong One, leaving him barely standing, and Bob finishes him off. “Told you we could kill it,” she says haughtily.

You pass out of the caves with your prize and return to town again late Wednesday night. Thursday morning, you visit Linton again and show him the note and the warhammer. He shakes his head sadly as he ponders his friend’s final words to him. He seems to think deeply about something before proposing a meeting outside of town at midnight with you to discuss something he doesn’t name. Asriel questions him closely, and Linton says carefully that he has eyes all around the town and that he can put two-and-two together. He believes that your agendas could serve each other, but he doesn’t want to say more here.

Asriel then goes by Tychus Groat’s forge and surprises the ukobach Brextur with the return of his master’s warhammer. You realize that teariness is a habit of Brextur as his lip wobbles and his eyes grow wet. He thanks you sincerely for the return of the hammer and tells you more about its magical properties. He also mentions that maybe one of you wouldn’t make a bad master, either.

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