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  1. #1
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    Muddled Pasts - Pathfinder 3.5

    So instead of just keeping notes somewhere I figured I might as well keep track of our new Pathinder 3.5 campaign here, even if I'm the only one who ends up reading it. At time's I'll slip from anoverview to my character's (Grezz) POV, just because. Right now we have 4 players, one who is pretty much brand new, one who has limited experience, one who's been playing for a few years, and one with more than a few years. The GM is extremely experienced and running to some degree off the Rise of the Runelords mods.

    The characters, with what we know of them at their arrival in Sandpoint, are as follows:

    Trixie the Tricksy, female halfling bard, an absolute bombshell in a small package
    Telbaine, male elven druid with fox familiar, somewhat aloof
    Tofa, female human barbarian, carries the scent of the sea with her along with an armory of weapons
    Grezzalik M'rethan, male half-elven sorcerer covered with tattoos of strange runes.

    Session #1 (July 19,2010)
    Everyone loves a festival, and the people of Sandpoint were no exception. As an added bonus there was the dedication of the new house of worship, finally rebuilt at the site of the one that burned down five years ago, back during the Late Unpleasantness. Many alive today were more than happy to put those memories behind them and just enjoy the revel - who would object to free food and drinks?

    Goblins, evidently.

    Suddenly the town square was filled with their high-pitched babbling and shrieks of pain. It sounded as if other parts of town were also under attack and with no guards in sight, things looked grim indeed. A canine yelp of anguish brought a series of curses from a smith selling weapons, but he was not the first to react. Near a baker's stand a diminutive but stunningly gorgeous halfling traded blows with one of the foul creatures, when suddenly a bolt of pulsating green energy nearly parted her hair.

    "Hey!" she yelled in surprise, even as her foe went over backwards with most of its head gone. She glared at a half-elf covered in glowing green tattoos. "Watch it, buddy!" She then turned and skewered another goblin that had sliced someone's fox with a dogslicer - an alarmed looking elf scooped the creature up and edged away.

    On the other side of the square a muscular woman with a multitude of weapons began laying waste to goblins left and right. Her joyous cries of battle reverberated throughout the square. From another side a goblin festooned in ritual garb moved in crooning some sort of song, and the remaining goblins redoubled their assault. The half-elf made a few gestures as his skin flared again, and before him a dog suddenly appeared, orienting on the goblin caster and charging. Trixie dropped another goblin and headed over to give the moron that had almost zapped her a tongue lashing.

    "Hey!" she started, but suddenly he grunted as an arrow seemed to appear in his shoulder. To make matters worse another goblin came from nowhere and clocked him on the other side, and down he went. The big woman split that one almost in two, and Trixie was suddenly aware of the harsh intonations coming from a dressed up goblin.

    ", I can fart better than that, much less sing." But sing she did, and her voice blew the goblin's song away. Those trying to stop the wrecking ball that was Tofa seemed to lose heart, and Trixie was able to revive the fallen goofball with a spell. He snapped to just as another wave of goblins arrived, this time led by a larger one mounted on some horrible looking ratlike creature. The fellow with the fox had returned from whatever alley he'd been ensconced in, putting a glaive to use with reasonable skill. The one called Tofa, having dispatched the shaman, now waded in against the newcomers, and suddenly the four were acting as one, saving someone being dragged from his horse. Trixie's rapier was like a darting adder, Telbaine's weapon flicked in and out as well, Tofa knocked goblins hither and yon, and Grezz knocked several unconscious as his hands exploded with scintillating colors. The leader, his mount killed from under him and his minions falling rapidly, took off with nary a backwards glance. A few guards began to arrive in the almost deserted square, but for right now, standing in the middle of several corpses, they looked at one another.

    "So," said Grezz with a wry smile, "I suppose introductions are in order."
    Last edited by jydog1; Monday, 23rd August, 2010 at 04:06 AM.
    'So she falls into me? - me
    'If you consider her shoving you with both hands in an obvious attempt to make you tumble down the stairs to be falling into you then yes, she falls into you.' - Piratecat


    http://www.enworld.org/forum/story-h...der-3-5-a.html
    Muddled Pasts - a Pathfinder 3.5 Campaign updated weekly (I hope)

    Machine of Death? Why yes, I do have a story in it. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or for free at http://machineofdeath.net/a/

 

  • #2
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    Session #2 - 8/2/2010

    From the journal of Grezzalik M'Rethan

    It doesn't matter how pretty she might have been, it was a chance I couldn't take. Especially once I found out the blasted Scarnettis are in Sandport too . . . bloody hell. I had one of the local nobles, a fop by the name of Foxglove, tell me that nobody cared about Zerlan, but he knew about it up here, didn't he? Sanctioned magic duel or not, I blew the head off of a son of one of the most powerful families in Varisia.

    Paranoia on my part is completely justified, methinks.

    On the upside, the whole damn town is treating the four of us like heroes. We've been hailed, wined and dined, and even have the head of the local theater paying us for the rights to the story. I can't imagine why, but 10 gold is 10 gold. I will not be attending opening night, though. Not going to make it that easy for those bastards.

    My new friends are an interesting lot. The halfling charms the hell out of everyone she meets, and the northern warrior isn't too far behind. They have Foxglove eating out of their hands. Tofa revealed that she was a captain on her first voyage when her crew mutinied - she was a little vague as to why - and she set the ship ablaze and swam away. A passing ship found her and brought her here. She seems to get getting along well with one of the local smiths, a real hardass type named Dos or something like that. I found an alchemist along with another guy who I would hazard deals with the darker side of the herbal arts. Interesting town, this Sandport. And I'm not even going to mention how fascinated I am by the clock in the Inn we're at, which is reputed to be haunted but in any case radiates enough magical power to outside the sun, if you're the type who can see something like that.

    Wow. Remind me not to piss her off.

    The druid remains an odd duck. He insists on sleeping in some run-down cabin by the water, and somehow we managed not to find a boar with him doing the searching - I thought those woodsy types could find a green ant on a tree leaf, but he didn't find anything. Not that me hanging onto a horse while wrestling with a boar spear was really a great idea in the first place, but Foxglove is supposedly opposed to the Scarnettis, so he'd be a good ally.

    Telbaine has some crazy rune he is trying to get identified. I have the feeling I should recognize it, but I can't. He's tight-lipped as to why. Not sure I can trust him yet. Not sure I can trust any of them, although the girls came with me when - okay, here's the deal. I get a knock on my door late the other night. Young woman's voice, says she has to talk to me. With misgivings I opened the door, and there's a comely lass from of the mercantile families in the hallway. She says there's a problem with some sort of giant something back at her family's shop, and she'd like me to take care of it. Just me.

    i try to get more out of her, but she just insists it's a problem she feels I should handle alone, and goes off to wait for me. I smelling a big fat trap, so I rouse Trixie and Tofa, who grumble but come with me to drag Telbaine out of his seaside shack - by Selryn's Glory, what a hole that place is - and we head over to the store to find the girl waiting for me in flimsy negligee and an expression of profound disappointment as she sees I didn't come alone. She mumbled something about the problem being solved and slammed the door shut.

    It's entirely possible I misread the situation.

    Trixie and Tofa manged to laugh themselves sick, despite not being able to answer my perfectly reasonable question if that she wanted s meeting like that, why didn;t she just come into my room back at the inn? Ah, women. Still, for all I know there were assassins on either side of her door.

    There probably weren't assassins. But one can't be too careful. The next day a woman rushed in screaming about a monster in her kid's closet - we arrived too late to save her husband but managed to kill a goblin that had been hiding there, probably since the raid during the festival. We could have saved him, perhaps, if we'd moved sooner. This weighs on me. The sheriff took the opportunity to mention our services might be needed again soon, and I wouldn't mind a few more coins in my pocket - I;d like to purchase a replacement for my alchemical lab that somehow got lost in the shuffle of my departure. I need to talk with the sage in town, reputedly a master of Thessalonian, and find out about local ruins as well. There was a local carver a few years ago who evidently went nuts and switched from wood to people - killed a lot of them before being taken down. I'm going to wander around and find his carvings - I have a feeling there might be something to them.

    But seriously, why didn't she just come in? Sigh.
    'So she falls into me? - me
    'If you consider her shoving you with both hands in an obvious attempt to make you tumble down the stairs to be falling into you then yes, she falls into you.' - Piratecat


    http://www.enworld.org/forum/story-h...der-3-5-a.html
    Muddled Pasts - a Pathfinder 3.5 Campaign updated weekly (I hope)

    Machine of Death? Why yes, I do have a story in it. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or for free at http://machineofdeath.net/a/

  • #3
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    Session #3 - 08/09/10 - Heart of Glass

    From the journal of Grezzalik M'Rethan:

    Some days you can't do anything right. Your spells all fizzle, you can't hit the broad side of a barn with a slingstone, and you can't even tell when a woman is throwing herself at you (even if it might be a trap!).

    Other days, though, you can't seem to do any wrong. And yet people still die horrible deaths. Sandpoint (have I been calling it Sandport? hell, I can't keep it straight) is a town in trouble, and we might be the only hope. By Selwyn's Eyes, I hope not, but it's looking that way. How did this happen?

    The talk with the sheriff was pretty much what I expected it to be. With a local woodswoman they contract out there to fill us in on the local goblin tribes, Hemlock hired us to be a special attachment to the tiny guard force. Evidently we're inspirational to the townsfolk. Trixie, Tofa and Telbaine, of course, began trying to renegotiate our fairly lucrative deal, but in the end they agreed and after a night's rest, we headed out. Well, there's a thing about that weird clock in the inn - I tried to study it, and it seemed that when I'd gone upstairs I'd lost track of time and had two hours just flash by. Odd. Anyway, Hemlock was heading off to Magnadar to try to hire more help.

    So, we walked around Sandpoint, meeting people, talking with tradefolk - or, In Tofa's case, trying to get the slow on the uptake Dos Korvute to understand that she was interested in him, and picking up bits of info. Some kids told us they'd been warned away from the festival by a big guy with a demon on his shield, which we traced back to Korvute. He'd sold the guy and his Sorgarvai companion - a woman with jet black skin, possibly a spellcaster - far more weapons they they probably needed. I started to have a sneaking suspicion they had something to do with this, which was obvious since they knew the attack on the town was coming. We also discovered that the body of the former priest, who died 5 years ago when the church burned down, was stolen during that raid, which was probably the main objective. His daughter was supposedly killed in the same fire, but no trace of her was ever found. As the ranger had told us that the cohesion the five goblin tribes were working together with was highly unusual, her death seemed less likely.

    Things happened quickly then, as they often do. A staffer from our inn, frightened and out of breath, came running up to us. Amiko, the owner, had been missing since last night, and she'd 'found' a letter in her room. It was from her brother Tsuso, a half-elf bastard offspring that was nothing but trouble for the house.

    Yes, I appreciated the irony, but it wasn't a laughing matter. From the letter he seemed unhinged, and he had begged his sister to come see him at the family glassworks last night at midnight. After some quick discussion - I thought we were overstepping our authority, but I was outvoted along with some remarks, as usual, from Trixie deriding my ability to close with a woman. So much smart-ass stuffed into such a tiny package!

    The glassworks didn't seem right. The smokestacks were puffing away but all the shades were drawn and the baker said she hadn't seen the workers come out for days. The doors were locked but my concern that we didn't have the power to break in was overruled as Trixie popped the lock with suspicious ease. Inside we heard the unfortunately familiar sound of goblins causing mayhem behind some doors, and thus we set about trying to save the day again.

    For some, it was too late. Limbs were strewn about the massive room, and one figure had been killed by having molten glass poured on him repeatedly. 7 or 8 goblins were having a jolly old time, which we decided to stop. I'm certainly not seasoned when it comes to conflict, but this was probably my finest hour so far. My summoned dog tore one goblin apart, and I blasted two unconscious with an illusory rainbow that blazed from my fingers. Two more tried to throw a pot of molten glass on me but that backfired when I gave one the business end of my new longspear, causing him to drop the stuff on his friend. Meanwhile Trixie's oddly rousing kazoo playing was inspiring us to finish them off, and Tofa was her usual destructive force. With Telbaine chipping away as well there were suddenly only 2 goblins left and they yelled something in terror (later Trixie, who speaks Goblin in addition to seemingly being skilled at EVERYTHING, said they'd cried out, 'Ahhh! The Longshanks of Sandpoint! Bastards!') and took off. Tofa, who had that scary glazed look in her eyes, tore off after them and I had no choice but to follow, with Trixie and Telbaine right behind me, the latter having tied up the goblins I'd knocked out.

    We chased them into an area that looked freshly reopened, when they had help in the form of another goblin or two and a half-elf with a bow, no doubt the wastel Tsuso. Bastard or not, he snapped off arrows in a blur, and in the tight confines of the corridor Tofa was soon in a little trouble. I took out one with my longspear, another with a bolt of my internal lightning, and finally I sent another celestial dog to deal with the bad brother. That puppy messed him up in a serious way. Tofa managed to keep her feet as we finished off the rest of the goblins. Telbaine, who had located and freed the battered Amiko, then made a . . . <em>poor</em> decision. Because of the angle I didn't see his arrow hit the likely unconscious Tsuso, but even from down the hallway I knew the meaty smack I heard from his point-blank shot wasn't a good thing. Prisoner available for interrogation . . . gone. Bloody hell.

    We did recover his journal, and that had a wealth of information, none of it good. The daughter of the priest was indeed not only not dead, but clearly insane and trying to become a demon. There were several erotic sketches of her by her now-deceased paramour, along with one of the dark-skinned mercenary Korvute mentioned. No, this didn't look good. Nor did the tunnel leading into the ground we found and the realization that we were probably going to have to go down there.

    We got a nice bow, a couple of scrolls I can use, and a host of other stuff. We also have a raid of 200+ goblins coming unless we can somehow head it off - sometimes it doesn't matter how big the snake is if you can cut of the head, but there's a lot of heads out there. Maybe I would have been better off dodging Scarnetti assassination attempts back in Magnadar.

    But truth be told, it felt good seeing what I can do with my power, how the energy fills me and races through me, how my tattoos glow with eldritch light, how I could recognize fear in the eyes of those little vermin. I'm not ready to give up, not just yet. I'm not sure what my path is, but I have a feeling I'm on it now.
    Last edited by jydog1; Tuesday, 10th August, 2010 at 06:41 PM. Reason: typos galore!
    'So she falls into me? - me
    'If you consider her shoving you with both hands in an obvious attempt to make you tumble down the stairs to be falling into you then yes, she falls into you.' - Piratecat


    http://www.enworld.org/forum/story-h...der-3-5-a.html
    Muddled Pasts - a Pathfinder 3.5 Campaign updated weekly (I hope)

    Machine of Death? Why yes, I do have a story in it. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or for free at http://machineofdeath.net/a/

  • #4
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    session #4 Aug 16, 2010 - No requasit, no return

    notes: First I should probably point out that if you might be in a campaign at some point that will be using Rise of the Runelords you might want to skip this thread, as I believe Duane the GM is drawing from the source material. Wouldn't want you to miss out on the surprises!

    We reached 2nd level and I gotta tell you, it's somewhat depressing leveling up your sorcerer with his 4 skills right after helping your wife level up her bard (with 10 skills and just about all of them class skills). My lousy stats are starting to become an issue, but not much I can do but use creative alternatives. Chris, who plays the druid Telbaine, was out due to illness. We also added a new player, Peter, with his inquisitor Londis. He's very stern but promised not to judge us (judge judge judge).

    I managed to roll a mighty 2 on my hit point roll and so remain low enough to be knocked out with a single blow from anyone who knows how to use a pointed stick. With only a new cantrip to choose I took mend. My rolling was abysmal this session, and thus the best-laid plans have gone awry . . .

    From the journal of Grezzalik M'Rethen:

    We came out of the Glassworks and stepped into chaos - guards running all over the place, yelling for the sake of yelling, and townspeople gathered around, watching with wide eyes. I spotted the Captain who'd been left in charge by the sheriff . After we gave her a debriefing on what had happened, I handed her the journal. "You should probably read this."

    She nodded. "Get some rest. I'm sure you're going to need it." I heeded her advice - somewhat. A few of the items we'd found had magic auras, and I managed to figure out what one was before sleep finally claimed me. A ring carrying a measure of deflection. It'd be nice for me, but . . .

    "I should wear this, you say?" Tofa stifled an early morning yawn. "Would it not help you, da, with your squishiness?"

    "Yes, but you're usually in the front. Plus it's an enchantment that isn't negated by your armor - it actually works with it." I shrugged. "A nice piece, really."

    "Da, then I will wear it. And the other things?"

    "I need more time, which we don't have right now." I glanced over at Trixie, who looked impossibly bright and radiant for the hour of morning. 'Anyone know where Telbaine is?"

    Nobody did. His shack was empty. So we headed over to the guardhouse, where we were informed that he'd been sent out to warn the surrounding farms of the impending goblin raid. In the captain's office we were introduced to Londis, a self-proclaimed inquisitor in service of 'The Church,' whatever that means. One of those 'cleanse the world of evil' type. He had a warhammer and armor, and that was all I need to know at that point. After discussion with the captain we decided that we needed to see where that tunnel under the Glassworks went, so we split up to get supplies. Londis came with me as I had planned on hitting the two alchemists I'd met, but plans were altered when I ran into CMOT Dibbler. I wasn't really in the mood for his patter as he tried to sell Londis one of his 'pork' pies, but he surprised me by having a load of useful things for me, payment for cashing in with our names. There was a potion of something we'd always called 'Clear Ear' at the Academy; a deck of 'special' cards that he suggested I give to the 'lovely, lovely' Trixie; some chew for Tofa that would extend that crazy kill-everything state she puts herself in; a weird little thing that could always detect north; and a bag of itching powder, which also reminded me of the Academy and times where things weren't actively trying to kill me. I thanked him and headed back, where we were joined by the ladies.

    Trixie was fiddling with a new and very impressive-looking short sword. "Tofa got laid," she said without preamble.

    "Uhm, good for her, I suppose."

    She donned a fetching smile. "Maybe she can explain to you how to, you know, successfully close the deal."

    Grumblemumblerazzafrazza. Smartass.

    *****

    Nassir the hunchback - that's terrible, but I misplaced the scrap of paper I have with his name on it - was waiting when we got back, along with an older retired paladin named Gavin we'd met a few days ago. To keep a long conversation short, he was acting as an agent of Ameko Kajitsu and came bearing thank-you gifts; two healing potions; a potion of Blur; a Potion we always called Can't Miss, but Nassir referred to as True Strike; and potion of Enlarge (small sips of which were very popular among the male students of the Academy, as you can no doubt imagine why). All were Nassir's work and quite well done - I made a point to tell him I'd come seeking his counsel on the subject later.

    Gavin, who had told us the sad tale of his brother being the final victim of the Chopper back in the Late Unpleasantness, had decided that this would be the best way to honor his memory. He looked somewhat old for this kind of work, but we'd have been idiots to turn down the help of a paladin. One interesting tidbit we discovered - Nualla, the not-dead daughter of the ceased priest who appeared to be trying to 'ascend' into succubi-dom had gotten knocked up by a local kid named Dellich Viskantor. Quite the scandal, evidently, and probably the justification for the evil she was trying to do. I've never even met her and I can't stand her already.

    So, tunnel. Straight and descending for a while before opening into a room. One tunnel went on and smelled of salt air. Another disgorged two humanoidish creatures with claws for hands. We chopped them up pretty quickly. We then discovered a complex that had been walled up, dedicated (of COURSE) to a dark goddess, complete with red marble statue and nice looking weapon head we, uhm, appropriated for study later. One large room was a prison of sorts, another filled with the remains of nice pots.

    The we found the altar. There's always a dark altar in the stories, it seems, and weren't we just so very lucky to have found one of our own! It was filled with liquid and Londis and Gavin headed over there, clucking and mumbling and whatnot. I barely noticed, as my attention was focused on the large iron doors on the other side of the room. Large iron doors covered in runes.

    Thasselonian runes. How VERY interesting.

    Trixie came up, poked me. "Hey. You can read this?"

    Intent on translating, I ignored her until she poked me again. "Yes, yes. It says . . . it says 'To the Purity of Wrath and the Seeds of Their Destruction.'"

    She frowned. "What does that mean?"

    I stuck out my lip, thinking. 'Well, it could -"

    CLANG!!!!!!!

    I turned to see Londis smashing at the altar with his hammer. An earsplitting shriek came from everywhere and nowhere, and through teary eyes I could read the runes around the altar - not Thasselonian - that said, "May the Waters of Lamastu Give Birth to the Horrors of this World."

    Wonderful.

    Londis and Gavin kept bashing away, finally shattering the basin and spilling the water (?) out. As they did the iron doors swung open, revealing another of those clawed creatures. And so battle raged.

    The room was large and cold, the center dominated by a pool of water surrounded by staked skulls. A creature fitting the description of a quasit was fluttering above another pool in the back, and as it gestured the liquid next to it glowed and another monster clambered out of the one nearest us. I summoned an eagle and set it after the flying demon, as Tofa shouldered past me and into the room. The first creature went down but others soon attacked her, and Gavin ran to her aid. I sent a riding dog to help as well, glowing with celestial might. Trixie's kazoo rang out, somehow audible over the din of battle.

    Then Tofa slid into her killing rage, and all nine hells broke loose at once.

    She's usually a whirlwind of death and destruction when she snaps into this style, but this time it was clearly something else. Something worse. First off, the quasit, with my eagle in it's face, cackled with glee. That's never good. Tofa's eyes rolled back in her head, and her muscles visibly rippled as a swarm of black ravens suddenly appeared in a swarm, attacking everything near her, including Gavin. Then she attacked with blade and shield, mangling a clawed monster.

    The pool behind her glowed. More came out. The quasit laughed again and urged her to keep killing.

    By Shelyn's Glorious Lips, we were in trouble. I groaned, recalling the runes on the door. "Purity of Wrath" indeed.

    It was obvious that Tofa was not in control of herself or her actions. It was also obvious that her killing things was a bad idea. She dropped foes and battered poor Gavin, who chose not to strike back. Trixie and I had the same idea at about the same time, but whatever spell she cast didn't work, and both Tofa and the quasit shook off my color spray. Meanwhile the battle raged on around us, with the quasit popping in and out of sight and dropping a spider on Trixie, who managed to hit Tofa with some spell that left the barbarian on the ground convulsing with . . . laughter? Trixie went down under the spider's assault and appeared near death, but Londis managed to save her in time. Righteous or not, his healing was helpful.

    As was Gavin's, as he appeared to help Tofa clear her mind before tearing off after the quasit and actually grabbing it. Londis let out a yelp and slammed the iron doors shut, dropping the bar into place before they reverberated with a heavy thud. "We've got company!" The quasit stung Gavin mercilessly as he implored Tofa to chop its head off - she complied but only after pouring one of Nassir's healing potions down his throat.

    What was I doing in all this? Missing again and again with elemental rays. After the last battle where I couldn't miss, it was doubly frustrating. But abruptly the battle was over. Gavin, weaving unsteadily, dropped the quasit's headless body, clearly suffering the effects of the horrid little creature's stings. Trixie looked pale and a trifle unsteady but was on her feet. Tofa was spooked about what had happened but otherwise looked her usual self. Londis also seemed quite fit for battle, and from what I'd seen had look quite capable. I was unharmed but quite low on magic - just one actual spell left at my disposal

    The banging on the door, which had been steady, intensified. The metal bar began to bend but straightened it with one of my cantrips. Our options were trying either of the two other doors in the room - curiously not used for ingress by our would-be visitors, which might mean an escape route - or letting our new buddies come in and slugging it out.

    If you've found this journal in a large room next to dusty, broken bones, then I guess it's easy to see which choice we went with.
    Last edited by jydog1; Thursday, 19th August, 2010 at 04:29 PM. Reason: typos, of course
    'So she falls into me? - me
    'If you consider her shoving you with both hands in an obvious attempt to make you tumble down the stairs to be falling into you then yes, she falls into you.' - Piratecat


    http://www.enworld.org/forum/story-h...der-3-5-a.html
    Muddled Pasts - a Pathfinder 3.5 Campaign updated weekly (I hope)

    Machine of Death? Why yes, I do have a story in it. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or for free at http://machineofdeath.net/a/

  • #5

    Session 4, Decent into Darkness

    Gavren Deverin sat there, slumped against the wall, his head resting on his chest. Ragged breathing escaped his cracked lips, at times interrupted by blood-filled coughs. The mighty blade of his youth lay across his lap, its edge now chipped and dented. Armor rent and blood spattered, the old paladin closed his eyes for a moment and reflected on the days’ events.

    By the gods, it hurt! It was terrible being old, every joint in his body ached, and muscles he hadn’t used in years were making themselves painfully known. Of course the multitude of wounds that crisscrossed his frame didn’t help, and that damn demonspawn’s venom was setting his veins afire.

    How had he reached this point? A week ago he had been just Gavren Deverin, the happily retired owner of the Two Knight Brewery, and now he was in some dusty ruin, trying not to cough up his spleen. Of course everything had been simpler last night, when Sergeant Lyssia Valdemars had called out the reserves to defend the town from an imminent assault by goblins. Decisions like that are always easy; you get your armor out of mothballs, buckle on your sword and go help your neighbors. How could he face Abadar doing anything less? Then he had heard about the tunnel under the glassworks. That tunnel represented a weak point in the town’s defense, and sealing it was a top priority. Besides, Grezz, Trixie and Tofa were nice kids, but they had little experience in such things. His brother, Abadar rest his soul, would never have let them take on such a mission alone.

    After that everything went by in a blur. Grezz, Trixie, and Tofa were there; so was that Korvosan inquisitor Londis who knew Father Zanthus. The five of them had descended into what appeared to be smuggling tunnels under the town. It seemed like an easy task to seal them until they came across the ruins. No idea how long they have been here, but considering we’re practically under Old Light, they’ve probably been here forever. Whoever had dug the tunnel into the glassworks had cut right through the ancient stone walls. They had perhaps a minute to take all this in before the eldritch horrors of the place poured out.

    It was an embarrassing moment to think about. He had rushed forward sword raised, just as his back gave out. With a howl he dropped his sword, and had to retreat while the youngsters fought the strange abominations vomited forth from the dry, dusty tunnel. Fortunately they made quick work of the fiends, and they pushed onward.

    They reached a gallery with a statue of a beautiful woman of regal bearing. He didn’t recognize her heraldry, but the book she was carrying had a strange seven pointed star on the cover. Grezz mentioned it was Thassilonian in nature. The statue also held an ornate ivory ranseur, the handle of which crumbled to dust when Grezz touched it. He had a feeling this place and Old Light might be much older than any of them realized.

    After a bit of stealthy exploration they traversed the complex and came to a foyer with a dark alter. He could feel the evil emanating from its rough hewn surface. The sorcerer and bard were examining the inscription on the huge iron double doors when all hell broke loose. Londis had struck the altar with his warhammer, triggering the most awful soul rending screams Deverin ever heard. Quickly he saw the inquisitor's intent and rushed over to help him destroy the foul object before the locals could arrive. The damnable thing dented his morning star, but they managed to split the block and the screaming stopped.

    It turned out that the screaming was the least of their problems.

    The iron doors swung open and belched fourth more of the twisted abominations they'd seen earlier. They all rushed inside and encountered a horrid sight. A foul, winged demon was hovering over a pool of translucent orange fluid. As they arrived, she taunted in an unknown language and spilled her blood into the pool. The pool roiled and churned, greedily accepting her blood, and from its depths crawled an abomination, a warped mockery of humanity, which lurched across the room toward them.

    It seemed luck was on their side, for as the creature emerged, the pool noticeably dimmed and the demoness looked visibly worried.

    To bad, their luck was not meant to hold.

    Tofa fearlessly strode into the room and engaged a pile of fiendish creatures brought forth from some unknown hell by the winged she-bitch. Deverin had raced up to help her fend off the foes, when the manure hit the windmill. As the battle raged, Tofa called on her inner reserves and launched into a fighting rage. This time though it went horribly wrong. A flock of wispy crow-like apparitions materialized around Tofa, and swarmed the area. Their touch was that of the grave, and he felt his life force drawn from his body as they flew right through it. That was the least of his concerns; Tofa’s eye’s had rolled back in her head, and releasing a primal roar, she flung herself into battle with reckless abandon. To her there were no friends or foes, only creatures to be slaughtered. Her mighty blows made quick work of the fiendish minions, and then she turned her blade on Deverin. To make matters worse, the creatures she slew wailed piteously as their essence was drawn into the strange orange pool. It glowed brighter and brighter with each “sacrifice”. The Demoness laughed with devilish glee and encouraged her new toy to revel in the slaughter.

    Things were not going well. The demon was wreaking havoc on their lines. Londis had barred the door and was holding them against a horde of enraged monstrosities that had arrived in the altar room and now hammered on the iron portal. Trixie had fallen to the demon’s touch, that same 7 pointed star now an eerily glowing symbol on her forehead. Grezz was quickly running out of spells, and if not for a lucky break from Trixie’s arcane arts, which incapacitated Tofa, things would have gone badly indeed.

    We managed to snap Tofa from her frenzy, and rally for a final push. He was hurt, Trixie was teetering on the edge. Grezz was out of spells, and Londis had his hands full with the door. He saw what had to be done; the damnable fiend was too maneuverable in the chamber. He had to stop her. Calling on his last reserves, Deverin dropped his sword and grappled the demoness. He managed to hold on long enough for Tofa to behead the thing, but it badly tore him up.

    Deverin could feel the venom from its foul barb coursing through him, weakening him, slowly killing him. His armor was too heavy now, he could barely stand. Forget even lifting the sword. It seemed they were trapped here, with more abominations pounding at the door. He couldn't see how he'd get out of this one. He thought, "Well brother, at least I shall see you soon.

    Bracing against the wall, Deverin pulled himself to his feet. Using his sword as a crutch, the old man slowly made his way to the great iron doors. Planting his feet firmly, he slowly raised his blade, resting it on a weary shoulder “Well friends it’s been nice knowing you. Open the doors and make a break for it. I’ll hold them here”……
    Last edited by Kassegore; Friday, 20th August, 2010 at 03:04 AM.

  • #6
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    Session #5, August 23rd, 2010 - That Kiss is Not on My List

    Notes: Some notes before, some after. This was the first time we had the full compliment of players together and it went pretty well. The personalities of the characters are really starting to fill out and get embellished, and it's been fun to interact with one another (especially with Londis, who is every inch the Inquisitor and clearly thinks we're godless heathen).

    Group rolling was pretty decent, except for me. I was BRUTAL. Three different d20s and no luck with any of them. Let me put it this way - I had to roll better than a 5 for something and almost boned that (got a 6, fer krissakes). The only good roll I made was for an initiative check that didn't matter, but more on that later. I also made a brutal rookie-like mistake, but we got around it. Noob . . . We had a discussion via email as to what we wanted to do, fight or run, as we'd figured one of the other doors had to be a way out. Much planning over nothing, of course . . .

    From the journal of Grezzalik M'rethen:

    ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

    Sometimes the biggest fights can be decided by the smallest things. Like right now, I was trying desperately to keep the bar holding the big iron double doors shut from being snapped as something pounded away on the outside. Brute strength versus my mend cantrip, a throwaway learning spell.

    I was slowly losing.

    ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

    Gavren was babbling about sacrificing himself so we could escape, but that wouldn't have been an option even if the other doors had led somewhere - which Trixie soon discovered they didn't. A mini-chapel, complete with lit candles, and a storage closet. Wonderful.

    ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

    I dug in my pack, found some door wedges, pounded them in behind one of the doors. We'd decided on a plan of action and started getting ready. Further rummaging in my bag, I found the salve I was looking for - I knew it was conjuration and healing, but hadn't had time to figure out exactly what it did. Looking at Gavren's pallor and his struggle to breath, I figured it couldn't hurt.

    "No, no, I'll stand long enough to hold them off, and you-"

    "Easy, Gavren." There was a particularly nasty sting mark just beneath the lower edge of his banded mail, and I applied the salve to it and watched with a mixture of curiousness and hope.

    ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

    Right, those guys. I distractedly cast mend again as Gavren's eyes snapped open in surprise. Color returned to his skin, and his breathing evened out. "I feel better, lad." He lurched to his feet, still a trifle unsteady, and added, "Much better, actually. Still not that well, but much better." His gaze hardened as he stared at the door. "Let's send these thing back to the hell they came from."

    Okay. I could get behind that.

    Trixie popped the door with a spell of her own, our warriors at the ready. Tofa was just enormous, having quaffed the Enlarge potion, and Londis stood at her side. They were immediately confronted by horrible mockeries of life, a goblin and a human twisted into hideous forms. The goblin-thing had 4 arms, while the human had tentacles of some sort. More Sinsouls could been seen as well. This wasn't going to be easy.

    I read the Grease spell from the scroll we had, dropping it on their side of the door. The goblin-thing immediately went down in heap. Tofa and Londis began hacking away. The battle was joined.

    The creatures had been using part of the broken altar to breach the door, and their strength was appalling. I produced a flask of oil to toss, wick at the ready and . . . had I not thought of a way to light it? Really? I handed it to Trixie and told her to find something as the battle raged. She and Gavren figured something out, and it lofted over the battling warriors, hit the floor and went up, igniting the grease as well. The monstrosities screamed in rage and pain, further exacerbated when Trixie drilled one with the bag of itching powder.

    Speaking of pain, the slug fest in the front line was a bloody affair. Both Tofa and Londis were getting battered, but the were giving better than they got, and soon the goblin-thing went down with a shriek. The tentacled beast was still a problem, even as I tossed another vial of oil to keep him cooking. My summoned celestial dog didn't last long, poor thing, beset on all sides by sinsouls and what appeared to be zombies, if what I'd seen in books was correct. With both warriors starting to waver things were looking dicey. Was I really going to meet my end in this horrid place?

    The horror lurched as an arrow slammed into its back. Where did that come from? As the fire died I launched my final bit of lightning at it, but although I nailed the thing it didn't seem to do much. More arrows followed, and above the yells of combat I could make out Telbaine's voice. Nice timing, that. Later I would discover he was accompanied by the ranger Shala, and the two of them, with Telbaine's fox, were enough to decide the battle.

    Exhausted, we slumped against walls, doors, whatever. "Telbaine," I sighed, "you sure know how to make an entrance."

    ---

    Nassir Voss was offering us a good deal, but we needed more. "We can afford the healing potions, my friend." I pulled him off to the side and opened up a sack. "What can we do for this?"

    His eyes widened as he peered inside, no doubt recognizing what remained of the quasit. "We can do thomething very good, misther Grethh." Indeed he could, because I felt pretty good with the Restoration potion we took in trade. Along with 3 healing potions for a fair price we were somewhat well-restocked. We'd gotten a host of stuff as well - a magic morningstar that Tofa wanted (of course) but Londis ended up with; a returning throwing knife, also magic, that was perfect for Trixie; a masterwork handaxe; and a small silver dagger I took.

    The captain wanted us to go back in and check the rest of the place - the guards wouldn't even go 10 feet into the tunnel. We agreed, but insisted we needed to rest first. Shala reported the goblins were starting to mass at the Thistletop's village - we needed to take care of that soon. After resting and healing (and running into that merchant girl again at her father's shop, who let me know there was still a problem with the 'rats.' I must admit she is rather attractive, though, and perhaps - no, no, I have much more important things to worry about!) we did indeed go back down, and found behind a runed and trapped door (I deciphered the runes, Trixie tripped the trap) some ruins, more of less: Some books that unfortunately crumbled at our touch; a room with twisted remains behind locked doors, all adorned with the rune that Telbaine is searching for; and odd room with deep shafts that had zombies in them - we eliminated them by having Londis drop acid on them with a spell; and then an odd spherical room that I can only assume was the quasit's bedroom. It had some odd stasis field that I didn't want to mess with and disturbing words along the wall - anger, wrath, revenge, torture, fury, etc. Evidently this Lamatsu broad must be a nasty piece of work. There were floating items too, and my extend-a-hand cantrip proved most useful, once someone reminded me to use it as I posited more mundane retrieval methods.

    It had been a long couple of days. We got an iron wand I'm very, very interested in trying to identify; an empty bottle of House Deverin wine that had a scroll of Burning Hands inside; a bestiary of sorts written in abyssal, which OF COURSE Trixie speaks; and

    The last corridor was, of course, a total cluster. We found a closed door and were able to see something flying around inside. So we opened the door.

    Later study has determined it to be something called a Varghule, and it was a particularly nasty thing. A flying head of some sort, it froze me in place with a horrible scream. I'm not sure who else got caught, but I could see just enough to see it latch onto Londis and, ugh, kiss him. Someone killed it afterthat - either Londis or Tofa - but it was clear the Inquisitor was having an adverse affect to the smootch. We raced back out to town as he turned green, lost his hair, and had his ears begin to grow. The Father tried a spell but failed to stop him, but with Londis' warhammer and some of our stuff we were able to buy the proper healing scroll from one of the merchants and cast it on Londis, saving him from becoming one of those things himself. Actually I believe it would be just his head that was involved, but in any case he would probably find the whole process quite . . . interruptive.

    So now it seems we'll have to do something about the goblins. My first thought it to get there as soon as possible, before the other clans arrive, and take out whatever leadership is gathered - perhaps this Nualla before she becomes a succubus. In any case, it looks like no rest for the weary, but plenty of jokes for the somewhat humbled Inquisitor.

    additional notes: The big fight was pretty hairy, as Londis got clobbered almost immediately and Tofa was down to 3 hits at one point. I dropped my celestial riding dog behind the big baddie tentacle guy, tripped his smite evil . . . and rolled a 3. Then it got torn to pieces. Tofa ALMOST lost control and started berserking again when something hit her, which would have been Very Bad Indeed. We worked well as a team and kept them at the chokehold in both grease and fire. I also boned roles searching, which is probably why the books disintegrated on me. And I finally get a chance to use my perhaps poorly-chosen-at-creation feat of spell penetration and roll a . . . 3. Boo. We also have other loot from the Varghule but it was getting pretty late. Oh, and Tofa stupped Dos Korvute again. For a guy with 6 charisma, he's doing okay. (oh, and Duane, since we finished up without total resolution Grezz will absolutely bag the Varghule when he make a quick tip back to inspect (aka loot) for later sale with his new buddy Naffir. Perhaps a deal on an alchemist's kit, with the agreement I'll be creating for us and not selling?)
    Last edited by jydog1; Thursday, 26th August, 2010 at 04:58 PM.
    'So she falls into me? - me
    'If you consider her shoving you with both hands in an obvious attempt to make you tumble down the stairs to be falling into you then yes, she falls into you.' - Piratecat


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  • #7

    Interlude: House Upon the Hill

    The meeting was not going well.

    Old Ethram Valdemar, the only original member of the Sandport Mercantile League still alive, leans back in his chair and lights his pipe. Inhaling deeply, the smoke singed his scarred lungs. He looks around the opulent sitting room in the Deverin Manor, taking in the dark lacquered hardwood that lined the walls. “Hmmm…, is seems Titus has his eggs in more than one basket. Interesting…”

    Across from the skinny old man in the ermine lined doublet, sits the town’s most influential people. Titus Scarnetti lounges near the fire, his fat, bejeweled fingers twirling a thick cigar. Mayor Kendra Deverin sips tea from a delicate china cup, one no doubt that had arrived on one of Ethram’s ships. Standing near the mantle was the group’s newest member, Amekio Kajitso. Amekio, and her notoriously eccentric hairstyles, was a bit of a loose end. She had been shunned by her family, and had left Sandport soon after her mother’s death; returning just 5 years ago, just in time to pick up the pieces and renovate the old tavern. She was a wander, adventurer, and now after Lonjiku’s murder by his wife’s bastard son, found herself in charge of the fourth largest estate in Sandport.

    Lonjiku had been a key business partner; one that Ethram would definitely miss. His glassware had made both the Valdemar and Kajitso families in Sandport quite rich. Now his young daughter held the family reins. How would she run the business? Could the Valdemars still count on fine goods from the Kajitsu glassworks? Lonjiku may have had temper issues, but the man was a genius with glass. Oh well, he could worry about that later, right now they had the current crisis to deal with.

    Ethram squints, and puffs on his cigar “So what are we doing about the damned goblins, and that Nualia bitch? They are bad news for the town and that means bad news for business”.

    Ethram looks over to the Mayor, who was watching him over the rim of her teacup “Kendra, you have a direct connection to the watch. Where does the town stand?”

    Kendra put down her cup “It’s not good news I’m afraid. Your niece Lyssia has been doing her best, but without Sherriff Hemlock’s presence, the populace is wound up tighter than a harp string. From what I understand the goblins are amassing up north. The town guard has been mobilized, and the reserves called in. Some of the peasantry has begun to arrive from the farmlands, but most have remained in their homes”. Kendra paused for a moment to sip her tea “The worst of it though, is that we’ve been cut off. Last night all the pigeons in the watch house copula died. Poisoned grain it seems. Captain Lyssia is looking for the culprit but so far no leads. Then there’s the shipping problem.”

    Titus dips his cigar in brandy, and pointedly thrusts it at Ethram “Yes there is that. Ethram, what’s being done about it? My boys have been busy hauling in lumber for a town stockade, and I haven’t heard much gossip from the sailors of late.”

    Ethram sighs, “Well Titus, that’s because there’s not much to tell. The Silver Raven went down last week, hauling a load of glass ingots around Leviathan’s Point. That’s the third vessel I’ve lost in 4 weeks. The local sailors are talking of a curse, and the fishing vessels aren’t risking heading out of the bay.”

    “As I said, we’re cut off” says Kendra, as the butler refilled her cup. “Of course I’ve sent riders, but with all the goblin activity, there’s no guarantee they got through. Until the sheriff gets back with reinforcements we’re on our own.”

    Amekio’s gaze sweeps across the room “Let’s not sit here and pretend we’re helpless! We have money; we have personal guards on our estates. We can reinforce the town. Also there are also our new local celebrities, we shouldn’t count them out.”

    “You’d like that wouldn’t you, the town employing a bunch of vagabonds!” sputters Titus. “As I’ve said before Grezzalik is a known killer, and that northern savage is no better! What ties do they have in OUR town? Why should we trust them father than I can spit?”

    “Now wait! They have been a huge help so far” Amekio interjects “I know you have personal issues with Grezzalik, but that’s no reason to……”

    Titus cuts her off “Oh I bet they’ve been a big help! Customers of yours, aren’t they? Convenient how they cleared up that little fracas over at the glassworks for you. Interesting how you came through that clean as a newborn babe. “

    Amekio takes a step toward Titus, her face revealing her wrath… “Now see you here you..!!”

    “CRACK”
    Ethram’s cane comes down hard on the end table. “ENOUGH!! This is no time for our petty squabbling. Kendra, you can count on House Valedmar’s support in this crisis. I shall levy my houses personal troops, and open our coffers. Amekio, Titus, if you both value the trade agreements between our houses, you’ll do the same. This Grezz’lik fellow and his companions have proven trustworthy so far, indeed they are the talk of the town. Local heroes or so I understand. Let’s not look a gift redfish in the gills”

    Mayor Deverin sighs and puts down her cup. “Ethram , as always you speak with wisdom. I concede to your request. House Deverin will side with you, and match your generous offer. If House Scarnetti and Kajitsu will join us, we can get down to the specifics…”

    The room fell to a reserved muttering as the four nobles negotiated a deal between the houses. Many deals were made that afternoon, and even more money changed hands during the night. Risks were taken on all levels, and a grudging trust was agreed upon based on the words of one young woman. As the sun rose the following morning, four signatures graced a hastily written parchment, one which could change the fortunes of Sandport forever.

  • #8
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    Oh hell, I forgot to mention the tiny squeals of anger when Trixie discovered that Foxy the Lordling has a slight impediment in the way of their blossoming relationship - a wife. Ha! Grezz had to lean himself against a wall least he pass out from laughing to hard.
    'So she falls into me? - me
    'If you consider her shoving you with both hands in an obvious attempt to make you tumble down the stairs to be falling into you then yes, she falls into you.' - Piratecat


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  • #9
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    Hey there jydog!

    I'm enjoying reading about your exploits. It sounds like a good actiony game and I like watching the characters grow. Thanks for sharing!

    A Rose In The Wind: A Saga Of The Halmae. It's like "Daughter Of Welcome To The Halmae." Um, literally.

  • #10
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    Session #6 - August 30, 2010 - Eight Arms to Hold You

    Notes: Londis' player wasn't there, so we had him recovering from the Varguile's kiss/possibly along with us. We took a different approach to approaching our problem than the GM anticipated - in fact, he'd read several accounts of this mission and nobody had chosen the way we went. Sometimes 'hey diddle diddle, straight up the middle' isn't the way to go. Will it work for us? We'll see.

    From the journal of Grezzalik M'rethen:

    So, there we were on a bright, sunny morning, sitting in a manor house having a meeting with Kendra the mayor; Amieko Kajitsu, head of one of the powerful families of Sandport; Our Captain from the Guard; and Shalue, the ranger who has been keeping tabs on the goblins. Truth be told I wouldn't have minded some time alone back in my room with the shiny new alchemist's kit I'd gotten from Naffer Vos, but there were pressing issues, ones of which we seemed to be major players in.

    Seriously, what was I doing here? Like two weeks ago I was basically on the run from Magnadaar, seeing Scarnetti assassins in every bush along the way. Now, along with my new friends, we're some kind of heroes, saviors of the town, and expected to somehow stop several hundred goblins from overrunning the place.

    And I used to bitch about Advanced Theories and Ethical Issues in Conjurations being too difficult a class.

    Once we managed to get Telbaine to stop talking to the freakin' plants and pay attention to the people instead, things got moving. One tribe had already set up outside the Thistletops' home, which was a giant skull shaped island just offshore to the north and east of Sandport. It was connected to land by a rickety, goblin-constructed bridge. After a bit of discussion it was agreed that taking out this Nualla and her second in command would hopefully be enough to set the goblins back to squabbling among themselves.

    "What about reinforcements?"

    Kendra sighed. The Mayor seemed like a decent sort. Rumor had it that the last victim of the Chopper, the one who wounded the murderer and thus allowed him to be caught, had been her lover. "We pay a tribute, or a tax really, to Magnadaar for situations such as this. We've had some problems with our communications-" she paused to glance at Amieko, "but a messenger did come through this morning. Not surprisingly, Magnadaar is dragging their feet and promising nothing." She scowled. "They'll show up after the damage is done, reclaim the town, and set up the people they want in charge. We're on our own, yet again." She then offered us a fairly impressive sum. "The families has scraped together what they can, and of course we'll supply you with whatever else you need. Also, I think the Holy Father has some things for you as well."

    A servant scurried in, whispered something in her ear. She rose and said, "Excuse me for a moment." As she went Amieko stood up. Her color was back and she looked recovered from her ordeal. "I never did get a chance to thank you personally for taking care of things at the Glassworks. I apologize for what you had to cope with, like my brother and my father." She shuddered a little. Pulling up a sack that had been at her feet she said, "I'd like to give you some things that were useful to me when I used to do what you're doing, both to help and as a thank you." She gave Trixie some sort of little hourglass that could make her more difficult to hit with a ranged attack; Tofa was handed a torque that could temporarily make her stronger. Then she handed me a pair of thin blue gloves covered with a little golden symbol that looked oddly familiar and said with a warm smile, "These should help boost the powers of some of your spells." I slipped them on and felt the truth of that instantly, so I didn't notice what she gave Telbaine. She also gave him a letter from the missing sage, who was in Magnadaar, which he read aloud.

    The gist of the letter was that the 7-runed star we kept seeing was from back in the time of Emperor Zin. He'd carved out an empire with powerful mages and used the symbol to stand for 7 nations ruled by 7 virtues. It was eventually corrupted, of course, and now seemed to be used for 7 sins instead. The rune we saw in the glassworks and also in the room where Tofa scared the bloody piss out of us stood for 'wrath,' not surprisingly. With it right in front of me I managed to recognize the one on my new gloves - Sloth. Really? Just because I summon things to do my dirty work?

    Well, okay. I wonder what it was before it became a sin. Studied Relaxation?

    Before she could sit down Trixie, Tofa and I rose, without a word between us but perfectly in sync, and each handed her a gold bar stamped with the House Kajitsu mark. She seemed stunned as we piled them in her hands. "What?"

    "We had these, but hadn't had an opportunity to return them to you yet."

    "Of course. If I can ask, where did you find them?"

    I hedged a bit. "Uhm . ." Telbaine jumped in and said, "I believe we found them near your brother."

    "Ah. Well, with the Glassworks shut down for now I'm not going to pretend these won't come in handy." She was silent for a few moments, and then added in a warm tone, "Thank you, very much."

    As we settled back in I motioned Amieko over for a private world. She came over with a raised eyebrow, and I was struck by how attractive she was. I'm sure she had no problem charming crowds back in her performing days.

    "Sooo," I said, "theoretically,members of Sandport's important families must have access to certain goings-on that most others don't."

    In a guarded voice she said, "Possibly . . ."

    "So, if one of those families were to be making a move against an individual who really didn't deserve it, someone else who caught wind of it could probably let that individual know something was up, with no other action required, right? Theoretically, of course."

    Her amused smile was reflected in her eyes. "Theoretically, yes."

    My grin was a little more sheepish. "Well, then, I thank you for our theoretical discussion."

    ---

    We decided, to everyone's surprise, to approach from the sea rather than overland. Tofa obviously had sailing experience, and it turned out Telbaine did as well. Shalue mulled the idea over and opined that it could be easier than carving through the Licktoads and fighting across the crappy bridge. A boat was promised to us, and we took our leave. As we exited the manor an ornate carriage pulled up, and I felt my stomach start to twist. Some things you just know, and I wasn't really surprised when I spied the Scarnetti crest on the side. A footman opened the door to reveal well-dressed man. "Greetings, heroes!", he boomed.

    "Right." I rolled my eyes, then looked around the grounds. Did that bush just move? "I'm outta here."

    "No, no," he countered. "If you're heading into town you simply MUST let me give you a ride. Plus we can talk some business, as I have a job for capable adventurers such as yourselves." He offered a smile.

    The others shrugged at one another and headed for the carriage. I shook my head. "See you in town," and started to walk away.

    "Grezz! Won't you come hear my offer?"

    Another shake, not even bothering to look in his direction. "Not interested. We already have a job."

    I heard the coach creak as he shifted his considerable weight to call out the window. "Can I not even give you a ride, Grezz? Or perhaps leave one of my men to walk back with you? Even the road to town can be dangerous."

    Smarmy bastard. Did the others even know that was a threat? Did they care? Trixie, she probably didn't care in any case. That woman doesn't like me, and I'm not sure why. Trusts me to guard her back, though. Strange world.

    I turned around and said, "Nah, I should probably walk alone. I'm feeling all full of power, all revved up, and I'd hate to have me accidentally lose control and blow something up."

    I wasn't trying to intimidate Titus, as I doubt it would be effective, but I wanted him to know I wasn't going to roll over and die for him. Not much of a protest, really, but sooner or later he was going to come at me one way or another. I just had to be ready for it.

    ---

    It wasn't a bad walk. The others were waiting for me, having visited with the Father and gotten a few healing potions. I tried to hide my hard breathing and asked, "What did the fat toad talk you into?"

    Telbaine shrugged. "Checking out one of his logging camps. It's no problem, we can do it on the way there."

    "Really? Are his camps at sea?"

    A scowl. "Fine, after we finish this, then."

    "And you told him you wouldn't be taking care of it right away?"

    Deeper scowl. "We, uhm, never told him we'd get right on it."

    "Grezz, you're such a jerk." Trixie. Of course.

    "Can't trust a Scarnetti. That's all I'm saying. Are we ready to go? You said something about catching the tide."

    "What do you know about tides, Grezz? When did you ever set foot outside your manor?"

    Grrr. "My former family business was mercantile, Trixie. I had to calculate shipping routes and times and so on." I resisted the urge to stick out my tongue.

    Barely.

    ---

    So, climbing. Not one of my specialties.

    Tofa and Telbaine had handled the boat well and we'd made our way to the island, which did indeed look like a skull sitting in the ocean. At 10am on a sunny day we expected little in way of sentries and in fact only saw one riding a goblin dog - it didn't notice us. Still, it was a pretty sheer climb up so we poked around until we spotted a cave partially concealed by vines. Anchoring the boat we tossed a grappling hook that caught and up people went. I was alone in the boat with Shalue and the fox, waiting my turn, when the sounds of battle broke out above. Shalue went up the rope like she'd been born in the jungle.

    I did not.

    To be fair, we should have tied knots in the ropes to use as foot braces. I had two attempts that were somewhat laughable before it all clicked and I moved up like a spider. Once I did the battle was over and I examined the fallen foe, some sort of horrible tentacled thing. The thing must have lived there for centuries, devouring everything it could catch - mostly birds, but obviously the occasional goblin or two. I found a tough shirt of what appeared to be dogskin that had been magically strengthened - it fit Trixie perfectly and allowed her to remove her somewhat cumbersome leather. There was also a bow her size that was quite nice as well.

    Beyond that we found three closed doors, and while Telbaine retrieved his fox Trixie undid the lock on our first choice. it opened into a common room of sorts and while we were deciding what to do a door opened, revealing an enormous bugbear. It looked at Shalue and yelled in rage before slamming the door shut. She pulled it back open and fell back screaming as an arrow glowing with a sickly green light smashed into her. The bugbear yelled something in Goblin that included her name before laughing. I started casting a spell. Let's see how much the prick felt like laughing with a celestial dog on his ass!

    Before I could get the spell off Telbaine wiggled his fingers and suddenly that whole side of the room was covered in a thick, dense fog. Since I couldn't see where I was casting to I couldn't cast, so I gritted my teeth and waited. The fox ran into the fog, which was then followed by a meaty thwack and a yelp of pain. Tofa, who had evidently brought those crazy ravens back but without hurting her friends in the cave stood beside me, waiting as well.

    "Telbaine!" I growled in a loud whisper. Stairs curled up to my right and I expected a horde of goblins to come thundering down any minute. "Drop the fog!"

    His response was to duck into it instead and then partially emerge, with what might have been the fox hanging limply on his arm. The bugbear continued roaring. Bloody hell!

    "Drop the fog, dammit!" On the fringe I saw Shalue quaff the heavy duty healing potion we'd given her, then leap to her feet with snarl, draw both swords, and call "Bruthazemus!" before charging in.

    There were chopping noises. Trixie's arm zipped forward, throwing her new dagger, and a decidedly female goblin voice gave a shriek of outrage, which cut off abruptly. The fog thinned a little to show Shalue toe to toe with the bugbear presumably named Bruthazemus, both snarling with rage. I nailed him with a elemental bolt as Tofa charged in and landed a solid blow as well. Trixie waved her hands and yelled something in Goblin: Bruthazemus abruptly doubled over with laughter and fell to the floor. Shalue made short work of him, spitting on the corpse when she was done.

    And, miraculously, there were no pounding steps of goblin reinforcements. Not yet, anyway. I tried to pick up the arrows from the bugbear's quiver that glowed magical, and nearly vomited at the touch - some sort of elf-slaying enchantment on three of them. Tofa and Trixie wanted to keep them for resale - Shalue, Telbaine and myself, all being various amounts of elf, did not. I settled the discussion by grabbing the bugbear's mace and smashing them, thus ending the debate. Behind another door we found a goblin nursery - the less said of that, the better. I ended their miserable existences. Then one of the doors we hadn't checked yet opened, and out strode a rather large human in banded mail, carrying a longsword and a shield with a demon's face on it.

    Before we could react, he said, in a deep voice, "I thought so. You guys from Sandport. I'm willing to make a deal."

    I glanced over at the others, green tendrils of powers still dancing on my fingers. "You. You're the one who warned the kids to stay away from the celebration."

    He looked a little surprised at that. "Yeah, I did. How'd you know?"

    I nodded at his arm. "They described the shield."

    "Yep." His blade dropped a little, but was still at the ready. "I was hired on as a bodyguard, not this other crap. That bitch is stone crazy, and I'd like to not be here anymore." He looked us over thoughtfully. "You didn't come in over the bridge, did you? That means you found another way off this miserable rock."

    "Maybe. Not sure we can trust you, though."

    "No," he agreed, "and you can probably take me in a fight, but I'll take a few of you with me. So maybe we can find a better solution."

    "What's your name?"

    "Orrack. Orrack Vankerstem."

    "Well, Orrack, let's see if we can work something out." He would have intimate knowledge of the camp and the defenses, but if we pointed him to the boat he'd be gone in a flash. Not that I'd blame him, if he was on the level. But maybe he'd like to earn a few coins swinging that big sword of his on our side as well . . .

    more notes: yes, grezz missed the entire fight by having totals of 5 and 7 on his first two climb rolls. I then tossed a 20 to get there in time for the aftermath. Tofa's ravens are evidently an ability of hers that was corrupted by the wrath room, and should be beneficial. She also switched her barbarian build to one of the new ones in the Advanced Player's Guide. Not sure which one but it trades out the dodges for DR, starting at her current DR1. The APG has some nice sorcerer builds as well but nothing I could switch to that would jive with the elemental ray ability - not that I desperately want to keep that ability, but I don't want to screw up the background and continuity. Trixie will now be torn between using her sweet returning +1 throwing knife with 10 foot range and her new masterwork shortbow. Telbaine's fox was at -6 or so before he healed it. Shalue took 22 points of damage from the elf-slaying arrow, taking her from full to 4 hits. It would have killed Grezz with 6 points to spare . Oh, and hi, Betsy! Betsy is a friend of ours from Otherworld and the one who responded above, her linked story hours are great reading. One of the members of her group is the creator of the show Leverage, if you know it.
    Last edited by jydog1; Friday, 3rd September, 2010 at 12:23 PM. Reason: various mistakes
    'So she falls into me? - me
    'If you consider her shoving you with both hands in an obvious attempt to make you tumble down the stairs to be falling into you then yes, she falls into you.' - Piratecat


    http://www.enworld.org/forum/story-h...der-3-5-a.html
    Muddled Pasts - a Pathfinder 3.5 Campaign updated weekly (I hope)

    Machine of Death? Why yes, I do have a story in it. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or for free at http://machineofdeath.net/a/

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