The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, XX

So we left last week’s session on with the Lords of Rannick’s theme playing in a minor key. Sandpoint – which managed to pull off a festival almost entirely devoted to the heroic efforts of the proto-party without incident – was stomped, bombarded and burned to the ground the following day. We know our heroes do great when everything is going well, how will they do when everything has gone wrong?

Pretty well, as it turns out. Those folks bounce back – fighting post traumatic stress disorders does not result in XP, after all. Also given the number of feats of remarkableness recently (Dagfinn fascinating a dragon, Kerplak’s attempted Bear wrangle) and last night’s dance with the forces of primal chaos that was Albedon’s reincarnation, I decided to reintroduce The Compleat Adventurer. Worth a whopping 100XP extra per session that it is in your possession, it is all about the prestige.
Anyway, where were we?
Sandpoint to the Varisian Caravan Camp.

The raiding giants retreated from the town, followed shortly thereafter by the rampaging dragon. With the central section of the town ablaze, Arradin ran back and began rescuing people from burning buildings and holding up collapsing roof beams and generally being very heroic. Kerplak ran after her, helping out, still deaf.
Tersplink, Don and Percy took to the air, Percy negotiating the safe return of his master from the afterlife. From the air, they could assess the damage inflicted by the raid. The giants had damaged buildings near the tannery and in the southern area of town with their bombardment. But the dragon has really done damage; from the burning cathedral outbuildings, in a curving line that took in the Sandpoint Garrison, the Sandpoint Theatre, the Tannery, then back across Festival street to the docks where it destroyed the Hagfish Tavern and ships tied at the docks. On the promontory on which all of Sandpoint’s Grandees make their homes, they could also see that the Scarnetti mansion had gone up in flames.
Don continued to the Cathedral, where he called up some Water Elemental allies who began dousing the Cathedral’s burning buildings.
Corwin, meanwhile, stayed by the ruins of the Brewery’s storehouse, and poured out a flagon for his fallen homie, Albedon. Then he poured a few for himself.
Sheriff Hemlock and the other stunned members of the guard began calling people to form bucket brigades at much the same time that Arradin did the same thing. Between them they marshalled lines of water carriers to douse the flames and the surrounding buildings. Citizens of Sandpoint poured out of their houses to begin helping extinguish the fires. Corwin began handing out liquid refreshment to the hardworking men and women of the bucket lines.
Albedon’s soul, meanwhile, floated through the Astral Plane, approaching the Boneyard of Pharasma, where he would be sent to his reward in Nirvana, the rolling hills and gardens of contemplation awaiting his eternal patronage. Albedon’s body was smouldering, and not in the sexy Robert Pattinson way either, the bad Joan of Arc kind of way.
The wounded, of which there were a great many, began to flock to the Cathedral to have burns treated and in some cases, just to have somewhere to rest. Father Zantus was rushed off his feet and had to delay healing Kerplak’s ears. He continued spamming channels until the townsfolk were largely healed – Zantus that is, not Kerplak; can you imagine a gnome that could heal himself? There’d be no stopping all sorts of bad ideas.
As the day wore on and the fires died down, the party began making investigations as to what the raid achieved, why and what exactly happened. Arradin and Sheriff Hemlock began canvassing the area in which the lone giant had been seen; a long and arduous task since nearly everyone had been cowering at the time.
Tersplink noticed that there was a faint after-aura of magic on the fallen stone giants and Kerplak found the familiar Sihedron rune branded on the rough flesh of the giants. The giants in different parts of town were dressed differently too, the giants by the tannery in bear-pelt affixed to planks of wood and the dead giants by the North gate in the pelts of a large breed of cat, sewn onto overlapping hide plates.

Father Zantus, Cleric of Desna. Bit squeamish about talking to the dead.

Tersplink noticed that Father Zantus had gone missing from the Cathedral and found him deep in thought staring at the fallen stone giants. He asked to speak to the party the next day about a matter he was considering. But while they were handy, he had them drag one dead stone giant back to the cathedral. Don, meanwhile, was buying all manner of expensive oils, getting ready to Reincarnate Albedon. Quite why oils are involved, I shudder to guess. Percy knew where all of Albedon’s coins were and had fished them out for Don to use.
Arradin eventually found somebody who had seen the lone giant, town scholar and cartographer Brodert Quink. Brodert had seen the giant sift through boulders at the Old Lighthouse, an ancient ruined tower on the cliff overlooking the sea. Brodert hid, thinking that the giant would start bombarding houses with the boulders, but when he next saw the giant, it had a large boulder tucked under its arm and was sounding the horn that signalled the retreat. Quink had all sorts of theories about what the Lighthouse might have been, but none about why the giant took the boulder.

Brodert Quink, purveyor of unorthodox theories regarding Sandpoint's history.

The final tally of dead and missing came to just over thirty confirmed dead and twelve townspeople missing. If there were missing visitors in town for the festival, nobody would know. One of the missing is Gaven Deverin, younger brother of the mayor and priest of Abadar/Brewer.

The grateful and exhausted townsfolk gave the group shelter for the night and in the morning they were up and ready for a full morning of dabbling in the great beyond. Runners from town hall found them late at night and passed on an invitation to see Mayor Deverin at noon the following day.

The first order of business was to get Albedon back from the Astral Plane and into a new body. The body itself is randomly determined, somehow made out of expensive oils and would pull Albedon’s intellect and soul back into the strange new body. Don cast the spell and after 10 minutes of ritual, drew forth Albedon in a new form: a new, dwarven form. Squatter, beefier but still the same old elf inside; Albeardon.

Once they had reunited Albedownhereforawhile with all of his gear, they went to meet Father Zantus. He was reluctant to restore Albraidmyhairlikegimlidon or cure Kerplak’s deafness until everyone had been accounted as healed, but was happy to heal normal wounds. Regrettably, all the healing he had to do drained him of his potions and scrolls, so he had none for sale. Drawing the party into what I have now retroactively decided was the apse, because I couldn’t remember church parts yesterday, he laid out his idea. He had – but was he stressed, very reluctant to use – two scrolls of Speak With Dead. While he found the idea distasteful, he was concerned with discovering the motive for the raid and the identity of the perpetrators.

With the party’s agreement he cast the spell, and at the end of the ritual, the temperature of the apse dropped significantly. They were joined by the presence (or at least the voice) of the dead stone giant. Bemused at having been defeated by such small, soft creatures, the giant remained confident that the town and civilization would be no match for the horde of giants that was evidently due to invade the lowlands of Varisia. He hailed Mokmurian as his leader, a stone giant who had broken with tradition and learned the ancient magics of Thassilon, uniting the giant-kin beneath his banner with promises of riches. Mokmurian’s lair was in the Iron Peaks in the Storval Rise, not too far from the monumental Storval Stairs. The fortress he had named after the gates to the afterlife and Mokmurian had broken many of his tribes taboos by occupying the fort.
As for the raid itself, it was led by Teraktinus, who was on a secret mission for Mokmurian. The giants were to distract the town by plundering it while Teraktinus went about his business. The deceased giant didn’t know the goal of the mission, only that they would be bringing back a stone and that the wise ones of his tribes can tell a lot from stones.

After the seance in the Cathedral, they followed up with Brodert Quink. Brodert shared his unorthodox view that the Old Lighthouse was some type of ancient weapon and that the coast had been much further away in the days of Thassilon’s might. He believes the tower structure was just part of a larger complex of buildings, probably those uncovered by Dagfinn, Lonny and Kerplak way back when they were investigating the goblin incursion into Sandpoint. Quink is more than happy to talk, at length, about his theories regarding ancient Thassilon, but they are best summarized by Ash, Corwin’s close personal friend and historian.

Kendra Deverin. She looks a bit happy in this picture...

...there fixed it.

When noon rolled around, they met with Mayor Deverin, who asked if they would go after the giants. Regardless of the fact that they had buggered off with a dozen citizens, one of them her brother, the party was all set to go anyway, to seek revenge for Albedon’s death. Vengeance is motivation enough, it seems. They began plotting out how they would get there. The most direct route is to head across land to Galduria on the shores of Lake Ember, a town with Varisia’s third largest school of magic. From there, they can proceed by land or by boat up Lake Ember to Wolf’s Ear, then following the Lampblack River to Ravenmoor and then the Storval Stairs. All told it is a journey of about 320 miles, mostly along country roads, but with some open and rugged terrain. On horse, it was estimated that this would take about 9 days and the giants already had a day’s advantage.

They next went by the Goblin Squash Stables (the sign has a very graphic depiction of a horse crushing a goblin) to pick up some rides. Going with light horses and ponies, they got ready to leave the next morning. In the evening, Zantus was satisfied that all who needed life-saving attention were fine and he could burn off the Cure Deafness and  Resoration spells that Kerplak and AlBalinsonofFundin needed so badly. The Elf/Dwarf… Dwelf?… still suffers from the trip back from death, but not so much anymore.

Setting off early the next morning, they put some good ground beneath them and by evening had run into a caravan of Varisians, leading their brightly coloured wagons south due to rumours of increased danger from giants from the Storval Plateau. They are only rumours at this point, but reliable enough to send the nomads closer to the protection of the “Chelish Towns”. The Varisians were pretty up front about getting something in return for the protection of their temporary camp, as nomadic Varisians usually are. Corwin offered to regale them with stories and Tersplink kept them entertained with a few tricks. They were pretty happy and shared their food, fires and wild dances with their sultry womenfolk. They also did a roaring trade in traditional scarves. Dagfinn and Corwin probably already have scarves, being half-Varisian, but the nomads were selling ‘special’ scarves, the types with hidden blades, pockets and chains in them. Albedon and Kerplak browsed the neck-wear before plonking some money down on them. Of other interest was the Varisian tattoos – simple curving symbols, interwoven with each other. Arradin and Corwin got some ink, while Albedonewiththedwarfjokesnow traded a +1 War-Razor for a sleeve-length tattoo that bristled with arcane power as it was inked in. This kept him up all night, but Albedon hasn’t quite got the hang of sleeping yet.

Girls, girls! A fight? On my account? Well,... Far be it from me to get in the way of your proud traditions.

The stay with the Varisians was safe and pleasant, with no-one getting manacled to a love-rival for a frantic knife fight. They left the next morning with, presumably, as much money as they came with barring legitimate expenditure and certainly weren’t robbed as they slept. And that was where we left them, heading out on their second day, in pursuit of the stone giants.

4 Comments on “The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, XX

  1. Bravo for the From Russia With Love reference. That is both the best Bond book and movie in my humble opinion.

  2. Filling out Albedon’s new, Dwarf-approved character sheet, I had to recalculate Percy’s hit points, which are half that of the Wizard. As Albedon jumped from 23 to 49 hit points due to a) his new-found Dwarfly Con bonus and b) his 8th level attribute bonus (rocketing him to a 16 Con), Percy went from 11 to 24 hit points. That’s right, Percy now has more hit points than Albedon the Elf. At this rate Percy is going to want his own character sheet.

  3. Damn, second attempt at this reply…

    The table is lenient enough that if you are a caster class who didn’t put anything into STR, DEX or CON, why wouldn’t you Reincarnate? 9 of the 15 possible host bodies have a net gain in STR/DEX/CON and only 1 (Kobold) has a net loss.

    Consider that it is also a mere 3000gp to get Reincarnated and your negative levels gone, compared to 7000gp to get your old weak and slow caster body back.