Dani's Super Happy Pathfinder Fun Time

Declaration of War
Zalam's war on the Northlands begins!

After spending some time in the Ruhiim Academy, our heroes received a magical message from Lizbeth, one of the senior Sentinels they aided in defense of Stormy Bay so many months ago, against a siege by a necromancer-led horde of undead. She relayed troubling news: Zalam had formally declared war on Palhast had begun its invasion. Lizbeth asked the party for help, and they eagerly accepted, as they have strong reason to believe Zalam’s war was orchestrated by the necromancer cult they have been hunting.

Our heroes were informed that as Sentinels they would not see front-line action, but would instead be acting as a strike unit, undertaking special tasks requiring their varied skills, responding quickly to changing situations, and handling unique and stronger threats such as summoned monsters or enemy generals.

Preparations were made and the party set off again, for a much shorter journey to Stormy Bay, their first assignment. Lizbeth also hinted that Shoroth, the farem Sentinel who was also at Stormy Bay during the undead siege, would be heading there and would meet the party.

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The Ruhiim Academy of Martial Studies
A long journey to a familiar place!

The journey took several weeks, but the party finally arrived at the Northlands and the Ruhiim Academy of Martial Studies. They crossed the sea from Tomra to Maialis, crossing the Khelos Desert (once again guided by the nomadic farem who live there) to Roddon, then north to Skaze until reaching the capital Aradain. From there they went west, crossing the sea again and arriving at Silvert, retreating familiar territory from their adventure’s beginning: the town of Sanarro, ruled by the enigmatic vampire Lord Renahd, the machine city Vathis, and the farming community of Caeron, where the first undead attack occurred.

Northward into the mountains, they arrived at the academy and met with Instructor Avri, one of Wolfram’s former teachers, and returned the badge of the mysterious monk they encountered far to the south. They discussed the future and the role the Academy would play in the event of further necromancer actions and possible war with Zalam, and some persuasive words by Purifier got positive results from Avri.

For now, the party rests within the walls of the Academy, familiar to some of our heroes. What the next few days will bring remains to be seen.

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Snake Castle Aftermath
Meeting a strange new friend!

With a magic crystal giving them access to new parts of the castle, the party went exploring. Near the bottom of the castle they discovered a door to a strange room, a study and living area for the only survivor of the people who constructed the castle.

Nasini Rahaya Al’Siraj, Archivist and Keeper of the Nahasiss snakefolk, introduced herself and invited the party into her study and told them the story of her people:

“Like the kindred races, the nahasiss began as a primitive people, little better than snakes before we began recording our history — similar to humans and apes, I believe. However, as we gradually civilized ourselves and discovered agriculture and the written word, we discovered the language of magic — and discovered our talents for it.

“Every nahasiss bears the gift of magic. From whence this gift came, we know not, but many of our priests claim it to be a blessing from the god you call Mideo, the god of nature and beasts. We used our talents to create a mighty empire on this continent, doing battle with the orcs, kobolds, goblins, and hobgoblins with our mighty magic to dominate a vast territory.

“Our dominance of this continent continued for nearly three thousand years, but we became decadent and corrupt, mired in bureaucracy and obsessed with money. A great curse befell us, its origin unknown, but it stole our greatest gift from us: our magic.

“The curse came in the form of a plague, a disease that robbed us of our arcane powers. Word spread rapidly to our enemies, who marched on our cities and razed them to the last, hobgoblins leading the orcs, goblins, and kobolds to destroy their hated enemies. We were hunted to extinction. Perhaps small tribes of warriors survived, but our arcane arts were our greatest strength, and they were stolen completely from us.”

She also asked the party to take copies of the texts of her people and to spread their history, hoping that despite the death of her people and their empire, they would not be lost to history. In addition to thanking the party for ridding the castle of necromancers, she bestowed them with many gifts.

From the cultists, the party acquired:
- +1 weapons: battleaxe, longsword, morningstar, heavy mace, flail
- +1 weapons: shortbow x2
- Cloak of Resistance +4
- Staff of Necromancy
- Bracers of Armour +2
- Ring of Protection +3
- Amulet of Natural Armour +3
- +2 hand wraps

From Nasini, the party was given:
- 8,000 gold each (platinum coins, gems, materials)
- Potions: Bull’s Strength, Invisibility, Remove Curse, Remove Disease
- Scrolls: Lesser Restoration, Shield Other, Grace, Weapon of Awe, Wrathful
Mantle, Vanish, Spider Climb, Web, Fly, Frost Fall
- Wands: Lesser Restoration, Resist Energy
- Belt of Giant Strength +4
- Belt of Physical Might +2 (Str & Dex)
- Ring of Forcefangs

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The Snake Castle
The wizard's last stand!

After fighting their way into the castle, our heroes set about exploring, finding strange architecture and statues and murals and bas-reliefs, all snake-themed. They also found strange channels carved into the walls, some of which glowed with magical energy from some unknown source, leading to doors and and lights and even traps, providing power to them — some of the channels leading to doors were dark, and those doors were locked.

The party went deeper into the castle, soon finding a group of cultists at the base of a tower. They fought their way up, soon reaching some sort of ritual room with an altar protected by a glowing green barrier, behind which was the wizard — but he had backup, several cultists and a monk bodyguard ready to protect him. The battle was fierce but the party came out victorious, Calwyn landing the killing blows on both the monk and the wizard.

Now, the entire castle is open to the party. They have a strange gem that was powering the barrier; perhaps it can be used to power doors and other devices, allowing them access to the castle’s deeper reaches? What mysteries does this place hold, now that the necromancer threat has been eliminated? For that matter, what were the necromancers planning with the castle? Perhaps they planned to use it as a stronghold from which to launch attacks on both the orc tribes and the frontier towns on the north coast, or perhaps there is some deeper secret.

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Battle at the Gate
The wizard is back, and has some new tricks!

Our heroes were met at the gate with a surprise — the wizard was ready and waiting for them! He had taken control of the defense mechanism at the snake castle’s front gate, some kind of magic-powered statue that fired heat rays from its eyes. The wizard then summoned a pair of baykoks, the flying reanimated corpses of obsessed hunters, to harass them while he used the snake statue’s eyebeams to blast them.

The party overcame this challenge and forced the wizard to retreat, then easily dealt with the baykoks by making clever use of the pillars littering the courtyard. But now, the open gate of the snake castle looms before them — Murderwind hinted that it was full of traps, and there’s no telling what the necromancer wizard has in store for them.

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The Place of Snakes
A trek through the jungle to bizarre ruins

Our heroes set off south into the jungle, on the orc druid Murderwind’s instructions, to search for this “place of snakes” that reeks of death. Murderwind told the party of other curious things the nature spirits told him: that the place was ancient, so old that it remembers when the sun sets where it now rises, so old that it remembers this world’s second moon.

The party spent several days searching, and came upon the White River, so named because of its whitewater rapids. There they turned west, and it wasn’t long before they found signs they were going in the right direction.

Marking the area were great pillars, twenty to thirty feet in height, some crumbling and some not, but all covered with elaborate inscriptions of snakes. They followed what probably used to be a road until they discovered their true destination: an ancient castle of some kind, bearing similar snake-themed carvings and strange architecture, the likes of which none of our heroes had seen before.

There is no doubt that their target, the escaped necromancer wizard, is hiding in there. What is he doing in there? Is this where he and the rest of his cult have made their headquarters? Is he seeking to master the castle’s secrets and use them for his own sinister ends? What sort of sinister traps could be waiting for them?

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Meeting Murderwind
The reclusive orc druid!

After meeting with the crow spirit, the party followed his instructions and continued south, finding the ruins of the Storm-Howl tribe’s village. The only notable thing about it was the lack of corpses, which made sense, given that most of the dead were made into skeletons to attack Tomra. Our heroes continued south, as per Mr. Crow’s instructions, eventually finding the grove of the orc druid Murderwind, the former shaman of the Storm-Howl tribe who went into voluntary exile to commune with nature.

After showing Murderwind the feather helpfully provided by Mr. Crow, Murderwind deigned to speak with the party. They learned that the survivors were indeed with him and under his protection, but that there were so few that repopulating the tribe would be impossible, and that they would have to join another tribe to survive. Murderwind agreed to help them locate the necromancer who escaped them, and went on to tell them that their necromancy was a corruption of healing arts that is an upset to the balance of life and death.

Where Murderwind will send our heroes next is a mystery, but in a jungle as deep and old as this, it will no doubt be dangerous.

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Mr. Crow
A strange feathered visitor!

After a few days of resting and celebrating at Tomra, the party purchased a Bag of Holding in which to carry the weapons and armour of the fallen warriors of the Storm-Howl tribe, and set off to the south. After discovering a hunting trail, they set camp for the night, but received a strange visitor in the night.

A man-sized crow called Kurag Uzhkur — Mischievous Shadow — by the orcs entered their camp, and asked to partake of their meal. After eating, he struck up a conversation with them, revealing many things to them, such as the existence of survivors of the Storm-Howl tribe, and hints about his own true nature.

The Storm-Howl tribe had indeed been attacked by the necromancers and their vampire ally, their village razed and their dead raised to make up the ranks of the skeleton army that attacked Tomra. What remains of the Storm-Howl tribe had fled far to the south, where they are hiding with a very old orc druid named Murderwind, the tribe’s former shaman who left of his own accord to live as one with nature.

Kurag Uzhkur gifted the party with one of his feathers, with two purposes: To show them the path from the village to Murderwind’s grove, and to give as a gift to Murderwind as a peace offering — since Murderwind and the tribe will not likely be particularly happy to see more soft-skins.

From where they are now, it will be two days on foot to the south to find Murderwind’s grove.

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Seeking the Orcs of the Storm Howl Tribe
Will there even be any survivors?

After distributing treasure and discussing their next move, the party agreed that they should find the Storm-Howl Tribe, the orcish tribe that had been destroyed by the necromancers to create their skeleton army. The party purchased some horses and a solid wagon to carry the weapons and armour of the slain orcs and made plans to set out the next morning. With the party’s tracking skills and Azzie’s knowledge of the orcish tribes, they should have no trouble finding the Storm Howl-Tribe’s territory markers and hunting paths.

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Final Battle of Tomra
The necromancers were defeated, but left more questions than answers!

With the wind druid’s help, the party was able to track the vampire in mist form to the cave where he and his cohorts were performing their foul necromantic rituals and launching their attacks on Tomra.

The party entered and confronted the necromancers, a cleric and wizard, and fought a pitched and brutal battle. After the vampire was defeated a second time and the cleric had taken a beating, the wizard decided this would be a good time to leave, and he teleported away. He left his comrade to die, and left behind a wealth of equipment and information for the party.

After the battle, the party properly and permanently destroyed the vampire, freeing his soul to re-enter the cycle of death and rebirth. Searching uncovered several books on performing necromantic rituals, primarily on the raising of skeletons, as well as some nice treasures:

  • +2 frost greatsword, wielded by the vampire (dwarven craft, but made for a human) (taken by Purifier)
  • +1 flaming morningstar (vampire’s backup weapon) (SOLD)
  • +2 warhammer (cleric’s weapon) (taken by Chalyss)
  • +2 heavy steel shield (also the cleric’s) (SOLD)
  • a +3 ring of protection (taken by Suzuri)
  • enough mundane arms and armour (of orcish make) to outfit a small army
  • enough gold for 8,000 for each party member, plus an additional 2,000
  • a spellbook belonging to the wizard (taken by Rubeus)
  • Scroll of: Ventriloquism and Bear’s Endurance (taken by Rubeus)
  • Rod of Metal and Mineral Detection (taken by Azzie)
  • Ring of Major Fire Resistance (20) (taken by Azzie)
  • Wand of Enervation (CL 7) (SOLD)
  • Staff of Size Alteration (taken by Rubeus)
  • +1 heavy steel shield (SOLD)
  • Elixir of Fire Breath (taken by Wolfram)
  • Feather Token (bird) (taken by Chalyss)

However, more questions than answers were to be had. Why was the destruction of Tomra so important that necromancers as powerful as these would focus their attention on the town? Did they require a coastal base? To where did the wizard teleport? He could be hundreds of miles away, making his escape and spreading word of the attack to the rest of his cult. And what of the orcish tribes that had been a thorn in the side of settlers for so long? So many hundreds of orcs reduced to skeletons for the dark purposes of the necromancers, entire tribes wiped out, their dead defiled and reanimated. What do the orcish survivors know about all this?

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