The Shadow Under Sandpoint


Campaign Journals

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Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

My pleasure! I will endeavor to post an entry for Howell's journal following each session. I know I'm not as much of a draw as one of the Paizo staffers, but perhaps I'll be able to enrage one or two of them to post a rebuttal to Howell's obviously skewed perspective.

;-)


I don't make a distinction! You're Kyra blogs were also very interesting in Jason Bulmahn's game. I just really want to know what happens in this game!

Sovereign Court

Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar

9 - Pharast

I find myself back in the midst of civilization again! Glorious!

Sandpoint is a quaint town, complete with modest commerce. The prices seem fair and reasonable, and I see little that the Church would be concerned with, outside of the strangeness that this town has seen in the past. Goblin raids, serial killers, giants…it is a wonder that it still stands! Ah, but it is a testament to the spirit of civilization, to put order and law where there is none. Hail, the Lawgiver!

The local priest has tended to my new companions that were inflicted with the “gibbering gout”. Apparently, Ostog has had a vision of Desna, for the oaf is bragging and boasting that he could see up her dress or some such nonsense. Velmarius had disappeared at the inn for a good time, but he emerged this morning, vaguely concerned about the sister of the woman he is busy keeping the attentions of. She has apparently gone missing. This is of greater concern to me, given the events of the past days, and Valdemar’s foul sacrificing on the Devil’s Platter.

As we started our search, we spotted the informant, Grump, at the marketplace. Although he was quite helpful to me, my companions claim that he lied to them, so it was understandable that they would want a few choice words with him. The fellow seems to have lost a foot, though. He claims that shortly after my talk with him, goblins attacked his homestead, and lamed him. The animosity the party presented to Grump would have led me to believe that any discussion would have merely led to a sound beating, but to my surprise, Grump and Velmarius proved to be fast friends! Many facts were laid bare, and enough was learned that Vorn felt the need to inform the town’s lawman, a Belor Hemlock, immediately.

As we attempted to gain entrance to the local constabulary, the door guard informed us that the “sheriff” (how delightful rural!) was ill and not taking visitors. Gorn was fairly effective in mustering rank on the poor fellow, and we made our way to the sheriff’s chambers. The man did indeed seem ill-ish, but he seemed rather dismissive of Valdemar’s activities, and even more so with my presence in Sandpoint. In fact, I believe I was told to leave Sandpoint! I have full respect for the local law, but no “sheriff” can merely dismiss Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar! This reaction to our concerns seemed to catch the rest of my companions off-guard, as well. I instantly suspected that Valdemar must have charmed or compromised the poor lawman, as did many of the others. Using the sight granted to me by The Judge himself, I focused on the sheriff to see any taint in his heart. No…not his heart…but his head! There, on the side of his head, a long gash of…evil! How strange, I thought.

As I was doing this, Ostog the Unclothed managed to loudly voice his suspicions to the tainted lawman, uttering what could only be taken as a challenge. Subtlety is entirely lost to him. Surprisingly, this challenge was accepted, and we are to meet Hemlock-the-Tainted within the ruins of an old Thassalonian lighthouse at the edge of town…at midnight.

We are now in our down time, waiting for the appointed hour. In our conversations, I mentioned the “evil wound” on Hemlock’s head. This has alarmed the others, for it seems that they found a mechanical bird in the Valdemar Manor, assembled it, and activated it as well. The bird then immediate attacked the approaching sheriff – wounding him in the very spot I saw tainted! This does not bode well.

But for now, we wait.

Sovereign Court

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Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar

10 - Pharast

The foulness is indeed worse than imagined. Evil threatens this town again. And it is a cowardly, craven evil revisted.

I pen this entry on the morn following our meeting with the tainted Hemlock. We arrived early to the ruins, a giant crumbling base of an ancient lighthouse perched on the edge of the seacliffs. As the hour approached, several of the group noticed an unusual number of birds roosting in the ruins. It soon became apparent that their presence was definitely NOT to our benefit, for the mass of black crows suddenly launched themselves at our numbers.

There is no just way to fight birds. None. As we danced about the ruins in an attempt to avoid the pecking, scratching, foul, diseased mess of feathers attacking us, Styrian spotted something off the cliff side, which attempted to grab him and pull him over to dash his body on the rocks below. It was the sheriff, hovering out over the sea. Styrian avoided such a fate, thanks to some very well placed shots by Zandu. However, Ostog the Unflying welcomed such fate, for he threw himself off the cliff at the floating sheriff to fight and wrestle him in midair! That fellow is MAD! But, in his madness, he did manage to weigh the floating lawman down enough that they began sinking to the rocky shore below.

It was just as well…the tainted Hemlock came prepared to fight an unfair fight. He apparently controlled the birds, for they renewed their attacks on the rest of us. I tried to place a few shots of my own, but was unable to strike. Gorn secured a rope to climb down to the seashore below, to assist in the fight, but fell a short distance. The leaping and swinging Ostog continued his attacks, while Zandu somehow calmed a good number of the foul birds to remain still. Amid the flurry of arrows from Zandu, and the battle-mad swings of Ostog’s sword, the tainted sheriff finally fell.

And from his falling form came a horrid crow-like spectre with a misshapen human-bird face, pulling itself free from the body of Hemlock…through the evil gash on his head. The spectre extended its wings and screamed a terrifying cry, causing many of my companions much fear. Then, it fled on wing, to the island home of the killer Stoot, and with it, went the mass of crows.

We recovered the sheriff, with Gorn’s healing energy, and my laying of hands. With the exit of the spirit, which we can only assume is the ghost of Stoot returned, Hemlock is untainted again. The sheriff has no memory of his actions since the mechanical bird struck him on the head. This would mean that the evil spirit possessing him also sent my new companions off to clear the caverns on the Devil’s Platter. This is very troubling, and none of us understands its purpose in the scheme of things. Nevertheless, Hemlock has requested our help further: to pursue the evil Stoot to his old abode, and destroy him once and for all. It is a request I will happily accept.


Awesome! A very intriguing campaign.

Dark Archive

Thanks for the campaign update!


A great read! Nice work!

I am, however, deeply creeped out at the visual induced by 'leather babies'. I'm picturing little rawhide-mummy-infants...ewww.

Sovereign Court

Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar

10 – Pharast

Needed to take a little time here to recount our latest encounter with evil! This momentous day has progressed as so:

Despite the biting sense of urgency to march over to the island, and vanquish the ghost of Stoot, we took a bit of time to clean up, rest, and recollect ourselves. And Velmarius. He seemed...well rested. He was slightly interested in our midnight showdown with the sheriff possessed, but not so much to distract him from his greater concern for the sister of the barmaid with whom he frequents his time. It appears “Erika” (or at least that what he thinks the girl’s name is, the lout) has gone missing.

As most of the group was busy steeling themselves to face down the horrid specter, I found no need, as I was completely confident in my abilities to overcome such evil. Now, a missing girl...THAT seemed an immediate concern! In my daily round with the merchants and businesses, I inquired after her, and came to find that the stableman, Daviren Hosk, had seen her a day past, walking out on the old road towards a cemetery named “Paupers Graves”. Given the sheriff’s previous state of possession, I further inquired if the sheriff had gone that way as well (simply explaining that I would hate to follow up on a lead the sheriff had already covered). It was so. He saw the sheriff going that way shortly thereafter. I sense no good for this Erika.

A slight note here: this Hosk is an odd fellow with a slightly disturbing hobby of collecting goblins (or at least parts of them). It appears that his prized item is a whole goblin chieftain, “pickled” in a large jar of brine. He offered me a bounty for any parts of goblins I slay, but reconsidered in that he would be denied the pleasure of the killing. His request for me to bring him a captive goblin back, so that he may slay it himself, marked an end our bizarre conversation. However, I must ponder the business angles of offering a “bounty” on goblins…security and profit make good incentives to the stability of a community. This can help us all...

The group reorganized in town, with Ostog apparently having wandered off to commune with northly barbarian pastimes or some such uncivilized activity. Hemlock recommended an able and eager young mercenary woman to aid our task in the meantime. She apparently took a liking to Vorn.

The group at first thought to pursue this lead to Paupers Graves, but Kirin, who managed to rejoin the group after his recovery from some fever or poisoning, panicked greatly, wailing about some large red seagull that kept following him. The group seemed to agree that a search for a barmaid was not nearly as great as vanquishing the ghost of an evil serial killer (which I must wholeheartedly agree), so it was off to the fish market to secure boats for the trip out to Chopper’s Rock from a talkative fellow by the name of Turch Sterglus. He seems a friendly man, well enough, although his pricing started out a bit too high. This may require a return visit, with closer inspection of the facility, and his fish wares....

After renting the rowboats and paddling our way to the island, we made our way up a treacherous flight of carved steps to the ruins of Stoot’s house. Little remained other than the foundation...and a spent campsite, hidden away from view of the town. The sharp and experienced eyes of Zandu spotted boot tracks leading to a covered and locked door. (Simply incredible skill, that is; I could see nothing of the sort!) Kirin attempted to open the lock, but it seemed that the birds in the area were speaking to him, or some such nonsense. That one is not right in the head...red gulls, talking birds. CRAZY.

Not willing to delay our task any longer, I hacked the wooden cover to pieces, to reveal a very dark and deep shaft. Vorn and I secured our ropes, and Vorn invoked the blessing of his Lord of Iron to protect us from the evil influences of Stoot’s ghost before we descended. Once below, we found a table with various tools of murder and maiming, some still sticky with blood. Many long thin razors, which I broke to prevent further use. The group could hear and feel the passage of air down one of the three passageways, so we investigated. What we found was a small desk and chair by a natural opening looking out over the sea. The desk had a number of books, including a book of poems (which excited Styrian to no end) and a large heavy book coated in blood with many disturbing images.

Turning back to the central chamber, we crossed it to take the opposite passage, which led us to a chamber reeking of evil. A crude altar stood at one end, flanked by two hideous statues of a birdlike demon, and covered with a number of...eyeballs. I focused my sight to search out the evil, and found it pouring from the statue on the left. At this revelation, the statue lurched forward and made its attack! Calling for the strength of the Gold-Fisted One, I swore my oath of justice to cleanse the world of this evil and set myself upon the figure. With short work, the group broke the wooden idol of evil in twain, releasing the vile spirit of Jervis Stoot into the chamber.

Sovereign Court

The ghost summoned his damned plague of crows, and for a brief moment, all were fighting sickly feathers of filth and decay. That is, until Styrian let loose a tremendous explosion of sound that sent the birds popping in puffs of feather and gore. Most impressive, if not a little messy.

The ghost bellowed in hatred, but his terror-inducing screams did not break my oath or resolve, and I continued the attack. Even as the specter’s claws would seek my heart to claw it out, my faith in the Judge pressed the attack. It seemed that the fight was well for our side…until Kirin pulled a strange flaming dagger with birdlike shapes, and plunged it into the ghost. His shrill scream of triumph turned to one of terror and despair, as the evil spirit gained strength from the blow, and the chest of poor, deranged Kirin opened with a fresh wound. Stoot’s ghost whispered that it had found its new vessel, and attempted to possess Kirin, but was stopped short; perhaps by Vorn’s protections, or perhaps by something else. Velmarius quickly neutralized the crazed elf from the fight, and the rest of us renewed our attacks. Vorn succumbed to a vicious attack that I myself had narrowly escaped, ghostly claws ripping his flesh. Sending out a burst of healing, Vorn kept the party on task, and eventually the ghost howled in defeat and escaped in a whirlwind through a closed door.

In the adjoining room to which it fled, we found a sleeping chamber in gross condition. A number of dead bodies (Velmarius tells me they were criminals and tax evaders...the scum!) were found on the bed and floor, eyes plucked, hands and feet severed. Apparently the sheriff possessed sacrificed the less-than-innocent to this bird demon, which Styrian and Vorn tell me is called “Pazuzu”. Seeking out the retreating evil, I came to find it in a small statue-like vessel resting on the table in the room. I also noticed that the strange dagger Kirin had been using also emanated evil. As I took it from him, I first felt the evil try to take me, but I swear that I was too good and too strong for it to do so, so as long as it remained under my control.

Then...I found myself in some gypsy woman’s parlor of tricks, with the others there as well. The old woman, who I have come to find out is named Madame Mvashti, was yelling something about evil magic from the vessel containing the ghost of Stoot, and the strange flaming bird dagger. And I fully agree. My perceived strength was a failure. Evil clouded my mind, and I cannot recall anything from the time I picked up the dagger. Apparently, we gathered ourselves and returned to the town to seek out the help from this mystic woman. While I committed no evil during that time, I was removed from the fight. This demonic force cannot be taken lightly again!

For now, we await the Madame Mvashti, as she prepares herself and us for a reading of the Harrow, to tell us what we are fighting against, and how to defeat it.

This...can help us all.

I hope.


Awesome!

Howell Talbot III wrote:
Hemlock recommended an able and eager young mercenary woman to aid our task in the meantime. She apparently took a liking to Vorn.

Who is this? NPC or New PC?

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

vagrant-poet wrote:

Awesome!

Howell Talbot III wrote:
Hemlock recommended an able and eager young mercenary woman to aid our task in the meantime. She apparently took a liking to Vorn.
Who is this? NPC or New PC?

This is a special guest appearance PC: Hazel the dual-wielding fighter was played by Jodi, SKR's girlfriend who was visiting, and who joined us for the session that week.

Sovereign Court

Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar
10 – Pharast...still!

Well, THAT was quite...unusual. Helpful? It is somewhat hard to tell that...these strange gypsy games can be nonsensical at times. Madame Mvashti is a fascinating crone, full of prophecy and portents, be they true or merely so because a person wishes it to be. If I had not been informed of the seemingly real magic that follows these cards, I may have dismissed it as a silly, rural folk game, but these Harrow cards carry a power about them that I must admit impress me quite a bit.

Mvashti first had us each draw a card, and then she, in her wild, gypsy ways took each card and explained our basic natures, our pasts, and our path to the future. Some of these made perfect sense. My card was The Dance. Mvashti proceeded to tell me that I am a man driven by order, that I have a planned path to meet my goals. This was a given, being that I AM a servant of Abadar. This is not hard to figure out. However, she warned me that I must let the PATH take ME to goal, not to chart the path to the goal myself. This seemed fair advice, and I will keep this in mind. Likewise, Styrian drew The Courtesan, which made perfect sense.

The others had drawn odd cards...Vorn, the Idiot. Velmarius, the Queen Mother (which delighted Ostog to no end, no surprise there). Kirin, the Big Sky (appropriate I guess, given his crazed obsession with birds). Zandu, the Carnival. And Ostog, The Owl. The lout, given his uncultured ways, embraced this concept fully, thus changing his “title” to Ostog the Unslain, Owl of the North, or some such nonsense. I doubt he actually heard what the card meant, he was so taken with the symbolism. Hopefully we will not have to stop him from trying to twist his head around entirely. I doubt Velmarius would care, actually.

The gypsy woman reshuffled our cards back into the deck, and laid out our Past, Present, and Future. From what I could gather from this reading, we are destined for something epic. There is no choice in this, for we are being forced into action, to move on and take the battle to the enemy, which to this point has been The Big Sky. However, the larger enemy is responsible, and is in darkness, perhaps underground. We are not bound by our pasts or possession, and the enemy will find it difficult to control us, for we are free, observant, and aware of the evil.

We left the reading feeling oddly empowered, as if we had gained the will and perception of what lay ahead of us, given freely to us through the cards.

As for what to do with the vessel containing Stoot, and the cursed bird dagger…the old woman suggested holy ground at the cathedral. Apparently, the heroes of Sandpoint blessed and consecrated the grounds several years ago, and that should hold Stoot and the evil force within the dagger until we can deal with them properly. So, we headed to the cathedral to speak with Abstalar Zantus. He explained that the protections cast on the ground ran deep under the cathedral, and that we could store our items (for we could not dare tell him what we had) in the partially completed, and completely unused catacombs underneath the cathedral. Moving a stack of barrels from a trapdoor, we proceeded downstairs to scope out a possible storage area for our evil baggage.

Several deep cracks ran throughout the catacombs, rising from the depths of the ground, up into the cathedral area. Many of us found this unnerving. As we proceeded further down the passageways, we left the protected area, and came upon a crudely unfinished room with debris piled in the middle. An unnatural stench began to assault us, and from behind us, an unseen passageway suddenly opened, revealing vile undead ghouls, led by one distinctly better dressed. As he ordered the ghouls, and their ghoulish dogs as well, to kill us all, Zandu let loose several arrows that struck the leader full on, dropping him where he stood, while his minions moved to attack us. The battle was fast and quick. Velmarius made quick work of some of the ghouls, burning them with flames shooting from his hands, while the rest of the party worked together to finish off the rest. After much discussion about following the newly revealed passage to the source of the ghouls, it was decided that we must inform Zantus of his ghoul problem, and have him personally secure the vessel of Stoot and the dagger within the cathedral itself.

It appears that we have also decided to pick up the task of locating the missing Erika, as well, and will be heading up to Paupers Graves shortly. I pray that she is still alive.

Dark Archive

Timitius wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:

Awesome!

Howell Talbot III wrote:
Hemlock recommended an able and eager young mercenary woman to aid our task in the meantime. She apparently took a liking to Vorn.
Who is this? NPC or New PC?
This is a special guest appearance PC: Hazel the dual-wielding fighter was played by Jodi, SKR's girlfriend who was visiting, and who joined us for the session that week.

That's me :o)


Howell Talbot III wrote:
Likewise, Styrian drew The Courtesan, which made perfect sense.

"Made sense" indeed! Batty witch.


Jodi Lane wrote:
Timitius wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:

Awesome!

Howell Talbot III wrote:
Hemlock recommended an able and eager young mercenary woman to aid our task in the meantime. She apparently took a liking to Vorn.
Who is this? NPC or New PC?
This is a special guest appearance PC: Hazel the dual-wielding fighter was played by Jodi, SKR's girlfriend who was visiting, and who joined us for the session that week.
That's me :o)

I like the cut of your jib!

And thanks for further updates Tim!

Dark Archive

vagrant-poet wrote:
Jodi Lane wrote:
Timitius wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:

Awesome!

Howell Talbot III wrote:
Hemlock recommended an able and eager young mercenary woman to aid our task in the meantime. She apparently took a liking to Vorn.
Who is this? NPC or New PC?
This is a special guest appearance PC: Hazel the dual-wielding fighter was played by Jodi, SKR's girlfriend who was visiting, and who joined us for the session that week.
That's me :o)

I like the cut of your jib!

And thanks for further updates Tim!

*Nods*

I like that Tim is posting this!

That way I can stay in line with the story for when(hopefully)Hazel returns to help them if they are lacking her fierce, double maced attack.

Sovereign Court

Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar
10 – Pharast – late evening

I am beginning to think that there is something wrong with this town.

Locals tend to refer to a series of incidents years ago that resulted from Stoot’s murders and a large fire that destroyed the town (due in part to the demon-worshipping daughter of the former priest of Desna...ah, the charms of rural life) as “The Unpleasantness”. That they have no catchy phrase for the goblin raids that followed, nor the attack by stone giants...well, I should not be surprised, then, that Sandpoint now appears to be infested with ghouls and foul demons that thirst for its destruction. It's that small town charm, I'm sure.

Today, we ventured to Paupers’ Graves. Upon our arrival , we were set upon by more of those ghoul dogs. The group made quick work of those, to be sure; but, we were not expecting a large black shape with highly disturbing moon-like eyes to rise from the thicket and pronounce quite clearly in our minds an ultimatum to leave Varisia and never return, or suffer death. Oh, and to leave the strange demented elf behind as its plaything.

Kirin had only so many words to convey his feelings on the matter, but it was, of course, Ostog the Outspoken, who bellowed out his refusal, along with the other nonsense that usually follows. The creature responded in kind, summoning more undead from the thickets. However, these particular corpses were waterlogged and bloated...and completely familiar to Ostog! He let loose with a barrage of his barbaric gutterals...which I later found out to be the names of the dead ones lurching towards us. (It was an honest misunderstanding. Really, how was I to know those were names?)

A particularly menacing dead one advanced upon me, wielding a smoking greatsword. As Ostog called to this one, a “Hrolf Harfargr”, I summoned the vengeance of Abadar and took the foul thing’s head in one blow. More of Ostog’s dead kinsmen set upon us, but all were dispatched in short time. During this time, a stranger rushed into the fight. This concerned many of us, but as she focused her attacks upon the undead, it appeared that we gained an ally!

This displeased the mothman in the tree, and it proceeded to play mind games with us, and Kirin in particular, as we attempted to rush it. Many of Zandu’s shots failed to find their mark, and the newcomer summoned a great shining eagle to assail it from the air. With the demon in the tree, or in the air as it attempted to flee, there was little I could do other than swear an oath to it that should it come to ground to face me, I would dispense Abadar’s justice upon it.

Not that it complied.

Instead, Ostog pursued it with his usual reckless abandon. It fled to the large tree in the graveyard; Ostog climbed the tree...with the aforementioned greatsword of old Hrolf. And there, in a tree, with Kirin joining him, Ostog slew the shadowy moth-man. Very messily.

The remainder of our time this evening was being subjected to Ostog recounting the names of each and every “oarsman” that we slew, although Ostog insists that we acknowledge that these were NOT his oarsmen, but defiled corpses of his oarsmen. He made a great production of this, and had several of the group assist him in hauling their bodies back to town, so that he could give them a traditional burial. That should be worth seeing, for sure.

A thorough search of the graveyard turned up a small cache of items belonging to Ostog’s kinsmen. The greatsword of Hrolf Harfargr, Gnarlfang. Snorri Snurllson’s chainmail that made him unkillable. And Girt Bear-Wearer’s magical axe, Thundergutter. We also discovered a tunnel entrance at the base of the great tree in the graveyard, with a piece of ripped cloth that was likely from the dress of Erika.

Alas, we had pushed ourselves through fight after fight this day, and all of us decided to return to the inn for rest. Tomorrow, we see what Ostog plans with the bodies of his oar-brothers. And, we return to the ghoul tunnels.

Sovereign Court

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Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar
10 – Pharast – addendum

Ostog has taken notice that I am writing an accounting of our ventures, and is demanding that I immortalize his kin in my journal. So far, he has questioned my lineage, my manhood, and my god as I have largely ignored him. Therefore, to keep this from escalating, I will now write the names of the fallen kinsman of Ostog the Unslain, his brothers who joined in opposition of Girt Bear-Wearer.

Hrolf Harfargr
Dulfan
Yult Gorfinor
Bolgi and Bjarni
Gottri
Myrdall
Ktymm Filfigaar
Snorri Snurllson

Oh, Ostog now insists that Snorri’s body was not among them, so he still may live. I pointed out that surely Snorri would have died rather than leave his armor behind. Ostog has responded by headbutting my table in half, and passing out.

I will take this opportunity to retire.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm really enjoying this.


Howell Talbot III wrote:
Ostog has responded by headbutting my table in half, and passing out.

I laughed so hard I cried a little there! Thank you Tim, and Erik!


Howell, you sure do talk a lot.
Between your notes and Styrian's notes and whatever the Shoanti woman writes down, I'm sure I'll be buried in papers soon enough.
I think the newcomer's name is Imrika, by the way.


Vorn, Servitor of Gorum wrote:

Howell, you sure do talk a lot.

Between your notes and Styrian's notes and whatever the Shoanti woman writes down, I'm sure I'll be buried in papers soon enough.
I think the newcomer's name is Imrika, by the way.

Imrika? Who plays the Shoanti woman?

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

vagrant-poet wrote:
Imrika? Who plays the Shoanti woman?

Rob McCreary does. And it's Imrijka, our half-orc Shoanti cyphermage.

Howell will post another entry soon, detailing Ostog's big send-off for his mates, and a bit on the interaction with Imrijka (both of which were made awesome by the great Erik Mona).


Awesome!

So Tim-Howell paladin, Erik-Ostog barbarian, Wes-Styrian bard, Sean-Vorn cleric, James S.-Kirin rogue, Chris- Zandu ranger, Jason- Velmarius sorcerer and now Rob-Imrijka wizard!

The second non-human, and first girl!

Thats a big group! 8 characters! That's enough for two seperate games!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

vagrant-poet wrote:
Thats a big group! 8 characters! That's enough for two seperate games!

It's true. Normally, I prefer running for a group of 4 or 5. But fortunately, this mix of players works together really rather well. So far at least. And if they cause problems, I can always just bring out the Oliphaunt of Jandelay.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Can't wait to get back to this! James runs a great campaign, and the lads are always great fun!


I hope the next story tells of my great double mace tactics!!!

Dark Archive

And by the way guys, it was great meeting Rob and Erik for the first time last week.

I'm really enjoying the gaming group and James is an awesome GM (regardless of it being a large group). From what I have seen, there are usually some players who can't make every single game so it works well. I love that I am able to play with this group. I wasn't able to meet Erik until just last week. But, I do not intend to miss any sessions! I require gaming.

Spoiler:
I am after all, SKR's nerdy gamer girl.

Oh! I'm working on Hazel's miniature and it looks like Howell's will be different also to avoid the confusion between Howell and Vorn on the table! I think I will bring my camera next session and take some table top pictures so that I can post them on here if that's okay.


Jodi Lane wrote:

And by the way guys, it was great meeting Rob and Erik for the first time last week.

I'm really enjoying the gaming group and James is an awesome GM (regardless of it being a large group). From what I have seen, there are usually some players who can't make every single game so it works well. I love that I am able to play with this group. I wasn't able to meet Erik until just last week. But, I do not intend to miss any sessions! I require gaming. ** spoiler omitted **

Oh! I'm working on Hazel's miniature and it looks like Howell's will be different also to avoid the confusion between Howell and Vorn on the table! I think I will bring my camera next session and take some table top pictures so that I can post them on here if that's okay.

*deep manly thespian voice* Why that's okay, says James, who is me, yes...

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

I have fallen behind a bit, BUT, since we aren't playing until next year (gasp!), I appear to have some time!

I've just been really slammed at work and home lately. I am very much looking forward to Howell's take on the latest session's.... occurrences.

Yes, let's call them that....occurrences. >;D

Dark Archive

Timitius wrote:

I have fallen behind a bit, BUT, since we aren't playing until next year (gasp!), I appear to have some time!

I've just been really slammed at work and home lately. I am very much looking forward to Howell's take on the latest session's.... occurrences.

Yes, let's call them that....occurrences. >;D

Hah! Occurrences! I like that :o). Yup! Next session will be in 2010! Yikes. Well, either way you have more time and we have more time to get your Howell mini finished for the next game. I'll take table top pictures (and others maybe) at that time to post here. Why not! I assure you...Hazel will have some interesting things to say about those "occurrences."

Sovereign Court

Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar
11 – Pharast

It appears that we have had a bit of time this day to regroup, so I will make some notes and observations about our newest member, Imrijka. She is definitely a spellcaster, as she can summon a celestial eagle to aid her. Speaking with her (when not rudely interrupted by Ostog), she is a Shoanti savage, albeit one that has taken to cultured ways, studying in Riddleport as a cyphermage. At this point, Imrijka began carrying on about runes, mysteries, and such, and although I did my best to be polite, it was quite tiring to feign interest. My mention of studying at the university in Oppara seemed to suggest a kindred spirit for her. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I rarely had interest in the classes, let alone attending. Still, a cultured savage is quite intriguing, and I, for one, welcome her to the group.

Ostog, however, seems to be utterly confused by Imrijka. Apparently, the half-orc part is throwing him a bit. So far, he is unable to refer to her in any other way than “that troll”, “witch”, and the ever complex “troll-witch”. Velmarius and I have been able to ascertain that Ostog refers to many things as “trolls”. Orcs are trolls. Ogres, trolls. Hobgoblins and bugbears...trolls, as well. Compared to Ostog, Imrijka seems downright cosmopolitan!

The highlight today was, of course, Ostog’s funeral procession for his fallen comrades. Velmarius and I took up a superior vantage point to watch Ostog, and the unrest he often stirs up in this quaint little town. His primary goal was to secure a boat for his needs. He quickly found an old fisherman, Barnabus, that was looking to retire and pass his fishing boat, the Emily Rose (named for his dearly departed wife) on to the next generation. Ostog assured him that the boat would be put to the most honorable and noble use possible, and thus he emptied his pockets to purchase the vessel from the old man. Then, and only after the transaction was complete, did Ostog begin his inquiries for large amounts of oil and flammable materials. The old man nearly passed on when he learned that Ostog was not, in fact, interested in the fine procession of fishing, but intended to use the Emily Rose as a floating funeral pyre for eight barbarian corpses!

Barnabus’s outrage was obvious. He stormed off and brought Sheriff Hemlock back to undo the sale, but Hemlock did believe that such a duty would be as high an honor as Emily Rose could serve. And thus, as Velmarius and I sat and sampled his wondrous vintage (where does he GET this marvelous wine?) we did watch the Emily Rose go up in flames in the Sandpoint harbor, with nearly the entire town looking on.

I will say this: Ostog did well by his friends. Under that thick-headed, barely-dressed persona does lie a man of honor, it seems.

Shortly afterwards, Velmarius freely volunteered to send off Ostog in a similar fashion…it was not clarified whether that would be before or after Ostog’s passing, however. Somehow, the comment surprised no one; a testament to Velmarius’s “people skills”.

Sovereign Court

Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar
12 – Pharast

This morning, we set off for the Paupers’ Graves again, to enter the tunnels and search for Erika, Snorri, and more of the ghoul infestation. Hazel, the mercenary maiden that Hemlock recommended, rejoined our group to assist in hunting down the ghouls. I hadn’t noticed before, but she wields two maces. While I might be inclined to comment on this oddity, I have a feeling that Hazel would take it upon herself to show me how equally odd it would be to be on the receiving end of that combination.

Today I hefted Thundergutter. It is a fine weapon, but wielding it makes me feel so...rustic. Like an Andoran lumberjack. I feel like I should go chop down a tree, or whatever those Andoran bumpkins do. Still, a fine weapon. The mages told me that it is particularly deadly to animals, and will deliver a jolt of electricity to whatever I hit. I had ample opportunity to see that, firsthand, today.

We wandered in the tunnel system for hours. None of us really had any idea where we were under the earth, in relation to the surface. We eventually came upon a split; each avenue with a particularly unique and equally unpleasant odor. A musty, decaying smell, or a fecal waste smell. Most agreed that the musty smell was preferable. Following this passage a bit further, we came upon a chamber draped in a strange blanket of mold, with large patches and mounds underneath. Ostog took a running jump and cleared the pile blocking the entrance to the chamber. Vorn and Hazel safely jumped over the mold. I was rather worried that I would be the one to fall headfirst into the slime, but Imrijka managed to do that first.

The result was two-fold. First, the mold started shrieking. Yes. The mold. This triggered the second result: small moldy creatures bursting from the mounds and setting upon us. Imrijka quickly escaped from the mold and fled back behind us, yet casually and academically mentioning that we were being attacked by vegepygmies. I rushed forward to attack, but misjudged the mold, and slipped anyway. Three of the strange creatures attacked, but were quite ineffective at harming me. I regained my footing and chopped one down, as I moved further into the chamber. I was able to see by the glow of the mold that Vorn and Hazel were fighting more. It was then that I saw the effectiveness of two maces at work...impressive! Zandu’s arrows did little to stop the small plant persons, so he drew a weapon and engaged them. Velmarius seemed displeased with the mold, and stayed back in the passage to avoid any contact. Still, he did manage to throw some of his magic missiles into the fray.

It was at this time that Ostog started yelling about “more coming”. The “more” in this case was the biggest demonic fungus I have ever seen. I managed to hear Imrijka gasp something like, “Ah, how fascinating! A basidirond!” And then it was upon Ostog, lashing out with its...feet? Roots? Vines??? Ostog seemed to be hitting his stride in the fight (which means he was taking it as much as he was giving it) when the basidirond belched forth a noxious cloud, causing Ostog to start choking. Vorn quickly moved to assist Ostog, but suddenly fell to the ground and started to swim on the dirt floor. Both of them continued to behave rather silly, despite the large, carnivorous plant attacking them. With the other vegepygmies put down, we all moved forward to engage the basidirond...well, all of us except Velmarius, of course.

Imrijka took some of that learning of hers and applied it against the creature, emitting a blast of cold at it, thus slowing it and preventing it from producing more of that cloud that had Vorn screaming “I’m melting!! AHHHH, I’m melting!!” Needless to say, I was in no hurry to make an ass out of myself, so I pulled out my crossbow, and shot one “for Abadar” at the big plant, staying clear of the cloud of crazy.

With some effort, mostly by Ostog, we managed to destroy the freakish plant and gather ourselves before Ostog commented that it sounded like MORE of the little salad people were coming our way. At this, we decided to backtrack and follow the other passage at the split. The smell was NOT encouraging.

As we proceeded, the others noted that the passageway looked familiar, much like those they encountered under the Valdemar mansion. There, they found a secret door in a certain spot, and so, looking in a similar spot in this passageway, a similar secret door was found here. Upon its opening, we were met with sounds and smells most repulsive. At first, I was convinced that we had finally found proof that creatures do indeed use a lavatory in their lairs, and that this one was in use!

Alas, if that were only true. The secret passageway turned out to be a dead end, but closer inspection revealed a second hidden door! As we opened this second door, the smells and sounds went from repulsive to…sordidly repulsive. For it was quite clear then that two creatures were fornicating. Not only that…I could detect that it was two EVIL creatures fornicating, making their naughty spawn!

Imrijka worked her way forward to peek through the curtain that initially spared my eyes from this sight, but her gawking gave us away, and we were forced to work our way into this den of evil lust to fight the massive male troglodyte and his “mate”. Fighting room was limited, and as we grouped around them to engage in combat, they released a horrid foamy excretion that sickened many of us. I declared Abadar’s holy justice upon the male, and began to move forward to claim a place in the crowded room where I could strike it down. For some reason, Imrijka determined that summoning a dog would be helpful, and therefore the room became even more crowded.

The female was killed quickly, which only enraged the male further (but thank Abadar he wasn’t aroused further!), and poor Ostog the Unarmored took the brunt of the attacks. Between Ostog, Vorn, and myself, the male was finally put down. And Velmarius, of course, stayed out in the outer hallway, very much displeased with the odors.

I wish I would have joined him, just this once.

I will continue this account later, as I now feel a little ill just writing about that last part.


Best Discovery Ever! This campaign is a great mine of ideas for my own campaign. Kudos!

And thanks for the updates Tim!


In all fairness, I really did think I was melting.

Don't forget to mention the part about how the Shoanti decided to open the door, revealing more monsters, even though we were still battered from the fight with the trog leader.


Yes, Howell... Indeed would I be happy to show you the use of two maces at once. Not on you of course, you seem a splendid comrade...too "polite" at times but splendid amongst the ranks. But I feel if you want to be mighty in battle why have a free hand? Use them both to attack the enemy, always has worked for me!

The screaming mold, or whatever Imrijka was calling it, did not seem too scary. Though the beginning of the battle was not terrifying I remember becoming very frightened by the size of things once I tried to move closer to the giant plant-like creature that everyone was battling. It was very strange, as if I had shrank to the size of a tiny mouse! Imrijka seemed to know many things about these creatures. Perhaps she and I should talk more. It is nice to know what exactly you are up against.

I certainly would have liked to joined in with that battle, but I didn't get a chance...lucky it. I didn't feel so bad about reacting so awkwardly around this creature due to the fact Vorn seemed equally thrown back by it...although his reactions appeared quite different than mine.

Howell why did you even have to mention the horrid stench again? I've yet to have this horrible stink erased from my memory. The thought of it makes my stomach ache! You can thank me for getting rid of the female, and I can say a job well done on the male to you fellas. That was not an easy match, he was quite angry for our interruption. You guys did well. I think we all would have liked to avoid the stench as Velmarius did, however, I am with this group to aid in battle. That is what you'll get used to while having me around.

I second Vorn, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the door that was opened after this defeat...It was somewhat...shocking.

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

Another session last night! Much laughing, at Velmarius's expense!

I will post an update here soon. However, today I took the time to finally write up Howell's background (with some timely prodding from SKR -- thanks, Sean!). If you are interested, click on Howell's profile.

I've played a lot of characters, but Howell has to be my favorite to-date...and a lot of it is due to Jason, for making a paladin a lot of fun.

Sovereign Court

Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar
12 – Pharast (afternoon)

I believe I can continue my accounting of our reckless exploration of these tunnels, on this day that seems to go on and on and on...a final word on our last encounter, however: Avoid witnessing troglodyte sex AT ALL COSTS.

During the fight, Imrijka must have heard, and understood, the large troglodyte refer to something outside the large door leading out of the room, because we had barely caught our collective breaths before she decided to open it and see what the male was talking about. It was a lizard. A very large lizard, a pet apparently, was guarding the door. The summoned dog stood in the doorway to snip and bite at the thing, but then retreated under the nearby table. Hazel stepped up to the beast and traded blows, while I reached around the corner to hack the brute with Thundergutter. The weapon performed quite impressively, delivering the final deathstroke to fell the beast, with a vicious display of sparks. Yes, I think I'll keep it.

Looking beyond the doorway, we saw a number of troglodytes who were very disappointed at seeing the lizard so easily defeated, and they prepared to attack…until a voice commanded, “Stop. Leave them to me.”

Peering into the chamber beyond, we saw...Erika. Yes, Velmarius’s tavern wench we had been seeking out to rescue from the ghouls. And here she was, in provocative leather armor, commanding troglodytes! Velmarius appeared a bit bewildered at this development at first. I don't know if it was her unexpected presence, or the outfit she was wearing.

Erika spoke sweet words to him, which apparently were laced with spellcrafts, as Velmarius visibly shook off the effects and recognized the attack for what it was. He then made various comments disavowing any meaning of their relationship, punctuated by his release of a fireball at her feet. Somehow, she easily avoided the flames altogether, but not so for many of her troglodyte minions.

Ostog, true to his way, charged the remaining troglodytes in a rage. The rest of us made our way into the chamber, either facing off against a trog, or heading straight for the trollop-turned-temptress. Vorn charged straight for her, but was stopped short by the five-foot dais she stood upon. I double-timed it to reach the dais, and noticed that Kirin had similarly found his way around the other side of the chamber. As Ostog leapt forward to meet her, Erika subjected him to her feminine wiles. Ostog paused, seemingly transfixed. However, her orders to “Kill them all for me” did not sit well with him, and he shrugged off her attempts, and hit her HARD.

It was, at this point, that her guise slipped, and before us was NOT Erika, but a half-woman/half-snake being. I saw Velmarius’s shock, as the hunter suddenly realized he had been the hunted. As the snakewoman backed up, the rest of us set upon her. Calling upon the Golden Fisted One, I hit the creature with the Holy Might of Justice, which was equally answered by...Imrijka? The half-orc mage/scholar had let loose quite the enraged scream, and had bounded forward in a manner reminiscent of...well, of Ostog, actually. The snakewoman begged for mercy, but Velmarius was quite put-out at this point, and with that, she was dead.

An investigation of the chamber revealed a vile sanctuary to some evil deity of snakes or some such thing. Styrian went on a length about the history of these snakepeople in the underworld, which fostered an equally boring discussion amongst the others. I left and took Kirin with me to investigate the chest in the sinful bedchamber. Kirin seemed quite confident that it was a simple enough task, but wound up triggering a poison trap in the process. To his credit, he did take it in stride, and continued to open the lock. We inventoried the contents, and returned to the others.

Velmarius and Ostog seemed determined to deal with whatever was lurking behind another door in the chamber that was sealed up with some hissing noises coming from behind it. The rubble was cleared, and the door opened to reveal…hundreds and hundreds of snakes that began to flow out. Velmarius panicked and shot streams of fire from his fingertips – straight into Ostog’s back. Alchemist fire suddenly flew in random directions, setting more of us on fire than the snakes. Several of us were poisoned in that chaotic minute, as well. All agreed that the hissing should have satisfied us alone. Ostog declared that he wanted to open it to ensure that none of Velmarius’s children lived. Ah, Ostog...always the diplomatic one.

Further exploration reveals that we are in the Pit on the Devil’s Platter again, but deeper down. The tunneling in this area is extensive, then! While I expressed my desire to return to the town for rest and more provisions, the rest of the party wished to remain and explore further. Upon Vorn’s suggestion, it was agreed that he attempt to speak with the corpse of the snakewoman, to determine if she was Erika, or merely assuming her form. The questioning is going on at this moment, and is relatively worthless, other than learning that this was NOT Erika, and that the one known as Kanker has her...and that she is probably for all purposes dead by this time.

Well, Velmarius looks relieved.

I am told we are off to the fungus rooms again. Apparently, one encounter with the salad people was not enough. More later.


You forgot to mention the part where I ended the snake-woman's life with a mighty swing that severed both of her arms and left her lifeblood spurting across the room like a geyser of glory.


That sounds like a great campaign, really fun! Which is the point!


Vorn, Servitor of Gorum wrote:
You forgot to mention the part where I ended the snake-woman's life with a mighty swing that severed both of her arms and left her lifeblood spurting across the room like a geyser of glory.

Maybe he was waiting for you to put it so eloquently!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Love reading these campaign journals. Who knew those other articles in the Pathfinder APs could be so useful? LoL

Sovereign Court

vagrant-poet wrote:
Vorn, Servitor of Gorum wrote:
You forgot to mention the part where I ended the snake-woman's life with a mighty swing that severed both of her arms and left her lifeblood spurting across the room like a geyser of glory.
Maybe he was waiting for you to put it so eloquently!

What in the blue blooded blazes??? Are you people READING my journal??

Ah...I see. Styrian is quite secretive with his scribblings, isn't he? Well, I suppose....I really should be flattered that you care enough to make sure the record is straight and our adventures recorded justly and fairly.

So, thank you, Vorn, for bringing that to my deficient attention. It was, indeed, a glorious strike, sir. I could not have put it more....ahem...."eloquently" than you just did.

I must admit, though, that the Shoanti scholar breaking into a full-blown rage, and then hacking at the corpse more several minutes did cause that lapse in my recall.

Sovereign Court

Entry from the travel journal of Howell B. Talbot III, Servant of Abadar
12 – Pharast (afternoon) Amended

It was, at this point, that her guise slipped, and before us was NOT Erika, but a half-woman/half-snake being. I saw Velmarius’s shock, as the hunter suddenly realized he had been the hunted. As the snakewoman backed up, the rest of us set upon her. Calling upon the Golden Fisted One, I hit the creature with the Holy Might of Justice, which was equally answered by...Imrijka? The half-orc mage/scholar had let loose quite the enraged scream, and had bounded forward in a manner reminiscent of...well, of Ostog, actually. The snakewoman begged for mercy, but Velmarius was quite put-out at this point, and with that, Vorn "ended the snake-woman's life with a mighty swing that severed both of her arms and left her lifeblood spurting across the room like a geyser of glory."

Satisfactory, Vorn?

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dear Pathfinder Forum, I never though it would happen to me, but...


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Dear Pathfinder Forum, I never though it would happen to me, but...

??

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

vagrant-poet wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Dear Pathfinder Forum, I never thought it would happen to me, but...
??

v-p: Inside joke we made when it was revealed that Erika was serpentfolk....supposedly Velmarius beginning his letter to the Pathfinder Society's adult gentlemen's magazine. ;-)


Wow! That made me laugh a shocking amount! :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The best part? The fact that Ostog will likely be writing his OWN letter to the Pathfinder Forum after where the previous game ended, cliffhanger style, at an encounter yet to be summarized in Howell's excellent journals.

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

James Jacobs wrote:
The best part? The fact that Ostog will likely be writing his OWN letter to the Pathfinder Forum after where the previous game ended, cliffhanger style, at an encounter yet to be summarized in Howell's excellent journals.

Yeah....he'll be tossing some salad reaaaaaaaaaal soon. Dressing. On the side.

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