Pathfinder Dark Ages

In The Beginning...

And Away We Go!

The collection of disparate individuals trying to come to terms with their new-found knowledge and powers find themselves at a loss for explanations. Some believe they are divinely inspired, others feel it’s a hoax perpetrated by the cruel fey.

Comments

The boys from the temple were waylaid out in the ruins after a meeting with a mysterious figure promising knowledge power and gold. They dispatched several and held one for questioning. The temple decided we should investigate this band of brigands to see who dared attack the faithful. So we let go the captured sellsword and followed him into the night. A surprise greeting by the fey resulted in Magnus discovering there was something better and stronger than wine. Mortals with magic?!?!? horrors! but the drinking party convinced the fey that we were all right after all. Our elf ranger was able to pick up the trail of the man we were following and as predicted it lead directly to the camp. Several guards were taken out but not before an alarm was raised. The fight was on. We retreated with arrows flying. Damrinor took a solid one in the back. We set up camp and made a fire to draw them into an ambush but the night passed uneventfully. We healed and rested and waited for night. Magnus was too drunk with the fey’s whiskey to participate so we left he and the bard in our camp as they were the least stealthy. The rest of us set out to scout the other camp. Once again we encountered guards but killed two and captured one to interrogate. Raginor the inquisitor is that man for that job. Blorga decided she would decapitate the dead men to provide proof and identification of the men responsible for the attacks on the templars. In the middle of the fight Magnus staggered in tossing about thunderstones exclaiming how much fun it was to blow them up. So much for stealth. The noise drew in more of the brigands along with war dogs. Magnus spotted an archer at the crest of the hillock and unsteadily made his way up there bellowing for someone to fight. and fell into a pit trap. luckily he was too loose from the drink to be injured much and his staggering was sufficient ( along with very poor DM rolls ) to make the archers miss him “Gee they really HATE those trees!” Lucky for us one of the fey arrived to provide a refreshing and restorative beverage to bolster us as we were all severely injured ( except Magnus safely down in the hole.) Suprisingly, the bandits had a captured noblewoman ( we don’t know her) and some form of blue troll the latter of which turned on the bandit chief when he cut the woman ( inresponse to us NOT laying down our weapons) and abruptly grapped the girl and disappeared ibnto a cave opening. We lit some hay bales on fire and draped their tents over the cave to try to smoke them out since we could hear 4 voiced within ( the troll and 3 others) No one has come out yet.

In The Beginning...
 

Next session, We increased the burning hay bales and kept watch while the rest of us searched the tents and gathered the horses in the corral. Raginor and Blorga went to retrieve all our temple borrowed horses , the remaining heads of deceased bandits and the captive whom we tie to another tree away from the cave opening. No one has emerged from the cave. After the hay bales go out we pull down the tent and venture inside where we find a dead bandit with the red hair who was identified to us as the ringleader. Blorga gleefully takes that head so as to prove to the temple that their nemesis is no more. Further back are a couple cavern alcoves, one of which has bedding and one of which has a fair amount of booty consisting of kegs of spices like cinnamon,pepper,ginger, cardimon and cloves.. CHA CHING!!! in 800 AD that is more than worth their weight in gold! Also some slick bolts of thin shinty fabric ( silk likely another high dollar item) and since this cave is strangely cold lots of food stuffs like meats and cheese. We find a frozen bandit totally encased in ice standing in the corridor. He is dead. We shrug and continue. Blorga finds a table set with food and sits down to eat even though it is tainted with the straw smoke. She’s had worse. Other items seem to be carefully packed silver and items likely belonging to the captured noblewoman. We decide to go further into the cave which gets colder until we get damaged from it. Raginor and Blorga feel they cannot go on as they are at 4 hit points and we retreat. Magnus, feeling warm from his drink presses on and finds a slumped figure in unusual armor on the floor. Something unseen shoots ice at him but it splatters on the wall. He throws a vial of oil at the ice covered wall and then one of alchemical fire. the resulting inferno causes whatever it was to shriek in dismay and leave. Magnus drags the moaning prone person back into the warmer part of the cave. we remove his strange metal helmet and discover that he is a very old man. He tells us a story about a queen who wants to bring winter to all lands and gives us odd looking items ( a plague doctor’s mask and a long lock of white hair ) that he says are keys of a dancing hut and tells us where we can find it .The hut will take us to find Baba Yaga. He wants us to go through the cave to an entrance to another place to stop the queen from making this world of ours a land of never ending ice and snow. Magnus promises to take up this quest and we try to ease the old man’s wounds but he is too far gone and dies after cutting his own throat causing his blood to go over the “keys” making them glow brightly with magic. . His armor melts away making a glow that covers us all. We find our wounds are healed, all hit points restored and an ability score of our choosing elevated by 2. (Blorga chose strength) We then left the cave. Damrinor noticed some wagon tracks and followed them to reveal a concealed wagon near the camp. We decided to load as much of the loot from the cave into this wagon and onto the horses and return to the temple in town to report our adventure and give them the proof of taking care of the bandits. Hopefully the temple might be able to identify the noblewoman ( we found no further trace of her) so as to return her labeled belongings. Blorga hopes to receive the wagon and draft horse as part of her payment for the trip so she can take them to her father in law to ease his work and make future allthing gatherings easier than the pull cart he currently uses to take the leather to sell.

In The Beginning...
 

6/27/13 Back to town

Took some time to pack up all the crates, boxes and barrels at the bandit’s camp and get it back to the temple. The leaders were appalled but apreciative that the identification of the bandits is unmistakable ( Bloga’s bag o heads) and that there is a captive to question. Much of the things found in the camp were bought from local merchants and thus is legitimate “booty”. The stolen items are to be returned. We were interviewed about the events. Magnus was lauded for his courage and valor by the council although Damrinor repeatedly questioned his battlefield choices, but not his ability or courage during the battle due to his drunkenness. Jora sided with Magnus saying that she knew many warriors who fortify with spirits prior to battle. Jora was given kudos for her healing help and dwarven “medication” as the situation had been dire. If the troll ( blue man) had not suddenly turned upon the bandits all may have been lost! Jora lied to the council saying that Blorga threatened her. ( I NEVER….) They are concerned with the reports of the troll ( ugly blue man) and the worsening cold emenating from the cave. Finger winter ( whut?) is a horrified whisper. Investigation is forthcoming. Blorga went to the copper smith’s shop only to find his wife weeping. he has disappeared, with no note or trace three days ago. He took nothing with him. Very disturbing. Magnus is unconcerned that one of the other “glowing persons” like us is now missing. Damrinor returned to the elven elders to discuss the magic he now has and the implications of the coming cold from the cave. Blorga bought an iron chest to bury her money secretly after buying her father in law a horse and cart and giving him 10 gold pieces and 9 silver pieces. She is gathering her winter gear in preparation to go back to the cave of cold. Experience awarded was 168 allowing us to level up. Blorga chose a barbarian level so she can gain her bite attack “Animal Fury”

In The Beginning...
 

7/11/13 And Away We Go….
The temple wants us to investigate the cold cave further. 20 or 30 men come with us as we have now gathered our gear for the cold. Packhorses and supplies and all we tromp through the worsening cold to the cave. WOW at the back of the cave is a roiling blue maelstrom of freezing ick. Raginor is the first through followed by Magnus. Then the leader of the temple’s men tries but cannot pass. Odd. Blorga goes through and finds herself in a clearing in 3 foot deep snow. She puts on her snowshoes and looks around. There are several igloos here outside the blue portal ring. there is a cave opening to the north and some swiftly filling in tracks lead there from the portal area. Blorga attempts to return through the portal and does so easily. She reports to the captain and asks him to guard this area as others unfriendly might try to invade. She attempts to pull a temple man through with her without success. Likewise no horses can pass. So she unloads her gear and takes it through as do the others, returning through the portal freely. Jora and Damrinor are the last of the group to pass into the new world of continual cold. Magnus circles an igloo and goes into the opening and crawls inside to see what it holds. Blorga helps by taking her snow knife and cutting a hole into the top allowing her to see inside as lets in light for Magnus. Other than blankets and furs and an empty wooden chest there is naught interesting. A second hut in entered by Blorga who does so unlit and feels around finding the same contents. She shakes the box to see if it rattles but it does not. When she comes out she and Magnus are suddenly encased in flashing lights which both stuns and blinds them. Magnus is struck by a tiny dart which does slight damage but is enough to let us know we are being attacked! Jora gets a glimpse of a bluish gnarled flying fairy and fires a shot in the area luckily hitting home. With a squeak the fairy lands. One down! An eagle swoops down to attack Damrinor. He wards it off with reflexes honed by lots of experience with his falcon companion. Raginor had turned to go into the cave where he is met by a blue troll ( same one we saw in the camp?) who strikes him with a blue glowing polearm dropping him like a rock. The stunning and blinding leaves Magnus and Blorga. Blorga recovers her snow knife and Focuses her spellfire onto the troll noting that the fire portion does him great harm. Damrinor is busy with the eagle and Jora is taking another shot at the fairy. Magnus is floundering in the snow to get at the troll and strikes him at last. He goes down and Magnus kicks the glowing weapon away from his reach. Blorga rushes to Raginor to heal him with more spellfire allowing him to regain consciousness. Her next act will be to douse the troll with alchemist’s fire fluid so it won’t be regenerating anytime soon. Our detect magic indicates there are several glowing objects inside this cave and we will be investigating those soon.

In The Beginning...
 

7/18/13

Troll burning nicely. Magnus tries to light a torch off the troll’s burning body but the wet damp blowing storm puts it out. Raknoor casts a light spell inside the cave instead. The storm has picked up making visibility about 5 feet. Raknoor goes into the cave out of the wind and prays to feel better. Magnus sees some dancing colored lights over by one igloo and swats at them with his weapon. No effect. Blorga goes into the cave and sees 2 fur rugs on the floor and some crates. She uses her dagger to open a crate and it seems to be full of chunks of meat. Looks OK… Smells OK. Tastes… frozen but OK. Great… Dinner! Another crate is full of a course white flour. All in all, about 34 days of food here. Damrinor hears Sylvan voices talking excitedly. The gist of it is that they intend to tell Izoze of our invasion and get reinforcements. No creatures can be seen. Magnus hears some noises above the cave opening and a branch breaks dumping snow over him. We laugh. Magnus continues to try to hit the colored lights with no success. Jora shoots at where she thought she had a glimpse of something blue. Nothing. Blorga comes out of the cave just as the snow ledge above the opening collapses dumping enough snow to partially block the opening. Party is now seperated. Raknoor tries to dig out from inside. Blorga spots movement again above the opening and sees what looks to be someone small outlined in the blowing snow loosening the snow ledge to further box us in. She lets go some spellfire and a yelp confirms the accuracy of the assessment and shot. The Sylvan voices are excited and fearful with the display of magic and decide to run away. whew, some respite for us… for now. Magnus searches in the deepening snow to find the glowing blue spear which was kicked away from the troll He finds it after a couple rounds. We clear the snow away from the doorway and get in out of the raging blizzard.
Raginor investigates the fur rugs and sees that there is something buried. Raginor helps unearth it and it is a big chest. WOW. more stuff than we have ever seen! A painting, a fancy long sword scabbard, 4 BLUE GEMS, 1 CLEAR GEM, a scrimshaw sculpture with dancing sprites and a Satyr on it, a small iron box with 4 flasks of glowing liquid, a silver diadem, a jeweled necklace, 3 rings with blue gems, 2457 gold coins, 3.313 silver and 1760 copper pieces. Only the flasks glow. Looking around more reveals 2 additional glowing flasks. Blorga takes the time and effort to examine them. She feels that they are all potions of Featherstep ( Adv Pl guide pg 221) That will really help in this difficult terrain for 10 minutes anyway! Blorga then turns her attention to the spear. It is a “Spear of Manhunting” (+1 hit and dam) and with a critical hit may cast “hold person”. Amazing! We make some dinner with the supplies ( flatbread and gravy not bad!) and discuss what we should do next. The temple boys think we should take the treasure over through the portal to the men on the other side. Damrinor thinks we should keep some of it as the inscriptions and images on them are unlike any of our roman coins at home and likely will be needed in some way here. I agree with that keep some anyway. The temple will engulf whatever we take it otherwise. ( 300 EXP awarded)

In The Beginning...
 

We decide to keep 10 each of the strange coins and the 6 potions of featherstep. We each get one gem (Blorga gets the clear one which is good as it appraises more than the blue ones.) we also keep the painting of the snowy town, removed from the frame and rolled up. The spear will go to the temple. The rest we package up to return through the portal. We rope off against the raging blizzard and haul the chest to the portal. Magnus decides to take the remains of the troll but it will not pass. Neither will the bearskin robe. The rest and us pass through to the waiting temple guards. Blorga takes a nap while the temple boys make their report and are questioned about the terrain and giants. GIANTS!?!?!?! Damrinor checks periodically to see if the storm had abated. Finally it dies and we return to the snowy realms. Once again we see if another can pass by carrying him but no luck. We think the black knight’s blessing to us is what allows us only to go through. Upon our return the clearing is peaceful and there is no trace of the previous visit due to the new deep snow. This time we attempt to skirt the clearing and igloos but our way is impeded by heavy brush and trees. There is a road-like path across from the cave and we follow this although the sides soon change into steep but climbable cliffs that narrow as we go, funneling us toward… what? Magnus in the lead spots the glowing blue symbols on the ground ahead first, between the narrowest part of the pathway. He goes ahead and tries to pass but is knocked back by a blast of cold. Blorga sees them and uses her spellcraft to determine that they are magical writing forming a ward. She tells Jora to read them (slut!) and after some scathing comments Jora reveals that they say " turn back before the winter devours you". Magnus decides to climb the cliff side but falls down and we laugh. His clumsy attempts loosens snow which falls on his face and we laugh again. Another attempt fares better at first but he does fall, barely missing the glowing blue warning. He tries throwing the bearskin robe over the runes but the glowing symbols remain over the rug. Blorga remembers the featherstep potion and encourages Magnus to drink it. He does warily remarking that it tastes like stinky shoes. He is then able to climb the sides and drop down around the runes safely. We all drink the odious liquids and are able to likewise avoid the cold damage from the barrier. Looking around we see that we are now in a bowl shaped valley ringed by steep cliff sides. the open area is fairly treeless but is peppered with large boulders like giants were playing marbles. In the approximate center is a raised hut with thatched roofing standing upon what seems to be tree trunk “legs”. We find that we are able to easily move over the top of the snow now even without snowshoes. Magnus is able to retrieve his bearskin without injury. We move cautiously into the field of boulders. Blorga examines one and it seems like just a large chunk of ice. Magnus spies a furtive movement ahead and we stop to see what it is. Magnus then spies a 10 year old girl dressed in a thin flowered dress. She is shivering and says she wants to go home before she runs away behind another boulder. We advance slowly, looking for her. She pops out again and says she is cold and we must take her home. She runs away again. Blorga hears her speak and it seems like she hears 2 people speaking. one is saying things she does not understand and a similar voice says the words she knows to be a translation. Curious. Magnus calls to the girl and offers her the bear robe. He takes it to the foot of a rare tree in this valley and lays it down telling her he will leave it there for her. She comes from around a boulder ans says " you should leave before “it” gets you … take me home!" We are then suddenly aware that the boulders have faces and hands and more inside them! The faces are contorted and twisted with fear and pain. Horrible! Jora, Raknoor and Damrinor are frightened and run in random directions like a flock of startled starlings. Magnus and Blorga are shaken but retain their resolve and after a round are able to contain their emotions enough to withdraw towards the obvious shelter of the raised hut. This must be what the rider wanted us to find. Magnus climbs the ladder and easily opens the trap door. Blorga tells him" if there is a doll in there cover it up right away!" remembering the words written near the bed in the bandit’s cave.

In The Beginning...
 

Magnus takes the hank of white hair and sticks it under his hat. He takes the plague doctor mask and puts it on noting that it severely restricts his vision. Thus fortified he climbs the ladder into the magically glowing hut. The only things inside are an ornately carved wooden chair and a 2 foot tall doll, dressed in a colorful peasant dress sitting in the chair. It has blonde hair and a wrinkled face like an “apple” doll. The right eye is a mirror and the left eye is a large blue gem. The doll glows brightly. Magnus throws his bear skin robe over the doll and proceeds to examine the roof, walls and floor of the hut. He notices some scuffing on the floor but nothing else. No markings or items are present. Meanwhile, the fear leaves the others slowly and they grudgingly pick their way back toward the hut following their footsteps in the snow.but avoiding the ice boulders as much as possible. The young girl appears and says " I don’t want your old doll I want to go home! and she runs around a boulder and disappears again. Racnoor notices that she leaves no footprints in the snow. Magnus puts away the two “keys” and leaves the hut and looks for the others. Blorga climbs up into the hut and looks around inside carefully, and she does not see anything unusual either. Then the bear cloak begins to rise from the chair. Blorga calls out to the others " There’s something happening!!!" She grabs the edges of the robe and gathers the ends together Racnoor arrives inside and announces that the doll is evil. We take the gathered robe with the struggling doll and take it outside the hut. Meanwhile Magnus has started a fire at the foot of the hut. It does not burn. Jora and Damrinor are gathering downed branches to add to the fire. Magnus takes a burning branch and tosses it onto the roof. It does not catch. Racnoor is attacked by a bolt of ice from under the robe. He drops it and the doll continues to rise in the air and the robe falls off. Damrinor shoots an arrow but it bounces off the doll with no effect. Jora is concentrating and the doll starts to sink back towards the ground although it was about 30 feet up. Blorga readies herself to grab it as soon as it is in reach. Jora suddenly yells “get out of my mind!” and the doll shoots back up into the air. Magnus realizes what Jora did and knows he can do it too and begins to haul the doll downward with his mage hand spell. Racnoor prays to the god of healing to help him feel better after the ice blast. The doll comes down to the point that Blorga can grab it and she does with Damrinor’s help. Blorga immediately begins to pry the eyes out of the doll with her dagger beginning with the mirror. She tells Damrinor to destroy it. After a couple tries she also removes the blue gem . The doll says " I shall have to seek a new vessel! It goes lifeless and then Blorga’s cloak begins to turn red in the center, as if she is wounded and bleeding. She rips it off immediately and throws it on the ground and watches as glowingly it turns completely red. Blorga tries to determine with spellcraft what is happening to it but cannot. Meanwhile, Racnoor tosses a vial of alchemist’s fire into the hut with no effect. Magnus takes his axe and chops at a leg of the hut. The pieces removed in this manner burn readily enough. Racnoor is determined to destroy these evil aura things. Blorga takes the now limp eyeless doll and tosses it into the fire where it burns normally.She gets out an extra cloak and puts it on. How to destroy the gem and mirror? There are no handy rocks nearby and many inches of powdery snow will not provide a stable platform. Jora suggests that we place the gem on top of one hammer and strike it with another. Do we have 2 hammers? Blorga says that perhaps the hut floor would be a stable enough surface but destroying one magic item inside another seems like a bad idea to the rest of the group.

In The Beginning...
 

8/29/23 Blorga brings out her iron skillet, putting the mirror in it and Racnoor pulls out his hammer and with one stroke the mirror is shattered. The gem, however, is more resilient and after a couple whacks it is apparent that this method will not break it .Blorga suggests we heat the gem in the fire in the skillet then toss it into the snow hoping the great heat and sudden cold will cause it to shatter as she has seen some stone quarrymen do to get blocks out of the ground. However, Racnoor wraps it carefully in a cloth and puts it away so Blorga wipes the glass shards out of the skillet with snow and returns it to her pack . Damrinor thinks we should proceed out of this valley, no one wants to stay in the enchanted hut or near the boulders with the tortured faces ( although there seem to be no faces now) and we shall have to seek shelter sometime soon.It is extremely cold. The little girl has not reappeared since the demise of the doll. No one seems to be able to discern what has happened to Blorga’s now red cloak ( still glowing of magic) so she very reluctantly picks it up with a branch and places it into the fire. It burns without incident. Blorga regretfully says " that was my favorite cloak. Good thing I brought two" Damarinor percieves a slight tract in the snow like a path leading to the far side of the valley and we follow it. The rock walls open up for an egress ( hey, no runes!) and we leave the glade behind. The trees on either side are thick but there is no problem traversing the trail. About 300 yards in, Damrinor and Racnoor who are leading the way, see a place in the snow that is dug down to bare ground. It is a roughly circular place about 3 feet deep. The ground in the center seems churned beneath a slight layer of pine needles. there are no footprints discernable. We shrug and circumvent this odd occurance. We continue down the path and Damrinor notes that the forest is thinning, and more snowy open ground is observable. Racnoor and Damrinor hear voices. We stop and listen. The voices are sharp and loud… excited. Then we hear barking dogs. Then a loud scream! We cautiously creep foreward to see a battle in front of us. Three dogsleds are stopped and a group of people are engaged in fighting with a large green insect! Damrinor thinks it is a praying mantis but never have we seen one so large! It is grasping a screaming, thrashing man by the shoulder with its mandibles. the others are striking the bug with spears or throwing axes but its hard carapace deflects most of the blows. Damrinor asks for a true strike and readies an arrow. Blorga activates her shield spell and enters rage. Magnus says " Oh boy this will be FUN" and charges as fast as he can go through the snow. Flakes have started falling slightly again. Racnoor moves up and readies his crossbow as does Jora. The mantis seems involved with his prey who continues to struggle and is bleeding heavily now from wounds in his shoulder and neck. The other people continue to strike the bug with small effect. Damrinoor launches his arrow with critical success! It plunges deep into the bug’s thorax causing dark ichor to spurt onto the snow. Blorga reaches the insect and whacks it soundly( for 11 points) with her longsword. Racnoor hits as well although Jora’s attempt glances off the chitin. We see that the apparant leader of the band is a woman. Damninor’s next arrow is enough to finish off the insect. It drops the prey and it is obvious that the man is dead, his neck and chest mutilated by the piercing jaws of the mantis. The woman murmurs some prayers for his soul and expresses to her men condolances for his family. Again we note that her words are both spoken and translated. The effect is a slight bit unsettling as you want to concentrate on the speaker and not the disembodied translating voice. Still, we can understand what is said. The woman is dressed as the others are, in heavy furs but you can see her hair is a brilliant red. She turns to us and tells us her appreciation for our timely arrival. They have never seen anything like this large bug. Blorga goes to it and removes its head… the better to keep it dead! She tosses it aside however, no trophy here! The native leader asks us where we are from and we say “far away” . Blorga indicates that Magnus is the leader of our band ( as he accepted the Black Rider’s geas) He asks where shelter for the night might be located. The woman says that her village is a short distance away but now that the mantis battle has occurred, there is not time to get there before a storm is due. Even now the wind it picking up and the snow fall is heavier. The men are already building shelters with their sleds and getting the dogs settled. The woman asks Blorga why she is a fighter. " Do you not have a man? My man is gone and I must lead the village myself" Blorga tells her about the loss of her own husband and that they were not able to have any children before his death. The leader woman tells Blorga of her 2 sons and an older daughter Tora ( Blorga notes she speaks of this girl with a deep sadness) She asks Magnus where we come from again. We say we are visitors to this place and she asks with alarm if the guardians let us enter. Racnoor says yes, and truthfully the guardian doll did not prevent us from coming at all. Magnus tells her that the black rider sent us to find a dancing hut. The woman shushes him saying that it is not safe to speak of such things. She tells us about a grandmother whose daughters rule the land if Irrisen and are known as white witches. Every 100 years the grandmother appears and changes the ruler with another of her daughters. The current ruling daughter does not wish to step down and turmoil is expected. Apparently there are 3 riders who serve the grandmother and the revelation that the black rider is dead is met with great concern. " Then there are only two between us and total ruin" exclaims the woman. In the distance, One of the men notices a black thready cloud. We faintly hear the cawing of many crows. Quickly the woman barks out orders the men who drag out white tarps to conceal their sleds and us. " you have brought the watchers here!! HIDE everyone hide! " she yells and soon we are beset by the black birds as everyone was able to get hidden except Magnus and Racnoor. The birds swoop down and peck at the tarps and the men and dogs, raucously cawing. Into this chaos of a murder of crows comes another, a huge white bird.

In The Beginning...
dragonJim

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