Pathfinder Inconsistent Adventures

Tower of the Troglodyte Thane, Part II

In the room with a single brazier, its coals casting a dim light around the room, the adventurers approached a small door. A muffled cry for help could be heard from the other side; Kyras efforts to pick the lock failed, but with anger to help those trapped rising, Phozzie smasshed himself into the door, destroying most of it, and revealing Crysoner, the monk with whom they faced Black Fang, and Delphekit, a gnome. The two had met up after Crysoner parted company with the bard, and in their own pursuit of Black Fang had been captured by the Troglodytes. An inspection of the rest of the floor revealed a a water damaged library where the crack ran up the side of the tower, and the collapsed side open to view the Devil’s Platter.

As they peeked into the stairwell, a javelin embedded itself into the door frame. The party found the remains of the stairs hung down enough that they could be climbed with some effort. The room above was a throne room, extended all sides of the tower’s cloverleaf footprint. Four troglodytes flanked the stairway, one enormous with a spiked club. At the east end stood an ornate throne, as the first party members climbed up, a troglodyte rose and signaled to attack. He began chanting, as his pet crocodile moved forward. A difficult, and extended battle later, the succeeded in slaying the troglodytes. Among the treasure in a chest behind the throne, the party found a leather bound tome, the writing of which was in Draconic.

Under detection, the tome clearly radiated Conjuration and Divination magic. The leather, sewn together irregularly, though appearing ancient, felt soft and supple in the holder’s hands. Kyras was able to discern the writing was a conversation between Black Fang and the troglodyte druid, Tasskar. The tome could be used to send messages, and Black Fang was not amused ad the scribbled idle threats to him.

From there, the party returned to Sandpoint, finding Sergeant-At-Arms Hauser in the Rusty Dragon, and delivering the tome to him. Hauser gave the group the rest of the day off, and provided a list of things to do while they were out spending their reward.

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Tower of the Troglodyte Thane, Part I

Offscreen The night after chasing off the dragon, Black Fang, Crysoner the monk was haunted by dreams, which she took as a sign from Raiden. In the morning, she announced plans to set off on her own to seek clues to her Raiden’s message. Crysoner’s dream revealed a path that would lead her to the north end of the Tors, and The bard, in a chivalrous gesture, insisted she not travel alone and would accompany her. The party agreed to travel north with her as far as the Lost Coast Road running along the north edge of the Devil’s Platter, then they would split, with the remaining three heading back to report to Conrad, in Sandpoint.

Meanwhile, in Sandpoint Sergeant-At-Arms Conrad Hauser realized the group he sent out to investigate the cattle mutilations had yet to return. Calling on two new recruits, Gr’lk, the half-orc alchemist, and Phosgene, the Barbarian, Conrad sent them via the shorter Lost Coast Road to approach the Tors and see if they could locate the missing adventurers.

Approaching The Devil’s Bargain Crossroads, where a less-traveled road up into the Devil’s Platter and down to the Lost Coast, the two groups spotted each other. A brief, but tense, encounter was cut short by the re-appearance of Black Fang, who attempted a flyby attack on the party. While some of the party scattered into the trees, the dragon’s acidic breath caught Bellum full-on, but his armor protected him from the brunt of the attack; splatter caught Kyras, standing behind Bellum. On his second attack, Black Fang’s claw caught in Phozzie’s armor, allowing the barbarian an attack with his great axe. After dislodging himself, Black Fang took wing to the north, into the Devil’s Platter. Respite from the battle was short, as an earthquake shook the area, knocking down trees and slowing return travel to Sandpoint.

In Sandpoint, the adventurers discovered the company headquarters—a old and storied building in Sandpoint that once served as a brothel—reduced to rubble. Asking around, they found that the Sergeant-At-Arms had set up a temporary headquarters in the Rusty Dragon, Sandpoint’s largest and most famous inn. Sitting at a well-apportioned table was Conrad, two other armed dwarves, and Bill, the Farmer. The party reported on what had transpired, and negotiated for half their 1000 gp reward upfront. The party would depart in the morning, to track Black Fang into the Devil’s Platter. Upon meeting Sergeant-At-Arms Hauser once again, he provided an additional member of their party, an enchantress.

Once arriving at the Crossroads, the party headed into the Devil’s Platter, eventually discovering a tall tower, the eastern edge of which had collapsed, leaving four floors visible from the outside. Upon inspection, the walls appeared to be completely smooth granite, the tower in a four-leaf-clover shape. Investigating inside the first floor, they found it choked with rubble, each room an octagon shape. In one room draped with spider webs. Gr’lk, the alchemist, set the webs aflame, but was immediately set upon by two giant spiders dropping from the ceiling. After slaying the spiders, a small spiral stairway, collapsed in upon itself, was discovered. With the barbarian’s climbing skills, the party was able to scale the inside of the stairwell, and enter the second floor.

Upon opening the door, a stench overwhelmed the party, rotting eggs and raw sewage. As they adjusted, the party searched a ruined armory; damaged shields, rotted leather armor, and broken spear shafts lay strew around. Eventually, under a dented and chipped shield, they found +1 Poison-Resistant Studded Leather Armor and an ancient banner emblazoned with the heraldry of the Lodge of the Phoenix, a celebrated mercenary company from the Age of Empires. Two doors led away from the room, one to the left and one to the right of the stairwell. Over the door to the right, the group spotted a crude javelin trap, designed to drop on anyone coming through the door form the opposite side. As the rest of the party debated what the significance of the trap may be, Kyras simply disarmed it. As the rogue opened the door, two javelins flew at him, one missing and embedding into the wall, one into his shoulder.

Two troglodytes stood in the next room. Despite their stench sickening some of the party, they were able to make quick work of one, but the second escaped through the opposite door. Warily following his trail, the party entered the side of the tower that was collapsed; the view of dusk shrouding the plateau was eerily beautiful, as the sun set behind the tower. Moving into the next room, the musty smell of mold mixed with that of electric ozone. Shelves and broken sundries lay moldering on the floor; a long crack in the wall had let rainwater in, rotting much of what was once in this room. Searching for anything magical, Cora discovered a small lizard huddled under a shelf. She recognized it as a shocker lizard, and fed it a bit of her rations, winning the small lizard over to her with a minimal electric shock. Entering back around to the original room from which they entered the level; the troglodyte had managed to escape, but the floor appeared to be clear.

The floor of the third level had collapsed further back than that of the second and fourth, and rather than climb the stairwell, where the troglodyte might be, the adventurers chose to throw a grappling hook up, entering the third floor of the tower from the outside. This half of the tower level was taken up by one large room, rather than two smaller ones. A quick search revealed a hidden door in the wall, and the party was able to enter the other half of the level: an hour-glass shaped temple that Bellum recognized as dedicated to Thoth, god of knowledge and magic. The most notable aspect of the room was three skeletons: two human and one, charred, of a troglodyte, lying in the center of the room. As Kyras approached a nearby altar carved from obsidian, the human skeletons stood up and ignited in flame, engaging the party. After the battle, an inspection of the room revealed the walls were carved with proverbs of Thoth: “Knowledge is power,” “The more you know,” “Knowing is half the battle,” “That’s one to grow on,” etc. Two altars, the nearest of dark obsidian and one of pure white marble stood at opposite ends of the room, on each lay a mummified hand wearing a ring. The altar settings were adorned with images of Thoth, and a silver holy symbol of the god lay on each altar as well. A door to the central stairwell seemed fixed shut. The party decided to retreat to the partially collapsed room, as it seemed the most defensible point and camp for the night.

The next morning, a climb up the stairwell led to another octagonal room, in which the stench of troglodytes hung. Sleeping mats lay strewn about the floor, and, as with the second level, two rooms led off to each side of the central stairwell. Cautiously entering the room to the stairwell’s right revealed another octagonal room and another door across the room. A small brazier stood in the center of the room, its coals burnt down to embers. Approaching the far door, the party heard a muffled cry for help…

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Intermission
Or, on her way to the river...

The harsh wind whipped across the road. The remainder of the party had disappeared to the west as they set off back to Sandpoint. Such was not her path, however. Against the wind she squinted and cast her gaze north. Less than a mile from the coast, the salt in the air was impossible to ignore.
The river was scarcely a couple miles east along the Lost Coast Road. Crysoner set off at a trot, the rhythmic crunching of dirt under her sandals providing something easy to focus on, anything to keep her mind from the dreams. They were impossible to decipher, and already much had been forgotten…or perhaps blocked from her mind.
Get to the river. The rest would come.
The dragon, Black Fang, would be dealt with in time. Their prior battle with the beast was a tale worthy of…well, perhaps not songs, but at least a verse from an inebriated minstrel. The livestock was safe, if only for a time, and she had already surrendered her share of the fee. Certainly others in the group would find the coin more useful. While they returned to the city to report on their findings, she ventured on her own for a time.
It was good to be out of the city, exploring the countryside on her own terms this time. Things appeared much differently when not sneaking through the brush under the cover of night. One of her shirt sleeves was tattered, burned during an episode in the goblin caverns. Well, patience had never truly been one of her strengths.
The Nettlewood stood between her and the coastline, providing a good bit of shade against the midday sun. Crysoner slowed to a walk and stopped as the Thistle river came into view. Save the sounds of the water, silence echoed through the wood and along the road. The hair on the back of her neck stood on end; she stretched her senses to an almost painful extent but could detect nothing amiss.
Clenching her hands into fists, she took a deep breath and cautiously proceeded towards the river. She reached the bank undisturbed and crept ahead, scanning the muddy ground for something. Exactly what it was she sought remained a bit of a mystery; that part of the dream remained cloudy. She squatted down and rested her hands on the ground. In her dream there had been an ancient, worn desk along the river bank, adorned with only a candle and a scroll tube.
A bolt of lightning had struck the desk leaving nothing that she could remember. Nothing at all. She sighed and straightened herself, scanning the surface of the river bank one last time and meandered south along the river. Her mind wandered off, but snapped back to the present when she stumbled and nearly fell. Crysoner caught herself and looked back at a broken fragment of a scroll tube jutting from the riverbank.
She smiled and took a step forward before falling to her knees. Her eyes went wide and she reached around to the back of her neck. A needle was buried into her flesh. She barely got her hands out in time to keep from face planting in the dirt. Once, twice she shook her head but her vision blurred and began to darken. Only a faint voice registered before the blackness swallowed her.
“You are proving to be far too meddlesome for your own good.

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Black Fang's Dungeon

Summoned to the offices of the Wilberforce Adventuring Company by Conrad Hauser, the Company’s Sergeant-at-Arms, five heroes for hire are asked to investigate a rash of cattle mutilations in the farm holds east of Sandpoint. From “Bill the Farmer,” appointed to make the trek to Sandpoint and plead their case, the party learned that in the past few weeks, 14 cattle have been found torn to pieces, and apparently melted. Recently, a small group of farm children were exploring in the hills and came across the carcass of one of the cattle in a small valley. Stuck was a long black fang, which he produced for the adventurer to investigate. Conrad added to the farmer’s story that the Black Fang Goblins were known to use charred fangs and claws of large beasts as daggers and spear heads. Plans were made, deals were struck, and for 1000 gold, the party agreed to investigate the mutilations.

As they left Sandpoint, riding a cart Bill the Farmer brought to town, party traveled along the south edge of plateau known as the Devil’s Platter, and to a chalky path leading into the Tors, a small range of low mountains—hills, really, that marked the eastern edge of the Sandpoint region. After trekking up a rocky mountain path, the party discovered the box canyon Bill described, the mutilated body of a single cow, and a moss-covered, well-weathered statue of a ceremonially-armored Minotaur. Closer inspection of the Minotaur revealed an unknown symbol carved into its armor, a circle with a crescent turned sideways atop it. As the party began to inspect the walls of the box canyon, a high-pitched giggle was heard, and it became clear that the mossy walls were not rock, but rather the draped moss concealed a cave, from which three goblins burst, their wickedly curved short swords at the ready. The adventurers were able to make quick work of them however, and moved into the cave to explore, finding their ratty bedrolls and a heavy stone door, slightly ajar, through which a golden light shone.

Through the doorway, the party found a square room, in the center of which stood a gently-glowing fountain. A search of the room revealed a rough-hewn cavern leading off to the northwest; from that direction came nasally, high-pitched voices. Another well-carved stone door was hung in the southeast corner, fixed tight. Arcane runes glowed on the fountain, which Cora was able to decipher as, “With a golden offering to Vex, goddess of chance, one will receive a boon.” The party, with the exception of the devout paladin, Bellum Pacifica, tossed a coin into the fountain and received a variety of blessings.

Through the cavern door, the sound of bickering, high-pitched voices grew louder. Sneaking around the corner, Kyras discovered a small group of goblins bickering. In order to pacify them, the bard entered, singing an epic. The enthralled goblins hummed along, as the party entered to parlay with their king, Fathead I. It seemed Fathead’s sister ran off with their holiest of relics, representing their draconic god. It also seemed Fathead could not count above three. The party agreed to retrieve the icon in exchange for free passage through the “throne room.”

The party retraced their steps through the fountain room and through the stone door into a rectangular room in which two statues of Minotaurs flanked a raised dais and altar, upon which a fist-sized ruby sat. The adventurers quickly learned the room was trapped, as they approached the dais, a sheet of flame engulfed the room, singing Kyras and sending Crysomer into shock. Kyras was able to disable the trap and retrieve the ruby, noting along the way that the Minotaurs had the same crescent-over-circle emblem the statue outside bore. The ruby provided resistance to energy-based attacks once per day. Quickly pressing forward, so the trap would not reset itself, the party found itself in a room draped with spider webs. Small spiders scurried among the web, and as Kyras searched through the sticky mess, a giant spider dropped on him until the rest of the party was able to slay it. Wrapped in spider silk was a desiccated goblin body, on which the party found a small toy dragon, designed to flap its wings when the tail was pulled. Also on the goblin’s body was a wand, identified as a wand of magic missiles.

At the far end of the spider’s lair, the party entered a narrow natural cavern, in the middle of which stood a pillar, again carved with the same crescent-over-circle symbol. Scratched into the wall were the words, “The wyrm’s breath drips death,” in Elvish (oddly, it still rhymed). On the far side of the pillar lay the skeleton of an elf, upon which the party found enchanted boots and gloves. The adventurers camped in this room for the night; to provide a chance to heal and regain spells.

The sound of flowing water could be heard as the party squeezed through a narrow passageway and into a large chamber; an underground stream bubbled through this cavern and a conveniently-placed treasure chest lie across the stream on a small rise. A shadow could be seen moving in the depths of the stream, but Kyras tied a rope around himself and dove into the chilly water. In the chest, he found an ornate long sword, and a hefty sack of cash. As he was nearing the home shore, he felt a tug at his leg; a reef claw, something akin to an eel with a crawfish’s claws, had grabbed the rogue, and was pulling him under. With assistance from the party reeling him in, Kyras was able to land on the bank, and the party slew the reef claw. Cora’s analysis revealed the sword to be a Dragonsbane Longsword.

A tunnel led out of the stream cavern, and wound around until the party found themselves back in King Fathead’s “throne room.” The goblins rejoiced when their “totem” (the dragon toy) was returned to them, and warned the adventurers about the room above, and the dragon beyond, confirming what the party had long suspected, that a dragon was behind the cattle mutilations. A quick climb led up the sheer rock wall at the far end of the throne room, and into a crypt, where five skeletons were interred. Four rose up to combat those who would defile their crypt, most simple wielding ancient scimitars and shields, but one in ornate, but aged and damaged full plate. While they battled the undead, the party could hear “oohs,” “aahs,” and cheers from the goblins in the room below, as the creatures listened to the sounds of the fight and were occasionally entertained by flashes of magic. Putting the skeletons to rest for good, the party again chose to camp, remaining in the crypt. Throughout the night, the sounds of heavy wings and the occasional screech could be heard from the tunnel that led away from the crypt.

The next morning, the goblin throne room was silent; looking over the edge, the party found it abandoned. Again pressing on, the tunnel away led down a carved flight of stairs, through a worked stone chamber; the smell of open air refreshed the party. A collapsed wall in the worked room led into a large natural cavern, which opened to the sky above. Daylight cast shadows on the ground, and one large shadow slowly unfurled its wings and turned to face the party. With a hiss, black acid spat from its jaws, catch the party full on; Cora went down, the others burned in pain. With an acrobatic roll, Kyras was able to flank the dragon, Crysomer drew upon her inner strength and battered it with a flurry of blows, and upon Bellum’s swing of the Dragonsbane Longsword, and the beast took flight through the open ceiling live to fight another day. The party was able to claim the dragon’s small horde, and returning to their point of entry, found Wilburforce the donkey missing!

Somewhere, a goblin boss has trained a war donkey to carry him into battle

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