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FLASHBACK scene -> night of your arrival (9 days after goblin raid)
Lleidr has just finished a rousing oratory, with the hushed crowd leaning in and hanging on each word. By the end, comes applause and, being that listening and talking are both such thirsty work, many rounds of stout ale from the Two Knights.
Brodert Quink, Sandpoint’s visiting sage, comes up to Lleidr with a knowing smile. “Everything you said supports my theory that Thistletop is in reality, a Thassilonian ruin and is thousands of years old. Do me a favor, if you can. Bring me back etchings of the runes you find, or any artifact with writing. Oh, to have been able to hear the words spoken by that ghost in his stone chair!”
FLASHBACK scene -> morning after your arrival (10 days after goblin raid, inside the Rusty Dragon)
Ameiko shakes her head without hesitation. “No one here intrude into room without you knowing, Selia, especially me. What was the value of your things? I can repay you. And, we keep a better watch starting now on the premises.”
(about the same time, in the streets of Sandpoint)
“Well, well, look who’s emerged from the clutches of the Thistletop goblins!” Ilsoari laughs and claps Ned on the shoulder. “Well done, my friend. A fitting accomplishment before you retire and ride off into the great sunset.”
[Early Morning, Thistletop, 12th Day After Goblin Raid, Thistletop Ocean Cave]
Lleidr has descended about 70’ (you’ve used up 1 entire coil of rope plus nearly half of another), and he’s dangling around 10’ above the surging froth.
As it falls, the stone's arcane illumination shows a shaft descending around 70' nearly all the way to the ocean below. About 10' above the ocean's surface, the shaft widens into a much larger space.
The stone splashes into the water and its light is dims quickly. There's a tremendous roar, some kind of movement in the water, and the light disappears.
How far down do you want to be lowered?
After about an hour's hike from town, you enter the deserted tunnels of thistle growing on the cliff. Three thistle tunnels open into a large cavelike chamber. Above, the thorny canopy grows thin enough that tiny slivers of the sky above can be seen, while below, the ground consists of trampled dirt.
To the west, the distant sound of sloshing waves echoes up from a hole. You all never went down this hole in the ground; instead you all made for the swinging bridge.
Interestingly enough, it was almost a year ago in real-time that you entered Thistletop!
Sorry guys .. I'm feeling off this evening. I'll get an update tomorrow.
However, we can assume you're all rested by now and are ready to get back and finish the job in Thistletop, if that's indeed what you want to do. I'll need to know where you want to start inside the complex. There was a hallway on the 2nd level you left unexplored, there's the passages behind a secret door on the 3rd level you just found, and ... this has been awhile so you may have forgotten, in the thistle tunnels outside Thistletop island, there was a large room with a hole in the floor, where you could hear the ocean. Nobody went down there and checked it out.
For the benefit of the new players, and just as a reminder for our original players (and since I can't remember if I ever said this or not): Ameiko Kajitsu is so grateful to you for saving her life, that she's offered you free room and board at the Rusty Dragon while you're all staying in Sandpoint.
As you were nearing Sandpoint yesterday afternoon, several townsfolk came to the settlement's edge and clapped and cheered for you. After your departure, word had spread through town fast, and the Dragon's tavern area was packed tight full of folk hanging on your every word.
One exception: Ven Vinder , who shot Jubryal a dark look before pulling his enthusiastic daughter out of the crowd and back to his general store.
As you all rise and stagger to breakfast, Sheriff Hemlock waits patiently at a stained oaken table, cradling a mug of steaming tea. It's rare to see the Sheriff wearing a smile. "The Mayor is delighted at the rumors she's heard, but she wants to hear it from you directly. So, as soon as you've all eaten and washed, I'm to take you to town hall."
The meeting with the Mayor is very much to-the-point, but Deverin is quick to let you know that Sandpoint is deeply in your debt. Each of you is being granted 350 gp for your brave service, and (I think you said you were bringing Nualia & Co in for trial) Nualia and her cohorts will soon be shipped to Magnimar under heavy guard where they'll be interrogated and tried.
Mayor Deverin is also insistent that you return to Thistletop as soon as possible and finish wiping out any sign of goblin or other monstrous activity. "I want any threat to this town eliminated. The Scarnetti are sure to raise a ruckus by trying to tie me to the goblin raids last week, and I have to show this town that we can beat this threat. The Scarnetti's already control all the town's mills ... Desna help us if they get my office too."
We've also got another player that's taking an existing character, with a rebuilt Jubrayl. Lleidr, I think the new folks are going to have questions about using the treasure that's been found so far and using it to upgrade for new equipment.
Also, new folks, please note - the party hasn't fully explored the last dungeon yet. So, just maybe, they'll recover more gold. Who knows?
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Oracle PC is the only girl in the bunch; it's not so much her class that's important, it's that she may figure prominently in an upcoming sub-plot. She was present from the beginning, and I'll probably keep her around as an NPC if nobody wants to claim her.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
I'm running a PBP Runelords, and a few players have dropped right as we're getting ready to start the 2nd volume.
Posts are daily, with usually a single post or update on weekends. Right now, the current party is a sorcerer/thief, cleric and a ranger. If you would like to run an existing character that's been dropped (oracle, paladin, barbarian), that would be extremely appreciated. I'd especially like the oracle to stay in the game. I'm guessing that anyone interested will insist on a brand new PC; if that's the case, no gunslingers please. Any other class is fine.
We've been playing nearly 18 months now, so we're looking for players that will stay with it. If you're interested and can commit to daily posting, I'd love to hear from you. If you've participated in other PBP games here, I'll give priority to players that have stayed current in their prior games.
New characters should be at 4th level and should be equipped per the standard wealth by level. PCs use Point Buy (15) for their abilities. We're assuming that PCs already know one another before adventuring together; the existing PCs were childhood friends, and new PC could have the same shared background.
There's also a Word doc linked to in the campaign description. If you join, you'll want to review this doc, as it lists significant NPCs the party has met so far. This doc gets updated periodically and it's a resource that will be important to refer to as the game progresses.
If there's any questions, I'll reply here.
It sounds like the party is leaning towards resting in town for a few days prior to finishing exploration of Thistletop.
Let's do this, unless someone disagrees: While you're resting, I'll post a recruitment for a couple of new players and we'll retire the PCs that aren't going to stick around. At this point, that should include Nich, Selia, Jub and Hakak (and if Nich and/or Hakak say otherwise, you're more than welcome to stick around).
Then, once the party is newly formed, I'll resume the game. Sound good? I anticipate a very brief hiatus ... maybe a week, if that.
[Noon, Thistletop, 9th Day After Goblin Raid, Round 2, part 1, Thistletop Level Two]
Selia steps inside the crypt and passes a Ring of Protection to Nich.
Ned also steps forward, striking towards a shadow threatening Hakak.
Shadowy filaments of the ghostly form retreat away from the blade, into dark recesses behind the black sarcophagus.
Jubrayl slashes at the nearest shadow, making a wide gash and eliciting a groan of dismay from his enemy.
Tossing the Fang of Elyrium to Selia, Lleidr then fires another arcane bolt past Selia and Nich. The writhing shadow Jubrayl nearly sliced in two vanishes in a deafening cry as the magic missile consumes its form.
Nich cries aloud once more, showering the tomb with the divine power. With a hiss of dismay, the remaining two shadows fade into a pale mist and are then gone. Quiet once again, the stillness of the tomb weighs upon you.
[Noon, Thistletop, 9th Day After Goblin Raid, Round 1, part 2, Thistletop Level Two]
Brandishing his magic sword, Hakak steps deeper into the tomb and stabs at a shadow flitting around a sarcophagus. It issues a hissing wail and then its ephemeral form dissipates.
The shadow in the south-west corner flies into the west wall, and then reappears (or is this some new ghastly enemy?) in the same spot that Hakak had just poked his sword into. Jubrayl is barely able to dodge the tendrils of shadow that float towards him.
[Noon, Thistletop, 9th Day After Goblin Raid, Round 1 Thistletop Level Two]
With great care, Selia withdraws from the crypt.
At the room’s threshold, Ned readies to attack any approaching shadow.
Ignoring the growing numbness clawing up his arm, Lleidr beats a hasty exit.
Shouting a well-rehearsed bit of liturgical prayer, a Nich steps a bit further into the massive tomb and brandishes the sign of his holy faith. The chamber is suffused with a brief warm glow, and the shadows all shrink back against the dark stone for a moment before resuming their glide towards you with outstreached arms.
One shadow leaves the east wall, passes through the central column, and reaches out to corrupt Jubrayl with an unholy touch (6 STR dmg). Another shadow flies up to Nich and a strand of ephemeral nothingness strikes the cleric (1 STR dmg). The shadow from a western sarcophagus lashes out with a ghastly hiss, and Jubrayl is hit again (1 STR dmg).
Next is Hakak
First round - Shadow 3 glides around the large statue and wisps of its ephemeral essence wrap around Lleidr's arm (6 STR damage). That entire side of your body feels to be in the icy grip of death. Next up - Selia, Ned, Jub, Lleidr and Nich.
[Noon, Thistletop, 9th Day After Goblin Raid, Thistletop Level Two]
Four pillars support the domed ceiling of this room. Several dark alcoves containing standing sarcophagi grace the walls, and a statue of a stern man wielding a glaive and holding a book stands in the southern part of the chamber.
For convenience, here's a repost of the current room's description:
This room is lit primarily by a 10-foot-long pit of f lickering fire that fills the room with a strange humid heat and the smell of burning hair. In the northern corners of the room, wooden risers each hold several dozen golden candles that burn without melting, while to the south the wall bears an immense carving of a seven-pointed star.