Okknos Prime: Bonifant

An Aberrant Adventure
in which Jarl dodges nefarious nipple clamps
  • The PCs head out from Bonifant for the Paladin Peaks. It is a three day journey to the town of Parth, at the foothills of the Peaks.
  • The first day and a half are uneventful. Around noon on the second day, the PCs arrive on the outskirts of Wimbli, a town that was destroyed about five years ago. Most people avoid it on their travels now because strange creatures haunt the ruins.
  • The PCs are preparing to avoid the town when they are attacked by a pack of mutated wolves while Lucas is relieving himself. Jace has a close call, but the PCs manage to defeat the wolves.
  • As the PCs dust themselves off after the battle, suddenly they find themselves in the exact same positions they were a few minutes before. They are surrounded by the exact same wolves. The PCs defeat them again, and with their previous experience, they make quick work of the aberrant wolves.
  • The party figures out that this is some sort of temporal anomaly. To escape it, they must move closer to the source of the temporal disturbance. As they do so, the sky gets darker, and the vegetation gets sparser and thornier. As the PCs move closer to Wimbli, they begin to hear what sounds like thousands of voices crying, screaming, and gibbering.
  • The party is confronted by three gibbering mouthers. They steel themselves and face the horrific monsters. Jarl occupies one by himself, while the others finish off the other two. The PCs are frequently overwhelmed by the horror of the voices, and everyone spends at least a few seconds staring at the monsters with their mouths agape. Fortunately, the mouthers themselves are easy to dodge, and they are finished off without too much difficulty.
  • The PCs spot a graveyard nearby. They go to investigate. There’s a large black stone in the center of the graveyard. A strange vine with glowing, electric blue flowers is growing on the stone. The stone itself seems to be a huge piece of black granite. Jace determines that the vine is magical, but no one can figure out anything else about it.
  • While the party is puzzling over this strange plant, they are attacked by two large lobster-like creatures. This creatures easily snatch up humanoids in their powerful claws, clamping down with all their might. Then, they paralyze their pray with venom from their tentacles. It is a difficult fight, but eventually the PCs prevail.
Ain't no rest for the Wicked
or for PCs
  • Having narrowly defeated a combination of demons and cultists, the party debates whether they should rest or press on. They are preparing to rest when Meldy comes down the stairs. She can barely walk, and leans on her trident for support. She urges the PCs to press on, so that Barthelemy will not have a chance to summon more demons. At Jarl’s urging, they decide to do so.
  • Before long, the PCs find Barthelemy surrounded by his minions, both demonic and human. They refuse his offer to join sides, and battle is joined. A demon transforms to look like Gabriel’s mother. The fighter is terrified by this, then the demon tries something similar on Meldy. It is unsuccessful. After a few minutes of fierce fighting, all of Barthelemy’s allies lie dead, slain by Ahoulla, Imara, or Meldy. Barthelemy’s final pleas for mercy are ignored, and soon he also lies among the slain. The PCs find some treasures in a back room, while Meldy prepares a spell to reinforce the barrier between planes. She asks Lucas to cast a spell to activate the barrier, which he does.
  • The PCs exit the dungeon through the pit where they entered. They find the ice wizard Jacqueline at the top. She is surrounded by frozen demon corpses. Gabriel makes awkward conversation with her. It turns out she made a deal with Dryug for her freedom. Part of it involves killing demons, and part of it involves not killing other people, like the PCs for instance.
  • A peredhil comes out of a nearby building. He greets Jarl enthusiastically. Jarl introduces him to the rest of the group as Joe. Despite their suspicions, the others play along. He explains that he is watching Jacqueline, or Jack as he calls her.
  • Meldy thanks the PCs for their help, and tells them that if they wish to learn more about the secret society she is a part of, to head to the Paladin Peaks. The PCs depart for some much needed rest. Imara and Ashoulla remain behind to wait for Pontmercy.
  • The next morning, Foulques Delacroix asks Jarl for help finding his wife, Clarisse, and daughter, Idelle. His only lead is one of his former servants, Armand, who has been frequenting The Priest and Knight Inn with money to spare.
  • Jarl convinces the other PCs to join him on his quest. The party finds Armand and buys him drinks. He tells them that Idelle’s old steward, Aloys Mathieu, probably knows where she is. He is staying at The Flying Snake, a ritzy inn in a wealthy area of Bonifant. Jarl gets Armand to sign his expense report.
  • The PCs head to The Flying Snake. Jarl bribes the guards to let them inside. He rents proper dining attire for the party. Gabriel and Jace wear matching blue outfits. The party enjoys lobster dinners, while Gabriel insists on mackerel. He thinks about his mother as he eats. Meanwhile, Jarl and the others try and find Aloys. After some investigation, they find he is staying under a pseudonym, Eudon Denis. Jarl approaches Aloys, and buys him some top shelf liquor. He will not reveal Idelle’s location, but he does agree to meet with Foulques. Jarl makes sure to properly document all of the expenses he is incurring.
  • The party heads back to the Peredhil Embassy. Foulques is shocked by Jarl’s expense report. He says he will not reimburse Jarl until he finds his family. He agrees to meet with his old steward.
  • The party heads to the guard house to talk to Pontmercy. She thanks them for their help. She explains that the guard was able to close the demonic portal near the docks, and that King Wil was able to close a portal in the merchant district, with some help. She gives the PCs a reward, and invites them to a celebration that will take place in a few days.
  • The party prepares to head toward the Paladin Peaks to find out more about Meldy’s secret society.
Basement Crawl
They see you; you're carrying a torch...
  • Lucas and Ives arrive at the guard command post. Ashoulla enthusiastically introduces herself to the party. Our heroes head back toward the Archambault mansion, with Ashoulla and Imara in tow. They arrive without incident.
  • Everyone descends into the smoking pit and begins to explore. Almost everyone falls at least part of the way. Fortunately, no one is seriously injured. Jarl opens a door and finds several demons and a human standing around a large pentagram that’s been drawn on the floor. Despite some internal debate about fleeing, our heroes decide to stand and fight. The demons are quickly dispatched, despite one additional quasit being summoned. Ashoulla’s fighting style is very similar to Saint’s. She uses her spear-butt to great effect.
  • The party fans out to continue exploring. Several rooms contain bloody corpses, looted containers, and torture devices. Disappointingly, they already seem to have been looted. Disturbingly, several of the corpses look like they’ve been drained of blood. Jarl comes across a magical barrier at the end of a hall. Several demons are pawing at the barrier. When they see easier targets, they attack the PCs, and are quickly dispatched. The party approaches the barrier and sees Revy, Meldy, Lord Absolon the vampire, and a large demon fighting each other inside.
  • Jarl decides this is a good spot for a rest, and sits down to watch the combat unfold. It is a spectacular show. Gabriel wanders off and finds some wine barrels. The wine is of excellent quality, and Gabriel replaces the water in his canteen with wine. Everyone else joins Jarl in watching the high level fight. Nothing lasts forever though, and as the minutes tick by, the combatants begin to slow. Suddenly, Meldy’s trident releases a blinding flash of light. When it dies down, the demon is dead from a gaping wound in its chest, the barrier is gone, and the fighting between Meldy and Revy and the vampire temporarily stops. They eye each other warily.
  • Meldy repeats her warning for the PCs to run, since it is not safe. “Where would we run to? Nowhere is safe.” retorts Keryassa. “I do not wish to discuss semantics,” replies Meldy. Abruptly, Lord Absolon begins walking out of the room. “I think that is quite enough fighting for one day, don’t you?” No one dares to stand in the vampire’s way. He walks to the entrance of Barthelemy’s underground complex, turns into a bat, and flies away.
  • The PCs make plans for continuing deeper into the dungeon after a short rest. Meldy warns against it. “There is a sixty percent chance that you will die if you proceed,” she says. The PCs ask for Meldy to come with them. She declines, and explains that she is expended nearly all of her magical energy in the last battle. She says that she will attempt to track the vampire once she has caught her breath. Jace is particularly unhappy with this decision.
  • The PCs find some Iron Circle corpses, as well as some healing potions in a side room. They attempt to keep the potions from Imara and Ashoulla until Imara confronts them about it.
  • The PCs head down to a lower level of the Iron Circle base. Several demons are waiting for them at the bottom of the stairs. One of them is a monstrous shadow demon. It continually darts in and out of the shadows, striking with its spectral claws. Lucas notices this, and fills the room with light. This cripples the shadow demon, although it fights on. The mundane weapons and cantrips of the PCs seem to cause it little harm. Only Keryassa’s eldritch blasts and Lucas’ radiant blasts seem to cause it significant harm. Fortunately, the demon seems to be able to do little to harm the PCs, now that it is bathed in light.
  • Gabriel grows bored with the fight, and heads off down the hallway to explore, torch in hand. He uses his mirror to peer around a corner and see four Iron Circle soldiers standing guard. They see the light from his torch and move to attack. Two are dark clerics and two are fearsome swordsmen. One cleric paralyzes Gabriel, then the other inflicts wounds on his motionless body. Gabriel collapses to the ground. The swordsman advance down the hallways towards the rest of the PCs.
  • Ashoulla engages one swordsman, but a cleric paralyzes her, and she is cut down. Jarl is next in line to be paralyzed, but Lucas paralyzes the swordsman that moves in to attack. The clerics return the favor, and paralyze Lucas. Imara finishes off the shadow demon with magic missile, then engages the other swordsman, and tries to keep him at bay.
  • Keryassa conjures a spectral hand that fishes a potion out of Gabriel’s pack, and pours the lifesaving liquid down the dying man’s throat. He attacks Imara’s swordsman from behind. Unfortunately, Imara has been fighting a losing battle, and once she is down, the Iron Circle captain turns on Gabriel.
  • Jarl and Lucas finally recover from being paralyzed. Jace, Jarl, Lucas, and Keryassa focus their attacks, and bring down one of the swordsmen. Gabriel manages to parry the other swordsman’s furious onslaught, and then finishes him off. Keryassa revives Ashoulla, who then dispatches the remaining cleric. Imara is also revived before she expires. The PCs take a moment to catch their breath.
Through the Demon Hordes
In which we come face to face with the head of The Iron Circle
  • Our heroes head towards the glowing light, accompanied by three city guardsmen. The arcanists in the party are able to tell that the light is glowing with demonic magic.
  • As they cross through a public square, our heroes come across a large baboon-like demon. It is accompanied by an Iron Circle mage, who is watching as the demon rips an innocent bystander limb from limb. The two villians are quickly dispatched, but not before one of the guards in injured. He is helped to safety by one of the other guards, Hivan the Peredhil, leaving one guard to continue on with the adventurers.
  • The PCs come upon the source of the glowing light. It is a nobleman’s residence. Human guards at the gate bar the way. They will not listen to reason, and battle is joined. Our heroes are victorious, but not before the final guard is badly injured. While party is discussing what they should do next, another man comes to the door. He introduces himself as Jacobi, a representative of Lord Bathelemy Archambault. He says that Lord Archambault would like to meet them. After a good deal of internal debate and reassurances from Jacobi, the PCs agree to follow him. Jacobi takes the injured guard to a spare room to rest, while the PCs are ushered in to meet Lord Archambault.
  • Lord Archambault is a large, physically imposing man. He is dressed in fine clothes, and receives the PCs in style. He tells the PCs that they have caught his attention and that he has been looking forward to meeting them. He identifies himself as the head of The Iron Circle, and accepts responsibility for the kidnappings and poisonings that The Iron Circle has undertaken. He explains that such actions are regrettable but necessary to restore Bonifant to her former glory. He envisions Bonifant as a shining paragon of human achievement, a place where the best of humanity is on display. In order for this to happen though, Bonifant must be torn down and rebuilt, and humans must be allowed to dominate Bonifant once again. He offers the human members of the party prominent places in The Iron Circle, and offers the non-human party members safe passage out of Vitalio. The PCs appear to be on the way to declining his offer, when they are interrupted.
  • The vampire lord that the PCs fought in the swamp materializes in the room. He accuses Lord Archambault of breaking an agreement. Barthelemy is unrepentant. In this exchange, the PCs learn the name of the vampire lord: Absolon. Abolon and Barthelemy’s discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Meldy and Revy. With this, Barthelemy activates a magic circle, the ground shakes, and the house collapses, leaving a gaping hole where he once stood. Sulfurous fumes waft out of the pit.
  • The PCs find themselves alone with Meldy. She tells them to run, and they begin doing so. A large frog like demon, similar to the monster the PCs fought in the mason’s basement, emerges from the rubble. Meldy kills it with a single strike, repeats her warning, then flies into the pit. A few smaller demons emerge from the pit, and the PCs dispatch them. With their strength waning, they leave to go find help.
  • Gabriel is unwilling to abandon his fellow citizens so easily though, and seeks out another demon to kill. Once he engages the creature, his fellow adventurers support him. With Gabriel’s desire to help temporarily satiated, the PCs go to find Pontmercy.
  • The guardhouse is manned by a skeleton crew, which tells the PCs that Pontmercy is fighting demons in the dock district. On their way to the docks, the party is accosted by three flying demons. Keryassa expends the last of her arcane reserves to shoot flames at the creatures. Unfortunately, the demons are unaffected.
  • Pontmercy and most of the city guard is laying siege to a warehouse. Pontmercy believes that there is a portal inside. The PCs explain the situation in the noble district, and ask for Pontmercy to send soldiers there. Pontmercy asks the PCs to head back there, as they are most familiar with the situation, and she is currently occupied. Keryassa asks for two soldiers as reinforcements, and Pontmercy assigns them the quartermaster Imara Adelin, as well as her friend, Ashoulla Yinaldi. The PCs stop by the city guard command center, where their wounds are healed, and they are given healing potions.
The Calm before the Storm
4 hours for 50 XP!
  • Idelle explains that she has a safehouse to the south. She asks her father, Foulques, to come with her. He doesn’t want to. Jarl offers him sanctuary at the peredhil embassy, which he accepts. Gabriel and Idelle engage in some verbal fencing, with Jarl believes is a human mating ritual.
  • Idelle leaves that party and heads south. Jacqueline offers her spellbook in exchange for her freedom, and her offer is rebuffed. The party is afraid that the Iron Circle will break her out of jail, so they take her to The Priest and Knight Inn disguised as a sack. Jarl is sent to arrange a discreet prisoner transfer with Pontmercy. The Iron Circle guard is turned over to the city guard at the gate. Foulques Delacroix is dropped off at the peredhil embassy.
  • Jarl tells Pontmercy that he has decided to take Pontmercy as his own surname. Jocq frightens a would be horse thief. Pontmercy arrives at The Priest and Knight Inn to meet with the party. It ruins business at the inn for the night. Apparently, many of The Priest and Knight’s customers would prefer to remain far away from the guard-captain. Pontmercy confirms and Jacqueline Deni is wanted for several killings. She agrees to call in a favor and send someone discreet to bring her in. Jarl announces that he is also taking Delacroix as a surname. Gabriel tells him that it is stupid to take other people’s surnames, and Jarl sadly decides that he must just be Jarl.
  • Several hours later, the dark elf Dryug arrives to take Jacquline into custody. After a short exchange, they both vanish in a cloud of darkness. Jocq goes to visit his family, punches his father, and threatens further violence if he sells his sister into slavery again. Jarl tries unsuccessfully to turn up more leads on the Iron Circle. Everyone goes to bed for the night.
  • Early in the morning, everyone is woken by some guards. There’s been an incident in the noble district; witnesses report monstrous creatures roaming the streets. The party heads there, meets up, encounters a pack of demons, and after a brief fight, emerges victorious. In the distance, a mysterious red light erupts over a mansion. It is probably where the demons are coming from.
A Noble Rescue
  • The party leaves Bonifant with Idelle. They follow her lead towards the house where she says her father is kept. On the way, they are ambushed by goblins, which are quickly dispatched.
  • Once they are within sight of the house, Idelle, the human members of the party, and those who can pass themselves off as humans, approach the house. The others remain at a distance. Idelle bluffs her way into the house, then Jocq and Keryassa attack, while the other party members turn on the guards inside. The Iron Circle guards are quickly dispatched.
  • The touching Delacroix family reunion quickly turns sour when Foulques accuses Idelle of voluntarily giving him over to the Iron Circle. Idelle claims that she only did so because the Iron Circle threatened to kill him. A captured Iron Circle guard claims Idelle is one of the leaders of the Iron Circle. Keryassa lectures Idelle on proper respect for the family patriarch and suggests that the Delacroix family could have fled Bonifant.
  • Jocq finds his kidnapped sister working in the kitchen. She seems to be ok, but does not have any useful information.
  • The party heads back toward Bonifant. On the way back, they are ambushed by an ice wizard and a dwarf with a strong Vitalian accent. They claim to have been sent by the Iron Circle. The dwarf is scolded for working for an organization that hates his kind, but he says he loves the money. After some close calls, especially for the party’s horses, their two assailants surrender. Lucas executes the dwarf. The wizard, Jacqueline, is allowed to live. She says she is an assassin for hire, and offers to assassinate the party’s enemies in exchange for her freedom. Her offer is rebuffed. Annoyingly, she doesn’t have useful information about the Iron Circle either.
A Hero Falls

Saint stood in the entrance of a hallway. He quieted his senses, and once again searched for the presence of evil. The presence hit him like a ton of bricks. He had never sensed wickedness like this before. He almost felt a tangible pressure as he stepped into the hallway and urged his friends to follow. Tentatively, they did so.

Saint stopped in front of a door. “The great evil is certainly behind here, friends. Let us go and vanquish it.” Saint attempted to open the door, but it did not comply. He began kicking the door, but it did not give way.

Gabriel looked away from the paladin, and saw a small, grotesque figure standing further down the hallway. “Come this way,” it squeaked. “Why, what’s down there?” Gabriel asked. “It’s a surprise,” squawked the creature. “I think it’s a quaist,” said Gabriel to the rest of the group. With a final “come, come,” the quasit disappeared around a corner. Gabriel and Jace began to follow the creature as Saint finally knocked the door down.

“Come friends, a great evil awaits,” commanded Saint. “The quasit told us to follow it,” complained Gabriel. “What if it ambushes it while were fighting this ‘great evil’?” “We should deal with the lesser threat first,” added Jace. Saint replied “Then we may be too weak to deal with the greater threat,” and strode in the direction of the evil presence. Keryassa, Ives, Lucas, and Maximilien followed close behind, while Jace and Gabriel headed in the direction of the quasits.

Peering around the corner, Gabriel saw a disturbing sight. A man stood in the center of the room with his arms suspended from the ceiling. The mark of The Iron Circle was branded into his bare chest. Four quasits clung to him, pawing at him, massaging him, and whispering dark secrets into his ear. Undaunted, Gabriel drew his scimitars and strode into the room.

Meanwhile, the others encountered one of the most fearsome creatures they had ever seen. Standing eight feet tall, the monstrous demon resembled a cross between a frog and a lizardman. Its armored scales glistened, and its large toothy mouth gaped below a pair of hungry, reptilian eyes. A horrible stench of rot and decay wafted from its body. With a cry, Saint charged the fiend. He dealt it a grievous blow, but the demon returned the favor with its teeth and claws. With a healing touch, Lucas helped Saint back to his feet. Maximilien and Keryassa attacked the creature, but its scales protected it from the worse of their assaults. Still weak from exhaustion, Ives hung back and pleaded with his friends to flee.

Gabriel cut down the first quasit in front of him, but the others disappeared. Before he could react, one appeared behind him and raked its claws through his leg. The wound was not deep, but Gabriel felt his mind and reflexes slowing. “Their claws have poison,” he shouted. The madman in the center of the room cackled as he restored the quasits’ health. “Kill him!” shouted Gabriel to Jace. Another quasit fell, but their continued pinpricks were slowing draining the fighters strength. He fumbled for a health potion, then retreated behind the wizard. Soon, Jace also felt the effects of the quasits’ poison coursing through his veins.

In the other room, the fell demon once again knocked Saint to the ground. Roaring in triumph, it turned its attention toward Keryassa. The dragonborn could not long withstand the demon’s fury. Maximilien rushed to her side and administered a healing potion. Then, drawing his sword, he turned to face the monster. Lucas helped Saint to his feet. “I cannot heal you again, Saint. My magical reserves are depleted.” “Then I must make this final blow count,” replied the paladin. With that, he charged toward the demon, running it through, and dealing the final blow.

Meanwhile, one final quasit remained. It continued to elude the wizard’s and fighter’s attempts to silence it. Finally, with the great evil vanquished, the paladin appeared and ended the demon’s miserable existence. The adventurers eagerly began looting the remains of their fallen enemies. Lucas found a strange, yellow diamond on the body of the great demon. After examining it, he discovered it had the power to summon a earth elemental one time. In the other room, the adventurers found a chest with gold coins, quartz stones, and an unsigned note. It read, “Master Telesphore, I hope this letter finds you well. There is much to discuss. I apologize for not coming in person, but I have much to do. The wererats have not had the effect we hoped for, but they have distracted the guard enough for our purposes. Continue to work on summoning demons to augment our ranks. Delacroix will supply you with any reagents or materials you require. Soon, the Iron Circle will make its move. Bonifant will be ours, and shortly thereafter, all of Vitalio as well. We will be able to rebuild this city as it was meant to be. Remain patient, my friend, for just a while longer.”

After pondering the note, licking their wounds, and exploring the rest of the secret basement, the adventurers decided they should remain in case other Iron Circle agents came to investigate. The next day, Gabriel went to deliver news of their triumph to Meldy. He found her in her usual haunt, but with a companion! Gabriel recognized the newcomer as the infamous mercenary Revy the Hunter. His attempts at conversation were characteristically rebuffed. His offer of assistance was rejected as well. Dejected, Gabriel left, but not without giving Meldy a means to contact him and his friends. “The bard Selker Falwythe knows how to get in touch with me.”

The rest of the day passed uneventfully, and the adventurers decided to take more direct action. The note they had uncovered was yet another piece of evidence connecting the Delacroix family to the Iron Circle. So, the adventurers returned to the Delacroix manor for a third time.

Idelle recieved the adventurers gracefully. Saint and Idelle made small talk while they waited for tea. Once Saint’s tea was prepared to his liking, he handed Idelle the letter claiming she was supplying the Iron Circle with reagents to summon demons. Idelle denied doing any such thing. Then, the adventurers turned their attention to Idelle’s bodyguard, Kai Lang. “We can stop playing games now, we know who you are and who you work for,” said Lucas. “Shut up and die,” retorted Lang. Over Idelle’s protests, battle was joined.

The adventurers rained arrows, lightning, and fire upon Kai Lang. He dodged some blows and absorbed others. He advanced upon the paladin. Saint managed to deflect some blows, but the ones that landed carried more than just steel. Kai Lang’s blade was coated in poison. Within only a few seconds Saint’s heart stopped, and Lucas lay unconscious as well. Kai Lang’s triumphs were not without cost however. Wounds covered his body and his breath came in ragged gasps. He turned to taunt the survivors over the death of their friends, but the words never left his mouth. “Shut up!” yelled Maximilien, as he loosed an arrow towards the man. The arrow pierced his throat, and Kai Lang collapsed, his lifeforce ebbing into the ground. The battle was over, but at great cost.

“What have you done?” asked Idelle. “As soon as the Iron Circle finds out, they will kill my father, my mother, and everyone here. We have no time; we must leave at once, and rescue him before the messengers from the Iron Circle arrive. I will make preparations.” With that Idelle left the room. The survivors debated whether she was leading them into a trap, but decided to go with her. First though, Pontermercy had to be warned, and Saint’s body needed to be taken to the Temple of Torm. As the adventurers prepared to exit the Delacroix manor, they saw the household staff leaving as well, their belongings on their backs. A few carried Idelle’s bedridden mother out on a litter. Another servant informed them that horses were waiting for them. Idelle was against informing Pontmercy, and claimed that the Iron Circle had spies among the guard. Keryassa insisted, but agreed to go by herself to attract less attention. Everyone else headed to the Temple of Torm on Saint’s final journey.

The Return to Bonifant
  • The PCs immediately set out for Bonifant, hoping to foil the vampire’s dastardly plans. Keryassa is particularly anxious to leave.
  • The party hops in the cart and soon overtakes Ives and Bartholomew the rural merchant on the road. After about an hour of traveling, Gabriel notices the horse is tiring. So, the horse and cart are abandoned by the side of the road.
  • After several more hours of travel, other members of the party begin to tire, Ives in particular. Keryassa urges everyone on. Saint exhorts his fellows. “Now is the time for sacrifice.” He helps Ives keep up with the rest of the group.
  • The party is still three hours away from Bonifant, and they decide to fire a flaming arrow into the air in the hopes of attracting help. Instead, they attack a pack of wild dogs. The dogs are defeated, but Keryassa is seriously wounded. She finally agrees to a short rest. After an hour, she urges everyone to press on.
  • Unfortunately, after another hour of walking, more and more of the party lags behind. Keryassa debates the wisdom of going on by herself, but decides to remain with the group while they rest for the night.
  • It is late morning when the party finally arrives at the walls of Bonifant. They head straight for the Woodsouls’ shop. It is a pile of smoking rubble. Four half-elven soldiers are keeping watch. They seem to have been expecting Keryassa and her friends and direct them towards Maria Pontmercy.
  • Pontmercy is busy dealing with the wererat situation. She explains that Woodsouls’ shop was attacked in the middle of the night, and much of the wererat potion was destroyed. Gabriel gives Pontmercy his personal supply. Keryassa asks about the Woodsouls. Pontmercy will only say that they are safe. She explains that Keryassa and her friends may still be under the influence of the vampire. She asks the adventurers to find Meldy. She can make new potions much quicker than anyone else.
  • The adventurers head to the abandoned house where Meldy led them when they first met. The staircase to the 2nd floor is destroyed. Everyone is investigating and discussing how this could have happened, when Meldy pokes her head out of a hole in a ceiling and tells everyone to be quiet. Then she throws down a rope for everyone to climb up. Everyone except Keryassa is exhausted from last night’s forced march, but after some time, and some heavy lifting from Saint, everyone is on the 2nd floor.
  • Meldy looks like she has been in a fight. She sports torn clothes and several bandages. She refuses Lucas’ offer for healing though. She explains she cannot travel in the open, so she cannot meet with Pontmercy. To do so would invite another confrontation with the vampire. The PCs take the opportunity to interrogate Meldy on her purposes for being in the city. Meldy explains that she cannot divulge any of this information while the threat of the vampire charming the PCs remain. She does ask the PCs for help though. She asks them to hide a message under the stairs at The Priest and Knight Inn, and she asks them to investigate a mason’s house. It is exuding a demonic aura.
  • Everyone except Keryassa, who is above running errands, and Ives, who goes to rest, heads to The Priest and Knight Inn. They meet Gabriel’s contact, Selkar Falwythe, inside. After some brief negotiations, Gabriel bums 15gp off of Saint to pay Selkar for his information on Idelle Delacroix’s bodyguard. They find out the following facts about him. His name is Kai Lang. He is from the Yamabushi Islands to the east. He began working for the Delacroix family about two months ago. Before that, rumor has it that he was a hired assassin. He is also an enforcer for the Iron Circle, and one of their most feared warriors. Saint buys everyone drinks, and Gabriel drops off Meldy’s message.
  • Lucas, Saint, Gabriel, and Jace meet back up with Keryassa, and they head for the mason’s house. Saint pretends to be a member of the nightwatch, following up on a noise complaint, and the party bluffs their way inside the house. The mason, Urbain Roche, allows everyone to search the house, but when Lucas discovers a hidden passageway in the basement, Urbain and his two friends attack.
  • The party makes quick work of Urbain, but several other humans come running down the secret passageway. After a fierce battle, these five newcomers are also dispatched. Keryassa is briefly knocked unconscious. Saint leaps over some ball bearings to deliver the death blow to the last enemy combatant. As he stands in the doorway with his dying foe at his feet, he senses a fiendish aura of evil and madness from down the hallway.
Lord Bullywug and The Dark One
Keryassa spills the beans
  • At their usual meeting spot, the party discusses what to do. Gabriel offers to track down information on Idelle’s bodyguard. He goes to meet his contact in the Bonifant underworld, Selker Falwythe. He finds him passed out in The Priest and Knight Inn. Selker does not know anything about Idelle’s bodyguard, but after some coaxing, a few gold pieces, and the half-believed promise of more, he agrees to look into it.
  • Meanwhile, everyone else decides to go meet Maria Pontmercy. She is not at the guardhouse, instead she is overseeing the distribution of anti-wererat potions in the very same square where the tainted food was sold. Pontmercy has a new mission for the PCs, and a new associate, a talkative dwarf named Jocq D’Gemseer.
  • Pontmercy explains that people have been disappearing on the road to Donavan’s Crossing. The PCs agree to investigate, and ask Pontmercy for a cart, which she agrees to lend them.
  • The PCs go to pick up the cart from Imara. She is her usual grouchy self, but she agrees to lend them a horse too. Jocq flirts with her.
  • The PCs head toward Donavan’s Crossing. Jocq and Gabriel ride in the front seat and catch up. Apparently the two were already acquainted. Jocq admits to assaulting his father, a well-known jeweler in Bonifant. Jocq is dressed modestly, but Gabriel makes no attempt to hide that he is a warrior. The PCs journey south for a day without incident until they come across a solitary human being attacked by frog men.
  • Gabriel leaps from the cart and charges towards the battle. The frogmen flee at his approach. Keryassa and the mysterious ranger work together to bring down one of the frogs. The man explains that he is a merchant from Donavan’s Crossing, and was planning to sell goods in Bonifant. His backpack is full of rustic wooden carvings. Saint buys them all, and then demands a third of his money back for protection. He relents on his demand once it becomes obvious that the rest of the PCs plan to use the merchant as bait for the frogmen.
  • The plan works, and the PCs quickly dispatch the attacking frogmen. The last one surrenders and begs for his life. He explains that prisoners are brought before Lord Bullywug to appreciate is splendor and majesty, before being sacrificed to The Dark One. After some debate, Saint demands that the frogman lead him to The Dark One’s cave. The frogman agrees under threat of being punched repeatedly in the face. Ives and the merchant head towards Bonifant.
  • The PCs find a bedraggled vampire inside the cave. He is quickly defeated, as Saint channels the wrath of Torm to smite the vile creature. Feeling triumphant, the PCs turn around to find another, well-dressed vampire. “Thank you for taking out the trash,” he says.
  • The vampire and Gabriel pump each other for information; Gabriel gets the vampire to think they are from Donovan’s Crossing. He is about to offer the PCs and ultimatum, but, he spots Jocq trying to launch a sneak attack. Battle ensues, and the vampire quickly proves his superiority. He calls a truce to the fighting and asks more questions. Keryassa tells him about the recent threat of wererats in Bonifant, and how it was solved using potions. The vampire wants to know who made the potions. Keryassa will not tell him. The vampire casts a charm spell on her, and Saint attacks the vampire again.
  • Saint tells everyone else to run. Everyone flees except for Keryassa, who is still transfixed by the Vampire’s spell. She answers the vampire’s questions, but the vampire cannot hear her, because Saint is shouting at the top of his lungs. The vampire knocks Saint out, and he can finally hear Keryassa say, “Meldy and the Woodsouls.” “Was that so hard?” asks the vampire. Then he drops Saint’s bleeding body, turns into a bat, and flies away. Jocq sees the bat, realizes that the vampire is gone, and returns and stabilizes Saint.
Sewer Crawl
The Iron Circle Strikes Back!
  • After talking things over at Uncle Paco’s, the party goes to check on Meldy and the Woodsouls. They have created a cure for wereratism, but they need someone to test it on. So, they give a few vials to the party, and ask them to seek out wererats in the sewers. Before heading into the sewers, they borrow some silvered weapons from the Town Guard.
  • After a few brushes with some nasty creatures in the sewer system, the adventurers stumble upon two wererats. They are drunk with the power that their new forms have bestowed upon them, and refuse to cooperate willingly. After a brief skirmish, they are subdued, and are force fed the potions. The potions work quickly, and soon the two wererats turn into a dwarf and a elf. The elf is in fact the child Avourel, who is quickly returned to his mother. The dwarf is rather belligerent, and is turned over to the Bonifant city guard.
  • At the guardhouse, Maria Pontmercy tells Gabirel that the Iron Circle has attacked the Beaumont family shipping business, as well as the Temple of Torm. Collin’s fellow paladin-in-training, Ashoulla, as well as her friend Imara the quartermaster have volunteered to guard the temple against further attack. Gabriel takes off running for his father’s place of work. He finds the place smashed up, but his father, Nicholas, is unharmed. Nicholas tells Gabriel that the thugs who destroyed his storefront did so in retaliation to Gabriel’s meddling. He also reminds Gabriel that his mother died because of her meddling in similar affairs and pleads with his son to lay low. Gabriel says he must honor his mother’s memory and leaves. Collin tells Nicholas that he should leave town for his own safety.
  • The party then heads to check on the Woodsouls. They find several dead bodies outside the potion shop. Collin heads in cautiously, and discovers Meldy and the Woodsouls hiding behind the counter. They explain that the Iron Circle sent men to bust up the Woodsouls’ shop. After further questioning, Meldy reluctantly reveals that she killed the men outside with lightning magic after they threatened the Woodsouls.
  • With Gabirel, Collin, and Keryassa’s loved ones accounted for, the party heads to the Delacroix family manor. They discover it unharmed. The party decides to question Idelle about her bodyguard’s nighttime activities. She will only speak to her cousin, Lucas. Everyone else is allowed to wait in the foyer, except for Gabirel, who must remain outside the manor grounds due to his attempted theft the last time he was allowed inside.
  • Idelle does not think her bodyguard could be up to anything nefarious. She warns Lucas not to interfere with the Iron Circle. However, Lucas believes it is possible she is being coerced.
  • With that, Collin announces that he is inviting the party to witness him swear his oath as a paladin. Everyone heads to the Temple of Torm to do just that. Collin recites his oath, and Father Anders presents him with an ornate spear. Collin reveals his true name is Saint.

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