Rise of the Runelords

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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05 - The Return to Town
So heroic, it hurts!

Standing over the corpse of Malfeshnekor, the party decides what to do next.

The plan how to return to Sandpoint with the most spoils of their efforts. They lift and carry the golden helmet to the surface to recover Shadowmist. With helmet and horse in tow, they leave the island and make their way through the thicket. They spend a freaking hour hacking a path through the ticket for the horse.

Reunited with the rest of their horses, the party travel toward town. It’s slow going through the forest with the sled and soon it is twilight. They manage to find a clearing and make camp.

A wilowisp attacks during the night and the party takes forever to kill it. During the combat, Nualia escaped into the night.

The party returned to Sandpoint and reported to the Mayor and Sheriff. We sold our booty and learned about the Runelords.

After spending the night recouping, the party visited the Sheriff Hemlock and learned about a grisly double murder. The sheriff was notably on edge, as the locals all remembered the late unpleasantness, during which the chopper murdered a number of people. The sheriff believed that this murder is at the start of a rampage.

The new murderer struck at the Sawmill and there were two victims. Content Not Found: ibor-thron discovered the bodies and there was a crowd of gawkers being controlled by the authorities. What was worrying, was that this is the second set of murders in the last few days. Shalelu has already begun investigating the first murders, which was of three swindlers.

At the second scene, the murderer left a note addressed to Kormac:
"
We have spoken of this before, my master. Now it begins. Join the pack and it will end.

-Your Lordship
"

Another note was found in a barn where a man had gone insane and slain three other men:
"
Messrs. Mortwell, Hask, and Tabe-

A deal has come about that I need capital for. It involves property and gold, and though I am not at liberty to tell you the exact details, it will make us all rich. Come to Bradley’s Barn on Cougar Creek tonight. We can meet there to discuss our futures.

-Your Lordship
"

The party follow the Sheriff to the Sawmill, where they encountered nervous guards guarding the entrance. As they entered, Hemlock handed the party deputy badges to grant them temporary authority in the investigation.

Upon entering, the group saw two bodies. A woman split in half by a log splitter and a man mutilated and pinned to the wall.

The clues:
Woman:

  • Katrine Vinder, F
  • Mangled by the saw blades
  • Wearing town flats
  • Bloody ax stuck in the floor near log splitter (blood likely the murderer’s (it smells like the footsteps))
  • Sitting among pile of bloodstained firewood, having passed through the log splitter

Man:

  • Harker, M
  • Operator in the mill
  • Wearing boots
  • Dragged from the center to the wall
  • Affixed to the wall by hooks
  • Face carved away, lower jaw missing
  • Clawed across his body
  • Chest carved with seven pointed star

Environment (Floor 1):

  • Boot footprints
  • Woman’s Shoe footprints
  • Bare footprints
    • Smell of rotting meat
    • Goes toward the pier
  • Logsplitter was likely running all night
  • The pier
    • Someone could have swum to it.
    • Muddy tracks came from the river, onto the pier, then onto the second floor.
    • Bloody tracks going out and into the river.

Environment (Floor 2):

  • Footsteps wandered around, but no rummaging to search for anything.

The party then proceeded to meet with Ibor Thorn and interview him. They found out that Harker was meeting secretly with Katrine at night in the Sawmill and that he was cooking the books for a couple years. This could’ve been dangerous because the sawmill was owned by the Scarnettis, who were known to burn competing mills and use underhanded tactics. Ibor doesn’t think the Scarnettis found out Harker was cheating them.

Ibor didn’t think anyone else knew about the affair, except maybe Katrine’s father, Ven Vinder. The party visited the mourning man, who blamed Harker for his daughter’s misfortune.

The party went deep into the garrison to see the three victims of the first murders. The victims also had the seven pointed stars carved into their bodies. They were clearly mutilated by a being that had five-fingered claws. The claws were approximately the size of a man’s hand.

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04 - Thistletop
A name to forever inspire... DREAD

The heroes attacked Thistletop, slaying Ripnugget and his lieutenant Gogmert and his pet Tangletooth. Storming the lower floors, they dealt with Tsuto and Lyrie… permanently. Without pausing to rest, the party entered the final floor and found Nualia. They slew her demonspawn and incapacitated the corrupted Asimar with the intent of taking her to stand for her crimes. They search her room and find her diary, Nualia’s Tail.

Finally, the party encounters the trapped Malfeshnekor. With stunning tactics, they dispatched the outsider and found the legendary Shield Ring.

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03 - Glass and Wrath

The brave adventurers heard rumors that the church needed windows. They charged into the glassworks to find goblins!

They murdered the goblins and captured Tsuto.

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02 - Local Heroes

The party killed a bunch of goblins in Sandpoint. They were very well regarded. Nicholas became Sheriff.

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01 - The Adventure Begins
The Fracas at the Festival

he sun dawned over the small, seaside town of Sandpoint, its warm rays marking the first day of autumn. Despite the early hour, the sounds of rejoicing could be heard throughout the town. It was the opening of the Swallowtail Festival, honoring the goddess Desna and the start of the new season. This year, the festival also celebrated the beautiful reconstruction of the Cathedral of Desna.

I found myself in the town square in front of the new building where a stage and been built. Behind the stage sat a collection of local notables, quietly conversing to themselves. As the crowd began to murmur impatiently, an elegant woman with short, auburn hair walked onto stage. A hush fell over the crowd and Mayor Kendra Deverin began her speech. She spoke eloquently and light-heartedly, welcoming travelers to Sandpoint and everyone to the festival.

The Mayor ended her short speech by introducing the next speaker, Sheriff Belor Hemlock. After a round of applause, a large, armored man climbed on stage. The sheriff shook the mayor’s hand and cleared his throat before launching into an awkwardly terse speech about the importance of safety during the festival. The curt nod that marked the end of his speech was rewarded with muted applause. Unfazed, he turned to the remaining speakers seated behind and introduced Cyrdak Drokkus, a local playwright and proprietor of the Sandpoint Theater.

An older, brightly dressed man took the stage and winked at the crowd. With a practiced flourish, Drokkus introduced his new play, the Harpy’s Curse, to the eager audience. Apparently it would be opening soon at the Sandpoint Theater. The crowd cheered as he finished his speech. As Drokkus began descending the stage, a perceptive observer could notice that he seemed surprised that it was Father Zantus who then took the stage. Perhaps another speaker had not appeared?

Ignoring Drokkus’ puzzled look, Father Zantus, wearing the ceremonial robes of a priest of Desna, smiled as he stepped forward. He motioned for the crowd to calm down and gave a short speech thanking the town for their help in rebuilding the cathedral. He ended with a reminder that everyone should return to the town square at sundown for the ceremonial release of the swallowtail butterflies. The rest of his words, if any, were drowned out by the cheers of the crowd as they moved into the festival in all directions.

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