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Savaged Rise of the Runelords (Play Report)
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GruffaloCrumble
Seasoned


Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Savaged Rise of the Runelords (Play Report) Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session One - 01-03-2012

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (monstrous lizard man monk with a heart of gold)

Cariryn : Krogg (abhorred half-orc garbage collector with doomed ambitions of bettering himself)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental)

Steboucha : Antony (amnesiac elf, washed up in Sandpoint with no memories of his previous life)


FESTIVAL & FIRE

The citizens of Sandpoint (a small, yet prosperous fishing community along the Lost Shore) are preparing for the Swallowtail Festival, a celebration to welcome the first day of Autumn. The streets are thronged with local residents and visitors from further afield, all dancing and making merry. But not everyone is enjoying the revelry, a scowling half-orc (Krogg) trundles through the crowds, pushing his red wheelbarrow before him. Meanwhile, a robed figure (Karrack) tries to make himself useful, but is shunned for his bestial visage. Ben converses with a group of drunken fishermen over 'the Late Unpleasantness', while Antony and his adopted family (who found and nursed him back to health, after he washed up wounded outside of town) enjoy a welcome respite from the forge.

At noon, the crowds make their way to the open square before Sandpoint's recently completed cathedral, a grandiose monument dedicated to the worship of Desna, erected after the town's old church was burned to the ground in a mysterious and tragic fire. Hundred of butterflies are released into the air to the delight of the rabble - especially Karrack, who missed breakfast and apparently considers butterflies a rare delicacy. As Father Zantus tries to restore order for the ritual of consecration, Ben notices a squat figure darting through the crowd, followed by screams and shouts of alarm as a horde of loathsome goblins pour into the crowded square!

As the revellers panic, the heroes engage the goblin raiders, hoping to hold the line while the Sandpoint militia organises a counter-strike to repulse the invading force back into the wilderness. Karrack confronts a goblin armed with nothing but a bogey and only the sage use of an Adventure Card saves Krogg from a humiliating, soup-related fatality. Ben spends most of the combat trying to pull a cowering goblin out from beneath a wagon, while another of the little bastards throws plates at Antony's head.

After defeating the first wave of goblins, the party are reinforced by Sheriff Hemlock and a small band of militiamen. In light of the threat to the town, the Sheriff is convinced to deputize the PC's and dispatches them to deal with another group of marauding goblins laying siege to the Rusty Dragon Inn. On route, Karrack saves a small child from being crushed beneath the wheels of a runaway cart.

DIE, DOG, DIE!

Reaching the Rusty Dragon, the heroes find a group of goblins tormenting a cowering nobleman, having already killed his loyal hunting hound. Sabotaging any chance the party had of taking the goblins by surprise, Karrack announces that he feels no remorse for the slaughter of dog-slayers and wades into battle, the others have little choice but to follow suit.

Wiping out the enemy, the group rescue to nobleman, only to discover he's a bit of an arsehole. Aldern Foxglove thanks his saviours and insists that they join him on a hunting expedition once things have settled down a little.

LOCAL HEROES

Having played a pivotal role in the defence of the town, the PC's are celebrated as local heroes, even Krogg is treated with slightly less disdain than would ordinarily be the case. Encouraged by Ben to seek social advancement in the light of his heroic conduct, Krogg approaches Sheriff Hemlock and asks to join the militia. His request is doomed after he experiences a moment of nauseating flatulence in the enclosed garrison, forcing the building to be evacuated and birthing concerns than the goblins may have engineered some form of biological agent with which to attack the town.

Antony is approached by Shayliss Vinder, the lustful daughter of the general store owner, but her clumsy attempts to seduce the handsome elf are foiled when he insists on declaring his intentions to her over-protective father - and is subsequently forbidden from ever entering his store - or his daughter - again, on pain of death.

Meanwhile, the other PC's are contacted by Aldern Foxglove and invited to join him on a boar hunt in Tickwood. Krogg and Ben meet the nobleman at the north gate and are loaned horses and spears. Karrack is deeply offended by the notion of slaying so noble a beast for the benefit of a privileged few and demands that whatever the hunting party kill is gifted to the poor, some of whom are starving, after the goblins put their winter stores to the torch. Foxglove laughs in his scaly face and rides off, leaving the Saurian monk to trudge after them.
Ben manages to track down a boar and the party dismount and wait to meet its charge... or at least, Ben and Foxglove do. Krogg, who clearly has no appreciation for the long established traditions of the hunt, hurls his spear across the clearing, skewering the beast from tusk to tail. While Foxglove berates the barbaric churl for his utter lack of gentility, Karrack emerges from the foliage and makes off with the boar's carcass. Foxglove objects and a tug of war over possession of the dead pig ensures, which the nobleman loses. The PC's host a feast for the poverty stricken and become folk heroes amongst the penniless beggars of Sandpoint, but simultaneously make an enemy of Aldern Foxglove.

A few nights later, the PC's are approached by a frantic woman, whose domestic bliss has been shattered by a rogue goblin, left behind enemy lines when the rest of his tribe retreated, following the recent raid. Exploring the house, the group find the poor woman's husband jammed into a cupboard, his face half eaten by the hungry wretch lurking beneath the floorboards. Unused to such gristly sights, Antony's stomach revolts and he is sick out of the window. The goblin launches itself out of the shadows, slashing at Ben's throat before scrambling for freedom. Karrack tackles the wretched creature on the stairs and demands to know who masterminded the assault on Sandpoint and why. The group establish the raid was incited by a sinister woman with white hair, scars on her belly and "a scary hand". They also discover the goblins were instructed to cause as much mayhem as possible, while other agents of the sinister woman stole something from the Sandpoint cemetery. The goblin doesn't know what was stolen, and having outlived his usefulness, the PC's execute him. The party wrap the dead husband's cannibalised cadaver in a sheet and carry it out into the street. Antony tries and fails to comfort the weeping widow. Krogg inadvertently steps on a trailing edge of the shroud, revealing the mutilated corpse to the assembled crowd, resulting in much fainting and projectile vomit.

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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Joined: 19 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Two / Part One - 08/03/2012

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (monstrous lizard man monk with a heart of gold)

Cariryn : Krogg (abhorred half-orc garbage collector with doomed ambitions of bettering himself)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental)

Steboucha : Antony (amnesiac elf, washed up in Sandpoint with no memories of his previous life)

Crusader Hank: Rast (greedy dwarven rogue with an embarrassing rash, constantly scratching)


GRIM NEWS FROM MOSSWOOD

The following morning, the party enjoy a hearty breakfast before following up on the leads uncovered after their interrogation-come-execution of the goblin commando. They make a beeline for the Sandpoint cemetery and quiz the hideous, hunchbacked undertaker on any curious activity in the boneyard of late. They learn that the grave of the late Father Tobyn (the predecessor of Father Zantus) has been dug up and the skeletal remains of the dead priest exhumed. Jumping into the sodden grave, Krogg discovers traces of gold dust in the bottom of the empty coffin. At the mention of gold, Rast practically hurls himself into the hole head first and starts scraping up the precious flakes with his fat, sausage fingers. Searching the area around the desecrated tomb, the group find more trace elements of gold in the dewy grass, leading to the wall, where they find a ladder discarded in the overgrown bushes. Clambering over the wall, the party lose the glittering trail in Tickwood, so return to town to peruse the old church records, hoping to establish why the goblins were so interested in the earthly remains of a decaying clergyman.
Father Zantus welcomes the group to the newly consecrated cathedral and grants them access the parish records. Rast delves into the investigation with great gusto and discovers that the late Father Tobyn burned to death in the conflagration that destroyed the old Sandpoint chapel. The priest's adopted daughter, Nualia, also perished in the blaze, though no body was ever found....

Later that day, the heroes are summoned to the town hall to attend a council with Mayor Deverin, Sheriff Hemlock and Shalelu Andosana, an elven ranger recently returned from the depths of Mosswood with grim news. Apparently, the five goblin tribes along the Lost Coast (the Birdcruncher tribe, the Licktoad tribe, the Seven Tooth tribe, the Thistletop tribe and the Mosswood tribe) have been united under a single chief and given a single, driving purpose - the utter destruction of Sandpoint! Sheriff Hemlock departs for Magnimar, hoping to raise reinforcements to support the local garrison if the goblins do return in overwhelming numbers. He renews the groups' deputy status and asks them to keep the peace in Sandpoint while he is away, as the townsfolk still talk of their heroic actions during the goblin raid.

THE MISSING BARTENDER

Rast begins trawling through the garrison's archive, looking for more information about the Sandpoint fire, but becomes sidetracked by records regarding the Chopper - an insane serial killer who plagued the town five years previously, enjoying a string of gruesome murders before he was eventually killed. Rast is disappointed in his search for evidence of a gold mine in the area, but does discover an obscure report of several sacks of gold dust being stolen from the Sandpoint Glassworks (as gold dust is sometimes used as a reagent to create red/yellow coloured glass). Before the dwarven sleuth can reveal this discovery to his new companions, the group are approached by a frantic halfling woman, whom they recognise as the cook from the Rusty Dragon. She tells the party her employer, Ameiko Kaijitsu, has gone missing, leaving nothing but a curious note penned in an unfamiliar hand. Skimming the mysterious correspondence, the group realise that Ameiko has been summoned to a midnight rendezvous with her estranged half-brother Tsuto Kaijitsu, at the Glassworks. In light of Rast's discovery amidst the militia's dusty records, the heroes decide Ameiko's well-being is in jeopardy and make haste to the Glassworks, hoping they are not too late....
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GruffaloCrumble
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Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Two / Part Two - 08/03/2012

WRATH AND GLASS

As the sun dips over the ocean, bathing the streets of Sandpoint in its dusky light, Krogg leads the party to the rear, delivery entrance of the Glassworks. Rast attempts to pick the lock, before realising the portal doesn't appear to have a keyhole. Rather, he wedges it shut with a hard crust of dwarven bread, to prevent anyone within fleeing out the back door when the party storm the front of the building. Meanwhile, Antony scales the wall to peer in through one of the tall, exterior windows. The glass is frosted, but he can make out diminutive figures capering within, illuminated by the sullen, red glow of the smelting furnace.
Circling around to the front of the Glassworks, Rast picks the lock and the party creep stealthily inside. Or at least, Krogg, Karrack, Ben and Rast creep stealthily... Antony, on the other hand, swaggers in as though he owns the place, blundering clumsily into a display of ornate glass work. Rast makes a dive to catch the tumbling trinkets, but they slip through his (fat, sausage) fingers and shatter against the floor. Fortunately, whoever occupies the Glassworks doesn't appear to have noticed the din.

Sneaking through a hive of dark, empty workshops, the trespassing heroes soon reach the large, glass-working crucible, into which Antony caught an earlier glimpse. Bursting into the area with their weapons drawn, they find Ameiko Kaijitsu trussed up and surrounded by gibbering goblins, her half-elven, half-brother Tsuto Kaijitsu looming over her, gloating maniacally, before commanding his minions to throw her into the furnace. As two of the goblins manhandle the missing innkeeper towards the flames, the party leap into action! Krogg, Rast and Karrack charge the milling goblins, while Ben and Antony hang back and rain arrows on Tsuto - who returns fire and wounds the human ranger (the damage would have been more grievous had Ben not rolled so bloody well on his Soak roll). Karrack leaps up onto the long worktable and sprints along its length, bypassing the goblins thronged to either side and whittling their numbers down with shuriken, before the dwarf and half-orc crash into their front line. The Saurian monk is tackled - and both reptile and runt fall to the floor in one writhing mass of tangled limbs.
Overconfident in their martial supremacy over their little, green adversaries, the party are lured into overextending themselves - then yet more goblins flood the room from all sides, surrounding and outnumbering the surprised heroes. Escalating the situation further still, Krogg plays the Angry Mob Adventure Card and the players are reinforced by a horde of militia men from the Sandpoint garrison, responding to reports of a break in at the Glassworks. The ill-trained but enthusiastic guards burst into the building through doors and windows - even rappelling from the skylights like some medieval SWAT unit. The tide of battle turns against Tsuto and his goblin allies and they try to flee. Ben casts Entangle, frustrating their attempted escape with thick, clinging vines that snake around their legs. Although two of the goblins get away (and disappear into an old smuggling tunnel beneath the town), Antony puts an arrow through Tsuto's (once handsome) face, and down he goes, dead or dying.

Ben overcomes his animosity for Tsuto (who did shoot him, after all) and grudgingly consents to heal the villain, though nobody takes any pains to remove the arrow sticking out of what used to be his nose. Once he regains consciousness, the group find he will not answer their questions without a powerful incentive to talk. Antony provides such an incentive by yanking on the arrow still protruding from his face. Once he regains consciousness (again), he reveals that the goblin tribes are being mustered at Thistletop by a woman called Nualia, who shares his own hatred for the people of Sandpoint. They learn Nualia was alienated by her adopted parent (the late Father Tobyn, whose body was recently stolen from the town cemetery) after she became pregnant to a Varisian gypsy. She burnt down the church in which they lived, killing the old priest in the process and fled. Since then, she has found favour with a dark, unwholesome deity - and has returned to the Lost Coast with the power to wipe Sandpoint and its citizenry off the map.

The party leave Tsuto in the custody of the militia and return to the Rusty Dragon with Ameiko, who seems to have taken an unfathomable shine to Rast, despite the liberties the lecherous dwarf took to paw at her bound figure - or perhaps because of them.... (Quirk: Kinky sex games?). They brief Shalelu Andosana on their nights diversion and bombard the elven ranger with questions about Thistletop, since it appears they will be assaulting the place in the near future. Shalelu agrees to support their attack on the goblin fortress and the group resolve to head north the next day.

Meanwhile, ever since he read about the Chopper, Rast's grubby, dwarven soul has been consumed with the notion to search the abandoned house on Chopper's Isle (universally shunned by the local populous due to rumours of the killer's malevolent spirit haunting the burnt wreckage) for the murderers hidden treasure cache. Somehow, he convinces Karrack to accompany him on this scavenger hunt/suicide mission and the next morning they cross the sandbar to the foreboding islet. The pair ascend the broken stair and enter the blackened skeleton of the old house. Immediately, Karrack's eyes begin to ache, as though something unseen were worrying them with a rusty splinter. Consumed by goldlust, Rast drops into the dark, spooky basement through a gaping hole in the floor and discovers a creepy altar to a sinister, bird-like demon. He doesn't notice the Chopper's vengeful ghost materialising above him until Karrack yelps in surprise. The murderous spectre tries to put out Rast's eyes with its ethereal, blade-like fingers, Rast is so scared he is permanently marked by the harrowing experience, one of his eyes bulges comically and begins to roll around in its socket like a marble in a cup. Noticing the dagger he looted of Tsuto is glowing in response to the ghost's presence (it must be magical, hurray!), Rast jabs the ghost with the pointy end, causing the hateful apparition to vanish with a howl that rattles the foundations of the crumbling house. With the Chopper's ghost banished, the demon altar is sundered and Rast discovers a sinister grimoire. Vindicated (there was treasure after all!), Rast (and Karrack) returns to the Rusty Dragon and hands the book over to Ben. the only party member with any degree of magical aptitude. After a brief examination of the unsettling text, Ben discovers a new spell, enabling him to shape-change his body into the form of a small, evil looking bird.

The group set out for Thistletop with Shalelu Andosana as their guide. We rejoin them there next week!

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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Joined: 19 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Three/Part One - 15/03/2012

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (monstrous lizard man monk with a heart of gold, fighting for the liberation of goblins everywhere!)

Cariryn : Krogg (abhorred half-orc garbage collector with doomed ambitions of bettering himself)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental)

Steboucha : Antony (amnesiac elf, washed up in Sandpoint with no memories of his previous life)

Crusader Hank: Rast (greedy dwarven rogue with an embarrassing rash, constantly scratching, one eye bulges comically from its socket)


With Shalelu Andosana to guide them across the wilderness, the heroes travel north along the coast until they reach the lightly forested outskirts of Nettlewood. Surveying the ramshackle goblin fortifications through his spyglass, Rast is unable to perceive any approach to Thistletop other than the heavily guarded rope-bridge leading right up to the front door. The stocky dwarven rogue decides to swim across to the island upon which the goblins have erected their stronghold, in the (somewhat desperate) hope that an alternative means of infiltration will present itself. Karrack volunteers to go with him, hoping to keep the little fellow out of trouble. It transpires that Rast is not so competent a swimmer as he imagined himself to be (sinking like a bearded brick the moment he is out of his depth) and his Saurian ally is forced to act as a buoyancy aid to save him from a watery grave. All is going swimmingly (haha!) until something with altogether too many teeth chomps down on Karrack's long, scaly tail. Having attracted the predatory attentions of a bunyip (imagine a cross between a bloodthirsty shark and a loveable seal), Karrack and Rast paddle for the dubious safety of the rocks. The bunyip soon loses interest in its prey, after Karrack puts out one of its eyes with a taloned fist.

Meanwhile, Ben decides to trial his new spell and perform some aerial reconnaissance of the goblin positions. He intones the words of power from the sinister grimoire that Rast plundered from the Chopper's haunted basement - and alters his form into that of a small, evil looking bird (with oily black feathers and three, glowing red eyes). Unknown to Ben, in doing so he has bared his soul to a dark and terrible entity, possessed of an insatiable - and unconventional - appetite.
Perched atop the goblin fortifications, Ben watches the compound below for any sign of a woman matching Nualia's description. Instead, he spots the Thistletop warchief riding around on the back of a giant gecko, a battered crown of scrap metal perched atop his misshapen brow. Taking wing once more, Ben swoops down to circle Karrack and Rast as they sit shivering amidst the jagged rocks at the base of the island. Landing in a cave mouth 50ft up the sheer side of the cliff, Ben transforms back into his human shape and lowers a rope to his two soggy friends.

Twiddling his thumbs as Rast and Karrack make their leisurely ascent, Ben is unpleasantly surprised when a rubbery tentacle snakes around his neck and wrenches him off his feet. A second, spiked feeler pierces the ranger's armour and skewers his torso, pumping organ-liquefying venom into his chest. Unable to break free of the Tentamort's deadly embrace, it falls to Rast to prevent the lurking horror from turning Ben into a gruesome, human milkshake.
Having defeated the mummy Tentamort, Ben, Karrack and Rast must deal with the creature's vile spawn, as the baby tentamorts burst out of the bloated corpse of the creature's last victim. Meanwhile, back on the coast, Krogg and Antony grow weary of waiting for the others to return and - having hijacked a small fishing vessel - row across to investigate the disappearance of their friends.

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Three/Part Two - 15/03/2012

The group enjoy a welcome interlude, as Ben recovers from his tentacular tussle, before delving deeper into the dungeon beneath Thistletop. 'Tasting' the air with his long, lizardy tongue, Karrack takes the lead, following the goblin stink pervading the tunnels. Soon, the party come to a pair of enormous, stone double-doors, their faces carved with images of horrific, deformed monsters clawing their way out of pregnant women of all races. Repressing a shared shudder, the group decide to leave that grim portal alone for a while. Their aimless blundering leads to a gallery of goblin 'art' and Krogg pauses to admire a portrait of Warchief Ripnugget, smeared on the wall with what may or may not be poo.

The next chamber they enter is a cluttered workroom, littered with archaeological tools, dog-eared manuscripts and stone tablets covered in dense, spiky runes. The desk is occupied by an attractive, dusky skinned woman (Lyrie Akenja) and her beloved moggy. Glancing up from her studies as the party intrude upon her personal space, she demands to know what the devil they think they're up to, interrupting her important work at such a pivotal moment?! Her eyes begin to glaze over as Karrack starts banging on about her tyrannical oppression of the indigenous greenskins. Questioning the confused woman, they learn she is an academic hired by Nualia to investigate the ancient vault beneath Thistletop - and establish if there is any truth to the goblin's belief that a powerful monster is sealed therein.
Unimpressed by Lyrie's dispassionate, mercenary attitude towards the fate of Sandpoint should Nualia turn this slumbering behemoth loose upon the Varisian countryside, Antony slaps her upside the face and binds her hands behind her back. When her pet cat hisses at this unprovoked mistreatment of its mistress, Rast stabs it (which does little to raise Lyrie's already pretty poor opinion of the party). Not that her feelings matter for long, as when nobody is paying attention, Rast stabs her too - and since his dagger has been coated in organ-liquefying tentamort venom, her lingering demise will be neither quick nor painless. Blissfully ignorant of the murderous dwarf's penchant for acts of spontaneous homicide, Antony continues to haul the dying woman around with him.

Before they gagged her, Lyrie had directed her captors to Nualia's quarters, and it is in this general direction that the party now amble. Growing weary of the group's womanly dithering, Krogg takes the lead and barges into a harem of Ripnugget's goblin concubines, who seem excessively excited by the sudden appearance of this half-orc stallion. Coquettishly, they enquire if that is a longsword in his britches, or is he just happy to see them...? It transpires that it was a longsword after all, which Krogg draws from its sheath and sets to hacking the warchief's hideous courtesans into so much bloody meat, before they dare utter another indecent proposition.

Searching the chambers belonging by Nualia and her favoured lackeys, the party find only one room is currently occupied. They confront Orik Vancaskerkin, who is honing the edge on his blade in anticipation of trouble. He is unmoved the party's condemnation of Nualia's cause, having taken her gold to serve as her bodyguard. He challenges the group to fight him honourably, only to be dishonourably butchered before he can even strap on his armour.
Searching Nualia's chambers, Rast discovers the wicked woman's diary, which turns out to be a real page turner. Skimming through her angst-filled teenage years in Sandpoint, Rast reaches the juicy stuff regarding her servitude to Lamashtu, the Mother-Goddess of all Monsters. Realising that Nualia stole her father's skeleton so as to sacrifice it to Lamashtu in a ritual to gain infernal powers, the party rush back to the chapel and burst through the creepy double-doors that they bypassed earlier, praying they are not too late to interrupt Nualia's demonic transformation

Their charge breaks against a mob of mutant goblins (twisted by Lamashtu's corrupting influence), while Nualia releases the hellish Yeth Hounds chained to the altar. One of the demon hounds damn near tears out Rast's throat, soaking the dwarf's bushy beard in blood. After several arrows ricochet off her plate armour, Nualia loses patience with the cowardly archers and wades into the fray, laying her foes asunder with her +1 serrated longsword. Exploiting a weakness in Karrack's defences, Nualia prepares to deliver a mortal wound - but before her blade can bite into his scaly flesh, Krogg hurls himself into the path of the weapon, taking the damage instead of the Saurian monk. Shaking off his wounds, Krogg brings his own sword to bare and overcomes Nualia in a frenzied hurricane of steel. Searching her body, the party find a curious medallion inscribed with a seven pointed star that positively throbs with plot significance.
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Four - 22/03/2012

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (Lizardman monk-turned-revolutionary)

Cariryn : Krogg (Brutish half-orc garbage collector, has traded his wheelbarrow in for a life of adventure)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental... and eyeballs)

Steboucha : Antony (amnesiac elf, washed up in Sandpoint with no memories of his previous life)

Crusader Hank: Rast (sausage-fingered dwarven rogue with an embarrassing rash, constantly scratching, one eye bulges comically from its socket)


Having slain Nualia, the party toss her father's skeletal remains into a sack, to be returned to the consecrated earth of Sandpoint's cemetery. Poking around the prison adjacent to the demonic chapel, they rescue a wounded dwarf from a cage suspended over a smouldering fire pit. He offers them no thanks, possibly because the goblins have cut out his tongue. Unprepared to burden themselves with a second loafing dwarf, the rest of the party fob the mute off on Shalelu Andonsana and pack the pair of them off for Sandpoint with news of Nualia's defeat.

While most of the group are eager to leave Thistletop for the various goblin tribes to bicker over, Karrack somehow persuades them to help him free the wretched greenskins from the tyrannical yoke of oppression. Whether the others actually support his noble quest - or simply saw an opportunity to plunder the rest of the goblin stronghold remains ambiguous.
The goblins have discovered the blaze in Nualia's sanctum and are organising a bucket chain to extinguish the flames. Taking advantage of the confusion, the party ascend to the upper levels, emerging into an open courtyard, overlooked by two sagging guard towers. A number of dead goblins litter the ground outside a large shed, from within which something is raising an ungodly racket. Several mangy goblin dogs converge on the party, barking and growling threateningly.
Against all common sense and self-preservation, Ben decides that sometimes it's better the devil you don't know - and lifts the bar across the outhouse door, releasing whatever manner of beast is raging inside. The ranger barely manages to avoid being caught in a cloud of splinters as the portal bursts open and a huge, magnificent warhorse in full barding erupts into the courtyard - eyes rolling madly, its mouth frothing with white foam! Alerted by the clamour, the goblin archers up in the two towers notch arrows and prepare to loose. Recognising the danger, Karrack vaults onto the back of the rampaging steed, then somersaults up into one of the towers! The Saurian monk knocks one of the marksmen out of the tower with his tail, the second surrenders and pledges his (somewhat dubious) allegiance to the benevolent lizardman.
Meanwhile, Krogg and Antony begin clambering up the outside of the other tower. Once the half-orc reaches the top, he makes short, gory work of the archers, then leaps through a trapdoor in the floor in search of more goblin blood in which to bathe his sword.
While the half-orc berserker runs amok, Ben turns his attention to the stampeding stallion. After its third attempt to kick Rast's brains out through the back of his thick, dwarven skull, the ranger casts Entangle, lassoing the horse with a length of magical rope. Surmising that the warhorse formerly belonged to Nualia's bodyguard (Orik Vancaskerkin) and that he's hardly going to have further need of it (being dead), Ben soothes the animal's ire and claims it for himself.

Seducing the goblin with promises of a brighter future, Karrack convinces his new best friend (Snot) to betray Warchief Ripnuggget. The party challenge the goblin leader for command of the tribe, putting Krogg forward as their champion. Rignugget rejects their proposal and mounts his giant gecko, then scales the wall of his throne room, beyond the reach of Krogg's blade (which Rast was thoughtful enough to smear in his last dose of tentamort venom). While the rest of the party whittles away the warchief's surplus of bodyguards, Krogg rages at the cowardly chieftan as he scrambles across the ceiling on the back of his sure-footed mount. Ben manages to dislodge the oversized newt, which crashes to the ground, spilling its rider from the saddle. Before Krogg can grab the slippery bastard, Ripnugget flees into his private rooms behind the throne. The half-orc gives chase and catches Rignugget as he attempts to escape down a stinking latrine. Krogg hacks the former warchief's body into bloody ruin, then fishes around amongst the entrails for epic loot.

Abandoned by their warchief, the surviving goblins (and the gecko) yield. Karrack dons Ripnugget's (bloodstained) crown, mounts the giant gecko and rides out to formally address his subjects. Warchief Karrack announces to what's left of the Thistletop tribe that they will be migrating south to Tickwood, an area of dense forest within a stones throw of Sandpoint, where they will found a new community and become respectable citizens of the Empire. Karrack sets to herding the milling goblins down the coast, while the rest of the party scour the abandoned stronghold for Ripnugget's treasure cache. Ultimately, it's Rast who discovers it, after fishing in the warchief's reeking latrine with his grappling hook (I'm sure he had his reasons....).

The party return to Sandpoint as heroes, apart from Karrack who is initially assumed to have defected to the goblins side, when he first appeared at the head of a great goblin army. He and his love interest (thanks Adventure Card!) Shalelu Andosana begin construction of the goblin's new settlement and assign Snot the important position of Human-Goblin Liaison Officer. Krogg is promoted to the rank of Sergeant within the Sandpoint militia. Antony continues searching for clues as to his identity and Ben fights the demonic compulsion to start harvesting eyeballs from the general populous. Finally, Rast is besieged by murderous cats who yowl outside his window at night and claws at his face during the day. He suspects he has been cursed and ponders how best to implement absolute feline genocide.

Thus concludes Burnt Offerings!

Next week... The Skinsaw Murders!
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Five/One - 29/03/2012

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (Lizardman monk-turned-revolutionary, founder of goblin shanty town in Tickwood)

Cariryn : Krogg (Half-Orc man-at-arms, promoted to the rank of Sergeant)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental... and eyeballs)

Steboucha : Aereon (Antony's super-magical uncle)

Crusader Hank: Rast (Rogue Alchemist, haunted by malevolent moggies)


A month has passed since the parties triumphant return from Thistletop. Relations between the Sandpoint citizenry and the freshly founded goblin colony of Hope (or Stinkpoint, as the locals have christened it) are strained. The villagers blame the new arrivals for the sudden predations upon the town's cat culture. The real culprit (Rast) is happy to let the greenskins take the fall, as he continues to wage his one-dwarf campaign against his feline persecutors. Rast does take an afternoon off from his sudden enthusiasm for amateur alchemy to rig the harpy wings (that he took from Ripnugget's trophy room) with a wooden frame. Observed by a crowd of curious spectators, the mad dwarf clambers to the tallest point of the Sandpoint cathedral and chucks himself off the edge. Those expecting a dwarf-shaped splatter on the ground are disappointed, when his makeshift hang-glider catches the wind and Rast soars majestically across the rooftops.
Meanwhile, Antony tends to the mute dwarf (who the party rescued from Thistletop's dungeons). Despite his scars/bruising, the tongue-less fellow's face stirs memories in the half-elf's addled brain. Once restored to health, the dwarf explains (using secret sign language) how he was dispatched by the masters of the monastery where Antony had been training - under his real name, Solaris - to investigate the disappearance of their champion. Antony accompanies the dwarf back to their mountain sanctuary to resume his instruction in the sacred arts, but does arrange for his super-magical uncle Aereon to travel to Sandpoint and aid the party in their continuing struggle.

Sheriff Hemlock approaches Sergeant Krogg and asks him to gather the rest of the gang, to discuss a dire new threat to the town. Once assembled, the Sheriff speaks of a series of gristly murders and asks the group to bring the killer to justice. The party are disturbed to discover the rune carved into the victim's flesh is identical to that on the medallion they lifted from Nualia's corpse. Worse still, the culprit left a note at the scene implicating Karrack in the crime!
The party rush to the Sandpoint sawmill, where the latest two bodies were found only this morning. A crowd of gawking onlookers have gathered outside, but Krogg persuades them to piss off. The first victim (Banny Harker) is only recognisable by a distinctive tattoo across his back, since the killer took the liberty of eating his face, before carving the seven pointed star into his chest. The second 'body' belonged to the sister of Shayliss Vinder (the wench who tried to seduce Antony in Week 1), although after being thrown into the wood-chipper, there's not all that much of a body left. It turns out that Uncle Aereon has as delicate a disposition as his handsome nephew and staggers back outside to throw up into the river.
Searching for clues, the party find a trail of muddy footprints that stink of turned meat. The tracks originate from - and return to - the river. Karrack, Ben and Uncle Aereon range up and down both banks, looking for more tracks, but find nothing.

Exhausting all their leads, the group decide to interview the only witness of the first three murders (a trio of greedy conmen killed and mutilated in a barn south of town), who has been detained at an isolated sanatorium. Krogg negotiates entry to the asylum, thanks to the Sheriff's letter of introduction. Erin Habe (the doctor in charge) and his two lumbering orderlies escort the party to the deranged man's cell. The lunatic is gibbering about his 'new family' and the Skinsaw Man who 'unmade him'. When the maniac spots Karrack standing outside his padded room, his eyes bulge and he relays a message from 'His Lordship'; "He said that the bodies you are finding are signs and portents; that when he is done, you shall be remembered forever and the Misgivings shall be your throne!”
Then it all goes a bit Chthulhu....

The inmates neck snaps backwards at a grotesque angle and his straitjacket begins to ripple and swell, like a cocoon about to disgorge some monstrous larvae. The fabric tears and the creature's four powerful, grey limbs (tipped with jagged claws, oozing brown blood that stinks of rotting meat) snap out to slash at the orderlies trying to subdue it. The vile fiend scuttles up the wall and across the ceiling, grabbing Karrack and hurling the Saurian monk down a flight of stairs. Fortunately, super-magical Uncle Aereon is there to save the day, blasting the undead horror into soup with spears of crackling lightning.
On some slim pretext, Ben decapitates the body, then scoops out and pockets the abomination's sightless, staring eyeballs (the good doctor confiscates the head). While Krogg raids the orderlies lunch and Rast rifles through the belongings of the other inmates, Karrack rolls the ghoul's headless carcass down the hill to Habe's cottage, breaks in and burns the body in the hearth. As the party prepare to leave, a storm breaks and Krogg borrows the good doctor's umbrella (and is almost struck by lightning). The group spend the night in the same barn where the Skinsaw Man slaughtered his first three victims.

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Five/Two - 29/03/2012

Returning to Sandpoint the next morning, the party are intercepted by a distraught rustic, who implores the characters to clear out the terrible creatures infesting his cornfields. The old farmer's breath stinks of whisky, but even in his muddled state, the fiends that he describes sound uncomfortably familiar to the heroes, having just put down a similar entity at Habe's asylum. They agree to investigate the drunkard's concerns and Sergeant Krogg convinces the Sheriff to loan the party a handful of the militia's horses, to hasten their journey to the haunted homestead. Before they depart, Ben convinces Rast to show him where he buys such fine glassware, but a misjudged attempt at persuasion (to convince the merchant to apply a discount to marked prices) leaves the atmosphere charged with homoerotic possibility.

They reach the desolate stretch of abandoned farmland as dusk yields the sky to an early twilight. Noticing a number of ominous scarecrows have been erected amidst the rows of whispering corn, Ben begins using them for target practise. Suddenly, Rast notices that a number of the poles previously occupied by the straw men are now conspicuously vacant. As he turns in his saddle to warn the others, one of the ghouls attacks! While the wound is not deep, the brown slime coating the creature's claws leaves the rogue alchemist paralysed for 2 combat rounds, as the fiend tries to drag him from the horses back. The cornfield is full of undead horrors that begin to shriek and howl maniacally as they close in around the mounted party. Ben leads a desperate charge towards the dubious safety of the ramshackle barn beyond the blighted cropland - only for another horde of the gibbering, grey ghouls to erupt from within.

While Uncle Aereon and Karrack defend the helpless dwarf from the flesh-hungry monsters, Ben and Krogg trample the new threat beneath the iron-shod hooves of their screaming mounts (in retrospect, I should have made the horses make Spirit rolls or rear and flee from combat, meh). The half-orc's horse goes down, but fortunately Krogg manages to avoid being trapped beneath the animal's blood-soaked flank. Having turned the tide of battle (if bennies were legal tender, the party would have spent enough to buy a modestly priced car), the remaining ghouls flee into the bosom of darkness. As the party go about the gristly business of ensuring that none of the fallen creatures are playing possum, they discover one of the fiends is wearing a chain about its neck, from which hangs a tarnished, silver key. The key is emblazoned with a familiar crest, that Krogg, Karrack and Ben immediately recognise as belonging to their old friend, Aldern Foxglove.
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Six (Part One) - 05/04/2012

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (Lizardman monk-turned-revolutionary, hero of goblins and founder of Hope/Stinkpoint)

Cariryn : Krogg (Brutish half-orc garbage collector, has traded his wheelbarrow in for a life of adventure)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental... and eyeballs)

Crusader Hank: Rast (sausage-fingered dwarven rogue with an embarrassing rash, constantly scratching, one eye bulges comically from its socket)

James: Snot (my nine year old stepson, guest starring as Snot the Goblin for one week only)


Having vanquished the horde of flesh-ravening ghouls infesting the old Hambly farmstead, the party pile up the fallen creatures with their partially digested victims/supper and set the whole lot ablaze (although, not before Rast goes rummaging amongst the entrails for whatever loot the undead may have overlooked). As the heroes toast marshmallows over the crackling pyre, Snot the Goblin (assigned to the role of Human-Goblin Liaison Officer by Karrack) trots up astride a mangy goblin dog and relays to the Saurian insurgent that the murderer they seek has struck again - and this time his victims were among the goblin residents of Hope. The group mount up and ride for Sandpoint, galvanising the woefully unprepared locals to prepare for the onslaught of undead horrors that they believe is imminent!
Pits are excavated, spikes are sharpened and barricades erected. The daunting task of convincing the leaders of Sandpoint (Mayor Deverin, Sheriff Hemlock & Father Zantus) that an alliance of necessity between humans and goblins is the only way for the community to endure the shadow of doom befalling them falls to Karrack. Against all odds, the lizard man's impassioned plea convinces the council of their peril and orders are given to abandon Hope (haha, very witty Krogg) and relocate all greenskins to the Sandpoint slums.

Once they are certain the militia are not going to get their asses handed to them by the first couple of ghouls that chance to wander up, the heroes set out for Misgivings (the aptly named seat of the Foxglove family), in the hope of severing the head of the (metaphorical, undead) serpent plaguing their town. Deciding to take the scenic route around the goblin-infested Brinestump Marsh - as opposed to slogging straight through the middle - it takes the mounted party several hours to reach the dilapidated mansion overlooking the sea (while Karrack does ultimately hope to make model citizens of the marsh goblins, he acknowledges now is possibly not the best time to embark upon such an undertaking).

Karrack detects the familiar taint of rotting ghoul-flesh in the briny air, the scent is strongest beside the collapsed well in the burnt-out ruins of the old servants outbuilding. While the Saurian seriously considers lowering Snot down the hole on a length of rope - to establish if anything is lurking in the darkness below - the others watch a couple of unhealthy looking black carrion birds circle overhead. Krogg thinks he glimpses a pale-faced woman watching them from a grime-encrusted attic window, but before he can mention this to his friends, a congress (thanks, Gary!) of zombie ravens force the party to seek the dubious sanctuary of the mansion.
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Six (Part Two) - 05/04/2012

No sooner have the party escaped the cadaverous congress, when they are confronted by a fearsome manticore! But wait - it's only a stuffed animal, albeit a frightening one. Clearly, someone in the Foxglove family had a morbid interest in amateur taxidermy.
Exploring the ground floor of the seemingly abandoned estate, the group enter a dingy dance hall with a sagging ceiling, the crystal chandelier that once hung there now a jagged wreckage across the warped floorboards. Snot scampers over and starts filling his grubby pockets with the sparkly shards (cutting his fingers to bloody red ruin in the process). Meanwhile, Rast approaches the grand piano, when a jaunty (yet discordant) Varisian dance number begins to play. Rast begins to prance and gambol around the room with an invisible dance partner. The others are laughing too hard to do anything about his bizarre predicament. (From Rast's perspective, the ruined hall is restored to its formed splendour and he is tripping the light fantastic with a beautiful, raven-haired woman. As the music grows ever more grating, his consort's flesh turns grey, her eyes pop from their sockets and her hair comes loose in wild clumps). It is only when Rast starts screaming that Ben bothers to hack the evil piano into so much firewood and the dancing dwarf is released from his torment.

From the adjacent room, a desperate scratching can be heard. Inside, they find a tuberous, undead rat trapped in the bottom of a dirty bathtub. Taking no chances with this daunting adversary, Snot plays the Last Stand Adventure Card and leaps into the bathtub (the first and last time in his loathsome existence that he'll have got into one willingly) to do battle! His verminous foe defeated, Snot prepares to devour the scabrous rodent - until the rest of the party convince him to find a less nauseating snack.

Soon, the group enter a library, groaning bookshelves against every wall but one, where a large, stone fireplace looms. Poring over the dusty tomes, Ben learns of Vorel Foxglove's (Aldern's grandfather) botched attempt to turn himself into a Lich and how his unquiet spectre now haunts the mansion and persecutes its occupants - even those who share his bloodline.

Thinking they could hear the faint sound of a woman crying from somewhere above, the party ascend to the first floor of the mansion. Passing through a portrait gallery, the hangings covered by billowing dust sheets, the party are forced to flee when the canvasses begin to spew poisonous spores into the air. In a long deserted bedroom, they find a desk, it's surface stained with blood, spilled many years ago. As though in a daze, Rast moves towards the desk and grabs a bloody dagger from a secret compartment he had no way of knowing about, then tries to open his own jugular. Karrack and Krogg prevent the possessed alchemist from taking his own life, while Snot encourages them to cut off the dwarf's hand (probably so he can eat it, having been denied his delicious rat).
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Session Seven (Part One) - 12/04/2012

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (Lizardman monk-turned-revolutionary, hero of goblins and founder of Hope/Stinkpoint)

Cariryn : Krogg (Brutish half-orc garbage collector, has traded his wheelbarrow in for a life of adventure)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental... and eyeballs)

Crusader Hank: Rast (sausage-fingered dwarven rogue with an embarrassing rash, constantly scratching, one eye bulges comically from its socket)

Steboucha : Aereon (Antony's super-magical uncle)

Josh: Snot (some random child, guest starring as Snot the Goblin for one week only)


The eerie sound of weeping continues to haunt the party from the mansion's unexplored attic. Ascending the creaky staircase, the first door they try opens into a drafty observatory, an expensive brass telescope pointing out of a broken window overlooking the storm-wracked Varisan Bay. Soon after Rast enters the room, he begins to feel uncomfortably warm - and within moments, the delusional dwarf is convinced his entire body is ablaze and the only way to douse the flames is to hurl himself through the unbroken window and plunge into the sea! Fortunately, Super Magical Uncle Aereon tackles the suicidal alchemist before his stubby legs can carry him to the brink.
The next room is being used for storage, although it was definitely here that the party heard the sound of a woman crying. They discover the body of a woman hidden amidst the clutter. The dead woman's unquiet spirit rises from her discarded mortal shell and shrieks; “Aldern! I can smell your fear! I’ll be in your arms soon!”
Having inadvertently released the vengeful spirit of Iesha Foxglive, the ghost ignores the party (who are mostly browning their britches anyway) and glides through the wall in search of her murderous husband. Exercising what little initiative he possesses, Krogg follows the spook down into the dark, creepy basement of the haunted mansion, where a hole has been excavated, descending into the sea caves below the Foxglove estate. Pursuing the spectre, the party traverse the shaft. The all too familiar stench of rotting meat rises to meet them.

Exploring the lightless depths, the party find the tunnel walls are covered with a unwholesome yellow fungus. They enter a large cavern and notice a huge, black cocoon suspended from amongst the stalactites. Being Ben, Ben shoots at it. The cocoon unfolds what transpire to be its tattered wings, revealing a giant ghoul bat! The group have interrupted the creature's lunch and it drops the tasty morsel it had been gnawing on - which Karrack is dismayed to note appears to be his giant gecko (which fled down here after the group abandoned their mounts to escape the carrionstorm). Despite being undead and about the size of a bull elephant, the giant ghoul bat still navigates its surroundings using sonar, so if the party stay still, it can't attack them. This doesn't occur to Snot the Goblin, who scampers this way and that like a headless chicken, until the winged nightmare swoops down and snatches the little bugger up in its claws. Super Magical Uncle Aereon tries (and fails) to bring the bat down with magic missiles. Rast manages to knock it out of the air and the creature pierces one of its ragged wings on a stalagmite protruding from the ground. Before the flying monster can take to the air again, Ben entangles it in magic rope and Snot clambers up onto its chest to deliver the coup de'grace (shooting a crosbolt through its exposed ribcage into its shuddering, undead heart). Once the giant ghoul bat has been vanquished, the heroes are free to loot the bodies of those the monster had preyed upon in the past.

Moving on, the party enter a partially flooded cavern guarded by a gaggle of zombiefied goblins. Snot's attempt to befriend his undead kinsfolk is doomed to failure, as the animated zomblins seem more inclined to eat his brain. Several rounds into the ensuring combat, the Skinsaw Man (aka: Aldern Foxglove, aka: that pompous git from Week One) makes his appearance, emerging from the tidal pool with a whole troupe of ghoulish puppets. While the rest of the party engage his minions, Karrack launches a lightning-infused, flying dragon kick at the Skinsaw Man, the sheer awesomeness of which catapults Aldern back into the water. His Lordship does not resurface from the foaming depths.

After defeating the Skinsaw Man and his undead lackeys, the party ransack his sanctum. Karrack is disturbed to find one whole wall of the room has been covered with crude, charcoal sketches of his scaly self. Clearly the grudge Foxglove has been nursing since the whole boar fiasco has deteriorated into a lunatic obsession. Rast uncovers correspondence between Foxglove and his 'mistress', certain passages indicate further clues might be found at the nobleman's townhouse in the city of Magnimar. Attached is a list of greedy souls that this unnamed mistress wishes claimed for her own (yet more mysterious) master, upon which are the names of the men already murdered by the Skinsaw Men, as well as those who would surely have been targeted next.
While the rest of the group poke through Foxglove's stuff, Snot finds himself drawn inexorably towards the far wall of the sanctum, where the yellow mould prevalent throughout the dungeon has formed what almost looks to be a face. Coaxed closer by hungry whispers, the stupid goblin is ensnared by a pair of fungal arms! Super Magical Uncle Aereon blasts the mould man into a cloud of choking spores and the group are forced to flee.

Where the yellow mould made contact with exposed skin, Snot's flesh has erupted in delightful, pus-filled tumours. Super Magical Uncle Aereon immediately prescribes leeches. Leaving the Foxglove mansion, the group are disappointed to discover the horses they left to fend for themselves (when the carrionstorm attacked) have been devoured by the undead birds. On the plus side, the ravens are now too fat and lethargic to bother the heroes as they trudge back to Sandpoint afoot.
Poor Snot is taken to the cathedral, where the acolytes of Desna pray to their Goddess to do something drastic about the goblin's nightmare-inducing appearance. Sergeant Krogg resumes his duties, though his pay has been docked to compensate for the loss of the horses he borrowed from the garrison's stable. Rast continues his headlong descent into madness and synthesises an elixir (from the blood Aereon's leeches sucked out of Snot's tuberous face) that transforms good, god-fearing people into flesh-ravening ghouls.

Finally Ben decides to do something about the list of greedy souls they found in Foxglove's lair and recruits Father Zantus to help implement his ingenious scheme. With the elderly priest in tow, he visits local lumber baron (and greedy bastard) Titus Scarnetti. After making the wealthy lumber magnate aware that his avaricious nature has bought him to the attention of dark forces beyond his comprehension, Ben convinces him to make an unnecessarily generous contribution to the church collection box. However, when Scarnetti agrees to donate a staggering 10,000gp, Father Zantus' old ticker gives out and he suffers a fatal heart attack right there in the merchant's reception room.

Oops.

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Final Session (Part One of Two)

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (Lizardman monk-turned-revolutionary, hero of goblins and founder of Hope/Stinkpoint)

Cariryn : Krogg (Brutish half-orc garbage collector, has traded his wheelbarrow in for a life of adventure)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental... and eyeballs)

Crusader Hank: Rast (sausage-fingered dwarven rogue with an embarrassing rash, constantly scratching, one eye bulges comically from its socket)

Steboucha : Aereon (Antony's super-magical uncle)


Having (seemingly) banished the ghoulish shadow of doom hanging over Sandpoint, the party are enjoying a well deserved respite from (mis)adventure, when an envoy arrives from Magnimar. Although the death/disappearance of Aldern Foxglove (aka: The Skinsaw Man) bought an end to his spree of murder and mutilation, there have been a number of similar slayings committed in the City of Monuments. Mayor Haldeem Grobaras is frantic to catch the killer(s) before the terrified population lose faith in his leadership. His desperate plea to the party for aid in the (thus far, ineffective) investigation is due to the imminent mayoral elections, which Grobaras fears he will lose if he cannot prove his competence by bringing the culprits to justice.
Hopping aboard a ferry (at the Mayor's expense), the party sail to Magnimar and disembark in the Bazaar of Sails. The envoy escorts them to the Alabaster District, where the most rich and influential of the cities residents dwell within their luxurious mansions and verdant estates.

Mayor Grobaras is a corpulent whale of a man with a a bushy, walrus moustache and mutton-chop sideburns, who is disgruntled to have his (second) breakfast disrupted by the appearance of a group of ragged adventurers. Between (vast) mouthfuls of food, Grobaras explains how the recent string of murders threatens his career and demands that the party bring him the bounders responsible - before the ballots are cast in seven days time!
Recognising that the Grobaras exhibits certain avaricious qualities that may bring him to the attention of the killers, Ben and Aereon try to persuade the greedy mayor to change his money-grubbing ways. Grobaras misinterprets their concern (they don't want him murdered before he can reward them) as an attempt to fleece him out of more gold and he throws a chicken drumstic at Ben's head, then kicks the lot of them out of his mansion.

Finding five star accommodation at a hotel in the Vista district (despite their argument with the Mayor, they are still engaged upon his business and bill their expenses to his office), the party discuss how to find the townhouse of Aldern Foxglove amidst this vast, urban sprawl. Rast pops out to visit his brother, who owns his own locksmithing business in the city, while Krogg returns to the waterfront to make enquiries amongst the half-orc dockers and dunny men. Meanwhile, Ben visits Leis Nivlandis, the man running against Grobaras in the mayoral election and plots to overthrow the man who dared to bombard him with poultry.
The party soon have an address to the Foxglove townhouse. The key they found in the Skinsaw's Man's sanctuary (in the ghoul-infested sea caves beneath the ghost-haunted mansion) grants them access. Although the house seemed abandoned from without and the interior is in a state of disarray, they are met by a curiously dispassionate maid, who seems utterly unperturbed by the appearance of armed strangers. The group are ushered upstairs to meet the Lord and Lady of the household. They are gobsmacked to find Aldern and Iesha Foxglove - alive and well - waiting to receive them. The noble couple and their serving staff are all acting rather odd though - and things kick off when Lady Foxglove tries to brain Karrack with a bottle of wine. When the Saurian monk retaliates, her flesh ripples like pliant rubber and the lizardman immediately recognises the creature as a Faceless Stalker; marsh-dwelling dopplegangers. After exhausting the element of surprise, the Stalkers show themselves to be uninspiring combatants and are soon defeated. While most lie dead and twitching in various stages of bloody dismemberment, one survives long enough for the party to bark questions at it. Aereon realises the wretched creature is under some manner of enchantment and manages to break through the sorcerous conditioning.
Searching the house the party discover two items of immediate interest to their investigation; the deed to the haunted Foxglove mansion and a horrible, leather mask. They learn that Aldern Foxglove had fallen in with a rough crowd (of murderous cultists) called the Brotherhood of the Seven, operating out of a shady sawmill on Kyver's Islet (which Rast already suspected, having found shavings of sawdust at the scene of a recent execution).

Deciding not to take any further action before reporting their findings to the Mayor, Krogg takes Karrack, Ben and Snot out on the lash with the boisterous band of half-orc labourers he befriended that afternoon. Ben soon discovers (to his regret) that humans should not drink orc beer in excess and stumbles out of the tavern in the company of a woman ugly enough to be half troll (he wakes up the next morning handcuffed naked to a bed in some flea-ridden pay-by-the-hour waterfront dive, feeling bruised and abused).
Meanwhile, Rast and Aereon go looking for someone who can identify the magical properties of Foxglove's unsettling mask. They soon encounter an impoverished street magician, who makes the mistake of overcharging them for his decidedly unremarkable services. To teach him a lesson, they force the poor bastard to put the mask on and tell them what it does. His struggles soon lessen and his demeanour turns from miserable to murderous. Rast and Aereon conclude that whatever purpose the mask may serve, its use is not benevolent. Adding to the list of injustices visited upon this poor beggar-wizard, Rast also steals his Hat of Invisibility.

To be continued....
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Final Session (Part Two of Two)

The next morning, once Ben has staggered back from his drunken tryst and Karrack has scrubbed the goblin sick off the curtains (Snot had drunk almost as deeply as the human ranger the previous night, and the party are determined to get the deposit back on their rooms), the envoy of Mayor Grobaras arrives to check on the progress of their investigation. After fobbing him off with half-truths and vague assurances, the party head for the Seven's Sawmill - but they do not go alone! Krogg returns to the Crabby Lady and gathers up as much muscle as can still stand after the last nights epic bender. Recalling the Mayor's promise of martial aid when the dung hits the wheel, Ben visits the Magnimar garrison and recruits a small contingent of armed guards to back up their assault on the Skinsaw cult's lair.

Once the militiamen have established a perimeter around the sawmill, the party and their allies breach the door. The men within immediately don masks and draw blades. The cult leader emerges, swearing to flay the skin off their faces and frame them for his dark Mistress. A chaotic battle ensures, by the end of which, 6 (out of 10) Skinsaw men, the cult leader, two half-orc thugs (Geoff and Dave) and one of Karrack's miscellaneous goblin lackeys lie dead. Unmasking the cult leader, the party are surprised to find the face beneath belongs to Ironbriar, the elven Justice whom the city put in charge of the murder investigation (which explains why it was going nowhere fast, before Grobaras involved the party). Deciphering Ironbriar's coded journals, Aereon learns that the villain had been living a double life for years, misdirecting any enquiries into the cult's activities in Magnimar. Until recently, Norgorber (the God of Murder, Deception and Poison) assigned the cults targets to Ironbriar via disturbing dreams, but recently, a creature described only as 'Wanton of Nature's Pagan Forms' has been manipulating the Skinsaw Men to prioritise specific victims, specifically; the greediest ones. This scheming succubus has made her lair in the crumbling Shadow Clock, a major landmark of the city's destitute Underbridge district.

Having ended the threat presented by the Skinsaw Cult, Ben summons Leis Nivlandis to the sawmill, while Rast is sent to dislodge Grobaras from his mansion. Once the two political candidates arrive, the party reveal how the killers were being led by the very man Grobaras had put in charge of rooting them out! Handing Ironbriar's journals over to Nivlandis, the party pretty much guarantee the man a landslide victory in the imminent mayoral elections. Once the information contained within those pages is made public knowledge, Grobaras will be ruined! Understandably, Grobaras is not best pleased by this turn of events and refuses to pay the group the rest of their money. Most of the party accept that this is not an unreasonable reaction, considering how they have just completely buggered his political career, but Aereon stubbornly hounds the fat man's carriage all the way back to the Alabaster District.

Over the next week, Leis Nivlandis circulates pamphlets throughout the city, revealing how the incompetence of the current Mayor enabled the Skinsaw murders to continue right under his nose. Grobaras resigns from his office and his rival runs unopposed. Nivlandis well remembers the party's roll in his success and rewards them generously. Karrack forgoes all material recompense in exchange for a voice on the city's new governing council, the rest of the group seem perfectly happy to take the gold.

This brings Week 8/8 of the Rotation to an end, though the Rise of the Runelords saga is only just beginning! I hope to resume this adventure path later this year. In the meantime, please find below a list of loose ends - dangling threads of fate that have yet to be resolved....

The mysterious woman ("Wanton of Natures Pagan Forms"), whose unseen hand has guided the murderous actions of Aldern Foxglove and Justice Ironbriar is still at large in Magnimar. Clues uncovered in the Seven's Sawmill indicate she awaits the heroes at the summit of the Shadow Clock in Underbridge.

Why are only the greediest souls being targeted for ritualistic execution - and what is the significance of the seven-pointed Thassilonian rune being carved into the bodies of the dead?

Did Aldern Foxglove survive his confrontation with the party and if so, will his dangerous obsession with Karrack yet result in further tragedy and bloodshed?

For how much longer will Ben be able to resist the demonic compulsion to harvest more delicious eyeballs to appease the infernal parasite squatting in his brain?

After his drunken fumble with a hideous, half-orc wench, the girl's brothers are now scouring Magnimar for a man matching Ben's description, to 'persuade' him to do the honourable thing and ask for their sister's hand in marriage.

Does (former Mayor) Haldeem Grobaras nurse a grudge against the party after they sabotaged his campaign and cost him the governance of Magnimar?


To be continued... in a future rotation!
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kicking this campaign off again on Thursday night! Will update with after action summary soon after!
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Rotation 2 / Session 1 (23/08/2012) - Part One

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (Lizardman monk-turned-revolutionary, hero of goblins and founder of Hope/Stinkpoint. Now serving as political attaché to the new government of Magnimar)

Vic : Grogg (Locally celebrated hero of the underground blood sports conducted secretly by the half-orc communities in Magnimar)

Mal H : Ben (ludicrously wealthy ranger with a fetish for all things oriental... and eyeballs)

Crusader Hank: Rast (sausage-fingered dwarven rogue with an embarrassing rash, constantly scratching, one eye bulges comically from its socket. He has recently discovered a keen enthusiasm for amateur alchemy and is secretly building a flying machine from some tattered harpy wings he picked up somewhere)

Andrek : ??? (Crusading priest of Sarenrae, I forget the character's name)


Andy's character, a crusading priest of Sarenrae, arrives in Magnimar the week after the heroes assaulted the Seven's sawmill and slew the leader of the murderous cult (Justice Ironbriar). He is keen to purge the city of evil and rather put out to discover he's missed his opportunity. Nevertheless, trouble seems to circle this motley crew like vultures in the sky above a dead horse and the hopeful cleric attaches himself to their party, like a remora fish following in the wake of a shark.

Grogg hardly needs further introduction! His is a household name (in certain - dirtier - households) around Magnimar, a hero of the downtrodden and a celebrity in the gladiatorial, blood-sports that the half-orc community enjoy (conducted in secret, as the city watch take a dim view on such brutal amusements). The half-orc is also drawn to the party, unceremoniously forcing himself into their fellowship, much like an ingrowing toenail. His status does not excuse his boisterous behaviour in the city library (after following Andy's character inside to research cult activity in the city) and he is forcefully ejected from the building, while the embarrassed priest hides behind his books and pretends not to know the noisome lout.

His political ambitions frustrated by the parties betrayal, the former mayor of Magnimar; Haldeem Grobaras leaves the city in some haste, leaving his mansion in the Alabaster District unoccupied. Rast breaks inside and pokes around until he finds the fat nobleman's safe. Cracking the combination, the dwarven thief is horrified to find the vault occupied by a set of enchanted bagpipes (thanks for that, random treasure table)! Rast flees in abject terror (having gained a phobia of musical instruments after he was attacked by a haunted piano, while exploring the ghost-infested Foxglove mansion), but eventually masters his fear and subdues the screeching pipes, before trading them in for a new staff (+1 Fighting) for Karrack.

Speaking of Karrack, the lizardman revolutionary now serves as an adviser to the newly elected Mayor Leis, in the field of non-human relations (specifically, goblins). Snot is still around and acting as the Saurian's personal secretary. Karrack is busy working alongside the guild of civic engineers, implementing his scheme to develop the cities poor sewage network, by bringing in goblin work-crews from Hope/Stinkpoint to excavate the reeking tunnels.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party have moved into the the empty Foxglove townhouse, hiring a trio of half-orcs to serve as their butler, maid and doorman. Ben is lording it over their new minions, when he notices three unfriendly fellows watching him from the street. Grogg investigates and learns the three half-orcs staking out the house are the brothers of the hideous, half-orc maiden whom Ben drunkenly deflowered on his first night in the city. Also, the trollop claims she is carrying Ben's child! The brothers demand that the ranger do the honourable thing; marry their sister and provide for the child. Ben considers himself the victim of the loathsome creature's lustful urges and refuses. Before things can turn nasty, Karrack intervenes. The persuasive lizardman convinces the pregnant wench to SPILL THE BEANS (Adventure Card) and she confesses that she is not with child at all, it's just a cushion stuffed up her jerkin, as Ben was too drunk to 'perform' on the evening of their supposed tryst. Her brothers wanted to try and con the guilty 'father' out of some gold. Ben is not amused by the prank and has to restrained from an impulsive act of murderous rage.
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Rotation 2 / Session 1 (23/08/2012) - Part Two

An ominous creaking sound overhead draws the parties eyes upwards - just as one of four enormous, bronze bells plummets towards them. Miraculously, nobody is injured - but the stairs (both above and below) have been smashed into firewood. The entire clock tower shakes alarmingly as the fallen bell crashes through the wall at the base of the spire. Despite the absolute lack of the climbing skill (or any rope), Grogg forges on - it surprises nobody when he slips and falls. None of his comrades seem inclined to help the free-falling half-orc as he plunges passed... Ben rolls his eyes and tries to catch him. Unfortunately, Ben's player rolled snake-eyes, resulting in a CRITICAL FAILURE! The ranger manages to grab the half-orc's flailing arm - but misjudged how heavy Grogg would be in full platemail - and is yanked out into the abyss after him. They both fall about 40ft and are soon making Soak rolls to avoid immediate Incapacitation. Miraculously, both survive! Andy's character descends with more care, in order to cast Heal on their broken bodies.

Karrack and Rast complete the climb and emerge through a trapdoor into the noisy, claustrophobic clockworks, where the massive gears and complex mechanisms that drive the hands of the Shadow Clock grind relentlessly. They are attacked by a group of dopplegangers mimicking the faces of their friends. Neither lizardman nor dwarf exhibit any qualms smacking around these clones - in fact, it's actually rather cathartic to beat up their 'co-workers'. No sooner have the faceless stalkers been dispatched (one is snagged by the machinery and crushed between the enormous gears), when a huge flesh golem wielding a scythe crashes through the ceiling! Ben Kotek and Andy's character join the fray, having clambered up after their comrades, but Grogg (still carrying three wounds) has decided to sit this fight out on the sidelines. The priest of Sarenrae ducks beneath a sweep of the shambling scarecrow's scythe - but is grabbed by the throat and dangled helplessly over the gaping hole in the clockwork's floor. Rast coats his magical returning dagger in ghoul slime (harvested from the bodies of Foxglove's undead horde) and manages to paralyse the golem, locking its bloated, corpse-fingers around the cleric's neck. Unable to break its grip, the quick thinking priest lops off the hand holding him at the wrist. Once the cleric is clear, the rest of the party pile in and manage to shove the golem off the edge of the platform (it does not survive the subsequent 60ft fall).

Having carelessly thrown a couple of fireballs at the scarecrow before being grappled by it, Andy's character has inadvertently set the clock tower on fire. With no means of fighting the blaze, the party continue to climb, hoping to escape the spreading flames. They emerge onto the open spire of the shadow clock, where they find Xanesha, the Lamia Matriarch ('Wanton of Nature's Pagan Forms') waiting for them amidst her nest of pillows and silken drapes. She flirts playfully, but when it becomes apparent the heroes aren't warming to her charms, she assumes her true form (half woman, half serpent) and attacks. Xanesha stays airborne, flying through the scaffolding around the outside edges of the (now burning) clock tower to prevent the party mobbing her in melee. Down on the ground, Grogg intimidates the city watch into opening fire on the lamia. When a hail of crossbolts almost turn her into a pincushion, Xanesha takes notices of the impudent marksmen and swoops towards them as they frantically reload. Her terrible eyes glow green - and those unfortunate enough to meet her gaze are turned to stone! Grogg leaps from statue to statue in pursuit of the matriarch and lands a blow that leaves the lamia reeling. In retaliation, her eyes blaze emerald once more and Grogg is petrified (though still managing to strike a particularly heroic pose moments before turning to stone).

Securing ropes around the angel statue on the spire; Rast, Karrack and the nameless priest recklessly abseil down the outer wall of the clock tower in pursuit of Xanesha. The lizardman fashions a crude lasso and manges to ensnare the flying lamia. With the priest and the dwarf lending Karrack their strength, they begin to reel Xanesha in, like an unusually dangerous trout. Unable to escape, Xanesha flies straight towards the group, her eyes flaring with green light - only for Andy's character to smack her in the face with his shield. Unable to stay airborne while unconscious , the lamia matriarch falls out of the air like a stone. Her elegant neck is broken as the rope around her throat snaps taught with a gristly crackle of bone.

Alone at the top of the tower - with the flames rising around him, Ben makes a quick check of the creatures nest and turns up a long list of names (some of which have already been crossed out) - greedy individuals from Sandpoint and Magnimar, hand-picked by Xanesha to be targeted by the Skinsaw Men. But why were only these avaricious souls zeroed out for the Sideheron sacrifice?

Having defeated the Lamia Matriarch, the party enjoy some well-deserved downtime. Looting the body, the heroes claim a slippery snakeskin tunic, a magical mask that turns people to stone and a magical spear called an 'Impaler of Thorns' (on a raise on the Fighting roll, everyone - friend/foe alike - in a small burst radius must make an immediate Spirit roll or be Fatigued by sadness and despair). Rast returns to Sandpoint and proposes to his beloved innkeeper, Ameiko Kaijitsu. They are to be wed at the great cathedral within the month (the people of Sandpoint are still waiting on a replacement priest, after Ben accidentally triggered the fatal heart attack of poor, old Father Zantus). The rest of the heroes gather in the sleepy, coastal town for the ceremony (and specifically, the cake).

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Rotation 2 / Session 2 (30/08/2012) - Part One

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (Lizardman monk with grand revolutionary ambitions. A political pioneer fighting for the rights of the little (green) man. Vive la Goblin!)

Vic : Grogg (Gladiatorial champion of the downtrodden masses, this muscular half-orc is rarely parted from his beloved axe 'Monica' or his 'lucky' talisman, strung with tokens from previous champions.)

Mal H : Ben (The black sheep of a wealthy family from distant Minkai, after reading the journal of a demon-possessed serial killer, he has developed some worrying hobbies....)

Crusader Hank: Rast (Dwarven rogue with a diverse catalogue of curious scars/twitches. A dabbler in alchemy, with an unsavoury habit of drinking the foul humours he extracts from fallen foes - all in the spirit of scientific enquiry, or course!)

Andrek : Asha (Crusading priest of Sarenrae, also turns out that 'he' is actually a 'she' - and not above using her body to get what she wants!)


The party return to Sandpoint to attend the wedding of Rast and Ameiko Kaijitsu. Pretty much the whole town has been invited to attend the ceremony. While Asha organises flowers and Karrack works on his speech, Grogg is busy getting pissed on complimentary wine. Ben considers gifting the happy couple with a pair of eyeballs from his ever-growing collection, when he asks for Karrack's opinion, the horrified lizardman suggests he consider a less gruesome wedding present. Meanwhile, Grogg drunkenly presents Rast with a box of official 'Grogg the Smasher' merchandise (t-shirts, posters, action figures, fridge magnets, etc).

As the great bronze bells above the cathedral clamour, Rast stumbles up the aisle to join his beloved at the altar. Before the happy couple can exchange their vows, they are subjected to a bizarre re-inaction of Rast's heroic exploits, performed with reckless enthusiasm by a troupe of masked goblins. The greenskin cast as the dwarven lead is even swinging around a replica of Rast's returning dagger on a length of elastic - and one goblin does lose an eye during the course of the performance - causing Ben to eagerly scramble after the wayward orb as it rolls beneath a pew. Karrack and Rast exchange worried glances over the ranger's increasingly erratic behaviour.
Karrack delivers his best (lizard)man's speech then steps forward with the rings. Father Pascal intones the rites of marriage before gods and men and asks if anyone present objects to this blessed union....

SUDDENLY, the tall, stained glass window (depicting the goddess Desna) over the altar bursts inward, showering the wedding guests with garish fragments of coloured glass. A huge, winged reptile with baleful green eyes and ebon scales clambers in through the shattered frame. Astride the wyvern's back is a familiar figure - the ghoulish killer once known as Lord Aldern Foxglove - cackling maniacally as the terrified townsfolk mill around in mindless panic! While Foxglove doesn't particularly object to Rast marrying Ameiko, he strongly objects to how the party broke into his haunted mansion, slaughtered wave after wave of his undead minions then left him for dead(er), floating like a turd in some subterranean tide pool. A horde of zombies boil up from the crypts below the cathedral, led by four of Foxglove's most reliable ghoul lieutenants.

Ben wastes no time casting Blast at the wyvern, shattering the rest of the chapel's beautiful windows in the resulting explosion. Father Pascal squawks with indignation, but is forced to flee for his life when the still-smoking creature hops down, crushing the altar beneath its tremendous weight. Asha is like a kid in a candy store, surrounded by so many of her favoured enemy, she can hardly swing her blessed blade without hitting something with the undead subtype. Meanwhile, Karrack plays the GET SAVAGE Adventure Card (Followers Edge) and the 5 goblin actors scamper into the fray. Grogg is kept busy fending off a second wave of zombies trying to break through the main entrance.

Karrack vaults onto the wyvern's broad shoulders and engages Foxglove in melee, his claws clashing against the ghouls filthy nails. Unable to match the scaly monks ferocity, Foxglove instructs the wyvern to withdraw. The monstrous creature closes its huge talons around Ameiko Kaijitsu and begins to rise. Rast leaps after his helpless bride and the newly weds are both carried into the skies over Sandpoint, as Karrack and Foxglove continue to duel across the wyvern's back.

While Asha, Ben and Grogg defend the folk of Sandpoint from the undead, the wyvern flies higher and further from Sandpoint with each beat of its enormous wings. Karrack severs Foxglove's head with a sweep of his spiny tail and the decapitated ghoul tumbles towards the ocean. Grabbing the reins, the Saurian forces the wyvern to land on the tangled fringe of the Brinestump Marsh, spilling Rast and his battered bride onto the marshy ground. Interposing himself between the wyvern and his wife, Rast chivalrously defends Ameiko from the beast until together, he and Karrack bring the monster down. They encounter a search party of concerned citizens as they trudge back towards Sandpoint and return to find Asha and the sheriff's men piling the last of the zombies onto a roaring pyre in the town square.
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords
Rotation 2 / Session 2 (30/08/2012) - Part Two

In the aftermath of so eventful a wedding day, Rast and his new wife are eagerly anticipating a relaxing honeymoon aboard the 'Paradise' riverboat. Meanwhile, Mayor Leis of Magnimar asks the rest of the party to investigate troubling reports from Fort Rannick and arranges for them to also travel aboard the luxury vessel, as emissaries of the city.

Boarding the 'Paradise', the 'emissaries' receive a frosty welcome from the riverboat's owner, the Lady Lucrecia, who is unhappy to have been burdened with a group of free-loading adventurers, taking up space and generally lowering the tone with their crude table manners and crass company. Her 'Absolutely No Goblins!' policy is not well received, but Karrack relents and decides to not antagonise her any further by smuggling Snot aboard. Initially, Lucrecia attempts to restrict the heroes to their cabins (all except Rast and Ameiko, who are paying guests and can go where they please), but backs down when Asha argues that her vows to Sarenrae require that she worship her Goddess beneath the sun. 'Worshipping' translates to 'sunbathing', distracting Lucrecia's goons as they ogle the scantily-clad cleric's bronzed flesh. Asha's indecent habit of undressing on deck attracts the attention of a wealthy gnome playboy called Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone III (ported across from the Skull and Shackles Adventure Path, as I regretted killing him off so quickly in that game), whose seductive overtures are no more successful in this campaign than they were in the last.
A compulsive gambler, Grogg tries to take a seat at one of the tables, but Lucrecia's guards have been instructed to keep the boisterous half-orc away from the other guests. However, an influential half-orc industrialist from Magnimar (Brogg) recognised his face and insists that the goons allow Grogg inside as his personal guest and that all Grogg's (many) drinks be put on his tab. Grogg gambles recklessly - but wins big! He is invited to join Brogg in the high rollers lounge, but first told he must first agree to be branded with a tattoo, entitling him to VIP treatment throughout the rest of his journey. Grogg cheerfully consents and a seven-pointed star is inked onto his leathery skin.

Several days pass uneventfully, until the boat's leisurely progress east (along the the northern edge of the Mushfens) is halted by the unexpected appearance of a naked swamp giant bathing in the middle of the river. Her patience fraying, Lady Lucrecia orders the men under her command to begin constructing a light ballista on the deck. Karrack pleads with her not to rile up the soapy brute and she grudgingly gives the party until her goons finish building the catapult to move the giant on. Asha immediately strips down to her skivvies and lounges provocatively in plain view of Lucrecia's men, who are now finding it increasingly difficult to focus on the task at hand.
Karrack swims over to talk to the large fellow and learns that he is "on a promise" and must make himself presentable for the lady giant he is courting. Karrack recruits the rest of the party (and a lot of the crew) in his endeavour to make the lovestruck giant irresistible to the opposite sex. Rast retires to his cabin and concocts a pungent aftershave while Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone III instructs the eager giant in the gnomish arts of love. When the giant's would-be mate appears, Ben strikes up the band, serenading the lovers with suggestive melodies. Thanks to the parties efforts, the swamp giant gets lucky and is dragged into the foliage for a little bump and grind - clearing the way for the 'Paradise' to float on eastwards towards their destination.

Before reaching Lake Claybottom, the 'Paradise' ties up alongside the gnomish settlement of Whistledown and many of the wealthy passengers disembark to spend the afternoon exploring the sights of the picturesque community. Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone III offers to give Asha a tour of the town, which she accepts - on the understanding that if he tries to touch her bum, she will kill him. The gnome reluctantly consents to keep his wandering hands to himself. During their exploration of Whistledown, the cleric notices a curious tattoo on Shortstone's wrist, a seven pointed star that she recognises from her research into cult activity in wider Varisa. What could this shocking development mean?!

To be continued....
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GruffaloCrumble
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords > The Hook Mountain Massacre
Rotation 2 / Session 3 (06/09/2012) - Part One

Player Characters

Val : Karrack (Lizardman monk with grand revolutionary ambitions. A political pioneer fighting for the rights of the little (green) man. Vive la Goblin!)

Vic : Grogg (Gladiatorial champion of the downtrodden masses, this muscular half-orc is rarely parted from his beloved axe 'Monica' or his 'lucky' talisman, strung with tokens from previous champions.)

Mal H : Ben Kotek (The black sheep of a wealthy family from distant Minkai, after reading the journal of a demon-possessed serial killer, he has developed some worrying hobbies....)

Crusader Hank: Rast : (Dwarven rogue with a diverse catalogue of curious scars/twitches. A dabbler in alchemy, with an unsavoury habit of drinking the foul humours he extracts from fallen foes - all in the spirit of scientific enquiry, or course! Recent wed to Ameiko Kaijitsu.)

Andrek : Asha (Crusading priest of Sarenrae, also turns out that 'he' is actually a 'she' - and not above using her body to get what she wants!)

Steboucha : Snot the Goblin (After a short period of absence, Steve returns to the club! Since it would have been awkward to shoehorn Aereon back into the adventure at this juncture, he was privileged to take on the much coveted role of Snot the goblin!)


As Asha confronts Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone III (re: his Sideheron tattoo), a sudden storm rolls in from the Hook Mountains to the north, choking the sky with dark, thunderous clouds. The amorous gnome is sceptical of the cleric's assertion that his tattoo is actually an ancient Thassilonian rune, claiming he was given it aboard the 'Paradise', to mark his VIP status. As the weather worsens, the wealthy passengers rush back to the pitching riverboat.

As Karrack heads for his bunk below decks, he notices someone trying to catch his attention. He is pleasantly surprised to discover that Snot the goblin had managed to sneak aboard the 'Paradise' before it left Magnimar. The wretched creature would have announced his presence sooner, but was trapped inside the crate it stowed away in and has only recently managed to gnaw its way to freedom. Yet the goblin bears troubling news - he is not the only stowaway aboard the riverboat. While confined to his box, Snot witnessed Shalelu Andosana sneaking on board - only to be apprehended by some of Lady Lucrecia's goons. Karrack immediately rounds up the party and sets to tearing the riverboat apart in search of his sometime half-elf girlfriend. Karrack, Grogg, Ben Kotek and the goblin waylay a group of Lucrecia's thugs, while Asha tries to talk Rast out of raising a customer service complaint with the duty manager.
The goon squad tell Karrack that the half-elf stowaway was thrown overboard, but the Saurian monk is convinced they're hiding something. Violence ensues, during which Snot is almost mortally wounded. The injured creature slips on the blood-slick deck and topples into the dark water. The clash of steel draws several wealthy passengers from the comfort of their cabins, who leap headlong to the conclusion that the riverboat is being attacked by pirates! Panic spreads like wildfire as the rest of the vessel's security force mobilise to repel the boarders. Being bloodthirsty (hindrance), Grogg 'forgets' that the party intended to keep one of the mercenaries alive and butchers the feeble human sellswords as effortlessly as a farmer would strike down his livestock on market day.

With only the vaguest notion of where Shalelu might be being held, the party continue their rushed and uncoordinated hunt for the captive ranger. Rast takes the opportunity to loot several unattended store rooms and (after playing the TREASURE TROVE adventure card) finds a Shroud of Lurking Menace (+3 Stealth).

Encountering a knot of Lucrecia's men determined to prevent the party from venturing any further into the bowels of the lurching riverboat, the heroes cut them down and consider the (now undefended) portal they had been guarding. Karrack listens at the door and hears what sounds suspiciously like someone coordinating an ambush on the other side. Retreating to a safe distance, the party cover their ears as Ben unloads a Blast spell on the threshold - obliterating the door (and the walls to either side) and spraying the men beyond with a hail of sharp splinters. Flushed with success, Ben exhausts his remaining Power Points on a second Blast, taking out the thugs still reeling from the initial explosion - then the rest of the party barrel into the breach!
Karrack's player throws down the REINFORCEMENTS adventure card - and 1D6 (2) more friendly goblins pop out the crates they had been hiding inside, slashing at the surprised goons with their jagged dogslicers.

Lady Lucrecia is poised above the prone figure of Shalelu Andosana, whose bare flesh has been branded with the Sideheron rune. Lucrecia drops her mortal guise and reveals herself to be yet another Lamia Matriarch - worse, a vengeful Lamia Matriarch nursing a grudge against the party after they killed her sister Xanesha back in Magnimar! The flying snake woman takes a moment to gloat about her evil scheme; how the souls of any sentient creature that dies while marked with the Sideheron rune speed the cataclysmic rise of her Master - the greedier the souls, the better! To make things even worse, the most invaluable minions of this maniacal overlord are granted Sideheron medallions that allow them to compel those branded with the seven pointed star. Shalelu Andosana lurches to her feet and attacks the party, her face contorted by an uncharacteristic expression of rapacious greed. Grogg feels the same compulsion to betray his friends, but the stubborn half-orc resists Lucrecia's sorcerous invasion of his mind, causing his own Sideheron tattoo to burn painfully against his rebellious flesh.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Savaged) Rise of the Runelords > The Hook Mountain Massacre
Rotation 2 / Session 3 (06/09/2012) - Part Two

SUDDENLY, a series of detonations rocks the riverboat - Lucrecia has conspired to sink her own vessel in the middle of Lake Claybottom, condemning her passengers to a watery grave and their blemished souls to the runewell of her Master! The party battle Lucrecia and her mortal henchmen as the dark water floods the hold of the listing riverboat. Defeated, the Lamia Matriarch blasts a gaping hole in the hull and escapes into the storm-wracked darkness beyond.
With Lucrecia beyond their reach and the 'Paradise' sinking rapidly, the party set to saving the doomed vessel. While the allied goblins struggle with Shalelu (who is still suffering the ill effects of the Lamia's Puppet power), Karrack and Ben race for the wheelhouse and steer the floundering riverboat towards the shore. While Grogg takes advantage of the chaos to loot the high roller's lounge, Rast rescues his beloved Ameiko and the newly-weds glide to safety (Gary is getting pretty good mileage out of those harpy wings) - leaving the rest of the party to drown.

The two tireless golems trapped in the riverboat's waterwheels drive the 'Paradise' into the shallow water along the edge of the lake, tearing the bottom out of the vessel with a god-awful crash that tosses the surviving passengers around like well-dressed scarecrows. Picking themselves up, the party (those that hadn't already abandoned ship to selfishly save their own skins) organise the evacuation of the wrecked riverboat. Once everyone is upon dry ground, Karrack addresses the press of dripping nobles, rolling a CRITICAL FAILURE on his (unskilled) Persuasion roll to restore some semblance of order. The passengers panic and scatter into the dark, ogre-infested woods. Grogg roars for them to come back (failed Intimidation roll), but only drives them deeper into the forest. Lamenting their compound incompetence at anything other than combat, the party return to the mostly submerged wreck of the 'Paradise' to spend the night in relative luxury.

In the small hours of the morning, Grogg (who pulled the short straw and got lumbered with guard duty) spots torches bobbing through the trees to the north. Suspecting that the locals have come to salvage what they can from the wreckage, the group prepare to defend what they now consider to be their plunder. Karrack heads down to negotiate with the horde of opportunistic peasants and bloodshed is narrowly averted.
Meanwhile, Grogg applies his unremarkable intellect to the problem of ridding himself of the Thassilonian rune that he (somewhat foolishly) allowed to be tattooed onto his shoulder. Before anyone can restrain him, the half-orc grabs a burning brand from the parties cook-fire and attempts to purify his body of Lucrecia's vile sorcery with purging flames. This hurts tremendously and achieves nothing - the tattoo is obviously magical and only glows ever more balefully in the centre of his scorched and puckered flesh.

The villagers agree to lead the party to Turtleback Ferry, where they can regale Mayor Shreed with their misadventures and actually crack on with the task of investigating the ogre activity near Fort Rannick.

To be continued....
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