Ye Gilde

In Search of Sanity I

Four unaffiliated characters found themselves in a dull gray cobblestoned alleyway. None of them recalling how, when, where and why they are here! No memory of the past only the present! Surrounding the narrow ally was a sickly think yellow jaundice colored fog. The alley’s canyon was starting to quickly collapse with gray brick from the sidewalls. The party could only see roughly twenty feet in front of them. With little ambient yellow colored light peering through the combination of fog and light gave a hazy effect. It was hard to judge distance exactly. Up ahead they saw the ally split to the right and to the left. The yellow fog seemed to be following them. A horrible grumbling sound masked by the fog behind the party was followed by auditable footsteps. Sharlize aka Charlie made an optimistic statement regardless of their plight. Bronn, Jacquez, Waldobert, and Charlie swiftly consulted and chose the to go right on the narrow pathway. This lead the group to a dead end. Bronn readied a weapon while speaking to his companions. The yellow fog opened, a mask of gray rags emerges! Strips of something fleshier than fabric worming and constricting across a body that appears humanlike stood before them. The lean bloody gauzy figure had a circular mouth filled with yellow teeth. The horrifying creature shook its head from side to side in an uncanny way then lunged to assault Bronn. The creature’s teeth unhinged from a curved inner angle to a protruding outer formation. The next instant its mowing mouth covered half of Bronn’s face. It ripped off half of Bronn’s face, his blood splattered against the gray brick wall. The other party members witnessed his blood turned yellow once it hit the wall. As the blood rolled down the wall it spelled “up.” Charlie saw fit to make yet another uplifting positive statement. Bronn still standing but barely went into the corner and collapsed. His mouth lulled open and a rough yell came out of his mouth “up.” The party members attempted to climb the walls seemly the only egress. Charlie managed to get about seven up on the wall when suddenly she felt a presence at her back. The creature was standing on a small cloud of yellow fog. He extended his arms with malice. Long claws came out of his bandaged fingers. He planted his claws in the back of Charlie, ripping her back completed apart. As she fell she saw her blood populate the gray brick wall. The blood once again turned yellow. The blood trickled down and spelled “me.” It was not long until the creature turned his attention to Waldobert. Waldobert was desperately struggling to climb the wall but failed. When Waldobert turned to face the creature it was already ready to attack. The creature’s claws impaled Waldobert’s neck and head, the creature’s claws bulging from the top of Waldobert’s head. The act expelling Waldobert’s brain matter and blood, once again blood sprayed on the wall! It turned yellow and spelled “save.” Last but no least was Jacquez. The ratfolk was climbing the wall when his skin of his back was cut of by sharp claws. Muscle tissue exposed and blood smeared the wall and leaving the symbol “wake.” Waldobert figured out the message and thought the phrase “Wake up, save me!” The nightmare ended immediately.

The group awakened in small cells to the background of a cynical humming lullaby followed by an unsettling yell “wake up, save me!” White spots filled their vision accompanied by server head pain. At first glance they found themselves naked in two different cells parallel to each other. Waldobert and Jacquez were in once small cell, Charlie and Bronn in the other. They quickly noticed their respective peers small shaved areas on their head. Dull gray staples in a rough s shape pattern had sewed together flesh on their skulls. Green goo/liquid mixed with coagulated blood covered the staples. They had been lobotomized, there was obvious side-effects! Charlie was horribly cross-eyed, with her right side of her face saggy and the left very tight. (I still cannot get over how hard Alana laughed at Bill’s character’s disfigurement!) Bronn’s left eye had an eerie blood clot film under this eye. Puss and brain fluid constantly leak from this eye. His left side face skin is also saggy. Jacquez’s hands severely shake involuntarily and often his arms erupt into spasms. Waldobert’s cartilage extremities were blackened (noise, feet, fingers, around his ears) almost as if frostbitten! Waldobert discovered he suffered from compulsorily vomiting. In addition, there is slight scaring where the masked gauzy creature attacked each party member in relation to how the creature killed him. The group members also noticed chalk lines on their bodies. After coming to terms with these new afflictions somewhat the group saw a petite beautiful woman in a bloody lab coat. She was standing and hovered a bloody man tied to a table. At her side was a table with many different strange bloodied tools laying on it. Blood in various stages was everywhere on the floor! He had white chalk outlines on his body just as the party members had. She had a scalpel in her right hand meanwhile her left hand was pressing slightly on various parts of this man’s body. She was humming a children’s lullaby as she evaluated her next cut. Her experiment was constantly screaming “wake up, save me.” The party noticed she had a set of keys on her side. A few of the party members tried to apply a silver tongue to the lady. At first the woman ignored all passes from the group.

Finally, a sharp comment was made at her by one of the members. She then without looking up stopped humming her arrangement! She then in a sudden motion launched herself at Bronn’s and Charlie’s cell. Her face changed into that of Bronn’s to every detail! She shouted “Shut up, you will be next be patient!” Maintaining Bronn’s face on her person she swiftly turned back to her experiment wiggling on the table. Charlie making another trademarked enriching statement for the group. Waldobert vomited a bit in his mouth after hearing Charlie’s statement. Group members noticed the man on the table got his left foot loose. as the lady approached the table he kicked her with all his mustered might. She landed hard against the cell doors of Bronn and Charlie. Charlie quickly covered one eye and reached for the keys on the lady’s side without notice to the owner. The woman yelled in utter rage. She ran back to her experiment on the table. She grabbed a ballpein hammer. She hastily used her new instrument on the mans head. His head exploded brain matter and blood spraying everywhere! One of the mans eyes rolled next to Jacquez and Waldobert’s cell. Charlie found the right key to unlock the cell. Bronn escaped the cell and scouted for an escape route. Charlie sled the keys to her comrades in the other cell. Jacquez quickly unlocked his cell. Meanwhile it appeared the lady was completely oblivious to her escapees. She was pounding her victim into nonexistence. Charlie did recall this creature was a doppleganger but didn’t know anything else. The party with the exception of Jacquez went to a reinforced door. The door was locked! Jacquez went to the opposite side of this cellar room. He found a furnace. Just before the burner vent he searched and found of the party member’s equipment among a pile of tattered bloody cloths. He also noticed a symbol while shuffling through this pile as well. He didn’t have time to grab everything especially with shaky hands. Every now and again he would feel sheets of skin mixed in with the cloths. He finally grabbed Bronn’s shield and placed items on it and started to drag it. The remainder of the party realized Jacquez had the keys and Bronn ran after him. Due to Jacquez’s shaking hands the shield was rattling on the floor as he was slowly dragging it. Still the lady hammering the man on the table to nothing, sending flesh and shattered bone on some party members and the room. Bronn grabbed the shield from Jacquez. Bronn realizing how slow his naked ratfolk friend was turned his back and yelled “hop on!” Bronn felt something warm and fuzzy against his naked back! A little stiffness was apparent also (Sorry Eric had to rub that in). The party noticed only a kneecap was left of the man from the table and hurried their attempt to open the door. Just before the party successfully got the door opened the lady turned her attention towards them and said “Where are you going’ in a simple clam demeanor. Jacquez rigged the lock making it harder to get through. Charlie couldn’t see due to the rooms darkness. The group retrieved their items from the shield. Clothes, and a few items for each member and equipped themselves. Waldobert had to help Charlie get her clothes on. Then a sudden thud at the door alerted the party. The lady was pounding on the door.

Jacquez noticed a pile of bodies all cut to shreds against the wall. Meanwhile Charlie was asking what was going on. Bronn and Jacquez spotted an empty space just behind the bodies. The only other sensible route seemed to be the downstairs option. The party chose to go down stairs to a sub-level of the cellar. It was here they found straightjackets, a broken desk, desk chair, and papers all spread all over this room. There was 92 pages and Waldobert picked up all the pages. Some where covered in blood, some tore at the corners. Some half ripped at the center. Waldobert thumbed through them tiring to put them in order while Bronn and Jacquez searched the room. Charlie still could not see so she was asking what is going on. Waldobert got a few pages in order and scanned them briefly. The journal read about mentally ill patients and logging scientist progress in this asylum. The group ascended back up to the room with the dead bodies. Bronn moved the bodies in order to get a better look at this space. There was also a symbol above this shoot. It was a very artful letter A with the holy symbol of Pharasma behind it. It appeared to be a laundry shoot. The party members landed up in a bit hamper bin with sharp bones and tattered clothes. The vent flap was found in the hamper bin as well. Waldobert learned after studying the tattered clothing she identified they were doctor’s lab coats and orderly’s uniforms. This symbol matched what Jacquez had found on the tattered at the furnace.

A fifteen-foot wall encased the group members. There was a lighter reinforced door to the back side of the wall. The party members opened it with the set of keys. They were small linen hamper baskets with a washing sink. A type of conveyer system lead back up at the same angle and location as the shoot. Bronn spotted a blue glow from under one of the laundry hampers. Two oddly light blue eye colored rats attacked the group. Jacquez was bitten by one after attempting to plea with his distant ken. The party dispatched them without adsorbing much damage and the aid of Bronn’s scizore. The team searched the room. Bloody water and bobbing heads where in the sink. It appeared the sink was moveable and under it was a fire escape egress vent. A bloody handprint on its shutters. Bronn kicked out the vent and all members got through the vent. The group found themselves in an eerie courtyard. Yellow fog surrounded the huge facility they were in. In the distance they could see how large this place is. Some of the fog was on the ground by was not as think as the one above and outside the facility. Misshaped dead trees baron of life littered the courtyard. The group spotted the surface of a humongous spider thorax and legs way in the vast distance well beyond in the mist. The group heard wings flapping not too far from them. Bronn spotted some tracks and knew it was some sort of clawed chicken creatures. There we three of them, he was sure of it. Limited vision to twenty feet kept the party cautious. Bronn suggested they move away from the direction these chicken-winged things went. They followed the courtyard wall south. The party came to a point in the wall where it was collapsed. They had to take time to move the debris aside in order to advance to that room and escape the courtyard.

The next room was nothing but a janitorial supply room. Broom handles mops, water buckets, and wash cloths lay all over the room. A door was the only thing of interest. Although Bronn made an impromptu torch for Charlie out of two mops sticks and mop heads. The group got through this door and it lead to a huge cathedral with elegant white titled floor. The white title was spider webbed cracked in every direction in this well lite room. Charlie tried to take a light fixture off the wall but once ripped of the wall it didn’t have light. Numerous painted portraits of doctors adorned the walls. A huge desk towards the entrance chained/barricaded double doors was the only furniture in the room. The group made their way to the desk and inspected it. They found registration forms and welcome letters. A huge banner lay across the front door. “Welcome to Briarstone.” Charlie noticed a fleshy ooze starting to squeeze through the tiniest of cracks from the front double doors. Once She saw it she knew exactly what it was-bad news! Panic started to settle into the party. Bronn found another single door that was also barricaded on the wing of this room. He tried to open it but managed to not notice the massive chains on the doors. Bronn rattled the door then heard low mumbles and clawing at the door. The group decided to open the wing side door and get away from the flesh ooze that was continuing to come in through the cracks of the double doors. Jacquez was tasked with getting the wing side door open. Bronn readied for what was to come through. Waldobert readied his bombs. Finally unleashing the chains two undead orderlies in uniform stumble out of the door. Bronn stabbed one in the head right from the start. Waldobert threw his bomb and consumed it in fire, this one crumbled to the floor! The remaining undead grappled Charlie. Suddenly this gray wormy tentacle swarmed from its host stomach and tiring to enter Charlie. Jacquez did his part by throwing a stab of this sword-cane. Charlie broke free from the undeads grip. As she ripped away the creature’s claws did damage to her. Only to be grabbed once more. Bronn finished the job with an attack and slain the undead creature. Bronn had a flashing memory enter his head once he saw the banner. He saw himself shacking hands with a small female figure. The image was waist down vantage point in first person. Her arm left her waist where Bronn noticed was a white lab coat. Her hand embraced his and she said “welcome glad you came here to help us.” The tentacles still reached out from the undead corpse. Once Bronn shook the himself free of this flashback he stomped on the tentacles! Waldobert took notice of the flesh ooze now completely in the room. The group looked down the hall where the undead came from and saw flickering lighting but could not see a complete clear picture of where to go. Waldobert cleverly stayed out of the slow moving ooze’s reach and bombarded it with fire bombs until it completely disassembled.

xp:1300

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Angels of the Magi
(Charlie's Angels)

“Based on your demonstrated skill and talent, you have been invited to become an Angel, an initiate of the Circle of the Magi. Your first mission will be given to you in Absalom, at the following location, ### Avenue, Eastgate on the #th day of <month>, at sundown. This message will self-destruct.”

And so the summons went to a handful of carefully selected Magi, all of whom decided to accept the invite. This select group was composed of:

TURRIS (code name: “Higgins”) the male Elven Spire Defender Magus. (Eric)

FARRAHS FRESCA (code name: “The Sunblade”) the male Elven Mindblade Magus who likes to feel people up. (Bill)

ARCHIMONDE “Archie” DUFF (code name: “The Puppetmaster”) the male Tiefling Puppetmaster Magus and his puppet, Gregory. Short and pale – can’t put your finger on why, but you just don’t like looking at him. Looks human, beside a prehensile tail, to which he has tied a puppet made out of an old sack and some twine.(Alana)

??? (code name: “Nevaeh”) the female Aasimer Skirnir Magus. (Glen)

DESTINY (code name: “Suli”) the female Suli Spellblade Magus. (Lyndon)

DAMIEN (code name: “Black”) the male Tiefling Bladebound Magus. (Ray)

When the characters arrive to the sparcely furnished home in the East Gate district, they are greeted by a gentleman that introduces himself as “Q.” Q welcomes the team, pulls out a large gem that he places on the table, and introduces the person who has summoned everyone here, code named “Charlie.” The voice from the Gem sounds male, but it could easily be a woman or some non-humanoid entity who is using magic to disguise their voice. Charlie begins his address with “Good Morning Angels” to which the group responds in unison “Good Morning Charlie.” He then goes on to give some background on the Angels of the Magi, a group that has appeared throughout history off and on, and in it’s current incarnation is a newly formed rogue shadow agency that was tacitly approved by one or several high level Guild members that want new blood, an escape from the Guild’s tarnished reputation, and is basically a beta version special ops team. The adventurers were told that should anything happen to them, the Guild is not involved and will deny any involvement. These adventurers did not get a guild badge, and will operate with anonymity and discretion, assuming new identities as needed.

Charlie also explains that the first mission is merely a test, for which he is not personally invested, but agreed to in order to win the services of a healer, a deaf female Oracle code named “Apollo” (which Damien recognizes as Dawn from the Guild). Archie seemed upset that his healing abilities were being upstaged by a professional healer. Q then stepped in to interpret a signed language that he and Apollo had developed. Apollo has had some prophetic visions surrounding the kidnapping of a disgraced guild lieutenant, Courage (aka “The Baby Killer”). According to Apollo’s dreams, he is being held under duress in the Precipice District. Her dreams have allowed her the knowledge to guide the team to the location where he is being held, but she is not clear who has captured him. What has been revealed is that Courage, who has always been known for being a bit paranoid, is being haunted by malevolent spirits (Shadows?), who together with his captor, are seeking to turn him evil. She emphasizes that her dreams indicate that he must be saved, else his own mixed feelings about slaying a child combined with torture and the psychological duress of the taunting spirits will cause him to become an Oracle in his own right, an evil Oracle of Bones who will bring much pain, destruction, and havoc to the world!

Charlie thanks Apollo for her presentation and tells the new initiates that if they accept this mission, they will receive powerful runes specially chosen for each of their strengths. He also tells them that they will be allowed to stay in this house for the night, sparcely furnished as it is being sold and only rented to them temporarily through a new start-up business in Absalom called Starstone BnB. Charlie reminds them that Dawn’s abilities should be reserved primarily for healing, and wishes them well and signs off. The Puppet Master and Higgins were unimpressed with the lack of indoor toiletry systems.

Q mentions that since the team is supposed to be the best of the best, that they should huddle and coordinate an adventure strategy. In the course of their adventures, they learn a few signs to use with Apollo that translate to “Channel (Heal),” “Channel (Blast Undead),” “Look <direction>,” “Stay back,” and “Trap <direction>.” They also determine that should Dawn find herself in a predicament where she can’t see, she should scream or ring a bell (“Shame… Shame….”). Lastly, everybody learned a short sign for their code name and the code names of their team members.

A few team members stepped out for supplies, and some shared their knowledge of spells, learning some new ones in process, before heading to bed.

The team was awoken by a scream from Apollo’s room. With Q interpreting, Apollo indicates that Courage is being held by an evil Orc. And so the adventurers begin their day. With the flashing of some fancy papers (and Higgin’s generous prestidigitation), the team passes by the gate guards, as security along the Precipice border has been amped up due to recent guild missions that were, ahem, less than successful.

Apollo was able to quickly lead the team, after only a few blocks, to the basement where Courage was being held. Unfortunately, lurking about was a ghoul (identified by the puppet Gregory), gnawing the flesh of cadaver in a half-fallen down shack. The ghoul came at the team but Black made short work of him. Once the ghoul was taken care of, the team realized that the cadaver was a zombie! Again, the talented Angel’s made short work of the enemy.

After checking for traps, the team opens the basement doors. The Sunblade is the first to go down, identifying a Sentry Skull, but getting sealed in by a sliding trap door in the process. While in there, the Sunblade miraculously survives three shadows attacking with only a minor dent in charisma, using the Vanish spell to aid him. Meanwhile, outdoors a 200+lb (with gear) Black falls through the rotted stairs, trapping himself and Higgins into a small space. They realize they are dealing with shadows and Dawn casts Hide from Undead to protect them. Higgins gets the door open, and one of the team members (Neveah) gets the door propped open. The team entered to take on Charisma and Con draining shadows, using Disrupt Undead and Burning Hands, with Higgins and the Sunblade dancing among the most fearsome foes and hacking them to pieces with their beautiful elven curve blades charged with elemental energy, Suli using her force athame, and Black with his intelligent Blackblade.

Upon entry to the main room, the heroes found a large dark room (luckily most all team members had dark vision), with a large circle of silver powder, and large orc warpriest that Puppetmaster identified as a follower of Zon-Kuthon wielding a spiked chain in the center of the room. Although Puppetmaster’s Charm spell was fail, he made a valient effort, and Nevaeh’s Reduce Person turned the tide of the battle right at the beginning. The evil warpriest used several negative energy channels, but the team bested him with little effort, with the Sunblade dealing the final blow, burning blood spurting all over Higgins! Apollo was on hand to heal. Meanwhile, some of the team members had spotted Courage in a chair at the back of the room, arms held down by metal cuffs, and his bloody hands straining to hold an anvil over an infant tiefling. Black propped the anvil against his back, and grabbed the baby, Courage was able to release the rope and the anvil fell off of Black’s back to the floor, injuring no one. Black even freed Courage, the Half-Orc Guild Fighter who had tried to kill him as an infant!

Getting out, with broken stairs, proved to be challenging, more so because five zombies had converged upon the hole where the stairs were. However, the team capitalized on the Zombie’s lack of brain power, allowing them to fall into the hole, falling onto each other, and picking them off one at a time with Disrupt Undead, Burning Hands, and weapons. After which, the team clambered out with Courage and the baby Tiefling. Courage explained that the Warpriest was from an Orc tribe that he ran with years ago and that the guy never liked Courage.

Upon returning to the Starstone BnB in Eastgate, the team received the following runes, which also tie them to a lifetime as Magi (no more multi-classing!).

Higgins – Rune of Contingency
Sunblade – Rune of the Inscrutable One
Puppetmaster – Rune of the Mistress
Neveah – Rune of Resistance
Suli – Rune of the Lord’s Palanquin
Black – Rune of Razing

The team members may also learn Common Sign Language when they level up next, and are now embedded as undercover agents in the Guild, and will take on Guild missions as necessary to stay undercover.

XP 1,215 per player

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River into darkness
A little jaunt through the Mwangi

It began with an easy enough mission. Chad rounded up the first trio of guildies he spotted – Fursifer, Sophie, and Traveler. They were given their instructions, meet with a young merchant named Raeken and do as he asked. They decided to grab an extra set of hands and maybe a little muscle to support their rogue, bard, witch ensemble, but all they could find was Dirrasha, so they recruited the catfolk monk and headed on their way. The merchant asked them to guard a chest being shipped by sea to a distant port town known as The Bloodcove. There, they would deliver the sealed papers to the dockmaster and head back via their prearranged transport on the ship called the Sea Serpent. It was an easy 100gp job. They chose to ignore the uncertainty and seeming lack of knowledge possessed by their young employer. They were even asked by the guild to check around and see if anyone knew anything about their missing guild party that visited the Mwangi a while back.

The journey was smooth with only a small pirate showing easily being turned away by the heavy cargo ship’s defenses. Fursifer got a little sea sick, Dirrasha was bored and wondering why she ever agreed to go out at sea when she hated water, and Traveler chipped in to learn a bit about sailing, but Sophie was the most active. The prostitute turned bard practiced her old trade extensively with the crew, earning 30sp over the 12 day voyage at 1sp a go! Upon arrival in Bloodcove they easily found the dockmaster and delivered their chest (full of maps – Raeken turned out to be Mahd’s nephew dealing with his first business transaction). They collected a receipt and prepared to head home to Absalom. There was a hiccup though. The Sea Serpent never made it to port. It was attacked and sunk by pirates. With no way home the party decided to scope out the locals and look for a new transport ship. No one had heard of those missing guildies that vanished on their mission to this part of the world. They visited the Pirate’s Hook tavern and were distracted by loud screeching outside followed by screams. They ran out on the docks to see an enraged Dragonnel attacking. It had several townsfolk, including a woman and her three children, trapped at the end of the dock. The guildies quickly rushed to help. Traveler tried to put it to sleep with little effect while Fursifer and Dirrasha readied ranged weapons. Sophie’s quick thinking saved the day with an illusion of a similar creature swooping in and hoving overhead. The Dragonnel flew off after it and was brought down by the town militia in hails of arrows and ship ballista bolts. Two of the rescued individuals belonged to the Aspis Consortium. Their associates soon found the adventurers and made them an offer. Come by boat inland to their base known as Night Fall to help guard against local elven cannibals just a couple weeks until their mercenary reinforcements could arrive to replace lost soldiers and they would not only pay each person 20gp a day but also book them free passage on the next cargo ship headed back to Absalom. They accepted and began their trek up river by strange paddleboat. The River Queen, captained by human Kelim Esteban and manned by his crew of first mate Faruq the half orc, Hurg the dwarf engineer, and his three human lackeys set out later the next day.

The heat of the Mwangi jungle was intense, plus the constant swarms of insects and the bouncing of the river left Sophie feeling ill for several days with Traveler and the others occasionally joining her. That didn’t keep her from earning another 2sp from the captain though (she raised her prices after a talk with Fursifer). They spotted crocodiles in the water, listened to Sophie’s tales of pygmy ketches in the trees and the cannibal elves of the jungle, plus a number of other colorful additions added by both Traveler and Fursifer. Fursifer even chatted up the dwarf engineer after catching a hint of uncertainty in the captain’s tone about their first stop over, the Aspis station known as Whitebridge. They had discussed the Consortium and pieced together that they were known for trading with the world and selling such valuables as ivory, gems and even gold uncovered in the wild jungles. Hurg confided by accident that the Archophage (an entity identified by Traveler and confirmed by Sophie to be a strange magical plant parasite) was what fueled the ship but it was about dead and out of power. They could collect a new one in Whitebridge before heading deeper in the jungle to Night Fall. A wrecked ship named Lady Fortune the day before showed that not all of these paddle boats survived the hostile environment. Everyone took regular watches and helped aboard the ship as they made their slow journey upstream. Just before reaching Whitebride, Fursifer and Dirrasha spotted something floating in the water. It was an abandoned punt from Whitebridge. It was hastily packed with supplies and a lone backpack stained with blood and housing two thistle arrows (the kind used by the cannibal elves of the Ekujae tribe). Captain Esteban called them to anchor and wait for morning to head to the station. The night passed tensely but uneventfully and they arrived at Whitebridge. Everything looked fine except there were no people in sight. The station should have been bustling with activity. Fursifer and Dirrasha sneaked ahead to get a peek. They spotted bare footprints and no sign of anyone so they returned with their news. While the captain and the rest of the crew remained on the ship, Faruq the first mate and the party made their way to locate the extra Archophage they needed to power the ship. Ekujae elves ambushed them with arrows sticking into both Traveler and Sophie. They tried to parlay but the elves retreated after firing their arrows. Traveler and her friends had discussed the possibility that maybe the Aspis Consortium had done something to disturb the elves and incur their wrath. They moved on and found another pair of elves atop the buildings and took a couple more arrows before they too retreated. Not wanting to risk a swarm of cannibals, they raced for the storage building housing the archophage. They listened and checked for traps before opening the double doors and heard distinct heavy breathing, which /traveler confirmed was definitely something big and not human. Fursifer silently unbarred the doors, they stood back with weapons trained and let Sophie use her magic to throw the doors open. A large white-furred gorilla creature with 4 arms howled and charged. The bard screamed about it being an aggressive girallon just as arrows and sling bullets sped at it. The beast ran forward and slapped Sophie with a powerful blow then everyone set into the creature with blade, bow or bullet. Traveler tried to put it to sleep but it resisted just barely and slapped Fursifer then grabbed Faruq and bit then wrended him nearly tearing the half orc in half. Sophie distracted it with a ghost sound of a similar howl hoping to fool it into thinking another of its territorial kin was present but more injuries focused its ire on the party. they tore into it as it tore into them. A final well-placed sling stone to the forehead from Traveler toppled the beast. They hurriedly found the dead plant creature housing the precious Archophage (a glowing blue tumor-like growth). Traveler had the healer training so she attempted to cut the growth free but nicked it once and nearly killed the power source. Good thing she also had her healing hex to repair the damage and heal her party members. They raced back to The River Queen and let Hurg replace the dying Archophage. On they went to Dark Fall to report the loss of Whitebridge and deliver their assistance at the besieged station.

On their journey the jungle had grown over the river creating a dark tunnel of foliage. While it protected them somewhat from the heat it left them feeling more vulnerable than ever as elves and other things were spotted crawling through the trees overhead. They nervously ignored the sound of something huge tearing through the jungle to the side of the river and pretended the loud roar did not rattle their bones. They crossed through a hanging netting of vines that swept down to touch the water and Fursifer shouted to look up as vicious pygmy ketches screeched and leapt down to board the ship. The poor monkey creatures were surprised by the netting covering most of the upper deck and several of them bounced away harmlessly to splash in the deadly waters. One made it to deck and injured Sophie but was chased away quickly when outnumbered.

They finally reached Dark Fall as dusk set in and were happy to see it lit and manned by the Aspis’ soldiers, even if they looked a little stretched to cover the entire base. Commander Mynafee and his secretary Petrune greeted them with a poorly masked look of disappointment. Captain Esteban explained about your sklills and using you as reinforcements until the mercenaries could arrive to bolster the troops but the sight of the Halfling rogue, the teenaged witch with her fox, the slutty bard, and the cheetah woman with no armor did not inspire confidence. Upon arrival, everyone took notice of the elven heads on spikes surrounding the grounds. A couple of people noticed that they seemed to twitch or move every once in a while and Sophie and Traveler began secretly working their magic. Sophie identified residual necromantic magic at work and Traveler further identified it as a lingering animate dead spell of some sort. Strange. They took their places in the half abandoned fortress camp and held their watches but decided to do a little investigating while they were here. Things seemed off. When asked if there was a wizard present, Petrune identified his talents but seemed cautious. The constant anger of the Ekujae tribe with their stead assaults, plus the weird body storage and off limits areas like the guard house left the party wary. They chatted up the gasrrison commoners and learned that Petrune was a creepy man to be avoided and that they should not ask questions about the mines. The party used stealth and invisibility to search. There was a secret door in the body storage but a dozen zombies animated to chase Fursifer and Dirrasha away. Sophie and Dirrasha checked the guard house and found odd implements for digging plus shackles and whips there. Sophie witnessed a soldier brought in dead with a bashed in head late at night. Her eavesdropping heard mention of “the other one responsible being killed too”. The man that spilled too much information turned up dead the next day floating in the river. Supposedly he fell in. Traveler followed them to the commander to see what had happened and he mentioned the man talking too much and asking too many questions like her friends. She quickly hurried away and told the others about the open threat. Petrune was put under surveillance both up close and afar, Sophie earned another 2sp but the man creeped her out! They saw the secretary venture into the jungle at night and return with three shackled and hooded men later identified as elves whose bodies were added to the corpses. Something was definitely wrong here so they formed a plan.

They went into the jungle and spoke to the Ekujae elves (luckily Sophie spoke elven). They revealed all they knew and learned that the humans had been taking their people as slaves and dragging them away. The idea of taking the elves underground and the idea of not burying them immediately after death were directly opposed to their religious beliefs. The party learned of the next raid by the elves and joined forces. they hit Petrune during the attack since the guards and commander went out to fight. The wizard was not prepared for the surprise assault and they brought him down quickly then carried the battle out to kill the commander too. Traveler dropped the last of the fleeing soldiers that intended to steal the paddleboat with a blind activation of a wand she recovered from Petrune’s body. The colorspray leveled all but one which they chased away. They offered the remaining survivors of the station passage on the River Queen, freed the elven slaves in the mines, released the zombies into the jungle and learned of both false ledgers guarding a secret gold mine here and necromantic practices by the dead wizard that was planning to take over the operation with his undead servants. Back they went to Blood Cove where they made a deal with the Consortium officials: you get us home to Absalom and we forget what we saw going on in the jungle under your banner. A deal was made.

Great Job!!

Fursifer, Traveler, Sophie and Dirrasha each earned 3,150 xp

View
The Hellfire Compact IV
No One Alive Can Always be an Angel, cont.

Palaxia, Maledictus, Light, Palaxia, Inmo, and Corva receive 4,480 experience points.

R.I.P. Cimri & Light.

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The Hellfire Compact III
No One Alive Can Always be an Angel

Light, Palaxia, Maledictus, Corva, and Dwork receive 2,280 experience.

R.I.P. Dwork.

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The Hellfire Compact II
Hell's Broke Loose in Longacre

Light, Palaxia, Dwork, and Maledictus get 2,050 experience.

A. Small Resistance
A few days after the Caggan “incident,” Light, Palaxia, and Maledictus were summoned at dawn to meet with Razelago at the Ash House. He was in his office as usual, but he was not alone – with him stood Dwork, an orc carrying a large pack laden with cooking pots and utensils.

“After the events of the other night, the archbaron and I thought it wise to bring in some additional assistance for you. We brought Dwork in from Remesiana after we’d heard about Caggan; the suspicious death of a beloved local figure in your custody is not going to go over well with Longacre – perhaps that was even Caggan’s goal in attacking you.”

With Dwork in tow as a newly-inducted deputy, the party returned to the Sheriff’s office, only to discover that someone had thrown an impressive handful of horse dung at the window sometime during the night. However, before they could investigate further, one of the archbaron’s guards approached with news that the Castle Gate had been found standing open that morning. Since the archbaron’s latest decree required that the Castle Gate be closed at all times, the party went to investigate.

The gate was once again open when they arrived, and Maledictus and Dwork work together to reclose it. Exploring the watchtower revealed that the pulley mechanism controlling the gate has been severed, as well as a trapped rope ladder leading to the roof of the tower. The culprit was discovered to be a tiny vaguely feline humanoid covered in shiny black fur. It screamed, “You need to get out of my tower and stop closing my gate! The humans stopped taking care of it, and now I have to! I don’t need their help!” and began hurling flames at the party. The battle commenced (sans Palaxia, who was summoning her phantom, Bob), and eventually Light caught the caught the furry beast in her unholy energy, causing it to drop to the ground.

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The party took the creature’s body to the nearby home of Bo and Gramel Dent, the former guardians of the Castle Gate. They were distraught at the sight of the limp furry body. The party learned from the Gramels that Pocky was a house spirit that lived in the gatehouse, which the Gramels occasionally gave warm milk or pancakes to placate it.

On the way back to the Sheriff’s office, Light and Maledictus spotted a flyer for the Glorious Reclamation tacked to a tree and tore it down, and Palaxia ordered Bob to clean up the dung that had dried on the Sheriff’s office window.

The following morning, as the foursome reached the Sheriff’s Office, they found another handful of dung splattered on the window. Bob noted small footprints and drops of dung leading to Kemmaino Market, and the party went to confront the dung-hurling miscreant. They found the Kemmainos’ 12-year-old daughter, Jemmy, doing tricks with a ball out the front of the market. The girl was intimidated into confessing that she had done the deed, pleading “I’ll do anything, just please don’t tell my parents!” Light smiled kindly at her and told her that they would never tell her parents as long as Jemmy came to them with any interesting information she discovered. Jemmy quickly agreed and escaped as soon as she could into the relative safety of her parents’ market.

B. Special Delivery
The foursome was awakened by a knock at the door of the Ash House – it was Mr. Ingoe, uncharacteristically early. “Package for you,” he said. “It’s moving. Thought you should look at it.” He led them north of the town to the Longacre docks on the Whisper River. The crate in question was a 2-foot cube, stuffed with hay. Occasionally it shifted, as if something alive were inside.

Palaxia ordered Bob to look inside the crate, which rocked violently at his approach, and a beak lashed out between the slats to attempt to peck Bob’s face. He described the beast as having the body of a rooster, the wings of a bat, and a long scaly tail, which was identified as a cockatrice. Although the address on the box only read “Sheriff’s Office,” Mr. Ingoe reassured the party that no one would have ever done something like this to Rhona Staelish, the previous Sheriff.

Thinking that “petrification by cockatrice” was an appropriately cool sentence for any traitors in Longacre, they dragged the crate back to the Sheriff’s office and stashed it in one of the two jail cells there. On the way back, they spotted another Glorious Reclamation flyer on a tree and tore it down.

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C. The Armory
Light’s clever idea of recruiting Jemmy Kemmaino as an information source came to fruition a few days later, when Jemmy came with news that she’d seen Bo and Dent Gramel sneaking into the Longacre Armory a few minutes ago. Maledictus, Palaxia, and Light had visited the armory before and knew that the building’s doors were locked with a heavy chain and padlock, so the Gramels were likely up to no good.

Bob slipped through a wall in incorporeal form and spotted the Gramels sorting and organizing the armory’s impressive collection of weaponry. Unfortunately, he was also spotted by the Gramels, so when Maledicus, Palaxia, Bob, and Light broke in through the front door, they had the giant ballista on display loaded and aimed at the first person who came through. However, the giant missile whistled harmlessly past Maledictus, and the battle turned against the Gramels, ending with both of them captured.

The party tried to question first Bo, who proved tight-lipped, and then her husband Dent. Despite Bo’s order for Dent to say nothing, he cracked when the party forced Bo’s face down onto their cockatrice crate and told him that if he didn’t talk, his beloved wife would be a statue. Through Bo’s cries of pain as the cockatrice’s bites caused her flesh and bones to stiffen and harden, Dent told what he knew: they had been approached by Rhona Staelish with the key to the armory and a request to gather weapons to arm the townspeople. They were supposed to take the weapons back to their home and hide them there. He did not know what was going to happen with the weaponry after that. However, as punishment for their previous recalcitrance, the cockatrice was allowed to fully petrify Bo, and Dent was thrown in prison.

D. The Archbaron’s Justice
The group wisely decided to tell the Archbaron about the townsfolks’ attempt to arm themselves as soon as possible. He was quietly furious. “Every day more of Longacre’s citizens turn to the rebel cause – not because they’re afraid, but because they haven’t been given enough reason to fear. Make them afraid. Give them an example of what happens when I am displeased.”

He demanded that the group take a known rebel and execute them in front of the whole town. “Leave the body for the crows,” he adds “a continuing reminder of the consequences of insurrection. Show my people the price of treason.”

The group decided to execute the two deputies they’d captured in the square in front of the Church of Iomedae the following dawn – a veiled insult toward the Iomedaeans and the Glorious Reclamation, as dawn is considered a particularly holy time in that faith. Meanwhile, Dwork would be using his “cooking skills” on Dent Gramel on a torture rack at the same time. The archbaron’s guards spread the word, so that by the time the execution was to occur, a huge crowd had turned out. Loud cries were heard over the crowd, and the party recognized the deputies’ wives amid the onlookers, sobbing helplessly as the prisoners are marched in by the party. Maledictus stationed herself at the base of the scaffold and Palaxia seated herself on the petrified body of Bo Gramel. As the rest of the group reached the top of the scaffold, the crowd fell quiet and Light began to speak:

“By order of the Archbaron of Longacre, anyone suspected of Sedition will be immediately incarcerated and interrogated. Anyone found guilty will be summarily executed. Their sins will be purified by way of fire. Anyone harboring rebels or found to be withholding information will subject to penalties up to and including execution. Traitors to the Crown can expect no mercy!

“However, the benevolent Archbaron offers rewards to those who prove themselves loyalty. A reward
will offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the apprehension of traitors, their
whereabouts or their leaders.

“Here we have three such criminals. Dent Gremal, you are guilty of sedition and withholding information from lawful authority. Meric Borin and Sedric Walter, you are guilty of attacking lawful authority.

“In the name of Archbaron Fex of Longacre, and under the Lawful Rule of Her Infernal Majestrix Queen Abrogail II of the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune, you have been found guilty of treason. The penalty is death by hanging and burning. Effective immediately.”

But before the trapdoors in the scaffold could be tripped to hang the prisoners, a horse charged into the square, carrying a figure in shining plate armor. Feathered wings rose from the back of her armor and her helmet was a silver mask sculpted with feminine features – the same as the one seen at Allamar’s sermon. She tugged violently on the reins, causing her steed to rear, and shouted:

“People of Longacre, will you let another of your neighbors be murdered by tyrants? The goddess Iomedae and the knights of the Glorious Reclamation are with you! Rise up! Save your friends, your town, and your souls!”

The scene bursts into chaos as four rioters began climbing the scaffolding to free the imprisoned deputies. The crowd roared like a wounded beast, and the mysterious figure began to sing a song, exhorting the rioters.

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Light, Maledictus, and Dwork held the rioters off the scaffold while Palaxia and Bob attacked the knight. Light channeled her unholy energy, setting the deputies and rioters on fire as well as several innocent bystanders. Immediately, the townspeople fled the scene, and the rioters and the knight were quickly brought to justice. Palaxia removed the angel-faced helm from the knight, hoping to reveal the identity of the Angel Knight, but recognized, even though the disguise was truly excellent, the face of the last surviving barmaid from the attack on the Last Stand Tavern.

It was in front of a much smaller crowd that the execution was completed, and the bodies of the two deputies and Dent Gramel were chained and displayed as a warning.

The party brought the barmaid to Archbaron Fex, who cast a spell on her to force her to tell the truth. She confesses that Rhona Staelish had asked her to keep an eye on the town after the fight at the Last Stand and that she thought pretending to be the Angel Knight might rile people up enough that the two deputies could escape.

E. The Resurrection
The next few days, everyone kept their head down. When the party walked down the street, people darted into their homes and businesses. No more posters were spotted. Dwork noticed the unusual event: one of the bodies of the deputies was missing from its gruesome display in the church square. An investigation revealed a scrap of fine fabric, white and yellow, which Light recognized as the colors of the faith of Iomedae.

They immediately turned their attention toward the church. A walk of the church’s perimeter revealed no other entrances or exits besides the double doors in front, as well as an unused grave marker propped against the back wall of the church – it bore the name of the executed deputy and a birth year, but no death date.

Bob slipped through the wall in incorporeal form and spotted five members of Sword Knight Allamar’s congregation waiting in the narthex. However, he was spotted as well, and when the party forced the church door, they were arrayed waiting to attack. They were disposed of quickly, and the party fanned out to explore the church.

Palaxia and Bob went to search the Priestess’s office, where they found a short note reading “To undo wrongs and recover your loss. Do what you must, but after, if your spirit is willing, join us at the fort.” The note is signed L.V. The broken wax seal on the note contains the impression of a strange symbol – the sword-and-sunburst of Iomedae combined with the emblem of Cheliax.

Meanwhile, Light, Maledictus, and Dwork opened the doors to the church sanctuary to find a horrifying scene. Sword Knight Allamar, sword drawn and shield up, was backing against the wall of the sanctuary, pleading, “Please, no, this isn’t how it was supposed to happen. Please, Merek, it’s Tilleavia.”

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Menacing her from in front of the altar was Merek, but… different. His teeth were long and sharp, and the dark red mark the noose had left on his neck stood out against his deathly pale skin. The stench of death and rot filled the sanctuary. When the trio entered, he turned to you and snarled.

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Allamar took this opportunity to flee into her private shrine in the back of the sanctuary and let the party take care of the nasty undead. Palaxia made her way over to the sanctuary while Maledictus and Dwork beat at the ghast, and it was the combination of her scythe and Bob’s fist that finally put the spirit to rest. Then they turned to the priestess.

She had a good defensive position in the doorway between her private shrine and the sanctuary which she took full advantage of, but she fell to the superior numbers of the party.

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The Hellfire Compact I
I Like My Town With a Little Drop of Poison

Palaxia, Light, and Maledictus get 1,690 experience.

A. The Heist
Cimri Staelish was met by Maledictus the dhampir monk, Palaxia the fetchling spiritualist, and Light the aasimar cleric of Asmodeus on the outskirts of Longacre, the fortlike compound of Louslik Tannery hunching in the distance. In the shelter of the evening, they slipped through a narrow gap in the Tannery palisade spotted by Palaxia. Unfortunately, no one spotted the hound sitting faithfully next to the door of his master’s office until they were face-to-face with the beast. It got off one good howl before being rendered unconscious by one of Maledictus’ well-placed fists.

The plan had been to break in, sap anyone unfortunate enough to be present, steal whatever shiny things they could find, and be out again before the cops showed – but as no one had attempted to hide their identities and Jabral was alerted to their presence, Cimri changed the order from sap to kill. The quartet broke into the office and attacked Jabral.

Jabral fought back by throwing a thunderstone, deafening Cimri and Maledictus, but he was down before he could shoot his crossbow as Light’s channeling wracked his body with unholy energy, setting him (and his puppy) on fire. He dropped to the ground screaming, trying to roll himself out, as Cimri and Maledictus finished him and the puppy off for good. Cimri located the lockbox under his desk, which contained about 800gp, and pocketed it.

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As they were leaving the Tannery, the front gate opened, and an old couple pulling a very stained cart painted with flowers entered, calling greetings to Jabral. Their greetings turned to jeers as they noticed Maledictus and Palaxia in the yard. They began to huck clay pots at the group. Afraid of some unknown alchemical substance, the party was scarcely less horrified to discover that the clay pots contained night soil. However, the oldsters were unable to throw very far and were easily disposed of by Maledictus and Light’s fiery channeling. Then the group returned to the Ash House where Cimri’s employer was waiting to hear their report.

B. The Ash House
The mysterious Razelago, who addressed them from behind a screen, rewarded them handsomely for their work with gold, new weaponry, and a feast. Cimri encouraged her new partners to stay with her in the Ash House where she had been squatting for a few weeks, where they revelled until they fell asleep.

Maledictus awoke sometime in the night by the unexpected sound of splashing water from the second floor, as though someone were taking a bath. As the Ash House was a long-abandoned burnt-out husk of a manor, this was unusual, and she got up to investigate and found herself in the door of a once lavish bathroom with a porcelain tub filled with mud and stagnant rainwater. A second look showed her that instead of mud, the bathtub was actually filled with long-rotting human remains. As she entered the room to further investigate, a slimy shifting mass in the shape of a humanoid lurched out of the tub.

Maledictus fled back down the stairs, followed by the creature, who was screaming as though it were in unimaginable pain. She awoke Cimri, Palaxia, and Light just as the creature phased through the wall to the room, leaving behind a thin silvery mucus where it passed. Light was able to identify it as an ectoplasmic human, a hateful undead. The creature nearly incapacitated Maledictus and Light, but Palaxia with her scythe finally put the tortured creature to rest.

C. The Sermon
The following day, Razelago tasked the quartet with a simple job – the local Iomedaen priestess, Fifth Sword Knight Tilleavia Allamar, was giving a sermon in front of her church that day. Razelago feared some revolutionary claptrap that might sow seeds of rebellion among Longacre’s citizens, and he wanted them to attend as representatives of Archbaron Fex, wearing his insignia, and report back what the priestess said.

They showed up at the church a couple hours before the sermon was due to start to gather some information. There were rumors of an angel that had visited Allamar, talk of what had happened at the Tannery last night, and murmurs about how Archbaron Fex doesn’t like the townsfolk gathering in large groups like this, so Allamar must have something really important to say if she’s willing to provoke him. The group was also approached by Sheriff Rhona Staelish, Cimri’s aunt, in a suspicious mood, but Light’s kind smile and comforting words sent her on her way.

At two o’clock, the sermon began. Allamar addressed the hardships known by the citizens of Longacre, and, in a very inflammatory move, had acolytes wheel out coffins containing Jabral Louslik and the two tannery workers. “See how the evil has touched our own neighbors! These were assassinations provoked by Jabral Louslik’s open criticism of Archbaron Fex’s excessive taxes, callous administration, and personal decadence!”

But she had hope for the people: she read a letter she had received from someone called Lencia Visserene promising honor and redemption if they join the Glorious Reclamation! Allamar had a beautifully-crafted silver helm with angelic features and a halo of curls brought out to display, claiming that the helm belonged to this Angel Knight who would lead Longacre to glory.

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Although Allamar did not overtly call for Longacre’s residents to rebel, her words were provocative, and the townspeople were in a fiery mood as she retreated (along with the helm) into the Church of Iomedae. Maledictus tried to calm the people and disperse the crowds while Palaxia attempted to counter the talk by saying that she’d heard that it was crazed worshippers of Iomedae who had killed Jabral and the tannery workers.

That evening, the party went to the two taverns in Longacre, where they learned that the Glorious Reclamation was gaining traction and had driven the Hellknight Order of the Godclaw out of their citadel, and that mercenaries that had come through the town had talked about war. They learned the name of the Glorious Reclamation’s leader, Alexeara Cansellarion, as well as a rumor that her family had owned lands and titles in Cheliax before the Chelish Civil War, making the party question the true motive behind her vow to liberate Cheliax from House Thrune.

D. The Decree
The day after the sermon, Maledictus, Palaxia, Light, and Cimri were once again summoned to Razelago’s presence and given a stack of scrolls. All but one were new decrees from the Archbaron to post around the town; the last was a decree to be delivered personally to Rhona Staelish, dismissing her as Sheriff of Longacre. The new decree stated:

  • The Castle Gate is closed; anyone leaving or entering the town to come through the North or South Gates.
  • Anyone entering or leaving the town must be either sanctioned by the Archbaron or must obtain a writ of passage from the Longacre notary.
  • People are forbidden to meet in groups of greater than six in private or 12 in public. Meetings for the purpose of celebration, education, or religion are not exempt, although families and businesses undertaking the natural course of business are.
  • A curfew is now in effect from the hour after dusk to the hour before dawn; this applies to anyone in the town’s streets without a writ of exemption from House Fex.
  • Any persons found in violation will be considered seditious agents and are subject to questioning, imprisonment, and summary judgment by the Archbaron of Longacre and officials of the town government.

The party met a lot of resistance posting the decrees. The townspeople questioned everything – does the curfew apply to people with medical emergencies? Half of Longacre is related – what does “family” mean in this context? Is a group gathering at the tavern assisting the establishment in its “natural course of business”? How can people outside the town obtain a writ of passage if they’re not allowed in to see the notary? The townsfolk were assured that their concerns would be taken to the baron.

The final decree was taken to Rhona Staelish, who calmly laid down her vest and longsword. Each of her deputies followed her example, refusing to serve under a bunch of “thugs.” However, this wasn’t enough for the deputies, who ambushed the party outside the sheriff’s office and sapped Maledictus into unconsciousness. However, they lost heart when Palaxia forced one of them to flee, frightened, and the rest followed suit.

Razelago thanked them for their service once again and promised them a more exciting reward than mere gold: he wanted to introduce them to Archbaron Fex himself the following day.

The party spent their free time that evening tracking down the four deputies who had ambushed them. The first two were easy to arrest once Light threatened harm to their spouses and children, but the houses of the second two were freshly empty when they arrived – as if someone had run ahead and warned them.

E. The Hellfire Compact
The next morning, the party met Darellus Fex in his lavish scarlet and ebony-furnished office. The Archbaron offered them a job: he would make them de facto representatives of the imperial government in exchange for a salary of 150gp a week, recommending that they take the sheriff’s office as a headquarters

“I have no specific plan as yet. Word of this Angel Knight certainly concerns me. I want her revealed and dealt with, along with whoever else is stirring up rebellion in Longacre. But I am a patient man, and I trust that time will reveal the best course of action for us to take. In the meantime, I would grant you emergency authority to do whatever must be done to keep the peace – although try to keep my town intact, if you would.”

But first… “Queen Abrogail has agreed that in this time of national crisis, all agents of the crown must reaffirm their loyalty to their lord, House Thrune, and Cheliax by swearing the Hellfire Compact. If you’re going to serve as representatives of the imperial government under the Queen’s name, I must insist.”

The Archbaron then revealed a black crystal pulsing with veins of fire on a golden stand. He told the party that the crystal was an ember drawn from the forges of Phlegethon, the fourth layer of Hell, and that each must place their hand on it in turn and vow loyalty to House Thrune, House Fex, and Cheliax. The ember flared with each touch, inflicting unholy and fire damage, and left a scar in the shape of the symbol of Cheliax on the palm.

Fex then revealed Razelago’s true identity – a zebub, or accuser devil – and together they gave the party their next job. A bard called Riley Kels had been performing ballads dedicated to the Angel Knight lately at the Last Stand Tavern – which incidentally broke two of the new laws. They were tasked with arresting the proprietor of The Last Stand, Bolgart Caggan, as an example, and to question the bard through whatever methods they chose – although they were warned against killing or maiming anyone permanently.

E. Last Call
The Last Stand’s patrons glared and muttered under their breath at the sight of them. Palaxia, followed by the shadowy Bob(blehead), drew the most attention. The aforementioned bard was singing a song about the Angel Knight from the small stage. Maledictus grappled Caggan, at which point the townsfolk began to run for the door. Riley Kels, the bard, tried to inspire courage with his song, but immediately surrendered when threatened, and Caggan surrendered as well when Light set him on fire.

After dragging Caggan to the pillory, they questioned Kels. He said he came across a woman in winged plate armor at dawn a couple days ago outside town. She was praying, and when the dawn light reflected upon her sculpted helm, he believed she was was an angel. She told him her name was Lencia Visserene, and he was so inspired he spent the rest of the day writing ballads about her. He led them to the hill where he’d seen her, but there was no sign of her.

A few evenings later, they had an evening visitor, a man named Ingoe Zoags who ran the docks. He promised to bring them anything of interest, as well as to help them out if they needed to move anything sensitive down the river in exchange for 10gp a week. As an example of the kind of information he could provide, he gave them a letter from Dr. Gerya Rohalendi to her cousin in Remesiana. In the letter, Rohalendi laments that she has been informed she owes 300gp in back taxes, which she is unable to pay. She confesses her worries that she will be unable to keep the hospice running for more than a few weeks, and she doesn’t know how to tell the people who depend on her. The party agreed to Ingoe’s proposal, although Caggan in the stocks did not – as Mr. Ingoe was leaving, Caggan spat a string of curses at him, calling him – and the rest of the party – cowards and worse.

Palaxia went outside and threw a stick at him using prestidigitation, saying, “Even the earth doesn’t like you.” Caggan bellowed mightily and his body thickened as short brown fur covered his skin. Two tusks erupted from his jaw as his snout elongated. “Come and get me,” he growled in full wereboar form.

The party rushed outside to deal with the beast, but had a difficult time attacking him through his thick skin. Palaxia landed an astonishing blow with her scythe that would’ve levelled a less ferocious foe, but Caggan fought on. When he was finally brought down, he reverted to his human form, leaving the party with an awkward situation – the town would not look kindly on the fact that the beloved local barkeep had been killed while in their custody.

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Varisian In Wonderland III

The giant cyclopes bed indeed gave the all group members a good night’s rest. The azers and some giants were working steadily when the group awoke at the Smith’s Caldera. Iseret went back and spoke to the Ticktock man. She demanded they needed four days instead of two for him to signal the Nightpeddler. The Ticktock man agreed to the four days. The group observed the azers in an insulting game. Iseret partook in the game and scared the azers off. Therefore, the group ascended the long stairs without boulders falling on them.

The party debated to go out to seek the Nightpeddler in the Trackless Dearth. Then they recalled the Ticktock man noted that four to five grubs would be the Nightpeddler’s asking price for his token. The party then switch directions and headed to The Manmolds. Within the first hours march the weather turned from sunshine to rain then quickly to hail then rain and finally sunshine, the Ticktock man’s signal! The group sighed and pressed on. Egglantine and Skritek in a collaborative effort found the way to the eerie dollhouse estate manor. The manor had a double chimney stack that belched out soot and greasy smoke reeking of rendered fat. The paint was peeling from its walls and ornaments lay broken around it parameter. Egglantine knocked on the door and awaited a response to which there wasn’t one. Djelzeem picked the complicated lock with ease. The doors came open and the small room had a regular sized door with a half sized door to accompany it. The room had a few benches and waxed wooden mannequins. As the group explored the haunted manor Enzo saw the constant pressure plate traps. The group discovered secret doors and had to unlock various doors to proceed. The group discovered the manor was a maze. Hallways and rooms had many various waxed wooden mannequins but Iseret tore all the arms and hands off of all of them. A few of the mannequins appeared familiar to the party members. Djelzeem and Enzo lead the adventures through the maze and found a unique large door.

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The opened door brought a scream! The front line of the party got a good look at a giant ant queen. The room had three large vats of molten max with chains and pulley systems in place. The four feet vat walls had melted max running down its wall. Next to those walls was gobs of wax and straw. The room had dozens upon dozens of various sized looking waxed wooden mannequins about. The queen had boobs and her had six arms had human hands at each of them. Marzalee the Weaver was very frightfully of the group as she was sure they were here to steal her precious grubs. Egglantine played the part of diplomat for the group. The queen took kindly to Egglantine and called her pretty. Egglantine was deemed “ant pretty.” The queen and her leery dwarven handmaiden told the party her displeasure for the Ticktock man and the Nightpeddler. The party convinced Marzalee to weave five “fake grubs” and present them to the Nightpeddler so they could get close enough to kill him. Marzalee agreed to surrender her token once the Nightpeddler was dead. The group asked the queen what does the Nightpeddler do with the grubs. She responded by informing the party that he uses them to serve as a minion and the like. The queen also told them that if they were successful killing the Nightpeddler she would make statues of each of the party members. With halfling sized waxed larva grubs in the parties hands the handmaiden showed them at of the manor through a series of secret doors.
Outside the manor the party was meet with a wonderful surprise as Algon the Ever Seeking greeted the party with threats if they didn’t relinquish their tokens to him. Egglantine spoke gently to him and Algon was enamored by her. It still didn’t resolve the fact he wanted the tokens. Algon and Skritek had a little exchange of words then a rude emote was given out by Skritek. A fight incurred! The party beat him down until he was slain. Algon body and gear turned into planner essence and floated to the Manmolds chimney.

The party then made their way to the Trackless Dearth were dunes upon endless dunes go as far as the eye can see. They stopped right outside the desert. Egglantine took notice to see if these grubs were living. In fact, they were growing living storyken (creatures of the Harrowed Realm). The party wisely used scrolls of endure elements on each of the grubs. The waxed grubs would have melted otherwise. With just a mark on the map the group took a leap of faith and headed out in the night into the desert. The group members noticed it had been night now for what seemed to be two days. Egglantine and Skritek used their survival skills to locate the Nightpeddler’s location. Skritek finally spotted a figure about two sand dunes away.

The group was cautious until the figure waved and approached. The desert centaur dressed in desert grab greeted them. He had little wagon he pulled behind him. The party asked him if he was the Nightpeddler. He said he wasn’t and he introduced himself as Everyready Jacob. Immediately he offered the party to browse his wears. Djelzeem started off by haggling Everyready Jacob for some garments. The price was set at 3,000 gold but Djelzeem got it for 10 gold pieces. Egglantine bought some food that was priced at 1,000 gold but haggled him down to 10 silver. The rest of the party members started to haggle with the desert centaur. Skritek got a ring of protection +1 for his haggling for 100 gold. Djelzeem traded his perfume for one of the centaur’s. It was a pixie perfume. The little drawers on his wagon didn’t seem to have room enough for the items he was pulling out. The party finally got the question asked if the centaur merchant knew where the Nightpeddler’s camp was. Everyready Jacob told them he knows exactly where it is. However, he couldn’t lead them there. The group pressed for information as to why. Everyready Jacob told them that an unsatisfied customer who bought ale from him beats him and harasses him. Avory was a brute as a drunk and his territory lay in the between them and the Nightpeddler’s encampment. If the group could protect him from Avory he would lead them to the Nightpeddler’s camp. Iseret inquired about Avory and the centaur told her that he was a drunk air elemental who bullied himself and other air elementals. The deal was struck that the party would protect him from Avory and he would lead them to the Nightpeddler.

Shortly after meeting Everyday Jacob the group spotted the huge air elemental. Orko identified it as a greater elemental. The group started to parlay with the elemental in a fluid wind humanoid form. The drunk air elemental slurred his words and his sentences were mostly common but some went into his own language. Skritek offered Avory a remedy to his everlasting hangover. After drinking it the air elemental seemed to be more pleasant. Semi-thankful for helping him he left the party and Everyready Jacob have a one-day reprieve from his presence. With that they group marched forward.

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The group finally came up on the Nightpeddler’s encampment. They saw an extravert huge wagon with a pitched tarp at its entrance. The settlement also had cages containing humans, odd looking creatures, and beasts. A quick phestttt.. came from the nearest cage. Enzo and Skritek started to sneak over that way. Iseret saw fit to do the same only she yelled in response. A creature came flying out of the wagon quickly. It looked half monkey and half bat. The winged creature instructed the party members not to approach the cages. A tall pale skinned figure crept out from the wagon. The two factions spoke and the party offered the grubs to the Nightpeddler. The Nightpeddler made a deal and the party dropped the grubs on the hot sand. The five grubs starting to float towards the Nightpeddler. The tall creature had his flying minion lay the token down on the sand in front of the grubs. Then the flying minion started to fly alongside the floating grubs. The group noticed many cages with human slaves were very restless. The group initiated combat. The result was the Nightpeddler just disappeared after Skritek struck him. Enzo freed one of the slaves and an uprising began after Orko played the correct card. The encampment was set on fire. Enzo hurried into the wagon and grabbed some books before the fire consumed the wagon. Then explosions from the wagon came suddenly. Egglantine was concerned about just leaving these slaves in the desert. Her wisdom leads her to believe these slaves would be ok. Iseret claimed these people aren’t real! Orko put the clues together to understand this Nightpeddler was cross planner splicing these grubs somehow.

Halfway back to the Manmolds to see the queen the large moon on the brass rod shot up in the sky. A trembling voice shouted “I shall consume you all.” The strong voice echoed for a long time. Then a crimson lens shot in front of the moon creating eclipse. The party played the correct card and the lens and moon started to crumble slowly. Meanwhile hundreds of undead skeletons were springing up from the ground. Once the lens shattered into pieces the undead exploded away.

The revisit to the ant queen went without incident. The queen was unpleased that the party members didn’t kill the Nightpeddler. Egglantine convinced her they did the best they could and so the queen surrendered her token to the party. The last token to gather was from The Sanguine Playhouse. The group asked Marzalee about the playhouse. She spoke of how the twins play the same old tragic play and its boring. They asked what the twins ate of the bard and she responded they ate the skin. The queen mentioned they were very vain and boring. When no other information could be brought to light the party made arrangements to travel to the playhouse.

The Sanguine Playhouse seemed at one point very elite in design but now just run down and shabby. Huge Red molted velvet drapes form a half circle for the entrance. The golden thick ropes pull the red curtains aside. Once the party went up a small ascending stairway that leads to platform. The party members were meet with a “I’m sorry” as an embarrassed tiny elven cricket creature. A small fiddle is up in the air and playing a song. The group had to resist its spell which Iseret and Skritek didn’t make. They began to dance their hearts out! Then the small creature runs and picks Skritek’s pocket. The tiny creature again said “I’m sorry!” Iseret and Skritek were finally able to stop dancing. Enzo climbed the wall to try and catch with no successful result. Skritek with a few shots of his bow destroyed the small fiddle. The party also noticed a small ticket booth with two doors on the right and left of it. The party asked Mr. Softshoes where the twins where and he told them in the next room. The party picked the lockbox of the ticket counter. Skritek counted about 13 gold and something with several I owe you a kiss IOU’s.

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The adventures finally stepped into this huge theater. Some of the party members spotted some glossy eyed bodies in the left corner of the room right up against the stage step. As a few members approached it a tall tanned Varisian male with unparalleled looks held a tiny puppet. He welcomed them and flaunted around and spoke of who is going to take the costar role with Eliara. Unknown to the party Balimar and Balio have gained a love of the theater and cannot write a plays as brilliant as the bard once did. Cursed with vanity and cannot produce a decent play has left them upset. The tall tanned Varisian male is named Balio who speaks through a puppet named Balimar. The two are dressed just alike and are equally beautiful. The twins persuade Skritek to take up the role in which they are missing Eliara’s love interest. Even the party members encourage him. All except Skritek became seated to watch. A marvelous beauty human woman walked onto the stage to greed her new co-star. Balimar cast a spell unknown to the party members where a power illusion spell would enthrall the party members. The programmed image would have been the bards murder but all party members didn’t see the illusion. Also unknown to the party Balimar had detect magic going and knew the party had the Harrowed Deck of Tales. When suddenly Balio ran over to Iseret who was seated and slammed attacked her. Then four cockatrices appeared behind Orko, Iseret, and Djelzeem. Eliara shapechaged to her somewhat trueself a lamia matriarch. Orko quickly caught on that Balimar was a summoner, Balio was his eidolon. Demons were summoned, crappy fireballs were casts, scarf’s flying around in the air! Still in the fray of battle will the group survive!

*Didn’t have a lot of time to proof read :(

XP: After this battle is over XP will be given out.

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Varisian In Wonderland II

With nightfall approaching within the hour the party decided to press on. The party originally discussed attempting to contact the Nightpeedler in the Trackless Dearth. Then recalled the Ticktock man was they only point of contact for this Nightpeedler. Suddenly giant clouds on swinging brass mechanical bars dropped from the domed sky. Lighting instantly littered the sky. A heavy rain fell soaking the party. Off to the Smith Caldera they went.

Skritek lead the group through the Briar until rest was crucial. The group then made camp. The first watch was taken by Orko and Iseret. The scheduled watches never came after the first watch. Orko and Iseret both fell asleep. The party all woke up rested well, all but one. Iseret’s shadow was gone and in its steed was a ratty nasty blanket. Iseret was fatigued and felt quite ill from this effect. The party spotted the tracks of what seemed to be a humanoid owl. Orko knew without a shadow of a doubt (get it!) it was a variant avoral that stole Iseret’s shadow. He recalled they often utilized shadows for making a nest. Djelzeem noticed they were on the outskirts of Demon’s Fen and the terrain was becoming hinder some with sinking mud. The group tracked down the creature to a huge dead rotted tree that reached twenty feet in height. Above they spotted a large nest and saw a figure peer out. Iseret screamed at the creature, demanding her shadow be returned to her immediately. The creature was timid but with the shouts even more so. The avoral came down and returned the shadow. He offered to trade his needle and thread for anyone’s shadow! Iseret scared the avoral even more so and convinced him to leave his needle and thread before he scampered off.

Now within a short traveling distance of Demon’s Fen the group decided to go to the lake. They found the terrain a saturated bog. Every step was two feet deep in mud and made the journey taxing. Skritek lead the party through the bog only to find they wasted two hours going in circles. Finally with Egglantine’s help the group was back on point. The party came to an elevated narrow path with no hindering mud. In the vast distance they spotted an old suspended wooden planked bridge. All party members’ heard a song. The gorgeous song part lullaby, part dirge pierced the otherwise haunting silence. In the third chorus the beautiful song was exchanged with a high pitched dissolving sobs of sadness. The song was about Sonnare, the legendary bard. A large multicolored winged serpent now in sight singing then sobbing uncontrollably just short of the bridges start. Egglantine and Enzo approached the winged snake. Diplomacy was the first course of action. Enzo performed with the snake’s ballad. The snake was then would sob uncontrollably. The snake bid the group to stay with her. She said she had eaten the bard’s heart. The burrow king attempted to help her by taking her burden. She was still left with infinite sadness and sorrow. Skritek started to walk past the snake. The group noticed a spell rifled off from the creature. Iseret knew she had resisted some sort of charm spell. The party ran for the bridge. With the party members in a convenient formation the snake responded by casting lightning bolt. Combat seemed the only recourse now. The party slew the snake. The planner life essence of the snake floated off into the sky. Djelzeem watch the direction of this essence and saw it was headed northwest towards the Manmolds.

The group tactfully negotiated the old bridge. The airless environment featured the lake which was congealed and completely littered with oxidized weapons and armor. The island had several spears with dead corpses impaled on them. The ground had numerous old tombstones around it. The large island itself had a wide spectrum of armor and arms in different stages of decay spread about its surface. All party members stopped at the first step onto the island. Enzo had detect magic up on his person. Egglantine had detect evil activated. Enzo knew that four of the speared corpses were dawned with an illusion spell. Egglantine through the detect evil five auroras existed. All party members could see the main feature of the island, a sarcophagus with two lit candles on the edges. The candle’s flames were wavering as if they were in contact a slight breeze contrary to the fact no air seemed to exist. Orko played “The Beating card” from the Deck of Harrowed Tales. Once this card was played the party knew of the haut on the island. Orko then pulled out the scroll of consecrate and started to cast it with the sarcophagus being the target. Hundreds of sad souls sprung from the ground wailing in the area direct in front of the party. Then the undead foursome attacked! Egglantine ran and attacked the cairn brute which she killed with a smite’d attack. Djelzeem used his sword to call down the sun onto the undead. Iseret started to call upon her scarf magic! The Burrow King ran and hit Orko with a swing of his great sword. Orko attempted a summons spell but it didn’t manifest. Enzo ran around to search the sarcophagus. Skritek raged then attacked the Burrow King. The swamp mummy approached and it left Iseret without breath. The outcome of the battle left the adventures victorious. The spoils were plentiful. Enzo found a journal from one Vestji, a cleric of Imoedae. The logbook was dated back in 1337 AR. It spoke of Along the Ever Seeking encounters. It spoke of the blood moon that called the undead in this realm. Enzo also found the token- a tiny dagger.

The party assigned the spoils and moved forward to the Smith’s Caldera. The swift journey was without interruption. The steep volcano was equipped with a large stairway that went up the five hundred feet caldera. An excessive nonsensical brass and copper pipe system surrounded the caldera. Steam would explode from the fittings constantly. The summit of the stairs came to a flat cave. The group started to ascend the stairs. Skritek caught sight of something looking down on them for a brief moment. The next thing overbearing boulders aside the stairway started to rattle and fall. Byo was regrettably smashed by one of the boulders. Orko and Egglantine tried to reason with the group responsible atop the stairs to stop. Insults were shouted down in response with auditable mirthful laughter. More boulders tumbled down. Orko cast a fireball and resolved the problem.

The group reached the top of the stairs lead into a large cave. The roof was thirty foot high, lava flowed through a small channel in the left corner of the room. A small work station with hammers, copper fittings, brass fittings, unfinished metal studs, and other gear like gadgets adorned the room. Huge barrels of ale sit at the end wall. A huge iron door was on the right cave wall. The party debated various tactics but then Egglantine went and knocked on the door. They heard laughter on the other side of the door. They opened the door to see a dozen drunken azurs sitting in huge chairs. Then a bar and its caretaker took notice of the party. He shouted “giants only!” The barkeep was swayed with coin and the visitors became” honorary giants”. The party advanced to the next room. In this room a huge sinkhole with a stoned faced giant lay in the corner of the room. Standing near it was a fire giant who was cursing the Ticktock man under his fiery breath. The group attempted to engage in dialog with the fire giant but he seemed distracted. Another iron door was in this room.

The party finally found the Ticktock man here in this room. The room had a vast number of gears and levers with steam and moisture spraying about it. The Ticktock man was of a small stature and cloaked with the hood raised just above his mouth. The party gave coin to the Ticktock man in exchange for the favor of meeting the Nightpeedler and his token. The party was given two days to get to the meeting area in the Trackless Dearth where the signal would be rain, hail, rain, lastly sunshine. The Ticktock man told them they could stay in this forge with the understanding that trouble was out of the question. The Ticktock man informed them he would give them favorable weather conditions. Also he warned them of all the air elementals in the Trackless Dearth. He also told the party that the Nightpeedler is a business partner and seeing him dead would not be an act that would carry favor with him. Four or five of Marzalee’s grubs would be the going price for his token. Then the party all slept in a giant bed and all feel into a deep slumber!

XP 4,257

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Varisian In Wonderland

The group arrived in Ipeq after five long scorching days of travel. Running around Ipeq for two days the adventures haggled for goods, spells, equipment, and scrolls. Egglantine inquired information from locals in regards to a beast master trainer when she was approached by a Varisian male with bright clothing. The encounter left the group with a dinner date at the Seven Sands Inn. Upon entering, they noted the passer-by from another adventuring party as they exited the Seven Sands Inn. The lovely Varisian woman named Alika (Yea, I forgot to what I told you guys her name was sooo..) invited the party over to her table. She told the tale of her missing grandfather named Meloigne. Her grandfather was on a life quest to find a library of legend. She spoke of Sonnorae a Varisian legendary bard that was the last of her line. This bard’s family had collected secrets, knowledge, and stories from the Age of Darkness. She was the last in her line with no heir to pass them on. Sonnorae stored all her information in a library somewhere unknown to all. Alika informed the party they were here in Ipeq to seek a “Hajeck The All Seeing.” Her grandfather’s last lead was this person. The party got a vague description of Meloigne and received information he held a cane with a golden eagle that topped it. The deal was struck to obtain Meloigne in one piece and the party would receive a bag of holding.

The night was in its early stages! Orko recalled this name and knew roughly the whereabouts of this charlatan fortune teller! Egglantine made the task of locating this place effortless. The party walked into the eerie merchant ally. Enzo and Skritek saw fit to slip into the shadows and move ahead. A different approach was taken by Iseret, she demanded the whereabouts of Hajeck from the first vendor in the alley! The shouting was easily heard by the hired muscle that kept the peace in this place. Egglantine was silver tongued and resolved any further issues with the guards. She was able to contain Iseret by simply out witting her. Orko while having detect magic active spotted a magic item of great power on a person towards the end of the alley. The party collapsed upon “Hajeck The All Seeing.” Iseret immediately started the inquisition of this young lady. Hajeck said she had seen an old man and in fact she had helped him to the place he sought. A few of the party members quickly evaluated whether this was a truth or a lie. They found the statement to be both. Iseret in haste shot off the next question in a high tone of voice. Hajeck slid her hand into her inner vest pocket straight away. The next instant winds of immense power picked up the sand and peppered all around it. A deck of cards swirled about as Hajeck struggled against the wind of the cyclone. The violent cyclone sucked the party members into its vortex.

The party members gathered themselves up off the ground. At first glance at their new surroundings they knew they were not in Kansas anymore! The sky – a featureless dome painted a faded blue. The sun sits on a massive brass mechanical arm creating a high pitched screeching sound every hour. Around them old stalls and small caravans in bad repair lingered in a sad whimsical state. Iseret and Orko collaborated on studying the deck of cards at on the ground around them. They found the deck of cards somehow tethered this “place” to the prime material plane. They noted each card had a utility purpose and could be used like a scroll. Suddenly, the party members overheard a yelping.

A small band of clown Tengu’s where assaulting a fat helpless man on the ground. They were screaming in a squawking tone at the fat man on the ground “Tell us..Tell us..Tell us!” The party attempted to intimidate these clowns but meet with no success. A quick mental tug pulled at Iseret’s mind! It got quite simple once one of the Tengu spring attacked Skritek. The party vanquished the four clowns. The party noticed a strange glowing energy coming from each of the slain tengu floating off into the sky. The party looted the Tengu’s finding four chain shirt +1. Djelzeem squeezed into one of the shirts.
Byo was healed by Egglantine after the combat scene. Once in a stable state Byo told them party of the Harrow Realm. He told them he just escaped from the Striding Fortress. The Tengu were pressing him for rumors from the Patchwork Lord’s latest person of interest, Meloigne! He was an unwilling chef for the Patchwork Lord. Byo told the adventures the realm once upon a time was tranquil and wonderful when Lady Sonnorae was still alive and well. He spoke of the great betrayal, nine conspirators murdered her. Then each ate a piece of her, this giving them power over a certain section of the Harrow Realm. They also tore her kapenia apart taking her tokens attached to it. Byo also informed the party The Patchwork Lord is always mumbling about escaping and becoming real. The Patchwork Lord holds the last piece of Sonnorae’s kapenia. The eight tokens placed together would lead the them to the location of the Striding Fortress were the Blue Dragon reigns as the Harrows Realms master. Byo mentioned that the Ticktock man was always attempting to steal Marzalee’s grubs to sell them to the Nightpeddler. So the Manmolds is locked down tight. The party asked where the nearest conspirator was located and he told them inside the nearby massive tent. The party made Byo wear one of the chain shirts then assigned his safety in the care of Helsha. The Mightnight Circus master was named Bernatidi. Off the party went.

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Recap of what Byo told you of who the conspirators are and what realms they control. The alpha lettering matches the map

A.Ringmaster of the Midnight Circus – Bernatidi (Alligator man – calls himself a rashkia or something along those lines) – Ate Sonnorae’s tongue
B.The Briar – Brambleson (Rabbit Prince) – Ate Sonnorae’s feet
C.The Demon’s Fen – Undead Demon of Lost Souls – Unsettled souls are here All other conspirators but the Patchwork Lord are afraid of the Undead demon.
D.The Manmolds – Marzalee The Weaver (Giant Ant Queen) – Has dwarf Handmaiden
E.The Prophet’s Garden – Sonnorae (an old witch who was once nice but now a witch or something. She has no eyes! She used to very nice until the other betrayed her and killed her. Now they call the garden the empty throne)
F.The Sanguine Playhouse – Balimar & Balio (Doll masters) – They are Twins
G.Smith’s Caldera – The TickTock Man (Stone Master)
H.The Tracklees Dearth – The Nightpeddler (Skinny tall humnnn trade foreigner)
I.The Striding Fortress – Zassrion – The Patchwork Lord (Blue Dragon) – AKA Dominating eye

Skritek and Enzo sneaked up to the tent and peeked into its underskirt. Only to spot wooden boards in a L like pattern. The other party members waited, then walked into the tent’s entrance. They saw a stone giant juggling cupcakes with four bears on unicycles preforming to a bored crowed in the bleachers. In the far left side corner of the tent was an elaborate cage opened to the viewing of the performers. The crowd lightly applauded to the newcomers. This was upsetting to Rogg and his bears. Enzo sneaked off to the left part of the tent. Performance combat ensued! Orko loudly announced the amazing Enzo! Enzo scampered from under the bleachers and told a Drizzy bear joke! Egglantine initially endeavored to parley with Rogg and the bears. Iseret moved into position and activating her scarf to attack Rogg. Skritek cleverly is awaiting a foe to sneak attack under the bleachers. Orko drew the Joke card and played it followed by the Juggler. Rogg threw one of his brownie cupcakes at the highest preforming opponent. Enzo took a cupcake to the face and it felt like a two ton bolder had him rather than a cupcake! The bears in unison cycled in front of Rogg but one of the bears couldn’t maintain his balance and fell to the ground. The crowd cheered loudly for Enzo then it shifted quickly for Rogg. Enzo swooped the unicycle from the fallen bear and started to ride it. Enzo began telling jokes on the unicycle and the crowd intensely clapped for Enzo. Egglantine shouted an insult at the stone giant. Iseret struck Rogg but he completely ignored her. Rogg failed to hit Enzo with his next cupcake which left a hefty creator in the floor. Skritek did an amazing acrobatics over to Rogg. The crowd cheered intensely for the adventures! Rogg started to cry and he dropped his cupcakes and he and his bears withdrew in complete embarrassment.

Bernatidi clapped and came out of his lavish cage to greet the party. The rashkia sipped his tea from his porcelain tea cup. Snapping his fingers one of his lackeys brings him something. Bernatidi then sits on the lackey and crosses his leg with superior etiquette. He welcomes the group and hands them a modified map. The rashkia admits he invariably lies. Dialog was exchanged between him and the party. Bernatidi tells the group he will hand over his token if they can catch him in an irrefutable lie. If he wins he gets to keep one of them as a pet! The challenge was won by the group so he gives the PC’s his token – a tiny cloak with red material attached to it. The group consults with Byo about locations on the map. The group was deadest on going to Demon’s Fen but Byo was very afraid and told them to go to the Prophet’s Garden instead. Egglantine lead the way without error.
The brass arm moved again causing an eerie screeching sound. The sun is steadily moving towards dawn. The group stepped into The Briar and found it very difficult to maneuver through the dense thicket. Egglantine attempted to summon her mount but it didn’t work. The group used the Tangled briar card and all party members gained woodland stride. They came upon a clearing with a tiny bright little house. They overheard a voice shouting, the little rabbit humanoid was on the outcrop of the clearing in a tree. He looked surprised at the party and disappeared from the tree only to appear in front of the group. He had a small crown on his head with a broken tiny sword. Bramble son’s feet never stopped moving! The group played the Rabbit Prince card and gained knowledge he is subject to charm spells. Orko cast charm person with a successful result. The tiny fay prince was very amicable but lacked focus on one subject for too long. He would point at the grass and yell at it periodically. Orko asked for his token and he hopped away and hunched over then hopped back to Orko and handed him his token- a tiny shoe with a red material attached to it. The rabbit prince’s broken sword jolted Orko’s memory about its past. He did mention that the realm was about eighty miles in length and he traveled it a thousand times. He wants to travel and see something new. The party continued to the Prophets Garden.

Big ivory walls reached high to surround this huge garden. The group entered and eventually came across a unicorn and a goblin standing next to a pair tree. The goblin has a papier-mâché mask equipped that resembles a unicorn head with a horn. The pair tree is constantly blooming producing fruit. A single pair is under the front legs on the unicorn. The bitter enemies are shouting at one another relentlessly. The goblin falls back a few feet to re-slip on his mask as to renew his ruse as a fellow unicorn. The goblin is focused on the pair the unicorn has under his front legs. They don’t notice the adventures until they are right beside them. The PC’s intervene with little results. Skritek decided to slap the goblin. A triggered Song of Discord turned Skritek on Djelzeem. Some “ballize” comments were made between the two. Skritek raged and looked to unleash on Djelzeem but Orko intervened and Skritek shook off the Song of Discord effect. The group decided to move forward.

They came to a starred platform leading up to two benches at its summit. A lifeless looking figure stood still sitting on one of the benches. Puddles of blood ranging from small to large lay on the floor. The PC’s played the betrayal card and the empty throne card. Enzo and Skritek sneaked up ahead. When suddenly the figure disappeared. Orko casted a summons spell which they party already knew was more difficult on this plane. The group braced to fight once the mute hag was visible again. Skritek’s sense alerted him to a presence just before the mute hag grappled him. The party notice the pools of blood slowly moving towards the party members. Enzo aided his ally by casting grease on him to help escape the grapple of the mute hag. Egglantine charged and smited the evilness she felt on this monstrous creature and dented its skull. Djelzeem cracked his sap on the hag and staggered her. Iseret cast a flame spell to find it did more damage than normal. Orko attacked with his summoned celestial creatures and cast spells on the hag most were negated. Skritek finally broke the strong grapple of the hag and attacked her. The hag then pointed to Djelzeem and cursed him threw a spell. Finally, the party brought the mute hag down. The empty shell that was once Sonnorae was no more. The creepy vibe around this place dissipated. Enzo found a secret sliding title around the second bench. The secret compartment held a scroll of Ice storm (CL 7th), Scroll of Planer Binding (CL 11th), a scroll of consecrate (CL 6th), black onyx nib, and a tiny bracelet token.

The party decided to travel back to the entry gate of the massive garden. On the way Egglantine reproached the unicorn and the goblin. Egglantine used her skills in diplomacy to persuade the unicorn to remove the pair by putting it on his horn. The unicorn praised her for her wise words of advice and rewarded her with his horn. The goblin screamed protest but ran off. The goblin returned to throw a pair at Skritek which did hit him. Skritek returned the gesture with a little more force. The unicorn told Egglantine that his horn was a wand of restoration with two charges (CL 13th).

With the massive brass armed sun about to set. The moon on an identical brass arm is perched ready to take the suns place. The party must decide what do to from here!

A kapenia is a family scarf, an intricate and colorful cloth that traces an individual’s lineage through both the mother and father, and goes back as far as the family’s knowledge stretches. Each is quite heavy and its complex loops and whorls are largely undecipherable to outsiders. They are prized possessions among the Varisian people, and only donned during special occasions. Kapenias are received when a young Varisian attains adulthood, and many individuals chose to be buried with their scarf. Alternatively, kapenias are sometimes bequeathed to loved ones upon the owner’s death or, even more rarely, to someone outside the owner’s clan.

XP: 4,428

*Just a hint all 54 cards are linked to this realm therefore all are usable at the right time/location! You guys missed a few 

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