Feb 2012 - Pathfinder - Conquest of Steel campaign

Right Place, Right Time, Right? (Hired in Hungerdark)
Making Friends is like Making Dinner: It Involves Knives

Summary-
Dates: May 25th into the wee hours
Locations: Lower Hungerdark

NPCs involved: Matosso Totte, Faaz Ibrioli, Dmitri Von Principe, “Good” Vito Paccara, Rennec, Antonini Guiseppe, 4 warriors from the poacher gang and, at a distance, Ra and Or of the Cyclops gang Skyk (prounced “Slike”)

Important occurences:
Critical success of diplomacy with Rennec – ribbons for the Thieves Guild procured for the party.
An entire shipment of goods, along with 35 soldiers and Matosso Totte disappears into Upper Hungerdark, siezed by the Hobgoblins after failed negotiations.
Mamdini’s package: delivered!
Faaz disappears into Upper Hungerdark along with his personal guard.
The PCs defend the House Irovetti Warehouse. 4 poachers killed, 1 woman from the Cattanei Family captured.

Players present: Bobby, Michael, Kris, Nathaniel
XP: 800 (and add a retroactive + 400 for completing Mamdani’s delivery for a total of 1200)
Loot:
Mwk Dwarven War Axe
Scale mail
Heavy wooden shield
Mwk javelin
3x light steel shield
3x hide armor
3x mwk longsword
3x throwing axe
4x potion: cure light wounds +2
mwk longbow
mwk short sword
chain shirt
1x potion of cure light wounds +4
potion of cat’s grace CL 2
bloodied clothing and sash from House Cattenei
185 gp

Detail-
Quest status:
Deliver Mamdani’s “Batzetti” to Faaz: COMPLETE
Guard the Warehouse: still need to get paid by Faaz, assuming he’s even alive.
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete-
Return Parda Pardo’s lost shield to him: incomplete

Summary of session:
The PCs wake on their bedrolls just outside the walls of Lower Hungerdark, and perform their morning prayers, ablutions and meal while watching the poachers gut and hang two deer and four rabbit in their meat sheds.
Seeking Rennec’s advice, Jurik learns that Mamdani’s contact in Hungerdark (Faaz Ibrioli) is the chief negotiator and warehouse manager for House Irovetti’s warehouse. He’ll be a difficult man to get an audience with, especially for barbarian outsiders. However, Jurik makes a very good impression on Rennec, who agrees to both broker their goods to the Thieve’s Guild, seek a “Badge” for the party with Thieves Guild colors, and have a letter delivered to Faaz. Rennec also notes that the fancy shield found in the Tatzylwyrm cave is from Parda Pardo, who was in Hungerdark five years ago, when it was first founded. Parda was 15 or 16 at the time and lost the shield while “Exploring” the untamed wildnerness north of Hungerdark.

The party meets Antonini Guiseppe of the Thieves Guild, who is unimpressed. Rennec goes inside and successfully negotiates on their behalf – the party is “badged” (with simple 18 inch long black/gold ribbons).
At noon caravans beging pour into the trading post, wagon after wagon hauling felled trees, barrels of wine, jars of pickled meats and vegetables entering the city with attendant guards and porters. Most caravans go straight to the warehouse of their affiliated trading company, though some smaller foreign caravans park for a few hours in the various “Citadels” (rental warehouses) while the merchants attempt to barter with the larger trading houses or the Thieves Guild to bundle their goods with larger sales to the Hobgoblins.
Amidst this chaos, a cocky guard by the name of Vito (later nicknamed “Good Vito”) summons the PCs, telling them that if they run, they might be able to reach Faaz before he is too busy. The PCs hop to it, leaving Vito to stroll languidly behind them.

The PCs arrive at the House Irovetti warehouse in time to see two dozen carts stacked high with goods and 35 soldiers. They also observe a public argument between a large, bearded man in a breastplate bearing the House Irovetti crest and colors in gems and filigree (Matosso) and a large, heavily scarred man in a chain shirt (Faaz). Matosso insists that he will “negotiate from strength” with the Hobgoblin, in contrast to Faaz’s “weak negotiation”. A better rate of exchange will be extracted from the hobgoblin monster. Faaz attempts to retain some of the trading goods or soldiers, but Matosso insist forcefully, apparently outranking Faaz in this argument.
Matosso takes the guards and the goods to negotiate. The PCs observe the cyclops, Ra and Or shackled to the mountain, 150 feet up. They know these Cyclops as members of gang Slyk, which they’ve repelled during Cyclops season. There are three other cyclops members of that gang, as well as a winter wolf that normally accompanies them. Ra and Or are enslaved by the hobgoblins. The PCs observe the (currently) inactive arena.
Faaz accepts Mamdani’s shipment, still angry that Matosso has taken all the goods and nearly all his guards. He brushes the PCs off, then reconsiders and hires the PCs to bolster his skeleton crew of guards.
The guards Vito, Corti and Dmitri act superior to the PCs, bullying them and sneering at their feral ways. Especially Vito.
After a few hours, a hobgoblin patrol of 15 approaches Lower Hungerdark’s gate and call for Faaz. Matosso, the soldiers and the goods are lost into Upper Hungerdark, Neff summons Faaz to negotiate for the goods.
Faaz and his personal guard leave Vito in charge of guarding the warehouse with the PCs and head to Upper Hungerdark.
He does not return that evening. It’s unclear if that is normal, but most other trader caravans and their negotiators are not going into Upper Hungerdark – so either negotiations in Upper Hungerdark take a long time, or else Faaz is dead.
Vito, Corti and Dmitri laze about, gamble and bark orders at the PCs. They cook a meal, drink some wine and go to sleep, leaving the PCs as guards. Jurik takes this moment to break into Faaz’s office, but balks at the lock and trap on his bedroom door.
After their rest, the NPC guards wake and tell the PCs to sleep while they guard. They decide to gamble – Jurik joins them in an attempt to ingratiate the party to their co-workers. He winds up winning more of the pot than anyone else, demonstrating decent gambling skills but it doesn’t win him many points with the guards.
As Jurik departs the dice game, an attack begins – strangely emanating from Faaz’s office, which had no obvious entry points. Later attempts to detect magic fail – either no magic was used, or the magic was concealed, or the traces of the spell had faded by the time Setyiel could examine the room.

The attackers are four of the poachers, the very same crew that had hairy eyeballs for the barbarian PCs the night before: the Dwarf and his three warriors. The are backed up by a female bard who is later found to wear a fancy House Cattanei sash under her armor.

Vito goes down. Dmitri panics and flees the battle, screaming. Jurik uses his bardic magic to put some of his foes to sleep, just as Kor, Desi and Setyiel are waking up. The magic also puts Corti to sleep. Bad Vito kneels and jabs his sword deep into Corti’s neck, killing him instantly. Kor and Setyiel begin their charge from the other end of the long warehouse, the doppler effect of their battle cries and Dmitri’s screams of terror creating a cartoonish moment – neither Setyiel nor Kor opt to take attacks of opportunity on the cowardly Taldorian.

As the warriors and dwarf advance, Desi peppers them with arrows, downing them and slowing their assault. The female bard sings inspiring songs to bolster her companions, even as she makes a break for the exit door. Dmitri, hundreds of feet away, disappears in the blink of an eye.

Kor reaches the poachers and, enraged, begins hacking them brutally with his greatsword. Spittle, oaths and blood spray everywhere. Setyiel and Jurik share a psychic moment and bolt past Kor’s enraged melee and charge the female bard.
Kor brutally battles three enemies at once with Desi’s arrows winging past him into their bodies, but they are too much for him. He drops to the ground, bloodied and bleeding and suddenly silent. The warriors and dwarf advance on Desi even as the female bard’s voice screeches as Setyiel’s magic-empowered rapier stabs her.

Setyiel and Jurik charge forward to rescue Desi and the unconscious, bleeding Kor. They engage the dwarf and the remaining warrior, and at the last second Dmitri reappears in a formal duelling stance and slashes out with his longsword, gutting the final opponent and ending the fight.

Kor is revived. “Good” Vito is stabilized. Corti is beyond help, off to meet Pharasma at her boneyard.

The PCs put Corti in a respectable burial position, strip and loot the corpses of the attackers and shame Dmitri brutally. The front teeth and incisors of all four poachers and torn loose and distributed among the party, pocketed to dry and later become glory beads. The woman is stabilized and tied up.

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Tatzylwho?
Dark holes, dark hearts

Summary-
Dates: May 14-24
Locations: Foothills of Mt Branthlend, Azin territory
NPCs involved: Antelia Azini, Tatzylwyrm, hobgoblin patrol, Rennec, poachers
Important occurences:
Met Antelia and learned about human poaching on Azin lands.
Found traps and met/killed the Tatzylwyrm
Ambushed and killed a small hobgoblin patrol (no survivors, bodies not hidden)
Gave loot to Rennec to resell.
Angered the poachers with an offensive song and dance routine.

Players present: Michael, Bobby, Kris
XP: 800 (400 for Desari)
Loot: 5 studded leather armors, 1 scale mail, 6 light metal shields, 6 masterwork longswords, 5 heavy crossbows, 1 very fancy light metal shield with the House Pardo crest on it.

Detail-
Quest status: incomplete, still have not delivered Mamdani’s package to Faaz
Summary:

The party travels through Azin lands, meeting with the Azin in hopes of communicating some of the recent events in Ohesaare lands. True to form, all the Azin can do is complain about their own difficulties with human poachers, hobgoblin raiders and the recent re-appearance of Manticore attacks. The Azin huntsinger Antelia shares these tales of woe with the PCs.

In a bout of unparalleled generosity, the party decides to travel the more difficult route to Hungerdark in hopes of finding evidence of the poachers or their traps. They find three bear traps, but instead of poachers they learn an important camping trick when in dangerous territory: do not camp in dense underbrush, because 800 lb dragonsnakes will be able to sneak up on you and bite you. Jurik nearly dies, but in the end the PCs prevail. In a nearby cave, a masterwork light steel shield laden with precious metals and precious gems is discovered – it bears the family crest of the Pardos, a powerful Pitax family of the House Raffaldini.

A few days of hard slogging through steep foothills lands the PCs in trouble, yet again – while on watch, Jurik spots a hobgoblin patrol. The pendant dog starts barking his head off. Alerting the patrol and waking up the rest of the party. Jurik uses the magic of “sleep” to put the first few hobgoblins down, and from there on out it’s a mad rush to kill the hobgoblins. Unfortunately, the hobgoblins manage to gang up on Kor and stab him until he is unconscious and bleeding. Setyiel and Desari put arrows and blades into the hobgoblins until only two remain. The hobgoblins threaten to execute Kor if the party doesn’t back down. A standoff ensues until Setyiel boldly (for an elf) strides forward and executes the terrified hobgoblin before he can get a solidly murderous attack in on Kor. The remaining hobgoblin is chased into the woods, run down, and murdered. A skiff of sorts is created for all the hobgoblin weapons and armor, which is off high quality.

The party arrives in Hungerdark and is, as per custom, denied entrance beyond the “foreign corner”. Kor leads the party to the trading post of Rennec, a follower of Razmir and well known “madman”. Rennec offers to act as a middleman of the captured weapons and armor to procure the best price for a bundle of trade goods. The PCs accept and the following afternoon receive (divided evenly) 607 gold, 2 silver and 5 copper each from Rennec. He was able to package the weapons with a delivery from an smalltime arms trader from Daggermark.

In good spirits the party sets up a fire and their bedrolls outside of the walls of Hungerdark, opting to avoid the overpriced, cramped and probably disease infested cubbyholes that pass for “lodging” in the foreign quarter. The observe 7 humans, 1 dwarf and 7 dogs return to the tents outside of the town, with 3 dead deer carcasses and sacks of small game in tow/on sleds. The trapper/poacher gang is well armed and leery of the barbarian party members. The dogs are mostly massive and mean looking, so the party opts not to start anything. To smooth over the tensions, Jurik sings and a song and does a dance intended to suggest “we don’t really care about you, you aren’t interesting to us” to the four warriors that are watching (from a distance) the party’s camp. Unfortunately, the song and dance come across as “do don’t give a fuck about your wife’s opinion, you fish-raping savages” and seems to really provoke the dwarf. The dwarf appears to be in charge of three of the humans. One of the humans looks like a strong, leaderly type (he had a whole deer over his shoulder) and another looks like a ranger and dog-handler (how eccentric!)

Setyiel sends a letter on parchment via Rennec, to Mivon hoping that his old friend Farhis might be able to tell him a bit more about the Likul, a demon being that Setyiel suspects has something to do with the nocturnal disappearances and knocking-up of the Kargi women.

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"It's raining hippogriff"
Gnome: it's what's for dinner

Summary-
Dates: May 1-14
Locations: Il’Halouk, Hippogriff Hill
NPCs involved: Dabashi, Mamdani and Carabryn, a now deceased gnome ranger – also Chief Perum and Manavgat and a few other Ohesaare
Important occurences: Humans allowed into Il’Halouk…again! Hippogriff slain, Carabryn eaten, PCs blackmailed by Mamdani
Players present: Michael, Bobby, Kris, Nathaniel
XP earned (per player):
750 each
Treasure looted:
small light crossbow, small buckler, small leather armor, small spear, 2 lvl 3 cure moderate wounds potions

Items gained:
Magic stone hexagon that Mamdani can communicate through.
12×6×6 case containing alchemical agents for delivery to Faaz Ibroli of the Irovetti family at Hungerdark with the phrase “Mamdani delivers Batzetti today, Bondanin later” (this phrase is etched into the hexagon in common.)

Detail-
Quest status: complete! Hippogriff is slain and delivered to Mamdani without alerting the other Halouk. Bonus: Manavgat has her revenge on Carabryn for the hippogriff rampage “a child for a child.”
Important notes:
The PCs have slain the hippogriff that menaced the Ohesaare, completing a task for Perum and granting Manavgat the satisfaction of murdering a gnome. Glory to Chief Preum and respect for Jurik, Desari and Kor. Footnote of a nod to Setyiel, though who knows what motivates elves, anyways.
The PCs are being blackmailed! Mamdani says he will reveal their slaying of the Hippogriff to the other Halouk if they refuse or fail to deliver the case to Faaz in Hungerdark. The PCs grudgingly agree.
Mamdani can send messages to the PCs via the hexagon.
Mamdani cut off the poison tip of the Biflzar and has it in his workshop.
Dabashi has now escorted humans in and out of Il’Halouk three times, and on the last time through seemed slightly indignant at the situation Mamdani was putting him in.

Summary:
The PCs, tasked by Mamdani, seek the renegade Hippogriff, heading back to the lair discovered in adventure 0. The lair is unoccupied, but tracking rolls reveal a recent hurried vacancy.

The PCs set up in ambush around the lair, hoping that either the mysterious gnome or the hippogriff will return. In the dead of night, the hippogriff returns.

Three times the hippogriff swoops down out of the darkness, and on the third time, the hunt-singer Jurik lulls the flying beast to sleep. It plummets 70 feet. Why anyone would ever consider a flying mount of less than 4 hit dice is suddenly very much in question.

The meaty thud of a horse-sized object stopping suddenly on grassland brings the other PCs to hunt-singer Jurik, who is weaving a song and dance about a sleeping beast – the beast who until moments ago was fleeing on four powerful legs and is now sleeping and snoring deeply.

Setyiel and Jurik rush to the beast to tie it up, with Desari in defense. Atop the hippogriffs carcass strewn nest, Kor bellows out a threat of death to the hippogriff unless the unseen gnome reveals herself.

Carabryn appears, though so slowly that the hippogriff is entirely bound in rope by the time she in in eyesight.

Kor and Jurik try a combination of threats, deal making and promises, but can get no more information about the hippogriff from Carabryn other than she will take it somewhere distant from them where it will no longer menace the tribe, and that she hopes to tame it, and that it once killed her companion animal. Oh, and she’s originally from Brevoy, the kingdom to the north of the Kargi hunting grounds. Carabryn seems somewhat feral and unsocialized.

Kor roars an ultimatum that inspires Carabryn to cast a spell, a spell that never leaves her lips, because an arrow from Desari silences it. In response, Kor ends the struggling Hippogriffs life.

Setyiel and Jurik pursue Carabryn, chasing her through the darkness, with Desari and Kor looping past them to cut off her escape route. Arrows and sword-work bloody Carabryn and she surrenders. Extensive interrogation reveals nothing new.

The party takes their hostage back to the tribe, encounter Geruff who is useless, and who makes it take days longer to find Chief Perum and deliver the news of their triumph over the Hippogriff and the hostage Carabryn.

On receiving word that Carabryn is responsible for Manavget murders her in cold blood, and the three tribeswomen present cook and eat the gnome. A small celebration and feast is called for.

The following morning the PCs travel back to Il’Halouk and once again are escorted into the city by Dabashi. They meet Mamdani in his workshop.

Mamdani orders Desari to watch the door while he inspects the bag and then speaks to the PCs. They have done well, but he refuses to rewards them other than to have granted permission to destroy the hippogriff. He then says that if they want a reward, they can take a metal case to Hungerdark and deliver it to Faaz Ibroli of the Irovetti family and he will give the party 100gp. Refusal or failure to deliver the case will mean Mamdani will reveal the PCs activities to the other Halouk, meaning a death sentence for them and possibly most of the Kargi people.

For now, the PCs resign themselves to obeying Mamdani – but they resent being blackmailed and paid so poorly for their services.

On the way out of Il’Halouk, a moment passes between Dabashi and Jurik – Dabashi expects to see the party again, and appears resigned to the fact that Mamdani will continue inviting humans into the centaur city to serve his purposes.

Links to wikis that give more detail on the events from the session

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it's not a butt sex themed campaign, I promise
perverted goblin abominations get in the bag, please

Summary-
Dates: April 26-30
Locations: Il’Halouk
NPCs involved: Dabashi, Mamdani and the Biflzar – also Chief Perum and some other Ohesaare
Important occurences:
Tasked by Chief Perum with killing the hippogriff
PCs enter Il’Halouk – the first humans allowed within the walls for decades.
Meet Mamdani who says he might be able to get them permission to hunt the hippogriff if they capture or kill the Biflzar.
Biflzar captured alive, delivered in captivity to Mamdani. Permission to destroy the renegade hippogriff is granted.

Players present: Michael, Bobby, Kris, Nathaniel
XP earned (per player):
725 each
Treasure looted:
Mastercrafted heavy crossbow (Halouk design) and 50 bolts (worth 350 gp)
1 adamantium arrow (worth 60gp)
Magic Stone Dog pendant (needs some way to wear on neck, or can be kept in pocket) value unknown, probably worth at least 1000-2000gp

Detail-
Quest status: half complete – still need to find and destroy the hippogriff
Important notes:
Dabashi seems suspicious of and uncomfortable with the PCs interactions with Mamdani.
Mamdani seems like a shady character, like he’s not telling the PCs the whole story.
The PCs have a stone hex that is magically engraven that grants them permission from Mamdani to destroy the renegade hippogriff, enter/leave Il’Halouk at any hour to visit him on business.

Summary:
Chief Perum’s women have been giving him a hard time about the hippogriff, screaming at him for hours about their murdered child and the potential of future murdered children and also how disgusting the crab meat is. To get them off his back, he blames the PCs for the hippogriff and threatens to bash their faces in if they don’t go kill it – preferably with the permission of the Halouk (centaur.)
The PCs travel to Il’Halouk and meet Dabashi, a young centaur scout they recognize. They explain their problem with the hippogriff, and Dabashi insists that the centaur will handle the problem themselves. The PCs set up camp outside Il’Halouk to wait for news of how the problem will be handled, and are surprised to find themselves summoned into the city themselves. None can recall an instance where humans were allowed into the city, even during the summer months in which it is mostly empty.
There they meet Mamdani, a craftsman with a workshop in the northeastern portion of the city. Mamdani dismisses Dabashi, which seems to bother Dabashi, but Mamdani is firm and sends him away before speaking with the PCs.
He tells the PCs how difficult it would be to grant them permission to hunt such a majestic beast as a hippogriff, and that he would be potentially bringing shame to himself to even ask the other Halouk for such a waiver. However, he has a favor he needs of them: there is a part goblin, part centipede abomination living in the toilet/dump/marsh outside of the city. He wants it alive or dead, brought back to him in the night. He gives the PCs a sack and tells them the whole affair must be completely secret from the other Halouk. This, unsurprisingly, strikes the PCs are somewhat suspicious, but he gives them a stone hexagon tablet that gives them permission to leave and enter the city, so at least they have some written evidence that Mamdani put them to the task.
The PCs enter the marsh during the day, using their tracking skills to scout the area. With great rolling, they discover, in the denser portion of the marsh, an entrance into an underground lair. Detect magic reveals a magical presence and magic item not far underneath the ground. The PCs set up an ambush, assuming that the Biflzar is in the cave (he is.)
As night comes down, a goblin stumbles upon Jurik and flees, screaming for help. A group of goblins loudly assemble out of sight in the tall grass and make their plan for a “sneaky ambush to buttfuck the lone human.” They attack Jurik, who defends himself. Then more goblins arrive, joining with their battle cry of “sneaky ambush!” The other PCs are drawn in, and more goblins arrive from all directions. Sicc’ing the dog on them seems to work well, visibly shaking the goblins that are starting to lose the fight anyways.
The Biflzar shows his face and attempts to use magic abilities on the PCs, but repeatedly fails. The goblins start to feel like the fight isn’t going to be so easy and flee. Only one goblin does not flee, because he is staggered after being hit with sleep and then stabbed with a sword.
Jurik intimidates the goblin with the translation help of Setyiel, and they then tie the goblin to a tree, hoping the presence of a nearby goblin to torture will lure Biflzar out. The ploy works! Biflzar comes out of the cave, notices Desari and turns her to stone using magic. Kor leaps down, blocking Bifzlar’s entrance to the cave, and all the PCs mob up no the Biflzar and pound it. After 1 round Desari is no longer stone and begins grappling the monster, who screams, “I am protected! I am magic! You are breaking the law!” but also keeps trying to break free. Dogpiled on, he is forced to the ground and tied up with the rope that previously was securing the goblin. Now that the staggered goblin is free, his attention turns to revenge, and he drops his pants in an attempt to rape the half goblin/half centipede monster that is on the ground. A large sack is drawn over both goblin and Biflzar for both decency and privacy. When the PCs pull Biflzar out of the sack, the goblin is dead (stung to death) and the Biflzar has fully healed all of his wounds.
The PCs beat Biflzar into unconsciousness, throw him into the sack, and take him back to Il’Halouk around 10pm at night. They are confronted by Dabashi at the gate, but he is cowed by the PCs insistence that they are doing business only with Mamdani, and he allows them to pass. They delivery Biflzar to Mamdani and receive a magical sack (bag of holding) that can carry a hippogriff corpse as well as revision of their stone hexagon that says they now have permission to destroy the renegade beast.
Mamdani suspicious over-emphasizes the need to keep the destruction of the hippogriff secret from the other Halouk, both during and after the kill. He emphasizes the nobility of the beast and the filthiness of the Kargi, and demands that they bring the body of it back to him. All this stuff would be standard for Halouk, except for the fact that he keeps repeating stuff they all already know.

That is where the adventure is at – the PCs have a permission slip from Mamdani to destroy the hippogriff and a magical way to secretly transport it back to them. Setyiel and Jurik both know roughly where it had it’s lair earlier in the week.

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shipwreck?
adventure 0

Summary-
Dates: April 21-25
Locations: southern border of Brevoy
NPCs involved: angry hippogriff, feral gnome type fucker, Chief Perum
Important occurences:
fought an assassin vine
house sized crab from where??
hippogriff is killing wantonly
discovered the hippogriffs lair, which is littered with caracasses – fought hippogriff and chased it off.
recovered Chief Perum’s javelin (stuck into hippogriff) and also the corpse of a 3 year old tribesman.

Treasure: 5gp bottle of wine

Players present: Michael, Bobby

Detail-
Quest status: hippogriff yet lives
Important notes:
You are not allowed to kill magical creatures and get in trouble with the Centaurs for that.
There is a weird upside down part of a boat out there now.
Chief Perum is not aware of the gnome’s existence, but knows the hippogriff is still alive. He’s a bit flippant about the Centaur’s authority, though this may be bluster.

The upside down boat appeared to come (along with the crab) out of nowhere. There was graffiti carved in the wood of the boat that read, “Littletown sucks” and “Vito gave me crabs”, written in a dialect that is native to Pitax. Plants are growing all over the boat (inside and out) and starting to grow around the boat. The boat and the giant crab both gave off a lingering aura of powerful fairie magic.

The bottle of wine found in the boat was at most 15 years old… which doesn’t indicate how long ago it was bought, just how long ago it was bottled (according to the GM’s poor understanding of wine.)

Screen shot 2012 03 22 at 2.13.01 pm

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