The Ledge: Third Breach

Dark Side of the Ledge
SESSION 1

“Well, if you’re paying us …”

We find our … anti-heroes lounging in the tap room of the worst bar in the city of Pineshire.

Vug plays out his daily ritual of drinking – or punching – everyone else under the table. The Necrophagist has finally stopped flaying people with his eyes and is socialising with Azabolt. They converse in a language that drives almost everyone else out of the bar. Two elves (freshly arrived from Aelfheimr tower) sit oversing the other patrons. One of them, possibly a priest, scribbles notes onto a long roll of parchment. There is also an idiot who thinks he’s a werewolf.

The barman is just about to toss these weirdos out when Sherriff Baleson barges in with the local butcher. The finish an argument that started outside and announce their business. Five children are missing, but the town’s more ‘respectable’ adventurers are all afield. There is good money available for anyone willing and able to go after the kids.

Nothing sparks comradery in a dingy dive bar like soft, biteable gold. Azabolt and Vug quickly reach an accord to share the risk and reward. The Necrophagist follows, dreaming of the wonderful corpse stock he can buy in Ortho. The elves join too, along with the deranged barbarian, who nobody actually asked.

A hunch from the sherrif leads out fortune seekers to question the unruly village children. It seems that their missing friends went off to play in a “haunted” orphanage. The group sets out to find the place, which burned down several months ago. Once there, they find evidence that the children were captured by kobolds. There is also the dead and very squishy Elara, the custodian of the orphanage. When Vug touches it, hundreds of baby spiders erupt forth. The “wolf man” manages to burn them with lamp oil, simultaneously depleting his space of the oxygen he was using to talk (double win!). At the same time, Vidaar holder off Mama Spider until Vug can do the dwarven Leadboot dance on its carapace.

They also run into a young girl caled Jeva, who asks them to help her get back to town. Our cunning protagonists aren’t fooled though, and recognise her for the werewolf that she is. Being incredibly stupid, Fen H’rel decides to help her escape. The rest of the night passes in awkward silence, until Vug invites Fen H’rel for a quiet walk in the forest, from which Fen H’rel does not return.

Encounter XP Cash
Obtained info from Pineshire children 400
Giant spider and spider swarm 800 2 silver daggers (22 gp ea)
Total 1200 44 gp
Individual XP total (/6) 200
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Dark Side of the Ledge
SESSION 2

“This place is fucking horrible!”

Having chased away the “wolves”, our anti-heroes venture into the northern end of the Greendrake forest and find trouble the ruined dwarven monastery

Our crew follows the kobold tracks into the forest, fending off a clumsy ambush by a hobgoblin Ludd. They narrowly avoid a drunken giant, preferring not to be made into devilled ham spread. Later, Vidaar finds a trail of “Witch Markers” that lead them to a hut where Vug is mauled by a cauldron. It isn’t a dead loss though, they find a Soulspeaker and meet [:maeve-the-witch]], who heals their wounds.

Once activcated, the Soulspeaker dispenses a set of directions that leads to group to a clearing with a bizarre obelisk in the centre. It looks like a column with a fluctuating number of sides supporting a corroded copper tablet. Azabolt is hypnotised by the artifact and forced to activate it. The resulting dimensional breach admits a gibbering horde of giant amoebas, in addition to an inscrutable being called Nine Eyes.

Once the amoebas are dealt with, Azabolt talks to Nine Eyes – a gaunt figure, swaddled in black, with nine red eyes that glare from a deep hood. It offers them a huge (if vague) reward to retrieve the seven pieces of a puzzle-like metal orb. He uses a word in Aklo that translates to something like “mind-soul-compass”. The orb appears to have been thoughtfully placed in the very same ruin they were headed to in the first place. They agree, noting that Maeve has fled, leaving the gold they paid her on the ground.

The kobold trail ends at a ruined building bearing the hallmarks of Astral Caliphate architecture. They enter the monastery through a small door, avoiding a tower at the south-west corner, and the main entry on the western side (GM’s note: thus sustaining the time-honoured player custom of doing the dungeon in reverse). Once inside they avoid bats, control skeletons, fend off a stabby kobold rogue and otherwise have a good time. As a bonus, they also find a magic ring (unidentified). At the end of the hall they enter a wolf den, attacked first by two female wolves and then by Jeva the werewolf.

They kill the wolves and brain Jeva, but the great worg Graypelt suddenly reveals himself. After a short stand-off Vug tries to finish Jeva. Graypelt retaliates and tried to kill Vug. Azabolt stepped in and tried to convince Graypelt that perhaps nobody had to kill anyone. Seemingly calmed, Graypelt offers the party a deal. If they kill the darkmantles in the monastery shrine, he will let them pass into the dungeons below.

The group obliges, but when the Darkmantles are dead Vidaar whispers “you know the worg is lying, right? He’s making preparations to kill us right now”. At this moment, the eery stillness of the ruin is punctuated by a blood curling howl. Graypelt was calling for help.

Encounter XP Haul
Hobgoblin and attack crows 470 Trap tools (5gp), shortbow (30gp), 20 arrows (1gp), battleaxe (10gp)
Ulizmila’s shack Fail! Soulspeaker (2400 gp)
Monastery yard n/a Thieves tools (30 gp), silk rope (10 gp), 42 gp cash, 1 potion CLW (50 gp)
Skeletons in secret prison 405 Unidentified magic ring
Gray Pelt’s consorts 800 none
Darkmantles 800 nil
RPing awards 800 n/a
Total per character (3275/4) 820 n/a
Total to date 1220
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Dark Side of the Ledge
SESSION 3

Our gritty crew stomped backed to find Graypelt – a big bad wolf in dire need of punishing. And so they did, using (among other things), a skeleton made into a bomb. They also killed Gurtlekep, the skinny kobold thief who’d been trying to tickle their ribs with his dagger (Azabolt twisted his mind with magic in fact, stopping him from spreading the alarm). With the worg and his consorts dead, Gurtlekep killed and the treasure hauled, they went downstairs (of course, Jeva was still out there somewhere).

The first room brought them to a group of kobold warriors (who got themselves killed) and slaves (who were tortured, questioned and killed). Next, our bashers encountered the ghost of Glintaxe – actually a corrosive cube of dungeon-jelly that chased them around relentlessly until they figured out how to pop it. It was worth it, and they continued on with a trove of loot even heavier than before. Other highlights include a room where the whole party was zapped (almost to death) by cranky lizards. Then there was the room that swung impossibly on its side and flung Vug onto a row of spearing spears, only to be thumped by a rack of hammering hammers (what fun!).

Finally, disgruntled and tired of traps, our shining exemplars of law and order (cough!) marched in on a pitched battle between a fat halfling bard, Kimi Eavewalker and a big red kobold and his minions. The big kobold wasn’t so tough and after they trounced him, the party happily tortured a comprehensive level map out of one of its minions. They also found Mikra Jabbs hiding in the pantry.

On a roll, they marched up a hall and saved Savram Vade from a room full of animated skeletons. We left our heroes shuffling about while Necrophagist shed a tear over the unfair imprisonment of the bony beauties…

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PREQUEL
The Ledge: Apocalypse
NEW FRIENDS Trefor, Warden of Lonesome
NEW CLUES Slime Wizard’s Mark Increase in Devil Ape activity

Vicril and Guybrush are in a tiny Cryptwood frontier village called Lonesome. Vicril was on loan from the Havendell Guard, Guybrush for business transaction.

Pets started going missing, followed by a child and finally two adults. A village elder swore she saw “two great big blobs, sliding down the street before dawn”.

Lonesome’s veteran ‘lookouts’ were out of town dealing Devil Apes uprising. The village’s Warden – Trefor – convinced our heroes to investigate with the help of some locals. They followed a slimy trail to a strange crypt. It seemed to have recently burst from the ground (this happens in the Cryptwood sometimes).

The interior of the Crypt was crawling with hostile slime creatures. The central chamber contained a large pit filled with bubbling ooze. The edge of the pit was marked with a glowing symbol.

A huge gelatinous mass crawled from arose from the pit and attacked. A small, mummified figure floated in the center of the mass. To everyone’s surprise, this figure awoke and began casting spells!

After a short but deadly fight the monster was destroyed and the mummified wizard crumbled to dust. The heroes returned to Lonesome and were rewarded with a feast.

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SESSION 1
The Ledge: Apocalypse
NEW CONTACTS Madoc, Constable of Havendell Gawain, Sheriff of Lemonpepper Fiona Luchain, halfling merchant
NEW CLUES Maddened animals in the woods Dog-headed humanoids Symbol of M’Pentor Trouble brewing around Lemonpepper
Padrig (Blacksmith) bought an ancient dwarven book.

Moira and Kellen are sent from The Witchinghalls to investigate an unnatural distrubance south of Lemonpepper. A large area has been stripped of vegetation and all the animals dwelling there are being systematically devoured.

They flee a pack of maddened worgs, ending up at Havendell where they are saved by Vicril and Guybrush.

Constable Madoc meets with you (the party) and hears the reports of trouble near Lemonpepper. He says there has also been a delay in recent peat shipment and Havendell is in danger of running out of fuel (locals are reluctant to cut wood and offend the forest spirits).

You are agree to travel to Lemonpepper and investigate. Gawain – Lemonpepper’s sherriff – explains that people are scared to venture into the Precious Fens due to tales of this ‘monster’ and a string of recent murders. Peat collection – and therefore trade – has stopped.

The ‘monster’s lair’ is a couple of hour’s travel away. You travel there and find a collossal elk gnawing on corpses inside a circle of standing stones. It emanates an awful crunching sound that fills you with uncontrollable hunger – you all eat a huge amount of food to offset this.

The beast charges, but some clever ranged tactics put it down before it has a chance to hurt you. Vicril takes its head.

Inside the standing stones you find the corpses of three dog-headed humanoids. They wear ragged robes marked with the symbol of M’Pentor – a beast god thought to have stayed on the Prime World.

The bodies are strewn around a freestanding stone ‘portal’, which Vicril smashes. You return to Lemonpepper and are once again celebrated as heroes. Guybrush strikes a deal with Fiona Luchain, earning her friendship.

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The Ledge: Apocalypse
SESSION 2
NEW FRIENDS Olga the hag (‘friend’ might be a stretch…)
NEW CLUES Dog-headed men roam the Precious Fens A fennec you freed from a trap told Kellen that they came from The Slip (further south)

As you prepared to leave Lemonpepper a hunter from the Precious Fens arrived at the trading post. No-one else in the building recognized her, which is strange for a small village.

She pleaded for help to deal with “dog-headed monsters” roaming the fens. Guybrush expressed distrust and the woman suddenly vanished.

You spotted “her”, but the creature you saw was a revolting hag — a type of evil fey. She asked for a truce and explained in more detail. The monsters had besieged her lair. She needed help getting rid of them. If you assisted her, she would reward you with treasure.

You agreed to go with her to the hill-cave lair was. Huge dog-like beasts (hyenas, but your characters don’t know that) and dog-headed humanoids (actually hyena-men) armed with bows and spears patrolled the area. Olga vanished at the first sign of danger.

Guybrush poisoned two of the beasts to make the path forward easier. Vicril and Kellen led a full frontal assault up the hill. You were able to defeat the monsters and enter the cave.

You found Olga the Hag inside, stirring a cauldron. She thanked you and provided the treasure, as promised. She swore she would honor a truce with Lemonpepper and would “no longer find her daughters in that town”.

The time had come to return to Havendell, carting a huge load of peat.

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SESSION 3
The Ledge: Apocalypse
NEW FRIENDS Larmon Greenboot, shepherd Dónal, ‘retired’ Halfling wizard
NEW ENEMIES The Feathergale Society
CLUES Encountered an Ogre in the Greendrake — this is unheard of Feathergale society practices Elemental Air magic The dwarven delegation was ambushed Tracks from ambush lead to Pineshire
Two of the ambusher’s wagons entered the city

Two weeks pass as you relax in Havendell, tending to your daily lives. Excitement was building in town as it waited for an important dwarven delegation and other accompanying travelers.

The delegation was late, three days passed after their expected arrival. Constable Madoc sent you to investigate along the road to Pineshire. Guards posted along the road said the delegation had not passed them.

A day out from Beliard you met the shepherd Larmon Greenboot. He says the delegation left Beliard, but he’s not sure what happened afterwards. He also mentions seeing fresh graves deeper in the woods.

Larmon leads you to the graves — each is a shallow hole with a corpse inside, with stones stacked on top. There is a dwarf in artisan’s robes, a woman in Shattercliffe guard livery and two human males — one in strange stony armor and the other unarmored with a feathery cape.

A trail of many footprints leads from the graves to the edge of the Drake’s Eye lake. You find the remains of a battle. A dozen dead dwarven soldiers lie on the ground and there two rock cairns. Inside the larger cairn there are five dead Bugbears (a type of Devil Ape) marked with a triangular symbol. The smaller cairn contains a woman in white robes with a golden mask.

From the battle site you saw a tower to the south. Larmon said the tower was abandoned for years, but was recently claimed by a group who rode flying animals. They kept to themselves.

You traveled to the tower and convinced the guard — a half-elf called Savra — to let you into the tower. She introduced you to a somewhat hostile half-elven steward named Leathenor and the commander of the tower, an elven knight called Aethelnosan.

The commander described his people as “The Feathergale Society”. A group of elves and half-elves who excelled in raising and riding flying mounts. Their self-proclaimed missions was to protect the central Greendrake Forest.

You joined the Society’s evening meal, where Aethelnosan asked you a great many questions. Later, Guybrush was able to speak with Savra, who admitted the Society was secretly trying to master Elemental Air magic to protect the region. When Guybrush challenged this, she grew defensive and went silent.

Meanwhile, Kellen sneaked to Aethelnosan’s chambers at the top of the tower. When the commander caught him, Kellen tried to cast a spell. Aethelnosan struck Kellen down with a greatsword, nearly killing him.

You were all forced to flee, barely managing to stop Aethelnosan from executing Kellen. You fled from the tower and traveled around the lake, first east and then north. Along the way you met a mysterious “retired” halfling wizard (or similar) called Dónal. He gifted you with an impossibly nutritious meal and three healing potions.

At the northern point of the lake you rediscovered the trail from the war band from the Drake’s Eye battlefield. It led to Pineshire, where it became obscured by the heavy traffic around the city. All you could see were two wagon tracks that led through the gate.

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SESSION 4
The Ledge: Apocalypse

You entered Pineshire and began your investigations. But first, you settled in the Swinging Sword inn and had a frank discussion about your reasons for pursuing the delegation:

FACTION INFO The Weavers (Guybrush): The group included a renowned Dwarven historian — Bruldenthar — he was carrying a collection of ancient dwarven manuscripts to Pent. The manuscripts are believed to hold encrypted secrets to the magic of the Astral Caliphate. They cannot fall into the wrong hands. The Overwatch (Vicril): there were important dignitaries in the group. Raginald, an ambassador from The High Krausen, headed to Pent. Donella, a guard captain from Shattercliffe going to bury her dead husband by the Drake’s Eye Lake. Terisiel, an elven noblewoman from Aelfheimr Tower.
The Greenwitch Elves (Moira): Terisiel was carrying magical seeds to the Greenwitch elves. They have the power to grow a grove of magical trees. The Emerald Enclave (Kellen): the Enclave is also comitted to making sure Terisiel’s magical seeds make it to the Greenwitch elves.

Your next order of business was to visit your respective contacts in Pineshire — a risky business, considering the brutal and autocratic nature of the town.

NEW CLUES Haleeya (Emerald Enclave): Bathhouse owner. Two wagons came into town late at night and were taken to Waelvur’s Wagonworks on the edge of town. Gwil (Overwatch): caravan guard met in The Swinging Sword common room. He spoke directly with the dwarven leader of the delegation. They were heading to Beliard an then taking a detour to the Drake’s Eye Lake. This was ten days ago.
Endrith Vallivoe (Weavers): A peddler came through town three days ago and tried to sell him an ancient dwarven book. Endrith was concerned, thinking it could be linked to the delegation. The peddler was spooked by Enrdith’s questions and left the shop in a hurry. Endrith heard that the peddler made a deal with someone from Havendell.
Pineshire is controlled by a secret society called “The Believers”. The Belivers were working with Larrakh’s cult
Larrakh and the stone-armored warrior were marked by the same triangular symbol you’ve seen before. The man in the feathered cloak and bird mask claimed to be an enemy of Larrakh’s cult.
You rescued a woman named Petunia. Vicril knows her — a servant from Bero and Nerise Gladham’s farm. Petunia says she was left here to be Larrakh’s wife. Bero and Nerise were not brought into Pineshire.

This was ample motivation for you to investigate the wagon works. It is a dilapidated building with a yard full of rotting vehicles. Clearly drunken workers were busy in the shop doing low quality work. Three tough looking men armed with heavy clubs gathered around the front door, smoking pipes but not drinking.

You decided to return at night. On the way, Guybrush spotted armed men aiming bows at you from the rooftop. You challenged them. They wouldn’t say who they were, but claimed to share the same enemy — the “villains” at the wagon works. They said it was a cover for an evil cult.

Their leader, a man in a familiar feather cloak and a black bird-like mask, accompanied you to the wagon works. You silenced the guards and found a trapdoor underneath a broken wagon. The masked man agreed to fetch his underlings to provide backup … but he never came back.

You ventured into the trapdoor and found yourselves in an underground complex. It seemed to be dwarven in make. You walked into a trap in one particular corridor — a half orc hid in a room at the other end and dropped cages from the roof to trap you. Kellen managed to avoid the traps, but couldn’t catch the half-orc, who ran off yelling for his “master”.

Beyond the trapped corridor you found a terrified old man cowering and praying. He said that “Larrakh”, the priest of the cult, was beyond the door. He also admitted he was part of a secret society called “The Believers” who had run Pineshire for years.

You decided to return back towards the entrance to the dungeon to seek backup, but were blocked by a stone-armored warrior and six thugs. You defeated them and decided to take out Larrakh …

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SESSION 5
The Ledge: Apocalypse

Battle with Larrakh in the Temple of Moving Stones

The cult leader hid in an odd room filled with levitating rocks. His lackeys used the cover to fire crossbows at you. He held you at bay for a time — but made a fatal mistake by casting a deadly earth spell that killed half his own force. Larrakh tried to flee, using a wall-walking spell. You caught him in a secret passage that led from the room and outside Pineshire.

Larrakh.jpg

Larrakh, the Earth Cultist defeated in Pinreshire.

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SESSION 6
The Ledge: Apocalypse

You emerged from the Tomb of Moving stones, dragging Baragustas along with you. You took him to Butcher—Constable Harburk. Baragustas was terrified and easy to interrogate. This is what he told you:

Several generations ago miners discovered the tomb beneath Pineshire. They kept it secret and gradually became fascinated with the moving stones. This secret society called itself “The Believers” and gradually became convinced they couold read the stones to predict the future. The Believers conspired the control Pineshire, corrupting the local government and using their power to become very wealthy. Membership in the Belivers passed along from farther to son.

The current members are Baragustas, Elak Dornen (Quarry), Ilmeth Waelvur (Wagonworks), Albaeri Mellikho (Stoneworks), Ulhro Luruth (Tannery) and Aerego Bethendur (Storage).

A few months ago, The Believers were approached by Larrakh — who claimed to know the purpose of the stones. He impressed most of The Believers with deomstrations of magical power. He began coaxing them into darker and darker acts, leading to kidnapping, murder and provided hiding places and resources for Larrakh’s allies.

The Butcher—Constables rounded up most of The Believers, but Aerego Bethendur barricaded himself inside his mansion. With some clever subterfuge you took out two patrolling guards and started a fire in the house! The family fled into the front garden, where you were attacked by Bethendur’s guards and his wife, who revealed herself as a deadly martial artist.

Aerego surrendered and claimed he’d been intimidated into serving Larrakh by his wife. She had joined Larrakh’s organization — the “Cult of Black Earth”. Bethendur clearly knew very little about the organization, but he confirmed that they worship the power of elemental earth. The Believers had recently aided a band of cultists who were travelling east. They had a large group of captives with them matching the description of the dwarven delegation.

The group had travelled towards Womford, on the Drake’s Head River. They had organized to be ferried across the river by an unknown boat captain — possibly the same person who sold the old dwarven books to Padrig (Havendell blacksmith).

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