This weekend we are traveling back to Varisia to reconvene our old, on-going GURPS campaign set in the wonderful world of Varisia. I put together a campaign recap for the players since it has been like 2 years since we have played and we kinda dropped off right in the middle of the action (should have planned that a little better, I think!)
Recent Campaign Summary
The most recent adventures of the Heroes of Sandpoint started less than 2 weeks ago in Magnimar, back on Starday, 29th of Lamashan. The Heroes had met with Shelia Heidmarch, the leader of the local Pathfinder lodge after completing their quest to find the Shard of Greed in Magnimar. She gave them an Ioun Stone that would activate the Shard and suppress its curse and give its owner a vision of where the next Shard was. Daellin, who had possession of the Shard of Greed, saw that the next Shard, the Shard of Lust, was located somewhere inside the Lady’s Light, an ancient monument about 50 miles away in the Mushfens. Shelia said she would work on finding transportation and help for this voyage.
On Sunday, 30th of Lamashan, the group met with Vosk, a Half-Orc Pathfinder that had some experience with the Mushfens and would accompany them on their quest to find the Shard. He introduced them to a contact, a crazy street prophet that gave them the name of a local witch who lived near the Lady’s Light and might be of some assistance.
On Moonday, 1st of Neth, the group departed Magnimar on a ship bound for Korvosa and other ports south. After a day of sailing, they were dropped off at the nearest landing spot, still several miles from the Lady’s Light, but much closer than walking from Magnimar. In short time, they found the home of Maroux, the Half Orc witch and made contact. She agreed to let them stay near her hut in exchange for a favor.
The next day, Toilday, 2nd of Neth, the group ran an errand for Maroux to gather some hard to get seaweed from a nearby shoal. In the process, they came across a shipwreck with some undead abominations and dispatched them, gathering some sunken treasure as well. Maroux was pleased with the seaweed gathered and shared much information. She told of the ongoing war between the inhabitants of the Lady’s Cape, a tribe of Lizardmen and their rivals, a tribe of Boggards (frog-like beings.) She also told them of the Grey Maidens, a group of all female knights from Korvosa who had recently come to the swamps looking to loot Runelord Sorshen’s treasure in order to rebuild their order and reclaim Korvosa for their recently dead queen. Maroux also explained that there were numerous underground tunnels beneath the Cape that were rumored to lead to an underground complex beneath the Lady’s Light and that was the only way to enter the monument. She said these rumors were verified to her when Oriana, the leader of the Grey Maidens returned to Maroux a few weeks later in an attempt to recruit the witch into their order. Oriana told her how they had found the tunnels, entered the dangerous and trap filled complex and discovered that the Runelord Sorshen was still alive and running the place after all these years. Oriana was incensed when Maroux declined her offer. The group decides their best course is to try to enter the underground tunnels through a cave not controlled by either of the warring tribes, but one that Maroux cautions may be the home of “something big and nasty.”
On Wealday, 3rd of Neth, the Heroes head out, searching for the entrance to the Lady’s Light. In their search, they came across a battlefield with numerous decapitated Lizardmen and signs that the Boggards may have had help from, if not weapons supplied by the Grey Maidens. Kallin spoke to the spirit of a slain Lizardman priest about the cavern they were searching for. The spirit told them of the Cave of Many Mouths, as he called it and told them to seek out Gegganallag to help them in their quest.
Following the Lizardman spirit’s advice, they found the cavern and quickly learned that it was inhabited by a hydra! After a prolonged battle of blade, scale, tooth and fire, the Heroes finally defeated the hydra, who slinked off into the nearby bog bearing many serious wounds. Much treasure was gathered at the area and it was decided to camp for the night in the hydra’s lair to heal up and get some rest.
The following day, Oathday, 4th of Neth, the group buried all their accumulated treasure and headed into the cavern, looking for the tunnel that lead to the Lady’s Light. They found it and followed it for some distance until reaching a large underground chamber with several tunnels coming together. Signs of Thassalonian presence were seen here, confirming that the group was on the right track. Choosing a tunnel that did not bear signs of Lizardfolk or Boggard signs, they headed to the west toward their goal. The passage was difficult to traverse and took some time but eventually they made it to a large, domed chamber with a dark shaft in the center and ringed by columns bearing statues of the Runelord of Lust. Further exploration triggered a trap setting the ancient statues to attacking them. After a brief battle, the statues were defeated and the group studied the shaft, which appeared to be filled with magical darkness.
After some experimentation and with the help of magic and strong climbing rope, the group made their way down the shaft and found themselves in what appeared to be a burial chamber. Ehlyna fell during the climb but found that some ancient magic gently and silently lowered her to the ground safely. The stone sarcophagus was decorated to look like Runelord Sorshen. Inside lay a living and breathing Runelord, fast asleep. Daellin touched her expensive looking jewelry and was immediately stricken with an illusion that seemed to nearly kill him. They closed it up and moved on.
The group found and traversed an underground river, found some graves marked with shields painted with the rune of lust, fought an animated glass statue, explored more underground tunnels decorated with images of Sorshen and numerous wanton sexual encounters. They fought and killed a highly skilled and equipped vampire like being, though he was not an Undead menace, though Vosk did stake the dead body, just in case. They passed a hall of pillars with dangerous spider-legged heads that shot paralyzing bolts. They defeated some and used magic and stealth to sneak past the rest. Vosk got stuck in the bottom of a spiked pit trap but was saved. They met an incubus demon that could not let them pass because he had been ordered so by his mistress, Runelord Sorshen. He told them of a battle here a month ago between some of his kind and the Grey Maidens. Not wanting to be defeated and sent back to the Abyss, but unable to allow any to pass unless he was defeated, he suggested an arm wrestling competition. Ehlyna was able to beat him and he allowed them to pass.
Next the group entered the Sanctuary of the Grey Flame and inadvertently set off a trap summoning a swarm of tiny, orb-like demons. The demons were defeated and the way forward was explored, along with some secret passages. Daellin sets off an icy blast trap and the party is nearly killed. They find what the think to be a safe chamber and rest and heal for some time.
On Fireday, 5th of Neth, they press on, trying to be more careful to not set off any more traps. They explore numerous more rooms, mostly empty. The find an area of what appear to be labs and workrooms. They find some useful items and Vexeron mis-identifies some grey ooze as a useful substance. The group then encounters a room with some unfinished magic. Upon further examination, a powerful, otherworldly worm like beast is summoned to the room and immediately attacks. The fiend is defeated and some more magical loot is taken. Realizing that they had scoured this entire area, the group backtracks through the Sanctuary of Grey Flame and heads down a previously unexplored passage. They were momentarily stopped, but in time, figured out another magical trigger to open the way forward. By kissing the feet of Sorshen on a mural, they found themselves teleported, one by one, to another location.
The group finds themselves on another sandy beach near an underground lake or river. A waterfall plummets down into the water near them and several row boats are tied off. A pier and door can be seen across the lake so they head that way. The boat riders were assailed by underwater ghasts who tried to pull everyone into the lake, but once again the heroes were victorious and made their way to the large red door they had seen across the lake. They entered the next area and were accosted by a giant, bipedal dragon of some sort. Strangely enough, the draconic giant said it was Sorshen the Runelord of Lust and demanded they all pay homage to her. At first the Heroes went along with this demand but soon enough battle ensued. Several giant monitor lizards appeared and helped the draconic giant but it was not enough. After defeating the occupants of this room, it was determined that there were no other ways out and it seemed safe and defensible so the group pulled the boats in and bedded down for the night. Vexeron spends some time analyzing some of the recently found magical gear.
The next day, Starday, 6th of Neth, they head back out and take their boats further into the underground lake. They rowed through a narrow part with numerous niches and ledges holding dead and mangled bodies, some of them relatively fresh. Daellin, flying alongside the boats, disturbed a couple of ghoul bats but they were quickly run off. Next they crossed another wide underground lake that was cursed to cause everyone to be filled with the desire to get to the far side as fast as possible, sometimes by stripping down naked and diving in the water. Daellin, flying and not constrained by the boat, flew away quickly. As several folk dove in, some large, aggressive eels showed up. Kallin and Samad were magically pulled from the water and incapacitated but Vosk was lost to the eels, never to be seen again.
Ahead of the rest of the group, Daellin found a beach and a concealed door that led to a cavern that looked like it had seen a lot of recent traffic and was loaded down with fishing gear. Still under the compulsion and wanting to make sure this area was secure before his companions arrived, Daellin pushed on and interrupted a dinner party of 6 Grey Maidens, who demand his immediate surrender. He tried his Elven charm and attempted to talk his way out of things but it does not work and he finds himself the victim of some mind controlling magic and is taken prisoner and disarmed. As one of the Maidens reaches for him, he Blinks away, behind one of the many doors in this chamber and begins a hasty plan to escape with limited resources and magical reserves. He goes invisible just before one of the Maidens opens the door to look and is undetected. He then hears the Maidens in the other room shouting and preparing for battle and the Elf assumes his companions had finally made it to the nearby shore.
The rest of the crew finally made it to the beach, hoping to find Daellin there, but only found a handful of armored knights ready to repel them. Kallin and Samad were still knocked out and the Grey Maidens called for a halt and tried to make the group turn around and row back the way they came. A parley ensued and the Maidens allowed the group to land their boats to tend to their wounded, but then quickly launched an offensive. The Maidens proved to be skilled and formidable foes but eventually they were driven back and forced to surrender.
The Grey Maidens, all beautiful female knights from Korvosa all bearing some unique and horrific facial scarring, were taken prisoner and forced into the same storeroom Daellin had recently hidden in. It was soon discovered that there was some dissension between some members of the Maidens. They had been working with who they believed to be Runelord Sorshen though many members were currently unaccounted for and some thought their leadership had possibly been magically charmed. Many Maidens believed that their original mission had been compromised or abandoned altogether and they wanted to leave but others showed unwavering loyalty to their leader Oriana, and now to the Runelord. Some Maidens were now beginning to doubt that it was actually the Runelord herself and possibly someone just pretending to be, though clearly with great power to backup her claim.
The heroes were given detailed descriptions of the adjacent rooms and they quickly checked them out, finding some teleportation magic nearby. Daellin managed to trigger the teleporter and found himself in another chamber surrounded by several armed Sinspawn who were not falling for his attempts at trickery. The Elf quickly teleports back to where he came from.
The group decides to explore the other nearby passages first before heading through the teleporter and battling more Sinspawn. They find some hidden passageways, some trapped rooms and more sinister magic items. Some of the Grey Maidens make a plea to be let go and pledge not to fight or interfere with the Heroes’ actions as long as they are permitted to leave when they do. The offer a little more information and 4 Maidens are set free, though a few others are still held captive.
The next day, Sunday, the 7th of Neth, the freed Maidens tell the Heroes about some natural caverns near the beach where some of their sisters had been taken by Sorshen and never returned. The Heroes agree to go check the tunnels out and look for the other Maidens. They find one of the Maidens, albeit, dead and tortured by Daefu, an evil Sea Hag that seems to be in league with Sorshen. The group battles the Sea Hag and her aquatic Gremlin minions and eventually defeat her. They bring the dead Maiden back along with some gathered treasure and spend the rest of the day resting and allowing Kallin to rebuild the strained bond with his goddess, Pharasma.
The Heroes spend the next two days, Moonday the 8th and Toilday the 9th of Neth resting.
On Wealday, the 10th of Neth, the group returns to the Golden Gallery and makes plans to teleport to the next chamber and battle the Sinspawn there. They do so, and handily defeat the guards but not before one of them called some sort of alarm down a hallway, drawing a troop of demons summoning more demons and an invisible Sinspawn sorceress that nearly cuts Daellin in half with her polearm.
Next the group finds a grand ballroom filled by party goers and Runelord Sorshen herself, but it turns out it is all just an elaborate illusion and the room is empty. The proceed a few more rooms into the complex and are eventually ambushed by some more Grey Maidens, this group lead by the 2nd in command of the Knights, a powerful knight named Quenelle Page who commands her Knights ably. The Heroes quickly find themselves losing the fight but then manage to rally and push the knights back. Quenelle Page makes to retreat up a large spiral staircase in the middle of the chamber, but she is stopped and killed in the process. With this squad of Maidens defeated, the Heroes regroup at the base of the stairs and plan their next move.
Character illustrations below by +JeCorey Holder
Characters:Kallin Hawkril, Half-Orc shaman and budding Priest of Pharasma - played by +Daniel Ernst
Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by +Carol Coburn
Daellin Silvanthalas, Elven Farstrider Ranger - played by +Ben Lipe
Vexeron, Human wizard - played by Don K
Ehlyna Fuzziface - Dwarven Warrior - played by +Jodi H
Samad Aldhul, Human ex-mercenary - played by +JeCorey Holder
and +Jason Woollard as the DM