Rise of the Runelords, Session 9: Burnt Offerings

Our heroes entered this lower level with trepidation, but forged on bravely, encountering only a minor setback at a slashing trap before entering a chamber wherein stood Nualia! She intoned a short prayer to Lamashtu, bringing forth a spider the size of a pony to aid her, then began slinging curses at the band, telling them they were too late and would rue this day!

Vic quickly engaged the mad woman, whose body was mutilated and mutated in veneration of her dark goddess. Rissi and Elspeth were soon to follow, with Orik moving in behind. Walt was trapped on the other side of the trap until the time lapsed for it to reset, and was engaged by a familiar foe, the quasit from the chambers below the glassworks!

Walt was all alone in this fight, no other member of the party able to gain egress to his side until the trap rest, and some locked in deadly combat of their own with Nualia and summoned children of Lamashtu. The battle with the unholy warrior did not last long, however, as the bulk of the party quickly overcame her, and then rushed to aid their own holy warrior. The day was won shortly, however, when Rissi trapped the demon in a mass of tanglefoot, halting any possible escape she may attempt.

After dispatching the two foes and unsuccessfully searching the area for clues as to the completion or non-completion of the ritual, the group pressed forward into the southern chamber, coming into a room with a large pillar of immense gold coins to the left and a passage further south to the right, which they decided to further explore, avoiding the gold for fear of curses or fell magics.

This passage revealed a room lined with sarcophagi in which they found a secret door which led to two separate means of entry to a room that had long-since flooded. The bottom of the tide pool created in the sunken chamber, they could see, was lined with riches, but a helmet sized for a giant was identified as housing a rather large crab, and the idea of taking on the crustacean on his own turf was one that held little appeal for the party.

Going back to the burial chamber, the band separated and began to thoroughly search the chamber for any more possible secret doors or items of interest, but in their search, they found only the restless spirits of three of those entombed. The shadows crept out of their sleep to drain the life from the group, and almost succeeded in taking the lives of Rissi, Vic, and Orik before a little bit of luck and some force spells from Elspeth helped vanquish the undead.

With no other place to go, the band back-tracked and Vic figured out the gold coin pillar (coin operated!), allowing them to further explore. Beyond, they came upon a juncture of three doors. The first of which they explored contained torture implements, the second a throne with an illusory man whom had been depicted throughout these lower chambers with statuary, and who kept a looping message playing from the illusion. The third door, they surmised was the holding chamber of the demon-god Malfeshnekor, a goblin deity of much power.

After a cursory investigation and search of the two rooms, and not wanting to unleash a vile god, the party packed it in and headed to the upper chambers again, this time exploring the areas where they had not been before, to ensure that they had not overlooked key players in the ritual or other possibly dangerous perils. This search led them to encounter a tentamort - a horrid tentacled beast that had nested here, apparently against the goblins' wills and feasted on them periodically, as well as a room with caged hutches holding goblin young. These, Rissi and Elspeth released and cast onto a Floating Disc cast by Elspeth, with what, exactly to do with them still up in the air.

The party then went to the upper level, released the rabbits held there and gathered the horse that the goblins had also captured and then meant to make their leave, but were shocked to find that their bridge had been cut on the island side, then went searching for means of escape, finding that the boat seen earlier had been taken by goblins, as seen as they rowed away in the craft.

This impediment did not last long, however, as Walt successfully activated his winged magical device and flew down to retrieve the side of the bridge that had fallen. Having then repaired the structure, they made to leave Thistletop, stopping only a short time outside of Mosswood to release the goblin youths before continuing on to Sandpoint.

Orik asked the group, as the town came into view, if they would agree to letting bygones be bygones and allow him to settle in Sandpoint peacefully, and the party acquiesced with the proviso that they be able to call on his sword arm if needed. He agreed, and as they closed on the town gates, they recognized that one of the two guards posted wore the blue of Magnimar, instead of the purple common to Sandpoint. Sheriff Hemlock had returned!

The session closed there, and so did Pathfinder 1. We're 1/6th of the way through Rise of the Runelords, and I have to say that I found the first adventure very satisfying, even if it did take 9 sessions.

Next, Pathfinder 2: The Skinsaw Murders!

Cast of Characters
Walt Thrune, Chelaxian Human Cleric 6 (Merciful Healer) of Sarenrae - Paul
Rissi Scuttle, Ratfolk Alchemist 6 - Angela
Vic Alvaraz, Varisian Human Fighter (Mobile Fighter) 6 - David
Elspeth, Elf Wizard (Evoker) 5 - Tami
Orik Vancaskerkin, Chelaxian Human Fighter (Weapon Master) 5 - NPC


I Really Hope This Isn't My 15 Minutes...

I usually spend my free time online reading gaming-related blogs or checking forums, and come across neat stuff all the time, but the other day I ran across an old post at Frontal Robotomy, in which my friend Josh is mentioned, and then a reference to someone who said Josh was a swell guy. That someone being me.

It's not like I'm saying that this is a "WOW, LOOK AT THE AWESOME THING I DID", or "Lookit me! I'm famous on the interwebs!" moment. It was actually kind of jarring to come across, as it's something you don't expect, and more importantly, I'm happy to see Josh getting recognition, be that someone putting his nom de plume out there, or otherwise. He does really great work and is a great person, overall.

 The referenced post from Jeff's Gameblog is here.


Rise of the Runelords, Session 8: Burnt Offerings

When the action left off, our heroes had just opened a door to a room wherein Tsuto Kaijitsu and a Garrundi woman were looking over some chunks of stone. Their surprise wasn't sincere, however, and Tsuto flipped the table on its side, giving the woman cover and jumping over to engage Vic. The two battled it out for a while before Vic shoved past the nobleman to gain egress to the Garrund, but not before being struck by an enfeebling spell, then fiery breath like a dragon's once he closed!

With the maneuvering, Walt was able to gain entry into the room and Rissi continued to bombard the enemies with spells and bombs. The battle was hard-fought, but the mage fizzled a few spells in the heat of battle, giving the PCs a window of opportunity to take her out within a few seconds, and then to concentrate on Tsuto, who eventually gave his life up in an odd display of honor when he knew he was defeated and had failed his love.

From here, entry into a chamber beyond brought them face to face with a detailed painting of carnage, above which stood a goblin, who if depicted to scale, would tower about thirty feet. This must be what the ritual is to release! With no delay, the party charged through multiple other rooms, not wanting to miss their opportunity to disrupt the ritual of which they had been told that Nualia was performing.

Shortly thereafter, their search brought them into a prison, which held a live captive! An elf by name of Elspeth, who had no recollection of how long she had been in the prison or how or why, for that matter, though she admitted to being a resident of Sandpoint (though none of the current players picked up on this roleplay cue, making it seem like Tami's character's first base statements about her character were in question - which became hilarious the more the game progressed).

The elf led the group to the place she had seen the goblins stash her stuff before moving her down to the prison, and when the chest was opened, obviously containing more than just her belongings, she claimed it was all hers when asked, a blatant lie picked up on by Rissi, who then decided she wasn't fully trusting of the elf.

With her gear collected (and an assumed break for her to memorize spells), the party continued on, entering a chapel sacred to Lamashtu that was guarded by two yeth hounds, whose bays sent Vic running in panic immediately. A carelessly thrown fireball by Elspeth put a serious hurt on the hounds - and some party members - which allowed the group to mop up the demon dogs(!) quickly and pursue Vic, who was still attempting to make a frantic escape.

Elspeth having caught up to Vic first and subdued him with rope, the guardsman began to calm down and decided the passageway he had entered into while fleeing was as good as any to continue exploring. He chose the first door he had come to and immediately was cloven into by a large sword wielded by a Chelaxian warrior, who was also accompanied by a yeth hound, whose bay sent Rissi into retreat! With our little ratfolk running breakneck through twisting passages, the other three quickly put down hound, but was pleaded with by the swordsman into sparing his life, offering his help to foil the plot if he was allowed to go free, explaining that he wasn't quite into the plan once he found out Nualia was wanting to release a goblin deity and unleash it and its spawn on Sandpoint in the hopes of eradicating all the people there.

Rissi had rejoined the party by this point, having calmed down a bit after having a close call with a tentacly monster down another side passage, which she narrowly escaped. Once the party was back together, they made a group decision to release the warrior, whose name was given as Orik Vancaskerkin from the manacles they had placed him in and return his belongings that he might aid them in their task, with the caveat that his life was forfeit were he to betray them. He then began to lead them to a secret door leading down to an even lower level, offering the suggestion that they could probably gain the aid of the Garrundi mage, Lyrie, with his help. The party let him down fairly easy with the news of her death, but he still seemed upset by the news, looking away as they passed through the room that Tsuto and her had been slain, which also held said door.

A few flights of stairs led our heroes down to a door allowing access to the level that Orik indicated would be hosting the ritual, and its master, Nualia. This is where we left off.

Cast of Characters
Walt Thrune, Chelaxian Human Cleric 5 (Merciful Healer) of Sarenrae - Paul
Rissi Scuttle, Ratfolk Alchemist 5 - Angela
Vic Alvaraz, Varisian Human Fighter (Mobile Fighter) 5 - David
Elspeth, Elf Wizard (Evoker) 5 - Tami
Orik Vancaskerkin, Chelaxian Human Fighter (Weapon Master) 5 - NPC


Age of Worms, Session 17

Though we hadn't met the previous week for my game (due to a freak snowstorm), we convened on Wednesday to continue with Angela's Age of Worms campaign, with a special guest: Steve! He and his girlfriend were in from Oklahoma to do holiday visits, and he was able to make time to join us, which was nice, since he was a long-time friend and fellow gamer.

When we picked up, Steve brought in his Divine Mind (whose name I can't recall currently) who had been off having his own adventures and by happenstance had been in Diamond Lake and heard we were off on another trek, this time escorting Allustan to Blackwall Keep - a outpost on the edge of the Mistmarsh; one in a series built to help keep the threats of the swamp at bay.

Our travels there were only shortly delayed by the inconvenience of orc brigands who thought us pushovers. Within seconds, they found the folly of their actions and two of the original ten made it away with their lives. The rest were dealt with mercilessly, as is our way, and then we continued on, stopping to take refuge in a wayhouse overnight before making our way to the Keep.

Once we arrived, we found Blackwall under siege by a host of lizardfolk, and we sprung into action to aid the defenders. Convincing Allustan to toss a fireball into a small group of the brutes to create confusion, Sagt and the Divine Mind charged in and fell two foes immediately, with Rosebud and Mullins following that lead and pressing the attack, with Able invisibly staying in reserve to heal any of our party that may be injured and Allustan teleporting back to Diamond Lake to gain reinforcements.

The battle was pitched and lasted a couple of minutes, but our heroes made it finally to the keep and defeated the last of the attackers, but not before they had made their way in and began to slaughter the men defending the place. Not a single lizardman was left alive, but we only managed to save five of the brave defenders, who then proceeded to tell us that the princess was in another castle! Wait, no...wrong game...

A small group of Blackwall's standing troops, as well as their battle-caster, were feared to have been taken by the lizardfolk, as they hadn't returned from patrol, and the reptilians were fond of the taste of people, or at least Sagt assumed, since people are, indeed, tasty...as are lizardfolk, and demons, and chickens, and horses, and well, most things.

Mullins pledged our support to the rescue mission and gathered Able, Rosebud, and Sagt to venture into the swamp to save the brave souls of Blackwall! Our psionic companion decided to stay behind at the keep as we went forth (since Steve had to leave at this point) to help man the place until Allustan arrived with help, and the other four trekked off into the muck.

Not far into the swamp, a clutch of giant spiders, each as big as a pony, attacked from the trees above and we fought against both them and our environment, but finally prevailed. Here, we left off, each of us ready to take on the lizardfolk on their turf!

Cast of Characters
Sagt, Varag 5 (Racial levels) - Me
Mullins, Gnome Rogue 3/Wizard 2 - Paul
Rosebud, Gnome Warmage 4 - Paul (we're allowed to have 2 characters)
Able Nightengale, Human Healer 5 - David
Al'lah, Synad Divine Mind 5 -Steve