In which the DM seemed to spend most of the day roleplaying females...
The miles passed quickly as the Heroes headed north, back to the town of Sandpoint. The large trees of the Whisperwood blocked much of what little light made it through the grey clouds.
The two horses pulling one of the large carts Krolmn purchased snorted in the cool midday breeze. In the back rested two Magnimarians, looking as uncomfortable and out of place as the day they left the city.
Jon was jogged from his reverie by someone whispering his name. He looked up to see a large, ugly face peering at him from deep within the shadows of the forest, a look of pure hatred upon the ogre’s face. Marius suddenly yelled a warning: Ambush! A javelin impaled the cart’s driver a moment later. More javelins flew out of the forest as the glassworkers screamed and hide in fear.
Belor charged forward only to have his the dragon’s head atop his helm slide forward, blocking his site. The ogres took advantage of his temporary blindness to surround him.
The Heroes defended themselves bravely against the ogre’s ambush. They traced the tracks back to a small camp, where Krolmn noticed tracks made by large talons.
The Heroes were greeted warmly by the people of Sandpoint, but ignoring the celebrations they went straight to Mayor Deverin to inform her about the Skinsaw Cult. They also told her the name ‘Patros Deverin’ was found on Xanesha’s list. The mayor was worried and decided to write a letter to her cousin Patros, who she said was a treasure hunter in Ilsurian or Whistledown, towns far to the northeast.
The mayor also asked Tientrich to consult with her if he decided to move farmers in the future - Sandpoint relied on money gained from selling produce to Magnimar, and with the glassworks not running was susceptible to changes. That is when Krolmn announced that he had organised for some workers from Magnimar to reopen the glassworks. He suggested a statue be built in his honour, and the mayor agreed that a glass statue would be appropriate.
The Rusty DragonEdit
The heroes were greeted warmly by Ameiko. Krolmn told her about the glass workers and return asked for a private tour of the factory.
A man named Camlo Trollbane introduced himself to the heroes, and said he was from Fort Rannick. The fort was home to the Black Arrows, a band of rangers which kept the towns and cities of Varisia safe from the giants and ogres of the Storval Plateau. He was in the region recruiting, and asked if the heroes would be interested in joining. Although they agreed the Black Arrows held a noble goal, they refused.
Shayliss squealed in delight when she saw Belor, and rushed over to embrace him. She asked him to tell her his tales, and asked if he had to kill anyone, to which he replied “Yes lots of things, and not just people.” After sharing a drink Shayliss suggested they talk a walk along the beach, to which Belor agreed.
Vernah’s Fine ClothingEdit
Rynshinn was the manager of Vernah’s Fine Clothing, where the heroes took their new dragon hide. Apart from being considered the most beautiful woman in Sandpoint, Rynshinn was also the best tailor in the region, and agreed to turn the hide into belts, quivers, boots, and to fix Belor’s helmet. Perusing the wares, Krolmn also ordered a beautiful dress, and asked for a quill to compose a love poem for the intended recipient…
Krolmn’s Glassworks TourEdit
Later that day Ameiko showed Krolmn around the glassworks. The gnome took the chance to confess his love for Ameiko, to which the woman was a little surprised. She said that although at this time she does not share his feelings, Krolmn was a noble and generous man and with time she may come to love him. She suggested they go for a picnic to get to know each other better. Krolmn was so overjoyed he could hardly keep his milk down.
(and it was suggested we get a female DM because some of the romantic roleplaying was becoming uncomfortable)
Jon visited the Thassilon expert Brodert Quink. The two discussed the history, culture and theories of Thassilon but Jon learnt little. Brodert’s theory was the ruins of the old lighthouse were far older than people realised, and in fact the structure was some sort of ancient weapon.
Jon decided to visit the Old Light, and Brodert accompanied him. Chunks of worked stone were strewn about the tower at street level. Bordert said he suspected many of them had been used in the construction of Sandpoint’s buildings. There was an opening at street level, partially covered, but obviously used enough over the years by curious people. While dim, there was enough light to see from the sun showing through the top of the tower: apparently the roof and floors of the tower had pancaked over the centuries.
While a few faded runes and weathered carvings were visible on the walls, time had defaced most beyond any translation. Brodert traced some with his finger. “Behold the glory of Bakrakhan” he translated. “Fear the Righteousness of Alaznist and her might.”
Outside again, Brodert took Jon down the rubble and rocks toward the beach, adjacent to Choppers Isle. From here they could see a slight opening about 80 feet above the waves. They returned later that day after purchasing a potion of flying, and Jon ascended to the opening. Inside, there was a jagged stone floor about 30 feet below. The air was extremely foul. Above, hundreds of bats hung upside-down from the ceiling. Below, two human skeletons sprawled directly below the opening, apparently people who had entered but not returned. The floor was strewn with guano-covered rubble. The room appeared to have originally been two different floors, and the stone rubble on the floor was what remained of the floor and any interior walls. There were no obvious exits from the room, and Jon doubted the stability of either the floor or the ceiling.
Nearby was a partial ceramic mosaic displaying a map. Jon examined it. Next to a red line – a border? – was a large tower with a huge flame bellowing from it. The Old Light? To the northeast of the tower was a large lake, with what looked like a gate with a skull and pentagram above it. Pentagram…
Jon’s intrusion was suddenly noticed by a colony of three doombats living in the cavern. The doombats took flight, their shrieking and yipping waking the rest of the bats. Jon took off for the opening, the giant bats close behind him. He emerged only moments before the bats, a shrieking stream ascending into the afternoon sky.
Later, sipping tea at Brodert’s house, Jon studied a map of Varisia. “The Storval Deep,” he said, tapping his finger upon the map. “That is where the pentagram was located.”
Around Sandpoint was another group of adventurers, comprised of two dwarven brothers, a halfling wizard, and a half orc. They had been making a name for themselves, clearing some nearby caves of goblins, and bringing a band of brigands to justice. One of the dwarves, Melitene, was also an avid gambler…
The Grand Gambling Competition of Xerbystes II Belor and Marius heard about a gambling competition and made their way to the Hagfish. There a chubby Halfling introduced the competition as the Grand Gambling Competition of Xerbystes II, Satrap of Qadira. This year Xerbystes II was holding his competition upon the gambling barge Paradiza. The competition brings the best gamblers from across Varisia and Golarion, and has prize monies for numerous mini-competitions plus the grand prize of a Golden Lamp – complete with imprisoned genie, with the power of granting a wish to the winner!
Marius and Belor both played well enough to advance to the next round. Belor was surprised at Marius’ skill, and wondered if he had been cheating…
Tientrich was called to a nearby farm, where farmers had found a sheep ravaged by an animal, and a dead naked man with blood under his nails and teeth nearby. There were no tracks around the man, but Twitch did find one large taloned footprint.
That night a woman approached Belor and introduced herself as Solsta, Shalyiss’ mother. She said Shayliss loved the poem and the dress. Belor was momentarily puzzled but recovered quickly enough not to raise suspicion. He wondered who had sent Shayliss the dress in his name, and instantly thought of his gnomish companion… Soslta asked Belor what his intentions toward her daughter were. Belor said they are honourable but his work could call him away at any time, in which case he would do the right thing and inform Shayliss. Krolmn suggested Solsta invite Belor around for dinner, which he reluctantly accepted. Krolm received a nasty kick under the table for his efforts.
Tydus of MagnimarEdit
Marius met up with his old friend Tydus, who had a woeful tale. He had planned to use a magical potion on Rynshinn in order to trick her into signing a business partnership, but upon seeing her had lusted after her and used the potion to ask her for a date. Rynshinn, believing herself charmed by the man and not his potion, agreed. She opened her heart to him on the date, and Tydus was suddenly overcome with guilt and made a polite excuse to end the night early.
Back at the Rusty Dragon he related all this to Marius, and asked for advice how he could disentangle himself romantically but still profit from the business. Belor suggested fleeing, and Marius agreed – but knowing something of magic, said it would only have to be until the potion wore off. In the meantime, Marius would meet with Rynshinn and explain Tydus had urgent business to attend to in Magnimar but would return.
The next day he did so. Rynshinn was not amused. She felt Tydus has taken advantage of her, and said she would reconsider the business deal.
That night in the Rusty Dragon there was a strange man wearing red robes, decorated with an infernal eye staring from a swirling portal. Others seem to avoid him. He nodded towards Marius and Belor and approached. “A Hellknight,” Ameiko whispered as she pretended to clean the table.
The man introduced himself as Solangus Galonnica, of the Order of the Gate. He said he had a warning for Jon Constantine. He told Marius that there were powers looking for Jon, because his ancestor had made an enemy of a powerful devil known as Goruthor the Defiler, not one to be taken lightly. Solangus had been tracking a devil who was obsessed with someone named Constantine. When Solangus heard the same name in Magnimar, he tracked Jon to Sandpoint. He warned that no doubt his prey would do likewise.
After that Belor and Marius headed over to the Hagfish for the second round of the gambling competition. In the back of Belor’s mind was the dinner invitation from Solsta which he had ignored, but he figured winning this gambling competition was far more important.
Krolmn’s Missing RangerEdit
Meanwhile Krolmn had his young scouts out in the Whisperwood, teaching them the ways of the ranger. Krolmn awoke to howls and found one of his scouts, Rolado, was missing. The gnome tracked him in the night light. The sounds of wolves were all around him. Then Rolado’s tracks change to wolf tracks – was Rolado a werewolf?
Krolmn sent the others back to get his companions. They found Marius and Belor at the Hagfish celebrating their advancement to the final round. Upon hearing Krolmn needed hel they took off. The dwarf Malitene overheard the story and offered help, but Belor told him to mind his own business. He didn’t trust the dwarf, and believed he had been cheating at gambling. Marius last saw the dwarf rushing off into town.
Krolmn awaited his companions and then advanced through the forest. He found a dozen werewolves at some sort of council, standing around, a large one with greyish fur out front. “We need to recruit and take the battle to them!” he growled. Others agreed. A smaller werewolf stepped forward. “This will be the end of our pack. Even if we defeat Garlgan and his monsters, we will draw the attention of the humans. That will be worse than anything Garlgan can throw at us.” Greyfang responded. “Enough hiding! Let the humans come! We will recruit and use them against their own people…” Then they noticed Krolmn.
The gnome spoke with the werewolves and found out they had been driven east by a magic-using ogre and his companions, who had also recruited flying monsters. Krolmn offered to help the werewolves in return for Rolado’s safety – however the werewolves did not know of this Rolado…