The Once And Future King

Murder on the Wanton Ways
Sunday, 3 Desnus 4715 AR

The Wanton Ways is a small merchant vessel so stuffed with cargo that the party can be barely squeezed aboard, but the letter of introduction from Sheila is enough to convince Captain Yarnelle Fessender to allow them passage. The ship makes a monthly run between Riddleport, Magnimar, and Korvosa, and is currently bound for Korvosa with a crew of 30 sailors.

As the Wanton Ways is about to depart, a woman arrives and after a brief argument with Captain Fessenden and exchange of a small pouch, the woman is allowed on board.

As the ship sails, it’s difficult to not notice that the captain’s first mate, Pockeye Sewel, is a rather brutal taskmaster and is strongly disliked by the crew. His brother, Chebby Sewel, is his right hand man and, by all accounts, an instigator who enjoys goading the crew into doing things that get them punished by Pockeye.

That night while settling in for the evening, a few members of the party hear a feint cry of pain from the deck. Rushing towards the sound, they arrive just in time to see the late-boarding woman shoving Chebby’s bloody body overboard – his throat slashed from ear to ear.

As the woman turns to see she has been discovered, she tries to explain herself and asks for the party’s cooperation in the matter.

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“I have no quarrel with you: I am Dialla Marteme, of the Balconies of Bis in Kaer Maga. That offal you saw me kill is responsible for the death of my niece. She was only thirteen years old, friend, and the damned Ardocs bought the alibi Chebby’s pig-of-a-brother provided. My sister deserved justice Kaer Maga’s “society” failed to provide, and so that task fell to me. I’ve been tracking Chebby for going on seventeen months, and now the deed is done. Yet I have no wish to taste the captain’s justice. I ask only for your silence—I have a plan to assume Chebby’s appearance for the rest of the voyage. I was going to cut loose a rowboat to make it look like I’d left the ship, pose as Chebby, then leave and return home to Kaer Maga once we reach Korvosa. If you remain silent and let me go, I’ll give you my dagger and this ring in thanks. What say you?” -Dialla Marteme

Believing the validity of her story, the party agrees to turn a blind eye. Dialla sets her dagger and a ring on the deck of the ship, removes her hat and bows. As she returns the hat to her head she suddenly has the appearance of Chebby Sewel and she walks off.

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The Journey South
Starday, 2 Desnus 4715 AR

Returning to Heidmarch Manor with news of their meeting with Jasper Kandamerus, Sheila has much to share.

She gives the party a pink and green sphere ioun stone – explaining that it will negate the curse of the next shard. While the party is away she promises to use her resources to locate and procure the ioun stones that will negate the curses of the remaining shards. She also shares the results of the research she has done over the last several days and offers her final thoughts on Jasper, lest his rantings worry anyone in the group.

“Jasper’s never been quite right in the head since Varisia’s close brush with Runelord Karzoug several years ago, and is now convinced that event presaged an unavoidable doom that surely will come to Varisia within a year… But don’t let that worry you, Jasper’s been prophesizing the ‘end of Varisia by the end of the year’ for several years now – he’s more mad than a prophet.. Still, his knowledge of the Mushfens is solid, and whatever information he gave you should aid you in your journey.” -Sheila Heidmarch

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Finally, she informs the party that she has procured them passage on a merchant vessel – The Wanton Ways that travels up the coast from Riddleport to Korvosa that leaves the next morning at dawn and gives the group a letter of introduction to the captain before wishing them luck on procuring the next shard.

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Defending the Street Prophet
Fireday, 1 Desnus 4715 AR

Taking the shard of Greed herself and concentrating, Fijit recognizes the location as The Lady’s Light – an ancient Thassilonian monument to the south of Magnimar deep within the Mushfens.

Sheila explains that the monument is some 50 miles from the city and that while a direct journey on foot is possible, so too might the party want to take advantage of procuring passage on a merchant vessel. But first, she suggests – the party might want to seek out someone that she knows who has spent a great deal of time in that area – an eccentric named Jasper Kandemerus. Explaining that the man is a transient, she can’t say for sure where he can be found but that his advice could be helpful.

With that, the heroes set off in search of Jasper, and after several hours of asking around and gathering leads, manage to track down the man in Rag’s End where he preaches doom to passers by who largely ignore his ravings.
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“Woe! Woe unto thee, O Magnimar, for oblivion approaches and thy lamentations shall drown out the sounds of the sea! The Great Whore straddles a two-headed beast and rides this way, sowing the contaminated seeds of her blasphemies as she draws nearer. Weep! Weep, O Generation of the Damned, for none shall escape the pitiless scythe of oblivion. Heed my warning and turn to Groetus! Grasp this mortal hand I offer and we shall march into the void together!” -Jasper Kandamerus

As the heroes approach the man, two things happen in a rapid fashion. The street prophet interrupts his ramblings, peers at the party and utters an even stranger sentiment while from the shadows, three thugs in black cloaks rush forth to attack the preacher.

“Behold! The Blessed Ushers of the End Times! The Holy Escorts of Oblivion! Soldiers of the Void, champions of mighty Groetus himself!” -Jasper Kandamerus

BlackKissBoy.jpgThe thugs surround the Jasper and hammer him with clubs while he takes a defensive posture.

“Oi! You filthy beggar! We’ve had jus’ about enough of your mad racket, scarin’ honest merchants, frightenin’ away customers with your gloomy twaddle!” -Black Kiss Boy

The party quickly intervenes and dispatch the thugs while Jasper returns to raving incoherencies. Eran sets off in search of a town guard while Dorsavnil tries to calm the man to little effect as he shouts with wild eyes.

“Choose thy allies wisely, for the armored one who rides with arms akimbo will prove thy most precious comrade!” -Jasper Kandamerus

Eventually Roland calms the man who, now lucid, thanks the party for the efforts. When asked about the area, he explains that he knows much about the region, having spend months in the area searching for something. He dismisses the notion quickly when asked but does go on to explain that the group should seek out the witch Maroux, noting that she often has tasks she wants done and could be a useful ally in the region. Further, the preacher tells of the warring tribes of Boggards and Troglodytes in the region before finally drawing a crude map for the group to take.

“It doesn’t matter now—the Doomsday Door was probably in Bakhrakhan anyway, and is likely underwater today.” -Jasper Kandamerus

As the party thanks him for the assistance, Jasper has a final idea – perhaps he could accompany the party and be of assistance! A notion the group ever-so-delicately shoots down before bidding the man farewell and retiring for the evening.

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Preparations for the Journey Ahead
Oathday, 30 Gozran 4715 AR

Over the next several days, the group splits their time between various tasks, re-arming for the tasks ahead and finishing a series of maps and drawings for Sheila to share with the rest of the Pathfinder Society – in so doing, increasing their fame within the organization as hundreds of future Pathfinders will read the tales of their adventures.

Following up on Sheila’s earlier comments, Fijit visits the Bazaar of Sails and seeks an audience with Sabriyya Kalmeralm, the Princess of the Market.

Sabriyya is overjoyed when Fijit shows her the Pendant of the Souk – an item that once belonged to her father and denotes her rank within the Bazaar. Fijit turns over the pendent and in return makes a potentially powerful ally.

Finally, the group returns to Heidmarch Manor where Sheila instructs them that with their preparations made, it is time to use the Shard of Greed to discern the location of the next shard in the sequence.

Roland grasps the shard and concentrates and is granted a vision of a towering statue of a beautiful woman holding aloft a stone scepter and standing atop a bluff surrounded by a tangled seaside swampland…

…Unfortunately, no one in the assembled group recognizes Roland’s description of the location.

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A Meeting with the Lord-Mayor
Moonday, 27 Gozran 4715 AR

HaldemeerGrobaras.pngThe heroes arrive at the office of Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras and are greeted by a Varisian woman named Kasadei – a captain of the town guard and a close ally of the Heidmarch’s.

Kasadei informs the party that she has made an appointment with the Lord-Mayor on behalf of the Pathfinder Society and she takes them inside the opulent manor.

Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras greets the party and thanks them for their discovery. Noting that he is a man of his word, he rewards them with a sizable amount of gold for their service to the city of Magnimar before quickly dismissing them.

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The Crow - Aftermath
Sunday, 26 Gozran 4715 AR

With the Shard of Greed recovered and the kidnap victims returned to safety, the party returns to Heidmarch Manor where Sheila and Canayvan are eager to hear about their experiences in The Crow.

But first, Sheila provides Roland with a pale blue rhomboid ioun stone to embed into the Shard of Greed, negating its curse.

Informing the Heidmarch’s of the kidnapping plot, they inform the party that they will make arrangements with the city guard for the party to share this information with the Lord-Mayor.

Later that day the party meets with Toth Bhreacher at the Golemworks who rewards them handsomely for the return of the Sinspawn heads.

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Thassilonian Sewers Pt II
Starday, 25 Gozran 4715 AR

LockerbieBrast.jpgThe morning after returning the locket, the group returns to the ancient sewers and seeks out the “man” who gave them the mission. Explaining that the dead had been done, the group is mildly surprised by the grotesque creature who rises from the water and introduces himself as Lockerbie Brast, former captain of the ship the Liza Jane.

He explains that there are four “blue men” that have been dragging people down into these sewers for weeks. True to his word, he agreed to join the party as they seek them out.

Moving south, the group comes to an ascending stair, as they near the top, they hear excited voices in a language they don’t understand. Sneaking forward, the stairs open to a balcony that looks down on a large chamber with blue, glowing fungus growing in patches along the wall. In the center of room, a wide spiral stairwell descends into the darkness. A second flight of stairs descends along the western wall.

Derro.jpgThe creatures are short, approximately Fijit’s height with pale blue skin, wild white hair and large white eyes. They argue animatedly for a few seconds before seeming to come to some sort of agreement at which point they split up to three different doors leading off the chamber.

After a moment, the group shimmies over the railing and drops into the chamber below. Open landing in the room, the party is surprised to see Dorsavnil make a beeline for an area of the southern wall and begin poking around. As they approach, the half-elf opens a secret door in the wall. Beyond is a curving stairwell shrouded in tattered cobwebs and a thick layer of dust that extends into the darkness. A bulky cobweb­ shrouded shape looms in an alcove directly to the east.

Examining the shape, the discover a strange spider-like creature with a fanged maw and three eye-sockets. Fijit recognizes the creature as a Shriezyx – an ancient Thassilonian creature. Upon the identification, Roland relates a story he knows of from some 90 years prior, when swarms of these creatures clambered out of Irespan to menace Magnimar – an event that caused lord mayor to issue a ban on quarrying Irespan’s stone.

Following the stairwell, the passage ends in a door which opens into a room that shines with a golden light emanating from crystals embedded in the domed ceiling. The entire dome is painted in reds and golds depicting the glory days of ancient Thassilon and remain as pristine as if the pigments were just laid. An altar shaped like a seven-pointed star sits in the center ofthe room-a smaller seven-pointed shape has been carved into the center of this larger block of stone. Sitting in one of the star’s arms is a shard of black metal.

Of more pressing concern are two Shriezyx – this time quite alive – that hiss at the intrusion and begin firing webbing at the surprised party.

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While pent up with ancient rage, the creatures are no match for the party’s assault as Fijit’s bombs and Dorsavnil’s great sword helping to make quick work of the beasts.

From the alter, the party claims the prize that were searching the depths of The Crow for – The Shard of Greed. Claiming the shard for himself[Roland immediately feels sickened upon taking possession of the shard.

As they descend the stairs, the group realizes that the less-than-stealthy attack methods of Roland and Fijit have drawn the attention of this floors denizens and two of the wild-eyed blue skinned humanoids are waiting as they enter the chamber – one with a human a man and the other with some sort of monstrosity that appears to be a lurching mash-up of rotting flesh, jagged bone, and coarse hair, that reeks of death and decay.

Responding to the party’s “intrusion”, the creatures attack immediately, firing poisoned crossbow bolts at the group.

Lockerbie, foaming at the mouth, charges one of the creatures and bites down on him as the rest of the group moves towards the flesh creature.

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After a moment, the commotion brings the attention of another of the humanoids who comes rushing forth from a third door armed with a spear-like contraption who charges Roland, stabbing him and injecting him with some substance that the gunslinger seems to shake off.

As Lockerbie finishes off the humanoid with the human companion, the man appears confused by his situation and surroundings but quickly joins the battle on the side of the party once he gathers his senses.

Unfortunately, a fourth humanoid enters the fray from the stairwell leading down – a female whose tactics quickly resemble those of Fijit as she tosses an explosive concoction into the midst of the party which explodes with a cacophonous ‘boom’.

MagisterKhrysm.jpgAs the other foes are defeated, the latest entrant dances around the room, raining explosives onto various party members.

Despite causing significant destruction, the superior numbers of the group eventually have the creature on death’s door. Pulling a potion from her belt, she magically heals herself as she makes a break for the spiral stairs in the middle of the room, weaving her in and out of the party’s attacks.

When she reaches the stairs, she breaks into a full sprint down them. Reacting quickly – and knowing it may be their final chance to stop the humanoid from escaping – Dorsavnil leaps into action and chases after, arcing his mighty great sword through the air as does so and ultimately connecting with the shoulder blade of the fleeing creature, cleaving a mighty wound into her back that paints the wall red with blood as her lifeless body tumbles forth and comes to a rest several stairs below.

FensterTheBlight.jpgWith little time to catch their breath, the party suddenly recognizes the man who had joined the frey – a sickly wretch of a man they had met just weeks earlier – Fenster the Blight.

Fenster informs them that he has no idea how he arrived here but that there are other captives. Searching the area, the party finds three surviving victims and rescues them. Looting the various chambers, they find a troubling amount of torture equipment, poisons and mind-altering narcotics… Whatever these creatures were up to, it couldn’t have been pleasant for the survivors, let alone those who didn’t survive.

But with survivors on hand, the group leads them out through the long tunnel that connects to Magnimar’s sewers, guiding them safely back to the Underbridge and back to their wretched lives.

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Thassilonian Sewers
Fireday, 24 Gozran 4715 AR

Passing the wreckage of the ship ‘Liza Jane’, the party returns once more to The Crow through the curious stairway descending into the floor of the bay surrounding Magnimar. Backtracking through the dungeon, they head for the stairway descending to the level below.

A short flight of stairs leads down to a square chamber with a cistern filled with dark water taking up most of the floor. Troughs of this dark water run east, west, and south through hallways alongside five-foot-wide walkways. Soggy timbers have been draped over the gaps to provide unstable­ looking bridges over the troughs. An ornamental torch made of onyx burns in a sconce next to a hallway heading east, from which the distant sound of someone singing with a raspy throat wafts down the hall.

Following the sound of the singing, the party walks single-file along side a trough of putrid water. As the sound of their footsteps echo through the corridor, the raspy singing begins to die down then disappear entirely.

The passage opens into a chamber with a stone bridge supported by stone pillars curves through this cylindrical reservoir. A few feet below the bridge, dark water fills the room. The walls within a few feet of the water’s surface have been painted into a remarkable mural that depicts the skyline of Magnimar, complete with numerous ships seeming to float on the waters of the room.

From the shadows beneath the bridge, a voice offers them a curious deal and information about the area’s other denizens.

Assuming that the party has arrived to investigate the people who are being brought into the ancient sewer – the creature explains that he was the captain of a ship – the same ship who’s wreckage you discovered the day prior – and that in exchange for returning the locket, he would provide assistance.

. “Return the locket you have found to my widow in Magnimar and I will aid you against the blue men.” -Lockerbie Brast

After some deliberation, the party decides to return the locket, following a tunnel to the south for half-a-mile of winding tunnels before ending in a secret door that leads into a tunnel in Magnimar’s sewers. Surfacing, the heroes find themselves in a dark alleyway in the Underbridge – where all the city’s unfortunate victims had lived.

Spending the rest of the day, chasing leads, the group eventually tracks down Liza-Jane Brast – a down-on-her-luck washmaiden, working in Washer’s Row. They approach the woman who once may have been beautiful, but several years of bad luck (and possibly bad habits) have eroded her into a shell of a woman.

Eran approaches and tells the woman they discovered the locket on an expedition and have brought it here to her. Speechless, she sobs uncontrollably, thanking the group for the closure this will bring her before some other destitute woman come to comfort her.

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Further Adventures Beneath The Crow
Sunday, 19-Oathday 23 Gozran 4715 AR

Further exploration beneath the Crow took place here over two game sessions. Jeff will fill in the details eventually…

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Below the Crow
Starday, 18 Gozran 4715 AR

After a much needed rest, the heroes once more delve back into the depths of The Crow descending once more down two floors to the catacomb now filled with the large bodies of the slain giant ants.

In the southern wall, Fijit squeezes into the small crevice the humanoid creatures emerged from during their battle the previous day. The irregularly-shaped room seems to have been chiseled recently out of the surrounding rock and littered with tiny picks and other crude excavating tools. In the eastern wall, she keenly spots a secret door that leads to a small chamber with exits to the north, south and east.

Intuiting that the northern passage would take her back to the catacomb, she opens an second secret door and clears a passage that her companions are free to move through.

King_Zugga.jpgHeading south, the hall opens into a small chamber with pillars running down its center. At either end is a chest high alcove, the eastern of which holds a silver statuette the western one holds an upside down ogre’s skull being used as a throne by a curious creature who chatters at them in the same curious language they heard the day prior.

Unable to communicate verbally, the creature motions at the party then points at the curious crown atop his head then motions at the party once more.

Attempting to interpret the creature’s meaning, several members of the party bow, take a knee or otherwise show some sign of respect, causing the creature to puff out his chest with pride and flex his nonexistent bicep.

Fijit studies the creature for a moment and realizes it is a mite, a type of underground dwelling fey.

After several more minutes of charades, the creature grows impatient and hops down from his skull-throne to wave around his sword. After provoking Dorsavnil, the half-elf grabs the creature, causing his “crown” to tumble off. After knocking the mite unconscious, they examine the “crown” to realize that is not a crown after all, but a human-sized bracer that detects magic.

After several minutes of arguing whether or not to take the bracer, Fijit decides to stuff it into her backpack, and they tie up the mite and move on.

Leaving the “secret” passage, the party returns to carved stone halls lined with spiderwebs which seem to thicken as they continue. As they round a corner, they walk into an ambush – more than a dozen mites and several spiders waiting for their return charge forth to defend their home!

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Surrounded by a flurry of creatures, Fijit tosses bomb after bomb into their ranks and the bodies of dead mites go flying with each explosion. Surrounded and without the proper room to safely reload his firearm, Roland alternates between pistol and dagger, Dorsavnil spars with a mite riding on the back of a large spider while Eran offers support from the rear.

Now fighting more as a cohesive unit after their battle with the ants, the fragile mites prove to be little threat individually, though their massed numbers manage to cause a not-insignificant number of wounds and by the time they slay the final fey and his spider mount, the party is no shape to continue further and, after confirming, that there is nothing remaining besides a staircase leading down, the party returns to the chamber of the mite’s “king” and camp beside his unconscious – and tied up – body.

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