The Watcher of the Mists
Book 4: Seven Swords of Sin
After returning to Magnimar in late Kuthona 4707, the Sandpoint Heroes briefed General Odinburge on the threat posed by an army of giants. Durrok volunteered to help train the army against giants full-time, and resigned from the party. A few days later, Charrone received orders from her old order of Hellknights that she was being reactivated, and was sent on a thousand-mile journey to join the Mendevian Crusade against the demonic incursion of the Worldwound. Charrone accepted her orders and rode off, commander of a contingent of Iomedean crusaders.
After bidding farewell to their friends, the remaining Sandpoint Heroes spent some time selling the treasure they had recovered in Hook Mountain. The sale attracted the attention of the Pathfinder Society, who sent the party an invitation to Heidmarch Manor, the Pathfinder Chapterhouse in Magnimar. The meeting with Venture-Captain Shiela Heidmarch went very well, and Heidmarch touted the benfits of membership in the Society. Zandu asked if she had heard of the [[:asheia|Sword of Lust], and Heidmarch made the decision to show them that she was actually in possession of the artifact! The meeting was interrupted by an attack of four angelic guardians, constructs that Heidmarch had ordered from the Magnimar Golemworks. Heidmarch was impressed with the Heroes’ performance, but her mood quickly dampened when she realized that her trophy room had been breached, and the Sword of Lust had been stolen! Assuming that the attack was a diversion to steal the sword, she asked the Sandpoint Heroes to investigate who could have sabotaged her golems while she followed up on the theft itself.
The party went to the Golemworks, and found that these particular golems had been constructed by master artificer Chrysalis Black. After a confrontation with what turned out to be a simulacrum of Black in his office, the party tracked him down to his home— where he also ran an upscale toy store that sold high-end porcelain dolls. Following another altercation with the store manager (and five thugs), the party realized that the toy store was actually a smuggling front for the Aspis Consortium— and that their former ally-turned-opponent Larissa the Swift was somehow involved! The heroes discovered a secret underground laboratory below Black’s house, and fought a completely deranged Chrysalis Black. Black managed to teleport away before they could catch him, but the party did rescue six people trapped in some kind of strange electro-magical contraption that Black used to make new constructs. They also found a clue as to the possible location of the Sword of Lust: Kaer Maga, the City of Strangers. They also learned that Black’s Aspis contact in Kaer Maga was somebody named Tirana.
Heidmarch booked passage for the party to Kaer Maga aboard a magically-powered paddleboat. The boat made the two-month journey in just two weeks. Despite one attempt on the PC’s lives by Aspis assassins, the party made it to Kaer Maga on schedule. In the City of Strangers, the party spoke with their Pathfinder contact, a dancer and courtesan who called herself Miss Feathers. Miss Feathers knew of Tirana: she was some kind of enchantress and unscrupulous businesswoman who had bought her own street gang. She was rumored to own at least one drug house that was involved with trade in a new drug called lethe, but she didn’t know where this place was. Miss Feathers also mentioned that a few of the employees of her establishment hadn’t shown up for work recently— all of whom had mentioned sampling lethe. One of these missing girls had shown up with a new tattoo on her shoulder— a Sihedron Rune!
The party started asking around about Tirana and her drug house, and found one person who offered information in exchange for a little work. That person was a dwarven merchant named Gadka Burtannon, proprietor of Gadka’s Magical Oddities, a low-rent magic shop in the neighborhood of Tarheel Promenade. The work involved “taking care” of a street gang that had been shaking down the “honest businessmen” of Tarheel— a gang under the employ of Tirana. The party laid an ambush for this gang the following morning, and Gadka told the Sandpoint Heroes the location of Tirana’s lethe house: the same location that the mysterious Council of Truth had abandoned nine years earlier.
The party found Tirana’s drug house, and was a bit surprised to learn that it also seemed to be serving as a shrine to the lost Thassilonian goddess Lissala. The operators of the Lethe House often exchanged product to users free of charge in exchange for the users participating in a religious ceremony called the Feast of Sigils— in which a fragment of the unwitting participants’ souls were infused into a rune-inscribed cracker. After the party defeated the priests of Lissala and their guards, they found a note from Tirana to the other priests of Lissala. This letter told them that the sigil wafers collected from the drug users were going to be used in a ceremony to awaken the recovered Swords of Sin. This ceremony would take place in the chambers below the temple— chambers formerly occupied by the Council of Truth.
After resupplying, the party returned to the house the next day, and ventured down a hidden staircase into the vaults below Kaer Maga. The party learned that while Tirana was the current occupant, the Thassilonian architecutre and trappings indicated that Council of Truth had not been the original occupants. The chambers housed extensive arcane laboratories, artifacts, and displays: part research facility and part museum. Many of these were dangerous— some laid as traps by Tirana, and some still potent with Thassilonian magic.
While exploring the facility, the Sandpoint Heroes again crossed paths with their former ally Larissa. In a parley, the party learned that Larissa had been using the Aspis Consortium to her own end— and to those of a mysterious benefactor that she did not name. She did say that her benefactor was working behind the scenes to bring about major changes to Varisia, and wanted to restore the glories of lost Thassilon to the modern age. When the conversation devolved into violence, however, the party realized that they had been conversing with a projected image of Larissa, and not the real person.
After defeating the guardians and exploring many of the strange and ancient secrets of the Chambers of Truth, the party found itself in conflict with Tirana and her henchmen— including Larissa and a naga sorceress. The party managed to interrupt Tirana’s ritual involving the collected Seven Swords of Sin. In the final battle against Tirana and her allies, the enemy sorceress and her naga ally managed to grab three of the Seven Swords and escape via a teleportation device just before rigging the magical reactor powering the Chambers of Truth to explode. Tirana also left Larissa behind. As powerful shockwaves rattled the caverns, the party (plus Larissa) managed to get to another teleportation gate just as the Chambers of Truth collapsed, burying its secrets below the City of Strangers forever.
The five Heroes of Goblin Day found themselves in the middle of a circle of standing stones on a bare and rocky snow-covered plateau. The night was clear, and the moonlight revealed familiar landscape: they were in western Varisia, atop the Devil’s Plateau, just a few miles from Sandpoint!
|— Book 3: Hook Mountain Massacre||Book 5—>|