Pathfinder: Rise of the Rust Monster

Darra's Diary page 2

Today I discovered some creatures that I hope I never have to see again in my life! Puppy and I were leading the group through the woods (They would be so lost without me!) and I was out in front marking the trail for the others to follow. We cam into a clearing and their were these massive beasts. I tried to calm them but it seemed to have the opposite effect. We backed off to go warn the party that we were going to have to take a wide detour as I thought that if we gave them their space they would leave us be. I described them to Kaz and he seemed to have a bit of an idea of what they were but his explanation was interrupted by the beasts attack. They basically leapt out of the bushes onto the group. I was able to withdraw to a safe range and fired upon the male but caused it no damage. Stick was already unconscious on the ground (Lying on the ground like a stick – had a good chuckle about that later in the day). Ash appears to be bleeding out! Kaz is wounded but standing his ground. Puppy is waiting to make his move from where he is concealed in the bushes. I shoot the female attacking Stick and Puppy goes for the male attacking Kaz. Then out of nowhere Glin appears playing a tune so mournful that the beasts run off. He heals stick, Kaz and Ash. I am beginning to understand why the others place great value in this bard.

I finished leading our group through the forest to the tower and get my first look at the big invisible moving tree, only its no longer invisible and not moving so I have to say slightly disappointed. Lem warns me to not bring fire to close to the tree. If I do it will attack us. Part of me really wants to see a tree mount an attack. Never seen that before! But after the day we have had, it’s probably better to rest. Camp is set up a safe distance away.

We notice a goblin patrol and decide to intercept them to see if they know anything about what is going on in the tower. I cast dancing lights as a distraction and shoot a goblin. So satisfying. Puppy got nothing but air on his attack. Stick made these two ghosts appear and they also began attacking the goblins. Kaz does his usual hack and slash routine – boring but useful. We make short work of the party. I killed a goblin that tried to kill Puppy and shot another not quite dead. Goblin killing parties are always a good time!

Puppy and I have a good time playing while the others, mainly Kaz and Stick, argue about whether or not to let the goblin live. Stick thinks it should continue breathing. The only good goblin is a dead goblin in my books. While they continue to “discuss” I meditate to replenish my ranger spells (Entangle & Detect Snares & Pits). The discussion then changes to how to proceed from here. Do we:
a) attack a fort where we would be severely outnumbered
b) talk to a crazy man about what he may or may not know
c) do we just walk away
The decision is made after much heated discussion. Stick is going to go talk to a crazy man and the rest of us are going boot shopping in town! We will meet up with Stick in about a week.

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Ysirnith's book of dreams 12

Gohzrin 21, 4711 AR

I find myself falling. Not is a hole per se. More of a cave. And I was falling horizontally. Usually in dreams a person falling down would wake up when they hit the bottom. It is the fear of death and the kindness of Desna that wakes us up. Who would want to be in pain in a dream for time does not exist.

Anyways I am falling forward through the hole. Music can be heard. A dwarven music but not a dirge. Something more jolly. I can see the end of the hole and what I see is rather strange. I see hell knights. Lots of them who for some reason are working with Andur. I also see a giant frog swallowing my friends and a troll which is shaped like a cube who crawls in a cave where he can barely fit. I see a dwarf fight another dwarf not with axe but belief. I get the feeling that I am needed.

It’s strange that this all begin when I picked up a broom.

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Ysirnith's book of dreams 11

9 Gozreh, 4711 AR

Dying is like a dream but more permanent or we could say that dying is more like waking up to the true reality and our lives are just a dream. I haven’t had the strength or the will to write about this dream only it’s beginning. Usually when I do have vivid dreams, I remember them. In all it’s glorious or not quite glorious detail. But for this one. When I died. I can’t remember what they told me the butterfly, my mother and the man on the beach.

So I spent the past few nights in contemplation. Trying to recall everything I could in my death. Though I would occasionally dream more about more pressing issues dictated by Desna, I have unlocked some details.

The Butterfly:
Among the three her’s was the easiest to remember but the most difficult and foreboding but her voice was also the most comforting. “WE ALL MUST CHOOSE A PATH. IF YOU AWAKE YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE MOST DIFFICULT ONE. THE DWARF IS RIGHT

My Mother:
This one I can’t remember too well. What she said to me… It was either “do not trust this man or trust this man”… She also mentioned that the man was dear to her or the death of her. I could not understand nor do I think I ever will for this part of my dream was distorted due to the call of life.

The man:
His voice was the weakest among all of them. Though I found his voice distantly familiar. He said something like “‘Dead?’ Ysirnith. I have hoped to see … ‘death’… on the beach to …. I’m…. failed…. me…. for… last time.”

Though his voice was kind. His message worries me. I failed him? Who is he and why does it seem like I remember him. Sigh, more questions to ask myself.

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Darra's Diary

Today I met a real live stick in the mud. I’ve met people before you I thought were sticks in the mud but this dwarf is definitely the biggest stick in the mud that I have ever met. Not even his shoes can redeem him. His only redeeming quality thus far is that he seems to have free passage amongst the creepy Hell Knights. This makes him a useful companion so I’ll keep him around for a while. Though he does keep going on and on about how he “freed” me from the creepy Hell Knights which is so not true. The only thing he did was wake me from my nap. The bars on that cage the creepy Hell Knights put me in were designed to keep much larger creatures than me locked up. I figured this meant that those bars would also keep the much larger creatures out so it seemed like a good time to take a wee nap while I waited for the perfect time to make my escape. Then the next thing I know there’s this dwarf kicking at the bars demanding to know my business. I told him the Hell knights put me in a cage because I was napping in the forest on the way to town to trade some pelts to get more money to find me some pretty pretty boots. The dwarf (forever hereafter known to one and all as Stick!) took his puffed up self over to the creepy Hell Knights engaged in some jibber jabber and came back with the keys. I decided that since he seemed to have some sort of alliance going on with the creepy Hell Knights I would hang out with his companions until we were at least a safe distance away from the creepy Hell Knights.

So excited to be going on an adventure! Puppy is too. He came bounding out of the bushes like the good little wolf that he is. I am going to make him a collar of daisies the next time we come across a patch.

I am so lucky that one of my new travelling companions is a priestess of Desna. She is an elf named Ash. Seems quite sensible in her outlook on life and footwear. We have had much fun together so far. I climbed a tree with Ash and she lifted me up over her head so that I could see better. She is so nice. I was able to spot the party of Orcs and ogres we were looking for.

But before all that happened we decided to go for a boat ride to go see this church. Puppy had to swim because Stick said there was no room in the boat. This is only because him and the other Dwarf, whom I was calling Spaz at this point, wear so much bulky armor that there was barely any room for me and the Halfling, Lem. Not to mention Ash. We also had to leave room for this ghostly guy to bail out the boat. I do enjoy a boat ride though.

We found the church with no problem because they had been there before. These guys seem to do a lot of that. Wandering in circles. Met two most interesting fellows at the church. Spaz seems to think they were a bit touched in the head but I thought I thought they were lots of fun. One of them, I think his name is John, told me about a creature named Old Snappy that lives in the river. Puppy will never swim in that river again! Over dinner I was able to get Stick and the others to agree to include me as an equal when it comes to paying me. Feeling a bit more comfortable staying with these guys.

After a good nights sleep, we went for another boat ride. This time Puppy got to ride in the boat. Kaz (formerly known as Spaz) had no problem with Puppy being in the boat. He seems like an alright sort, for a dwarf.

Then I led the party on a lovely walk through the woods to the old Orc camp. Didn’t spot any daisies to make Puppy his collar with yet. And we don’t seem to be getting any closer to a town where I can buy some new shoes. I did thoroughly impress everyone with my abilities to not get them lost in the woods. I gather from their chatter amongst themselves that they have been this way before. Apparently they spend a lot of time wandering in circles. It is good they have me now to show them how to get places.

We then went for a hike/swim through a bog to get to where this really big tree is that they are all obsessed with. Stick begrudgingly let Lem and I ride on his shield through the bog. When we got to where the tree used to be we found ourselves in a clearing full of those creepy Hell Knights. Not sure what the big deal is with this tree everyone seems preoccupied with. It can apparently teleport. That would be cool to see a tree do. Also Orcs seem to gather around it. I do not like Orcs! The clearing was pretty trampled due to the presence of the creepy Hell Knights but I was able to find where the tracks disappeared. Looks like they have 3 ogres with them too.

Another weird thing is this dwarven bard that keeps showing up and disappearing regularly. I’m going to have to be weary of him until I can figure out what he’s all about.

It is then decided that we will head towards the hot springs. It will be so nice to have a warm bath. This is where I climbed the tree with Ash. She’s so nice.

We’re going to rest here a bit before hitting the trail again. The plan seems to be to attack the group of Orcs and ogres. No real actual plan of attack has been made though. My plan will be to make use of my trusty crossbow (from a safe distance) and pick them off. Also to stay out of the way of Kaz’s big axe. Something tells me that once he starts swinging that thing the Orcs won’t last long.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 21
The Strange Dwarf

In the morning we went to the tree again so that Ash could try a banish spell, unsuccessfully. That failed we went to scout for the other orc camps. On the way we found a dead party of orcs and goblins that seemed to have been… drained. While inspecting them three giant leeches burst out of the water but I was able to cut them down before they could latch on to any of us. We moved on to the lake and started to track a party of orcs and an ogre. After following them for a while Lem thought that they were on to us so we stopped. Glin suggested that he knew where they were probably going and that he knew a back way in. He lead us to a narrow canyon which used to be a escape route for a chelaxian guard tower. We proceded down the path and over a collapsed archway. On the other side we can smell and hear pigs. There are five passages branching off, the leftmost is where the pigs are, 2 seemed to go to the tower, one to a store room and one to a cistern. Lem scouted the storeroom and said it is full of bones and debris. We checked the cistern room and there is obviously a well with a rope coming from up above. As we started to go back we heard a troll coming up the passage, Glim moved up and sang a distracting song and it moved away. We moved to one of the tower tunnels next and encountered a door. Lem disarmed the traps on it and unlocked it, he is handy to have around sometimes. Moving up into the tower we found a trapped staircase and hidden doors but eventually we came to a ladder with a trap door to the upper level. We could hear goblins torturing someone so Andur went up first and cast an illusion to distract the goblins, most of them follow it and we killed the remaining ones. There were seven Hellknights there including the one being tortured. They told us that their commander was upstairs. Glim made a sphere of invisibility around us and we crossed the room full of sleeping orcs and ogres. We used the rope and grapple to climb up a garbage shaft to the third level of the tower. The Hellknights left us to go rearm themselves while we went up to the next floor to free their commander. We climbed up to the next floor into what seemed to be a training room and found a half orc in plate armor. We attacked him, and after a tough fight we killed him. Shortly after a heavily armored dwarf and two half orcs entered the room. He looked to be a cleric of Torag. He explained that he is in charge of this place and controls it with his half orc “sons” and uses it to try to stem the flow of orcs going to Dukosh. He talked a bunch of nonsense about redeeming the orcs through the half orcs. The others accept his offer of shelter for the night but not trusting anything about this I stayed on watch. Later in the night Glin showed up at the window. He said that the dwarfs name is Oldolgar and he is dangerously insane. Andur refused to leave and said he would join us in the morning but I wasn’t leaving Ash in this camp of orcs so rest of us climbed down from tower. On the way to the cistern we spot a man in a cage on the far side of the camp. While we climbed down the well, and met the Hellknights there, Lem went to check out the cage and and returned telling us that the man in the cage looked like Enko. Glin teleported him to us and we moved out to the tunnel we first came in and waited there for Andur.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 20
The Swamp

We woke late in the morning at Glin’s camp and set out to the hag’s tree. Glin moved to the other side of the lake to distract the orcs there while we swam out to the island. Ash poured the vial on the roots of the tree and Andur poured Bunsens alcohol and threw the fire potion a it. Seemingly enrage by the attack the tree stood up on its roots and kicked Andur out into the lake. I sent Ash after him and dove for the hags lair seeking to destroy the root of the problem. I found her making a doll out of reeds in her cave and after asking me to join her, which I refused she turned invisible and started attacking me with her claws. I managed to get one good hit on her but spent the rest of the time swinging at air. If I hadn’t already been enraged that would have done it. Eventually Ash showed up and we were able to fight her off and she screamed in rage and seemed to leave. We searched the room but found nothing but Andur detected magic under the floor so we dug down and found a chest. Strapping the chest to Andurs back we headed out of the lair. When I broke the surface of the water I found myself surrounded by orcs and an ogre. Surrender not being an option I dove back down to stop the others, taking a few arrows on the way. I grabbed on to the acending Andur and Ash and was carried back up. I grabbed Ash and I dove back into the water but Andur Surrendered. Ash and I hid in the hags lair until later in the day and then swam underwater undetected to the far shore where we met Glim. We decided to rest at his camp overnight before going to rescue Andur.
In the morning we found Andur an Lem near the edge of the Lake and decided that we should go after the Tree and the hag if it was with it. We tracked the tree to a clearing that it seemed to have made but there was no sign of the hag. Ash summoned a servant of Desna, a small pixie like woman. She said that there was a forge nearby where I could make cold iron weapons that would hurt the tree and lead us to it. It is a very old and magical place surrounded by standing stones with a perfect set of tools and a supply of cold iron ingots to use. Andur cast magic weapon while I was making a shortsword for Lem and it seemed to absorb the magic. I made a grappling hook for my rope and crampons so that we could climb the tree and avoid its roots. We went back to the clearing and climbed the tree with the gear I made but even my axe seemed to ring harmlessly off its rock hard bark. We climbed back down and Lem threw a fire bomb at it which immediately caused it to lash out and hit him. This seemed to be futile so we headed back to Glin’s camp for the night.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 19
The End of the Baron

22nd of Gozren. We set out with the two Hellknight signifiers to the wraiths lair. The Barons manor has been destroyed and the hellknights have set up camp there. We went to the river entrance as the dungeon had been collapsed and found the wraith in the same chamber as before. After a short fight we are able to take it down again. Hopefully I will never feel that cold touch again. Signifire Anenna identifies the throne is the vessel and destroys it with a fireball. We did a quick search of the chamber for valubles and I found a tigerseye gem like the one Enko had found. Lem gathered some coins and Ander took two bottles and a knife.
With the Baron out of the way it was time to hold up our end of the bargain. We went back to baroney east to get information on what to look for. The guard there told us to look for two large x marks on trees near a stone monolith and we were looking for a patrol 10 men. Early in the search we found 2 of the dead horses and a dead hellknight strung up on the tree, Andur questioned his spirit and he told us that they were attacked by a dozen orcs. I continued tracking and eventually we found two creatures questioning a goblin. They let it go and Andur confronted them. They seemed to be Gnolls and they told him that the orc camp is in the swamp. We headed down the other path that circled back to the swamp and found a gobln camp.Lem sneaked in but was caught rather quickly and Andur and I were forced to rescue him. We made short work of the goblins and thier shaman but one got away. While Andur was cutting Lem free I heard a dwarven voice calling Andur’s name. I found a dwarf in a cage nearby and freed him. He is brightly dressed and says that he saw a captured scout that told the orcs that we were coming and heard Andur’s name from him. He lead us to his camp in the swamp, on the way Lem got swallowed by a giant frog. His name is Glim Glander dwarven bard. He gave us a key and says we are welcome to his chest for saving him. Suddenly he summoned Ash to us. She appeared out of thin air. He says that Bolka told him that Ash was needed here. When I went to open the chest a stone fist on spring hit me and sent me flying. Glim seemed to think that was hilarious so I punched him in the face. In the chest is a vial of green liquid that Ash takes. Glim says will disrupt and weaken the hag if poured on the roots of her tree. Ash also took a bag of gems from the chest at Glim’s insistance.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 18
That time Bunsen blew the roof off an inn

After an evening in the busy common room we retired to our rooms. As we had overheard some shifty things Lem took first watch. He heard some footsteps going up the stairs after 1am and woke me up, we went to check Ash’s room across the hall and were knocked flat by an explosion. The entire top floor where Bunsen and Andur were staying was leveled. We got Ash who had been knocked unconcious and Lem went up to see if he could find them. He found Andur but not Bunsen. We regrouped in our room and decided to leave and stay at the church of Desna for the rest of the night. In the morning the priest told us that the two bodies from the inn were taken to the temple of Pharisma. We didn’t recognize either of them but we checked a cart of body parts and found a boot with part of a leg in it that looked like Bunsen’s. Bunsen, disguised as an old woman, met us outside the room, saying that he was now wanted for the explosion. I told the priest that the boot was one that belonged to Bunsen to take the heat off him, not a lie exactly as it was his boot.
We decided that this might be a good time to get out of town and deal with the wraith. We left a message for Bunsen to get the boat to Elwet ready and did some shopping for gear. Andur went to the Temple of Torag to pray and find info on the wraith. When we arrived in Elwet we were immediately taken to see the watch commander. He told us that Balbu’s body was stolen but had been blessed so that he wouldn’t rise again. I checked in at the Silver Vein and Almara has not yet returned. I stop by the smithy and talk to my former boss, he said that if things go badly or Elwet is attacked he has an escape plan. He also arranged a boat for us. I met Andur and Lem at the inn where Yakiv has told them that a halfling and a half elf bard were seen the day Balbu’s body disapearred. They fit the description of 2 of the 8. We set out on the boat which let us of off at Barony east. We were quickly put under arrest by hellknights who seem to have fortified the abandoned town. A woman came out and questioned us and was satisfied with our explanation. She freed us and led us to the inn. Troska has been promoted to full knight and he recognizes us. He is with a Teifling knight that says he is Maralichter Azmarius who made a deal that we look for his missing patrol around the hags swamp and he will send help with the wraith. We set out in the morning with 2 “signifiers (clerics)” one is the woman who first questioned us (Talea) and Anenna to hunt the wraith.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 17
Death and Desna

Enko is still missing. Lem has “ratbite fever”.
We met Bunsen in the common room of the inn where I noticed a couple of men watching us. I pointed it out and Andur immediately confronted them, nearly starting a fight. After talking them and Ander down they left. It seemed that most of the people had bad dreams the last night. We went to search for Amadish and on the way found out from one of the guards that a priest of Desna had been murdered in the night. We arrested Amadish without much trouble and took him with one of the guards back to the temple. The body of the murdered priest was there and we investigated. He had an empty ornate box which Ash checked and found a false bottom. inside was an item wrapped in parchment. She unwrapped it and there was a golden rod shaped like snake which looks like it is designed to fit into something larger. Ash read the parchment and there is an explosion. We survived but the box was destroyed. Andur spoke with the spirit of the dead priest. He said he was killed by “crows” and he was told by Desna to bring the item here for “the elf”. After checking in at the church of Desna and talking to Bunsen we went back to the graveyard to investigate where the priest died. He was visiting the grave of the dwarf who was the last of the circle of blood to die (Dolem the deepdelver). he was seen leaving alive but then was found dead in the morning. Andur and I note that the rod would fit perfectly into a slot on the grave. I found a black candle near the grave. We then headed outside the city to the temple of Gozreh to take the items we found in baroney west. The priest (Elmar) knew Kalawar (the murdered priest). He tells us of his final days. We checked in with the high priestess of Pharisma to see if we can open the grave of Dolem, she agreeed and we went back to the inn to prepare.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 16
The graveyard job

After a restless night after the graveyard search I went with Lem as a bodyguard to ask around about the grave breakins while Ash and Andur pursued other leads. We hit a few different seedy bars and found that the likely culprits were the Garungi and Talkal gangs. Returning to the others we talked about what reason lie behind the break ins and Ash theorized that this may be tied to the breaching festival of the Acadamae. The black powder that we found in the tombs is a component for summoning the spirits of the dead and Bunsen declared that it is a very poor quality example and was probably homemade. Bunsen brought us a man who is his supplier of such things and he also pointed us to the Garungi as possible sellers of the stuff. We went to their hang out and find them and to my surprise they are led by my cousin Tamarask. He is heavily marked with criminal brands and tatoos – a long term criminal, we have never gotten along. With some questioning he was surprisingly forthcoming however about the people he sold to.
One of the buyers was a meat stall vendor, Amadish, the other a woman carrying a sword – chelaxian –staying at the Bards End, the third a long term client.
He had them followed and the woman sold her portion to Amadish, he and others went into the graveyard and she followed separately.
Andur and Lem headed back to the inn and I stayed to buy one more round for my cousin. When I came out I found that they had been jumped by 7 thugs but had killed 5 and the other 2 fled. We went back to the inn and pick up Ash. She found in her research another link between the graves- all had been members of a group called the circle of blood – prefounders of the Academae. We took this information to the Temple of Pharisma and the priest there was able to narrows down the list of graves. With the guards able to focus their attention on a smaller target list we went to investigating Amadish. We was registered with the guard at an address which turned out to be an opulent estate in the south district. Walled, and guarded by elves. Stymied by this I suggested we check the Bards Ends Inn where the woman had been seen as it was just down the street. Upon entering we were immediatly greeted another priest of Desna who noticed Ash’s weakness and offered what seemed to be a prayer that caused Ash to suddenly seem like her old self again. An odd turn of events as that was the entire reason that we were doing this particular job.
The woman was there at the bar and we were able to go up to talk to her in her room, she has been investigating Amadish as well for buying the stone. He seems to just be the agent of someone else. She gave us his actual address. She herself seems to be some sort of agent of the Chelaxian crown called “the Sisterhood”. She also seemed very dangerous. With more information than we expected to find, and a reward that was no longer so enticing we headed back to the inn for the night.

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