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 Post subject: Re: Campaign Diary
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:01 pm 
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Session 21

Real Date 5/11/16
Game Date: Calistril 5 to 6, 4708 AR

​Calastril 5

​The party write a letter to Mayor Grobaras (and a copy to his assistant), filling them in on the state of the Black Arrows and their need for new recruits, and that they will investigate the problem with the Storval Dam, then set off north, intending to spend the night at Fort Rannick. Ikari gathers the needed supplies.

Reolan advised the mayor to evacuate the townsfolk to Fort Rannick, which is high enough that it should avoid any floodwaters should the dam burst.

They reach Rannick after dark and fill in Jakardros and Shalelu on events in Turtleback, warning them to expect refugees from the town on the morrow, as well as the supplies Ikaru ordered. The party rests at the fort overnight.

Calastril 6

The party sets of for Skull's Crossing after breakfast, following the trackway through a gorge along the Skull River. They reach the dam about noon. They can see a massive breach near the top to the east - about the size of Black Magga - and Tiberiu realises the waters are high above the level of the sluice gates built into five large skull carvings on the dam's face. The gates are not working, and disaster is imminent unless the party are able to open the gates.

As the party observe the dam, Reolan reminds them trolls regenerate, and fire and acid are the only things that will prevent it doing so. Other than that they have no specific immunities, but he warns them that their vicious claws can rip someone badly if they both hit.

A stairway leads up the cliff from the path, ending in a cave a short way below the top of the dam. The stairs are obviously made for creatures bigger than humans, and are nowhere near as old as the dam. Conscious of the drop, the party ascends carefully.

In the cave at the top they are surprised by an ettin, a two-headed giant whose heads refer to each pther as Gorger and Chaw. It charges at them wielding two large morning star flails, shouting that it will accept no bribes, and will defend the dam for the Skull Taker trolls, and its weapons inflict heavy damage before it falls.

Belegar scouts ahead, finding another set of stairs leading from the cave to the walkway on top of the dam. From the shadows he spies a crew of half a dozen ogres chipping away at the stonework of the dam with their hooks while their boss rests on a block of stone and urges them to work harder. It's clear that it would take them a very long time to create a breach as big as the one on the other side of the dam.

The ogres seem preoccupied in their work, and the party is able to get to about 150 feet away from them before they are noticed. Reolan, in his air elemental form prepares to summon lightning, while Tiberiu is fast enough to sow confusion among the ogres with his magic before they charge the party. The ogres soon begin fighting among themselves, much to the disgust of their leader, who bashes a couple of them with the flat of his hook and orders them to charge the party. He moved on before realising they ogres he has hit are trying to attack him.

As the leader reaches the front of the mob of ogres, he's met by Tessera's sword, but without the backing of his ogre demolition crew he is outnumbered, and Tessera hurts him badly before Belegar shoots him down. The party sit back to watch the confused ogres finish each other off, being greatly amused when one starts throwing javelins at the sky after being struck by the lightning Reolan summoned.

The party find the surviving Skull Taker trolls barricaded inside the ancient building at the centre of the dam. Belegar climbs in through a 'window' (the eye socket of one of the skull carvings), and overhears the trolls moving around. But after he warns the party, they make too much noise clambering back outside to try to flank the trolls in a two-pronged attack, and a huge, armoured brute tears the inner door open and attacks the dwarf. The battle is brief and bloody. Tiberiu enchants Belegar to make him invisible - a stronger spell that the standard invisibility - while Reolan flies in to engage the others. The brute falls, Reolan's ball of burning tar ensuring he will not regenerate. Belegar, now unseen by the remaining trolls, rips one apart with Badger, his adamantine battle axe. For a moment, the party are stunned by the sheer effectiveness of an invisible dwarf, but seconds later a raging Tessera deals even more damage to another. The party destroy the remaining troll, then use their torches and oil to burn the bodies. They notice several ogre bodies in the room, and surmise the ogres must have travelled through the building, attacking the trolls, before trying to demolish the dam.

Searching the building carefully, the party finds a small stash of treasure hidden behind a loose stone near on of the trolls' nests, and a set of doors opening onto a stairwell leading down into the depths of the dam. Deciding the controls for the sluice gates must be deeper down, they descend.

The stairs open into a room containing a slimy pool, but they are an unaware that a water troll, a scrag, lurks in the pool. As they examine the algae, the scrag launches itself from the water and attacks with a nastily barbed adamantine trident, though they notice it winces or yelps every time it attacks. Only Aurora's healing keeps Reolan, Belegar and Tessera on their feet as the scrag launches a series of brutal attacks, but she can do nothing when the scrag's eyes fall on Papoy lurking in the corner. Ignoring the others, the scrag launches three devastating jabs at Papoy, and the gnomish bard falls, his small body torn and bloody.

The loss of their friend seems to spur new efforts in the party and Tessera tears into the scrag with her sword, forcing it to drop its trident. Within moments, the scrag lies dead, and the party burn its body with magic.

Aurora removes one of the reincarnation scrolls from her pack and kneels by Papoy's broken body. She spends several minutes chanting the prayer written on it. As her incantation draws to a close the gnome's body starts to twist and grow, for a moment seeming to assume the features and dimensions of an orc before the gnome's fey soul rejects that form and his body skrinks again, sprouting wooden wings as it settles into the shape of a gathlain, a wood pixie only marginally snaller than a gnome.

In his new form, Papoy seems weak, and Aurora sprinkles about half the party's supply of diamond dust over him as she recites another prayer to restore his life force to full strength.

After recovering the scrag's trident and other magical treasures from his body, they party explore the rest of the flood gate complex, finding an even more terrible foe in the flood control room - an ancient Thassilonion construct, a large scorpion-like creature crafted from skulls and the bodies of vermin. The creature is so fearsome Papoy immediately flees in terror. The scoprpion catches Tessera in one of its large claws after she charges it then jabbing her with the stinger in its tail as it squeezes her with its claw.Belegar backs out of the door, realising he can get behind the creature from another entrance, as Reolan summons a raptor-like lizard to distract it. Tiberiu's magic has no effect on it.

As Belegar enters behind the creature it gets a better grip on Tessera, then scuttles aside to grip Belegar in its second claw. Neither are able to break free as the creature plants a foot on Tessera and attempts to rip her head off. She roars in pain.

Aurora depletes the last of her healing surges keeping her team-mates alive, and Papoy - now in control of himself once more - re-enters the fray to cast invisibilty on her, allowing her to rush forward and use her most effective healing rituals to keep Tessera alive.

Belegar, against all odds, manages to wriggle out of the scorpion's grasp and moments later, so does Tessera. The creature quickly grips them again, but the distraction proves fatal. Already injured, it succumbs to Reolan's elemental slams and his lizard's bites. He falls to his knees in praise of the Frog, but everyone knows the real hero was Aurora, without whose aid there would have been no hope of victory against the ancient automaton.

Examining the chamber, the party discover it contains a detailed scale model of the dam, including pipes behind movable jaws in the skulls - which seem to be real, polished skulls in the model. It appears to be the floodgate controls, but no amount of manipulation seems to make it work.

Tiberiu speculates that the controls may need some form of mystical power, and in the next room - behind a pile of skulls in the scrag's lair - the party find the infernal engine that powers the gates. Two magical circles stand at either end of the room, one containing a greatly weakened devil, the other nothing but a pile of ashes. The devil - no one in the party recognises what type of devil - pleads for release from the circle in its infernal tongue, familiar to both Papoy and Tiberiu, in return for information about how the floodgates work.

It refuses to offer information first, and laughs weakly as Tiberiu attempts to dominate it through magic, warning him he simply doesn't have the command of magic to affect it.

But acting on a hunch, Reolan suggests summoning another, weaker devil into the second circle. He lacks the knowledge to do so, but for a healer, Aurora has some unusual powers, and she summons a weak lemure devil into the empty circle. There is a flash, both the lemure and the weakened devil vanish in a puff of ash and there is a grinding, as if of massive gears turning. Moments later there is the sound of rushing water, and the party realise they have opened the floodgates.

Turtleback Ferry and the surrounding villages are safe - at least from the threat of flooding.​​

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Pathfinder Society Venture-Captain (UAE)
Active games: Pathfinder - Rise of the Runelords. Pathfinder Society games.


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 Post subject: Session 22
PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:58 pm 
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Location: Dubai
Game dates - Calistril 7-12, 4708
Real date - November 23, 2016

​The party returns to Fort Rannick, where they meet with Shalelu, Jakardros and Ikari. The inncessent rain has turned to sleet. They let Jakardros know how the flood gates operate, using infernal soul power.

They rest overnight at Fort Rannick.

Calistril 7

In the morning the party send Aurora's familiar, Pufferol, to Turtleback Ferry to tell Mayor Shreed evacuation of the village is no longer necessary, but when Pufferol returns, he is accompanied by a pixie, Yap, who begs them to help his mistress, Myriana. Reolan recognises the name as the lover of the missing Black Arrows commander, Lamatar Bayden, who is connected with somewhere called Whitewillow.

Yap tells them Whitewillow is a woodland in the Shimmerglens, a marshland between the Willow River and the Sanos Forest. He says his mistress, who he confirms is a nymph, is sick - very sick - and Whitewillow is sick with her.

They party agree to help, and travel through the Kreegwood to the hamlet of Bitter Hollow, a dirty, shabby little place inhabited by trappers, furriers and fishermen. Nevertheless, among its rotting hovels is a small trading post which has some magic items for sale due to its trade with the fey of Sanos Forest. Papoy acquires a Wand of Faerie Fire, using party funds (750 gp).

The party ignore advice from the residents of Bitter Hollow to avoid the Shimmerglens, and point out to Yap that although flying might be quicker, not all of them can do so. They take the bridge over the the Willow River from Bitter Hollow, and find themselves on the Wicker Walk, a raised walkway crossing the marshes. Yap gets agitated halfway across the Wicker Walk and says the quickest way is still to fly straight to Whitewillow. Reolan reveals he can create a trail of lilypads allowing the party to walk through the marshes - truly, the Frog provides - and so they do so, with Papoy, Pufferol and Yap fluttering around them.

They see several eerie sights in their journey through the marshes - trees that look like skeletons pointing at them, a pool of water in which Papoy sees his reflected comrades as delaying, hungry corpses. A ghostly revel passes through the group, chilling Tessera to the bone.

The group passes but does not enter a mysterious derelict sea ship, then enters Myriana's rotting glade at the heart of Whitewillow. There the nymph arises from a pool of water, but she is clearly a ghost, with her ethereal arms dismembered, and her lower body vanishing into mist. She begs for help, and becaomes agitated, even a little hostile, when the party try to question her, but eventually asks them to return something of the body of her lover Lamatar to her. She says the ogres that killed her took him prisoner and dragged him away. They agree to do so, and the ghostly nymph disappears back into the pool.

While leaving the Shimmerglens, Belegar investigates the mysterious rotting ship. It is clearly an ocean-going vessel, and it is unclear what it is doing so far from the sea. Belegar finds it deserted apart from its long-dead captain, a skeleton dressed in a rotted and unfamiliar uniform of faded blue coat and once-white breeches, sitting at a harpsichord with papers clutched in one hand and a silver goblet in the other. Belegar encounrers a strange white dog, sitting watching him, when he returns to the main deck of the ship, but it is gone by the time he returns with his companions.

Investigating the captain's papers, the party discovers some of them are worthless charts of alien seas, but on the harpsichord is a folder of sheet music. Papoy sings it, and the the results are eerily beautiful. The group feels new vigor after hearing his rendition. They take the music and the silver goblet and leave.

They return to Bitter Hollow without further incident.

Reluctant to spent the night in such a run-down settlement, the party retreats back into the Kreegwood, where Papoy conjures a sturdy earth-and-wood cottage out of thin air, to the amazement of his his comrades. It rpoves to be well-constructed and secure, and they rest well. Belegar is particularly interested in how papoy made it, and how strong it is, but the bard's replies are cryptic.

Calistril 8

The next day they walk (and fly) back to Fort Rannick, where they tell the Black Arrows of their discovery and the need to find Commander Lamatar. Jakardros suggests the ogres may have taken the commander to their Hook Mountain clanhold. He asks the party to help the Black Arrows raid the clanhold, pointing out that with their forces depleted, the rangers will be unable to resist another attack from the Kreeg ogres, who remain a potent threat. The party agree.

Jakardros warns them it will be cold on the mountain, and issues them all with cold weather clothing.

Calistril 9

The raiders - the party, with Jakardros, Shalelu, Ikari and his riding dog Hikaru - set off at dawn. As they ascend the mountain, the sleet turns to snow and the path gets trickier. Fortunately, Reolan spots an ogre trail that skirts the worst parts of the ascent, allowing the group to reach the clanhold without resorting to climbing cliffs.

The entrance to the clanhold is a gaping cave in the side of the mountain. Smoke pours from it. The party are able to get quite close before alerting two burly ogre guards, who charge them only to be cut down.

The cave leads between the ribs of an ancient beast - a blue dragon, Reolan thinks - deeper into the mountain. The party notice the bones are covered with ancient carvings, some of them in the shape of the Sihedron rune. Past the ribs, they find a statue of a 40-foot tall black giant in gilded armour, wearing an enormous Sihedron medallion. The armour and medallion seem real, but upon exammining them the party realise that the statue is in fact an ancient corpse. When they remove the medallion the giant's corpse crumbles into dust, and the armour falls to the ground with a clatter. Belegar estimates it to be worth nearly 5,000 gp, but it is extremely heavy and the group decides to collect it on their way out.

Further down the passageway they find two ogres and a burly hill giant waiting for them at a crossroads. The guards are ready and waiting, having been alerted by the clatter of falling giant armour, and quickly call for help when they see how many intruders there are. Reinforcements arrive in less than half a minute, and even with Tiberiu's spells of confusion the party decide there are too many to handle at once. Reolan raises vicious stone spikes through the crossroads chamber, which holds some of the reinforcements at bay, and the party after finishes off those already present (or watches them kill each other), Reolan transforms into a stone elemental and he and the flying Papoy scout ahead. They find two passsages,, and hear chanting from one of them. They investigage and see three hags around a cauldron; Papoy recognises their giantish incantation as a charm to control the weather - it is they who have been summoning the incessant rains that have plagued the Hook Mountain region for weeks.

They return to their comrades, who crowd into the passageway so Papoy can block the reinforcements into their chamber by creating a stone cottage to block them in, then they party face a tough battle against the hags, who retaliate with magic and their vicious claws.

The hags defeeated, the party mop up the remaining ogre reinforcments, and find their chamber full of anvils andf part-made giant-sized weapons. A series of mine shafts lead deeper into the mountains, but Jakardros judges any ogres in the mines are too deep down to be a threat. His own tally of ogres killed so far indicates there can't be many of them.

But he points out they still haven't found Grolki Kreeg, the vicious ogre clan head.

They head down the last unexplored passage, to find it branches. The first branch they explore ends in some sort of shrine to Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters, but as they enter it an arrow flies out at them. The party glimpse a shadowy figure lurking in the darkness behind a statue of Lamashtu and move to flank it. The creature is a frosty corpse, with claws and a crown of ice, and burning blue eyes. Jakardros recognises his old commander - Lamatar Bayden has been turned into an undead monster.

it continues its implacable attack. Trying to keep as far from its life-draining touch as possible the party riddle it with arrows before Tessera moved in to finish it with her greatsword. They cut off the corpse's icy hand to return to Myriana before exploring the other passage.

They emerge into a huge throne room, open to the snow-laden sky. The passageway is flanked by two stone platforms, each occupied by a stone giant guard. One a throne at the far end of the room another large stone giants sits and broods, an ogre zombie beside him - Jakardros recognises the zombie as Grolki Kreeg. The enthroned giant gestures at the party and calls to his guards, "These mites have offended me - finish them!"

Their spells and resources already depleted by their battles so far, the party find the battle a tough one. Not only to the giant guards wield enormous clubs, but their chief hurls spells into the fray. Aurora, unable to get out of range of the large clubs, is caught and falls, but fortunately one of her colleagues has just enough healing magic to revive her.

After defeating they guards, the party moves in on the chieftain, who abandons his spellcasting in favour of blows from his massive earth-breaker.

To their surprise the giant wizard falls to his knees and begs for his life when he realises the party will likely kill him. They agree to his surrender in return for information.

He says his name is Barl Breakbones, and tells them he was sent to Hook Mountain by Mokmurian, a stone giant wizard who is amassing an army of different breeds of giantkin to sweep over the lowlands and restore the giants to the dominance they had enjoyed over lesser races when they served the Runelords of Thassilon in ancient times.

He showed them a letter from Mokmurian , written in Giantish on a piece of mammoth hide. In it, Mokmurian said he was sending a raiding party of giants under the command of one Teraktinus, accompanied by a dragon, to retrieve an ancient stone from Sandpoint and ordering Barl to be ready to cover their retreat if they were pursued. Barl said Teraktinus was a powerful warrior, one of Mokmurian's lieutenants, and the dragon was likely their ally, an adult red dragon named Longtooth. He said Mokmurian was looking for certain stones that may tell him where the 'traitor's grave' is located, but he

Barl gave up his magical items, and showed the party the Kreeg clan's loot, but begged to be allowed to keep his spellbook. He said he would head for the city of Kaer Maga, and would have no more to do with Mokmurian, who would likely kill him for his failure. The party accepted, and Barl left.​

EPILOGUE

​It is close to nightfall when the party exits the clanhold. Barl's footprints head down the mountain, away from the Storvalk Plateau, into the distance, rapidly filling with snow.

Jakardros warns the descent from the mountain will be perilous at night, and suggests blocking the mine tunnels and camping in the ogres' cave, but Papoy says he can create a stone shelter in the overhang in front of the cave instead.

Calistril 10

When the group awakes, the snow has ceased and, though it is still freezing outside, blue sky can be seen through the clouds. The hags' weather-charm has died with them. Jakardros shows them how to construct a sled, and they party begin loading their loot onto it before descending the mountain. By the time they reach the snow-line, they are close enough to Fort Rannick to fetch Belegar's mule and a cart. They rest overnight at Fort Rannick.

Calistril 11

The party sets off early to cross the Kreegwood and take Lamatar's hand to Myriana in Whitewillow. Jakardros travels with them. Travel is quicker without the rain, and they make good progress, reaching Whitewillow shortly after noon. When she sees her lover's hand, Myriana is overjoyed. She begins a spell Reolan and Aurora recognise - using the hand has a focus, she attempts to resurrect Lamatar. Reolan and Aurora tell their companions such an effort is doomed to failure, but even as they speak they notice the nymph's ghost growing fainter and fainter - it seems she is somehow investing her own fading life force into the spell. As she fades into nothingness, Lamatar rises. in a new human body.

Jakardros immediately kneels and offers the commander his baton of office again, but the former commander's eyes are wracked with torment. "I remember everything," he tells the party. "Being killed, returning as a frost wight, the need to kill you." He refused to take the baton, telling Jakardros he is now the commander of the Black Arrows. When Jakardros asks what lamatar will do, the former commander tells him he will go into the woods and try to keep them safe. "No one will recognise me in this body. Let Lamatar stay dead. I'll be an ally, if you need me, but I cannot lead men again."

It is with a mxiture of sadness and relief that the party returns to Fort Rannick.

Calistril 12

They party say their farewells to Jarkardros, Shalelu and their old comrade Ikari. Hikaru whines as they lead the cart out of the newly refurbished gates of Fort Rannick and head to Turtleback Ferry. They reach the village before noon. At ther docks, Captain Kirrik is waiting for them aboard her riverboat,, the River Queen.

The party must decide how to proceed. Somewhere to the north, a giant named Mokmurian is assembling an army, while somewhere to the west a rading party of giants - and a red dragon - is heading to Sandpoint, and the party has no idea when the raiders might reach the town.​

_________________
Pathfinder Society Venture-Captain (UAE)
Active games: Pathfinder - Rise of the Runelords. Pathfinder Society games.


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