Feb 2012 - Pathfinder - Conquest of Steel campaign

Kor meets Manticore
let's get diplomatic

Summary-
Dates: October 6-9th
Locations: Hungerdark, Azin territory
NPCs involved: Dmitri, Faaz, Enzo, Rennec, Kol Kolkonner, Akpinnar Azin, Antelia Azin, Alath Azin, Hieu Le Pham
Important occurences: Akpinnar Azin agrees to treat with Enzo, party fights three manticore
Players present:
XP: 1700
Loot: 3000 gp in magical parts (Manticore bits)

and hopefully the following detail

Detail-
Quest status:
Rob LLP Mansion: quest not accepted
Get permission from Azin to build Irovetti fort: incomplete
Get Enzo free: COMPLETE, with questions
Investigate Worm Tunnels: incomplete
Ettin camp: incomplete
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Important notes:

The party returns to Hungerdark and is greeted at the Irovetti warehouse by their old frenemy Dmitri, who is stiff and cold to the party, even rude. The party humiliates Dmitri in front of the other warehouse staff.

Enzo is on hand, and when quizzed about his time with the hobgoblins, is somewhat vague about the details. He seems none the worse for the wear, and the party suspects that maybe he was never actually kidnapped in the first place.

Faaz talks with the players in his office, with Enzo on hand. The party wants to send a message to Mamdani, asking if they can meet him. Faaz says he’ll have Mamdani summon the party if they agree to perform a diplomatic mission to the Azin: House Irovetti wants to build a hidden fort in the foothills of Mt Branthlend, right on the edge of Azin territory, with the stated goal of being a bulwark against the Kerrekk’Adarr/base of operations for anti-hobgoblin patrols. The party isn’t sure if they’re willing to do this, but chats with Enzo about what might be required by the Azin in exchange for permission to build near their land.

The party is very nervous about Hungerdark, suspicious of Faaz and the Irovetti – they’re even feeling wary of Enzo and Rennec. To this end, they begin scouting the area and learn a few things about what’s happening in Hungerdark:

1. Kol Kolkonner tells Setyiel that he got his magic headband from “The Queen” or “My Queen” but isn’t helpful about who/where that might be. He remains interested in cheeses.
2. The GCF is at max capacity in Hungerdark, but scouting by Desi reveals that the troops are of low quality, poor discipline and they’re bored.
3. Jurik performs, successfully, a version of “The Cyclops and the Wolf” at the tavern.
4. There are mercenaries staying in the guest house of the LLP mansion, led by a man named Checco. They’re reputed to be heavy drinkers.
5. Checco is involved, in some way, with the Church of Callistra.
6. Rennec (and followers of Razmiran) are hot topics, especially with regard to Rennec’s yearly migration to Mormouth. Talk in the tavern is hostile towards Rennec.

Jurik invisibly eavesdrops on Faaz and Rennec, hearing Rennec propose a very dangerous mission for the party. It’s sneaky, and Faaz doesn’t like that. Faaz would like an open war with the LLP, something straightforward. But he does like the idea of mocking Giacomo with Rennec’s plan, so okays it.

The party is summoned to Faaz’s office and offered 20,000gp in gems if they can get Azin/A’Halouk approval to build the secret fort. If the party wants, there’s also another mission, but a very dangerous one. If they’re caught, they’ll be marked men in Hungerdark and Pitax. But it’d pay well – 30,000 in gems for only a little work.

The party doesn’t bite on the dangerous mission. It seems too risky and they aren’t sure they want to help House Irovetti anyways. But they agree to go talk to the Azin.

Two days march from Hungerdark, three Manticore appear a few hundred feet away and barrage the party with their tail spikes. The party’s lack of artillery is clear, though Setyiel reads a scroll that drops one manticore dead immediately, and once one character is downed, the manticore swoop forward to try and carry off their body (for eating!) and that is their mistake. The party defeats the manticore and takes their tails with them to the Azin. One whole manticore is delivered to Mamdani.

Chief Akpinnar of the Azin is not especially thrilled to hear that “P’taxsh” want to treat with him. He says they’re welcome to come and die, if they want. The idea that Kerrekk’Adarr could be a real threat to the Kargi is brushed aside – if they want to come and die, they’re also welcome.

Eventually the party gets Akpinnar to agree to allow Enzo to bring him prizes of armor, weapons and wine. If the prizes are adequate, Enzo won’t be killed. But no promises.

The party figures this is the best they’ll get, and rests with the Azin, intending to travel north to Mamdani. That night, everyone except Desi gets laid. Kor tries to

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There's Less Mormouth Now
a town day in Pitax turns into a town month

Summary-
Dates: Sep 5-Oct 6
Locations: Pitax, Mario Tasso’s shop, GCF station west, Patrice’s Oree Ay, The Fig Pie, Francesca Ivro’s boarding house.
NPCs involved: Mario Tasso, Ludovico “Ludo” Tasso, Licenzia & her hourglass, Cecco Angiolieri (GCF assistant quartermaster, Captain Salvatore Raffaldini, Matteo Ivro
Francesca Ivro, Wessel Del Pardo

Important occurences:
Players present: Kris, Bobby, Michael, Michael
XP: none
Loot: many purchases were made!

and hopefully the following detail

Detail-
Quest status:
Get Enzo free: apparently he’s free – party hasn’t spoken with him face to face yet
Investigate Worm Tunnels: incomplete
Ettin camp: incomplete
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Day 1:
The party travels to Pitax with their cart of swords and various loot from the hobgoblin outpost. They meet Mario Tasso, who can sell their goods (minus various taxes). Mario sets the party up with Ludo Tasso at the Fig Pie, in Poortown. Net value is 10,295 gp of weaponry/armor/gear into his hands.

Mario sends them to the Fig Pie in the poor quarter of town to meet Ludo and be set up with lodging/disguises.
Setyiel orders a “fig pie” and learns that Fig Pie is slang for a terrible song/performance/or just a bad job of something. They meet Ludo, one of Mario’s cousins, in the empty restaurant that is the Fig Pie. Ludo dispatches his assistant Matteo Ivro to arrange for tenement housing and baths for the party.

Ludo sets them up at Francesca Ivro’s with tiny apartments and baths (hookers).

Day 2:
Tailors come to the apartments to measure the party, who remain in hiding. Desi trains Scrabble. Mario says he has found buyers for the goods, but that there’s a 10% fee/tax/bribe.

Day 3:
Simple outfits of guards are delivered for Kor and Desi. Fancy outfits are delivered for Setyiel and Jurik. Sashes and ribbons marking the party as temporary guests of the Tasso family of House Raffaldini are pinned onto everyone, even Scrabble.

Day 4
Party bribes Cecco Angiolieri (the assistant quartermaster) at a GCF station in the northwest part of Pitax to sell them military supplies (a wand of cure moderate wounds.)

At the traveler’s store “Oree Ay” the party talks Luigi Pulci into selling his storied display models bag of holding, rope of climbing and handy haversack. Luigi is sorry to part with it, as his traveling companion Patrice was lost down an endless crevasse while wearing it. Something about that story seems fishy – specifically how all of PAtrice’s gear wound up in Luigi’s hands after being lost down a crevasse. The party promises to come back and talk to Luigi about their adventures.

At the enchanter Wessel Del Pardo’s, the party orders magical weapons and armor, adding spell storing to Setyiel’s Scimitar and a +1 longbow of Frost for Desi. Wessel is an ancient (60-something year old) wizard with a long white beard and a crisp flat top. Armor upgrades are ordered as well. Conversation with Wessel is limited to commerce.

A tailor is paid to turn the Winter Wolf pelts into fine cloaks for the party to wear.

Day 5
The safehouse is finally ready! The party moves into a nicer part of town, near the bazaar and entertainment. The price is somewhat high – 400 Gp total per month.

The apartment is shared, though the PCs have servants and others to fetch food, do washing etc. Party doesn’t have to leave their comfortable, yet constricting living quarters.

Day 6-30
Desi spends time alone training Scrabble new tricks.
Jurik and Setyiel, with Kor as bodyguard, socialize, gamble, and hear/spread rumors.

Rumors:
The hobgoblins are growing wildly out of control (started by the PCs).
Hobgoblins have raided Mormouth, sacking it and taking slaves up into the mountain.
The GCF and Raffaldini suffered the most from the sack. The LLP also suffered a little. Irovetti holdings there barely suffered. Quadrumvir have minimal holdings in Mormouth so are indifferent.
The Irovetti are implicated as possibly doign dirty deals with the Kerrekk’Adarr, but a far more popular theory is:
The Razmiri Churches in the area were completely unharmed and were possibly complicit in the attack on Mormouth. Churches of Razmiran in Pitax are being vandalized, worshippers abused.
Pitaxian citizens loosely called “Abolitionists” have called for a halt of all trade with the Kerrekk’Adarr and the closing of Hungerdark. House Irovetti and THe LLP oppose this. House Raffaldini is anti-Hungerdark, and is mobilizing the GCF to rebuild Mormouth. All major houses are expected to contribute money to the rebuilding of Mormouth and military action against the Kerrekk’Adarr. The Irovetti and Quadrumvir winepressers are sharply criticized for not contributing enough to this fund.
As reported before, trade along the Road to Hungerdark is sharply reduced. The only houses doing major trade to H.D. are The LLP and House Irovetti.
The popular play in Pitax right now is “Licenzia & Her Hourglass”.
The Church of Callistra held a weeklong Resurrection Parade for one of the wealthier members of House Raffaldini, who died during the raid on Mormouth.

Day 30:
Party departs for Hungerdark, leaving Mario Tasso with the information that they can be reached via Rennec. They tell him that the rumors that the Irovetti are involved directly with the Kerrekk’Adarr might be true. Jurik has a giant cheese and elegant cheese cutting utensil to bring to Kol Kolkonner.

Their return trip is with Captain Salvatore Raffaldini. The party enjoys his company, as he does theirs. Salvatore is on his way to Mormouth with supplies to rebuild. Salvatore drops the party off at Littletown, where they join a caravan of wary travelers heading up the road to Hungerdark.

An idea starts brewing in some party member’s minds – if an attack on Mormouth is cutting down trade with the hobgoblins, would aggressive raids on the road to Hungerdark be a profitable way for the Kargi to end trade between the Kerrekk’Adarr and Pitax?

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Take that Stick Out of Your Ass, It's a Joke
Party heads home from Goff's outpost, meets trees

Summary- (2 sessions)
Dates: August 25-27, Aug 27-Sep 5
Locations: Foothills of Mt Branthlend
NPCs involved: Kir Aranyan, Alath Azin, Ontaginaf, Wuzil the Wonderstick, Arfin
Important occurrences: Kir set free, Alath escorted to near Azin territory, Wuzil speaks!
Players present: Nathaniel, Bobby, Michael G, Kris
XP: 3250 each
Loot: Slippers of Spider Climbing (from Arfin), buttons, dried flowers, bee poison (2 uses), narcotic vines (worth 500gp) of indeterminate effect

Detail-
Quests:
Get Enzo free: in process
Investigate Worm Tunnels: incomplete
Ettin camp: incomplete
Annihilate Goff Yreest+Raf’Guragug+outpost, leave Kir Arynyan alive: COMPLETE
Investigate the missing Azin scouts: COMPLETE
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Important notes:
PC take military intelligence from Kir Aranyan, who they’ve left with armor, a dagger and 1 day of provisions.
PCs cache some leftover loot that they don’t want to carry at the ruins of Goff Yreest’s fort (which they burned down.)
Desi takes many hobgoblin teeth.
Outpost is burned with fire.
PCs travel south towards the Owlbear cave dropoff.
In the night a leprechaun is caught trying to lift Desi’s gnome hand of glory. Through entanglement the leprechaun “Arfin” is caught and interrogated. A voice known as “Wuzil the Wonderstick” argues with the leprechaun, insulting him by calling him a gnome. The leprechaun promises to lead the PCs to his treasure trove, and seems to be telling the truth.
The Leprechaun leads them to a tree surrounded by roses and giant bees. One of the trees turns out to be a hangman tree, the giant bees are angered by the PCs, and Will O’The Wisp attacks. Setyiel is entangled/muffled for the first (but definitely not the last) time.

A letter awaits the PCs at the Owlbear cave:
Is it possible to get permission to build an outpost on the foothills of Mt Branthlend, with Azin help/permission?
PCs send a letter back to HD – Misssion accomplished, Azin will have to be pursuaded and the Al’Halouk might be able to sway them. Kol will need a lot of cheese.

The party, in need of replenishment, decides that despite all warnings of dire threats of Neff’s agents in Pitax, they need to travel to the big city for supplies.

In disguise, Jurik and (Kor? Desi?) steal into Hungderdark to consult with Rennec. He tells them that trade has been disrupted and there are mercenaries staying at the mansion. Enzo is already back in Hungerdark, news apparently traveling very fast. Rennec sells the Jurik a mule+cart for 35 GP and the party proceeds to the crossing, all in disguise.

At the crossing the party finds a ship captained by Gaius Zanzotto and owned by the LLP. It is the largest ship on the river, especially now that trade by anyone except the LLP and House Irovetti is slowing. The party befriends Gaius, though not his cousin Bruno Zanzotto, who is the trader on the ship. They disrupt a game of shuffleboard.

The party travels to Pitax with their cart of swords and various loot from the hobgoblin outpost.

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We Have Mercy, We're Just Stingy with It
Hobgoblin Military Intelligence is Valuable

Summary-
Dates: August 25th
Locations: Yreest’s Outpost
NPCs involved: Goff Yreest, Raf’Guragug, Kir Arynyan, Alath Azin
Important occurences: total defeat of Goff’s forces and their deaths
Players present: Nathaniel, Bobby, Michael G, Kris
XP: 3000/each (this does not include last week’s 600 XP for the Tentamort fight)
Loot:
Jewels worth 15500 gp
GP: 5050
PP: 50
X2 dire boar spleen/adrenal sac – magical material worth 300gp/each
Potions:
Potion of Barkskin (3 natural armor)
Potion of Bulls strength (
4) CL3
Potion of Cure serious wounds 7 CL7-
Potion of Cure serious wounds +7 CL7
Potion of Haste CL7
X 2 Potion of cure moderate
4 (CL4)
X 4 potion of cure light +2 (CL2)
Armor:
Chain shirt
Masterwork Breastplate
Adamantine Longsword
Masterwork Javelin
Masterwork Heavy Steel Shield
X20 Leather armor
X3 Studded Leather
X2 Breastplate
X3 Light steel shield
X20 light wooden shield
X3 Light wood shield
X2 Scale Mail
Weapons/ammo:
Adamantine rapier
Adamantine dagger
X 3 Masterwork Rapier
X24 Mwk Longsword
10 small longspears
Masterwork light crossbow
X20 Heavy crossbow
X2150 crossbow bolts

and hopefully the following detail

Detail-
Quests
Get Enzo free: incomplete
Investigate Worm Tunnels: incomplete
Ettin camp: incomplete
Annihilate Goff Yreest+Raf’Guragug+outpost, leave Kir Arynyan alive: COMPLETE
Investigate the missing Azin scouts: COMPLETE
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Party defeats Goff Yreests warriors in his outpost, besting him and his elite overground, then proceeding down into the outpost. The PCs sweep through the hobgoblin and goblin defenders and free an Azin scout from a slave pit. A Hobgoblin surrenders to Setyiel and is brutally slain while on his knees. Through the wooden door, another hobgoblin holds “important papers” hostage and threatens to burn them. The PCs eventually KO him, realize he is Kir Aranyan and tie him up. A pair of Dire Boars are found to be housed in a room and the party kills them and harvests their organs. The Azin scout’s name is Alath Azin and he is very grateful for his rescue.

Important notes:
Kir Arynyan is left alive, but not especially well kitted out for return to the Kerrekk’Adarr territory. Barring some magic or secret tunnels, he would not be able to quickly return with the news of the camp’s destruction more quickly than the PCs.

Links to wikis that give more detail on the events from the session:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/feb-2012-pathfinder-conquest-of-steel-campaign/wikis/kerrekkadarr

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"Just the tip"
I'd rather be alive during my downtime, these hobgoblins disagree.

Summary-
Dates: July 3rd – August 25th
Locations: Lower Hungerdark, Owlbear Cave, Spriggan’s Hold, Worm Tunnels, Ettin Camp, Yreest’s Outpost
NPCs involved: Rennec, Piley’y Oakwhisper, Jovan Damian (soothsayer in Hungerdark), Boston Foulblade, Goff Yreest, Raf’Guragug
Important occurences:
Party in hiding at Spriggan’s hold
Training Scrabble
There’s an Ettin and a Grizzly up on the mountain
Faaz’s cousin Enzo reported lost in Upper Hungerdark
Azin are sniveling cowards as per usual
Goff’s outpost discovered, massive battle engaged in – still going at end of session
Setyiel’s Scimitar arrives from Mivon

Players present: Bobby, Nathaniel, Kris
XP: 600 each (300 for Jurik)
Loot:
Material for 30 Tentamort poisons
(Sting—injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 2 rounds; effect 1d4 Con plus nausea; cure 1 save)
Setyiel’s headband was identified as a Headband of Mental Superiority

Map update:
Map update   june 15

Detail-
Quest status:
Get Enzo free: incomplete
Investigate Worm Tunnels: incomplete
Ettin camp: incomplete
Annihilate Goff Yreest+Raf’Guragug+outpost, leave Kir Arynyan alive: processing…
Investigate the missing Azin scouts: incomplete
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Important notes:

Rushing down into Lower Hungerdark, the party discusses their options. Faaz and the House Irovetti are decided to be potentially untrustworthy, and the Razmiri Priest Rennec is settled upon as the party’s destination. They circle out and around the town walls, becoming visible in the bushes and then returns to town through the front gate, heading straight for Rennec’s.

The party explains that they’ve escaped Upper Hungerdark and are worried that Neff will come for them and maybe destroy the town. Rennec agrees that they’re in a pickle, and isn’t able to tell them how Faaz will react. Rennec calls the crossdressing elf hooker “Piley’y Oakwhisper” over to his shop. She is known as someone who runs messages around Hungerdark when the HJ/BJ business is slow. He sends he to fetch “Boston”, and she goes running. In the meanwhile the PCs and Rennec hatch a plan. Pitax, Littletown and other Pitaxian towns are unsafe, as Rennec reports the likelihood that the hobgoblin Neff has agents in those cities. The party would flee to Mivon or further, but there is uncertainty about how Mamdani would react if he learned his deliveries would take an additional month of travel each time – would he turn the Ohesaare over to face Al’Halouk justice? With these uncertainties it is agreed that the party of Cyclops+Wolf destroying barbarians will hide a few days to the north of Hungerdark, in the wild foothills of Mt Branthlend. A system of messaging back and forth will be set up, through a friend of Rennec’s, who arrives with Piley’y – he is one of the poachers, the one who leads dogs and smells like dogs: Boston Foulblade. He speaks gruffly, with a Mivonese accent.

After a brief negotiation in which Rennec uses the word “friend” about ten thousand times, Boston
agrees to act as the messenger to the party for 200Gp. The length of this engagement is unclear – a month? two? Surely the party won’t be gone for that long, will they? Rennec agrees to store the party’s loot at his shop until they can return, for a modest fee (anyone remember what the fee was, exactly?)

Setyiel responds to the two letters, telling Farhiss’s relatives in Mivon that he’ll visit Mivon soon enough and want to take a look at the scroll concerning the Likul, and asking Mario to obtain the adamantine scimitar. 1000gp is handed over to Rennec as downpayment on the scimitar.

Setyiel makes a quick trip to Kol Kolkonner Curio shop, but Kol is not around. Rats! He’d hoped to quiz the mad barbarian junk trader about the origins of the magic headband. His neighbor, Jovan Damien, checks the entrails and tea leaves and confirms to Setyiel “Kol is not here, but is very likely to return in the future.” Setyiel is very impressed by this bit of soothsaying, really, no, he’s not being sarcastic. He returns to Rennec’s and the party straps their gear to their backs and looks at the dog-smelling mercenary Ranger, Boston. Boston nods and leaves, leaving Rennec’s iron-masked visage waving behind them.

The party, with Boston and a few of his gigantic mastiffs, head immediately out into the wilderness. Boston suggests a meeting place somewhere near to his trapping area, and the party chooses the Owlbear cave. A heavy rock inside the cave, near to the trickling water tube, is selected as the drop point. The party is obligated to check four times per moon (once a week). Boston departs with his dogs and the party makes a random, crisscrossing circuit through difficult terrain to confuse trackers, landing at “Camp Stoneworm” for their summer retreat.

Kor and Desi make it their priority to train Scrabble to perform various tricks for both combat and camping, with Desi also setting up a poison/antidote lab in the Spriggan wizard’s old wand/potion shop.

Setyiel & Jurik spend their days watching the owlbear cave from a hidden position, wary of double crossing by Boston, Rennec or any witnesses who might’ve betrayed their position to Neff.

After

then the party hangs out in the spriggans hold for like a month, training the cat and fucking around
once the party hear about Enzo, there is a brief exploration of the worm tunnels, but then they party spots an Ettin with a bear and Kor freaks out about wasting time and the party turns back.
there is some communication back and forth with Rennec/Faaz
Enzo is a “guest” in upper hungerdark
Faaz tells the party that if they want to help save his cousin, they can go destroy a hobgoblin outpost at the northeastern tip of Mt Branthlend, leaving one specific hobgoblin alive.
the party finds the outpost
they spot some hobgoblins and engage them
the thrill of massacre gets the best of everyone and the party winds up spread into a thin line that stretches probably 300 feet long
desi is swarmed at the farrr end and Jurik has to help her scramble free.
hobgoblins are sort of popping out of the ground – the initial group that appeared was bait.
So right now there’s two groups of hobgoblins advancing on the party while the party attempts to rally/regroup.

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The Great Escape
You don't mind if I say "No" to the torture, do you?

Summary-
Dates: June 29-July 3
Locations: Spriggan’s Hold, Purple Worm Tunnels, Lower Hungerdark, Upper Hungerdark
NPCs involved: Rennec, Enzo, Faaz, Kol Kolkonner, Hieu Li Leph, Dommi Michele, Neff, unnamed hobgoblin torturer, The Enslaved Cyclops
Important occurences:
Explored a section of the worm tunnels
Bondini delivered to Faaz
Setyiel receives correspondence from Mivon, trades his scimitar to Kol Kolkonner
Summoned to Upper Hungerdark and imprisoned
Torture at the hands of Neff’s soldiers
Bold escape from the Upper Hungerdark
Freeing of the enslaved Cyclops! Anarchy!

Players present: Michael G, Bobby, Nathaniel, Kris
XP: 1700
Loot:
None, though Setyiel has a magical headband of unidentified properties (strong magical aura)

Detail-
Quest status:
Find the location of the Cyclop+wolf: complete
Investigate the missing Azin scouts: incomplete
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Delivery Bondini to Faaz: complete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Summary:
Off time projects: learning spells, digging up boulders, hunting for materials
travel to Hungerdark
drop materials with Rennec
deliver Bondini, inform Faaz of the Cylops+Wolf battle
wait to hear about their “reward”
tavernizing: Jurik meets Hieu and Dommi, gambles with em. Rennec disapproves of gambling
sleep in Citadel Bruno
Setyiel trades cheese+scimitar for a headband of unknown properties with a strong magical aura
Desi fails at poison making
Party summoned to Upper Hungerdark by Neff – the hobgoblin that previously killed Matosso and all of his men, then tortured Faaz, Enzo and one other of Faaz’s men nearly to death (actually to death for the third.) Enzo recommends leaving all items of value to the hobgoblins behind, armor and weapons especially.
Gear left with Rennec for safekeeping.
Party ascends into Upper H.D.
slaves everywhere of all races – predominantly Fetchlings, a race descended of humans trapped on the Plane of Shadow.
hundreds of hobgoblin warriors around.
Party brought to cells, locked in.
Drow poison darts fired at party, but all are avoided by the PCs’ quick reflexes.
Jurik taken in the night to be tortured.
Desi taken in the night to be tortured.
Fight and then invisible escape from Hungerdark! Lots of traps disabled, locks picked – one door bashed down.
Flight potion used by Kor to free the two enslaved cyclops
Party flees towards the Irovetti warehouse + Rennec, certain that they must escape before Neff’s warriors destroy all of Hungerdark out of anger.

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Aren't you hot in that fur coat? Let me help you out of it.
APL4 party crushes CR9 foes

Summary-
Dates: June 26-28
Locations: petrified worm cave
NPCs involved: Bre, Fel’a’Nil
Important occurences:
PARTY DESTROYS THE CYCLOPS AND WOLF
Spriggan’s hold discovered
Party now has two hiding places within 1/2 mile of one another in the foothills of Mt Branthlend.

Players present: Bobby, Michael, Nathaniel, Kris
XP: 13400
Loot:
Mining pick
Shovel
Adamantine Crowbar
Ring of: Jumping, improved
Large mastercrafted Greataxe
Large Heavy Crossbow
Large Hide armor
Pelt of a Winter Wolf (enough to make 5 cloaks)
10k worth of magical materials harvested from the wolf
Cyclops skull
Jellied cyclops eye
Ring of Counterspells
Stone of Alarm
Scroll – arcane
CL7 – Phantasmal Killer
Wand of rage – 33 charges
1 wand of rage – 50 charges
1 Arcane scroll – CL 7 Phantasmal Killer
CL 7 Charm Monster
1 Arcane scroll – CL 1 Expeditious Retreat x 3
2000gp of gems
magic materials to make wands/scrolls worth 3000 gp
Vest of escape – size small
Horn of fog
Gnome Hand of glory – wearing an emerald ring
3 masterwork light crossbows, size small
3 masterwork morningstars, size small
Mwk Longspear, small x4
Mwk Heavy Crossbow, small x4
Keg of whiskey
Dagger, adamantine
Spellbook – spriggan’s hold (see the Item’s tab for a list of the spells contained therein)

and hopefully the following detail

Detail-
Quest status:
Find the location of the Cyclop+wolf: incomplete, sorta
Investigate the missing Azin scouts: incomplete
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Delivery Bondini to Faaz: incomplete
Return Parda Pardo’s lost shield to him: complete/sold to Mario Tasso in Pitax
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Summary:
After feasting on the greasy white flesh of the owlbear’s breast meat, the party plots and plans their approach to the ancient enemies of the Kargi, the Cyclops Federation. As the group plans during the day, they can hear the snoring of the Cyclops “Bre” echoing up through their listening hole.

A plan is hatched! The party will lure the cyclops+wolf out of the Purple Worm Cave using the illusory sounds of an injured game animal. As the giant beasts stand in the steep lip of the cave exit, Jurik will cast “Grease” on their footing, causing them to fall down onto numerous spikes that the party has placed underneath the exit.

The party spends a few hours hacking trees and sharpening long stakes, then hustles the half mile to the worm’s cave. Sneaking with barbarian grace, they find themselves just out of line of sight of the exit, and ont he signal… they pounce! While Jurik watches the cave for signs of activity, Desi, Kor and Setyiel furiously plant spikes in the ground, twisting them into the dirt and preparing a dastardly trap for the Cyclops+wolf while Scrabble prowls around them for small rodents and butterflies.

The trap is set. The party takes up positions of ambush. Jurik crouches behind a boulder and sings a song conjuring the long-lost memory of a fallen elk calf, it’s mournful cry echoing up and down the hills.

The party tenses, ready for confrontation… and… waits…

and…
waits…

and…

waits…

and…

hours pass. The sun begins to set. Jurik changes the sound of the injured calf to that of humans setting up camp and roasting food.

Darkness begins to fall, the time of the cyclops+wolf’s normal departure from the cave. The party watches the summer sunset with renewed tension as Jurik’s magic continues his invisible puppet show of human hunters setting up camp.

The sun sets. Midnight arrives and the cyclops+wolf have not left their cave. Desi digs a campfire up and the whole party sets out their bedrolls around it in view of the cave entrace. Watches are set and the party rests.

The following day is more of the tedium of war – waiting and waiting for something horrible to happen. The party keeps their limbs loose by chopping down more tree limbs and sharpening more stakes, creating a densely packed field of stakes underneath the worm’s mouth. The day passes, even the bobcat that observed the party the day before has lost interest.

Sun sets, another watch is set – Kor is restless – he knows that Cyclops has got to be starving, but why didn’t it come out? Did it go out a second exit? Is the party being watched by the cyclops and the wolf right now? Troubling…

The night slips down again and watches are set. But as the sky lightens to a deep purple and the morning birds begin to chirp, Jurik spots something in the cave – the yellow eyes of a gigantic wolf, deep inside the cave, coming forwards. Jurik opts to feign ignorance and vulnerability, chomping on meat and ignoring the doom that approaches. Seyiel and Kor tighten their grip on their weapons as they hear the heavy thud of padded feet on the stone of the worm cave. Above, Desi and Scrabble watch the ground below, ready to unleash a hell of arrows into their foes.

Clomping along behind the wolf is the cyclops, Bre, a ten foot tall hulk hauling a massive two bladed axe. As the wolf reaches the lip of the cave, Jurik flings a fistful of owlbear fat towards the cave, singing a song of the hunt and causes the cavemouth to become slick and slippery. The wolf leaps, acrobatically missing most of the spikes but taking one of the improvised spears deep in a leg.

The fight begins.

The wolf huffs and puffs and opens its toothy maw wide, breathign a freezing blast of snow, sleet and ice into Kor and Jurik, leaving a centimeter thick shell on their armor and hair.
Kor bellows his battle ragey cry and closes through shattered boulders and swings the Halouk axe mightily into the thick fur of the Winter wolf, while Desi sends arrow after arrow down into the huge beasts neck and shoulders.
Setyiel readies his battle magics as the Cyclops “Bre” lunges out of the worm tunnel, clipping a spear on the way down. He charges forwards towards the dandy elf, his gigantic axe held high above his single, angry eye. The axe slashes downwards, missing the agile, improbably slender warrior.
Jurik sings a song of battle, bravery and adventure. The Kargi clan warriors are totally amped by their personal soundtrack.

The wolf lashes out, returning a rage-filled bellow to match Kor’s and trading giant claws for Kor’s axe blow and leaving inch wide slashes in Kor’s arms and face. The barbarian’s blood splatters the rocks and earth.

Setyiel’s blade crackles with electricity and the full fury of the dancing warrior’s magic, and he swings and twirls in an elaborate series of movements. And misses completely.

Kor, Jurik, Desi and the giant wolf battle, with arrows raining down, axes flashing and healing wands poking. But the claws of the immense monster send gobbets of Kor’s flesh and rivers of his blood spraying this way and that, and the barbarian falls unconscious, leaving the wolf free to bound up the mountainside towards Desi and her animal companian, the lynx “Scrabble”.

On the other side, the towering hulk of the Cyclops swings two handed with his giant axe, first slashing a huge wound in the elf and then swinging back with the blade flat, only to miss. The elf’s movement become more elaborate, his magics more furious, as he single-handedly battles against his massive foe. But again, his attacks completely miss the giant, hulking target.

As Desi and Scrabble face the oncoming, immense force of the wolf with tiny, precious defiance, Jurik’s magic wand returns Kor to a conscious, but fatigued state. The barbarian takes a minute to rest on the ground, downing a powerful healing potion and feeling his strength improve.

The cyclops roars and swings his axe again, flattening Setyiel and dashing him to the ground. Up atop the petrified purple worm, Scrabble’s furious biting and clawing have failed to slow the wolf, who slashes Desi and Scrabble with claws and freezes them with her breath weapon. Desi collapses in pain and Scrabble falls shortly thereafter. The wolf’s gravely voice calls down to Jurik, demanding an immediate surrender.

Kor responds with a challenge to the cyclops, while Jurik sends a handful of owlbear fat and magic towards the giant humanoid, slowing it’s approach while Kor clambers over boulders to get carve a giant piece off the monster. The cyclops carefully stomps towards Kor, then swings his axe again, Setyiel’s blood streaming through the air on the way in and mixing with Kor’s blood on the way out. The wolf lopes down the mountain as Kor falls with Jurik just behind him.

“Surrender!” demands the wolf. And Jurik nods, “Ok, we surrender” as he kneels and healing wands Kor once again and steps back. The wolf continues downwards, rushing up to Jurik. The cyclops, in an overexcited moment, rushes to step out of the grease and over the fallen body of Kor, and slips – he falls to the ground with a terrible thud and an ancient curse, next to the secretly conscious Kor.

Jurik steels himself, sings a high note in his song and immediately betrays his promise of surrender, ducking the wolf’s vicious bite to flee a short distance back. He looses an arrow into the wolf’s pelt and shouts “Kor!” which is all the prone barbarian needs: an excuse to go absolutely fucking berserk.

He lurches to his feet and uses the momentum to bring his Halouk axe down in a set of vicious blows that sever both of the Cyclop’s giant legs at the thighs. His follow-through swing carries the axe blade deep into the haunches of the wolf, severing both legs in a single blow.

Standing soaked in his own blood and the blood of his enemies, Kor looks around and sees Desi, Scrabble and Setyiel fallen on the ground while the dead cyclops bleeds next to the dying wolf.

Magic revives the fallen party members and Setyiel celebrates the moment by brutally carving out the wolf’s eye and a portion of its brain with his scimitar.

The party is victorious! Jurik begins composing the battle-dance of “Three Eyes and a Worm”. The rest of the party directs their attentions to the mouth of the cave as they settle in for a night of victory camping and the carving up of their foes.

The skulls of the wolf and the cyclops are preserved, at least temporarily – Desi’s jealous eyes spend the whole night darting towards the gigantic teeth of the fallen monsters.

The next day:
The party uses ropes to climb up into the mouth of the cave, creeping through the petrified body of a 100 foot long, monstrous worm. The stone teeth of the worm extend ten feet into the body, though they are broken off and worn down by time. The internal organs, stomach and intestine of the worm are roughly hewn out, opening into a long, dark cavern behind the worm’s tail. Setyiel’s magic lights up Kor’s axe and the party proceeds, passing out of the worm’s tail and into a winding, rough tunnel that curves slowly upwards and to the left.

Kor’s barbarian instincts startle the party with a sudden stop. He peers at the wall and the floor, then grunts and kneels with his axe held forward. He gently presses the axe down to the ground, triggering a pressure plate. Suddenly two dozen spears on the left and two dozen broken spear-shafts on the right burst forward – the half broken trap would impale the left side of any unwary traveler.

The party slips past the trap and continues until another obstacle stops them – a wide pit with a curious bit of detritus at the bottom and a flattened log across the way. The smell of stale toilet is overwhelming. Upon closer examination, Desi’s suspicions are confirmed – the hole contains a Gray Ooze and is likely used as the cave dweller’s toilet. Kor dons Jurik’s jumping ring and leaps easily over the gap, dragging the log into place while Desi and Setyiel murder the toilet with a barrage of arrows. They decide to return later when Setyiel can use Mage Hand to levitate the adamantine crowbar that lays at the bottom of the pit.

Further exploration reveals a small trickle of water near a large, rough-hewn alcove. The trickle comes from a long, small underground hole about a foot wide – most likely the hole leads, eventually, to the Owlbear’s cave. Interesting! More interesting: the rough-hewn alcove has bedding, evidence of the wolf+cyclops’s living situation and… LOOT. Lots of loot, actually – apparently Bre and Fel’A’Nil killed a number of small humanoids and took their belongings, including a variety of magical items, armor and some scrolls. Most bizarre, among the piled gear is a mummified hand of a gnome, like a child’s hand with pink fingernails, to be worn as a necklace.

Up around a bend, as the tunnel continues to ascend, the party finds the cave blocked off with boulders and rubble – the previous inhabitants have used the rocky choppings of the petrified worm to block this part of the cave off, either for safety or to prevent the unwary from continuing any further. This is all interesting to the party, but more interesting is the hidden, 3 foot tall door that Jurik discovers in the wall of the tunnel. After some rogue-monkeying, Jurik is able to open the door, revealing a stone passage. Dancing lights are sent down the passage, revealing a dining room of some sort, with ceilings of ten feet high. Jurik crouches down and starts down the passage, stopping only ten feet in- “it’s a trap!” he curses, and begins tinkering with his rogue’s kit. Behind him, Setyiel casts “detect magic” and detects numerous magic auras within the hidden area, the first being the trap that Jurik is working on disabling.

“Aaaaaaaiieeeeeeeeeeaaa!” screams Jurik and, wild with terror, he scrambles back out of the cave, fleeing an unseen assailant. The entire party readies their weapons and magic, but no opponent is found. Jurik flees down the tunnel, only to return a ten seconds later with an angry, embarassed look on his face. “Magical fear trap,” he mutters, and then, crouching, he re-enters the cave.

OHKARGSTAADNOOOOO!!!!!!” screams Jurik, bolting from the cave in terror once more. This time Kor siezes the cowardly bard in a bear hug and prevents him from fleeing with an angry grunt. Once Jurik has composed himself, he shakes off Kor and enters the cave again.

PROTECTMEFROMSPIRITSAAAAEEEEEE!”
and
HELPHELPOHOHOHHELPNOOOO!”
and
FIRETHEBURNINGSOTALLAHHHHH!”

are but three of the screams that Jurik cries during the following fifteen minutes of his attempts to bypass the trap. The party begins to speculate that Jurik’s ability to “inspire courage” may be diminished in the future. Eventually, however, Jurik is able to turn the trap to the “off” position and proceed.

Ten feet further into the cave, Jurik discovers, with a curse, another trap. This trap is different, however, set to summon a powerful monster. He calls Kor into the cave to assist with the fight, should the trap be triggered. Kor stares at the bard in a silent accusation, but crouches, ready to defend the weaker barbarian should it come to that.

It doesn’t come to that, though – the shock therapy of intense fear inspires Jurik to new levels of competence and he deftly disables the monster-summoning device and bravely shuffles into the dining area. The rest of the party joins him and they begin exploring the hidden home, opening door after door until they find a door that holds a powerful magical trap.

Another trap! And even worse: this one doesn’t summon monsters to fight or scare you off, it triggers the spell “Phantasmal Killer”, capable of killing the unlucky victim on the spot. Kor scowls at another fear trap.

“I can handle this,” he says, and the magic users of the party look skeptical. “Phantasmal Killer” is a powerful spell, capable of summoning fears out of the darkest, hidden parts of the victim’s mind. The loss of the party’s alpha barbarian would be a real blow. Kor’s plan for getting through the door also seems to involve a pickaxe, a simple-mindedly brutal approach to such a cunning magical trap. The elf, Setyiel, wonders for a moment, if he should ever have joined the primitive tribe of the Ohesaare.

Kor’s took a strong grip on the pickaxe, hauled it back, and crashed the tool forward into stone – specifically the stone of the wall around the corner from the trapped door. He shoved the kitchen’ table and stove off to the side and began hacking at the stone wall, digging into the brick and morter until he has broken through.

The magically trapped door is never disturbed, but Kor’s plan of breaking through the wall allows the party to break into the chamber.

In the chamber, the Spriggan wizard’s wand and potion making room is revealed. Setyiel is delighted to loot a the wizard’s study, finding scrolls, wands and most notably, the dead Spriggan’s spellbook.

Kor’s interest lay back in the kitchen – an entire cask of whiskey! Everyone decides the most prudent course of action is to camp inside the Spriggan’s Hold, for at least a day. A celebration is called for!

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Good Germans
We had no choice in the matter!

Summary-
Dates: June 18-25 (summer solstice is upon us!)
Locations: Il’Halouk, Azin lands, Mt Branthlend foothills
NPCs involved: Mamdani, Dabashi, Antelia Azini, unknown cyclops+wolf

Important occurences:
Dabashi+PCs discuss Mamdani’s blackmail, make vague alliance
PCs battle various forms of terrifying nature and kill it all
PCs spot cyclops+wolf leaving a cave shaped like a petrified purple worm

Players present:
XP: 2800 each
Loot:
2000 gp worth of magic materials (from the giant beetles)
5000 gp worth of magic materials (from the owlbears – claws, eyes, spleen)

and hopefully the following detail

Detail-
Quest status:
Investigate the missing Azin scouts: incomplete
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Delivery Bondini to Faaz: incomplete
Return Parda Pardo’s lost shield to him: complete/sold to Mario Tasso in Pitax
Find the location of the Cyclop+wolf: incomplete (is that their lair of a temporary stop?)
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Summary:

As the party exits Mamdani’s Dabashi angrily challenges Kor, accusing him of stealing a Halouk heirloom (the newly received axe from Mamdani) and then threatens Mamdani with “action by the council at the next convocation.” Mamdani, in his typically diplomatic way, tells Dabashi that his junior status means he is totally out of line in challenging him and that he will do as he pleases.
Dabashi angrily escorts the PCs out of Il’Halouk, and at a distance from the city pauses to explain to the PCs that they should not do business with Mamdani, that he is breaking traditions and possibly laws that they don’t understand. The PCs decide to tell Dabashi some of their secret dealings with Mamdani – he is blackmailing them, using them as errand boys. The party keeps the specific details of the blackmail secret from Dabashi, however. Dabashi tells them that until he has more specific understanding of Mamdani’s greater goals, and evidence of his lawbreaking, he will abstain from confronting him at the council.
The PCs travel through Azin lands towards Hungerdark. At night Jurik has a recurring dream where he stands on a hill on the edge of a forest, looking down at terrain that closely resembles the Hippogriff’s hill. On the other side of the hill, Jurik sees a wandering greenwood, one of the menacing, traveling stands of trees that drift through the Uplands. In the greenwood is a 5 or 6 hexagonal story tower, made entirely of bone. It is not tall enough to be the tower the observed a few days back at a distance.

In the Azin lands, the PCs encounter the huntsinger Antellia Azini and briefly chat with her. She confirms evidence of a cyclops and a very large wolf in the Mt Branthlend foothills, near the last location poacher’s traps. The PCs report that they killed some, but not all of the poachers and Antellia confirms that most of the traps are no longer in evidence. However, a week ago she sent two Azin scouts, Robiya and Fazul further the foothills to make sure the poachers hadn’t simply moved their operations, and neither scout has been heard from since. The PCs tell her they’ll keep an eye open, but that they must hurry along.
The party opts to make another trip into the poacher’s operating area, adding a few days to their trip back to Hungerdark.

As the foothills begin, Desi spots a number of felled trees, in what appears to be the beginning of a structure. The party takes up defensive positions as Desi searches around the ground for tracks, eventually finding plenty of evidence of some gigantic beetle, numbers uncertain. The number of beetles becomes more certain when, over the course of a few seconds, the party is rushed by four 800 lb, flying slicer beetles. Kor is, at one point, downed by the gigantic beasts, but judicious application of Jurik’s healing wand keeps him in the fight and in the hands of the fierce barbarian, the Halouk axe inflicts terrible wounds. The party snips and takes the mandibles from the beetles, as they are on Mamdani’s list of ingredients for magic weapons+armor, etc.

While watching the camp that night, Desi spots the eyes of a lynx in the darkness of the woods and moves to approach, but the eyes disappear. The following morning she decides to lead the party along the tracks of the cat, with the murmured justification of “kitty!” Luckily, the tracks seem to be headed in the direction of the poacher’s operating grounds, so it’s not a big deal.

What is a big deal is as the party travels, they encounter some petrified animals, with the scratched tracks of a large chicken around – sure signs of at least one cockatrice. Opting to not get turned into stone, the party detours, first southeast, and then back towards the northwest, moving up into the steeper foothills and lower edges of Mt Branthlend. As the party moves up a particularly difficult portion of the hills, Jurik spots an fearsome, 10 foot tall Owlbear a few hundred feet behind the party.

Moving as quickly as stealth will allow, the party attempts to get into cover and up the hill they’re climbing. The owlbears appear to be moving towards them, though. Setyiel and Kor spot a cave opening with large feathers around it, and correctly assume that the owlbears go in there. They decide it would probably be unsafe to go in, and keep moving up the hill.
As the owlbears speed up their charge towards the PCs, two juvenile owlbears burst from the cave and chase after Setyiel and Kor.
A debate erupts at this moment, about whether or not it is legal or right to destroy magical beasts such as the owlbear. A spirited debate erupts, with Kor strongly objecting and saying the party should flee rather than break the laws of Al’Halouk, and the rest of the party’s generally chaotic nature and solid argument that they are probably not on Halouk land and anyways, who is gonna ever know about it? finally winning the day.
The party fights the owlbears with great spirit and courage. The GM is genuinely afraid that he has made a mistake and that at least one PC is going to die, but the PCs are both aggressive and lucky once the fight begins. The owlbears claws miss time and time again, and Kor is able to singlehandedly stall the two mature owlbears long enough for Setyiel and Desi to kill the juveniles. Near the end of the fight, Jurik, inspired by Kor’s courage, remembers to inspire courage.
The owlbears are defeated and their lair is investigated. Near a dead end with a small (too small for any but tiny humanoids) watery tunnel, Setyiel hears distant voices echoeing through the tunnel. Jurik moves up and recognizes the language- giant.
He overhears two voices, presumably both Cyclops (later revealed to be a cyclops and a winter wolf) discussing their predicament. They have a few simple goals in life: find a way to free Ra and Orr (the Cyclops enslaved by the Kerrekk’Adarr at Hungerdark), then wreak havoc on the Kerrekk’Adarr in revenge, and also take some revenge on a few specific Manticore “betrayers”. They don’t know how they’ll accomplish the task, though the more dominant voice says that if they hadn’t killed and eaten all the spriggans, maybe they could have got those tricky fellows to free them. Or perhaps they could find some other spriggans and pay them with “spriggan stuff”. But they don’t trust spriggans, or the Azin, for that matter.
The PCs exit the owlbear lair and do some tracking, eventually spotting a curious sight:
out of the side of Mt Branthlend, concealed by years of vegetation, is the petrified front 20 feet of a gigantic worm (a purple worm, to be precise). The cyclops and the wolf are spotted, at about 1/2 mile (and upwind of the party), exiting the mouth of the worm. As the party watches the two of them, the giant duo heads into the woods as the sun begins to set. The wolf ranges ahead, moving stealthily. The cyclops clomps along behind at a short distance, massive crossbow at the ready and axe on his back.
The party returns to the owlbear’s cave, hauling the corpses inside and hacking off the valuable portions of the beasts and relying on the remaining smell of the owlbear to prevent monsters from wandering into the cave.

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It's Fun To Get Away From Camp, Even if it's Only for an Hour
Party's first visit to Pitax

Summary-
Dates: June 2-18
Locations: Hungerdark, Pitax, Il’Halouk
NPCs involved: Enzo, Rennec, Mamdani, Dabashi, Captain Salvatore Raffaldini, Mario Tasso of House Raffaldini, Cesare Pavese
Important occurences:
PCs attacked at night by shadow from the Plane of Shadow
PCs travel to Pitax and back
Info about the various factions/families of Pitax can be viewed at the Pitax wiki page.
PC’s return to Il’Halouk and make delivery to Mamdani, obtain Bondanin to be delivered to Faaz – as well as some magic items to assist their travels.

Players present: Michael, Bobby, Kris, Nathaniel
XP: 338 each
Loot:
12 CL 6 potions of Expeditious Retreat
+2 Greataxe of Halouk design on loan from Mamdani

Detail-
Quest status:
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Delivery Bondini to Faaz: incomplete
Return Parda Pardo’s lost shield to him: complete/sold to Mario Tasso in Pitax
Find the location of the Cyclop+wolf: incomplete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete
Guard the dwarven traders for Rennec: complete
Return to Mamdani with delivery from Faaz: complete

Summary:
It’s summer!
Travel by night to Hungerdark Crossing intent on Littletown, but bypass to Pitax.
Meet Captain Salvatore Raffaldini of the Raffaldini Family and Grand Council of Fasci Navy, establish rapport.
Spot Tower of Bone a few miles in the distance. Tower of Bone is a catastrophic tarot card in Pitaxian lore, one of the 12 Towers of Pitax.
GCF station is located in the far western tower of Pitax, near a large, older theater.
A page is sent to House Pardo, on returning he takes Jurik+party to Mario Tasso. Mario is very engaged by the novelty of barbarians from the north holding a Pardo family shield. He knows Parda Pardo, maybe personally, and will return the shield to him. He pays a very fair price for the shield. He sells the PCs arms+armor, and sends word with a caravan to seek “a high quality scimitar” in Mivon for Setyiel (this order was placed on June 5th).
Travel back upriver with Captain Salvatore, return to Hungerdark as the sun is setting.
Faaz is angry at the PCs for disappearing for days and not being around to deliver to Mamdani. He insists they depart at night for Il’Halouk. The PCs are generally unimpressed, but are willing to leave town and set up camp in the wild.
Stop at the tavern on the way out to pay off Rennec – there’s collusion by Rennec with House Irovetti, he insists on his cut of the “hazard pay” for the “trouble on the road”.
Charity by the PCs via Rennec to Cesare Pavese (level 2 rogue). Kor makes an impression with the kid by yelling at him.
PCs camp not far outside of Hungerdark and are attacked by a Shadow, one very clearly created/originated in the Plane of Shadow and not Golarion. They drive the Shadow off with some badass magic on the part of Setyiel.
Il’Halouk-
Dabashi is obviously suspicious, irritated by the human presence – in argument with Mamdani
Il’Halouk has a magical effect on it that distorts distance
Mamdani clearly has suspicions or information about the shadow attack, but doesn’t share info.
He does share magic potions and a “shopping list” of various components for magic items.
Magical Greataxe of Halouk design on loan to the party
Party walks out of Mamdani’s as adventure ends.

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Are we Highwaymen or Lowwaymen?
Banditry, Betrayal and Bard all start with "B"

Summary-
Dates: May 26-June 2nd
Locations: Hungerdark, the Hungerdark Highway
NPCs involved: Faaz Ibrolio, Dmitri Von Principe, “Good” Vito Paccara, Rennec, Enzo Ibrolio, Abelie Cazzala (House Cattanei employee, captured), Biro Estempro (House Irovetti trader)
Important occurences:
Relentless mocking of Dmitri
Change in “Good” Vito’s treatment of the PCs
Rennec requests that the PCs allow the poachers (The Markenvalt Gang) to continue their operations
Faaz returns to the warehouse
PCs, hired by Rennec as guards, are instructed by Enzo to make sure the traders they’re guarding never make it to Littletown.
PCs betray the traders they’re guarding, murdering and robbing them under the watchful eye of the full moon.

Players present:
XP: 2400
Loot:
~14k in gold, platinum and gems
Mwk dwarven war axe x2
dwarven war axe
Throwing axe
Chain shirt
2x Potion of cure moderate wounds (Cl recorded by Michael)
4x Portion of cure light wounds
2x Potion of fly
Scale mail
Light crossbow
30 bolts
Potion of eagles splendor
Mwk Greatsword
Mwk Composite Longbow +1
50 arrows
Breastplate x2
Light steel shield
Mwk Light Crossbow
Mwk Longsword
Potion of barkskin +2

Detail-
Quest status:
Stop the poaching for the Azin: incomplete
Return Parda Pardo’s lost shield to him: incomplete
Banditize the dwarven traders: complete
Guard the dwarven traders for Rennec: incomplete
Find the location of the Cyclop+wolf: incomplete
Loose ends regarding Abelie’s attack on the Irovetti warehouse: incomplete

Rough summary (to be fleshed out tomorrow):

The PCs, having defended the House Irovetti warehouse from attack, find themselves in limbo, waiting for the boss to return to the warehouse and pay them, or for some other boss to come and pay them. Investigating the warehouse, they can find no obvious way for the bard Abelie Cazalla to have infiltrated Faaz’s office with her four mercenaries. The roof of the warehouse is accessible, though no holes or entrances were discovered during the PCs search.

When the guard “Good” Vito Paccarra recovers enough to regain consciousness, he turns to the other “regular” guard, Dmitri Von Principe, and asks him what happened. Dmitri concocts an easy lie that he fought bravely, even administering the killing blow, but raucous objection and derision from the PCs contradicts him. Vito doesn’t react strongly to this squabble, but begins treating the PCs with considerably more respect – when he calls them shit eating barbarians, it seems to be with affection instead of true scorn. Dmitri, however, is getting huffier every day and won’t even speak to Kor, Desi or Jurik. He will speak to Setyiel, though only in very formal, over-elaborate speech.

After a day of waiting, Faaz is a no-show. Dozens of carts and wagons have passed through the muddy cobblestone streets of Hungerdark, selling their goods (and something caravan vehicles) to the Kerrekk’Adarr hobgoblins and leaving the city as quickly. A few celebrating foreign traders opt to stay in town and drink their profits. A few celebrating caravan guards opt to stay the night and spend some of their profit at the Temple of Cayden or with the prostitutes of the Sylvan Glade.
The PCs meet and speak with Rennec to sell off the looted gear, learning that the poachers along with the woman were warriors/porters for “The Markenvalt Gang”, led by Patrost von Markenvalt. Rennec asks the PCs to lay off the poachers and let them continue to hunt north of Hungerdark (in the lands of the Azin.) The poachers, according to Rennec, provide meat for the tavern. Later in the day, Rennec sends an ugly/rough looking elf woman with his goat-cart to pick up the bodies of the poacher attackers – these will be sold to the Hobgoblin Beast as meat.

Day 2: Faaz is still a no-show and the warehouse is damp and chilly, though definitely warmer and dryer than sleeping in the wilderness. Rennec has still failed to sell off the loot from the attackers, though he says it’ll happen “soon, soon.”
Mid day, an Irovetti trade caravan arrives from Pitax, led by Biro Estrempo. He wonders where Faaz or Matosso are, and Vito tells him (a little untruthfully) that Faaz is with Matosso negotiating with the Kerrekk’Adarr in Upper Hungerdark. Biro stays most of the day, but close to night takes horses and armed guards and departs for Littletown, promising to return the next day.

Day 3:
Just after breakfast, Faaz returns, along with his guard, Enzo. His other guard, Nunzio, does not return with them. Faaz and Enzo and barely walking. Each are gore-smeared, mud smeared and have dozens of fresh wounds on their necks, arms, hands and faces. Faaz speaks to Vito, quietly wondering where Biro is, since his goods are parked in the warehouse. Since Biro is not there, Faaz tasks Enzo with making an early-morning delivery of the goods to the Kerrekk’Adarr. The PCs
help the wagons depart and follow through to the trading grounds, where they once again observe the captive Cyclops Ra and Orr on the side of the mountain, as well as noting the steep, difficult cliffs all around the entrance to Upper Hungerdark. To reach the mouth of the cave, either great rock climbing skills, ropes or magical means would be needed.

After a few hours of watching goods loaded into baskets and sleds and dragged up the mountain via hundreds of feet of scuffed, muddy mithral chain, the trading group leaves the wagons and horses to be taken up the mountain and returns to the Irovetti Warehouse.

Biro has arrived at the warehouse in the absence of the caravan, and has acquired a bloody nose. He takes his guards and departs for Littletown. The hostage bard, Abelie Cazzala (of the Cattanei family) is nowhere to be seen in the warehouse. Faaz looks a lot less shaky, though Enzo is near-collapse when they return, and Faaz sends him to rest.

Faaz thanks the PCs for their assistance and insists the party stay to guard the warehouse for a few days until reinforcement guards can arrive – either Biro wouldn’t lend him the escort guards, or Faaz didn’t trust Biro’s guards to watch the warehouse. The PCs counter-insist that they want an evening off at the tavern and Faaz reluctantly agress. The party has been in Hungerdark for a week and still hasn’t heard from Mamdani about returning to Il’Halouk, so what else is there to do?

That evening in the tavern, the PCs observe angry interactions between a dwarven foreigner and Antonini of the Thieves Guild, regarding delays and delays and delays. They’ve been encountering a few delays themselves – why is Rennec taking so long to package and sell the spoils from the poacher’s fight? There are no rumors circulating regarding the disappearance of Abelie Cazzala.

Day 4:
Reinforcements arrive for the warehouse from Pitax.

The PCs learn, from Enzo, about a troublemaker of House Cattanei, “Umberto” who is probably the source of the attack on the warehouse. Purposeless harassment is his m.o., making him the most likely culprit.
In the afternoon, Enzo sends the PCs to talk to Rennec, saying that he should have some work for them as guards/escorts. He insists that they leave their bedrolls and traveling gear at the Irovetti warehouse while they go to see Faaz. He also tells the PCs to tell Rennec that a giant wolf in the company of a cyclops are rumored to be active on the northeast side of Mt Branthlend, and to request information regarding the location of their lair – a reward will be given for this.

Rennec greets the PCs warmly, as ever, wishing them the favor and kindness from Razmiran. He is interested in the request for information about the cyclops and the wolf, and will pass that along to the Markenvalt gang, as that is roughly where they hunt. He also has work for the PCs – a small group of traders from the Kingdom of Druma will be making the very risky decision to travel to Littletown by night, and they need extra guards to make sure they make it alive. Pay will be 10GP/day with 50GP if there is an attack, with 50% of all that pay going to Rennec and “other brokers”. The deep gouging of percentage seems very unfair to the PCs, but what choice do they have other than to simply turn the work down?

The PCs follow Rennec across to the street to one of the rental warehouses for foreign traders, “Citadel Bruno”. Inside is a cramped scene, with horses, carts, cargo and traders and their two guards packed in. There is barely any space to sleep and the whole room stinks of anger, horse shit and dwarf B.O. Your choice as to which smells the worst.

The leader of the dwarven traders, Kaylan Untrellis, informs Rennec that the services of the guards he has hired (the PCs) will not be needed tonight, as he has opted to spend one more night in Hungerdark in the hopes of the Thieves Guild getting a better price for his wares. Rennec informs Kaylan that he is still on the hook for the hiring of the guards, whether or not he uses them. An argument ensues, with bitter, loud denouncing of Rennec, Hungerdark, the Thieves Guild and the entire kingdom of Pitax by Kaylan. Rennec stays firm, and Kaylan agrees to pay the fee, but wants the PCs to stand guard that night. Much grumbling ensues from the dwarves.

The PCs are tasked with overnight guarding of Citadel Bruno, with Jurik returning to the Irovetti Warehouse to retrieve a bedroll.
Once again, Enzo insists that they leave some bedrolls/traveling gear behind. Perplexing!

Day 5:
The PCs attempt to sleep comfortably in a crowded warehouse with horses and farting dwarves. Late in the afternoon they are awakened by the hitching of the horses to the wagons and departure of the carts and goods. The PCs are instructed to prepare for departure for Littletown soon.

The party returns to the Irovetti warehouse to gather their belongings, and when they do, Enzo takes them aside and explains the following:
The dwarves will have the PCs traveling with them in the evening. The PCs will wait until the sun goes down and traffic disappears, and they’ll “make sure the dwarves never reach Littletown”. Half of the money found on the traders goes to the party, the other half goes back to Enzo.

The walk from House Irovetti to Citadel Bruno is full of argument and counter argument by the PCs. Kor and Jurik feel the whole endeavor is highly dishonorable and strongly rebel against being forced or intimidated into doing anything, much less banditry/betrayal. Desi’s opinion is “They aren’t even Kargi” and she is pro-banditry and murder. The elf, Setyiel is enigmatic, using the standard elf tactic of saying nothing and hoping gullible humans will mistake it for ancient wisdom. When he does finally speaks, his wisdom is that the party is still being blackmailed by Mamdani to errand-boy back and forth to the Irovetti Warehouse and Faaz, so crossing the Irovettis this early would be dangerous. When the party is drawing close to Citadel Bruno, they put it to a vote: betray these dwarves and murder them by the full moon, or refuse to obey their employer and possibly find themselves on the wrong side of one of Pitax’s most powerful political and trade entities. Banditry and betrayal win the day, and the PCs decide to go with Enzo’s plan.

A few hours and miles outside of Pitax, the sun is almost entirely down and a giant full moon looms overhead. The murmured song of the Hunt-singer Jurik calms the party and dims the senses of the traders. His song is so powerful that the leader of the traders falls to the ground with a thud, suddenly asleep. This is the sign the party is waiting for. With a roar and a baring of his teeth, Kor charges the point man, a dwarf named Gotrek, hacking him brutally with a greatsword. Desi whirls and begins pumping arrows into one of the Pitaxian guards the dwarves had hired on. Setyiel charges his weapons, casts defensive spells and prepares for violence.

Gotrek and Kor engage in a brief and violent struggle, with Gotrek quickly dispatched by the giant barbarian’s scything blade.

The Pitaxian guards engage Desi, with one dropping to his knee and firing arrows at her and the other charging forward and slashing the young woman with his sword. This forceful attack threatens the party’s dominance of the situation, until the magus Setyiel, in a dancing, whirling and flourish-filled attack, delivers quick series of deep slashes to the larger human fighter. his blade hack deep cuts through the seams of the fighter’s breastplate, leaving magical energy searing the gaping wounds created by the scimitar. Blood pours forth from the incredible wounds, though the fighter is, incredibly, still standing.

The only dwarf still standing, having missed his crossbow shot while waking the Kaylan, kneels and attempts to wrestle something from the prone Kaylan’s belt. A struggle ensues, into which Jurik charges to attack. As Desi and Setyiel fell the human fighters, Kor charges past them and into the dwarf smuggler, Urist. He is hacked down brutally, his body falls onto the cobblestones, the full moon reflecting in the blood pooling around his corpse.

The prone dwarf, Kaylan pulls a potion from his belt and drinks it, instantly disappearing. Invisibility! That is so annoying! Kor hacks with his greatsword at the ground where the dwarf was a moment ago, but cannot find the body. Setyiel dances, leaps and whirls, slashing his sword and his magical hands around on the ground, finding purchase in the dwarf’s tough flesh. A dwarven war axe falls to the ground, blood spattered. Jurik joins the fray, also hacking downwards. Kor joins in and after chopping at cobblestones for a minute, Kaylan’s body reappears, brutally chopped, stabbed and not quite dismembered. The fight is over, and the PCs have successfully betrayed and murdered the men they were employed to guard. Hidden in the dwarf’s bedroll are stones, beautiful stones, worth tens of thousands of gold.

After brief deliberation about the practicality of digging graves alongside the road, the party opts to dump the corpses into the river. A curious deer, half submerged, watches them with big black eyes, but before arrows can be notched and let fly, the deep flips, revealing a lower body of a squid – it is a common predator of these rivers, the curious omnivore known as the deersquid. That’s a good omen, right?

Late in the night, the PCs return to the House Irovetti warehouse to find the door closed. When they knock, Dmitri stands at the door and refuses to allow them entry, until the PCs threaten his life and honor, at which point he consults with Vito who tells him to let them in. Enzo meets them near the cooking area, congratulates them on their success, and splits their share of the diamonds, emeralds and gold they’ve banditized from the dwarven Druman traders.

PCs are still technically employed via Rennec as guards, and at some point will need to give Rennec (or not) his share of the gold they were to be paid by the traders.

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