Rise of the Runelords

Idle Djinni Log, 5 Arodus 4706

Took ownership of the Idle Djinni today. Looking forward to a life with less excitement than I’ve had the past few years. Met up with Vally Tark who tells me he can help me round out the crew if needed so I’ll probably take him up on it depending on how many of the mates stay on. The only other matter of import before taking to the rivers is to get the old girl blessed by Cleric Tiberius. CM

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Idle Djinni Log, 3 Rova 4706

The first month has been pretty quiet on the rivers. We’ve made a couple of quick runs to the Mivon trading post downriver. We’ve just finished a bit of relaxation in Pitax for the Swallowtail Festival. Got a contract from one of the local traders for a longer trading run down to the Kyonin trail head. Not looking forward to the Razzies and their damn faith barges but I’m told enough sucking up and a proper “tithe” is the easiest way to get through it.

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Idle Djinni Vignette #1

    One bright day a fellow comes aboard the Idle Djinni. He’s not the first half-orc that’s been aboard, but he is the first one that you’ve seen sporting Desna’s symbol. When you learn he’s a cleric of her church, that raises an eye. Conley comes up from below deck to welcome him.

    “Oy! Lads, we’ve a guest aboard. This here’s Zelkerut. He’ll be joining us for this run to Galt. Welcome ’im lads. Now get back to it!” With a nod and a grin to Zelkerut he adds, “Nothing more cleansing than a good days work, my friend. Vally! Put ’im to work!” And with another nod he climbs back to the quarterdeck. Vally comes up and says “How’re you at rigging?” as he leads Zelkerut to main mast.

    A few nights out the crew was up top, under an open night sky. Snake was playing a tune on the accordian and Stump was dancing a jig. After a time one of the mates, Jingo, called out “Vally! What about that time in Tymon!”

    At this the young man called Thorn says “By the Light, aren’t we done with that yet!”

    Vally hops up and says “Not quite Master Thorn. Seems your admirers want more!” Vally rubs his hand together and warms to his crowd…“It was a lovely night, full of promise! We were at the Elusive Camel and having some of the Black, singing songs and wooing women. It was a grand time and when Thorn finished off his fifth pint…”

    “I thought it was his fourth!” yelled Legs.

    “Quiet Legs, I’m telling a story.”, grinned Vally.

    “So he finished his fifth pint and he was still standing. But more than that, he hops up on a table and he starts singing to this lass what was serving us all night…Stump what was her name?”

    “Brandy!”

    “Right! So Thorn is singing ‘Brandy, you’re a fine wench, what a good wife ye would be…’”

    “And that’s when they threw you out?” one of the other mates offered.

    “No, indeed not. So Thorn here’s keeps on belting out this song…”

    Thorn feebly says “Vally, please…”, and Vally, with a grin, says “Quiet Thorn, I’m telling a story.”

    Vally continues, “So Thorn belts out this song and the lass is all smiles and giggles and the song is so catchy that Snake here jumps up on the table and starts singing along with him. That’s when the table broke.” Vally pauses for effect. “And THAT’S when we got thrown out of the Camel.”

    “And then whens you went back to the ship!” yelled Jingo.

    “Oh no sir.”, Vally replied “That’s when we went to the Rose and Whistle.”

    “The Rose and Whistle!?!?” The group replied together.

    “Now, I know what you’re thinking. But ever since that place got sold there’s almost no assassins hanging round there!”

    “Ye gods,” says Thorn but Vally, with a bigger grin, says “Quiet Thorn, I’m telling a story.”

    “So we walk in and Thorn here walks straight up to this half-orc fella sitting at the bar (pardon me father), and he was seven foot if he was an inch , and Thorn says, ‘Hey! You’re sitting in my seat!’”

    On cue, the group let out a collective gasp.

    “Then here’s the funny part.”, Vally continued, “So this half-orc fella stares down at Thorn and smiles. At least I think it was a smile, he had these tusks. Anyway, he smiles and MOVES DOWN A SEAT. Well, we all start breathing again and belly up to the bar and end up drinking with him the rest of the night. Then we came back to the ship.”

    At this this crew begins to whoop and holler. Vally slaps Thorn on the back and pulls him up as the jig starts again.

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Idle Djinni Log, 19 Rova 4706

Heading to Portside just north of Greengold in Lake Encarthen. Been told that it doesn’t get much traffic being so close to the Greengold harbor so thinking there might be some opportunities there to make some deals. Hopefully there will be some to be had and they’ll be profitable enough to lessen the sting of the Raz Tax.

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Idle Djinni Log, 25 Lamashan 4706

Portside has indeed been very good to us. Seems like they’ve been very neglected and we’ve been pretty busy. Visited a few other places around Lake Encarthen and picked up a few contracts for repeat runs between the area and the Kingdoms. I don’t even think I need to bother with Greengold. There’s probably something to be had there but damn if the harbor fees are high.

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Idle Djinni Log, 29 Neth 4706

After spending some time around Lake Encarthen heading back up river. Made some good contacts and I think it will bring some good money as time goes on. Brought on a new crew member in Portside on the way back. Young fellow by the name Thorn Windrose. Seems a nice enough lad but the weapon he was wearing when he came aboard sure piques the curiousity. Elven made to be sure and old too if I’m any judge. But Vally and I decided that sometimes questions are best left unasked and I’m a better judge of character than I am of old weapons.

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Idle Djinni Log, 30 Kuthona 4706

Damn turn of luck. Looks like some of the crew wasn’t happy with their wages and decided to try skimming the cargo. Had to sack five crewman today including Arturo. I thought I knew him better but goes to show there are few you can really trust. Going to have to replace them but I think we can get by for a time.

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Idle Djinni Log, 27 Abadius 4707

Seems like Desna has taken pity on a poor river captain. Got two crew replacements joining up today while in Tymon. One of them name Gus strikes me as a trustworthy fellow…not sure why, but being a pretty good judge of character I hired him on as a replacement for Auturo. Will still keep a close eye on him, but I think he’ll fit in alright. The other fellow, Ogami, is kind of an odd bird though. He’s from Tian Xia and seems a little far from home. Seems nice enough, but when anyone starts digging a little deeper he goes quiet. I suppose things in his past he would rather not talk about. ’Course that could go for most of the folks I know, including me. The introductions to the crew could have gone better but no harm done I guess. Thorn could learn to hold his drink better, har! Still Ogami has a strong arm and is eager.

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Obviam Periculum 1
The story thus far...

[Ed’s Note: I will be recording events as I remember them which is to say if you see anything you want to correct or add to then feel free! That’s what a wiki is all about. :) I may at times ask for volunteers to make additions to the story which will be another way you can get hero points.]

The Idle Djinni docked in Pitax on it last run before going to dry dock for long needed repairs. Gus, Valadon, and Darius walked ashore wondering what will be the next adventure and whether they’ll ever see Conley Murtagh again. With their pay in their pockets and a curious package for Alain Han which Conley asked them to deliver to The Fire Drake Inn. Although assured there was nothing illicit in the package, the trio decided to find their old friend Zelkerut at the Desnan shrine to see what was in teh package before delivering it to it’s destination.

Zelkerut was indeed at the shrine and with him was an odd fellow who has befriended him. !Xosha who had arrived in the city only weeks before traveling from Mwangi on a personal mission that he is reticent to discuss. !Xosha does however inform the group that the substance in the container is some sort of spice and doesn’t seem to be dangerous in the least (or at least it doesn’t affect the snake companion that accompanies !Xosha.) Zelkerut knows of The Fire Drake and agrees take the group there.

Arriving at The Fire Drake, you make the acquaintance of Alain Han, halfling proprieter of the inn. He is elated when he learns of the gift from Murtagh (which you learn is ground root of the tama plan found only in the Kyonin forest and hard to come by outside Kyonin.) His spirits are lifted so much that he discounts your rooms and supplies you with tokens redeemable for a meal at a local gambling establishment named the Three Fingered Orc.

The group deciding to take advantage of the good graces Murtagh has bestowed from Han sets off to find the tavern for a meal and conversation. The place is quite busy with the tables in the front sporting dice and other games while in the back there are several card tables that seem to be for much higher stakes (evidenced by the burly guards that stand in front of the velvet ropes separating it from the main room. Shortly after you arrive a half elf named Omar Illitihan walks up to the table apparently having looked for Zelkrut and found him here. He’s glad to see you all together as well having gotten your names (and where you were probably staying) from Murtagh. Knowing you’re out of work for a while he has a proposition for you. For one of his esteemed clients, he is looking for some folks to guard a shipment of goods going to a town north east of Pitax named Aleris. It sounds like easy work for a good wage so you are willing to discuss it further with the client in the morning. Satisfied with the discussion (although somewhat taken aback at the ‘half breed’ comment from Valadon) he gave you the address to meet in the morning.

In the morning the group arrived at the Leto Paint and Dye offices where they met Alistair Leto, a well to do local businessman. He explained that he has agreements with several guilds in Aleris to supply paints and dyes for their enterprises (which primarily consist of cloth and pottery) and that he had a rather large shipment to be delivered. In addition, his daughter Jaiden was also going to Aleris to visit her fiance Willem Aleri, younger son of the town’s Lord High Mayor, Tyrek Aleri. It is for her sake that he felt additional security was warranted given the town is a four day’s ride. Having struck a contract, the group prepares to leave the next morning.

The following morning everyone assembles early. The group is introduced to the cartsmen Burton and Earnest Lowie and the coachman Gabriel Guus. They are also introduced to Jaiden and her aunt Mathilda (Alistair’s older sister) who is accompanying as a chaperone. While final preperations are made (and Valdadon’s advances rebuffed) Darius was asked by Omar to deliver a letter to the Lord High Mayor’s older son, Mathias, who acts as chancellor for the town. Payment agreed to, Darius accepted the assignment and then petitioned the surrounding businesses to see if anyone else needed any delivery service between here and Aleris but found no takers.

The group left in early morning. The wind was noticeably constant across the wide grasslands and they arrived at a Desnan travelers shrine. The shrine had an alter, open ceiling and a few rooms attached with spartan furnishings and (interestingly) a small package of preserved food in each one. No one is entirely sure who keeps the place stocked but it is a welcome respite along the road and a natural first stop one the road from Pitax. Dinner prepared (with the rations being augmented by Darius and !Xosha who managed to hunt down a brace of coneys) and eaten, everyone turned in for the night and rose early the next day to get underway.

The next stop would be a coaching house owned by the Heevy brothers, Stanley and Daryl. A relatively new establishment along the road it is the next natural stop after a days travel. However, before reaching the coaching house the small caravan was set upon by one of the local pests, an ankheg. The beast threaten Zelkerut who managed to wisely use his horse as a barrier before being handily dispatched by Darius. Once the beast was confirmed dead, there was a little surprise when Earnest took a rust short sword from the cart and hacked off the ankheg’s pincers. He explained that these buggers were all over the place and the Heevy’s had taken to putting a bounty on them. for any set of pincers brought in a round of the special Heevy’s Bitters was on the house. Arriving at the coaching house, the group was not disappointed in the ale, the food, or the hospitality.

The next leg of the trip took the group to the River House Inn. This turned out to be owned by Jake Heevy, the older Heevy brother. Jake and his family provided a comfortable last night on the road before Aleris. The River House was a bit more lively since it provided lodging and service not only for land travelers but also for those traveling by the nearby tributary for the Sellen River. A quiet night passes and the final leg to Aleris starts the next morning.

The group arrives at Aleris late in the following day. The caravan follows the main road from the gate to the Lord High Mayor’s house where they leave the coach (but with a sincere thank you from Jaiden for the effort along the journey.) The carts are escorted to the trade houses section and the Lowie’s show the group the lodgings for the night. Exhausted by a long day’s work (and given that there is little night life in Aleris) everyone turns in expecting to head out the following morning back to Pitax to get payment and figure out what to do next. Fate had other arrangements however. A knock on Valadon’s door late in the night brought news that the Lord High Mayor wanted to see the group of guards from Jaiden’s caravan. The two men (with the red leather sash that identified them as “Daggers”, Alerisian military) escorted the group to the mayor’s home where they had left the coach earlier in the day. Upon arriving Simon Jarel, the mayor’s assistant thanked them for coming an led them into the home to a richly appointed office where they immediately recognized Jaiden and that she’d been crying noticeably. Tyrek, the mayor of Aleris, introduced himself and his older son Mathias and came straight to the point. Willem, his younger son, was missing, having not returned from a hunting trip when he was supposed to. Thinking that he had simply tarried to long, a Dagger scout was sent to fetch him but he has not returned when he was supposed to either. They are thinking some foul play is involved and were preparing to send out a search party whe Jaiden arrived. She suggested that the group be asked to look into having earned her trust along the journey from Pitax to Aleris. After accepting the assignment (with a tense moment coming from Valdadon’s question about reward) the group was shown a map and told of the path that they would have typically taken (along the tree line to the foot hills of the Branthlend mountains.) It was decided that they would leave early in the morning to take advantage of day light.

At dawn the next day the group traveled up the tree line road searching for any signs of the missing men. As the morning passed, nothing turned up when everyone spied a horse in a field about 100 feet away. From this distance nothing specific could be made out, but something about the horse didn’t look right. As the group drew closer they were able to discern that the horse had a saddle and it was askew. Drawing closer they also noted a crossbow bolt sticking out of the horses rump. Needing to get closer and not having the skill to handle such a beast !Xosha hexed the horse to sleep. After a quick examination it was decided that this must have been the scout’s horse based on the Aleris symbol on the saddle and a spyglass in the saddlebag. Zelkerut healed the horse and the group taking it with them continued the search. Going all the way to the camp, the group found it undisturbed except for the apparent arrival of one horse which left. Surmising this was the scout, the group back tracked along the road. At a point along the road, Gus noticed a Alerisian dagger along the roadside.

Searching the area !Xosha picked up a trail that led from the road to the tree line and hidden in a hastily dug grave the group found the body of the scout dead for about a day. Tracking from the body !Xoshas determined there were two booted humanoids who left the scene and eventually one was tracked to a hidden cart while the other went towards the foothills eventually spying a clump of bushes that seemed to cover a cave entrance the group stealthily entered encountering a a duo of orcs (brothers by the comments of the second one after killing the first one) which were defeated handily. upon searching further into that part of the cave system, they found three men tied up and in an unresponsive state (which led to the diagnosis that they were drugged), one of them with injuries that seemed sustained from a fight. It was at that time that Zelkarut and Darius were going around a corner when they ran into another orc and a goblin dog. Zelkerut, surprised, lashed out blindly and with Desna’s luck dropped the orc the goblin dog soon following.

Searching deeper into the cave, a bound human female was discovered and after being set free rushed to the side of her injured husband sobbing uncontrollably. In the scattered blankets a vial of a cloudy liquid was found and ultimately determined to be the drug used to make the kidnap victims more docile for reasons unknown. Bits and pieces from the sobbing woman convinced the group that there were two more but they escaped on the horses left outside. Prior to returning to Aleris a cave-in was found and determined that it was intentional as if to block the way. Darious happened upon an interesting find in the rubble: a very old, intricately made dwarven war axe with a smithy stamp on it of a block bisected.

Upon return to Aleris, the victims were tended to while the group was lauded for their success in finding the young Willem and the others. After a day of rest, and with Willem returning closer to normal, the postponed festivities were help with the group as guests of honor. Properly rewarded, the next day they set out for Pitax.

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Obviam Periculum 2
The story thus far...

The trip back to Pitax was ultimately eventful. Coming to the Desnan traveler shrine a few dozen pilgrims were found. They were there for the solstice celebration of the Rite of Stardust and welcomed the group. Zelkerut was asked to perform the rite and afterwards the nightly feast was shared by all. Later in the evening, as some pilgrims continued to worship and others (including the adventuring group) slept a wonderful thing happened. Desna’s essence appeared to the assembly in the form of a golden light swirling around the central altar. The golden light extended out and enveloped Zelkerut as he slept, inducing a vision in his dreams. Upon waking, he related the core point: the group has been chosen to stop a great evil that begins in a city called Sandpoint.

But where is Sandpoint? And how does one get there?

After speaking to the pilgrims, the group returns to Pitax and find an anxious Omar Illithian waiting for them at their hotel. With him are two men, one a bookish sort who he introduces as a Thassalonian enthusiast named Clovis Pinker. The other a large man from the north named Ulfin. He goes on to show the group a very old map that outlines the old geography of Varisia. Marked on the map is a location with a Thassalonian rune (which Clovis explains is the symbol for “wealth”.) Convinced that this will lead to untold fortune, Omar proposes a funded expedition to the region. He also lets the group know that there is civilization there in the form of a small town called Sandpoint which they can use as a base of operations. Ulfin will accompany them with the money to fund their trip there and support them for a time (in addition to providing whatever assistance he can.)

In two days time. the group leaves Pitax a second time aboard the ship called the River Rat and meets up with a caravan at the Kyonin trailhead. They will join the caravan as it makes its way across Golarion towards Varisia.

Along the way, the group parlays with a drawven enclave in the city of Lightning’s Call. They take the axe they found to a local dwarven loremaster, Dribben Stonegrinder, who identifies it as an axe belonging to the Stonecutter clan and presumably make by the clan’s patriarch Owen Stonecutter. Alas the clan died out in regions unknown when they set out to make their own way north. Given the axes presumed origin and percieved historical importance a trade was struck (after the question of a donation was struck down) which equipped a few in the group with better weapons.

The remainder of the trip was mostly uneventful except for the pleasure of seeing many cultures and sights that make Golariona unique. Finally the group arrives at Sandpoint the night before the prophetic vision foretold the beginning of the end.

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