Hiring Trouble

Session 14: Rebellion?!?

With the death of Gaiyle Markhalla still fresh, the Rookroost Resistance has become a mess of infighting rogues. Although most everyone agrees that action needs to be taken directly, no one can agree on what action that should be.

The group listens to a variety of arguments for action and prioritize them. Their first course of action is to agree to a mission to recover Gaiyle’s body in hopes of reviving her. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a trap and the body is ambushed. Through the situation, however, they’re able to identify the traitor who likely turned on Gaiyle and caused her death.

When the search for Gaiyle’s body proves unfruitful, the group decides to go on a mission to rescue some captured rebels. The group is encouraged to negotiate acceptable terms for the garrison captain, who is eager to make some quick cash and leave. The group chooses to rescue all the prisoners and give up most of the loot that they had on them.

The group decides to join a subset of the Resistance that want sto cause strife within Rookroost by attacking troop barracks. Through their insistence of taking on their entire encounter on their own, the group saves the lives of dozens of ill-equipped Resistance fighters but they also have trouble with burrowing creatures who are only defeated through a well-timed spell by Toran Zal.

Finally, the group (mostly because of the urging of Berylla Beren accompany a young rogue beneath Rookroost to find a supposed cache of treasure but ran into a meeting with a Resistance member who was negotiating with an unknown group from Stoink who wished to cause trouble within the city. The heroes decided to let the trouble play out without interfering.

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Session 13: Pawn

It was supposed to be just a visit to their old stomping grounds, Rookroost, to celebrate Grod’s birthday. But it turned into a tragedy for our heroes.

General Hok had been brought back to life and with it, an army of Dwarven soldiers had risen up to help lead the rebellion the group had already started to formalize. Gaiyle Markhalla, posing as one of the bardic musicians at the party, contacts the group and tells them that Hok’s rebellion could end before it begins. Those loyal to the Old One have identified a living descendant of Hok’s – his great-grandson – who could be used against the General. The boy is currently in Rookroost and has been kept under secret protection for his entire life by a series of Elven guardians. However, Gaiyle has learned that the Bonefist Legion has entered town and are searching for the boy.

The party descends into the sewers under Rookroost and negotiate saboteurs and traps in order to make it to the place where the boy is being hidden. Unfortunately, the Bonefist Legion shows up shortly after the group and a fight ensues.

The party quickly realizes that the Bonefist Legion may be a more powerful foe than they were expecting, but with some quick thinking, terrain control and luck, they manage to make it out with the boy – but Haggorum Chiggid failed to make it.

The party returns Hok’s grandson directly to the General and asks that he raise Haggorum with his power as a return favor. The general explains that this would be the last use of his power and it can only return dwarves to life. The party makes a plea, saying Haggorum was a dwarf in spirit and had always supported the Dwarven cause. Hok agrees and returns Haggorum to life, beginning his adventures as a Dwarf indebted to Hok.

Unfortunately, all is not well. The adventurers return to Rookroost to find that there is a public hanging in the town square. The group recognizes the body of Gaiyle Markhalla, the de facto leader of the Rookroost Rebellion and their friend, among of the dead.

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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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