Pathfinder: The New Age of Haven

Episode 29: In Which We Have A Barbecue

After we hear a loud bang, panic starts and it spreads forward as people flee from the main gates. The guards run to the King. As the last of the people pass us, we hear shouts of “ORCS! ORCS AT THE GATE!”

The King asks us to help again. So we guess that we should. Because orcs are dicks and stuff.

Baylen has his pistol already in his hand. “Sure, we can lend a hand.”

Charlotte draws her axe. “Let’s go.”

Avin flexes his fingers, stretching his arms above his head. “No problem, just don’t blame me for any collateral damage.”

And so they went. We arrive at the main gate and see that it is closed, but there has been fighting. There are bodies of orcs and guardsmen lying around. There is a scuffle on the walls. As soon as we arrive on the scene, a guardsmen approaches and says that the orcs have broken into the gate house. We need to stop them from opening the gate.

Avin looks at Charlotte who is prepared to kick it down. But she doesn’t do so well. In that moment, a female soldier runs up to Baylen and salutes. She tells him that she heard a scuffle and took down some orcs on the way here. She wants further orders. Baylen Cartwright nods to the soldier. “Fall in, we could use a hand. The rest of the company seems to have fallen behind.” Random soldier has joined the party! Charlotte kicks the door again. It was super effective! The door comes off the hinges, pushing the barricades open as she does so. There are stuff and things. Inside are three orcs. “ROLL FOR INITIATIVE.” They say, apparently.

We beat the shit out of those mofos.

The other room is empty. Charlotte knocks on the last door. When there is no answer, she kicks it down. An arrow shoots out! The arrow swishes past Charlotte with a twist of her head, landing harmlessly in the floor in front of Baylen. Inside stands a very nervous young guardsman with a bow

“I’m sorry, I-”

“Watch where you’re aiming.” Charlotte snaps.

“Do you have any clue what went down here? Where did all these orcs come from?” Says Ianthe.

“I’m sorry! Are..Are they dead? Did you kill them all? They just appeared out of nowhere…everyone was at the celebrations..”

We spot the lever and ask about it. “Does that open the gate?”

“Yes..that..that’s the lever for the gate. Don’t open it! " He gestures out one of the taller windows and when Charlotte takes a look she sees that this room is overlooking the entry of the gates. The space between the two portcullis gates. Outside she can see a horde of orcs waiting impatiently while being peppered by arrows, rocks and various missiles. Charlotte curses and tells the group what she sees.

“Hey Avin, you could probably thin the crowd out with a couple fireballs.” Baylen suggests. Charlotte thinks we should just open the gates and kill everything.
Ianthe Eir: "They’d have more room to run in and slaughter the citizens that are too stup… erm, stubborn to run away.”

Baylen Cartwright: “Opening the gates is probably not the wisest. We could, um.. If you /really want to/, get out through the window. Also a bad idea.”

Avin casts fly on himself because he is a bauws. Ser Rainbowdance Bubblegum Princess turns invisible and starts casting grease on the ground that the orcs are standing on. Avin casts fireball on the areas hit by grease. Shouts of “oh the humanity!” can be heard from the crowd of orcs. Avin finishes off by casting wall of fire behind the orcs before they try to flee.

The orcs slip around in the grease that appears suddenly and alarms a few of them, but they refuse to run out of stubborn orc pride. This changes quickly as the first fireball detonates, incinerating the first few lines of orcs as the grease catches fire. Before the other orcs can react the next fireballs hit and cause more devastation among their ranks. And as they retreat the flame wall hits the retreating orcs, causing yet more havoc among them. The orcs entirely break as they flail around on fire, bash feebly against the gates or just throw their weapons up at the archers on the walls. But a few moments later the orcs have all either died or routed.

We have saved the day because we are cool. Well. Avin did. But the rest of us helped. Within moments the cheers of victory erupt from the walls and all around. A few guardsmen charge into the building and makes sure its secure. Many more arrive to check on the fallen and wounded, and they congratulate we on being the heroes they heard we were.

As we leave the building, the ragged and exhausted defenders nearby let out a cheer for us.

Ianthe Eir: “We really should find out what in the hells was this attack about.”

One guardsman shouts out to the immediate area about what we have done. And we receive a roar of applause, even from the staggered wounded leaning on each other.

Baylen holsters his pistol. “And another problem solved with fire. That makes, what. All of them so far?”

Avin is floating slightly still, but after several minutes have passed starts to slowly drift downwards and continues on walking without breaking stride.

People wonder how this happened. As the King sees us, he organises another cheer for the Heroes of Morcastle. Everyone cheers and has a good time.

“Sire, has Morcastle had any problems with orcs before this? I’m a bit baffled about the random attack.” Asks Ianthe.

Horhand : “Not since the days of my father, and his before him. We have had magical wards in place at the great wall for…” He stops as it dawns on him. “Without the traitor court wizard..” he spits. "The wards have gone unmaintained…The orcs could be rampaging around my kingdom as we speak.”

Baylen asks if he wants us to track down orcs. Ianthe suggests hiring a new court wizard.

Horhand ponders “If the wall is breached, that would be a bigger problem… Wizards aren’t exactly plentiful in my kingdom. At least not ones with the abilities needed to serve the realm.. Heroes of Morcastle.” He announces finally to us and the people around. “I am sorry to take advantage of your services so soon again, but I fear we must. I need you to head to the wall, as soon as you can. Find out the situation in that place. Help if you can, but get me a report on the situation either way. The wall is run by an alliance of cities along this coast, so not hearing word from it is alarming…”

Ianthe: “As you wish, your majesty.”

“Would it be possible to leave tomorrow at dawn? There are a few things that need tying up here before we depart.” Asks Avin.

Horhand : “Of course. No sense sending you off unprepared. The trip is long and through rough terrain. I will dispatch troops to make sure the major locations around the realm is safe. And send word from the alliance.”

Ianthe Eir: “Maybe a cart with the horses to pull it would be great help.”

Horhand: “Take your time to prepare for the journey, but not too long. The fastest way should be the old northern road and then strike east past the mountains. I also heard tales from my father about rangers braving the wilderness to get to the wall through the great forest.”

Ianthe sighs, and looks at her fellow adventurers… “Without Halion, I’m not sure any of us have the means to navigate through the forest. At least without any maps.”

Horhand explains that the roads aren’t in a good condition. He gives us 5000gp to prepare for the journey. We begin to prepare.

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Episode 28: Morcastle Knights

In the course of a couple hours, martial law is put into effect in the city. Everyone seems kind of happy that the King is back. The city seemed to be clear and most of the necromancers have been arrested. Frantic information has been coming and going, and people are healing our wounds and shit. The king promises us all of the loot and gives us all official titles of “Ser” or “Lady”. We are all knighted which is pretty cool. The king announces that there will be a ceremony in a while.

Horlamin reminds the King of his involvement and how he defended Ianthe. He spends the next couple of days looking over finances and sloppy paperwork and look into various matters.

Baylen on arriving back speaks with the King about getting some kind of approval to carry firearms. The King is okay with this.

Charlotte immediately orders alcohol and then goes to get drunk/grieve/pick a fight. Following/failing that, she throws herself into Blacksmithing and as an axe for hire.

Ianthe is slightly lost and is still trying to find something to keep her busy so she doesn’t think about the unfortunate death of Rukh. She wants access to the library. She has free rein of the castle so she is able to do whatever she wants.

Fox starts a thieves ring.

Avin speaks to the King regarding access to the wizard tower and then addresses the group. "I have something that should be addressed before we go our own ways for a few days. We’ve been through a lot, some of us have fought a dragon, crazy wizards and kobolds. All of us have fought necromancers, lackeys and a demon. We named the company after me: “The Avingers”… I don’t think any of us meant that as a permanent name. Both us and our name have been driven through the mud and back again, Descended into fire and emerged stronger than before. That is why I have decided to call a vote for a new name. Baylen and I have spoken and thought to suggest ‘Company of the Rising Phoenix’, or ‘Phoenix Company’) for short. Chosen not simply because I like fire and the Phoenix is essentially a giant flaming bird but because of our descent and rise in such a short time, the name will cement our rebirth. What do you say?" Avin finds a note about the crystal and he researches it, and finds out that the crystal is similar. There are notches on it which seem to correspond to some kind of numerical order. When he puts them together, he feels that they are connected. The closer they are, the more powerful he can he feel it. He can actually pinpoint that this aura is still there when they are apart, just faint. The aura has seven directions pointing all across. One points directly to the other. Everyone seems to be okay with this. He opens an inn that we use as a HQ.

Sarah reveals her background and everyone is stunned into silence. Sarah is going to attempt to get access to the wizard’s room and library looking for clues to who planted the recording device, looking around for other such devices and then, with help from the group she’d introduce the King and kingdom to the use of invention… Pushing the idea of invention and the economic, sociological and how much he’ll be loved if he embraces the Inventor as the Kingdom’s patron… or even his own. Sarah is going to try to research making some super light weight armour for herself and Ianthe, focusing on things that could be woven into cloth or some collection of spells that could be made permanent to bolster the protective qualities towards those of leather or studded leather.

There is awesome times at the celebration then there was a random loud noise.

Dun dun dun…

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Episode 27: Showdown in a volcano...

And so they went, through the portal of probably not good things…

We end up in a place that seems like hell or a volcano. Neither are ideal.

Horlamin says “Are we dead yet? Ugh, I’ll never get used to these portals.”

“Oh shush.” Says Sarah, shooting him a look. “I’m sure this is a new experience for you, but you’ll get used to being in warm tight confines.”

“Well, ah..” Sarah turns to Baylen. “Never let it be said that you don’t know how to make a woman warm, hm? I saw around a dozen men, so let’s be careful, shall we?”

Horlamin asks Karl to take a look around. Karl hears sounds of shuffling and moaning, and in the distance, the sound of chanting.

Baylen tugs his scarf off, stowing it in his pack. He glances at Sarah, and nods. “Let’s get moving.” Charlotte leads the way with Baylen. Charlotte and Karl wordlessly agree that there are no traps in the immediate area. Karl suggests that the crumbly bits might be dangerous, and everyone theorises what would happen. We all agree it would be burny.

As we move on, the chanting is louder. Charlotte thinks the chanting is familiar but she doesn’t understand it. Charlotte sees more stuff at the end of the corridor thing. We see two zombies dressed in black necromancer robes. Charlotte slices one in half. Sarah makes a joke to Ianthe about how Charlotte is always “intent on making people do the splits”.

“Efficient, it seems.” Ianthe replies as Avin zaps the other zombie, destroying it.

“Seems we’re not needed.”

Baylen and Charlotte lead the way again while Avin examines the corpses for phat lewt. He finds another necklace with the spider emblem, black robes and small daggers. He also finds a total of 38 gold.

Charlotte spots a tripwire just as Baylen steps in it. Baylen just avoids rocks that tumble down. The trap only covers some of the hallway. Charlotte shakes her head at Baylen. Sarah slinks up against the wall. Sarah finally composes herself after the shock of falling rocks.

There is a strange invisible wall, and we hear in our heads, “Are you ready to proceed?” Ignoring strange video game references, we push on. There is a massive opening with heat and statues that have been there for ages and built into the bedrock. There are pedastals. Three out of four have large crystals in them. Around each crystal swirls strands of transparent faces that display expressions of abject horror. In the centre is Darom, mumbling and muttering, gesturing towards a portal in front of him, along with two priests. Something seems to be happening with the portal. There is swirling energy. In front of the portal is a huge pile of treasure that seems to be an offering. Around the room we see people from the castle who had helped Darom, and the King is in bad shape, guarded by three nasty men. One guard seems to have heard us approach and sends someone to check it out.

The chanting intensifies. The King shouts at Darom. “Have you gone mad?” Darom ignores him until he’s finished, turns and then spots Charlotte.

“Intruders! Get them or something!”

Sarah Quietly: "Might I suggest we have Avin and the good gnome trip up the wizards whilst Baylen and Charlotte go for the king?”

We roll for initiative. Sarah says in Celestial: "Going for the ruler-royalty. Do you think you can cover me?”

Mid-fight. Darom does something and the portal hardens and the crystals start to swirl even more. He holds his hand out to the portal.

Charlotte draws first blood because she’s awesome.

A hand soon shoots out of the portal and grabs a priest. He screams as he is pulled through. Then Baylen manages to kill a guy, assisted King Horhand. Avin drops a fireball on Darom which also damages all of the crystals. One guy dies and the fire appears to surround Darom in a cylinder. The crystals glow slightly brighter before settling down again. The other priest is fried.

Fox and Shelen randomly turn up.

After we brutally murder a couple more dudes, a demon steps out of the portal, his gaze fixed on Darom. He reaches for Darom but his claws stop at the shield. He looks annoyed and then sees the crystal. He roars a bit because he’s like a child throwing a tantrum.

He speaks. “You offer this to me? You shouldn’t have.” His voice is like gravel in our brains. It is unlike any voice we have ever heard before. Darom says nothing, before actvating a control rod. The three crystals shimmer and the statues light us, and laser beams surround the demon in a loose cloud of energy.

“I will break you and use your power for my own, Demon.” Says Darom.

The demon thrashes a little and says: “You really think this will hold me?”

Darom laughs. As the energy from the crystals are transferred, we hear the screams of souls.

Sarah knocks over a statue, which falls in slow motion and crashes down on the crystal, sending a shockwave through the cave. A burst of souls seem to escape in an unending river of ghostly energy that shoots up and out of the cave. It continues like that for a moment, and then the crystal shatters. The shield around Darom flickers and fades. The Demon grabs Darom with both hands and holds him up proudly like a trophy.

“Well, well, well.” He says. “Who do we have here?”

Darom gulps. He tries to break out of the grip but fails. The demon puts Darom close to his gaping mouth. We can hear Darom’s sphincter pucker up he is that scared. The demon whispers something that only Fox can hear. He puts Darom in his mouth and has himself some num nums. The shield comes back for some reason.

Shelen is sad facing a bit. Shelen shouts a wordless cry of anger and sadness before transforming into succubus form and charging the demon.

As they fight and destroy crystals, Chrlotte spots and hears her children in one of the crystals. She hits it really really hard with her axe and destroys it in one blow, while Sarah and Horlamin knock over a statue onto the remaining crystal. The demon is dragged back to where it came from.

Avin finds a book of incantations in the pile of loot. Horlamin collapses and rests on the ground. He is completely spent. Charlotte sits cross-legged on the ground in silence, mourning her family. Again.

The king promises to reward us and gives us all the treasure. Which is pretty coo’.

THUH END…or is it?

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Episode 26: Sarah meets her match!

Super Awesome Hit Squad of Nothing Goes Wrong Ever have just finished shitting all over some guys. We hear some random whirring, and the last guy surviving seems pretty impressed that the whirry thing works.

Ianthe and Baylen demand that he explains himself.

“Well it was put down here for something, but since it didn’t explode, it might be working…whatever it is.” PoS says.

“Exactly what was put down here?” Asks Baylen.

“Some kind of contraption. A crystal.”

“Just shoot him in the leg or something. Might persuade him to talk. I can always heal him up so he doesn’t die…” Suggests Ianthe. She might be starting to get annoyed at the necromancer shit going all all the time.

PoS thinks she is serious and calls her a “crazy broad.” He points in the North East section when he is asked where it is. “You just missed it.”

“After you then.” Smiles Baylen, waving his pistol at PoS.

We follow PoS through the trapped door.

As we enter the room, we find a crystal sat in some kind of circular, runed contraption. The crystal is some kind of power source. It is spinning rapidly and emitting a low hum. Baylen and Ianthe think Avin should have a look at it.

Avin notices that usually this is set up to work only one way. Anything else would fail catastrophically.

“… I suggest NOT shooting fireballs at it this time.” Says Ianthe.

Baylen Cartwright looks to the captive. “Well? When was this placed down here?”

“Longer than I’ve been here.”

“Well how long have you been here?”

Horlamin suggests faffing with it. No one seems willing to do it.

Avin suggests: “Maybe we should have our good friend who was so kind to show us the crystal remove it?” Charlotte agrees.

“Let’s think of a way that may not end with someone dying.” Says Baylen. “Such as by using magic, something almost everyone else here can do.”

We agree that magic is probably more common sense.

Everyone suggests that a strong independent woman could probably do something about it. Charlotte isn’t happy about this.

Charlotte swings it at the crystal and begins to get sucked in. She grits her teeth and manages to hang on to the hammer. Sparks and smoke and everything starts going wrong.

The crystal is spinning out of control and Charlotte is trying to hold it stable. It wobbles and then suddenly flies straight up into the ceiling, pierces through, and flies off somewhere. Charlotte is knocked on her butt.

Ianthe checks on Charlotte while Baylen says “Good work.” Charlotte is on her ass with a smug smile. Charlotte stands up, flexing her arms, then puts the polarity hammer away.

Baylen looks up and sees another room above us. “Hey, guard! Lead the way up, we’re looking for the wizard.” He says.

“Follow me, I guess. I lost my job anyways…” PoS says.

AND SO THEY WENT

Daram is mad as fuck and threatens the King and Sarah.

“You think you can get rid of me just like that? Did they even tell you who I am?”

“You have gone too far this time!” The King shouts. A guard smacks the King in the face. Waow. He also adds some shitty one liner. Sarah rolls initiative and prepares to die a bloody death.

Darom one shots a bunch of faggots, and then glares at Sarah as if to say “you’re next, bitch.”

Sarah mutters the most profane thing she can think of in Sphinx, her façade quickly falling away. She tries to find a way out while bluffing at the minions who have turned on her. None of them are particularly clever so they believe her bluffs.

Darom calls them all fools, then whips out a control rod. “The harvest will commence!”

Shelen kicks open the door and swaggers in with Fox hiding somewhere in the shadows behind her “I’m here darling!” Shelen then notices the situation “Oh! You started without me…”

Darom continues fiddling with his hard (to operate) control rod, throwing an annoyed glance at Shelen “Make yourself useful and deal with HER!”

Shelen smiles and cheers happily “Okaaay~ Lets go Foxy! Time to get rich and famous by killing sluts!” Shelen points at Sarah as if ordering Fox to go murder her.

 “I’ll have you know, you’re a charming and capable woman!” Says Sarah. She quietly adds: “I don’t care what they say about you in dark alleys.”
Shelen nods happily at that.
Fox shrugs. “I’ll try to wound her but we all make mistakes! Either way I better get a good reward for this.”

Sarah appeals to common sense. “Dear girl, think this out— killing, or even wounding an emissary of a nation wouldn’t sit well, not hardly! Money’s an issue? I can top whatever you’re being offered.”

Fox attacks her like a bitch.

“Agh-” Sarah shouts, gripping her side. ”This is cashmere, girl.”

Shelen’s form turns into an anime succubus. “Now you must die gyoh-hoh-hoh~”

Sarah backs off but not before Shelen rakes her with claws.

Something shoots up right in front of Sarah, decapitating a dude and blasting through the ceiling. Everyone is drenched in blood and exclaiming “nande?”

“…An- and this! Is what happens when underlings toy with powers beyond their ken!” She is obviously shaken. “STAND DOWN, I WILL NOT WARN YOU AGAIN.”

Everyone backs off except for the wizard. He is however surprised that the guy exploded. He notices that the shield has disappeared.

Darom orders his men and the king through the portal. He is sick of this shit and decides to run away.

Now Sarah is left to fight off the succubus. It isn’t looking good. There is some lesbian action going on here. It’s barely PG-13.

RIP Sarah.

“At this rate you’ll make me jealous!” THE GIGGLESTORM IS UNLEASHED.
Sarah says that she can share. Shelen gigglestorms at her new soon-to-be pet.

“A shame we need to kill her~” she brandishes her claws menacingly.

Fox:“Yup! Oh well! I’m much better in that field anyway.” Fox prepares to shoot arrows.

“Foooox! I was gonna kiss her to death! Its no fun if they are sleeping!” She whinges.

The rest of the Avingers turn up and get in on the fighting.

The battle is ended by collapsing ceiling and dust and smoke. Shelen and Fox are dragged out. We see some random guy carrying Fox and Shelen and then disappearing.

Sarah hacks, coughs and mutters a lot of profane stuff across a multitude of tongues…Ianthe joins in Sarah’s profanity, shouting rude words after Fox. Baylen hacks and coughs, making his way over to the door

As Baylen reaches the doors, a bunch of guards charge in.

Horlamin: “What the heck was that.”
Sarah: I am beginning to hate this country.
Baylen Cartwright: "Oh. Evening."
Ianthe Eir: "This is getting VERY annoying."
Baylen Cartwright: "Your King was kidnapped."
Sarah: Where were you lot ten minutes ago. . .

Baylen slips around the guards. “Which one of you is in charge?”
In walks a man with a cape. He looks like he might be in charge. “What’s been going on?”

Everyone starts investigating the room a bit while Baylen tries to explain what’s going on to the guards, even though he is mostly guessing since he missed most of it.

Baylen demands that Sarah explains what just happened.

“He summed it up nicely. A portal opened up when I explained to your king that the wizard was a traitor.” She slumps in the throne because why not.

Fonzie tries to sneak away but Ianthe and Baylen spot him and order him to stay put. “What have you seen from your vantage point?” He demands.

He babbles stuff really quickly, focusing a little too much on lesbianism. But he seems to prove that we haven’t done anything wrong.

Baylen pats the man on the shoulder. “You go get some rest. Maybe visit a therapist.”

“Can we reopen the portal?” Demands the guard.

Horlamin: “This rod, I found it here. It might be what can activate the portal, but I can’t make heads or tails of it.” He hands it over to Avin. Everyone stares at Avin expectantly as he examines the wand. While the control rod is a bit wonky, he can replace components and it’ll be all good. He can even mcgyver it right now. It does in fact trigger the portal.

Baylen is a bossy piece of shit and tells him to do it. “Captain, we’ll be going through to rescue the King. It’d be appreciated if you could render some assistance. Supplies, soldiers, that sort of thing.”

The captain can’t get a proper team together, but he can ask his bravest guys to help. Avin fixes the wand, gives it to Horlamin and explains how to use it.

We take a load of supplies from the captain and guards, and prepare to use the wand and open the portal…

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Episode 25: Fighting The Patriarchy

We resume on our attack…

Sarah is in the waiting area before the throne room. She doesn’t have to wait long. The large doors are opened.

“Jovaskian emmisary? But we recieved no word. Did you avoid the fates of your comrades on the ships? How? Speak, if you would." The king exclaims as Sarah approaches.

Sarah recognises the wizard, but offers a polite smile. “The story is long and boring, but I dare say we’ve much more interesting things to discuss." She smiles slightly. "First, allow me to apologize for not making the trek sooner, it seems your Kingdom has… interesting ideas about treating those of my. .. background.” In a way that we have all come to recognise, Sarah manages to be insulting while pretending not to be, asking “How should I address you?”

The king ponders a moment. “In these lands i am King, you may address me as such. King Horhand If you will.” He waves that away as a triviality, however, and continues. “But what of your lord, the emperor, surely he understands that these…events..were not of our making?”

She smiles ever so slightly, offering a polite inclination of her head as though it was almost beneath her to address him. "Of course, of course. He likely does not, not yet at least… I’m sure it needn’t leave these shores so long as we’re all on the same page— if not your doing, which I’ve no doubt it was not!— you surely have some leads? Neither of us wants a war, of that much I have no doubt.” She offers another slight smile. “But it would seem that… Forces conspire to drive one to a point! Most uncouth, I say.”

The king sits back in his throne and starts idly chewing on his thumb, a habit not suited for royalty. “You speak the truth of it.. As for for leads… we have few…” He gestures to Darom, the court wizard.

Darom bows almost over the top and gives the king a smile of thinly veiled irritation. He addresses Sarah. “You come from the Jovaskian empire you say? But where is your signet ring? Papers? Surely you have proof.”

“But of course! Proof I’ve shown many times trying to get here… When I was not being hounded by a group of…” She deliberately draws the moment out, making her accent even more pronounced. “Very interesting young people. I believe you may be familiar with them.” She smiles pointedly at the man before sparing the King a questioning glance. “Shall I be made to produce, or shall we continue?”

“So, if we’re done questioning my credentials? We’ve a serious matter to tend to.” She clasps her hands behind her back, takes a half breath and looks the king in the eye. “It would seem you’ve some very dubious company about you, good King…”

The king narrows his eyes at Sarah. “Explain..”.

Darom scowls. “I need some proof before we-”

Sarah glances between them with a faint smile as though amused by some private joke.

Horhand interrupts him. “EXPLAIN!” He throws an angry glance at the disrespecting court wizard

“Gladly… You there.” She looks towards Fonzie, producing a very ornate envelope with a wax seal. “See this into your King’s hands.” Her voice rings with more authority and focus than perhaps it has since anyone’s met her yet. The weasely man approaches and takes the envelope. He looks it over quickly as he marches it over to the king. “I’ve come here to warn you of a danger. And to prevent a war… You and I are one of the same, good man. This can’t go on, surely. How many will we both lose?”

Horhand checks the wax seal and opens it with the cut of a knife. And glances at Sarah.

“You require proof and I am here to help you get it— it seems one of our own agents has already penetrated into the castle to help. Fortunately, because of their sacrifice, we’ve obtained… dammable evidence.”

Darom stares at Sarah with a stone-faced scowl, his jaw tenses slightly.

She smiles at this last part. “My team has already breached the castle walls, we had intended to bring our target out— But as you can see…” She motions vaguely. “Here I am before you.” She smiles. “I prefer things in the front and back if at all possible. So you’ll forgive the duplicity, but it was necessary.”

Horhand quickly skims the letter quickly and his eyes widen as he reads it again and again. He orders a servant to go gather more of the official papers from Jovask to compare. He holds them up and nods.

Darom glances from Sarah to the king and then speaks up. “What is in that letter…?” He starts pacing towards the king and reaches for the note.

“HALT! Not one more step!"

Sarah is standing there, smugly.

Horhand stares in anger at Darom. “How could you? After all these years..”

Sarah motions Fonzie over, and in a quiet voice says, “Get some rope and the captain of the guard.”

Darom holds out both his hands in pleading towards Horhand. “My King, what does that letter say? Does it claim I was not here for you when your father died so suddenly? That I haven’t been here for you and the kingdom through thick and thin?”

Horhand nods as he speaks. “You have. But you have done that as a… a… SNEAK! Your motives were your own! GUARDS! ARREST HIM!”

Darom falls to his knees. “My king! It’s all lies! Whatever that document says! IT’S LIES! Don’t be a FOOL!”

“If I might interject? Bind him before he casts a spell and vaporizes us all.” Sarah suggests.

Horhand looks at him with contempt. “For the love you supposedly showed my father, I will try to be merciful…”

Horhand turns to Sarah as the guards approach and pull Darom up to be chained. “His lies will be revealed, but I don’t think we have anything to fear from-”

YOU FOOL!” Darom yells.

Sarah glances to Darom casually, brow arching. To Horhand, she says, “We will have a sit down about all this once everything is under control. Rest assured, but bind him first.”

Darom stares at Horhand in pure rage. “You could have made it easy on everyone. On yourself. But no. You chose the way of the FOOL!”

Her gaze idly turns to the young King and back. She glances towards Fonzie. “Bet you didn’t expect to see this when you woke up this morning.”

At that moment, Darom wriggles free from control and activates a wand. A moment later a portal opens behind the throne and men in dark hoods run out, swarming the immediate throne room.

“Well, shit.” Sarah mutters.

Horhand Iskilien gasps in shock as men rush him and restrain him before he or his men can react.

Darom laughs. “Now…you…will…suffer….”

–———————-

Strike team A have just climbed up to the wall (about 15ft up). Carl sees shifty blokes shifting about in the courtyard. Carl hears them conspiring or something. They activate something on the fountain which opens a staircase leading down. They go down and the staircase closes.

“We’re going to follow them.” Says Balen. He eyes cautiously around the courtyard.

We all climb down to the courtyard. Carl notices something strange about the fountain and alerts Horlamin to it. Baylen heads over to the fountain, and examines the worn stonework closely. He realises that statue probably triggers something if he pulls it. Baylen gestures the others over, and pulls the stone just so. A very small entrance opens. We have to squeeze in there. Charlotte goes first. Avin stands looking at the sky for a moment before heading over.

Ser Rainbowdance Bubblegum Princess sends a message to Sarah :"This is a message from Avin, we’ve found a passageway in a fountain in the courtyard and are heading in.”

We all descend into the super scary darkness of death.

We find ourselves in a really cramped room.

“I can send Ser ahead to scout whilst invisible, does anyone have anything against this?” Says Avin.

Baylen looks for traps but can’t see anything. Just crappy old wood. The door slides open.

“Rather than whispering, it would probably be better to communicate via telepathy. My friend Ser can help with this. Don’t all try to think at once though.“ Avin suggests.

Charlotte steps into the revealed hallway. There is a stone door on Baylen’s right. Ser sits on Charlotte’s shoulder to give her better perception of traps. Ser hears speaking coming from a room.

Charlotte opens the door which opens to a hallway with another door on the right. Baylen spots a trap on the door. It is an alarm. We go to the end of the corridor and open a stone door which leads to a room. There is a fountain with a stone fist in it. Baylen checks out the desk. He finds nothing of interest. He checks out the fountain. Water is dripping from the ceiling into the fountain. It is mostly empty except for some fungus. The fist appeared to once grasp something which has long since been taken. However, a pendant is hanging from it. The design is familiar.

Baylen finds no traps so he checks out more doors. He opens one and suddenly combat. We crush them because we are epic. Charlotte becomes an outrageous feminist.

–——

Fox has picked the lock on the king’s bed chambers. Inside is a figure that spoke and sounded a lot like the court wizard. Person that Halion recognises is standing there. Shelen. “Just because you are jelly of my super awesome powerful boyfriend doesn’t mean you can just stroll in here and take him!” She points an accusing finger at Fox.

Fox breathes a sigh of relief. “Well then! It seems that as long as I am wanted, destiny will always be at my side.” She pauses for a moment to ponder Shelens ACCUSATION. “Take him? I mostly just wanted to beat him up a little actually~! I don’t care what happens as long as I come out on top.”

“Well you cannot!” Shelen harrumphs.

“I…I really can actually.” She chuckles. “Let me say this to start: I’m fairly strong! And not at all worried that I’ve been confronted by you in a bedroom.”

Shelen adjusts her non-existent glasses and smirks “I don’t want to alarm you but..” She flings out her arm and points at Fox. “Bedrooms are my domain! Don’t underestimate me!”

Fox shrugs. “I doubt you’ll risk a battle with me.” She starts to head towards the door. “So I’ll just be continuing with my little adventure~!”

Shelen’s eyes follow Fox and they don’t leave her as Fox darts into the shadows. “… What are you doing?”

“Oh dear.” Fox gives a nervous chuckle. “It looks like I did underestimate you after all! So what will you do? Talk to me until I pass out from boredom?”

 "Normally I would have other uses for someone as elegant as you…" She eyes Fox up and down and bites her lip for a moment before re-focusing. “But you will not stand between me and my true love! You must be defeated, for LOVE!” She swirls her hands around and assumes a fighting stance.

“I’m afraid a fight would be far too much effort…and I’m not really that big on hurting pretty girls! If you’re this serious then I’m not interested.” Fox runs a hand through a hair and HMMS. “Soooo…how about a teamup~?”

“Team up? You want to stop my husbando from greatness!” She looks at Fox incredulously.

“I’m not entirely sure what it is he’s trying to do! If it was something fun I would gladly assist~!” Fox laughs. “Especially if I’m rewarded with the company of a pretty girl and a position of power.”

Shelen looks at Fox hesitantly but cant hide a slight grin. “Well he’s trying to do something REALLY COOL and he said people like you would never understand and just try to stop him.” She shoots her arm up towards the ceiling. “It will make him..US..SUPER FAMOUS!”

“Oh I already understand! Being famous is like my entire thing.” Fox folds her arms in thought. “Hmm…well I’m in if you’ll have me! And even if you say no I always have a way of turning up. Who knows? Maybe in the end you’ll end up as one of my cute followers.” She activates gigglestorm protocols.

Shelen cant help but gigglestorm back “Oh I like you. You remind me of Halion~” She re-adjusts her attempt at a stoic demeanour. “So its decided. Nobody will kill my super cool husbando, and everyone will get hugs and fame. Deal?”

“Deal~!”

Shelen nods happily. “Okay. First order of business is to guard him. Do that shadow thing you tried earlier and follow me!” She orders with a point and a wave before she stomps off to leave the room.

Shelen looks back and sees that her new friend is hidden and she nods. “There you go! Operation Save The Coolest Man Ever So We Can Get Hugs and Kisses and Probably Money is GO~”

AND SO THEY WENT

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Episode 24: Operation Will-Never-Fail
I love it when a plan slowly comes together

The gang gets down to the business of planning their biggest, and only, heist yet: The castle!

Before they can get properly going, a mysterious stranger appears. Halion Vivandrel in the guise of Fox, the shadowdancer, steps out of the dim light to say she is now going to assist the group wether they like it or not. She then proceeds to disappear and make giggle in the room, nobody is able to find where the voice is coming from but they arent too worried. Planning resumes.

Many plans and lewd remarks, with counter-giggles from Fox, later the gang has decided on a course of action: Sneak in, kidnap the wizard and interrogate him to make him spill the proverbial beans about his evil plots. Genious!

Just as they resolve that, Karl succeeds in finding the sneaky Fox even though Ser Pounce-A-Lot already suspected there were someone with Halions scent around. But just at that moment, a roof tile slips off the roof and running is heard before it disappears. The gang thinks nothing of this and splits up to do the heist.

Baylen heads off to a meeting he set up via his sneaky organization, to get illicit chemicals for a knock-out gas bomb. His dealings with the halfling representative of the local “unsavory club” goes well and he gets his materials.

The rest of the gang secures a boat after standing around for a while.

Fox ( Halion Vivandrel ) goes off on her own to win the mission forever and does a sneaky around all the guards and back up the way she went before, in a previous life. She gets stuck picking a lock forever.

Sarah Kettar , having found appropriate clothing and been given a signet ring of the deceased Jovask diplomat, manages to charm and bluff her way past all the guards to get into the waiting room for an audience with the wizard and king.

Meanwhile, Avin Catson , Baylen Cartwright,Charlotte Fletcher, Horlamin The Summoner and Ianthe Eir have managed to avoid drowning and has positioned their stolen boat on the far side of the castle. Karl and Horlamin climbs up to the castle walls and drops down a rope for the rest to climb up. Ianthe, being a huge silly, needs to have the rope tied around her and pulled up by Charlotte and Horlamin. She gets abit banged up but she makes it up to the walls too.

Just at that moment, Fox manages to open the lock and confidently opens the doors to the bedroom. Right infront of her, she sees a figure standing confidently watching her.

A familiar voice says “It was about time you showed up”

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Episode 23: Unexpected help
A conspiracy is revealed via a mysterious source

The gang gather themselves after their ordeal with fighting their way out of the ambush, and they inspect the mysterious arrow with parchment attached.

Ianthe picks it up and sees “For Avins eyes only” and some runes underneath it. Horlamin attempts to decipher the runes but ends up succumbing to a blinding headache and falls down.

Avin then tries reading it and as he does, the note poofs out of existence and several mechanical parts appear. They assemble into a box with three knobs. Baylen uses his engineering knowledge to figure out the controls and it is revealed that the box contains a recorded conversation between the dead skull-mask cultist and… Darom , the court wizard. The gang is no doubt shocked at this turn of events.

Also, outside they find the traitor-spy murdered. Several stab wounds likely cause of death.

They resolve to get out of there and seek rest before planning their next step. Avin goes to The Needy Lemure while the rest of the gang goes to a place where the enemy wont find them as easily, The Charming Demon’s Saloon . They rest and recuperate and after resting all day they begin to form a plan.

In the end they plan to use Sarah Kettar ’s people skills and the fact that she is not a known associate of theirs. A daring plan involving fake papers and other deception is formed… but will it succeed?

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Episode 22: Showdown at the Belltower (with no bell) Part 2
Fury of the Eagles

The battle, and heat, is on! The gang is locked in deadly battle with the mean bastards no doubt sent by the necromancer to end their meddling. Unfortunately Maraynn got hit on the head by her own tower-shield and got knocked out as she lept down the stairs, but on the other hand the racket woke up Charlotte Fletcher who was sleeping in the back of the room. Baylen Cartwright , Horlamin The Summoner, Sarah Kettar gather at the top of the stairs to beat back the invaders, as Halion Vivandrel runs off to the far end of the room to snipe at the enemies, Ianthe Eir wades through the crowd with her Sanctuary and dispensing heals like crazy.

The battle goes awry as Horlamin, Sarah and Halion all get knocked unconcious from the furious assault. Luckily Ianthe is on hand to make sure they are all still in it.

The grenade that went awry earlier explodes and a moment later the distraction squad of Baylens informants strike, blowing up a side of the wall downstairs, surprising everyone but not halting the battle.

Sarah tries to arrange some tricky moves to confuse and weaken their opponents, by attemting rope tricks, tripping them and even blowing them up with improvised explosives. It has an moderate affect but Sarah is left somewhat traumatized at being so viciously assaulted.

Horlamin and Avin decide that the best course of action is to summon ALL the eagles. So they do. The eagles, between them, get a kill count of 3. This upsets the enemies who swear emnity on eagles from then on.

Halion tries to take down her assailant but is instead grappled, pinned and tied up. Her opponent walking away from his prize to stab Ianthe to death, chuckling to himself.

As the battle reaches a critical point, an arrow comes flying in through the open doorway and strikes the chuckling man, killing him instantly. On this arrow was a parchment. .

Baylen, after having been humiliated with a grapple manuver gets back up and unleashes a punishing volley of shots, dropping the lieutenant of the group and instantly killing him. Granting some grim satisfaction.

Charlotte does her best to engage the opponents but her aim is off and she only manages to get in a few good hits before the rest gets coralled into a combo-trap set by Avin and Horlamin: Grease + flame jet. The last enemy is incinerated in the fierce flames as he attempts to intercept the oracle Ianthe.

The gang look upon the arrow with the message and wonder what new twist this tale of villainy will reveal to them.

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Showdown at the Belltower (with no bell) Part 1
Lots of fighting

We start off where we last left off with our healthy group of adventurers, Avin Catson,Baylen Cartwright, Maraynn and Sarah Kettar were about to enter the second level of the Belltower with no bell. The guard they had so graciously spared the life of in the last episode was “forced” to open the door, and was swiftly disintegrated by a trap on the door. (As in the spell Disintegrate: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/d/disintegrate).

Our heroes are quite bemuffled by this it seems, as noone acts on it, but the voice from inside seems to think it’s just the guards who have forgotten about the trap again, and continues with their apparently malevolent deeds. The group finally gets their act together when Baylen steps into the room and fires on the closest guard (who is also a wizard), followed by Avin’s fireball (this time not actually hitting the crystal that they seem to be working on, but all the other EVIL people in the room are affected.

A fight ensues, and when the dust is settled, our heroes stand victoriously left to claim… a big glowing dangerous necromatic soul-capturing crystal that would almost definately incriminate them furter, and the big evil necromancer (presumably) they were chasing having teleported away yet again.

Meanwhile, outside the Belltower, Ianthe Eir, Halion Vivandrel and Horlamin have arrived, just seeing several men enter the Belltower and closing the door, shouting “Avin! Come out, we have you surrounded!” Horlamin decides to investigate the tower, and rides up the walls on his Serpentine Eidolon Karl, poking his head in through the roof of the building. Thus a serpentine dragon thing with a small gnome on top is the first the main group sees of Horlamin the Summoner.

Halion, having been left outsider with Ianthe, is getting tired of standing around and decides to kick open a door (as one does), and charges into the room, firing an arrow at a human with a previous arrow stuck in his back. Chaos ensues again, Halion gets pinned in a corner after killing the human with the arrow, Sarah takes an axe to the face and Horlamin gets pinned to the wall by a javelin. Maraynn decides to jump down the stairs to avoid the grenade Baylen fumbled back into the room he was coming from.

Everything seems dire, with Halion and Sarah downed, and Horlamin staggered, but Ianthe is up to the task. A Sancturay spell stops all the attacks directed at her, and she casually strolls in through the front door, almost shining, and channels positive energy into the room, bringing Halion back from near death, and Horlamin back to full strength.

Still there are seven enemies left for our heroes, now consolidated at last, to fight.

Join us next time on PATHFINDER! Where we will perhaps see where this story is headed.

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Episode 20: A finger in the court
The judgement of Ianthe, showdown in the belltower and looming threaths.

We return to our heroes in the court of King Horhand Iskilien where we find the Oracle Ianthe Eir in dire straits. She is being questioned by the Court Wizard Darom on the events of the previous episodes.

The crowd is out for blood and wants a scapegoat. Fortunately for Ianthe, one individual in the crowd speaks up for justice. Horlamin The Summoner engages in a duel of words with the Court Wizard Darom who finds himself more than a match in Horlamin. While this is going on, Halion is poking his finger in the King (Nobody knows where the finger has been) trying to nudge the Kind to release Ilanthe.

After a last ditch effort by the Court Wizard to throw Ilanthe to the wolfs, the crowd is so riled up over him that the King finally have to stand up and put a stop to the ramblings of the wizard. The King releases Ilanthe and sends Horlamin along to make sure they can stop the Necromancers who are still at large, but only after underlying the importance of the mission and the risk to the Kingdom if Justice is not served.

While all this is going on, Avin Catson, Baylen Cartwright, Charlotte Fletcher, Maraynn and Sarah Kettar are investigating the Belltower without a bell. Within they find several guards, two of which they manage to not kill. After the brief fight, the Barabarian and dwarf naturally look for something to drink, while Baylen interrogates the guards.

Sarah and Baylen manage to get the “guards” to talk eventually and they let one of them go and force the other to lead them upstairs to where there are supposed to be more necromancer cultists hanging about. Apparently they took a lot of boxes up there too, it is rumored these boxes are big enough to contain a human.

OOC Note: I did not catch most of what were going on since we were having a RP conversation in Skype while this was going on. If someone could fill in the gaps, that would be appreciated. Done! Anyone else can add any detail if they wish.

Returning to Ianthe, Halion and Horlamin, they have been charged by the King to figure out the Necromancer threat. They return to the tavern to try to find out what happened to Avin and the rest. The tavern is thrashed, but inside they find one of Avin’s henchmen who saw what happened and promises to lead our friends to Avin and the rest of the group. Karl however, the Eidolon of Horlamin, senses that the henchman in lying, and through an intimidating series of events, they manage to overpower him and make him tell them about the showdown at the Belltower without a bell.

The episode ends as the group ascends the stairs up the tower. Off in the distance, a series of black-clad men approach the belltower without a bell where Avin and the group seems to be holed up, and we are looking forward to the crescendo that is coming NEXT EPISODE ON PATHFINDER!

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