GM – Shane
Rock – Brad
Nick – Simon
Keen Ears – Dave
Ashelin – Hailey
Bethany – Shaun
Laneth – Steve
Clanky (Sir Clanks-a-lot – Clockwork servant)
Viekko – Rawry
Find next shard (complete) – Viekko (Shard of Gluttony)
Steal golem parts – 5 pounds + Alchemical golem + Guard golem + Tupilaq (complete)
Find Lincora’s Head for Abra (complete)
Rescue the Troll Auger – brother (complete)
The two undead wyverns waited patiently awaiting an order from their new master, while Viekko stood nearby rubbing his hands in glee and praising Nethis for the gift of his new servants. Unfortunately the basement of Nick’s Tavern was not the best locations for a pair of undead wyverns as was soon realised when a newly appointed food critic named Homer, wrote a scathing article about the dining experience at Nick’s, claiming “your tastebuds had to be 3-weeks dead to be able to eat there”, while the current specialty on the menu seemed to be “rotting corpse”. Naturally Nick was not amused, especially when this bad press coincided with a nasty epidemic that broke out in the area centred on Nick’s tavern. Luckily the group’s mission in Kaer Maga was complete and so they planned the return trip to Magnimar. Unfortunately the bad press meant that they needed to travel quickly and so despite recent mishaps, they decided to trust Ashelin and allow her to teleport the party back to the Mansion in Magnimar in small groups.
First to go were the wyverns at Nick’s insistence. The poor beleaguered tavern owner, then spent his remaining time hiring a manager to leave in charge and try and turn around the bad reputation that had fallen on the tavern. Next to make the trip were Laneth, Viekko and Bethany, then Rock and Clanky, while Ashelin returned one last time to pick up Nick and bring him to the Mgnimar Mansion. The two had hardly set down their bags however before they were off to visit a librsary within Magnimar and research the Windsong Abbey, where the next shard was located.
While the two researcers were gone the rest of the party retired to their separate spaces, although Viekko as the newest member was allocated the laundry. They were soon visited however by Cassaday from the city watch. When invited in the sergeant explained that there had been a recent group of puzzling murders in the city and wondered if we were interested in assisting Magnimar once again? Bethany asked for some more details and Cassaday explained that each victim had been stabbed multiple times and their heart’s had been removed. Also each had been a follower of Sarenrae, the goddess of healing and the sun, and the attacks had occurred during the Dawn Walk, a ritual practiced by the Sarendae worshipers. When the city guard had used magic to communicate with the corpses, none of them had seen their attacker as all had been stabbed from behind; however one of the victims had noticed a dagger bearing a symbol of a white feather dipped in blood which we realised was the symbol of the Demon lord of lies and murder – Shax. One final detail was that each of the attacks came immediately after everything had gone completely silent.
By this time, Ashelin and Nick had returned and were given the details of the murders as well. When we asked if there was a temple of Sarendae where we could locate the followers, Cassaday looked embarrassed and told us there was no temple and this had caused some friction between the Sarenites and the guard. We assured Cassaday that the adventuring group would investigate the murders and after she left, we began making plans. Bethany was keen to disguise herself as a Sarendae follower and bait the killer into attacking her, however Viekko had a better suggestion, offering to cast some divination spells and see if he could locate objects in the city belonging to Sarendae and Shax. Bethany then grumbled something about magic and superstations, but agreed to go along with the plan.
The first locate spell led the group to an area of the city under the ruined bridge and to the door of a small house. An older man answered the door and gave us the blessings of Sarendae. The group then asked after the murders and discovered that the recent deaths had not been the first. When assured that we were interested in solving the crimes, the priest explained that 80 years earlier there had been an attempt to raise a shrine to Sarendae but this had failed as the priest – Volstun and his two acolytes had been murdered and the shrine had fallen to ruin. Since then the Sarendae followers had been persecuted, repeatedly beaten and robbed, but nothing had been done by the city giuard. When asked about the dawn walk, the priest explained the ritual, saying each follower had a set path they would follow in the city, extinguishing the street torches so all could bask in the first rays of the dawn sun. We thanked the priest and then Viekko cast another location spell for the symbol of Shax and found a nearby source.
We were lead to the shadow district to what looked like a ruined shrine. The shrine was in very bad shape, with a fallen in roof, broken door and smashed stain glass windows. Nick decided to make himself vanish and then went to poke around behind the shrine. There he found three grave markers and mounds of dirt that looked freshly disturbed. A sound from behind alerted the Halfling and he turned to see a gargoyle land nearby, blocking the path to an overgrown door. Nick in his characteristic way called out to the group “Help, it’s a Golem!” The gargoyle cast a spell and Nick became sickened. The rest of the party quickly moved around the shrine to help Nick. Bethany rolled in and slashed the creature with her sword. Ashlen began the casting for a magic missile attack, but Nick called out for a scorching ray, knowing the mage’s talent for firry death. Ashelin switched mid-spell but the ray seemed to do little and was absorbed by the gargoyle. Nick then drew his rapier and scored a critical strike to a delicate area which seemed to do nothing to the gargoyle, who then turned to attack Bethany. The barbarian then finished off the creature with a savage slash.
We then found that the overgrown door was locked, so sent someone running back to the mansion to fetch Laneth. The elf appeared and deftly picked the lock. “You interrupted my reverie for this?” Laneth exclaimed as the elf turned and angrily trudged back to the mansion. The door opened upon catacombs with brick lined walls covered in fine filaments of fungus and mushrooms growing in the corners. A recent set of footprints cover the floor. In a larger room six mounds of mud begin to bubble upward as humanoid shapes emerged from them. As the putrid walking corpses turned to face the party, Bethany raced in and engaged a pair of the creatures, while the remaining four tried to surround Viekko. Ashelin used up one her power spells and dropped a fireball into the room which surprisingly did not touch the barbarian or the cleric but turned the corpses to ash. As the group moved forward Viekko set off an alarm trap and was momentarily shaken by a blast of loud noise reverberating through the catacomb.
A short tunnel led to an octagon shaped chamber that had been converted into shrine to Shax, covered with putrid offerings to the demon. Bowed in front of the alter is a woman dressed in what appears to be desecrated Searenite garb, and as we enter the woman turned and cast a spell filling the room with an obscuring mist which frustrated the archer as Keen Ears had failed to kill anything that whole day. Viekko ran forward into the mist and deftly snatched the woman’s holy symbol from her hand, preventing her from using it a spell focus. Ashelin then used a spell of her own and the obscuring mist vanished. The priestess retaliated and cast a spell against Ashelin who became enthralled. Viekko then stepped forward and cast slay living, which dropped the priestess like a stone.
Here we paused.