Here is the return to the final leg of the Rise of the Runelords adventure path. After a multi session hiatus with Jim deftly handling the DM responsibilities we return to the final two chapters in the story. The party lost a brother, had a coward in their midst and gained a new ally.
Jess - Wren (Human Female Rogue 13)
Bruce - Marcellus (Human Male Fighter 13)
Mike - Seoni (Human Female Cleric of Calistria 12/Wizard 1)
Brian - Zatara (Half-Elf Barbarian 13)
Jim - Talbot (Halfling Cavalier 13)
During the battle at Jorgenfist the party lost Aerodus while fighting the vile Mokmurian. Seoni tried to raise him back but Aerodus didn't return to his body. Marcellus was shocked to his core. Seoni also reverted the 'Flesh to Stone' cast on Nicholai. After his brush from death he remained quiet and distanced himself from the party.
After learning what they could from the old Thassilonian library in Jorgenfist they turned south and began heading back to Sandpoint. After a few days of travel they reached the small town of Ravenmoor and they decided to enjoy a bed rest from the road travel. The early the next morning Wren wakes up to find Nicholai gone and a note left in his place.
"Wren, after what happened at Jorgenfist, I've realized that my life is more important than dying for these people you associate with. It was fun."
Wren checked her belongings and realized she was also shorted $500 gold pieces as well. Wren goes and wakes Zatara, who then goes stalking outside towards the stable. Marcellus was already awake and doing his early morning exercises and spots Zatara storming into the stables searching for clues and asks what is happening. Zatara explains, Marcellus helps and they notice a relatively fresh horse trail heading to the north west towards the direction of Riddleport. All the while Seoni heard Wren crying and went to check on her....and it gave the Cleric of Calistria reason to plan retribution for breaking her friends heart.
They regrouped, collected their belongings and continued on to Sandpoint to lay Aerodus to rest. Another week on the road and Sandpoint came into view on a late summer evening. The guards at the northern gate, which was still in disrepair from the giant attack, called out to them and the town. The church bell started to ring and the townsfolk began to gather as the party entered the town with Seoni bringing Aerodus' wrapped body on a floating disk. People were silenced, Marcellus parents were grief stricken and over all this new excitement both the Mayor and Sheriff brought the rest up to speed on the happenings in the time since they left to the Storval Plateau.
The short of it was that an earthquake hit the town and opened a sinkhole in the town barracks where the jail cells were. The cells were empty at the time. However the townsfolk started hearing around the midnight hour an almost supernatural howling coming from the hole followed by what can only be described as tortured screaming. This has gone on nightly since the quake. The mayor ordered the sheriff to send down four of his men a few days back to investigate and they haven't been seen since and the noises keep persisting. The party, amidst a tragedy, agreed to investigate in the morning but will stay awake to hear what the townsfolk are afraid of that night.
All the while they were being observed off to the side by a halfing and his riding dog. After the general populace began to disperse he approached them and offered to assist. Being very wary of another new person offering to help, the skeptical adventurers began to question him and the halfling cavalier, Talbot, was more than happy to answer. He described his order, his patron deity and how he came to Sandpoint. Iomedae granted him a vision saying that the local 'Heroes of Sandpoint' are on a mission to save the area but the stakes are greater and they need more help. Talbot responded and headed out with his gear and riding dog Shadow. Seoni listened intently and recognized Iomedae's ways and agreed that he was sent here on holy orders even though he is not a priest. They apologized, brought Talbot up to speed at the Red Dragon Inn and discovered that the inn had a new owner, a varisian man named Vincenzo.
Vincenzo purchased the inn from the previous owner, Ameiko Kaijitsu, after she headed out with a few fresh faced newcomers in town, the inn's sous chef and a small caravan of interesting folk. The newcomers were in town to meet the 'Heroes of Sandpoint' that they heard about in Magnimar; star struck fans essentially. These folk then helped Ameiko deal with some goblins who gained access to fireworks and after a week or so of doing errands outside of town they all headed out one day heading north along the Lost Coast road. She sold the inn to Vincenzo for a gold piece saying she doesn't need it any more. The rest of the old staff stayed on and he's been glad to be able to settle down after years of wandering.
Later that night after hearing the unearthly howls the heroes returned to their respective homes to rest; Talbot stayed in the inn. Marcellus arrived home to come face to face with his parents and dealing with the loss of his younger brother. Mother was in the throws of grief and his father seemed disappointed beyond belief. He tried his best to explain why they are putting themselves in harms way but it fell on the deaf ears of parents who lost one of their children. He retired to his room to sleep with Seoni joining him.
The next day, early in the morning, they were to meet and descend into the sink hole, but Marcellus was greeted by his parents at breakfast. Mother clearly pushing to find out where he was going and Marcellus trying to lie without getting caught. His father knew better and his mother made him promise he would be back for lunch. As he was heading out, Marcellus noticed his father shaking his head and looking on in disbelief. Seoni tried to help by talking to Marcellus on the way to the meeting place but he was focused more on getting his frustrations out by hacking possible monsters into bits.
The heroes all met up around 9am at the barracks and they got to see Talbot and Shadow decked out in their full gear for the first time; they are geared for war in their armor. Marcellus recognized that Talbot wielded the same blade as he only a smaller version. Sheriff Hemlock led them back to the cells where the floor caved in and offered advice on how his missing deputies got down safely. They slowly lowered themselves down into the old ruins under the town they traversed through a year prior. Most passages were collapsed now but in the furthest corridor a previously collapsed passage was cleared out, purposefully, opening a stairwell deeper down into this old and forgotten temple to Lamashtu.
Next entry will deal with the trials and dangers of this newly opened area and how the Heroes of Sandpoint live up to their names after losses and betrayals within their ranks.