Redcap's Corner Pathfinder

Murder at Menutson Academy

Characters: Able, Daa Smith, Daken, Jimmy Black, Singéd Brough, Vander
GM: James McTeague

The Mithral Guard was asked to send representatives to Menutson Academy to deal with an unspecified problem involving the student body. When the guardians arrived, they were informed that a string of murders had taken place across the school’s campus, leaving the students terrified. Headmaster Talfan Mar didn’t want news of the incidents spreading, however, so he elected to hide the presence of the Mithral Guard, assigning each guardian the role of a substitute teacher.

The following morning, each guardian set out to teach his class. Able taught history by weaving great tales of previous battles to perk the children’s interests. Daken taught a religion class about the wonders of the Kage, the Hunter at Dusk, and several of the students showed interest. Daa used his metal-crafting skills to create dangerous looking pieces of metal, and taught his students how to sell through intimidation. Vander decided that one of the most important parts of physical education was teaching his students how to take a punch, so he punched each of them in the face. Jimmy conducted a stirring speech about etiquette, claming that minutia is irrelevant, and that etiquette is about how to hold oneself and exact one’s will. Unfortunately, his students seemed less than moved, deferring to their former teachings on the subject. Singéd decided to teach his Health class about chemicals and how they can be used to alter the mortal body, but he underestimated the alchemical skills of his students, and they concocted superior chemical brews to prove it.

Lunchtime was punctuated by another attack. A girl was found dead with the ghost of an ancient Hethish warrior floating above her. After thorough investigation (and Vander’s fruitless attempts to grapple a gnome), they discovered the identity of the killer—a young student named Lathan Sojh. His actions, however, were not his own, and it was soon surmounted that he had been killing under the effects of a cursed wand, so noted when Singéd picked up the wand and attempted to murder his fellow guardians. Lathan claimed he found the wand while exploring nearby caves, so the guardians decided to go spelunking.

After clearing the rubble and disturbing a family of dire rats, the party ventured into the depths of the cave, noting that it appeared artifically rather than naturally constructed. Vander took it upon himself to be the party pincushion, and triggered the fire trap mounted high on the ceiling. After shrugging off the damage, the party found themselves in front of a door. Jimmy the rogue offered a cursory inspection and decided it wasn’t trapped, so Vander opened it. It was trapped, and a gelatinous cube fell on his head.

After dispatching the cube (against which Daken was nearly invulnerable), the party proceeded through the door to find a room filled with a strange, hovering mist two feet above the ground, statues lining the walls, and an altar of cursed wands at its center. They had only a few seconds to take in the sights, however, as darkness quickly fell upon the cave, and various guardians felt their faces gripped suddenly and viciously by the statues. Vander again took a beating and dropped to the floor, but eventually the party found the statues amidst the darkness and destroyed them. Jimmy snatched a brooch which had been used both to protect the altar from destruction and to power the constant charm effect that had lured Lathan into the cave. Upon returning to Baltis, the Mithral Guard issued a team of trained cursebreakers to return to the cave and clear it up, once and for all eliminating a public threat. The questions remain, however: if the cave was artificially formed, who, or what created it, and why?

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Smallish Fish

Characters: Kay, Kijiki, Lucifer Sanchez, X, the Assassin, Xain
GM: Shawn Bonsky

A young group of adventurers were called to the offices of the Hill Kingdoms cultural attaché’s office. There they were briefed by senior diplomat and world renowned warrior Sir Derrick Hammersham. Evidently, the king of Smallish had run into a problem pertaining to his loyal piscine pal. Sir Derrick had chosen some of the best and brightest for this most illustrious mission, and all met the challenge with brave resolve.

After an uneventful trip to Smallish the adventurers were met by the king in person. Evidently previous reports of the king being a kindly and supporting monarch were wrong, for he greeted the adventurers with cruelty and a vicious temperament. He claimed his pet goldfish had fallen into the fountain nearby and that he had called the mightiest of the Guard to Smallish, not for any true quest but rather so that he may delight himself by watching the heroes of Baltis flounder in a fountain, chasing a fish. To demonstrate his abject inhumanity, the king then had a nearby Zyr executed so that he could repose himself on the head of the poor man. This was too much for the honourable Kijiki and Kay and they cried out that the tyrant must needs be slain. They immediately dispatched the despot to the cheers of the other guards.

The populace of Smallish was overjoyed at the prospect of new leadership and were in the process of gathering walnuts for a great feast when some terrible horse-like creatures came stampeding into the grove, causing a great commotion and destroying many trees. A farmer was almost knocked over and the farmer’s son was brought near to the edge of crying. The heroes rushed to the grove and a titanic battle was had. On one side were the valiant king and queen of Smallish and their Mithral Guard cohorts. Facing them were fearsome four legged beasts that bellowed forth smoke and made a terrible cacophony with their hooves. Lucifer proved his mettle in the battle against the monsters, slaying two of them and their powerful champion by his own self. The battle waged for what seemed like an eternity with the outcome always unsure. For a while it would seem like the gallants were doomed to failure and then Lucifer or X would make some fortuitous strike and turn the tide in their favour. In the end, after all the monsters lay slain, only four of the Guard still stood, as Lucifer and X lay bleeding amongst the dead on the battlefield. By some divine providence they did not pass away in that grove where they had exhibited such bravery against nigh insurmountable odds.

The monsters dead and the tyrant king deposed, the five warriors felt their job was done, and so they returned to Baltis.

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Doors of the Paramnesiac Spire

Characters: Daa Smith, Dermus Danviel, Kijiki, Leokas Gellantra, Sander, Singéd Brough, Xain
GM: Benn Roe

The Mithral Guard was called upon by the illusion department at Arcania University’s Samaabab campus to chaperone the freshman field trip to the Paramnesiac Spire. Several recent attacks by sand pirates just outside city limits had given them cause for alarm, despite the typically harmless journey, and the Guard was dispatched to ensure the safety of the students.

The guardians were flown into Samaabab by airship, and had several hours to kill before meeting with Suku Sariyah Thaqib. Daa went looking for exotic weapons but came back empty-handed, and Sander bought some wine. Shortly thereafter they met with Thaqib and begun the three-mile journey to the Paramnesiac Spire.

As they were making their way to the Spire, several of the guardians overheard the Suku drilling his students on the subschools of illusion, ending his lesson with the wisdom, “And remember, despite their differences, each subschool opens the same door of uncertainty in your opponent’s mind.” Half a mile from their destination, however, a different door of uncertainty was opened when the students and guardians found themselves surrounded by sand pirates (mostly gnoll and lizardfolk, some mounted on dinosaurs) under the leadership of Zhong Chèng, a cleric of Mèng Mèi who proceeded to announce, “Stand down, casters! You are all property of the Dreamblade.”

The pirates surrounded and took down the guardians and students, and when each of them awoke, they found that they were bound and blind-folded in a room with Zhong Chèng and several of the pirates. Sander awoke first and immediately broke his bonds and removed his blindfold. Preoccupied and unperceptive, Chèng took no notice, ordering the three pirates to brand the remaining casters while he dealt with the Suku, noting that he’d be back in an hour. No sooner had Chèng departed when the remaining guardians begun to break free and launch their assault on the pirates. When it was all said and done, no students had been branded, and three dead pirates wished they had chosen more wisely who to work for. This left the guardians presented with five doors.

Only Sander had seen the escape route of Zhong Chèng and he didn’t seem to feel like talking. From this point there were five rooms the guardians encountered, each representing one of the five subschools of illusion: figment, glamer, pattern, phantasm, and shadow. In order to get from one room to the next consecutive room, one had to choose one of the five doors and continue to go through the door in that particular position in each room. Once all five rooms had been visited through the same door, that door in the fifth room would lead to the outside world. Choosing doors in other positions would lead to different rooms, but the spire could never be escaped until all five rooms had been visited consecutively through a single door.

The figment room had ornate carvings covering every surface, and was full of major image (Core Rulebook, pg. 311) illusions of terrifying monsters with only a single beast—a cockatrice—presenting any genuine threat. The first time the guardians visited this room, they quickly discovered the cockatrice and dispatched it.

The glamer room was plain white from floor to ceiling. In the middle of the room was a man seated at a vanity, screaming and hitting himself—his clothes ripped, his make-up running. Statues stood in each corner of the room, their mouths moving in a recognizable pattern. Unfortunately, the room was under the effect of a silence (Core Rulebook, pg. 343) spell and each of the guardians had become invisible, making communication about which door to enter virtually impossible. The first time the guardians visited this room, Daa quickly discovered that beating the man in the chair would end the invisibility (Core Rulebook, pg. 301) effect.

The pattern room had shimmering walls and what seemed to be visible coloured lights floating all throughout the air. There were seven twenty-foot pits spread throughout the room and a series of moving walkways leading between pits and across the room. As soon as anybody stepped off the platform near the entrance, they were subjected to the effects of an hypnotic pattern (Core Rulebook, pg. 298), causing them to risk fascination. While fascinated, the moving walkways would dump them into the pits. This room proved incredibly challenging for the more skill and sword-oriented guardians and Dermus was left unconscious in the room after the first time the guardians visited it.

The phantasm room had a sun painted on the floor, leading to twilight scenes upon the walls, and a night sky painted on the ceiling. In the middle of the sun was a pedestal holding a book. The book (labeled the Paramnesiac Tome) was the subject of an illusory script (Core Rulebook, pg. 299) effect, thankfully only triggered to prevent tieflings from reading it, and written on the first page was the warning, “Watch your step when stepping out of line.” The remaining pages were all blank. Anybody attempting to go through a door other than the one that brought them to this room would be momentarily attacked by a vicious phantasm. The first time the guardians visited this room, Singéd grabbed the tome and Leokas fell prey to a phantasm.

The shadow room was all black and under a darkness (Core Rulebook, pg. 263) effect, as well as containing a pair of hungry darkmantles. This room proved challenging for those without darkvision, but they nevertheless managed to defeat the darkmantles.

The guardians at some point split up and begun wandering through different doors, making it all the more difficult to figure out the secret of the Spire, but eventually they put all the pieces together and escaped. Unfortunately, only one of the students managed to make it out of the pattern room conscious, and the guardians had to exit the Spire down eleven students and Dermus. Only Sander succeeded in bringing a student outside to safety on his own. When the guardians finally escaped, a frantic Sariyah Thaqib—freshly branded across his eye with the symbol of Mèng Mèi—approached them, screaming that he’d managed to escape Zhong Chèng‘s clutches and demanding to know what happened to the students. Upon learning they were stuck in the pattern room, he and several of the guardians made their way back inside to rescue them and get them out before Zhong Chèng returned. Unfortunately, one of the students didn’t survive his fall, and the entire incident ended up looking really bad for the Mithral Guard.

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Horses and Frogs and Walnuts, Oh My!

Characters: Kay, Kijiki, Lazlo Wilcox Buford, XIII, Sander, X, the Assassin
GM: Shawn Bonsky

Horses and Frogs and Walnuts, Oh My!

Kijiki decided to return to his kingdom, Smallish, and deal with the 4 legged beasts that were terrorizing his peasants. He brought with him an oddball crew assigned to him by the brilliant tactician Sir Derrick Hammersham. On their arrival most of them partook of the feast offered up to their returning king and they immediately set out to the lair of the monsters. The lair held many mysteries including an evil witch, a king of monsters, and even an ogre behind a curtain! Sadly, X, the assassin fell to the witches charms in the dark depths of the cavern. Funeral services will be held on next Alsday. Sander proved himself a capable fighter and defeated all the forces almost singlehandedly, aided only by the insightful planning of Kijiki. In the end it turned out that some of the monsters were in fact friendly horses that simply desired a pillow to lie on and Kijiki, the ever graceful king, decided to pardon their offenses and gave them jobs in his kingdom so that they might live productive lives.

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Spy and Rescue

Characters: Daa Smith, Gaunt Lawson, Leokas Gellantra, Lucifer Sanchez, the Neighslayer, Müjin
GM: Gil Johnson

It is autumn in Eqtis, and as the temperature drops in the southern continent, the roaming tribes of Central Kallmenshrike gather to prepare for the hard winter. As food and fresh water become more difficult to obtain, the tribes turn to raids on bordering regions to survive the dark months.

Almost two months ago, the council of Baltis commissioned five Mithral Guardians to attend the tribal mete and to offer gifts—sacrifices the tribes could offer to the gods and the land to ensure success in coming battles. The five initiates failed to return on schedule, and as concern grew, a raven familiar belonging to Initiate Karasu Arashi arrived, exhausted and battered, to deliver a short message before it breathed its last, “help.”

And so, early that morning, Adept Chan-Ming Tumat barrelled unceremoniously into the cramped initiate bunks, and thumped awake the first initiates he spotted in the room. Soon, Daa Smith, Gaunt Lawson, Lucifer Sanchez, Müjin, and Leokas Gellantra were following, blurry-eyed, as Chan-Ming wheeled the corners of the Mithral Guard headquarters, barking orders as he walked.

Perhaps moved by the urgency of their business or perhaps thrown by Chan-Ming’s brusque manner, the five initiates asked no questions, and set off at once on horseback for the northern borders of Kallmenshrike, formulating a plan as they traveled. At the border they talked their way into accompanying the first mercenary expedition they encountered, a group of lumberjacks who claimed to know the woods well.

But a few days into the woods, Leokas became certain they were becoming lost and led the party into the woods. Leokas became less certain as they traveled, and by nightfall was sure he too was lost. The party attempted to retrace their steps but someone, or something, had covered their tracks behind them—they were being followed. The party did their best to calm the now panicked and angry lumberjacks, and made camp. Familiar with stories of monsters in Kallmenshrike who would ignore, or even protect, travelers if given offerings of gold or food, each party member left a gold piece on a nearby stump. What could it hurt?

In the middle of the night, a stone giant poked its way into the camp, glanced around, and when shown the gold by a terrified Leokas—then on watch—smiled, took the gold, and before leaving, pointed out a colony of dire bats roosting just above where the guardians had camped. The giant surveyed the party again, and must have thought them pretty sad, because he reached up and smashed a few of the bats himself before wandering back into the dark. The guardians dispatched the remaining bats and rested until morning, when—with some trial and error—they found their way back to a road. Staying with the lumberjacks another day, they then followed their directions to a nearby tribal camp.

On finding the camp of the Fireback goblin tribe, the guardians were challenged by a group of angry hobgoblins determined to refuse them entrance, but were able to talk their way into the camp. Once inside, they met Father Fireback, a hulking hobgoblin covered with battlescars. Father Fireback was clearly distrustful, but admitted he had met the group of lost guardians. After careful negotiation, he said he had at first welcomed the guardians as guests, but when they pestered him to give detailed information on the tribe’s other campsites, and the locations of the tribal mete and other tribes’ regular hunting grounds, Father Fireback grew suspicious. He eventually determined, through angry questioning, that his guests had been instructed to ask all they could about tribal movements, and based on the kinds of questions, he believed those questions were meant to gather information neighbouring countries could use to predict where the Kallmenshrike tribes would launch their winter raids. Fireback was at an impasse; he felt obligated by tribal tradition to protect his guests, but he wanted them gone before they could discover anything that might damage his tribe, or his neighbours. Father Fireback had, he said, sent the other party home, with an escort to keep them safe. He was reluctant to say anything about it because he had also sent home the gifts they brought, and in doing so, he worried he might have angered the gods.

In attempting to alleviate this anger, Father Fireback had sent as escorts young teenage goblins, who would not be returning to the tribe for some time anyway, as it was time for them to be sent out as vildechaya, wild children who would live in packs with children from other tribes, learning to hunt and survive in the wild, before returning as adults to the tribes to be married or otherwise settled into tribal life. This way, the escorts could not bring the anger of the gods or the giants back to the tribe. He had no idea they had failed to see their charges to the border.

So Father Fireback sent one of his best trackers north with the party in the morning, to help find their friends. It wasn’t long before they found the remains of a battle, the corpses of two Mithral Guardians—partly eaten by animals—and tracks of a large group who had dragged the rest into the woods. The Fireback escort ran back to his camp to report what had happened, and Leokas led the party into the woods to save anyone who might be still alive.

Along the trail, Leokas and Daa spotted pieces of troll meat, and eventually came to a rocky pit where another Mithral Guardian had been tossed in and eaten by a troll. Pressing on, they found a troll arm, and after Leokas stopped to examine the arm and determine it was only recently severed, they continued, believing they were close to catching up to whatever had happened. Unfortunately, the first thing they encountered was the now one-armed troll, but feeling they were too close to turn back, the five charged the troll and—after a short brutal fight—put it down, and burned its remains. Lucifer tried to keep the spine as a souvenir, but observed the spine regrowing muscle and, afraid of having a new troll to deal with, threw the spine into the fire.

Soon afterward, the guardians caught up with a pack of vildechaya, who were brutalizing and torturing Initiates Corgi Coggi and Karasu Arashi, believing them to be enemies, better off dead. After netting a few of the vildechaya and chasing off the leaders, Daa and Müjin convinced the rest to release Corgi and Karasu in exchange for their own netted companions, but not before extracting from them the vital information on tribal movements that had caused so much trouble in the first place. Pleased with a job well done, Leokas, Corgi, Daa, Lucifer, Müjin, Karasu and Gaunt made a hasty retreat for the border, and home.

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Return to Waldon Mountain

Characters: Daa Smith, Fligga Aningsdotter, Jimmy Black, Juan Draper, Leokas Gellantra, Singéd Brough, Sir
GM: Adam Friedman

Lord Barrister Lucas von Frownley of the Mithral Guard sent Daa Smith, Fligga Aningsdotter, Jimmy Black, Leokas Gellantra, Juan Draper, Singéd Brough, and Sir to Lijden to deliver a secret message to Lord Hamells while at the wedding of Ser Walter Waldon and Lady Alice Jost.

After “helping” an old farmer and his sons during a terrible storm, the group made their way to the wedding where they learned Lord Hamells had fallen ill during his travels. After bribing their way into the castle to see the sickly Hamells, they found they could not deliver their message nor get a reply as Lord Hamells was feverish and dying. Leokas, Singéd, and Sir stayed to take care of Lord Hamells while the rest of the group went to try and find out what happened to him.

The following morning, Fligga, Juan, and Jimmy volunteered to look for the sealed message that went missing in the night, so they could deliver it as instructed. They “found” it in the stables under the hoof of a large warhorse, and as it had been crushed and the seal broken they took a peek at the letter, learning of the threat of a vaerguhl at the wedding. As they returned to the castle they encountered what could only be the work of this vaerguhl, Lord Fendrel Preston’s throat was torn out and his face and body were covered with claw marks.

After learning what they could about vaerguhls, Juan, Singéd, and Fligga used alchemical and divine means to root out the creature and found that the vaerguhl was one of the bride’s brothers, Ser Bromm Jost, sworn sword to the elder Lord Waldon, father of the groom and ruler of Castle Waldon. Instead of attacking Lord Waldon’s knight, the group gathered what information they could on Ser Bromm and vaerguhls in general, sent for a healer to care for the dying Lord Hamells, and spread rumours among the servants that Ser Bromm was a flesh-eating monster before leaving to report back to Lord Barrister Lucas von Frownley, but not before Daa could make a fool of himself in a joust with none other then Ser Bromm. On the road away from the castle, they found the body of the messenger they sent to get a healer.

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Redcap Cornered

Characters: Daa Smith, Gaunt Lawson, Müjin, Necrawl, Valentine
GM: Benn Roe

The Mithral Guard was called upon by Arcania University‘s Suku Futsutsuka Migoto of Gaiku Senjo to rescue his daughter, who had been abducted from her bedroom the previous afternoon. They were dispatched by seeker Anisah Rahimah as quickly as possible and arrived late at night to begin investigating. Rahimah had warned them that the kidnapper had asked for Daa Smith by name, and sure enough the kidnapper’s note read “bring me Daa Smith of Mithral Guard or Esa dies,” signed the Blood Red Poet. After grilling Migoto for details, the guardians decided to investigate Esa’s room, at which point they found a huge weapon-made gash in the wall beneath the window through which she was taken. Upon further inspection, they found an inscription in the gash, which read “through the forest / and to the eye of the cave / your dreams will hunt you,” and accompanied the image of an open eye. This inscription, like the note, was written in a luminescent red ink.

The guardians got the name of a ranger named Mokai from Suku Migoto and paid him a visit. He told them all he could about the Waking Eye and how to get there, warning them that physics don’t always apply in the Eye and pleading with them to trust their imaginations more than their senses. He also provided them with a compass before sending them on their way. Before heading into the forest that would take them to the Waking Eye, they stopped at a tavern called the Weeping Pixie to ask around with regard to the Blood Red Poet. Finding no help, they entered the woods.

After an hour or so in the woods, the guardians were ambushed by a pair of leprechauns named Seamus and Aloysius, who tried to run off with the compass, but were ultimately pacified by some recently purchased booze. The leprechauns had heard of the Blood Red Poet, calling him Flannagan Taog, and explaining that “blood red poet” was simply the common translation for the aklo name Flannagan Taog.

Upon reaching the edge of the forest, the guardians quickly realized they had entered the Waking Eye and everything was strange but at the same time curiously familiar. They began by following a red brick path and ended up riding on the back of a flying whale. Necrawl crawled down through the whale’s blowhole and soon everyone was standing on a gigantic whale tongue. Here the guardians met and fought a very bad dog named Timothy (and sometimes Franklin) who claimed both to be the protector of the dream realm and its destroyer. He had a nasty bite and a disposition for disappearing, but the guardians managed to get the better of him. Shortly thereafter they realized that the whale’s mouth was actually a cave, which they entered. Inside the cave, the guardians encountered a blindheim who seemed curiously intelligent, but who leapt over them in pursuit of food after briefly blinding Gaunt.

In this cave, Daa Smith began to get the feeling that his history was being erased and that maybe he was really Daa Brown. Many of the guardians’ hopes and fears seemed, in fact, to be materializing in one form or another, leading ultimately to the falling of the guardians through a gigantic hourglass. At the base of this hourglass, they found a door guarded by a voidworm. They defeated and captured the protean and made their way through the door into another cave. At the end of this cave they finally encountered Flannagan Taog, the Blood Red Poet, and managed to rescue Esa Migoto from his clutches. From Taog they learned that someone was after a sample of Daa Smith‘s blood, and had hired him to extract it. Though he had failed in doing so, he had proven himself a worthy adversary, and the guardians recommended he get in touch with the Mithral Guard to see about enlisting. They returned Esa safely and did much to repair the Guard’s standing with the Suku-Ru of Arcania University.

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Water, Water Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink

Characters: Iyad, Kijiki, Lior, Oric, Sander, Iyad
GM: Shawn Bonsky

Water, Water Everywhere, and Not a Drop to Drink.
A request came in to the office and in particular the desk of the ever charming Sir Derrick Hammersham recently. The request was badly water damaged and almost illegible and required many minutes of scrutiny to decipher. Sir Derrick in his wisdom sent out a call for seasoned adventurers to deal with this were-sea that was harassing the decent people of Duke ¿d±¿q¿ ¬¿°a¿. Seeing as how the destination was near Smallish, King Kijiki and his trusted manservant Sander were assigned the task in a bid to improve their relations with surrounding countries.

On their arrival in Smallish the group learned that their destination lay somewhere in the Emptylands to the north of Smallish. They set out immediately for the cave where Dustbringer, the legendary axe, was said to dwell. The cave was full of nasty monsters of course, and of course those monsters met their fate at the hands of Sander and the eager young recruit Lior. In the far reaches of the subterrane their dwelt a twisted gnome, the owner of Dustbringer. Long years of abstaining from water had evidently wrecked his mind as well as his body and the adventurers were forced to slay the wretch. Iyad, one of the bravest halflings i have ever met, took it upon himself to be the wielder of the cursed axe, for indeed Dustbringer would not allow its possessor to drink any water and in fact it forced Iyad to destroy all water nearby.

After securing the blighted hatchet they set out for the lands of Duke ¿d±¿q¿ ¬¿°a¿ in the land to the north of the Emptylands. The dukes men were sorely pressed and near defeat when Iyad hefted his star-crossed blade and strode out mightily in the were-sea. It was a fearsome battle and Iyad was forced back to solid land a few times, but in the end right won over might and the were-sea was destroyed and our mithral guardians were the heroes of the day. The Duke was pleased with their performance and threw a feast in their honor, but they declined stating they had pressing business in Baltis.

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Hydra? Damn Near Kildra

Characters: Daa Smith, Daken, Jimmy Black, Juan Draper, Lucifer Sanchez, the Neighslayer, Ursula
GM: Adam Friedman

After being told they would be escorting their superior officer, Lord Barrister Lucas Von Frownley, to Burz for the Đåksgiving Day Parade as bodyguards, Daa Smith, Daken, Jimmy Black, Juan Draper, Lucifer Sanchez and Ursula had concerns that this might not be an official mission. As it turned out, they were right.

Frownley had them running around meeting with some shady characters around Burz. After being attacked by what seemed to be simple thugs, the group escorted Frownley to the Crippled Donkey Inn to meet with one last informant. He and Frownley met in a private room while the group stood guard outside the door. Juan kept his ear to the door but couldn’t make out much, until Frownley called for Lucifer to come into the room and close the door. He entered but refused to close the door, at which point it shut on its own and the short man suggested that Lucifer end Frownley‘s life. While the thought had crossed Lucifer’s mind—and even been suggested by him earlier—his actions were not his own, and—like a puppet—he was forced to kill his commanding officer. The short man shed his skin and a serpentine form made of shadow slipped out of the open window behind him, while the skin on the floor flaked and peeled, only to fade away a few moments later.

After taking the a bag of gold that was left in the room, as well as Frownley‘s necklace, Lucifer let the rest of the group into the room. From the window, Juan and Jimmy spotted the short man (human skin and all) making his escape down the side streets behind the inn. Jumping, climbing, and/or falling from the window, the group gathered in the ally, fixed Ursula’s newly broken jaw, and set about tracking down the sinister snake.

Their chase led them to a basement that had a drain into the sewers of the city, down some stinky sewer tunnel, and through a secret door. After following the steps on the other side of the door, they found themselves in a vast under-city, populated by crumpling ziggurats and stone towers, waterfalls made from sewage above, and a thick, sticky slime all over the floor. Thanks to the slime, tracking was simple, but there was also evidence of other things having moved about down here, some of which seemed very big.

It was a five-headed alligator covered in fungus that gave the group their first taste of the dangers of the ancient Hethish ruins, but solid teamwork and a few devastating swings of Daa‘s chain put the creature down just long enough for Lucifer to cut it open and rip out its spine. Both Daken and Ursula took some large eggs they found in the creature’s home. After crossing a large slime filled gap, the group found a ruined ziggurat that was home to a floating, pulsing boulder. On a nearby throne was the cloak worn by the man they had been chasing, and on the floor in a puddle of melted gold and a triangle of fine silvery dust was a gem given to Frownley by one of his informants just before they were attacked by thugs.

Daken put on the cloak, most of the group shifted about nervously, and Juan casually placed the gem into a small hole in the side of the boulder. An intense heat filled the room as Juan was frozen in place and everyone’s attempts to move him failed. As his flesh started to blister, there was a flash of heat and blinding red light and he was thrown across the room, his arm a burnt ruin, and his clothes and hair gone, clinging to life with raspy, shallow breaths.

Daa‘s curiosity got the better of him as he then picked up the gem, ready to give it a try. Armed with the cloak Daken had found, Daa placed the gem into the boulder. It wasn’t long before everyone realized the mistake they had made and started to step back. It was over in a few seconds, his body bursting into a fine silvery powder, the cloak he was wearing gently floating away to land where they found it on the throne.

Taking the gear Daa had removed, the group led a blinded Juan from the under-city, and using the sewers they made their way to the city limits to try to flee. As they left the sewers Ursula‘s egg began to shift and squirm. Worried it might hatch and give them trouble, she tossed it into the sewers. After a day or so, Daken started to feel very cold and soon realized the cloak from the throne was cursed. After catching up with the traveling parade from the celebration in Burz and bartering services with a cleric, Daken was able to have the curse lifted. To everyone’s astonishment, Daa—naked as the day he was born and with blank, milky-white eyes—walked into town the following day as the parade was getting ready to move on.

The Mithral Guard is looking into the murder of Lucas Von Frownley, and has assigned Magistrix Palutia Bane to oversee all Mithral Guard action in and around Lijden.

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Horror of Heffalump

Characters: Dermus Danviel, Duck, Gaunt Lawson, Iyad, Lior, Oric
GM: James McTeague

The guardians were called into the office of Kevaver Trannith, one of the adepts who handles jobs for the Tolston Collective. Kevaver gave them information regarding the town of Heffalump’s Hollow, and explained that the town constantly blames its troubles on Đåk’fölg’gn’nß because in the history of the town (as written in the Book of Heffalump), Đåk’fölg’gn’nß killed Mifraz, the most famous person to hail from their humble town. Kevaver explained that the guardians were being sent to Heffalump’s Hollow to handle the problem of a house that was supposedly haunted by Đåk’fölg’gn’nß, but probably wasn’t.

The guardians geared up and departed for Heffalump’s Hollow to check on the haunted house. There, they were greeted by a scarred hafling at the gate, who brought them to Seaster Daleborn, the town elder. Seaster told them the house was scaring everyone, and that they needed to do something about it, but refused to accept that anything other than Đåk’fölg’gn’nß could be the cause. After a little bit of research in the Book of Heffalump, the guardians made their way to the house.

The house certainly didn’t look friendly. It was covered with pictures of a black gauntlet surrounded by yellow petals, and an apparition floated in front of one of the second story windows. They called out to the ghost, who warned them they would be sent to eternal sleep if they didn’t leave immediately. This threat was amplified by the dead human on the path to the front door. Dermus decided he was going to try to climb on the outside to look in the window guarded by the ghost, but he drew a little too much attention and a small figure inside blasted him with a cone of fire which left him barely hanging onto the edge, and barely hanging onto life.

After climbing down, the guardians bickered about how they should enter the building. Duck was all for entering through the front door, while Dermus and Iyad wanted to explore the tall grass at the side of the house. Iyad and Oric tied a rope between them and entered the grassy area. No sooner was this done than they were ambushed by flowers with skulls on each petal. They dispatched the plants, but not before Iyad was beaten by the fence in an effort to wake him.

The guardians eventually decided to go in through the front door. Before going too far in the house, however, Dermus pulled up the rug to reveal a pit hidden beneath it. They left the rug in the foyer and went in to the next room—a dining room which was set with ten place settings. Gaunt warned the guardians that the table was magically trapped, and he was proven correct when they attempted to leave only to have the silverware fly off the table toward them. Gaunt grabbed the rug from the foyer and used it to trap the flying silverware, while Duck and Oric tossed alchemist fire underneath.

The guardians then proceeded to make their way into the kitchen, at which point they discovered that the oven had been rigged to spout flame at those passing by. After the first activation, Gaunt disabled it for easy passage. Further exploration then turned up food and other supplies in the storage basement, which seemed unusual for a supposedly abandoned house.

Rather than venture upstairs, the guardians then decided to check out the final unexplored room on the ground floor. A little reconnaissance through the outside window showed a sunroom with skeletons on the lounge chairs. The skeletons weren’t moving, so the guardsmen decided they would open the door slightly and see if Oric and Iyad could use mage hand (Core Rulebook, pg. 306) to remove the swords from the skeletons’ grasps. Upon so doing, the skeletons rose and attacked them, provoking the guardians to crowd into the small room to fight them. They were then surprised when the death of each skeleton resulted in massive explosion, quickly turning the room into a fiery death trap as well as a skeleton ambush. Three people went under at some point during the fight, but Iyad’s healing abilities kept everyone alive.

At this point, most of the guardians headed upstairs while Dermus and Gaunt Lawson went outside to try to climb in through a window. Upon heading upstairs, the guardians found a trio of redcaps waiting for them. The fight was looking grim—especially after Lior charged in, only to be taken out by the swipe of a redcap’s sword—when Duck fell through a hole left by one of the redcaps. However, a well-timed charm person (Core Rulebook, pg. 254) spell—cast by Iyad on the “cleric” of Đåk’fölg’gn’nß—turned the tide for the guardians, leading them to victory.

Upon interrogation of the redcaps, the guardians discovered that the haunting had been at the behest of a number of men in brown robes, paying top gold piece. The redcaps obliged, despite being unsure who the men were. Inspection of the ghost revealed it to be a major image (Core Rulebook, pg. 311) produced by a machine that could read messages from inserted parchment and pass them along to the image. So, in the end, the guardians went home successful, having ended the threat to Heffalump’s Hollow.

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