Session 25 - Dropping the Dragonhammer
It was hours before sunrise when the party finally returned to Sandpoint. They arrived at the Rusty Dragon Inn and wasted no time in collapsing in their beds for some well-deserved rest.
Cutscene - Gallious
Blackout. You hear breathing – short frantic breaths. A hint of panic. Footsteps crashing through brush. Branches snapping. Leaves crushed underfoot. A sliver of light flashes, showing a glimpse of a panicked young Gallious running through a forest. Another flash, Gallious crosses his arms across his face as he crashes through the brush, not seeming to care where he’s running as long as it’s away from… something. There's a sound from somewhere overhead. Gallious glances up at the canopy of branches and leaves, trying to find the source. His footsteps slow, eyes searching the darkness. He comes to a stop, gulping air, heart racing but seeing nothing. He looks back over his shoulder, takes in a breath, sees nothing. He looks all around him, searching the darkness. Nothing. Gallious looks down, defeated. “This is as it is meant to be”, he whispers and realizes that the voice coming out of his mouth is not his own. The notion frightens him and he looks from side to side, searching for the true source of the voice channeling through him. Then, like a startled deer, Gallious begins running through the dense vegetation before him. He manages barely a dozen steps when he suddenly begins drooling a strange, bitter-tasting liquid. He stops, and gags as some of it trickles down the back of his throat. He coughs and tries to spit it out. It's thick, like a syrup, with a musty, stale, earthy taste that numbs his tongue and tingles all the way down his throat. The tingle turns to a burning cold that quickly spreads from the center of his chest to all his limbs, striking them numb and useless. Like a marionette with its strings cut, Gallious collapses to the ground in a heap of limbs. He twists as he falls, flopping onto his back. He stares up into the night sky and watches, paralyzed, helpless, as the clouds part and reveal the looming glow of the moon overhead. Gallious blinks. No, that is no moon. It's a skull. And it seems to be smiling at him. Smiling as the darkness plunges a blade into his chest. Gallious never saw it coming. The long, curved blade of the dagger apparates above his chest, then drives straight into his body. Pain explodes across his chest as steel tears through scales and flesh. His eyes fill with tears and he tries to cry out but is unable to move, to scream, to do anything but let the cold steel burrow into his chest. “Why?” he hisses through blood-caked lips. The pain burns away the numbness in his limbs, leaving them heavy like flesh turned to lead. So hard to move. Gallious slowly drags his arm to his side and manages to slide his hand up to his chest. The wound feels cold, and as Gallious’ hand reaches it he feels the hole in his chest is larger than he thought. He tries to lift his head to see, but his head is so heavy. Too heavy. Dread washes over him as his hand slides into the hole where his chest once was. Where his heart once was. He’s confused. You need a heart to live, don’t you? He looks up into the night sky. The clouds have vanished, the sky now filled with the skeletal moon looking back down at him. “This is as it is meant to be,” Gallious whispers, repeating the words, accepting his fate as the darkness begins to grow around the edges of his eyes. But as his eyes close and he slips into the blackness of death, a voice sounds around him so deep and booming that the sound itself has weight. A presence all its own. Gallious opens his eyes and see that he is completely surrounded by the night sky. He doesn’t feel like he’s floating, merely held in place by the vast reaches of space. He marvels at the darkness of the night sky filled with stars, millions of stars. The voice speaks again, and Gallious notices that the inky blackness beyond the stars seems to move ever so slowly as it speaks. “All thing must come to an end,” says the Darkness Beyond the Stars. “Am I dead?” Gallious asks. “There is a time and place for the end of things,” says the Voice. “This is not yours. But there are beings who wish to avoid their end, defy the natural order of entropy, and claim immortality for themselves. Beings like this disrupt the cosmic balance. Your death was meant to serve such a being.” “But I’m not dead,” “You live because you called out to me. Very few ever gain my attention. And by doing so, you have shown yourself worthy.” “All that comes to be, must one day end. It is the ultimate fate of everything, and everything resists it. Yet, in the end, entropy will always emerge victorious. And to those who try to deny the end, they will be met by the reaper. It is inevitible. You were once meant to be used as a tool for one who denies the final end. Now you, touched by the End of All, will seek out and destroy those who wish to avoid the nature of the End.“ The darkness begins to turn, or is it the stars that move? Gallious feels himself begin to fall. He opens his eyes and sees not the universe, not the forces of entropy. He sees the face of a girl looking at him in obvious distress. But the booming voice left a ringing in Gallious' ears and he can’t make out the words she’s trying to say. He raises his hand slowly and with a great deal of effort. His attention is immediately drawn to the scales on his arm. The once vibrant green tint of his scales are bleached, pale, almost chalky white. The girl kneeling beside him reaches out and helps him to a seated position. She says something, but the high-pitched whine continues to drown out the sound. He touches his hand to his chest, expecting to feel the gaping hole where his heart once was. He feels scales, flesh, but something else beneath it all. A hole, no, two holes. Was... was that a skull? Gallious looks at the girl, at the odd blue shade of her hair. "Thank you," he says, "for saving me." He starts to smile, but the world begins to spin around him. He starts to lay back down, and the girl carefully assists him. Gallious looks up at the sky, the sun now shining down on him. Consciousness starts to slip, and as the world around him fades away he feels an odd sense of purpose. "To be the reaper" he whispers, and unconsciousness takes him.
The ImaginariumJust before sunrise, Kilgor awoke to the faint noise that sounded like carnival music. He went to the window and watched as a vardo rode down the street, pulled by a pink elephant. As it passed by the Rusty Dragon, the elephant changed color from pink to rusty brown. Kilgor wrote this off as possible head trauma and went back to sleep. Next morning, after Truett cured himself, Kumiko and Cloud of their Blood Phage disease, the party got together for brunch. Bethana excitedly asked if they were going to the Market to visit the vendors who gathered in the marketplace every Friday. She had heard that the Imaginarium had arrived, and was always a source of interest whenever it came to town. Truett had already been commissioned to make a magical item for a customer, and Kumiko and Gallious put in orders for items as well. Anxious to get to the work he enjoyed that did not result in his near-death, Truett set about his task while the others went shopping. The party arrived at the vardo that Kilgor had seen earlier in the day. There was no elephant anywhere to be seen. However, Father Zantus was purchasing a large box filled with curative potions from a halfling sipping coffee. The halfling, Bertox Xulous, welcomed the Saviors of Sandpoint and invited them to browse his wares. He had a number of potions, oils, and scrolls on display and was willing to bring out some magical items if they were so inclined. His associate, a large humanoid bear named Gunnbjorn, brought out a few items for the party to look at. Jayvielle talked Bertox into purchasing some of their own magic items. Bertox agreed, after having them appraised by a small canine humanoid named Ava Spellstorm. While the party shopped, Geoff, personal assistant and house manager for Brodert Quink, arrived and asked Bertox about purchasing a book that Brodert had asked about. Bertox read the note Geoff presented to him and brought the halfling inside the vardo to continue their conversation. After several minutes, Geoff exited and nervously left with a bundle wrapped in leather tucked under his arm.
Hard TimeWith their shopping complete, the heroes made their way to the Sandpoint Garrison to inform Sheriff Hemlock that they had taken care of the man who had murdered a number of people in and around Sandpoint. At the garrison, the party was told the Sheriff was at town hall sitting in on a trial for Malcolm Hoyle, the sole surviving mercenary who had attempted to "kidnap" Kumiko for Lord Kaitos Blackmoor. The party managed to reach the town hall as Mayor Kendra Deverin passed her verdict on Hoyle - 30 days of incarceration or 350gp fine. Holye only had 25 gp, so he would not be going anywhere any time soon. After the preceding, the party took the sheriff aside and told him the news. They also showed him the note that had been written to Aldern Foxglove from someone known as Xanesha, Mistress of the Seven. Sheriff Hemlock read the note and told the party to come and see him before they left for Magnimar to continue their investigation.
Return to SenderKadrus Shieldwalker arrived at the Rustry Dragon. Bethana sent word that a package had arrived for him. Oddly, the package was apparently sent BY Kadrus, TO Kadrus. The cursive writing on the package was in his handwriting. A Detect Magic spell revealed an Arcane Mark on the package. It's Kadrus' mark. He opened the package and discovered a small traveler's spellbook. He and Kumiko read it, and they both recognized the contents as being magical spells. Neither could tell what exactly the spell was. Kadrus said he would read more and let Kumiko know what he found.
Dust to DustA day later, Father Zantus conducted the funeral for Katrine Vinder, murdered daughter of Ven Vinder. Over fifty people were in attendance, along with the Saviors of Sandpoint. As Father Zantus committed the child to the earth and her coffin was being lowered into the ground, her mother Solsta openly wept and wrapped her arms around her husband. Ven watched the coffin disappear into the ground and he no longer seemed like the angry man the party knew. He looked broken. Katrine's sister, Shayliss Vinder, hugged herself and quietly sobbed.
Grog's ChallengeAfter a few days of training and healing, the party enjoyed their breakfast at the Rusty Dragon and began discussing their next move. Suddenly, the entire Inn could hear music approaching, getting louder and louder. Kumiko recognized the song as "Real Varisian" by Prescott Oakharp, normally played to announce the arrival of a prominent gladiator back in Riddleport. The front door burst open and an entourage filed into the Rusty Dragon. The first one through, a dwarf named Randall Oakwhisper, announced that he was the representative of the owner of Riddleport's Dragonhammer Gym, the one and only Tiberius Dragonhammer himself. Behind the dwarf was a towering mountain of muscle, who tore off his cloak and revealed a physique covered in muscle and what appeared to be baby oil. With his hype man, Pedasos Halfsteel cheering him on, his musical backup Prescott amping up his "Real Varisian" song, and the half-orc female medical team Kaelyn Nightfinger, Tiberius Dragonhammer cut a promo on Grog. Tiberius told Grog that Grog's buddy Dagourn Thundercrag had told Tiberius about the Genari curse, how Grog had the blood of genies in his veins, and that if Tiberius challenged Grog to a duel and beat him, Grog had the power to grand Tiberius a wish! Randall added that Dagourn was very convincing and that Tiberius would be waiting for Grog outside of Sandpoint to prevent unnecessary damage to either the town or its inhabitants. When the party arrived at the scene of the duel, along with dozens and dozens of townsfolk, Tiberius was bubbling with hostility while chewing on dragonroot. Randall began discussing the terms of the duel when Kumiko tried to cast Detect Magic on Tiberius. The big man was enraged and challenged Kumiko as well. After some awkward glances, Randall tried to dissuade Tiberius. But Tiberius would have none of it, and challenged the entire party all at once! Randall scrambled out of the way as Tiberius charged, blowing gout of fire at the heroes. The battle raged but in the end, the Saviors of Sandpoint defeated Tiberius Dragonhammer. Kaelyn healed Tiberius, who apologized for bringing Kumiko and the party into the duel. He then raised the hands of Grog and Kilgor, the two who had bettered him the most. As Sandpoint cheered for their victorious Saviors, "Real Varisian" began to play and Tiberius rode off with his entourage in tow.
- Truett, Kumiko and Cloud were cured of their disease.
- The Skinsaw Man ritual killings have been stopped... for now.
Character(s) interacted with
- Bertox Xulous
- Tiberius Dragonhammer
- Kadrus Shieldwaker
- Truett was working on a commissioned magical item. He will then create a Headband of Alluring Charisma +2 for Gallious (rushed, four days total), and a Headband of Vast Intelligence +2 for Kumiko (rushed, four days total).