The Goblin Grinders of Varisia

Headed back to Magnimar
0092

We’re still a day out, Jasper calls us to his room to discuss things. He needs a day to finish his business with the item we retrieved in Korvosa. The day after, he’d like to meet us in the usual tavern. He’s buying. There’s a ship just docking, as we arrive in Magnimar. It’s flying Korvosa colors. Looks like a heavily armed mechant ship. The deckhands are all in nice uniforms. The ship is fully decked out in Korvosa heraldry. Black and very deep crimson, with a hippogriph on a tower. The town leadership has turned out to meet this ship. THe mayor is here, and Tem, and Gabby Varga. several armed guards at the bottom of the ramp. A very good lookig rep is walking down the ramp from the ship. His companion is a woman with black feathered wings. She’s probably some kind of devil… Gozzar knows that Korvosa’s ruler is King Eodred Arabasti II. The mayor greets the visitor, the winged woman says something, talks to Gabby, and they share the hug of very close friends. the five of them are escorted down the pier to a carriage. Slavery is illegal in Korvosa. We dock, and disembark. One of Bonk’s contacts calls him over to help port a box. “Did you get a good look at this show?” (did you realize who that was) “that was lord Glorio Arcona, not actually the king” He’s not in the court, and he’s the backstabby type. Doesn’t know who the woman is. This ship comes in every 6 months to renew trade docs. This lord does merchanting, and diplomacy. He does more trade, though. It’s unual that the king isn’t on this trip. Skeet remembers a devil called an Erine, that have black feathered wings.

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Making the Drop in Korvosa
0091

We are going to visit Pait’s relatives, drink a toast to them for their help getting us an excuse. Sunash makes the drop, while looking like he’s blessing a grave. We make the drop, and drink a couple kegs. We’re left alone, since Sunash can run interference. As we leave, Sunash and Gozzar notice that the drop has been collected. didn’t see who took it. Time for some r&r! Pait and Bonk are going to go on a bar crawl. Skeet is going to look for collectibles. Sunash is watching the cemetary. Bonk andPait actually stay out of trouble. Sunash goes on a patrol with the locals, they don’t find any undead. We need to head to the ship, it’ll be leaving mid-morning. As we’re headed back to the ship, we arrive at a crossroads, and… 3 things appear out of nowhere, and all the civillians scatter. the female human that appears points at us and orders “KILL THEM” 2 brown shaggy, horned, hoofed things 8 ft tall facing us. Sunash know that they are Daemons, ceustodaemon, NE, large outsiders, some spell-like abilities, and a breath weapon. the first one runs up and bites Pait, the second one puts slow on a bunch of us. Bonk smacks the biter with his glaive. It seems to have some DR. 6<dr><17>s shaving mug 0 Ioun stones pale blue +2 str (bonk) pink and green +2 cha (gozzar) scarlet blue – sphere +2 int (skeet) 2 incandescent blue +2 wis (sunash gelid) deep red sphere +2 dex (pait)

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Headed To Sea
0090

Jasper Creezy comes back into town, looks us up specifically, buys some rounds and lets us know that we’re going to be leaving on 7 Gozeran. On arriving, finish loading cargo, rest a bit. Get to the crew quarters below. We leave port midday, head west, then southwest, going around the penninsula. Most of us are doing assorted jobs, Skeet is in the kitchen. 2 days out, 10 Gozran we round Sorshen’s Lighthouse, and are summoned to the captains cabin. He’s well off, the ship is in good repair, he has a large map table, and 6 extra chairs. Rum is served… He promised to tell us about the job, and now that we’re on the water and in his cabin, we can talk. We are headed to Korvosa. It’s Chellish, lots of asmodeus worship, one of the largest Pharasma temples in this part of the world. The wizard acadamy is one of the ‘best’ in the world. Jasper recruited us to do a job. One of his contacts has aquired and item, and he needs us to retrieve it from a dead drop. It is a gauntlet, in a leather bag, hidden in a cemetary. He can’t go to the cemetary because of an incident a year ago. He will have us leave a black velvet bag in it’s place. We also have to maintain the secrecy of the dropsite, don’t run into the groundskeepers. it is in the everyman ward of the cemetary, in the northeastern part. The western section of the cemetary is where the Pharasmin grand temple is, they’re the groundskeepers. The ship will be in Korvosa for 3 days, so we have a little bit of time. The reward for helping him will be ~ 2/3 of a crown royal bag of gems. all types and sizes. in the neghborhood of 30k gp. We’re willing to take the job, so it’s toast time! We dock in Korvosa on 15 Gozran, midday. unload cargo until early evening. now it’s time for shore leave! Jasper hands us the bag to swap at the drop. it’s light, tied and wired shut. weighs maybe a pund, several objects inside. He wants us back no later than 3 days. Walking into town, as we are leaving the docks, there are hellknight patrols, hellknight tariff collectors, they eye us as we head into the city. the ship docked at the far north end of town all the way across from the cemetary at the south. The town in on 3 islands, water almost completely surronds the city. the cemetary is segregated by class. just west of the cemetary is the temple the castle and administration is on the center island. The city ruler is King Eodred population ~ 20k, mostly human. the city is mostly lawful neutral, with lots of lawful evil residents. Lawfulness is a big deal here. Hellknights can’t be bought off for anything too serious. The temple to Pharasma is in the center of the seplchre district. high black marble walls, few windows. Sunash finds out that the cathedral has weathered several sieges by undead, without falling. several of them have ben inside, trying to get out, and the clerics had to form lines and force them back where they belonged. Lots of clergy. 300-500 staying in town, most in the dorms at the cathedral. Bishop Keppira d’Bear runs it. there is a special, heavily guarded crypt that houses the bodies of heros, and leaders. no rumors of recent intelligent undead. the cemetary is patrolled by 3 patrols of 5 during the day, 5 patrols of 5-10 at night. at night, two patrols walk the perimeter, the others walk the grounds, mostly around the cathedral and important tombs. any one area has an interval of 15-20 minutes between patrols. St Elika the Martyr, a Varisian, first Varisian to get citizenship in the chellish empire. She was a master harrow reader. she forsaw the great fire of korvosa, and died fighting the fire. the last time there was a major undead incident was 10 years ago. the area where the poorest are buried was the source for the majority of the uninteligent undead. that atack had a few zombie lord, wraiths, and wights, type intelligent undead in charge. several generals rose as intelligent undead, and organized an army, started by a couple necromancers. the last siege was 25 years ago, started by the cult of lamashtu. the drop is in the poor, but not destitute section of the cemetary. The mornig of the day after we arrived, we have gathered info, toured town and the cemetery. time to decide what we’re doing. Pait actually has a couple distant cousins in the cemetary, they aren’t buried close, but the drop is along the way.

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Plotting in Magnimar
0089

Fireday, 8th Pharast, 4712
We get back together later in the afternoon, to catch up on news.
Maybe we can cause some angst between Gabby and Tem…
Looking at the manifest, one of the ships that the corsairs hit was carrying purple worm blood.
Bonk knows that the longshormen who were supposed to be unloading the cargo were known to be helpful to smugglers.

We all go to the Gold Cup tavern, to meet Jasper.
The bartender is the same one that had been running the place when Sabrina met us.
He makes sure we get a quiet corner to sit in, and are served quickly.
10 minutes, or so, Jasper arrives.
Jasper has been carrying quite a bit of Goblin Grinder Ale.
One of the pathfinder officials in Absolom has a taste for GG ale, even.
Jasper is buying tonight, so we have something nice.
talk some news, and light business.
after dinner is cleared away, Jasper is ready to talk more serious matters.
There were some odd things on one of the ships they took.
There were several small kegs of a strange substance. the labels were written in a language that no one could read. He thinks that they are sometihng that we could use, it might be able to be turned on varga and tem.
Jarra will bring it to Pait, and the Goblin Grinders secretly.

We get back together later in the afternoon, to catch up on news.
Maybe we can cause some angst between Gabby and Tem…
Looking at the manifest, one of the ships that the corsairs hit was carrying purple worm blood.
Bonk knows that the longshormen who were supposed to be unloading the cargo were known to be helpful to smugglers.

We all go to the Gold Cup tavern, to meet Jasper.
The bartender is the same one that had been running the place when Sabrina met us.
He makes sure we get a quiet corner to sit in, and are served quickly.
10 minutes, or so, Jasper arrives.
Jasper has been carrying quite a bit of Goblin Grinder Ale.
One of the pathfinder officials in Absolom has a taste for GG ale, even.
Jasper is buying tonight, so we have something nice.
talk some news, and light business.
after dinner is cleared away, Jasper is ready to talk more serious matters.
There were some odd things on one of the ships they took.
There were several small kegs of a strange substance. the labels were written in a language that no one could read. He thinks that they are sometihng that we could use, it might be able to be turned on varga and tem.
Jarra will bring it to Pait, and the Goblin Grinders secretly.

He’s made an aquaintance in town who could be helpful figthing Tem and Gabby.
An elf enters, he greets her. They exchange a few quiet words.
He introduces her as Naiari, the personal aide to the mayor of magnimar.
they’ve been in contact the last year, she may be able to pull the strings that we need help with to topple the slave trade.
She’s heard a lot about us over the last year. Thinks that our rep seems well earned.
Tem’s office is insular in the town hall, but the mayor trusts him. Toppling him wil be hard. He’s hardened his power base, with the mayor, and one of the prominent familys in town.
Sabriyya Kalmeralm, the head of the slave bazzar is also tight with him. She’s also suspected to be the head of the major thieves’ guild.
Naiari may be able to pass info for us, she gives us a contact to an elf in the bazzar, Diro.
Skeet has seen him, but doesn’t really know him.
Naiari also gives us a contact, Morande, a dwarven armorer, one of the best in town. Skilled in working mithril and adamantine.
either of them can get a message to her.
She has to head out without much more delay, to keep the appearance of non-association.
After she’s gone, Jasper asks for a favor, he needs some hands the week of 7 gozzeran, his ship will be short 6 deckhands. he will be arriving here in magnimar on 6 goz, leaving 7 goz, returning 18 gozeran.
He will need the talents of a group like the Goblin Grinders at the destination. It is South and East, can’t be more specific.
He needs to procure an item, and he knows that we are good at that kind of mission. We will be able to take anything that we can carry as reward.
He will be back in town to talk at the end of the month.
He leaves the tab open as he goes. Timefor Bonk and Pait to have some fun.

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Back to Magnimar
0088

5 Pharast, 4712
Sabrina wants to meet up with us to finish the task regarding the ritual book.
Meet at the Gold Cup tavern.
Gabby hasn’t tried to scry on us for the last 30-some hours.
As we arrive, the doors are open for the nice spring weather, and
Sabrina and Wilhemina are waiting.
She’s already bought a round…
And rented out the place, so we can speak in private.
Sunash notices that the barkeeper is part devil.
And, he’s evil.
Sunash brings out the jar of faux Gabby from the shrine.
Sabrina isn’t surprised that she was doing things like that.
Tem Rudari, the mayors aide that Gabby clerks for is the principle for diverting any investigations of the slave trade.
Sabrina hasn’t been able to gather legal evidence, he covers his tracks too well.
He’s problby too strong to arrange an ‘accident’ for.

The barkeeper is Bruno, after a few more beers, and the meal, a beautiful woman walks in.
Adrianne, high priestess of Desna.
Sabrina invited her here for food and business.
They are poking at each other in fun.
Introductions,
Yes with the help of these new friends. May I introduce, Sunash cleric of Pharasma, Gelid Inquisiter of Calistria, Skeet Skitterpea curse breaker, Paitir Urrogan the dextrious, Bonk connoisseur of fine ales, and Gozzar Shield Bard of Wolf hand.
Good to meet you, glad that you’ve been able to help each other. Sabrina has been able to do many tasks quietly for Desna.
The item you were asking me to find was located by my friends, I believe Sunash is the current holder.
What have you done with the other books you’ve gathered,
Destroyed them, in a location in our temple that allows us to ultimately destroy them, in a way that they can’t be recovered.
Sunash would like to go with to deliver it directly to the destruction ceremony, and witness.
Sunash will go to the temple and once he’s sure that she is who she says, he will give the book to them.
He is welcome to come, as is Sabrina, who is owed a reward, which we will share in.
The temple isn’t far, Arianne walks in, and is welcomed, she must be legit.
We go back past the holy area, to the offices. She has a small library, and office that we settle into.
Gelid senses motive, he’s convinced that she’s truthful.
Sunash hands over the book, Ari says a few wards, and uses a poker to flip it open.
She gets out a walnut box, with platinum hardware, unlocks it, and brings out a few things. She drops the book into the box, and relocks it.
Thank you for bringing this to us. In 7 days we will send you a letter with my seal. That will let you come in to the temple to see the ritual.
Ari gives Sabrina a black cloth bag that she puts into a pouch.
She gives us each a black velvet pouch.
I think you will find these helpful, especially since Desna herself placed an item for each of you on my desk.
I hate to cut our meeting short, but I must begin preparing for the ritual immediately.
The accolyte will show you out when you are ready.
we will head out right away, the accolyte shows us back out to the common area, and says that we are welcome to come back any time, they will be happy to help us.
Sabrina thanks us for help, and says taht she hopes we can work together again in the future.
We each get:
a +2 power ring for our gear
exquiset diamond 2500gp
several tubes of coins wrapped in paper= 1000 pp
small scroll with the high priestess’ seal on it. it’s a one time raise dead.

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Skyping with Sabrina
0087

Skeet detects a scrying sensor.

It’s Sabrina, this time, and she casts message.
How’s it going? What happened with the shrine?
We offed Rimmer, and broke the shrine.
She’s wanting to get arraingements made to get the book to Desna in Magnimar, and remove Gabriella from power.
She’s learned that Gabby has a friend who has been casting a special spell for her that lets her be in two places at once.
Really? We killed one of those.
The person who’s been doing the spell for her… cousin(spit) is an advisor to the mayor of Magnimar.
He’s the leader of the local sorcerers’ guild.
He is the person who Gabby clerks for.
He is a big player in the slave trade. We can probably undo both at once.
The last info she has for us is 3x gray corsair ships are comming into Magnimar in 3 days. One is our friend capt. Jasper Creezy.
Since you’re in sandpoint, bring 5 kegs of GG ale, the last shipment sold faster than he’d expected.
We’ll be on our way back right away, cya.
Closes scrying.

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Waiting at the Shrine
0086

We have about 7 hours to prep the area.
Gelid is going to build tangling, smoking, thunder stone throwables.
He’s also going to set thunderstone claymores along the path at a choke point.
We will set the glyph of warding right after the claymores.
if we can get them to string out along the path pursuing us, and web them, we might get an advantage.
THey’ve unloaded the wagon, and put the cargo onto pack horses.
There are 5 women, and 2 male bodyguards.
The first guard and his mule step over the claymore trip wire.
The second mule hits it.
The third bolts back down the path.
the guards walk across the evil-smiting ward, without damage.
Pait doesn’t recognize them, we might have a hard time of talking them out of guarding the cultists.
Arrow to one of the cultists, and some alchemist fire.
only see 4 cultists, heard someone casting, without seeing them, hope that’s the 5th woman that was reported.
Gelid wiffs his throw of a smoke-tangle-bang bag, and it just barely lands far enough away to not get him.
A few rounds, and Gabriella Varga herself appears, as she casts something nasty on us.
and it’s time for bed, pause the action at the top of the order.

Varga drops a blade barrier, and Skeet…
Bonk misses two swings with his frosty axe, and bites her good. She’s warm and juicy, not undead.
Gelid smacks her around, and them Pait does a *stab*stab*slam* and drops her.

Rimmer shows up, screaming “you killed her!”
he runs through the blade barrier, grabs up her body, sprouts wings, and goes to take off flying.
Bonk smacks him, he isn’t taking any cold damage from the frosty axe.
Gozzar shoots off the web wand, Bonk, Gelid, and Pait make their saves,
Rimmer fails his save and gets stuck !He’s not likeing being in the middle of all these folks beating on him, so he abandons Varga’s body, and trys to take off.
We get AOO’s as he trys to fly away.
He gets 10 ft up, and gets stuck in the web again.
Bonk Lasso’s him!
The grappling hook hits him in the eye slot of the helmet, and yanks it off when Bonk pulls to bring him back down.
It looks like the head comes off with the helm, and he falls back to the ground.
smack the body around a bit…
The blade barrier dissipates after about 10 minutes.

RImmer’s armor has already started to regenerate.
Varga’s body looks… odd.
The blood is off, and the flesh is odd. The body is… melting. It’s a simulacrum.
Well, we have the armor, and the shrine is super weak.
Kyrene tells us to set it on the altar and chop it up.
The adamantine axe makes short work of the armor. It shatters, and the armor dusts.
The bones in the altar reform into whole dead bodies.
Kyrene appears, “Thank you for destroying that monstrosity.”
There is a stone left on the ground, with 7 adamantine rings, like the other weapon powerups we’ve had.
Skeet realizes that someone is scrying on us, but can’t identify who’s doing it.
Skeet, Gelid, and Gozzar hear “You may have killed Rimmer, but I’m still here. Come and get me”
Pait clears the two caravan guards with the other guards, they’re good guys, but haven’t been exactly picky about who they were guarding. (as is now obvious)
Time to heal up and get ready for the next set of adventures.
Treasure from the priestesses:
2 potion of invisibility
600 pp (divided)
6x diamonds 200gp ea (divided)
1 potion of heroism
1 potion of freedom of movement
1 potion of darkvision

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On a Boat to Magnimar
0085

We have an uneventful trip, seeing that we killed the krakens and abboleths already. This time, we get to do some fishing, and catch some salmon, cod, and tuna. We get to Magnimar on 4 Pharast, 4712. Bonk checks in to see if the half orc dockworkers union has any representatives and info here. particualry on anything coming back and forth from riddleport. there were some shipments for Riddlepoint but mostly empty barrels and glass flasks… so unless there are some things put in thaem on the way back… nuttin interesting. and the shipment was sponsored by our lady of the night… Varga One of Skeets witch contacts tells her that one of the magic shop keepers closed up shop like normal one night, and never came back. His shop has a fresh burn mark on the threshold of the door. one of your caravan contacts tells you that Varga sent out two caravans to sandpoint in the last week. one of them was full of barrels that were fulls of some liquid and the barrels were stained brown. The First caravan had empty barrels, the full barrels went out only 2 days ago. We might be able to catch them if the Grey Corsairs can get us there fast. They can! Theres a schooner that can get us there in 12 hours after the tide starts heading out. your caravan contact tells you that the caravan carrying the full barrels had three wagons, 25 guards and were accompanied by 5 women. each wagon has 5 barrels in them. one of your good friends is one of the guards on the caravan. he is also known to skeet so she would be able to scrye on him Pait would guess that the Varga Caravan will need 4 days to get to sandpoint, 3 days if they push, and risk the cargo. Skeet augurs while we’re on the ship, and doesn’t get anything on how far Varga is. We get to Sandpoint @ 1 am there’s a night watch on the docks, they recognize us, there hasn’t been any other ships for a couple days. a caravan came in a few days ago, it already left and headed north. We check in with the duty officer for the sherrif, they have been watching the shrine, no one was at the shrine yesterday, the next report should be coming in soon. skeet gets a ding on her detect scrying, but dosen’t get a distance or direction on the scryer, there shouldn’t be any useful info for them of where exactly we are. From town, there’s only 1 good route to the caravan. They should be going through or past town on their way to the shrine. Nothing on the path to the shjrine. The shrine has a bit of a glow, it is dimmer than last time. the shrine is larger. more skulls and bones piled up. we meet the 3 guards watching the shrine. they have a blind in the brush overlooking the shrine. since we were here last, they haven’t seen anyone physically come to the shrine, but it has gotten larger. not sure how it’s grown, there’s someone here 24/7 for the last 2 months. Skeet scrys on our friendly guard, he’s asleep, we hear guards talking. they don’t like the bosses, they are leaving the job at sandpoint. think they’ll get to town ~noon to 1pm, hear waves. Gabriella Varga just sent a sending to Skeet, asking for a meeting in Magnimar in 5 days. Skeet tells Varga, “Sorry, can’t—busy getting our donkeys polished that day.” Sunash hits the shrine with a consecrate, it greatly dims the shrine, he’s going to try to let out the souls in it, and Kyrene. She is more visible, and more humanoid after the consecrate, she’s calmed down now, and can speak. “you’ve returned, have you brought the armor?” He’s still around “you will need the grave knights armor to free me and destroy this shrine” “they should be coming soon to recharge the shrine” they will be here soon, we’ve hampered them. “good” Sunash gets some info from her on building the sapper. Just before sunash did the consecrate, skeet gets a ping on her scry detector, it’s varga. she’s about to cast, and as sunash consecrates, she screams, and the sensor pops.

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Questioning the Priestesses
0084

Sunash and Sabrina are going to get some answers out of the two captured priestesses some quiet night in one of Riddelport’s graveyard. 29 Calistril Your interrogation of the captive Priestesses yields some interesting tid bits. From the first one you get the following: They were using the rituals to ensare people to use their souls and blood for some nefarious things. Including setting up another power shrine near Magnimar. During the interrogation of the preistess from the cave. Sunash has to one several occasions keep Sabrina from slitting her throat. However, she ends up in the process cutting off one of her ears, and both of her pinky fingers in the process of getting the information, scant as it is. The priestess from the cave gives you some information that they were going to help maintain the power of the Sandpoint shrine. Lastly, she also gives you that Gabriella Varga is the high priestess for the region. She calls all of the shots and she confirms that she has been in the company of Rimmer constantly for the last seferal months. Previously she was never seen with any body guards. Also that she has gotten a bit paranoid. They have to recharge the Sandpoint shrine every month to maintain it power. You have prevented that form happening so therefore he will be weaker for a while. Also, if they were to complete the Magnimart shrine he will be nearly unstoppable as long as both are running. To recharge the shrines, they drain the blood, and capture the soul of prisoners, and use them to power it. If we can keep them away from the shrime in the material plane, it is harder, but not impossible to recharge. The shrine ritual is a new discovery, it requires a lot of souls to run, and drains power directly from norgorber. Sunash wants to work with the Nethys and Pharasma churches to set up a magical and spiritual drain to deplete the shrine of magic and souls more quickly than they can power it up.

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Loot from the Slavers
0083-1

2x MW compoite longbows tuned to +3 str (kitty) 2x MW spears (kitty) sickle +1 acidic (kitty) 4x mw sickels (kitty) studded leather armor +2(kitty) 4x mw leather armor(kitty) 2x +1 agile brestplate (kitty) amulet of nat armor +2 (sunash) 3x spell books, (skeet) scroll, heal, min cl (divine) (sunash) scroll, cure serious wounds, min cl scroll, flame strike, min cl (divine) (sunash) wand, cmw, min cl, 15 charges (skeet) wand, burning hands, cl5, 25 charges (skeet) crooked pointed stick, wand of fireball, cl5, 20 charges. (gozzar) scroll of bless CL8 (sunash) 2x potion, epeditious retreat, cl1 (kitty) 2x vial of oil of magic weapon (1x bonk) (1x Pait) 4x thunderstones(skeet). 12 flasks of alch fire. (6x bonk) (6x Pait) 12 thunder stones (kitty) 12 sunrods (kitty) 12 flasks of drow poison (kitty) 3x glass flasks (kitty) book of norgorber rituals. (kitty) jewlery 10k gp of necklaces, tiaras, earrings, supeior quality. seems like it was looted from somewhere. (kitty) coins 3k gp of asst coins (kitty) 400gp (kitty) large obsidian 750gp (use as a focus for the shrine disruptor(foozle device)) med size emerald, unusual cut 5k gp (kitty) non-perishable food (kitty)

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