Sundered Lands 58

The Sundered Lands of Palladium

Session 58
July 17 - August 5, 2017

Planning for a Trip

November 1st

Warning Essanos

Lavinia and the gathered companions make their plans to warn Essanos of the possible impending danger from the Savage Fever. Some ideas that have been floated about are going to the Dawn Council directly, contacting the Witch Wardens and alerting the local druids as well. 

Seeker eyes the team. “Based on what Brother and I have encountered, I think that Val, Silver, and Arn would do well going with Lavinia to talk to the Witch Wardens and Dawn Council. The folk here seem to distrust Wolfen. I could go talk to the druids, I guess. Sindri, you can give an eyewitness account of the terrible events at Kraken Cove to support the team. Ered, where do you see yourself fitting into all of this?”

Ered looks at Seeker with a quizzical look. “I go find Temple. Get sleep. Meditate.” With that he nods to everyone and smiles. He lingers near Silver for a moment, gazing upon her sparkling draconic scales. He bows slightly to her then walks on out the door. He stops and looks back over his shoulder, “Thanks to you,” he says and smiles before disappearing.

Lavinia speaks up again, “It has been a long couple of days, we have all been through a lot, let us rest and recover tonight before undertaking more stressful responsibility. Thank you all for your continued help and protection. I am sure I would not be here without your help.” She turns to Valinya and touches her arm softly. “Thank you again, so very much, for coming to my rescue. Thank you for saving Korra and driving those vile frogmen out of the manor. I am sorry that your big companion, Hrag, did not make it. I am sorry.” Tears fall from Lavinia’s eyes as she hugs the Elf sorceress.

Valinya keeps the hug a moment before holding Lavinia at arm’s length. “I’m glad I was able to help. I only wish I had come sooner. I’m truly sorry for all the losses.”

The druid considers how to address the problem and says, “First tonight I’ll hold council with my elders at the Bronzewood Lodge. The zombie worm infestation there that killed off Sings to Moon’s pack was similar in how it spread quickly through any species it infected - made the victims go crazy and attack everything around them and infected those they wounded. This at least can be cured - that couldn’t, but they managed to contain it and I believe wipe it out before it spread, so they should be able to offer advice on how to do the same here. Hopefully they can help contact others here in the region as well. I’ll be dreamwalking at night but able to help with things some during the day.” He looks at Lavinia and says, “I’m sorry miss but I think your neighbors are going to be a little irritable for a while. . .” He then turns to Valinya and asks, “Sis, we may need your insight in this - you know how to heal the fever and other healers may have questions for you that I won’t know how to answer. Please don’t be alarmed if we appear in your dreams these next few nights. It can take a little getting used to but it’s a very useful way to communicate over great distance.”

Valinya nods and says, “I am glad to explain what I can, though my form of weaving magic might not translate well into other styles. But anything I can do to help.”

Moonscar sets up his tent, draws his symbols, lays down and begins his ritual. Sings to Moon takes up a spot just outside the tent flap, as she commonly does when Moonscar is inside. The Kankoran Druid lays there, speaking the words and going through the motions of gathering the spirits he needs in order to Dreamwalk back to Bronzewood Lodge. Unfortunately, the spirits do not seem to be very helpful this evening. After close to 3 hours of trying, Moonscar finally gives up, realizing that tonight, this ritual will not happen. Dejected, he closes his eyes and goes to sleep.

November 2nd

A Busy Day Ahead

Moonscar wakes up the next morning feeling horrible. He experienced terrifying nightmares involving all his companions and loved ones, all infected with an extreme form of Savage Fever which included death by burning. The worst part was that Moonscar was the one infecting them all by smashing them in the head with an endless supply of Shadow Pearls! He tries to shake it as he rises and greets the day, but just cannot do it.

Seeker also experienced strange dreams during the night. He imagined being back in the north, near Nesme, hiking through the hills and forests of the area. He saw many of the rangers and hunters he had encountered there, though none of them paid him any mind as they seemed to be very busy and involved with something that Seeker could not figure out. Strangely, when Seeker awoke, he had some thistles stuck in the fur around his ankles.

Everyone else sleeps comfortably enough, though the thought of all the dead bodies to clean up this morning makes everyone just a bit uneasy. The large form of Hrag is going to be a difficult situation to deal with. And explaining the deaths of Red and her work crew may prove difficult to the authorities and their families.

Korra is busy putting together some food for breakfast and Lavinia is in the kitchen helping her, trying to keep the sadness from her face. Unfortunately, it seems as if the house itself, or at least all the dreadful things that have happened here recently, makes her sad. “Good morning, everyone,” she says with a false joy while bringing in a tray of fruit. “We have a busy day ahead of us, don’t we.” Her eyes dart to the nearby window that faces the small courtyard where Hrag’s large, black form can still be seen slumped near the small stream. Valinya noticeably sits so that her back is to the courtyard and does not look out there at all.

Seeker returns from his morning run as the breakfast commences. He bows slightly to Korra and takes a plate of Essanos breakfast to sit in a corner as the rest of the team assembles.

He rumbles his thoughts as he eats. He nods to Lavinia. “We do, indeed, ma’am.” He chews for a moment, his huge jaws and teeth making quick work of a small steak. “It seems like someone should go talk to the Watch as soon as possible. Once they are brought in, they will want to inspect the scene of the battle.” He clears his throat. “After that, they can help us take care of our fallen comrades.” He gets quiet as he reflects on their loss, and for a while the only sounds from Seeker involve chewing and swallowing.

Valinya remains quiet, eating slowly… but steadily as one plate then another disappears. Finally she gives a sigh. “I think I might, among other things, give some time to divining how we might be able to slow or avert a potential outbreak of the vile disease. It could be that I get a vision of a potential carrier and we can go prevent it from reaching here or spreading. If it does come, it could cause unimaginable chaos, especially given how rapidly it acts.”

Seeker sucks the marrow out of one last bone and ponders Valinya’s words. “Seems to me that the disease starts with the Shadow Pearl. Find the source of them, stop them, and the disease is not an issue.”

Valinya pauses before replying. “Maybe. It may have a magical origin but could easily be it’s own creation now, independent of needing to be sustained by some magic. Something like a thing that is summoned or created but doesn’t need constant magic to keep it around. I’d rather hedge on being careful.”

Seeker shrugs. “Makes sense. Sounds like a worthy project. Please let me know if I can assist you in it.” He stands and stretches. “I have some resupplying to accomplish before we leave. Should I tackle that this morning, be out of the manor when the guard arrives, or would you like me to stay for that? Lavinia?”

Silver, having shifted into her elven form first thing in the morning, seems interested in Seeker’s idea. “If you’d like company, I would prefer to stay clear of the guard as well.”

The rather haggard Kankoran gives up picking at his breakfast (he’d been chewing his tail at least as much as his food) and replies morosely, “I should go with you too. I need to pick up my knife from the enchanter’s.” He reaches out to lay his paw on Valinya’s hand saying softly, “Sis, I could sing the Resting Song or a more general farewell for our friend. I could also speak to him and ask what he would want since we don’t know his people’s customs. Let me know what you think.”

After finishing her meal Valinya slowly heads out towards the body of the slain Hrag. Steeling herself she forces herself to honor him by carefully looking at him. She stands there quite awhile, lost in thought before nodding to herself. Taking a deep breath and keeping her eyes fixed on Hrag’s remains she sings …

Valinya finishes her new song and a large, fur and spike covered gorilla type creature appears in the courtyard. It is a Grimbor, not Hrag, but very similar to him. The morning sun glints off it's purple tinged fur. It looks around and settles its gaze on Valinya, waiting for her to give him some instruction. Though this creature looks like Hrag, it does not seem to have the same intelligent spark in its eyes.

Seeker acquiesces to Silver’s company, and the two set out for the market. “I believe you crossed paths with a magic shop before. Could we go there first? I have some items that would be best identified before we attempt to sell them.”

Heading to Glittermane's

Seeker and Silver head out toward Glittermane’s Vault. Moonscar hurries out of the death filled Vanderboren Manor and follows them. As they leave, Arn shouts out after them, “Hey Seeker, make sure you bring back a receipt for that stuff! You are still over on your share of the loot from the other day!” The Dwarf goes back inside and finds some ale before beginning the depressing work of dragging dead bodies around.

As the three companions make their way through the morning market, they experience numerous incidents of nearby but unseen folk shouting things like “Go home, Wolfen!”, “Your kind isn’t welcome here!”, and “Furries are evil!” Many folk sneer and give nasty looks and glares as they hurriedly get out of the way of the walking trio. The feelings of Wolfen (and Kankoran) being welcome in Essanos have greatly diminished this morning. Though no one directly confronts the group, there are several times when a rock, stick or rotten piece of fruit comes flying their way out of the crowd.

Not every citizen in the market is being hateful toward the Canines. There are many sad and downcast eyes in the crowd while the majority just turns away quickly, avoiding making eye contact.

Eventually, they make it to Glittermane’s Vault and Silver rings the bell. After a few minutes, a large illusion of a Gnome’s face appears in front of the door. “Hey, what? Who’s there? I’m very busy today. Very busy. Oh, my dear Silver, how do you do? Good to see you again so soon. What can I do for you? Oh, I see you have some friends with you. Wolfen friends. Hmm.”

Glittermane agrees to identify the items, though has to charge an extra fee to jump them to the front of his work load. For 1200$, he will identify the 7 magical items. He does freely identify one potion as Alchemist Fire and the Smoke Bomb, both taken off of Rowyn Kellani. The other items he finds very interesting and explains them as follows:
  • 2 Major Healing Potions valued at 350$ each
  • Spellstone-Body of Air valued at 460$
  • Wand of Charm Person 5 charges (20 total) valued at 65070$ Recharge Cost 2400$
  • Wand of Create Stone 5 charges (20 total) valued at 29470$ Recharge Cost 2000$
  • Varandil, The Stalwart Blade Enchanted Balanced Fine Large Falchion Kigante’s sword valued at 19000$,
  • Devil’s Grace Enchanted Balanced Fine Edged Rapier Javell’s sword valued at 23000$

He offers to buy the wands and swords for 60% of their given value.

After leaving the Vault, the trio stops by and sells the jewelry and other valuables to a nearby merchant netting nearly 20,000$ more!

Cleaning up the Mess

Back at the manor, Arn, with the help of Valinya’s magical Grimbor, begins moving the bodies of the deceased for better disposal. It has been decided that Hrag should have a hero's funeral and his body should be burned. That can be done at nightfall right there in the courtyard. Arn and the magically created Grimbor begin cleaning up the dead bodies. Kora, Lavinia’s Gnome servant, begins cleaning up inside the manor.

Valinya was pleased with her new spell and the Grimbor servant. What he lacked in real intelligence he made up for with actually understanding the common tongue and no qualms about following her instructions. While having him do work she tried to assess the limits of his strength and coordination as well as running him through some practice combat using the boggard bodies. Might as well get some use out of them.

Arn and the magical Grimbor work hard to clean the mess in the manor up. A short while later, the guards show up, summoned by Lavinia. They take the bodies of the boggards and dispose of them and also take custody of the bodies of the work crew, promising to inform pertinent other parties if possible. They leave the body of Hrag there and give their blessings for a funeral pyre that evening.

Once the guards arrive and Arn is relieved of duty, he requests a break from his friends so that he can make his way to the armorer’s to do some repairs to his equipment before they make their way off to any new adventures.

Alerting the Authorities

Lavinia heads out with Valinya and Sindri the Gnome to alert the city guard and to try to talk to the Dawn Council and Witch Wardens about the many threats to the city.

She leads the way from the manor to the nearest Guard Station.

Valinya says, “We’re here to support you … just let us know if you need us to say or do anything.”

Lavinia leads Valinya and Sindri to first the guard station then over to Castle Teraknian to warn the Dawn Council. They are very appreciative and thankful for the warning. They then stop at the Witchwardens and Valinya explains what she knows to some of the mages there. They also thank them and say they will do what they can to protect the city and its citizens.

Come Together

Later that evening, everyone comes back together with their work for the day done. Everyone has gathered up their commissioned items from the various craftsmen that were working on them. Some coin has been gathered for sold loot and the authorities of Essanos have been warned. It feels that the general feeling in the city toward Wolfen (and Kankoran, those nightblind can’t tell the difference!) had taken a dive. Tomorrow the group plans to introduce Lavinia to Captain Tahir and planning for the voyage south will begin in earnest.

Cast of Characters: 

Arne J plays Seeker, a teenage Wolfen Warlord
Stephen K plays Valinya, an Elven Wildsong Mage
Mike B plays Arn, a surly Dwarven Warrior
Amergin O'K plays Moonscar, the esoteric Kankoran Druid
Daniel W plays Silver, a young and curious Dragon
Mike W plays Sindri Fetzil, an a Gnome rogue and alchemist
and Jason GURPS as the GM


Wandered Roads 54.5

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 54.5
October 1 - November 25, 2018

Campaign Timeline

Too Many Leads

Toilday 12th Kuthona, 4711

Closed for Business

The Carnival has been officially shut down and Sheriff Feldane has arrested the Master of the Carnival, Almara Delisen and taken her away. Berthold seems at a loss, he just stands there stammering outside of Jherizhana’s wagon, “I, I, I, I just don't know.” He sits down on a barrel and puts his hands in his face. About that time, Daellin and Thim arrive. They had caught wind of the trouble at the carnival and the group's involvement and hurried over. They are quickly informed about the three murders, the implications that the circus and its Sphinx are involved, the Skulks and their tribe of drug users, and the real situation with Jherizhana.

Just then, a tall, bronze skinned Keleshite man comes strutting up. He is dressed in the traditional clothes of Qadira, though a much warmer version of trust southern style. He carries himself with an air of superiority and looks around at the gathered folk and Berthold, with his head down. “Get up, animal man. What is goings on here? I see Mistress Almara being led off by the woman sheriff. How this has happened?” he shouts at the Master of Beasts. His accent is thick and his voice is commanding. He turns to the gathered members of the party and sneers briefly. “You. Were you not hired to solve  these problem? To me, this not quite seems to be the solution you are hired for. No?” 

Calina glances at the unknown gentleman and nods, "Yes sir, seems we have not found the perpetrator of these crimes.

"We have found many clues, though, and we have found a couple of Skulks, and have not found two others. This could be because Skulks aren't exactly easy to find. Might I ask your name and what is your position in the circus? Sir, you can count on our group to continue our investigation and it should go quickly now that our two other members have joined us," she points towards Daelin and Thim.

Calina blushes as she realizes how she's been chattering freely, not something she is comfortable doing. She steps back behind Kallin's large orcish body, without even waiting for the name of the imposing and commanding gentleman.

The man's piercing eyes follow Calina as she retreats behind her companion, and he lets out a haughty laugh. “I am Venlok, Master of Licences, captain of the guard and scourge of the indolent,” he says as he gently pats the coiled whip hanging from his belt. Several long knife scabbards also hang from his intricately detailed and decorated belt. “Yes, yes, I know some of this problems come from the guards not at right places. I take care of this very soon. But this other problems, the Mistresses being arrested, going to jail, this not ok. This your job. You figure this out now. If trouble come for Umbra Carnival and Mistress Almara then Venlok come for you." He crosses his arms and stares the entire group in the eyes. He seems confident and ready to take on the whole group at once if need be.

Samad rolled his eyes at the man’s bluster and stepped forward, a hand on his hip and his beautiful chin angled up. Annoyance gleamed in his golden eyes as he sneered at Venlock. “We certainly didn't need YOU to tell us that.” His sneer morphed into a mocking smirk. “But I suppose if it gives you an illusion of control in this situation, bark away you bladed dog, and let us get our hands dirty. As usual.” 

Samad, hips slithering coquettishly, walked swiftly around Venlok. Despite his confidence, he gave the man a decent breadth between them, but close enough to let the man catch a whiff of the flowery scented oils he uses on his skin. The Foxtooth’s eyes never left Venlok for a second until he turned to the rest of the group. His hair swaying like a luxurious dark curtain behind him after his graceful pivot, he spoke sweetly to them. “Well, shall we? I believe we have a lead at the docks?”

Venlok narrows his eyes at Samad as he circles around him and murmurs, “Garundi,” under his breath, followed by a snort. He then turns to Berthold, “I go deal with lazy Varisian guards. You deal with performers. If you cannot, I tell the Clerk that he is to step up and take command. I do not trust that Atepmo. No good come from Ustalav. You better man. You get up and do it.” With that, Venlok turns and stomps away, nearly slamming into Samad behind him, but deftly avoiding him at the last second.

As he leaves, Berthold regains some of his composure and stands. “Venlok is a good man. A bit harsh, but his intentions are in the right place. The well being of the Carnival is his main concern, as it should be mine as well. So,” he says, turning to Samad then back to the others, “you have a lead? Down on the docks? I shall not keep you any further. I must quickly gather the workers and explain to them this quarantine that the Sheriff has placed upon us. I do not like it, but I believe it is for the good of all. Thank you again for your assistance in this, I knew I was right in bringing you to Mistress Almara’s attention. Without you, things would be in much more dire straits!”

Alistar leads the way down to the docks where he immediately begins looking for the most worthless ugly stinking drugged out pieces of peasant offal he can find.

Shiver Me Timbers

Alistar and those that accompany him head down to the waterfront of the town. As they travel through the streets of Ilsurian, it is clear that the townsfolk are watching them and based on the nasty looks and glares, they clearly are associating the group with the Carnival. 

The cold weather seems to have put an almost complete halt to the work on the docks. Only a few boats were moored at the wooden piers, including Captain Othlo Janke’s Lucky Jenny. Most of the boats are small, one or two person craft, and appear to belong to fishermen, though some are clearly trappers and hunters’ boats as well.

After asking around for a bit, Alistar is able to get some directions to the local Shiver den, which is in a dilapidated, rotting shack near the easternmost docks, just down the hill from the Two Waters Tavern. The window and doors are boarded up and the roof is falling in. It is clear that the building has not been maintained well and it is a miracle that it is even standing still. 

Stepping as lightly as possible Alistar peers into the shack looking for a shiver addict to interrogate about who his supplier is.

As he approaches what looks like the entrance, he notices numerous broken glass vials on the ground. He also notices a strong stench coming from the building. Peering inside the dark and smelly shack, Alistar sees a trash strewn space with about a dozen or so ratty hammocks, most of them filled. A hunched over figure stumbles out of the shadows toward Alistar. “Ya got a bite? Jus’ looking for a bite, man. Com’on, gimme a bite,” he mumbles. 

Seemingly not interested in small talk, Alistar moves in aggressively, grabbing the man by the collar and slamming him roughly up against a wooden beam that normally would be supporting the roof but currently doesn't seem to be doing anything useful. “Where did you get the Shiver?” he demands. 

Everyone sees his eyes flash with a spark of electricity as he intimidates the drugged out peasant and the man, now suddenly sober blurts out, “Kadarru! Kadarru! The painted Varisian. Leave me be, I swear the truth of it!” The man breaks down, crying and blubbering on the filthy floor as Alistar lets go of him. 

Samad makes no effort to hide the disappointment on his face. Haven't the Varisians been through enough? He steps forward to address the shaken junkie. “Do you know where we can find this Kadarru?”

The man squeaks out the word “market” and points weakly up the hill toward the center of town. Everyone remembers seeing a handful of market stalls set up around the wide yard at the base of the statue of Ilsur, the founder of the town. 

Off to the market to find the painted Varisian who peddles poison.

Gone to Market

Alistar leads the rest of the group back up the hill toward the market. The statue of Ilsur rises up in the cold afternoon above the Two Waters Tavern the group had patronized the night before. Several brightly colored tents and awnings stand around the central area in front of the statue. Their colors seem out of place on this cold and overcast day. Only a few townsfolk peruse these stalls on this cold day. Most of the merchants appear to be Varisians, though there are a few spots that appear to be more permanent and are inhabited by folk of Chelish descent. Across the way, a man and a young girl can be seen perusing the wares on a table. The man and the Varisian working the stall get into a shouting match which quickly sinks to slinging racial slurs back and forth. The Varisian merchant throws his hands up high, causing his heavy fur cloak to fall back, revealing that he is not wearing a shirt and is covered completely in colorful tattoos.

Calina states quietly, "I believe we've found a painted Varisian."  She adds, looking to everyone else, "Do we rush in like always, or should we observe, and by observe I mean quietly, discreetly from a distance." She looks at Alistar for an answer. 

"Alright then," seeing the determined look in his eyes, "I'll stand right over here and when things blow up, Alistar, I'll have your back."

Calina leans back against a handy railing as Alistair walks fervently towards the Varisian's market stall. She looks with raised  eyebrows at the others. "Well?"

“I have a better idea, be prepared to follow him.” Alistar then as unobtrusively as possible casts Suggestion on the fellow and instills in him the idea that the boss wants to see him right now.

Alistar watches as the “Painted Varisian” pauses in his argument with his customer. He turns his head to the side as if thinking and holds his hand up to silence the other man. The Chelish man gives up his argument and walks away, but not before giving the Varisian a highly inappropriate hand gesture, doing his best to hide it from his daughter as they go. The Varisian then swiftly looks around suspiciously before sitting back down and pulling his cloak tight around his shoulders again. Alistar knows instinctively that his Suggestion spell has failed, though he is sure he cast it correctly. He assumes that Kadarru’s strength of will must have been stronger.

Kallin observes the painted man for a moment.  He looks to see if the tattoos have any special meaning.  Nothing really comes to him so he starts to scan the crowd to see if there are any spirits amongst the crowd.

Not close enough to really make out the details of the tattoos, Kallin turns and almost immediately notices a a restless spirit approaching. She is a Human woman, young, in her early 20s probably. She is quite tall, possibly taller than Kallin, and looks to be fairly muscular, though she wears loose fitting clothes that ruffle and shimmer. Her dark black hair is pinned back neatly and her blue eyes seem to shine with a ghostly brightness. She walks determinedly up the hill toward the market stalls, seemingly directly toward Kallin. As she gets closer, he can see that she is of Chelish descent and quite beautiful, though she appears to have a pained look on her face. 

The others in the group notice Kallin staring off down an empty street, as if he were watching something, but no one sees anything besides the deserted lane.  

Kallin stands and waits for the spirit.  When she is close enough, he waves in a friendly manner and says, “Hello, I’m Kallin.” 

The spirit seems anything but friendly. She charges right up to Kallin and crosses her arms, grunting loudly. “What are you doing just standing there? There's no time. That bitch from Whistledown, Grazia, is trying to kill me! I think she put something in my food! She's trying to steal Barrius from me! That whore!” Kallin watches as she clenched her fists and waves them wildly in the air, striking him several times. To his shock and surprise, the hits sting like being stung by a hornet. She scowls at him and then turns and marches down another lane, back toward the docks.

Kallin stares at the spirit for a moment then rushes after her.  He takes a few steps down the lane, stops, turns, and signals the group by waving and saying, “C’mon, I think I found a spirit that may help!”

Session Notes

I love my home gaming group. I love planning and prepping for them and then knowing that I would never have to use a single bit of my previous work if I just had a random NPC tell them a random rumor or toss in a off the cuff tidbit of info. I know ALL PC's like to chase anything they think might be a lead, but this group makes it their life's work! So much fun! Love you all!

Characters Present:

Kallin Hawkril, Half-Orc shaman and budding Priest of Pharasma - played by Dan E
Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by Carol C
Daellin Silvanthalas, Elven Farstrider Ranger - played by +Ben L
Samad Aldhul, Human ex-mercenary - played by JeCorey H
Alistar Gavin Lourdis, Human Mageknight- played by Don K
Thim Westerdale, Half-Elf rogue - played by Malcolm G

and +Jason GURPS as the DM


Wandered Roads 54

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 54
September 29, 2018

Campaign Timeline

Investigations in Ilsurian

12th Kuthona 4711
Image result for Almara Delisen
The group enjoys a wonderful breakfast at the Crossed Swords Inn. Daellin and Thim enter into a conversation with a group of Elves also staying at the Inn and excuse themselves from the group to visit with their kinfolk. The rest of the group is summoned by their new friend Berthold, the Master of Beasts of the Umbra Carnival currently encamped just outside Ilsurian. He tells them the Master of the Carnival, Almara Delisen, has asked them to come meet with her. She has a proposition for them.

When they arrive at the Carnival, they see it has not opened yet for the day and the workers are all busy preparing for the day. They are taken to see Almara at her private wagon residence at the back of the carnival. She greets them  cheerfully but then quickly changes demeanor as she explains to them that there have been a murder in town and one of her circus performers has been implicated. She is adamant about the innocence of her performer as she gives the few details she knows. She says that a local citizen was found murdered in town last night, apparently on his way back from the carnival, and he bore wounds that resembled those that could have been delivered by Jherizhana the Sphinx. She offers the group 300 gold (3000$) if they can figure out who the real killer is and absolve the Carnival. She explains that the group is in a unique position to help as capable outsiders and she trusts that they can help her and her group of outcasts clear their name. The group agrees and she gives them a signed statement showing they are working on behalf of the Carnival as outside investigators. She encourages them to seek out the sheriff in town, whom she believes wants to see justice served, but recognizes that she will no doubt keep the town’s best interest at the forefront of her investigation.

The group seeks Sheriff Feldane out at the town jail and learn some more information about the crime. The victim was named Archivin Walder, a local moneylender and pawnbroker. He was killed on a path near his own home and his wounds appeared to be caused by a large, clawed beast. Several clawed footprints were found near his body as well. The sheriff says she has hears several reports of townsfolk seeing the sphinx flying over the town late last night, though none of these stories have been corroborated as of yet. She also tells them of a second, connected, murder, of one of Walder’s guards at his place of business, the Locked Box.

The Sheriff explains that Walder’s wife, Agnes, became worried when her husband did not return from the carnival at an appropriate time and went looking for him. She found him on the path in a wooded area between their home and the carnival. Distraught and fearful, she rushed back to the Locked Box and enlisted three of Walder’s four guards to come help her. When they returned to the Locked Box with Walder’s body, they found the fourth guard dead and the building burglarized. Two humanoid forms were seen fleeing the scene. The guards then secured the building and called for the sheriff. Agnes returned home with one of the guards staying with her and the other two at the Locked Box.

Sheriff Feldane
The Sheriff accompanies the the group to the scene of the Walder’s murder and what she told them seems to check out upon initial investigation, but on a closer look, it is clear that there were some tracks that had been brushed aside at the scene, though what those tracks were, it is not clear. Kallin used his spirit magic to detect the spirit of a young Human girl named Kelly nearby. She mistook him for her Papa and was quite happy to see him. He conversed with her momentarily but soon realized that she knew nothing of the incident and let her go about her way. Calina was able to determine that the clawed tracks did not seem to be deep enough in the ground to indicate a beast as heavy as the Sphinx sure had to be. The Sheriff absorbed all of this new information and seemed agreeable that the Sphinx may not be the culprit after all.

Next, Sheriff Feldane took the group to the Locked Box to do some searching around there and to question the guards and the widow Walder. One of the guards allowed them entrance to the building and showed them the damage that had been done in the shower room. Broken glass display cases and lots of merchandise scattered with clearly some missing. It is thought that the thieves had been working with whoever killed Mister Walder because there were no signs of forced entry on the stout front doors and Walder’s master key was not on his body. The room was searched while Mrs. Walder was summoned from the office. She greeted the group, though somewhat coldly to Calina, noting she was a Varisian. She explained that she believed that it was somehow her fault he had been killed since she did not go to the Carnival with him. She says she could not bear the thought of him “ogling that bare chested beast” and thinks if she had gone with him, somehow things would have been different.

She answers all the questions the group has for her and while several things seem to have valuable information, nothing stands out as a definite motive for the vicious murder and robbery. Alistar notices a small spot of blood on the corner of one of the display cases and a matching spot on the handle of the door leading to the vault. Agnes and the guards both believed that the vault had not been touched in the attempt because the guards had returned too quickly and the perpetrators were already fleeing the building but the blood on the door prompts an investigation of the vault below. Agnes explains that there is a pit trap below designed to catch thieves on their way out of the vault and tells them she will disarm it so they are not caught in it.

The vault appears to be unlooted but in the course of the investigation, Samad discovers a strange being hiding in the corner. The woman, a Skulk named Zahkar, is covered in skin that changes color to blend in what whatever she is standing up against. She seems to be acting strange and her eyes seem to be continually dilating open and closed. She trembles and speaks in an almost slurred speech pattern but freely admits that she had been sent there to rob the place. She says her and three companion Skulks and come there, with the key, and were there to rob the place quickly and with as much loot as they could carry. Her and another Skulk decided to try to loot the underground vault but she ended up getting trapped in the room when the other Skulk left. Her companion, Rogi, is soon found trapped beneath the floor in the pit trap Walder had installed in his vault.

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a Skulk
They both act in a similar, distracted way and say that they were working for two other Skulks that have work with “some Humans” from town. They know nothing of who or why they were sent to rob the place and knew nothing of the murder of Archivin Walder, but matter of factly admit to killing the guard. They explain that their tribe of Skulks lives nearby, a few miles outside of town, and sometimes do work contracted by the two Skulks that fled the scene the night before. The Sheriff is happy to have them in custody but it is suggested that one of the Skulks lead the party to where the tribe lairs to see if they can get any further information about who hired them. The Sheriff agrees to send Constable Byron along to keep an eye on the prisoner.

The group leaves a note for Daellin and Thim, in case they return, then head out of town for a quick hike to the Skulk’s lair. They find it easily and approach with no problem. They find one sleeping guard and a small cave filled with about 7 other Skulks. It is then discovered that the entire tribe are drug addicts. They are expecting a drug called shiver that is a highly addictive hallucinogen. The Constable says that there have been some cases of the drug in town, but it does not seem to be a widespread problem like it is in some other communities, especially cesspools like Korvosa.  The group also realizes that the two specific Skulks they are looking for do not reside with the rest of the tribe in the cave, but instead live somewhere in town, though none of the Skulks are privy to where.

The group returns to town and in the process of returning the prisoner to the jail, they see folks running both from and to the Carnival area with cries of “Those dirty Varisians are trying to rob us blind!” and “Get them!” Apparently a spate of pickpocketing at the carnival has sparked numerous confrontations between townsfolk and carnival workers. The party quickly intervenes in one of these incidents and Alistar uses his magic to send both sides fleeing the scene. As they wrap this up, they are drawn further into the Carnival grounds by a cry for help and soon find another murder has taken place, just moments ago, during the tumult of the parade grounds fighting.

The body of a local priestess of Erastil is found mauled to death in the Sphinx’s tent, though the cage is locked and the creature is nowhere to be seen. Almara arrives and is terrified at the thought of another murder, seemingly at the claws of her Sphinx. Again, she defends the innocence of Jherizhana and has one of her workers run to fetch the Sheriff. As the area is searched, a few clues are turned up while Kallin performs a lengthy spell to summon the spirit of the deceased. Samad seems to believe Almara in regards to the Sphinx and asks to speak to her privately outside. They return a few moments later and she says that she will take the group to the Sphinx and try to explain some more of the situation to them. She excuses herself and says she will send for them in a moment. Kallin then finishes his spell and summons the spirit of the priestess. She appears and explains that she came to the Carnival to try to talk to the Sphinx and try to figure out some way to work out the trouble that has been brewing between the town and the Carnival. When she entered the tent, she found it empty but before she could leave, she was somehow froze, paralyzed or held from behind and then felt her life ripped from her. She describes being unable to move or breathe momentarily before she died but is unsure of how or why that happened. Kallin thanks her and sends her on her way. Calina searches the room and finds absolutely no possible Sphinx tracks though does notice that one area of the back wall of the tent is unstaked at the bottom. Alistar uses his magic to make sure there are no invisible beings in the room and Kallin physically looks over the body, finding that in addition to her side being ripped out, there is also a small dark line across her throat, possibly like that of a garotte or thin rope wrapped around her neck.

Master of Beasts
Berthold, the Master of Beasts, comes in and is horribly upset by the grisly murder scene. He takes the group to see Almara and Jherizhanain her private wagon. Almara reveals the Sphinx lounging comfortably in a bed of silken sheets and pillows. It is explained that Jherizhana is not just a performer but a part owner of the Carnival and Almara’s business partner. She joined the Umbra Carnival about a year and a half ago as a way to safely travel through “civilized" Human lands so she could study and interact with them. Jherizhana loves studying and learning about Humans and their cultures and customs and this was the best way she could move about freely. The Sphinx is terribly upset and distraught about the murders and possible implications is could cause for the carnival.

Just then Sheriff Feldane arrives. Upon seeing the Sphinx uncaged, she goes for her weapon and begins shouting. Almara and Jherizhana, with help from the party, explain the whole situation to the Sheriff and emphasize the importance of keeping up the charade of the Sphinx for the sake of the  carnival’s continued survival.

Sheriff Feldane seems to understand but states that she has has to keep the best interests of the town at the forefront. She puts the Carnival under quarantine and says no carnival folk may go into Ilsurian and no townsfolk may come to the carnival grounds unto further notice.
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The sheriff also explains that she has to arrest someone or fears that things in town will get even further out of hand. Sheriff Feldane wants to take Jherizhana into custody but Almara refuses and instead surrenders herself into the sheriff's custody. As she is taken away she gives Berthold some quick instructions on how to handle the carnival and once again begs the group to solve these murders and bring the real culprits to justice, absolving the Carnival and easing the pain of the town. Finally, she reiterates the importance of keeping up the charade of the Sphinx.

Session Notes

Two players missing, no worries, their characters wander off to talk with some fellow Elves they met at the inn last night. Probably out in the woods comparing leaf sizes or something.

Characters Present:

Kallin Hawkril, Half-Orc shaman and budding Priest of Pharasma - played by Dan E
Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by Carol C
Daellin Silvanthalas, Elven Farstrider Ranger - played by Ben L
Samad Aldhul, Human ex-mercenary - played by JeCorey H
Alistar Gavin Lourdis, Human Mageknight- played by Don K
Thim Westerdale, Half-Elf rogue - played by Malcolm G

and +Jason GURPS as the DM


Grand Duchy 125

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 125
August 23, 2017

Light 'Em Up!

Nytdain 15 Klarmont

The undead horde surges toward the location of the Grey Company while the words of the Mage Ghoul echo through the ancient halls. Griffin says,  “Okay, guys and gals. let's go!”

Remar announces, "More undead incoming. Can any of you tell if any of the Traldar are still able to be helped? We have to get them outta here" Griffin moves forward to help the Traldar!

Kasiex says "I see no moving Traldar, only some dead ones." Griffin scans the area and only sees a few unmoving Traldar laying in the main door.The rest of the Traldar must have fled to the south. A Wight comes shuffling around the corner And a Ghoul as well. Iris moves forward to back up Griffin bravely but she is still shaken in the presence of the undead.

Remar hurls a magical bolt at Ghoul's head and the magic bolt rocks the Ghouls head back but it keeps its feet. The voice of Malthius rattles around inside Remar's head, "Whatcha wanna do, Rema? Play catch wit it?"

Draven hurtles across the open distance and takes a wild swing with his mace. The Ghoul attempts to dodge Draven's attack and succeeds!

Kasiex moves up trying to find a good shot as the slower undead surge forward as well. Griffin, in looking for an opponent and finds one! A Wight makes a wild swing at Griffin's torso and face. Griffin blocks the first attack and parries the second strike, wounding the Ghoul in the process.

A Ghoul slashes at Draven's face with its claws and fails! Draven laughs in the face of the living dead. Iris attempts to slash at the zombie near Griffin and hits it. Griffin and Iris take turns hacking at the ghouls!

Remar whispers "partum ignis" as he casts his spell and a huge fire springs up from the ground beneath the undead! Iris raises her brows in surprise. The undead let out mournful cries and Kasiex scrunches his nose up at the smell of burning undead flesh while he steps up, his bow ready and growls, "more from the north!" Kasiex shoots at Wight's torso with an arrow and succeeds! The Wight attempts to dodge Kasiex's attack and somehow manages to catch Kasiex's arrow and break it in half! Seeing this, Iris sucks in a breath through her teeth

Griffin attempts a Rapid Strike! The Wight attempts to dodge by jumping back from Griffin's attack but fails. Griffin's onslaught of blows takes the Ghoul down!  Another Ghoul steps up into Griffin's personal space and grabs him but luckily, he blocks it with his shield. Then a Wight steps up into Griffin's personal space as well and grabs him as well. The Wight grapples Griffin's torso with energy draining hands and succeeds! Griffin Parries and manages to slash the grabbing Ghoul in the process!

A Ghoul grapples Draven as well, trying to drag him down but Draven avoids the attack. Nearby, Iris swings her saber at a zombie and cuts into it while Remar whispers "partum ignis" as he again tries to Create Fire but the spell fails this time.

Draven rushes the ghoul in front of him, trying to push him back into the fire but isn’t quite strong enough to shove him back and Kasiex tosses his bow behind him and once again draws his sword. An attacking Zombie swings at Kasiex and hits but the Hutaakan's scale armor absorbs the blow.

Another Zombie swings at Iris's torso with a weapon and hits but she jumps back and dodges the attack. Iris then swings her saber at zombie as it shambles forward!

Griffin attempts to drive the wight back with a speedy onslaught! Griffin’s flaming weapon catch it on fire. The wight is not happy at being in flames! Griffin makes another Rapid Strike! The Wight attempts to dodge Griffin's attack and fails! Griffin slices the wight deeply! The Wight then grabs at Griffin's torso with its hands and succeeds!

A Ghoul also steps into close range and grabs at Draven's torso with its hands and succeeds but Draven swats away the ghouls hands with his shield. Iris slashes at another Ghoul, cutting him. The Company's weapons are biting into the creatures, they just aren't being effective enough!

Nearby, Remar whispers "partum ignis" again, causing another circle of flame to spring up from the stone floor, while next to him, Draven steps forward and calls forth the power of his gods to destroy the filth that surrounds him and his friends. Remar wonders why it doesn't seem to bother Malthius when Draven does his thing and then the voice of Malthius rattles around inside Remar's head, "Ye just mind yer own frakkin business, boy!"

Draven's holy blast ravages the undead horde, causing some of them to lose their desire to fight! Draven laughs as the holy energy rushes through him. "Down to the iciest pits of hell with you all!" Meanwhile, Kasiex swings at zombie's torso with a sword and succeeds! The zombie fails to dodge and the Hutaakan’s sword bites in.

Griffin steps into the flames to escape the close combat with the wight, then slashes at the foul undead to his left, making two rapid strikes. The Wight attempts to dodge Griffin's attacks and fails! The wight goes down.Griffin feels the flames licking at his heels, but is not yet burned.

A Wight swings at Kasiex's torso with a weapon and  hits but Kasiex manages to dodge the strike. The ghouls continue their attack, though many of them have been terribly wounded. A Ghoul swings at Draven's face with its undead fingers but misses while another Ghoul swings at Iris's face with a handful of clawed fingers and also misses. Iris finds herself surrounded by ghouls, she looks back at Draven and takes a retreating step backward while swinging her saber at the nearest Undead. She manages a skillful strike against the Ghoul.

Remar hurls a magical bolt at a nearby Ghoul's head, striking it solidly and causing Ghoul brains and skull to spray over onto Draven and Iris. Remar grins as he drops another opponent.

Draven steps forward and shouts "Yes! Come to me, to your deaths! That which is dead should remain in the grave!" as he unleashes his disruptive divine blast! Many of the undead are blasted and quite a few of them turn and flee Draven’s divine presence.

The approaching Death Knight says "I am coming. And I AM death!" One of the fleeing zombies runs past the approaching Death Knight and he lashes out with his twin blades, and cuts it down.

Kasiex swings at Ghoul's torso with his curved blade and lands a critical strike, hacking the Ghoul to the ground!

Griffin  feels the bite of the flames beginning to penetrate his protective clothing as he makes another rapid double strike on a nearby Ghoul, chopping it down.

A Wight swings at Draven's torso with a undead hands and succeeds but Draven brings up his shield and deflects the blow. Another Ghoul attacks Griffin and he too uses his shield to defend.

Iris presses her attack, slashing at more undead abominations but some of them manage to keep her attacks at bay.

Remar hurls a magical bolt at a Ghoul's face, smashing it in. The voice of Malthius rattles around inside Remar's head, "Looks like yer finally getting da hang uh dat one!" Remar can't help but smirk at the comment.

As the dreaded Death Knight approaches, Draven takes a second to armor himself against the onslaught while Kasiex continues to hack at nearby undead.

Death Knight says "Are you prepared to die?"

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by Arne J 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by Jason P

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by Patrick K

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by Stephanie K

Kasiex, a Hutaakan Wildsteward used to ranging the mountains and valleys now led down a new path by Patrick B

and Jason W as The DM