Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition

In far off Qadira

The ifrit known as Lecthar smiles broadly, flashing a mouth full of twisting dagger teeth. He caresses a large gem, which rests atop a stone pedestal in the center of a large domed room.

“How fares the subject?” a man implores from behind the outsider. “Is his torment great?”

Lecthar spins with a whoosh of flame. “As of now, he believes himself safe and sound. Far from our clutches in Varisia, being an adventurer.” The evil ifrit’s chuckle falls like ash from his mouth. “We will awake him soon to let him know he is, in fact, still in chains.”

“Good,” the man says, leaning closely to peer into the gem. " Zakiv must feel ultimate joy before we steal it from him again. Jahirak the Grief-maker does not allow his children to disobey. He will learn his place in time." The mad slaver chuckles deeply with joy at his own wickedness.

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Aviel's Journal
Part 2

After our initial encounter with the goblins, Contoa set about interrogating the one that we took captive. Although his technique was crude, it had the desired effect and the goblin indicated that the attack was orchestrated by a “longshanks”, a goblin term for most non-goblines that were taller than themselves. Further questioning revealed that the attack was a cover for something that was going on at the graveyard.

This was very disconcerting, who could have organized disparate goblin tribes to such an extent that they would attack a city in order to cover up some other crime? I must admit, it was an impressive feat. I have to admire the cunning that went into such an accomplishment, however the fact remained that there was more here than met the eye.

We informed the guard in charge of the prisoners to make sure that the sheriff was informed of what we had learned and then headed to the church to investigate the graveyard. At the church we met with father Xantis. He was fretting about the current events and seemed clueless as to what to do. Needless to say, I was exceptionally disappointed in his behaviour. A man in his position needs to be strong in the face of such adversity. As the spiritual leader of the community it is unseemly to be so openly confused and indecisive. I gave him some stern words hoping that he would pull himself together. If not for the presence of my companions I may have indulged the need to strike the man to knock some sense into him.

We asked to see the graveyard, but he was evasive. It was obvious that he was hiding something. He insisted in waiting for the sheriff to arrive before we were allowed to begin our investigation.

Once the sheriff arrived, we entered the cemetery to find that a large group of individuals had been through there recently. There were numerous tracks, most of which were human like in nature. One of the tombs in particular was disturbed, its door left open. It was identified as the tomb the Tobias family, the previous priest and his adopted daughter, both of which perished in the fire that burned down the original temple.

Upon peering inside, we were beset by skeletal undead. Contoa Charged ahead before I could react. Although I thought it foolish at the time, he was vindicated when the channeled might of Gorum smote the undead to ashed. I am once again impressed by the prowess of my companions. Up to this point we have had no formal discussion of our individual abilities. Though I left a poor impression at our first meeting, I hope that we can have a more amicable discussion at our next so that we can learn the extent of each others abilities in an effort to improve our effectiveness as a team.

A subsequent investigation of the tomb revealed that the priest’s corpse had been removed. A soiled robe was also found inside. Zakiv seemed to take an interest in it. It was indicated that the item was magical, though its exact properties remain a mystery. Zakiv took possession of it though I have to admit that its tattered and old appearance would not do him justice if he should decide to wear it.

A more in depth investigation was cut short by Xantis. He seemed exceptionally keen on sending us on our way as quickly as possible. He is definitely hiding something, but with the authority of the sheriff on his side, we had little choice but to leave.

The next day we lacked any further direction with regard to the goblin attack so we set about surveying the damage of the night before. During our inspection a woman and small boy approached us appealing for our help. Apparently a goblin had somehow become trapped in their home. The son had discovered the creature’s presence and when the father came to investigate the family’s dog became involved. My understanding is that the dog rushed into the room with the goblin and then it’s barking ceased.

Although the family had safely left the building the father went back in after the dog and was not seen since. I cannot adequately express my contempt for this man, it took considerable effort for me to keep my words in check as my companions consoled the woman. This man’s duty was to his family, and with them safe he decides to foolishly put himself in mortal danger over a dog instead of staying with them and contacting the proper authorities. Now his misplaced act of bravery has likely cost him his life and condemned his family to hardship, all for a pet.

I was a little concerned that the wife would approach a group of strangers before the town guard about the matter, but given the previous night’s display of the guard’s capabilities she likely made the correct decision.

We entered their abode and found the offending goblin. It was quickly dispatched and as I suspected, the corpse of the father was found. The goblin had cut a hole in the floor to the crawlspace under the house and had attempted to drag the man’s body down the hole. The goblin had also begun to consume the corpse, the man’s face and upper body had been eaten away by the creature. I had no sympathy for the fool. My companions broke the bad news to the wife and we did what we could to console her. What a needless waste.

Later on that same day we were invited to a meeting with the man we had saved the previous night, Lord Foxglove. He thanked us for saving him and rewarded us with some coin. Quinn was given the task of looking after the group’s gains until such a time as they could be divided.

Foxglove mentioned that he was here from Magnimar to experience a boar hunt and invited us to join him. Although some concern was raised about the wisdom of leaving the city in light of the goblin attacks, we were assured that the area we would be hunting in was free from goblins. Some of my companions lacked much enthusiasm for the event, but everyone eventually agreed to go.

The next day we set out on the hunt. Foxglove was a well mannered man and very inquisitive. I was more than happy to indulge his curiosity. I had thought at the time that making a contact in Magnimar would be an asset, but as the day wore on, I started to become somewhat skeptical about exactly how much influence the man actually had. I think that I may have overestimated his family’s fortunes.

The hunt itself proved fruitless. Although tracks were spotted, we were unable to follow them to a boar. Along the way my companions attempted to gain a higher vantage, but the climb proved too difficult. Foxglove subtly mocked them for their failure which annoyed me. They were attempting to aid him in his hunt and he was dismissive of their efforts. I may have high expectations of my companions, but I won’t scorn them for failing at a worthwhile task. My opinion of Foxglove waned over the day and eventually we headed back to town.

Upon returning to town we were summoned to a meeting with the sheriff and the mayor. When we arrived there was a third individual there, an elven woman named Shilelov. Shilelov was a woodswoman who kept an eye on the goblins and culled their numbers. She told us about the different goblin tribes and their leaders and about how the tribes had organized themselves and were conducting raids against settlements all about the area. There was definitely something larger going on though she was unable to tell us what.

Although the information was too late to prevent the attack on the city, it was very informative. She was going to return to the wilds to continue her reconnaissance while the sheriff indicated that he was going to head to Magnimar to request more troops to help deal with the problem. In the meantime he asked us to maintain a presence here as the local population had learned about our acts during the goblin raid and saw us as local heroes and it was his hopes that our presence would help keep things calm in his absence.

I have to admit, I am not sure how I feel about this turn of events. The sheriff didn’t actually give us any authority, he indicated that we should direct policing matters to his second in command. Why wouldn’t he send his second in command to request more troops? Or even just write a request and send a runner? This seemed like a very poor decision, with recent events it should be his duty to keep an eye on things. It was unseemly for him to vacate the city at a time like this, however it is they type of irresponsibility I had come to expect from what passed as the authorities in this city.

With a little trepidation I accepted the responsibility and my companions also agreed. I was still uncertain what our role actually was but at least a more competent team was now in place should something arise that needed skilled individuals to handle.

There was nothing of note that happened the rest of that day. Foxglove invited us for dinner at the Rusty dragon and we accepted out of courtesy.

During dinner that evening there was a brief disturbance when a finely dressed older gentleman burst into the Inn and began verbally accosting its proprietor, Ameiko Kaijitsu. There was a heated argument between the two in a foreign language. At some point the conversation switched to the common tongue and the nature of the disagreement was made clear. The older man demanded that Ameiko leave the town with him for Magnimar. When the man grabbed her arm, my companions felt compelled to intervene in what was clearly a domestic matter.

There were some harsh words traded and then the older man, who turned out to be her father, disowned her for refusing to leave. I had only a passing interest in the exchange until Foxglove mentioned that the older man was the owner of the glass factory. By the Nine Pacts, why did something as simple as a trade mission have to become so complicated!

So now I was faced with having to become involved in a family dispute to try and salvage what I could of my reason to be here. I had some reassuring words with Ameiko and offered to help her if I could. Looking back on it I think that I was planning on trying to mend the relationship between her and her father to make a good impression because in retrospect, Ameiko having just been disowned no longer had any influence with her father’s glass factory. I think the mead I had been drinking beforehand may have clouded my judgement on the matter.

We retired for the evening after that. The next morning, the barmaid Bethama approached us with some disturbing news. Ameiko had gone missing sometime the night before. She explained how after searching for her she found a note in Ameiko’s native language. The maid had been taught the strange tongue and had translated the note for us.

It appears that Ameiko had a half brother who was a source of shame for her father. The brother was sent away, but Ameiko secretly found him and remained in contact. Unfortunately there was some kind of falling out and they had not spoken for quite a long time. The note indicated that he was back in town and alluded to some kind of questionable activity that her father was involved in. It requested a meeting at the glass factory and indicated a meeting spot and secret signal.

And so, we are off to the glass factory. I have little hope that my brother’s plans of establishing a contract for glass wares will survive our involvement in this family mystery. I am curious though about the father’s insistence on abandoning their holdings here and heading to Magnimar. It seems suspicious. Even as I write this, I am suddenly struck by the oddity of the sheriff’s abandonment of the city in it’s time of need for Magnimar as well. The timing seems too convenient to be a coincidence. I almost expect Father Xantis to find some reason to leave the city next. Very peculiar.

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A night at the Rusty Dragon
Feel free to add your own input

Since we aren’t playing until next week, I thought I would do a little rp via post. Feel free to add whatever you would like. I think anyone can edit this post. I hope I haven’t made her too insufferable so as to be truly unbearable.

Unlike this morning, the Rusty Dragon’s main room was nearly empty. The townsfolk and revelers had mostly locked themselves away in their homes or inn rooms after the goblin attacks.

At a table by the dying fire, Aviel sat inspecting a long tear in her chainmail shirt. She was dressed in a modest dress of black and red, colours favoured in Cheliax. Though the tailoring was simple the dress still had small flourishes and designs stitched into it.

Sensing her companions approach, she held up the shirt. “Here, look at this. Where the links are split, they are made with a thinner steel and the riveting is flawed. The first goblin got lucky when he hit this spot, the second showed his cunning by exploiting the breach. I found another weak spot as well.” She sighs as she tosses the armour on the table. “This is what I get for being too hasty, I should have inspected it closer before I depended on it for my life, however that is neither here nor there.”

Aviel looks at the assembled group. “Thank you for coming, I felt obligated to discuss a couple of matters with you all. Before we begin though, I ask that you let me finish before replying. We are about to trust our lives to one another and I feel that it would be in everyone’s interests to learn where the flaws in our association my lie so that they can be mended, compensated for or if they prove to be to great, the association may be discarded before anyone’s life is put at risk due to any misunderstandings.”

“This morning I was a little dismayed when cheating and deception were used in winning prizes at carnival games, and veiled threats were employed to settle a dispute. " Zakiv, I don’t know exactly what happened, but I would hope that a man who wears a slave’s collar didn’t learn magic so he could impose his will over his friends and allies. And Contoa, far be it for me to interpret your deity’s wishes, but Gorum is a god of war and I would wonder if he granted you access to his divine power so that you could cheat peasants at carnival games."

“At this point you are likely asking yourselves who am I to be judging you, but let me continue. After tonight’s attack, each of you proved to be extremely capable in a conflict. I was duly impress with all of your abilities. It became abundantly clear to me that the local constabulary and militia are of questionable value and if this goblin threat is to be put down, we are the most suitable to do so. I would be fortunate to fight with allies such as yourselves. But at the same time, as much as I desire to help Sandpoint, I still have a reputation and family name that I must no put in jeopardy by being associated with criminal activities.”

“And with that, I come to my point, everything that has happened has been minor and easily overlooked for the sake of dealing with the threat at hand, but I need to know if you have any designs for a grander illicit exploit. If you do, and can not be dissuaded from it, I can take my leave now and there will be no ill will between us. I will say nothing of this conversation. If, on the other hand, what I have seen today is the extent of what I can expect, then I am willing to put aside my apprehensions about working with you for the sake of Sandpoint. With that said however I would like to add that the acquisition of the hammer is pushing the bounds of what I am willing to overlook.”

“So, after all is said and done, some of you may have taken a dim view of me. But know that I recognize that I am the outsider and you are the ones that invited me to your group so you are the ones that have the ultimate decision about whether you wish me to remain. I realize that I have likely alienated myself with my judgmental tone, however if you still think we can work together then I would be happy to stay and lend my shield to your cause. If there is anything you would like to ask of me or any issue you would like to raise, please do, now would be an excellent opportunity.”

Zakiv sits forward, his smile, a cool river below the stern dual suns of his eyes. "I have seen your prowess in battle, and I am full of admiration. Your skill with the blade is formidable, and (I might add) greatly appreciated. I can say with aplomb that with you at our side, we will be a band worthy of tales. Furthermore, I concur with your assessment of the town’s “militia”(if we can call it that) and they need our assistance badly.

“That being said,”his smile seems to dry under the heat of his gaze,"As you come from a land of unadulterated tyranny and Diabolism, I will forgive your comments about my unfortunate captivity, but I would implore that you tread lightly on this subject lest you run out of shade.

“Lastly, I also wish for peace between us. I have witnessed first hand what chaos can bring. I am sure we all agree that there is great opportunity in this land, and I look forward to our future together.” He raises a glass of mead in toast.


“So, with that out of the way I would like to resolve a personal matter. " Quinn, whether or not you were aware of it I have not been giving you enough credit ever since we met. My past experiences with beastfolk have been under unfavourable conditions and ratfolk in particular have unsavoury reputations and thus my first impression was shamefully off mark. I attempted to avoid talking with you at first but when I was drawn into a conversation I began to suspect my mistake. The height of my condescension was at the start of our first conflict with the goblins where I fully expected you to cut and run. By the end of the fighting I was ashamed by my earlier behaviour. Whether you know it or not I have wronged you and feel the need to make amends. Please, accept my apologies and assurance that I will base my opinion of you on nothing more than you actions and words from this point on."

Aviel extends her hand across the table to Quinn.



“Finally, with that all out of the way, I have one final matter to address”"

Aviel reaches down to her backpack beside the chair and begins unpacking bottles of drinks that she has been collecting from the local vendors all day.

“My original purpose here was to establish trade. Since I could not explore the glass factory which was my intent, I instead took the opportunity to taste the local drinks. The swill they call wine here is an affront to vintners all across the Inner Sea. The mead, however, is very nice. I do not have a taste for ale, so can’t judge it fairly. I would like to get your opinions on each of these drinks, as well as propose a toast to our continued association. Perhaps we could adopt a name for our group to formalize our alliance? Give us a stronger sense of comradery.” Aviel smiles as she begins pouring drinks “I have some suggestions, but I fear I have already talked too much and would likely risk alienating myself further with their Chelaxian bent.”

Zakiv smiles broadly." Aviel, I think we may very well have judged each other too strongly, I am also a fan of many of the Inner Seas various imbibements, and would relish the chance to discern their various qualities with this lot. What say you all?"

Up until this point, Contoa had been resting back in his seat, fingers intertwined with his elbows resting on the table. Then, a soft sigh escaped his lips and his fingers parted, as Zakiv finished his sentence. “Always a pleasure to have a taste of fine ale.. I have a question, about what you said though. I was, unaware, that any foulness had gone on during the festival by my hand, and it would be an understatement to say I am incomprehensibly offended by your questioning of my faith and god.” Despite his words, he appeared calm, a faint smile playing upon his lips, shadows cast over his eyes as he leaned forward, eyes intent on Aviel.

“Pray tell.. what befoulment by my hands could you possibly be referring to?” There was a bit of a dark heir about his words, a very subtle threat hanging in the air as he stared Aviel down.

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Aviel's Journal
Entry 2, first day's in Sandpoint

Aviel’s Journal
h1. The first days in Sandpoint

It was late when my ship made port. My first thoughts were of a meal and bed to rest from my long trip. This simple task was complicated, however, as Sandpoint was in the midst of preparing for a grand party to mark the opening of a new church to Desna. This meant that the inns were filled.

Searching every inn I could find I eventually found lodging, however a meal was more difficult as the common room was filled to capacity. I was just about to leave in frustration when a trio at a table in the corner beckoned me over.

Their appearance gave me pause, they had the look of ruffians about them. A haggard looking man who looked as if he hadn’t slept in days, a ratfolk with all the concerns that brought up and a Qadiran man who, although well dressed, wore a slave’s collar.

Despite my reservations, I was hungry and decided that as long as I was on my guard I should be able to handle any situation I found myself in.

Of the three, the Qadiran man named Zakiv seemed the most civilized. He was articulate and well mannered, however he had an easy smile and a smooth way of talking that set me on edge. His mannerisms reminded me of Percivius.

The youngest man was a cleric of Gorum named Contoa. He had a scruffy and harried look about him. He seemed constantly on the verge of falling asleep, even as I talked to him.

Surprisingly, I found the ratfolk Quinn the easiest to engage in conversation though I had sought to avoid talking with him at the start of the evening. He too had a haunted and fatigued look about him, along with scars, tattoos and a dramatic hair style. Had he an eyepatch I could have turned him over to any authority for a bounty no questions asked.

After dinner I retired for the evening to rest from my long trip. It was my understanding that the next day the festival would start and, unfortunately, most of the businesses not serving food or drink would be closed. I would just have to make the best of it.

Although it was not my intention to do so, the three individuals I had met the evening before again invited me to their table for breakfast. Though there were other tables that morning, I already had a familiarity with them and so I joined them.

After breakfast, we went out to explore the festival. Throughout the day, my suspicions about my new companions were confirmed. They thought nothing of cheating, and deception to win the various games. A small squabble seemed to end with threats and nobody batted an eye when they used trickery to essentially steal a valuable prize.

I held my tongue for the most part, I had no authority here and if the local guard wasn’t skilled enough to spot it or couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it it certainly wasn’t my place to run their law enforcement for them. By the late afternoon I had decided that I was done with these people and intended to take my leave of them. Things were not going to be so clear cut however.

That evening, there was a grand dedication ceremony to open the new church. It was a much more mundane affair than a dedication ceremony in Cheliax, though it did have a conspicuous lack of sacrificing among its rituals.

The event was suddenly interrupted by a goblin raid. I was a little surprised that these vermin would be brazen enough to attack the town, and even more so that the city guard were lax enough to let it happen.

We managed to dispatch the first wave of goblins with ease. Zakiv proved to be a potent wizard, incapacitating two of the beasts with a single spell. I was also exposed to the spell, however I chalk that up to inexperience with each other’s fighting style. I put myself in a position that was inconvenient for him. Simple communication will easily correct that problem. He did seem to have a propensity to fling himself into harms way, however, and I found myself struggling to try and defend him.

Contoa seemed to have some trouble with his crossbow. I wasn’t able to see what the problem was so I am unsure if it was a lack of familiarity with the weapon or simple fatigue. He did respond to directions, however, and was unafraid to engage the enemies in close combat when necessary. I have seen too many priests hide behind the front lines under the excuse of being healers when they bore armour and shield that rivaled the soldiers up front. I wasn’t too pleased when he decided to tend to a fallen enemy before tending to an ally. While I agree with his desire to take prisoners, there were still goblins about and had they attacked while he was bandaging a goblin we my have been put in a poor situation.

Again I think communication may have smoothed over this bit of roughness between us. Had he made clear his desire for a prisoner we could have arranged for Zakiv to use his powers as they seem particularly well suited for taking captives.

Once again Quinn surprised me the most. Again, I had dismissed his usefulness in a fight. To be truthful I was expecting him to flee and hide, but instead he stepped into the fray and performed admirably. He had a keen sense of positioning and tactics, taking advantage of openings I presented for him and maneuvering to provide opportunities for me, all without needing to be directed. When I did issue an instruction he was quick to respond. I must admit, his performance far surpassed most of the militia I have fought beside and even a fair number of soldiers would not have responded as well as he did. I am curious about his background now.

We managed to rescue an individual named Aldren Foxglove and also thwart an attack on the Rusty Dragon Inn whereupon the proprietor named Ameiko Kaijitsu offered us free room and board at the establishment for a week.

These events made me realize that we were likely the best suited people in town to try and put down this goblin threat. The competency of the local guard and militia was already questionable considering the events of tonight.

I could not fight off a hoard of goblins alone and I would be negligent in turning away the skilled help I would require over a handful of petty crimes. And so, I plan on discussing the matter with them. I have no authority over them and they have no particular reason to follow anything i put forth, but I do have a reputation I need to maintain so as not to damage the family name. I hope that they will understand and for the sake of helping defend the town be willing to curtail some of their less savory impulses. In exchange, as long as it isn’t too egregious, I will try to limit my questions to those I will not regret having answers to.

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First Session
Beginnings

The PCs finished up loose ends on character creation, deciding on a back story for their group. It was agreed that a party name would be chosen in the future. We discussed game mechanics and character crunch issues. Players agreed to use the new character sheet function in Roll20. The next game session is scheduled for Thursday June 5, 2014.

In character, players were introduced to Sandpoint. The date is Lamashan 21, 4707. They explored the town and participated in the Swallowtail festival. They played games with some surprising results, sampled some of the local fare, and met a few locals. As the festival reached its ostensible purpose of consecrating the new temple, chaos erupted. The party helped in defending Sandpoint against a goblin raid, dispatching three groups of goblins. They met Aldren Foxglove who invited them to dinner at a later time and Ameiko Kaijitsu, proprietor of the Rusty Dragon. Ameiko offered free board for a week in an offer of thanks. When the game broke, it was early evening in Sandpoint.

The players found the following loot:

20gp
2 unidentified potions
A masterwork horsechopper
2 shortbows with 20 arrows
1 set of studded leather armor
A pile of dogslicers and worn leather armor that could be sold for 40g for salvage.
Whip

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