Dani's Super Happy Pathfinder Fun Time

The Siege of Vattas, continued
Part Two

As the Storm Fist approaches the harbor to destroy Zalam’s ships, our heroes continue northward, facing ever more dangerous foes. This time, Zalam seems to be stepping things up: a vampire sorcerer has been using the corpses of fallen soldiers of both sides to create animated skeletons. A difficult foe for ordinary guards and militia, but no match for a group of seasoned and skilled adventurers.

Even accompanied by a rakshasa, the vampire was no match for our heroes and was forced to escape after his skeletons were destroyed and his ally was obliterated. Soon, the Storm Fist and our heroes will arrive at the harbor, and the battle will be brought directly to Zalam.

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The Siege of Vattas
Part One

With influence and favor gathered, the time came for the council of Vattas to vote on whether to let the Zalam forces use their land to stage attacks on Palhast. Thanks to the influence of House LeMay, House Usher, and the Southern Strongarms Mercenary Company, the vote was an overwhelming majority against Zalam.

However, before proper celebrations could be had, Zalam attacked! With their black ships at the harbor, they fired cannons at the homes of the noble families that voted against them, and sent troops into the city to enact a purge of any who would defy Zalam’s might.

While House LeMay prepared its formidable defenses, the Storm Fist took off to bomb Zalam’s ships from out of reach of their cannons, and our heroes set out into the streets and headed north. They encountered a unit of elite Zalam soldiers, but also met two allies, both with their own reasons for fighting Zalam.

Only fate knows what fierce enemies or horrid creatures our heroes will encounter next!

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Recap
A summary of the story thus far

Our heroes have come a long way. Their story together begins in a humble farming village under attack by a horde of undead. After defending the town, they are offered employment in the Sentinels, a monster-hunting organization that spans most of the civilized world. From there, they uncover a conspiracy perpetrated by necromancers, but the true goal will not be discovered until later.

To the east next, our heroes became national heroes for defending the kingdom of Aradain against a plot by this necromancer cult. They travel to the Southern Continent, aiding colonies against yet more undead depredations. Soon after, they return to the Northlands, only to discover war has broken out: the Zalam Empire is waging a war of conquest, demanding all other nations submit and swear allegiance to the Mage Emperor.

Thanks to the information our heroes have discovered, they know now that the Mage Emperor is but a puppet, and the true purpose of the war is to sacrifice the living to the necromancer cult’s evil god.

When we last left our heroes, they had traveled north to the city-state of Vattas, a separatist state that refused to join Palhast when the latter became a theocracy. They had been helping House LeMay unite the other noble houses in ousting the occupying Zalam forces, and had succeeded in befriending the powerful but secretive Adahn Usher of House Usher and convincing the Southern Strongarms mercenary company in joining their cause. From there, other prominent noble houses are expected to follow their lead in voting to oust Zalam’s forces.

However, it is unlikely that Zalam will take this lightly, and the houses are preparing for battle while nearby Palhast forces, including Jant’s Holy Knights and the Twin Fang Mercenaries, ride and fly to their aid.

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Meeting with Adahn Usher
First encounter with the son of the house of Usher!

Our heroes arrived in the separatist city-state of Vattas, far to the north of Palhast, tasked with the rather formidable mission of convincing the noble houses ruling over Vattas to stop allowing the Zalam army to use their shores and land. To do this, our heroes have planned to meet and negotiate with the various houses. With the help of House LeMay, sympathizers with Palhast, our heroes learned that they would have to convince the secretive House Usher, the merchants of House Plutarch, the road- and waterway-controlling House Desarde, and the various members of the Mercenary Guild if they wanted a chance at swaying the other houses to vote against Zalam’s use of their land.

Our heroes formulated a plan and met with Adahn, son of Baron Gerald Usher. He was initially unfriendly toward them and the discussion almost turned violent, but our heroes managed to explain to Adahn very persuasively that if Zalam does win the war, then his house will not be spared Zalam’s destructive wrath either.

Adahn seemed convinced, but wanted to meet again to discuss it further, promising another meeting later in the week.

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Duel against Sull
An avatar of skill and battle challenges our heroes!

Under orders to march north to the Ordorach provinces, our heroes stopped in South Ordorach to rest and resupply their army. There, they were met by the head of a group of monks, disciples of a saint under the goddess Othol. They were invited to the temple of Sull, where they briefly dueled with the manifestation of the spirit of battle. They were rewarded for their perseverance and skill with a set of gauntlets, the Fists of Brotherhood, as well as a secret technique for Wolfram. These powerful artifacts promise to give Wolfram and Suzu a significant advantage in combat.

Our heroes returned to their army’s camp and prepared to continue north, to the Separatist State of Vattas.

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Siege at Galabro
Invade the alchemy lab!

With their new companions and new unit in tow, our heroes were given a new mission. A siege was to take place in the province of Galabro to retake its capital from Zalam, and while the Twin Fang Mercenaries and Jant’s Holy Knights were to reinforce the main army, our heroes had a special mission of their own: to infiltrate the castle and go to the alchemy lab and either capture or kill the alchemists there.

Dalziel led them into and through the city, avoiding patrolling guards and soldiers moving to join the battle, until they reached the castle. Our heroes entered a secret door down in the cellar leading to the dried-out waterway beneath the castle, where they found a horrific sight: Mutated people, driven insane and feral by the experiments Zalam’s alchemists performed on them. After a short battle ending in the mutants retreating into the shadows, our heroes discovered the lab itself.

There they fought against the alchemist himself and found an old foe, one who had escaped the party before in Langom: Agriya, a marai rakshasa with snakes for arms. Our heroes badly outnumbered the two of them, however, and managed to dispatch their foes with no casualties and little difficulty.

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Defending Lasio
Defending a castle and gaining a new unit!

After their resounding success at retaking Gambara, our heroes received a new mission: Head northeast to the province of Lasio, where they are to aid in defending Castle Vannis. Our heroes and their mercenaries set out, arriving only a few days later, where they met Paladin Jant, a tiefling in service to the priesthood of Liana and leader of Jant’s Holy Knights. They were informed that Jant and his forces would be joining the party’s forces permanently, adding significantly to their strength — their holy powers would be a great boon not only in defeating undead but also in quickly recovering from battle.

Our heroes were informed that they had only four days to prepare for a two-pronged attack from the north and west. They quickly set to work, aiding in repairs to the weapons, siege engines, and walls, reinforcing where they could. They set traps in the tunnels beneath the castle, gathered medicinal herbs, and even managed to abduct an enemy officer during a scouting mission, gaining valuable information on the enemy force’s composition and strategies.

The battle was a huge success, with allied reinforcements from Keshka arriving shortly after Zalam forces declared retreat, allowing combined allied forces to surround and utterly crush one of the retreating Zalam armies.

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Liberating Gambara
A new type of battle for our heroes!

With their unit of a couple hundred soldiers, our heroes set off to the south, going from Langom to Cardeta, then east through Stormy Bay territory before finally arriving in Gambara. There, they met up with the survivors of the Gambaran Army, who had been driven out of the capital and were regrouping to defend against a Zalam attack that their spies told them was coming in four days.

Our heroes joined forces with the Gambaran survivors, greatly bolstering their numbers and morale, and set about various tasks that would give their outnumbered forces an edge over Zalam’s occupying forces: they cleared out the sewers beneath the city to allow their forces to move freely through them, assassinated some of Zalam’s officers to hurt troop morale, rescued prisoners of war, sabotaged weapons and the magic barriers used in city checkpoints, and more.

All of this added up to give them the edge they needed to overcome Zalam, resulting in a spectacular victory over the enemy. They liberated the city and learned the nuances of preparing for a battle and commanding a unit.

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A Turn for the Tactical
Our heroes, in command?!

After recuperating from the battle against Vigash and his two allies, our heroes met with senior Sentinel Shoroth and received interesting news: That they would be put in command of a small unit of soldiers! They were presented with a map of Palhast and the nearby nations and decided to make a move to liberate the southern province of Gambara, just east of Stormy Bay, from Zalam control.

Our heroes then went to the camp to meet their new troops. It’s a motley mish-mash of soldiers: mages from Sage Breygon’s Tower, clerics from Palhast, warriors and mercenaries from the Ruhiim Academy, Silvert, and Aradain, scouts and archers from Vathis, and others. They also discovered that Johann of the Twin Fangs and his mercenaries had been incorporated into their unit! Johann had fought against the party, duped by the necromancer cult into attempting to kill them, but he was defeated and jailed.

In the morning, our heroes and their forces march south, then east, where they will attempt to liberate Gambara.

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Vigash's Last Battle
Vigash defeated, and a Palhast holy site defended!

Our heroes received word that Vigash had rejuvenated fully and was moving his forces to attack again, this time against the Palhast city of Langom, also a holy site. Aside from being on several important trade routes, Langom was also home to the Temple of Saint Audos, one of Liana’s earliest priests, and where his staff — a potent healing relic — is being kept.

Upon arrival, they found Langom well under attack, with Zalam forces having penetrated the city’s walls and engaged in battle in the streets. They were let off the Storm Fist right outside the temple, where Vigash was waiting with two friends: A marai rakshasa and a rogue with a familiar shadowy cloak, possibly the same person who retrieved Vigash’s armour after his first defeat.

Our heroes handily managed to defeat Vigash a second time as well as kill the rogue, but Agriya the rakshasa managed to escape. This leaves our heroes with that mysterious shadow cloak, and Vigash’s battered armour.

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