Dani's Super Happy Pathfinder Fun Time

Southward Bound
Plans and preparations are made for a journey to the south!

With a week to relax and spend their newfound wealth, our heroes rested and recovered and did some much-deserved shopping. Lord Reinhardt Schutz paid the group a visit while they were relaxing at the Tipsy Drake and discussed with them future plans for hunting the necromancer cult.

The possibility of Zalam was brought up, and while it was agreed that a mission there would be inevitable, the party decided it was too dangerous at this point. Zalam is a magocracy and non-spellcasters are treated as second-class citizens, and the only two deities that can be legally worshiped in Zalam are Varinga and Asmodeus, both evil-aligned gods. Lord Schutz told them that there are plans to set up a proper spy network in Zalam, to act as support when the party finally goes there to deal with possible necromancer infiltration.

For the time being, the party agreed that the immediate course of action should be to go south through the mountains and to the Khelos Desert, and to the port city of Maialis and from there to the colonies on the coast of the Southern Continent. From there, they would begin hunting for signs of undead in search of a rumored necropolis. They’ve got a lot of area to search, however, and will have to rely on the locals for information — which might mean interacting with tribes of orcs.

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Heroes of Aradain
The First King's ashes protected, the kindgom saved, and rewards!

A short ceremony was held in the castle’s grand hall in honor of the party, to celebrate their heroic defense of the ashes of the First King, now revealed to be the source of the Zone of Truth that covers the castle. Each of them was given 3000 gold and declared national heroes, recognized as honored guests and forevermore welcome in Aradain’s borders. Each hero was also given a unique reward.

For now, the party rests and plans their next move. There were rumors of attempts of the necromancer cult attempting to infiltrate the magocracy of Zalam, as well as hints at a necropolis or two somewhere on the Southern Continent.

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The Last Battle in the Catacombs

The party finally located the tomb of the First King of Aradain, finding the arch bearing his name defaced and defiled and the door destroyed. Once inside, they discovered the necromancers had set up a magic circle in order to cast some sort of spell to break the barrier protecting the sarcophagus and the urn containing the king’s ashes — the necromancers had also created a massive zombie out of dozens of corpses to defend them while they performed their ritual.

Unfortunately for the necromancers, quick thinking and quicker action by the party disrupted the summoning, causing the deaths of each of the necromancers as the Black Skull siphoned away their lifeforce to power the summoning. The giant zombie was destroyed, but a moment later, an extraplanar rift opened up and an equally massive creature came partway through — it was only at about half its normal power, however, thanks to the interrupted summoning.

The gods favored the party that night, and they defeated the extraplanar being with a minimum of damage. Lord Schutz found them after the battle and led them back to the surface, where the party now waits to hear what the Royal Council decides to do for them.

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Deeper and Deeper
More undead, and a set of unlikely allies!

After a brief attack by a mohrg — an undead with a paralyzing lick — the party continued searching for the necromancers and the tomb of Aradain’s first king. They came across the site of a battle, but things were suspicious — bloodstains all over, craters and scorch marks from exploded spells, with weapons and broken, empty suits of armour strewn about, and not a single corpse to be found. Further up, the hallway had been collapsed, an obvious ploy by the necromancers to slow the party.

The party was forced to backtrack and find another way through, and quickly got back on track. However, their questions regarding the battle site from before were answered when they came across a hallway with six suits of armour — suits of armour that raised their weapons and attacked as soon as they entered!

However, Chalyss and Lord Schutz arrived just in time with a medallion bearing the royal seal, which allowed Chalyss to control the animated suits of armour, called guardians. Schutz told the party he and his elite guards would begin cleaning out the rest of the catacombs while the party continued onward, their animated allies in tow. They soon came across a room with twelve more guardians, and chose to take nine more with them for an even fifteen guardians backing them up for when they finally face those necromancers.

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Into the Aradain Castle Catacombs
Hunting necromancers deep beneath the castle!

After briefly interrogating the captured necromancer and discovering that the dark power he worships is powerful enough to grant powers but isn’t quite divine and therefore isn’t beholden to the same laws the rest of the gods are, Schutz arrived and told the party he can get them into the catacombs under the castle, bypassing the “surprise” the necromancers left behind the way they got in.

The catacombs proved an imposing and huge place, consisting of a massive circular central chamber hundreds of feet deep, the stonework becoming older the deeper they went, the central pit criss-crossed by bridges in various states of repair. Murals and statues depicting figures important to Aradain history provided some insight into Aradain’s past, as well.

It was smooth going until they discovered a bridge guarded by a group of skeletons. They proved little threat to the party, with the exception of the skeletal champion commanding them, who almost knocked Chalyss the paladin off the bridge and into the darkness with a shield bash.

The party defeated the skeletons and then argued over the skeleton’s sword before continuing into the catacombs.

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Secret of the House with the Red Roof
A house full of zombies! A secret necromancer lair! A terrifying new undead foe!

With directions from both the half-elf alchemist Shalm and the mercenary Johann of the Twin Fangs pointing to the same red-roofed house on Mammon Street, the party journeyed to the east side of town to investigate. What they found, however, was a suspiciously empty street and a house packed with zombies! They handily dispatched the horde with a minimum of fuss, and went about searching for clues.

It was then that Chalyss discovered a hidden door in the cellar, leading underground past the aqueducts and into the old sewers. It was a straight line from there to a secret necromancer lab, where the necromancer summoned a terrifying undead that could steal life away with its gaze alone! After a pitched battle against these two foes, the undead creature was vanquished and the necromancer was knocked out.

Some looting revealed a disturbing letter the necromancer had received:
To: D
Research is going well in Palhast. Hopefully this letter reaches you in a timely manner. Our efforts on the Northern Continent were foiled. A tome was discovered in the library regarding Aradain’s history. Pieced together with what we know, the First King Aradain’s dying words placed the Zone of Truth on the castle. The information we have indicates that his ashes, in an arn described in the scrolls with wording that could be interpreted as either “protected” or “protective,” maintain the Zone of Truth. Find a way beneath the castle and you will find the urn. Find a way to destroy it, and scatter the ashes.
From: L

The party took the unconscious necromancer to Johann, who sent his guards with the party to bring the necromancer to the castle dungeon, where magical shackles were placed on him and he was placed in solitary confinement, to be held there until his interrogation.

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Mercenary Attack
Meeting an alchemist, fighting off a group of mercenaries, and facing Johann of the Twin Fangs!

Soon after their meeting, Lord Schutz provided the party with a lead: Shalm, a small-time alchemist and purveyor of spell components (who also acts as a fence for magic items) had recently acquired a suspiciously large sum of money. After a short trip to his shop in the south side, Taan managed to get information from him: a group of mages making use of an an abandoned house with a red roof on Mammon Street (on the east side of town) had recently come through and purchased a huge quantity of spell components (and probably magic items) from Shalm.

Unfortunately, while Taan was conversing with Shalm in the store, a group of mercenaries accosted the party in the alleyway outside. They proved to be inexperienced and no match for the party, up until their leader, Johann, arrived. After a fierce battle, Johann was knocked out and he and two of his mercenaries were taken into custody. They now sit in the jail, awaiting questioning.

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Meeting Lord Schutz
The City of Aradain! Reuniting with old friends! Meeting new friends!

After a brief stop at the Sentinel Guild Hall in Aradain City to meet up with an old friend and welcome some new friends into the party, they finally met with Lord Reinhardt Schutz, a prominent noble responsible for ridding the River District of the gangs that had plagued it. They discussed plans to investigate the rumors of the cult of necromancers attempting to infiltrate the Aradain courts, as well as the permanent Zone of Truth that covers the castle.

With Lord Schutz calling in favours from his contacts and exerting his influence to discover information, it won’t be long before he has a lead for the party.

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Post-Hiatus Recap
After a long hiatus, we're back!

The party of adventurers employed by the Sentinels, a prominent guild of monster hunters, had fought numerous battles across the Northlands in their quest to destroy this mysterious cult of necromancers and foil their plans for domination. They’ve made many allies and a few enemies, collecting the strange and sinister Black Skull artifacts, which grant necromancers enormous power over undead. Now their attention has turned to the Eastern Continent, and they make their way to Aradain to investigate rumors of cultist infiltration.

After a brief stop in the Sentinel guild hall in the capital of Aradain, some heroes parted ways and old friends reunited, joining forces to help face this evil. Their next order of business: make contact with Lord Reinhardt Schutz, a prominent nobleman who is willing to aid the Sentinels in rooting out and destroying this cult.

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The Journey to Aradain
A battle on the ocean, and a reunion with an old mentor

After a brief rest after returning from the necropolis, the party stocked up on supplies and boarded a merchant vessel headed for the western coast of the Eastern Continent, where their next destination lie: The kingdom of Aradain.

After following the southern coast of the Northlands and a brief stop near Silvert, the boat began crossing the open ocean, and was attacked by a swarm of fishmen with their trained giant octopus! The octopus grappled the boat to hold it still while the fishmen boarded to kill the crew, but the party valiantly fought them off and made use of the ship’s ballistae to destroy the sea monster’s tentacles.

After arriving on the coast, the party set off on horseback again into Aradain territory, finding it a great deal more densely populated than the comparatively sparse Northlands. Settlements were rarely more than a day’s journey apart, with plenty of farms between.

They came upon the town of Kryal, where the Kryal Monastery was located, a training ground for paladins and clerics of Carda, where Elsa was also trained. The party stopped to speak with Elsa’s mentor, a half-elf paladin named Stonnel, who suggested they contact a nobleman in the Aradain capital named Lord Reinhardt Schutz, who would be willing to help them root out the necromancer cult that was trying to infiltrate the nobility and courts in Aradain and take control from within.

It was also revealed to the party during their conversations with Stonnel that the Castle Aradain was under a centuries-old spell dating back to the kingdom’s founding: A powerful Zone of Truth, stretching over the entire castle grounds and as far as anyone knows, impossible to resist. Put simply, lies literally cannot be told within the castle walls, which is why so many guild, diplomatic, court, and council meetings are held within the castle walls.

The party is off to the bustling capital of Aradain to meet with this Lord Schutz.

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