Wandered Roads 18

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 18
December 29, 2012

Campaign Timeline

The Skinsaw Man Cometh No More

Toilday, 11th of Lamashan

Once again the band of heroes has gathered to plan a trip to the haunted mansion of the Foxglove family, hoping to put an end to the murders and ghoulish menace that has cursed the good town of Sandpoint. While eating an early breakfast in the Rusty Dragon, the sheriff arrives. Immediately the gathered companions sigh, knowing he is bringing some other chore or bad news...

He greets them dourly and informs them that another murder has taken place. Olmur Davankus, the Halfling who runs the Grocer’s Guild Hall just around the corner from the Rusty Dragon. He is concerned that it will be difficult to keep the details of this murder quiet as Olmur was a very visible citizen. It is also of great concern to the sheriff that many in town know that Ehlyna has no love for Halflings and has even been seen publicly threatening to ‘kill’ her own companion, the Halfling Ellie and ‘eat her toes!’ He shares the details of the murder, which are nearly identical to the other ritual murders, down to another note addressed to Ehlyna. 

The group then gathered their gear had headed south for the haunted mansion. They
Ehlyna, by JeCorey
quickly descended to the sub-basement below the mansion and found a series of caverns and tunnels, some newly dug, that were filled with a strange, heavy breathing sound coming from further within. A handful of ghoulish guardians (a ghoulish dire bat and a group of Human ghouls) were encountered and dispatched before entering a large, cathedral sized cavern with the source of the ‘breathing’ sound. A 50 foot deep pit filled with foaming and frothing sea water was the source of the sound, and across the room, reachable by a narrow, wet ledge that spiraled around the room, was a stone door. As the group approached, they were set upon by another group of ghouls, this time several Goblin ghouls leaped from cleverly hidden spots and managed to split the party into several small groups. 

Eventually the group gets to the stone door and bursts in to find none other than Aldern Foxglove, presumed dead but very much UNDEAD. He was now a stinking, rotting ghoul, and he was waiting for them. He presented the group with a table full of various articles and items that had been pilfered away from Ehlyna over the course of the previous several weeks, items she had mistakenly been ‘found’ by Ellie, or simply misplaced. He invited Ehlyna to step forward so he could ‘bring her into the fold’ though she politely declined the offer and advanced on him with axes drawn. When the 2 engaged in melee, several more ghouls revealed themselves from dark hiding places and the battle was on. Aldern, also known as the Skinsaw Man, put his gross, leathery mask to his face and suddenly his face transformed
into Ehlyna’s visage. This enraged the Dwarven warrior and she pressed the attack. Aldern proved to be a very nimble and skilled combatant, even scoring 2 serious wounds on Ehlyna while managing to block, parry and dodge Ehlynas. After switching her tactics up a bit, Ehlyna was able to strike several critical blows which were too much for Aldern to withstand. Their foe was beaten, the other ghouls defeated and the party had won. 
The Skinsaw Man, formerly Aldern Foxglove

After the battle, Kallin was supernaturally attracted to a large patch of green and black fungus on the wall. He approached it and nearly began shoving fistfulls into his mouth, but he was able to resist. Anything valuable was gathered up from the room, including a set of keys with the Foxglove crest on it (and a large opal) and an interesting note to Aldern that was shuffled in with some explicit and erotic sketchings of Ehlyna.

The note read:

You have served us quite well. The delivery you harvested from the caverns far exceeds what I had hoped for. You may consider your debt to the Brothers paid in full. Yet I still have need of you, and when you awaken from your death, you should find your mind clear and able to understand this task more than in the state you lie in as I write this. 
You shall remember the workings of the Sihedron ritual, I trust. You seemed quite lucid at the time, but if you find after your rebirth that you have forgotten, return to your townhouse in Magnimar. My agents shall contact you there soon—no need for you to bother the Brothers further. I will provide the list of proper victims for the Sihedron ritual in two days’ time. Commit that list to memory and then destroy it before you begin your work. The ones I have selected must be marked before they die, otherwise they do my master no good and the greed in their souls will go to waste.
If others get in your way, though, you may do with them as you please. Eat them, savage them, or turn them into pawns—it matters not to me.
—Your Mistress, Wanton of Nature’s Pagan Forms

The Stalker's Mask
Also in the room was a clumsy painting of Ehlyna, apparently done by Aldern using blood and guts to paint over some other portrait in a fine frame. Brushing some of the grime away reveals it was a portrait of Iesha Foxglove, his recently slain wife.

The group thought it best to take some time and attempt to burn or destroy the green fungus, as it was somehow supernatural and linked to the hauntings of the house. After doing so, the group retreated back to Sandpoint, eager to let the Sheriff know that they had solved the Skinsaw Murders.

Continuing Story Doc

Continuing Story Summary

After some quick healing from the awkward Half-Orc shaman Kallin, the party glanced over the loot they had salvaged from the lower levels of Foxglove Mansion before heading back to Sandpoint. They had found a key ring with 2 keys on it. One bore the Foxglove family crest and the other was a slim and long key with the head of a roaring lion on the end of it. Leela showed off the gleaming longsword she had drug out of the caverns below. Philis the Red, one of the Iron Carnival mercenaries, looked at the sword and proclaimed that it was of excellent construction and not made of any common sword metal. They also had possession of Aldern's enchanted war razor that had recently ritually murdered several local victims as well as his enchanted arm bracer that had stopped several solid blows from Ehlyna. Then there was his mask. A horrific monstrosity of swen together flaps of flesh. While disgusting, it proved to be magical and that warranted a closer inspection. Finally, they had recovered a ring from Aldern's undead hand. This ring was jewel encrusted and also radiated magic. There were also a few bits of potentially valuable artwork that had been salvaged as well. Ehlyna snorted as they looked at these two objects again and began gathering her gear.

Eager to prove her innocence in the matter of the recent murders, Ehlyna takes the mask and gallops off toward Sandpoint ahead of everyone else. She gives the mask to the Sheriff and explains all that had transpired. 

At a more leisurely pace, the rest of the group heads back to Sandpoint. Once there, Vexeron immediately gets to work identifying the magical items. He estimates it will take him most of the night and possibly into the next day. Daellin goes to find the Sheriff and bring him up to speed on what had happened. Samad and Calina head to the Sandpoint Cathedral to get some healing from the Acolytes there. Kallin heads off to find somehwere to clean himself, realizing he is looking and smelling a bit more Orcish than Human these days. He asks Ameiko in the Rusty Dragon and she tells him that there are bathing services offered by the Inn, but then leads him up to her families large house just outside of town. She offers the use of the house to Kallin and the rest of the companions. He graciously accepts and gets himself cleaned up before heading out to the seaside cliffs for some meditation. 

Vexeron and Ehlyna have some drinks together and Ehlyna teaches him some Dwarven swears and curses. Leela heads to her room in the White Deer Inn on the north side of town and gets to drawing some more of the regional maps and such she has been working on for Shelia Heidamarch back in Magnimar. The head of the Pathfinder Society there had comissioned her for some detailed maps of the area, specifically with the locations of any Thassalionian ruins. While she had not discovered many of the ruins yet, she knew that this group of adventurers had intimate knowledge of several of them, and they may yet show her to them. First though, she stopped by the local bakery and bought a few tasty treats then took the longsword she had found to the local weapons dealer to get an appriasal on it. 

Drying some herbs
The group then meets for dinner and discusses their next plan. Obvious clues found in Aldern Foxgloves nefarious lair point to more evil emenating from the city of Magnimar to the south, and that was their next stop. But first, the issue of Ehlyna's axe and the demon beast still in Thistletop. It is agreed that the group will first head to Thistletop to wrap up those loose ends before departing for Magnimar.

Calina spends the night camping out of town and finds some herbs to make some herbal poultices for first aid. Vexeron continues to identify the magical items. ((Phew, writing a decent summary of a 22 page document can be tough...I highly suggest going to read the actual doc!)) The group moves their lodgings from the Rusty Dragon Inn to Ameiko's family house just outside of town at her request. 

Everyone busies themselves the following day, Wealday, 12th of Lamashan, buying potions, drying herbs, meditating, baking and eating sweets, doing guard duty, etc. Daellin goes to speak to Ilsoari Gandethus, the head of the local school, and learns some aobut the creature they were soon to face back at Thistletop. It was known as a Barghest. He learns some of the creature, its powes, its weaknesses, its history. Gandethus then asks Daellin if he could do him a favor, requiring a short trip to a nearby woods (see the 24 page Side Trek: Daellin Runs an Errand below).

Side Trek Story Doc
Daellin Runs an Errand

Ilsoari Gandathus asks Daellin to travel to Egan's Wood to recover an ancient tome that he
"I need you to get something for me"
believes lies in the ruins of Egan's shack. Learning that the Wood is known to be infested with spiders, some of immense size, Daellin visits the local apothecary to purchase some spiderbite antidote. He also agrees to bring back any spider specimens he can get his hands on. 

On his way there, he runs into a band of Desnan Pilgrims traveling north to the Windsong Abbey. He converses with a Paladin of Desna before heading on. He stops at several small communities along the way and runs into an ill fated adventurering party who had delved too deep into th Wishers Well and aroused a dangerous giant skull-scorpion creature. 

Eventually he makes it to Egan's Wood, a small tract of woods behind the Ashen Rise. He scouts through the woods and resorts to speaking to some squirells to get directions to Egan's Shack. Eventually he finds it and is accosted by giant spiders. Narrowly defeating them, he retrieves the book and also finds a well preserved Elvish bow stashed in the cottage as well. 

He makes his way back to Sandpoint, but just before he reaches the small town, night falls and he is ambushed by a pack of Ghouls. He briefly engages them, but relies on his trusty mount, Calafalas, to carry him past the pack and back safely to Sandpoint. 

Session Notes

This session was our first real big group i think, 7 of 8 of the players were present (and Megan has only been out recently due to some strange parasite that has been growing inside her belly, but that has resolved itself now, and we hope to see her at the table again!) The Continuing Story ran on for 22 pages this time, a far cry from the last few ones. Then Daellin wanted to do a little more adventuring, so we did a solo side trek that went on for another 24 pages.... phew, I was tired from so much typing! I really love the continuing stories and side treks we do online between the live sessions. It gives me such a chance to impart setting background and help the players flesh out their characters. Such a good time!

Characters Present:

Kallin Hawkril, Half-Orc shaman and budding Priest of Pharasma - played by +Daniel Ernst
Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by +Carol Coburn
Leela Cardnool, Gnome scout, cartographer and Illusionist - played by +Lisa Smith
Daellin Silvanthalas, Elven Farstrider Ranger - played by +Ben Lipe
Vexeron, Human wizard - played by +Greg Grady
Ehlyna Fuzziface - Dwarven Warrior - played by +Jodi H
Samad Aldhul, Human ex-mercenary - played by +JeCorey Holder
Ellie - Halfling Finder of Things - played by +Megan McCarron
and +Jason Woollard as the DM

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