Actual Play – Brain Consumption (Ex) – WTF? (9/1/2014)

PathfinderCoreCoverGM: Dennis Jordan
Players: Regina Joyner, Karen Twelves, Eric Fattig, and Sean Nittner
System: Pathfinder
Adventure Path: Kingmaker

Seriously Greg Vaughan, WTF? Dread Cyclops Zombies that literally just chomp brains? Miles of cyclops graves to walk past? Fuck up shit yo. But why despair when we have some seriously cool stuff to be happy about!

Return from Restov – With Interest

What would have been a quick shopping trip (picking up Mithral Full Plate for Miquela, a Mithral Chain Shirt for Santiago, and a Headband of Unshakable Resolve for Merrowyn) turned out to be a whole adventure of it’s own because a new sister came to town…Oliveta the witch!

Yes, daughter of Giovanni when he was a pirate with long locks of curly hair, dapper clothes and a flashing blade. She had been raised on stories of his heroics and now, a young woman with powers of her own, she sought to seek him out. She had been visited in her dreams by a man named Leccio, who appeared quite the handsome prince himself… dreams are funny that way… and told that she could find her father by coming to The Tusk.

She journeyed across the inner sea to find the seat of the Aldori homestead in Restov, where she met a very amused Domingo, a very distrusting Merrowyn, and a very gracious Bog. After much more delay that Merrowyn would have liked, Bog finally handed her his sword, feigning as if he needed someone to hold it while he stood up, and we all saw that she held with it grace and form. Another Aldori daughter is found.

But wait, she’s a witch. We’ve had bad dealings with witches. Swamp Hags. Cultists of Gyronna, Stygira the eyeless crones… okay none of them actually “witches” but close enough for Merrowyn.

Unable to tell Oliveta what ha happened to her father over the years (none of us could bring ourselves too), Merrowyn simply stated that Giovanni was a great asset to our nation and that we couldn’t run it without him.

Journey from Varn – A short one to be sure!

PZO1116-PreviewMonster-2Once Merrowny returned to Varn with presents in hand, and with a bonus treat of Oliveta, the daughters of Aldori set out to find the centaurs. Merrowny did not know of Oliveta’s power over the supernatural realms and so at first was protective of her, but learned quickly that she could take care of herself. Unfortunately, nobody was able to protect Elara…

Our first night on the plains, on the way to the centaur, Elara, ever watchful was still surprised as  creature made of shadow blinked into existence and started harvesting her soul! Like for reals yo, a Soul Eater was summoned… I wonder by who, and it tried to kill Elara. Thankfully there was enough there there for us to chop at and we slew the thing before it could finish the job, but had Elara been any less wise to begin with, it would have finished her off.

Oliveta, wise in the way of otherworldly things recognized the creature and helped us fend it of. She also alerted us that this monster could come back again to plauge us. We made haste back to Varnhold to recover, when we were reminded that the one night everyone disappeared was the night someone forgot to light the fires in the watchtower. A brazier was there and believed by the people to fend of evil spirits. Magical or not people believed in it! We started planning…

Elara needed a few days with Oliveta’s ministrations to recover. Dennis likened the pain she had to what she felt when her mother died. Ouch! Merrowyn made haste back to Restov for another quick trip. A whole bandoleer full of Protection from Evil potions. The spell protects the user from physical touch from summoned evil extraplanar creatures, and we believed, that is exactly what that soul eater is!

A Journey from Varn – Take two!

Realizing how much we’d hurt morale if we took the much coveted brazier, we opted instead to have two people on watch at all time instead of just one, and to keep a gods forsaken bonfire roaring all night, the kind that would make Abadar proud.

Whether or not this staved off the Soul Eater, what it certainly did do was get the attention of the Nomen Centaurs. A warband thirty strong rode up to “greet” us and let us know how we were invading their lands, burning down their plains, and otherwise just doing it all wrong.

However, Oliveta spoke sylvan, their native tongue. Told them that we were lighting to fires to make our presence clear and that we only sought peaceful interaction with them. To know the lands they roamed so we could stay clear. With the aid of others providing assurances that we shared enemies in the Cyclops and the Spriggans. [Oh, and we rolled a freaking phenomenal Diplomacy rol].

We were taken back to the heart of the  Nomen tribe and introduced to Aecora Silverfire, their leader. She too was at first affronted by our presence. Two legs are weak a best, and enemies at worst. Again, the soothing platitudes of Oliveta rang true and after some posturing [and another epic diplomacy roll] we were invited into Aecora’s tent. There she told us that things had not gone well between her and the humans, but that she had no part in their town vanishing. She also told us that her daughter Xamanthe had wandered into the Valley of the Dead after seeing something moving through the mist and has not returned. She said although her tribe are forbidden to enter the Valley, we could, and it was clear that she’d very much like to see her daughter again.

We then presented the bow we had taken off the Spriggans, and suddenly the ground was rumbling with the thundering hooves of excitement. We shouted, we danced, we drank mare’s milk, and celebrated the night away.

Then we headed out to do some killing.

Cyclops’s oh My

The Valley of the Dead turned out not to be a Centaur Graveyard, but a Cyclops Graveyard. With thousands and thousands of graves. We walked past them… forever it seemed like before we got to the end. On our way we saw some not-so-ancient tracks. One set of hooves, presumably Xamanthe and another set of human tracks, light of foot and probably impossible to track if not for Elara’s keen eyes. Our guess is Gundrun, the ranger who found the bracelet, found it here.

Further in we saw the signs of a fight, where some thing big, like Cyclops big fought a Centaur. Two sets of tracks let to the fight, only one left it!

Once we finally got past the graves we came to some giant steps (of course they were giant) and after walking forever (again) we saw a loan figure standing on steps above us. We hailed and got it’s attention. Then it bellowed and charged us. And we killed the fuck out of it. But… what was that thing. Cyclops. Check. Zombie. Check. Freakish Raging Beast? Also check. Yikes.

The we walked you know… for our third forever, until the steps crested the mountain peak and revealed a valley below. At the base of it a waterfall pooled into a lake and there was an island at the center of the lake. Once off the steps on and to dirt again, we saw more tracks in that direction. Using Gundrun’s folding boat, likely just as he had not long before, we set out for the island but were attacked by Wyverns on the way there. The were smote quickly. One fell by an expert shot from Tad, the other, barraged by all of us. Merrowny was sorely disappointed that she managed to leap onto the creature’s back and was sure she could have finished it of in mid air, however Miquela’s blades were too fast it it was cut down before it could ever take flight again.

On the Island we once again tracked Gundrun inside a tower that was on it and to a broken Amphora featuring a non-magical jade bracelet similar to the one we read about. The wall then exploded and another Dread Zombie burst out. We cut it to ribbons.

Down the hall we found three more, but this time the fight got somewhat ugly, as twice they bit our heads and tried to crack our skulls open to eat our brains. Cause that’s a thing. Dread Zombies vanquished, we stopped to rest and take stock of our situation…

Meanwhile outside…

Toti, after conferring with the resourceful Leccio, is told by Leccio “A Witch, hmmm, that could be a problem.”

He rummages in dusty cubbyholes and comes up with a tattered scroll. Muttering to himself “This is an emergency and I am sure Giovanni will reimburse me”

He puts his UMD skill that will not be numbered out loud or in type, out of regard for Merrowyn’s feelings.

“I had been scrying on them semi regularly but they are currently shielded somehow but I anm fairly confident I can send you where they were an hour ago.”

Toti materializes in a fog shrouded ancient graveyard, with 12′ tombstones stretching in all direction for miles.

Yay, Toti will be with us next game.

Thoughts on this game

We had, what I thought was a hilarious scene where Santiago got bored and wanted Miquela to ride him. But then when everyone returned his dropped her in the mud and pretended like she was crazy.

That Soul Eater was seriously scary. If there had bee one for each of us we would have been dead. If it had been on Merrowyn, she would have died from Wisdom Damage. I’m curios why it hasn’t attacked again (maybe the fires kept it at bay, who knows), but I’m also curios if the Protection form Evil portions will do any good.

This is what we’ve pieced together so far (at least what we believe). Vordekai, a powerful Cyclops Lich was just chilling in his 10,000 year slumber, when Gundrun, just a board fucking ranger, stumbled upon his phylactery. Vord, having alarmed his treasure trove, woke up with a giant WTF and started looking for his lost soul gem. When he realized the humans had it, rather that try to recover it from the single person who took it, he just summoned them all. Now he’s got his magic ring back, and everyone who was in Varnhold.

I think we’re going to eventually find out enough to figure out where he’s at, if he’s not in this tower itself, and hopefully find the people of Varnhold when we do. If they aren’t already zombie minions by now.

First thing’s first though. We gotta find Xamanthe!