Rise of the Runelords.   Posted by Narrator.Group: 0
 player, 535 posts
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 06:04
Rise of the Runelords
  Luskan specifically probably doesn't exist at the moment, so Joe is hazy on where to grade his 'in town problems in backstory' credentials.

  "I'm sure the problem staying outside of town borders is preferable to all involved, even if it's not always possible."  Note to self, try slightly harder than usual to keep the random noble alive during hunting.
 GM, 2140 posts
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 06:16
Rise of the Runelords
Aldern does have "victim" written all over him, doesn't he?  But no.  He's an NPC fan-boy that was supposed to act as a sort of love interest for any human or elf females in the team.  Apparently he doesn't go for half-orcs, halflings, dwarves, etc....  So instead he fan-boys over the whole group.

He’s more interested in the PCs,
though. Who are they? Where are they
from? How long have they been fighting
goblins? Do they have any harrowing tales
of their adventures? In particular, Aldern
should be particularly interested in the PC
he was taken with in their previous encounter.
Preferably, this should be an attractive female
character, in which case his attention should
seem like friendly flirting. If instead his attentions
are on a character who seemed particularly good
at fighting goblins, his attention should almost
seem like a desperate attempt to “learn how to be a
hero.” Play up his attention as friendly at first, but
by the time the PCs finish the hunt, they should
feel a little bit annoyed or disturbed at Aldern’s
seemingly growing obsession.

Mittens doesn't play along with the module writer's wishes and gladly regales Aldern with detailed accounts of her adventures.  Which at this level tend to be mostly harmless things like, "exploring the off-limits places of Hometown," or "how I learned the familiar summoning spell and wound up with Pyrus."  Nathan doesn't talk about his backstory and focuses instead on providing music for the rest of the group.
 Player, 79 posts
 Happy Half-Dragon
 Fight AND Flight!
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 06:25
Rise of the Runelords
Mishann doesn't talk much about her backstory either unless asked very specifically. Examples include:

"Where are you from?"

"Half dragons are rare; how did you come about?"
"Mommy fell in love with daddy and soon he fell in love back."

Stuff like that. But while she is short with her answers about her origins, she is open about anything adventure related and oft has high praises for her allies and makes sure to mention a shining moment for EACH one: Mittens, Joe, Nathan, Pyrus... she is sure to recall particular moments where each of them shined.

Mishann is actually used to people groveling to her, but only due to fear... she isn't used to admiration or fanboys. So she completely misses the fact Aldern is an obsessed stalker in disguise.
 player, 536 posts
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 06:34
Rise of the Runelords
  Joe's backstory this time around is... incredibly boring (what a shocker).

  "Tried to be a normal woodsman, got constantly interrupted by adventurer type problems.  So I decided if it was going to happen anyways, might as well get paid for it."  Joe does catch on, but gets the feeling they reaction will be about the same as if he explained something like a childhood dealing with floating necromancer islands that drip acid rain down onto a pirate and zombie infested slum of a coastal city.
 GM, 2141 posts
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 06:43
Rise of the Runelords
Feel free to make as much or as little of the
actual boar hunt as you wish. The boars of Tickwood aren’t all that fierce—use stats for a dog
for the encounter, or simply describe the hunt
and the catch. Aldern invites them back to the
Rusty Dragon that evening, where he hands the
boar over to Ameiko to cook for a big dinner. You
can use this dinner to further build the doomed
noble’s obsession with his chosen PC as you see
fit. Of course, you can also use this dinner to
introduce the PCs to Ameiko, since she plays an important role
in the next part of this adventure.

...Ok so he DOES have "victim" written all over him.  Oh well.  Since Mits is a female, and isn't conservative about her backstory, she becomes the focus of his friendly flirts.  Sorry, Mits.  For now, at least, she doesn't take them as flirts and is simply happy to have a fan.  She's appreciative of Mishann's praise, and is quick to also boast about her awesome friends!

Nathan smiles and thanks the girls for the praise.

Meanwhile, Pyrus pretends to flirt with Mishann.  Blowing a heart-shaped smoke ring at her.  Batting his eyes.  So forth.  But when praised, he gets bashful and hides.
 Player, 80 posts
 Happy Half-Dragon
 Fight AND Flight!
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 06:54
Rise of the Runelords
Dwynn sympathizes with Joe...? Sort of?

Mishann sure wishes she could read narrative doom prophecies. Oh well!

She does cuddle the baby dragon for his baby flirts. Mishann is also sure to compliment his ability to make smoke hearts: That isn't easy, you know! She isn't one to flirt with people she just met, especially if they seem like someone who won't be staying with her and her friends. So Aldern gets no such attention from Mishann.

When the team returns from the hunt, Mishann is in a GREAT mood! Not only did the team actually have a relaxing day off and make a new friend, she got to experience boar hunting! And to end the day with Ameiko? Bonus! Mishann goes to Ameiko and says, "Hey, Ameiko! Tiff chatted with us the other day and we gave her the story of our latest adventures. But since you already know part of our story, if you like, I can tell you about the adventures my friends and I have been on leading up to Sandpoint. Didn't want you of all people to miss out..."
 player, 537 posts
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 07:06
Rise of the Runelords
  Oh hi doppelganger reference.

  "Dropping things out of the air so my friends can hit them is, so far, still always funny."
 GM, 2142 posts
Fri 3 Feb 2017
at 07:18
Rise of the Runelords
Pyrus is all blushy, but likes the cuddles.  Shalelu joins the group for he feast and reports that she'll have info for the group once she can have a private audience.  Not urgent.

Ameiko isn't very cheery.  "Huh?  Yeah.  Sure.  Maybe it'll help me take my mind off things."

Mits is sure to provide visuals to Mishann's narration.  And Nathan provides music.  Aldern does his best to lift Ameiko's spirits, but his charm doesn't really alter her mood for the better.
 Player, 81 posts
 Happy Half-Dragon
 Fight AND Flight!
Wed 8 Feb 2017
at 05:58
Rise of the Runelords
Mishann does her best to amaze Ameiko and remind her why she enjoys adventure. Especially with the kinds of descriptions Mishann tends to give. When she is done, Mishann sits with the others and gives Ameiko a hopeful smile.
 player, 540 posts
Wed 8 Feb 2017
at 06:07
Rise of the Runelords
  Joe finds Ameiko's mopeyness at least understandable.  Though he hopes for her sake she doesn't go into full time brooding (she doesn't have a hairstyle or fashion sense suitable for it anyways, given the artwork).

  "I don't suppose you've had time for more conventional hunting for quite some time, Shalelu?"
 GM, 2146 posts
Wed 8 Feb 2017
at 06:42
Rise of the Runelords
Ameiko's mood doesn't improve, but doesn't worsen at least.  Shalelu shrugs and answers, "Small game from time to time, sure.  Nothing like this big boar you all brought in."

Aldern beams from the compliment and is quick to praise the heroes' part in hunting the boar.

Nathan approaches Ameiko and asks, "Were you able to get your brother to talk?"

Mits cringes from the brashness.  Ameiko sighs.  "Yeah.  Nothing useful, I'm afraid.  Just his version of why dad and everyone else got what was comin' to 'em.  And his version of why Nualia believes the town deserves to burn.  Supposedly she worships Lamashtu, goddess of monsters, and wants to offer the town as a sacrifice to her god.  I really hope you all are right that she's actually a devil who put a spell on him.  I'd join you all in the fight but...  I just can't right now."
 Player, 82 posts
 Happy Half-Dragon
 Fight AND Flight!
Wed 8 Feb 2017
at 07:08
Rise of the Runelords
Nathan's question surprises Mishann mostly because Mishann would not have expected Ameiko to be able to talk to her brother. Or that anyone could get him to say a word.

Mishann nods to Ameiko. "Don't worry, Ameiko. We'll get to the bottom of it."

She then looks to Shalelu. "I assume you'll be joining us, though?"
 player, 541 posts
Wed 8 Feb 2017
at 07:12
Rise of the Runelords
  "Yeah, can't blame you for not wanting to rush out and deal with more violence in these circumstances Ameiko."  He looks over to Mishann, and comments "At the very least, she'll be coming along to the conversation she wanted to have with us."
 GM, 2147 posts
Fri 10 Feb 2017
at 06:46
Rise of the Runelords
Pyrus glomps Ameiko, who seems uncomfortable with the gesture.  Nathan just plays soothing music on his lyre.

Shalelu nods.  "Right.  On both points."

Mits hrms.  "May be more useful than you might think, Ameiko.  Such as using what he knows as 'proof' that her powers are waning; a useful psych.  Or might have some clue in there for what plan of attack she'll choose."

"I'll recount the story as best I can if you want."
 Player, 83 posts
 Happy Half-Dragon
 Fight AND Flight!
Fri 10 Feb 2017
at 06:50
Rise of the Runelords
Mishann nods. "We do want. We can use every little bit we can get."

She pulls Pyrus away from Ameiko and whispers to the little dragon in a soothing tone, "That was kind of you, but I don't think she wants that right now."
 player, 542 posts
Fri 10 Feb 2017
at 07:10
Rise of the Runelords
  "Every bit will help in this situation, but don't force yourself if it's that uncomfortable for you."  Joe hopes it's not 'that-one-plot-hint-you-need' missing if she takes them up on that, though.
 GM, 2148 posts
Mon 13 Feb 2017
at 06:18
Rise of the Runelords
Pyrus pouts and hides behind Mittens.

Ameiko expounds:

The primary villain of “Burnt Offerings” is a bitter aasimar woman
named Nualia. A foundling raised by Sandpoint’s previous religious
leader, a man named Ezakien Tobyn, Nualia’s childhood was lonely
and sad. Her unearthly beauty made the other children either
jealous or shy, and many of them took to playing cruel jokes on her.
The adults in town weren’t much better—many of the superstitious
Varisians viewed Nualia as blessed by Desna, a sort of “reverse
deformity.” Rumors that her touch or proximity could cure warts
and rashes, that locks of her hair brewed into tea could increase
fertility, and that her voice could drive out evil spirits led to endless
awkward and humiliating requests over the years. Poor Nualia felt
more like a freak than a young girl by the time she came of age, so
when Delek Viskanta, a local Varisian youth, began to court her,
she practically fell into his arms in gratitdue.

Knowing that her father wouldn’t approve of a relationship
with a Varisian (he wanted her to remain pure so that she could
join one of the prestigious Windsong Abbey convents), they kept
the affair secret. They met many times in hidden places, a favorite
being an abandoned smuggler’s tunnel under town that Delek
had discovered as a child. Before long, Nualia realized she was
pregnant. When she told Delek, he revealed his true colors and,
after calling her a slut and a harlot, fled Sandpoint rather than
face her father’s wrath. Nualia’s shock quickly turned to rage, yet
she had nowhere to vent her anger. She bottled it up, and when
her father discovered her delicate condition, his reaction to her
indescretions only furthered her shame and anger. He forbade
her to leave the church, lectured her nightly, and made her pray
to Desna for forigeness. In so doing, he unknowingly nurtured
her growing hate.

When the runewell in the Catacombs of Wrath flared to life,
Nualia’s own anger was a magnet to its magic. Seven months pregnant, the wrathful energies suffused her mind and she flew into
a frenzy. She miscarried her child later that night, a child whose
monstrously deformed shape she only glimpsed before blanching
midwives stole it away to burn it in secret. As the child had been
concieved in the smuggler’s tunnels below town, in close proximity
to a hidden shrine to Lamashtu (the goddess of monstrous births),
the child itself was deformed and horrific. The double shock of
losing a child and the realization she had been carrying a fiend in
her belly for seven months was too much. Nualia fell into a coma.

As Nualia slept, she dreamed unhealthy dreams. Fueled by the
wrath from below and the taint of Lamashtu, Nualia became further
obsessed with the cruel demon goddess and the conviction that her
wretched life was inflicted on her by those around her. She came
to see her angelic heritage as a curse, and the demon-sent dreams
showed her how to expunge this taint from her body and soul,
replacing it with chaos and cruelty. When she finally woke, Nualia
was someone new, someone who didn’t flinch at what Lamashtu
asked of her. She jammed her father’s door shut as he slept, lit the
church on fire, and fled Sandpoint.

The locals assumed Nualia had burned in the fire, a tragedy made
all the worse by the death of Father Tobyn as well. Yet Nualia lived.
She fled to Magnimar, where she enlisted the aid of a group of killers
known as the Skinsaw Men. With their aid, she tracked down Delek
and murdered him. Yet his death did not fill her need for revenge.
Sandpoint and its hated citizens still lived.

Seeing a kindred spirit in the tortured woman, the mysterious
leader of the Skinsaw Men gave Nualia a medallion bearing a carving of a seven-pointed star called a “Sihedron medallion.” Nualia
learned that she had a larger role to play, and that her dreams were
a map to her destiny. Taking the advice to heart, Nualia returned to
Sandpoint, and found herself drawn to the brick wall in the smuggler’s tunnels where she and Delek had conceived her deformed
child. Nualia bashed down the wall, and in so doing, discovered
the Catacombs of Wrath and the quasit Erylium, also a follower
of Lamashtu. For many months, Nualia studied under Erylium’s
tutelage. During this time, Nualia received another vision from
Lamashtu—a vision of a monstrous goblin wolf imprisoned in a tiny
room. In Nualia’s dreams, she learned that this creature, a barghest
named Malfeshnekor, was also one of Lamashtu’s chosen. If she
could find him and free him, he would not only help her achieve her
vengeance against the town of Sandpoint, but he would be the key
in cleansing her body of what she had come to see as her “celestial
taint.” Nualia wanted to be one of Lamashtu’s children now. She
wanted to become a monster herself.

(The following infodump never happened because we bypassed getting the quest to find Ameiko)

Tsuto was something of a scandal when he
was born 21 years ago, since he’s a half-elf. Bethana sagely notes,
with big eyes, that
neither of Ameiko’s parents are elves. It was
obvious that old Lonjiku wasn’t the boy’s father, and his rage at
the discovery of his wife’s indiscretion was the talk of the town for
months. Lonjiku’s wife Atsuii never revealed who the father was,
and it’s a testament to Lonjiku’s stubbornness that they remained
married. Tsuto was handed over to the Turandarok Academy to
be raised outside of the Kaijitsu family, ignored by his father and
forbidden visits from his mother. His older sister Ameiko visited
him in secret a few times a month to keep him company, bring him
some food, and promise him that someday things would get all
sorted out. That all changed six years ago, when they had a terrible
argument in which Tsuto struck Ameiko. Bethana doesn’t know
what the argument was about
, but whatever it was is what sent
Ameiko away from Sandpoint for a year, during which time she
made a living as an adventurer. She returned to Sandpoint five years
ago to attend her mother’s funeral. Tsuto was quite public in his
opinions that his father had pushed Atsuii off the cliff to her death,
and during the funeral there was a confrontation. Lonjiku nearly
broke Tsuto’s jaw with his cane, after which Tsuto cursed him and
left Sandpoint. Ameiko’s tried to reestablish contact with him ever
since, but was never able to track him down.

When Tsuto Kaijitsu joined Nualia’s
group in Magnimar a year ago, he was already in love with her.
He’d seen her on the streets of Sandpoint many times, but never
had the courage to approach the mysterious beauty. So when she
approached him with an offer of a job, he felt as if fate had finally
dealt him a good hand. When he learned that her plans involved
burning his hometown as an offering to her goddess, Lamashtu,
Tsuto was even more thrilled—not at the opportunity to serve the
goddess of monsters (Tsuto doesn’t have much interest in religion)
but as an opportunity to get revenge on the town he blamed for his
bitter and joyless childhood.

Tsuto’s primary job was to serve as the link between Sandpoint and Thistletop, since not only did he know the town the
best, but he had links to one of its most important citizens—his
father. After blackmailing Lonjiku into aiding the preparation
of Sandpoint for the goblin raid, Tsuto had his father right
where he wanted him. A few days after the raid, he sent his
father a note demanding a payment of 2,000 gp or Tsuto would
reveal his role in the raid. Infuriated, Lonjiku decided it was
time to take care of his son. He agreed to the payment, and
when he arrived at the Glassworks late one night several days
after the raid, he attempted to murder Tsuto. Unfortunately for
Lonjiku, Tsuto had come up with the same plan. Before Lonjiku
arrived, the goblins killed all of the workers who lived on site.
Tsuto and a half-dozen goblins ambushed Lonjiku as he entered
the Glassworks, murdered him, and put his body on display
in area A17.

Nathan looks serious faced.  "We need to destroy this Lamashtu shrine."

"That's what I was going to talk to you about in private," Shalelu sighs, "I found the tunnel."

"Gives us something to do while we wait for the troops to arrive," Mits comments.

Ameiko looks a little surprised and embarrassed.  "Oh...  I thought you already knew all this.  Sorry."
 Player, 84 posts
 Happy Half-Dragon
 Fight AND Flight!
Mon 13 Feb 2017
at 06:40
Rise of the Runelords
Mishann just gets angrier and angrier as she hears the tale. She can see now why Tsuto spared Ameiko and yet was cruel enough to tie her up and stuff her in a closet. Her growl sounds like a dragon as she stands up slowly. And although she is the same height as always, she seems a lot taller somehow as her eyes blaze with rage. She says nothing, but heads for the door.
 player, 543 posts
Mon 13 Feb 2017
at 09:12
Rise of the Runelords
  "Seems we can only learn or stumble upon so many plots at a time, so thank you for filling us in." He glances back at Mishann's departure, and decides to giver her at least 60 seconds before checking up on her.

  Well, unless Aldern decides to go faster.  Then he'll have to go and keep him from getting his face torn off, by being so ashamed of bothering Mishann he tears off his own face.
 GM, 2149 posts
Fri 17 Feb 2017
at 06:11
Rise of the Runelords
Pyrus follows Mishann out.  Nathan takes a deep breath and begins playing a soothing tune on his lyre.  Mits glance-glances at Mishann but doesn't attempt to stop her.  Ameiko just gazes out the window with a thousand yard stare.

Aldern just gulps from the growl and stays put.

"Yes.  The heroes will destroy the evil altar and defeat this quasit nasty as well," Mits asserts.

"Is she going to be alright?" Aldern asks, "Should I go try and cheer her up?"

Shalelu seems to be lost in thought.
 Player, 85 posts
 Happy Half-Dragon
 Fight AND Flight!
Fri 17 Feb 2017
at 06:26
Rise of the Runelords
Mishann leads the way! Wherever this entrance is, she is headed straight for it. In a gravelly, growling voice, Mishann grumbles, "They want to steal souls? I will devour theirs."

Nathan's music, as usual, is pleasant to listen to. Mishann appears to be slowly calming from it as she begins glancing around at her teammates with a more stern look rather than "killer instinct" look. She gives each of her team a solemn nod as if to let them know Nathan helped her focus and get her head back into the game.
 player, 544 posts
Fri 17 Feb 2017
at 06:36
Rise of the Runelords
   Oh look, Aldern does have half a brain when not scripted to be an idiot.  Good on you Aldern, we'll miss you when you're gone-oh, well A for effort.

  "I think at this point, she would prefer those she's known for more than a few days at most."
 GM, 2150 posts
Fri 17 Feb 2017
at 06:48
Rise of the Runelords
The way to the next dungeon is through the glassworks.

Pyrus was quick to return inside and let the group know that Mishann wasn't just going outside to cool off, so Nathan and Mits exited and hurried to catch up to her.

"I dunno, Mishann," Mits answers, "Demon souls might give you indigestion.  But then, fire breath.  So they'll at least be cooked."

Nathan stifles a chuckle.  "If you kill an outsider in this world, their soul is returned to Pharasma's Boneyard in the Outer Sphere.  From there, she sends them to where they belong, just like she does for mortals.  To devour a soul in this world involves some very rare and powerful magic."

Mits sighs.  "Fascinating.  Let's stick to cheering up Mishann rather than getting technical."

Nathan ohs.  "Sorry."
 Player, 86 posts
 Happy Half-Dragon
 Fight AND Flight!
Fri 17 Feb 2017
at 07:05
Rise of the Runelords
Mishann says, "It's fine. I appreciate having inside info on how the afterlife works. But for as often as people rip each others' souls to shreds, Nathan, it sure seems awfully common magic. It's just... punching bad guys will help calm me down, sure. But it won't restore Ameiko or her family. Or the Barett family. Or anyone else evil touches. They are scarred for life and no amount of good will help them. And what justice is there when all evil gets is a time-out? "Oh you've been a bad boy. We'll just put you back in Hell which you'll find your way out of again to do harm." But by the gods, if all I'm good for is destruction, it may as well be to avenge those who have been hurt. And since Evil gets a free pass when killed, I will make sure they suffer so bad they will prefer Hell to the Prime Material!"

Mishann glances at Mittens. "I'll add ketchup. Supposedly that makes everything taste good to dragons."

This message was last edited by the player at 07:07, Fri 17 Feb 2017.

 player, 545 posts
Fri 17 Feb 2017
at 07:17
Rise of the Runelords
  The Good/Neutral pantheon's concern for their licensing rights does often end up worse for the innocent despite claims.  Now now, souls are our sacred domain that only we're allowed the royalties-I mean, responsibility of...  What? Do something about it instead of nitpicking the goodguys?  uuuuh, mysterious ways no takebacks.

  "A practical outlet for a natural talent for violence is surprisingly beneficial.  If only for ourselves and a local populace, rather than the opinions of those passing judgments."