Hiring Trouble

LOOT 4/14

610 loot each from last week

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The Return...

Berylla Beren receives a Harrowing within a vision. The vision:

The bear represents your past strength, and the uprising represents you running away from your ancestral home. But the joke was on you. Now the empty throne shows how much you’ve lost and the questions that come faster than answers. Yes, you were able to avoid the destruction shown in misaligned the avalanche, but at a price. The rakshasa is the dominance of Iuz and his evil minions over your people. But you have the opportunity to stop a great disaster, represented by misaligned the sickness. Travel now, as the cricket says, and you will open the door to overthrowing the tyrant.

Berylla realizes that this vision means she must find the remains of a great Dwarven duke, General Hok, and somehow bring him back to life to aid in the defeat of Iuz to avenge the destruction of her childhood home and her people.

Clearly, this quest is important to every member of the group. Each member gets his own revelation:
Ellendian Summerstar: Battles reveal the true mettle of heroes, the true hearts of villains. -The Brightened
Hollei Inwe Telemnar: Your actions may very well change the fate of this land. Be wise and unselfish or you will fail. -Doll.
Haggorum Chiggid: Wickedness often turns upon its own. The darkness will show the way at the appointed time. -Raven.
Jack Jonus Morgan II: All things worth finding are hidden. The chances of finding a treasure increases with every dig. -In your morning ale.
Ragnar ‘Goliath’ Ragnarsson: Only the true of heart can save the kingdoms at darkest of night. -Gaiyle.
Toran Zal: Knowledge is power. You will not defeat the Old One without the knowledge and you will not gain the knowledge if you turn back. -Magical runes.

The group travels to Law’s Forge and discover that all manner of monster have infested the ancient Dwarven kingdom. After a dozen battles, the heroes encounter one that they fear they can’t defeat: Botis, a horned devil. Haggorum and Ragnar win Botis over – the first by telling him that a powerful god would be thankful if he would help with the takedown of Iuz, and the second by offering his magical sword.

Botis helps the group take out several powerful necromancers, mages and trolls. He returns Ragnar’s sword but places a gaes on Ragnar, asking that he impress him with a feat of strength at some point in the future to strengthen their bond.

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Session 10: Trouble at Ankheg Springs

After the fight between Rhaedrick Avenfear and Lorien for control of the Rookroost Thieves Guild, Gaiyle Markhalla told the group that a very small resistance had been created near the Rift Canyon Barrens and they could use the help of the more experienced resistance fighters.

The group visits Stoink, the largest city in the Rift Canyon Barrens in hopes of finding the resistance fighters Gaiyle mentioned, but Hollei Inwe Telemnar is haunted by her recent death and resurrection, and she feels a need to be blessed to regain her strength. She ends up visit Temple Grimacing, a church of Iuz, in hopes they would cure her.

They did, but also put a Gaes on her, asking that she honors Iuz when given the opportunity.

After searching for the Resistance members, the group starts to make their way back to Rookroost, at a loss. They stop to stay at an inn in the small city of Ankheg Springs, where they see two men hanging from a tree.

Inside the inn, Jack Jonus Morgan II has to compete with another bard, Roche, who sings Roche’s Song – a song that clearly becomes a rallying cry against Iuz and those that serve him.

Some men start a fight with Roche, with clear intentions to hurt him. The adventuring party has a mind to leave well enough alone (knowing that fighting the guards here would mean death), but Ellendian Summerstar recognizes Roche as one of the faithful – a member of The Brightened.

Haggorum Chiggid starts the fight by magically switching places with Roche, thus getting him out of direct danger.

Once the adventurers win the fight, they decide it’s best to stay in the stables with Roche and his uncle, Osol (except for Toran Zal who says he’ll take his chances in the inn). They learn that Roche doesn’t care about being careful anymore because he is crazy with the loss of his fiance, Ilyena. Ilyena is the sister of Arvad, a Stoink pit fighter who has recently challenged his sister’s right as governor of Ankheg Springs.

She disappeared days ago, leaving a note saying that the wedding was off and her brother was to assume the governorship but Roche and Osol were not fooled. They want the adventurers to rescue her.

The group is awoken the next morning by a group of guards who challenge them, saying they’ll pay for “murdering” the town guards the previous night. The adventurers find out the guards have already killed Osol and are torturing Roche.

They handily deal with the new group of guards and head to the Springs, to find out where Ilyena is being kept. After dealing with her hellhound guards, the group rescues Ilyena. However, to scare off her brother for good, she tells them that they must not fight him, but instead must break into his manor and gain evidence of secrets that would destroy his political career.

Through a plan hatched by Haggorim and Jack and the fighting prowess of Berylla Beren and Ragnar ‘Goliath’ Ragnarsson, the group easily takes out the guards of the manor and recover the damning information.

Knowing Temple Grimacing has been made aware of some treachery, Arvad has no choice but to flee, leaving Ilyena as rightful ruler of Ankheg Springs.

The group asks that the couple remembers their vows to Pelor and that they continue to grow the Resistance in Stoink.

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LOOT!!!

Everyone got 1,350 gold from the last game session.

There is enough gold in party loot to craft a wand of lesser vigor, with an additional 25 gold remaining.

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Session 9: Evil Tidings

Boy, things have become a real mess in Rookroost. Partinus, the madman that the group released from the Rookroost Insane Asylum, has been taken back into custody.

The Thieves Guild has become divided – an unknown faction has been attacking its own members’ shipments, making the guild look ineffective in support of a new leader. No one trusts anyone anymore – the honor among thieves has become a thing of the past.

And Rhaedrick Avenfear, one of the group’s favorite patrons, is being targeted as the traitor.

When a particularly expensive shipment of Rhaedrick’s is attacked, the group is asked to investigate. They meet Sheriff TorGill, who tells them outside the city is outside his jurisdiction.

They visit Avenfear’s Coster and Warehouse where they meet employee Bendril, who is being attacked by [[The Short Corp.]]. The band of racist, militant halflings were clearly trying to burn down the warehouse.

Haggorum Chiggid helps to rescue the disarmed worker by magically switching places with him. Ellendian Summerstar helps to contain the fire. Meanwhile, Toran Zal discovers the ledger reported the shipment as being late even before it came in.

Bendril suspects his employer, but tells the group they should look for themselves at the secret underground passages Avenfear has access to – which he thinks is how Avenfear is getting to his caravans and transporting the “stolen” goods.

The group goes down into the caverns. They meet a low-level thief (and his party), a water naga who is taken out very quickly, largely thanks to the battle prowess of Berylla Beren. Then the party hears two voices discussing the possibility of Rhaedrick attacking his own caravans, but they are unable to find the people the voices belong to.

They get to the exit, which leads them close to the spot where the last attack happened. However, no major clues are found.

When the group gets back to town, they encounter Lorien, Rhaedrick’s girlfriend, who encourages them to come to the Drunken Dragon and confront Rhaedrick about his betrayals.

After very little deliberation, the party decides to back Rhaedrick, despite what the evidence may say. They head to the Drunken Dragon and alert Rhaedrick to the possibility of what is coming.

Lorien bursts in the tavern and confronts Rhaedrick. The two start to duel, and then 14 other patrons turn on the group, trying to force them away from Lorien and Rhaedrick. Jack Jonus Morgan II blinded Lorien, making reluctant-to-battle Rhaedrick safer.

Hollei Inwe Telemnar was trapped in a corner, only partially protected by the raging, rampaging Ragnar ‘Goliath’ Ragnarsson. However, an escape attempt ended up not working out in her favor and Hollei was killed by a critical strike by one of the few warriors still standing.

The victory was tainted both by the blood of Hollei and Rhaedrick’s feeling that he (and they) were still in grave danger by the warring Thieves Guild factions. He encouraged them to leave town.

The group did, but not before ripping a page out of the Libram of Happenstance to resurrect Hollei. Gaiyle Markhalla told the group that a very small resistance had been created near the Rift Canyon Barrens and they could use the help of the more experienced resistance fighters.

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Session 8: Rising Shadow

The group knew they’d be waiting around for days if they wanted to meet up with Partinus, so they settled in for a long wait. That is, until a familiar little girl caught the eye of Toran Zal.

The girl told Toran she was upset because “Goliath” wouldn’t allow her to go on an adventure to meet a princess. Knowing the girl lived at the home that was a front for the Resistance (and wondering why or if a Goliath was really fighting against Iuz right here in Rookroost, the group traveled to the home and questioned leader Gaiyle Markhalla.

There, they learned Goliath was a fitting nickname for the incredibly large Ragnar ‘Goliath’ Ragnarsson. Gaiyle was working on recruiting a number of Resistance members to fill a spot as bodyguards for Prince Zeech of Redhead, the ruler of Alhaster. Zeech would like to see his sister, who is seen as both an idiot and a dangerous seer, safe. Gaiyle just wants to know if Zeech really is a follower of Iuz or if he is a possible ally.

The group agrees and sets off for a town outside Alhaster where Nadalie lives. They are dropped off and introduced to the staff of the estate: Gerbo, the caretaker; Tatyana, Nadalie’s handmaiden; Hulgra, a companion for Nadalie; Osborn, the groundskeeper; and guards Gim and Rath.

Ellendian Summerstar and Haggorum Chiggid questioned Gerbo to learn more about what happened to Nadalie to warrant extra protection. On a recent visit to Alhaster, a mob crowded around her and threatened to kill her as a witch. The scene reminded Ellendian and Haggorum of Nolas Roland, the boy seer from Angry Bones.

Hollei Inwe Telemnar immediately sat down with Nadalie and helped her with her garden. The group noticed Nadalie’s plant – a bulb in a potting container. She’s very protective of the bulb. Through a series of checks, the group determines the bulb is not native to the prime material plane – in fact, it’s from the Plane of Shadow. She said she found it near the Nightmare Glade.

“I dreamed I planted it in the dead place and all the flowers grew and bloomed. It was pretty and I wanted to cry,” she tells Hollei.

That night, Nadalie invites her friend Hollei to stay in her grand apartments, while the rest of the group crowds in the guard house. However, the group is quickly awakened to the sound of a mob fighting their way into the estate.

Goliath tears the commoners coming over the walls to shreds, while Jack Jonus Morgan II and Toran helped to pick off the leaders in the back.

Meanwhile, Hollei is doing her best to protect Nadalie as Hulgra, Osborn and Osborn’s twin brother Warren attack.

The fighting on two fronts becomes even more confusing when Amaral, priestess of Nerull, is seen in the crowd and indicates she needs the group to head to Wrylo’s Ruin and put an end to a ritual that would raise THAT WHICH STIRS.

The group realizes Wrylo’s Ruin is the Nightmare Glade that Nadalie is forbidden to visit. They use her bulb as a key to enter The Shadow Junction, where a pool is feeding the life force of several dying victims to The Tree in the center – actually destroyed the evil tree that binds THAT WHICH STIRS with positive energy.

Despite some hardships suffered by the Shadows that guard the place, the group successfully restore the evil tree. The meet Hassox, a paladin who agrees to lead the several other men and women of good nature that were rescued and create a Resistance group in Alhaster.

You were later honored by Princh Zeech himself, for the protection of his sister against the mob. He said “Know that you are friends of Redhand,” and gave each of you the highest citation of honor in that land.

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Session 7: Body and Soul

The party is returning to Rookroost but are forced to stand in lines at the gate, where they learn that trade has been greatly disrupted. A man approaches the party, asking if they have a sword for sale, which Toran Zal recognizes as the Sword of Kurell, a cursed weapon that was destroyed when the party discovered it during The Bender.

Before the party has much time to figure out what someone else would want with the sword, a jet-black carriage pulled by four nightmares races through the district toward the Triumphary gate, trampling several in its path.

Ellendian Summerstar helps to bury the dying and heal the sick, while Berylla Beren recognizes an opportunity when she sees one. Most of the group follows Berylla’s lead and sells their rations for a markup. Ellendian instead donates his own money to open a food bank with his supply of rations.

The group learns that the carriage was bringing Bonehearts, a group of mages and clerics answerable only to Iuz himself, and that they may be interested in a recent addition to the Rookroost Asylum.

As always, if Iuz’s forces are interested in something, so are a lot of other people, including the group.

Working with contacts, they get a magical amulet they are told will help the prisoner escape the asylum and are told of disguises that can be used to enter the institution.

Hollei Inwe Telemnar, Haggorum Chiggid and Jack Jonus Morgan II were all chosen to investigate the asylum, while the others stayed outside. The three found two robes with golden thread around the hemline in a closet, which they took with them. Then they found a logbook that indicated the prisoner they wanted to find was the Butcher of Zelosus.

Hollei and Haggorum subdued one of the guards while he was sleeping, but couldn’t kill the other one before he was able to yell out. Luckily, Jack used a ghost sound to disguise the yell as a scream that sounded like the ones they were hearing from the patient’s rooms. The spell seemed to work well enough on the two doctors who were upstairs, since they didn’t come out.

Once they entered the Butcher’s room, Jack realized the prisoner was actually Partinus, the magistrate of Zelosus. The man had clearly gone crazy and the three were able to get very little out of him before they gave him the amulet and saw him Dimension Door away.

The group set off toward Zelosus and were surprised to find the town almost completely abandoned. Buildings were partially destroyed and zombies roamed freely. Some of the party members began to act strangely, as if overtaken by feelings of Jealousy (Berylla), Theft (Haggorum) and Revenge (Jack).

Descending into a well reveals a lake that runs underneath Zelosus. A shrine to Kurell is discovered, along with a guardian from the plane of Limbo. When the guardian discovers the party has destroyed the sword, he attacks.

It becomes clear that seemingly benign actions of the party has led to a curse that has destroyed the entire town of Zelosus. With Iuz’s army on the way, the group leaves, but not without Ellendian vowing to find out more about the ritual that can close the gate to Limbo forever and remove this threat from the Flanaess.

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Gold!!!!

809 gold each!

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Session 6: Angry Bones

The group successfully ambushed the bandits that work for Boneheart Cranzer who stole their bag of coinage from Auverin Moonblade’s hideout.

There, they find a note that makes it clear Cranzer’s men were on their way to kidnap a boy named Nolas Roland from the hamlet of Briar’s End.

Ellendian Summerstar convinced the last surviving member of Cranzer’s band of kidnappers that his fellow adventurers would be all too happy to help kidnap the boy, as long as they were told why. The mook explained that the boy was known as a seer and Crazer thought this would be a useful additional to his power base.

When the group arrives at Briar’s End, an angry mob is outside the Roland farmhouse, demanding the child be turned over and disposed of. It becomes clear they believe his visions are bringing monsters to the village.

Ellendian and Haggorum Chiggid bust down the door and confront the father. They finally convince him that the family would be better off in Rookroost, where they could be protested. Farmer Roland reluctantly agrees, but only if the group will help him start over. The adventurers agree to purchase the family’s farm. Hollei Inwe Telemnar thinks hiding Cranzer’s horses here would be a good cover and Haggorum decides to use the farm as a remote Resistance headquarters.

It’s agreed that they’ll set out first thing the next morning. But Nolas sleepwalks in the night, climbing out of his window and into the middle of a field. Ellendian follows him as Hollei wakes the others.

The boy wakes up as two ankhegs emerge from the ground. The group quickly take down the two creatures, but not before both Ellendian and the boy are rendered unconscious from the bites of one. Berylla Beren is able to save both lives.

An alarm in the village indicates the ankhegs weren’t the only monsters that showed up during the night. Two ghouls and a ghast had made the rounds, taking out almost an entire family before the adventurers are able to clean up the mess.

Nolas’s dream, however, takes a bigger significance when Jack Jonus Morgan II recognizes the description as Steelbone Meadows. The group decides to take a detour and take young Nolas, making him promise to follow their directions and stay with Gamera.

In Steelbone Meadows, armies of skeletons follow the adventurers just out of sight. A raven leads the group to the belfry of an ancient temple of Celestarian. Entering the temple leads to a fight with an assassin vine and several stirges (who drain a significant portion of Haggorim’s lifeblood), but the worst was yet to come. Upon entering the altar room, an incorporeal presence rises. It indicates it needs Nolas to raise THAT WHICH STIRS and begin to feed on his lifeforce.

Haggorim was able to delay the tongues feeding (though some mystical switch-a-roo) long enough for Berylla saves the day with her magical quarterstaff and is able to destroy the phantom tongues that wrapped around the boy.

The mist thins throughout Steelbone Meadows and the dead rest, for the time being. The group makes plans to relocate the Rolands to Rookroost and ferry the horses from Daphanie to the Briar’s End farm over the next several weeks.

Later, as they’re counting the money they found in the Handy Haversack, Toran Zal finds a tattered scroll they hadn’t noticed before.

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Session 6: X Marks the Spot

Using Hollei Inwe Telemnar’s map and intelligence, the party agrees to check out a map that supposedly leads to a lost Highwayman treasure. Jack Jonus Morgan II recognizes the symbol on the map as the one of Auverin Moonblade, a famous bandit who led the Highwaymen.

The group travels to the Tangles Forest. Instead of bushwacking through the forest, Haggorum Chiggid talked to his pet raven who led the group to an abandoned boat. The adventurers travel up a river and find the place the map indicated – except all that’s there are two large, conspicuous intertwined trees and a boulder that looks out of place.

Both Berylla Beren and Ellendian Summerstar found entrances to an underground cavern, but Ellendian’s seemed a little more hospitable. Once inside, the group quietly made their way to a large structure underground where tree roots and a bubbling pond met. The former rogue heard crying and saw what appeared to be a wooden lady. He indicated to the druid that she should come forward and the two engaged the woman. She seemed very frightened. Once she spoke, Hollei recognized the voice of Daphanie.

The group learned that Daphanie had been in love with Auverin but her affections were not returned. She was unaware of the massacre that had happened that had taken Auverin’s life many years ago.

She told the group that they were more than welcome to take whatever they could use from the hidden spot, including a large amount of mundane items and a Handy Haversack with more substantial coinage. There was one page left in the Diary of Auverin Moonblade.

When the group was attacked by swarms of centipedes, the group decides to tactically retreat. Berylla Beren encourages everyone to ignore the dire wolf that has taken up residence in the underground shelter and Haggorum Chiggid attempts to use the questionable construction to their advantage, but fails to collapse the exit’s tunnel.

Once outside, the party finds that they’ve been ambushed! A group wearing the herald of Boneheart Cranzer insist on “relieving” the group of the treasure. They steal it, despite Grease from Jack Jonus Morgan II. However, the group captures some of Cranzer’s men and, through threats of violence, find out where the governor’s men are going so they can plan an ambush of their own.

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