Zach Legacy of Fire

Day one at the Monastery

After returning to Almah’s expedition and reporting their success the adventuring band assisted the merchant princess’ people in moving into the cleared Monastery. Almah had her tent pitched temporarily in the courtyard while her chosen spot, the library, was cleared of debris. The other expedition members claimed various rooms while the adventurers settled into the old barracks. The day and night passing relatively uneventfully with the exception of the Howl of the Carrion King, a yipping howl from Kelmarane which was answered in turn by another howl from the distant Pale Mountain. Also, a couple of hours afterward someone was playing a flute, which was reported to Almah and Garavel. They will investigate to find out the origin of the music.

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Final Battle in the Chapel

The following morning, rested and feeling more competent after their trials (congrats on level 2!), the party returned to the Monastery with Dakashi, Yesper, and Brotis as reinforcements. Deciding not to attack the Chapel directly, the party circled around through the living quarters and into the courtyard where they encountered a patrol of four pugwampi. The gremlins were alerted by a Ab’b’da ‘s stubbed toe and Yesper’s giggle. Quick thinking by Surkin and Mia fooled the pugwampi with lewd illusions which lured them out of their ambush point and made vulnerable to a surprise attack. Caught out in the open, even the gremlin’s notorious unluck aura was not enough to save them from the adventurers’ superior numbers. Bolstered by their victory, the party continued on, setting themselves up in an alcove across from the entrance of the Chapel.

Again, Ab’d’da had the misfortune of tripping over a piece of loose masonry, but Surkin once more used his illusions to cover the unfortunate accident . He created the image of a small goat running across the Chapel’s entrance and down the main hallway. This was enough to lure two gremlins out which were ambushed by the group, one killed by Ab’d’da and another wounded by Dakashi’s bow. Surkin fooled the remaining pugwampi’s by creating a large curtain across the entrance which he unfurled with great fanfare. During the confusion the party started shooting through the illusion while the gremlins sorted themselves out, eventually their Witchdoctor which danced and comported on top of a hanging net of gnoll skulls, figured out it was a trick, shattering a truestrike potion Arrak was about to drink. Missile fire was traded back and forth, the party moving in led by Arrak, Ab’d’da and Alenor who changed into a bird to fly up to the rope holding the skulls. The druid then changed into an ape, landing on the skulls which caused the dry rotted beams they were suspended from to break, crashing both him and the witchdoctor to the floor.

Zaeda seeing an opportunity, charged in on her mount, skewering the gremlin druid with her lance! Meanwhile Arrak having noted the tent like affair up in the rafters where the pugwampi’s laired, started arranging the stone pews in a mysterious manner (at least to the GM). Mia cast a sleep spell on the group of four pugwampi who were doing sneak attack snap shots from the balcony, causing one to fall asleep. Surkin cast another illusion, shouting in gnoll to “Burn them out!” of him throwing a flask of alchemical fire at the tent. As the illusionary fire “spread” there was a shout from inside the tent, the pugwampi’s “King” making himself known commanding his minions to put out the fire. Dakashi meanwhile used his bow, Kharis threw shuriken, while the mercenaries chased down the surviving gremlin that had been lured out. Ab’d’ba soon followed by Zaeda climbed up the ladder to the choir loft and began to engage the gremlins in melee, though loosing his greataxe to a misfortunate shatter spell. Alenor thanks to his Ape climbing ability, scaled up the Chapel’s walls and eventually got over to the tent lair, hanging from ceiling supports.

Mia having guessed where the King was at, cast a sleep spell in his area. The first did not work, but the second did causing the fat gremlin to fall asleep. Surkin followed this with a ghost sound from the King’s area mimicing the pugwampi’s leader’s voice, fooling his followers that he was still awake. Dakashi, following a suggestion by Mia and Surkin, used an arrow with a rope attached to rip open a hole below a gremlin, causing it to fall to the floor. Up at the choir loft, Zaeda chased a fleeing pugwampi onto the Chapel rafters, which broke causing both to fall to the floor. Kharis used a rope and grapple to climb up to the balcony where the pugwampi tent was at, engaging the gremlin that had run out of it, following the command of the fake voice of the King Sukin created. Alenor entered the tent and strangled the sleeping king with his great ape strength. Finally, Arrak having finally finished with his marble sculpture managed to lift a long stone bench upright and down on the tent, causing the whole mess to crash to the floor, killing the remaining gremlins. Thus the battle for the chapel concluded, leaving the party victorious! Searching amongst the pugwampi remains, the party found a magic small warhammer + 1 which the King never got a chance to wield, a ring of climbing, a set of muleback cords, and a wand of cure light wounds. Satisfied, the party returned to the Sultan’s Claw to report their success to their eagerly awaiting Patron.

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The Monastery

The next morning the party set out to clear out the Monastery. At first they explored a section containing the building’s living quarters, kitchen and library. There they encountered three pugwampi “cooks” along with a tribe of baboons who came to their assistance. While the fight was difficult, especially with the gremlins aura of unluck, the party managed to kill their opponents with no losses. After searching the rooms they found a masterwork Katapesh Scimitar, a scrollcase with four divine spells, and a book titled “The Courts of Flame and Air”. Deciding to press on, they opened a stuck door to reveal bottom floor of one of the Monastery’s collapsed towers. The door, floor, and stairs going down were covered with mold and being reasonably cautious, they decided to take a sample for examination later and close the door. Continuing on, the party entered into the central part of the building, an open air courtyard and walks whose walls were decorated with the history of the temple and its saint.

While not very familiar with the saint in particular, the party’s collected knowledge of History and Local tales was enough to recall some information, though much is myth and perhaps not accurate. The saint’s name was Vadishal, one of the Templars of the Five Winds, a group of Jann heroes that hundreds of years ago wandered the Pale Mountain region and lands beyond doing great deeds of bravery and compassion. Their patron was the Dijini Princess Nefeshti who crafted them five weapons of a great power to assist them in their endeavors, one of which was a Bardiche, and another a staff. Their story ended during the great Genni war, where Nefeshti fought against another genni of fire. After the battles, four of the Templars ascended into the heavens, while Vadishal remained. Later he was killed battling a half man, half lizard, fire spirit but his spirit lingered on. Vadishal’s spirit later was found by a group of monks of Sarenae who build the Monastery on the place of his death. Throughout the history of the temple, Vadishal manifested and spoke his wisdom. Twenty years ago the Temple fell to a group of crazed town’s folk led by yellow clad fanatics. The fate of Vadishal’s spirit is unknown, though their was a hint in a inscription found, where a cleric of Abadar claimed to have banished a foul spirit the same year as the Monastery fell.

The courtyard itself was overgrown with brush and trees. Near its center, Alenor in Ape form found a nest of large Vulture known as a Grier, known for their ravenous and savage hunger. While the big bird wasn’t present, there were three of its eggs left there unguarded. While having value, the party left the eggs be and continued on, moving on to the section of the building dedicated to more private worship of Vadishal. In one room, Arrak, already suffering from Filth Fever from a pugwampi’s arrow, was attacked by a half dozen stirges when he stepped into the chamber. Though he was saved from certain death by his comrades through weapon and magic, he lost much blood and was infected by Blinding Sickness. Only his incredible dwarf fortitude kept him going and not keel over. Amongst the debris the party found some loose coin, a silver bowl, and Chime of Opening.

After investigating a secret door that led to a small garden, the party found another secret door behind a statue of Vadishal leading down into the Monestery’s Undercrypts. Investigating, the adventurers found the tragic remains of the Sarenae clerics and laymen who made their last stands against the fanatics that brutally cut them down and despoiled their bodies. During their searches, the party found a Masterwork Cold-Iron Hvy Mace, A Masterwork Silver Dagger, and Masterwork Yellow Silk(Hide) Shirt Armor. They also found a silver holy symbol to Sarenae which was enchanted with the power of a Brooch of Shielding. They also found a door which led into a basement laboratory, the source of the mold they found earlier. Seeing that there were other species of mold here, Mia, who had taken the previous sample, stepped into the room to get more. When she did so, four slimes contained in large vials on the laboratory’s tables burst out
and attacked!

The fight that followed was quick, but still had moments of danger. Mia ‘s Sidestep secret kept her from harm long enough for her companions to rush in to help. Surkin, due to his small size, was engulfed by one of the molds and barely managed to escape. Alenor, in the back of the group, was surprised as one of the slimes, which went down a drain in the floor came spurting out of a pipe in the wall next to him. Worst was poor Arrak, already weak from two diseases and blood drain, he succumbed to fungal rot when one of the slimes slammed into him. After the battle, woozy, the dwarf barbarian was struck by visions of the Temple’s fall the strong urge to dig in the Monastery courtyard in specific spot. The party searched the laboratory and found some alchemical formula and locked box with a magical aura. While this was happening, Aarak went back to where the feelings led him, and dug up a magical Greataxe, enscribed with the language of air, “Breath of North Wind, Blessed by Nefeshti who wishes its wielder power to strike down her enemies in the Princess’s name.”

After all of these trials, all that remained was the main chapel of the Monastery itself, inhabited by the Pugwampi tribe. The adventurers decided that they had done enough for the day, their magic was low and Arrak was looking very wobbly, the fungal rot infesting his right arm from wrist to elbow. They returned to the Sultan’s Claw and reported to Almah. While agreeing in their wisdom in returning, the Merchant Princess was concerned their location would be soon discovered. To ensure their success, Almah instructed Dakashi and two of the Falcon’s Legacy mercs, Yesper and Brotis, to accompany and assist the group.

That evening, around the fire, Garavel told the first part of the story of Rovagug, the ravenous god of destruction, and his battles with the other gods at the dawn of creation. Surkin followed with a story of his own, embellished with his illusionary magic, about the adventurer’s trials and triumphs at the Monastery. The expedition members, especially the mercenaries, were quite impressed, however their leader Haidir was not present, out on one of his solo patrols. He returned hours later, speaking briefly with Kharis, who was on watch. The cavalier mercenary leader had the smell of blood on him and his mount was clearly frightened, barely under control. Haidir explained that he had encountered a mountain lion whom he had slain before it hurt his camel. He took his leave then, securing his mount in the animal pens. Later, Zaeda curious after hearing this, examined the warcamel who clearly was still skittish even after an hour after supposedly being attacked by an animal the trained beast should have managed. She believed that Haidir encountered something much more frightening out there, but what she doesn’t know.

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Fire in the Night

When Garavel and the Adventurers arrived at the Sultan’s Claw, they found Almah’s encampment was in chaos. One of the wagons was on fire, and sharp explosions and streaks of multicolored fire was shooting out from it, threatening to set fire to another wagon nearby. Animals were running about the camp in utter panic, knocking into people and containers, spilling their contents. Meanwhile, two bodies lay on the ground, burned, dying or perhaps dead. The adventurers, hardly needing Almah’s command, sprang into action to assist the Merchant Princess’s people as they rushed about to deal with the calamity.

Zaeda, her calvalier training giving her experience with handling animals, assisted in rounding up the animals. Araak assisted as well, punching a bucking camel into submission in typical dwarf “practicality”. Mia went over to the two mortally wounded mercenaries, using her skills as a healer and magic to save their lives. Ab’b’da and Alenor assisted the uninjured Falcon’s Legacy mercs in moving their wagon out of danger and then helping Almah and her guards put out the fire. Mia helped finish the job with her magic to create water as well, which pleased Almah much more than *Ab’b’da*’s attempt to use the camp’s entire water supply to put out the fire. Meanwhile, concerned that all this chaos might attract unwanted company, Kharis perched on top of one of the wagons, scanning the area. Surkin was of similar mind, his small stature not leading him to feats of strength, nor would illusions do much against a fire. He did however notice a man lurking behind one of the wagons and created a huge glowing arrow in the sky to point him out. Thus Dakashi, Almah’s gnoll expert, was shamed into helping put out the last of the fires.

Kharis, while on overwatch, heard out in the hills what sounded like the scream of an animal in terror and pain. Sometime afterward, a man on a warcamel arrived, Haidir the charismatic, yet bitter, leader of the Falcon’s Legacy. He had been out on patrol when he heard the fireworks and saw the glowing arrow. Once the fire had been put out and the animals calmed down and penned, Almah instructed Garavel to investigate the fire which caused the death of her Astrologer. Garavel decided that the adventurers would be best for this and gave them leave to look around and to question the expedition members. While there was some suspicion that Dakashi might have started the fire due to the dead Astrologer’s closeness with Almah, there was evidence found that a local denizen was responsible, a particularly nasty species of gremlin known as a pugwampi.

Almah, initially doubtful, commanded the party to go and find these pugwampi and bring back proof. The party did so, managing to capture the little beast and rescue the baby goat that he had stolen from the camp. After a few questions to the party and Dakashi, she seemed satisfied and ordered the creature killed. Dakashi claimed the corpse as a “good luck charm”, hanging it from his staff (which happens to be an unstrung longbow). Almah then stated her concerns, shared by Haidir, that the camp was compromised and needed to be moved soon. There was a monastary to Sarenrae, abandoned the same time as Kelmarane, a mile away. The Falcon’s Legacy’s initial scouting reports reported animal noises and faint snickering laughter similar to the pugwampi’s. She commanded the party to rest and set out in the morning to clear out the Monastery so that the expedition could make it their new temporary home.

(Also, while questioning all the different people in the camp, before and after investigating the fire and capturing the pugwampi, some interesting information and gossip was obtained)

The Falcon’s Legacy once had a score of members, but while liberating one of the boarder towns from a band of raiding gnolls, they lost two-thirds of their people. The remaining mercenaries have a low morale and are risk adverse. Their leader Haidir, whom the mercenaries still have a strong loyalty for, is bitter, seeming to have taken the loss of his people personally. He often now goes on solo patrols, especially at night, to seek solitude.

The party is not the only adventurers that Almah had hired. She also had recruited the Lion’s of Sahir, a six man adventuring party whom among their members included Alenor and Kharis’s adopted sister Haleem. They had successfully completed an initial scouting expedition into Kelmarane two weeks previous, but had not returned from their second outing. Almah worries that they might have been killed or captured, not only from concern of their fate but what they might have revealed to the gnolls controlling Kelmarane. Most of the other expedition members feel the same, though Haidir and his people are more blunt about Lion’s possible deaths. Apparently, their is some sort of bad blood between the two groups.

The stream that feeds the plants around the Sultan’s Claw has been fouled by an unknown manner for the last three days. Thus Almah’s concern over the expedition’s water supply. There are also reported signs of gnolls in the area, circling in on the expedition’s location. Perhaps they are scouts from Kelmarane or they might be from another tribe.

The juicy gossip, especially from the two servants Hadrah and Hadmah, is that Almah and her Astrologer were lovers. The Merchant Princess was “consulting” with the handsome half-elf more and more frequently, sometimes for hours, alone in the privacy of the Astrologers wagon. Shocking! Even more scandalous, one of the female mercenaries, a petite blond woman named Yesper was in love the Astologer as well! And don’t forget Dakashi, he’s been seen staring longingly at Almah when he thinks no one is looking, clearly smitten with the beautiful Merchant Princess, though she would never have anything to do with such a commoner, especially as one as rank as the “Gnoll Expert” was! Oh, and its rumored that Garavel is actually a well made flesh golem, he shows no sign of emotion and she (and her guards!) trust him to sleep in Almah’s tent…or maybe its an act! What do you think?

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GM Campaign Notes
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