Shaintar_J&L_Rangers of Bearheart

Session 8:
Rendezvous in the north

After realizing that the captured Prelacy spy would never betray his cause, Estellia finished deciphering what remained of the journal. It contained:

  • Information on the each of the city’s gates.
  • A list of names, marked with either an “X”, “Y”, or “Z”.
  • A location near the Northern Range and a date about 3 days north of Bearheart.

Correstose examined the strange weapon he carried and believes it is a “Builder” weapon. His grandfather shared legends of the strange beings in his youth and it matched his descriptions perfectly.

The spy and the information was taken directly to Lieutenant Bardo. He would confer with Lord Arnwald and look into the names on the list while the PCs would go north and look into the location.

They made decent time on horseback, stopping briefly to repair an abandoned sleigh. Once at the location, they made a well-concealed camp and scouted the area. They found a cave entrance several hundred yards away with a mysterious light source within. It wasn’t investigated any further. Then they waited.

The next afternoon, a group of 10 armed and armored people arrived, 2 on horseback. The PCs jumped immediately into battle from an ambush position. Between Silvilagus’ entangling flora and suprise attacks from underground; Correstose’s mental pummeling; and the remaining PCs’ attacks; the group was vanquished and prisoners were taken.

At one point, a dwarf-like person emerged from the cave and began firing on the party with a builder weapon. Before they could capture him, he ducked back into the cave and a crashing of rocks was heard from within.

XP:

2 for everyone.

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Session 7:
Blood Steel & Exploding heads?!?

After leaving the alchemist’s shop, the PCs realized they were being followed by 3 men. One matched the description of one of the Blood Steel’s potential buyers.

One of the pursuers slipped away, and Estellia stepped into an alleyway and came up behind one of the other pursuers. The confrontation didn’t go well. First, the pursuers destroyed their leather-bound journals with vials of acid. Then their head exploded. This caused quite a scene.

The city watch arrived, dispersed the crowd, and an investigation began. The pursuers seemed a little too “local”: their gear being all purchased recently in town. One carried a fancy pen.

The PCs retired to an inn and Estellia began deciphering the surviving journal. She discovered it was written mainly in Olaran lettering, but a few Camonese characters swapped in. She stayed up all night to decode it, but was interrupted by the pursuer who previously eluded them.

Thorgrin palmed his face and dragged him through the window and pinned him to the table. He reached into his pocked for something, but Correstose was able to magic it away from him before he was able to use it. They have him confined, but he isn’t talking. At least not in any language but Camonese.

The investigation will continue next session.

XP:

2 for everyone.

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Session 6:
Search for the missing Rangers

One month after the events of the previous session, Panthumbra and Raina are missing. While Skoriss was away tending to Ranger business with Lt. Bardo, the other two Rangers had disappeared while investigating the myserious “Esha”.

A fresh group of new Rangers arrived in Bearheart. Correstose Fendraygan, the Eldakar Adept, Estellia Whistlewind, Eldakar Archer, Silvilagus, Alakar druid, and Thorgrin Vhash, the Ogre warrior.

Their first task as a newly formed team was to begin investigating the missing Rangers’ disappearance. First, they checked into the last known contacts. The Tower of Sorcery, the Alchemist, and the Church of Light. They learned what Panthumbra and Raina had:

  • A wagon load of blood steel ore had been stolen, and then brutally retaken
  • A troubled graveyard closely watched by the Church had been disturbed a month ago; a few of its inhabitants became restless and had to be put back to rest.
  • A mysterious woman had been spotted entering and then leaving the alchemist, through an alleyway and seemingly emerge from the other side with new appearance. The alchemist was killed a few days later.
  • The alchemist’s apprentice inherited the shop, quickly opened her secret vault, and began looking for sellers for the items within- including potions of concentrated necromantic essence and an ingot of blood steel.

After meeting with the new alchemist, they emerged and found themselves being watched by 3 men- one matching the description of a potential buyer of the blood steel ingot.

XP:

2 for Skoriss, 5 for everyone else (as it’s their first full session)

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Session 5:
Warlocks afoot

This session began with an interrogation of the necromancer, Sigfried. Panthumbra convinced the local guards to allow the Gray Rangers first crack at questioning.

The PCs discovered that the necromancer was working for someone else, more powerful than the PCs. Thus, he was more afraid of her than he was of the PCs. After some negotiation, he decided to give them some information if they were able to break a sort of geas that she had over him, allowing his soul to at least go free after his likely execution by the Olarans. The PCs were asked to find a particular skull with a unique sigil and destroy it. His mistress “Esha” would be keeping it somewhere within a few days travel of their location. He was only able to tell them that she changed her face often, but liked to keep cats. And, she would obviously be up to various acts of necromancy. If the PCs followed those, they would hopefully find her involved.

After the interrogation, 3 representatives of the nearby Goblinesh Gather: a goblin, orc, and ogre arrived and demanded that the necromancer be turned over to them for justice. After all, he killed only 5 humans from Silver Gate, but over a dozen members of the gather, either through murder or corruption. The Rangers calmed down the enraged ogre, and proposed a compromise- that the gather would send a delegation to Silver Gate, and provide the executioner. More details need to be arranged, but Skoriss has agreed to keep an eye on the prisoner as an impartial 3rd party.

The PCs then went to Bearheart to do some investigating:

Raina hit the streets and found a reformed criminal, Erland, who now dedicated his time in service of the Church of Light. Through his former contacts on the street, and his new contact in the church, he was aware of a rumor of a wagon load of supposed Blood Steel ore being robbed, and then the thieves being later killed by apparent necromancy. He also heard a rumor of a cemetery watched over by 3 different churches of light and a sight on the edges of Bearheart where a goblinesh gather was massacred generations ago.

Panthumbra visited the local tower of sorcery and found out the sorcerers’ own investigation found a woman buying ritual materials from a local alchemist, ducking into an alley, and apparently coming out the other side looking like a different woman. She visited the alchemist and managed to convince her that she was a loyal follower of Esha, and left a message to meet her near the old Dwarven watchtower (the new Rangers’ HQ) in two weeks time.

After Action Report:
The PCs still have a couple other avenues of investigation, and plan to set up an ambush for when Esha comes to meet them at the watchtower.

Important NPCs:
Father Sorrin; Siegfried, the necromancer; Esha, his mistress; Bigg, the Goblin; Boshek, the orc tracker; Jerzy, the Ogre; Erland, reformed criminal.

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Session 4:
Sturmmauer Keep, part 2

After defeating the hobgoblins, the PCs returned to Silver Gate to heal up and update the people of the town. The next day, they returned to Sturmmauer Keep and tracked the robed figure and his hobgoblin cohort into a rocky canyon. As the full moon rose, Panthumbra spotted a filiment that ran through the canyon and a branch broke off into a cave. Within the cave, they found a goblin corpse and the remains of some sort of ritual.

They followed the tracks and the filiment back to the keep where the Hobgoblin stood watch and the robed figure performed a ritual. Panthumbra fought the robed figure while Raina and Skoriss fought the hobgoblin and a pair of zombies.

Finally, after dispatching the hobgoblin and disrupting the ritual, they captured what was now obviously a necromancer. They brought the necromancer back to Silver gate for questioning.

After Action Report:
It appeared that the necromancer was gathering necromantic energy (sort of like a potion of concentrated essence, only more essence and inside a skull instead of a potion) for his master. They plan to question him about his “master” and find out what else he might be up to.

Important NPCs:
The necromancer

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Session 3:
Sturmmauer Keep

The PCs previous investigation into the mine collapse ended abruptly and satisfyingly. The bandit camp was abandoned and it’s occupants scattered. They crossed paths with the goblin mine worker from before who was conducting his own investigation. Back at the mine, all but a select core of workers were paid and dismissed from the rest of the project, the owner no longer concerned about the incident. The PCs wrapped up and moved on.

Traveling in a wide arc around the city of Bearheart, they found the town of Silver Gate, nestled along the road between two lone mountains. A funeral was being held for a well-regarded citizen who’s entire family was slain recently on the road near the town. Tracks from the scene of the attack led toward an old abandoned keep, “Sturmmauer”. After talking to the local priest and an older warrior of the town, they decided they were best suited to investigating the attack and headed toward the keep.

…where they were promptly attacked by 8 frothing hobgoblins. The melee was short, but very fierce. Skoriss held his ground and killed the hobgoblins while Panthumbra- unprepared for such a fight- was nearly slain and sustained a permanent injury.

Observing the melee was a commanding hobgoblin along with a mysterious robed figure. As the battle turned, both sneaked away.

After Action Report:
With the hobgoblins defeated, the PCs have decided to investigate the robed figure. They suspect he’s a necromancer, given his association with the corrupted.

Due to wrapping up the old adventure and getting through most of this one, as well as the difficult combat, I awarded 3 xp and the PCs gained an advance.

Additional Information:
This was the one-sheet “A Darkness comes to Stormwall Keep” with a few minor tweaks.

One of the players couldn’t make it. That was their archer. This seemed to greatly affect the way the fight went (even with fewer hobgoblins than the sheet suggested, since I only had 2 PCs). I’m still learning about how SW combats work. It was a close call with Panthumbra.

Important NPCs:
Father Sorrin of the Church of Light; Oskar, retired guard; Mysterious Cloaked Figure

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Session 2:
Welcome to Bearheart, part 2

The PCs continued their investigation into the mining attacks and recent mine shaft collapse. They discovered that the mine shaft was likely set to collapse by a recently hired human worker from “up north”. The worker injured himself and left the head of a broken pickaxe behind. The worker had left the work site suddenly and recently. Panthumbra went into the nearby village where the worker was said to have gone, and with the aid of a local crow tracked him Northwest back into the mountains, away from the mine.

Back at the mine, Skoriss and the newest ranger of Bearheart, Raina, spoke to the mine supervisor and owner, who seemed suddenly excited about some recent development that they were unwilling to reveal to the PCs. They took their leave and met up with Panthumbra, who was locked in battle with 3 men, including the injured, formerly missing mine worker. After a short fight, one enemy lay dead, and the other two gave away that they had been hired by a mysterious woman to raid and trap the mine. They gave the location of their boss and fled.

After Action Report:
The next move will be to investigate the boss’ location and find out why they were attacking the mine, and what the mine owner was so excited about.

I admitted to the players that this first adventure was not something I was terribly excited about and was more like a typical tv “pilot” episode, meant to get the characters together. I was hoping to finish it in 1-2 sessions, but looks like it’ll be 3.

After this, we’ll explore some other aspects of the Shaintar setting and hopefully get some threads to weave into a larger plot.

Additional Information:
Raina is the newest PC to join the group.

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Session 1:
Welcome to Bearheart

The PCs arrived in Bearheart and reported to the Garrison Commander, who handed him off to Second Lieutenant Bardo for their briefing.

The PCs were taken on a quick tour of the city and then taken to their new headquarters in a small abandoned lookout outside the city. From their, they decided to begin their duties in Olara by looking into a situation at a local iron mine in the Forges (mountain range) to the west of the city.

The mine was being attacked and raided, seemingly randomly, by local bandits. While talking to the mine operator’s hired security, one of the mine shafts collapsed and two wounded miners had to be rescued. A goblin miner was accused of sabotage. Panthumbra used Mind Reading to determine the goblin was not guilty, but was worried enough about his own safety to run away.

A subsequent interview and investigation showed a strong animosity between the human and dwarf miners toward a small group of recently hired goblins, one of which had been regularly winning a lot of coins from the humans in nightly gambling sessions.

The investigation is set to continue next session

After Action Report:
The PCs gained 5 XP (as per the standard rules) for their first session.

Important NPCs:
Lord Arnwald, Bearheart Garrison Commander, Second Lieutenant Bardo, Liaison to the Grey Rangers. Clarembald, private mine operator. Unnamed goblin miner/gambler.

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