Campaign V: Chapter One, Mission Ten

Recap: Last time, you were waiting on word from Father Engrin about a poisoned miner, because according to Equal, the miner had been one of those working for man with the twin-bladed sword. After waiting all that night, and nearly half a day again for word, one of Father Engrin's accolytes returned with news -- news that the miner was awake, irate, and telling all that he knew. The miner's name is Gaelin, and he had hired on in Teras under a half-elf named Joseph. Joseph transported Gaelin and several other miners to Rilan, where they were joined by still more hired hands. Joseph departed the barge in Rilan, and his boss Doom Rex, and Saya, boarded. From there, they traveled to Takanal, and then to the ruins of Tymarell. A bit of mine-work got them into the sewers of Tymarell, and then into the treasury, which Doom Rex stripped down. When Saya's blessings to Samis didn't 'take hold' of Gaelin, she threw a poisoned dirk in his back as he ran away. Doom Rex and Saya had apparently found a map of some sort on one of the floors in the ruins of Tymarell; wherever the map pointed to, Gaelin figured they were going there.

(A courier from Teras came with important news for Hone, requesting his presence back at Gideon Enterprises with all due haste.)

On hearing all of this, you made plans to leave for the ruins as quickly as possible, and hopefully discover where the 'doom' was going next, with his blue elven companion. Gaelin decides to hire out under Arkon, and goes with the party. Unfortunately, you got a little lost, but some quick thinking helped you find the sewer entrance again, near sunset. Rather than face the sewers after a long day of waiting and travel, you felt it best to camp out. Not long after dark, a band of ograns attacked your camp, and after a fierce but brief battle, you killed all but two, whom you captured. One of them succumbed to Arkon's wrath, and the other turned into a gibbering idiot. After trussing up the surviving orc (and marvelling at Arkon's ability to incinerate bodies), you slept a bit better. One of the orcs finally broke, revealing that his name was Gril, and that he would probably die no matter what. Telling of an ogran pickup by rocs after sunset of that day, you decided to infiltrate the ruins of Tymarell as quickly as possible. Splitting up, you managed to retrieve some of your left-behind items -- but it became apparent that Doom Rex and his minions picked up most of it. Tram's group, with Gril and Ahira, discovered the map that Gaelin had mentioned -- but had difficulty, at first, deciphering it. After reuniting the group, you finally decided that the map had to point to a small island, off the western coast of Gaeleth -- due west from Firland.

You headed quickly back for Takanal, having finally, grudgingly decided that Gril was a part of the group. However, in Takanal, Gril's orc presence forced the baron to take matters into his hands. You were allowed to outfit Gril as you saw fit, provided his hands were manacled, but you had to leave the town by sunset. Father Engrin, brought in to verifty Gril's world-view, said that, "Looking upon that orc, is like looking upon the heart of darkness. He cannot be trusted." Instead of killing Gril, you decided that, even evil, he might be useful against the Ogre Nations. Leaving town in a hurry, you headed west, towards the Star's End monastery, and Firland.

Gril: male orc; Ftr1; CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 10 in. tall); HD 1d10+2; hp 12; Init +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 12 (+2 Dex); Attack +6 melee, or +3 ranged; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +0; AL LE; Str 20, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 8. Languages Spoken: Orc. Skills and feats: Gather information +0, Handle animal +1, Hide +2, Listen +0, Move silently +2, Spot +0; Improved initiative, Weapon focus (gauntlet, spiked). Possessions: 900 gp in gear.

With the sun hidden behind a row of storm clouds, and darkness quickly approaching, the group was beset by an apparent Seeker. He was fast and could leap amazing distances, but it mattered little in the end. He was, apparently, a bounty-hunter for the Duchess Genea -- and he was after Rain for her 'murder' of Levantith. Arkon and Tram managed to identify most of his enchanted items, but upped their guard, a bit. An old Rakoran saying is: Where there is one, there are many.

The party left off at dawn of the 7th of Dasad, 1327 -- a holy day, wherein the bells toll at dawn, noon, and sunset in the small town of Takanal.

For reminders and story flavor, read Campaign V -- the chronicles.

Reminders
Stovan Kemal, the Amaran stock dealer, has offered to hire the group for 15 diamonds (500GP ea), to serve as escorts aboard a very special ship from Nikala -- a voyage of two months, both ways. He hasn't specified the cargo, but it's Chre war horses, worth nearly 2,000GP each. He has several favors he can call in, that would have them on a sloop to Teras, and then a galleon to Nikala. The sloop would leave on the 12th of Trisad.

P'Arkon traded four ogran-cut gems taken from Joseph, the half-elf on the river barge, to the Shipwreck Zone for their equivalent in ducats. The gem-cutter there left one in its original condition, and cut the other three into smaller rubies. The uncut gem contains a paladin's soul, captured during the Second Crusades.

Djonn Senior will finish his debt of servitude on Grill the 11th of that year, 1327 -- three months after being captured, trying to avenge the death of his bandit son. Djonn Senior has learned a great deal from the rogues and thieves within the stockades of Rilan.

Cutheros the Apothecary already had a buyer lined up and waiting for several rare and expensive dicalthal stones. Unfortunately, the ship was delayed in Kur Maeth, because dicalthal stones have arcane magic potential. If the party is willing, Cutheros would like them to go to Loregard, and then to Tent City, to parlay with the ogres for some -- and he may have something they'll trade. Cutheros will send along a +3 cursed battleaxe that he's been stuck with for a year, and a note from Brin Vridara authorizing its sale to the Ogre Nations. The mission is doubly vital, now that the sale of the dicalthal stones will help rebuild his apothecary.

Rial Mhenace would like the party to investigate some ruins on the Shaefa Plains -- the Ruins of Dirk Morkat. Based off of word from Storm and a 'compatriot' of hers, the molding and a bit of the mystery of Giran Howel may be there. Unfortunately, the site is also a brewing home for a goblin king…

The Star's End
The monks at the Star's End monastery know nothing of Doom Rex, but a priest of Samis by the name of T'saarachk -- a blue-skinned elf with green hair -- did, indeed drop by only three days before. The monks can disclose nothing of the nature of Saya's visit; they can only confirm that she was there. Brother Irol greets the group, pleased at their accomplishments with the return of two coffers. Because of that, if he is bribed, he will divulge that Doom is paying many of the bandits in the area to look out for and attack the party. Because it is winter, the river is slowly freezing, and no one can travel by water to Firland; the journey must be overland.

The Star's End is a small monastery atop a jagged edge of Mount Caleverous, east of Firland, and overlooking the Panthera River. A rope-basket of 150ft is required to reach the entrance to the Star's End. Otherwise, the one foot wide path takes a full day to climb. The monastery is a fortress, and virtually unassailable, save by large siege engines. The monastery has perhaps seventy monks of varying genders, mostly human, the head of which is Abbotess Cassandra (6th-level LN cleric of Samis, human female, beautiful, calm, and deadly). One monk is always on watch at the rope-basket's apex, watching the river, and the trails leading up to the Star's End.

Though Lawful Neutral, the monastery and its inhabitants are none-the-less followers of Samis. They aid bandits and brigands as much as the Rakoran peoples, for the right price. Their primary pursuit is the study of the ancient languages, and so they often translate texts for a small fee. In addition, they have a large library of ancient, indecipherable texts, through which the monks are slowly making progress. Abottess Cassandra is a well-verse practitioner of law, and though not herself a study of languages, is a good administrator. The Star's End is self-sufficient, with small gardens and an orchard within its walls, and a small goat herd on the other side of the monastery from the river. Paddocks and a small post for the shepherds over-watching the flock are located away from the monastery.

The Skate
In Firland, the villagers have seen nothing of a man matching Doom Rex's description, or a blue-skinned elf. A GE clipper called the Skate under a Captain Fourth is in for minor repairs, before heading straight to Teras -- a half day's journey for the fast, sleek ship.

Masts: 4
Maneuverability: Fair
Maximum Speed: 30knts (304ft/rnd)
Cruising Speed: 25knts (253ft/rnd)
Minimum Crew: 60
Maximum Crew: 100
Night Ops: Yes
Cargo: 180 tonnes
Provisions: 50 tonnes
Sea Time: 6 weeks
Day Range: 345mi (690 w/ night ops)
Sea Range: 14,500mi (29,000mi w/ night ops)
Length: 120ft
Width: 20ft
Draw: 20ft
Arms and Armorment: Twin ballistae on swivels amidships.
Special Notes: Highly skilled crew includes a priestess of Olorin.
Crew: Captain Daniel "Fourth" a'Namree, 1st Mate/Priestess Nathamra, Shedar of Yatindar Davist.

The Bounty Hunter
The bounty hunter Herach Orcbane, cousin to Duke Orcbane, and a light baron and knight in his own right, has taken up the bounty notice of the Duchess Genea. When he finds the group, he'll royally trash them. But he's not an evil old soul, and likely to listen to the party if their actions echo their words. If they're fair in their dealings with him, even after he trashes them, then he'll give them his wand. If they're not fair, he'll take a trophy.

Herach Orcbane: male dwarf (hill); Rgr7/Ftr9; CR 16; Size M (4 ft., 0 in. tall); HD 7d10+28 + 9d10+36; hp 166; Init +4 (+4 Dex); Spd 20 ft.; AC 18 (+4 Dex, +4 Chain w/greaves); Attack +18/+13/+8/+3 melee (throwing axe, 1d6+3 crit 20 x2), or +20/+15/+10/+5 ranged (throwing axe, 1d6+3 crit 20 x2, RI 10ft); SV Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +6; AL NG; Str 14, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 8. Skills and feats: Appraise +2, Climb +3 (-2), Craft (weaponsmith) +12, Handle animal +5, Hide +4 (-2), Intuit direction +6, Listen +1, Move silently +9 (-2), Ride +11, Search +10.5, Spot +1, Use rope +14, Wilderness lore +3.5; Ambidexterity, Dodge, Mobility, Mounted archery, Mounted combat, Quick draw, Toughness, [Track], Two-weapon fighting, Weapon finesse (throwing axes), Weapon focus (throwing axes), Weapon specialization (throwing axes). Spells: Pass without trace, entangle, obscuring mist, cure light wounds Possessions: potion of clairaudience/clairvoyance (300gp), wand of cure moderate wounds (4,500), 5 ducats, 13 GP, 28 SP, an onyx-carved ear ring (36gp, a signet ring of the Orcbane Clan (1,250gp), and a vellum bounty-notice given by the hand and seal of the Duchess Genea of Rakore, for the murder of one of her servants, Levantith.

Luscious: brown bear, large animal; CR 4; Size L (9ft); HD 6d8+24; hp 51; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 40 ft.; AC 15 (-1 Size, +1 Dex, +5 natural); Attack +11/+11 melee (claws, 1d8+8, crit 20 x2), and +6 melee (bite, 2d8+4 crit 20 x2); F/R 5x10/5; SV Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +3; AL N; Str 27, Dex 13, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6. Skills and feats: Listen +4, Spot +7, Swim +14.

The Bandits
One of the bandits Doom hired in Takanal lies just west of the Star's End, along the road-path from the monastery to Firland. Dhelrig and his band of men will attack, and maintain the attack, provided that no one sees Rain's GE ring. The moment any member of the band sees that ring, he will signal the others to halt -- and call for peace. The bandits respect Firestorm and its members too much to risk their wrath. Dhelrig's bandits had a run-in with the Baron and the Bishop Dwarfendale, one time, and they learned their lesson well. Dhelrig's orders are to slow the group down, and if possible, kill them.

Dhelrig: male human; Rog2/Ftr8; CR 10; Size M (6 ft., 3 in. tall); HD 2d6 + 8d10; hp 57; Init +5 (+1 Dex, +4 Improved initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 17 (+1 Dex, +6 banded mail); Attack +11/+6 melee (longsword, 1d8+1, crit 18-20 x2), or +10/+5 ranged (shortbow, 1d6, crit 20 x3, range inc 60); SV Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +2; AL LE; Str 12, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 9. Skills and feats: Alchemy +6.5, Appraise +9, Bluff +3, Climb +12, Disable device +6, Disguise +0.5, Escape artist +5, Gather information +4.5, Hide +1, Innuendo +4, Knowledge (nature) +5.5, Listen +0, Move silently +1, Open lock +1.5, Profession +5.5, Sense motive +4, Speak language +4, Spot +5, Swim +12, Use magic device +3; Blind-fight, Combat reflexes, Improved critical (longsword), Improved initiative, Leadership, Point blank shot, Skill focus (appraise), Weapon focus (longsword).

Dhelrig's Men (5): male humans; Ftr1; CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 3 in. tall); HD 1d10+2; hp 15; Init +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 16 (+2 Dex, +4 chain mail); Attack +4 melee (longsword, 1d8+3, crit 19-20 x2), or +3 ranged (shortbow, 1d6, crit 20 x3, range inc 60); SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +0; AL LE; Str 17, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 14. Skills and feats: Climb +7, Craft +5, Hide +2, Jump +7, Listen +0, Move silently +2, Ride +6, Spot +0; Combat reflexes, Improved initiative, Toughness.

DM Notes
Saya and Doom Rex hid out near Takanal with their miners, and the loot, until the high-speed courier for Hone arrived. The 'courier' was actually one of Herod's men, with a privately-owned sloop provided for the purpose. The gold and gems were loaded onto the sloop, and the miners were killed, their bodies burned beyond recognition. What's left of them remains in the woods east of Takanal, awaiting discovering by one of the winter-working woodsmen. Doom Rex, Saya, and the crew of the sloop returned to Rilan with the loot late on Dasad the 6th. There, they will lay quietly with the loot, awaiting word from Herod, which will not arrive until Dasad the 15th. Herod agrees that Hammer Isle can be investigated at a later date, and has special instructions for what is to be done with the loot…

Doom Rex: male human; Ftr7/Rgr4/Rog4; CR 15; Size M (6 ft., 2 in. tall); HD 7d10+7 + 4d10+4 + 4d6+4; hp 96; Init +8 (+4 Dex, +4 Improved initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 19 (+1 Dex, +8 f/ full plate); Attack +18/+13/+8 melee (1d8/1d8+5, crit 19-20 x2), or +18/+13/+8 ranged (1d8+4, crit 20 x3, RI 110ft); SV Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +8; AL CE; Str 18, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 12. Languages Spoken: Common, Elven, Ogran, Orcish, Dwarven. Skills and feats: Alchemy +8, Appraise +11, Climb +12, Concentration +7.5, Forgery +11, Gather information +8, Heal +8, Hide +11, Intuit direction +11, Jump +13, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (religion) +6, Listen +2, Move silently +4, Perform +7.5, Pick pocket +11, Profession +4, Read lips +7, Search +12, Spot +9, Swim +15, Tumble +10.5, Use magic device +7, Wilderness lore +3.5; Ambidexterity, Blind-fight, Dodge, Improved critical (composite longbow), Improved initiative, Iron will, Leadership, Power attack, [Track], Two-weapon fighting, Weapon finesse (two-bladed sword), Weapon focus (two-bladed sword). Possessions: two-bladed sword that appears to be a quarterstaff with both sheathes on, composite longbow w/20 arrows, burned-black full plate beneath charcoal-black robes, 8 potions of cure light wounds (50GP ea) [buff-colored, lemony odor/taste, watery, flecked appearance], Chre warhorse (2,000GP), horseshoes of speed (1,900 GP). Ranger Spells Per Day: 1.

Saya T'saarachkfemale elf (aquatic); Sor4/Clr3 (Samis); CR 7; Size M (5 ft., 0 in. tall); HD 4d4+4 + 3d8+3; hp 33; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 11 (+1 Dex); Attack +4 melee, or +5 ranged; SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +11; AL LE; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 17. Languages Spoken: Common, Elven, Ogran. Skills and feats: Alchemy +7, Concentration +8, Hide +1, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Listen +6, Move silently +1, Scry +8, Search +4, Spellcraft +2, Spot +6; Quicken spell, Still spell, Track. Possessions: wand of cure light wounds (l1, cl1) (30 charges) (450 gp), 3 smokesticks (20 gp each), potion of enlarge (at 5th level) (250 gp) [apricot-colored, fruity odor/taste, oily, opaque appearance], ruby spinel (dusky red) (1,318.3 gp). Sorcerer Spells Known (6/7/4): 0th -- Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Ray of Frost, Read Magic. 1st -- Summon Monster I, Magic Missile, Spider Climb. 2nd -- Web. Cleric Domains: Trickery, Evil. Cleric Spells Per Day: 4/3+1/2+1. (DC 14 base + spell level): 0th -- Light. 1st -- Doom, Obscuring Mist, Cause Fear. 2nd -- Cure Moderate Wounds, Hold Person, Silence, Summon Monster II.

Marksmen (4): male humans; Ftr5; CR 5; Size M (5 ft., 8 in. tall); HD 5d10+5; hp 35; Init +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved initiative); Spd 30 ft.; AC 16 (+2 Dex, +4 scalemail); Attack +8 melee (1d8+4, crit 19-20 x2), or +7 ranged (+8 w/in 30ft) (1d8+3, crit 20 x3, RI 110ft); SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +1; AL LE; Str 17, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 9. Languages Spoken: Common. Skills and feats: Climb +9, Handle animal +7, Hide +2, Jump +11, Listen +2, Move silently +3, Spot +2; Alertness, Blind-fight, Improved initiative, Point blank shot, Power attack, Weapon focus (longsword). Possessions: longswords, composite longbows w/20 arrows each, scalemail armor, riding horses, 5 Ogran-recut rubies each (200GP/ruby).

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