Guild of the Golden Sword

Session 01: Black Fang and the Cult of the Fractured Flail

Like all good adventures, this one started at a tavern. Gamin, the proprietor of the Guild of the Golden Sword, handed out drinks and received Wanted! or Help! posters for jobs in the area. One Mayor Kendra Deverin of Sandpoint was one such person in need of help. She marched into the tavern toward closing time and announced she was looking for adventurers to bring back supplies for the town orphanage that were stolen by the “Cult of the Black Fang”, or something to that degree.

Post-Game Note: Deverin actually confused two problems in the town. The Cult of the Fractured Flail took the orphanage supplies and fled to a nearby mountain. There has also been a monster terrorizing nearby farms, and the only thing left behind from one of its many attacks, was a large black fang.

The adventurers who answered the call were:
Aestril, the Half-Elf Fighter.
Clemens, the Half-Elf Druid.
Grog, the Half-Orc Brawler.
Nevis, the Halfling Bard.

They took off to the nearby mountain, and found some goblins that needed killing, and another group that only needed a toy. There was a debate between the adventurers as to whether it was alright to kill the goblins for their loot even if they haven’t attacked you (it was said that Goblins are just born evil and killing one doesn’t actually make you evil under almost any circumstance).

Eventually the heroes found the toy, a Dragonbane Longsword, and a warning about a wyrm living in these caves. The adventurers then continued past a crypt of undead and into a black dragon’s lair. The dragon launched an acidic attack, but was obviously scared of the Dragonbane Longsword that Aestril equipped.

When Aestril finally landed a blow on the dragon, it screeched and flew away. The black dragon, known locally as Black Fang, left behind a small treasure trove. In the same room were a pile of bodies, with tattoos of black flails on their bodies. Finally, there were the orphanage supplies.

The heroes took them back, and asked/told Gamin they would like to use the Guild of the Golden Sword as their base of operations, and hold onto some of these useful items. Gamin cobbled something together, but there’s always room for improvement!

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Session 02: Camping Trip

Gamin was regaling his adopted son Arryn of the adventure his sister had just the other day (Session 01). At the same time, Aestril and Grog came in, and some bantering ensued. The heroes decided a night of relaxing camping would be good fun. They headed out of the city and into the nearby forest, finding a suitable spot for a campground. Aestril then left the campsite and started hunting quail on her own…

…when she suffered a surprise attack by a dire rat! She found them to be too problematic to deal with on her own, and retreated back to camp, yelling for help. Fortunately, her brother Arryn could hear her (Grog was too busy staring into the fire and daydreaming). The two adventurers found Aestril in time to dispatch the dire rats, but not before she was sickened by a nasty bite.

What was odd, they noticed, was that the dire rats had tags on their ears, “3” and “4”. The heroes decided to rest overnight before following the dire rat trail farther into the woods. After following the trail, it lead them to a man-made cave into the ground. Grog took the lead, but didn’t check for traps as an arrow sunk into his shoulder.

Arryn then took the lead, opened the first door, and found two giant centipedes! They launched an attack on the heroes but were quickly dispatched. The centipedes, too, had tags on them, with numbers “5” and “6” on them, respectively. They had apparently killed two people in this room, which the heroes overlooked and instead took whatever loot they could get their hands on. They also found some notes: “Need more hair of medusa”, “yellow saves, red is death”, and “two out of three- remember that!”

The next room was filled with cages, and two dead beasts: a venomous snake and giant spider, both with tags. They had fought each other to the death when the cages were open. One cage was still closed with a wolf which Aestril took the time to stab to death behind the closed cage doors, just in case it opened. They found an electrical button panel next to the last door in the room, which had red, yellow, and blue buttons. They fiddled with them before Arryn decided to bypass the security and unlock the door the good old fashioned way.

It wound up getting him knocked out by an evil cleric in the next room. He attacked the heroes but ultimately died at their hands. Arryn was knocked out by the evil sadist, but was avenged by Aestril and Grog. When the cleric fell, Aestril gave into her rage and continued to stab the cleric’s body relentlessly. Only until she was out of breath and stamina, did she stop.

The heroes looted the body, grabbed treasure, and freed a faerie sprite trapped in a glass bottle. The faerie explained she wanted to free the animals, as this group (which turned out to be the Cult of the Fractured Flail, thanks to identifying the tattoo on the cleric’s body) was mutating animals into evil beasts!

The sprite thanked the heroes for their help and flew away. The heroes then returned to town to learn more about this Cult. The Rusty Dragon tavern owner suggested talking with Sheriff Belor Hemlock, and had another lead for Arryn, but would have to return later for more details. Mayor Kendra Deverin gave Aestril a recent job posting for Wizard Ilsorai Gandethus’ request.

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Session 03: Thug Life

Some members of the Guild of the Golden Sword were looking over the list of jobs Arryn and Aestril picked up last session. They ultimately decided on Ameiko Kaijitisu’s inquiry into the surge of violent crime in the city. The local Thieves Guild, the Sczarni, were acting violently, and are based around the docks. The heroes stopped by to investigate, but were forced into a fight with 4 thugs.

Newcomer Hamraeg subdued one of them. The thief couldn’t remember what happened after going to their usual place to pick up a job. He warned about traps though, which Aestril didn’t pay attention to, and ended up setting off 2 traps!

Ahead they also saw two men and a monster in a scuffle. One man’s scream was suddenly cut off, and the other scrambled up a ladder and slipped through a trap door. Left behind was a monster that looked like a mockery of a human. Clemens leapt at the doppelganger and critically wounded it. The monster retaliated by attacking so harshly that Clemens dropped to the ground, dying.

The other heroes fought hard, but it was Diamond Eyes that finished the monster off with its talons. The monster disintegrated into a puddle, leaving behind a pair of cloth bracers. The heroes also discovered the body of a human male wearing religious robes from the Sandpoint Cathedral.

The heroes returned the body to the Cathedral, to one Father Abstalar Zantus, who filled the heroes in on what a shapeshifter/doppleganger is. He had no explanation as to why one of his acolytes was in an abandoned sewer tunnel with a monster. There were plenty of questions left unanswered, but hopefully they will be answered someday soon…

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Session 04: Whodunnit at Sandpoint Cathedral

The heroes Aestril, Clemens, Hamraeg, and Nevis, woke to a day of an eclipse over Sandpoint. It’s typically a day of superstition but little else. Leaving the Guild of the Golden Sword, the heroes saw the proprietor Gamin struggling to build a display case for the team and becoming uncharacteristically infuriated at putting it together. Gamin mentioned to the heroes about the eclipse today, which only happens once every ten years or so, and most people stay inside.

Setting off, the heroes head to the Sandpoint Cathedral to follow up on an acolyte’s mysterious murder from the previous day (Session 03). On the walk over, they notice that as the eclipse was happening, the town of Sandpoint became a twisted caricature of itself. Buildings stretched and bent into an unnatural design. Even the Cathedral was crooked and abnormal.

Inside the Cathedral, skeletons were praying to deities. The only normal-looking person was a disciple of Saranrae named Soren. The heroes talked to him about the dead body they found yesterday and further investigation into the shapeshifters infiltrating the town with Father Abstalar Zantus.

Soren turned white as a ghost and offered to talk to Zantus himself. He went upstairs and didn’t return. Eventually, the heroes got impatient, and Nevis picked the lock to head upstairs. They found one puzzling door, and noticed a stretched monster looming over another acolyte who wasn’t Soren. Aestril chased the creature down and killed it, finding a note on it that read, “Kill the remaining acolyte or convert them.”

The monster left behind a red crystal weasel skull. Clemens confided that he had a dream about it. Though it did nothing when Nevis held it, it caused Diamond Eyes to be set on fire when Clemens held it. The flames didn’t hurt Clemens or Diamond Eyes, and it disappeared after a while.

Meanwhile Nevis and Clemens found Father Zantus. Soren had never contacted him and had disappeared! They searched the bedrooms to find a conveniently, but quickly scrawled note in Soren’s office that said, “They found me out, I need to leave town! -S” and a Sandpoint Theatre token in the remaining acolyte’s bedroom.

With one disciple dead, and two others missing, the heroes left for the abandoned Sandpoint Theatre to find the disappeared Greta and Soren. Inside, they found out that Greta laid a trap for them. Fortunately they stopped her and rescued the framed, but innocent, Soren.

After bringing her back to the Cathedral, Greta became violently angry. Father Zantus also was losing his temper. Suddenly, a ball of twisted rainbow colours appeared in front of everyone, and whatever hatred anyone had vanished! No one was caught moving their hands or casting a spell.

Greta, suddenly feeling lethargic and defeated, told the heroes of her plan, and of the Cult of the Fractured Flail

Greta felt angrier every day when she was approached by a man of the Fractured Flail. She was approached by multiple different members, and eventually a group. They worshiped a god who seemed better than hers, Gorum, but the god’s name was never spoken.
Eventually the Cult asked her to sneak in Shapeshifters to cause havoc in the town. This would presumably have given the Cultists enough time to find a rune of some kind trapped somewhere in Sandpoint. In fact, it was probably doing something to the eclipse and the town right now.
Greta was hoping to frame Soren, then escape with no one the wiser. Unfortunately she was stopped before she could reunite with the Cultists who she heard were north east of the town in a place called Shank’s Woods, near Pauper’s Graves…

The heroes demanded that Greta lead them to their hideout, though she didn’t know exactly where it was. She agreed.

There was also the matter of the magical rune. Its power is massive and has the power of enchantment. Mixed with the eclipse, it was assumed the power was also responsible for some of the townspeople turning undead. The only person who would know anything that powerful is Master Ilsorai Gandethus, owner of the Sandpoint orphanage and school. The wizard is said to have a lab of his own underneath the orphanage too.

As the heroes finish their meeting, they notice the eclipse was passing and it was getting light out…

Will everyone return to normal? Will the town look like its old self again? And what about this magical artifact that the Fractured Flail is after? What was that glowing rainbow orb?

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Session 05: On the Tail of the Fractured Flail

Half-elf fighter Aestril, rogue Arryn, and dwarven cleric Hamraeg awoke in their recently-upgraded headquarters, the Guild of the Golden Sword. Their first stop was to visit Ilsoari Gandethus, resident wizard and school master at the local orphanage. The heroes asked the wizard if they knew of anything powerful enough that would attract the attention of the Cult of the Fractured Flail.

Just then, a loud crash came from Gandethus’ lab. They rush down there to find the glowing rainbow orb, and a little green devil! The heroes vanquish the devil, but the orb escapes through a Dimension Door spell. Gandethus thanks the heroes for removing the monsters from and vows to research what those things are.

Finally, the heroes headed to Sandpoint Garrison, where they saw Father Abstalar Zantus and Sheriff Belor Hemlock discussing whether the turncoat cleric Greta should be trusted or not. The heroes took Greta under her care as they headed northeast into the woods, where the disgraced cleric hoped to meet with her Fractured Flail contacts.

In the woods, the heroes discovered a caved-in lab, where Cultists were slashed to pieces from the surrounding wildlife. Farther northeast they discovered a dozen petrified zombies around a big, deep pit in the ground. Even farther northeast was an old gravesite called Pauper’s Graves.

During this time, Hamraeg takes the time to motivate Greta to do something good with her life. The disgraced dwarven cleric may have criminal charges against her, but she could still redeem herself.

At the gravesite, the heroes noticed that the hundred or so graves were disturbed, and their footprints headed southwest, toward Sandpoint! They also encountered a crazed Cultist who was bitten by a zombie. After knocking him unconscious, Aestril cut off the Cultist’s infected leg. The attempt to save the man from his zombification drew the attention of a ghoul and his small contingent of zombies, which the heroes quickly dispatched.

Arryn stealthily ran ahead to warn their hometown, while Aestril, Hamraeg, and Greta, along with their Cultist captive strapped unconscious to the fighter’s back, were stopped by a pack of vengeful wolves, and a werewolf, who wanted revenge on what happened to his little brother in another Cultist lab (back in Session 02: Camping Trip!). Aestril killed the werewolf after a failed attempt to convince the werewolf she had nothing to do with it. After the alpha was killed, the beta wolves ran away.

Back at Sandpoint, Arryn warned Sheriff Belor Hemlock of the raised dead possibly headed this way. When the rest of the Guild, Greta, and the captive Cultist, showed up, they were able to deduce that something raised the dead, it came southwest toward Sandpoint, and somehow dug a giant hole and dug their way underground, still coming southwest, through the Fractured Flail’s second animal experimentation lab, which caused them to vacate and left them exposed to the vengeful wildlife. The undead were probably still coming toward them from underground!

While Sheriff Belor Hemlock investigated mapped underground tunnels from Town Hall, Hamraeg took the time to go to Greta’s trial and act as a character witness. He pleaded a case to show mercy to the criminal cleric, which the judge took into account and reduced her sentence.

Meanwhile, Aestril and Arryn followed up with wizard Ilsoari Gandethus regarding his intruders. The green imp creature was actually a devil, and the rainbow orb was an Aeon- something that witnesses large events that have major changes in creation! Gandethus also mentioned that he was investigating a possible relation to the Cult of the Fractured Flail prior to his orphanage getting raided (back in Session 01!) at the Old Light, in the northwest of town.

Finally, Sheriff Hemlock showed up, along with Hamraeg, who found the plans for the northeast quadrant aqueduct system in Sandpoint. He mentioned that there is a tunnel under Tanner’s Bridge that leads into an underground river aqueduct system that was once connected to a series of tunnels outside Sandpoint. If the undead are coming, they’re probably opening up this old passageway. Not only that, but the passageway leads under the city Cathedral, and its graveyard!

What will our heroes do next? They need to stop the oncoming undead invasion! And they have a possible lead on where the Cult of the Fractured Flail is hiding.

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Session 06 - The Light at the End of the Tunnel... is FIRE!

Sheriff Belor Hemlock tasked the mercenaries of the Guild of the Golden Sword to ensure the safety of the aqueduct systems underneath Sandpoint. The heroes had previously pieced together that an undead army was heading to the city by means of underground tunnels!

Half-elves Aestril and Clemens lead halfling Nevis and the androgynous gnome Batty into the aqueduct systems near Tanner’s Bridge in Sandpoint. They found an green-garbed elf ranger, frozen to death by brown mould, and holding up a red cloth bag.

Nevis shot the bag from the corpse’s grasp, and after Aestril‘s failed attempt to burn the mould away, the heroes walked around the mould’s freezing cold range. The next room had a wounded green-garbed elven ranger. The party healed the elf, who then introduced himself as Tharan.

Tharan was on a mission with his master to take down the Cult of the Fractured Flail but the undead appeared and complicated matters. His brother ran for help (and obviously froze to death), and his master was kidnapped by the Fractured Flail. At least the first wave of undead were taken care of, but Tharan was sure more would be on the way.

The heroes traversed a tricky part of the aqueducts plagued by a Water Elemental and more undead. Finally, they found the entrance of the undead’s recently-made tunnel into the aqueducts. Nevis and Batty summoned a fire-breathing beetle and started burning the support beams down until the tunnel finally collapsed.

Tharan implored the heroes for help, who said they needed time to think about it. The elf ranger left them an amulet he picked off the Cultists and said that it would take them to the Fractured Flail’s hideout. He then left to find his own way to save his master…

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Session 07: End of a Chapter, Part 1

The evening started innocently enough, with rounds of drinks at the Guild of the Golden Sword. The proprietor and alcoholic-enabling father-figure, Gamin, gave the heroes a good talk regarding their future.

Eventually,Gamin said, “You will be too big for Sandpoint. I wonder what you’ll do with your lives? Move to a bigger city? Go your separate ways? Franchise and make money off your adventures?

The conversation was interrupted by a series of explosions. Someone was terrorizing the Sandpoint docks! The heroes headed to the docks and saw that people were in trouble. Grog saved a citizen from drowning, while Clemens helped a trapped man in a burning building get to safety. Nevis assisted Aestril in freeing Sheriff Belor Hemlock from being trapped under debris from a blown building and overturned cart.

Hemlock explained that as his navy chased off the pirates, black-garbed figures terrorized the streets. Clemens investigated one of the bodies to find it was a person with a Fractured Flail tattoo. More sleuthing lead them to the conclusion they were using amulets that used a dimension door to connect them to a cylindrical token at the destination, an abandoned tunnel that lead to Jubrayl Vhiski’s shop, the Fatman’s Feedbag.

Clemens took both amulet and token, and then activated the amulet that Tharan had given them from their time in the aqueducts (Session 06). The heroes teleported to the base of a wintry mountain. They climbed to a castle that was situated at the very top, and found that it was crawling with mutated humans.

Nevis lead a sneaky way into the back of the castle. They were only found out by a guard and a servant, which Aestril dispatched quickly. They overheard two heavily-armed guards inside talking about a prisoner in the basement. The heroes then dispatched the two people who were guarding a strong wooden door. Next, Grog took it upon himself to break down the door the guards were standing in front of…

…only to be greeted by four armed crossbowmen!

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Session 08: End of a Chapter, Part 2

Tharan returned to Sandpoint and the Guild of the Golden Sword to recruit them for battle. He had acquired a mount -a griffendeer (half-eagle, half-reindeer), and took the only available member with him: Hamraeg, the dwarven cleric.

The two fought into the main entrance of the castle, just in time to hear Grog being shot down by four armed crossbowmen!

With reinforcements here, the heroes pressed forward and killed the four crossbowmen. They were guarding a large steel door. Aestril, Grog, Clemens, and Nevis caught Hamraeg and Tharan up to speed. With the knowledge of where his master is, Tharan prudently made his way to the dungeon to rescue his master.

In the basement was a heavily mutated human-monster acting as a jailor, and an overweight, balding, human wizard with a bushy white beard, trapped in a cell. Nevis snuck ahead and nabbed a key from the jailor, but couldn’t move the Master. Grog attempted to help and caused the jailor to wake up.

Grog did his best to hold off the jailor, but became sickened by the mere touch of his claw-arm. Fortunately no one else picked up the highly-contagious rash that was now changing the half-orc brawler.

Tharan and his master took the time to explain to the heroes that Cult of the Fractured Flail are looking for runes. There are 7 Deadly Runes, and 7 Virtuous ones.

Next the heroes went to the second floor with Tharan’s rescued Master. They fought a harem girl who almost had Grog seduced and heavily mutated, but Hamraeg remembered he had a spell that could cure Grog of his sickened state.

Finally the heroes entered the castle’s throne room, and met up with the Leader of the Fractured Flail, Bane. He and his two henchmen fought hard, but before Bane could escape, he and his two henchmen fell to the heroes’ might.

Unfortunately not everything was tied up nicely. Someone watched them fight from a glass ball in the side of the room. She gloated that she was the new leader of the Fractured Flail, and swore to kill the heroes outright. She also captured someone who had a rune in Sandpoint…!

And it turned out it was Jubrayl Vhiski of Fatman’s Feedbag. Aestril chose to break contact with the woman.

Grog, Hamraeg, and the Master, went to the steel door vault after picking up the key from Bane’s pocket. The Master found his Rune of Faith, and explained that the Cult wasn’t previously aware of the Virtuous Runes, hence why he was taken captive before and not outright killed.

The remaining heroes went to the roof to signal their escape. A dozen griffendeer pulling a red sleigh appeared, and they all escaped back to Sandpoint

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