The Red Band

Asking Around
Session 17 - More Puddles

10 GOZRAN 4710 That morning Brother Sam, the Tiefling leader of the Pyrasphere Club, requested that you help him clear out some monsters swimming around in the basement of the Dryhouse in exchange for using his network to put the word out about Gerald. While Korvia, Bob and Gary continued to explore the Puddles district, Key Munzo stayed behind to prepare spell. As usual, Lem was no where to be found.

They arrived at the Float Shack diner, operated by a Dwarf named Grimm Stoneaxe. There they met Talkeetna, a female Dwarf Cleric of Torag who was also looking for Gerald. She and an unknown companion tracked Gerald to Absalom from the mainland. Just then, a small gang of Lizardfolk leaped onto the platform with intent to harm. Korvia, Bob, Gary and Talkeetna defeated the Lizardfolk. Interrogation revealed one name: Mentak.

Later on, the group went to the local tavern: The Mermaid’s Daughter, where they ran into Dodgy, Brother Sam’s right hand man, and Sketchy, Dodgy’s childhood friend.

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Cult or Not?
SESSION 16 – STEPPING IN PUDDLES

9 GOZRAN 4710__ Even though the previous night’s activities didn’t go as planned, Beautiful Dan offered his hospitality for the night. After all, sometimes you have to risk investing in a new a relationship for future property. Over the course of the evening the Red Band decided to pursue the rumors of Gerald manipulating a cult in the Puddles. But in the morning, first things first: shopping.

The group meandered their way from West Docks to the Puddles district line. It was clear why everyone called the place Puddles.

The group rented a driver and boat from a Pyrasphere member, who was happy to talk about the “club” plans for the district and how Brother Sam was helping to build a stronger community. It seemed though, that the nomarch was making it difficult for the Pyrasphere Club to clean up, renovate and rehabilitate the neighborhood.

Later that afternoon, the group met Brother Sam after a brief presentation about the the club. He agreed to put the word out to his network about the Gerald in exchange for a little cleaning up in the Dryhouse basement.

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Back from Hell
SESSION 15 – ESCAPE FROM DEMONS AND A NEW FRIEND

8 Gozran, 4710 As soon as you squeezed through the massive stone doors in to a long marble hallway you started to wonder where the hell are you. Is this place Hell or just hell? The hallway seemed to go on forever, but as soon as you reached the end, there was no way out. A dead end!

A few demons entered the hall talking among themselves, try to decide the best course of action; the best way to torture you mortal fools. On the other side of the wall, barely perceptible, you heard a voice calling for help.

Eventually Korvia discovered that he was able to use a spell he thought he had already used up for the day to dispel the magic lock on the door/wall. On the other side of the wall was a 15′×15′ room where stood a disoriented Tian Xian man. The demons were advancing.

Lem quickly started searching the other walls for another possible exit while the others prepared to hold off the advancing demons. Moments later he finds evidence of a door and Korvia is called to use his spells again.

Finally the door/wall opened up and the group escaped through it, suddenly appearing back at the docks. Bodies of the Cobalt Coalition and Grindle Street Shades littered the walk ways; a nearby warehouse set ablaze by a fireball; the cargo ship starting its descent to the bottom of the harbor; off in the distance the sound of a carriage retreating into the night.

As the group tracked the wagon, they came to learn that the Tian Xian man was Key Munzo, a priest of Pharasma who has been assigned by Balenar Forsend to check out cult activity in the Puddles district, which is coincidentally where Gerald is rumored to be.

The group travelled through some alleys to some quiet abandoned warehouses. Beautiful Dan greets them, but is puzzled as to what happened and why the shipment they managed to secure was an empty box.

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Gang Wars on the Docks
SESSION 14 – WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?

6 Gozran, 4710 The next day Lem and Korvia come down to the mess hall to find an old friend of Lem’s from Diobel having a bit of breakfast. Bob, grew up and went to school with Lem, but soon after they reached maturity they went their separate ways. Lem went on to work at the family Tavern & Inn (and then adventuring), while Bob joined the Absalom Navy and traveled the Inner Sea in service of his country. He had just been discharged and is now looking for something to do. What a coincidence!?!?

Soon after the happy, albeit awkward reunion, a tall man in with lupine features, gleaming hair, flawless skin and carrying a long wooden flute approached the table. The man introduced himself as Beautiful Dan and tells you that he’s heard of the exploits of the Red Band (even though Lem is the only one wearing a red band). He represents the Cobalt Coalition and would like to employ the group as extra muscle against a common enemy: the Grindle Street Shades.

An important shipment is scheduled to arrived at the docks in three days and the word on the street is that the Shades know about the importance of the shipment are going going to cause a scene and possibly hijack the shipment. Lem was hesitant at first, as he doesn’t consider the Shades his enemy, but Beautiful Dan says ""You might not, but they certainly do. Balgrim Hurkes, the leader of the gang, is holding anyone associated with the Red Band for the murder of his brother Malgrim nearly a month ago."" He will also pay you for a successful job.

With that, the deal was sealed and the group set off into the city once again to search for the elusive Gerald. The first stop would be to visit Kreighton Shaine, the Dean of Scrolls at the Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge. It was possible that Gerald might have visited him, since Balenar’s offer of sponsorship extended to him at the time.

You decided to travel to the Grand Lodge via the docks in order to scope out the terrain. While there a group of shady looking people also looked like they were scoping out the terrain. Is it possible that these guys are the Grindle Street Shades that Beautiful Dan was talking about? There was a bit of a stand-off, but both groups moved on.

Kreighton Shaine wasn’t in his office when you arrived, so you decided to hit up the Crimson Coin, the local popular watering hole. This is the only other place in the city where it is legal to place bets on gladatorial matches. In fact, there’s also a pit where people can challenge the house champion to earn a little coin. Bob did exactly that. Lem did his best to increase Bob’s chances at winning (including cheating with magic), but the pit boss was too canny for that (Lem did manage to lift some keys and some gold from the guy). Bob got pummeled pretty badly.

Eventually, the group made it back to the Grand Lodge, spoke with Kreighton who didn’t meet anyone in the last month matching Gerald’s description. So, back to the Inn of the Welcome Wench. Lem decided to head back tot he Crimson Coin in the middle of the night to try to find out more about this Pit Boss guy. All he found out was that he’s employed by the owner and that he lives somewhere in Westgate.

7 Gozran, 4710 Midnight on Sunday arrived quickly and the group staged themselves along the dock with some Cobalt Coalition soldiers. The charge was sounded and the Grindle Street Shades advanced. Two of their powerful fighters were enlarged by their Gnome sorcerer. The battle was brutal, but suddenly everyone was transported to a giant hall with endless pillars. At the far end standing on a dais was a gigantic serpentine creature with razor sharp teeth, several horns and fingers that extended to the ground. ""You mortals have meddled in my affairs long enough! You shall never escape my the realm of the all powerful Saloh-cin."" With that, he commanded some of his demon soldiers to advance.

Deciding that it might be better to band together for now, everyone made a dash for the giant marble doors at the other end of the room while the enlarged fighters held off the demons. It took a bit of effort, but with everyone pushing at once you were able open the doors wide enough for everyone to squeeze through and escape for now.

What the hell just happened?

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Rogue Members
Session 13 – Rest in Kingsholm/Enter Korvia and Gary/Return to Absalom

4710 Pharast 28 – Gozran 5. The return trip from the king’s tomb was short and somber; the following three days were even more so. Under different circumstances, the sleepy town of Kingsholm would be the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of Absalom – close enough to be close, but far enough to be far. And this was just what the group needed. They met up Ian Turnbrand, along with the mayor at the Cabbage & Coronet Tavern and Inn to debrief. They were thoroughly grateful for stopping the bandits from further disrupting their famous graveyard and mausoleum. However, they were disturbed by the news of the stolen bones and weapons, the Vanguard of Sertrous and Shadow Demon.

Meanwhile, Korvia (elf) and Gary (gnoll) had been tasked by a wealthy and influential merchant to track down a member of The Red Band who allegedly sullied his wife’s honor and stolen a precious family heirloom. When they arrived at the Cabbage & Coronet, they immediately spotted Lem’s red sash. After a brief conversation (negotiation) Lem agreed to help track down this mysterious person. Perhaps the merchant’s information was incorrect?
Before setting off for Absalom, Lem left a word with Ian Turnbrand to let the others know where he went should they ask. On the second day of travel a small band of gnolls were spotted chasing a group of halfling slaves. The group decided to help. Crossbow bolts fly, rays of frost beamed and battle axes swing – the group defeats three gnolls and their leader. The halflings they were helping were no where to be found.

The next day in Absalom, the group sold off their loot and bought new supplies. Lem decided to case a couple magic shops for a potion heist later that night. He sneaked out of his room the window at the Inn of the Welcome Wench and successfully stole several potions after setting off a few traps, battling an animated coat hanger and evading a couple of city guards. He was not as successful sneaking back into his room – a suspicious Korvia spotted him with ease.

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Barrow of the Forgotten King, Part 7
Session 12 - The Betrayer and The Forgotten King

26-27 Pharast 4710
You entered another room with a similarly painted illusions as the previous rooms, but this time the grassy slope is covered in snow and the queen lays dying in the king’s arms with the raven haired man bears his blade down while crowning himself. A door is revealed. Through the door is room with polished marble floors and walls. Two statues of mounted soldiers stand guard as the statue of the king sits regally on the throne. But he looks more like the raven haired man. What could this mean? Who is the real Betrayer? Suddenly a voice speaks. It is the statue, “Who dares disturb the a king’s rest?”

You converse with an seemingly intellectual and literate man who is eager to learn more about modern times. He’s been in this tomb for centuries…forgotten. Suspicious of his attempts to make conversation, you manage to convey respect to him as slowly retreat the way you came. However, he convinces Vishlu and Arak to stay and talk while he recounts his rise and his hatred for all living things…I mean, goblinoids.

He attacks…Leaping to his feet, the man on the throne draws his blades and descends from the dais. As he does, the bejewelled throne fades into a plain stone seat. The man’s hair withdraws under the crown, and his skin grays and runs, revealing bone and muscle beneath. His armor sags and corrodes, seemingly grafting to his distended flesh along with the crown, which has lost all luster. Lidless, his eyes burn with madness. The statues of the mounted soldiers turn into skeletal warriors fused to their skeletal mounts. The Betrayer attempts multiple times to command you to attack your allies. The battle nearly kills Greystoke and Arak, but The Red Band is successful again due to their team work.

In the midst of battle, Greystoke hears the sounds of shouting and clanging through a western wall. You later discover a secret door leading further down. A secret tomb? The true tomb? You enter and travel down the steeps stairs and find Xeron, a reptilian humanoid and his hobgoblin minion digging a hole in the eastern part of the room. Combat ensues and Lem is nearly killed, but you are victorious due in large part to Arak’s summoned monsters.

The moment that Xeron is slain, the room is filled with a darkness. A demonic, shadowy figure rises from the corpse spreading his bat like wings. It hovers forward closely inspecting each one of you. For a moment it seems surprised. In a rough, whispery voice the creature speaks, “I thought you had been taken care of back in Absalom. No matter though. While you may have defeated this mortal shell, but you have not completely disrupted our plans. In fact, you are helping us right along.” With that final statement he flies into the hole.

When you catch your breath, the spirit of the true king steps forward forth from his statue. He thanks you for your heroic efforts, but that the grave robbers managed to steal his bones and the weapons of his champions. There is a prophecy that one day he would return to help the land in its most dire need, but the prophecy may not be fulfilled if his bones are put to evil use. The only weapon the villains were not able to steal is his black longsword “Merthuvial”. He says that it can aid you against a greater evil working behind the scenes: Sertrous.

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Barrow of the Forgotten King, Part 6
Session 11 - Back in Tomb

24-25 Pharast 4710
You leave the natural cavern and waterfall behind for slightly more familiar terrain: the tomb of the forgotten king. Sigur (the spirit guarding the waterfall) warned you that in the next rooms are the lair of a foul beast he calls Sheezra – a Tomb Spider. The room is covered in cob webs and judging by the disturbed dust and cleared webs, it is obvious that humanoids have been through here. Fearing the worst, Arak uses Burning Hands to clear away some of the webs. But that’s when a Web Mummy and Swarm of Spiders attacks.

You fought smart, but moments after the Web Mummy was defeated Sheezra appeared. She managed to entangle and nearly annihilate Greystoke. Leera (the half-elf bard) tried to heal him, but the poison flowing through his veins reversed the effect. At the last possible second, an opening for retreat presented itself and all but the dwarf ran for the cavern where Sigur removed the poison and healed you. Arak chased the spider up onto a balcony and burned it to ashes.

After resting for a bit, you entered a room strong with the illusion school of magic. An scene revealed itself: a raven haired man kneeling before a king and a queen on a sunlit grassy slope. Down some stairs, another scene reveals itself: the raven haired man, the king and the queen in an epic battle against an army of goblinoids on the same grassy slope, but this time the grass is brown.

To the northeast and southwest are two doors. Behind each door were are 4 stone sarcophagi with images of screaming humans trapped in an eternity of pain, the eye sockets each embedded with a flawed ruby. In the northeast room is a larger mirror, into which Lem and Arak both gaze. Arak relives his most painful experience while Lem relives his most inspiring.

Greystoke manages to disturb two evil spirits in the southeast room, where a musty putrescence pervades. A few rounds into combat, the bloated and oozing Plauge Walker explodes into a putrid spray of rotting flesh. Battling the Hecuva (presumably a Paladin, judging from his ornamental full plate armor), but the Red Band eventually prevails.

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Barrow of the Forgotten King, Part 5
Session 10 - The Waterfall

23rd of Pharast 4710
The broken stone doors lead to a descending stair case where a make shift wall, about 4 feet tall has been erected to hinder possible pedestrians. Arak, the Dwarf cleric, identified the stonework as matching those of the sarcophagi that you have similarly encountered. Looking over the wall and beyond you saw 3 lidless sarcophagi.

Lem sneaked in and discovered three Varags sleeping soundly. You decided it would be a good idea to have Lem stealthily clear the blocks blocking the doorway, so that the rest of the party would be able to rush to help him should his coup de grace attacks don’t work. He must’ve stumbled a little with the last block because the Varags were no longer on their beds. Combat ensued when Lem spotted them hiding just around the corner hoping for an ambush. Of course they were no match for your combined might.

Around the corner was an ascending stair case leading towards a ledge running along a waterfall. Slippery and wet, Vishlu cast animate rope to help you navigate the difficult terrain. A booming voice, seemingly from the waterfall, echoed in the cavern, “State your intentions!” It was a Sigur, a fey creature known as a fossergrim…a creature typically bound to a particular locale. He challenged Greystoke to a friendly wrestling match to determine if you were worthy of his knowledge of the upcoming dangers. The two were evenly matched and after 2 minutes of grappling, Sigur ended the match and imparted his knowledge upon you: of the grave robbers – 3 Hobgoblins, 1 Goblin, 1 Halfling and Xeron remain; in the next room there is an evil Tomb Spider who has the ability to create mummies; and then there is the Betrayer.

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Barrow of the Forgotten King, Part 4
Session 9 - Lost in a labyrinth

20-22 PHARAST 4710
Finally healed from most of his wounds, Lem, joined by Arak the Dwarf, catches up to the group. They had just finished slaying a hobgoblin Wererat in a chamber known as the Hall of the Honored, where they discovered a note cursing those who want to pursue the forgotten king’s treasure. Using the key they found on the Wererat, they entered the Inner Vault. Scenes of fierce battles are engraved on the well crafted stone walls while grim statues of soldiers and a hulking Mintotaur stand guard. In the inner part of the chamber was a pacing Hobgoblin Cleric of Hextor, “So you’re our meddling pursuers! Prepare to meet your fate.” More like he met his fate. Even with the help of his animated skeletons he was no match. One of the items found was a thick paper in an oilskin packet, which is a draft good for 500gp from a temple of Hextor signed by Xeron on the authority of the Vanguard.

On the far side of the chamber, broken stone doors opened to a ledge where a rope ladder descended into the darkness of a natural cavern below. A Lurking Strangler harassed the group as they attempted to cross the island pillars to the other side of the cavern. There was another rope that lead up into roughly constructed tunnels very dissimilar to the rest of the tomb complex, but definitely from the same constructors.

As it turns out, the rune covered tunnels were made up a labyrinth designed to confuse any unwelcome visitors to the forgotten king’s tomb. Along the way a lava mephit called Igma attempted to lead the group in the wrong direction, but the group browbeat him into taking them to the next area.

At the mazes end the group finds a Leera, a half-elf historian who accompanied Xeron’s tomb raiders practically dead at the bottom of a pit trap. She told the group, “Centuries ago, a king, his knights, and his spellcasting advisors united this part of the land, bringing the people out of a dark, evil age and restoring faith and hope. But one of the king’s most trusted knights betrayed him. The two of them fought desperately, and though the king slew the Betrayer this last battle, the king perished as well. Many of his knights died too, as did those who served the Betrayer. The king’s remaining followers built this complex to hold his remains and the remains of his champions, believing that some day, when the realm needs him, the king will return.” She also warned about automaton guards that attacked her group in the next room. Turns out she was right, but the automatons’ previous injuries made them easy fodder for Greystoke’s and Vishlu’s blades.

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Barrow of the Forgotten King, Part 3
Session 8 - In pursuit of the tomb raiders

20 PHARAST 4710
While resting back in the sleepy town of Kingsholm,a familiar figure enters the Cabbage and Coronet Tavern and Inn. It is none than Greystoke the Bloodthirsty. He joins Wilactomo and Vishlu for their third expedition into the tomb of the forgotten king. Lem, still badly bruised and beaten from their previous encounter with an ogre zombie stays behind.

They cross the rope bridge and discover a broken chamber where are rope ladder ascends into a tunnel of darkness. Greystoke discovers the Choker sentinel too late as it attempts to strangle the life from him. They manage to drive it away. Perhaps this is where the group of grave robbers first entered the tomb complex?

They listen intently through another door and hear the soft, distinct snoring of a pair of Varags. Upon entering the room a third creature starts to assault Vishlu – a Varag Zombie. What’s with all the zombies?!? While the Varags attempt to use their superior speed against the Red Band, they are no match for the hacking, slashing and fire bombs. Rest.

Next they enter a room with a canal of running water and a bridge on the far side. Stone statues of soldiers salute, swords drawn line both banks of the canal. The bodies of two dead Varags are in the room. As they start to cross the bridge, a serpentine column of water rises out of the water. “Leave the way you came, lest you meet the fate of those who came before you!” The previously injured Water Weird is no match.

Cross the bridge. Climb the stairs. Enter the Hall of the Honored. Four statues (a human wizard, dwarven cleric, twin elves – an archer and a ranger), each in front of a vault, line the walls of the long chamber. In a side chamber the group defeats a Hobgoblin WereRat. WTF? In the chamber is a statue of an old man holding open a stone book and another vault door too sturdy to break open. Solving the riddle of the old man and the book opens the vault door where awesome there is awesome stuff…and a note:

“We who rest still long to serve. If you seek the same, take our goods and be blessed. If greed moved this stone and not a true heart, may our curse find you ere awake.”

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