Pathfinder: Rise of the Rust Monster

Ysirnith's book of dreams 10

5 Gozreh, 4711 AR

I felt cold, pain, fear and then peace. I find myself floating on a boat going down a river. Around me are trees which loom over me. Their branches all lowered and scratch at me as the current takes me away. Portions of me are torn off, like a dress which was pulled through brambles. I turn around and I see myself or fragments of me caught among the branches. Thrashing and screaming.

WHO DESTROYED MY ACCORDION!”

Suddenly a dwarf who looked a bit like Andur stuck at my other self’s face.

“Nobody did Ash! Besides you didn’t have the talent for the instrument anyways.”

My other self looked like she was about to rip his eyes out and feast on its jelly but sighed and said.

“You are right master dwarf. Besides I found a better ……” She faded away in peace.

I come out missing some of myself as the boat leaves the forest and enters a vast plane. I see everyone who I knew and left to the finally journey… Then everything went black. I seem to be forgetting something. The butterfly, my mother, the man on the beach. They all told me something. I can’t remember but it was very important.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 15
Return to the Hegrif Barony

We set out for the Hegrif Barony after buying some new gear. On the way we found a burned farmhouse, no people or livestock but goblin footprints leading away. We tracked them from the farm while Lem stayed to guard the wagon which we had stashed in the barn. We tracked them to a gulley where we slaughtered them and their filthy dogs and freed the farmers they had taken prisoner. Now responsible for the people we had saved we returned them to Elwet. Deciding that the road may not be the best way to go we hired a barge for the next day. Ash bought a nicer wagon with draft horses to pull it as well. The barge let us off near the abandoned town of Hegrif barony east. The town was still empty so we moved on towards the manor. It seemed to have been fortified since we were last here, and is still being worked on. Lem scouted ahead but then did not return. Du’kosh and an armored orc rode out to meet us at the gate. We told him we wanted to talk to the baron and he strangely seemed eager for us to do so. We were taken down to the dungeon (where, unsuprisingly Lem was in a cell) and led to the baron’s door. As it appeared to be magically protected we set to work on breaking down part of the wall near the door. We breached the wall and started exploring the partially flooded halls beyond. Finding the baron dead in a chair in a side room Andur approached him and he stood up. After a brief conversation where we tried to convince him to punish Du’kosh Andur suddenly seemed very afraid and made us all leave. He explains that he thinks the baron is a Wraith and is too dangerous for us to fight.
We left and Andur tried to convice Du’kosh that he had to leave for his own safety. He wasn’t interested of course so we went back barony east. In the morning we found that the horses were let out on Andur’s watch, we found no tracks or other evidence however. While we gathered the horses and decided what to do Lem arrived and soon after him John the Fisherman showed up. We asked John to watch our horses and wagon while we go to kill the baron. He also had Ol’ Snappy find us an entrance to the underkeep on the river. We swam into the tunnels and found the baron. Fighting a ghost isn’t nearly as fun as cleaving goblin skulls, I could barely hit him, and during the fight he felled Ash and Andur but in the end I was able to bring him down. Andur barely survived but Ash was dead, and worse, cursed by the wraith to rise again if what Andur said had any weight. We quickly returned to barony east and asked John to take Ash and Lem to Elwet in his boat. We took the wagon back and Andur woke up as we arrived. We retrieved Ash’s body from the temple of Abbadar and set out by barge to Korvosa. Leaving the wagon and our chests in Yakv’s care. We took Ash to the temple of Pharisma and for 40,000 gold they will try to resurrect her. They told us that the wraith will return if its simulacrum is not destroyed and we are to return in the morning to see if Ash has come back to life.

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Ysirnith's book of dreams 9

1 Gozreh, 4711 AR

“Ash. You did it! You saved the town!” Shouted a faceless man. The skies rain brightly colored confetti and the adulation of the town of Elwet rings through out the streets. The sun was shining down on the main street and the birds sang praises of her heroism and a rainbow flew above her as if to crown her.

She rode on a gilded open top palanquin made of carved of dark mahogany. It was carved with scenes of the battle. Where she and her champions Andur the Doombriger, Kaz the Red, Inko the Mysterious and Lem the Sneaky fought against the Ruler of the 382nd plane of the Abyse Balboo the slaver of many women, children and halflings. Her two favorite scenes were her acting as a conduit to the goddess Desna healing her champions against Balboo and the carving that stood behind her. It was a massive carving of her carrying the demons sword away from Balboo. Her hands on fire and a dagger to her side. She sacrificed herself to force an opening through Balboo’s impenetrable defense. The palanquin was carried by 12 handsome young men.

The people began to shout.

“Yes I want to name my boy after you Ash!”

“Your the greatest!”

“Marry me Ash!.”

“Ash, I hear your the greatest accordion player of all of Galarion! Play us something.”

“Yes play something. Something that will bring all our hearts to Desna!”

“We will all abandon our gods if you can play us something that can move our souls!”

Ash looked around to see if she can find her Accordion. Over on a tree there it was. It was lynched on a grey dead tree overlooking the ocean. The rope old and taught around the Accordion’s neck. His face beaten beyond recognition. There was a gash on his side as if someone had cut away his ribs with a broad sword or battle axe. Blood flowed from his wounds.

Over on the walls of the great city of Elven was an Accordion of blackest color. He was beautiful and terrifying. Dark Magics oozed around him has he rested his head on the bloodied broadsword.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 14
The end of Balbu

While we waited in the hidden rooms of the inn, Yakv informed us that the mage who escaped the barge was in the common room. Andur and Enko went up to to recruit him to our cause, successfully it seemed. In the evening I was restless so I went to look for a new axe, unable to find one at my smithy I went to another store that I know. The shop keeper gaves me a crossbow that Andur had asked for and said that my master had set something aside for me. I returned to the smithy and searched the hidden places that I know to find a locked box under the forge. Inside was an ancient dwarven battleaxe. I took it and returned to the inn where Andur recognized it and consulted the ancestors about it. It is a magical axe that belonged to Doldorn, the Captain of the guard in one of the ancient holds. Word seemed to be spreading in town and unrest against Balbu was growing. The apocathary returned and offered us various alchemical devices, not much use to me other than a healing potion but the others took some things. We discussed and strategized into the night and in the morning Andur and I went to consult the head constable and discuss our plan. Surprisingly he seemed more prepared than we were, arranging for barricades to be set up and archers to be on rooftops. We agreed that we would be Balbu’s main target and the best chance of taking him out. Our arrangement was that we would get half of the bounty and I would get a full pardon. We spent the rest of the day making final preparations for Balbu’s return, Andur arranged the dwarven mercenaries and I scouted the possible routes through town. Enko and Ash sent the Princess off with Alamara to the elves.
After a sleepless night of waiting we got the signal that Balbu was approaching town. Enko went out to draw him into our alleyways but Balbu took the street instead. We rushed over to cut him off and found that he had already killed two of the guardsmen who had got in his way. The fight was on, I got a good hit in on him with my new axe but then he cut me down with a flurry of attacks. Ash healed me and I awoke in the street. Ash kept up the healing as the hired dwarves attacked Balbu with little effect. I flew into a rage and attacked him again as he cut down some of the other dwarves with that cursed sword of his. I pulled the sword away from him and Ash grabbed it even though it seemed to pain her and began to drag it away. He stabbed her and took his sword back,but before he was able to use it again I charged him and Cut him down. Andur and his spirit companions finished him off. So ended Balbu.
I took his remaining daggers and breastplate off of him and Andur had his spirit servant carry the sword away. The head constable is so impressed by our defense of the town that he increased our reward to 80% of the bounty. Since it was still early I went back to the smithy and finished my wolfshead helm. I’m not sure if its’ the axe, but I’m feeling pretty heroic.
Now we just have to decide what to do next…

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Kalabaz's Journal page 13
Balbu

There is a lot to tell about the past days events so I will start at the beginning.The morning after the fight with the wolves I discovered that the letter that I had been given to get me into the town was now blank. Concerned that I might be arrested again I returned to my room while the others left to visit Almara. Soon, however, a man from the Silver Vein arrived with a coach to take me there. Upon arriving Alamara gave me a replacement letter and instructed me to give it someone of authority. After some discussion about what to do about Balbu I left to take the letter to the constable. Now free to move about the town I took the wolf corpses to the tanner then went to the smithy to make a new helm to mount a wolfshead on. While I was working Andur and the others showed up, apparently Andur warned Balbu that we are after him. I am really not sure what motivates him to such stupidity, dwarven pride aways grated some on me but he is just ridiculous at times. We had a long argument about what to do about Balbu. I suggested leaving him alone for now or possibly getting the hag interested in him to destroy him as she destroyed the baron but the others will have none of this.
Enko went to visit Balbu as they are old compatriates, from this we found that Balbu was holding an elf princess from the Drow as payment for helping find Tatatiel and that he was selling her to a noble in another city. She was to be shipped out the following night. This caused Ash to nearly fly into a rage worthy of a berserker, I despise slavers as much as the next man but she seems to have a serious hate on for them. She demanded that this elf must be rescued, and well, I am sworn to protect her. Enko was to stay in town to deflect suspicion while we left town and moved a few miles out with the cart and a boat that Andur had rented. I went back to scout the dock and found out that there were actually 3 boats, the middle one seemed to be the one that was crewed by Balbu’s men and would have the elf on board.
As the boats passed us on the river Ash fell in and the passengers of the first boat pulled her aboard. I waited for the second boat and threw a grapple which I had secured to a large tree to stop it. As the rope jerked the barge to a sudden halt Andur somehow summoned the image of a giant crab attacking the bow. Using this distraction I climbed aboard unnoticed.
That is when the carnage began, my axe was my song and it sang of blood as man after man fell before me. Eventually Ash and Andur showed up but all else was a bloody haze. Near the end of the battle my rage fell away and we finished off the last few men. Being in rough shape and eager to be off the barge full of dead men I pried open the large crate in the middle of the deck where we had supposed that the princess was being held. Balbu emerged from crate wielding a brutal sword much to my dismay. Andur was able to keep him talking for a bit, it seemed to be a favorite past time for both of them while I tried to get Ash off of the barge. She steadfastly refused to go leaving me with only one option, to fight. As we returned to the deck Andur began his attack on Balbu. This was short-lived, Balbu hit him so hard that he clove his shield in half and wounded him badly. I moved in to help but Balbu snapped my axe in half and knocked me back, while at the same time knocking Andur to the ground. I drew a sword that I had taken off of the captain of the barge but just then I heard Ash give a loud prayer and suddenly the sky opened up and dropped the river on us, I have never seen that much rain. I came so quickly that the rope holding the barge snapped and we were thrown into the river.
We awoke the next day on the riverbank with no sign of Balbu and headed back into town. Andur replaced his sheild and Yakv put us up in hidden rooms below the inn. He also brought an apocathary to us to tend to our wounds. While we waited and debated what to do Enko met us and then went back to Alamara to get more information on what happened and returned with news that the elf princess was still in the town. We dispached Lem to investigate and after a short time he returned, elf princess in tow. I have to say I was impressed, I had begun to seriously doubt why he was with us at all, now I remember.
We still have a problem though, Balbu is coming back and this town may not survive his return. Something must be done to stop him.

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Ysirnith's book of dreams 8
26 Pharast, 4711 AR

“Hey turd!” Slaver Jhol shouted. “If you don’t grow any larger, the only use we have for you is to feed you to the dogs. Dahahahaaha!”

Slaver Jhol kicks me in the chest and I tumble down the pit with the other children.

“Nice going Ash! If we don’t complete the shed tomorrow morning, Slaver Marcov will whip us again.” Shouted Bruticus the half-orc teen with a missing eye.

“Why can’t you put on any more muscle! Your as scrawny as my mother and she is dead” shouted Flea Crust.

The other mean children made fun of me till I cried myself to sleep.

I found myself in the dining room of the High Priest Orenicus. I snuck in after the feast. There a table filled with left overs. Orenicus had a bird like appetite but always prepared enough food for twenty people. Thinking to myself, if I ate more I would put on more strength to finish the shed. I could do it alone if I had enough food. Enough meat.

First goes the pot roast. A whole pig with an apple in its mouth. Gone in about three bites. The piles of beef is next. Orenicus would nibble on a small piece while I gorge three of them at one go finishing all fifteen of them as a grain of sand falls down a near by hour glass. The venison, whole venison roasted slowly on a spit is consumed in eight bites followed by a burp. Next is that strange animal from Mwangi. It was grey in skin till it was cut up and fried in oil. That took a bit longer. Just a bit.

After the feast, I try to sneak back into the pit but I realized I am too big to fit through the door. Its half the size of me. Thanks to a stick of butter I manage to grease myself and head back down.

The other children see me as I decent the pit and they start laughing.

“Fatty! Fatty! They all called out!”

“We don’t need to build the shed anymore.” shouted Bruticus. “You are the shed!”

I can see my vision turning red.

“What’s the meaning of this.” Someone above shouted

The slavers all of them enter the pens and look above from the pit. They see a short elven girl disguised as a boy who had gained so much weight, she looked like a walking sausage of fat with tiny arms and legs to drag her disproportioned body. They all begin to laugh.

My vision starts to narrow and my blood begins to boil.

“It’s not my fault.” I think to myself. “I’m not a boy but I need to pretend to be one! I’ll never be as strong as them. Why should I be treated like a slave! Why did my mother die! Why did Azrakel have to leave so early! Why does everyone treat me like a little girl when I am twice their age! Why does the doom have to come! Why do I feel like I made a mistake! WHY!”

Suddenly something breaks and a pair of claws tear through me. I am too angry to think or feel. Rainbows and butterflies bleed out of me instead of blood. I feel the range leaving me but embodying something else. Something that travels to hunt its prey and devour it.

Breaking out of my body birthed in rainbows and butterflies is a white wolverine with a red streaks down it back. It imminently gorges on slave and slaver alike. Without the anger I collapse and watch it bathe in the blood of my enemies.

After it’s feast, he approaches me.

“My name is Laglagbayag! I will eat for you!”

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Ysirnith's book of dreams 7
25 Pharast, 4711 AR

It was a dark and stormy morning along the beaches near the slave camp. My mother stood before me with tears in her eyes.

“I’m sorry” she mouthed to me as she started to burn

I knew I was alone.

I find myself alone upon the raging sea. The waves huge and the sky grey and angry as if I offend Gozreh. My steps are gone behind me washed away by the waves. My path perilous because of the rough seas and wind. I balance along the cliff edge. Above me on the top of the cliffs is Andur.

“Foolish elf. The doom is infront of us and there is nothing we can do about it.” Andur throws himself off the clift.

A path opens a bit wider. I am a child again. Innocent, foolish and scared of the dark world around me.

“Take my hand Ash. Your too young to make the right decisions.” said Kaz as he tries to walk off the path and into the angry sea.

I struggled to set myself free and managed to pull away just as he falls into the angry sea. I am alone again.

I am at the cliff’s end. No where to go but to jump off. I feel helpless and alone. My ideas not taken seriously and not sure on my path. I am a child who does not know what to do and has no clue on where to step next. I fall to my knees and start to cry for my mother.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 12
Wolves, 25 Pharast, 4711 AR

After a long and tense conversation with Enko (Inkai?)he said he would stay with us, we agreed that we must talk to Alamara about this. We met up with Lem and Ash in the morning and filled them in on the past evenings events. Shortly afterward Bunsen stumbled in looking like a dwarf that got lost in a brewery for a week. He claimed that he was mugged and went upstairs to rest. Knowing that our next step was to go back to Elwet I went out to buy some fine quality steel ingots as a gift to my former employer. I still feel bad about having to leave and even worse about not being able to go back. Upon returning to the inn Andur informed us that he had traded the ring that the summoner gave him for six thousand gold credit at a magic shop for us to use. This sharing is strangely out of character for him but I am not one to inspect a gifted horse too carefully. I watched over Ash as she shopped just in case Bunsen wasn’t lying about being mugged before we headed to the magic shop. There I was able to get a ring of minor strength and Ash chose a ring of minor protection. We then set out for Elwit with the wagon. The rain was some of the worse that I have seen, it got worse each day and cost us an extra day just to get there. When we got to Elwit I gave Ash the ingots to pass along to my master and she give me a bottle of wine to bring to the Bramble king along with the food I was bringing him. There I was to wait until the following evening for the others. After showing him the wine he invited me in and I checked on Anessa, she is just as we left her. The Bramble king and I shared the wine and tall tales until later in the night when Enko and Lem showed up. Apparently Enko aquired a letter which will get me into town. As we started to head back we were attacked by a pack of wolves with a huge alpha leading them. The pack leader grabbed Lem and tried to drag him off but Enko and I were able to attack it and free him. After injuring it the pack ran off and I collected the corpses of the three wolves we had killed. Back in Elwet the guard gave us three silver as a bounty but did not seem to recognize me. Yakv certainly did however, and asked me why I was in the town. I passed him the sealed letter and he read it, he said I should show it to the guards in the morning. I hope he is right, I’d rather not lose my head tomorrow.

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Kalabaz's Journal page 11
21 Pharast, 4711 AR

To say it has been an interesting day would be to say the least. At this mornings breakfast (rather late due to events of the previous night) the innkeeper said that there was a man that stopped by and arranged a dinner meeting at 8 bells in the private room. Although he couldn’t remember much of the man or find the calling card he left, it is fairly obvious that this was our necromancer that had promised to meet us today. He also shared the news of the city that there had been two fires the night before, one at the docks and another in the north district at some kind of shop or warehouse. Ash had gone off to her temple and Lem must have slipped out sometime earlier in the morning and was nowhere to be found so it seemed up to the rest of us to conduct the days business.
We walked out to the docks to meet captain Kale on the Wandering Star to further our investigation of the missing crates. He (she) said that of the 3 stolen shipments on the first the wagon did not arrive, it was late the second and had a different crew the 3rd. The crates which were recovered had a strange circular indent pattern and a strange staining on them. There had also been fire nearby in the night and a bottle of red viscous liquid was found fastened to the dock nearby. We decided that it was worth checking out as it could have had some bearing. There was a large scorch mark on the dock surface but Enko seemed to think it had been burned from underneath, in his spry way he scaled his way down one of the ladders and under the dock to investigate. On his return to the surface a few moments later he said that there were many of the bottles strung up with a spider like thread under the dock and all of the threads lead to an open sewer pipe. We took the bottle to the Thematurge college for Geezenbottle to identify and unsurprisingly it was a volatile oil. We informed him about the situation at the docks and he immediately had the guard alerted. He took Dock’s knife to scry with and promised to let us know what he finds. He could not identify the circular indents or the stain on the crate.
At a loss for where to proceed I suggested that we head back to the building where we found the crates the night before. It seemed to be some sort of specialized cart manufacturer and the owner agreed to take us to the roof where we found more empty crates and an old winch on the edge. There was a large open chimney with ladder rungs going down from the roof that he couldn’t identify as something that opened in the building. This was immediately of interest as it showed similar staining to the crates. The owner gave us some sun rods and we went down to investigate. A harrowing climb for me, Andur floated down on his own hot wind apparently, and of course Enko had no trouble. We found two tunnels at the bottom, but only one had footprints leading down it, of well made boots no less. Following that tunnel we encountered some badly thrown crude spears from the darkness but our attackers always retreated before we could confront them. Eventually the tunnel opened into a larger chamber where we could hear cries for help and found a man tied up in it. He was evasive when questioned about who he was or why he was there, only complaining that the kobolds would come back and eat us. Well they did come back, but after a few ineffectual darts they cowed and ran from my shouts. While we had been dealing with the kolbolds however, the man had climbed up the shaft and was trying to get out a manhole at the top, Enko caught him easily and Andur cast some sort of levitation spell on me to follow, I must caution him not to do that to me again without my leave, a Dwarfs feet belong on solid earth. At the top we found a boat which the man begrudgingly agreed to row us to shore in. Upon further interrogation we hit paydirt. His name is Zamzebiel, and he admitted that he is a summoner and had summoned creatures to carry the crates away. He was hired by the Jay brothers, local firearm merchants. He agreed to summon the creatures to return the remaining crates that he still had and gave us an emerald ring for saving his life. Apparently the building that burned down overnight was being used to transfer the powder from the box to barrels and moved to the Jay bros. stores. We investigated the building and confirmed it was definitely blown up. Having enough information to put together a tale of what had happened to the powder we headed back to Drasen (our dwarf employer) to fill him in on the results of our investigation. I was sent to go and buy a powder horn from the Jay bros. and bring it to Drasen to identify. He paid us 6000 gold which we split among party and party fund for 1000 gold each. Getting a job done and getting paid felt good. Makes me want to open up a smithing shop, but not in this town. Anyway, it doesn’t seem in the cards anytime soon.
We returned to the inn for our meeting with the necromancer. He asked us what we wanted in return for his life back. Andur wanted questions answered about his “coming doom” and got some answers though cryptic. I asked for the strength to protect my companions and he offered a potion which he said could kill me, but could make me stronger. I decided to drink and felt myself grow stronger immediately.
Now comes the truly troubling and strange parts of the day. Enko asked for his memory back and would not accept a slow return despite the necromancers cautions. His wish was granted, and it caused him to convulse and fall to the floor unconscious. This combined with the seemingly innocuous question I asked next lead us to a troubling future. Since the necromancer seemed full of knowledge of the area and was sharing it willingly I asked about who the Band of 8 are. The revalations were quite surprising, aside from the ones we were aware of, such as The Finger in Korvosa (head of the largest thieves guild) and Balbu in Elwit there is also Blackwell whom was supposed dead by us and most others. But that pales in comparison to finding out that the brothel keeper who sent us after the eight, Alamara is actually an Azada that the other 7 summoned and who controls them. Most shocking of all, that Enko is also one of them, named Inkai the Wanderer. I think we are going to need to have a long conversation about how we view this mission and what to do next.

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Ysirnith, Book of Dreams 6
20 Pharast, 4711 AR

A light shined down upon me. It was a bright white beam broken by glowing butterflies of a multitude of colors. A choir chanted the hymn “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” a jaunty traveling song.

ASH! CARRY THIS GOLD AND BUILD ME A TEMPLE! FOR TRAVELERS NEED TO REST AT TEMPLES WHEN THEY WANT TO PAY HOMAGE TO THE BRAMBLE KING!

I understood my task and a heavy sack filled with gold was in my hands. Slinging it over my shoulder, I walked forth. As I traveled I would see friends along the road who would ask for gold to solve their problems. Lem needed to be clothed. I bought him the finest of robes. Andur needed drink or he would die. I quenched his thirst with the finest dwarven ale. Dock needed a diamond to woo some distant lass. I bought him the diamond. Kaz was arrested for murder. I paid for false documents to prove him innocent. Enko asked for nothing but I still gave him gold to make sure he found what he was looking for.

When I arrived at the temple, I had no gold to pay for its construction. This brought upon me great sadness and I started to cry.

A voice spoke. “Do this job for me and you will be rewarded.” A fat innkeeper had a contract to rob a man but it would cost me my faith.

Another voice spoke. “Deliver this to the mad king.” said a handsome mysterious elf who had a green box. I knew that everyone who wanted this box would go at great lengths to get it.

“You can just give up. You already failed. It’s time to come back home.” A dark shadowy man dressed in the robes of Zon-Kuthon was behind me with chains.

I woke up screaming.

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