Dani's Super Happy Pathfinder Fun Time

The Final Battle
The end of the war

With a sizable force gathered, our heroes set out for the island where the Emperor’s oracles said would be the entry point of the necromancer cult’s dark master. with the Storm Fist and a troop transport airship, they flew across the ocean and soon found the island, wrapped in a bloody red haze, and covered with strange towers of impossible architecture.

The battle began almost immediately on landing, with necromancers, cultists, and a horde of undead blocking their progress into the island. They fought their way into the necropolis and to the massive ziggurat at its center, on top of which stood an imposing black gate, the entrance to the dark master’s realm. Lizbeth informed them that once they enter, they might not be able to come back out if they slay the realm’s master.

Naturally, our heroes entered anyway, entering a chaotic realm of darkness under the shadow of a permanent eclipse. They were confronted by a luminous being that blasted them with hateful light, a vile miasma, and a ravenous hunger for souls, pushing them to the brink of death. However, the prayers and memories of the hundreds of lives that the heroes touched protected them and restored their strength, granting them the power to fight on.

With ferocity and cleverness, the heroes triumphed, turning the dark entity’s captured souls against it in a vicious battle that shook the entire realm. Once its dark powers were stripped away and its tormented souls were freed, the entity was revealed to be nothing but a parasite, feeding on hate and dark thoughts. The realm collapsed around them and the entity’s soul faded into nothing, leaving the heroes floating in darkness.

That’s when a heavenly light pierced the darkness and warmly embraced them, carrying them across the gulf between realms and safely returning them to the island and their allies. With the dark master of the necromancer cult destroyed utterly, the necromancers have lost their powers and all the undead they’ve created have been destroyed, leaving another cleanup mission on the island.

The war is over, the cult’s master is destroyed, and our heroes are free to carry on as they please with their lives.

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Battle with the Emperor
The second-last session

The siege of the capital of Zalam began, with the Palhast Grand Army attacking from the north and the Aradain Army attacking from the south, both mixed with mercenaries and with Vathis’s airships raining fire from the sky. Our heroes, accompanied by Jant and his Holy Knights, Akash and his Hunters, and Johann and his Twin Fang mercenaries, stormed the palace. As they fought their way through, more and more of the soldiers broke off to spread into the palace, while the elite soldiers among them remained behind to stall threats to the main group. Soon, even Jant, Akash, and Johann and their best were forced to separate, leaving our heroes to face the Emperor alone.

They discovered Emperor Sihark Zalam the First and Only in his throne room, waiting for them, but strangely resigned to his fate. He spoke of visions and oracles, and how no visions of his future could see past this very night — but even augury can see to punishment or reward in the Great Beyond. For him, nothing could be seen. He engaged our heroes in combat, hurling spell after spell, but eventually succumbed.

However, rather than die or surrender, a strange, cloying, vile mist began to spread through the throne room. The Emperor lost his composure, reduced to manic laughter and tears of terror. He told the heroes to find his oracles, who would surrender, and they would tell the heroes where to find the true threat: the ones who pulled the strings of his generals and led Zalam into war.

The strange mist, filled with sinister shapes, claimed the Emperor and vanished with him, leaving only his weapon behind.

On reuniting with Jant, Akash, and Johann, our heroes discover that the oracles have already surrendered and been captured. Cooperative and responsive to questioning, they inform the heroes that on an island in the Central Ocean, partway between all four continents, is where dark forces are gathering and preparing for the entry of a great evil into the world. They say that if these dark forces are not stopped, the world will be plunged into such chaos that this war will pale in comparison.

As for the siege of the capital, it continued for several more days, but the combined forces of the Palhast and Aradain armies, along with the huge advantage of the airships, eventually forces the remaining Zalam forces to surrender. The next weeks are spent putting out fires, tending to wounded, and beginning the rebuilding of the capital — but the nation of Zalam is already teetering on the brink of chaos, with the Emperor’s former generals outside the capital consolidating their forces and carving out petty fiefdoms of their own.

However, our heroes have more important things to worry about than pretenders playing at kingship. Maps of the Central Ocean show that there is indeed an island partway between all four continents, and plans have been made to fly there with Jant’s Holy Knights, Akash’s Hunters, and Johann’s Twin Fangs all coming along to discover the truth about this war and put an end to whatever threatens this world.

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The End is Near
The war's end is in sight!

Soon after their victory at Duhkha Prison, our heroes find themselves in the midst of the war. Allied Palhast-Aradain forces have arrived via air and sea, and the war proper has begun. With the North and South Fang taken, rebellions from Cindertown in the south, and the bulk of the Allied army marching from the north, Sirgo and Bhirat were taken in a little over a month.

Our heroes find themselves with what may be their final foe ahead of them, the siege of the Capital looming in the future. It will be a brutal and bloody battle, but with support from north, south, sea, and air, victory is assured. Tasked with using their elite mercenary forces to assault the Imperial Palace itself, our heroes must arm and prepare themselves to face their strongest foes yet, and an Emperor who may be an immortal master of magic.

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Prelude to War
The allied armies are on their way!

With the prisoners of Duhkha Prison rescued and healed, and with the alchemist and warden undergoing interrogation, it’s only a matter of time before the Allied Armies of Palhast and Aradain arrive by air and by sea. Soon, the war will begin, and the continent of Carnir will see war like it has never witnessed.

Our heroes have a brief period of rest before the campaign begins, but will it be enough to gather their wits and resources for what is to come?

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Assault on Duhkha Prison, Part Three
Final battle, a new foe, alchemist captured!

With the lab open to them, our heroes entered and met their final foes: a strangely flippant nobleman who showed skill in both magic and swordplay, the prison’s head alchemist, and his shield guardian iron golem.

After a pitched battle in the lab, the nobleman was revealed to be undead. While his body crumbled to dust, his final words implied that he’d be seeing the heroes again someday. With the iron golem’s destruction, the alchemist surrendered, and the heroes regrouped, gathered their spoils and useful items, and returned to the airship.

There, they discovered that Jant’s Knights and Akash’s Hunters had also completed their objectives. The prison warden was unconscious and bound, and the bunks and storage were full of rescued prisoners. With the Storm Fist on its way back to Azdhar’s Fortress, all that’s left to deal with is the aftermath.

What terrible secrets will the alchemist and warden reveal to them? What horrors will our heroes face when they reach the capital?

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Assault on Duhkha Prison, Part Two
Nearing the labs, a second battle!

With the helpful directions from the surrendered prison guard, our heroes made their way deeper into Duhkha Prison. There, they found strange pipes that didn’t match the rest of the architecture, growing more numerous the closer they got to the lab.

They soon found themselves at the imposing main door of the lab, guarded by a small unit of elite guards and three golems — two stone, and one iron! After a vicious battle, Julia and Purifier managed to convince the elite guard to surrender. Seeing how easily they dispatched the golems, they surrendered, offering up the key to the main door and expressing regret and disgust at the treatment of the prisoners and the horrid experiments performed here.

With the key to the lab, our heroes must steel themselves and make sure they’re ready for whatever abominations await them, and they must hope that their allies succeed at their tasks.

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Assault on Duhkha Prison, Part One
Initial assault and first battle!

Our heroes and their allies began their assault on the prison, three teams — our heroes, a team led by Jant and accompanied by Uluka, and a team of hunters led by Akash — landed on the rooftops and entered, each with their own goals. From there, they entered and went downward, encountering resistance in the form of what appeared to be an inquisitor of Asmodeus, armed with powerful weaponry and accompanied not only by skilled guards, but also by horrid mutant abominations, one with tentacles sprouting from his back and the other with enormous crab-like pincers instead of proper arms.

The two mutants were wearing strange collars that appeared to make them susceptible to orders — breaking one led the tentacled mutant to fly into a rage and attack his own allies, chasing a retreating guard deeper into the prison. One guard surrendered on seeing the inquisitor die, offering information in exchange for his life.

What other horrors does Duhkha Prison hold for our heroes?

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Fishing village Tinsuk, and Uluka the Trickster-Hero
A sleepy village, a new friend, and a prison raid

With a base of operations and staging point for the Grand Palhast Army’s arrival secure, our heroes took stock of their options. With Sirgo to the west and North Fang to the southeast too well-guarded for direct attack, they considered arming rebels and inciting them to action, and settled on investigating the small town of Tinsuk and the strange previously-unknown prison on one of the maps provided by the catfolk.

Known as Duhkha Prison, named for the Old Zalamese word for sorrow, their own information on it came from the alchemist Nabil, who said he only knew its name because one of his colleagues was sent to work there. This implies that the prisoners are being experimented on. Our heroes set out to Tinsuk to investigate the area, and found a strange ally there.

A fiddler wearing an owl mask was playing at the inn they traveled to. After a display of hypnotic suggestion on the other inn-goers, he revealed himself as the bard and trickster-hero Uluka, twice thought executed for his crimes against authority. Hinting that Mr. Crow informed him of the arrival of our heroes, he offered to help them raid the prison, providing them with valuable information about the place.

Our heroes set out making a plan to attack the island prison from the air, sending in three groups to seize control of it and rescue the prisoners: the main party would attack the laboratory, Jant and a team of his elite knights would free prisoners and ensure a clear path to the airship for rescue, and Akash and his hunters would either capture or kill the warden.

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Siege on Azdhar's Fortress, Conclusion
Kaur's rescue and new allies!

After decapitating Azdhar and retrieving his axe, our heroes set out deeper into the fortress to fulfill their main objective: Rescuing Kaur, chieftain Kanchana’s daughter.

They encountered someone unexpected while exploring the rest of the fortress: an alchemist who introduced himself as Nabil. He swiftly surrendered to them, and revealed that he was the alchemist responsible for transforming Azdhar into the draconic abomination he became. He also revealed that Azdhar required constant treatment to prevent his body from rejecting his draconic aspects and killing him. With the experiment a failure and Nabil’s reputation ruined, both Azdhar and Nabil were sent north, out of sight and out of mind.

Nabil since refused to experiment on the living ever again, and turned his focus toward medicinal alchemy. Our heroes generously offered to take him in, and he gladly led them to the secret chamber where Kaur was being held.

Outside, Jant’s Holy Knights conquered the fortess with minimal losses. Azdhar’s death caused most of the remaining Zalam soldiers to either surrender or flee, and Jant’s soldiers plan to repurpose the fortress for their own use. The Storm Fist took our heroes, Nabil, and Kaur back to the catfolk village, where they were welcomed as heroes.

There, Kanchana gave our heroes command of Akash and the catfolk’s greatest hunters. Trackers, scouts, assassins, saboteurs, and infiltrators, they will make a valuable addition to the limited forces available to our heroes in this hostile land.

Now that a base of operations has been established in Azdhar’s former fortress, our heroes are free to strike out at the nearby inner-sea town of Tinsuk and the bustling trade city, the North Fang.

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Siege on Azdhar's Fortress, Part two
The Battle with Azdhar

Venturing ever-deeper into the fortress, our heroes finally happened upon the throne room, where Azdhar himself sat waiting for them. They confronted him and engaged him in a titanic battle that shook the entire fortress, swiftly defeating his allies before finally putting an end to him.

However, with his dying breath, Azdhar revealed that his draconic traits and deformed appearance were the result of a failed experiment, not a successful one. He warned the heroes that Zalam’s alchemists had more frightening and powerful beings waiting for them.

With Azdhar dead, there are only a few things left to do. chieftain Kanchana was promised Azdhar’s head and axe as trophies, and there’s still the matter of finding his daughter Kaur inside this huge fortress. Will there be more of Azdhar’s soldiers waiting? Will they even be willing to fight, or with the death of their commander, will they flee? Did Azdhar have any traps built?

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