Monday, July 16, 2018

Rise of the Runelords Recap # 50 [RPG]

[21 Kuthona 4707]

Having won a second tremendous victory over the ogres occupying Fort Rannick, the adventurers take stock.  The wounded are healed, the enemies looted, and a safe, warm place is found for the sick and feverish Fillias Lahs (who occasionally murmurs something about “Commander” and “Lamatar”) to be tended to by his cousin Artemis while the others explore the rest of the keep.  Shalelu pulls Goragar aside and tells the half-orc she’s leaving: the person she was hoping to find is almost certainly dead.  Goragar asks who it was, and Shalelu tells him about Jakardros Sovark, a man who was essentially her step-father before he suddenly abandoned her after her mother’s death.  Shalelu explains that she hasn’t seen Jakardros in almost two decades, and wanted to finally confront him.  Goragar says that if anyone discovers anything, he’ll let her know.  She says she plans to spend a few weeks in the area before heading back to Sandpoint.

By the middle of the afternoon, a thorough search of the first level of the inner keep has been completed.  Most of the rooms have been wrecked and defiled by the ogres, and exhibitions of their grisly hobbies are everywhere, such as the corpse of the keep’s priest of Erastil displayed as if he were eating his own intestines.  Only the library of the Order of the Black Arrow still holds anything of value, and the adventurers collect a few tomes on the Hook Mountain region and its inhabitants.

The search continues on the keep’s upper level.  A chapel has been turned by the ogres into a grotesque mockery and the furniture in many rooms splintered into unrecognizable bits of wood, cloth, and glass.  But in a large chamber decorated with longswords and stuffed animal heads on the wall, Sir Roderick finds a hidden compartment in the base of a shattered wine cabinet!  Inside are a pair of soft green leather boots; a jewellery box containing a silver locket, which itself contains a single golden hair that Kang identifies as nymph hair; and a coffer containing dozens of love sonnets written to someone named “Myriana”, said to be so beautiful that the moon itself was “blinded when it spied her dancing on the tarn” and who is the “truest grace to know Whitewillow’s soft embrace.”  Kozen recognizes the name Whitewillow as a part of the Shimmerglens where the planar walls between this realm and the First World are said to be thin.  But speculation focuses on the name “Myriana”—it sounds exactly the same as the name of Artemis’ wife!  The searchers bring the sonnets to Artemis, afraid of his reaction, but are relieved to discover his wife’s name is spelled “Miryana” and that subtle clues in the sonnets point to it being a completely different person.

As the adventurers prepare to search the the keep’s basement, discussion is had about what Turtleback Ferry will do now that almost all of its protectors have been slain.  Sir Roderick says he’ll never abandon the village, and talk turns to how the expert musketeer is perceived by the more common members of his race.  Locked in conversation, the explorers are surprised to descend the staircase into the basement to find a chamber decorated with gauzy silk curtains, lit by warm braziers, and infused with the scent of sweet incense.  “How lovely of you to come,” purrs the seductive voice of an aristocratic-looking woman with fire-red hair, alabaster skin, high cheekbones, and an elegant, fashionable dress.  Ignoring the questions coming from Kozen, Goragar, and Sir Roderick (all of whom she dismisses as mere servants), she focusses all of her attention and charm on Kang.  She gives her name as Lucrecia, says that her master, Mokmurian, could use someone clever and powerful enough to destroy “those loathsome Kreegs”, and offers to show Kang a life the likes of which he never thought possible.  But Lucrecia has badly miscalculated: Kang is completely immune to her’s, or any woman’s, charms!  Once he’s found out as much information as he can, he rebuffs her coldly.

Lucrecia, miscalculated, fatally.
Lucrecia shrugs and then transforms into half-human/half-snake creature just like the one fought atop the Shadow Clock weeks ago in Magnimar!  She pulls out a wicked looking dagger, but Sir Roderick doesn’t hesitate to open fire again and again at point blank range!  “You ruined my dress!” Lucrecia shouts as blood and gunpowder mix, and with a hurled curse she places the goblin into a mystical sleep!  Before she can do anything else though, even escape, Kang hurls a single bomb.  When the smoke clears, Lucrecia is quite dead.

A search of the lamia matriarch’s chamber uncovers a long-forgotten secret door leading into a natural cave system.  The adventurers realize the corridors are clearly too small for ogres to have traversed it, and decide to leave it alone.  They return to the first floor and rest for the night.

[22 Kuthona 4707]

Loading up a spare horse with Fillias and several bags of treasure, the adventurers begin their return journey to Turtleback Ferry.
Director's Commentary (July 16, 2018)

The "Myriana"/"Miryana" thing was completely unplanned, and a true coincidence.  It was pretty funny at the time.

I had Lucrecia pick Kang to work his wiles on because he was the most visible leader of the group.  But her attempt was doomed to failure, as Kang has never shown the slightest whiff of romantic interest in anything other than alchemy set.

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