Rise of the Runelords

Buried Secrets

Sins of the Saviors, Part 1

Fireday, 9 Pharast, 4734

Amelia, Zavian, and Astrid demoralize the assembled giants using Mokmurian’s head, but the snowstorm prevents the army from breaking up until morning. The trio rest upstairs in Jorgenfist while Lea, Marcus, and Seleval rest in the dragon’s lair. Marcus copies teleport from Mokmurian’s spellbook into his own.

Starday, 10 Pharast, 4734

The next morning, the party regroups and decides to investigate the library. Marcus sends a whispering wind to their hidden camp so that Shalelu and the others are aware of what’s going on.

Down below, they use the key and the password to safely enter the library, where they are greeted by a helpful clockwork librarian. With his assistance, they spend the day researching Karzoug.

They learn that Karzoug was an Azlanti man and the greatest Transmutation wizard in Thassilon, who ruled the realm of Shalast for hundreds of years. Karzoug’s armies consisted primarily of giants, who were controlled by powerful rune giants that were in turn his pawns. Karzoug also counted on other powerful allies as well, including blue dragons, denizens of the nightmare realm of Leng, blood-drinking scarlet walkers, and immense lamia harridans.

Their research indicates that Karzoug study of transmutation magic, associated with the sin of greed, left him atrophied in illusion (pride) and enchantment (lust) magic. Many believed that weapons imbued with those two schools of magic, so-called “dominant weapons,” would pose a great danger against him.

The research also reveals that while he was vulnerable against illusion and enchantment, his greatest rival was Runelord Alaznist, the evoker wizard who ruled Bakrakhan

That evening, Marcus and Zavian trek out to the hidden camp to begin teleporting the civilians to safety, only to discover they’d already left. Marcus’ raven familiar Ash explains that there were giants sniffing around, so Shalelu decided to evacuate the civilians back to Sandpoint. Only Ash and Amelia’s hippogriff remain. Zavian convinces the bird horse to fly down to its mistress at Jorgenfist.

The duo then decide to teleport to Magnimar to sell some of their Jorgenfist plunder. They appear inside Ameiko’s townhouse, scaring the shit out of her Varisian groundskeeper. They manage to convince him not to call the guards, and they leave with a bit of gossip: Ameiko has not at all forgiven her brother’s killer.

The two of them head over to the King and Axe to spend the night, where Zavian catches up with his parents. The are impressed with his new set of wings and disappointed that he broke up with “that nice girl” Nualia.

Sunday, 11 Pharast, 4734

Zavian and Marcus rise in Magnimar and spend the day running to and fro selling their loot. This includes Lea’s earthbreaker, Aztalnok, which she has abruptly decided to give up.

Meanwhile, at Jorgenfist, Lea researches Azlanti physiology and religion to try to learn more about their purple eyes. She learns that the traits were ubiquitous among the Azlanti, but had no magic or religious properties. However, the Azlanti were known to be on average, stronger, smarter, and faster than other humans, which they attributed to magical self-improvement in the early history of their civilization.

Towards the end of the day, Marcus feels a strange sensation, like he is being called over a great distance. He swiftly realizes that Shayliss has activated her bracelet of friends and is trying to call him back to Sandpoint. Rather than accepting the summons, Marcus drags Zavian away from shopping and teleports them both in front of the Vinders’ general store in Sandpoint.

Shayliss quickly brings them up to speed on what has happened. The other day, a big sinkhole collapsed part of the Sandpoint Garrison. Strange noises emanated from the hole, so Marcus’ parents Flint and Clairian led a group of guards down below to investigate. They haven’t come up in over a day, which spurred Shayliss to call Marcus. Sheriff Hemlock has the whole place cordoned off and placed under guard.

Marcus and Zavian realize they need the rest of the party before they can investigate, but Marcus’ teleport spells are limited. So Zavian hits on the idea of summoning Ilmiring and having her recall the rest of the adventurers back to the Sandpoint Cathedral. As they walk through the town, they notice it is still struggling to rebuild from the stone giant raid. Gorvi and his team are packing up from the construction work, while to Magnimarian clay golems continue laboring into the night.

Marcus and Zavian encounter Nualia as she leaves the cathedral. She is still furious with Zavian for his decision not to help her at the ruined bastion the previous weekend. Every attempt to apologize or justify his actions just falls flat, although Nualia does allow that she’s glad he’s not dead. She lets slip that she is waiting for someone to arrive in Sandpoint, and that she is staying at the Rusty Dragon. Zavian notices that her demonic hand is unusually twitchy.

Inside the cathedral, Zavian calls forth Ilmiring, who brings the rest of the party (and Seleval) back from Jorgenfist. Lea thanks her for helping to restore the paladin to life. The trumpet archon warns her not to make a habit of it, then disappears. Shayliss is impressed by the sight.

While the rest of the Rune Wardens head over to the sinkhole, Lea drops by the Rusty Dragon. She brings along Seleval after making clear that the whole lamia thing needs to be secret. When the paladin arrives, Ameiko is busy serving dinner to a large number of families that are in the Rusty Dragon’s common room.

Lea spies Nualia in a corner and decides to put off the inevitable by questioning why the aasimar is staying at the inn. In between snide remarks, Nualia explains that she is waiting for someone to arrive at the Rusty Dragon, but won’t explain who that is. Lea notices that Nualia’s demonic hand seems to be bothering her. Seleval is surprised that Lea doesn’t want to put the insubordinate commoner in her place.

When Ameiko finally notices the paladin, Lea hastily tries to hide her blue eye beneath her hair. After ushering Ameiko into a back room, Lea unveils Longtooth’s severed head. Ameiko is suitably impressed. The dragon’s firebreath left several families homeless, and she is putting them up at the inn until it is repaired. She is also responsible for bringing in the golems, having promised Lord-Mayor Grobaras that the two of them would attend one of his soirees this year.

When Ameiko finally notices Lea’s eye and expresses concern, the paladin hastily makes her exit. She leaves Seleval behind to “protect” Ameiko.

At the sinkhole, Constable Wallas explains how Marcus’ parents and four Sandpoint guards entered and simply vanished. But strange, inhuman howling continues to echo up from below at night.

Once the Rune Wardens are assembled, they descend into the sinkhole, easily finding where it has collapsed into the Catacombs of Wrath that they scoured many months ago. However, they find that the stairwell leading down, which had once been blocked, is now free of debris. As they descend, they hear a strange howling and notice strange webbing that clings to the stairs and walls.

At the bottom, however, it appears to dead end. They eventually find the secret door, as well as two spells: an alarm on the door and a guards and wards effect on the area. They dispell them and enter.

They find themselves in the antechamber to a strange cathedral, where every available surface is inscribed in Thassilonian writing. All of it, save for a single cryptic phrase, appears to be praise to Lamashtu.

Soon the adventurers are being questioned by a weird invisible man. He asks what has happened to Thassilon, what the current nations are above, who has the most powerful magic, and so forth. They ask him questions in turn. He says he was once called Xaliasa and was commander of the Hellstorm Flume for Alaznist, but had secretly betrayed her on behalf of Karzoug, who he also betrayed. When questioned about the missing people, he snickers that he defeated the intruders.

Throughout the conversation, Astrid was carefully pinpointing his location and finally struck him with an arrow. The invisible man fled deeper into the complex, just ahead of Amelia’s glitterdust. Lea uses her boots of speed to give chase and runs into the invisible man’s backup—an enormous glabrezu demon. The fiend cats some sort of spell, but it fails and Lea charges him. The fiend’s giant claws tear into her and soon battle is joined.

While the rest of the party catches up to Lea, reinforcements arrive for the bad guys as six especially vicious yeth hounds join the fray. Lea is dragged down to the ground and brushes against death twice more. Amelia manages to hit the invisible man with glitterdust, but her spells glance off the demon. Zavian enters the battle with a menacing aura, but his presence provokes one of the temple’s Lamashtu statues to activate and attack him.

Eventually, Marcus clears away the yeth hounds with multiple fireballs, Astrid takes the glabrezu demon apart, and Lea cuts down the strange man known as the Scribbler.

Marcus hears his mother calling out and manages to find her stuck to the wall in the Scribbler’s chambers, missing her right arm. She tells him that there were originally two glabrezu demons whose wish magic overpowered his parents. The Scribbler had Flint teleported away to the spires of Xin-Shalast as tribute to his former master. Thanks to a somewhat inappropriately located magic tattoo the couple got in Nex, Clairian can tell he is still on this plane and alive.

She continues to ramble as Marcus helps her towards the surface, apologizing for being a lousy parent. She explains that her parents, archaeo-astronomers in Kaer Maga, were too controlling when she was growing up, so she swung in the opposite direction and was too hands off. She also tells Marcus that she and Flint have squirreled away an inheritance for him at a bank in Kaer Maga, but Flint has the account number on his arm and Clairian isn’t allowed back at the bank after an “incident.”

Meanwhile, Lea begins to have some sort of psychotic break, hacking away heedlessly at the dead demon while Amelia cheers her on.

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