Rise of the Runelords

The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part XVII
From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

24th day of Lamashan 4707, continued
At the very top of the clock tower we faced the snake lady. But first we saw smoke pouring out of the statue of an angel, and out of the smoke a flying demon armed with with a chain weapon materialized itself. The snake lady, who was invisible, struck while we were preoccupied with the demon flying around the tower. She was ridiculously strong, and many of my comrades fell during the battle: Leewald, Zarazyl, Kvall. Even Tama, though he always return to me. I only managed to save Aran. I was all alone with my summoned stone elemental when she finally fell. I might have lost it there for a while, stabbing her face once or thirty-thrice.

Aran and I searched the top of the tower after he had scaled the tower, and we found great riches. We also found a letter. The snake lady, Xanesha, apparently has a sister who has a similar operation going on in a place called Turtleback Ferry. Although she use other methods, they both appear to be cultivating greed to revive some lord. My money is still on Karzoug. Well, if we manage to bounce back from this setback perhaps we can take a look. Wouldn’t want some evil god to be resurrected. But first order of business will be to make sure that the brotherhood is cleansed from this city. We have taken shelter within the walls of Zarasyl’s holy order. I’m hoping they can help us in this endeavor. They have also promised to help us resurrect our fallen friends. It’s up to them now if they wish to return.

25th day of Lamashan until 4th of Neth 4707
Leewald is back from the dead, thankfully, but Zarasyl remain dead. We merely killed time for a few days while waiting for Ironbriar’s journal to get decoded. Aran and Leewald had crafting to do. Personally I did my shopping and had the Sihedron Stars analyzed by an expert. There were only minute differences, and as long as a runelord isn’t resurrected we should be fine. We also tried to find out some information about our next destination. Not much information to be had, but it would appear that Fort Rannik has already fallen.

When the journal was finally decoded we went straight to the Justicars together with Tira Ronnova, the chaplain. At least that was the idea. We were waylaid by that douche Boewin Nox and taken down into the dungeons to speak to his new employer, the Lord-Mayor himself. The situation was tense. Aran even tried to give Nox a beating after an insult directed towards me! Unfortunately Nox was a skilled in unarmed combat and could pin him down quite easily. Mrs Chaplain had to intervene before things turned ugly. Anyways, the Lord-Mayor showed up and we presented our evidence. He was so shocked that he fainted! It also turned out that Nox wasn’t quite as bad as expected. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a douche, just not an evil douche. The Lord-Mayor wanted to bury the evidence and pay for our silence, for the sake of the town. Mrs Chaplain objected and I was temped to do so as well, but to be honest I just wanted to get out of the room. This cesspool of corruption, Magnimar, will burn soon enough when the people grow tired. No need for me to provide the spark. We not only received 2000gc each, but we also received invitations to a great party hosted by the Lord-Mayor at his manor.

The party was lavish to say the least. It was fun and I made a lot of contacts. Maybe it can be useful at a later time. During the party we were also asked to meet with the Lord-Mayor once again, but after a few days. At this meeting we were asked to go investigate what has transpired at and around Turtleback Ferry. This was when we met Shalelu again and when we met Tagnor the giant dwarf for the first time.

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The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part XVI
From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

21th and 22nd day of Lamashan 4707
We tried for days to find out information about the cult and we also looked for indications that the sawmill was a nest of evil, but we had no luck. The library was useless! Only the forbidden collection sounded promising, and that one cost a thousand gold pieces to peruse through. It was also not open to gnomes! Discrimination of the highest order!

Zarasyl asked around about murder victims found lately and got two names: Henrir Shaw and Bode Erinson, both killed in Beacons Point. Henrir Shaw had been killed three weeks ago, so he wasn’t that interesting. Bode Erinson on the other hand had been killed pretty recently. He was the owner of the Silver Talent, a gambling hall. Investigating the gambling den didn’t yield us anything useful though. All it did was to get us in trouble, and I had to bail us out with a misdirection!

Some time was also spent keeping the sawmill under surveillance. I even flew in close on Tama’s back one day, with Leewald in tow. We learned a little about possible entrances and about the messenger ravens they keep on the roof. We also saw a hooded man leaving the sawmill around midnight. The next night we all were there and tried to follow him, but he gave us the slip. I even persuaded a stray dog to track him down for us, but he got all lost and ate my food. We were out of options, so we decided to kick in some doors the next evening.

23rd day of Lamashan 4707
That evening we watched the sawmill as the time for the drop got closer. We saw some people arrive with a cart, so something seemed to be up. After midnight we moved in after Aran ‘the Lockpick’ Flynn opened the door for us. We quickly moved through the sawmill, floor after floor, looking for cultists. At the top we found them, and by the look of things they were in the early stages of a ritual. An unconcious man was sprawled on the floor in the middle of the crowd. All the talk about Father Skinsaw made me remember that it’s a name that the god Norgorber goes by. How’s a Norgorber cult connected to the runelords of Thassilon?

Anyways, we used the element of surprise to our advantage and attacked the distracted cultists. The head cultist hated gnomes and went all out on me! Now he’s dead and I’m not. It was quite a battle, but we prevailed in the end. The head cultist was that pompous ass Ironbriar, of course. I knew he was in on this! That means that the one we spoke to might have been a faceless stalker. Why didn’t we buy that wand again? His journal might be full with clues, and incriminating information about him, but it’s coded. It’s written in draconic, elven and some third language that I couldn’t identify. We need to decode the journal later. But who can we trust in this town? Maybe we can have Aran detect abberrants when we meet with the people of Zarasyl’s order, and if no one is an imposter we can put our faith in them, so to speak. I don’t know what kind of pull they have in this city.

The unconcious man was named Connor. The worst liar I ever saw. He was clearly taken for his greed, but I find it odd that they would bring him here. Are they really bringing them here only to kill them and dump the bodies elsewhere? Maybe they were turning him after all, though what use they could hope to get our of him is beyond me. I learned that he’s staying in Lowbridge but that he moves around alot. He told us we could ask for him at the Flying Pig if we needed him. Don’t know if there’s actually a place called that or if it was a witty way of insinuating that we’ll never see him again. Either way I don’t have any interest in seeing him again and I don’t think we’ll need to either.

Up on the roof I had a talk with the ravens there. Turned out to be pretty nice guys. They deliever messages to the “Snake lady” in an abandoned clocktower under the bridge. So that would be our next stop, but in the morrow. We don’t have much else to go on until we can decrypt that journal.

24th day of Lamashan 4707
The tower is definetly harboring great evil. Already on the ground floor we faced some form of giant construct, a flesh golem Zarasyl suggested. He almost killed Aran, and gave him a wound not even Leewald’s magic can seem to heal. On our way up Aran got in leathal danger once again when a giant bronze bell came crashing down! It wounded him and almost dragged him down with it. I was ready with my new Feather Fall spell, but I never had to use it. Up by the bells we got ambushed by faceless stalkers! I face two of them while the rest of the party had trouble dealing with the one! I kept them busy while Tama picked them off one by one. The rest might think that I was close to falling to my death during the battle, but we all know that I wasn’t in any real trouble. I did thank Zarasyl for “saving” me though. It’s the thought that counts right? Maybe I’ll be able to repay him before we leave this tower. I expect the snake lady to be formidable foe, but perhaps she can be reasoned with?

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The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part XV
From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

17th day of Lamashan 4707, continued
Well, the trickery didn’t exactly go as planned. It was a good plan, a great one even, as all my plans are. But all the same we ended up in a disadventageous situation because of it. Has Shelyn forsaken me? I pray to her almost every day! When I remember it. I definetly have to speak to Father Sir about that offer I’ve been thinking of giving. But from now on I have to be more cautious. I have to be better. The rest rely on me for guidance. Just imagine how lost they would be without me…

But I should start from the beginning.

We returned to Sandpoint in the evening the same day. I noticed while we were taking care of business that Grak wasn’t quite himself. He seemed distant. The loss of his father probably hit him in full force now that he didn’t have his revenge to focus on. He left our little group shortly after he got his share of the loot. Apparantly he was going to take his ship and sail away, to where I do not know. Perhaps we’ll see each other again one day.

Mister Sheriff was relieved to know that we had killed the Lordship and wanted to know if we thought the murders would stop. I told him the grim truth, that the murderer might be dead but those that directed his hand are still out there. Mister Sheriff was very persistant about learning more of that threat still looming out there. I told him the gist of it. It’s dangerous information and I don’t want him to get killed over it. If we can even trust him. We did get our reward money, and even some extra for the bounty on Redshiv’s head.

When we got back to the Rusty Dragon we noticed a strange animal outside. A big hairy beast which I later learned is called a “buffalo”. Inside was where we first met Zarazyl, a friend of Ameiko’s and as I write this: our newest party member! He’s a paladin who has been investigating the murders, just like us. He had done this in Magnimar, but unfortunatly without anything to show for it. Rather than give up he decided to follow up murders in Sandpoint instead. I’m sure he’ll be a valuable member of the party in no time. He has already cured Tama of some horrible disease!

18th day of Lamashan 4707
The next day we went to the Cathdral. We went there the day before as well, and that is when I suggested that we employ the help of their clerics to make holy water. We needed the water to cleanse the evil from Misgivings. Aran also got help from the disease he had contracted from the battle with Aldern. After our visit we hit the road once more.

Sometime later we arrived at Misgivings and the evil aura was as strong as ever. The moldy man had even regrown, but luckily Leewald had brought enough material to clean in all away. However it was not enough! According to Zarasyl the aura was as strong as ever. That was when Leewald tried consecrating the room to purge the evil. That finally did the trick! But maybe we’ll stop by on our way back from Magnimar just to make sure…

19th day of Lamashan 4707
We arrived in Magnimar in the evening the next day. We covered about half the distance after leaving Misgivings, and we slept at a roadside inn at the end of that day. We knew we had to search the Foxglove townhouse, but we didn’t know where it was. Thus we spent the evening asking around town, trying to locate it. This is Zarasyl’s home city, so he handled the talking. We could narrow it down to the Naos district (hah, I had already deduced that!), but to narrow it down further we had to visit the census office in the morrow. We got rooms at an inn in the Capital district.

20th day of Lamashan 4707
We finally got a hold on the townhouse adress after an early visit to the census office. The information cost us a hand and a leg though. 20g to walk into the next room and rifle through some files? I’m in the wrong line of business! Nah… it sounds really boring.

The townhouse appeared abandoned, but it was hard to tell from a distance. We didn’t want to get close in case the cult was keeping it under surveillance, so we scoped it from afar. Afterwards we simply killed time until the evening when we could go ahead with the plan.

The plan was for Aran to use the hat of disguise to look like Aldern. He was then to enter the building and let the rest of us, who are invisible, in. The cult who are keeping an eye will send agents to contact Aldern… and that is when we pounce! We interrogare the cultist and bring down the cult! Easy! But the cultists were already there in the form of faceless stalkers who had stolen Aldern’s and Iesha’s identities!

Faux-ldern and Faux-esha tried to ambush us but failed miserably! The short version is that we killed them easily. We found some money and some papers providing us with more clues. Our next step is probably Seven’s sawmill. It looks like Aldern got mixed up with this Brotherhood of the Seven when he inherited his grandfather’s debt to them, and that they thoroughly corrupted him. It feels better somehow to know that he wasn’t inheritly evil, but simply weak.

Tomorrow we’ll check out that sawmill! Maybe we shall get one of those wands that detects abberrations…

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The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part XIV
From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

17th day of Lamashan 4707, continued
A short entry, since I’m completely exhausted! We fought our way through underground caverns, killing off countless ghouls! Most of us drained of power, but still we braved it out. Eventually we found Aldern himself sitting in a chair in his humble subterranean living space. He was quite civil until he saw Grak, which is when he entered a rage and started attacking! Aran got paralyzed and almost died, but I saved him by trying out my new invisibility spell! Around that time Aldern suddenly broke down sobbing uncontrollably. I held Tama back since I wanted to seize that moment to maybe get a few answers out of him; but Grak, sensing weakness, pelted him with arrows. That’s when Aldern snapped out of it, took out a flabby skin mask and covered his face with it. By wearing the mask he turned into Grak! He then started furiously attacking Grak! The real Grak! Ehm, faux Grak attacked real Grak. Though I suppose the opposite is true as well. Either way; he would have died if it wasn’t for Tama who, with my crucial help of course, tripped and made minced meat out of Aldern.

We found some stuff, some of it most likely magical. I’ll have to check when were aren’t around this overwealming aura. I’m the most curious about the chime, and the hat that we found later of course! We also found a letter for Aldern, written to him by Xanesha. Probably some Skinsaw bigshot. It was a very interesting letter, and I see an opportunity for trickery here! But it would take some planning and effort. I imagine that we’ll recouperate back in Sandpoint, pick up some holy water to cleanse the rest of the mold man and then head straight for Magnimar. We have some leads now. Both Aldern’s townhouse and Pug’s Contraptions.

Oh, and we faced some bat creature and found the corpse of Shaz “Redshiv” Bilger. As per usual people were at the brink of death and Tama bailed them out. Go Tama!

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The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part XIII
From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

17th day of Lamashan 4707, continued
We searched throught the rest of the first floor and happened across a remarkably undisturbed murder scene in a sitting room, sans the body. There was a scarlet scarf with an I.F. enbroidered on it, resting on an overturned chair. When Leewald touched the scarf he suffered a vision, much like Aran did earlier and like all of us later. He saw himself being strangled by a familiar man, an unsettling experience for sure! We can now tell that Iesha was the one to get strangled, but there’s also the pool of blood and the bloodied book end. We can also tell with some certainty that Aldern was the one who killed her. But when or how she got killed we can only speculate in, strangulation or a blow to the head. Either way, when I touched the fallen angel book end I had a vision of my own. I was assaulted by tiny flying creatures!

Up on the second floor there was a painting of Iesha which made poor Leewald enrage, running after the party, but ignoring me. Grak pinned him down until he snapped out of it and before he could do any real harm. Was he seeing through Aldern’s eyes or Iesha’s? Or someone elses entirely? Maybe I’ve forgotten what Leewald told me. I should ask him. On the same floor we found a room belonging to a small child, maybe Lorey, where Grak had a vision seeing through her eyes hiding underneath the bed. He could see two grownups fighting, a man and a woman. Maybe Traver and Cyralie. We also found the gallery, which is where we could put names to the faces and got a scare when the paintings changed appearance!

On the third floor we actually found some signs of repair. Might be worth a closer look when we’ve found Aldern. Continuing the exploration we found Vorel’s room, and I had a vision where I was filled with bitterness and regret. Old Geezer Foxglove regretted settling down and missed the adventure’s of his youth. I was out of it for a while, but I snapped out of it when Aran showed me a gorgeous painting by Andosaul himself! Elsewhere we met the revenant of Iesha! She was standing there sobbing, looking into a mirror when she could suddenly sense Aldern’s presence and went crazy! She rushed right into us, Grak let loose some arrows and the fight began. We were victorious!

When we were done with the rest of the house we went down to the dreaded basement. Down there we killed countless of rats and found some fine wine! We also found a necromantic laboratory behind a locked door. There Aran had some vision about some plan involving becoming a lich. Well I already knew that by studying the stained glass mosaics! But who? From the visions alone I’d say it’s Vorel. With all that regret for growing old missing adventure I’d say he has a strong motive for wanting to prolong his life, even though it means turning into an undead. Those stained glass windows also seem to have been there for a long time, which would exclude the last generation. Unless necromancy is a family business… We did find plaques on some cages which said ’Pug’s Contraptions – Magnimar’, which might be a clue for later.

So what have we learned. Vorel and Kasandra are probably Aldern’s grandparents on his father’s side. Traver and Cyralie are probably his parents while Sendeli and Zeeva are his siblings. Lorey could be his sibling or his aunt, it depends on who the fighting couple was. But based on where her painting was placed, it was probably his aunt. Assuming it was his aunt, then the vision downstairs might have been from Kasandra. She might have tried to flee with her daughter, and either succeeded or failed and was killed. Probably killed. Vorel was probably the aspiring necromancer wanting to turn himself into a lich, but one of his children or grandchildren might have taken over if he failed. There isn’t much to go on with the rest of the family. The lack of visions from them might mean they didn’t die there. The manor has been abandoned for a while, so it is possible they moved out at some point after having the family paintings done. Aldern moved in with his bethrothed/wife Iesha and for some reason killed her in rage. Or was this before the Foxgloves abandoned the manor? I don’t know…and I don’t think I need to know. All I need to know is his connection to the Skinsaw Cult and that Aldern is taken care of.

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The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part XII
From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

16th day of Lamashan 4707, continued
Leewald and I soon arrived at the source of the commotion. As I had feared, it had originated from Grak’s boat. I’ve been around Grak long enough to recognize his wolves by sound alone. Grak himself was at the bow scanning the night, seemingly unhurt, and Aran soon joined him as well. When I asked them if they were alright Grak showed me the severed head of one of his father’s wolves. Nothing more needed to be said. I merely asked him to show us the way. We left Sandpoint in the dead of night, riding swiftly. Far to the east we could hear the soft rumbling from an incomming storm.

Grak’s father, Tsadok, lived down by Boggy Creek, not more than half a mile from Sandpoint. But the rain-laden clouds had already caught up with us by the time we got there. Grak scouted the area while the rest of us focused on the cabin itself. Strewn infront of it were several corpses, most of them undead. Tsadok had put up quite a fight, but it had not been enough. His lifeless body had been nailed to the wall, just the latest victim of the Lordship. The note the serial killer had left behind left little doubt as to his identity however. It had been that bloody Foxglove all along! And to think I gave him one of my sketches for free! I’ll make him suffer…if I can beat Grak to it.

As we exited the cabin we spotted someone familiar approaching. Lyriana! She had apparantly failed with her mission and was now an undead under Foxgloves’ control. She was never very good at combat. What was she thinking running away like that… Anyways, she said she wouldn’t let the Master have us and also that she wouldn’t allow us to go to Misgivings. Grak, who was in no mood to talk, let an arrow fly. Most of the combat was a haze to me. We were attacked from all sides. I took an injury which paralyzed me, leaving me unable to recount exactly what happened. What I could tell was that Leewald most likely saved all of our hides. The clearing was constantly illuminated by radiant energy! More than half a dozen undead had already fallen by the time I could move again, and they were charred beyond recognition. We defeated the rest easily enough and Tama had done well killing Lyriana and her wolf companion. How they got a hold of Fang’s body we will probably never know.

Lyriana now wore an iron key as a necklace. It had the Foxglove symbol engraved on it, yet another thing pointing towards Foxglove Manor. After Grak had created a funeral pyre out of his father’s cabin and said his goodbyes we returned to Sandpoint. It was still late, so we had to rouse Sir Sheriff from his sleep. He was shocked learning that Foxglove was the Lordship, but also grateful for what we had done! He asked us indirectly if we could handle Foxglove, mentioning that he could send guards but that he doubted it would make any difference. Sir Sheriff is so hopeless! But it is of no consequence. It’s personal, so we wouldn’t have it any other way. He promised a reward and that we could loot whatever we wanted from Foxglove Manor.

The wounds I took during battle was festering, so Aran and I went to the Cathedral for aid. Aran gave a huuuge donation. Maybe we should ask if we could get a healing wand when we get back? We spent the rest of the day relaxing, knowing that in the morrow it was time to go to Foxglove Manor and face the Lordship.

17th day of Lamashan 4707
We made it to Foxglove Manor the next day without any incidents. We could see it as a looming shape up on the cliff overlooking the water far below. It was raining so hard that we couldn’t get a good look before we got relatively close to the building. The manor was in disrepair, and both it and the grounds was covered in mold. I recalled hearing the locals talking about a haunted manor around these part called Misgivings. Perhaps the abandoned Foxglove Manor and Misgivings are one and the same.

We entered through one of the double doors, but not before Aran announced our presence using one of the lion door knockers. Why he did that I do not know, just as I don’t know why he sounded the monkey alarm. We are here to kill Foxglove, if that’s even his real name. We aren’t here on a social visit! We can have wine and cheese when we get back. But I digress. The entrance hall was dominated by a big stuffed manticore, which I could sense no magic from. I could tell that the monkey head was magical, before Aran bloody pulled the rope! Afterwards he took it down and brought it with him. We heard a sobbing sound from somewhere upstairs, but we decided to check the ground floor first. Leewald pulled away a rug to check under it and found what he thought was a circular staircase in the mold, hidden by illusions. I could find no magic though. In the adjoining room we found an impressive stained glass mural, depicting a treant, a roc, a kraken and possibly a sphinx. They were being trapped, dematerializing and getting sucked into a seven sided box. The number seven again. Is it showing some form of thassilonian binding ritual?

This is that part where things go crazy. In another room Aran spot footprints being made by an invisible creature, maybe a ghost. He investigate the cold fireplace and suddenly it’s as if he got possesed! He grabbed Leewald under an arm, yelling that they needed to get out of here! He didn’t snap out of it until we were outside, with thousands of red little raven eyes looking at us! Grak intimidated them by shooting a few of them, and suddenly they were all over us! I got blinded by a bright light, probably Leewald missing with one of his spells. So once again I was unable to recount what happened, but I hear it was glorious! What wasn’t glorious was the note Aran played on the piano later. That man isn’t allowed to touch an instrument from now on. Not ever! Oh, and he claim someone whispered Lorey in his ear when he returned to the fireplace! I tried to communicate with the ghost, but it wouldn’t speak to me. Who wouldn’t want to speak to Jakwynbrakk?

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The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part XI
From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

12th day of Lamashan 4707, continued
I told my companions about the undead threat and adviced that we should go see Father Sir before doing anything else. The rest agreed of course. My opinon do carry immense weight. Father Sir agreed to speak to us in private and he could narrow down the list of what undead it might be conciderably. It was either a powerful zombie created from the corpse of an aasimar or a powerful ghoul known as a ghast. I think we all got concerned that maybe Nualia had been raised as an undead! But luckily all the signs seen since point toward it being a ghast. We had to tell Father Sir about the murders, for the sake of this town, and we had him swear to secrecy. Afterwards we had a look around the boneyard to see if any graves had been disturbed, and it turned out none had.

There was only a few hours of daylight left, but we had time to visit the crime scene at the old Bradley Barn before nightfall. It was mostly a big waste of time, but Aran did find tracks from a single person leading to the river. This led us to believe that the undead might be using the water around Sandpoint to move around unseen. Back in town Leewald and I compared the secret ledger to the ledger at the sawmill. It turned out he had been embezzling money from the Scarnetti’s! Too bad that Harker had already spent it all on those fancy furniture!

That same evening I tried to see Sir Sheriff, but he was being all cloak and dagger! I tried to see him at the garrison, but they wouldn’t tell me where he was and instead sent a courier. I followed the oblivious guard all the way to the courthouse. He was looking nervous for some reason. Unfortunatly there was another guard preventing entry to the building. It turned out he refused to see me this evening! He refused to see me! Jakwynnbrak, hero of Sandpoint! Instead I was to wait for him at the inn the next day! Incredulous!

13th day of Lamashan 4707
I did wait, but Sir Sheriff never showed. My companions were eager to go to Habe’s Sanatorium so I left a message for him instead. It didn’t take too long to get to our destination, however we did search the river bank first for tracks. We found none, and instead we went to the building and rang the bell by the door. Doctor Habe answered the door and seemed all manner of sketchy! Leewald managed to convince him to let us have a short talk with Grast Sevilla, but he wouldn’t allow us to bring our “pets”! Tama is no pet, and I told him as much! I claimed to be Kajwembreckt, famous psychologist, but not even that swayed him. Well I’d rather stay outside than leave than leave Tama because that rude human said so! But I digress, after a while my companions returned with some new information. Apparantly Grast was a Skinsaw cultist! I can’t make sense of it, but I don’t see why he’d lie about it either. In addition he was dying from a sickness, which more or less confirmed that we are dealing with a ghast! Leewald had already warned the man, but I adviced that we should send someone capable from the cathedral instead.

City guards were waiting for us back in Sandpoint and they were instructed to take us to the garrison. They wouldn’t see reason, so I made a run for it at the market. A few overweight guards were no match for the speed of Tama! I made it to the cathedral but Father Sir wasn’t there! The one I spoke to was completely useless so I went to the garrison anyways, since Father Sir just happened to be there. The others took their sweet time catching up. I had to wait several minutes!

Sir Sheriff wasn’t too pleased with us and yelled alot. Turned out Grak had robbed the Harker residence blind and for some reason he though I was in on it! Well I tried to convince him how wrong he was, and I think I got through to him! Well after a few days anyways. I made him think that we had found the black book in the secret compartment rather than Harker’s ill gotten gains. We shared what we had learned about the undead and the cult, and I even gave him some tips for the nightly patrols. We were asked to keep away from the investigation and to not leave town despite this! How do they expect to catch the culprits without my help? Father Sir left soon, but before he did I told him about Grast and asked him to send someone to the sanatorium.

15th and 16th day of Lamashan 4707
Several days went by and not a word about the investigation. Knowing that the Skinsaw cult was out there and that we weren’t allowed to help was driving me insane! I checked in with Father Sir, and it seemed like Grast Sevilla was a lost cause. So all that trouble was for nothing. But the 15th in the morning we heard rumors about a development in the investigation. Another criminal, a varisian girl named Sabriyya, had been killed in an ally not far from the harbor. The city guard also had a person in custody! I went to speak to Sir Sheriff alone since the others were otherwise busy. This time he was a little more forthcomming, and he might allow us to help soon if I keep our rangers on a short leash! They had found another message pierced to the thief, once again meant for Grak’s eyes. The suspect in custody seemed to be someone important to Grak. The only one I know of is his father. Could it really be him?

Later that day Leewald approached and told me he was going to patrol the waterfront tonight. Itching to do something, anything, I begged him to bring me along! Later that night, after a good long nap, we were patrolling when we heard barking and growling. We began to intercept!

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A Quick Stop at Thistletop
From the Journal of Leewald Brightspark 29th of Rova to 1st Lamashen

So I’m not really sure where to begin this, it’s been a confusing couple of days full of revelations and near deaths and a particularly and nauseating visit to wait goblin privy. Having cleared out the tunnels beneath Sandpoint we set out for Thistletop aiming to dismantle the leadership of the goblin rebellion. In preparations for this trip we spoke to several of the townspeople, acquiring a bounty for goblin ears from the stable master and also gaining some insight into the area and its history from two of the more scholarly people in town. It turns out the statue we found underneath Sandpoint was dedicated to Runelord Alaznist who used to rule those area of Varisia. It is believed that each Runelord had a specific virtue and hers was kindness but there seems to be some kind of corruption duality with these virtues and the picture doesn’t come together as it should.

Moving through Nettlewood he is a grueling experience and I would caution anyone against going there. It is perhaps safer now that the goblins are gone, assuming of course that they don’t move back in again, but the vegetation is nearly impassable. I and Jakk had the benefit of our shorter stature and Rufous and the other animals enjoyed a similar advantage, but anyone taller than this will not enjoy traveling through Nettlewood. It eventually became such a problem that we had to leave our horses.

As we neared Thistletop we encountered a network of tunnels and clearings in the vegetation, a clear sign of the goblin presence in the area.This led to several grueling fights, where he faced not only goblins but sea creatures, dogs and salamanders. The fight against the sea creature is noteworthy mostly because of Aran’s curiosity. Upon finding a whole a leading down to the water level of a cave he promptly decided to anchor a role and climb on down. Unfortunately this sea creature had some kind of supernatural roar that panicked him and had him cowering in the corner until I and Lyriana could reach him.

Shortly afterwards faced off against a goblin spellcaster of some variety. This was a time-consuming and frustrating fight as this particular goblin made the roots in the ground around us fight on his side. And it became even more frustrating when he managed to disengage and flee across the bridge. Aran and Lyriana were first across this bridge which ended in disaster. The goblins and set a trap you see and dislodged one side of the bridge making anyone on the bridge for almost certain death at the water 80 feet below. Aran ended up hanging from Lyriana’s leg as she herself held onto the bridge, making my body feel like it was swinging in turn with Aran. It was like some kind of magic was trying to make itself known. Perhaps this is why I didn’t notice that Lyriana had fallen off the bridge into the water just after she helped Aran grab onto it. That we were still fighting the goblin fortifications on the other side of the castle probably didn’t help either. Either way she was dead before I could realize it..

Eventually we managed to kill the goblins guarding the bridge allowing us to repair the damaged side and make our way across.Inside the fortification we fought several more groups of both goblins and their riding animals, found a war horse they had captured, discovered that their kitchens are almost as foul as their latrines and discovered the throne room of the goblin chieftain.

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The Amazing Adventures of Jakkwynbrakk, part X
From the journal of Jakkwynbrakk

12th day of Lamashan 4707
Today I was woken up at the crack of dawn by Aran who said Sir Sheriff wanted to see us posthaste. Well, at least it felt like the crack of dawn. I didn’t even have time to shave, or to summon Tama for that matter! So away we went to see Sir Sheriff. It turned out that another serial killer was skulking the streets of Sandpoint. This was the first time I heard about this, and apparantly the murderer had struck twice killing five people in the process. Gruesome murders too, not unlike the Chopper murders five years prior. The city guard might not be the most competent when it comes to stopping serial killers, but they sure are good at keeping their investigations under wraps!

The first three murders had taken place south of town, at the abandoned Bradley’s Barn. By the look of things someone refering to himself as ‘Your Lordship’ had lured some con men to their deaths. The city guard happened upon the murder scene after they had been assaulted by a raving madman, an adventurer by the name of Grast Sevilla. His clothes were caked in blood, making him the prime suspect for a while. He’s currently being treated at Habe’s Sanatorium.

The last two murders happened last night, and this time it was in town! Banny Harker and Katrine Vinder were found dead inside the sawmill. It was one of town’s worst kept secrets that the two were seeing each other. The suspects this time around were Ibor Thorn and Ven Vinder. Ibor runs, or ran, the sawmill together with Banny and was the one who found their bodies. Ven is Katrine’s father and is probably a suspect due to his temper. The theory being he had killed them both in a blind rage after finding out his daughter was seeing Banny. A note, again from ‘Your Lordship’, had been found on the scene. This time it mentioned Grak by name. He denied knowing anything about the letter, but surely there must be some connection.

But all of the current suspects are most likely innocent though. Not only did my talk with Sir Scholar give me some insight, but I divined something recently concering the smell at the sawmill. We definetly have a powerful undead on our hands! If the undead and this lord fellow are one and the same is unclear, although I doubt it.

First thing we did was to examine the corpses of the con men down in cold storage. Well it was mostly Leewald, but I helped! I also took the time to summon Tama. Wouldn’t want to be jumped by a murderer without Tama there to protect me! Leewald found sihedron symbols carved into each man’s torso! According to Sir Scholar the sihedron star is an old thassilonian symbol representing the seven virtues, the seven schools of magic (excluding divination) and also the empire itself. Not many would know of this symbol.

After an hour or so we made our way to the sawmill, but not before requesting that Sir Sheriff should put a guard outside of Harker’s residence. There was a quite a crowd amassing outside of the sawmill, so we opted to take the backdoor in. It was quite a gruesome scene, way more so than seeing the bodies back at the garrison. And that smell! Katrine had been thrown into a logsplitter and Banny had been hung on hooks and mutilated. Only Banny had the same sihedron carving as the con men. Someone, either Banny or Katrine defended themselves using an axe. The flesh stuck on the axe was what produced the foul smell which lead me to believe we are dealing with an undead. That and that the pets refused to go anywhere near it.

My theory is that the undead surprised the couple and went after it’s intended target, Harker. Katrine grabbed an axe and tried to help her lover. She truck true, but it wasn’t enough. The undead grabbed and threw her into the logsplitter. The undead dragged Harker away to the position where we found him and finished it’s deed.

At Harker’s place we said hello to the guard and broke in to find evidence. It was locked, and we found no keys on Harker. Unsurprisingly we didn’t find any keys inside either. But the sawmill had been fully unlocked. Unless he dropped his keys, someone has stolen them. Maybe the guards confiscated them? But either way, why would he keep the sawmill unlocked? We did find love letters from Katrine suggesting that they might have planned to elope. We also found a ledger, which was odd since we had already found one in the sawmill. A backup in case of a fire? Or was he embezzling money and kept a non altered ledger? Grak seemed more interested in the furniture than the investigation.

When we were done at Harker’s place Leewald suggested we should speak to Ven’s other daughter, Shayliss, before Mr Vinder was released from custody. No one answered the door though, which made me worried. After this we split up, Aran and Grak going their seperate ways and Leewald and I went to the Rusty Dragon for lunch. After the lunch I suggested we should speak to Ven about his daughter not answering the door. Since he’s so overprotective he’d want to know that! Leewald agreed, which made me even more sure that this was a good idea! It ended up with a race from the garrison to Ven’s shop! I won! Luckily Shayliss was fine! Mr Vinder yelled at me some so I left. The only thing we learned from this is that Leewald need some physical exercise to get into shape.

So what are we up against? My guess is that bloody Skinsaw Cult! I asked Leewald to hide the amulet in his haversack as a precaution. Maybe the lord is it’s leader. That won’t help us track him down though. Not quickly at least. The victims appear to be targeted, and we need to find the connection. At the moment it seems like they may be targeting criminals. And there’s that undead! Could they have raised Chopper as an undead? We should exhume his grave just to be sure. Father Sir could point us in the right direction. Maybe he can even tell what kind of creature of the night we are dealing with. We have a long day ahead of us, and an even longer night.

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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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