I'm not afraid of werewolves or vampires or haunted houses. I'm afraid of what real human beings do to other real human beings.
1/2pep 15*level XP
Eric goes to sell his chain shirt. He peps his appraise roll to get an extra 15% over resale.
We pay living expenses. -10gp/month.
Cesar is trying to figure out how to obtain a masterwork katana. He rolls well to get himself a 15% discount on commissioning a new weapon.
Cluddox looks for an Agile Breastplate. There isn’t one in town now, but a shipment is expected in over a week. He puts in a reserve...
Solomon receives a correspondence. Camlen Terro who introduces himself as a Pathfinder Society researcher who would like to interview us about the recent events arounds Sandpoint for the Pathfinder Society. Solomon asks us what we think. We’re all fairly neutral about it.
A representative of the Sczarni, experts at walking the lines of legality, approaches Cesar.
Jubrayl Vhiski, appears while Cesar’s out and about alone. Jubrayl introduces himself. Offers a drink. Cesar doesn’t really get it but he’s being felt-out on if he’d be interested in making money off the mayor by revealing the locations of the smugglers tunnels. Would Cesar do that?
Would Cesar, for money, give information to the thieves guild that the government wouldn't want them to know?
Mike’s a little conflicted, but he’s leaning toward no…
Over the next several days we mostly tend to our own, personal business. Moving around town, sharing dinner together, etc. Cesar gets a really bad vibe off Camlo during one of our several exchanges. For some reason, that day, he was very stand-offish and generally annoyed. Seems to be trying to spend more time alone.
Also, Solomon and Chano notice that Cluddox has just been extra angry. Way more than his bouts of controlled barbarian rage should allow. They watched him almost feed a townsman his own tankard. Did he also kick a puppy?
Camlo, notes that at one point he get’s bad chills up the spine when Cesar is nearby. Somehow when Cesar gets up from his dark corner and simply walked across the room, it was quite unnerving.
Cluddox and Cesar note that Solomon seems to be liking fire more than normal. Cluddox even saw him flipping his utensils into the fireplace on one occasion. Ameiko is sure to not like that.
Do we have a group therapy session? That evening, Chano confronts Cluddox about his anger. Cluddox admits to losing control of his temper. It’s hard to direct it in a useful way like he usually does. Chano, himself, admits to having a ravenous appetite while these last weeks he hasn’t gained a pound. Chano suggests seeing the father. Cluddox agrees. Solomon doesn’t.
Around the same time, Cesar is trying to talk with Camlo about his bad attitude. Camlo, ain’t having it. He seems super confrontational. He shoves his way up to his room. Solomon carries his flaming spoon out the front. Cesar ninjas out the door after him. Chano orders more food. Cluddox counts to 10 over and over.
Solomon wanders down to the wharf looking for an abandoned building. He’s looking for some small sheds. Doesn’t (yet) risk the whole docks going up. He finds a small rowboat and starts untying it. Pulls it out to the end of the pier.
Cesar: What are you doing, Sol?
Cesar: What kind…?
Solomon pushes it out into the water. After a few feet, he breathes on it. 18fire. It starts a merry flame.
They hear shouts.
Cesar: Why would you do that!!?!
Sol: Look! It’s cool.
Some workers come over. “Is that rowboat on fire?”
Sol: I saw it but I can’t reach.
Worker: But there’s no one else here….
Sol: You want me to swim for it?
Worker: Uh… no? I’ll go get the harbormaster…
Cesar is dumbfounded. Solomon just stares.
The harbormaster soon arrives. The workers are discussing and pointing.
HM: You saw the boat start on fire?
Bluff time! ...again
HM: Ok, Solomon. Gonna have to ask you to stay.
He goes off. How long is Solomon mesmerised by the boat? The boat burns out before the HM gets back, so Solomon just walks back to the bar. Cesar follows.
Clud and Chano see Solomon stroll back into the bar. He’s looking happy. Cesar explains to Chano what happened.
Chano: You were supposed to “have this.”
Cesar: I don’t… I didn’t expect...
Clud: Did anyone see you?
Cesar: They saw “it”.
Clud: So no one knows it was him?
Cesar: Oh, they know!
Apparently, despite Joe’s pep, Sheriff Hemlock is currently being convinced of Solomon’s guilt.
After a few minutes, Hemlock arrives and asks Solomon to step outside.
Hem: Why did you burn a boat off the pier?
Sol: I SAW a burning boat…
Bluff success! Somehow…
Hem: You had nothing to do with starting it....
Sol: Yep. I only saw it.
Hem: Alright then. I’ll have to talk to the harbormaster about vandalism. Thanks Solomon.
Solomon comes back in and orders another. We’re finally getting the idea that we’re not feeling ourselves in the worst way. We’re not even waiting until morning; we’re going to see Father Zantus now!
Paul rules that a continual flame ioun stone costs 250gp.
Cesar knocks on Camlo’s door. No response.
Cesar: We’re going to go see the priest.
Camlo: Fuck off! ...creepy fucker....
Cesar: You can sleep extra late tomorrow…
Camlo: I do this, you fuck off?
The church is closed at this hour and Father Zantus is not in. As the heroes of Sandpoint we manage to beg an audience. One of the workers fetches Zantus.
Zantus: Can I help?
Us: Rage! Anger! Confusion! Loud Roleplaying! Teen Angst!
Zantus: OK, OK! Let me talk to each of you alone.
We’re given rooms to wait.
Cesar first. Him and Zantus expand on their earlier conversation. Zantus convinces Cesar to pray properly this time. Cesar gives it a real try, now.
Chano next. Zantus: your experience? Chano: I’m always hungry. Zantus: You’re never fulfilled? The lingering effects could be many. Have you reflected on anything you have seen? Chano: It was evil. How would I know?. Zantus: Prayers may help us to understand. You haven’t been by much. Would you like me to help? Chano: Yes, please.
Now Camlo. Camlo: Yeah!. Zantus: If something has left a taint on you I would like to help. Camlo: Anger. Zantus: At? Camlo: Yes. Zantus: Would you like assistance in praying? Camlo: I would like to not be angry. Zantus: I'll help
Cluddox is next. Similar conversation. Zantus: Does something trouble you? Cluddox: Ever since the battles in the temple, I have felt my control of the rage slipping. Zantus: A man of your talents sees much violence. The lingering effects of such a place could easily stay with you. To whom do you pray? Cluddox: Cayden Cailean. Zantus: I am not familiar with his church. Do you feel he could help you in this time of need? Cluddox: Cayden is a good God. Patron of bravery and free will. (and drink) But… he is not a God of enlightenment, as is Lady Desna. Zantus: I would be happy to help you talk to Desna, if you wish. And you are, of course, welcome to stay here and speak with Cayden Cailean as well. Would you like my aid? Cluddox: It is most appreciated. However, I think I shall ask Cayden for advice, for now. Zantus: Then I wish you well.
Finally, Solomon. Zantus: Does something bother you? Solomon: I was granted heat and flame. Lately I feel my desire to use it growing. Zantus: As a tool of destruction? Solomon: These powers were a mystery as this is too. Zantus: perhaps you have not been touched like the others. Solomon: My companions believe otherwise. I must burn every day. I receive more satisfaction if I burn the flesh. Zantus: perhaps a prayer to Desna will enlighten your path. Shall I pray with you? Solomon: I would welcome you. Zantus: I have spoken with your friends. Take this time to reflect. I will return.
We each get a chance to reflect.
Sense motive roll! +1 with further reflection.
Chano: 21. He comes to find a vision pulled through his head from the dungeons of Thistletop. Repeated carvings as he harvested gobbos and the glee of it which overtook him. He comes to realise a sadness he was ignoring. As Zantus prays with him, he points out something about what he felt with the sadness. Chano explains how he harvests goblins for use in magic. Zantus: did you pray over them? Chano: Honestly? Never thought of it. Zantus: you butcher them as animals? Chano: Well, they’re goblins. Zantus: If I were to guess, I would think something has taken root. Perhaps you have begun to take pleasure in harvesting them. Something deeper than indifference. This is in conflict with who you wish to be. Desna can help with time. Chano: I shall be seeking her aid.
Cesar: 25. Zantus: There are evils manifest in the world. The visions you saw of people dying. All around you. The fighting. The killing. Your need to be unseen from their eyes, while around you death was rampant, has left a taint within you. Something in conflict with who you feel you should be. Desa can help if you listen to her precepts. Cesar: I’ll work on it. Zantus: If you return, we will work on it.
Solomon: 16. Nothing occurs to him. Doesn’t take too long before he gets bored.
Cluddox: pep for 12. Nothing. Well, he’s thirsty.
Camlo: 17. Father Zantus soon comes. Camlo’s not finding a real understanding, but he feels close. Zantus: Perhaps come back again when you are more rested. It is late. You may hear Desna after some sleep.
We can make another Sense motive check each once a week.
We all come back together. Some with enlightenment, some not.
Zantus: there are dark things in the world. Some of you have been within them. With destinies like yours, you will face this again. It would do you well to spend more time here.
Us: Thank you, Father.
We’re off to bed.
Pathfinder dude is coming tomorrow. (well, today, by now) He’s really only interested in Solomon and Chano.
Camlen Taro. Tall and thin with glasses on the end of his nose. Walks with a limp. He briskly shakes hands with Solomon and Chano. Then he pulls out a book with quill and ink.
He’s trying to tie together rumors of old Thassalonian references around Varisia. Any info we can give will help others who research this.
Solomon pulls out the rune and explains what he knows.
Camlen: There is a whole sect who believe the symbol can be converted. Made to represent the exact opposite. Anti-virtues of rule and some such. The discuss and compare observations through the morning.
Camlen: You have a keen mind, Chano. I’d be interested in sponsoring your membership in the Pathfinder society.
Chano: I’m in!
He pays for lunch and leaves a couple magic scrolls as payment. Comprehend Languages, Augury, Detect Secret Doors.
Camlen: Thank you, gentlemen. I hope these help you in your travels.
Chano heads back to the church and stays for a couple hours.
We can effectively check each week.
Cesar suggests we make this a group effort each day. Most of us go along.
Cluddox: He prays to Lady Desna with a pep for 18. Surrounded by Desna’s symbols, he has visions coming thru of the whole dungeon complex setting him on edge. He had to call upon his strength to viciously destroy enemies. One in particular: As Nualia lay on the floor bleeding, her skull crushing under his hammer, he found it a little too satisfying. It was in conflict with who he truly feels he should be. Zantus asks about his vision and Cluddox shares what he did to Nualia. Father Zantus suggest continued help from Desna and Clud agrees.
Solomon is asking about Chopper’s Isle. He plans to build the biggest bonfire he can on the northern end. He spends the day gathering wood, but in the city, he finds little enough to light. So he stays there for the night. Clud and Cesar note that he’s missing that evening. They check his apartment. Nope. Gather Info: we don’t have a clue where he went. We just wait for the fire to start.
Solomon is collecting a giant pile of firewood. In the afternoon he lights it up. We spend time at the church. Our next check will be the 20th. About dinner time Chano hears about the smoke rolling off Chopper’s Isle. Us: Well, shit.
Stories and memories of the late unpleasantness are thick around supper time.
Jervis Stoot. Crazy old man. Liked to wood carve. Especially birds. They were works of art worthy of a Magnimar gallery. “Sporting a Stoot” was a term about town during this time.. When asked to pay he always refused, saying he didn’t own the birds in the wood.. He would wander about town for days. When he wanted to move to the isle, the carpenters union built a staircase up the rocks for him. He lived on the island for 15 years.
Sandpoint is no stranger to crime. But five years ago the bodies piled up. Over one winter month, a body was found almost every day. Bodies hacked to pieces. Left in piles. The old sheriff was The Chopper’s last victim. He came across The Chopper just after a murder in an alley. The two fought and The Copper killed the sheriff, but not after the sheriff dealt a lethal blow to the killer. The guard found the two bodies in moments and followed the blood trail to the stairs. The trail had led to Stoot. In Stoot’s island basement they found the cut out eyes of his victims in some sort of small temple. They found his body laying before an altar dedicated to some bird demon. They collapsed the house, covered the basement, and burned the body of Jervis Stoot.
We all sit, kind of dumbfounded, through supper. We go to bed before Solomon ever returns. He finishes at about 2 in the morning. He goes to the rope he climbed down but it’s not there! Solomon can’t take 10 and he’s got 8 checks to make. First try, he falls from 25 feet up. 7dmg.
A second try and he finally gets to the top and sneaks home. He should be good on needing to burn things for a week.
The town is abuzz over the fire, but no one seems to have any answers.
We spend time at the chapel. Solomon comes along but doesn’t pray.
Paul allows an untrained K: Religion of DC: 14, 16, 18, 20 (on consecutive days) to grant ourselves a cumulative +1 on our weekly Sense Motive checks for introspective.
This progresses for a few days and we notice that Solomon isn’t going with us. He’s not as committed as the rest of us. Rumors are spreading that maybe Chopper has returned because there was an unconfirmed murder outside of town. Or perhaps it was a nearby farm. Or perhaps it was on the road a few miles away. Or perhaps it was Magnimar...
We make our weekly Sense Motive Checks.
Chano: Desna is very sad for him. Unhappy that it did not occur to him to say a few words over the goblin bodies before “using” them. His greed and glee has taken hold. He is given a feeling of great peace if he were to help areas of the world that Desna oversees. She recommends that he recognises within himself that he is in conflict with the good aspect of CG. He could just become CN. Or…! If he was to sing the song the goblins constructed to a theater audience of at least 50, this taint would be lifted from him.
Cesar: He has a feeling that what he has been through has taken hold because he is NG. Lady Desna has many that are not good, but there is no way for him to align himself to her flock. The shadow which follows him is closer to the elements of a starry night, She can lift this from him if he replaces this “trait” with one that grants him his abilities so that it can only work under the night sky. This must last until one of her festivals four months hence. Or! Desna will help him shift to CG. He can start by apologising to those he has been most critical of.
Camlo: What has taken root has caused him to focus on things not CG. Only to the extent that it took advantage of his dislike of people being in his way. With Desna it is about the sharing of dreams, ideas, and luck with others. This would be to his best benefit. She could replace his “trait” with one that recognises Her domain over luck. He will get a +1 against anyone who attacks a friend and a -2 against those who have not. This will last until 4 months hence.
Father Zantus checks with us. Cesar seems in deep consideration. Chano and Cluddox share their experiences.
Chano heads to the Sandpoint Theater. Cyrdak Drokkus is the bard in charge.. Drokkus is confused as to why Chano would want to sing a goblin song. Chano says he wants to help change the perceptions of goblins. A little bit of BS on Chano’s part.
Drokkus: I believe you could use the theater. But your performance must impress and not sully the name of the town or the theater. I’ll have to see it first, of course. There will be some time off in the future. 80gp for advertisement and preparations.
Chano: Give me a few days to prep.
Solomon heads in for normal prayers. Nothing enlightens him.
Cluddox continues to attend daily prayers. The week grants him a total +3
Chano heads back to pray for gobbo guidance. 10gp gives him a +1. Zantus helps by offering an Eagle's Splendor the night of the presentation to Cyrdak for another 10gp. Chano gladly makes the donation.
Chano, with his donation bonuses, succeeds in convincing Drokkus (barely) in putting on the concert.
Solomon finally gets around to starting another fire on Chopper’s Isle!
At some time in the week, Cesar apologies to Solomon for being too critical. The backhanded comments are not producing the game-mechanic results anyone was hoping for…
Camlo has agreed to use Desna’s trait to share the luck with his companions.
No guards brave the island even for the second bonfire. Solomon feels much better again.
Clud uses a pep and shits up his 3rd attempt to commune with Desna.
Mike reads CG outloud from the book. Paul is satisfied. Cesar feels the taint of the evil root fade.
Hemlock visits the Rusty Dragon this evening. He ushers us into a back room which Amieko closes off for us.
Hemlock: Let me thank you again because I’m about to ask for your help again. We are having murders that the public doesn’t know about. Before people begin to truck with “Chopper’s back”, we need this investigated. It seems to also lead to Cluddox.
Eyebrows are raised
Last night we had a murder at the sawmill. The two are in pretty gruesome shape. Gawkers had seen it before the guards and I arrived. This is the second set of murders in the last few days. He hands a bloodstained parchment to Cluddox. On the outside is written “Cluddox”. Inside, written in the same hand: “I do as you command, Master. Signed, Your Lordship.
Hemlock: Another murder about a week ago outside town. A patrol from Magnimar was assaulted by a crazy man running from a barn outside of town. The wild, insane man attacked. After subduing him they went in. Inside the nearby barn they discovered 3 mutilated people. One of the three also had a parchment: “A deal has come about that I need capital in. Come to the barn so we may discuss. Signed, Your Lordship.”
Hemlock wants to officially deputise us. Mayor Deverin is aware of this plan, and onboard. Discretion is, of course, most important.
We could see the murder scene at the mill. The bodies are still present. We should hurry. Ibor Thorn is the man who found the bodies at the mill. The victims are Banny Harker, one of the mill workers. And Katrine Vinder. Daughter of Vin Vinder. Older sister to Shayless. While Hemlock can barely think it possible, Vin is on the suspect list as Banny and Katrine’s tryst may have put him over the edge.
The man that was captured from the barn from the first murders is completely out of his gourd. He’s in a sanitorium. There is a rune carved into harker’s chest. Some kind of 7 point star. And a connection to the fires may need to be investigate.
We are given writs from the Sheriff and it's all official and stuff.
That evening. There are some guards out front. It is noticeably silent. No constant creak of the log splitter. The mill should be in production at this time. A few townsfolk mingle to watch us walk in.
The roof is shingles and the doors are timbre. Nothing is locked. As we enter there is a lingering scent of decay. Not overpowering but unpleasant. The interior is covered in sawdust and splashes of blood. Katrin’s body is mangled in the log splitter! Harker’s body is affixed to the wall. The face is carved away, his jaw missing. His bare chest carved with a familiar 7 point star. A hand axe is embedded in the floor covered in bloody fingermarks. 15 minute take 10. The smell of rot is strongest near the hand axe in the floor. Harker’s body has other cuts that aren’t part of the mutilation.
We see a pattern within the struggle. Katrine’s body doesn’t look useful.
Cluddox notes that in the struggle one set of footprints is not only barefoot but the prints leave a bad scent of decay!
Cesar take 20 on the axe. The stench is overpowering. He just barely keeps his lunch. It smells unreal! He sees the finger marks were made by a small sized hand. The blade has rotten flesh caked to it.
Harkers body. The smaller wounds are gashes probably make by a 5 fingered human sized claws. They stink of rot, also.
Cluddox follows the tracks to the pier outside. They start there and muddy bare footprints lead up to the wall and to a second story window. We can’t find any tracks leading from the crime. Solomon is searching outside the foundation.
We note the finger marks are not just small, but Katrin sized. The axe was a defense weapon used by Katrin against her attacker and she got some licks in.
We head to the garrison to talk with Ibor. The guards bring him out. He is a young man looking a little pale. Cesar gives him a little water and Joe rolls a 2 on his diplomacy. Someone else gets another try with -2 and Solomon gets a view of the outside. Cesar talks him to a little more friendly. He confirms that this tryst was frequent. The sound of the mill covered the noise. Ibor kept it secret because Vin is more than a little possessive. He always left the mill to get a few drinks, then came back before the end of his shift. Last night he was gone for about 5 hours.
Cesar makes sure Ibor has no axe marks and we suggest Ibor can leave now.
180xp Dealing with Taint
½ pep 15*level xp
50xp to Cluddox and Chano for opening up the “taint” dialog.
50xp to Camlo and Solomon for the same
50xp to Solomon for burning EVERYTHING
50xp to Cluddox for Kev notes
½ to Mike for “Because I’m a ninja!”
½ to Joe for lying is face off.
½ to Brian for the playwright scene.
½ to Joe for Chopper’s isle chaos
½ to Eric for “Fuck off!”
½ to Brian for trying to convince Solomon to pray.
½ to Mike for “You seem like you're judging me now…”
½ to Joe making it hard on Mike.
½ to Brian and Kev for the undead magic conversation.
Mike: ½ to Kev and Brian for funny.
Brian: ½ Kev for getting Paul on the month, ½ Joe for fire.
Eric: ½ to Joe for the island and accelerating it way too far, ½ Kev for keeping up with the notes.
Kevin: ½ to Eric for some good RP, ½ to Brian for twisting the knife in Joe about his unwritten Ideals.
Joe: ½ Kev for the “taints” conversation getting started, ½ to Brian for trying to fix Solomon.
Kev is out next week.
Eric is in, then out, and then back again
Halloween is causing next week to be in quantum flux. Watch your emails for possible cancellation.
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