Shattered Star

In the Crow's Nest, Session 5
Shards of Sin

The party fight with Ayala was over in no time at all, as they simply overwhelmed her and the Donkey Rats by her side. They then began to search the room intently, discovering a secret door into a small inner room.

Inside the room they found the bones of a dead man, which they searched, discovering a few masterwork items, a pendant, a silk rope, and a pouch full of gold coins. Dividing up the bounty, the party then returned to the hot siccatite doors in the adjoining room. After puzzling over the tiles for a time, the adventurers finally stumbled upon the word combination of

SILENT THEY SEE

With this the doors opened slightly, and the party pushed into a dusty, cobwed-choked corridor devoid of footprints. Following it led them to another winding staircase, which opened eventually into a short hallway that led them to an ancient bath room. Exploring the room, they were assaulted by two Giant Amoebas, which they battled fiercely until victory was achieved.

Theon then explored a winding passage that opened onto a largish room occupied by two huge spiders, eating a dolphin! He retreated quickly, and the party decided to head down the only remaining hallway. It was here that Doug noticed a secret door, which the adventurers were quickly able to open.

This door lead into a large, long room that eventually opened onto a ledge over a sea water filled chamber. A ledge along one edge led to a wooden plank that was laid out to a stone pillar with a bucket on it, out in the water filled chamber. Theon tested this plank, which broke under his weight. Using his athletic abilities he was able to grasp the ledge behind him and hoist himself to safety. He then ran along the ledge and launched himself to the stone pillar, landing with ease. Following a quick inspection, he dumped the bat-filled bucket into the water, which caused huge water spiders to boil up the sides of the pillar. Theon lept back to the ledge, and the entire party fled the room just ahead of the arachnids, slamming the secret door behind them.

Heading down the curved stairwell near the secret door, the adventurers came upon a large room filled with a half-dozen conical mounds of dirt and debris. As Theon moved to inspect one, a giant ant emerged from the mound, and the fight was on. The party fought ant after ant, as more continued to emerge from the others mounds throughout the room. It was a close, tense fight but in the end the adventurers prevailed, after which they sat down to collect their wits and decide their next course of action.

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In the Crow's Nest, Session 4
Shards of Sin

Faced with a hostile group of Tower Girls and Donkey Rats, the adventurers did what they do best, and charged the enemy. A fierce fight ensued, with a few adventurers narrowly avoiding the bite of Karisa, and eventually they prevailed over the gangsters. A search of the various rooms occupied by the Tower Girls revealed a fair amount of treasure, and the party pocketed this loot and moved further into the structure, encountering yet another stairwell the lead them back down a level within the Crow.

Here they located a large room with a massive pair of double doors, sheathed in hot siccatite. Tiles on the door, resembling those the party saw on the Paradox Box earlier, spelled out the following:

LISTEN THE EYES

The group searched the rest of the room, finding a small dead-end tunnel and then turning two the two smaller doors at the other end of the spearhead-shaped room. As these were opened, they were confronted by a wererat in full form, accompanied by two Donkey Rats. Whirling her bladed scarf about her head, Ayala Javeski identified herself and demanded that the party leave the Crow immediately. With predictable results, they once again engaged this threat with force of arms.

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In the Crow's Nest, Session 3
Shards of Sin

Armed with the knowledge gained from the Shard of Pride, the party prepped their gear and rested for an evening before heading out early the next day to the Irespan. Hiring a boatman named Pete, they headed for the Crow, an Irespan piling standing 220 feet tall off the shore of Magnimar. As they approached in the morning fog, Pete guided the boat into a lancet arch at the base of the Crow, where they found a stepped terrace with three boats tied up by heavy stones.

The adventurers moved ashore, noting that a few old campfires were scattered about, and that a formerly secret entrance to the Crow had been reduced to rubble, providing entry to the structure. Moving inside they ran into a number of clues that the Crow had been, or still was, occupied, with discarded remnants of food and clothing and a room dedicated as a privy located nearby. The next room, a small landing on the stairwell, revealed a powdery yellow substance on the floor near three open stone boxes (which had already been looted). As the party moved up the stairs into the next room, they startled someone/thing, which let out a squeak and ran up the stairs opposite where the party had entered the pillared room.

Pursuing up the winding stairwell, the party ran into three Tower Girls, who warned them to turn around and go back the way they had come. The players instead charged, killing two of the thugs and overwhelming a third, whom they questioned for information about the rest of the structure. Theon then volunteered to lead the remaining Tower Girl away to secure her and insure that she didn’t give the party away. The party discovered a secret door that had been propped open by the trio of Tower Girls, which led to a large room that opened up onto the shaft the runs from the landing dock below to the top of the Crow.

Crossing via a series of rickety platforms and ropes, the party made it’s way to the middle platform, up into the trap door above, and through a short crawlspace to a long hallway marked with alcoves. Bones littered the floor of each empty crypt, and the party moved cautiously to the end of the hallway, which opened into a series of two rooms at an angle to the hallway.

The party avoided the wire trap at the entrance to the two rooms, and Theon was able to sneak up on the sleeping Tower Girl and take her by surprise. However, the other guard had fled the room down a back stairwell, and so after a quick search of the nearby rooms the party set off down a long hallway that led to another stairwell, leading further into the Crow.

The adventurers set off down the stairwell, and entered a room filled with Tower Girls, led by the lycanthrope Karisa. She demanded that the party leave the Crow immediately, and backed her show of force with six Tower Girls and four Donkey Rats.

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The Seeker's Shard, Session 2
Shards of Sin

Summary

Having received a clue to the whereabouts of one Fenster the Blight, who purportedly had information related to finding Natalya Vancaskerkin, the PC’s set out to find Fenster in the Underbridge. Traveling down towards the shoreline, the streets of Magnimar took on a run-down demeanor and the characters stayed vigilant to avoid any trouble.

Asking around in the Underbridge, they finally located the slope-sided warehouse supposedly occupied by Fenster, and quickly cased the location. The party entered the warehouse, and taking in Fenster’s ramshackle board and boat hut, with sailcloth door, they laid 5gp into the dish near the broken chest and stood back to await Fenster.

Fenster appeared a couple minutes later, and the PC’s proceeded to ask him where they might find Natalya. Fenster indicated that she was no longer with the Tower Girls, and that she had set up shop with some new goons in a run-down building in the Underbridge. The PC’s duped Fenster into beleiving a 50GP gem was worth 100GP in order to get this information, and he also provided them with a map to Natalya’s location written with coal on parchment.

The players made their way to the location mapped out by Fenster, and began to study the building itself for points of entry. Upon approaching the front door, they were accosted by two thugs wielding crossbows. The thugs demanded to know what they were doing in the area, and promptly told them to find a new location to lurk about.

Responding quickly to this threat, Iolar Madaxe charged the front door, smashing through with brute strength. Unfortunately, he discovered that the room had no floor, only a board spanning the cesspit and reaching to the door on the far side of the room. He maintained his balance for a moment, but then hurtled face-first into the sludge.

Doug moved to engage the thugs outside, while Theon fired an arrow at them from in front of the building. Itor engaged with a Fire Bolt, and Elsbeth entered the building, rushing to the far door in the first room and flinging it open. Elsbeth was then fired upon by two goblins hiding behind stacks of crates and barrels in a corner of the room, at which point she decided to retreat. She shut the door and turned to run outside for healing, but then fell into the sludge next to Iolar.

Theon moved to engage the thugs outside, as Doug took two vicious shots from their morningstars. Seeing that Doug was in danger, Itor moved up and cast Cure Light Wounds to keep him in the fight. Enraged, Doug swung back with his weapon but was disarmed by one of the thugs!

Back inside the building, Iolar heard evil laughter from within the sewer pipes emptying into the room, and decided to wriggle through a pipe to injure some enemies. Elsbeth attempted to climb back up onto the board crossing the room, trying to reach Itor in order to be healed. After a couple tries, she finally made her way onto the board, and then began calling for Itor.

Outside against the thugs, Theon began to land shots with his weapons, slipping past the armor of the second thug. Doug then killed the second thug with a Shield Bash, and turned his attention to the other thug. Itor ran back to heal Elsbeth, and they then both turned to try to take out the last thug.

Inside the sewers, Iolar plopped out of the sewage pipe and encountered two goblins, dispatching them in short order. He then slipped back into the sewage pipe to make his way back to the party, who witnessed another Doug shield bash that killed the first thug.

Natalya vancaskerkin

Not wanting to battle their way through a decrepit, deadly building, the party searched the outside of the building for other ways in. Eventually, they decided that Theon would climb the crumbling chimney and descend via Ring of Feather Falling, while the rest of the party following Iolar and Doug through the boarded up windows out back.

Two attempts later and Doug and Iolar had broken through the windows out back, only to find themselves plunging into separate rooms, sans floors and filled with sewer sludge as well. Meanwhile, Theon had spotted a woman scribbling into a book in the hollowed-out chimney, and stealthed down to slip his blades up to her neck and back, forcing her and her two sewer goblin guards to surrender. The party discovered Natalya’s mad plans to take over the Sczarni gang in the city with her gang, and Iolar took a coppery shard from her that she claimed was an object of great power.

Shard of pride

Returning to Heidmarch Manor, the party showed the shard to Sheila, and soon learned that it was a fragment of a powerful artifact from ancient Thassilon. Iolar revealed the powers of this particular shard, while Sheila noted that it was part of a larger grouping of shards, that formed an artifact named the Sihedron. Sheila told the party about the power each shard had to point the way to the next piece, and Iolar focused on the shard and discovered that the next piece was surprisingly nearby, in an Irespan piling called the Crow. The party agreed to continue the quest for the next shard, while Sheila promised more information through her research the next time they spoke.

People and Places
Underbridge
Irespan
Heidmarch Manor
Magnimar
Pathfinder Society
Sheila Heidmarch
Venture-captain

Items
Shard of Pride

Thoughts

I thought this was another good session, despite being down two players. As a rule, I won’t ask players to play other player characters unless the lack of that character would have a big impact on party survivability. Essentially, if there are is no tank or healer, I’ll ask someone to play one of those roles to avoid TPK (total party kill). This is not to say that other player characters are not important, just that you can live without some DPS but you probably won’t live without a tank or healer.

Pace was good, and everyone was very patient again, given that I’m the primary source for rules knowledge at this point. If each of you could take a bit of time to read some of the rules (which you may find free on the Pathfinder PRD under Core Rulebook), this will really help the game move much more smoothly. At the very least, take a look at your race/class rules so that you know what your character is capable of doing.

Everyone is doing a good job of RP’ing their character, so keep it up. Keep in mind your alignment, the things that motivate your PC to do what s/he does, and what your goals are. This will help you develop your character within the campaign. I have one character background in my hands (thanks George!), so let me know if any of the rest of you create one or need help creating one.

We played until about 10:10PM, which is a good quitting time I think. That allows everyone to be home no later than Midnight and back into happy fun time work the next day. We’ll shoot for another 4 hour session next time, so that we can keep things moving along.


Housekeeping

I still need to get Iolar Madaxe and Elsbeth to choose Traits for their characters.

Iolar Madaxe

You may choose (1) campaign trait for the Shattered Star campaign.
Shattered Star Traits

You may choose (1) basic trait (Combat, Faith, Magic, Social).
Basic Traits

Elsbeth

You may choose (1) campaign trait for the Shattered Star campaign.
Shattered Star Traits

You may choose (1) basic trait (Combat, Faith, Magic, Social).
Basic Traits

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A Game Afoot in Magnimar, Session 1
Shards of Sin

Summary

Sheila heidmarch
The adventure began with each of the players being asked to visit Magnimar by Sheila Heidmarch, a Venture-captain with the Pathfinder Society. Upon arriving at Heidmarch Manor, the characters were asked by Sheila to wait in the lodge library/study while she finished up business with Koriah Azmeren, a renowned Pathfinder known as an expert on the Darklands.

Sheila asked that the characters take a look at a paradox box, which Koriah had brought back from the Darklands. The ladies then retired to a nearby room, leaving the characters to puzzle over the box, which sat next to a pile of notes on a table in the middle of the cluttered library/study. After roughly 50 minutes, the players were able to open the box, whereupon two Pugwampi sprang from the paradox box and began to destroy anything they could get their hands on in the library/study.

A short fight ensued, with the characters able to finally dispatch the loathsome creatures, with no small amount of destruction to the room and its contents, including the destruction of the main table by Doug the dwarven paladin. Inside the box they discovered 3 garnets, a ring of feather falling, and silver dagger, which Sheila allowed them to keep.

Pugwampi paradox box small

Sheila then detailed the reason for calling them to Magnimar, which was to hunt down an informant of hers, Natalya Vancaskerkin. The woman disappeared recently, after acquiring some item that Natalya had said would be of great interest to the Society. The characters were given three leads regarding where they might find information that would help them locate Natalya: a man named the Amazing Zograthy, rumors of Nidalese slavers abducting people late at night, and the city guard, which may have taken Natalya to the Arvensoar, the garrison for the city watch.

The characters set out to talk to the Amazing Zograthy, who told them that people have been going missing, but that the Sczarni are not involved. He also informed them that Natalya was recently a member of the Tower Girls, a gang of cat burglars.

The characters then visited the Arvensoar, where they learned that the city watch did not have Natalya in their possession, but that she had been last rumored to be staying down in the Underbridge region of the city, with a disreputable local named Fenster the Blight. At this point they headed to the Dancing Stag, an inn of common standing.

People and Places
Arvensoar
Darklands
Heidmarch Manor
Koriah Azmeren
Magnimar
Paradox Box
Pathfinder Society
Sheila Heidmarch
Venture-captain

Items
Ring of Feather Falling

Thoughts

The session went pretty well, given that we hadn’t played anything in over a year, and were playing an entirely new rule set. Everyone was fairly patient, and things should be smoother as we progress.

Keep in mind that the action, while largely driven by the players, is also partially in my control. At times you may feel like things are moving too slowly, but rest assured that the pace will pick up as needed so there’s no need to rush along and not enjoy the adventure. Sometimes the most fun is had when a player or three goes off the rails onto some rabbit trail. Sit back and enjoy the ride, the train eventually makes its way back onto the tracks.

I thought it was great that everyone made a good effort to roleplay while playing a Roleplaying Game. The more into your characters you get, the more into the NPC’s and monsters I’ll get, so keep it up. I’m working on a way to reward players who roleplay as much as possible.

We’d like to play longer next time, we had to cut it short this time due to work obligations the next morning for some. I think if we could play until at least 10PM, that would justify the longer drive many of us have.


Housekeeping

This week Itor, Doug, Nerisaris Darksbane, and Theon Baelish selected their character Traits, and I added them to their character sheets in Hero Lab. Now we just need to get Iolar Madaxe and Elsbeth set up and we’ll have all the initial character creation stuff out of the way.

Iolar Madaxe

You may choose (1) campaign trait for the Shattered Star campaign.
Shattered Star Traits

You may choose (1) basic trait (Combat, Faith, Magic, Social).
Basic Traits

Elsbeth

You may choose (1) campaign trait for the Shattered Star campaign.
Shattered Star Traits

You may choose (1) basic trait (Combat, Faith, Magic, Social).
Basic Traits

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