The Shackled City Adventure Path by GM Rutseg

Game Master Balacertar

Chapter 8 - LORDS OF OBLIVION

Cauldron map
Redgorge map
Current map

Campaign Index / Campaign diary
Loot sheet
Old loot sheet (Maxim)

Group Stealth (passive): -5 (Kikinnin)
Group Stealth (active): 5 (Kikinnin)
Group Perception: 27 (Marigold)
Group Sense motives: 30 (Marigold)
Group Spellcraft: 24 (Maxim)
Group Appraise: 23 (Maxim)


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Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision
Maxim wrote:
"Under that place used to lair the Alleybashers. Anyone fancy raking the coals for anything worth saving? Civic duty an' all..."

Kikinnin raises a singed eyebrow. "Not really our place to go rooting through the char, is it?" The black beard looks the blond beard and brown beard. "Didn't take you for grave robbers. Whatever lies below the collapsed inn is Pilok's business..." Kikinnin doesn't finish with ...not ours. as he hopes it's plain enough in his dissent.


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Maxim and Marigold do not recall anything about the blue-haired man.

Juraan asks some questions to the gathered half-orcs "We sleeping. Sudden flames. Smoke everywhere. We run out. Sergeant asked chop down inn. Big large heat alive flames burst out. Then you arrived and fought. You are strong"

Approaching to the building just reveals a pile of charcoal and still smoking timber.


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

Juraan thanks the half-orcs for the information (and the complements)...

Hearing Kikinnin's objections, Juraan replies.
"I doubt the alleybashers left much loot behind in an old cellar here."
"But if we do find something, Pilok should get the lion's share, since this place is his livelihood."
"I'm interested in finding clues about what happened here tonight."
"And making sure this won't happen again, if possible."
"The half-orcs were all caught unawares."
"Maybe Deakon noticed anything else tonight?"

After hearing from Deakon, Juraan will start searching the remains of the in with a spell: « აღმოაჩინე ჯადოსნური » . . "detect magic", in draconic

Roll, if needed: spellcraft: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Juraan approaches the building and casts his spells sensing a dim aura at a specific point behind what seems the inn kitchen.

K. arcana DC 24:

The aura is from conjuration School and it takes several minutes to disappear.
There is no more information that can be unveiled from an aura with a detect magic spell


M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

Aware that the inn was pretty much a total loss, Ryan still steps towards the remains of the inn searching for anything that might have survived belonging to Pilok. Likely not finding anything he joins Juraan in searching for magical traces remaining.

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18

Kn:Spellcraft(DC24): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10

yet little that he sees tells him anything.....


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16nope!

"Anyone able to figure out that aura yonder?", says Juraan as he points to the aura he's found and can't identify.

He then casts a spell on himself: « ვხედავ უხილავი » . . "see invisibility", in draconic
And looks around to see if there's anything from view.

perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31oh sure, now I get a good roll! (sigh)


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

Maxim takes a little umbridge at being called a grave robber;

"Hell's Teeth bror. I ain't no ghoul pickin' o'er the bones and baubles of them that's planted! Jes' reckoned to digging for hidden treasures that's all... Alley-basher's ain't exactly renowned for their charitable dealings..!"

The gun-mage then eyes the area that Juraan points out with a hard stare:

Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24

The dwur shakes his head;

"I ain't got the enchantment for such... leastways not learned this day."


Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision

"Well, talk of divvying up shares, so soon after the tragedy..." Kikinnin gives both Juraan and Maxim an even look, but doesn't press it further, as the bloodhounds fail to turn up anything worth arguing over.


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

Kn. Arcana: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7

"D-don't know wh-what the aura is," Marigold sighs, unable to identify it once Juraan points it out. "B-but the w-witnesses said the elementals c-came from inside the inn - and we s-saw it too. Th-that means whatever c-conjured them c-came from inside t-too," she observes. "M-maybe s-some hidden item m-malfunctioned...b-but m-maybe s-someone d-did this on p-purpose..."

Turning to Deakon, Marigold kneels down and addresses him in a gentle but firm voice, "D-Deakon...d-did you s-see or hear anything b-before or even after the f-fire started? Even the l-littlest thing c-could be important."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (10) + 16 = 26


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

"Are you sure about that?" asks JJ.

"I thought that summoners could call creatures from other planes to other locations, albeit nearby ones. But that raises the question about whether these locals set the fire - as I thought, or just joined in the fun after the elmentals had already began the destruction."


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"From what the half-orcs told me, it sounds like the elementals just appeared."
"Their presence would be enough to start a fire in a wood building."
"It's best if we check the spot under that aura."
"There could be a tunnel or something hidden there."
"That's what we found Orak's bathhouse not that long ago."
"Maybe there's something similar hidden here."

Juraan will then poke around the area the aura was located to see if there might be a trap door or something nearby:
perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28


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Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Juraan and Ryan remove the scolds around the area where the aura was found, a dim aura that disappears after some minutes. There is nothing found at the spot.

Deakon thoughts at Marigold's request, the dwarf-boy seeming more than helpful after being rescued by Maxim "I... I had finished washing the last of the dishes for the night and told Pilok I was leaving back to the orphanage for the night after he had paid me for the day. B-but when I was leaving I found one of the jars in the-the table. Pilok hates when jars are left unwashed. Well he always protests if we left some dish or any other thing unwashed. And-and I like being his scullery-boy, Gretchyn says it helps me grow up independent. The money is nice... but I mostly enjoy leaving the orphanage for a change... Pilok is tough but a good one, the half-orcs have their manners but are not bat neither... so when I saw the jar... I picked it up and took it back to the kitchen sink. W-well I was to do it, bu-but I heard something in the pantry. I thought it was Puffy. He is always trying to get in there to catch something for dinner. Pilok has it for catching rats and the like, but he seems to much prefer Pilok's fake trouts. The-then I heard chanting but it was like in a strange language I could not understand, so I looked there and I saw a short shady figure reading a paper that suddenly crumbled into dust a-and then there was that disk full of flames and... and then the explosion, the flames took the pantry, so I run, and run, and the half-orcs started running down the stairs and I fell and then then there was an explosion, and the timber fell on me, and then there was those giant flames bursting out of the inn, an-and then I saw the figure in the smoke, but- but I -I recognized Maxim, he he saved me out of that hell, the skin was burning, the the smoke, I was choking but he saved me out of that hell!"


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

JJ looks at his young brother with wide eyes. "That is quite the adventure." he admires.

"I seem to recall you were quite good at drawing... do you think you could give us a picture of the man with the paper?"


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

"...a scroll...they r-read from a sc-scroll..." Marigold murmurs as Deakon finishes his tale. She shakes her head; whoever had done this was certainly powerful if they were able to activate a scroll to summon creatures that strong.

"A-and the w-words...I know you d-didn't understand them b-but c-could you wr-write down what you rem-member?" the halfling adds to JJ's question.


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"When you say 'short', do you mean like as a Halfling or a Gnome, maybe?"


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Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

Maxim claps the boy's shoulder;

"No hero lad. Don't want yer whisker's gettin' singed afore they grow proper! When that happens they grow in black as soot... Ain't a good look trust me!"

The gun-mage wryly smiles at Kikinnin, trying to defuse the warriors opinion on gold panning in burned ruins...

He nods at JJ's notion;

"Drawin' who you saw would help us Deakon lad. Even a rough shape'll do iffen all you saw was short an' shady... We need to get his bad man, make him pay for damage that's been wrought... Iffen you can help it'll be you that's the hero o' Cauldron!"


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Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

"I can try uncle JJ, but I really only saw a shadow" the dwarf-boy paints a sketchy basic figure of a hooded small race, or perhaps someone knelt in front of a flaming disk. The boy nods to Marigold and raises his hands shouting "KLAATU...BARADA...NIKTO!" coughing at the last words "Or something like that!"


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

Marigold blinks. She wasn't sure that she'd ever heard of an incantation like that but she tries to think on it, hoping it'll ring a bell...

Kn. Arcana: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Kn. Planes: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Kn. Religion: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21

"Th-thank you, Deakon," she smiles, regardless of whether the words mean anything or not. "Like we s-said, every little b-bit helps!"
________

LOL @ GM!


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

I knew that "Mr Carpenter" was up to no good! :)

Maxim frowns;

"One o' them Creeper types mayhap? Been a while since we butted heads with 'em..."


Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision

Kikinnin waits until the gathered have sorted out their investigations, before he takes his leave. His thirst has grown exponentially, and he'll find a deeper sleep through intoxicants.

While he waits, he doesn't miss the opportunity to cast his Look upon the various half-orcs, captain included. Detect Evil, at will. He wonders what it will mean to see an orc so watered down, he or she no longer radiates the evil nature of its ancestors.


M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

Ryan's search in the inn was more like the ones families do after wildfires destroy their homes, it's amazing the things that make it through the inferno that you wouldn't expect. however the perception check wasn't stellar so likely he found little to comfort Pilok in the aftermath

Ryan returns from searching the ruins to join the others, eventually leaving for the church feeling at a loss for what started this mess.


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

"S-so...b-back to bed, I g-guess? After we t-take Deakon back h-home for the night, I m-mean," Marigold asks after the searching appears to turn up nothing else of use or interest. "D-doesn't feel right s-somehow, b-but I guess if there's nothing else we c-can do..."


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

JJ nods to Maxim "I'd forgotten all about them. And it was one of their taller folk which first showed me how to fight with two blades... albeit unintentionally."

Avoiding the MTA he reminds everyone "Stables at dawn!"


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"I agree. Not much else we can do except rest up again. See you lot in the morning."


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Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Tired for the intense day the group go home for the night. Marigold picks Deakon and makes sure he makes it save to the orphanage. Patch receives the boy, everyone was apparently worried about the boy, specially after the flames and smoke was spot in the distance, but they are happy for his return.

Marigold*:

Lifting your head slowly from the soft floor you look down to see the white cloudlike ground change into a grey, sickly looking skin. Hairs begin to grow upwards out of the skin and you find the ground spongy and clammy to touch.

You rise to your feet and survey the landscape.

Thousands of bodies litter the ground about you. Hideous demons lie entangled with beautiful angels. But as you watch the skin-like ground begins to open up beneath the demon corpses and their vile bodies are sucked down before the ground once again closes up.

Around the angels large translucent blisters begin to form and totally encapsulate the celestials within sickly boils. These cysts form cords which snake down to join with the skin and begin to slowly suck the angels essence down.

You take to the sky on white wings and see the colossal form of Mharah lying dead in the distance. Flying closer you see the skin fall away from the demonic general leaving only his great skull and ribs thrusting up from the ground.

In your head you hear the voice not for the first time. ‘We should claim this land and make it ours to command!

No’ you hear yourself scream in response, ‘my place is in Heaven with my love, not in this vile place of evil.

For a moment there is silence, and then in a voice dripping with bitter disappointment the voice responds ‘If you are too weak to claim the power that this land could give you, then reclaim your pitiful soul that was taken from you. It lies waiting in Mharah’s skull and then leave this land forever!

Suddenly there is hope.

Could this be true? Could you dare to hope such a thing was possible? Or is it another way for your Inner Demon to drive you insane?

Either way you had to know.

Flying through the dark sky you come to rest upon the lip of Mharah’s great empty eye. Inside you could see a pure white light spilling across the chamber and, stepping forward, a small ball of light and dark hovering in the centre of the hollow skull.

You hesitantly step forward and then, every so tentatively reach out to grasp the light.

Ahhhh!’ Pain, incredible pain washes over you as you are suddenly immersed in an agonizing column of black flame.

One of your eyes explodes and you scream louder and attempt to rip yourself from the flame. Your eye begin to burn and from your empty eye first one then another plasm of flame flies, circling the room before darting through Mharah’s empty eye and towards the dark sky.

Finally you fall from the flame with smoke billowing from your missing eye.

You lie there weeping from the pain, from the torture, from all you have lost. Despair overwhelms you once again and you feel yourself slipping out of consciousness and further into madness.

From the dark recesses of your mind you hear the demon whisper –

Hail the ruler of Occipitus…

You wake up all sweat and perturbed by your dreams in your bed.

At dawn you meet at the stables. The streets start to fill with the peasants going to the fields and the craftsmen opening their business. There is no trace of the tax collectors.

The Watchers take the southern gate, and descend through the sneaky road that leaves Cauldron to Redgorge. The first kilometers traverse the hillside of the volcano, a mixture of arid lands and cultivated terraces. The slopes make for a poor location, but the minerals of the volcano are rich terrain the reckless farmers of Cauldron have worked hard to dominate.

After fifteen miles the road meets with the Red River, recently born in the mountains. You stop for a snack before continuing your trip.


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

"[]bI love Cauldron. But being on the road again... fresh sights and fresh air. I think my clothes are going to stink of smoke for a week.[/b]" smiles the relieved looking lad.

It would seem that youth has triumphed over last of sleep, at least for the moment.

"My family was originally from Redgorge. I've never been back, so this is quite exciting really!" he gushes.


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

As they pause on their journey Maxim shakes his head wryly at JJ's boundless enthusiasm;

"Always the bright side eh Surabar? Ain't sure travelling into the wilds to meet that damn fool Maavu is what I'd term exciting..."


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

Though she arrives at the stables at the appointed time, Marigold's face is pale and her eyes slightly bloodshot as though she slept very little after the fire. During the ride out of town she remains largely silent and withdrawn, seemingly lost in thought. It isn't until the group stops for their snack that she finally cracks a small smile at JJ's good cheer.

"I'm g-glad at least one of us is in a g-good mood," she remarks quietly as she nibbles on some dried fruit. "S-sometimes it's nice to have a r-reminder to l-look for the s-silver lining in a s-situation."


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

"I still have my doubts about Maavu's competence."
"But at least things are uneventful for the moment."
"And it's not such a bad day either."


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

After your snack, you restart the trip into the region's lowlands following the Red river to the east. Patches of scattered trees and low scrubs welcome you to the savannah. For some miles the sound of the roaring Red and the caw of the occasional eagle share your way between the low mountain peaks.

Finally road and river turn south again and you pass the last of the mountains. The landscape opens before you and you glimpse at the distance the Basalt Bastions that protect Redgorge. The mining village sits in a narrow strip of flat ground between a cliff and an immense quarry of red pebble gravel.

K. Geography DC 15 or History DC 20:

The village was the first human settlement in the area. Founded about 700 years ago, Redgorge was at one time a much larger settlement, but it never fully recovered from Nabthatoron's assault so long ago.

The fortifications line known as the Basalt Bastions were built ages ago by Surabar Spellmason's powerful spells in a single week, to aid in the defense of Redgorge against the denizens of the Demonskar.

Today, Redgorge is a farming and mining village. The old Stonemason District, where Surabar Spellmason once dwelt, is visibly depopulated and most of its buildings lie empty and in ruin. Over the decades most of Redgorge's masons left to work in Cauldron.

Population: 600 adults, most of them human, but a significant quantity of dwarfs live here.
Authority figures: Mayor Sind Nebern (female human), Bailiff Pragat Millak (male human).

Miles before reaching Redgorge, you meet with a group of Cauldronites pushing a crate full of tinkers. The woman gives you a halt "Good afternoon travelers! Are you coming from Cauldron? Do you have any news from the recent riots?"


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

Given JJ's connection to the area and his +11 bonus, I'm going to assume I can take ten on that geography check

"This is where people first settled the region, more than 700 years ago. Of course back then it was much larger." His face turns angry for a moment. "Nabthatoron - the demon - attacked. The basalt Bastions were built by my famous forefather. Fortifications against the demons. These days it is really just about farming and mining - which is what my father used to do. Not many masons left here ow - Cauldron is where the work is. "

He thinks a bit. "I'm pretty sure I heard the mayor is Sind Nebern - a woman!"

-=-=-=

When they meet up with the tinkers he looks surprised. "Yes... but I'm surprised that word of them got ahead of us. Things were bad yesterday, and last night there was a fire. People were blaming the half orc guards. But from what I saw the guards were putting out the fire not the ones setting it."


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

"We had enough with the tax collectors. We were already planning to leave. We packed everything as soon as we knew about the riot breaking out yesterday. My husband has a sister in Redgorge, we hope to find a new life here" the man takes a winesking and fills a glass offering to the group "Moonshine for the trip"

"There are many abandoned houses in the town, we expect to find one were to pass the night. What are your plans?"


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

"I'm hoping to catch up with my uncle" admits JJ.

"And getting out of Cauldron for a breath of fresh air... seemed like a good idea. "

He looks slightly worried at the thought of Cauldron. "Maybe I should have taken Tesa and Sara with me. I hope they are going to be okay by themselves.."


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

"Th-they'll be f-fine," Marigold reassures JJ, stifling a yawn. "We're h-here with our f-friend," she adds to the Cauldronites. "H-How's things here in R-Redgorge? Hopefully w-well and q-quiet?"


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

knowledge (geography): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21

Juraan nods in agreement with what JJ is telling them about Redgorge.

"Haven't been there before now. But I have heard about those things."

-----< Later, with the travellers >----

"Thanks for the moonshine."
"I hope things are quiet in Redgorge, now that we're here. We had quite enough excitement recently."
"Sounds like we might have to kick up our heels for a while in an abandoned house in Redgorge."
"Should be cheaper and safer than camping out in the open."


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

Maxim takes a nip of the potent spirit with a nod of thanks. He grimaces with a smile as the moonshine warms his throat;

"That's a tasty drop, my thanks. Reckon yre than welcome to travel with us til Redgorge..?"

The gun-mage looks to his companions for their thoughts...


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

Whoops, just realized I misread - I thought we'd arrived at Redgorge but I see we're still on the road. Assume Marigold asked the Cauldronites if they'd heard any news from Redgorge prior to setting out :)


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

"That's fine! We have heard there is work in the mines. And sure there is less gossip than in Cauldron this days" the tinkerers agree to follow make the rest of the trip with the group. Despite their slower pace, there are just few miles and the group soon reaches the first line of fortifications.

The small and semi-abandoned settlement appears in a narrow strip of flat ground between a cliff and an immense quarry of red pebble gravel. West of the village the Basalt Bastions form a prodigious line of fortifications, but their massive walls are unguarded and draped with vines. The fortifications are as impressive as Cauldron's outer walls, and tower over the village itself.

The northern gate that leads to Cauldron is secured by a single soldier "Hi strangers, and welcome to Redgorge. What does it bring you to the village of the Red River?"

Redgorge map

What does the group plan to do upon arrival?


HP 127/127 l AC 22, T 13, FF 22 l CMD 18 l F +13, R +9, W +15; +2 bonus vs. illusions l Lucky Halfling (1/1), Spray of Shooting Stars (2/3), L1: 8/8, L2: 7/7, L3: 2/7, L4: 7/7, L5: 5/7, L6: 4/4 l Init +7 l Senses: Perception +18, Concentration +19 | Female Halfling Oracle (Heavens) 13 l Active Conditions: l Hero Points 1/3

"Um...h-hi..." Marigold yawns, waving sleepily at the lone soldier. "J-just here to meet some f-friends at the R-Redhead Miner's Inn. We'd s-sure appreciate some directions, if you d-don't mind!"


M HP 101/101 | AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 22 | Fort +13, Ref +7, Will +15 | Init +1, Perception +7, Stealth -2 | speed 30' | Channel Positive Energy 7/7 (6d6 ) | Inspiring Word 8/8 (+2 / 6 round) | Agile Feet 8/8 |Cleric Spells (0 -4/4, 1st -7/7, 2nd-6/6, 3rd-6/6, 4th-5/5, 5th-5/5, 6th-3/3)

Ryan has seemed preoccupied on the trip down the road, fighting to help Cauldron had not disturbed him; however fighting against the people of Cauldron as they attempted to destroy the town itself in their desire to throw off the shackles of taxation, was something he was struggling with.

Illegal taxation needed to be fought against and dealt with, but at what cost if the town is burnt to the ground in the process? Could Cauldron as the Pheonix of old rise from it's own ashes and be whole again?

--------

Running into the Tinkers gave Ryan a chance to think on something other than the internal struggle he was dealing with.

"Well met and thanks for the drop, a might bit smoother than that which friend Maxim usually carries. I wish you well and perhaps Redgorge will gain from Cauldron's loss."

--------

Moving into sight of Redgorge, Ryan studies the bastions created by JJ's many great grandfather, things created in a brief week long period to withstand the onslaught of the demons. Shaking his head at the power that must have been necessary to create such a wall, Ryan is daydreaming a bit as the guards address the travelers


Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision

Kikinnin groans as he slips from the saddle, glad to be off the horse's back for what might be a much longer duration. He walks off the saddle chafing, adjusting himself between his legs deliberately, unconcerned with outwards appearances, as comfort is priority.

When the soldier addresses them, Kikinnin looks around his horse to hear the man out, and warm himself up to participating in conversations, now that his muscles are working themselves out.

"We'll be needing stables, too. These horses should be as tired as we are, for the travel from Cauldron."

The black beard doesn't add much, allowing the halfling to engage with the soldier for directions. The lack of any decent respite from the battles and conflict is beginning to take a toll. He expects that Maavu and his cabal will only renew the need to take up arms, shortly.


Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

Maxim arches a brow at Ryan's comment on the comparative taste of his vintage Sasserine rum verses the tinker's moonshine;

"Last time ye get a shot Taskerhill. Clearly that holy water you Cudgelites tickle yer tonsils with has ruined your taste!"

Once they arrive at Redgorge, he too is happy to let Marigold take the lead in obtaining directions to their erstwhile rendezvous.


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

The guard nods at Marigold "The Redhead Miner's Inn? Ok, follow this road straight to the south. The inn is past the main square, the large building just in front of the Shrine of Serenrae. You will recognized because it is a two-story house decorated with picks and shovels and a sign with a half-toothed red-headed dwarf on top of the door" the guard points south past the gate "The inkeeper is Mikimax. I suggest you request some of his cheese-bathed fries served with his Sunbeer. That is a toasted beer he ferments himself. He claims Sonya, the local cleric blesses it with Senrenrae's Sun rays"

"Do not cause troubles. Have a nice stay in Redgorge"

Past the gate, the tinkerers say you good bye "It was nice to share the road with you. Once we are established perhaps you can have a dinner with us one day"

Redgorge is a small village compared to Cauldron, and does not take you much time to reach the main square. Despite the many abandoned buildings, the ones in the main square are well cared, and the Town Hall is a large building made of red stone with classic columns façade.


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Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

JJ waves farewell to the tinkers. He takes his time walking through Redgorge, stopping at virtually every house as they pass it. While on the surface he appears a bit like a country bumpkin seeing a big town for the first time, in actuality he is wondering which house his family lived in.

I wonder if I was born there?
Did that old lady know my parents?
Have I been in that shop before?

The rest of the group likely quickly leaves him behind as he is lost in wonder at seeing his parents old hometown.

Looking around he sighs and asks "There is a church here, right? Serenrae? Do they have records of townsfolk?"


Male CN Human : Fighter 1 (Archer) / Eldritch Knight 2 / Dragon Disciple 1 / Sorcerer 9 (Crossblooded) - Level 13, CR 12 | HP: 52/76 | AC: 24 (16 Tch, 20 Fl) | CMB: +9, CMD: 23 | F: +9, R: +6, W: +9 | Init: +2 | Perc: +15, SM: +7 | Speed 30ft | Acid Ray (1D6+4): 7/7 | Magic Claws 1d6+1+1d6 acid 7/7 | Spells: 1st 4/7, 2nd 2/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 5/6, 5th (3/3) | Active conditions: (blessing of fervour, greater invisibility), Hero Points: 1

Juraan follows along with the others.

When JJ asks about town records: "I wonder if there's any records of Dharlot's shenanigans around here?"
"Probably irrelevant, though. Then again, my parents could've been here for all I know."


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Male Dwarf Spellslinger Wizard 6/UC Rogue 4/Arcane Trickster 3 | HP 100/100 | AC 24/T18/FF19 | F+10, R+14, W+11| Perception +12; Darkvision 60ft. | Init +4 | Move: 20ft.| Hero Points: 1 | Grit: 1/1
DC5 Knowledge Local check:
Known as "Garthûn's Gun" in Cauldron.
Key Skills:
+22 Disable Device; +19 Know (Planes); +16 Know (Arcana) & Spellcraft; +15 Appraise; +14 Craft (Alchemy) & Stealth; +13 Escape Artist & Sense Motive

Maxim chuckles at Juraan's musings as they follow the guard's directions to the inn;

"Har! Only place yer likely to read about the dalliances betwixt a drake an' human is in Surubar's saucy novellas!"

Or dwur for that matter... Even I ain't dumb or mouthy enough to mention that in front o' Kikinnin again!


Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Continuing through the road, you find exactly opposite to the Serenrae's Shrine, the Redhead Miner's Inn. Inside, the inn has a large common room on the first floor, where villagers are gathered having a drink. They look all at you as you come in.

The innkeeper, a big, smiling man who keeps his long red hair tied in a ponytail addresses the group "Welcome to the Redhead's Miner, and welcome to Redgorge if I may venture. How may we serve you?"

At your arrival, a handsome man in his mid-thirties quietly plucks the strings of a lute in a corner of the common room.


Dwarven Ratcatcher 13 HP 160 l AC 31, T 13, FF 30 l CMD 29 l F +20, R +14, W +18; +2 vs poison, spells/spell-like abilities l Init +1 l Senses: Perception +1, Darkvision

Kikinnin lowers his eyebrows when Juraan starts up again about Dhorlot, his mood darkens while his mouth tightens. He lets the blond beard do the retorting, while they zero in on the Inn.

Innkeeper wrote:
"Welcome to the Redhead's Miner, and welcome to Redgorge if I may venture. How may we serve you?"

Kikinnin steps forward, regarding the man's hair, and regretting for the man his inability to maintain a decent beard at the same time.

"Mikimax, I presume? We hear you make a mean Sunbeer. For our travels, I'd welcome the chance to partake of your craftsmanship. As for further assistance, we're new to Redgorge, so we'll take your advice as to living quarters while we visit. I hear there are abandoned homes around town. Is that frowned upon, using one? Should we bunk here, with you? How full is your Inn?"

The black beard leans closer to the long hair. "You haven't seen a merchant by the name of Maavu recently? We traveled here expressly to visit with him."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22


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Ire of the Storm: Ire of the Storm maps; Shackled City: Player's Guide - Expectations | Shackled City map

Mikimax smiles at Kikinnin as he talks about his beer "I see you are a well informed group" the innkeeper places a jar for Kikinnin "What about the others?" and adds as many as requested by the group. He then pours a brownish beer with a thin layer of scum "There is my Sun!"

The man then puts dozens of delicious, free snacks on the bar and provocatively invites his tipsy customers to help themselves: "Come on over, beggars! You won't starve as long as Mikimax lives!" the audience seems delighted and all approach to enjoy the snacks and start asking questions to the group about where they come from and what are they doing in Redgorge. All but the handsome man in the corner whom keeps playing with the strings of his lute.

"It is not unknown for resourceless travelers to make the night in an abandoned house. But if you appreciate the comfort of a warm hearth and a pillow, you are better served in one of our common chambers" Mikimax points the stairs up "We have accommodation for the night from 5 silver up. A place on a raised, heated floor and the use of a blanket and a pillow. Now if you are the kind of more private ones, our personal bedrooms start at 4 golds and all include an attached private room, a fireplace and a desk. All locks are good quality here, warranted" he leans over the counter "You ask about availability, we are available. Now... if you are planning for a big celebration we have capacity for up to thirty guests" the man smiles.

Delaying on Maavu...


Male HP 104/112; LoH 2/3 (6d6); Potions: CMW(3) AC 27(29 SoF), Touch 15, Flat-footed 19, Fort 15(reroll 1/day), Ref 14, Will 13; resist fire&acid/10; Perception +19 (extra from FE/FT))

JJ tries one of the beers, slightly watchful of the others as he does so.

I mean, some places don't like serving teens beer...

His eyes drift across to the singer in the corner, even as he suggests "A warm bed is always better than a cold floor. I for one would like a room."

Gesturing to the singer he asks Mikimax "Is he a local? "

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