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ROR:Session/13

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Starring: Calum, Haneet, Hilma, Isra'a, Karaz [Played by Linda], Tokki
Guest Starring: Aldern Foxglove (the 4th), talking angel statue, Xanesha, Erylium (of course)
Challenge: Below
Location: Magnimar's The Shadow Clock
Date Played: 31 October 2015


Flying High Down Deep

Chapter 2: The Skinsaw Murders - Part 7/8: The Seven's Sawmill / Shadow of Time


The Seven's Sawmill

Isra'a
We found the location of the cultists’ lumber mill. For a change of pace we decided to go with a stealthy approach. I disguised myself as a cultist and snuck in the basement. Once inside I found three ‘lumberjacks’ were working the machines. I signaled the group to follow and moved along the back of the water wheels to position myself for combat. Initially, I wasn’t sure if they were innocents or not – once my companions arrived there was no doubt. I managed to catch one moving along the back unaware – he never had a chance. We disabled the waterwheel mechanics to prevent us having to deal with the saws inside on the upper floors.
The cultists on the first floor used a trap door to shower us with acid. We moved along the outside of the building and charged the front door. Inside were several cultists – these ones left little doubt as to their intentions. Ignoring the acid bath they gave Haneet, they wasted no time in attacking us. We dealt with them and moved upstairs – Ironbriar had to be close.
We found Ironbriar at the top of the lumber mill, he was waiting for us. He had prepared an illusion that Haneet and myself made short work of… we aren’t always the most perceptive ones in the group. We coaxed out the real one and dealt with him as we so often do – with swift and blinding violence. I think Tokki wanted to question him – I like the stabby kind of justice myself. Within his belongings we found evidence that will hopefully clear our names and a new lead pointing towards the source of the evil.
Tokki
Unforgiving cuts
In the great tree of justice
That must never fall
Devil before me
Draped in the great cloth of law
Must show its true form
Hilma

Dear Hilfred,

We were again on the tail of some nefarious cultists, members of the same cult that had been attempting to frame me for their devilish work in and around Sandpoint. We tracked them to a lumber mill just outside the city limits. The local authorities had requested that we stay within the city itself as they continued their own investigation, but I feared that if my companions and I delayed any longer, more lives might be lost. I had no choice but to leave the city proper, but we did leave notice of where we were going and when we should return.
The lumber mill itself was in operation when we arrived. Our crafty rogue disguised himself and entered the basement of the mill in an attempt to see if the workers there were merely innocent lumberjacks or if they had more sinister motives. It didn't take him very long to decide they were the latter, and he motioned us inside. The noise in that place was almost as deafening as Torag hammering on his mighty anvil, but we were able to dispatch with those cultists and disable the mill itself from below. We knew Ironbriar woudl be up above. Indeed, after fighting back several more of his underlings, we confronted the corrupt justice himself. We were able to find more evidence on his person that will hopefully confirm our story. Moreover, we learned that there was more evil afoot at another location.
Haneet
Haneet.13.0.jpeg
Haneet.13.1.jpeg
Karaz

It has been a strange time. Hunting murderers, monsters, and cultists is something I never imagined living in the wilds. To be honest I never expected travelling with companions either. They are a strange bunch, but they have let me stay with them for so long. Could I really not have to be always alone? I can almost imagine a life with them, watching Haneet drink coffee and run wild, seeing Calum unlock the secrets of the past, helping Israa count massive piles of treasure. Seeing Hilma and Tokki spread the word and good in their own way. And me...well I will do what I can for them as long as they will let me. Life is wasted on those that oppose them. They are truly the best that this world has to offer. After all, they even gave a place to me. I doubt it will ever come true, but I will keep hoping for that dream, a place for all of us, safe from the dangers of the world, pursuing their dreams and staying together for always. Until that dream comes true or dies, it gives me something I have never had before. Maybe I will even find a goal for myself, but I don't know what that might be. Time will tell. For once, I find myself looking forward to the future instead of dreading it. I will keep this to myself for now, no need to be any more of a burden to them than I am. But if I can I will find a place for them, even if I have to build it with my own hands.

The Shadow Clock

Isra'a
The evidence gathered at the saw mill led us to an abandoned clock tower. We discussed methods of dealing with it, one being that we topple the tower. In retrospect, we probably should have done this. The entrance to the tower was unlocked, so we went inside. The interior was dark – we could just make out an abandoned cart, a pile of leaves and high above the tower’s bells. Our impulsive Haneet decided to jump into the leaves – unfortunately for her there was a golem of some sort laying in wait.
The golem wasn’t as dangerous as some foes we have faced, but it kept itself backed in a corner. It made movement to come out of the corner – I should have stopped it, but I was too busy thinking about setting up a flank. It unleashed a devastating attack that felled Calum. I’m not a fan of the old man but I don’t want to see him die either. That was the beast’s last gasp and we set about securing Calum’s body – the threat in the tower must be dealt with now.
Moving upward we were slowed by the disrepair of the stair case and the enormous bell that was loosed in our direction. Deafened by the bell we emerged into the upper reaches of the clock tower. Here were five foes, three cultists, ok makes sense. Aldren Foxglove – sure why not… Elyrium… why? Why did it have to be that damn quasit? One day I am going to kill her – I hope no one is around when I do, or that they avert their eyes.
Being familiar with us and me in particular, Elyrium cursed me once again. She plunged me into darkness – my account of the encounter from here out becomes spotty. I know we were able to deal with the cultists and I believe I destroyed the beast Elyrium summoned. The fake Aldren lasted a little longer but it too fell. Escaping the fight to torment me another day was Elyrium… damn it.
The group helped me scale the scaffolding along the outside of the tower up onto the top. Here I heard an angelic voice telling me I would be shown the way to the tower if I only knelt. I did so – soon our guide appeared and suggested that I fetch the authorities. This seemed like an excellent idea – I began to make my way back down the tower. Being freshly blind this was an ordeal; I am not used to being without my sight. I wonder why she chose me to go for help – wouldn’t one of my companions be better able to accomplish this task?
Down and down I traveled – I should get myself a cane… knives are not terribly useful for feeling your way around. I am not sure how far down I managed to get when the feeling that I should get the authorities abandoned me – why on earth would I get them? I can’t stand them. My companions told me what had happened on the top of the tower – I am ashamed, I was duped once again and left my party to fend for themselves.
Tokki
Led by a murder
To the depths of Magnamar
Searching true evil
Scarecrows, cultist, stairs
It was truly harrowing
And our bell got rung
Literal forked tongue
Gilded in silver and lies
Heavy veils to lift
Karaz

Calum down? Calum dead? This cannot stand. Like an outsider in my own body I watch it move, watch it fight, we must finish this and fix the wizard. I helped in my way.

Hilma
Haneet had a conversation with another one of the crows, this one apparently quite vulgar, and we were able to determine that there was another den of these vile evildoers in under the shadow of the Irespan. Further investigation led us to a decripit clocktower. Really, brother, this tower was very poorly constructed, almost like the work of a child. Not up to decent standards at all.
When we entered the tower, we saw a cart that seemed to have been recently used. As I moved in to investigate, Haneet's impulses once again got the better of her as she jumped into a pile of leaves. And once again, those impulses got her in a bit of trouble as a flesh gloem was lurking there, unseen by us. Naturally, we had to destroy this vile abomination. In its final throes, I regret to say, it felled Calum. I was unable to raise him myself, so we quickly secured his body and prepared to ascend the tower.
As you know, our family is not given to scaling great heights. Remember how Great Aunt Hannah had that terrible accident with the ladder? Or what happened to Cousin Hertag on that climbing expedition? Suffice it to say, I fared only slight better on our journey up the tower. I fear I was quite a burden to my companions, and at several points, I am ashamed to say, I told them it might be best to leave me behind. I am glad, however, that I perservered. The cultists did not make it any easier. They dropped one of the tower's bells right down on top of us. I myself was hurt, and the bell fell on top of poor Calum's body. Luckly, it did not crush him completely.
When we reached those cultists, another faceless stalked in the form of Aldern was with them. Will I never be rid of him? The quasit Elyrium was there as well, and once again, she escaped. We were able to kill this false Aldern, however.
When we finally reached the top, we were faced with an angelic statue. It was truly beautiful and told us that if we would but kneel before it, the secret history of the city would be revealed to us by the angel's messenger. I knealt briefly out of respect. The angel's messenger seemed to be hiding behind the statue itself. I confess that this felt a little odd at the time, but I couldn't quite place my finger on it. The messenger then warned us that she was under attack, and indeed, the demon Erylium seemed to appear again in a much larger form than usual. After fighting it for a short time, it became clear that it was nothing but an illusion and that this "messenger" was the real evil. We dispatched with it without too much trouble after we were able to see through its tricks, and again found more evidence to exonerate us and to help us further seek out and destroy what remains of the cult.
Haneet
Haneet.13.2.jpeg
Haneet.13.3.jpeg

Follow-up

DM-d20.jpg DM Searching Xanesha's lair
  • You find the following letter, crumpled and torn to pieces:
My Sister —
I trust your little band of murderers is doing well, gathering the greedy souls for our Lord's rise? Has Magnimar proven to be as sinful as you had hoped? It may interest you to know that my plan to nurture greed here in this backwater has blossomed – the quality of greed in a soul is so much more refined when it is given the proper care. Are you still simply carving the Sihedron on them as they expire? How crude! My method of marking is so much more elegant. In any event, I'm sure that your plans for harvesting greed where and when you can find it "in the wild" are progressing well enough – I just hope that your raw, ungroomed, and likely inferior, victims don't interact poorly when mixed with the purity of my own subjects. If you tire of your little project there, know that you're always welcome to come here and serve as my assistant little sister! The nearby fort should be in our control by the time you receive this letter, in any event, so there'll be plenty of room for you if you wish to take me up on my generous offer.
Oh! Before I forget! Have you managed to harvest that lord-mayor yet? By all accounts, he might just be the cream of the crop in Magnimar – his soul might even rival several from my hand-grown harvest!
  • Her notes and scrolls:
She had charmed many lovers throughout the city and was harvesting souls in competition with her sister "for our lord". Prime of those lovers was Ironbriar, who was a quarter-way-decent elf before falling for Xenesha (magically, then for real) and being corrupted by her over time. She had become complacent and liked to be a puppet master and leave the harvesting to the cults below. It was Ironbriar's idea to recruit the Skinsaw Cult, as he had pursued them in the past, to be her tools. She claims that recruiting Aldern was her idea... but that conflicts with Ironbriar's notes saying it was his.
  • Chests
Treasure listed elsewhere. Largely logged as offerings from her lovers and cultists.
A ranked-list of greedy souls and potential sacrifices throughout Magnimar, headed by the lord-mayor himself, including the beginnings of plans to get near him for harvesting.
DM-d20.jpg DM Temple of Sarenrae
  • The temple offers to pay bounty for any EVIL items from the party for destruction at 1/3 (instead of 1/2 market value for selling to the public).

Arrests

Calum
  • ?
Haneet
  • Ironbriar was a totally evil cult guy. I mean, he had a big knife and tried to kill us and everything. I actually got to run on the ceiling when we killed him, which was the best. I didn't know that I could do that, at least with the right spells. I think he was being clever, because he was standing in a pile of garbage, and was all, "Ha, now nobody's going to go tumbling past me to get a flank, I'm an invincible evil guy", but he wasn't actually, and I guess he wasn't too clever, because I ran on the ceiling, and THAT was clever. Anyway, I talked to the crows, and told the crows all about the Bleachlings. Have you ever met a Bleachling? Oh, you have! Tokki is one. They're kinda serious and dull, but I think that the crows were going to like that, and the crows wanted to be sad and serious all the time, so I figured they'd get along. That's why we went to the clocktower though, because of the crows. There was a snakelady cult leader there, so we got to go climb the tower, and this was so cool, up until Calum died, which wasn't really a thing that I liked, but I've been dead before, so it's not like, the worst thing, it just, y'know, you feel really crappy until Hilma gives you a spell to not feel awful anymore. Have you ever died? So, anyway, the cultists dropped a bell on us, which was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. I didn't get hit by the bell, but the stairs totally did. Which… how did we get back down? I think I missed that part. I might have walked on the walls, I guess, but Hilma is really bad at climbing stairs. I had to help Hilma climb the stairs a bunch, which was actually kinda fun, because I got to walk on the walls while doing it. Did you know that there are slippers that let you climb on walls? As soon as we're done here, I'm gonna get Calum to make me some. Oh… I guess after Calum isn't dead anymore. I'll probably go to the Prism instead. Have you- oh, no, you haven't. Hey, I have a potion of Reduce Person. Do you want to go dancing after this? It's really fun. The best part, of course, was when I jumped across the rafters and knocked one of the cultists into a hole. Xanesha was at the top, and she totally magicked us to think she was a good person, but she was actually an evil snake lady. She made Isra'a go "get the authorities", which sucked, because he was blind, and wasn't going to be able to get anything. Plus, I wanted him to be there so we could stab Xanesha. OH! I forgot about the Flesh Golem. The Flesh Golem killed Calum. And that bell that they dropped, it actually landed on Calum, which was like a one in a million shot, and it was hard to prop it up to get Calum out. The bell didn't kill Calum, the Golem had already done that part, though. Anyway, I figured, if Xanesha- who I thought was good, because of magic- wanted the authorities, the best way to do it would be to ring the bells, plus I actually kind of wanted to ring the bells. Have you seen my monkey skull? Watch this! Xanesha made me jump off the tower, but I had a rope, and tried to be clever, but Feather Fall is kind of lame, but I flew to grab the wall and ran back up it, and got back up just in time to hit Xanesha and she didn't see it coming, because running on walls is clever. And then she died. And then you arrested us. I'm not really sure why. We're heroes!
Hilma
  • My companions and I were fearful that any delay on our part would result in greater loss of life and greater chaos in the city. That is something which I simply could not tolerate. Knowing that we would be temporarily leaving the walls of the city, we left a note at our residence stating where we would be going and when we might return, should the justices wish to question us further. Moreover, with Ironbriar still on the loose and wishing us harm, having already attempted to unjustly kill one of my companions while he was in custody, we did not feel safe, not knowing what he might be planning.
  • At any rate, we quickly returned to the city proper, having uncovered evidence that the cult was operating out of the clock tower under the Irespan. Again, fearing the loss of life, we rushed into action, hoping that we would not find more victims of this sinister, shadowy organization.
  • Unfortunately, in an attempt to stop us from further unraveling his evil plot, Ironbriar's cultist minions dropped one of the bells on top of us. I hope this didn't cause too much alarm in the city. It may, however, serve as warning to those in the area that the tower is dangerously unstable. I would recommend either demolishing it or boarding it up to prevent further injury.
  • Here is the evidence we uncovered in our investigations. As you can see, Ironbriar had fallen under the control of this Lamia, who was attempting to destroy the good people of this city and undermine your rule by summoning an unnatural, ancient demon lord. At the clock tower, we also discovered that you yourself, Lord Mayor, were being stalked and groomed to be a victim of this nefarious cult. I am truly glad she was unable to sink her hooks into you.
  • We were able to elimnate the Lamia that had roosted in the tower. I only hope that, in her absence, you and your lieutenants are able to reassert control and bring justice back to the city.
Isra'a
  • Fortunatly, Isra’a hasn’t been seen around the magistrate’s office, no way I could have been involved in this jail break you’re accusing me of. I haven’t been seen in Foxglove’s town house. I wasn’t ever told to stay within the city – nor was I ever at the lumber mill.
  • Regarding the bell – for that I apologize, it was cut loose and the intent was to stop us from scaling the tower. I never meant to alarm anyone. If we had our way it never would have been cut down and nearly crush us.
  • As for the power vacuum caused by the death of Xenesha – I did you a favor. From what my friends told me she has been orchestrating a series of murders throughout your city, corrupted your very own magistrate Ironbriar and had her sights set on you. I haven’t seen anything that would indicate she wouldn’t have succeeded had we not intervened. After seeing the trouble these people have caused in Sandpoint, I wouldn’t want to see that happen to Magnimar too. I hope we have cut the head from the snake and you can resume your rule over this city in peace.


Karaz
  • Yes I'm with them. Whatever they did I did too. Friends? Not sure I would get my hopes up that high, they let me hang around and I help them if I can. They are pretty nice to me, the little one gave me cake once, the cleric has healed me a lot, and the dead guy gives me magical baths. They don't even charge me! If they say the murder cult is bad I will go with that. If we go to prison will I be in with them? I would prefer that please. Now can we fix Calum? If not I might have to bathe with water soon. Look, have you ever had friends? You have? So you help them right? I did that. Maybe we are friends. I don't really have anything else to say here. Talk to them.
Tokki
  • As I am sure you are aware, there is already some evidence that is in possession of the justices. I'd recommend asking for the these to help collaborate the facts we are giving. You may also have a little difficulty tracking down some of the rest of the party. They can be found here ::scribbles down likely places each would be::
  • Now, to the point, I'd like to first address leaving against the orders of justice. I did leave a note of where I was going, and additionally, it was in the cities best interest to go. As you know, Ironbriar was working for the murder cult and extended his influence as far as he could. In case his evil touch infected other justices, we had to act before tracks could be easily covered. This keeps the people of Magnamar safe in the long run, and we mustn't forget that we must keep the taxpayers in mind. The evidence shows this was a good action on our part.
  • The evidence pointed us toward the old clocktower. Once again, nothing was submitted as the validity of the justice were under question. The bell was not dropped by our hands, but the cultist. This caused the structural damage that you have mentioned as well. Though, the structure was questionable to begin with and should be demolished for the safety of those around the area.
  • There will always be crime. Like all things, though, crime comes in shades of grey. What we removed was beyond the pale. Massive murders and death cults go beyond this "crime problem" you speak of. In fact, your head was in line to be culled as you can clearly see in the paperwork that was confiscated from the clocktower. It is also worth noting that the the expanse of this cult reached far, and I suggest you examine some of your staff more closely. For what it is worth, the city is quite well maintained and safe, and your passing would throw more chaos than that of this murder cult being eliminated.
  • Now let me tell you a bit about these things called a runewell and what we encountered in Sandpoint. They are linked to the seven major sins, and the death of those that embody those sins powers them for cabal rites. There is a strong corollary with the notes recovered and what happened there. There is another out there collecting souls that they believe carry greed.
  • I am not one that can judge if you carry greed, but you can always do what you can to remove yourself from their glare otherwise. Now, let me tell you this idea I have about a debtors relief program that could help the city and dissuade the murders from wanting to target you... ::Plans for the rickshaw business would attempt to ensue from here::

Downtime

  • The party has earned 49 days of downtime. This will be December and January in Magnimar. (Climate cf. that of North Carolina.) Chapter 3 will begin 01 February (game calendar). Note, Calums is +1 Negative Level for the first week of downtime.

DM-d20.jpg DM I miscalculated times. I'll fix to see if everything was covered. Craft time is based on original. DM-d20.jpg DM Tokki +1 armor?

Calum
  • Days left: 25
  • 1 day shopping for Donkey
  • Learn new spells
    • 2 days, GP already subtracted
    • Ray of Exhaustion, Lightning Bolt, Keen Edge, Fox's, Cat's, Acid Arrow, Chill Touch
  • 1 day studying pots
  • I'd like Calum to brew up 2 potions of Cat's Grace, two of Bull's Strength, two of Enlarge Person, and two of Spider Climb. They can be distributed among Haneet, Karaz, Isra'a, and the rest of the party as they desire. As for scrolls, I'd like to scribe one each of Haste, Blink, Lightning Bolt, and Ray of Exhaustion.
  • Learn any remaining unknown spells in book
  • Non-crafting downtime (quiet time activity) study Thassilonian artifacts
  • Headband of Headband of Vast Intelligence +2
    • 2000gp crafting cost
    • 2 days Hilma
    • CL 8 = DC 13
    • Not on char sheet yet.
Haneet
  • Days left: 43
  • Dive from the Irespan.
  • Retrain No Escape (350gp, 5 days) - Swift Foot (+5 enhancement bonus to speed while raging)
  • Slippers of Spider Climbing
    • 2400gp
    • 3 days Hilma
    • 3 days Calum
    • CL 4 = DC 9
  • +1 on the Adamantine Morning Star
    • 1000gp
    • 1 days Calum
    • CL 3 = DC 8
  • Belt of Giant Strength +2
    • 2000gp crafting cost
    • 2 days Hilma
    • CL 8 = DC 13
Hilma
  • Days left: 10
  • Retrain 2 ranks of Heal as Spellcraft. Retrain 1 rank of Linguistics as Spellcraft (losing Sign Language) Retrain 2 ranks of Knowldge (History) as Spellcraft. (1750 GP and 25 days)
  • Buy Handy Haversack (2000 GP)
    • 1 day Hilma shopping to locate
  • Headband of Inspired Wisdom +2
    • 2000 GP
    • 2 days Hilma
    • CL 8 = DC 13
  • Wand of Detect Magic
    • 187.5 GP
    • 1 day Hilma
    • CL 1 = DC 6
  • 1 day studying pots
Isra'a
  • Days left: 47
  • Kukri +1
    • 1000 gp
    • 1 days Calum
    • CL 3 = DC 8
  • Kukri +1
    • 1000 gp
    • 1 days Calum
    • CL 3 = DC 8
  • Mithril Shirt +1
    • 500 gp
    • 1 day Calum
    • CL 3 = DC 8
  • Headband of Mental Prowess +2 Wis / +2 Int
    • 5000 gp
    • 5 days time Hilma
    • 5 days time Calum (Fox's Cunning)
    • CL 12 = DC 17
    • SP into Intimidate
  • 1 day studying pots
  • 5 Days and 350 gp to retrain 1 point of intimidate to 1 point bluff
Karaz
  • Days left: 42
  • Help the others where I can. If not try to find some jobs to make some more money I guess, not much else I need to do.
  • Retrain on Scorpion Style to learn Improved Trip
    • 5 days Karaz
    • 10 * 7 * 5 = 350 GP
  • Sword +1
    • 1000 gp
    • 1 days Calum
    • CL 3 = DC 8
  • Sword Keen
    • 3500 gp
    • 4 days Calum
    • CL 6 = DC 11
    • Calum should learn Keen Edge
      • 45 GP
      • 3 hours Calum
Tokki
  • Days left: 24
  • Work on making and licensing a rickshaw business in Magnimar
    • Focus on it being a redemption program for debtors in the city as opposed to jail
  • Train in learning how to speak Giant
    • 20 days
    • 1400 gp
  • Bow +1
    • 1000 gp
    • 1 days Calum
    • CL 3 = DC 8
  • Bow +2
    • 3500 gp
    • 4 days Calum
    • CL 6 = DC 11
  • Get a gift or two
    • 1500gp and 1 days
  • 1 day studying pots

DM-d20.jpg DM Section

Encounters

Basement cultists
Buffed Cultist x3 (Clr1/Rog2/Rgr1)
First floor cultists
Buffed Cultist x4
Justice Ironbriar
As-published, Clr6/Rog2
Missing Cultists
Many of the cultists from the lumber mill were not here to encounter, already having been encountered in the Hall of Justice. Those in the Hall were unbuffed Clr1, Rog2.
Scarecrow
Awakened flesh golem (CR7)
Terrible Stair
Environment: jumps/etc. No CR, but would be around 3.
Falling Bell trap
CR4... I nerfed it to be appropriately CR 4 instead of 7 or so.
Belfry
  • Buffed Skinsaw Cultists x3 CR3 each (Nerf: was supposed to be Faceless Stalkers CR4 each)
  • Aldern Foxglove again (Faceless stalker brd1/wtc1/ftr1 = CR6)
  • Erylium (CR 7)
The Ange
  • Xanesha (Lamia matriarch CR9)

Recap Reward

Before next session's day
Late
Not done
Expires
End of Chapter.