Rise of the Runelords

Gateway To The Runeforge
Game summary for March 15th, 2014

This game summary was provided by Brian. Thanks Brian!

Yesterday’s adventure found us at the top of the Kodar Mountains where seven giant heads made of stone towered above us. Blaze took each of the seven scrolls and cast their magic upon each of the seven stone heads. After the last scroll was cast, there was an ear piercing screech followed by the rumbling of the ground before it fell into silence. There was a glimmer of light at each stone head, and we noticed that the mouths of the statues were open. In each mouth was a large golden key, covered in runes.

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As we each took a key, we heard the sound from above. Loud and thundering, it descended upon us at great speed. Wolf spoke with his god and asked for her guidance, but not even her words could prepare us for what would happen next. At the bottom of a large staircase that spiraled up into the clouds we soon found ourselves confronted with Freezemaw, an ice dragon from the barbarian legends.

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Raehartha tried speaking with the dragon, but her words could not shake Freezemaw’s attention away from Blaze. Angered by his red dragon blood flowing within him Freezemaw lunged at Blaze, took him into his mouth and flew up the side of the mountain. As they flew to great heights Blaze struggled in the jaws of the mighty ice dragon. Certain his red blooded enemy would fall to his death, Blaze was dropped from his mouth. We weren’t soon forgotten as Freezemaw returned and unleashed several rounds of ice breath upon us. Despite their combined strength, Gorgoroth and Dogen were helpless against the ice dragon since only magic and Hell-Firian’s Sword of the North could inflict any damage upon the beast. In a desperate attempt, Gorgoroth started to intimidate the dragon, recalling the chaos Freezemaw rained down upon the Shoanti ages ago. As the dragon slowly started taking damage, Blaze floated down safely and returned to battle and unleashed his magic upon Freeezemaw. As the dragon bled, with the swirl of his tail he engulfed is in a blinding snowstorm before flying away. We started to slowly make are way up the staircase before we were confronted by several earth elementals.

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Despite our confrontation with Freezemaw, we had no trouble dispelling of the earth elementals and we quickly returned them to the very mountain in which they were created. Eventually we reached the top of the stairs where we were standing at the entrance of a giant ice cave, no doubt this was the lair of the ice dragon. Gorgoroth started to intimidate Freezemaw, but there was no response. We sent Raehartha who took the form of a bird to investigate the cave. After returning she informed us that there was a portion of the cave that was in fog and with such extreme cold that it caused physical damage. We slowly made our way thru the cave before Raehartha transformed into a fire elemental which protected us from the extreme cold of the inner portion of the cave. As we moved deeper into the cave we soon came upon a giant hole which went about 100 feet deep into the ground. We knew we had to go down, so with the help from the sorcerer we floated down to the bottom of the pit. Before us we see a large column, with seven holes. We inserted our keys into the column and turned them in unison. The ground began to shake and a bright blue column then appeared. This is what we had been looking for, a gateway to the plane of the Runeforge.

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In our moment of triumph we noticed in the distance a slight glimmer. Despite some reservation we went to investigate and soon we were standing in front of a large pile of treasure. Weapons, potions, armor, spells, and gold pieces were quickly being given new owners before we heard a familiar sound. “How dare you steal my treasure!”

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Freezemaw had indeed returned and was not about to let us claim his treasure as our own. Raehartha continued to pummel the dragon with crackles of lightning while Hell-Firian used the sword of the North with great skill. Despite our efforts, Freezemaw landed a strike upon Dogen then sent him to the ground, unconscious. Undaunted by our fallen comrad we continued to fight the ice dragon with everything we had until one final blow struck the ice dragon dead. We rushed to the aide of Dogen and brought him back from the brink. We then returned to the treasure pile and took what we needed deciding we can come back for everything else another time. One by one, we entered the blue portal and made our way to plane of the Runeforge…

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Searching Rimeskull Mountain
Gray ooze, a lost sword and nearly buried alive

Summary

During our last game your group was working its way into the Kodar Mountains in search of a specific mountain called Rimeskull. It his here that a secret portal to the RuneForge lay hidden for eons. The well hidden portal is alleged to be located below a familiar artifact on Rimeskull, a massive stone face chiseled from the very mountain side. The face is none other than the Runelord Karzoug who had his image created within the side of the mountain. Within the shadow of this edifice is a large circle of stones known as the Sihedron Circle. It is this you seek and with the proper incantations by Blaze, you will gain access to the RuneForge.

Our last game session ended when your adventuring group just managed to escape from an avalanche as your quest continues to find the Sihedron Circle. Below is a quick recap of other important events that happened during our last game.

Manticore.jpgTo reach your goal your group had to fight a Manticore which had taken over a pride of lions. The former pride-leader, a large and battle worn Dire Lion, spoke to Raehartha about being ousted from his pride. Raehartha convinced the Dire Lion to aid in the attack against the Manticore.

A gray colored ooze was found near the river’s edge which aggressively attacked your group. You also had to fight a shadow figure accompanied by Winter Wolves who wish to take the Sword of the North. At one point you were surrounded by a traveling band of Shoanti from the Wind Clan. They were highly skeptical of your group’s motive so deep within the mountains but Gorgoroth managed to convince them your journey was no direct threat.

Hell-Firian’s Discovery

What was probably the most significant find in the mountain range so far happened when Hell-Firian stumbled upon what appeared to be a tomb long buried in the rocky side of Rimeskull Mountain. It soon became apparent the tomb belonged to the talented and recluse wizard named Balarus Strongsteel. However, his tomb was not the most important discovery. Strongsteel was known for his fine craftsmanship of combining magic with steel. He preferred to work far away from towns and cities of man. Preferring instead isolated locations where he could practice away from curious and often dangerous onlookers. During his life the wizard forged an unknown number of powerful weapons. It was within this tomb you discovered one of those artifacts. Known simply as Sword of the North, its true capabilities are unknown but there is no doubt this is a powerful magical sword.

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Your Next Goal

Seek the Sihedron Circle to gain access to the RuneForge. Once inside you are to locate knowledge and weapons that can aid you in defeating the second coming of the most feared runelords, Karzoug.

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Shadow Clock Horror
Killing The Skinsaw Cult

Game Session Review

Game Session #10 Review

Our adventure continues as your band of adventures clears out the evil found below the city of Magnimar. It was Content Not Found: null who lead you to this large city and below its streets you discover an ancient temple dedicated to the paladin Aroden – the founder of Magnimar. The enterance to the temple was discovered within the basement of the abandoned clock tower. The once hallowed halls of the temple are now crawling with an evil known as the Skinsaw Cult . This vile group was committing acts of murder and sacrifice in the town of Magnimar. But the tentacles of the Skinsaw Cult also reached into neighboring towns such as Sandpoint. It was this very cult that, infected (quit literally) Foxglove and even Sandpoint’s former priest’s young daughter, Naullia. Both foxglove and Naulia were formidable foes at the time, but as you dig deeper into the Skin Saw cult the level of dark magic and challenge becomes ever greater – ever more dangerous.

The lower sanctum of the buried temple below Magnimar was filled with nightmarish scenes of mass murder and black magic responsible for transforming captured humans into undead. The vile place was filled with bizarre things that were magically created or summoned for reasons unknown. At one point your group encounters a creature created out of limbs of several humanoid creatures. It’ s head is broken-and-fused amalgam of three skulls. Its ribcage numbers nearly twenty overlapping pairs of ribs, some of which are jutting out at odd angles. Its feet and hands are large and tangled like the roots of a great tree, made up of at least three hands and feet each. Withered intestines and dry skin sway in its empty gut and dangle from open jaws.

Wolf’s holy powers diminish as you go deeper into the temple. The thing before you does not even flinch at the command of Wolf. Fighting is slow and dangerous as your fighters battle the thing fearful of accruing a disease or worse from the things mangy jaws or claws.

Later you enter a small room with curved walls. On either side sits two copper braziers partially filled with a sour-scented oil that does little to mask the nauseating scent of rotting flesh that seems to seep from the shale stone walls. In the center of the room is a wretched-looking creature, a desiccated human form with new looking armor and weapons. Flies buzz about the creatures exposed flesh.

The lumbering armor-clad undead wields an enchanted long sword with great skill. Steel meets steel and hundreds of flies surrounding the thing buzz noisily around in a filthy cloud. The thing has speed, strength and skill and pushes your fighters back down the hallway. Raehartha turns a section of the floor beneath the creature into mud nearly 2-3 feet deep. This entraps the filthy undead where it is easily dispatched.

Behind where the the armored undead was guarding is a door covered with spiky runes. It says very simply, “death” in over a dozen languages.

Beyond this simple but grim warning is a large underground chamber made from tremendous limestone blocks. A ten-foot tall dais raises from the center of the room. Anyone in the room can feel a supernatural energy pulsing from something hidden. Colored wring streaks the walls, floors and ceiling with arcane symbols and patterns, a sickly-scented oils burn from human skulls. Scattered throughout the room flop the decaying parts of dozens of battered undead corpses, all bearing bloodless gashes and sundered limbs. They flop and undulate unnaturally, scattered about the floor. Several columns support a domed ceiling that reaches some 40 feet above. About half a dozen ghouls lurk in the shadows lazily gnawing on bone. They turn and eye your group.

Wolf was able to use is innate abilities to dispatch the feeding ghouls but that would be the least of your worries. Moments later you group would see the creature responsible for organizing and inspiring all the evil that has been plaguing the region.

Your enemy floats among the upper regions of the domed ceiling within the shadows. Spotting a target is even difficult for the elves. Suddenly, in the far reaches of the room a partial shape is seen. At first glance you see nothing more than a woman as she raises her chin and narrows her eyes in scrutiny of your group. Her female voice is strong and clear as she condemns your group’s actions and condemns your faith. She adorns a mask as the cold beauty moves into full view where you can now see her pale skin and finely toned curves with the scant jeweled fineries of a harem queen. Below her exposed midsection, though, all hint of woman vanishes, morphing into the powerful, deadly sleekness and iridescent black scales of a coiled asp. She is Xanesha. An abomination that must be destroyed.

Combat with the serpentine foe would take a lot of time and energy. She is well versed in magic and attacks with a magically created phantom blade that floats in air and attacks without hesitation. The vorpal weapon proves difficult to defend against let alone defeat. Your wizard casts spells and your druid launches arrows and the serpent. The abomination retaliates throwing lightning bolts, scorching rays of fire and even magic missiles upon your spell casters. Your spell casters have a difficult time maintaining focus while under such persistent attack. Blaze at one point is rendered unconscious but he is quickly pulled to safety. Your enemy’s overconfidence appears to be her downfall for she is not supported by any other agent or guard. After several minutes of combat she is weakened enough to fall to the ground where she becomes a prime target for your fighters. It’s not long before the ax of the barbarian and the sword of the paladin render the thing dead. In an instant, it’s over.

Victory seems a little hollow because of a lingering thought that it all seem too easy? Perhaps your group is more powerful than you realize? Maybe she did not die but used her magic to escape? However, her body now lie before you rapidly decaying and becoming dust. Your eyes do not lie, do they?

Before returning to the city above, you discover a plan on the Mayor himself. It seems Lord Mayor Haldmeer Grobarras was going to be the next target of the now defeated Skin Saw Cult. The cult has already penetrated the justice system by placing one of it’s own within a very high position of power. They were now aiming for the grand prise, as the mayor was now to be removed and by the use of dark magic, an identical impostor was to be installed.

You’re group returns to the surface with the latest news.

You climb from the depths of the temple just in time to see the last few bricks being placed to seal the entrance to the temple. Priests chant near the entrance and bless your weary group as they emerge from the depths. The day is cool, overcast and rainy. The air is filled with smoke from burning fires.There are wounded men being cared for in the streets. Suddenly one man rushes to your group thanking you and explaining how undead began pouring from the tomb yesterday. Clearly intense fighting has been going on for hours, perhaps over a day. Adjusting to the daylight you now see piles of undead burning in the streets. But the fighting is no over. Not more than 100 yards away men both on horseback and on foot battle with an 9 foot tall monstrosity known as the Scarecrow. Your fighters rush over to see that several men have been cut in half by the beasts massive scythe. They have managed to wound the creature and tie ropes to it in hopes of tripping it and bringing it down. Your fighters enter the fray and within moments render dead the formidable beast. A loud cheer goes up but is quickly squashed as the grim scene of fallen men, blood and gore bring back a dull reality of the situation.

The captain of the guards, Commander Ismeir Odinburge maneuvers to your group on horseback and it is this time you explain your story. The evil below the town is now destroyed, the Skinsaw cult has been smashed and scattered. The undead have been destroyed and magnimar can now soon return to it’s normal business as a major port of trade. Within a day you are granted an audience with the Lord Mayor who generously rewards your group with gold. You have no doubt your action not only gained the trust and respect of Lord Mayor, but of the entire town. In fact, it does not take long for the fighting ability of your group to spread from Magnimar to Sandpoint.

Your high profile reputation comes at a price, for it’s not too long before the Lord Mayor summons your group to complete a simple task of check on the remote outpost called Fort Rannick. It seems contact with the outpost has gone quiet and this is rather worrisome given the dangerous region Fort Rannik resides. A rugged group of men known as the Order of the Black Arrows is in charge of the keep and it will be your duty to make contact with them, assist them as needed and report back the news from the remote outpost.

It is here we will begin our next game. Chapter 3 of Rise of the Runelords – Hook Mountain Massacre.

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Rise of the Runelords
The Raid on Sandpoint That Started It All

On August 11, 2007 we started a new D&D campaign with five players who will be participating in an epic campaign that will span years. The campaign is “Rise of the Runelords” by Paizo. Each player is starting out at level 1 and we should end up above 13th level once this campaign is complete. Follow along as the story unravels and the fate of Varisia is determined.

Our story begins in small coastal town of Sandpoint. In a time when rumors of rampaging dragons and massing armies of giants have everyone on edge. The people of Sandpoint eagerly anticipate the coming festival to commemorate the consecration of a new temple. Yet, at the height of the ceremony, disaster strikes. A band of goblins assaults Sandpoint, and it falls to the heroes to defend the town.

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In the days that follow, a mysterious malady that leaves its victims monstrously deformed and dangerously insane spreads through the town. The PCs must not only determine what’s causing this strange contagion, but also discover the sinister connection between the plague, the goblin attacks, and the emergence of a strange rune from an empire thought to be long dead.

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