Return of the Runelords

Session 19

Finally Made it to Korvosa

Gozren 13, 4718 AR

We arrived in Riddleport with a light pop. Our transport Wizard agreed to answer a Sending if we needed more transporting (and we had the gold to pay him). As we walked out of the alley we’d appeared in, the Wizard told us “Don’t trust anyone you don’t know” and headed off to an inn so he could rest the night and Teleport back to Magnimar in the morning. That left us in a market square. It was closed for the night, but there were numerous tents, pavilions, and such that suggested the city was setting up for some kind of celebration.

Before I could get my bearings and lead us to a reputable inn, three Hounds of Tindilos appeared in the alley and rushed out to attack us! Since the last time we were attacked by one of these things, Sora had taught himself Aklo and he could actually understand their words as they howled, “Get the time travelers!” The last time there was only one Hound and now we faced three! Lilly went down in a heap within the first few seconds of combat – torn apart by claw and fang. Only Lilly’s alchemically enhanced blood saved her as she began healing even before her body hit the ground. The rest of us took some serious damage from the beast’s Slashing Gaze, but we rallied and managed to kill two of the Hounds. The third one fled via some kind of teleportation magic.

Who keeps sending these things against us? How do they always know where we are? And what did they mean, “time travelers?” I thought I was the only one lost in time? As we walked to the Dancing Drover, we discussed all these things, but came up with no answers. None at all.

Gozren 14, 4718 AR

As soon as we left the Dancing Drover, we started gathering information about Cleg Zincher. I tell you, Sora certainly has a way with people. Half the time I speak with him, he talks way over my head about things I scarcely understand. The other half of the time, he talks like he talks when getting information. Before I know it, I’m telling Sora my life’s story. He’s not using magic on me and I don’t think he’s tricking me. He just has a way about him – I want to tell him things. I bring this up, because within a few he’d learned of Zincher’s home in the Leeward District.

We arrived at the huge, five-story building. It was basically an old block of flats that Zincher had taken over and converted into a fortress. It had new, strong wooden doors with good locks, bars on all the windows, and wooden shutters that could close to create an air-tight seal.

A man named Horus (Zincher’s butler) opened the door and we managed to convince him of our intentions. Horus let us in to talk to Mr. Magenta (Cleg’s second-in-command). After a brief conversation with Mr. Magenta, (a mountain of a man), he let us speak with Cleg Zincher. Zincher was looking poorly with beat-up clothing and a harried look on his face. At first, he either didn’t believe us or thought we were trying to steal the scrolls ourselves. Sora, however, was able to convince Cleg that we only wanted to help and Zincher put us in charge of his security! Sora certainly has a way with words.

Next, we went to the Riddleport docks to see if the cultist’s ship had arrived yet. Every time I see the Cyphergate, it stops me dead in my tracks for a few moments. The Pillar Wall in Korvosa is quite impressive. The Irespan in Magnimar is so big it blocks out the sun for an entire district. But there is something about the graceful arc of the Cyphergate that always leaves me feeling insignificant. Maybe its the fact that it’s still intact after all these millennia?.

By dropping Cleg’s name, we got the harbormaster to tell us the ship had not arrived yet. The man also agreed to let us be on the pilot ship that went to meet the ship when it arrived at the harbor. Our hope was to attack the cultists on the water where there would less chance of collateral damage. Just to make sure we didn’t miss the arrival of the ship, we spent the rest of the day and night waiting at the docks (thanks to Emmett’s Keep Watch spell.

The only thing I saw was a fellow martial artist, as fit as myself, but dressed in much finer robes than mine, heading into the city from the docks. What got my attention was how annoyed and uncomfortable he looked. I think he thought he was being followed or something, because he was constantly looking over his shoulder and making erratic movements through the crowd.

Gozren 16, 4718 AR

The cultist’s ship arrived at Riddleport today. We didn’t get to meet them with the pilot’s ship, because their ship was small enough that it did not require a pilot. So, we met the ship at the berth, however, no passengers disembarked. We boarded to speak with the captain and he was able to give us a little information.

The cultists forced the captain to drop them off about a day’s walk south of the city. They threatened him “at spell-point.” He described Leptonia for us as well as the general garb of her men. They were all wearing robes of some kind or another.

Next, we raced to the two main land entrances into the city. What we learned was that Leptonia and the cultists had entered through the westernmost gate in small groups. They followed a meandering path through the city, and left through the eastern mountain pass. It looks like they have a camp or a lair outside the city!

We went back to Zincher’s fortress, explained the situation to Mr. Magenta. Even though we suspected they’d wait to attack during the auction (as it turns out, Zincher isn’t selling the scrolls), we prepared our defenses and talked about defending against several possible scenarios.

Gozren 16, 4718 AR

Emmett used Locate Object to search the city for holy symbols of Yamasoth. We were able to track their location to a camp in the woods north of the city. We used all the magic at our disposal to ambush them – coming at them invisibly from above.

The plan worked far better than expected.

There were a score of human cultists, five Cythnigot Qlippoths (the least of all Qlippoths), one Nyogoth Qlippoth (a powerful horror made entirely of writhing tentacles)., and Leptonia (a half-Drow with a halberd).

Sora led off by trapping Leptonia, the Nyogoth, and several cultists in a field of Black Tentacles. Lilly dive-bombed Leptonia while Emmett supported her with arrow fire from above. I plummeted down on to group of cultists and Cythnigots. We took them completely by surprise, but they reacted with remarkable coordination and counterattacked with weapons and spells. It would end up going poorly for them.

Lilly and Emmett managed to kill Leptonia before the Demon priestess could get off a single spell, but that left Lilly in danger from the horrid Nyogoth. After weeks of selling me on the idea of polymorph spells, Sora finally got to try one out on me and turned me into a Girtablilu – a large half-man, half-scorpion. I’ll admit, was was skeptical, but now that I’ve had a taste of it, I’m sold. The added reach from the form allowed me to intercept attackers much sooner than usual and the pincers and stinger allowed me to attack like a whirlwind of carnage. I’m still having trouble with the tail, but every cultists and Qlippoth that came near me died.

It took all of us ganging up on the Nyogoth to finally kill it and my the time it was dead, most of the cultists had fled in different directions. A few of them ran straight into the waiting teeth of Myth and we managed to track down a few more. All told though, half of them escaped.

We looted the bodies hoping for more information on Leptonia, but she had nothing of interest except her gear. We returned to Zincher’s fortress and explained the situation. At this point, I figured the threat was over, but we offered to stay through the auction, just to make sure. Cleg agreed.

Gozren 17, 4718 AR

Emmett searched the city using Locate Object again, but found nothing. So, we spent the day guarding Zincher’s fortress.

Gozren 18, 4718 AR

Emmett searched the city using Locate Object again, but found nothing. So, we spent the day guarding Zincher’s fortress.

Gozren 19, 4718 AR

Zincher, Mr. Magenta, and some of his men went to the auction. We split up to various places in the “house” and waited for an attack that never came. What did happen, was far stranger and entirely unexpected.

About an hour after the auction’s start time, all of us had another shared vision. We could hear the sound of churning water as if a tsunami were poised to wash Riddleport off the map and time seemed to have stopped, although we were able to move about while all around us was frozen. I ran upstairs to meet the others and found them all in a similar state and none of knew what the hells was happening.

I summoned forth my ki, toughening my flesh for the fight I felt was coming and that’s when she arrived. A beautiful woman carrying a large, cracked hourglass appeared out of thin air.and announced herself as “time’s steward” – whatever that means. Although I had my faculties, I found myself unable or unwilling to act against her. Of course, she didn’t mean us harm. In fact, she brought us gifts.

She told us we “have been marked by minions and beasts of time,” which I suppose explains the Hounds of Tindilos. She said, “I have talked to you twice more in the tomorrows to come” and that she had “a gift from your future selves.” Then, each of us was imbued with some kind of power “strength lent from your futures until you grow into the power.” Then the steward said, “I await you in the Stethelos” and faded from view. Just like that, time caught up with us and everything returned to normal (although Cleg’s men seemed startled by our sudden re-positioning).

This was amazing! It’s as if everything I’ve been telling people has finally been validated. Plus, I’m nearly certain I have never met this woman in any of my lives. I may actually be on the right path. This may finally be the life I was meant to live! My future self lent me some strength and clarity of thought. In addition, I feel like I can “see” alternate time on occasion – things like where a blow will fall when a foe tries to kill me.

As we guessed, Zincher’s fortress was not attacked and Cleg returned from a successful auction. While thanking us for our help, Cleg mentioned that the auction was to raise money for his retirement. He will be leaving Riddleport, but did’t want to tell us where he was going. As a reward, he allowed us to take two items from his armory (we chose a coupe of magic weapons that we ended up selling) and one of the scrolls of Resurrection!

The steward of time must know what awaits us in the future and it must be terrifying.

Gozren 20, 4718 AR

We set for Magnimar from Riddleport aboard the Azure Star.

Gozren 28, 4718 AR

We arrived in Magnimar and met with Lady Heidmarch. She told us that she had been unable to find any cure for Isiah. So, she had safely relocated him to the Mushfens. Despite not being able to cure him, Isiah sent us a box full of jewels to thank us for rescuing him form the Gecko.

I feel terrible. I truly hoped Lady Heidmarch would find a cure for him. Perhaps Sorshen can help us with this.

We’ll spend the night in town, but we head out for Korvosa tomorrow.

Desnus 2, 4718 AR

We received a Sending from Sorshen today, telling us where to meet her in Korvosa (“meet at the Gatefoot”). Somehow she knew we were on our way. Of course she did. She’s a bloody Runelord!

Desnus 13, 4718 AR

We arrived in Korvosa and got ourselves rooms at the Green Raven before walking to the Gatefoot to meet Sorshen. The Gatefoot is a statue of a foot on a pedestal. Many assume it’s just part of a much larger statue, but there’s no sign of said statue anywhere.

Sorshen disguised as Lady Heidmarch met us at the Gatefoot. She told us that thjis foot was hers and that an enormous statue of her, 1,000 feet high, used to watch over for country from this vantage. Then she led us to a festival taking place in the Heights where she was “renting” the top floor of a large tower overlooking the market square.

After a rather baffling conversation, she explained that she wanted us to do some favors for us and, in exchange, she would answer questions. The first task she set for us was to gather the ingredients for an ancient perfume named after her (Sorshen’s Whisper).

We had to split up, two of us with Sorshen at all times trying to keep her entertained while the others bought materials – more than 6,000 gp worth of materials! The information we got for our troubles was that Argontis (the man who helped Leptonia create the “polymorph plague,” is paving the way for the return of Runelord Zutha. Leptonia gave Argontis the Bone Brimoire (one third of Zutha’s phylactery). Argontis is working with someone called the Brother of the Seal somewhere beneath Kaer Maga and that Zutha’s spirit has infected the men he has with him.

I think we could have gotten more information if we’d entertained Sorshen better. Runelord or not, I’m not her lackey!

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Krothos Khaaaan

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