Pathfinder: Rise of the Rust Monster

The Orcs come Marching Two by Two
5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

Travelling down to path in the forest, heading to the Lord’s Manor.

From up ahead we hear sounds of what could be more Zombies. As we move ahead, the Zombies spot us and move in, we attack, we kill, we move on.

Kill some more, there is a crazy old man on a cart, there are several crushed zombies dead around the cart. He says he’s killed them, waving a fishing pole around. … Goes on about Ol’ Snappy (who may be a giant crab?) He tries to convince us to take a ride in his boat to the manor, but it is only big enough for one to ride along with him. Plus, we would have to make offerings to Ol’ Snappy. We pass on his offer and move on.

Scout ahead (with Dock?) and come to a Keep or Fort protected by a Wall, but there are many gaps in the wall, crumbled down or caved in. Sneak around it, observing where there are Orcs guarding, looking for weaknesses and places to attack. Report back to the group

….. will have to finish this later. (imcomplete)

(There is also what sounds like a man telling someone to “Stop that”, but I can’t hear that)

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Tricksy Orcses
5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

Venerable ancestors, after months of fruitless searching and years of little more then omens and portents I, Andur son of Drumund, have discovered more of the coming doom. My crew and I had made our way to the manor of the local baron, named Hegrif. We had to slip past some filthy grobi along the way. I’m thinking we might need to swing back and see what they were up to later. We also came across a strange human named John that seems to be a lunatic. He claimed he’d defeated several restless ones, clearly a lie, and then told us some very suspect things about red fangs and water monsters. Balderdash. We refused his preposterous boat offer and continued on. The manor house, actually more of an old fort, was occupied by urk. Here’s where it gets interesting. Lem, as expected, is quite the little sneak and between he and Dock they killed a couple of the sentries and we captured another for questioning. Vosk proved to be useful as a translator and the filthy piece of shale revealed that he knew of the coming doom! We weren’t able to get much more out of him so I had Kalabaz cleanse his soul but it seems clear the orks are involved. I intend to question the half-orc leader, named Dar’kosk, further once we find him inside. There was also a prisoner the orks had taken that was trapped in a cage. Bunsen, so he’s named, implied that he has useful information and seems to also be looking for traveling companions. It seems doubtful he’ll be of any use. While we were questioning the urk we were approached by Armajere Toska, one of the human warriors we’d heard about back in town. It seems they have an issue with the baron. Dock told us they are some manner of knightly order but it is a pyrite order and they are not to be trusted. Just the same, for the time being we will use them. They will guard two of the exits of the keep while we enter from a third. Also, while we’re talking, if I might beg your great wisdom on another matter. Ash seems intent on getting herself killed. She doesn’t seem to realize the dangers she subjects herself to and I’m not sure how to protect her from herself. What insight can you offer me oh learned ancestors?

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Kalabaz’s Journal. page 2
5 Pharast, 4711 AR, Strange Company

Kalabaz’s Journal. page 2

We headed out into the fog today, this strange company. As expected we encountered more of the undead villagers on the road, they did not pose much of a threat and fell to my axe easily. Dock however was another story, nearly scorching the skin off Vosk. That boy needs to learn how to use his powers before he gets us all killed. Heading to some noise further up the road we encountered a fisherman perched on a ruined cart surrounded by the bodies of crushed undead, all lifeless now. The fisherman introduced himself as John the Fisherman. He was obviously mad as a hatter, offered to take us up river in his rickety boat even after telling us about a monster that lives in the river. No way in any hell was I getting in that thing. I lobbied that we should move away from the water right away but Ysirnith took some convincing. That elf girl is going to be hard to protect if she continues to be such an cloudhead. Reaching this Baron Hegrif’s manor was a bit of an adventure on its own, sneaking past goblins who thought Vosk was some sort of envoy from the orc gang up the road. We found the Manor in the ruins of an older fort. Orcs patrolled the walls and towers but Dock and Lem Underfoot were able to take out a few before any were alerted (proving themselves at least somewhat useful). Soon, however the fight was on, and my axe fell orcs once again. Meeting up in the gatehouse Vosk was able to capture one of the orcs and question it, not learning much but the name of their half-orc leader Dar’Kosk. We were soon interrupted by one of the Hellknights we had heard about in the village, a foul little man calling himself Armagur Toska. After acting like this was all part of his plan and that we were only there to assist him he said he was “taking over this operation”. They seem to be after the Baron at least, and say he is the cause of the undead. I am going to watch them closely, I have heard bad things about their order. Just talking to them makes me bristle with anger. We decided that the orc threat had to be taken care of in any case and proceded to enter the manor…. or at least try, the halfling seems to be having trouble with his lockpicks…….
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Ysirnith's Book of Dreams 2
Look at my horse my horse is amazing!

As Lem worked on the lock, Ash took out her scroll container and pulled out some notes of her Book of Dreams. It was a dream she had years before the first words for the book were ever written but Ash remembered the dream rather vividly.

15 Lamashan, 4703 AR

It all started with the concoction of wild plants and mushrooms Azrakel concocted. It was to bring anyone into a deep sleep. This sleep would bring the acolyte into communion with Desna. Some people claimed that they saw events that were about to happen. Others said they saw friends of family long past. Quite a few said they were howling at the moon. I really hoped to see the second one.

The drink was horrid. It had a very bitter taste and numbed the tongue. Then it happened…

I heard the thundering of hooves along a field of gold dry grass, over head was a royal blue sky. The orange sun and stars danced and swirled around the sky in some sort of cosmic dance. In the distance, the horizon was filled with horses of all shapes, colors and breeds.

As they galloped through the fields of golden grass, they sang praise to Desna through a choir of whinnies and groans. Suddenly the horses climbed on top of each. Their bodies twisted and conformed to each other as a mountain of horse flesh formed. From there a mountain of a horse head made from the parts of lesser horses rose from the golden field. Many excess horses fall to the ground only to join the mass of horses at its base.

“You have made the journey and a rewards you must have. Come Tikbalang!” Said the massive horse head and spat out a pony. This pony was so white it seemed to glow. Its mane looked like spun silk and monarch butterflies flocked around it.

The pony somersaulted in the air and landed on its feet on the sea of golden grass.

The large horse head collapsed under its own weight as parts of it ran off into the distance. A woman’s voice, which sounded oddly familiar, boomed throughout the wide plains CALL UPON MY POWER AND SHE SHALL FIGHT FOR YOU!”

I awoke in the lake near out campsite with Azrakel fishing me out of the water. Apparently I was running around pretending to be a horse. Azrakel said I will have to do this again when I find that I can control my dreams better. It will take time and practice.


AMAZING HORSE!

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I fought the Law...
5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

Lem awoke to find himself locked in a law-man’s cart, the rain pouring down soaking him and the hay he was lying on. Couldn’t remember how he got there, what had happened or anything related. He searched around for his belongings, they were all missing except for a couple of lock pick tools still on his person. Was able to pick the lock and escape from the cage to sneak off behind a row of houses. It was a dark night and all of the houses had their shutters drawn and what looked to be no lights on inside. The cart was in a courtyard kind of area with houses around, lining the street. There was an Inn with a stable and a strange looking woman just standing and staring off into the distance. Looking through the shutters of one of the houses, there was nothing that could be seen, just inky blackness.

(from third, to first person)

Prowling cautiously along I heard noise that sounded like a struggle, I couldn’t tell who was being attacked but the attacker looked either dead or diseased. I searched the surrounding area and found a rusty (human-size) rake. I attacked the sickly creature and it stumbled back, revealing a half-orc that seemed vaguely familiar. He helped me inside, quickly barring the door from the attacking creature.

As we were planing our next move, we heard a commotion from what sounded like the Inn. The creature that had been banging on the barred door had stopped and it sounded like it moved off. We opened the door to find …..

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Ysirnith's Book of Dreams
5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

5 Pharast, 4711 AR

I can’t remember what I dreamt the two nights ago. It is like there are three days of my life missing. It is rather disconcerting. It looks like I am traveling with Andur. As usual he scares the local populace with his doom and gloom. We have some new companions too. I can remember some fragments about meeting them bit its all hazy.

A Halfling who seems important and his friend who is gifted with magic. We also have a half Orc who seems very civilized and another dwarf.

Back to last nights dream, I was chained again. Something I always hated. You would think that sixty years of slavery would make someone used to them. It doesn’t… Anyways I was chained but I kept smiling. These chains were connected to other people who floated above me and I was pulling them down a paved road.

As I walked onwards, the road would turn from a paved road like the ones that large cities had to something of a dirt road with ruts and rocks. Sometimes it was a animal trail with brambles on each side.

As I walked the more difficult paths, I would loose a chain and the person tied to it would vanish. Some would scream and curse my name while others just floated away silently. With each person who floated away, my steps would be heavier and harder.

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Rubble and silt
5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

5 Pharast, 4711 AR

I call upon the spirits of my ancestors to reveal their wisdom. I, Andur, son of Drumond awoke today in a strange human town plagued with the restless dead. It does my heart ill to see their souls dragged forth from a deserved peace. I was not surprised to see this fell omen, I was however startled to find myself a travelling companion of a motley crew of rubble and silt. Ash was one of course, I’ve sworn to Azrakel to watchover and protect her in her travels but in truth I fear she will fall to the coming woes just as we all will. There was another, an elf or human or perhaps a half breed, honestly I have trouble telling them apart. Dock was his name. He seems capable enough for a child and didn’t hesitate to act on my instructions. He seems to be some sort of minder for a Halfling named Lem, the reason we’ve all come to this hamlet, so I am told. I suspect Lem may be more trouble then he’s worth. Also with us is a dwarf named Kalabaz, although for some reason he seems to prefer Kaz and doesn’t use a clan nor sirename. Human foolishness to shorten ones ancestor given name. I believe he was the smith that Azrakel advised me would be needed for my travels although I’m not sure what help he’ll be as he seems more like a berserker that has spent too much time amongst the young races. He may even be a slag, Magrim help him. I didn’t get much of a look at the final member of our crew. A big boy named Vosk, he’s either human or possibly a mixed get from one of the Urk, Magrim take him if he is.

As always I seek knowledge of the coming doom. This time however I also call upon the spirits of this place. Why have you been stirred? What foulness has sent you to prey upon your mortal fellows? The locals have many half-bearded theories ranging between witches to cursed children. I think the most likely is tied to the local lord and a couple of blackguards from Korvosa. If there is something you spirits can offer me towards this mystery then step forward. Perhaps amongst you is the spirit of this lord or his fallen lady? I would speak with you now. And for those of you that have had your peace disturbed I will see to it that you will wander no longer.

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Dock's Super Secret Journal: Do Not Read!
5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

5 Pharast, 4711 AR

Awoke to find myself in yet another broom closet. Serious consideration given to cutting back on my alcohol consumption… for about as long as it took me to recall how much less tolerable life is without wine. I still wasn’t sure exactly where I was, but it was clear from the mournful wailing coming from downstairs that it wasn’t where I wanted to be.

When I realized I was at an Inn, it slowly started to come back to me. Somehow I’d lost track of Lem, and who knows what kind of trouble he’d gotten himself into since. It became clear that something dreadful had happened in this town and the people were using the Inn as a safe haven. It was near impossible to get any information from any of them – they were too overcome by fear and sorrow. The only one not crying into his drink was a dwarf at the end of the bar, clearly intoxicated and barking as the barkeep to get him more ale. I tried him for information but, after a near-incoherent exchange, I wrote him off as just another blockhead dwarf… that is, until he used some kind of magic to bring his flagon towards him!

I was instantly intrigued and, despite his obnoxious bravado, I felt myself warming to him. He reminded me of Blackwell in an arrogantly assertive sort of way. When a heavily waterlogged zombie appeared at the door, I was surprised to see him jump to the people’s defense. Even more surprised to see him stay on his feet! I was eager to lend a hand and – after scorching myself in an embarrassing attempt at casting Burning Hands – I managed to gather the pieces of my shattered pride in time to kill my first zombie. Unfortunately, one of the citizens got himself bit in the scuffle and it was only a matter of time before he turned. I didn’t give him a moment to question what was about to happen; I gave him a quick and dignified death.

The dwarf seemed momentarily surprised, but there were other zombies to deal with, so he rushed outside. When he suggested I bar the door behind him I happily obliged, seeing it as an opportunity to exploit the barkeep’s obvious distress for a free celebratory drink. I drank to the life of the man I killed and the life of the man the zombie had once been, all the while keeping an eye on the door, being sure to keep checking that the dwarf didn’t need my help. He didn’t, and I was perfectly fine with that.

At last I heard the thump of a body against the door. The dwarf was still slurring nonsensically, so I knew it couldn’t be him. Upon opening the door I looked out into the body-strewn streets. An epic battle had occurred out here. I wasn’t sorry to have missed it. And there was Lem, broken shackles hanging from his wrists and looking as disheveled as ever. I was not going to ask. Seems there was a warrant out on him. I appeased the mayor by agreeing to keep an eye on him. Why do I always feel like the adult in this relationship? We seemed to have joined forces with a few others (an elf, a Half-Orc and – oh god – another dwarf). Introductions seemed trivial after such a traumatic experience and I still don’t know all their names. They dragged themselves to bed while I stayed up, drinking my wine and reflecting on this very odd evening.

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Bring out your dead!
2 - 5 Pharast, 4711 AR,

2 Pharast, 4711 AR

Ach, I knew things would be bad.

The rains have come hard this year, early too, and to make it all that much worse It’s been five years, almost to the day, since that accursed devil-child was born. Agatha thinks I’m too tough on Anessa but if she’s cursed then she deserves it for everything that has befallen this place and those of us who live here. If not, then I’m only preparing her for life as an adult. By Abadar and Erastil, life is not easy anywhere in Varisia and I can’t have the person I was charged with raising being unprepared for whatever might come. Besides, being of noble birth, maybe she has kin or an inheritance and the gods know we could use a generous reward for raising her.

Well, here’s hoping that this old inn sees a good amount of coin when the barges come in for the festival. Another harsh season or two and this place is done for, what with that damned Half-Orc levying heavy tolls on the road. It’s so bad that we almost never see anyone upon it now. It’s all by river. Phineus says he’s spotted red-marked Orcs at the old manor too. No doubt brought in by Dukoshk. It’s all but been confirmed by that old loon John who also says the number of Goblins spotted upon the riverbanks have grown. Normally I wouldn’t trust his rantings but I know he wouldn’t lie about this. Now if he’d only shut up about the doom!

3-4 Pharast, 4711 AR

Disaster! Rains have been coming as hard as I’ve ever seen em. Looking like it might flood bad. A few stragglers have come in early catching me off guard. So much to do and in all the commotion Anessa has run off or disappeared into the night. I fear for her safety – this night isn’t fit for the bravest of souls though a few have gone out to look for her. I’ll stay here in case she wanders back in. After all, she might be hiding in the attic again. Besides, I have customers to attend to!

Morning. No sign of that blasted girl! Maybe the Goblins got her, the witch, or maybe it was ‘ol snappy?
More of us going out today to look for her, or whatever might be left of her. Can’t leave the inn though, more customers.

5 Pharast, 4711 AR

CURSES AND TRAGEDY! Oh Blessed Gods why do you allow this curse to continue?!?! What have we done that you ignore our pleas so?

Last night, John all but smashed the door of the Inn right off it’s hinges, and woke everyone in the whole village! To the horror of all he explained that he awoke to the sounds of screaming. Seems That old barge, the wandering sparrow, hit something in the water and sank, taking all souls with her. Sure it was old but that boat was in good shape. John says it sank fast too. Personally, I think it was that damned monster!! John says it wasn’t but wont tell me how he knew for sure. I think he’s in league with it, hiding the truth. If it wasn’t the water beast it must have been the witch in the woods! Either way, I ran him off for good. He’s as bad as that damned girl!

Most of the local men went down to the accident site to look for survivors or at least reclaim bodies. Strange that this should happen so close to the festival of bones, no?
I remained to calm the women and watch for anyone who might have made it ashore. Good thing too!

A man rode into town on a jailers wagon, the kind with the big, iron cages on the back for hauling prisoners. After stabling his horses in the barn, he paid me a pretty sum to keep everyone away from the wagon. Said he had a dangerous felon, wanted in Korvosa. Even showed me a poster with a Halfling on it. I wisely took his coin, did as I was told, and kept questions to myself. Honestly though, I’m no fool – this fellow t’aint no law man and I doubt he’s much of a bounty hunter. He’s on the run from something. Got all discouraged when I told him roads might be too dangerous to travel. Told him his horses needed rest and feed. Told him he might need to stay a two, three more days. Mans got to make a living, right!

Where the hell IS everyone? They should be back from the river by now!

Night fell with the rains growing. I thought the men were all back but it turned out to be a rag tag bunch of wanderers. Not a good sign to see folk like these about but I couldn’t afford to turn down money. Two Dwarves, A Half-Elf with a dark air about him or her, a Elf Priestess of the wandering goddess, and an Ork-kin. That law man sure got nervous when they came in!!

The Dwarves started drinking as soon as they sat down and got into some sort of contest. I charged em extra for the drink what with them being twice the girth of a man. Dunno where that half elf got up to and old Maggie took the Half-Orc to her house since I wouldn’t allow it in here. I have hopes that the priestess will protect us and bring good fortune.

Barnabus says he sees his wife outside in the rain. Excellent news! She was on the boat when it sank so I guess there were survivors. He ran out to meet her…

OH GODS, NO!!!!….

~Jormir, innkeeper

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The End is Nigh!
9 Kuthona 4705 AR, Andur

I am Andur Drumundgun. I am speaker for the dead. When you seek the wisdom of your venerated ancestors it is I that speak their words onto you. When your path has become tainted and brings shame on your name it is I that seeks you out in their stead and I am the instrument of their wrath. I am Andur son of Drumund, son of Durak, son of Tander, son of of Kurgan, son of Grundar, son of Mordain, son of Fortis and back to Taargick. I speak the wisdom of my ancestors and the ancestors of all dwarves and THEY speak of doom!

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