Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Heroes of Sandpoint: Strange Happenings at the Old Light

Art by Eva Widermann
Our Cast of Characters
  • Alfgeir Stannisson, an Ulfen Cleric of Gorum who has traveled from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, hoping to become a great hero like his ancestors. 
  • Fiona of Sandpoint, a Varisian Rogue who has spent most of her life on the streets of the coastal town, doing whatever she can to survive. 
  • Jon Silverbow, an Elf Ranger who hails from the Mierani Forest of northern Varisia who has a deep hatred for goblinoids. 
  • Ongar, a Half-Orc Paladin who has dedicated his life to the goddess Sarenrae and hopes to spread her redeeming light wherever he goes. 
  • Tywin, a Half-Elf Sorcerer from the shadowy realm of Nidal who has traveled far and wide in search of vengeance against someone who has wronged him.
When we last left our heroes, they had just defeated the ghast Baltazar and his ghoulish followers who had taken up residence underneath the Sandpoint Boneyard, using the surrounding graves as an easily accessible food source. The town priest, Father Zantus, thanked the adventurers for taking care of the problem and gave them their promised reward. 

Since then, two weeks have passed and the adventurers have started to notice the word of their good deeds has started to spread throughout the town and more people seem to be taking note of their presence. One of those people just so happened to be Belor Hemlock, a man of Shoanti descent and the town's sheriff, who just so happened to have a job that would be perfect for our heroes. 

Recently, a brand new narcotic has been circulating within Sandpoint's criminal underground. This black, liquid-based hallucinogen called "Bliss" or "Liquid Bliss" usually causes its users to enter a comma-like state where they fill nothing but pleasure. However, some users have a violent reaction. While those who have the second reaction are a very small minority, Hemlock wants to put an end to this drug before that number starts to grow. 

While he believes a local group of Varisian con artists and thugs called the Sczarni are the ones selling the drug, his evidence is less than concrete and he fears that sending his men after the gang might spark a war between the two groups and put the town in danger. However, if a group of independent adventurers were to confront the group, the sheriff could claim "plausible deniability." 

After being promised a handsome reward if putting a stop to this Liquid Bliss, the party gathered there things and made their way to the Fatman's Feedbag, a tavern located near Sandpoint's docks known to be a favorite hangout of the Sczarni. Once inside the tavern, Jon approached a group of surly individuals, hoping to gather information. However, it all went south rather quickly and a rather vicious bar fight ensued. Once two of the thugs were subdued (with one of them having their face slammed into the bar), the fight was interrupted by the secret owner of the establishment and the leader of Sandpoint's Sczarni, Jubrayl Vhiski.

Wanting his establishment to remain intact, Vhiski put an end to the fight and approached the characters, wanting to know why they were there in the first place. After a lengthy discussion, Vhiski confessed to selling the drug, but not its production. The adventurers made a deal with the Varisian where he would tell them who was supplying him with the drug and they would keep his name out of their investigation. He informed the adventurers that a strange group of individuals who had taken up residence underneath the ruins near the edge of town called the "Old Light" are his suppliers.

With this new piece of information, the characters left the Fatman's Feedbag and traveled to the Old Light. Once they arrived, half of the party decided to enter the ruins while the other half remained outside, laying in wait to see if the group would make an appearance. The party exploring the Old Light discovered a hidden door in the floor leading to a subterranean set of chambers, which they decided to explore. As they descended underground, the other half of the party spotted a group of cloaked figures heading towards the ruin. Guessing they were apart of the group Vhiski mentioned, the heroes ambushed the group and managed to subdue them.

While searching the cloaked individuals, the heroes discovered they were all wearing crude medallions that depicted a three eyed jackal. Alfgeir, using his religious knowledge, identified the medallion as a holy symbol dedicated to the demonic goddess Lamashtu, meaning the group was most likely a cult dedicated to the Mother of Monsters. Fearing their companions might be walking right into the lion's den, the group stripped the cultists of their robes and jackal masks, slipping them on so they can sneak in without a problem.

Thankfully, the adventurers managed to catch up to their companions before they had delved to deeply into the dungeon and informed them of their findings. Knowing there were probably more cultists in the ruins, the party decided to tread carefully and those wearing the cloaks and masks (Alfgeir, Ongar, and Tywin) decided to act as if they captured the others as sacrificial offerings. However, that plan backfired when they entered the main worship chamber and the other cultists tried to force them to drink the black liquid they called the "Waters of Lamashtu."

After taking out the cultists, the found the leader of the group, a tiefling witch named Mahga and her gnoll bodyguards. The tiefling, with a maniacal cackle, told the heroes her diabolical plan. The black liquid wasn't a drug at all, but a vial potion that would mutate those who had ingested it into horrific monsters after she finished a ritual. Not wanting this to happen, the characters quickly engaged the witch priestess. While the fight was long and hard, the adventurers managed to defeat Mahga and her gnolls, preventing her from completing the ritual.

((If you'd like to read  re-cap for the 1st and 2nd session, click here and here))