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Rise of the Runelords #5: Under Glass

02 Mar

Rise of the Runelords

30th day of Rova, 4712 AR:

The party, after searching some of the goblins’ bodies for valuables, darted among the shattered glass toward the back of the Kaijitsu Glass Factory where the three goblins had escaped. They soon found a locked door and a stairwell leading down into the darkness.

They lit their torches and sneaked down quietly. They turned a corner and came upon the remaining goblins! The goblins put up a fair fight, but backed away behind another corner, where a tall half-elf — the Rusty Dragon owner’s brother, Tsuto Kaijitsu — joined in the fray.

The upcoming melee was long and brutal, as Tsuto proved to be an accomplished martial artist as well as a crook who consorted with goblins. It took the combined effort most of the party — some members, such as Garinn, weren’t able to be much use in the crowded hallway — to take him down. (Galadriel stuffed a bomb down his shirt, with explosive results.)

Tsuto Kaijitsu

Tsuto Kaijitsu

The interrogation proved quick and… fruitless. Tsuto, bound and bloodied, stared defiantly at his tormentors and said nary a word. They killed him after it was clear that nothing (short of magic… ahem -GM) would have convinced him otherwise. However, his journal proved more revealing:

“Awkward!” said Sanguinia.

Indeed — it had a picture of a naked woman with demonic wings. But next to Tsuto’s provocative portrait of “his love” was evidence that he had been part of a larger group of conspirators, the same group that had orchestrated the goblin raid a week ago:

The raid went about as planned. Few Thistletop goblins perished, and we were able to secure Tobyn’s casket with ease while the rubes were distracted by the rest. I can’t wait until the real raid. This town deserves a burning, that’s for sure.

Ripnugget seems to favor the overwhelming land approach, but I don’t think it’s the best plan. We should get the quasit’s aid. Send her freaks up from below via the smuggling tunnel in my father’s Glassworks, and then invade from the river and from the Glassworks in smaller but more focused strikes. The rest except Bruthazmus agree, and I’m pretty sure the bugbear’s just being contrary to annoy me. My love’s too distracted with the lower chambers to make a decision. Says that once Malfeshnekor’s released and under her command, we won’t need to worry about being subtle. I hope she’s right.

My love seems bent on going through with it — nothing I can say convinces her of her beauty. She remains obsessed with removing what she calls her “celestial taint” and replacing it with her Mother’s grace. Burning her father’s remains at the Thistletop shrine seems to have started the transformation, but I can’t say her new hand is pleasing to me. Hopefully when she offers Sandpoint to Lamashtu’s fires, her new body won’t be as hideous. Maybe I’ll luck out. Succubi are demons too, aren’t they?

Much to ponder over… Apparently there was a more dangerous, “real” raid of Sandpoint to follow! It was important to Tsuto that few of the goblins from Thistletop had perished, and apparently there was a “quasit” beyond a smuggling tunnel under the Glassworks Factory, where they were standing right now!

They heard the sound of a woman imprisoned behind a door. Once they unlocked it, they found and untied Ameiko Kaijitsu. She was extremely thankful and said that Tsuto had told her that his group had “big plans” for Sandpoint and she wouldn’t want to be in town when it happened, and that she should join his group! When she no, he tied her up and left her in this room.

The party told Ameiko her father had died — news that she took stoically. Still, she thanked them and said they could stay at the Rusty Dragon whenever they wanted to.

The youths went back above ground, to normal life, where the residents of Sandpoint new nothing of the danger looming over the horizon. The party judged it unwise to alarm anyone about the possibility of a new raid, not at least before consulting the Sheriff and others once they came back from their visit to Magnimar to get reinforcements against the increasing goblin threat.

They visited their mentors throughout Sandpoint to hone their skills, to prepare for the dangers they would face beyond the smuggling tunnel below.

The Horror Beneath

Sinspawn

Sinspawn

The party found the smuggling tunnel under the Glassworks Factory and followed it several hundred feet before it branched in three directions: left, right, and forward. They took the right passage and traversed a tunnel covered with webs, soon encountering a giant spider!

The battle proved a testament to their increasing skill in combat. Skaroband had learned to vanish from the field of battle and strike out of thin air; Galadriel had perfected her bombs so that she could throw them in the midst of battle without harming her friends; Jaden relished the feel of his new masterwork longbow, as he skillfully fired it into the thick of battle.

After defeating the spider, they went further down the tunnel. It ended in a cave-in, which they considered blasting with one of Galadriel’s bombs. They decided not to — no telling how unstable the ceiling might be, after all, if the tunnel had already collapsed.

They went back to the intersection, this time taking the left passageway, which had once been bricked over. This passage went west and then north for about 100 feet, before the flickering light of their torches lit up a large opening ahead, on the right.

Skaroband scouted ahead to investigate, but was soon attacked by two horrific creatures that, as soon as one touched her, seemed to infuse her with a fearsome anger. Her friends rushed forward to join battle and fell the beasts

Galadriel studied the mutated creatures’ dead forms and mused: “I have read about these before — these are sinspawn. They were made by ancient wizards as shock troops for their armies. They were formed out of the souls of those who had died and had embodied one of the Seven Deadly Sins.”

“This one would be the Sin of Wrath,” said Skaroband, as she felt yet another wave of anger from the creature that had touched her.

They explored further. They found what seemed to an ancient complex of worked stone. Whoever had built this place must have done it thousands of years ago. In one place, they found the statue of a beautiful woman wielding a jeweled ranseur, which Skaroband removed and stored away. The party carefully traversed the passages, creeping around corners as they traveled.

They came upon a pool of foul-looking water at the top of a short set of stairs. Garinn waved his staff and detected ancient magic.

“I know… I should drink it!” said Sanguinia with delight. She drank the filthy water and turned around, smiling at the rest of them as they stood dumfounded.

“See! It tastes–” She twitched her neck. She held her hands to her throat, her eyes watering. She bowled over and clutched the ground. She then rolled over and thrashed about in a fit of violent spasms.

Her friends helped her stand up. She looked at them wildly and looked down at her mangled limbs: one of her arms was now bent backward at the elbow and  behind her body, and her legs bent in different ways  so as to force her to limp.

They entered a frenzied discussion about what to do with their warped friend. Then Skaroband, tired of the conversation, strode to set of large double doors and pushed them open.

The well-balanced doors opened soundlessly, only to be followed by a frenzied shriek

EryliumBefore them was an enormous, high-ceilinged room with a fountain in the middle, and a curved stairway on each side leading up to high platform, where a small, scaly winged creature hovered, lit by the orange glow of an eldritch pool

The demon glared at them, fluttered over the pool, and slit her wrist so that drops of her blood fell into it. The pool bubbled and frothed over, producing two more creatures identical to the horrors the party had fought just minutes before.

The winged demon screamed: “YOU! How dare you intrude upon the Mother’s sanctum!”

Sanguinia unsheathed her rapier with her good arm and limped forward. The party didn’t quite expect they’d have to face such a formidable set of foes so soon.

——————————————————-

XP at the end of the session:

Courage: 2,823
Galadriel: 2,673
Garinn: 2,703
Jaden: 2,673
Sanguinia: 2,773
Skaroband: 2,823

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