Thursday, March 16, 2017

Merry Wintermas and A Stolen Song II

Wintermas, Dara the 1st - 21st

Next holiday: Darkest Night, Dara 35th, the winter solstice.

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
  • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
    • The Metal Man, construct
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Gottes Segen, Cleric

The night before Wintermas, the various members of the party went shopping for gifts; Caranthir bought some restorative spells and good alcohol, Gróin bought a fancy staff from a quirky gnome, and the others purchased a few trinkets here and there. Caranthir also found a new host-body for their trapped nightblade friend - a convict on death row. After placing the soul of a murderous ranger into a stone in the jail, her body was left in trade for the nightblade to inhabit. He wasn't particularly pleased to be inhabiting the body of a female, but it was better than being trapped for all eternity. He introduced himself as Elidyr Eyriendor, but turned down Caranthir's offer to stay with the party. He had been gone a long time, and needed to renew contact with the world. However, if the party needed his assistance, they needed only call and he would come as soon as he was able.

After a good night's sleep, they woke to a white Wintermas; the snowfall earlier continued to accumulate, leaving a good foot of snow on the ground. Quetgar and Zarc, not having seen such strange white stuff before, joined in a game with five children, eventually emerging the winners of a snowball fight. Rig and Rhea were given small glowing phials - light, for the darkest nights of winter. Food, drink, and good times were had, but eventually, it was time to move on.

After a few days' journey, the party returned to the cave-like home of the astrologer monks... by way of a treasure, of course. It didn't take much searching to uncover the treasure: 20 thousand gold pieces, neatly wrapped. On they traveled, eventually returning to the ruined temple to the stars.

Quetgar pulled out his ruby, and asked the stone golem to accompany him to the two gargoyles. Bugsy grinned when he saw the stone golem. "Hey, ol' buddy, how yous been doin'? Long time no see, right?" The stone golem shrugged, emitting a low rumbling. The gargoyle nodded. "No kiddin'. More excitement'n dis place has seen for a while."

After a few more minutes spent guessing passwords, Quetgar asked if the stone golem knew the password. Mugsy, usually quiet, gave a rumbling laugh. "Who, dat guy? Ha ha! Naw, dat guy couldn' remember his own mudda's name. Dat's why dey hadda write it on his foot, see? Ha ha!"

As Bugsy gave him a glare, the party quickly took a look at the stone golem's foot. On it, barely legible, was the Nobiran word, "Please." Caranthir gave the password, and the gargoyle gestured to the open hall. "Yeah, yeah, go on troo." The party quickly filed in, heading to the storehouse - "Left, down da hallway, an' left again. I tink."

Inside, they found three wraiths! But wraith to stone golem is no match, and hardly two rounds in, the golem had pounded the wraiths into ectoplasm. Quickly retrieving the tools and parts, Gróin repaired the bell/telescope, and was finally able to control it. That task complete, they investigated the other rooms:

One room contained the rotted corpse of the chief astrologer; in his hands, he held a book - a diary. It seems that the monks were never very good astrologers, and rather than face starvation, had kidnapped a seer. Only half of the monks were in on it; the others had no idea what was going on. The bell was used to keep the seer completely silent, as they used her to tell the future. The book had some other information, but apart from a (slightly) magical bookmark, nothing else of interest. A little searching turned up about 200gp; the fancy clothes and such were ruined.

Caranthir, realizing what he had on "hand", quickly chopped off the hand of the chief astrologer, carried it back to the cloak-room, and pressed it to the staff there. The stone hand quickly released the Serpent Staff. Moving on, the party found the kitchen - full of shriekers! The screech temporarily deafened half the party, and left the ears of the others ringing. The party later returned and destroyed the annoying creatures. Further on, they found the bedrooms of the other monks, all dead, with no treasure but a few rotting shoes. Last was the door, magically locked with an open, screaming mouth. After puzzling over it for a while, they realized the bookmark in the diary was the key - the actual key. They placed it over the mouth in a "shush" position, and the doors swung open with a groan. Water rushed past them; the room beyond was full of water... as well as five crazed undead. Clothed in priestly raiment, the creatures attacked viciously, clamoring up the steps. Allips - the cursed corpses of suicide victims. With the stone golem blocking the door, the allips were quickly destroyed. On the other side of the room, a creature stirred... blue chains that shone with a faint glow bound the figure to a throne. As Quetgar swam into the room, the figure began struggling violently; first one chain broke, then the other. She screamed, her voice echoing with malice. Those not already deafened were now permanently deaf, as they heard the scream of a banshee! Lucky for them, it was still daylight for another hour, or they would have been facing death! Quetgar swung at the creature, as did the others, as she flew past in a rage, and smashed the bell to pieces. Then, covering her mouth with one hand, she raised the other in a gesture of surrender.

By scratching on the floor, they were able to communicate. She was the seer; when the monks died, there was no one to feed her, and she starved to death in the darkness and silence. She screamed for help until her throat was raw, but to no avail - the bell of silence did its job. She was trapped, unable to escape, even through death. The glowing chains that bound her to the throne bound her soul as well. But finally, at long last, she will have her freedom. Though Caranthir asked if she would stay with the party, she refused - her time was ended, and she only desired her rest. She would, however, answer one question, with absolute truthfulness. Together, the party decided to ask what would happen if the scales were destroyed.

"If the scales are destroyed, the great Wyrm who slumbers until the coming of its time will be weakened; its full power will not be manifest."

With that, she bowed her head, and her flesh faded away as her bones crumbled to dust.

All that was left was to find any remaining treasure; in the stone throne, they found jade carving of heroes and monsters, a treasure map, a sword (+2, Charm Person), and a shield (+1). The bodies of the allips had some gold and jewels to scavenge as well, about 164 gp each. Before they left, they asked the remaining denizens if they would accompany them. The librarian refused; this was quiet place, finally, and she would prefer the solitude. The three gargoyles also refused, but handed the party their resumes, complete with the arcane mark that could contact them from any plane. They also noted that having no gap in their resume for the last 200-odd years looked pretty good. Quetgar ordered the stone golem to clean the place up, in the hopes that one day, he could retire there. Not a bad idea, really.

The treasure map was quite nearby - barely six miles, in fact. They trudged into the snowy woods, eventually finding a clearing. The air in the clearing was bitingly cold; the warm wraps they had purchased in Wallace came in handy. The frigid air was deathly still. In the center of the clearing was a stump, looking freshly chopped, though covered in a thin layer of ice. In the center was a sword, impaled in the stump to its hilt. Caranthir grabbed the sword, sliding it from its resting place, and holding it aloft as wisps of cold fog fell from it. The sword was a Frost Brand! It acts as a +3 sword, or +6 against creatures of fire, flame, or heat. The blade extinguishes all non-magical flames within 10' when the sword is touched to a flame, and protects from fire like a ring of fire resistance. When the temperature is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, the sword glows like a torch. Indeed, the clearing was bitingly cold, and the sword filled that area with a harsh blue light.

Their search complete, the party journeyed to Slowhaven, hoping to sell the more pricey items they had collected, arriving in the city on the eve of the 21st.

  • XP from Treasure:
    • 20200 gp
    • 5 sets of ruined clothes with gold thread and jewels (820 gp)
    • 32 jade carvings of heroes and monsters (6400 gp)
  • XP from Encounters:
    • 5 shriekers (50 xp each)
    • 3 wights (80 xp each)
    • 5 allips (80 xp each)
    • 1 Banshee (190 xp)
  • Total XP: 28500
  • XP per PC: 3000
  • XP per Henchman (including Llarm): 1500
  • Gold per PC: 5484 gp