Rise of the Runelords

Murders Most Foul
or How I Learned to Hold My Breath

With the goblin threat dissipated, and not knowing where Nualia went after she fled Thistletop, everyone decided to enjoy a nice break. Several party members went to Magnimar to shop for equipment they could not find in Sandpoint.

After 6 days of shopping and rest, Sheriff Hemlock came to the Rusty Dragon and told them about a new series of murders, the most resent of which occurred the night before. Banny Harker, and his girlfriend Katrine Vinder, were murdered during the night at the lumber mill where Banny worked. Balor was asking for help, because a note for Brion was pinned to Banny.


The Leads

Sandpoint Lumber Mill: Since the murders occurred here, Sheriff Hemlock suggested that the investigation begin here, especially since he wanted to have the place cleaned up and the bodies moved elsewhere.

Ibor Thorn: Ibor discovered the bodies when he showed up for work. The sheriff had already questioned Ibor and didn’t think the frightened man knew much more.

Ven Vinder: Katrine’s father was the only suspect, although Balor was fairly certain that Ven was innocent.

The First Murders: Three con men from the town of Galduria were found murdered in an abandoned barn south of town a few days ago — their bodyguard survived the assault but went insane and was sent a the local Sanatorium.

The Rune: Banny had a seven-pointed star carved into his chest.

After arriving at the lumber mill, everyone began to investigate the crime scene. The mill interior was coated with sawdust strewn with footprints and splashes of blood, suggesting a desperate struggle took place several hours before. Upon examination, it became apparent that one set of footprints was barefoot and reeked of rotten meat.

The whole place stank of decay, almost as if an animal had died somewhere in the room and its remains were allowed to ripen.

Katrine had been shoved into the log-splitter, which killed here instantly and spat her mutilated body on the lower floor amid piles of firewood. Next to her body, an axe lay embedded in the floor, Katrine’s bloody fingerprints upon the handle. The head of the axe was caked with rotten flesh and fragments of bone which emitted a strong, rotten meat smell. Anna was able to identify it as the smell of a ghast.

More to come.

A Barghest Meets...
a Paladins Smite Evil!

Cela had come down with the Mayor as advance guard from Magnimar to access the situation and deem if it warranted escalation. She was to comfort the townsfolk and their suspicions as the story the Mayor told seemed fantastic and improbable. She really did hope this was not a wet nurse errand once more. She was hoping to face some action soon. That is why when the adventures began to spin their yarn, she took flight of it as an escape to battle. Sure, she had placated the towns folk for a few days, and it was evident that something big was brewing. But glory would not escape her for mind numbing paperwork. She immediately raised swords to assist with the adventures last goal to clean out the remnants of the goblin ruins.

later that day

The group huddled around Cela, for her divine protection it seemed. From descriptions, the last several outings had been almost deadly. The troop chose not to talk about their lost comrade, or the fact a mercenary had so easily gained their trust. It was of little concern; the enemy of my enemy is my friend. As they ventured through the second level, the group stumbled upon imposing stone double doors. Brion, the monk, took to scouting ahead. As they opened the doors, the group peered into the sarcophagi laded room beyond. Cela could sense the evil near. A cry out to the group was not fast enough as darkness where there was light began to move across the ceiling to strike at the monk. “Shadows!” someone shouted. Beings without form began to weaken the party, seeking to create more like unto themselves. Cela witnessed the group rally to drive off the spirits while calling out the shots. After much fighting, the threats dissipated as well as some of the adventures’ strength.

Turning back, the group discovered a new area behind a wealthy illusion. Behind laid three foreboding doors. The first held a regal figure trapped in illusion and time, repeating some strange phrase over and over. The second laid waste to tools and bone. Inside this mess laid a strange seven started rune with a handle. It just so happened to fit conveniently in the last door. The sense of ill fate filling the air, the party began is casting successful.

The Barghest snapped and roared while blinking into and out of existence. The group had quickly encircled the beast to prevent escape. They had researched the animal and identified its week prior to returning. The magica weapons proved all the difference in the fight. The first blow knocked the beast prone but afterwards, it continued to fight. It was only after the group had whittled down the outsider that several landed smites had taken their effect. A dead Barghest was easier to hit for Auron.

The group spent the remainder or the day searching the Tassalonian ruins. Finding a secret passage to the sea, a large crab with the shell of a rune giant helmet tried grappling the group only to get the smack down. Overall, the threat was neutralized and Cela had an adventure to report back. “Writing this one would not be so difficult because it was a challenge,” she thought.

Thistletop Stage Cleared!
Time Bonus: 0

We all got 1028xp each, well earned everyone.

Auron says he can get better prices (+10%). Loot to sell and divide by six (that Paladin volunteered their services after all):

Silver Coffer -60 gp
Tools -60gp
(60) Lesser Magical Candles -15gp each = 900gp
Rune Giant Helmet -1800gp
3500 sp
630 gp
40 precious stones (Auron appraise please) -400gp total (no bonus to sell these, but you get 100% of value)
Crabmeat (refrigerated) 100lb -10gp
Ring of Force Shield -5200gp

Total sold: ? (if I had to guess 6k+) -9410gp
Five way split (who ever gets the amulet does not get the gold): ?
(if I had to guess 1.2k+)
Note by Deg: In the past the party has distributed desirable items amongst the party and then sold what was left and split the gold evenly. I don’t care which of these methods you use, but please be sure to consult Bleddyn on this new method.

Stuff to fight over:

Jade Amulet (+1 natural armor) – Brion really really really wants this ( to buy one would be about 2000 gp)

We got one week to wander Sandypoint or visit Magnimar. I know I need a refill of magic weapon and protection from evil potions as well as payback for the extra magic weapon I used against the Barghest (150gp all together). Thank you Anna.

Inbetween the Lines
Downtime in Sandypoint

Many tomes lined the shelves of The Curious Goblin. Books of all different sizes and ages littered the tables in disarray. Bartigan lifted the cover of one. “101 Recipes for Onions and Turnips” one would have to be desperate to read this one he thought as he took a bit of his apple. His disgusted was lost upon Anna as she quickly descended on a particular stack of literature. They had ventured to the local library to research more on the beast in the ruins, this Barghest. Auron was also lingering with them. I did not take the scholar long before she located script that described the creature. “Why did we not use my monster book?” questioned the halfling. “Because pec…” Bartigan was about to say rudely before getting a stern look from Anna. “er, Auron. This beast is not a demon we believe,” the fighter finished. “That is correct.” Anna chimed as she began making notes on her own parchment.

“How long will this take? You write slow.” Auron continued to prattle. Bartigan took to distracting himself by searching deeper into archives. Sitting on the top shelf, a black tome inlaid with an imposing swordsman drew his attention. “Tales of the Blade: A Swordlords Memory” said the book title. He began to read, seeing that Anna would be awhile. Auron sneaked into under his arm, “Is this a picture book?” the rogue wit-fully commented to Bad. “No.” Bartigan said under his breath, “but it does tell me how to silence a halfling.” Really? How is that murfff!" Bartigan shoved the remaining apple into Auron’s mouth and continued to read. This stuff could be useful one day.

Boss Fight
Two ways to kill a monk, but you are going to need three

Aron only opened the door once the group was ready bows in hand, spirits raised. The corridor, dimly lit, was ominous in its glow. The party shuffled forward in curiosity. At the far end of the call stood a bifurcated statue of someone long gone, flanked by two stout doors. THere were two similar alcoves closer holding menacing men with glaives. Before them stood a section of the floor different than the others. It beckoned investigation. Aron knelt low, expecting the mechanism to spring at his touch. Sure enough, two portcullises dropped down to ensnare the unsuspecting. The statues seemingly came to life as they struck down their blades against the floor until it fell away, revealing a deep pit. The halfling felt especially accomplished for detecting the device and disabling the mechanism safely for others.

The party shuffled down the remainder of the hall. Stopping at the two doors, both the rogue and ranger took time listening beyond the barrier. Bledden responded in the negative. Meanwhile, Aron detected faint shuffling beyond his portal.

At this point it is proper to mention nobody can tell what goes through a hobbits head when they have an idea. It is best described by the result, both fantastic like bacon flavored ice cream and inconceivable such as Aron’s idea…

The hobbit’s eyes grew, looking back to his companions. A flash of confusion washed over them as the hobbit began speaking draconic as menacing as a three foot creature could. Bad Bartigan rolled his fortitude save not to laugh. Encouraging the haflings thinking, Calmar initiated a strange roar of beasts. Who ever was behind the door would either be not impressed or rolling on the floor laughing. The element of suprise was lost to madness. “Oh well,” Bad said to himself. “Here goes nothing, Aaarg!”, he led rushing through the door, war face and all.

Immediately the group felt the same terror that filled them facing the pair of Yath hounds. There was only one dog this time but commanded by a beautiful angel of demonic scars. It was her! Brion rushed into position for flanking while the hound let out a howl. Anne felt the tinges of fear but was able to push back the urge to run this time. She could see Bledden’s panic and knew he was not so lucky. Motioning to Calmar, Anna coordinated to keep the warrior from running off to regions unknown. Somehow, the magus was able to hold the stout ranger long enough for the cleric to cast a hold spell. First crisis avoided.

Bad stepped into the room, deftly dodging both the yath hound and evil cleric’s attack attempts. A confident smile, smug even, filled his grin as he trashed down a solid hit against the mistress of the keep. Aron followed up with a well placed sling stone that cracked bone where it struck. Brion attempted to penetrate the fell cleric’s defences but each blow glanced off her, one erringly striking Bad in the arm. Then the evil cleric took retribution, severly wounding the monk and then felling him. Things began to look dire.

Anna felt it was not the best situation but decided to channel her positive energy into saving Brion. This also had equal effect on Nutela. Aron was not having success with the attacks, so he helped contain Bledden as he awoke from his hold. Calmar found his energy to deliver true attacks against the fell one. Energy rippled over her skin, some being absorbed and only causing samll burn marks. Calmar and Bad then began shifting their position to flank her. Meanwhile, the yath hound attempted attacks in vain. Focusing her attack, Nutela strikes at the monk in rage for his insolence of breathing again. Deja vu over came Brion, the spiral path of Pharasma once more in front of him, if only for a few seconds, before he could feel the touch on his chest. “Jaigo?” questioned the monk. It was really Bartigan applying troll septic to the wound, which quickly began to regenerate ever so slow. Somehow he dodged the evil cleric’s blows while doing so. She grew in her vexation.

Anna loaded the cross bow with the silver bolt and took aim. A critical strike to the yath hound struck the animal dumb and incapacitated. Fortune began to shine on the group. Bledden, having come to his senses, rushed back to the group. Flashbacks of Jaigo’s death filled his mind seeing Brion down. “Not this time!” resolved the ranger, moving into position to supply a potion to the prone monk. “Just play dead,” was the ranger’s recommendation as Bartigan and Calmar dealt with the Aisimar’s attacks. The fighter made a show by spouting poetry about a rainbow of pain, but then proceeded to miss. Then Anna got an idea…

The problem with thrown weapons is that they bounce around if the miss their target. This happens a lot when the table is rolling sub-ten.

Three tanglefoot bags later, Brion is moving half his speed which keeps up with half the party. Calmar is glued to the floor. And Nutela is escaping through an obscuring mist and last ditch invisibility draught. Anna tried caltrops, Bledden tried one last tanglefoot bag, and yet Bad was able to place himself between the door and the hallway beyond, only to feel a small breeze past by. Was she still in the room? He shut the door hedging his bet. It was a fruitless search. She had escaped. Meanwhile the party counted their blessings and took note of the next time.

Aron broke the party’s exasperation, “I am going back to the room to check for gold, I mean loot. No, traps! That is what i mean traps, yes…” the halfing flared his fingers together mischievous.

A New Contract
How to make friends and influence people

Bad Bartigan grinded his teeth, something he did when he was frustrated. Bledden had felt the need to tend to the wounded mare for some reason. Meanwhile, Cal did not believe Bad when he said the secret was behind the commode. Auron was either adventurous enough or a connoisseur of bad hygiene as he looked for the secret panel that revealed the locked chest in the room beyond. Greed filled his eyes as he took his lock pick to the device. “Ouch!” exclaimed the Halfling, holding his hand in blood. Anna reviewed the damage, “It looks like I can clean it but I cannot tell if it was poisoned or else…” Auron’s eyes grew to saucer size in anxiety. These distractions gave Bad a chance to lead the group down the anterior stairwell, where they might be able to catch Tsuto off guard. He had plans to make the most of his new found friends, revenge and jealousy just seemed appropriate today. Once down stairs, they scoured the planning room. The door leading downward was blocked from the other side. They would have to look at that later.

Heading to the chapel, the group was soon able to investigate the statue to Lamatshu and the foul decorations of the shrine. The back door did not reveal anything unusual for a dungeon. They found the torture chamber devoid of actual torture. The group had apparently done a rather good job cleaning out the goblins from the day before. They decided to return to the blocked door.

Bledden took a mighty heave at the portal. pushing back the lock and stacked furniture behind preventing entry into the room. Immediately a painful energy filled his body and he staggered and struggled to support his weight. The battle began. The group prepared to pull the enemy into the larger room but when that did not work, Bad Bartigan stood up and entered into the room with the evil monk. “Come at me!” howled the sword lord. The monk quickly tried to hit the greatest swordsman that ever lived. His speed was no match to Bad’s awesomeness. Providing cover, Bad Bartigan allowed the party to move by him to chase down the magi. “Be careful with her, she is mine!” his words following their heels. Bledden was not feeling well enough to care at that point.

Brion ran down the woman and engaged her, only to be thwarted by mirror images. Cal did equal attempts to reduce the defenses of the magi. Anna prepared to counter the next magi spell, it never came. Instead Bledden bounded down the stairs, after the magi that had made him feel so inferior. He landed hard against the wall leaping through a magic image. She disappeared around the corner. Brion ran straight into the new room cutting the magi’s opportunity to escape. Anna took control of the situation and casted a spell that would reveal the enemy. Lit like a holiday rocket, Bledden stepped forward to deliver the killing blow to the magi.

Meanwhile, Auron could feel the pressure building as he was unable to hit the monk and his lightning fighting. The monk also began to focus on Auron, being the far easier creature to hit. Bad Bartigan tried slipping up the warrior by kicking a few items under the monk’s feet. Successful, the monk backed himself in a corner. The battle was over as soon as it was clear the monk would die by his wounds. Cleaning his blade, Bad motioned to Bledden, “Did you find my fire woman?” Bledden stood.

“It is so hard to explain to people that Dread Pirate Roberts might have been the best swordsman in the world but that he was no match for the greatest swordsman that ever lived. Understand the difference?” Bad Bartigan mused to Brion once more. Brion clearly thought Bad had too much the night before to be making any sense this morning.

Loot from Lyre and Tsuto

5 scrolls

  1. Scroll of Comprehend Languages
  2. Scroll of Minor Image
  3. Scroll of See Invisibility
  4. Scroll of Sleep
  5. Scroll of Whispering Wind
    dagger – 1gp 2sp
    Cloak of Resistance +1
    Everburning Torch
    fancy dress – 18gp
    pouch of artifacts – 3 sp for the pouch itself (the artifacts were mostly things like hair and fingernail clippings from Tsuto that Lyrie had been collecting).
    pearl earring – 30 gp
    Spell book
    ~5 lbs gold – 278 gp

composite short bow (+1) – 90 gp
mw flute – 60 gp
mw thief tool
pearl earring – 30 gp
6 gold dust pouch – 50 gp each
8 silver dust pouch – 5 gp each

mw scimitar – 189 gp
jade necklace – 36 gp
chain shirt – 60 gp
mw manacles
pouch full of malachite – 34 gp
fine gown – 90 gp
petty change ~ 150 lbs cp, 50 lbs sp, 89 gp, 3 pp

Cal, Anne please identify.

EDIT by Deg: Prices are complete

The Rise and Fall of Jaigo Mongwangi
...and nearly a TPK

Jaigo peered into the damp corridor shifting his eyes in the darkness. Several steps the stair well trickled with rain water. Mulling his prospects, the witch doctor called to his companions, “Stairs here!” He started his climb down without wait. Bledden did his best to steadily follow. Aaroun scampered next with Brion, Cal, and Anna in tow.

The beat of steady rain changed to a small din as the pathway rounded towards a warm glow of candle light. Cautiously the pack approached and investigated. The room was rather plain but nothing like the makeshift fort above, it was much older. Six doors lined the room in all directions, a pile of dog hides in the corner. The group fanned out to check each. As quiet as allowed, Bledden ventured to the far wall where three doors stood. Suddenly a large creature burst into the room, furry patches growing out of its hastily donned armor, its facial features pig like in nature. The bugbear announced himself with a roar. Immediately the witch doctor began his hexes. Frenzied moments passed too quickly. The warriors converged to attack while the spellcasters conserved their energy with ranged assaults. Growls and snorts of intimidation were not enough and soon it was obvious the bugbear had underestimated the adventures. The ranger finished the beast off with a powerful charge sending the creature across the room, barely missing Aaroun.

Relieved, the party looted the body and secured the beast’s room discovering his harem of four goblins. Not having time to risk release or interrogate, the best option was to lock them in an ancillary room. Further investigation of the doors revealed more corridors and other doors. There was an obvious fixation for privacy of whoever built the complex, Jaigo thought. “More doors?” was what he said. The only thing of interest were two stone double doors. What must be behind there must be important the shaman pondered. Taking the lead and ignoring the rest of the group, he braced himself against the doors and pushed them open with swagger. A mistake soon equal to the bugbear’s results.

Monstrous hounds flew towards Jaigo. His immediate thought was which hex to start. Brion and Bledden readied themselves for attack. Anna began to think about the situation but then began feeling a sense of dread instead. Fear filled her every thought. Dropping her crossbow and bolting herself into another room. Cal witnessed both the yath hounds snapping from his left and Anna’s retreat to the right. Aaroun stood indecisive. The confidence of the adventures shrunk as they began to realize each attack was barely scratching the beasts. Then the dogs began to trip them. The strange beasts would certainly kill them if they fell. Jaigo felt a sense of responsibility for getting his party into this mess. “One chance” he thought. Pulling the twig like wand out of his… hat, Jaigo began to cast a spell from the wand. He leapt into the air, expecting to transform into a large enough tree to block the hounds from harming his friends. He instead felt flat against the cold ground. Despair filled his heart for the first and final time before the hound’s teeth sunk deep into it. The last heart beats could be felt slowly like eternity. Brion fell. He could hear Cal’s conflict between chasing down Anna or helping out Brion and he while attacking another beast. Aaroun had disappeared and Bledden was pushing past a strange man to reach him. It was all too late. He was on his way to Pharasma.

Orik felt the rush and pulse of the battle still in his veins. It has been some time since he killed something. It was frutuitous the adventures had come along. He had hope that escape from his contract would come soon. He was worried the waiting had dulled his senses. Carnage all around him, just as he liked it. His assessment was quick of the party. A bookworm, spellworm, monkworm, clawworm, and a peck. Then there was a dead naked enthusiast with a top hat. The party had grieved for about five seconds over the death of “Jaigo!” as the ranger had called him before literally stripping the shiny loin cloth and handing it to the peck. “A memento?” he thought. Thinking on what he should say, Orik decided that telling them his real name might be risky. Best to use an alias. Sheathing his sword, the fighter introduced himself. “The name is Bad… Bad Bartigan. I am the greatest swordsman that ever lived.”

Ranseurs and Wrath
or The Vomitous Soiling of a Loincloth

After Bleeden defeated the ectoplasmic being, he took up the ranseur and returned from the direction he had come. Shortly, he came upon his companions, who were in search of him. Quickly relating the tale of his battle, the adventurers continued down the tunnel to where the battle took place.

Finding nothing of interest in the small chamber, their explorations continued. A small distance further the tunnel once again branched, with the northern tunnel ending in a visible breach into a constructed room. Deciding the room used to be a storage room of little import (based on the debris), they opened a door that led further into the complex, Brion taking point.

On the other side of the door they found a winding hall. Continuing West at the first junction, they found themselves staring at a north facing statue. The statue was comprised of red marble and featured “a strikingly beautifull, but … monstrously enraged human woman” who carried a book with a strange seven pointed star and a ranseur made of glittering metal and ivory. To the North, stairs led up, while to the South was an opening rejoining with the tunnel they were following earlier, and to the West was wooden door.

After determining they knew nothing about the woman in the statue, or the symbol on her book, they listened at the door and heard two voices arguing in strange tongue. Bursting through the door, the party found themselves on a platform overlooking a prison cell block. On the floor below were two more ectoplasmic beings.

Without wasting time, Brion ran along a walkway and flung himself over a rail, using the walkway to pivot at the last moment a deliver a painful kick to the face of the first target, while Bleeden through his recently acquired ranseur into the body of the other. Calmar struck one with a stream of ice, while the actions of Aarohn and Jaigo were immemorable to the narrator of this account. Swiftly mounting the stairs, the nearest foe sank his teeth into Jaigo’s leg, upon which Jaigo became so filled with rage that he immediately began to vomit, and continued to do so while his companions dispatched with their foes.

After noting that the walkway seemed to be preserved by ancient magic, the party followed it North to an ancient torture chamber, who’s implements were decayed beyond use. Opening a door to the East, they discovered a study with three doors leading to prison cells containing odd, misshapen humanoid skeletons. A quick spell to reveal local magic directed Calmar to a scroll hidden under a chair.

With Jaigo now recovered from his vomiting spell, everyone returned to the Torture chamber, and then continued through the northern door, descending a short staircase leading to a room with several covered pits. Prompted by soft moaning sounds emanating from the pits, the group opened one to reveal a zombie 20 feet below at the bottom. Scanning for magic revealed that the zombies were being preserved by some spell, but it quickly became apparent that it did not prevent them from being destroyed.

After dispensing with the zombies, the party filed down a hallway, noticing that a magic aura was issuing beyond a doorway at the end of the hall. Before arriving at the door, party turned North to discover a stairwell leading down, but completely blocked by fallen rubble.

Several members of the party have decided they need to clear the stairs and make their way down.

Knock Knock!
How I earned Level Two

The group both cautiously and cavalier like approached the glass works to look into the windows and admire the curtains. The building stood unusually quite but smoke steamed from its stacks. A workday, the front door remained locked. A stranger from across the street says that no body has been seen coming out of the building recently. The door looks solid but is nothing for Auron’s lockpicks. The group enters slowly and rushing. Jaigo kicks the half open door open to the groups dismay. It was a shop room with a counter but no welcoming committee. “poor customer service.” Jaigo remarked. “do you hear the furnaces?” Bryan replied. The roar was a dull din behind the doors but markedly loud for being such.

Both Auron and Bleeden open separate doors, further proof of the groups scattered strategy. Following the Ranger’s initiative, the group follows looking for the missing inn keeper. Auron is unaware as he wanders another hall by his own. The group discovers the dinning room a mess. Stepping pass the littered ransacked hall, the group proceeds to the next room. A meeting room of sorts, this room is kept tidy with plans on the table. Jaigo inspects the gnatt charts but finds nothing useful along with Bleeden. The Magi focuses his skills at detecting magic below. Not particularly useful either. Following the sounds of the furnace, the group kicks open the next set of doors. The loud sound of the furnace room is matched by a shocking display of goblin fetishes. Dismembered humans and chard corpses litter the factory floor with a number of goblins in free blood frenzy. The group immediately breaks into diplomacy, “Charge!” Bleeden shouts.

Jaigo stands over the slain goblin steadily pushing his spear tip into and out of the lifeless bag. Bleeden accesses the dead in the factory, hoping somebody survived. Brion interrogates the last remaining goblin. No sign of the tavern keeper but her father’s remains lay in a state of aventgarde glass works. Auron takes a break and sips his mysterious beverage. Calmar helps with the goblin questioning. Soon they found a way downstairs. But before that, Jaigo disposes of the goblin in the furnace.

The basement seemed a dead end with the exception of a strange cooridor. They did find a half elf asleep and a locked door. The hobbit failed to impress the party blaming the lock. Bleeden awakens the half elf by the blade of his sword. He asks a question with no reply from the awoken. “Tie him up.” Bleeden commands. Calmar objects using his good silk rope on the prisoner long enough for Bleeden to deliver an evil eye of his own.


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