Pathfinder: Rise of the Rust Monster

Lem's Log - Page 2
6 Pharast, 4711 AR

I am in some bushes, hiding from goblins that are in the Manor’s tower, yelling, shrieking, shooting crude arrows down at us. Try and sneak more to the right through the bushes, fail critically. Use a Hero Point to try again, success!! Use my sling and hit a goblin, no more sounds come from him. Three goblins are approaching my hiding spot from the tower wall, I sneak off to the right more, hoping they will pass by me unnoticed. They don’t see me and I try and get a shot off, fail miserably. That group still don’t notice me. There is another group of three goblins across the courtyard that are being attacked by a magical horse (there are rainbows and butterflies around it) I wonder if this is also Ash’s doing). I send another stone from my sling at the goblin I had tried to hit before. Got him. He turns around, firing off a shot wildly. I don’t think he knows where I am. I shoot him with my sling again, it hits him in the head, knocking him onto his back. I shoot for one of the ones in the tower, as the two left standing in the ground group are distracted and attacking the magical horse. I miss the goblin, but out of nowhere, Dock appears and kills the two remaining in the tower with his magical arrow attack.

I hear the voice of the half-orc call out that the witch wants to talk to us and to lay down our weapons. We will not be harmed if we do so and that if we take any hostile actions that we will be killed and eaten. I come up from behind and kill one of the goblins, as I am out of sight of the half-orc and it was my chance to reduce their numbers. The one standing beside my most recent kill tries to attack me in retaliation but misses. Aundur starts to converse (yell) at the the half-orc and they come to an agreement. We will stand down but we will not relinquish our weapons. The goblin facing off with me bounds back and takes a defensive postition. Kaz moves over to the prison wagon, takes out his hammer and busts the lock off. He suddenly starts to wobble and looks Dazed, maybe Dock did something to him? Dock leads him away from the cart. Before the towns-people can be freed, an orc comes out from the tower, shielding his eyes and stands by at the gate the holds them in. The orc and Kaz threaten each other and in the meantime Andur strikes an agreement with the half-orc

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Lem's Log
6 Pharast, 4711 AR

In a tower, door is locked by the Hell Knights and they have told us not to leave. I check the door for traps -unsuccessful doesn’t seem to be any. Bunsen makes a concoction that will clean the glue off that was stuck on me. I clean myself, it all comes off and actually cleans my clothes at the same time. We go through the stuff in the bags and backpacks that we had taken from the manor house. Appraised there was a diamond – 300 gp, healing potion – 750 gp (in a small vial). Rest through the night, recover 2 hp (same as level). In the morning, Hell Knights go along the river as a party to the village. We come across a group of zombies, we follow them. They hear us or something, turn on us and shamble towards us. I sneak off, to try and flank the zombie. Unfortunately, a zombie sees me, comes over, attacks me. Takes 10hp off (down to 5 now). Ash heals for me 6, total now 13. Attack, no good step back she (the zombie) attacks, miss. Kaz came over, attacked the zombie, I attacked for 4, step away, Kaz attacks killing it.

We move towards the building, it is a church. There are zombies, a graveyard that is surrounded by a fence with two exits. Dock and I stealth up to the (4 ft) wall. Survey the area, return to the group. We move into the graveyard. I tried attacking one, I am too weak and have small weapons that dont deal enough damage. Withdraw fom the battle, The zombies are killed by the party. We go into the church, Ash sees footprints in the dust and she follows them into the center of the church. Kaz says “Hello, anyone in here?” we hear scuffling from up above. Dock goes with Ash, they come back down with Anessa. Talk ….. Ash came up with the idea of dropping holy water in the zombies. Dock went up to the the bell tower, dropped the vials from the roof. Bunsen makes a bomb and blows u p the remaining Zombies. We leave, find a boat, take off down the river. John the Fisherman is on the river. We get him to take us to Elwet, we go by the manor house and the tower/courtyard. Ash sees the cart I was locked in previously, the villagers that had fled previously are locked in it. We get John to bring the barge to the water’s edge. Arrows are fired at us from the tower by Goblins. Andur stays on the barge, protects Anessa, Bunsen and John. They take the barge back out into the river out of range. Dock and I stealth into the bushes on the right side, we attack the goblins, I kill one with my sling. I am spotted by the goblins, Dock takes care of the one that saw me. An ogre comes stomping out, putting his hand on the cage, rattling it, the people inside are screaming and crying. The ogre is looking around, people are screaming and crying. The ogre is looking around confused, a goblin starts screaming and the ogre sees something past me (I successfully stealthed) Hear Kaz screaming something.

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Anessa
6 Pharast, 4711 AR

I got to speak with Kalabaz about the Moon Clan he had mentioned before. (He didn’t know much, just general details, but it’s something.) After I spoke with Kalabaz I found a corner to meditate in for the night.
The Armigers woke us before dawn. They told us that we would most likely find a boat in either direction along the river. They also mentioned that the orcs are still on the other side of the river and that goblins may have come across in the night. We parted ways. Bunson stayed with us.
We headed towards the church that the old man had mentiond.(Perhaps this Anessa girl is held up there) Along the way we saw movement up ahead moving towards a structure. Andur said it was a group of eight undead. I asked about the undead, as this is my first time encountering them. They tell me that they’re the passengers from the barge I was on. (No ones body should be subject to such a curse) They also mention that blunt weapons had minimal effect on them. So I ask for a bladed weapon to use, Ash gave me a dagger to use. As we neared the undead, they turned and headed towards us.
We engaged the undead. I underestimated them at first but we came out on top. (I won’t make that mistake again) And we continued.
As we neared the structure the undead were moving towards we realized that it was the church. When we got close enough we noticed that there was about another twenty five undead that seemed to focused on the church for some reason. (If all these things are connected, then Aenessa is probably inside and these undead are attracted to her for some reason.) We debated whether or not to just take them on.
An explotion went off. Bunson had thrown one of his vials at an undead. He said it was getting close. Luckily it didn’t get the others attention.
Lem and Dock scouted ahead to see maybe what our other possibilities are. They came back and we decided to go around back and climb over the cemetary wall. They noticed us come over the wall.
I held back this time, (i didn’t want a repeat of last time) and the others ran ahead to meet them. I learned this time around that I can affect them with my fist seeing how the dagger was less effective. It was a smaller group but again we came out on top.
We headed to the church and entered. Inside, I noticed some scuffed foot prints in the dust on the floor. Kalabaz called out for Anessa. We heard a noise come from upstairs. Kalabaz started making a bunch of noise by moving pews around to bar the main door. (Well if they didn’t know we were in here, they do now). The undead started clammering more outside. Dock and Ash went to investigate upstairs. They returned with Anessa, which looks mighty exhausted and hungry.
Anessa went on about how she lost her dolly and wants it back. She mentioned an uncle Jormere that looked after her and that she’s scared of the undead and orcs. She said her dad is Baron Hegrif, and that he has been gone in a land far away for some time now.
We talked about where to go from here. I suggested that we look for answers in the other town in the barony and to keep the child safe with us. The others want to take the child to Elwit.
About the situation that was at hand I said we should make a stand here and get rid of as many undead as we can. We discussed a couple plans and ended up choosing the right one. Dock gathered a bunch of holy water off the others and took it to the roof to poor onto the undead huddled outside. After Dock returned Bunson offered to make some bombs to throw down onto the rest of them. With a few shakes of the building and flashes of flame Bunson finished off the rest of the undead.
We headed off to the river. I could see the manor’s tower as we approached the river. We discussed further where to go from here, the other town in the barony or to Elwit. I was outnumbered, Elwit it is. We wandered the river in hopes to find a boat. We found one but it wasn’t big enough for all of us. We carried on taking the boat along with us as we ran into John the oldman.
We asked John if he could take us to Elwit, and he agrees to. He said he liked our boat that we found and i told him he could have it as payment. We got on his barge and set out. As we were going down the river i noticed a large wagon in the courtyard of the manor house and i tell the others. Ash sees it too and said that the villagers are trapped inside. We got John to take us to the dock. Goblins were firing arrows at us as soon as we neared. We got off the barge, except for Andur which stayed on the barge to protect Anessa. John took his barge back out into the river to get out of range of the arrows.
Dock and Lem went ahead to try and take some goblins out. They were gone for a while so I decided to creep forward to try and see what was going on. I couldn’t see Dock or Lem but I did see the ogre standing in the courtyard.
Kalabaz stood up and tried to get the ogres attention by flailing his arms and yelling. It took a couple tries but it worked, the ogre started running towards Kalabaz at full speed…

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Ysirnith's Book of Dreams 4
6 Pharast, 4711 AR

6 Pharast, 4711 AR

As Kaz prepared his tripwire for their foe the ogre, Ash noticed the way the rain and made the grass smell. This along with the imminent danger of a massive twelve foot tall ogre reminder her of a dream which she had a long time ago. This was before she was freed when she was a slave.

????????

It was dark. I was on someone’s shoulders. A large man with broad shoulders. We were running along the beach. Behind I saw many lights in the distance with the barking of dogs. The smell of old sweat was strong.

Malapit ma tayo. Nandoon and barko!

I noticed the man running into the water. The salty spray mixed with the mans sweat as he waded into the rough water.

Anak ng jweteng, tinamaan ako ng pana…

The man tripped and I was sinking, Deep into the ocean. Panic and the cold water froze my limbs. I could not move. Everything turned black.

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Kalabaz’s Journal. page 4
Anessa

In the morning we sorted the backpacks we had taken from the manor house, a few were much nicer than my old travelling pack so I decided to replace it. After some debate we decided to try to find the barons daughter Anessa as she seemed to be one of the keys to the events that were transpiring.
As we neared the abandoned church where John surmised she had taken refuge we encountered a large number of the undead. After cutting through a few groups of them we made our way to the back door of the church. Ash and Dock acsended to the bell tower to find the girl and returned with her, however by this point the undead had surrounded the church. While I prefered to cut them down face to face the others thought it more prudent to drop holy water and then Bunsens’ bombs on them from the roof. Effective I suppose, but lacking in character.
With Anessa in tow we made for Elwet where we guessed that the remaining villagers had gone.
As we passed by the walls of the manor Dock spotted a group of the villagers in the jailors cart in the middle of the courtyard. Leaving Andur on the raft to guard it and cover Anessa and John from incoming arrows the rest of us got off at the manor pier. Dock and Lem snuck ahead and soon I could here the sounds of goblins yelling. This brought about another sound, that which could only be the ogre by its heavy footfalls. At this point I had an idea, not something that usually happens to me when I am about to enter battle. I quickly tied off a trip rope at the top of the pier steps. Now if I can only get that ugly bastard to charge me, well that shouldn’t be hard, but I hope I’m fast enough to pull this off…..

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Freedom
5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

I made it to shore to see the last of the barge disappear. It seems I may be the only survivor. It is a great loss for all those people to die like that… but perhaps it was their time. I traveled in what I believed to be the direction of this fort I’ve heard of, ran by a Baron Hegrif, in hopes that they can help. On my way I was surrounded by orcs and taken captive. They took my belongings and locked me in a room. Well I guess the Baron doesn’t live here any more.

Two days had gone by with no food or water, I spent the majority of my time in meditation. I was aroused by a commotion outside my door. All of a sudden the door to my room bursts open and there’s an angry dwarf standing in the door way. He seems to eye the room. Sensing I’m no threat and that no one else is in the room he turns around and leaves.
I venture out the door to see whats going on. On the floor in front of me there is a dead orc and a dead dog like thing. I heard what sounded like battle coming from downstairs. I thought they may need my help so i ran towards the noise. I caught up to the angry dwarf but he was going too slow and taking up too much of the hallway, so I flipped over him and continued running. I got to the door just as an orc, which was the second in command of this lot, got away.
I met what was the rest of the angry dwarfs companions. Another dwarf clad in armour, a halfling with some odd black patches stuck to him(he smelt a little too), a tall lanky half-elf, and a elven priestess.
They were wondering about Dukoshk. I informed them that some orc and himself left about a day ago to go get others.
In conversation the angry dwarf made reference that i am from the Moon clan. (I will have to ask more of this later).
They say they came with another, a half-orc monk by the name of Vosk. (A half-orc monk, truely rare indeed, it would be a shame if he has fallen). We went in search for their companion. As we searched the rooms we came across one that had my belongings in it as well as other possesions from previous prisoners. I grabbed my belonging and the others rifled through the other stuff and took a few things. We came to a room which we could hear gutteral voices on the other side of the door. The halfling snuck in and returned with word that there are 3 orcs dividing up coinage and that their companion Vosk is dead on the floor. The seocond in command entered the room and started yelling at the others, then all of a sudden the building shuttered.
One of the orcs came out without noticing us. The angry dwarf swung at him but missed, i got off a couple strikes and took him down. The other orcs inside noticed and slammed the door shut and barred it. The angry dwarf started chopping the door. The armour cladded dwarf came and got the angry dwarf and went into another room beside this one. I stayed to gaurd the door.
A door at the end of the hall shuttered as a hole bursts through as an arm reaches out. It appeared to be an ogre. I told the dwarfs to hurrey up. We heard a voice say something around the lines of that we wouldn’t get out of there alive (i didn’t catch what he said fully due to all the commotion). The priestess gave me an oil kask to throw at the ogre, it ended up slipping and breaking at my feet. I darted into the room the dwarfs were in, opened the shutters to the window and took a look outside, it was the courtyard. The ogre started barreling down the hallway as we climbed out the window.
I saw and heard a man caged in the courtyard, he was asking about his stuff and to get him out. The armour cladded dwarf came flying out the window via the ogre, and landed hard. We freed the man in the cage and he was able to stablize the dwarfs injuries from the fall. (I remembered this man from the barge i was on)
We went out fleeing to the river, and there was an old man waiting on a raft with another man beside him. We all got on the raft and shoved off. A half-elf came running as we shoved off and was able to jump onto the raft at the last minute.
On the ride across the river i asked for introductions now that we had a moments peace. Lem the halfling, Kalabaz the angry dwarf, Dock the lanky one, Andur the armour cladded dwarf, Ash the priestess, Toska the man that was already on the raft, Esgailial the one that jumped on the raft, Bunson the man from the cage, and John the old man. The others started talking about some child by the name of Lady Anessa. (Her moms dead, she was by the shore line while the barge sank, and something about being by the old church)
After we landed Toska took us to a hold up that he has on this side of the river. After we got there and settled in Bunson offered us a deal for an expidition to the Minespin Mountains. (Someone by the name of “King” Geoffrey resides and runs the area). After haggling for a bit Andur got Bunson to agree to giving the group 4000gp for the expidition. We’re gonna stop at Elwit and Korvosa prior to this expidition. (I might as well tag along, they seem to be a hardy group. I may find answers along the way and Bunson said he may be able to create a potion to cure my amnesia).
Back to the topic at hand, Dukoshk. They said some witch allowed the orcs passage and are looking for the child(Lady Anessa). We agreed to get rest and talk further in the morning. (Perhaps i can speak with that Kalabaz fellow, before i meditate for the night, about the Moon Clan.)…

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Ysirnith's Book of Dreams 3
6 Pharast, 4711 AR

6 Pharast, 4711 AR

The mists roll forth as I chase Tikbalang through the forest. ‘Wait’ I shout. But Tikbalang calls out ‘There is something I must do. Have faith.’.

Suddenly I hear snarling in the mist followed by a whistling sound of an arrow in darts thought the mist barely hitting me. The orcs they followed me.

I try to run faster but my legs feel like pudding. Up ahead the mist starts to clear as I see Tikbalang hinging upside down a tree. She is using her fore legs to spin a cocoon. Thick purple, blue and pink silk gushes out of her mouth.

Suddenly I feel something hit my back. I look down and I can see the arrow head sticking out of my chest. I fall to my knees and continue to crawl towards the now enclosed horse in a pinkish, blue and purple cocoon.

A hear the crunching of stone and bending of wood. The ogre its back. It wants to capture me. To make me a slave again. Never to walk my own path. I crawl desperatly towards the cocoon.

Suddenly the cocoon breaks as a fully grown mare with butterflies and stars bursts forth. This scares the ogre and the mist vanishes.

‘Thou art I and I art thou. Say my name!’ The horse speaks.

‘You are Dharna!’

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Kalabaz’s Journal. page 3
5 Pharast, 4711 AR, Loss and Fury

Cold fury, not the usual battle rage. That is all I feel.
This half-orc, Dar’kosk and his band are going to die for killing my friend. Next time an ogre will not be enough to stop me. Vosk was a good young man and I respected him greatly for choosing a path counter to his birth or what was expected of a half-orc, the complete opposite of that filth Dar’kosk.

Our entrance into the manor house could not have gone much more poorly. Having failed to pick the lock the halfling stood in front of the door while Dock magic’d it open and was immediatly sprayed with a horrible smelling tar and stuck to the ground. Vosk tried to enter and was stuck to the floor while the goblins inside feathered him with arrows. To make it worse the tar ignited and was burning him.I managed to haul him out of his boots after a moment and he proceded to climb to the second floor window where another goblin had been ineffectively shooting at us. Dock tried to follow but could find no purchase on the wall and I was unable to reach a handhold. That was the last we saw Vosk alive. The fire seemed to have consumed the tar enough to cross it so I made my way in determined to end these goblins and meet up with Vosk on the second floor. The others followed me soon after and we chopped our way through the goblins and their “dogs”. We made our way to the stairs where we were attacked from both sides in the narrow hallway and staircase. I switched to my hammer and fought another one of the dogs which Ash dispached with a surprising knife throw that I wouldn’t have guessed she had in her before she went back to help the others. That left me with an overconfidant orc to face, they stop laughing when you crush their ribs. Kicking open the first door I came to I found a Shoanti man of the moon clan, though he didn’t seem to know what that meant. He seemed able to fight so I brought him back down the stairs with me. It seemed that we had missed the battle down there and Andur Drumundgun had let the orc lieutenant escape. Its a shame I had to let the boy face the orc on his own as letting it escape proved a costly mistake, one of many today. The Shoanti introduced himself as Enko it seems he was on the now imfamous sunken ferry and came here for help. Returning to the top of the stairs we found a room with the belongings of those captured by the orcs, including Enko’s and Bunsen’s. I gathered as much as I could. Looking for Vosk we traced a blood trail to a door near the end of the hall, peering in we could see 3 orcs looting his body and counting coin. One stepped out and Enko dispached it quickly but the others barred the door from the inside. In my rage I chopped at the door and then at the wall in the other room where Andur pointed out a weakness. We were interrupted however when an ogre burst through one of the other doors. Split between helping dead friends and living ones I chose the latter and helped the others out the window. When I climbed down I realized Andur had not come, this was quickly remedied when the ogre smashed him out the window. I gathered up his unconcious form while the others freed Bunsen and made for a barge at the dock. I was surprised to see John the Fisherman and Armagur Toska were waiting for us while the other Hellknight (Esgaslil, a half-elf it would seem – on a side note, is anyone but dwarves a whole anything anymore?) ran to meet us. We pushed off and made for the far bank where the Hellknights said they had a fortified safe house. John says the village where we had been is abandoned now and provides some insight about a link between the local witch and the orcs. It seems she is helping them in return for them hunting down the barons daughter Anessa. We are going to spend the night here, but after that I want to be away from these knights. Bunsen is going on about some job to recover his supplies in the mountains for his “king Jaffery” but I don’t really care. I just want to kill some orcs.
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Dock's Super Secret Journal: Day 2
5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

This day has been the longest I can remember. It seems an age since we were last at the Inn, but it was only mere hours ago. I’d chosen to stay in the bar, sipping my wine and merely dozing now and again (I’m certain I didn’t sleep for more than 5 minutes at a time), but this morning I awoke to find all the windows unlatched. I’m positive no one came or when last night… at least… I think I am…

When the others awoke we set off to find the Baron’s manor.. The day was thick with fog and we could barely see 10 feet in front of us. It wasn’t long before the undead came looming through the mists. This was my chance to try Burning Hands again. I’d spent the evening reviewing, so I was excited to give it a whirl. Success! I was able to scorch two of the zombies (I hesitate to mention that I also scorched Vosk, but I suppose I should add that for posterity. Note to self: work on aim). I must admit, I’m kind of liking this battling evil thing. I’m surprised at how good it feels!

After more trudging through the gloom we came upon a crushed wagon surrounded by strewn bodies. On top of this wagon was a man quite loose of mind, raving about “Old Snappy”. I’ve heard the tales of the giant crab monster in the river, but I’ve never seen someone so dedicated to the thing. It’s like he was familiar with Snappy on a personal basis. The guy offered to take us up the river, but even I (who never buys into such superstitions) didn’t like the vibe of this guy. Vosk and the Elf lady were more trusting, but the dwarves were able to muscle us onwards, leaving John to his ramblings.

We walked in silence for many miles, the fog stifling all sound. It was eerie. Then (gods know how long after) we heard voices ahead. They were in a language I couldn’t understand, but Lem whispered to me: “Goblins.” Shit. He and I told the group to wait while we snuck ahead to see how many of them were there. Turned out there was a whole warren, but only a few skulking about. We went further on to see what lay ahead, and where the road ended we could see a fortress through the trees. We crept through the bushes to get a closer look. There was an orc standing guard on the tower, and another atop the gatehouse. In the center of the fort was a courtyard that housed what looked to be the manor in question. There was another orc in the courtyard, poking at something in a cage.

We went back to tell the others and decided to make a sneak attack on the fort. With Ash and Andur’s guidance, my arrow shot straight and true, right into the heart of the orc on the tower, laying him out flat. Lem scampered up to see if he was dead. After he left, I had second thoughts about sending him up after my kill. I didn’t need him robbing my well-earned loot, so I climbed up after him to claim my prize.

When we got back to the gang, we decided to try the same thing with the other orc. My arrow was no more than a flesh wound and an indication of our presence. Next thing I know, there’s an arrow sticking out of my own shoulder! Lem went up the side of the building, thinking to ambush him from behind, while Andur blocked me with his shield. Kaz and Vosk went into the courtyard to deal with the situation in there. I was busy firing at that damn orc, and I finally got him. HA! His body fell over the side and we went up to it. While Andur was considering bringing him to life to ask him a question, another shot flew out the window, hitting Ash. I kept shooting and kept missing. Ash had mentioned a spell called Magic Missile earlier today… I think I’ll be looking into that.

Without warning, blood splattered out the window and the arrows stopped. Someone must’ve come to our rescue. We went up to investigate. Kaz was covered in blood, but it wasn’t his. I was speechless. Another orc was incapacitated in the corner; Vosk was trying to get information from him. While I was searching the room, Kaz went running out to deal with another orc that had come out of the woodwork. I quickly drew my crossbow and sniped him from above. My adrenaline was running high! Vosk was able to get our captured orc to tell us about the tunnels under the fortress and their leader, an orc who’s been reeking havoc on the village with undead (a necromancer?). Meanwhile, Kaz and Ash tried to no avail to free the man in the cage (Bunsen was his name), but returned with his request to find his alchemical supplies in the manor, which could both free him and aid in our escape.

Suddenly two Red Guards entered the room and told us they were in charge of this takeover. The human, Tosca, did all the talking while the half-elf said nothing. They wanted to burn the place down, but we insisted on going in to retrieve Bunsen’s gear and see if we could find out who’s responsible for this whole thing. Finding a way in was another thing, though. We weren’t able to find an easy entrance, so we hopped the wall at the rear of the building, and tried to get through the back door. Lem attempted to pick the lock (an endeavour that made me shake my head in shame for thieves everywhere). When he finally accomplished this task I told everyone to get back while I opened the door with a simple cantrip. They didn’t get back far enough. A revolting gel-like substance shot out of the door, covering Lem as well as the entire entryway with sticky goo and putrid stench. Vosk didn’t notice the extent of its coverage until he’d entered the door, getting himself stuck to the ground and blocking our way with his huge frame.

Lem couldn’t breathe with the gunk on his face, but Ash saved him by popping the ooze bubbles coming from his mouth. Everything that touched Lem would get stuck to him, so I grabbed the hem of my robe and tried to pull him back to safety. It took both me and Ash pulling, but we were able to get him out of harms way. Kaz yanked Vosk out of the doorway, who came out looking like a pincushion! Despite the arrows, he powered through and started to climb the side of the building to a window where a goblin was shooting as us. I attempted to follow suit, but I just couldn’t get a grip on the wall. It looked like the others were starting to go into the manor (it seemed the goop had finally solidified), so I followed them.

Immediately I was charged by some disgusting rat-dog-thing, but Kaz chopped the thing in half on it’s way toward me. There were still two goblins fighting Kaz and Andur, and I was able to get one right in the head with a crossbow bolt. No time to rejoice, we headed upstairs to meet Vosk, but two of those rat-dogs came at us from behind. I spun on my heels and cast Burning Hands, igniting them and adding the smell of burning flesh and hair to the already retch-inducing odor of the kitchen. While I was busy trying not to throw up, the dwarves dispatched the rat-dogs and we continued upwards.

The fighting had brought our presence to the attention of an orc in ornate armor, who came out of the great hall to demand our surrender. Of course we flatly refused and I used the corner as cover while I aimed my crossbow at the space between his gorget and his chin. While the others were arguing with him, Lem and I decided to try something that, in retrospect, was a little foolhardy. I cast Vanish on him and he made his way to the unsuspecting orc, dagger in hand. However, he missed the vital spot and instead I heard the clang of metal on metal before the orc was upon him. Next thing I know, Lem is pinned by the orc and the rest of us are running to his rescue.

Out of nowhere this tattooed human comes running into the fray, and we’re all fighting goblins who are now coming out of the woodwork. I didn’t see what happened, but Andur must’ve done something because that heavily armored orc suddenly took to running. There was a moment of awkwardness as we stood with this strange human in our midst. Turns out he’s a Shoanti who was on the barge that sank. He managed to make his way to the manor, looking for help, but instead was locked in a room for the last few days. He said his name was Enko and offered to fight alongside us and we accepted, but we needed to find Vosk before moving onward.

In a room heaped with stolen goods, I found Bunsen’s kit, while Lem scouted ahead. He returned with dire news. Our friend was dead and his body was being looted by a couple goblins in an adjacent room. Enraged, we stormed in for justice, but those filthy goblins didn’t let us get more than a hit or two on them before they barred the door on us. Kaz started wailing on the door, but Andur suggested we find a weaker wall. The others went to the room next door while Enko and I guarded the door. The situation veered even more acutely out of our control when a giant fist punched through the door at the other end of the hall and a monstrous ogre began shouldering his way towards us! I tried to daze him, but to no effect, so we fled.

We took turns climbing out the window, but Andur chose to stay behind for one last assault. We were all safely on the ground when Andur’s body came flying out the window and fell in a crumpled heap at our feet. From across the courtyard, I heard Bunsen yelling at us to bring him his kit. It seemed Ash had stabilized Andur, so I took off at a run and handed Bunsen his gear. A simple acid freed him from his cage and he began lobbing bottles at the manor and we rejoined the group.

Suddenly a rain of arrows began falling upon the ogre and we turned to see Tosca and the half-elf Red Guard running to our aid. They took us to the river’s edge where crazy old John and his barge were waiting. At this point, braving the lunatic’s raft and a potential mauling by a giant crab seemed preferable to certain death by mountain troll, so we hopped on. The Red Guards weren’t going to let us away that easily. They hopped aboard, too, and told us it was no use going back to the village, since it had been abandoned. They were offering us refuge at their fort. I would rather have curled up next to Ol’ Snappy on the riverbank than be in the same building as those Red Guards, but the others seemed to trust them enough with our safety, and since I trusted my comrades, I stuck with them.

Among John’s usual nonsensical ramblings, we were able to discern that the old Baron’s daughter, Annessa, seemed to be a central figure in all this havoc. She had been seen on the riverbank the night of the sinking and was now being sought by Darksok, possibly as an offering to the witch. We decided that we’d go in search of her in the morning. As of this writing we are locked in a room in the Hell Knight’s tower. Bunsen has offered us a reward to retrieve his stolen goods from the Mindspin Mountains and after some haggling, we settled on 4000 gold and his word that he’ll teach me what he knows of alchemy. Between him and I, we’re going to try and reverse Enko’s alleged amnesia. I am exhausted and in need of a deep sleep, but I don’t trust those guards entirely. I doubt I shall sleep soundly tonight.

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Peace at last....or They have a mountain ogre
6 Pharast, 4711 AR,

Oh most worthy of forefathers, I greet you with a heavy heart. While my crew slumbers around me I will share with you my sorrow. After my last conversation with you my crew and I made to enter the baron’s keep and in so doing had a trap of vile mucus sprung upon us. Young Lem himself was engulfed by this disgusting grobi sludge and the rest of us were beset by the arrows of the vermin directly. Vosk found himself mired in the entrance and took the brunt of the attack while Ash, Dock, Kalabaz and myself tried to find ways to defend ourselves and free them. I finally cleared the entry by igniting the filth and Kalabaz pulled Vosk out of harms way. Dock and Ash were able to free Lem with some difficulty and we moved to engage the green-skinned pebbles. They were made short work of but amongst the confusion Vosk, who had climbed through a second story window, was separated from the rest of us. I sent Lem to discreetly follow his trail and the remains of the crew looked for a more conventional means to the next level.

We’d found a set of servants stairs off the kitchen when Lem returned and told us that more grobi and an armored urk had shown up to investigate the dead we’d left behind us. Not wishing to have enemies at our back I called them out, Kalabaz and Ash continued up. With Lem and Dock for support I dealt with the first wave and my allies hatched a plan to dispatch the urk. It did not go well and Lem found himself in over his head. I was able to stabilize him by turning my back on the little bastard I was fighting and leaving it to Dock and Ash. The brute standing over Lem’s comatose body proved to be a capable warrior and we traded blows. He also claimed to have “dealt with a traitor”. At one point he had the temerity to demand my surrender but I would never bring that shame upon your names. Never. Once the shale saw my steel he turned tail and fled. While I used the abilities that you’ve given me to restore Lem’s spirit to his body Kalabaz showed up with a strange, tired looking human named Enko. A shaonti by the looks of his tattoos, he claims to have no memory of his past. He had been aboard the barge when it sank and then a prisoner of the urk since. We’ll bring him along on our journey.

Reunited the crew proceeded upstairs and continued our search for Vosk, I didn’t have high hopes. This is where we come to the unfortunate part of the tale. On the second floor Lem found a room with three urk dividing spoils and looting Vosk’s corpse. Almost immediately the entire keep began to boom with some sort of attack. One of the urk came out of the room and Enko cleansed his soul with a series of decisive blows. The other urk, cowards that they are, locked themselves behind a heavy door and Kalabaz went to work with his axe in an attempt to get in. I suggested a lighter wooden wall in an adjacent room and he was almost through when a door down the hall exploded inwards and an ogre stepped through with the armored urk I’d traded blows with earlier. The only means of escape available was through the window and while I guarded their retreat my crew made their way to the ground level. I hoped to further delay the beast by foretelling his doom but it turned out to be stronger willed then expected and I was forcefully expelled from the room.

I then felt your call upon my soul as strong as gromril. The peace and tranquility that I was offered glittered like the most polished of diamonds and yet; I have a duty to my people to resist the coming doom. As much as it pains me I could not yet accept your gift. My only conciliation is that I know that my time will yet come and when it does I may be more worthy of your company.

Ash roused me and I found myself on raft bound for the far side of the Jeggare river. We’d been assisted in our escape by the two blackguard and the fisherman who brought us here to this sheltering tower. I’ve found out from John the fisherman that the urk have been receiving free passage through the area from the local witch in exchange for the girl. That is the baron’s daughter. Young Anessa was also present when the barge sank. It seems that both the witch and the child play a bigger role in what’s been going on here then I thought. Our crew has agreed to assist Bunsen, who was rescued while I was unconscious, for a compensation of four thousand gold and he will work with us for the time being. In the morning the two Hell knights will depart for reinforcements but we will not wait on them. Once we’ve rested and revitalized we intend to exact vengeance on Dukoshk and his tribe for both Vosk and the locals sake. We will also give Vosk a proper send off, find the baron or his fate and we will get to the bottom of this situation. Now I must awake Kalabaz, it’s his turn to keep watch.

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