The Golarion Gambit

The Man's Promise
Ch. 6 (Skull and Shackles Adventure Path)

7 Arodus, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Summer


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The crew are about to get a taste of real piracy as the Wormwood closes in upon a Rahadoumi merchant vessel called the Man’s Promise.


Under multiple fog cloud spells cast by Peppery Longfarthing, an officer aboard the Wormwood, the crew boarded the Rahadoumi merchant vessel, the Man’s Promise.

The crew was ordered to Riaris Krine to protect the merchant ship’s sterncastle.

“The ship’s wheel is on the aft deck, just below the sterncastle," Riaris said. “You’re going to grapple over, kill the guards on the sterncastle, take the wheel, and guard the ship’s boats. Kill anyone who tries to get away on one of the boats. Don’t move from the wheel until the fighting’s done, or you’ll have to answer to me.”

Following her orders the crew fought the guards at the sterncastle and held their position there.

The sounds of fighting drifted out of the mist, which occasionally parted to give the crew a glimpse of the larger battle. As pirates and Rahadoumi sailors fell or were thrown into the sea, the crew heard their screams as they were ripped apart by sharks.

During the fight, Captain Harrigan made his way to the captain’s cabin aboard the Man’s Promise.

As he was making his way there, a Rahadoumi sailor tried to sneak up on the unsuspecting captain.

Bodwin, who was inspiring his fellow crewmen from the Wormwood with songs of courage saw the would be assassin come up behind Captain Harrigan.

“Captain,” Bodwin yelled. “Behind you!”

Captain Harrigan turned around in time to deflect a dagger’s thrust with his own blade. He then quickly attacked the sailor with multiple attacks, killing the sailor.

The captain nodded in thanks towards the gnome bard.


In time the battle to capture the Man’s Promise was won.

Although several crewmen of the Wormwood had been killed in the battle, the loss for the Man’s Promise was even more. Her captain was killed, his heart ripped out by Captain Harrigan who proudly displayed the bloody organ to his crew.

With her goods transferred over to the Wormwood, a party began as the pirates celebrate their victory with fine food and drink from the Man’s Promise’s hold.

Meanwhile, Captain Harrigan held a meeting with his top officers and divvied up the plunder from the Man’s Promise among the crew.

For warning him about the attack, Captain Harrigan gave Bodwin an Amulet of Natural Armor as a reward.


At dawn, a few hours after the celebration finally winded down, the ship’s bell sounded, calling all hands on deck.

When the crew was assembled, a long line of captured officers and sailors from the Man’s Promise was brought on deck and paraded before the crew. Captain Harrigan addressed the captives first, offering a place on the Wormwood’s crew for any who want to throw their lot in with pirates. Several of the Rahadoumi sailors stepped forward; Master Scourge cut their bonds, and the sailors took their places among the Wormwood’s crew.

Captain Harrigan then turned to address the Wormwood’s crew. “All right, you scurvy tars! You’ve done a right good job by me—we’ve got a second ship now, and she’s quite a prize from
the looks of her. But I still have only one crew. So here’s the plan—the Wormwood will sail on to our planned destination with our new shipmates here, while Mr. Plugg will pick a skeleton crew to sail the Man’s Promise to Port Peril where she’ll be worth a pretty penny as salvage."

The crew nodded in agreement with the captain’s plans.

“As for these fine fellows here”, Harrigan gestured at the remainder of the captured ship’s crew. “some of them will no doubt be worth a hefty ransom from their families back in Azir. And for the rest, if the life of a pirate’s not for them, they can spend the rest of their lives at sea!”

To make his point, Harrigan grabbed one of the Rahadoumi sailors and threw her overboard to the accompaniment of cheers and laughter from the Wormwood’s crew. As the unfortunate woman sank beneath the waves, many of the remaining sailors scrambled to swear their loyalty to Harrigan. The officers were then led belowdecks and the crew dispersed to their daily tasks.

Mr. Plugg however ordered Bodwin, Marlin, Orog, Ripley, and Ukalla to join him and over a dozen others to form a skeleton crew that would take the captured ship to Port Peril.

Master Scourge smiled evilly as Mr. Plugg picked each one of them.

Besides Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge, the skeleton crew of the Man’s Promise included Mr. Owlbear Hartshorn, Ambrose Kroop (whom the captain was apparently glad to be rid of ), Conchobhar Shortstone, Rosie Cusswell, and Sandara Quinn. Eight Wormwood pirates whom the others knew were loyal to Plugg and Scourge were also selected to join the skeleton crew.

Once everyone was aboard with their gear, the Man’s Promise set sail for Port Peril.

The crew now under the command of Mr. Plugg first ordered everyone to call him Captain Plugg and made it clear that the rules aboard the captured ship would remain the same, though discipline would be a good deal harsher than on the lackadaisical Wormwood.

Captain Plugg said all crimes were now punishable with the cat instead of the whip. He added that all of the crew would keep the same jobs they had before on the Wormwood, but they would have to work a good deal harder since the crew was smaller.

The crew looked at one another and realized that they had survived the fire, only to be thrown into the proverbial frying pan.


Crew

Bodwin Dragonjoggle

Marlin Nightwater

Orog

Ripley “Dead Eyes” Morris

Ukalla Quee


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Catacombs of Wrath
Ch. 6 (Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path)

25 Rova, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Fall


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The heroes have rescued Ameiko Kaijitsu and have killed her estranged half-brother, Tsuto, beneath the Sandpoint Glassworks. They’ve also discovered a vast catacomb filled with strange aberrations known as sinspawns beneath the town of Sandpoint.


After exploring the catacomb’s prison, the Heroes of Sandpoint pressed farther into the Catacombs of Wrath.

Past the prison, the party discovered a room which contained several ancient relics of what appeared to be torture implements, although their function and style seemed strange and archaic.

In one corner sat a spherical cage with spikes protruding inward from its iron bars. In another stood what appeared to be a star-shaped wooden frame, its surface studded with hooks. And in the center of the room was a long table covered with leather straps and a number of cranks that seemed designed to rotate and swivel.

A door led to another room filled with the crumbling remnants of several chairs and a long table. To the south stood three stone doors, each bearing a strange symbol that resembles a seven-pointed star.

No one was able to discern what the symbol represented.

Each door revealed a small prison cell. Within each was a single skeleton of a badly deformed humanoid; one had three brittle arms, another has an enormous misshapen skull, and the third has a rib cage that grew all the way down to its pelvis—a pelvis with stunted leg bones strewn below its strangely flat girth.

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Rummaging through the pile of broken furniture, they found a scroll of flaming sphere which Iris took for use later.

After, the group continued on and came into a large chamber with a vaulted height of twenty feet. The floor contained eleven wooden lids strewn haphazardly over eleven five-foot-wide pits in the ground. From within these pits echoed up strange shuffling sounds and, every so often, a low moan.

Suddenly, from the far side of the chamber emerged a misshapen goblinoid creature armed with a strange looking longsword, a silver dagger, and a masterworked axe in its three hands.

“Me guard room,” the thing uttered as it rushed up to battle the group.

During the battle against the goblinoid thing, it vomited foul-smelling and acidic blood from his mouth striking half the group, including Osiris, Iris’s raven familiar.

Osiris was instantly killed by the thing’s foul vomit.

The battle went on for some time, but after they had killed it, Kyrios threw its body into one of the pits but not before taking its weapons.

Shining a torch down into the pit, they saw that it contained a zombie. They assumed the other pits each contained a zombie as well.

They decided to leave the zombies alone for the moment and move on.

Taking a door that led out of the chamber the group followed a short corridor that branched off towards a spiraling stone staircase leading down and also continued down to end at a stone door.

Passing by the passageway leading to the spiral staircase, Kyrios faintly heard the sounds of a distant animal which sounded like a dog’s feral growl, although he wasn’t certain. He passed it on to the others who decided to explore that part of the catacombs later.

Opening the stone door, the heroes discovered a strange room built in the shape of a fifteen-foot-diameter sphere. Several objects floated in the room, slowly spinning lazily in space. The items a ragged book, a scroll, a bottle of wine, a dead raven surrounded by a halo of floating
and writhing maggots (a sight Iris didn’t particularly like seeing), and a twisted iron wand with a forked tip.

Yet perhaps the most unnerving aspect of the room is the walls, for they were plated in sheets of strange red metal that ripple every once in a while with silent black electricity that seemed to coalesce into strange runes or even words far too often for the effect to be chance.

Nagatono volunteered to enter the circular room after first being tied to a rope.

Upon entering the room, the monk noticed that there was no gravity in the room. For the others, it was a strange sight to see the monk float into the room and retrieve the floating objects.

Back in the hallway, they decided return to the room with the statue of a strikingly beautiful woman carved from red marble.

Beyond the room, a long flight of stairs led up.

Following the stairs, the group entered a round room with a circular pool made entirely from tightly fitted skulls. Water rippled quietly in the pool. Moving to the door on the opposite side of the room, the group was suddenly attacked by a flying creature hiding in the shadows near the wall.

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The hideous creature had a blackened, bat-winged fiend’s head. Tentacles dangled from its chin and scalp, and its fanged mouth hung agape.

During the fight against the creature, which no one could identify, it opened its distended mouth and emitted an ear-splitting shriek which caused Iris and Kyrios to be paralyzed.

While Clan and Nagatono continued to battle the creature, it flew down to Kyrios and kissed the helpless ranger. Kyrios, who couldn’t move felt a strange sickness sweep over his entire body.

Eventually, the creature was slain by both Clan and Nagatono.

Suffering from injuries and the strange sickness Kyrios was feeling, the group decided to proceed past the door.

Beyond it was a flight of stairs that led up to a stone trapdoor. After opening the trapdoor, the heroes were surprised to find themselves emerging in an alley in the cluster of buildings between Tower Street and Junker’s Way. Narrow fissures were cut into the stone trapdoor, helping to keep (relatively) fresh air in the catacombs.

Calling for a nearby town guard, who was surprised to see the heroes emerge out of a trapdoor in an alley, they asked the guard to stand watch over the trapdoor while they went to the Cathedral.

There they asked Medik and Father Zantus for help. Although neither knew what the creature was that kissed Kyrios, an acolyte named Fellix suggested the creature may have been a Vargouille an evil extraplanar outsider. He said their kiss can begin terrible a transformation that would change the one kissed into a vargouille within twenty-four hours, and often much sooner. He added that the transformation’s progress can be paused by sunlight, but stopping the transformation required remove disease spell or a similar effect.

Father Zantus said Kyrios would have to wait until the sun rose in the morning until he could cast Remove Disease. Meanwhile they kept Kyrios outside in the sunlight to pause the transformation.

When the sun set, the night turned out to be the longest night for Kyrios.

During the night, all of his hair fell out. Hours later, his ears grew into leathery wings and tentacles sprouted on his chin and scalp. His teeth also become long, pointed fangs. After midnight, Kyrios’s ability to remember or understand anything became affected. He also became more violent and harder to be around as his skin began to turn a sickly green.

But just as the sun rose and everyone had thought they were going to lose their friend, Father Zantus entered the small sleeping quarters where Kyrios lay huddled against a corner.

Father Zantus, priest of Desna, goddess of freedom and luck, entered the room. While the others watched, Father Zantus touched Kyrios’s bald, sickly green head and cast the spell that would cure the ranger of his affliction.


Later that morning, while eating breakfast prepared by the acolytes at the cathedral, the group considered what they were going to do next.

Should they return to the catacombs below Sandpoint or let fate, and Desna’s luck, decide where the day’s journey lay?


Heroes of Sandpoint

Clan Wulfhound

Iris

Kyrios Edenridge

Nagatono-Kami


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Trouble in the Sun to Risky Games in the Bilges
Ch. 5 (Skull and Shackles Adventure Path)

26 Erastus – 5 Arodus, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Summer


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The crew continues to toil aboard the Wormwood by doing their daily jobs, learning how to properly board an enemy ship, and experiencing first hand just how harsh and deadly life can be for a pirate under the wrath of Mr. Plugg, the ship’s first mate.


A few days after surviving the storm, the crew found themselves somewhere off the Slithering Coast.

One day, the crew was excused from their regular work and were instead trained in the proper form of boarding. The training was carried out under the watchful eye of Riaris Krine, the Wormwood’s master gunner.

Krine’s skin was darkened from countless days on deck under the sun, and her nose had the appearance of having been broken several times over. One of her legs had been replaced with a wooden peg leg. As rumor had it, it was the result of a wayward catapult shot that took off her leg below the knee. To the crew, she was the most vile tongued wench the they had ever met, and her language made Rosie Cusswell sound like a nun.

After several attempts, all but Orog had proven less than skilled in the art of boarding. Orog, despite being struck by bottles, rotten vegetables, and even a dead fish thrown at him by several crew members form the ship, was able to cross the grappling line from the jolly boat to the Wormwood.

Krine told Orog he would be leading the next boarding party.

The rest of the days were spent going about their assigned jobs on board. In the evening, some took time to socialize with several of the other crew members in an effort to win them over as friends and allies.

By the seventeenth day on board the ship, it was clear Mr. Plugg was going out of his way to make life even more difficult for the crew by soundly abusing them, assigning the worst jobs to each of them, and generally bullying and trying to humiliate them.

Two days later, Marlin and Bodwin were assigned to work down in the bilges. Before leaving to do their job Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge searched them for any possible hidden weapons. Satisfied the two were unarmed, they were ordered to get to work.

Slippery Syl Lonegan, Fipps Chumlett, and Jaundiced Jape—three sailors who had tried to rough up the crew during their second day on board—were in the bilges when Marlin and Bodwin arrived.

Syl, an unhinged murderer who fled to sea to escape the gallows, got to work manning the bilge pump along with Bodwin. Marlin and the others two went to work scrubbing the walls and gathering any floating debris in the waist deep water.

A short time later, Syl screamed that Bodwin had slapped her after she complained about the gnome slacking at his job.

Bodwin accused Syl of lying.

In response, Syl drew out a hidden dagger.

Bodwin and Marlin both saw Fipps and Jape draw similar daggers.

Bodwin yelled for help at the top of his lungs, but no one heard the gnome’s plea for help.

Unarmed, Bodwin and Marlin did their best to defend themselves while trying to punch or kick the three armed pirates.

But in the end, they were no match against the armed pirates.


When Bodwin and Marlin woke up some time later, they found themselves lying in their hammocks. Bandages covered their wounds but did little to ease the pain.

Sandara Quinn, a cleric of Besmara the Pirate Queen, goddess of piracy, sea monsters, and strife, who had taken a liking to the newly arrive crew members, sat nearby. When asked, she said she had become suspicious when she noticed the two go down to the bilges but only the other three emerged some time later.

She then went below and found Bodwin and Marlin unconscious. She said they were lucky she
arrived before they had bled to death.

Bodwin said he would report the attack to the captain.

Sandara said it wouldn’t do any good. The others had told Mr. Plugg that Bodwin and Marlin had started a fight and had injured themselves while the others defended themselves. Captain Harrigan believed Mr. Plugg and had ordered Bodwin and Marlin be placed in the sweatbox as soon as they had recovered.

Bodwin swore he would someday exact his revenge on the first mate.

Fortunately for Bodwin and Marlin, Orog’s cry of “Ship ahoy!” later that day would save them from a fate possibly worse than death.

With the ship in sight, Captain Harrigan immediately ordered all hands on deck. He then ordered the helmsman to turn the Wormwood to pursue its prey.

As the evening wore on, the Wormwood gradually gained on the other ship, and by dawn, less than half a mile separated the two.

Mr. Plugg, looking through his spyglass said the ship was a Rahadoumi merchant vessel called the Man’s Promise.

The next day, with Bodwin and Marlin working alongside the other crew members, the Wormwood closed in on the Man’s Promise.


Crew

Bodwin Dragonjoggle

Marlin Nightwater

Orog

Ripley “Dead Eyes” Morris

Ukalla Quee


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Glass and Wrath
Ch. 5 (Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path)

25 Rova, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Fall


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Ameiko Kaijitsu is missing. A mysterious letter from her estranged half-brother, Tsuto, leads the heroes to the Sandpoint Glassworks to investigate her strange disappearance. But what the heroes may uncover could further throw fear into the hearts of Sandpoint’s citizens.


The heroes carefully climbed through the window of Sandpoint Glassworks, avoiding any of the broken glass which suggested someone, or something, had broken in.

Inside, they found a storeroom that clearly had been ransacked. A nearby door led the group down into the Glassworks’ basement.

There they were ambushed by two goblins who were later joined by several more.

When one of the goblins went to alert him, Tsuto, Ameiko’s estranged brother joined in the fight against the heroes. Fortunately, Iris’s sleep spell worked.

Clan then stabbed the sleeping half-elf with his greatsword. Although it didn’t kill him outright, it severely wounded him.

Surrounded by the others, Tsuto was quickly killed by the others. They found a journal on him and some other personal belongings.

The journal proved a good source of information. The small, leather-bound booklet contained two dozen parchment pages, most of which Tsuto had filled with maps of Sandpoint or erotic drawings of Nualia, who the group recognized as the presumed-dead adopted daughter of Father Tobyn..

The maps each depicted different attack plans. The first set shows the attack plans for a group of 30 goblins—one of these battle maps was circled. The heroes recognized it as the attack the goblins made on Sandpoint days before.

Of more pressing concern were the next several pages, which illustrated an assault on Sandpoint by a force of what appeared to be 200 goblins. None of these were circled, while many were scratched out as if they’ve been rejected.

Most of the drawings of Nualia did not depict her with her demonic hand, although one on the last pages of the book did; it portrayed her with not only a single demonic hand, but also with bat wings, horns, a forked tail, and fangs.

After examining the journal, the group then searched the basement and found Ameiko who was barely alive when they got to her.

Having suffered under Tsuto and the goblins, the heroes brought Ameiko to the Sandpoint Cathedral for healing. Ameiko, too injured still to help, told the others about Tsuto talking about a vast catacombs beyond the basement. The Catacombs of Wrath, she overheard Tsuto call it, lay beneath Sandpoint.

The heroes gathered themselves together and returned to the catacombs.


After following the tunnel they found earlier, the heroes entered a vast catacomb. There, they encountered the catacomb’s first guardian, a hairless humanoid which lurched on back-bent, dog-like legs. Its hideous mouth was flanked by tiny arms which ended with sharp three-fingered hands.

Kyrios recognized the creature as a sinspawn, but knew little else about it.

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Making their way further into the catacombs, they came upon a room with a red marble statue of a strikingly beautiful but, at the same time, monstrously enraged human woman. Her stony expression was twisted in fury. The woman wore flowing robes, and her long hair was held back from her face by an intricate headdress of hooks and blades.

In her left hand she carried a large book, the face of which is inscribed with a seven-pointed star. Her right hand held a glittering metal-and-ivory ranseur. Unsure about the strange weapon, the group left it alone.

They continued exploring the catacombs and came upon a large chamber which was obviously once a prison, as testified by the twenty cells that lined the room’s perimeter. A rickety wooden platform overlooked the room, with two flights of stairs descending to the prison floor ten feet below. A five-foot-wide wooden walkway ran from the northern edge of the platform to a passageway which led deeper into the catacombs.

Two sinspawns, fighting over a skull, noticed the group’s arrival and attacked.

Although the group did sustain some injuries, they were able to defeat both aberrations.

Catching their breaths, the Heroes of Sandpoint pressed on deeper into the mysterious and deadly Catacombs of Wrath.


Heroes of Sandpoint

Clan Wulfhound

Iris

Kyrios Edenridge

Nagatono-Kami


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The Owlbear and the Storm
Ch. 4 (Skull and Shackles Adventure Path)

22 – 25 Erastus, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Summer


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The group meets The Owlbear and later find themselves battling a ferocious storm which threatens not only the Wormwood, but the lives of her crew as well.


It had been five days since the crew had been pressganged to toil away aboard the pirate ship, Wormwood.

By now, they had gotten used to life aboard the ship. Although, Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge were both a continuous reminder of how harsh that life could be.

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On the 22nd of Erastus, Captain Harrigan announced that it was his birthday. Though in truth, no one, nor the captain himself it was rumored, was certain if that day was in fact the day the world had been cursed with his having been born.

Captain Barnabas Harrigan was a tall, muscular man—a Mwangi most agreed on—with skin the color of fertile earth. His head was shaved, and he kept his long black beard twisted and waxed into a single lock bound with gold rings.

Everyone on board feared him. No one dared challenged the captain in games of chance. The iron cage hanging from the side of the mizzenmast was a reminder to everyone about the dangers of beating the captain in any game.

The cage contained the still decomposing body of Harmak Gruft, a pirate who beat the captain at dice once…only once. The man’s loyal parrot, Plucky, always remained perched atop the cage, eagerly awaiting the day its master would respond to its foul-beaked jabbering.

But on this day, the captain wanted to celebrate his birthday with the entire crew. He ordered the ship’s cook, Ambrose “Fishgut” Kroop, along with Ukalla his cook’s mate, to butcher a pig and prepare it for the evening’s celebration.

After the evening’s meal but before rum was portioned out to everyone, Mr. Plugg made a special announcement.

As a gift to Captain Harrigan, Mr. Plugg had his “pet”, Owlbear Hartshorn brought out on the main deck.

Owlbear Hartshorn was a large man with meaty fists. He was a bit simple and considered no smarter than a dog. The rest of the crew enjoyed having a laugh at the poor fellow’s expense. His shaved skin still showed signs of the tarring and feathering the crew gave him as a cruel joke not so long ago.

“Captain!” Mr. Plugg called out at the top of his voice. “As a gift for you on this momentous occasion, I felt it only fitting that we end the day with a fighting match.”

Captain Harrigan stood on the poop deck, smiling his approval.

“I present to everyone my champion, Owlbear,” Mr. Plugg announced. “Now all we need is a challenger to—”

Before the ship’s first mate could finish his sentence, Orog stepped out from amongst the crew.

“Orog fight Owlbear,” the half-orc challenged.

Mr. Plugg’s grin indicated that he was quite pleased with the half-orc’s willingness to face his champion.

As the crew made room on the main deck, the two combatants stepped up to face one another.

“You Orog?” Owlbear said loud enough for only Orog to hear.

Orog nodded.

“I Hartshorn,” Hartshorn said. “I sorry to hurt Orog.”

Orog wasn’t sure why Hartshorn was apologizing. But he could sense that the man did not want to fight him. Orog had been in enough fighting pits throughout his life. It was said he was born in a fighting pit. Orog believed that he would see his days end in a fighting pit.

To die doing what he loved most, the half-orc gladiator thought, would be a great and glorious way for his life to end.

In many fighting pits and arenas, Orog had fought both free men and slaves. Hartshorn had the look of a slave, a man who had been forced to fight for another’s personal entertainment.

Orog hated slavery.

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Orog also noticed the filmy quality of Hartshorn’s left eye.

When the fight began, Hartshorn launched a solid punch that struck Orog in the gut. He stepped to his right and returned the strike with a punch of his own that didn’t seem to phase his opponent. Hartshorn twisted his stance to face Orog, favoring his right side.

That’s when Orog realized Harshorn was blind in his left eye.

For the next few strikes, Orog took advantage of Hartshorn’s impairment. While landing powerful jabs of his own, Orog kept his position to the left of his opponent, thereby allowing him to easily avoid Hartshorn’s incoming strikes.

At one point during the match, Hartshorn tried to move away from Orog but was pushed back into the fight by Mr. Plugg and two other crew members. Mr. Plugg also threw Hartshorn a club to use against Orog.

Despite fighting an armed opponent, Orog stayed in Hartshorn’s blind side easily avoiding two incoming attacks that could have proved fatal to the half-orc gladiator.

As he landed another punch to Hartshorn that he was certain cracked a rib or two, Orog felt something he had never felt before in a fight. He felt sorry for his opponent. The gladiator in him wanted nothing more than to end the fight which held no meaning to him, except to show everyone that he was a force to be reckoned with.

Sidestepping a clumsy attack from Hartshorn’s blind side, Orog launched a devastating punch to the left side of Hartshorn’s face.

Hartshorn dropped to the deck, unconscious.

The crew was stunned and surprised that someone had beaten Mr. Plugg’s champion but cheered for Orog nevertheless.

Mr. Plugg was visibly unhappy with the fight’s results and ordered several of the crew to take the unconscious fighter below decks and chained to the mainmast. “I’ll deal with him later,” Mr. Plugg said.

Orog looked to Mr. Plugg then to the captain, who like Mr. Plugg was clearly not pleased with the fight’s result.

But Orog didn’t care. He had beaten Hartshorn, who apparently was the best fighter on the Wormwood. Orog was now confident that he could best anyone else who dared to challenge him. He even wondered if he could beat Captain Harrigan in a fight.

Orog couldn’t wait to see that day come.

**

The crew spent the next two days focused on their jobs aboard the Wormwood. At night, after portions of rum were distributed amongst the crew members, Bodwin, Marlin, Orog, Ripley, and Ukalla spent some time trying to win over some of the other crew members.

Orog even went to visit Hartshorn who was kept in chains below deck. The beaten man seemed surprised that anyone—especially the one who bested him in a fight—would befriend him. But after showing Hartshorn more compassion than anyone had ever show him, Hartshorn promised to help Orog whenever he needed his help.

Orog had a feeling that someday soon, he would need the fighter’s help.

Meanwhile, some of the others managed to gain the friendship and trust of a few of the crew members, but when they tried to talk to the officers they were met with hostility.

They realized that if the time ever came for them to seek their freedom, they would have to rely on the other crew members and—although Sandara Quinn and Mister Kroop seemed to be helpful enough—the other officers were not likely going to be.


On the eighth day, a powerful storm struck the Wormwood.

The captain ordered all hands on deck, except Hartshorn who was still kept in chains below deck.

Mr. Plugg, along with the other officers, yelled orders for everyone including Ukalla, who normally helped Mr. Kroop in the galley, to work the ship’s rigging.

It was while Ukalla, who had never worked as a rigger before, was ordered to climb fifty feet to secure the upper rigging that a huge wave crashed into the ship’s starboard side sending Ukalla falling into the merciless ocean below.

“Man overboard!” a crew member yelled.

“Throw the man a line!” Captain Harrigan ordered as he manned the helm, turning the ship to face an incoming giant wave.

The crew quickly grabbed ropes to try and save Ukalla who was visibly fighting to stay afloat.

Marlin, who felt even more at home in the water than on land, quickly jumped into the ocean and swam towards the struggling Ukalla.

It took over a minute but thanks to Marlin’s help, Ukalla was hauled back on board the ship.

Marlin, much to everyone’s surprise, didn’t seem affected by the giant waves which surely would have claimed the life of any other person.

Marlin swam with the speed of his namesake and made it back aboard the Wormwood, exhausted but secured in knowing Ukalla was safe.

“I don’t know how you did that,” Ukalla said to Marlin. “but thank you for saving my life, friend. I am in your debt.”

“I’m just glad you’re alive,” Marlin said.


For the remainder of the day, the crew of the Wormwood fought against the raging storm.

When the storm finally broke late that night, the crew was exhausted. They ate and drank their portions of rum quickly, eager to catch some sleep and face what other dangers the Shackles held for them in the days to come.


Crew

Bodwin Dragonjoggle

Marlin Nightwater

Orog

Ripley “Dead Eyes” Morris

Ukalla Quee


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Trouble at the Rusty Dragon and Grim News
Ch. 4 (Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path)

24 – 25 Rova, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Fall


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The Heroes of Sandpoint successfully returned from Brinestump Marsh in search of the red box of fireworks Aldern Foxglove paid them to find. Not long after their return, they meet with Shalelu Andosana a female elf who isn’t quite a bounty hunter, a survivalist, or a mercenary, but rather a mix of all three. Together with Sheriff Hemlock and Mayor Deverin, the heroes learn that Sandpoint hadn’t been the only place in the region that’s had goblin troubles. In short, there’s been an increase in goblin-related raids along the Lost Coast, particularly in the dale between Nettlewood and Mosswood.


The same day they returned to Sandpoint from Brinestump Marsh, the Heroes of Sandpoint spent time at the Rusty Dragon dividing up the treasure they had found. They sold the decorative items they found aboard the Kaijitsu Star, the name of the shipwreck which Ameiko Kaijitsu deciphered from Iris’s notes. Ameiko offered to pay fair price for the decorative items which she was happy to add to the Rusty Dragon’s decor.

The heroes found it strange that the ship’s name matched that of the proprietor of the Rusty Dragon, but Ameiko quickly dismissed it as coincidence and went back to what she was doing in the kitchen.

Once Syn had received his fair share of the money, he told the group he would be returning to Magnimar on important matters. He was certain he would be running into the group again someday.

Medik, cleric of Desna, also took his share of the treasure and told the group that his services were needed at the cathedral. He offered to help them in the future when possible.

After Syn and Medik left, an elderly aristocratic man named Lonjiku Kaijitsu stormed into the Rusty Dragon and began yelling in a very angry tone.

Everyone recognized the man as Ameiko’s father, someone they had not seen pay a visit to the Rusty Dragon in quite some time.

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“Where the hell is my daughter?”, Lonjiku demanded in Tien, a language only Nagatono was able to understand. The monk immediately rose to greet Ameiko’s father.

“Honorable one,” Nagatono greeted him with a respectful bow. “How may I help you?”

“You may help by getting my daughter out here at once!” Lonjiku demanded.

The others, not liking the old man’s tone stood up. Lonjiku realized who they were.

“Are these the so called Heroes of Sandpoint people spoke of?”

“They are,” Nagatono said before leaving to get Ameiko in the kitchen.

Lonjiku turned to regard the others with obvious disdain. “Just what we need—a filthy band of vagrants to attract even more trouble to town,” he said in Tien knowing the others could not understand him. “Each of you have endangered the townsfolk with your ill-advised antics against the goblins. You should have left the defense of the town to the city guard and other trained professionals.”

As the others moved towards Lonjiku to silence the old man, Ameiko returned with Nagatono.

She wore an apron and held a ladle dripping with soup in her hand. “Greetings father,” Ameiko said with a slight bow.

“You must leave with me at once,” he commanded.

“Father, I will not leave Sandpoint nor this inn,” Ameiko said. “I have worked hard to build what I have here.”

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“You have disobeyed me for the last time!” Lonjiku yelled. He suddenly lunged at Ameiko and tried to grab her by her hair.

The others tried to come to her aid, but Ameiko was able to dodge and then strike her father with the soupy ladle, spattering fish stock and potatoes all over his hair and outfit.

Lonjiku, publicly embarrassed, spat at Ameiko. "“You’re as dead to me as your mother,” he yelled before turning to leave the inn.

Ameiko, in tears, picked up her ladle, inspected it, pulled a hair out of the mess, and said, “I’ll need a well-cleaned ladle now, since jackass stew’s not on the menu.”

The patrons of the inn laughed and went back to eating and drinking.

The others tried to console Ameiko, but after thanking them she retreated to her room leaving the business of running the inn to her halfling maid, Bethana Corwin.

After the group went back to their table, Sheriff Hemlock entered the inn.

They told him what had just happened and asked if he needed help arresting Lonjiku. He said that unless Ameiko wanted to press charges against her father, he would not arrest her father.

Sheriff Hemlock went on to ask everyone, including Nagatono, to accompany him back to the Town Hall to meet with Mayor Deverin and Shalelu Andosana, an elven ranger Sheriff Hemlock described as an “unofficial member of Sandpoint’s town guard”.

At the Town Hall, everyone was introduced to Shalelu Andosona who went on to tell everyone about her encounters with the goblins. She also shared what information she had about goblins in the Hinterlands.

The whole time, the group noticed how friendly—if not outright flirtatious, Iris noted—Shalelu was towards Kyrion. She seemed impressed by the half-elf ranger’s skills and his shared dislike for goblinoids in general.

“Sheriff Hemlock told me of your work against the goblins," Shalelu began. “Well done. I’ve dedicated the last several years of my life to keeping them from causing too much trouble around these parts, but they’re tenacious. As you’re probably aware, there are five major goblin tribes in the region, and, traditionally they’re pretty good at keeping each other in line with intertribal squabbles and the like.”

The group agreed this was common knowledge to them since Kyrios had explained it all already. Shalelu looked at Kyrion and smiled.

“Yet from what I’ve been able to piece together,” the elven ranger went on to say. “members of all five tribes were involved in the raid on Sandpoint. A fair number of the Mosswood goblins I dealt with a few days ago were already pretty beat up, and there was a lot of chatter about the ‘longshanks’ who killed so many of them.”

The Heroes of Sandpoint looked at one another, glad to be of service to their hometown.

“Now that I’ve met you, it seems obvious from their descriptions who they were talking about. Seems like you’ve made an impression. In any event, the fact that the five tribes are working together disturbs me. Goblin tribes don’t get along unless they’ve got something big planned, and big plans require big bosses. I’m afraid that someone’s moved in on the goblins and organized them. And judging by these recent raids, what they’re organizing seems like bad news for all of us.”

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After Shalelu’s finished, Sheriff Hemlock announced that he was taking a few of his guards south to Magnimar to see about securing additional soldiers to station at Sandpoint for a few weeks, at least until the extent of the goblin threat can be determined.

Mayor Deverin agreed to the sheriff’s plan.

While he was out of town, Sheriff Hemlock asked Shalelu to sniff around Shank’s Wood, Brinestump, Mosswood, Devil’s Platter, and other places where goblins live to see if she can discover anything else about what’s going on.

Kyrios asked Shalelu if he could accompany her on her scouting mission.

“I’d prefer it if you would stay in town, Kyrios,” Sheriff Hemlock said. "I would also like it if each of you would maintain a public presence in Sandpoint over the next few days. The locals seem to have taken to you. And seeing you around town will do a lot for keeping worries down over the next few days.”

The mayor and Sheriff Hemlock bid the others good night, while Shalelu offered to buy the others a round of drinks at the Rusty Dragon Inn and talk more about the goblins in the region.

Kyrios was more than happy to oblige the elven ranger’s request.

Before heading to their individual homes later that night, they all agreed to meet the next evening and patrol the streets of Sandpoint.

**

The next day, the group were busy at their jobs when runners sent from the town’s garrison urged them to investigate the strange death of old man Reeve’s beloved dog, Loki, behind the General Store.

Normally the death of a dog wouldn’t be questioned. But the locals were worried it may be related to the recent goblin attack since everyone knew goblins hated dogs.

When they arrived at the entrance to Wet Dog Alley, they spotted Loki laying in the middle of the alley. Without entering the alley, they looked around for any sign of what may have killed the dog.

Clan was the first to walk up to the dead dog. He couldn’t tell what killed it, considering there were no traces of blood or any wounds on it.

Kyrios, who followed Clan into the alley wondered the same thing.

The others remained at the alley’s entrance.

All of a sudden, both Kyrios and Clan screamed in pain.

They suddenly realized that they had both been stabbed by two small creatures that were attached to them. Each was roughly the size of a pigeon except that it had bat-like wings, six legs ending in barbed hooks, and a needle-like proboscis that was sucking blood right out of them.

The group battled the strange mosquito-like creatures, eventually killing all four, but not before Clan and Kyrios found themselves feeling quite drained of energy, clearly from the amount of blood the creatures drained from them.

Iris picked up one of the strange creatures to examine it when Brodert Quink, the town’s sage happened to walk by on his way to Sandpoint Savories, the town’s bakery.

Brodert immediately recognized the creature Iris was holding.

“My, my. That’s quite a large stirge you have there,” Brodert noted. He went on to tell them about the swarm of stirges that infested Sandpoint over a decade before. He added that although they tended to stay close to Brinestump Marsh, stirges can fly for miles around in search of food.

“Best see to the clerics about your wounds,” Brodert said to Kyrios and Clan. "Stirges are known to carry diseases like Filth Fever which causes the infected person’s wounds to fester and rot, and their skin to erupt in small but painful boils.

“That doesn’t sound good,” Clan said as he looked closely at his wounds. “How do I know if I’ve been infected?”

“You don’t.” the sage replied. “You should either go see a cleric or wait to see if you develop any symptoms.”

Everyone agreed to head to the cathedral immediately.

At the cathedral, they came upon Medik and asked him to look to Clan and Kyrios’s wounds. Medik called on Father Zantus to examine their wounds as well.

Father Zantus knew enough about stirges that they would probably need to have restoration spells casted on them so they can regain their stamina. However, he admitted that he had not prayed for any Restoration spell. They would have to wait until the next day.

However, he did pray to Desna for Remove Disease spells which he casted on them both.

Thankful that they may at least be free of any infections, the group was about to leave the cathedral when Bethana Corwin came running up to them. Trying to catch her breath, Ameiko’s maid pleaded for the group’s help.

She said Ameiko had gone missing.

Bethana woke earlier in the morning to find that Ameiko hadn’t already started breakfast, for the first time Bethana could remember. Worried, she knocked on Ameiko’s door but didn’t get a response. Against her better judgment, Bethana entered Ameiko’s room to find it empty and the bed unslept in.

She also found a crumpled piece of parchment near the bed—a note from Ameiko’s older brother Tsuto.

She handed the note, which was written in Tien, to Nagatono. The monk read the note to everyone.

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After he had finished reading the letter, Bethana went on to tell them what she knew about Tsuto.

According to the halfling, Tsuto was something of a scandal when he was born, a year before Ameiko, since he’s a half-elf. Bethana sagely notes, with big eyes, that neither of Ameiko’s parents are elves. It was obvious that old Lonjiku wasn’t the boy’s father, and his rage at the discovery of his wife’s indiscretion was the talk of the town for months.

Lonjiku’s wife Atsuii never revealed who the father was, and it’s a testament to Lonjiku’s stubbornness that they remained married.

Tsuto was handed over to the Turandarok Academy to be raised outside of the Kaijitsu family, ignored by his father and forbidden visits from his mother.

However, Ameiko started visiting him in secret once she learned about his existence at a young age. She visited Tsuto a few times a month to keep him company and to bring him some food. She also promised him that someday things would get all sorted out.

That all changed a few years ago when they had a terrible argument in which Tsuto struck Ameiko. Bethana doesn’t know what the argument was about, but whatever it was sent Ameiko away from Sandpoint, during which time she made a living as an adventurer.

Ameiko returned to Sandpoint a year later to attend her mother’s funeral.

Tsuto was quite public in his opinions that his father had pushed Atsuii off a cliff to her death. During the funeral, there was a confrontation. Lonjiku nearly broke Tsuto’s jaw with his cane, after which Tsuto cursed him and left Sandpoint.

Ameiko had tried to reestablish contact with Tsuto ever since, but was never able to track him down.

Bethana was worried that Tsuto’s up to no good. Since Sheriff Hemlock’s out of town, she felt the heroes were the only ones she could turn to. She begged them to head over to the Glassworks and find out what happened to Ameiko as soon as possible.

Just then, a pair of town guards ran up to the group and explained that while finishing their patrol this morning, they noticed broken glass beneath one of the windows to the Glassworks. They also noted that the large shop was still closed despite knowing that workers always started there before sunrise.

When the guards called for anyone through the broken window, they didn’t receive any response. They went around the building and noticed that all doors leading into the building were locked—something unusual for a business that opened early throughout the year.

The group immediately made their way to the Glassworks hoping that Ameiko Kaijitsu was still safe.


Heroes of Sandpoint

Clan Wulfhound

Gorzel

Iris

Kyrios Edenridge

Nagatono-Kami


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Something in the Bilges
Ch. 3 (Skull and Shackles Adventure Path)

21 Erastus, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Summer


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The adventurers are ordered to investigate something that might be lurking in the ship’s bilges.


At mid-morning on the fourth day since they were pressganged into service aboard the Wormwood, the adventurers were tasked with going down into the bilges.

Young Jack Scrimshaw ran on deck, ashen faced, and told Mr. Plugg about how he was below on rat-catching duty when something big swam out of the bilge water and bit him. Mr. Plugg immediately looked to adventurers, had them armed with various weapons from the ship’s armory, and ordered them into the bilge and not bother coming out until whatever was down there was dead.

The bilge was extremely hot and reeked terribly. Several rusty shackles were attached to the walls indicating the bilge doubled as the ship’s brig.

The water was knee deep for everyone except Bodwin, the gnome bard, who waded through brackish water which nearly reached his chin.

The group quickly saw several dire rats appear out of the water and attack.

Sometime later, the group after suffering some bites from the rats but having killed them all, made their way on the main deck to report to Mr. Pluggs. They showed him the six dire rats from the bilge. Mr. Plugg had them toss the hideous things overboard.

Satisfied that the group had not suffered any ill effects from their wounds, Mr. Plugg ordered them all back to work.

Some in the group spent the day focused on getting their job done, while some took some time to talk with several of the crew in hopes of gaining allies should the time ever arise when they might find themselves in need of helpful friends aboard the Wormwood.


Adventurers

Bodwin Dragonjoggle

Marlin Nightwater

Orog

Ripley “Dead Eyes” Morris

Ukalla Quee


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The Old Shipwreck
Ch. 3 (Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path)

8 Rova, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Fall


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Having slain Lotslegs Eat Goblin Babies Many, a legendary giant spider, the Heroes of Sandpoint journeyed deeper into the Brinestump Marsh in search of the red box of fireworks Aldern Foxglove paid them to find.


After trekking for a few miles into the fetid Brinestump Marsh, the group came upon an unusual sight. A three-masted ship lay mired in the mud in this clearing, its rigging thick with moss and decorated with lanterns and windchimes made from goblin skulls and bones.

Strange writing was faintly visible along the ship’s prow, while the soggy, swampy “yard” that surrounded the wreck was encircled by a rickety wooden fence. A thin curl of smoke wafted up from a chimney that protrudes from an unusual box-like structure near the ship’s bow.

Inside the swampy yard, the group spotted a lone horse drinking from a small pool that was fed by a small furrow dug into the ground which led outside the fence line and into the marsh.

The horse was a filthy, dark gray stallion whose hooves had churned the region within the fenced area into a thick morass of mud.

The adventurers quietly hid behind bushes and looked for any signs of any others in the yard or on the old shipwreck.

Although uncertain as to how a ship could have made it this far into the marsh, the group knew that the coast only lay several hundred yards away. It’s possible a powerful enough storm could have swept the ship this deep into the marsh.

“Where’s Syn?” Iris whispered as she sent Osiris, her raven familiar, towards a large sycamore tree growing next to the pool of water where the horse was drinking.

Looking around, they spotted the roguish gambler from Magnimar quietly hop over the fence farther down, near the ship.

Syn was looking towards the ship’s steep gangplank. It was choked with vines. Mossy handrails descended sharply from the ship’s bow to the muddy ground below. One handrail seemed to be encrusted with a large ball of dried mud.

The horse, sensing the raven nearby, began to stomp the ground near the tree.

Suddenly two mangy looking dogs appeared at the top of the gangplank and quickly ran down to the muddy yard below.

Both dogs seemed to have been alerted by the horse’s apparent distress.

One of the dogs moved towards the fence’s only gate which lay open. It began to bark at the group hiding in thick bushes beyond the gate.

Clan Wulfhound rushed towards the gate and realized how muddy the yard was. It was clearly going to slow him down if he entered.

He stayed by the gate and waited for the dog to attack.

He was surprised when, instead, the horse moved towards him and attacked.

The others, realizing they would have to fight the animals inside the yard, moved out of their hiding spots and attacked.

Iris cast a sleep spell which quickly rendered the horse harmless.

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Meanwhile, a frightening female goblin appeared on the ship’s main deck. Next to her sat a giant frog, it’s tongue darting out to catch any flies that flew too near to it. Another dog, this one more ferocious looking was barking loudly next to the goblin.

The three quickly ran down the gangplank to join the animals in the muddy yard.

The battle in the yard lasted for quite some time. The mud hampered movement for most except the animals.

Even after killing all but the horse, who Kyrios Edenridge really wanted to tame and take back to Sandpoint, the horse took some time to handle.

Eventually Kyrios did manage to calm it down. The group then searched the ship.

During the battle, Medik had tried to climb the gangplank. Unfortunately he disturbed the large ball of dried mud on the handrail releasing a swarm of wasps which stung him repeatedly.

Gorzel simply walked up to the swarm and burned it with a blast of fire from his outspread hands.

Inside the old shipwreck, they entered what used to serve as the ship’s galley and discovered a blood-splattered chamber of horror. Dead rodents, snakes, and birds had been variously nailed, tied, and hung around the walls.

At the far end of the room, a large cauldron bubbled over an iron stove set against the aft wall, its stovepipe chimney extended up through the ceiling. A bloody burlap sack sat on the floor next to the stove. The center of the room contained a long, rickety table surrounded by chairs that contained several grisly decorations—a whole family of skeletal goblins, their bones bleached white and bound together by reeds and twine.

The room was where the goblin they had slain clearly prepared her meals, including her horrific cannibal repasts.

The adventurers carefully searched the entire ship. They found several valuable items of Tian Xia craftmanship, including a magical wand they couldn’t identify and an elixir of love stored in a crystal vial shaped like a heart.

Unable to read the ship’s name which was written in Tien, Iris made a copy of the writing and considered having Ameiko Kaijitsu, who ran the Rusty Dragon Inn, translate it for her later.

Most importantly, they found the heavy ornate red chest which contained the fireworks Aldern Foxglove paid them to find.

Having searched and cleared the ship, the heroes of Sandpoint stayed in the shipwreck overnight. Early the next day, along with the horse Kyrios had tamed which now carried the heavy box of fireworks, they made their way back to Sandpoint.


Heroes of Sandpoint

Clan Wulfhound

Gorzel

Iris

Kyrios Edenridge

Medik

Syn Blade


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Life Aboard the Wormwood
Ch. 2 (Skull and Shackles Adventure Path)

18-20 Erastus, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Summer


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Having been unwillingly pressed into service aboard the pirate ship, Wormwood, the adventurers learn how hard and deadly the daily life of a pirate can be.


As the morning bell struck to wake the adventurer up from their sleep, they found five pirates blocking their way up to the main deck.

“Going somewhere?” the largest of the pirates asked as he pounded his fists together. He was known as Fipps Chumlett, a fat, pushy bully with a shaved head who had been hostile towards the new group since they arrived onboard. Just to emphasize his threat, Fipps moved his hand to the hilt of a dagger tucked away under the folds of his large stomach.

“We just want to get to work before we’re all late,” Marlin said. “You know we’ll all get lashings from Master Scourge for being late.”

“Master Scourge is counting on it,” a dwarf named Tam “Narwhal” Tate with a large, ugly nose and who they knew was an old friend of Master Scourge said.

Ordered by Tam to attack the newcomers, the pirates rushed the group with bare fists, punching and slamming their way through hammocks and around posts.

Though some were bruised and battered, the new group of pirates had beaten the pirates. They then quickly made their way up to the main deck where the rest of the crew were already waiting.

Master Scourge seemed none to pleased to see the newcomers. Master Scourge was the Wormwood’s boatswain and masterat-arms, and Mr. Plugg’s right-hand man. As boatswain, he was in charge of all activities and sailors on deck, and as master-at-arms, he was responsible for discipline. A sneering man with a braided beard and a mouth full of gold teeth, his body was tall and thin, and even his long coat and heavy boots failed to give any impression of strength or bulk.

“Mister Plugg!” Captain Harrigan yelled. “We seem to be missing some o’ the crew. Look into it!”

“Aye, Captain.” Mr. Plugg replied and ordered a crewman to go below and see to the late crewmen. The Wormwood’s bullying and sadistic first mate, Mr. Plugg was Captain Harrigan’s second-in-command, and his word was law on deck. He immediately took an immediate dislike to the newcomers. Perhaps he felt threatened by them, but he couldn’t quite be sure.

When the crewman returned with five pirates who had clearly lost in a brawl, Captain Harrigan ordered that they receive three lashes at the Bloody Hour for laziness.

Master Scourge gave the adventurers a look that showed he was none too pleased with how the morning had turned out so far.


The remainder of the day was spent working.

At night, some in the group wondered around certain areas of the ship, hoping to discover where their personal equipment was being kept. Although unsuccessful, they learned that a half-orc officer named Cut-Throat Grok served as the Wormwood’s quartermaster and may possible have their equipment in her quarters.

The next day, Orog decided to sneak about before he finished his day’s task.

He found the quartermaster’s room with the door unlocked. He quietly made his way inside and looked around.

He found lockers, chests, and trunks but couldn’t open any of them.

Not wanting to risk getting caught, Orog made his way back to the main deck.

But just as he left the room, Grok ran into him.

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“What ya doin’ in me quarters?” Grok asked baring a few of the sharp teeth she still had left.

“Orog hear you have our weapons and such,” the half-orc responded without trying to be subtle about it.

“Perhaps, I do,” Grok responded.

“I want my weapons back,” Orog said.

Grok grinned and gave Orog a look that conveyed meaning beyond what Orog could immediately comprehend. “Maybe, we can work a deal,” Grok offered.

As if a lantern had suddenly been lit inside Orog’s head, he realized what Grok was hinting at. In response he simply shrugged his shoulders and allowed himself to be pulled into the quartermaster’s room.

That evening, Orog made sure the caches of backpacks, along with five cutlasses he took, and all of his belongings were safely stashed away in his private locker.


During the third day, the pressganged adventurers spent the day both working and speaking to the other crewmen which gained them a friend or two on board the Wormwood. Bodwin, the gnome bard, was finally able to attain his sea legs and found working aboard the sailing ship easier that way.

Just as Sandara Quinn had suggested, the group knew that gaining helpful friends on board the pirate ship could help their future chances of escaping their fate aboard the pirate ship easier.


Adventurers

Bodwin Dragonjoggle

Marlin Nightwater

Orog

Ripley “Dead Eyes” Morris

Ukalla Quee


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Local Heroes
Ch. 2 (Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path)

24 Rova, 4716 AR (Absalom Reckoning), Fall


foxglovebig.jpgAs Sandpoint recovered from the attack and buried its dead, the citizens do their best to get on with their lives and try to forget yet another tragedy. The cathedral is consecrated the next day during at a much more subdued and indoor ceremony. But one thing the locals haven’t forgotten is their new local heroes. One particular visiting aristocrat from Magnimar named Aldern Foxglove was extremely grateful for having been saved by the heroes from certain death at the hands of the goblins.


The day after the attack on Sandpoint by goblins, Clan Wulfhound, Iris, Kyrios Edenridge, Medik, and Syn Blade found themselves being treated like local heroes.

Citizens of Sandpoint went out of their way to thank the heroes for saving the town from the insane goblins who wantonly killed dogs, horses, and citizens alike.

One person in particular was extremely grateful.

Aldern Foxglove, a visiting aristocrat from Magnimar personally visited each of the heroes to invite him or her to a celebratory dinner he was hosting at the Rusty Dragon Inn.

Later that evening, at the Rusty Dragon, Aldern offered a toast to his saviors. He invited them to enjoy the stir fried vegetables served over curried boar meat he had hunted earlier that day.

Gorzel, who was visiting Sandpoint with his parents after they had heard about the attack was also at the table. The others didn’t know him as well because he tended to keep to himself, his studies as a wizard, and because he lived on one of the many farms that dotted the landscape outside of Sandpoint.

However, tonight Gorzel was a guest of Syn’s.

The gambler from Magnimar had earlier walked up to Gorzel who was enjoying a drink at the Rusty Dragon, one of his favorite places to eat at whenever he was in town. Syn asked Gorzel if he was a local citizen. When Gorzel said he was, Syn began to tell him about an unfortunate event he recently experienced which involved a certain attractive human woman named Shayliss Vindern who approached him and asked him to help deal with several big rats she saw down in the basement of her father’s general store.

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As it so happens, there were no rats in the basement. Something told Syn there were never any rats in the basement.

Syn went on to tell a harrowing experience of being caught with Shayliss by her father, Ven Vindern who subsequently threatened him with bodily harm—to his unmentionables even. One to always talk his way out of any situation, Syn was shocked when he opened his mouth and words literally failed Syn—for the first ever the gambler stated.

He stood before Ven, unable to say anything.

Fortunately, Syn’s legs didn’t fail him.

He ran out of the basement as fast as his legs would allow.

Syn went on to explain to the not-so-shocked Gorzel, Ven Vindern had apparently barred Syn from ever entering his store. The town’s citizens, Syn sighed, even seemed unfriendly towards him. The town’s sheriff, Hemlock, paid Syn a visit at the Rusty Dragon. Although he didn’t arrest him, Sheriff Hemlock warned Syn to stay away from the extremely angry Ven Vindern.

Gorzel, who knew quite well the reputation of the Vindern girls, was not shocked by Syn’s tale. He went to give Syn some friendly advice on how to solve the problem at hand using mathematical equations and formulas Syn found completely baffling.


At dinner, Aldern Foxglove went on to praise the heroes and asked all of them questions related to what it took to become a hero.

Clan offered to give Aledern some pointers on improving his fighting techniques. The others also offered to help the aristocrat.

Aldern then went on to ask the heroes if they would help him with a problem.

He explained that on his way to Sandpoint from his estate near Magnimar, Aldern had ordered a box of expensive fireworks imported from Tian Xia (pronounced TEE-yawn-shaw). The heavy box the fireworks were stored in was itself exquisitely crafted and expensive.

He ordered the fireworks delivered to Sandpoint after he had arrived. The fireworks were to be used at the Swallowtail Festival. However, the porters who survived an attack by goblins along the Lost Coast Road near Brinestump Marsh, told Aldern of how the goblins took the box and disappeared into marsh.

Aldern would like the heroes to retrieve the fireworks, along with the box it came in. As a reward he offered each hero 50 gold pieces and offered to buy each one a light riding horse.

The heroes, who wanted nothing more than to exact revenge on any of the five goblin tribes in the region, was more than willing to help.

Cyrdak Drokkus, resident thespian and owner of the Sandpoint Theater, stopped by the heroes’s table and tried to convince the heroes to play roles in a play reenacting the goblins’ attack on Sandpoint. The heroes declined Cyrdak’s offer.

After Cyrdak left, Syn quickly hid under the table to avoid being seen by Shayliss Vindern who walked up to the group asking for him. They lied for the gambler and said he may be found gambling the night away at one of the town’s taverns.

She thanked them and left.

Syn thanked the group after emerging from his hiding place.

The remainder of the night was spend planning for the next day’s journey into the Brinestump Marsh.

Before turning in, they all agreed to meet at Goblin Squash Stables to pick up their horses.

**

In the morning, Hosk the stablemaster, strongly urged the heroes not to take their horses into the marsh since they would just leave the horses unattended at some point. Besides, he added, the marsh was only four miles away on foot.

Taking Hosk’s advice, the heroes decided to walk but not before further equipping themselves for the journey.


When they arrived at Brinestump Marsh, they found it to be a fetid place they imagined goblins would love to live in.

Kyrios began to tell the others about the five goblin tribes he learned where living in the region.

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The closest to Sandpoint were the Birdcruncher goblins, who lived in caves along the western edge of the Devil’s Platter, although traditionally these goblins were the least aggressive of
the five.

To the south were the Licktoad goblins of the Brinestump Marsh, pests who are considered excellent swimmers.

To the east are the Seven Tooth goblins of Shank’s Wood, goblins who’ve secured a place for themselves by raiding Sandpoint’s junkyard and rebuilding the stolen refuse into armor and weapons.

Farther east were the Mosswood goblins, likely the largest tribe but one traditionally held back by feuding families within their own ranks. And finally, there were the Thistletop goblins, who lived on the Nettlewood coast atop a small island that some say holds a passing resemblance to a decapitated head.

Everyone agreed that the Licktoad goblins of the Brinestump Marsh was what they were more likely going to run into.


At about the area along the Lost Coast Road where the porters reported being ambushed by goblins, Kyrios found several goblin tracks. The goblins’ tracks indicated they were carrying something very heavy.

Following them, the tracks led the group deeper into the marsh. Eventually the tracks seemed to end at a point where strangely enough Kyrios said a single set of goblin tracks, along with a set of horse and two sets of dogs’ tracks suggested a bloody skirmish had occurred at the spot about two days before.

Kyrios noted that only one goblin, one horse which was weighed down, and two dogs left the area and returned deeper into the marsh from whence they came.

The others were confused as to what happened.

Equally disturbing was the fact that a goblin would be walking alongside a horse and two dogs, animals everyone knew goblins hated more than any other living thing on Golarion.


About a half mile later, the heroes came upon the ruins of an old stone dwelling slowly being claimed by the fetid marsh.

The heroes approached cautiously as they noticed thick strands of cobwebs covering the many trees and bushes in the area.

Iris sent her raven familiar, Osiris, to fly over the ruins. Through her emphatic link with her familiar, she sensed the presence of danger nearby.

The others scanned the area and spotted three large spiders by the ruins.

Iris and Gorzel shot two of them with magic missiles.

One was killed instantly. The two others quickly made their way to the waiting heroes to attack.

The fight against the two remaining spiders lasted less than half a minute.

When it was all over, they searched the ruins and found several goblin remains, the spiders’ previous victims and past meals.

Among the remains, they found 24 gp, a small masterwork light crossbow with 11 bolts, and a single pearl Syn and Gorzel appraised for 100 gp. Iris detected magic and along with Gorzel discovered two potions of cure moderate wounds, a potion of bull’s strength, and a potion of bear’s endurance. They also found a wax-paper-sealed package containing six pieces of licorice-flavored taffy Kyrios, Syn, and Clan found rather sweet and tasty.

After putting away everything they found, the group soon realized they may have just slain Lotslegs Eat Goblin Babies Many, a giant spider the goblins feared and named.

Lotslegs was known to have dwelled in central Brinestump for years, but only recently had grown large enough to become a legitimate threat to everyone who lived in the marsh or ventured near.

It was said the Licktoad goblins feared Lotslegs because of her growing taste for goblin young.

Glad to have defeated the spiders without getting bitten by any one of them, the heroes turned to Kyrios who led them deeper into the Brinestump Marsh in search of the red box of fireworks Aldern Foxglove paid them to find.


Heroes of Sandpoint

Clan Wulfhound

Gorzel

Iris

Kyrios Edenridge

Medik

Syn Blade


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