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Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing, Session 6

August 19, 2016

With the negotiations concluded, the group took their leave of the faeries and camped out nearby. In the morning they started the return journey to Stagfell, where they could gather the supplies they needed for their next expedition to the east. The plan was to go visit the centaur leader in the Dunsward, and then head back over to the Tors of Levenies to continue their search for the mysterious Island of Vordakai.

Back in the capital, Satampra the swashbuckler and Mestinous the elven wizard spent time with their families, while Iofur the druid was called off on some druidic business (i.e. he wasn’t around for the session). Plans were made, provisions were gathered, and a route was mapped out. The party would leave first thing in the morning: Satampra, Mestinous, Remesio the cleric, Orseen the warpriest, and their Grand Diplomat, Vendelin Fodorov. The Emperor still blamed Fodorov for a terrible diplomatic incident in Mivon (long since repaired) and considered him a not-so-good Grand Diplomat as a result. But, Vendelin did still have a higher Diplomacy bonus than Satampra… However, their plans were derailed by a second extra-planar assassination attempt on the Emperor.

Dirty Deeds

That night, during the rare moment when Satampra was actually asleep in his bed (as he only needed 2 hours rest thanks to a magic ring), an oily black cloud came crashing through his bedroom window! Magical alarms placed in all the councilors’ bedchambers by Mestinous rang out, and the swashbuckler leaped out of bed, grabbing his sheathed sword in the process. His wife Sojana quickly rolled out of bed as well, taking their now-screaming infant daughter Madouc with her. The cloud hovered in the darkness for a moment before extending two clawed hands from within and advancing on the Emperor. Another soul eater had come to kill him.

The foul creature moved with incredible speed, and its claws seemingly passed through his body, taking small pieces of his soul with it. Satampra grimaced from the pain, but quickly threw off the scabbard from his blade as part of an acrobatic swing. The magic sword passed through the cloud, cutting in half for a moment before it reformed and renewed its attack. The duelist tried in vain to parry its claws, but the assassin was too fast. The next time its talons connected with his flesh, some of his soul-stuff came away with them. It hurt like the Hells, and Satampra screamed.

That was actually the first time he had failed a saving throw against the soul eater’s wisdom drain attack. It did 2 damage, taken from his 7 Wisdom. A good roll on the next attack could have killed him permanently!

Luckily, at that moment, Orseen, Remesio, and Mestinous came charging into the room as Sojana and baby Madouc escaped. The wizard summoned a fireball to detonate against the far side of the room, which left the swashbuckler unscathed but burned away bits of the creature. The warpriest then charging in, his flaming greatsword held overhead, and when he had closed the distance he brought the weapon down in a mighty arc that swept away chunks of the cloud. Satampra tumbled into a flanking position, and his blade put an end to the fiend. Its body exploded in a burst of greasy soot that clung to the Emperor and the warpriest.

Guessing Game

The threat of the soul eater was over, for now, but it was not easy to rest easy after such an event. By the time the sun rose, the bleary-eyed PCs had grown sick of guessing who might be sending these otherworldly assassins after the Emperor, and so they set out for the Old Beldame’s hut in the hopes that she might be able to shed more light on the problem.

Unfortunately, the Beldame was not able to tell them anything new. Soul eaters came from Abbadon, one of the lower planes. Only a very powerful wizard or priest could summon such a creature and bind it to the caster’s will. The caster would have to know of Satampra, and once the soul eater was given its target, it would hunt until it found and killed him or her. The group tried to brainstorm various ways to either keep Satampra safe or track down the summoner, but short of some short-term wards and unreliable divinations, the Beldame could offer little help. And so the rulers camped outside of the witch’s hut and went back to Stagfell in the morning.

Somewhere around this time, it was realized that Remesio (along with the rest of the party) was 9th level, and could now commune with his deity. Such a powerful prayer required 500gp worth of holy water and special incense, but they had more than a few shrines, temples, and cathedrals in town so I figured they could gather enough materials for one casting. The party gathered in their castle’s chapel and watched as Remesio burned the incense, drank and anointed himself with the holy “water” (really blessed ale), and chanted for a good ten minutes. Eventually the cleric concluded his prayers, and his drinking, and sat in silence with his eyes closed. The others waited, not wanting to move or speak themselves, and wondered if anything would happen. Then Remesio’s eyes flew open and he said in a loud, reverberating voice wholly unlike his own: “ASK YOUR QUESTIONS.

20 Questions

What followed was a long stretch of the cleric talking to himself, or rather, talking to the voice that was coming out of his mouth. They had drawn up a series of questions to get to solve the mystery of the summoner: Was the person who summoned the soul eater to kill Emperor Satampra Zieros of Caerelia a… human? A centaur? A faerie? A hag? Located in Brevoy? Fort Drelev? And so on. With each question, the loud voice answered: “NO.

By the time that Cayden Cailean, or a representative thereof, had broken contact, the players were rather stumped. All their questions had resulted in a negative answer. After some discussion, Orseen had the bright idea of going after the summoner’s location rather than its identity. Unfortunately, Stagfell was now depleted of the silver dust and high-end incense (500gp buys a lot of incense) that Remesio needed for the ceremony; he would have to send a courier to the town of Last Hope to get the supplies, and that would take a few days. At least that gave the party plenty of time to work out which questions to ask in the next go-round.

When the supplies arrived in Stagfell, the cleric started to narrow down where the summoner was. Was the person who yadda yadda located west of Stagfell? “NO.” South of Stagfell? “YES.” Soon they had pinned the summoner down to the Tors of the Levenies, the mountain range that they had recently been exploring, and then to the Island of Vordakai, and then identified him as Vordakai himself. A further question told them that Vordakai was not a deity, as they had thought he might be from the research they had recovered from Varnhold.

The next couple of questions told them that Vordakai was also the one responsible for getting the inhabitants of Varnhold to leave town, and that it was “UNCLEAR” whether Maegar Varn was still alive and located on their world.

With one question left, Satampra studied their maps before directing the cleric ask, “Is the Island of Vordakai to the east of the massive linnorm skeleton that is half-buried in the Nomen Heights?” To which the answer was, “YES.” And with that, the connection was severed and Remesio slumped over, passed out, drunk on holy booze and divine contact. The rest of the rulers looked at one another and smiled. They now had a pretty good idea where to find their target: the summoner known as Vordakai.

Next: to find the summoner!

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8 Comments
  1. Pinkius permalink

    Oh commune, always a pleasure to speak to your deity. I asked Shelyn one time if we should take a break from saving the world for a beach party. You bet I got a YES.

    • Lol, ofcourse you did!
      I’ll have to remember that one!

      • Pinkius permalink

        That campaign was alas, not-canon as shit, considering my cleric gained divine power from being the son of Shelyn. Shelyn the eternal maiden who’s never had a child, just plopped one on Golarion to close the World-wound, you know, how you do.

      • Riiiiight. That sort of thing 😉

      • Pinkius permalink

        The GM sorta forgot that aspect of Shelyn until it was too late to modify his plans

      • That happens. No reason to worry too much about it I think. 🙂

  2. I’m behind a bit on the updates (we played 2 weeks ago, and this week as well), but I’m getting caught up now. Update tomorrow!

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  1. Kingmaker: Varnhold Vanishing, Session 5, Part 2 | Daddy DM

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