Ye Gilde

Wrath of Thrune V
Something Wicked This Way Comes

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

1,700 Experience

A. New Blood (Thursday)

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

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

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

B. Sword Tower Raid (Thursday night)

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

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

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

C. Something Wicked This Way Comes

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

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

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

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

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

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

D. The Destruction of the Docks

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

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

E. Betrayal (Friday night)

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

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

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

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

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

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Trail of the Hunted I

Trail of the Hunted I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wrath of Thrune IV
Daggers in Men's Smiles

The cast: Asriel, Palaxia, and Maledictus.

2,933 experience each.

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

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

Part 1: The Supply Shipment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 2: A Friend in Need

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

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

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

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

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

Part 3: Return to the Blooming Caves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wrath of Thrune III
Some Rise By Sin & Some by Virtue Fall

Palaxia, Maledictus, Corva, Regina, and Asriel receive 1,072 experience each.

A Visit to the Blooming Caves

After the slaughter at the Oathday Market, Maledictus, Palaxia, Corva, Regina, and Asriel begin the half-day journey out to the Blooming Caves with the intention of investigating the strange mushrooms you found while investigating the Bradon homestead. You arrive at the cave and camp for the night unmolested, and you begin your spelunking Friday morning.

You attempt to sneak into the entrance, but are spotted by the cave’s guardians – four humans wearing what they recognize as the sigil of House Narikopolus. However, there is something vacant behind the Narikopolus loyalists’ eyes as they challenge you, “Who goes there?” You notice their skin is riddled with purple lesions which sprout small mushrooms – sure signs of victims of the purple pox.

A ragtag combat begins, with two loyalists engaging in melee with Bob and Asriel, while the other two get off potshots before sprinting deeper into the cavern followed by Maledictus. Corva hangs back, using her assassin training to wait for the perfect moment to strike. After the first two loyalists fall, combat moves to the next cavern. The two loyalists station themselves strategically behind pit traps, one of which Maledictus fails to spot. She makes a hasty roll as the ground falls out from under her, but lands on stable ground and backs her target into a corner. Meanwhile, Corva and Regina take out the other.

Once the fighting has finished, you are able to look around with more leisure. This cavern is stunningly beautiful; the glowing fungi fills this chamber with a luminescence of soft pinks, greens, and blues. The air is filled with the soothing sound of running water. Countless couples have used this romantic location for trysts, and the walls are scrawled with their names and pledges of love and devotion. You notice that Jana Holdus’s name appears multiple times with various lovers.

Your way further into the cave is blocked by a steep slope downward that is only passable by climbing. At the bottom of the slope, you can see an underground river rushing through an alcove in the stone, and you know that anyone who missteps on the slope would run the risk of sliding into the fast-running river. Palaxia is the first down, climbing down a rope held by Maledictus, and her noisy descent draws the attention of the cave’s two resident bunyips. The seal-like creatures hobble around the corner of the tunnel and bare their pointed teeth at the intruders. They slide into the water nearby and attack with a bellow, but are quickly dispatched.

Two crude wooden barricades stand in the center of the next cave, the luminescent fungus already beginning to creep up the sides. The southeast tunnel leads to what was clearly the encampment of the Narikopolus loyalists before they fell to the purple pox; Asriel and Corva explore this area while Regina and Maledictus explore the tunnel to the northwest and Palaxia sneaks up the northeast tunnel.

Splitting the party may have not been the wisest of plans, as Regina and Maledictus run into three myceloids who promptly turn from their game of tossing a skull to each other and launch clouds of purple pox spores at them. Luckily for them, the myceloids are somewhat stunted and not as powerful as a normal myceloid. They call for help, but Asriel and Corva are searching the encampment and Palaxia has found her own encounter.

Up the northeast tunnel, Palaxia finds a cavern containing two fully-grown myceloids sitting in rocking chairs. Nearby stands a pox-afflicted loyalist who is clearly teetering on the edge of death. Small drops of blood weep from the broken purple lesions on her body and drool rolls from her quivering lips. The myceloids do not seem hostile, and once they realize that Palaxia does not speak Undercommon, they use the pox-afflicted loyalist to speak through using their telepathy ability.

The purple mushrooms filling the loyalist’s mouth tear and bleed as she speaks in an ingratiating drawl. “Howdy! What brings you to our stompin’ grounds?” Palaxia asks them if they’d be willing to come back to Kantaria and terrorize the town, only to be rebuffed. “Oh honey, bless your heart, but you’re barkin’ up the wrong tree. Pap and I didn’t settle down here only to start up the old ways again. We’ve got young’uns to care for now. And heaven forfend we leave the Wrong One alone. That’n needs a lot of lovin’.”

Palaxia thanks them and turns to leave. Meanwhile, Regina and Maledictus have killed the three myceloid “young’uns” and Palaxia tells the whole party about the myceloids she spoke with and how they were unwilling to go back to town. Satisfied with her story, you head back to Kantaria, but not before taking one of the bodies of the young myceloids and carving it into pieces to sprinkle on the road back to town. You hope that the desecration of their “child”’s corpse will cause them to go on a murderous rampage.

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Wrath of Thrune II
The Oldest Sins in the Newest Kind of Ways

Palaxia, Corva, and Asriel each receive 1,876 experience.

Discord Bottle
Believed to originally be a cursed variant of the eversmoking bottle, the discord bottle has been adopted by less scrupulous folk as an effective weapon against large groups of creatures.

This black metal urn with a lead stopper bears the image of countless gaunt humanoids piled on top of one another in a torturous melee. When the stopper is removed, an invisible and odorless gas pours from the bottle, covering a 50-foot-radius area in 1 round. If the bottle is left open, the gas billows out another 10 feet per round until it has covered a 100-foot radius. This area remains filled with gas for 5 rounds, after which the gas dissipates naturally.

Each round, a creature within the area of the gas must succeed at a DC 14 Fortitude save or attack the nearest creature on its next turn. This condition lasts long as a creature is in the cloud and for 1 round after it leaves the area or after the gas dissipates. Any creature that succeeds at its save is not subject to the same gas again, whether or not it remains within the area. This is a mind-affecting poison effect.

A moderate wind (11+ mph) disperses the gas in 4 rounds; a strong wind (21+ mph) disperses it in 1 round.

Once opened, a discord bottle must be restoppered and recharge for 24 hours before it can be used again.

Part 1: Tuesday (Toilday)

Since you were badly torn up after the attack of the shredskin, you decide to take it easy the rest of the day. While Maledictus and Regina stuck around the Little Uskwood to keep up the appearance of acting as bodyguards for Loredana Viorica (much to Loredana’s chagrin given Maledictus’ sour personality and Zebub, Regina’s giant wasp companion), Palaxia, Asriel, and Corva wanted to continue getting to know the members of Kantaria’s governing council. They began with a trip to Valor’s Fastness.

The guards atop the high white-washed walls of the fortified temple would have forbidden your visit had Asriel not made the clever and convincing claim that Loredana had sent them to speak to Oppian. You were allowed in and met with Oppian in a small office on the first floor of the temple.

The interview went bad nearly immediately. Caught in your lie, you confessed that Loredana had not in fact sent you. Asriel offered the party’s assistance to the thinly-stretched ranks of the Glorious Reclamation presence in Kantaria as a way to “further protect Loredana”, but Oppian was not willing to trust some odd travelers who had appeared in town only three days ago with Reclamation business, particularly after you had lied to get in to see him. He stresses that you should stick to your business of acting as Loredana’s bodyguards and leave the town’s safety to him.

Palaxia countered by saying that if something should happen to Loredana, wouldn’t it be Oppian’s fault for not allowing them to help. Oppian immediately stood and demanded to know if you were threatening Loredana. He told you he would be reporting this behavior to Loredana and had you escorted off the grounds of Valor’s Fastness.

Your second stop was the Narikopolus Manor, where you knew Faydreth, a rassophore of the Glorious Reclamation, was living. You first purchased some fine elven tea in Inheritor’s Square to offer as an olive branch. You were challenged at the entrance, but flashing the tea and a wand that Palaxia claimed she wanted Faydreth to look at, the guards, aware of their master’s predilection for tea and examining magic items, allowed you inside.

A tea party was swiftly prepared in the breakfast room complete with cucumber sandwiches and ladyfingers. Faydreth was aloof at first, although discussing the wand loosened his tongue, and he became positively gregarious after Palaxia showed him some of her unique psychic magic. He asked her many questions and even pulled a blank roll of parchment and quill out of his robes so he could take notes on her facial expressions, gestures, and the effects of her magic. So fascinated was he that he was only slightly bothered when Palaxia gave into her more chaotic side and sent a fork flying at top speed through one of the large expensive glass windows of the house.

Part 2: Short People Got No Reason to Live

Palaxia, Asriel, and Corva returned to the Little Uskwood for the afternoon and evening, only to be approached by the only other people staying there, the merchant and his burly bodyguards. The merchant introduced himself as Nicolae, a slaver out of Nidal.

“Loredana tells me that you helped her out with a sticky bit of business and kept your mouths shut. I’m looking for that kind of help myself. This ridiculous Glorious Reclamation business has cost me a pair of Halfling slaves I bought fair and square. My masters back in Nidal are expecting them, and they won’t go easy on me if I return without them. I’m biding my time for now – Thrune can’t look the other way for long, and things will eventually return to normal – but there would be a good bit of gold in it for you if you can get them back for me sooner.”

He explains to you that since they had been freed, the halflings, siblings called Jed and Leora, had been making a living fishing on the Sedna for the labor guild. “400gp to you if you can bring them back alive. Two dead Halflings to you if you don’t.”

Not wanting to tote a pair of unconscious halflings back to town under the eyes of the Glorious Reclamation, you tell the merchant to leave town tonight and make for a location known to all of you. You promise to capture the halflings for him tomorrow morning and meet him with them at that location for the exchange. He happily agrees and checks out of the Little Uskwood, taking with him his two bodyguards and donkey.

The night ends with Palaxia lamenting Bob’s poor health since the fight that morning. “Look away, Bob,” she says, both hands on her scythe. Just as the phantom turns around, she plants the blade in the back of its head, leaving nothing but a scattering of shadowy particles. “Good night!” she says and goes to her room, completely ignorant of the horrified stares around her.

The next day, you leave the town by the south road, loop around to the north, and stealthily and skillfully track the halflings through the forest northeast of Kantaria; however, you find your skills are unneeded, for the happy halflings are whistling and singing joyfully, kicking their feet in the river. “Gee, brother, it’s a great day to not be a slave in the sadistic Zon-Kuthon-worshipping nation of Nidal!” says Leora to Jed.

Her words are cut off as Palaxia sneaks around a tree trunk and whacks her in the back of the head with a sap. The two halflings scream and reach for their slings. Leora swings her fishing pole impotently at Palaxia as she backs away, and Jed sends a wild slingstone over the kayal’s head just before he is knocked unconscious by a well-aimed arrow from Asriel’s bow.

“Please stop! We are free Halflings! Let us go back to town and discuss this with the governor without violence!” Leora begs as she runs to her brother’s body. Bob – under orders to grapple anyone who tries to flee – wrestles her easily to the ground as she passes by and Palaxia begins singing a catchy song.

“Don’t want no short people! Don’t want no short people ‘round here!” she finishes as Corva’s heavy boot smashes down on Leora’s face, leaving the Halfling motionless in the dirt. Corva efficiently ties up both halflings and you go to meet the man from Pangolais.

Nicolae is delighted the slaves are returned, and he happily hands over a bag of gems and gold coins as well as a strange black metal urn bearing the image of gaunt humanoids engaged in a torturous melee. “As a tip,” he says. “I think you could put it to better use than me.” With that, he heads off north on foot with his two bodyguards.

As they head out, Corva says in a low voice that you should kill them and take whatever else they have. Asriel and Palaxia shrug, “Sure, whatever,” and Asriel calls out to the merchant that there is something you’ve forgotten to tell them. The merchant is cautious and only comes within about 30 feet of you; you can see there’s some math going on in his head as he counts himself and his two men against the four of you. His caution is wise, as you attack the nearest bodyguard.

Nicolae flees immediately, followed by his second bodyguard as she sees her master leave her. The closer bodyguard tries to flee as well, but he is tripped by Bob. As Bob pounds the bodyguard’s head repeatedly against the ground until the dirt is stained with his blood, Asriel and Corva take down Nicolae and then his other bodyguard at range.

Once the bodies are gathered, Corva stomps through them in order to coat her boots with blood. The other party members look on as she stamps in a circle around the pile, leaving a trail of bloody footprints. She pauses when she completes the circle and moans orgasmically. Everyone is uncomfortable.

You decide that leaving the scene will make the town believe that the bandits are back, which is sure to cause the Reclamation forces to be stretched even thinner as patrols are sent out to guard the lands outside of town, as well as strike fear and despair into anyone travelling to or from Kantaria. However, fearful that the clerics and paladins of the Glorious Reclamation may attempt to speak with the dead to find out what happened, Bob knocks the teeth out of each corpse and crushes their jaws.

Part 3: Wednesday Afternoon

With most of the afternoon stretching ahead of you and adrenaline running through your veins after all the murders, you seize the day and visit Hardship’s Hearth, the prison camp to the south of town. Commonly known as “the Pen,” this camp once housed groups of slaves awaiting transport to the Menador Mountains. The Reclamation forces have since defeated the camp’s garrison, freed the slaves, and are now using the site to house Chelish soldiers and Thrune loyalists captured during the assault on Kantaria.

The camp consists of an 80×80 foot camp proper enclosed within 15-foot-high wooden walls. A command post stands outside the front. Jalila is delighted to have visitors and she welcomes you into her office. Jalila sympathizes with your stated goal of wanting to do more around town to help the Reclamation – she, too, longs for more action, but she recognizes it is her duty to head Hardship’s Hearth. She tells you about the notable prisoner they are holding there – a Hellknight of the Rack.

The religiously-knowledgeable among you know that the Order of the Rack is dedicated to destroying wasteful knowledge and indolent idealism before it can affect the simplicity of what they consider traditional values. They accomplish this by burning books and controlling the spread of information.

Jalila is warm and willing to chat. You learn that she was born a slave in Katapesh, rescued by the Pathfinder Society, and raised by a local church of Iomedae. She led an insular life until the Glorious Reclamation’s call to arms, when she joined the forces sent to Cheliax. After the conquest of Kantaria, she was entrusted by Oppian Nevilindor to oversee Hardship’s Hearth.

When asked about Oppian Nevilindor, she looks sad. “He is stretched thin. I believe he feels a great deal of guilt about killing the blacksmith, Groat. They were close friends before the Reclamation. It is a hard thing to choose between your god and your friends. I wouldn’t wish that choice on anyone.”

As evening blooms, you return to town. You decide to make another visit to Faydreth Zaine at Narikopolus Manor. To ply his patience, you decide to bring takeout from the Sweetest Drop. “You can visit Jana, Asriel,” someone says. “Who?” he responds, and he is reminded of the attractive bartender he had spent the weekend canoodling with.

Jana had not forgotten him, judging by the long looks she threw him before and after laughing conspicuously loudly at everyone’s jokes and leaning extra-far over to lay down tankards of ale. Faydreth is delighted with the takeout and the new magic item that Palaxia has brought to show him. As you leave, he shoots her a quick wink which she seductively returns.

Part 4: Oathday Market

Thursday dawns bright and clear, the perfect day for the weekly market. You are gleeful to use your new discord bottle on some unsuspecting victims, but first you take care of some financial business and scope out the place. There are around 60 people total in the square – farmers bragging about the freshness of their produce, fisherman crowing their catch, and people quarreling over the price of goods. A hound archon walks among them, shaking hands and exchanging words with passers-by. Two Glorious Reclamation knights also patrol the area.

Palaxia casts Invisibility on herself and positions herself in the northeast corner of the square with the bottle (hoping that the gas would also affect Linton Demeer and Pious Pete) while Asriel and Corva act unassuming. She pries the lead stopper out of the bottle. Nothing appears to come out, but suddenly a nearby farmer buries his dagger in the back of his wife’s head.

The gas spreads. About half the square falls victim, attacking the nearest person with sickle, dagger, hammer, or teeth. Those who are not incapacitated in the attacks flee. There is a flash of silver in the center of the square, where one of the Reclamation Knights, madness in her eye, swings her longsword in a deadly arc. Limbs and heads fly as she cleaves through the unarmored peasants. The remaining knight attempts to usher the unaffected away while the hound archon engages the rogue knight.

After a minute, the gas dissipates. Those who were affected return to themselves, looking around as if they are lost. The survivors lay groaning and crying. One man gapes silently at the stump where his arm used to be, and a woman rocks silently over the body of her husband. The rogue knight drops her dripping longsword and falls to her knees, sobbing into gauntleted fists. Too late, Oppian Nevilindor and Faydreth Zaine come running up with a patrol of knights. They investigate, but there is little left to do besides heal the wounded, carry the dead away, and try to scrub the blood off the cobblestones. As a final insult, Asriel undermines the healers by quietly and quickly using his magic to cause the unconscious people in the square to resume bleeding.

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So You Want To Be A Captain
Let's see what you're made of

The morning began with a summons to the Guild Hall and Captain Dreasing’s office. Chad issued the summons with his usual enthusiasm and a group of Guildies arrived: Traveler the witch, Nicholas the alchemist, Jerro the doll ninja, Kass the rougue, and Turris and Nevaeh magus members of the special ops Charlie’s Angels group. They were greeted by Captain Dreasing and their client, a man named Filigrow Mod of the world famous Mod’s Maps. Immediately, Traveler and Nicholas threw up their hands and left. They were not working for that man again! Jerro and Kass, having met Mod before, also mulled over the idea of leaving but didn’t. They all needed money, so they listened to his plea. Four of his wagons of goods bound for Absalom were hijacked by a bandit group known as The Jagged Blade. They were led by a helmed man named Braxx and his first in command, a witch named Arsenic. The businessman offered 200gp per wagon retrieved and a 3 day time limit. He also offered a camel on loan for each party member in case they needed them to get his wagons back. Jerro declined the camel but the others took him up on the generous offer. He also mentioned there might be some surviving passengers from the caravan and that it would be nice if they were rescued if alive and present. Once the arrangements were made, Mod left and Captain Dreasing continued with his personal briefing and the true reason he summoned these guild members. He mentioned having his eye on each of them and hoping for bigger and better things. This would be a test of sorts for them to see if they had what it takes to move up in the ranks of The Guild.

The test was simple, select a team and head out to retrieve the wagon covered by the color corresponding to the team color each selected during the briefing (Red, Black, Green or Blue). The first leader back with their wagon was the winner. They each wore a special brooch with a scrying spell over it so the captains at the guild could watch and keep tabs on their progress. Dreasing mentioned gathering a number of hopefuls wanting to join the guild and left it to the party to select from these hopefuls to build an effective team. First they competed amongst themselves to see who would get first choice. After the tests of strength (arm wrestling), Agility (balance beam), and intellect (riddles), a pecking order was established: Kass first, Jerro second, Turris third, and Nevaeh fourth. They took turns selecting from the hopeful guild initiates and questioning them to choose an effective team. They also made use of their 1 veto power to cancel an opponent’s choice of hopeful member. The auditions began with a handpicked group by Kass. He recruited the muscle man (Adam) and the very relaxed witch (Salena). Jerro began his tests by throwing a star at a blind bard. He hit him and the man mumbled “Don’t nobody get outta here without singing the blues.” Many questions and debates over who would be worthy ensued. The audition/interviews ended with Jerro dismissing the last hopefuls after selecting his final member. An angry multi-colored gnome departed with a big “Fuck You!” and the middle finger to everyone. In the end, four teams were formed by their captains:

TEAM BLACK: (Ray)
Kass as the leader
Salena Whitestone (human Hedge witch with her monkey familiar Munchkin)
Adam Grayskull (human primalist bloodrager)

TEAM RED: (Joe)
Jerro as the leader
Kitsis Pain (Changeling Heretic Inquisitor)
Shondell Shaniqua Merced aka honey-badger (human brawler)

TEAM BLUE: (Eric)
Turris as the leader
Thiasis Vellumiris (Elf Zen Archer monk)
Shavick Selledine (human daring champion cavalier)

TEAM GREEN: (Glenn)
Nevaeh as the leader
Chellis Greenwillow (1/2 elf inspired blade swashbuckler)
Lolitta Conchitta Amore’ (human sin mage of lust enchantress wizard) or as Nevaeh called her “the meaty sweetie”

There was a quick debate over the map leading into the Cairnlands and the location of the bandit camp. Jerro suggested it and the others agreed, they would work together to get their wagons and defeat the bandits then sort out the race back to see who would win the competition. As a huge team they made their way through the cairnlands and to the bandit camp. Arriving at dusk they let the sunlight fall away and wached as the camp was well lit by torches and a huge bonfire. They scouted a tower overlooking the rundown fort and Thiasis was careful to spot and avoid the bat swarm waiting on the top level. Turris and Jerro directed their two archers (Thiasis and Kitsis) to take positions in the tower and be ready to shoot the bandit lookouts if they were spotted. Kass and Navaeh instructed their spellcasters (Salena and Lolitta) to cast sleep on the lookouts along the fort walls, while Jerro and Kass themselves moved in and eliminated the sleeping lookout guard. One guard resisted the sleep spell but the archers quickly brought him down before an alarm could be sounded. Kass also took out the bandit manning the campfire in the center of the fort grounds without a peep. Everything was going very smoothly as the large band fanned out and prepared to enter the camp from various angles. Turris enlarged his cavalier recruit (Shavick) and sent him in first. The wagons were all here but no sign of hostages or the bandit leaders. They spotted and avoided the spring trap set by the largest hole in the fort walls and took note that there may be more traps set around the camp. They began moving into the camp and realized some of their members were not so stealthy. Turris was the one to make a loud noise and subsequently drew the first surprise attack from inside one of the tents. Remarkably, he had found Braxx, the helmed bandit leader. The spiked chain wielding worshipper of Zon-Kuthon came at him trying to shove him into another trap, but the elf magus resisted. The bandit leader shouted an alarm to his camp and the fight was on. Several bandits poured out of the buildings in the camp and began engaging the teams. Arsenic the witch stepped out of her tent and blasted a large portion of the camp with a web spell trapping several members inside along with Braxx. Turris in particular could not seem to break free of the webs. Kass directed the bloodrager (Adam) at the bandit leader and the man began the bloodflow with a series of very impressive blows while shouting “I have the power!”. The bandit leader leveled the inexperienced man with a pair of quick blows. The enchantress (Lolitta) cast lockgaze on Braxx but they soon learned he must not swing that way since he all but ignored her the entire fight until he finally knocked her and the swashbuckler (Chellis) out with his spiked chain. While Kass and Nevaeh took care of the bandits and then confronted the witch, Jerro systematically moved about the walls killing the sleeping bandits with whispers of “Stabby poo”. The witch put the giant cavalier to sleep as well as Kass and impaled Nevaeh on a spike of ice but Jerro direted his brawler (Shondell aka Honey Badger) after her and the witch was wrestled to the ground and pinned. When the woman kept using her hexes despite being grappled the brawler finally snapped her neck with a scream of “That’s right bitch!”

Outside the fort, the others had managed to draw the attention of Charlotte, a large spider that the bandits fed and kept around to protect their flanks. The giant spider proved more deadly than anything else as it seriously injured the Zen Archer (Thia), the inquisitor (Kitsis), and eventually Jerro too. If not for the new-found channeling powers of Jerro the cleric ninja several of their inexperienced new recruits would not have survived.
In the end, through much effort and many fallen comrades, they toppled Braxx and thanked the gods that Charlotte wandered off to her webs after everyone ran away, including three of the bandits. They rescued the prisoners (A lady and her handmaiden, plus an old tanner couple), retrieved all their wagons complete with goods, and ended the bandit leader and his witch. They spent the night in the fort finding two horses and an angry axe beak (Shavick calmed it) then headed back in the morning. Unfortunately the three camels on loan fled during the fighting which meant their rewards would be reduced by a hefty sum of 450gp (150gp per camel).

They agreed to return as one group and share in the win so each leader of a team was recognized as a success earning the title of Lieutenant of The Guild complete with a badge and free room and board at the guild hall base. Those hopefuls they recommended for acceptance were allowed to join The Guild as well.

Unbeknownst to the party, there was a reward for the Lady by her family which Mod was sure to collect in appreciation of her rescue. (1,000gp)

XP: Turris, Jerro, Kass and Nevaeh each got 1592xp

The surviving hopefuls earned 592xp each

Rewards: 800gp – 450gp = 350gp (divided by 5 with one share split among the hopefuls) so 70gp each

+1 spiked chain +1 chain shirt potion of cure lt wounds (1d8+1) x2

MW Dagger
Wand of enfeeblement (10 charges)
2 riding horses
1 axe beak

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Wrath of Thrune I
Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here

Experience: 1,360

Thrune Loyal Agent: You have sworn your body to Queen Abrogail and House Thrune in a ritual ceremony, and are willing to lay down your life in service to Thrune. Once per week, when reduced to fewer than 0 hit points, you automatically gain fast healing 1 for 1 minute. Once this ability has been used, you instead gain a +4 trait bonus on Constitution checks to stabilize when reduced to negative hit points.

In addition, you receive an invisible arcane mark of the encircled cross emblem of Cheliax as a symbol of your loyalty. This mark does not fade and is visible only to other creatures with this trait, or creatures with the ability to perceive the invisible (via see invisibility or true seeing, for example). You can make this mark visible to other creatures for 1 round as a swift action. If the mark is dispelled or removed (such as with erase), it can be replaced with another casting of arcane mark, which thereafter functions as detailed in this trait.

Part 1: Loyal Agents of Thrune

It has been two weeks since the battle at Fort Estazano, and the three remaining members of the Longacre Sheriff’s force – quiet Maledictus the Dhampir Monk, unpredictable Palaxia the Fetchling Spiritualist, her zealous companion Bob, and curt Corva Crispin the dual-sabre wielding worshipper of Achaekek – have had ample time to rest, recuperate, and enjoy their positions as minor tyrants in Longacre. Before long, however, they receive a summons from the Archbaron of Longacre, Darellus Fex, instructing them to report to Scarlet Crown, his manor outside of town.

In the now-familiar room where you once swore the Hellfire Compact, Fex waits for you along with Razelago the accuser devil and two unfamiliar faces. Regina is a dark-skinned Human Hunter with dark hair, and she is accompanied by a disconcertingly large bee she calls Zebub. Asriel is an Aasimar Inquisitor with lustrous moon-toned skin and greenish metallic hair that reminds you of the sheen of rotting meat; over his breast hangs a holy symbol of Asmodeus. Fex informs you that they will be joining you on the next mission he has for you.

But before that, he tells you he has a reward for you! “You’ve been acting as de facto representatives of Cheliax for weeks now, and it’s time we legitimized this arrangement. Anyone who pledges themself directly to Queen Abrogail II grants them some measure of royal authority and entitles you to some useful boons. I offer you this to honor and reward for your service to me and to House Thrune. Do you agree?”

He asks the question in a way that brooks no answer other than “Yes,” although he does courteously allow you to say it yourselves.

The ceremony is a short affair – you must each use a small offering of your own blood to sign a formal document swearing to lay down your lives for Queen Abrogail II and House Thrune, although no official requirements or duties are stated in the document. Fex beckons each of you forward in turn and casts a spell over your hand; the encircled cross emblem of Cheliax appears on your flesh. You each receive the Thrune Loyal Agent trait.

Once the ceremony is complete, Fex tells you that the town of Kantaria has fallen to the Glorious Reclamation. Kantaria was once ruled by Iomedae before she was immortal for a year and a day, holding it against hordes of shapechanging faceless stalkers – a deed now immortalized as Iomedae’s Tenth Act. Now the town is considered a holy site by the Iomedaean church. Thus, the relatively bloodless takeover strengthens the Glorious Reclamation both spiritually and militarily.

However, the Reclamation has moved on to surround Senara, leaving behind only a small garrison to defend Kantaria. “Their arrogance will be their downfall,” he tells you. He orders you to infiltrate Kantaria and find whatever chances you can to cause mischief and undermine the Reclamation’s hold on the town. But most importantly, he advises, keep a low profile. “The town is overrun with the Reclamation dogs and neither Her Infernal Majestrix nor the lords of the Pit offer aid to fools.”

You infiltrate the town under the guise of hired muscle for a Nidalese woman who owes Fex an unspecified favor. Loredana Viorica is a pretty woman with mean eyes, and she runs an inn on the edge of Kantaria called the Little Uskwood. After introductions, she immediately warns you against bringing unwanted attention to her and her business, and informs you that the town’s governor has invited you to brunch tomorrow at the Narikopolus Manor. “It’ll be a good opportunity for you to meet the governing council of Kantaria,” she tells you.

Dinner is a bland affair, both gastronomically and socially. Loredana is not chatty. The inn is nearly empty but for three men – one dressed in the garb of a modest merchant and two burly fellows you assume must be his bodyguards – who sit on the opposite end of the room from you and talk quietly among themselves.

Part 2: Sunday Brunch

The following morning, Loredana leads you to Narikopolus Manor, an austere red brick building in the south of town. Glorious Reclamation guards guide you through the foyer into a well-lit room containing an elegant table and chairs and six other people:

  • Faydreth Zaine, a half-elf with a well-kept beard and pristine red-and-white Iomedaean robes. He is the Rassophore of the Glorious Reclamation – a powerful wizard. He seems distant, but you can tell by the scrolls you spot hanging inside the folds of his robes that he is likely interested in all things arcane. (Influence: Knowledge (arcana))
  • Jalila Hadjara, a lean muscular human woman. Her defining physical trait is the painstakingly tattooed text covering her skin – they are the verses of the Acts of Iomedae. Loredana tells you that she is the Warden of Hardship’s Hearth, the prison camp outside of town. She has a warm smile, but she is soft-spoken. She would probably be impressed by someone who can flip and jump around like she can. (Influence: Acrobatics)
  • Jana Holdus, a human woman of considerable charms, which she proudly displays in a low-cut jerkin. She runs the Sweetest Drop inn, Loredana whispers. Jana flutters her green eyes at you as you walk in.
  • Linton Demeer, a chubby human man with unkempt black hair. He owns Healthy Heart Alchemicals. As an alchemist himself, he probably enjoys talking shop with other alchemists. (Influence: Craft (alchemy))
  • Loredana Viorica.
  • Oppian Nevilindor, governor of Kantaria and leader of the Glorious Reclamation forces in Kantaria. He is garbed in a gleaming breastplate displaying the symbol of Iomedae. He welcomes you warmly, but you notice that he has a habit of keeping one hand on his sheathed sword no matter who he is talking to. As he is a high-ranking priest of Iomedae, you get the feeling he would enjoy discussing religion. (Influence: Knowledge (religion))

You try to get to know the governing council, but it is clear you are not used to rubbing shoulders with elites. Regina does manage to sweet-talk Faydreth by discussing matters of the arcane with him, and silver-tongued Asriel glides easily from Oppian to Linton to Jana. However, Palaxia makes little headway with Linton, and Maledictus embarrasses herself when she tries to impress Jalila with a flip, catches her foot on her chair leg, and topples over in a heap. “You’re getting better!” quips Regina as Maledictus rights herself.

Part 3: Sunday Afternoon

That afternoon, you explore the town. Your explorations take you to:

  • Inheritor’s Square. Location of Kantaria’s Oathday (Thursday) Market. People come from all over the lands near Kantaria to sell their wares, and the Glorious Reclamation sends at least one good outsider to remind the populace that “angels walk among them.” You surmise that disrupting the Oathday Market would be a good way to create tension in the town – unfortunately, it’s only Sunday.
  • Shrine of the Hammer. This chapel was once dedicated to Aroden, but in the wake of the Chelish Civil War, it became Kantaria’s temple to Asmodeus. More recently, Kalcyra the Just, the leader of the growing dwarf community in Kantaria, has repurposed it into a shrine to Torag. Asriel makes a Will save to prevent himself from destroying the corrupted shrine to his god.
  • Groat’s Smithy. This smoking fiery ruin catches your eye as you walk through town. Locals give the place a wide berth, believing it to be inhabited by a devil made manifest from the spirit of the murdered smith, Tychus Groat. Your investigations reveal the truth: Tychus’ former familiar, an ukobach, or Tinder Devil, has kept the forge’s flames alight in honor of his former master – “the most tolerable human I’ve ever met.” He tells you his name is Brextur and describes how Oppian Nevilindor (Kantaria’s governor) and Tychus Groat were best friends, despite their religious differences. However, when the Glorious Reclamation conquered Kantaria, as Groat was a staunch Thrune loyalist and Oppian was fighting alongside the Iomedaean knights, Oppian was forced to strike down his friend. He also tells you that in the chaos, he saw one of the townsfolk take Tychus’ famous hammer after his death – some “ugly bugger with a hooked nose.” He promises to help you in your mission, as a form of revenge for the death of his master.
  • The Sweetest Drop Inn. Loud and popular, known for the quality of its ale and the beauty of its keeper. You’re not sure which one the name refers to. The food here is delicious, unlike the tasteless fare at the Little Uskwood.
  • The Docks. Bearing a jug of Jana’s best ale (on the house for a certain handsome aasimar), Asriel ingratiates himself with the guards atop the entrance to the harbor. Unfortunately, by the time you wander over, the gates have closed for the night, but the now-tipsy guards promise to put in a good word for you with Jonas Reikman, the harbormaster.
  • Back to the Sweetest Drop Inn. Well, just Asriel, and Corva in an unsuccessful attempt at cock-blocking. Everyone else heads back to the Little Uskwood for some sleep.

Part 4: Monday (Moonday)

You continue to explore the town.

  • You hear rumors about a missing family, the Bradons, as well as bandits on the roads outside the town. The Glorious Reclamation sent a force after them, but was unable to find them. The bandits have kept their heads down for a week now.
  • Following up on the rumors, you head outside town to check out the Bradon homestead. By this time, their neighbors have begun working their land, but the house is unoccupied and shows no signs of forced entry or robbery. You find a purple mushroom near the gate – Regina identifies it as a spore from a myceloid. When asked about any place such a mushroom might grow, the farmers are able to point you towards the Blooming Caves a half-day’s journey northwest of Kantaria.
  • The Docks. You are waved through the gates with a wink by the guards to speak with Jonas Reikman. The man is a former river pirate, and you were hoping to find a potential ally in him. Unfortunately, while he is no true supporter of the Glorious Reclamation, he knows he can make more money working with the town’s new government than against it. The Glorious Reclamation would have loved to replace him as master of the docks, he brags, but Kalcyra the Just decided to keep him on as master of the docks simply due to his efficiency. “She knew that nobody could do it like I could. Dwarves, eh? Nothing if not pragmatic.”
  • Healthy Heart Alchemicals. You are delighted to find this shop filled with healing potions, as well as some useful lesser alchemical items like antiplague and antitoxin. Palaxia also buys vermin repellent after suspiciously eyeing up Regina’s giant bee companion. Linton Demeer, the owner, remains friendly but aloof.
  • Iomedae’s House. This modest one-room house was the mortal Iomedae’s home when she lived in Kantaria. Now for the price of 1 silver piece, visitors can get a short guided tour from Pious Pete, a historian of dubious credentials. You learn all about Iomedae’s lesser known acts, such as planting all the apple trees in Golarion, defeating a steam-powered gnomish machine using only a steel hammer in a race to cut a tunnel through a mountain, and eating 50 pancakes in one minute. Regina swears to take painful bloody revenge on Pious Pete and burn Iomedae’s house to the ground.
  • The Sweetest Drop. Again, only Asriel and Corva. Asriel learns an interesting bit of gossip – Oppian Nevilindor is helplessly in love with Loredana Viorica, so much so that he is willing to risk small infractions against his otherwise stringent moral code in order to gain her attention.

Part 5: Daddy Dearest

That night, while Asriel is taking his pleasure at the Sweetest Drop (with Corva sitting dutifully on the floor outside the door), Maledictus, Palaxia, and Regina are awoken by the sound of scratching coming from beneath the floorboards of the Little Uskwood. You track the sounds to the kitchen of the inn, where you locate a boarded-up door concealed behind a cabinet. Bob peered through the floorboards to see a floating creature that looks like the hollow skin of a male human. The upper-half is intact, but the lower half is in tatters. Choosing not to face this horror with only 60% of the party, they return to bed.

The next morning, Asriel is awoken suddenly by the loud drone of Regina’s bee hovering outside Jana’s bedroom window, staring in at them. He and Corva return to the Little Uskwood, and you all confront Loredana about what is going on.

“I see you’ve met my father,” she says wryly when you tell her that you heard clawing sounds scraping under the floorboards. When pressed, she elaborates: “Oh, we got into an argument, as families do. I hurled a kettle at him. I thought it would just scald his face, but there was acid in it. It melted away his lower body, and he couldn’t catch me before I ran upstairs and boarded him in there. He’s usually pretty well-behaved, but I think all these Glorious Reclamation folks got him riled up.”

You burst through the door with a crowbar and are immediately attacked by the creature. It enshrouds Corva, wrapping itself around her upper body like a tunic, and begins using Corva’s vocal chords to choke out barely intelligible words. “Forget all that is not suffering!” Corva utters in a voice that is barely her own as you are all blasted with negative energy.

The fight is long and dangerous, as every blow against the creature is also a blow against Corva. However, the creature seems most intent on finding Loredana, using any gap in your defenses to get closer to the inn’s exit. Zebub manages to grapple the creature off of Corva and delivers the killing blow – at which point the hate and pain controlling the skin disappears and it floats to the ground, stiff and dry as parchment.

Loredana is grateful enough to you to offer you the basement as your base of operations, as well as ownership of whatever you find down there. “My father shared Zon-Kuthon’s fondness for inflicting pain, I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff down there that you could use.”

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Dreams of the Yellow King VIII

Dreams of the Yellow King VIII

The pc’s now needed the last item on the list, an ambassadors night hags hearthstone. Charlie, Waldobert and Jacquez once again researched the information needed about where to retain such an item. They found they needed to go Dylath-Leen, a notorious city on the dream planes known to have every vice one can dream of. There is a powerful night hag that acts as the citys ambassador, she name is Quaveandra.
The group did notice a change in Waldobert. He seemly suspicious and judgmental. He would not hand out any extracts to his sons and friends.

The group buffed themselves and Charlie casted the hour ritual that lead them to the vice city of Dylath-Leen. The family appeared among a pitch-black alleyway. The alleyways walls were made of a series of endless tents. The majority of these tents were about twenty to thirty feet tall with an exhaust system at the top. Charlie was asking for help because she of course could not see. The group spotted all kinds of suspicious activity around them. One human lay on the ground babbling on nonsense.

Little Cuss went to go pick the mumbling man’s pockets but they were already empty. Bronn tried to identify what poison or drug he was or had used with no success. Charlie was about to light up a sun rod so she could see. Bronn noticed no light whatsoever lite this city. Bronn convinced Charlie to wait. Zugzug tried to solicit sex from a tent provider, he did not have denaors, which was the currency of this land. Zugzug showed her his coins and she dismissed him. They all heard a person approach them.

A tall human came up to the group and simply said “come with me.” The group was hesitant at first. Then he mentioned my master wishes to meet you. Bronn quickly asked who this person was. The human responded with Quaveandra with a quite tone.

Quaveandra knew the party was not from this world and wanted their assistance. Finding a neutral aligned political in her necks of the woods was rare. She pulled the pc’s in her personal tent. This is her base of operations as far as gathering information goes. She had numerous spells casts about her and her tent. The tent itself was a circular sitting arrangement with a small table in the middle. A hookah and some weird substances lay on the table. Zugzug decided to help himself.

Quaveandra told the group she suspects a betrayer within her elite guard. There has been quite a few attempts on her life lately! She said she wanted them to simply interview her four guard and find the traitor. All the while the newly addicted drug addicted Zugzug dancing preforming a belly dance. The pc’s asked about her hearthstone as a reward. She was hesitant but agreed finally.

The pc’s interviewed the four subjects all unique in their demeanor. They learned that Quaveandra trades in souls and she has many powerful enemies. The pc’s were finally able to sniff out the on loyalist. She implied to the group she had a trap set up and beckon the pc’s to join her cause of ambushing Quaveandra. A major discussion took place among the group. The result was they were going to help this person kill Quaveandra. She told them there was a switch which let out a poisonous gas that weakened the night hag. Charlie asked her about her ability to fight. She assured Charlie and the group of her qualifications.

Now the stage set the dimension door trap would trigger the moment Quaveandra walked in and sent them to another tent on the ethereal plane. The reason behind this is so the nigh hag could not ascend to this plane and get away.

The pc’s pressed their luck and found the poisonous gas was a little much for the PC’s so Little Cuss always had it off. The pc’s learned that the henchwoman was actually a grave knight. The battle was won by the pc’s with a few a scrapes and bruises. The team looted her and let the grave knight tear her apart!

Dreams of The Yellow King VIII
Status of Trip (Sellen Passage): Day 80, 916/1,250 miles traveled – Currently between Andoran and Taldor.

XP: 7,302 (Charlie/Zug Zug/Bronn/Waldobert @ 72,179 experience) – Level 10 [Fast Track]
XP: 7,302 (Jacquez should be @ 52,694) – Level 9 [Fast Track]
XP: 7,302 (Little Cuss should be @ 66,328) – Level 9 [Fast Track]

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Dreams of the Yellow King VII

Dreams of the Yellow King VII

The pc’s now had a choice of recovering the last two items on the list. The green stone idol of water lizard or night hag’s ambassador’s hearthstone. Waldobert, Jacquez and Charlie combined library combat powers and researched both choices. In the end the team decided to go after the green stone idol of the water lizard. The team assembled for the ritual that night. Charlie pulled off another ritual without failure!

Poof the team appeared in the middle of a huge feasting hall. Brawn and broad warrior of young and old, female and male all were drinking immense amount of ale. Loud yells of boosting and past exploits roaring over other ale enhanced ale tales. The large feasting hall’s north wall was fifty foot high. Unknown to the PC’s this was a sea wall blocking a portion of the large lake from overtaking the city of Sarnnath.

The crowd was very diverse by the way of dress. No one noticed the pc’s just appearing into the scene. Charlie tried to talk to a few folks but they were very drunk. A game of sorts seems to be popular in the room. A punching contest, the loser is the one knocked out. A partaker challenged Bronn to this contest and it was a one-sided contest as Bronn simplify knocked the guy out in one punch. The group got word of this was the 1,000-year celebration of the defeat of the aliens from the lake- the shades of Ib.

Just above the high decibel volume a shriek over took them all. The water from the lake started to come over the seawall. A pale green mist rolled from the upstairs and ascended down the stairs just behind four shades of Ib. Panic filled the room to those who still were not overly intoxicated.

Out of the mists came four shades of Ib. The fog trailing their heels. Muttered spellcasting rattled off within the mist. Lighting zapped from the air. The water level rose as time progressed, leaving passed out drunkard’s dead. The pc’s engaged the shades. Four will of the wisps came out of the mist. Chanting finally stopped within the mist and a larger priest ib became visible. A huge horrific scream filled the air for miles. Little Cuss knew something really bad was happening! An intense battle scene played out. The group’s main target now the priest with the green stone idol of the water lizard chained to its neck. The priest was taken down and everyone except Waldobert willed themselves back to the waking plane. Bronn was able to retain possession of the heavy idol before he willed himself out. In the next few seconds Bokrug showed up to crashed the party. Waldobert tried to fly away but Bokrug teleported to him dismantled him with his epic teeth, claws and tentacle beard. Upon waking up Waldobert felt very paranoid about everything!

Dreams of The Yellow King VII

Status of Trip (Sellen Passage): Day 77, 877/1,250 miles traveled – Currently between Andoran and Taldor.

XP: 8,313 (Charlie/Zug Zug/Bronn/Waldobert @ 64,877 experience) – Level 9 [Fast Track]
XP: 8,313 (Jacquez should be @ 45,392) – Level 8 [Fast Track]
XP: 8,313 (Little Cuss should be @ 59,026) – Level 9 [Fast Track]

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Dreams of the Yellow King VI

Dreams of the Yellow King VI

The next item the PC’s decided to go after was the tail. Charlie, Jacquez and Waldobert studied the next section they would have to travel to in the dreamlands. It turns out that they needed to go to the enchanted forest of the dreamlands. This area is known to be natures gigantic display of vibrant life and death.
Charlie was able to cast the ritual that allowed the team to arrive where the zoogs where. They were on a tall wide colossal sized tree branch. Huge leaves, moss, vines, and trees suffocate their surroundings. Upon arrival, the party noticed something amiss. No one put their finger on it until it was too late. Before they had their wits about them claws slashed out and struck Charlie.

The two tikbalang were searching for on a hunt for food when they found the PC’s. The engagement lead to Charlie clinking to life and Little Cuss was banished to another pane stuck in a maze. The team managed to take the male down but the female after sustaining critical wounds vanished.

The zoogs, tiny creatures that were semi-sentient came out of a small bored hole out of the tree. They crudely spoke common and thanked the PC’s for killing their predators. The conversation lead to the zoogs telling how many trees westward of this location they would find tree tigers. If the PC’s could recover the zoogs delicacy food, tiger meat they would award them with a prod tail. Bronn lead the way somewhat with the aid of Charlie and Waldobert.

Upon waking on the second day, a small poke of Bronn’s skin woke him fully. Small invisible fairies were trying to poison their larger opponents. Zugzug tried to use his sent abilities track them down. His peers thought this to be strange. The fairies attempted to use their secondary poison on the PC’s. Bronn was able to grab one of them and notice when he did the shadow of his hand blocked the bright sunlight. In the dimmer, light the fairies lower body was not invisible. Bronn called for the team to cover the light. Waldobert spread his wings and flew into the air. A few of the fairies became visible. Bronn squeezed one to death, after witnessing this the rest flew off.

Shortly after leaving the area the team ran into a human wizard tied up to a huge leaf. Little Cuss noticed in the vines that tied this person down there was a dismembered finger pinched in the vines. Little Cuss and Charlie came up with a plan to recover the finger and ring and executed it well. The team helped me recover. The wizard told the group those fairies need five humans for ritual sacrifice to return to their home world. He rewarded his rescuers with a few “crappy” spells. He also told them he was here on this plane hunting his rival. She comes here and kills an entire population of animals for their exotic furs. She then goes back to the prime material plane to sell them for a small fortune.

The party of adventures finally made their way to the tree tiger territory. They found five tigers one of which was the matriarch. The tigers attempted to ambush the group by climbing under the branches. The matriarch mauled Jacquez and got him in her mouth. Bronn noticed she was about to twist her neck throwing the little French rat off the branch. Bronn grappled the tiger and recovered Jacquez. Once the PC killed the tigers they cut up some of the meat to carry back to the zoogs.

The zoogs were happy to prize prod tails for tiger meat. The PC’s willed themselves off the plane and back to the their sleeping selves.

Dreams of The Yellow King VI
Status of Trip (Sellen Passage): Day 68, 760/1,250 miles traveled – Currently between Andoran and Taldor.

XP: 5,019 (Charlie/Zug Zug/Bronn/Waldobert @ 56,564 experience) – Level 9 [Fast Track]
XP: 5,019 (Jacquez should be @ 37,079) – Level 7 [Fast Track]
XP: 5,019 (Little Cuss should be @ 50,713) – Level 8 [Fast Track]

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