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

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