Rise of the Runelords

15 - Arriving in Turtleback Ferry

We fought a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a hill giant.

Shelalu enters our campsite during our watch. We report to her that we’re going to Turtleback Ferry. Things get creepy.

We’re haunted by squirrels.

We reach Turtleback Ferry. It’s sad.

We stay the night.

We head towards Fort Ranick. We hear a yowling.

We find a mountain lion animal companion caught in a trap. It doesn’t seem aggressive so we free it. Just then, a bunch of dogs barking and coming our way.

Seven hounds and an ogrekin appear, hunting the mountain lion. They die horrible, horrible deaths.

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14 - To Turtleback Ferry
The Sons of Sandpoint leave Magnimar.
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13 - Investigating Drump
Yet another stakeout.

From the Casefiles of Sloan Branford.

Entry 79

After the incident of the Sawmill, I was ready to continue the hunt for those running the cult. However, I got the call from Leiter that he needed to meet. I took my leave of the Sandpoint gang and met at our usual spot. Through Leiter, I learned that a group was bent on assassinating the Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras. I’m sure it is the cult, planning their boldest attack yet. Since Ironbriar won’t be at home… ever, I think now is as good a time as any to see if he’s left any clues at his house.

Entry 80

Well, the cult moves fast, I’ll give them that. Ironbriar’s personal office and bedroom were tossed. Items were clearly missing and various wooden chests and hidey-holes were broken into. They were thorough in removing just about anything incriminating or of value.

Luckily, it looks like they were too busy with his stuff to mind their own. I found a small velvet belt pouch. It appears to have snagged on a nail on an upturned chest. It’s of fine quality and has a silver clasp bearing a TD Sigil – that of warehouse mogul Thonald Drump.

Note to self: His mansion overlooks the sea in the western part of town. Check it out.

Inside the pouch was a pigeon’s parchment tube. The transcription:

Fourth Brother—
I have confirmed that our First Brother, the Iron Thorn is dead. His… mistress in the shadow… is threatened by the Sandpoint interlopers. She is probably dead already if this bunch of adventurer scum is as… effective… as I hear. We must suspend our plans to add Lord Grobaras to the list of those claimed by the Sihedron. Remove your pawns from the field at once.
I shall punish the Sandpoint band for their interference with our plots. As wary as I was of the Iron Thorn’s mistress, her plan for Grobaras’ “future” suited me well. We shall have him in time…
For now, we remaining Skinsaw must retreat and remain hidden for the time being. A new seventh must be chosen. I shall guide us for now.
Burn this.
In Father Skinsaw’s name,
Second Brother

I travel to the Shadow Clock where I hope to find the adventurers alive.

Entry 81

Credit where credit’s due. Turns out the adventurers slew Xanesha, a lamia matriarch. Impressive.

I showed them the information I found, and they showed me that a letter found on Xanesha. Apparently Magnimar and Sandpoint aren’t the only towns threatened. The cultists are pulling back their operations, so it is our move to hunt them. We move on Drump’s manor to see if we can intercept him before he flees.

Entry 82

A waste of a day. We raided Drump’s manor only to find that the man and his entourage have already left the city. We interrogated a watcher left behind to watch the area to no avail. Finally, we checked the watcher’s information drop point only to find that no one’s even picking up what he has to say.

We’re running out of time and the clues are starting to get cold. Today I pull some strings so that we can get the aid of my contacts up the chain.

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12 - The Shadow Clock

The heroes deal with Xanesha once and for all. Also, falling bells!

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11 - The Sawmill
How many of them could there possibly be?

From the Casefiles of Sloan Branford

Entry 77

My hunch to continue working with the Sandpoint group has paid off. Following the lead we discovered, we staked out the Seven Sons Sawmill. We waited well into the evening until after the guards in the mill had left (2am) to break in. The basement and first floor were clear of anything suspicious. On the second floor we found cultists robes in the supply closet. However, the big win was on the third floor, were behind a well locked door we found sufficient evidence of the Skinsaw cult. We found bloodied war razors and faces flayed from victims hanging on the wall. We left everything as we found it and we return tomorrow to confront these villains.

Entry 78

Success! All my suspicions of Ironbriar are confirmed and we have ended him. He and his henchmen will no longer be terrorizing the city. We raided the Sawmill once we were sure the cultists had assembled and put down the lot of them. Still it is obvious that Ironbriar is but one agent in a larger organization. There is still work to be done and the next step is to investigate the Shadow Clock. I suspect this will be the lair of Xanesha, whom we’ve heard so much about…

Entry 78/2

An urgent message from Leiter. My makeshift allies continue to move on the Shadow Clock. I will join them as soon as I can.

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10 - The City of Monuments
Of interrogations and executions.

From the Casefiles of Sloan Branford

Entry 76

So, paying that kid to stake out Foxglove’s townhouse is a success, I suppose. Instead of getting news that Foxglove had left his estate, I was informed of an armed band breaking into his home. It turns out these adventurers are the Heroes of Sandpoint that we’ve heard so much about.

It turns out that the Alderns in the townhouse were shapeshifting demons. The Sandpoint band had already dealt with Foxglove – he was indeed a cultist, and he’s very much dead. Luckily, I had a chance to interrogate one of the faceless stalkers before it died. Apparently the Seven Sons Sawmill is a cultist meeting spot. Which, of course, adds to the evidence I’m collecting against Justice Ironbriar. With any luck, I’ll finally get a solid enough case to bring him down. For now, I work with these new arrivals. They may prove to be useful to me.

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09 - The Road to Magnimar
A difficult goodbye.

From the Journal of Lexis Emberbloom

23rd of Sarenith

We returned to Sandpoint as heroes. This should mark the end of the local murders and the group is planning to leave for Magnimar. I tell them later today that I will not be joining them. They are travelers by nature, while my home is Sandpoint. Also, I don’t quite share their death wish!

24th of Sarenith

So, I decided to travel with them out of town aways before saying our final goodbyes. However, we are magnets for danger. Not long after we left the city, we were attacked by the Sandpoint Devil. That of legend which no one has ever actually seen up close in years, decides to attack us.

As I’ve come to expect of this group, they handled themselves well and slew the beast. A fitting goodbye, I suppose.

I wish them luck. Judging by the danger we encountered together, their journey will certainly not get easier. I will defend Sandpoint if the need arises, but the events of the last few weeks has soured me to the adventurer’s life.

Til we meet again, Heroes of Sandpoint.

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08 - Foxglove Manor

In which we navigate the haunted halls of Foxglove Manor and confront the corrupted Aldern Foxglove.

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07 - Scarecrows in the Fields

In which we save townsfolks that were strung up to die of ghoul fever.

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06 - Habe's Sanitarium
Crazy is as crazy does.

The ACAP team reported to Sheriff Hemlock their findings in the morgue. Hemlock recommended that they check up on Grayst, the man who had survived the murders at the farmhouse earlier that week. Since the man had gone insane from watching his friends being torn apart, he was being held at the Sandpoint Sanitarium.

The party crossed town and entered the Sanitarium. When they entered the lobby, they found it sterile and quiet. The lobby contained two doors, one leading further into the Sanitarium and a second, locked door. Seeing no one around to greet them, the party decided to investigate the locked room. Unfortunately, just as they began unlocking the door, a man entered. Habe ([heyb]), the manager of the Santiarium, was clearly irritated with their intrusion. However, Nicholas threw the fact that ACAP was an official deputized organization of Sandpoint and intimidated Habe into cooperating. He would not, however, let Izan wander the halls of the Sanitarium, as who could guess what a monster would do to the fragile minds of the patients there.

The party followed Habe into the next room and were seated in a large waiting area. Habe called for his orderlies, two tieflings, to fetch Grayst. The ACAP team spoke with Habe for awhile but soon became suspicious about the amount of time that had passed. When they confronted Habe, he ran off up the stairs deeper into the Santiarium. Without wasting a moment, Kormac charged after him. The rest of the party tasked Lexis to retrieve Izan and investigate the locked room, and then followed the impatient fighter.

Lexis met Izan and together they entered the locked room to find what appeared to be Habe’s bedroom. In the room was an old bed, desk, and small coffer. Checking the coffer, it was obvious that Habe lived a meager life, having only a couple dozen gold to his name. Lexis studied the few documents on the desk and saw that the Sanitarium was having trouble making ends meet. With nothing else in the room to catch their eye, Lexis and Izan moved to rejoin the party.

In the meantime, the group had reached the top of the stairs and entered the main holding area of the Sanitarium. As soon as they entered the level, one of the holding cells opened and a wererat moved out toward them. With an insane curiosity, it began admiring Kormac’s equipment. Unsettled, Kormac struck out at the small being, which triggered the wererat to defend itself – aggressively.

They clashed sword to claw for a few rounds when the orderlies entered the room from one of the holding cells. Seeing the warriors attacking one of their patients, they moved in to try to stop them. Of course, ACAP incapacitated them quickly, making sure to not do any permanent injury. Unfortunately, with the orderlies distracted, there was no one to continue monitoring Grayst, who charged into the room in an inhuman rage.

Grayst, obviously effected by Ghoul Fever, was much stronger than a mere human, but the combined might of ACAP was able to destroy the corrupted soul. Checking the corpse of the now-deceased Grayst, they found that a large patch of skin had been stripped from his body. Continuing into the next room, they soon discovered where this patch of skin had gone – into a grisly laboratory for experimentation. Before the party could investigate further, a new threat came charging up the stairs.

A necromancer and a number of zombies attacked the rear of the party. The zombies didn’t pose much of a threat, but the caster sent many debilitation debuffs at the party, nauseating them with a stinking cloud and blinding others. Luckily, Turathion managed to land a Ear-piercing Scream spell on the necromancer, and the enemy caster spent the rest of the fight in uncontrollable fits. The party stripped and bound the caster and began to interrogate him. They discovered that he had been conducting experiments on Ghoul Fever, attempting to spread it to other victims. He’d been working with Habe, who had obviously escaped through a secret passage. Turathion walked over to the window, and seeing Habe running in the distance for the woods, calmly drew his bow and loosed an arrow that struck the fleeing man in the shoulder.

The party quickly explored the rest of the Sanitarium and found the basement that contained a number of other corpses and finally a map that marked the location of the various ghoul attacks around Sandpoint. With the prisoner and this information in hand, the party prepared to report to Sheriff Hemlock with their findings.

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