Rise of the Runelords

The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part IX

From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

1st day of Lamashan 4707
The next day Lyriana left for Sandpoint with Orik in tow. I told her we could really use her help if we happened upon Malfeshnekor, but she was adamant in her decision. She was going to hand over Orik to the authorities, and that was that! So one person short we returned to the lower chambers to investigate.

Our first stop was the illusion in the room in which we had defeated Nualia and Orik. Nualia’s lifeless body, with that unsettling demonic arm, still remained on the floor. The illusion was of a huge pile of gold stacked all the way up to the ceiling, effectively covering the stone wall behind it. Orik claimed when we spoke to him earlier that they had tried to figure out the purpose of the illusion, but had failed to do so. My companions spent a long time investigating the illusion themselves, and they had all but given up when I figured I’d lend them a hand! On one side I found a hidden recess with a slot inside it, and now that Leewald knew what to look for he found an identical recess on the other side! Leewald and Aran finally solved the puzzle by simultaneously inserting a coin on both sides. See? Wasn’t so hard! The wall was lowered with a rumble, leading to a room with a door to the north, east and south.

Behind the room to the north was another illusion, this time in Karzoug’s likeness! Not only was this illusion animate, sitting on a throne, but it spoke as well! I admit, for a while I thought it might be a ghost! From what I could tell from my study of languages he was warning us that this place would become our graves! To the east was some kind of laboratory. Besides a multitude of tools there was a slab with an unusual skeleton on it. It was a human one but with two heads and a second person growing out of it’s torso! Unfortunatly it turned to dust upon touch. Leewald found a seven pointed star door handle among the tools, the very same symbol as in the Sihedron Medallion, and Aran picked up what tools he could from the room.

It quickly became apparant that we needed said handle to get into the southern door. The stone double door lacked a handle and had a seven sided star indentation in it’s place. Leewald inserted the handle, turned it clockwise and opened the door. Aran stepped into the already lit room to have a look around. But just as he entered the room Malfeshnekor pounced out of nowhere, furiously attacking him! Before we knew what was going on, Aran was on the ground unconcious and bleeding profusely! Someone called for a retreat! I had Tama drag Aran out of the room after which Grak took over and took him to safety. Leewald followed after them to tend to Aran’s wounds while Tama and I stayed behind to hold the line! Since Malfeshnekor disappeared and didn’t pursue us I decided to detect magic in that direction, all the while Grak yelled at me to get out! It turned out the whole room was enveloped in magic, an extremely complicated weave of magic presumably used to seal the monsterosity inside. I took no chances though, we closed the door, sealed it and I pocketed the handle.

Afterwards I went to find the rest of my companions. Aran and Leewald were just outside, but Grak was nowhere to be found. They thought we should leave but I assured them that I had handled the situation! They seemed skeptical at first but I convinced them quickly enough. Surely we couldn’t turn back when so close to exploring it all! We continued on our own, after we had reset the illuionary wall, but soon found a crypt. I got a bad feeling about the place and thought we could use Grak’s help. Thus I volunteered to go find him. Grak was getting the horse ready to leave, but I convinced him to stay!

Back at the crypt I told the rest that I had heard that traps are common in crypts to keep looters away. The rest listened to my wisdom, and we tested for pressure plates by throwing Nualia’s corpse in front of us! No traps though. But I did see shades and warned the rest! They said it was all in my head. Bah! Bet they felt sheepish when the shades attacked! I gave Tama a shadowform, which was useful in defeating them. I still had to show him how it was done though! Leewald pulled his weight as well with his light magic. We didn’t find much exciting in the crypt though, only the secret passage that Leewald found!

We ended up in a room where it’s lower parts were submerged under water. In the water rested a giant golden helmet. After examining it and striking it, it turned toward us! The helmet was actually resting on the back of a giant hermit crab! The crab put up quite a fight, but it was no match for us. In the water we found quite a treasure trove! We hauled all the loot, including the helm(!) up to Shadowmist and Leewald’s dog. But before we could leave I had to find what the smelly key was for! As I had feared it was used in latrine, so I had Leewald do it instead. There we found the accumulated wealth of the Thistletop goblins!

Now we could finally return to Sandpoint! We had to spend alot of time clearing briars to allow Shadowmist to pass, but we eventually made it to the horses. They had not been eaten by worgs. There I asked Shadowmist if he liked to have Aran as his new master, and he seemed agreeable to the idea! Am I a matchmaker or what!

When we at long last got back to Sandpoint we handed in the ears and head to Hosk, he was impressed, and stopped by to see Madam Mayor. She hardly even thanked us! No planned proclamation? No feast to our honor? Had expected some effort after us saving their behinds and all! At least I got a package from Maestro to cheer me up! That old rascal had sent me the most beautiful painting kit I had ever seen! I hope he’s alright and that the bleaching is in remission. Oh, Lyriana and Sir Sheriff had left for Mosswood with the soldiers to take care of any additional unforseen problems.

2nd day of Lamashan 4707+
After our trip to Magnimar I found myself “babysitting” geezers for almost a week! I hadn’t planned on it, but when I asked Mister Scholar about Karzoug I let slip that there was a runelord structure below Sandpoint. Perhaps I shouldn’t have done that. Of course he just had to see it, and he had to bring his friend the book store owner with him. I couldn’t let them go alone now could I? Anyways, I did learn of a theory that Mister Scholar had, that the runelord paragons had been corrupted over time. That Karzoug had been presented as the paragon of generosity and greed was just further proof that his theory was right and his peers were wrong. According to him Alaznist would have represented kindness and wrath if his theory was correct. I also promised to take him to Thistletop shrine one day. Darn it. It was fun from time to time, but they are sooo slooow!

I also went to Father Sir to hand over Tobyn’s ashes as well as to inquire about Nualia’s baby. If the clergy is to be believed the baby was stillborn. I certainly hope that was the case so that they didn’t just kill that baby. I decided against being too confrontal. They had been very helpful to us and I didn’t want to burn any bridges.

Finally I hid that handle at a safe place, or at least I hope it was. What is that Skinsaw Cult anyways? I must ask Mister Scholar about that, and about the medallion. They gave Nualia a seven pointed star medallion and we just happened upon a “key” in Thistletop with that very same symbol? That suggest that they are affiliated with the runelords somehow! That Nualia got a hold of them in the first place suggest at least some connection with Lamashtu. It does seem like they knew more than they let on, and gently nudged Nualia on her way. That cult and their bloody medallion creep me out!

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