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A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:18 am

Date:  30th of Sarenith, 4714
Location:  A day’s travel outside of Rodrick’s Cove, Varisia


So we spent hours last night searching for some elusive little bandits who stole some valuables during my watch with Elle.  Colin, Pyraxis and I were all fleeced.  There were a few, scattered tracks left behind. Drakes. . .  Great.  Unable to tell from their prints precisely which type they were, it was impossible to determine their preferred habitat and whether or not they were the bargaining type.  We searched forest and river to no avail.  Pyraxis, who lost something of particular value, was very upset and I feel very upset and apologetic for my part in the incident.  My watch after all. . .  I feel fortunate that he seems not to direct his ire at me.  Not everyone would hesitate to do so after such a loss.


Elements for further research:  

Reliable method of securing gear and/or campsite from pilfering.


Last edited by Penelope on Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Penelope on Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:27 am

Date:  13th of Erastus, 4714
Location:  Jorgenfist, Varisia

I feverishly write this while I wait for the Librarian to retrieve all the books it can find referencing ioun stones, for I suspect with great glee that I will have no time to do so for many, many days!!

We arrived at the great fortress of Jorgenfist in this early afternoon.   Growing up beneath the Irespan, you’d think I’d be more inured to such scale, but just as the Storval Stair stretched the reaches of my imagination and comprehension, so did my first sight of this place.  The gates, twenty feet high and ten feet wide, are flanked by two gatehouses of enormous proportion.  The walls themselves are at least forty feet thick and would be treacherous to attempt to scale on their own, but how much more so with the pair of giants whose great rocky heads poked up out of the gatehouses upon our approach!  

I explained that we came as friends, seeking knowledge and that we were led here by the writings our father, Brodert Quink.  Now honestly, I wasn’t sure how his name would be received at the time considering his reputation in Sandpoint and Magnimar, but as he lived to both enter and exit the library I considered namedropping was worth the risk of smashing.  Thankfully it paid off.  The giants retrieved their leader, Elder Conna, known as Conna the Wise.  She welcomed us in and named us ‘giant-friends’, giving us leave to stay as long as we desire.  We are welcome to go as we please as long as we do not disturb the Therassic Monastery, an enormous black tower (surely made from the same material as the Black Ediface!) just inside and to the right of the gate, with ancient and intricate designs denoting it of Thassilonian origin.  Whatever my curiosity, I have no intention of spoiling our goodwill with our new friends!

Elder Conna led us to a great pit in the center of the fortress and was about to start explaining the rules of the Library when she considered our journey and asked if we’d rather first have some food.  Food?  Food = ancient texts of long forgotten lore and troves of knowledge of incalculable value to me of course, but more importantly, to the Pathfinders and indeed, the entire world!  

Food…seriously…  

I spoke up and asked that perhaps we could see the Library first.  I was neither rude nor rash but as my opinions are wont to do, my suggestion drew immediate ire and shutdown from my sister and Drax, who told me in no uncertain terms that I would be eating immediately.  If they were all that desperately hungry I supposed I could wait a few more minutes.  It is my suspicion that Colin felt much the same as I, but he chose not to say anything on the matter.

Off we went to the Feasting Hall, where Elder Conna procured us some bits of something nourishing I’m sure – I was too preoccupied with my thoughts to notice.  She sat back and waited for us to conclude our meal so she could escort us to the Library.  Apparently, even though I was now eating, it was too fast for my sister’s liking and told me how I should be eating.  I ignored her and continued on.  In spite of Elle's efforts to take her place, my mother is not nearly so tyrannical.  

Finally, we began our descent into the pit along a wide and winding staircase.  Beneath the surface is where the true Jorgenfist lies!  Elder Conna detailed the rules of the Library as we approached.  Do not remove the books or any other items within the Library, for upon passing the threshold they will immediately feel the age of ten thousand years.  

Hearing that number on lips other than my father’s, still makes my chest swell, for he was touting that opinion for decades and called a fool for his efforts.  I am a proud daughter even if he never has yet gotten the credit for his research!

Taking anything other than our own notes and copies from the Library incurs the penalty of death.  This should not be a problem….most of us would choose death first before compromising something so precious as this cache of knowledge!

Inside, numerous glowing crystal lanterns hang from the sixty foot domed ceiling, which fills this circular room with most excellent reading light.  The walls are inscribed with innumerable runes and sigils, while many polished wooden tables and comfortable chairs surround a thirty foot wide shaft that rises out of the floor.  The central shaft contains the entire library’s inventory, and its walls, thirty feet wide and fifty feet deep, are stocked with books, tablets, scrolls and nearly any object upon which knowledge has been recorded and stored for posterity!  This is heaven, surely.  I have arrived in the Great Library of Harmonious Scripture!

Instead of Ambrethiel to guide us in our search, and in lieu of any ladders or stairs to peruse for ourselves, we are introduced to the Clockwork Librarian!  The undying, three-legged, smoke-belching, caretaker, sorter and assistant to those scholars in search of knowledge in this place, spoke first to us in Thassilonian and asked, "Which volume of lore would you like me to retrieve for you? There are currently 24,491 volumes, scrolls, pamphlets, and unbound manuscripts available. Please indicate your wish by author, title, subject, or date of acquisition by the Therassic Monastery."

My eyes are still puffy from the tears of joy.

Elder Conna told us the many languages (although not Common) with which the Librarian could communicate, and fortunately everyone was fluent in something it could understand.  I thanked the giantess profusely as she left us to our delving and if I don’t miss my guess, she smirked a little as she departed.  I’d like to think that our enthusiasm reminded her a bit of the quirky old man who visited those years ago.  

I wish he were here with us, but I think he would’ve been proud of how far we’ve come thanks to his writings.  I believe the most important thing that I learned from my father was to keep pressing on no matter the circumstances.  Don’t worry about what others think of you – if they speak down to you and call you a fool for what you believe or how you behave.  Be yourself, believe in yourself and believe in your pursuit.  As he always said, it’s not about the gold, it’s not about the accolades, it’s not about the power. . .it’s about the knowledge.

I miss you, Daddy. . .


Last edited by Penelope on Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:11 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post  Penelope on Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:32 am

Date:  13th of Erastus, 4714
Location:  Library of Thassilon, Jorgenfist, Varisia


There is so much to learn that I regret I have but one lifetime to devote to this study.  I cannot recall sleeping but I must have done so.  I cannot recall eating but my belly seems contented enough.  My companions are still about the room which is a good sign and Elle has been aiding me in the research of ioun stones.  Colin and Drax are pursuing their own particular points of interest and Pyraxis seems to have not moved from his position since I last looked up from the stacks….yesterday?  Last week?  I must make a note here to check on his well-being right after the Librarian brings me that next book.  After all, friends don’t let friends die of boredom.  


Elements for further research:  

Everything



Questions for contemplation:

Can oreads experience Bleaching?

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Post  Penelope on Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:35 am

Date:  26th of Erastus, 4714
Location:  Library of Thassilon, Jorgenfist, Varisia


Here are some of the most relevant bits learned this far:

The founder of Thassilon, the Azlanti named Xin, created the theory that the seven virtues of rule – charity, generosity, humility, kindness, love, temperance, and zeal – coincided with the seven Azlanti schools of magic – abjuration, transmutation, illusion, evocation, enchantment, necromancy, and conjuration.  His philosophy, which in practice became the foundation of Thassilonian magic, was that the latter flowed from the former.

Central to Xin’s philosophy was the seven-pointed star, or Sihedron rune, which reflected each of the seven virtues and seven schools.  By focusing on one virtue and one school while abstaining – in both virtue and magic – from the two points opposite it, a practitioner could grow exponentially in power and virtue.

Xin soon after discovered a third conduit that pointed to his theories being accurate, and this one came from the heavens:  the seven skymetals.  Each of the seven skymetals adapted perfectly with one of the seven schools of magic, prompting Xin to make the individual skymetals representative symbols of Thassilonian magic.

Less than a half-century after founding his new empire, Xin summoned the greatest practitioner of each school of Thassilonian magic to him and required of them the fashioning of seven unique ioun stones.  Each ioun stone was to embody the rudiments of the seven schools, and they were to be crafted from magically-created skymetal of the appropriate variety pertaining to the magic school.  These were given the name Sihedron Stones.

After the completion of the Sihedron Stones, Xin used them as a key to link the seven points of a powerful artifact he created and called the Sihedron.  This artifact, which the emperor wore at all times, became the first enduring magical legacy of the Thassilonian Empire.

There are references in numerous documents written by different Runelords or their scribes that to overthrow Xin, the shattering of the Sihedron would be necessary.  In one document, accredited to the hand of Runelord Xanderghul, it states that each shard should be hidden where it could never be found, by the Runelords that know them best, but I could find nothing more specific on the matter here in the library.


Elements for further research:  

Skymetals and their corresponding schools of magic

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Post  Penelope on Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:59 am

Date:  2nd of Arodus, 4714
Location:  Library of Thassilon, Jorgenfist, Varisia

Types of skymetals:

1) Noqual – pale green crystalline.  A light metal but strong.  Known to be resistant to magic
2) Inubrix – known as ‘ghost metal’.  Passes through iron and steel, warping reality around it.  Softest of the skymetals.
3) Djezet – rust red.  Liquid at all temperatures, though alloys can be made with difficulty.  Good for enhancing magic.
4) Horacalcum – dull and coppery.  Rarest of the skymetals.  Known to warp time.
5) Adamantine – black metallic.  Most common and yet most valuable skymetal.  Known for strength.
6) Abysium – glowing blue-green substance.  Known as ‘feverstone’.  Source of great energy.  Known to make subjects ill and eventually die if too much time spent in contact.  Used to create toxins.
7) Siccatite – silvery metal.  Very hot or very cold to the touch.


Reference chart for future study:





Through the research so far, we were able to determine that the ioun stone found in Ravenmoor is made of horacalcum and may very well be the Sihedron Stone associated with Illusion.  Could this actually be one of the keys used to link the Sihedron shards created by Xin?!  If so, then were might its corresponding shard now hide?


Elements for further research:  

Lissala – her tenets, worship and followers
Therassic Monastery
Ghlaunder - Thassilonian connections and particular regions of worship, might these regions overlap with the Churlwood and/or Xanderghul's domain?
Find a map of the seven Thassilonian domains

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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:04 pm

2nd of Arodus-
The research continues apace, spearheaded by Penny and aided by Colin and Elle despite their limited resources to understand Thassilonian. Colin looked into the history of undead; he seems obsessed with finding the origin of undeath. His research found that undeath existed at all time periods he examined, eventually discovering that it predated Thassilon. He did however find out a great deal about an array of undead creatures.

As the days and nights of research dragged on even my lengthy meditations gave way to boredom. I disregarded my earlier caution and entered the other parts of the fortress we had not been forbidden to go. My appearance helped ensure that I was not trampled, though I think the command of their mistress would have more than sufficed in ensuring my well-being. I eventually found some smaller giants who were willing to spar, and though I lost every bout, I learned much about fighting creatures larger than myself, something I have precious little experience with. One of them showed me around other places in the fortress, and she taught me much of stone giant culture. I will forgo relating the rest of these events as the knowledge being uncovered in the library would be of far greater interest for our record.

On the 9th of Arodus the researchers reluctantly determined that it was time to head back. Though many thousands of volumes still beckoned to Penny, our obligation to the Society and to our patron meant that our time at the library had to come to an end. We took the path back past the Storval Stair, and did encounter and ambush by 2 ogres. Colin acquitted himself very well, dodging and weaving past many of the ogre’s blows before dispatching it.

We arrived back in Magnimar the evening of the 1st of Rova and reported back to Sheila. Although she was interested in what we had found at Jorgenfist, she was very glad we had returned at that time as she had a time sensitive mission for us, and thought she may have to contract it out if we did not return in time. She bade us rest for the night and report in the morning. I retired as requested, while Colin and Elle went to a tavern for their rest.

The following morning we assembled and Sheila laid out our charge. A woman named Natalia Vancaskerkin had contacted her and stated that the Scarzni gang she was affiliated with was on the cusp of obtaining something of great interest to the Society, something that was related to Thassilon. She has agreed to work as a double agent on behalf of the Society, but had since disappeared. Apparently her Scarzni cohorts were also looking for her.

Sheila was most interested in what Natalia had been promising her- actually finding her was a secondary consideration, but one that would also still be rewarded. We were to keep our investigation quiet as well, and not reveal that Natalia was working as an informant. Sheila felt our low profile in the city should help in keeping our activities covert. Sheila did not know which gang Natalia was affiliated with, but she did give us a rundown of the six major Scarzni gangs: The Creepers, the Tower Girls, Dulin’s Lads, the Gallowed, the Washside Wringers, and the Wreckwash Blades, with the Gallowed recognized as the most powerful.

Natalia used the services of The Amazing Zagrathia, a fortune teller/entertainer in Washer’s Row, as a go between, a middleman between the Scarzni and outsiders. He may be a promising lead. She also told us of rumors a band of Nidalese slavers taking captives from the ranks of the homeless and destitute in the Dockway and Underbridge districts, as a possible reason that Natalia may not have reported. The meeting between Sheila and Natalia was to occur 3 days prior, so the trail may be growing cold.

We opted to speak to Zagrathia first, and went to his tent set up in a carnival-like area in Washer’s row. I told Colin we could expect to pay the “Seer of the Dark” about 20 gp for the information we needed, but Zagrathia opened at 50. Colin countered at 30, and Zagrathia immediately accepted.

He said he had not heard from Natalia for some time- weeks. She had not been heard from by the Scarzni for at least 6 days….she has dropped off the map. She had been affiliated with the Tower Girls, a gang of all-women cat burglars. They are searching for her, and if they find her, she will be in very deep trouble. He did not know what she did to earn their enmity. He also repeated the stories about folk in Beacon’s Point and Underbridge disappearing in the night, some right from their beds. Elle decided to have her fortune read before we departed, and he did put on a good show. We then took our leave and contemplated how to proceed with such slim leads.
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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:12 am

Date:  2nd of Rova, 4714
Location:  Dockway, Magnimar

The information we gleaned about Natalia Vancaskerkin from “The Amazing” Zagrathia was pretty meager.  Three investigative options present themselves:  First, look into recent high-end burglaries in the wealthier districts.  Maybe someone reported an artifact stolen.  We can canvas the streets for such info as well as speak with the guard at the Arvensoar.  Second, seek out the Tower Girls and/or their hideout.  They would surely have more insight into the Thassilonian object with which Natalia absconded.  Third, gather more information on the disappearances in the poorer sections of the city and the possible Nidalese connection.  It doesn’t seem likely that the disappearances from Beacon’s Point, Underbridge and Dockway are in any way related to the Tower Girls and the missing double agent and the stolen object, but since both the Venture-Captain and Zagrathia mentioned the business, it can’t hurt to check things out.  We opted to first deal with the disappearances since we’re currently in Dockway.

We began by doing a general canvas of the district and came up with various rumors, but nothing substantial.  Generally people agree that there have been some individuals disappearing from alleyways, darkened corners of the city and even their beds at night, but no one knows of anyone specifically. . .  A friend of a friend heard from a guy that his neighbor’s second cousin twice removed once ate lunch with a man whose daughter’s teacher’s son went missing.  Honestly. . .  This isn’t much to work with!  Our *cough* best *cough* lead came from an infinitely shady fellow who told us there was a rumor of a pick up for a slave run in the Dockway tonight.  The meeting point is to be in an old, boarded up shoreline tavern named the Puffy Pelican.  

The decrepit old tavern lives up to the hype.  We checked it out surreptitiously and found no activity in or around the place, so we opted for a closer look.  The front door is boarded up as are all the windows.  A back door can be accessed by a porch/balcony which juts its rickety frame over the bluff about eighty feet from the harbor below.  The roof was stable and a chimney – not recently used, afforded an entry to someone the size of a gnome.  So Elle made me the size of a gnome.  I’m not gonna lie, that was fun.  REALLY fun.   (Note:  Look for every opportunity to squeeze down a dark, cramped space)

Inside the puffy old bird was little more than dust and no footprints but my own.  It was all rather disappointing. . .  Before we left, Pyraxis weakened an area in the back wall.  Just in case.  I’m starting to believe that normal portals are a personal affront to him.  Maybe I’m a little jealous. . .   If it comes down to me and a wall – wall wins every time.  I think he’d much rather bash through the walls until the walls figure out a way to just let him through without being destroyed in the process!  If anyone can manage that, it’s him.  He’s quite tenacious.

With plans to come back later in the day, we went off to find some food and perhaps some fences who may have heard of a certain item or artifact needing to be moved.  The Old Fang was our first stop.   We all looked at Colin when we saw the name.  It wouldn’t be a terrible nickname for him.  He is old after all, but he might find that offensive.  

The first thing I noticed upon entering, was the GIANT barracuda on the wall.  GIANT!  I imagine that’s where this place got its name. . . .  Probably tales going back a hundred years of this old gnarled fish that kept stealing catches and gnawing holes in nets to get its meal. . . .  I bet some claimed that a child or two was dragged under by that monster and chomped up in one gulp never to be seen again!  One day this old bedraggled fisherman – we’ll call him Scabby Jim, hooked the enormously toothy catch, luring him in with an entire horse’s haunch.  Well Scabby Jim was in for the fight of his life!  The fellow was sick of his livelihood being snatched away by the cold-blooded monster, but he surely had second thoughts when Old Fang jerked so hard on the line that Scabby Jim flew overboard and splashed into the drink with the killer himself!  No Scabby Jim, NOOOO!!  For the first time, our fisherman got a good look into that one scarred, yellow eye of Old Fang and that would be the last thing he was to see.  Three days later, Scabby Jim washed up on the shore – stuck fast in the belly of the giant barracuda, with his bloated, white legs dangling out of its mouth.  When his wife, Belching Bertha identified the octopus and anchor tattoo on his left calf, she buried her husband and had the mammoth, toothy fish stuffed as the figurehead and namesake of the tavern she would soon operate.  Scabby Jim’s final – and greatest catch.  

I bet that’s how the story would’ve gone if Belching Bertha were more amicable. . .

After the Old Fang, we visited an especially seedy tavern called the No-Horn.  We didn’t see anyone missing a horn, but we did speak to a man with no ears.  He said we wouldn’t find any fences in the lower city that would take such collectors’ items.  All of that would be done “up top”.

About five o’clock we went back out to the Puffy Pelican to begin our stake out.  It’s been four hours now and I’m not sure anyone will show, but on the upside, it gives me some additional time to read!


Elements for further research:  

The Old Fang – history of fish and tavern

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Post  Penelope on Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:13 am

Date:  3rd of Rova, 4714
Location:  Matador’s Lodge, Capital District, Magnimar


It was just after midnight when we  noticed the boards of the back door being pried off.  What was prying them off we couldn’t see.  Someone using Invisibility!  We saw lights flicker to life inside of the building, but we waited, expecting some sort of meeting to take place here.  We waited for quite a while. . . .  Nothing.   So in we went.  In the push to go inside, I was jostled and my glasses fell off!  I didn’t hear the spell being muttered while I scrounged on the floor for my specs, but I did see the hazy outlines of a rainbow blast through my companions, two of which immediately fell to the ground unconscious.  Not so good.  Pyraxis leaped toward the man – a wizardy type who was now visible, but the fellow shot another Color Spray and then Pyraxis fell unconscious.  Even worse.

Thing is, I recognized this guy. . .  I saw his mug on a wanted poster hanging up in Dockway.  He’s wanted alive by the watch for various sundry crimes and the price on his head is a hefty one hundred gold pieces!  

So there I was, just me and this nefarious criminal!  He was feeling pretty confident in himself as you might imagine and he started mouthing off about how we were about to be given as slaves to the Consortium!  The ASPIS CONSORTIUM!?!?  As soon as I heard that name, I forgot my fear and felt only rage.  How dare he try such a thing!!  How DARE he!!!  Slaves to the filthy Aspis, we will not be!!  ( I know what you’re thinking, but that flag is just a cover. . .)   Now I’d like to say that I took him out single handedly.  I’d like to say that I bested him with wits and steel.  Really, I just made myself an overall nuisance to the man and survived until my entirely more battle-capable companions woke up.  That’s the truth of it, but hey, we all have our strong points and my strongest point is my quill, not my spear.

After the fugitive came to we learned that the whole business with the Nidalese slavers,  and the rumor about the Puffy Pelican was a complete fabrication and set up, meant to lure in “do-gooder” Pathfinders to then be captured and handed off to the Aspis.    From the sound of it, he didn’t have any particular agents lined up to which to deliver us, but if the Aspis are putting bounties on our wayfinding heads, that could be a problem.  

In spite of the hour, nearing on to three in the morning, we dragged our catch to the Arvensoar and turned him in for the bounty.  We spoke with Officer Kasadei there, who confirmed that there indeed had been disappearances over the last few weeks, so at least that part of the rumors was true.  However, the people that had gone missing have been located and returned to their families, only – they returned with no memories.  Furthermore, it was not the poor homeless that were taken, but workers, merchants, shopkeepers and business owners that didn’t come home from work or were abducted from their beds.  Most of them, now devoid of their memories, were found as bums on the street.

Even though these people have been located and no other disappearances have been reported lately, Officer Kasadei doesn’t feel that this mystery has been brought to a close.  Abduction and memory wiping?  That doesn’t bode well.  If we discover who is behind these disappearances and what has happened to the victims, Officer Kasadei has promised us one thousand gold in payment!  The victims’ families have been told to report to the Arvensoar if any memories start to return, so she said there is no need to bother the families further.   I’m not sure I agree, but this is her party and we were just invited.  We’ll have to see how things play out.

She was also able to give us some information about Natalia and the Tower Girls.  She said there had been relatively recent trouble with the Wreckwash Blades, so the Girls left their hideout and moved into a new one – an abandoned warehouse in Underbridge.  It has been some time since then and Kasadei believes they have since moved again.  She said that the warehouse isn’t as abandoned as it seems however, as it is also the home to a disreputable character named Fenster the Blight, who has lived there before the Tower Girls and since.  He is rumored to do odd jobs.  She suggested he might know something and gave us directions to the warehouse.

That will be a job for later. . .  For the next few hours we’re going to need some sleep.


Elements for further research:  

Possibility of Aspis bounties on Pathfinders
Connection between those abducted – perhaps Officer Kasadei would have more information concerning this.  Why were they chosen?  What are the commonalities?

***

Date:  3rd of Rova, 4714 (Cont’d)
Location:  Shady shack, Underbridge, Magnimar

After eating lunch, we headed off to find Fenster the Blight.  Mom was right. . .   Even in the day, Underbridge is not somewhere you want to go for a stroll.  I’m glad the Vanguard is here with me!  

In a partially collapsed building on the shoreline, we found our quarry living inside, beneath a makeshift shelter of skiffs and sails.  Outside of this shabby structure stood a sign, “Leev a gift and wate outsid”.  Beneath the sign was a table with an empty tin platter.  

I’d read of this before.  In some seamy circles, if you need information or a job done, you leave a gift in the plate and wait outside the informant’s place of residence until they come out.  If they accept the gift, they will aid you.  Never thought I’d use that particular bit of knowledge. . . .

Elle dug through her pack and pulled out a vial of vermin repellant.  Appropriate.  When Fenster emerged from his hovel, we realized why he is called “The Blight.”  He looks like he’s been ravaged by any number of sicknesses and/or infestations.  One good peeper peered at us suspiciously, but he accepted the gift.    We asked him about the Tower Girls and he said that he didn’t know where they’d gone, but that they’d be back eventually.  He hasn’t seen them in a couple of weeks.  When asked about Natalia Vancaskerkin, he said he knew her well and had even seen her recently!  In order to divulge that information however, he demanded that he be presented with another gift worth at least one hundred gold.  Ouch. . .  We stepped aside to discuss the matter and opted for one of the pearls that we’d collected in our very first mission in the Kortos Lunar Grotto.  It wasn’t worth one hundred. . . . more like fifty, but he didn’t need to know the specifics.  It was valuable.  

Fenster accepted the second gift and was able to tell us that he’d seen Natalia frequenting an old, dilapidated building at the easternmost edge of Underbridge.  This was the best news EVER!  Fenster said we could trust him and in spite of the exterior, I believed him.   I was so pleased about this solid lead, that I gave him a third gift and corrected the spelling on his unfortunate sign.    Wouldn’t it be great if he could be a trusted informant for the Wayfarer Vanguard?!  I shook the man’s hand heartily with the hope we could cultivate this relationship.  Fenster the Blight could prove to be a wealth of information regarding the underbelly of Magnimar and the shady goings-on in Underbridge!

For now, we’re off to hunt down Natalia – and that mysterious Thassilonian item.  

<Entry to be continued. . . .>

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Underbridge - Magnimar

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:01 am

Rova 3rd 4714


Having discovered what we assumed was Natalya’s hideout, and defeated her lookouts… we then decided to do a little reconnaissance. The building was in very poor shape. Truthfully, in my travels I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a place so ramshackled. There were two doors. One unexplored, and one that the guards came out of.  Going on the assumption that a place run by a cat burglar, sczarni, thief… would undoubtedly be trapped beyond belief, we decided to check the door that these two had just left from.

This was uneventful. The door led to a small room with no further other door to the building. A simple guard shack… After looting our enemies, we drug their bodies into the room. Should help avoid any passerbyers noticing us. That left us the other door. Elle was unable to spot any traps, so we opened it up.

Inside, was a massive stench the likes of which… I hate to say we’ve encountered all too often. The floor inside had collapsed into a sewer pit filled with Magnimar’s filth. A thin board stretched from our door across to another door precariously. Pyraxis and I both looked toward Elle. She asked if I wanted to go first…. I told her that if this was my hideout, that thin board would be leading to  a trapped or at least locked door… and that was all her. Examining options, I laid them out as thus. 1) We could search that other guard room for a secret door. 2) Elle could try to cross… and I think we all knew she would fall in. Not to be insulting… but it seems her lot in life is to fall at the worst times and if there was filth… it seemed to have a vendetta against her, or 3) Pyraxis could smash us a new door further up the way. We decided on Pyraxis.

Pyraxis… really seems to enjoy this. I mean, it’s one thing to do something that needs to be done… or even to do things because you’re good at it. However, this man seems to relish any opportunity where he can smash through a wall and leaps at the suggestion. I almost feel diminished because I tend to rely on doors

He counted off the paces he felt he would need, and sure enough burst through the wall into the next room, allowing us to bypass the threat of the precarious balance beam… and startled two goblins with massively large crossbows for their tiny frame. This room was another one with a sunken sewage floor… but at least this one had a thin edge we could carefully walk around. The goblins however, were all the way across. Elle moved into the room with intent on bombing them, and checking the next door for trap. Pyraxis? Rather than work his way around the narrow ledge while dodging crossbow bolts, He ran around the outside of the building to where the goblins were… and smashed through THAT wall. In the meantime… more goblins came from the bypassed room. Elle took a heavy crossbow bolt to the shoulder… and then the other goblins got her. The new opponents had something… that I will refer to as a ‘filth bomb’. Stinking bags full of… filth and mixed with broken glass shards. Elle took one to the chest. Any empathy I had for her state passed as I moved to intercept them and lost my footing on the ledge. I was hit with one filth bomb… and I ended up completely submerged in the … basement.

Pyraxis is strong… but he is not fast. Elle was in bad shape and struggled to get into the next room before the crossbows got her, I was trying to fend off the newer goblins. Three of them, though one went after Elle after I went swimming. One fell in the goop itself, but it seemed rather at home there, and while I was hindered by the 3’ deep filth, it swam through it with no difficulty.

About that time, Pyraxis remade his grand entrance. I heard both goblins scream, and one scampered away through a hole in the wall… one was crushed by a giant boot. Elle had successfully gotten through the door and found herself in a similar room with the goblin that escaped Pyraxis. She was not at her best with throwing bombs, I heard many explosions yet few death screams…

Between the three of us, we eventually killed them all. The floors were destroyed… and the ceilings weren’t in much better shape. Many large missing areas, while just rafters showed above us. Going through Elle’s door got us nowhere. It led to a single step or two of solid ground and then the pool between us and the ladder. We retreated toward the first hole that Pyraxis had made.  I had a difficult time getting out… but worse yet, Elle had a difficult time getting back. We both ended up in the filth. With much difficulty, I was able to help Elle out and Pyraxis lowered a rope for me. I suspect that is the last we’ll see of that rope. Pyraxis doesn’t reuse much of his gear after our sewer adventures. I can’t blame him for that… I don’t what I’ll do with mine. EVERYTHING was submerged… Elle may have a trick to clean them, we’ll see later.

Heading over to the second hole that Pyraxis made, and finding a third where he tried to follow the Goblin into the room Elle was in… We ended up making yet another hole. There were actually doors here… but the goal seemed to be to wade over to them, and climb out to use them… and none of us felt like doing that, especially Pyraxis because 1) He had yet to fall in and was still mostly clean… and 2) He can rip through walls.

In this last room, we find a stone fireplace which has a ladder in it leading up to the rafters. It also seems to be the one structurally sound thing here. From there we can hear a decidedly female voice call down to us, threatening us with death for killing her minions. I asked if she was Natalya and claimed that we came in peace. The voice was haughty and when we mentioned Sheila’s name, Natalya didn’t seem to impressed.

So I started to climb the ladder. At the upper side, there was a 10x10 platform, and a whole lot of open rafters. Our purpose here WAS one of peace. Our goal was to help her with her troubles, and learn about her mysterious item. She was also rather pretty. So I tried to turn on some charm. Truth be told, I really would rather discuss this whole thing over a few drinks in a bar rather than dancing on rafters over pools of filth. My charm fell on deaf ears however. Either, she was as crazy as the rumors had told us, I simply wasn’t her type, or I don’t strike my usual dashing and mysterious self after being submerged in raw sewage. I try not to take any actual offense at my overt rejection.

Did I mention she was nimble? I had truly not seen someone as graceful of she was in any of my years… even in Greengold. I did everything I could to avoid my inevitable fall back into the ick, where she danced and jumped between rafters like she was born there. She had two goblins with bows up there with her… less graceful of course, but more practiced. She also had pet stirges… which I’ll admit brought back unpleasant memories, and lessened her appeal.

It took the others a long time to get up here and back me up… possibly letting me try diplomacy… or not wanting to get me killed… but when she greased my platform, and the goblins started shooting, and the stirge (one died fast) started draining me, I was pleased to see Pyraxis get up there. Until Natalya cast a charm on him. That… always ruins my day. Elle it seemed had stacked some boxes in the goblin cubby to reach the rafters from a different route. She fell once but landed on the boxes and got right back into it.

I tried to stay away from Pyraxis and hoped the Grease would slow him down, all trying to shoot goblins and talk to the Tower Girl. I did well for a while, the goblins died… I think, but eventually I pushed too far and fell again.. I activated my divine judgement and tried to get a door open. My plan was to shoot my grappling arrow at her and pull her down where we could fight more fairly… However, like before, the ground around me crumbled every time I tried to climb and that was the end of my usefulness. The rest is second hand information.


Natalya has some kind of magical aptitude. Besides the grease I was hit with… twice, she also hurled some acid splashes around. Elle threw a thunderstone and deafened her… thus ending any kind of admittedly futile negotiations. Apparently she was able to summon up a wall of fire that curved around dramatically cutting her off from view. Elle saw through the illusion, Pyraxis did not… nor did it matter. He hurled a sling stone through the flames and smashed her in the head. She fell from the rafters into the filth (on the other side of the wall/door from me) and Elle dove in to rescue her. Pyraxis used the ladder. Shortly we were back at Pyraxis hole #2 looking in at Elle wrestling with Natalya in the sewage… Ahhhh Underbridge. It’s everything I’ve been told…

Apparently in an effort to keep her alive, Elle had healed her with a wand. Unfortunately she healed her too much and the fight was back on. Our girl was stabbed a bit with knife, but she still had a poisoned sickle that dropped her back unconscious. Then the Goblin Snake attacked.

Filthy disgusting creatures… at first I thought it was a naga… but nope, Giant snake with a goblin head. The worst parts of both creatures. Elle was floating her tied up prisoner back to us, when it sprang out screaming that ‘It was mine!!!,’ Personally I wasn’t sure what ‘it’ was… but it wasn’t much of a guess to assume that it meant the item that started this whole adventure.

Elle was a beast with that Sickle today, and with little effort she followed my suggestion to separate the goblin and the snake halves. Those things don’t go together… separate them!

From then the night actually went downhill… Despite her success, Elle’s mood turned very sour. I know how badly she hates being dirty, so this must be a personal hell for her… so I let most of her insults and demands go by. Pyraxis helped us out of the sludge (Elle first, and quickly, and we were useless… apparently) Then we try to decide what to do next. When asked if she had the mysterious item… her response was rude and arrogant. My own patience was worn thin at this point, but I do try to keep group cohesion when I can. Still, we were carrying one unconscious body right now… Two wouldn’t be that much more trouble.

I eyed her suspiciously for the most part, and even Pyraxis questioned me about her new attitude. My response? “Either she has the item and it has driven her mad like Natalya…. Or she’s just had a rough night in the sewers. It was too soon tell”

Leaving the house, we were tired and sore, and really rather ornery… but the night wasn’t over yet. Three thugs led by another young lady demanded our attention. We were to leave Natalya with them, and give them whatever was taken from her. None of us really wanted this fight, so I did the first thing I could think of, and that was to stop Elle from pushing THEIR buttons.

I lied. I lied quick, and I lied well. I told them that a goblin snake had attacked us and swam off with the mysterious item. She eyed me for a long moment, then nodded in belief. If we were lying, she’d hunt us down or something… but they still wanted Natalya. That was a sticking point for me and I bartered back that she was our prize for a horrible fight. We couldn’t leave empty handed. The fight seemed unavoidable, and Elle asked why we didn’t just fight it out. I responded with “I’m just stalling till you bomb that cluster of thugs there!” Her response was the poignant “Don’t tell me what to do!” But she did throw a bomb in their direction.  The woman pulled out a hand crossbow and dropped Elle to the street. Right about now, I was missing that Judgement I wasted before. I was right next Elle, so I used a wand to wake her up, and Pyraxis charged.

We were outnumbered… and we were not at our best… and this fight was over much quicker than it should have been. Elle was back up, but they moved like a well oiled unit, while our cohesion was falling apart. Pyraxis did everything he could to avoid being flanked, but to no avail, and he dropped next. Once finished with him, the swarm descended on Elle and I. I followed Pyraxis soon after. Elle, I hear later immediately surrendered our prisoner with the claim “I don’t care about her at all! Take her!!” She was informed that only the woman was smart enough to survive…. So if she/we were still here when they came back, she/we would be killed.

On a separate note… I once said that I didn’t hold much animosity toward the Tower Girls. They were cat burglars who robbed people of possessions… not killers and monsters like my usual list of ‘must kill’. I don’t exactly hold that position anymore.


Elle healed Pyraxis and then myself. I was not pleased at all that she sacrificed Natalya. I called for a group vote. Now that we were healed, should we leave as instructed, or rescue the girl. Elle immediately chose the self-serving choice and wanted to go get clean and rest up. Pyraxis unfortunately agreed with her. I was outvoted and group cohesion was stretched thin. I am not the type to leave people to be murdered… or tortured. I desperately wanted a second chance at them. However, there is desire… and pragmatism. While we may be condemning her to a terrible fate… We were weak. Our resources were low. I was out of spells and judgements, Elle had to be low on bombs. There was no real sense of success if we started another fight right now. Still, Elle could have phrased things better, and my mood was only getting worse. She insisted on going to the Captain's Quarters… or whatever that most expensive of inns was, and I just laughed. As if they would allow any of us enter in our current state (Pyraxis was still the cleanest, but he did carry Natalya to the street.) First stop for any of us was a bathhouse. She thoroughly believed that SHE would be allowed there, though the rest of us probably wouldn’t. Though she did begrudgingly consent to a bathhouse. Another indication she wasn't the Elle we were familiar with.

Pyraxis was kind enough to track down some more clothes for me, while Elle purchased some magical cleaning. Something I may look into for the rest of my stuff. The clothes? They are destroyed now. I don’t grow that attached to them.

After much more debate… during the which, I highly suspect that we may be disarming and restraining our normally reasonable ally. Now that we are clean,  and she is still a jerk,  I believe she is under some kind of spell or curse. Kashif ibn Hassan taught me to be fearful of curses in Osirion. Never trust a relic you haven’t researched. I suspect we broke that cardinal rule.

Elle originally did not want to go back home tonight. She was not leaving till we had discovered the source of the disappearances. Myself? I wanted to close out as much of this mission as we could. Better if we had Natalya for the second 500g, but we had the relic and that counted for much. Somehow in the dizzying conversation, the talk turned back to Elle asking if we were going to our Cabin or not. I leaped on that suggestion, and tried to steer it around like it was her idea. Which had the desired effect. I am not sure what is wrong with Elle, but whether the others want to have a meeting with VC Heidmarch or not, I intend to question her tonight. At least see if she has any access to curse breaking scrolls or something.

Ebrylis met us at the door and informed us that dinner would be served soon. Elle degraded him verbally, so I thanked him for his diligence and tried to hurry us through.  Elle demanded to know why I would bother to thank someone for simply doing their job… I reminded her I’ve met too many who don’t.

As fate would have it, everyone hungered, so we all saw VC Heidmarch at the same time. It didn’t take long for her to realize something was off about the elder Quink girl and I may have needled her in the right directions to truly display her arrogance. Sheila seemed to catch on quickly and started to steering Elle around her curse the same as I try to do with Pyraxis. If Elle believes herself to be so very very clever, then Sheila was willing to play the clueless student and get Elle to reveal everything we should all ‘already’ know..

When Elle was convinced to show off the coppery dagger, I noticed a distinct change in the Venture Captain. She recognized it immediately. Elle tried to lie and say she wasn’t even sure something so dull could be the relic being just made of copper… but I countered with my own Ioun stone being the same material… and we had researched that. It didn't matter because it was a bad lie. Elle didn't really believe we hadn't found it yet.

Shiela had not seen my stone before and asked to look at it. The bat became a firepelt for her.  We told the tale of where we found it, and she claimed to having never seen one made out of skymetal before. Eyeing Elle, she manipulated her into placing the stone inside the hole in the dagger blade. It turned into a lion at that point, and then melded with the blade. The change was immediate in Elle and she was almost as giddy as her sister and… pleasant to be around again.

Shiela however matched Elle’s giddiness. Not an emotion I tend to associate with the Venture Captain. She claimed we had found a ‘miracle’ THIS was one of the shards of the shattered star that the Runelords had hidden. THIS was why she started her lodge in the first place. We had discovered a Thassalonian relic that was on par with defeating the risen Runelord Karzoug. I’m not sure what the dwarf in Sandpoint would say to that… I don’t mention that we have actually met the ones who’d done that. Of course, I had the impression that he had told his tale many times, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the Venture Captain had made that short trip herself and listened from the same tavern booth we had.

This shard, was the Shard of Pride. To Elle’s credit, Sheila didn’t add much that she hadn’t noted down from the library. She began rambling out all kinds of information I typically expect from Pennelope. Quink Quirk.  It belonged to Xanderghul. It was made of Horacalcum, a skymetal that resembled copper.

I was offered the shard, and when I touched it I was bombarded with the knowledge of what it would do. While in possession it would increase my resistance to illusions.. It would also help me with any skills i needed. Finally, my bat stone fully functioned in this form.

Each of the shards possess a curse. Finding the right ioun stone is the key to unlocking the curse. Elle (and the rest of us) are extraordinarily lucky that we had happened to find the right key independently of the right lock this time.

At the VC’s instruction I focused on the Sihedron symbol and received a peculiar vision. I saw a stone set of pilings out in the harbor, huge things, but this one was particular. It contained multiple carvings of crows all around it. Sheila simply grinned.

Apparently I was seeing the location for the next piece of the puzzle. Holding a piece of the Sihedron relic would lead us to the rest of them… piece by piece. However, I am still concerned about these curses. We need to find the stone before we find the shard to be safe, but the shard only leads us to other shards. It’s a conundrum I don’t see a solution to.

Sheila doesn’t seem too concerned about that… I think she already is seeing her (and our) names mentioned amongst the greats. But first, we have to be careful. There’s a lot riding on this, but we now are full field agents. Sheila will be tasking us with completing the entire relic… though we will still be on other missions too. Should we abandon all other responsibilities, others will be suspicious and try to find out our secrets… Though at the same time, I don’t want our progress to become lost, Heaven knows how much lost ancient knowledge vexes me. Perhaps we should alter our journal into a code. I’m sure with all our linguistic expertise around here, we can come up with something to deter the minor treasure seekers, but still keep our superiors in the loop.


Last edited by Colin Marcus on Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:17 am

9-4-4714

I really don't understand people. I really really don't.

So after much debating over breakfast (always a fun past time and yes that was sarcasm) we decide to go and try and rescue Natalia. Yes the one that tried to kill us.

Well, those of us so inclined, believe that Zograthy the fool (my name for him, not his) might know something. Off to Dock Way. Washer's Row to be exact. Full of washing and a carnival like atmosphere. Yes something does smell like cabbage.

Inside his horribly decorated hutt, seriously only children and idiots would think that those symbols were magical, we find the old bald bastard. Though to be fair, he does have an evil twin goatee.

He, bless his scamming heart, tells the group what I knew earlier. She's dead. Dead since she has information on the Sczarni and "they take care of their own."

Now things get confusing, Colin pays the man his fee of ten silver yet somehow I now owe Colin two rats on a stick. Seriously how did that happen?

So we head the building Pyraxis broke full of holes to look for tracks and amazingly we find some. So here we are, Wayfarer Vanguard hot on the trail of the Tower Girls. At least until we get close to the water, then we lose the tracks. Where to go next you ask? Why the homeless guy who smells bad and thinks he's king.

Yes, I mean Blightman. Long version or short version? Short? Ok, I piss him off just by being me so Pyraxis (who also seems to not like him) head outside to wait and suprisingly the ladies (and Colin) are able to find out that Natalie was tossed unconscious into a boat and then the Tower Girl rowed them all out to sea.

I swear that just looking at that guy can give you diseases. I suppose I should thank my father for giving me his demonic constitution.

We then head to the waterfront to buy a boat. After some obvious questioning we find a guy who sells us a stolen boat. Literally steals the boat in front of us after we give him the fifty gold(!) and hands us the ley line.

We then, being the geniuses that we are, decide (hence why we needed the boat) to check the pylons extending out from Underbridge. We hit the first four and find absolutely nothing. The fifth one, named Shark and decorated with shark carvings we find an entrance about fifty feet up. Colin is able to shoot a grappling hook up there and with only one misstep (Elle seems to like swimming, doesn't even matter in what apparently) we all make it up.

Inside the deep dark pillar we hear a voice telling us we don't belong. Elle does her thing to find undead and lo and behold, she does. Four of them to be exact. When we approach (and trap is only broken once it's sprung or something like that) Colin is able to ID them as burning skeletons. Curses, foiled again.

We manage to defeat them with minor injuries to find a room full of bones and junk.

Moving down the hallway Penny is frightened by a floating head only she sees.

Suddenly a wile Alip appears. Tough thing, can only be hit by non physical attacks. Like Elle's bombs and my fire. And Penny's spear. Wait what? Oh well, we destroy it. Lots of weird things in here.

Like three expensive looking pearls. In a room with a ghost like creature.

Moving on.

I had been thinking about Penny's description of the floating head. To me it sounds like a Div, an extra planer creature however not related to demons and deamons and devils really so I'm afraid my knowledge ends there.

After much wandering we find the last room, (despite taunting from the strange voice). In this room are two chairs on the far wall and debris everywhere. Everywhere.

Also the aformentioned Div and two skeletons wearing armor and wielding large swords. Wonderful. So, despite the strength of the skele's hits, we manage to drop them.

Ok, I'm going to do something I don't normally do. Thank Caiden Caylen and his wonderful booze for Colin's obsession with collecting weapons of all makes and materials. All of our attacks were going through the Div until Colin smacked it hard with his special morning star. Which was apparently hard enough to scare it since it then beat a hasty retreat.

So we loot the skeletons gear and again things get strange. Colin is a bit hurt and apparently Elle thinks the best way for him to heal would be to suck her blood. She even offers him her neck. Penny, bless that kids heart, uses a charge from one of our best wands to hopefully restore something of sanity to Elle. I think it worked.

So since this place was a bust for Natalia and there is but one pylon left (coincadently the Crow which may ore may hold a piece of the Shattered Star) we climb to the stolen yet paid for boat and head over. Hopefully we'll be able to find a way in.
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:31 pm

We then departed and rowed over to the last pylon, “The Crow”. We found an inlet at sea level, and rowed into a very small harbor where three rowboats ominously were tied off. We tied up our anchor and started inside into the depths of the pitch black column.

Further evidence of recent habitation was discovered in the form of a makeshift restroom, and the rotting corpse of a small dog. We proceeded through the ground level, with Penny and her light at the back of the group while Elle checked for traps in the dark in front. We ran into some open chest that had their traps activated- apparently they were rigged with some kind of dust that turns the victim, according to Elle, into “a social leper”. I mused about collecting some for my use later, but decided that perhaps she was just being glib.

The next landing was filled with murals of Thassilon and Giants, which excited Penny greatly. After long minutes of studying, we continued up the stairs, and after climbing about 180 feet up the pylon, we reached a landing where we discovered that we had reached the new lair of the Tower Girls. Three of them held crossbows on us while we were challenged as to our purpose. Penny told them we wanted vengeance on Natalyia, but we were told that we were too late, and would have to be satisfied with the fact that she had been paid her desserts. Eventually Colin convinced them that we should speak with their leader, and one of them departed to fetch her. What next ensued was several long minutes of crosstalk, profanity, and hurled insults between one of the Tower Girls and Drax, Colin, and Elle. The tensions got high enough that I thought either Drax or the more aggressive Tower girl was going to lose composure, but hostilities were stayed long enough for their leader to arrive.

Their leaders eventually arrived and offered us the chance to leave the Pylon if we swore an oath to tell no one about this place for a month. We made it clear that we were a deliberative group and that we would decide communally, and we stepped out of earshot to plan our next move. The vote was decisively in favor of staying. Some wanted to immediately attack the Tower Girls, but thus far they had behaved honorably, and thus as we moved back I announced that we would be staying.

We had decided on our strategy, which was to wait in the chokepoint and let Elle and Drax deal out damage while Colin and I provided protection. Despite some early problems that resulted in a great deal of pain to Colin, our strategy proved sound as they fled after only a few volleys. During their retreat, Drax caused a their campfire to explode with light, blinding several of them (after issuing warnings to us- which all of of us except Elle heeded). Despite their flight behind a secret door, we were able to catch up with three of them who were blinded, including a were-rat that Colin was able to injure with his silver dagger. After we had taken down 1 and killed one, Colin issued an offer to surrender, and the wererat accepted.

We then questioned them as to what lay beyond and did not find out much beyond that the remainder of the gang was deeper in the pylon. What then ensued was very perplexing as I believe Drax attempted to recruit these three gang members into the Pathfinder society, and provided them with a document that enabled them to claim SIX HUNDRED GOLD from his bank so they could journey to Absalom. I was stunned into silence, though I’m not sure anyone else realized. Drax is truly unpredictable, going from our most bloodthirsty member one moment to gifting a large portion of his personal fortune to ruffians who were attempting to kill him moments earlier. I do not understand him at all.

After the captured Tower Girls left with Drax’s signature and a promise to turn over a new leaf, we continued on. A overhead rope ladder served as the means to cross a large gap in the floor open to the ocean 180 feet below. With appropriate caution, we slowly and carefully crossed the gap and found a trapdoor that the remaining fleeing Tower Girls had probably used.
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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:40 pm

9-4-4714

After finally making it up and to what I believe is the next level, we find ourselves in a long hallway.  Obviously a tomb.  Or something like that.  At least judging by the carvings on the wall of Thassalonian priests putting bodies into crypts that cover all the walls.  That and series of perfectly sized niches in the walls every fifteen feet or so on both side.

You know what else is in this hallway?  Tower girls.  Sneaky little things.  They use smoke sticks and essentially hit and run tactics to keep us following them yet keeping them out of our reach.  The smoke sticks block our vision and allows them to back away, always staying ahead of us while leading us ever onward.

Just after the second smoke stick the hallway ends and we find ourselves in a large room.  The western wall appears to be slanted, giving the room an odd shape.  This room is completely utterly empty.  In the middle of the northern wall there is another hallway, covered once again by a smoke stick.  I guess our hosts want us that way. Not like there was really any other choice.

The next room has against the wall to our left, a fountain with the water coming out of what appears to be a demon’s head.  No it isn’t my father.  I think.  There are also bedrolls and rations throughout the room but no time check thoroughly as the Girls are still backing away from us, taunting us with their silence, smoke sticks, and that tanglefoot bag that just hit Elle.

The Girls back up through a north west hallway.  In the middle of this hallway is a path leading to a small room, the eastern side of which is covered in rubble.  I find in this room a large crate and a weird shaped pot.  Inside the crate, buried beneath protective straw, lies a statuette of a very large giant covered in runes wearing full battle regalia.  Score!  I quickly place that in my pack and continue after the girls with the rest of the Vanguard.  Got myself a new decoration for the house.

Though it seems that while I was checking out the side passage poor Colin got hit with a tanglefoot bag as well.  So now he and Elle are both moving somewhat slower.   And since Pyraxis doesn’t move that fast anyway, I guess it’s up to me to make sure I keep them just in sight so they can lead us carefully into whatever trap they have planned.  Come on, like anyone didn’t know that was with they were doing.

We come to a flight of stairs leading down, about fourty five feet down, along a square spiral staircase.  Meaning it goes down some steps to a landing, over to the stairs, down to the landing, over to the stairs, yada yada etc, etc.   Thankfully by the time we reach the next level everyone is moving normally as whatever is in the bags wore off.

As we are discussing what to do, a Tower Girl peeks around the corner and shoots a hand crossbow at Rocky.  She misses but it encourages us to enter the room she’s in.

Guess what.  We find the trap.  Maybe a dozen or so Tower Girls (or like eight) and small underground rodent things that we can only assume are Muskoxes, based on Penny’s description of them earlier.

The fight is brutal, painfull, and amusing.  At one point in time Colin was surrounded by a bunch of blonde Tower Girls.  Apparently Elle got jealous of that and bombed the blonde squad.  

Unfortunately however Colin was dropped in the middle of the fight.  Well, to be honest none of us were doing well after that fight.  When it was over we healed up as best we could then decided to head back upstairs to rest for a short hour or two.  We definitely needed it.

After the rest we reentered the ambush room.  A hallway leading south and one leading east and one leading north exit the room.  The north hallway immediately split to a east and west passage.  We decided to take the south.

Halfway down that hallway to the west was another room, this one filled with what appears to be building supplies, a niche in the far wall for burning things, and a statue of a beautiful woman holding a ransuer.  Also in the room, found after searching, was a tattered deck of harot or tarot or whatever they are, cards.

We continue south and the hallway bends to the east.  The end of that hallway goes both north and south.  To the north is yet another empty room.  To the south, through a winding path, we find a stairway down.  I swear by all that I now hold holy and true if this leads back to some secret door on the first floor we entered on and we didn’t have to do that whole rope climb shimmy thing I’ll be pissed.

Anyway, back into the ambush room.  North and to the east we go.  It leads to a small room with an apx ten foot long alcove in the northern wall.  Empty.

Taking the other path we enter into a large room.  What appears to be a smaller room is against the north wall.  The rest of the room is covered in bedrolls and other various items of the normal living in variety.  Chairs, desks, blah.  In this room we find about fourty days worth of rations, and nothing else of value.  In the small attached room, which we discover based on the smell and the droppings is the muskoxe kennel, Elle finds what appears to be an expensive looking food and water bowl.  Which she takes.  Cause it wouldn’t be an adventure if at some point in time Elle didn’t smell like various forms of feces.  Poor girl.

Down the eastern hallway from the ambush room we go.  This opens to large storage room with a weird looking exit in the southeast corner to another room. This room contains crates, pots, sacks, and what not all stacked neatly together.  Inside this stuff we find a great treasure.  Two bottles of whiskey and a small box of spices.  Score, again!

Heading into the final room beyond that strange doorway, we see against the far wall a mural.  This beautifully depicts that same woman from the statue, her red hair glistening as she stabs her ranseur into a hideous man.  The wound that the weapon makes appears to be smoking, as if burning or cleansing.

Nothing else in this room, except a ten foot long alcove much like the one from way back in the northeast.  Only this time, I can feel a small draft of wind coming from the back wall of the thing.  We check, and no there is no way a draft should be coming through.  As I realize that the wall takes on a hazy look and I can see through it.  An illusion.  One leading to my death as just on the other side is a long, very long, drop back down to the harbor where our boats are.

So, on a hunch we head back to the other alcove.  I am certain it’s an illusion however…..I cannot for the life of me prove it.  All signs and everything say it’s a solid wall with no way past.  Oh well, moving on.

Down the stairs we go.  Colin heads back a ways to try and hurry Penny along.  Penny is, I can only assume, taking copious amounts of notes on everything she sees.  This stairway leads to a long hallway which turns west to a doorway.  

Past that doorway lies a large room.  Further to the west, dominating that wall, are a couple of very large silver’ish doors.  Carvings of large burning eyes adorn the doors, staring back toward the center of the room.  Two pillars support the west end of the room by the doors as the east side tapers toward the north and south.  In each of those angled walls there is a single door.  The rest of the walls are covered in the remains of murals and mosiacs.

Since they dominate the room we decide to check out the large metal doors.  They are engraved with Thassalonian runes in a manner that seems familar.  Elle, instead of waiting for Penny, takes one of her concoctions to read the runes.  While she is doing that, Pyraxis attempts to slam open the doors.  Not only do they not move, they burn his hands quite a bit at the same time.  Seems like I am the only one who can touch them without harm.

Elle is able to decipher the runes.  On the left door they spell out “Listen”.  The right is “The eyes”

Touching a rune will depress and light up the room, allowing it to be switched with another rune on the same door only.  You could now therefore, take the “y” from the right door and switch it with the “n” from the left.  Seem familiar?  It should, it’s exactly like that puzzle box we had to try back when we first got to Magnimar.  

So we get to work figuring out what this anagram is.  Of course I figure out everything on my own.  By that I mean Rocky got the left door and Blondie got the right while I stood watch.

Silent becomes Listen and The Eyes becomes They See.  After arranging the letters appropriately, the doors open.

Beyond is a section of the tower that has not been touched since the days of Thassalon.  Seriously.  Completely unexplored in thousands of years.  And still Elle and Pyraxis want to continue on.  I admonish them, especially Elle.  What would her sister say if we did this without her.  Would she ever forgive Elle?   Eventually they see reason and we decide to wait for our erstwhile companions to return.  As the doors close the runes return back to their original order.

We head to the north east door which opens into a half circle box shaped room.  Other room exit from here, one to the north east and one to the south east.  Speaking of southeast, that door from the other room also leads into here.

Also in this room, friends.  And by friends I mean enemies.  And by enemies I mean oh goody it’s a violent fight for our lives without being able to wait for Colin and Penny.  That one whip lady from earlier is in here as well as two more muskoxes and a were rat wielding a bladed scarf.  I’ve never seen one in use before.  It’s elegance is hampered by the fact it’s a were rate using it.

Though come to think of it, we haven’t seen any rats here, just muskoxes.  Maybe that’s a were muskoxe?

(( Side note, all three remaining players rolled 9 for their initiative. ))

Bloody violence with flaming vengeance occured and while barely standing, we emerge victorious.  Wanting to collapse in exhaustion, but victorious.
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The Crow piling - Magnimar

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:30 am

Rova 4th 4714

With less effort than I expected, Penny and I were able to catch up with the others. In our absence they were able to kill Terisha the Tower Girl who had kicked our collective tails before… and another wererat. Rummaging through their possessions showed that this was Ayala… their leader.

Now… I was against letting that other Rat go, and seeing this one concerned me even more. Of the three we found, two were killed. One turned back into it’s human form… this one did not. Lycanthropes are not my normal focus of study (though I may be remedying that soon…) I have heard the rumors that some shapeshifters are born… and of course those from Ustalev know that they can be infected. I suspect that is what happened here. This one was the ‘real’ one that never had a choice in the matter… and she infected two of her companions. Whether as a prize or a punishment, we’ll never know now. And we…correction, DRAX sent one towards Absalom.

On a side note… we haven’t seen any other rats wandering around… but we have found the large muskox things… so some of us are questioning whether they were wererats or were-muskoxes. That is a term I’ve never heard before… but may bear further scrutiny.

When we finished searching the area, Drax opened up the puzzle door and we entered inside. This was an interesting experience. Vibrant murals of the Irrespan decorated the walls. Similar to the ones we’d seen, but everything in here seemed untouched by age. Whether it hadn’t been disturbed or preserved through magic.. I’m not sure of, but Penny was able to confirm that everything we crossed appeared original.

There was a short debate on whether to continue on or get some rest. It had been a long day full of violence and fighting in TWO pilings. My judgement was still available to me, but my spells were nearly spent. The others seemed leery of continuing, but excitement wouldn’t allow rest. The majority decided to continue on to this new realm.

We followed the hall for a ways till we found a set of stairs going down again. This feels like a very inefficient use of space in this piling… Lots of climbing up stairs only to go back down, over and over again… I assume the ones who stayed here back then were teleporters.

We have developed something of a strategy here. With all the various stairs, even if a hallway is awkwardly placed, we’re still trying to clear each level before we touch more stairs. It’s more orderly.

This first place held such a hallway that narrowed to five feet wide. I called a halt as soon as the hallway opened up into a room. There were webs everywhere and scattered remains of desiccated fish. On a beach I wouldn’t have been concerned, but on land, that is a disturbing red flag if I ever saw one.

Inside the room was in fact two giant water spiders. Big… big enough to be devouring a dolphin. Repeat… A DOLPHIN. Two spiders… one Dolphin… Dolphin lost. The battle was fierce. I was bitten twice, but though we knew they must have been poisonous… venomous. I was informed there was a difference. I was however able to shrug off the venom though, and they died fairly quick.

There was a large watery pool about 10 feet down, that raised some curiosity. Penny used one of our ropes with hooks to essentially go fishing, while Elle was collecting the venom glands from the spiders. The fishing didn’t find much, but stirred up some more spiders. Three more crawled out of the water and fell back as corpses.  After that it was fairly unanimous that 1) it was time to rest now… and 2) we didn’t want to sleep in the spider room. We went back up the stairs to this side of the magic door and rested with our watches.


Rova 5th 4714

Date is questionable at this moment. Not entirely sure if it’s morning or night. One of the perils of dungeoneering. Regardless, I’m beyond caring at this moment. I woke feeling horrible. I felt weak. My muscles and joints ached and I was exhausted. Elle was quick to diagnose. It seems that during the dung infested goblin fight, the beasts infected me with Filth Fever.

This is not a good thing. Elle whipped up some foul tasting concoction and was quick to lay out her care intentions. The disease is potentially fatal, but she seems confident I will survive it. She also seems extremely concerned… so either our group cohesion is coming along… or I’ve started to hallucinate. I’m fairly certain of the former. It was insisted that we would take one day and continue the piling search, then head back for treatment.

When we returned to the water room, Pyraxis desired to swim around in it. Fishing with the grapple didn’t yield results…and I was still curious about where the dolphin came from. He took a potion of Elle’s that webbed his hands like a gillman and wrapped some rope around himself and dove in. Before long he pulled the rope out of Drax’s hand. After a few minutes we were all getting concerned. There was no more air bubbles, no rope, no signs at all.  

Drax had an overwhelming confidence in our stoney friend… but the rest were really getting worried. I offered to go after him. The choice is to abandon him or split the party more. I’m not the type to abandon allies… so we lengthened the ropes and I drank that Elixir of Swimming I’ve carried for months and dove in.

There was nothing of note in the pool, but there was a passage that he must have taken, so I followed. It went quite far… Without the air bladder we carried, I would have been forced to turn around. Pyraxis has more lung capacity than I do… and that’s before the Fever took me. Now?? This was a poor plan. Eventually the passage opened to the ocean. I still saw no sign of Pyraxis… but I recognized that our harbor wasn’t far from here.

From here, my choice was 1) Go back the way I came and inform the others that he was probably coming back the long way… or 2) Go to the harbor, follow the land route all the way through the entire piling, hope I catch up with him and have nobody travel alone…

I chose choice one. If I hadn’t come back either… there was a distinct chance that they would continue this lemming line till none of us were left and if any of us can handle himself solo, it would be Pyraxis. We all went back up the stairs, and before long Pyraxis did join up with us.

Together again, we finally moved beyond that water room and up the short stairs to another level. There was a small fountain full of a greenish algae water. Before we could fish around in that, two giant amoebas came crawling out of the ooze. Elle blew them to even smaller bits.

Just past those, were a swarm of bats… something I am ironically and woefully unprepared for. Elle and Drax are our swarm masters and between them I felt comfortable with retreating. As it is, with my new weakened state, Pyraxis has taken my traditional spot in the front. I can swallow my pride a bit if it means seeing tomorrow. For the best I’m sure, I must be particularly confused… weak..  After the bats I commented on the enticing fragrance of the girls… Unfortunately they weren’t wearing a new perfume… the bats just made them bleed.  It was… awkward to say the least. The treasure has been light so far, but we did find a tarnished silver bracelet that we could sell… though I think it’s historical value should outweigh the simple silver value.

Soon we came to more stairs going down… but just before we got to them I saw something that fled quickly. After describing it, Penny immediately identified it as a mite. A small evil Fey creature that was traditionally cowardly. That means to me traps… Elle looks even harder on the stairs for traps, and finds a secret door. Following our ‘clear the level before moving on’ rule, we checked out the hallway. On the downside, this could mean the mite(s) can escape, circle around or get behind us instead of herding all our enemies in front of us… but we followed the rule.

This was another weird room. It led to a large watery area with a walkway carved into the wall and weak looking plank crossing to a stone platform with a bucket in the center of the water. The purpose of the room is a mystery. It appears to be as old as the tower, and not added on by mites, the only sentient creatures we’ve seen signs of in here for 10,000 years. The plank is much newer, so that was theirs… but the purpose is strange. Elle shrank Drax and he made his way on to the platform, and the bucket was full of stinky dead bats. My first thought was this was a feeding room? Something was in the water… After Pyraxis went fishing with a bat-baited hook for a while and found nothing, I went in the water. My elixir was still active after all. The pillar didn’t go all the way down. It was supported on three sides, only adding to the mystery. The pool was empty, but led out toward the earlier pool Pyraxis and I swam through and henceforth the ocean… so I climbed out shortly. Still not knowing what the room was for, there seems to be no answers here.

Following the mite down the stairs we eventually came to a very large room seemingly designed as funeral niches. Large mounds of dirt scattered the area, and the niche’s were stripped bare. A cursory examination showed small 3-toed were the culprits and Penny confirmed it was the mites.

Then the giant ants attacked. Something about this place seems to make their bugs big… That may bear further inquiry too. There weren’t as many as I expected… about one per giant mound, and we defeated them fairly quickly.

Searching through the place, I found a secret door… and Elle found a secret tunnel. The tunnel was about 3 foot wide, and we presumed they were mite holes… though in hindsight, perhaps ants… We chose the door first.

This was a 10’ wide tunnel that led to more webs. Drax immediately set them on fire… and an even larger red hourglass marked spider dropped to the ground and attacked us. This time Elle tried dancing around it, and was bitten for her trouble. She however seemed affected by the poison, so we worked hard to destroy that fast. It was a difficult fight, but by the time we were finished, Elle seemed to be shaking off the effects….
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Post  Penelope on Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:01 pm

Date: 5th of Rova, 4714 (Cont’d)
Location: The Crow, Magnimar

After the giant giant spider was put down, we came to a pillared hall where we had our most interesting encounter yet! A mite king! Sitting upon a bleached ogre skull, and wearing a tattered cloak and an oddly-shaped bronze crown with buckles and a bell, the itty-bitty blue king spoke in undercommon, bidding us enter and bow before his majesty. I had no clue what he was saying, but thankfully Elle speaks fluent undercommon (there’s a story there about which I must soon inquire!).

The king claimed to have summoned our adventuring party – much to our surprise, to find his beloved pet Clicky-Legs. No word on precisely what Clicky-Legs is, only that we’ll know him when we see him. He is carrying a small pack on one of his legs that contains the king’s spare crown. If we return with his pet and his belongings he claims he will reward us with a diamond as big as his head.

Now, considering mites are not quite known for their upright and honest dealings, I was doubtful of his sincerity, but to get the opportunity to aid a mite king in his quest to rescue his creepy-crawly pet was frankly too good a story to pass up! I was all in of course! Not everyone was so gung-ho about the idea, but in the end majority ruled and we were off to find Clicky-Legs.

We chose to check out the narrow tunnel that appeared most recently dug. This led us to six mite miners who were startled by our approach, but Elle was able to talk them down and explain we were on a mission from their king, so they allowed us to pass by with nothing but a sour look in their bulgy little eyes.

Unfortunately that passage eventually (honestly this place is enormous and at this point my legs are starting to feel like rubber…) led us to another group of mites – nine of them to be exact with two giant water spiders used as mounts! One of them was the little fellow who’d previously fled from us, for we were recognized by him and he was clearly itching for a fight! In spite of Elle’s best efforts to negotiate, and mine to distract with shiny flags and stories of their king, they were having none of it and I got gored with a dagger for my vain attempt to keep them alive. Ingrates. We ended up killing them to a mite.

I feel bad, I do, and I know that's perceived as a weakness. Sometimes I feel like I really don’t belong among my companions and I wonder if it wouldn’t be better for me to live out my days in an archive, or maybe even that library in Jorganfist, where I could record all the knowledge contained within and take it back for the rest of the world to see! Then I remember that I am currently in a Thassilonian ruin hot on the trail of a piece of the Sihedron or one of her key stones. An artifact carried by Xin himself!!! It's then that I realize I don’t belong anywhere but here. I was born for this purpose. Trouble or no, we will persevere and MAKE history rather than merely recording what was done by others! WAYFARER VANGUARD BLAZES THE TRAIL!! I can see Drax flashing his hand signs in my head now.

After the lamentable massacre we patched ourselves up and continued down a spiral staircase where we came to fork in the path. One way held a mass of newish-looking spider webs and the other mostly clear but for some dust and cobwebs that most of this place is covered in. Thinking that Clicky-Legs may be a spider, we pushed through the webbing, slowly making our way along while keeping our backs against the wall to avoid being surrounded by the huge arachnids. Colin was actually doing pretty well tracking the spiders THROUGH the webs which I found very impressive. The man’s got some skill!

We entered a large, columned room covered in webbing from which hung the hollow corpses of a few giant albino crickets. As we crept through the room Elle was alerted to movement around us and shouted out warning as three giant brown spiders dropped down upon us with terrifying silence! They seemed a type similar to the giant water spiders we’d faced previously but their markings were more of a dark brown and tan striped. The poison they injected was of the same type as well, which Elle discovered the hard way during the battle that ensued. There’s been a lot of biting today. . . Due to our already brutalized, diseased and poisoned states, the fight was short but painful and those spiders’ fangs were particularly nasty!

Over this past day or so, I’ve noted a particular reluctance of Pyraxis to share with us his physical well-being even when mortally wounded. Recognizing the severity of injury isn’t exactly my forte, but with his oread skin it seems even more difficult than usual! Maybe I’m just making excuses. . . During the fight with the spiders, he was nearly felled before I noticed his wounds and I think I’m feeling a bit guilty. He shouldn’t have to call out his condition – or complain, as he believes – I really should have the wherewithal to pay more attention.

Spent of energies both magical and physical, we have decided to rest in a safer place in order to recover. Colin is not recovered from his illness and while I hope some sleep will do him well, my sister assures us it will not. She is looking after him carefully however, and in spite of the fever and the extra pasty pallor, our companion is proving particularly stout.

Elements for further research:
Filth Fever
Mite societal structure
Oread anatomy

Questions for contemplation:
Could giant insects and arachnids have been bred for use in ancient Thassilon?

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Post  Penelope on Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:07 pm

Date: 5th of Rova, 4714 (Still…)
Location: The Crow, Magnimar

Must be getting on in the evening, but it’s nearly impossible to tell down here in the piling. We enjoyed a surprisingly peaceful rest and woke up much refreshed. Well, as refreshed as can be expected considering the circumstances.

We went back to the scene of the last battle and searched the room but found nothing but the curled up corpses of our victims and the dried out husks of theirs, so we moved down the adjacent passage into a circular room. The circular room held a circular pool with a swirling vortex motif beneath the water. After studying it for a few moments, I was able to determine that the pool was radiating conjuration magic of minor strength, and that the water is continually refreshed and maintains magical healing properties that will both heal physical damage and recover strengths lost due to poison, disease or magical effects. This could certainly save our pork belly! Especially poor Colin who is still suffering from the Fever! We filled our waterskins with the magical water, which should last about eight hours before the effects wear off. That should get us through our time here in the piling before we are forced to retreat and seek professional help for our companion.

Pyraxis opted not to fill his waterskin with the liquid, saying that he did not trust the stuff, so Elle filled her second one just in case it would be needed. After my failures of yesterday, I asked if he could try to keep me informed if he is in critical condition so that I might aid him before something tragic happens. I tried to speak of my concern for his well being and as an example, told him of my fear when he didn’t return as quickly as expected from his diving expedition. Unfortunately he took this as an accusation (which was the complete opposite of my intent) and seemed pretty offended. He walked away muttering that if I wanted him to complain more, he would do so. I don’t know what else I should have done or said, but if unintentionally damaging what I’d hoped was a burgeoning friendship is what it takes to keep him alive, than I’m glad to have done it. Glad, but sad.

Moving along, we shortly found ourselves in what could only have been an ancient Thassilonian torture chamber! All the implements and nasty devices were corroded beyond worth of use or sale, but it gave a chilling imagine of the business that must have gone on during Alaznist’s time within Bakrakhan. Further disturbing was the monstrosity that attacked us from within one of the barred cells. . . A nasty, twisted creature with red eyes and pale, veined flesh, it raked at my companions with three fingered hands, two fingers of which ended in curved talons! Its jaw opened up into something akin to toothy, grasping pincers, while a long tongue slavered out of its shuddering mouth seeking the taste of blood. Just eww.

I’ve attempted to sketch it here for posterity:



After putting it down, Pyraxis identified the creature as a sinspawn – a Thassilonian creation! Is that what was done in this room? The production of some new, warped being? If so, I hope this was the last one that yet remains in this piling after all these thousands of years!

We found nothing of further interest in this vile room so we continued on through an ancient barracks which, after the millennia of neglect, had not fared well as you might imagine. Nothing but piles of debris were left to give indication as to the nature of this room. It’s frustrating to be moving through these archeological sites so quickly, but we have little time to spare at the moment. I do so hope we can come back to this place in the near future to do some more extensive study!

Following the hall led us to a damp, natural grotto with a ceiling about forty feet high. Thick columns of brick stood to the north, with a low dais on the south end displaying a statue of Alaznist. We were not alone in this place, however! An enormous crab-like monstrosity, pale and pinchy, dominated the center of the chamber. Colin recognized it as a cave fisher, and by the bag tied on its back leg, we recognized it as Clicky-Legs!

At this point, we did everything we could to subdue the beast without killing it. Wands of Ray of Enfeeblement, Tanglefoot bags…Colin even threw himself on top of the thing and tried to grapple it or ride it like a bronco. It was hard to tell in the moment. Eventually, Colin and Pyraxis were able to knock the thing out, and in its bag we found some cheap stones, teeth and a magical bracer – the spare crown, whose twin now adorns the mite king’s bulbous blue head. I can’t believe I didn’t recognize that at the time!

After a bit of discussion we agreed to honor our word and it was with a ridiculous amount of effort that we dragged Clicky-Legs and his treasure all the way back to the king.

When we finally arrived the victors, we bowed before the king who was immediately incensed that his beloved pet had been rendered unconscious. In an attempt at making amends, I healed the thing to waking but it didn’t matter. The king was angry and now we had to worry about him and his pet as they both attacked! Sigh. Drax fried the king where he stood, the magical bracer crown clattering most unceremoniously to the floor. Clicky-Legs quickly went the way of his master.

We wasted no time heading back to the grotto area, which we’d not had much time to check. I noticed that the walls here had a fainter magic here keeping them from the ravages of time, as if it had dissipated over the past ten thousand years. Behind the statue of the Runelord of Wrath, we found a secret passage which opened up into what looked like an age-old kitchen! We didn’t get the chance just then to explore because we also noticed and were noticed by six skeletons which turned and attacked. We made short work of them however, and no we are taking a brief moment to search and patch ourselves up (and write, in my case) before continuing our exploration of this new and exciting area! The Sihedron shard pointed us here and I cannot wait to unveil the further secrets that must be contained within this piling!

Elements for further research:
Sinspawn: How and for what purpose were they created?!

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Draxthious

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:23 pm

9-5-4714

A secret doorway into a kitchen.  If this place wasn’t horribly destroyed I might be amused.  Seriously, a kitchen should never be this disheveled.  Yes, I know, tens of thousands of years and all that.  Anyway, we search the place and find exactly nothing.  Like usual.

We exit out this room heading east and somehow I end up in the front.  With Elle.  I have no idea why I’m up front.  Up front sucks for people like me who like to blast from a distance.  I mean, yeah I can hold my own (despite what Colin says) in close quarters but still.  I mean, Elle up front makes sense, since she has been trained (I’m hoping she’s been trained) to spot traps and the like.

The hallway goes east for a short ways before turning south just past a door on the north side of the hall.  It leads to an empty room probably used for storage or something.  We continue down the hall to the south which then turns again east.  This time it opens up to a half circle shaped room with rows of ovens and alcoves for roasting things on spits.

Side note, some of the spices I found before will make for great seasoning on a spit roasted pig.

Unforntunately this room isn’t as empty as the others as a huge swarm of yellow centipedes burst out from the piles of discarded ash.  They do some damage but Penny, dear Penny, is able to use her Thassalonian sonic doo hickey to control them.  So now, as long as she keeps playing the doo hickey, we have a centipede swarm pet.  Neat.

Nothing else of interest in this place, however I do get ideas for the layout of that restaurant I plan on making once I become rich and powerful.  No wait, I mean famous, not powerful.

A passageway leads north so we head that way, leading about fifty feet or so before turning west.  Straight into the grotto we found Clicky-legs.  Not lost, yay.  We pass through the grotto into the barracks with the stairs heading down.  Obviously, we head down.  Down fourty feet to a landing, then another thirty feet down to a hallway which leads fifty feet to a door.  Pretty specific distances for me isn’t it.  I was bored.

This door leads to an octognal shaped room with a five pointed star circled on the ground in the middle as well as a statue of that red haired woman and her ranseur.  Oh and an abyssal larvae, a baby demon that can spray out maggots and secret acid into a wound if it should bite you.  My friends prepare to fight this thing apparently by readying fire.  I am so proud.

The fight is short but painful.  That thing has a horrible bite and both I and Colin can attest to.  Thankfully I was able to remain standing.  Colin can’t say the same.  We managed to drop it, go Elle’s bombs.  Healing took place in the hallway behind the door we can in.  Can’t be too careful when demons are involved, even baby ones.  

After the healing we check out the room.  Elle, with her mistrust of constructs, checks out the statue and notices something off about it.  So she and Penny do what they do and discover that not only is the ranseur cold iron and magical, so is the statue.  Turns out that the statue is designed to be a focal point for observation magic, allowing who ever was on the other end of the conduit to see and hear what was happening in this room and to allow them some control over the statue via magic.  Or so they tell me.

After a brief struggle Colin and Pyraxis are able to pull the ranseur free from the statues grip.

We head east from there down a short hallway to an open room with an open stairway on the east side with the stairs leading southward.  Also two waxey looking humanoid creatures weilding spears.
This now starts a disturbing trend.  A trend of being immune to fire.  Yes, immune.  My whole life is a lie.  Yes, I’m exageratting.

We beat them surprisingly easily.  We decide not to go down a level as the room with the statue in it had two other doors.  We head there and hit the first one, the one to the south which has….a stairway continuing to the south.  Ok, to the west door.  This one has a passageway leading straight to a larger room with a thirty foot diameter glowing circle of runes and in the center a flame with no fuel.  Can you guess what is going on?  No one is able to recognize the runes so Elle does her potion thing and discovers it is a circle of protection against Law.  Law being my natural enemy, damn you Iomedae.  Also on the far side of the room, another doorway leading out.  

We enter the room and as we step across the line, two small flame elementals pop out of the fire and attack.  Still immune to fire.  Sigh.

We beat them and continue on, enter a hallway that moves south then west then through a doorway into a larger room (the southwest corner has an opening covered by a curtain of rusted metal) filled with cries of rage.  At which point two things that resemble piles of slime with faces and arms attack us.  Again, immune to fire.  I’m beginning to think that the Thassalonians were afraid of fire so they made sure everything in their towers or bridges even, were immune to the stuff.  Or they had a healthy respect for the most powerful of elements.

We finally drop them only to be accosted by a voice with no source who praises us on our accomplishment of passing the first test.  He identifies himself as the Suzarain of little Erebus.  Erebus, one of the lower planes.  Right.

Short version we agree to his tasks (suprisingly not tests anymore) for the promise of “positions of power in his kingdom.”  The first we must accomplish is to free two of his servents, more of those slimy things who have been captured by “The Depraved Lord” Baz.  I’m sorry, I have to stop here, see, this Suzarain had to pause while telling us this because he forgot the name of the so called depraved lord.  Seriously, he had to pause while telling us.  

He tells us that his slime face arm things are called Lemuurs and he wants his back in one peice, no killing.  Cause that worked so well for us last time.  Oh, he also tells us that Baz is an Accuser, a powerful devil so, immune to fire as well.  And powerful.  Did I mention powerful?

Baz is also immune to poisen, resistant to almost everything else, can spit acid, oh and if he bites you will give you something called Devil Chills, a serious illness that is very hard to fight off.  Sounding better and better.

We agree, again, and exit the room continuing the hallway to the south.  There on the east side of the passageway we find an almost square half circle room with two openings (one to the north where we are and another one about twenty feet to the south.  This room is full of alchemical stuff I don’t understand and two more Lemuurs.

The group, offering themselves as sacrifices, lure those things back to the so called Suzarain who says that though they serve him they are not the ones which were captured and are instead “free range”.  The group has to kill one to exit the room though Pyraxis is able to throw the other one to the far side of the room.

Meanwhile, having become seperated from the group, I stay in the alchemical room and light small fire to help those who can’t see in the dark search the room.  And for the last time Elle, I did not use any books, parchment, or paper to light these fires.  We find nothing in the room.

Across the hall from the wall between the two openings on the west side is a locked door.  Pyraxis seems happy about the ability to break something.  Except he bounces off.  Three times.  It takes Colin and Pyraxis attempting to break it to actually succeed.  

This is a smaller room which was definitely used for storage, as evidenced by the ruined boxes, barrels, casks, and the like.  Mostly filled with the remains of foodstuffs.  Waste really.  However, hidden under a tarp, is a clockwork creature with four arms, three legs, and a net launcher over it’s left shoulder.  This thing needs to be wound to work, will serve who ever wound it, can repair itself or other clockwork creations.  The golden crank with pearl inlaid handle we found does not fit it.

Colin starts to drool over the last item of significance we find, a set of mithril smithing tools.

Here we debate whether to stay and look around some more or to head back home home and restock and rest.  Colin looks horrible, even more so than usual.  However we decide to stay and keep up the search.  For the record, I was one who wanted to stay though I can understand the one’s who wanted to leave.  Not everyone has a nearly inexhaustable supply of burning energy as I do.  Colin takes a potion to help ward off some of the damage caused by the Filth Fever and we move on.

We head down the closes flight of stairs which leads to a long and wide room with a number of pillars holding it up in a line at the center.  Between the pillars seems to be the remains of I guess a wizard’s lab.  The south wall seems to be covered in a mural depicting an army of monsters and a woman’s head carved out of a mountain.  Beneath the head an impossibly long bridge spans the distance.  Near the bridge seems to be a series of caverns leading to a large one with a huge tentacle monstrosity opening its fanged mouth wide.  Inside the mouth a large ruby red eye stares out.  Creepy.

We decide to leave the two very heavy cauldrons here, the only thing of any value in this room, and exit through the south eastern door.  Said door leads to a hallway that goes south then east then south then west then ….. You get the idea.
Eventually it leads to a doorway on the south side of the passageway (opposite that is another hallway leading west with another door to the south.)  Inside this close room, very small, is a plaque hanging on the other side’s door.  Written in Thassalonian runes is the phrase “Do Not Leave Cages Open.”

Penny, working her big brain as well as those poor fingers (we’ve had the centipede swarm all this time) decides to leave said swarm in this room.  We exit out and close it up as best we can.

Outside this room we can either head opposite this doorway or continue east and we decide to do that.  It’s a long hallway ending in….dramatic music…..a door.  Past the door lies a chamber filled with blackened bones, char marks, runes, and a surprising twist.  This chamber, along with all the other passages that lead into here, is designed to focus planer energies making the barrier between planes thinner.  While Penny ponders this Elle and I hear a very faint clicking sound, almost as if a four legged creature is walking around.  We decide to quickly leave and barricade the door (or try to at least.)

Back to that western hallway we find, a long and twisting passage that eventually leads to an open underground grotto, a shallow’ish pool right at the entrance, fungus covering the walls, and a fosselized carcass on the far side.

We cross the pool carefully (parts of it are much deeper than it looks) and check out the carcass which Penny id’s as a bullete, what ever that is.

As we are looking at this thing a psudopod attacks Colin.  This gray ooze as Colin calls it, has an acid that damages metal and any other substance that touches it.  Like Colin.  And Elle’s sickle.  And Colin.  And it’s immune to fire (and cold but who cares about cold).

We fight, we win, items damaged, Colin almost dead, or undead, or…..what exactly do you call a half vampire at what is traditionally deaths door?

Well, with this battle behind us, and before we either search the room or get attacked again, we decide (I agree this time) to head back home and restock and rest.  Or Colin will end up deader than normal and despite my teasing nature, I would hate that.
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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:09 pm

We left the scene of Colin’s near death experience and began backtracking through the pylon with the intention of leaving. As we retraced our steps Elle began musing that perhaps our situation was not quite dire enough to merit leaving. We stopped and assessed our status, and Elle took charge and gradually convinced us that we were not as bad off as we initially thought (a sentiment I had from the beginning). We decided to continue exploring the pylon for the time being.

We came up to yet another statue of the Runelord Alaznist. Ellie warned us the statue was trapped, and she was able to deactivate it as it started to emit a fireball. Her skills have improved dramatically and I am heartened that we may not have to encounter every trap the hard way.

We encountered and dispatched a trio of Nuperbois, just like those we found earlier. Beyond them, we found a stone door that had been firmly barricaded. Seeing a chance to test my new techniques, I asked the others to stand aside while I took a run at it. My effort was thwarted by a hitch in the floor- I stumbled when I was focusing too keenly on the door. My 2nd attempt when just as I envisioned it, busting through the barricade and scattering the barrels and debris. The architect of this barricade had no interest in a tussle, however…it was surprisingly another lemure, but this one did not mindlessly attack. Instead, it cowered in the corner and wailed. Every step toward the wretched thing provoked a new bout of wailing and cringing. There was sentiment that we should put the thing out of its misery, but as it had evinced no aggression toward us, Penny and I espoused mercy. After some debate about the nature of e lemure, we left it alone. As we left the room, we heard it commence rebuilding its shattered barricade.
We then found a room with a most curious enchantment. It had a set of stairs descending into the waters of the bay. At the top of the stairs (ground level to us) was a shimmering blue field. We tested it and found its purpose was to allow no water to pass through- someone could way up from the bay into the room and be completely dry.

This room, which was under sea level, also has windows on all sides letting us look into the bay, at a point where the water was 40-50 feet deep. The daylight was bright enough to easily penetrate to this depth, revealing a recent shipwreck not 30 yards away from the pylon. We could make out the name- the “Liza Star”. I recognized it as a one person fishing vessel usually helmed by a chap named Lockerbie Brast. Having recently come upon a few ancient Thassilonian scrolls with a water breathing spell on them, we decided to head over to the boat to see what become of poor Lockerbie.

We were able to somehow split the spell among us, so we all would be able to breath water for a few hours. As we slowly swam out, we were hit by two reefclaws, the same lobsterish creatures that has assailed us in the Besmaran temple. They fared slightly better here in their native environs, but we still were able to slay them. Inspection of the Liza Star revealed it has probably hit the pylon and ripped the gash in the hull. There was no sign of Lockerbie’s body, but there was a pearl brooch with the initials “LB”, a magic buckler, and a fine rapier that Penny decided to try to use. We decided that we would try to track down his widow and present her with the brooch and some closure on poor Lockerbie.

Reentering the pylon through the underwater staircase, we continued exploring. We came to a room with a statue of Alaznist and 6 other figures, each holding a piece of a 7-pointed star. An inscription on her statue read “Does true Power live within the one or the many?” We spent some time pondering the riddle and decided, given what we had seen so far, that Alaznist’s answer was probably “The One.” At least two the statues appeared as though they would magically imbue anyone who touched them, although we were not sure what the effect would be. Penny wanted to touch one, but Elle strongly advocated caution! and persuaded Penny to wait until it could be identified.
We proceeded further and came to a room where two imps in a balcony above watched 2 of the skeletal creatures fight each other, presumably endlessly, for their amusement. The imps had them turn on us when we entered, but we made short work of them. The imps then berated us for depriving them of their entertainment. Elle them told them of the existence of the pitiful lemure, and the went off invisibly to find it and continue its torment. Penny was understandably somewhat distraught with this action, and I concur that it left me unsettled as well. Normally turning your enemies against each other was a fine stratagem, but the lemure was no threat whatsoever. Perhaps we will yet get a chance at the imps.

Continuing on, we found a room with a fountain that seemed to generate a constant flow of water (ripples indicated there may be something underneath the fountain’s water). A door off this room had a mound of debris in front, blocking it. We tried another door and came across our “target”- Lord Bay, in a small room with a table. He bantered with us a while concerning the political situation in the pylon and his enemy, the suzerain. He offered us his musical instrument to go back and destroy the suzerain. We humored him and left him, saying we would return with our decision. There was debate about whether we should return and attempt to dispatch him (Lord Bay) immediately, but we decided to continue with our mission for now.

We came across a room with a watery corridor, apparently several feet deep. Lurking underneath the surface were several of the sinspawn. Before I could fully appreciate what was happened, Colin had jumped into the water, and had been immediately surrounded and badly gutted. He fell unconscious into the water, turning it a deep crimson, and we lept in after him. Drowning was not a threat as we could still breathe water at that point, but they could easily tear him apart if we did not redirect their attention. We eliminated the three sinspawn and pulled Colin out and brought him back to consciousness. We decided that it would be a good time to rest, and we headed back to the glass-walled observatory for safety.
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The Crows Piling

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:46 am

Rova 6th 4714,
Maybe the 7th.

It’s late, possibly early when my shift starts. By my estimates we’ve been in here for three days longer than I expected. Still haven’t found the Sihedron piece. This place is much more expansive and deadly than I had predicted. After 10,000 years, I had expected the Tower Girls to be our biggest threat… possibly some undead trapped inside. Portals to the hells and devils nipping at our heels was a surprise. Not to mention the fact that the Runelords truly discovered a form of Immortality. Not just the hibernation we’ve heard of Karzogs… but some of the abominations they directly created are still here. 10,000 years later… Almost makes me feel guilty about destroying them.

Almost.

One thing I do like is this observatory. The glass walls looking out to the ocean is quite fascinating, and a bit disconcerting when the larger fish come to investigate our lights. Still, the Thassalonian architecture holds and I’m convinced we’re safe.

Sadly we were only safe from the fish. Halfway through third watch something came bolting up the stairs into our camp. I still have no idea what they are, but at best description was like a face with bat wings and tentacles over it’s mouth. I’m torn if it’s a mage’s experiment or another devil, but they are fast!

I leapt to my feet but it was already attacking me, I slashed one with my sword, but when it failed to drop, I shouted to the others to wake. Sleep is very valuable at this point… In hindsight, if they had attacked on Pyraxis’ shift, I doubt I’d have needed waking. I stabbed at mine a few times with Penny and Elle joining in. Pyraxis on the other hand bounced to his feet and slapped it once like a mosquito, crushing it’s skull/face/tentacles into mush. Then he came over and slapped mine to death. Though we did wear that one down a bit…

We debate for some time on what to do next. We have explored a lot of this stronghold, but there are a lot of blank spots on Penny’s map too. Things we’d marked for later, and with the filth fever hanging over me and constant bouts of unconsciousness I don’t have as much confidence in ‘later’. We all feel refreshed for the time being, taking another full 8 hours after our interruption (I feel confident in calling this the 7th at this point), so we decide we would all feel better if we went and killed Lord Baz at this point.

I take a perverse pleasure in lying to demons… devils… whatever. We stormed into his chamber like we owned the place and I proclaimed his enemy dead and demanded the reward promised. He seemed suspicious and wanted a body… I told him there wasn’t anything left after Elle blew it up. If he wanted scrapings there may be some on the wall. I’m not sure he believed me, but he didn’t really seem to care either and waved us toward the Zither. As soon as I was close, I hurled my silver dagger at it. It screamed about Betrayal and how it treated us honestly… I wasn’t impressed, and neither was Elle who promptly bombed it.

Sadly, while my silver weapon hurt it, it didn’t kill it. Screaming threats of retribution, it teleported away taking my dagger with it. I hate unfinished business…

Next on our list of ‘laters’ was to visit those statue/pillars that showed the breaking of the the Sihedron. Both glowed brightly with magic, but there was definitely a right and wrong answer. The Statue of Alaznist  increased our insight and abilities for 24 hours…. The one with the other runelords? That one drained our insight for the same. Most of us ran forward to gain the boon, though Pyraxis distrusted the magic and wouldn’t partake. I hope he doesn’t regret that later.

Next, the portal room. We’re not really sure what to do with this. I hate the idea of an open portal to the abyss just miles from Magnimar. However, it’s been here for 10,000 years, and the city wasn’t over run. In fact the Accuser demon, imps and Lemures seem to be the worst of the threats…

Penny however is concerned about future Pathfinders exploring this ruin in the future, so we decide to make it as safe as possible.  After a quick look, we determined that it was in fact a labyrinth… which made me imagine a demon minotaur stomping around in here… We know there is something in there, though I don’t hear it this time. With some investigation, Penny determines that we are able to break or displace ten of the iron plates that cover this place, it should disrupt the portal. Downside? Breaking or displacing a plate risks activating it. We determined it was worth it. We decide it best to break it near the escape door.

Penny used my folding shovel, and I use my crowbar to try to pry up a couple. We actually did have some success and between the two of us, we were able to pop three or four of them with incredible difficulty. Pyraxis seemed to rip through the rest like an old napkin. I was actually a bit awestruck watching it. When it was finished, A flash of fire seemed to circle around the maze burning many of the runes off the plates. It was a satisfying thing to see.

We did activate it twice, I think. Every time one popped free a flash of light happend, but we were only attacked by a hellhound and an imp. So, probably the best we could have hoped for. Now that it was inactive, Penny’s curiosity insisted that we find the center, none of us disagreed. This Pathfinder curiosity could be dangerous… I’m beginning to understand the legendary mortality rate.

We were curious, but we weren’t stupid. I drove some iron spikes into the ground wedging the door open. I didn’t want Lord Baz locking us in here to starve to death. Though I now think Pyraxis could get us out… Between our our own gear and the stuff taken from the Tower Girls, we are carrying an insane amount of rope. Tying some to the stakes, the maze wasn’t too dangerous. 450’ of rope later, and it ended in a ten foot circular room… that I imagine once held a glowing portal or rip in reality or something. Now? Just an empty room. Regardless, having closed down a portal to the hells, I suspect we’ll all sleep happily when we get home.

Next we worked our way back up to the room Penny originally left her swarm. On questioning, she apparently sent them away when I was nearly murdered in the pool… They are probably around here somewhere too… The next room had a Thassalonian sign that simply said ‘Do not leave cages open’ Probably why we didn’t continue the first time through.

Now… what we saw when we opened the door… was horrifying. Even for me. It was some kind of globby head and legs.. And that’s it. Like a two legged spider? Or a horrific letter M. Yes… we were attacked by the letter M. Fortunately once we got over our shock, we turned them into Ws. With some discussion, we were able to realize these were Flesh Dregs. Malformed experiments from failed fleshwarping attempts to create sinspawn. And essentially immortal. I can’t for the life of my understand why they weren’t destroyed when created… what purpose could these ‘mistakes’ be kept for?



Continuing down this hall, we found a portcullis that lead into the labyrinth again. On the way back, we were ambushed by Baz and the two imps, who I assume are the same ones who’s entertainment we interrupted. Baz summoned a swarm of rats on the girls, while the imps attacked me and Pyraxis. Pyraxis got free first and charged Baz and got a few good hits in I believe. Enough to make Baz teleport again. He proclaimed we could have this laboratory… i don’t know if he means the Flesh Dreg room or the whole piling? I’m going to stay on guard… but it’s possible this is one devil that we may not encounter again. We go back to the last place I nearly died, and searched both the pools in the area. No treasure or clues at all.

Here things start to get confusing. We follow the passageway past the pool and it goes a very long way, and on a downward slope. Perhaps I’ve gone delirious, but I don’t understand how all this is in the piling I’ve seen from outside. I’ll look over Penny’s map later, but I have to believe we’ve entered into some mage’s pocket dimension or something.

Soon we find more stairs going down, that lead to a cistern full of dark water with troughs leading off all three directions. In the distance I can hear singing that I was able to recognize it as Necril, though Elle is fluent in the language. Apparently it’s singing a song about dead bodies decomposing. Evidence indicates it to be some intelligent undead, though in hindsight the evidence is slim… honestly, It’s mostly the Necril bit, but rising from the dead knowing a new language? I admit that’s one of the aspects that I don’t really understand too well.

I see now though it will be my next endeavor. As we followed the river south, we came to a fascinating room with a stone bridge for us to cross. With a cursory glance it appeared to be a replica of the Magnimar skyline, including boats in the harbors with this bridge taking the place of the larger one. The ripples in the water distracted too much to dwell on it though. I couldn’t see it, but when it questioned who were to enter this place, Elle took the lead.

She conversed with it at great length in Necril leaving me out. I had the Ranseur ready to stab the water, but the opportunity didn’t present itself. Elle appeared to make a deal with it, and it started telling us all about this level of the dungeon. Continuing our way, we would enter the sewers of the city.

That changes everything. I am having difficulty wrapping my head around this. I don’t understand how the piling could connect to the city without a mystically locked door barring anyone. The original door was legitimate enough, but nobody in 10,000 years has found their way up there? None of the devils found their way out? I don’t know just HOW aquatic those sinspawn were that nearly killed me… but others were in cages. There wasn’t much stopping them from getting out of the piling. I had based so much on the idea that nothing was getting in and more importantly nothing was getting out. My head hurts now, I suspect Elle’s concoction is wearing off… or just mental overload.

Back the way we came, there was also an ooze and some flammable/poisonous gas… but the next news directed our actions. Once we get past the flying Moray eels… we’ll find sickly blue dwarves that have been wandering around bringing humans and the like with them.

Derro! The missing people!! There’s apparently four of them, and they’ve been disagreeing… This was something we intended to look into, but I never expected them to get dropped in our laps like this!  

After this info was passed on, Elle again confirmed her agreement and vow to the creature and ushered us on. I demanded to know what she had agreed to. Apparently according to her, whatever that was… it used to be Lockerbie, the missing fisherman from the boat we explored. His quest for us was simple. Go to the boat, retrieve a locket, and return it to his wife. A task we intended to do anyway.

Now, we had another disagreement. I wanted to destroy him utterly. Elle felt compassion. I pointed out that it would be compassionate to destroy him utterly. We still didn’t know what he had become, but he felt that peace was beyond him (I could arrange it though), and the Magnimar skeletons we saw not far from here picked clean indicate to me he needs to die. I admit that he’s different then most intelligent undead… but that doesn’t mean much. He’s still dangerous, probably more so. Normally I can count on Elle to back me up here…

My mind leans toward possibly a revenant of some sort. He seemed concerned with his wife and that locket could be unfinished business… I just don’t know. I will agree to postpone his destruction… with reluctance. My intentions now are to return the locket, then come back. Perhaps this will free him to die in peace… if not I’ll cut off his head. That usually does it.

But first, DERRO!

Actually, first the Eels. They fly, and they strike from over 15’ away. And they hit insanely hard. I was able to hurt one with the Ranseur with Elle blowing it up. Pyraxis leapt to a pipe in the hopes of reaching it easier. However, it moved to a point that it wasn’t as effective as he’d hoped. Elle bombed that one too.

A little healing later, and we were overlooking a balcony with three of the dwarves.Two males and a female. One of the males held a spear like thing… with glass tubes and a needle. If I had to guess I assume it’s something poisonous. Possibly how they are kidnapping people... They heard us sneaking up… or possibly the bombs from earlier and scattered. I took a shot at the female as she fled, but it wasn’t a clear shot and I missed. We climbed down the balcony to pursue the closest one.
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Penelope Quink

Post  Penelope on Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:44 pm

Date:  7th of Rova, 4714
Location:  The Crow, Magnimar

Eager to put the mystery of the missing laborers to bed, we pursued one of the derro into a domed chamber stocked with operating equipment and a table sporting manacles.  Charming.  

In spite of how deep we are, this structure is still very much Thassilonian.  It appears the derro have simply repurposed it for their own needs, which begs the question, “What are those nefarious needs?”  

Unfortunately, the derro was in no mood to answer our questions and neither was his carrion golem buddy!  The twisted amalgamation of parts seemed rather fresh. (Ripe too!  Part of it was definitely troglodyte!)   I don’t believe he. . .she. . .  Whatever.  I don’t believe it had been around for the last ten thousand years.  The creature beat on Pyraxis with strength that was much more than the sum of its parts, but even so he was no match for our companion who literally kicked its head off after being softened up a bit from a well-placed bomb.   Apparently the head wasn’t sewn on as securely as it should have been!

We tried to get the derro to surrender but he was having none of it, which only made things trickier for us.  It seems a lot more difficult to knock someone out with our weapons, than to just kill them outright.  I have read that the path of good is often more challenging a path than that of evil and this seems to be just one more example of that truth.   Eventually we managed to render him unconscious without killing him and stuffed him – tied up, into an adjacent closet for later questioning.

The male derro with the glass-tubed injector spear was next on our list.  We followed him into a suite of rooms, a bedroom and an abattoir (that’s Galtan for killing place), and quickly realized he too, had no interest in either surrendering or chatting.  He had a friend as well – a darkmantle!  Pretty horrible beast that fell off the ceiling onto Pyraxis’ head and immediately folded down like the pretty pink parasol in my pack!  Except it was black.  And ugly.  And toothy.  Elle and I were able to help pull on either end of it to make it easier for him to shove it off and stop it from chewing his head.  This derro didn’t make it.

We found lots of alchemist supplies in his room and Elle was giddy!  We couldn’t find his formula book, but we haven’t yet finished our exploration of this wing.  It may yet turn up.   Uncovered was a magical cube – a screw on the bottom and one of the sides, while razors covered the face of its top.  It looks like a torture device, but I was unable to determine anything more about it just now.    Elle also discovered a trap door in the floor that opened to a very cold freezer made for storing those blue vials of alchemical substance that the derro were using in the glass spear.  It was SO cold that Elle was badly affected after opening it and took a while to recover.  I opened it from a distance with my spear, but would have been unable to get the vials out without experiencing the same difficulty.  We decided to come back to that once we finish our exploration.

The third derro – the female, was next.  We followed into the passageway she retreated and found her….and Natalya!  Most definitely NOT.  DEAD.  The derro was holding a wand, which after seeing its use, we realized it was a wand of Charm Person.  Great.  Between that and the Grease spell that Natalya cast in our path, things could have gone much worse than they did.  Grease has become our nemesis over our adventures together so far…   This time, with no cliff or sewage to fall in, we did much better.  

Natalya was Charmed and we had no desire to kill her, so took some care in that regard, but she’s tricksy that one!  Colin was nearly Charmed as well when the derro turned her wand on him.  I saw what was happening just as the magic was taking hold and screamed out to him not to listen to her!  She was NOT his friend!  Maybe my words broke through the fog, or maybe the shrill hysteria of my voice startled him off the precipice, but whatever it was, he pulled through.   Moments later, Pyraxis backhanded the derro’s head off.  Literally.  Again.  If ever a Charm or Dominate spell turns him against us, we may be in serious trouble!  More than once my mother has told me that my head wasn’t screwed on straight. . . I fear that my noggin would be too easily removed from atop my neck!

After the decapitation, we were able to knock out and manacle Natalya.  While she was unconscious, we took the opportunity to grab some much needed rest, and Elle found a chest underneath the female derro’s bed that was filled with some apparently interesting things, because she stuffed many of the contents into her pack.  This place has been a treasure trove for her alchemical interests!

Natalya came to after a couple of hours.  She was very confused.  So were we!  She told us that the tower girls did indeed drop her out of the dingy in the middle of the harbor, but the derro found her as she was dropping and somehow rescued her, bringing her back to the piling.  She doesn’t remember because she was unconscious at the time.  She was hesitant to trust us after we went into her hideout and attacked her and we tried to explain the extenuating circumstances.   Having the shard in her possession bent her mind toward the sin of pride but she had no idea that it had so affected her.  Elle had the same experience.  It all seemed perfectly rational to both of them at the time.  Natalya wasn’t buying all this at first but we convinced her that not only had the shard’s magic affected her but that the derro had used her wand to Charm her into staying put and not leaving the room that we had just found her in.   After a bit of persuading, she agreed to come back with us to talk with Sheila.  

We decided to explore just a bit further before heading back to the city to resupply.  Natalya in tow.  Beyond the room where we were resting, there were a series of jail cells where, the former tower girl told us, abducted laborers were being held.  We decided not to go there first because this place was hardly safe yet for them to tag along, and we haven’t found the entry to the sewer in order to lead them out.  It would be terrible if there were any undue casualties during this rescue!

Pressing on in the opposite direction, we moved down a narrow staircase descending one level into the floor and came to a room that appeared to be an alchemical workshop.  A taller, more slender derro inhabited this room, along with her two mini-mes.  Homunculi.  All three attacked us without question and battle was joined!  It was. . .tricky.  The homunculi were annoying, but that derro was downright deadly, using draughts and bombs somewhat similar to what my sister can do.  The most trouble came when she drank a potion, became invisible and flew to the ceiling to drop bombs on us.  Even when she was visible up there, she was about fifteen feet above our heads and very difficult to hit with any kind of weapon.  It was looking bad for the good guys!  Not to be done in by a little blue female, Pyraxis grabbed the long table that stood against one wall, dumped the contents to the floor and started beating her with it!  A table!  It was like a horrifying game of stick ball!  Even with this improvised weapon, she wasn’t so easy to reach and it took some time, but eventually our companion beat her to death with a fifteen foot wooden board.    

There are some things I just never thought I’d put in print.

We did find a key ring on her person – probably used in the room holding the laborers.  We also found three vials of what Elle described as memory poison.  When injected into a person, they would forget everything that happened to them before and for an hour afterward.  They can’t form new memories while the poison is in their system.

So that’s the “how” of the mystery.  We have yet to determine the “why”. . .


Elements for further research:  
Portable/collapsible mancatcher
Derro – the heck is up with these guys?  What is their motivation?  What are they trying to find with these experimentations?

Vanguard “To Do” List:
Check out the spiral staircase down in hopes that it leads to the sewers to Magnimar
Retrieve the blue vials from the secret floor-freezer
Rescue laborers from their prison
Take Natalya to Venture-Captain Heidmarch
Take laborers to Officer Kasadei and explain the circumstances (as we know them…)
Return brooch to Lockerbie’s wife
Identify the mysterious and magical  box with the screws and the razors
Identify the scarab found on the lithe, bombing derro’s body
Buy wands of healing!!
Rid Colin of the Fever
Return to the piling to finish exploring
Deal with the Suzerain of Little Erebus
Put down the remaining lemures
Ensure that Lockerbie Brast will be no threat to later visitors to the piling
FIND SIHEDRON SHARD
Finish mapping the piling for posterity.  Make detailed notes and drawings of the artwork and reliefs

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Penelope

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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:34 am

7-9-4714

We are STILL!!!!! In the pylon. All of us hurting, all of us nearly drained of spells. Well, almost all of us since I seem to have an unlimited supply of fire, not that it matters in this devil infested hell (pun intended) we’ve found ourselves in. But still, we continue.

We find ourselves at a spiral staircase and hoping beyond hope at the bottom we find an entrance to the sewers. You heard me, we are actually looking for the sewers. Well, around four hundred feet downward later we find the stairs ending at a complete cut off leading into a cavernous darkness we, with the help of a light marble, would discover was the fungus infested darklands.

Once the marble started to move on it’s own we booked out of there. Darklands is not something I want to play with.

So we head back up the long dark of Pylon Raven and search the large room at the top of the stairs. We find nothing of interest unless you count a secret door. Thankfully I do count a secret door as being of interest.

This hallway has been completely untouched in the last thousands of years, evident by the sheer number of cobwebs. Including the ones covering the corpse of what Penny calls a Shriezyx. It looks like a very large spider ball with a huge mouth full of pointy teeth. Creepy.

Continuing down this hallway of unusedness we come to a large room with many things of interest in it. Most prominently an alter like thing shaped in a seven pointed star with a small metal object sitting in a place of prominence. Oh, and two very much alive spider balls.

The good news? Not only can they be burned, but they are afraid of fire!!! The bad? That means they wanted me dead pretty fiercly and almost succeeded. In fact, I drop at one point in time to my utter joy (sarcasm) but at least I know I took one with me as he burned himself to death bitting me. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

So, while I’m out I’ll describe this room real quick. High domed ceilings cover walls filled with untouched murals all lit with a golden light.

But the battle is now over and my friends do their best to heal me up. I wake up, but oh so very sore. So we decide to rest for a bit, about an hour to be exact.

Afterwards Penny is chosen to take the shard, since we believe it’s Wrath and well, love the little girl but she is weak physically and we should be able to drop her quickly if she get’s out of hand.

She takes the shard and nothing happens, “I feel a little sick” she says. A little underwhelming in all.

We spend the next long while exploring this place and if I wrote down every step we took it would get long and boring. Well, more so at least.

Highlights, in a cavern that looks like it is either wearing down or hand carved (not the same magical quality as the previous hallways) Penny finds a green ever burning torch on a wall opposite a grimy water filled cistern. Penny grabs the torch and is immediately covered in a green slime that starts to eat her and her clothing. Colin and I are able to scrap the stuff off of her though we lose the items we used in the process, me one of my better frying pans and Colin a punch dagger. Oh well.

Pyraxis and Colin decide amongst themselves who is going into the water to search the cistern as I burn the slime. Apparently they decide these things by literally rolling dice on the floor. My friends are weird.

Colin loses and jumps in but finds nothing.

We leave here following the tunnel to a walkway with what looks like a sewer running along side of it, though the sewer exit is completely collapsed. We explore this place using conviently placed wooden planks to cross the gaps along the walkways and while in here we find a large room filled with what I am told a flammable gas. For once the vote goes my way and while everyone steps way back, I explode the room. I am then blinded for the next several seconds while the large explosion rocks what I believe must be the whole pylon. Worth it.

Colin and I search the room, him in the waterways that run throughout this section and me by jumping across the gaps (since the explosion destroyed the wooden planks) to search the top part. Oh yeah, I can now let a small explosion off at my feet to help propel me when I jump. I’ve got something else I’ve been working on as well but I’ll get into that later.

Continuing this way leads us back to the room with the secret door and the stairs to hell, or the Darklands, either way.

We find nothing here so we head to the room with the cistern in it and Pyraxis finally loses the die roll and gets to go swimming. He finds nothing.

We then decide to visit the undead water thing Lockerby. Who is less than helpful but does tell us where the sewer entrance is.

We find that, then head back in and question our Derro friend. Who doesn’t speak our language and thus no one can communicate with him so there is no questioning.

We go towards the prisoners, a room shaped like a half circle with six cells holding three people. We free them and while exiting with them through the sewer, they tell us they are all tradesman who were taken from the streets at night (though not at the same time) and brought here. They say Derro were the ones who brought them a mushroom gruel which is all they have had to eat. Poor things, poor poor things.

Oh yea, before we leave Colin disturbs even me by taking the heads of the other Derro then we attempt to get a blue vial from the freezer. Opening the freezer absolutely numbs me enough that even my vile heritage doesn’t help and I drop, again. Penny heals me and now that I’ve absorbed most of the cold Colin is able to get a bottle with little trouble.

So we exit, thankfully, inside the city itself and we take our guests (both willing and unwilling) and prizes to Cassidy the guard lady. There is much rejoicing, I cook for whomever can get to it first (most especially the poor poor prisoners) and after talking it over with her superiors, she decides to give us all of the reward monies. Only two thousand five hundred in all.

So yeah, that “wrath” shard we found. Wasn’t.

Penny grabs the money as it’s being handed over and as I make a joke about wrath and greed, she bolts out the door. We give chase but….well, it’s her city, she knows it a hell of a lot better than we do. We lose her.

Unable to decide where she might go, we head home. Ebrylis ever present at the gate has not seen our friend so we continue to where Sheila is. We turn over Natalia, for some reason still alive, and our dear boss informs us that if we had only returned to rest she could have informed us that the shards point to a specific counterpart when the visions are used and yes, Pride leads to Greed, to Lust, to Gluttony, Envy, then Wrath and finally Sloth.

I call dibs on Lust, though I get doubting looks my way. I’ll admit, Wrath would probably be a better fit, but hell, I’m angry enough as it is all the time.

Colin refuses to be seen by a temple so we decide to rest for the night and begin again our search for Penny in the morning. As we leave Sheila tells us that we go back to the pylon her husband would like us to do something for him there.

So here we are resting in our room when lo and behold, in comes Penny, wearing all our gold in the form of necklaces and rings and other various sorted expensive accoutermonts. Greed, thy name is well, Greed but I suppose lavishness would also work.

Arguing with her will do no good so we decide to blessedly sleep the rest of the night. In the morning we speak with Canayven who would like us to, should we head back into the pylon, bring him back any piece of historical significance we can find. He will pay us five hundred gold coins (down Penny) for each one we bring back as long as he finds it to be significant.

After that Pyraxis sells what else we found in there while Penny and Colin return Lockerby’s pendant to his now widow.

While out I pick up a couple wands of healing since well, yeah the more healing the better.

We talk about the ioun stones needed for each of the remaining shards, including Adamantine for Greed. Going to need Cayden’s own luck for this one.

Anyway, we decide to rest a couple days before tackling the pylon again, which is good cause it will give me a chance to practice this new technique I’ve been working on. Guess who’s got a flaming sword? Made out of FIRE!?
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MrPrettyPretty

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Re: A Journal Bearing the Adventures of Pathfinders

Post  Magyc on Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:45 pm

Penny explained what the “Extraction Device” did. It sounded like a very painful process. I am intrigued…as long as the damage is not permanent, I may volunteer myself as a test subject. If I am ever able to master pain, I must be able to surpass it in whatever form it comes in. I will wait until the possessiveness of the shard is dealt with—I do not want Penny to think I have designs on her property.

The group decided to research the stone associated with the shard. In solidarity, I went the first morning. I have no particular dislike of book work, but neither do I seek it out. It is best to have our most eager members, and those particularly suited and talented to address the task at hand, to tackle a challenge they are best suited for; whilst I hone my skills in the arena. That is the very purpose of a diverse Pathfinder force.

After five days, a lead was found. We believe the stone we are after surfaced over a 1,000 years ago, bought by a Chelaxian merchant from the Shoanti in 3693. It was then sold to a wealthy Nidalian family, the Borias, for 12,000 gold. The family is still in existence, and heads a village in Northern Nidal, though they are not nearly as strong as they once were. It is believed they still have the stone.

Penny is still deeply in thrall to the shard- she stole a number of books from the library. Hopefully we can set her right before she takes something that causes a real problem.
After we had found as much as we could from the library, talk turned to what we should do next. Half of us wanted to go back to the pylon to finish our research and “clean it out” of the undead and devilish infestations. The other half wanted us to keep our eyes on our goal and move on to Nidal. We were at an impasse, and took the matter to Sheila. While she reaffirmed the importance of our Nidal mission, she stated that if we left the Crow so abruptly without seeming to put in the time a Pathfinder expedition would be expected to put in…many questions might be raised. It was decided that we would return to the Crow, in part at least to maintain the charade.

We took our secret sewer entrance back to the Crow. Our first step was to visit the creature Lockerbie. Colin wanted to destroy it. I was of the opinion that Lockerbie had dealt with us reasonably and fairly, and would act as a deterrent to looters who might think the Crow was now easy pickings. Things went ok until Colin provoked him, and when Lockerbie started issuing threats about tracking us and killing us in our sleep, he had to go. Colin and I took to the water after him, while Penny and Drax aided from the bridge. He was a capable underwater combatant, but Colin and I were able to score some hits. Colin took a few nasty hits himself, and Penny courageously jumped in to prevent him from drowning as I finished off Lockerbie.

Drax and Penny then got into a scuffle over something they found and ended up in the water. I understand the utility of keeping things out of her possession, but once she has something, it seems futile to try to recover it, and I’m not sure why Drax went to such extremes. Penny did end up with whatever they were quarreling over, as she made it back to the bridge first.

With the undead threat eliminated, we moved to check on the devilish threat. Lord Bas was still gone, and we dispatched the two lemurs he was holding captive. We went to the Suzerain’s domain, and Colin lied to him about killing his subjects. He got angry and ordered his lemurs to attack us, then tried to escape. He did not make it out the door before he was slain. Penny quickly grabbed his leather pouch…hopefully one day we will find out what was in it.

We spent the night in the room with the underwater view. We decided to spend this next day in a room at the top filled with murals, so that we could actually do the work of research and recording, and not just continue the ruse. Penny seemed to put the influence of the shard aside for a time as she engaged in her original passion, which was reassuring to see. As evening arrived we decided to return to the compound. We took the boats back as we wanted to bring two cauldrons with us. After we arrived near the harbor, we were able to trade the boat for a pair of carts and donkeys to transport the cauldrons through the streets.

The next morning at the compound we presented our findings to Canayvan. Several of our new finds greatly excited him and he gave us the rewards he promised. He also told us Sheila had a new job for us before we headed to Nidal, and we sought her out to find out the details.

Apparently a Pathfinder named Ignizzy Dinaletter had been assigned a small group of Pathfinder recruits to train. She lived in a cottage out in the Sanas forest. Usually the Magnimar lodge was responsible for resupplying her, but for some reason we were tasked with tacking some pack mules laden with supplies to her outpost. She told us how Ignizzy was one of the top experts in the Society on the topic of the First World. After we accomplished our resupply mission, we were free to proceed to Nidal.
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Magyc

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Sanos Forest

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:21 pm

Rova 17th 4714

Today is a research day, after having been given our new mission to deliver supplies to Ignizi Dinnelletter. She has a reputation that I consider… anti-social. She’s very hard on her trainees. She’s quite the expert on the First World… and in order to avoid looking like fools, most of us agreed that we should have at least a rudimentary knowledge about the First World. Undoubtedly we won’t earn her respect with our vast knowledge… but hopefully we can at least make amiable conversation and leave on decent terms.

Penny still insists on walking around town brimming with gems, so I made sure she got to the library safely. After that I picked up a few supplies of my own. Drax had no interest in studying until he found out that the First World was another plane. He has a sincere interest in other planes… Then I went to replace my lost weapons.

Before I returned, I was able to acquire a new wand to heal myself. Mine is about half used up, and I’m not sure what’s coming in the future. Penny can have my current one… I also picked her up a pair of blade boots for her shard. It’s useful for hiding certain thin pieces of sharp metal that we really don’t want lifted out of our pockets by nimble-fingered street urchins. I haven’t found a way to block the magical emanations yet, so a good Detect Magic reveals all… but I take what precautions I can.


Rova 18th, 4714

We leave Magnimar again. I have mixed feelings. On one hand… we’re not inside that piling anymore… but we’re enroute to Nidal. I really NEVER wanted to go to Nidal… Even for a fabled Sihedron piece my enthusiasm is tempered. Penny however has enough enthusiasm for all of us as usual.


Rova 24th, 4714

We arrived in Wartle, a small village outside of Sanos forest. It’s been a week of traveling, and while I do like being outside the piling into some fresh air… It’s much brighter out here. We’re back to traveling during the day. Still, I have my hat. It’s not my first uncomfortable trip, and hopefully not the last.

We lose half a day, but it’s nice to eat more than rations and sleep in a decent bed. Admittedly Wartle barely qualifies for either. A swampy village with buildings on stilts, it’s nothing to write home about. Some basic supplies, but nothing of masterwork quality. Still the people are decent enough and the night passed uneventfully.


Rova 25th, 4714

We left Wartle and headed into Sanos Forest. We followed a stream north toward the vale. Something was wrong and all of us could sense it. Except Drax. I think he may have been smelling too many spices or something. Something was rotted around here. It was faint, but all encompassing. Nothing I could trace, but I did spy some giant bear tracks.There was definitely death in the air. I may have to start sniffing some spices myself. My mind wandered to either a Giant bear killing Ignizi and her trainees… or possibly the anti-social druid becoming a bear and killing her trainees… The others didn’t like my train of thought and chided me on it. Perhaps the sun was affecting me, but I felt it a valid possibility.

Before evening we approached a clearing with a cabin. It also seemed that we found the source of the death stench. It was certainly a good news/bad news situation. Bad news… There were two giant bear shaped things with bird heads and rotted peeling flesh smashing at the walls trying to get into the cabin. Good news? Zombies don’t try that hard to get into a room unless the occupants are still alive.

Penny charged first starting up her encouragement and getting a little closer to the one making the most headway at the wall. Boards were creaking and breaking… but they were no Pyraxis. Drax called dibs on the other one, so Pyraxis and I backed up Penny. Moments later, Drax’s was dead and on fire while Pyraxis was holding a giant bird head. My sword was bloodied, but no kill shots for me that day. They were the more deadly ‘fast’ zombies… but we still defeated them quickly enough.

As the last died, boards started prying loose from the windows of the cabin, and a small gnome came crawling through speaking quite rapidly. There was much said very quickly, but the highlight was this. Did we bring wine? Where was the wine? Also gratitude for killing the owlbears… but that was quite secondary to the location of the wine. There was also an inquiry into how ‘fat’ Shiela had gotten. Perhaps it was the thrill of successful combat… but I found her quite delightful to listen to.

She instantly started barking orders between trying to dig out the wine… or even some INK she could drink. Everything between burning the zombies, unloading the wagon and pulling turnips. Drax seemed instantly smitten with her and proclaimed love for her. I can’t even imagine what the children of a gnome and the Turducken would result in…

It seems she has little opinion of her trainees as being worthless and horrible. The ‘zombos’ as she calls them have been raiding and attacking for a whole week. They drug off the one trainee who was worth anything. Dijjit was an orange haired gnome who knew fungus like the back of her hand. This impressed Ignizi… as at least the best of the worst.

Drax again took charge of the cooking and I could hear him yelling at the trainees in true hazing manner. He does love being in power… and Ignizi joined in with the berating while still talking to us. It did have some similarities to Absalom… but harsh words never bothered me much.

One strange piece of information that she was able to share with us… was information she gathered from ‘Pigweddle’ claimed that Maragana appeared in the woods weeks ago. The names meant nothing to me, and I’m not sure they meant anything to Ignizi either. Possibly one of the downsides to communing with Fey. We were able to determine that Pigweddle was most likely a fairy dragon… but Maragana meant nothing.

We stayed up fairly late listening to tales of the First World… where fish fly through the air. It sounds unbelievable and fascinating… but I’m not sure I would enjoy a visit there. The world changes so often maps are obsolete before they’re finished. While I don’t exactly hate the absurd… I do prefer things to be a bit more… let’s say ‘reliable’. She insisted that we didn’t need watches, but at least Penny and I still felt more comfortable with our routines.


26th Rova 4714

We left early to try and track Dijjit. I hold little hope for her survival, but Ignizi did acknowledge that she was drug off alive and not killed on the spot. That to me means that someone is controlling the zombies. Free range would never behave in such a manner. Priest? Necromancer? I have nothing left to go on, but when mindless undead have a controller, we lose the only real benefit to fighting ‘mindless’ undead.

Pyraxis and Penny wanted to bring the trainees along with us to find/avenge Dijjit. If Ignizi’s opinion of them was even remotely accurate, I didn’t want to be responsible for them… or trust them to guard my back. Penny pointed out that if one of us were taken, she’d want to come find us…. I countered back that if one of us had been taken, and we didn’t have permission to search… I’d have done it anyway. The fact that these kids were stowed away in the cabin instead of rescuing their comrade told me a lot about their skill and mindset.

Fate stepped in when the druid refused to even listen to the idea. They were there to live and train… not die. If she wanted them dead, she would have already taken them to search for Dijjit herself. Good enough for me.

The owlbears left large tracks and weren’t that difficult to follow. We traveled for some time in peace when we came to a large lake with many rocks and boulders around. I heard Penny gasp and looked where she was pointing all wide eyed. Behind one of the rocks, was the hindquarters of large horse… with wings folded against its side.

Penny wanted to catch it… and I’ll admit, I too wanted to ride the thing. I’ve heard about great heroes riding flying horses… but considering how much time I spend in dungeons… I never thought I’d see one.

With little discussion, the others wanted nothing to do with it… while Penny I were determined to sneak up on it. Truthfully, they aren’t sneaky… so we were better off without them. We literally had NO idea what to do if Penny got the lasso around it… but neither of us cared. That was a later problem. She snuck along the water while I tried to go wide and come at it from the flank.

We were doing pretty well I thought, when it seemed to hear something. Probably for the best… because as it looked around the rock, we saw the rest of it. A Dessicated skull and bones and torn wings… It was a zombie. Both of us were stunned, though Penny actually got over it much faster than I did… though she had help. A man shaped creature came rippling out of the water and caught her eye. She was instantly enraptured and started walking toward the water. Having to choose between killing undead pegasi… and rescuing Penny from a watery grave… it wasn’t much of a contest.

As I raced toward the lake, Drax came forward to intercept the Pegasus. When I was close enough, could hear the man humming, that clinched it. It was a Kelpie. A shape changing fey creature that could assume male or female form in order to enrapture and drown its prey. I charged in with the Ranseur and scored a hit, but not a kill. He grinned at me, wrapped his arms around Penny and dropped underwater. I kept stabbing, and in moments Pyraxis was there beside me. He was able to grapple the fey creature while I attempted to stab it to death. In time, I believe Pyraxis got this kill as well, ripping its head off. Trust me when I say that when the kelpie head regained its normal shape… Penny wasn’t smitten anymore.

As we walked back to the shore, Drax met us asking if we saw his fight. Apparently he soloed the pegasus zombie taking a few solid hooves to the head, but finishing it with a flaming sword. Regrettably, I admitted that I was busy killing water fey and keeping Penny from drowning… but really looked forward to seeing this flaming sword. While having this conversation, Penny was able to find some treasure… which unfortunately seems to make it HER treasure. We really need to find that ioun stone…

Following the tracks, we come to another stream. While trying to cross it, six zombies popped out and another pegasus came swooping in. Drax leapt the stream… possibly just because he could… and went for the other pegasus. The rest of us, made short work of the zombies (a few of these kills were actually mine this time,) and Drax solo’ed another pegasus. I actually did see the sword this time. It was rather impressive.

The tracks went around the stream and then back across to a well hidden cave that reeked of dead meat. We went inside.

The cave was bigger inside than I expected. It turned into a cavern of sorts with a large stone bridge crossing a chasm. There were three more zombies… giant dire porcupines this time. We also saw what had created them. A screamingly ugly Pukwudgie. Honestly, I know some about them, but never really put much thought into them before. They’re similar in their own way to porcupines with their massive amount of quills… however these quills are massively poisonous and the venom can turn you into a zombie for her to control.

She screamed about how they forced her from the forest and now she was back… My instinct was she referred to pigwiddle and the fey, making this Maragana, though in hindsight she may have meant Ignizi as well… since she admitted to having a prisoner that she intended to send back there to eat her comrades…

We were all intent on getting her killed as quickly as possible and charged forward, Drax’s fire leading the way. This… was not a good fight. Quills are problematic even from the dire porcupines… but Penny was the first one hit with Maragana’s quills. I had to decide to either take out the source, or fish around in my backpack for that antitoxin I’ve had forever. Knowing she had some neutralize poison potions herself… I raced forward.

The Porcupines were consistently in my way and hard to kill. Pyraxis was beside me trying to stomp them to death, but they kept sticking us with quills making it harder to maneuver and hit them. Drax did a decent job of blasting her across the chasm, while trying to provide cover for Penny as she fought the poison. It cost him dearly though, and even with the potion it seemed that the poison was winning.

I did what I could to move past the porcupines and go right for her, but I couldn’t till Pyraxis and I killed at least one. Then he tripped the other and started stomping it. Maragona however kept trying to hide from Drax’s fire while shooting quills into him and fire herself… Finally before I could get free, she hit me with a Ray of Enfeeblement draining my strength to the point that I couldn’t even move under the weight of my own gear. I hit back with a Blistering Invective, scorching the air around her… but the zombie was immune and apparently my words were too weak to reach her…
Unable to counter martially, I switched to the more unfamiliar caster mode. My Judgement did a decent job of mitigating my wounds. A few Shields of Faith and Magic Weapons to anyone who came within reach kept me in the fight, but Pyraxis and Drax did the heavy lifting.

Between the two of them she soon fell into fiery ash. Drax collapsed as well. Everyone rushed to his side. I had to drop my pack before I could join them with the antitoxin. He had so many quills in him, and he looked so weak. I would swear he was full of more poison than blood at this point. The worst part of it though was knowing what would come next. All the prestige in the world wouldn’t be able to change back a zombie. If he succumbed to the poison… I knew I’d have to destroy him and that was a lousy feeling.

Drax knew it too… and began muttering his final goodbyes. “Colin, I love ya man, it's been great knowing you. Penny, even with the shard you are still the best person I know. Pyraxis, I loved watching you work. You are awesome. Tell Elle she was crazy fun but try and be nicer to my replacement.” It was very emotional. We had done what we could to help, but it wasn’t enough. As Drax closed his eyes, I prepared to cut his head off. In my weakened state, it would probably take a few swings.

Then he opened his eyes again… eyes that were weak, but clear. As quickly as the poison entered his system, it seemed to burn out. Drax’s well known constitution had been stronger than the poison. Anyone else in his shoes would have been dead.

Which reminded me… I asked Pyraxis to get my bag before Penny claimed everything in it as hers… and limped to the back of the cave. Dijjit was there, and she was alive. But not by much. She had many quills in her as well, and was starting to look pale. We all joined in to try and treat the poison and did the best we could. I think she will pull through… but despite the rotting stench and being surrounded by death… nobody feels capable of leaving yet. We’ll know for sure in the morning.
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Post  Penelope on Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:30 pm

Date:  27th of Rova, 4714
Location:  Sanos Forest, Varisia

In spite of the stenchful cave, I slept like the dead last night.  We were all worn out from our fight with Marigana and even today we are dealing with the effects.  Drax in particular has not yet returned to his normally healthsome pallor and Dijjit is still unconscious, but we managed to haul everyone back to Ignizi’s cabin intact.

Ignizi didn’t seem especially pleased that she had her trainee back, but I bet her bark is fiercer than her bite, and she’s secretly glad that no one was lost on her watch.  Yep, that’s what I’m going to believe.  She did reward us for our services with a belt of potions, but Colin snatched it before I could put it away for safe keeping.  It’s a good thing I like these guys, because as of late, both Drax and Colin are becoming a little too greedy for their own good.  I’m just saying.

Also of note, Pyraxis asked me to use the Extraction Scarificator on him.  He is ever interested in proving and improving himself.  It might be a little unorthodox, but I got over my squeamishness and did as he requested even though I found out that using it on him was much worse than using it on myself.

Elements for further research:  
Pukwudgie – why are they so angry?
First world problems in Sanos Forest

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Post  Penelope on Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:32 pm

Date:  28th of Rova, 4714
Location:  Along the Yondabakari River, Varisia

Ignizi gave us a nice send off considering the source, providing us with a week’s worth of traveling rations as we make our way east to Palin’s Cove.  From there we hope to catch a ship for Nidal.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this adamantine ioun stone and see what it does!!

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Post  Penelope on Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:33 pm

Date:  8th of Lamashan, 4714
Location:  Palin’s Cove, Varisia

Palin’s Cove would be a great deal nicer if it wasn’t for the billowing gouts of black smoke spewing from the factory stacks that rise like a steely forest over the rooftops.  Everything is slowly covered in a fine layer of soot when the wind is still, and it’s loud!  They seem most interested in manufacturing weapons and siege machines and the like.  

I wouldn’t mind staying to explore a bit more but we’ll be leaving shortly on a ship named Queen’s Rule.  Orolo’s Quay is about one hundred and fifty miles journey.  From there we can travel east to Karpad, our destination.

A few things we learned to prepare us for our travels in Nidal:
1) Don’t speak ill of Zon Kuthon
2) Don’t speak ill of night or the darkness
3) Don’t be aghast at any forms of mutilation we might witness

Oh boy. . .


Elements for further research:  
Faith of Zon Kuthon

Questions for contemplation
Does my inflicting of torture upon Pyraxis every evening make me some kind of supplicant to the Prince of Pain??  I’ve been considering getting another tattoo, but are tattoo’s considered self mutilation??   I hope I’m not on some kind of slippery slope with all of this. . . momma would not at all approve if I came home with my eyelids removed or some such nonsense.

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