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Monday, 31st December, 2012, 09:04 AM #11
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
Episode Seven was actually two gaming sessions.
I actually took more pictures, but the quality was so poor they were not worth sharing - I'll try to be more careful.
The final encounter below the manor house was very nearly a TPK. The PCs were 5th level, which is always a very dangerous level in my campaigns. Fortunately, everyone was present and the strength of numbers won the day. If we had a more conventional 4 PC group tonight would likely have ended the campaign - even with Aldern scaled back.
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Friday, 11th January, 2013, 04:45 AM #12
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
The adventurers informed Sheriff Hemlock of Sandpoint that they intended to travel to the city of Magnimar to continue their investigation. Hemlock asked if they would transport the doctor from the sanatorium to the city. Hemlock provided the group with a letter of reference and an introduction to a Justice Ironbriar. The group agreed and set off for the city.
The gate guards gave instructions to the adventurers to the office of Justice Ironbriar. The adventurers arrived at the office and after a brief meeting with Ironbriar they turned over the doctor for detention and a trial. They then set-off to find the Foxglove townhouse.
The Foxglove townhouse was relatively easy to find and in a state of disrepair. The lower level windows were all boarded up as was the back door. A debate ensued on how best to approach and the group decided just to knock at the front door to see if anyone answered.
A lovely woman with dark curly hair answered the door.
Yara took the lead, “Hello, we are here to meet with Mr. Foxglove.”
“Oh,” the woman responded, “What for?”
“Well, we are supposed to make arrangements for his new young bride.”
“I somehow doubt that,” the woman replied. “I am in fact, Mrs. Foxglove, Iesha. Good day to you!” The woman then slammed the door in Yara’s face.
“That was Iesha?” Aggie asked. “I thought..”
“…she was dead,” Shagrax finished the paladin’s thought. “Mayhaps, this is a daughter, she did resemble some of the paintings from the manor.”
“Confusing for certain,” Bug added.
“What now?” Yara asked. “My ploy obviously failed.”
“Smash down the front door,” Skulleater offered.
“No, no, no, we come back at night and sneak in,” Fentra replied.
“And kill everyone!” Skulleater added enthusiastically.
“No Skulleater. We must use stealth,” Fireheart said.
“Sneak up and kill everyone! Got it!” Skulleater announced loudly.
The group did sneak back into the house and found Iesha in a drawing room admiring a painting, but she was talking to someone behind her. Bug snuck in to get a better look. The rogue ratfolk saw that Iesha was talking to someone who looked just like Aldern Foxglove!
This discovery led to an attack by the group.
While Shagrax suspected the pair might be undead, a sudden and gruesome transformation by the pair into horrible beasts undid that precept.
Following a brutal battle the group searched the townhouse. They found a number of letters and a ledger. There were indications that Aldern owed money to a group called the brotherhood and the seven sawmill was mentioned many times as well. It was decided the saw mill would be the next stop.
Nothing looked suspicious about the saw mill. The place was loud with the buzz of water-powered saws and the outward appearance of the building was normal. The group went down to the waterturbine level and was quickly shooed out of the area by some workers. They entered the main area of the mill and the workers there again tried to shoo them out of the building.
Eventually, the adventurers made it clear they wanted to talk to the owner of the mill and were not going to leave until they got some information. The workers moved to the sides of the room, donned unusual cloaks and masks and launched an attack at the party with war razors.
Cultists started coming from the stairs up and workers from below and all were attacking the adventurers.
The mad lumber mill cultists were all cut down and the party made its way to the top story of the saw mill. An eerie sight greeted the adventurers as they emerged from the stairs. Positioned on the walls were stretched human faces and other bizarre trinkets. But who they found there shocked them even more – Justice Ironbriar.
Bug moved to stab the traitorous justice in the back. Skulleater took a more direct route and jumped directly on the desk in front of Ironbriar. Fireheart followed suit.
Ironbriar fought against the adventurers with mad energy, but he was soon killed.
A final check for loot yielded a coded journal, notes to and from Xanesha, and some messenger ravens. They released a raven and Fireheart’s eagle followed it straight to a decrepit clock tower. The other ravens were released and they went to the same location.
“I think we must consider several things before we leave for this clock tower,” Fireheart announced. “First, we have just killed a major legal authority of this city. Second, we have killed several men working in a legal business establishment. Third, we have looted the office of this major legal authority. Fourth, we have precious little evidence that these men were involved in anything evil or illegal.”
“That’s no problem,” Aggie replied. “We will just send the bodies through the log splitter and set the whole place on fire.”
“Wait a minute,” Shagrax said. “I want to make sure I have this correct: The paladin is suggesting we avoid the consequences of the law by mutilating bodies and burning down a business establishment!”
“It’s for the greater good and the laws of righteous gods,” Bug chimed in.
“Yes, that’s it,” Aggie replied sheepishly, “the…uh…greater good.”
“I am all for covering up the assassination of the major legal authority of this city,” Shagrax stated. “I am just surprised our paladin is justifying it through roguish excuses.”
“Enough talk – more burning,” Skulleater said while casually shoving another body through the log splitter in a shower of blood and bone splinters.
The party followed the paladin’s plan and soon the lumber mill was a burning inferno as they stole away to one of the seedier inns located near the old clock tower.
The broken down clock tower was a leaning edifice that no one was sure why it remained standing. The tower was nearly 200 feet high and the last story had a rickety looking set of wooden scaffolding and stairs on the outside up to the top story.
The adventurers decided upon their trademark approach – they went through the front doors. They found a large lower level covered in rubble. There were a set of stairs on the walls that spiraled high into the tower. Far above the group they could make out several stout beams holding four very large metal bells.
As the adventurers approached the stairs an abomination rose from behind some of the rubble to confront them. The thing appeared to be a huge scarecrow with knitted together flesh and wielded an evil looking and massive scythe.
Bug inflicted a massive amount of damage on the construct with a well placed attack.
The creature slashed out viciously with it scythe and cut the ratfolk rogue to the ground bleeding and unconscious.
The rest of the group piled in against the creature and Skulleater braved another of the scarecrow golem’s attacks before it was hacked to pieces. Shagrax immediately went to Bug and went to work with prayerful invocations reviving the rogue quickly.
“If this is what is at the bottom of this tower imagine what is at the top!” Yara said with a shudder.
“Yep, let’s go!” Skulleater replied.