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Amenemhat, Arcade, and Alsea: Hammer 1st-2ndEdit

For their first expedition of the new year, the Pathfinders Kat, Dr. Haiduc, Ruthea, Erevis, Alejandra, and Captain Murdoch met to plan their journey. Very few townsfolk were in the Boar & Thistle due to the recent holiday: Valconey and Sosostriss had travelled to New Luxberg, Ned was visiting family, and even Martha had delegated tavern duties to an employee, although her absence seemed to be due to illness. It was decided that the group would explore the Tomb of Amenemhat, as Erevis wanted to discover the reason it was devoid of undead, unlike every other tomb in the region. They set out for the Dead Canyons, using Dr. Haiduc's Boots of Teleportation to travel directly to the tomb. They managed to sucessfully navigate through the numerous traps, including things such as false doors rigged with darts and spring-loaded battering rams, poisonous dust and trap doors. One particular trap involved a deep natural chasm with a springboard in front of it, designed to launch unwary raiders into the shaft's depths; Murdoch opted to perform a swan dive, and rather painfully discovered that there was nothing at the pit's bottom.

Eventually, a secret door was discovered, which lead into a chamber holding relief carvings of various animal-headed deities, many from the age of the Empire of Decadence. In order to pass, they were required to press several carvings which were obviously not Empire deities, such as a goblin-headed man. A new passage opened into a larger room, where two clay golems were mounted into the walls, and a blinding light with a silhouette of a warrior within it was shining. Upon entering, the warrior spoke, identified himself as the tomb's guardian and asked of the Pathfinders' purpose in the tomb. Once the adventurers assured the presence that they only wished to discover the reason for the lack of undead and that they would leave everything in peace, the guardian ceded that his purpose was fulfilled. It revealed that it was the spirit of Amenemhat's vizier, Rhekmire, who had had his intelligence and spirit bound in a staff in order to guard the bodies of the Amenemhat pharohs I, II, III and IV, all of whom were entombed in this room. After claiming the pharohs' treasure, with Rhekmire's permission, the group left the tomb and camped in the canyons before teleporting back to Willowdale the next morning.

In town, the group was joined by Enrique. They used a Locate Person effect to locate the renegade Arcade, who was still located at a beach. The group then discussed teleporting in and attacking immediately, which Kat disagreed with on the grounds that she believed that they should give the man a chance to surrender before striking him. A heated moral argument ensued, which was eventually resolved by the conclusion to confront Arcade fully-armed, and to legally arrest him using violence only if he resorted to it first. A more specific view of the changeling's location was magically obtained, preperations were made, and the group teleported to the wanted man.

On the Rheic Shores, the group found Arcade, lounging lazily by the water, suntanning, with a simulacrum of himself standing nearby. Alejandra and Ru unsuccessfully attempted to convince him to surrender; he was obviously fully convinced of his own superiority. Despite outnumbering him seven-to-one, Arcade proved to be more than a match for the Pathfinders. Within the first few seconds, he almost managed to decapitate Alejandra, and his simulacrum self-destructed explosively when Alejandra attempted to heal the group. The group struggled to even scratch Arcade, as his physical and magical defenses were nearly impenetrable, and his assault was relentless. Even when they managed to make an impact on him, it seemed little more than an inconvenience; being blinded and bored by Erevis barely seemed to hinder his capability. The entire time he made condescending conversation, and flirted shamelessly with Ru, whose tendency to blather when nervous led to her flirting back. Eventually, Arcade became moderately injured and opted to use Shadow Walk to escape. Unwilling to let him go, Dr. Haiduc managed to magically pinpoint the location where Arcade would supposedly reappear in the Material Plane ten hours later: near the mythical oceanside city of Alsea. The group managed to teleport to that spot.

Upon arriving there, they saw an elven man skiing down a nearby mountain slope of the Wyrm's Teeth range. Waving to him, he gathered his skis and came over to greet them. He introduced himself as Tanelorn Merryleaf, an elf of Alsea, and mentioned that a Shrine to Cygnus was on the nearby mountain range, as well very good skiing; a fierce white dragon prevents skiing on the eastern slopes. He also explained the purpose of the Elven Watchtowers: they form an arrow which points to Alsea in order to direct lost elves. When the Pathfinders attempted to explain their purpose, Tanelorn was incredibly confused, as he had never heard of murder or assassination before, coming from his utopic city, and for that matter, did not realize before this moment that Laurasian society, or even humans, currently existed. He offered to take the group to Alsea in order to speak to the elven elders to see if they could offer assistance. The city itself was huge and idyllic, and its inhabitants were peaceful, friendly and welcoming. The elders of Alsea, though enigmatic, informed the group that they would be able to catch Arcade unaware in a goat pasture outside of town, and that his god would not be able to inform him of their arrival this time. {C}Returning to the spot where Arcade was supposed to reappear, the Pathfinders waited. When he appeared, he was still wounded and mostly unarmed, having left his magical items in the Shadow Plane, so he decided to submit to their custody, although he didn't seem particularly perturbed by it. When confiscating his equipment, it was discovered that his sword was non-magical, but the gauntlet that he had been wearing previously was no longer in his possession. Ru, somewhat enamoured with the changeling, asked if he would look her up when he got out of jail again; he agreed. Since Dr. Haiduc's boots were nearly out of charges, only Alejandra, Ru, and himself teleported back to Willowdale with Arcade in custody; the rest spent the night in Alsea. When they asked Valconey for assistance in binding the criminal, he instead teleported to New Luxberg and returned with General Wilson and a team of battlemages. Alejandra and Dr. Haiduc genuinely thanked Arcade for (ultimately) surrendering quietly, and Arcade, in return, warned them that he planted deadly parasites on Erevis and Murdoch during the battle, and that they should seek medical attention. Arcade greeted "Wilson" with familiarity; Wilson ignored him, and the team returned to the city with the criminal in tow.

Earth, Fire, and Air: Hammer 4th-5thEdit

On the morning of the 4th of Hammer, Alejandra called the Pathfinders to a briefing in the Adventurer's Guild. Enrique, Gorgoroth, and Jura responded, and found that Alejandra and Colonel Boyd had prepared extensive materials regarding the movements of Enicio Vargas and The Cinder Man. Alejandra described with some difficulty her personal history with Vargas, and Colonel Boyd confirmed her description of Vargas as a ruthless man whose cruel tactics had escaped discipline within the army due to his many successful missions. Alejandra informed the Pathfinders that she hoped to separate the Cinder Man from Vargas without engaging Vargas directly, as she feared a direct confrontation would not end well for the Pathfinders. The listening Pathfinders agreed to go on this mission, and expressed an additional willingness to teach Vargas a painful lesson should the opportunity arise. Before leaving, Jura entrusted Zuni and Noemia with each others' care for the duration of the trip.

A party consisting of Alejanrda, Ballantino, Enrique, Gorgoroth, Jura, and Alyenna teleported to the Pyramid of Ananka within the Hyrcanian Desert. The teleportation was less than perfect, however, and the group was forced to travel on foot for some distance, and were ambushed by a purple worm hiding underneath the sands. The Pathfinders were able to deal a great deal of damage to the worm, but in the process, Alejandra was swallowed by the creature. It was finally finished off when Gorgoroth, caught in the creature's maw, threw a number of Fireball Beads into the creature's gut. Alejandra was recovered from its gullet relatively unscathed. The Pathfinders considered attempting to harvest the creature's poison, but lacked the skill necessary to preserve or refine the raw venom. Instead, they decided to remove and destroy the poison glands, in order to prevent Vargas or another sinister opportunist from doing the same.

The Pathfinders reached the pyramid without further incident, skirting aroung a dust digger nest in the process. Alejandra encountered a sphinx at the top of the pyramid. On climbing to meet it, she recognized it as the same one encountered in Nightall at the Pyramid of Kharis. She spoke with the sphinx regarding the Cinder Man and was told to seek the power of earth, which can trap and smother fire. The sphinx directed her to a nearby statue to meditate. Alejandra left the sphinx with a gift of milk and a riddle.

The Pathfinders travelled to the statue to set up camp for the night. Alejandra meditated at the statue for some time. When she was finished, a jeweled scarab had embedded itself in her forehead and the statue had vanished. On questioning by Enrique, she explained that she had received some of the power of living stone. The exact implications of this were not discussed, and are perhaps not entirely clear.

While Alejandra meditated, Jura spoke with Ballantino. She asked him to explain how he and Alejandra were able to entrust Noemia to Jura's teaching after the man whom they entrusted with their son had sent him to his death. Ballantino explained that while the Rogaceu family trusted Jura as an individual, they had trusted Vargas in his capacity as a military officer, and the discussion quickly turned to the nature of military duty and loyalty in Avenida.

The morning of the 5th, the Pathfinders again headed to the Pyramids, where they expected the Cinder Man to be headed. They soon discovered a rolling ball of fire travelling at great speed across the desert. Though it appeared to be some sort of elemental creature, possibly under shapechanging magic, the ball did not respond to attempts to communicate with it. The Pathfinders followed the ball to a hidden oasis, where they saw it join a mound of earth and a whirlwhind. These elemental shapes then revealed themselves to be an Efreeti, a Shaitan, and a Djinn, and the Djinn further changed form until recognizable as Djinn of Djinn. Djinn introduced his companions as Efreeti of Efreet and Shaitan of Shaitan, and explained that the oasis was a place of peace for genies, not usually visited by mortals. However, he invited them to stay and rest for a time.

The Pathfinders asked Djinn if he knew anything about the Cinder Man, and Djinn suggested gambling for the information over a game of cards. The Pathfinders agreed, and two games were played: a simple game of highest card wins, and a game in which players were required to tell stories that explained why their three cards were the stronger. The Pathfinders won all hands through a combination of luck and storytelling ingenuity. Enrique won a fire-enchanted pepperbox from Efreeti, Gorgoroth won a boon of strength from Djinn, Alejandra won a further secret of stone from the Shaitan, and Ballantino and Jura together were able to win valuable information from Djinn and the Shaitan regarding the Cinder Man. They learned that the Cinder Man was not so much an individual as an elemental spirit of fire and vengeance, and that this spirit had killed and possessed Vargas and his men. The Cinder Man took the form of Vargas, travelling across the desert with his burning soldiers following. Vargas as the Cinder Man believes that his power comes from Saranrae, but this is not the case and in fact the combined entity only travels at night. To fight the Cinder Man with hatred or vengeance in one's heart is to invite being consumed by it. However, it is possible to defeat the spirit by invoking the positive powers of fire: love and warmth. At this, Enrique suggested that Kat would recommend giving the Cinder Man a hug. As the games drew to a close, Alyenna beat the Efreeti so badly at a hand of chance that he stormed off in a fit of anger. She received as a prize a wand which the genies explained would help her find her dead father. The Pathfinders rested at the oasis until nightfall, reflecting on these developments. However, Djinn also insisted that the group spend some time dancing the night away, and Alejandra removed her armour so that she might participate, revealing the scarab embedded in her forehead to the rest of the group. Djinn scattered some silver coins about in approval of the group's dance, and Alejandra retrieved ten coins from her boot, fulfilling a minor prophecy. In conversation, Djinn again asked them to try and free the Marid imprisoned in Rathbone the Red's Tower.

At nightfall, the Pathfinders again set out in search of the Cinder Man. They soon found the mob of burning, decaying soldiers. Vargas, unlike the other figures, was fresh and unconsumed by the flames, and he emerged from his soldiers to speak with the adventurers. He taunted Alejandra, claiming that he killed Julio due to the latter's weakness and that Alejandra's ideals were a blight on the armed forces. He also said that his new post as the Cinder Man was a divine gift, and that he has since realized that Avenida alone would never be able to kill all of the hobgoblins. Jura in turn asked Vargas why he refused to travel during the day, if he served the sun goddess. At this, Vargas exclaimed "I am the sun!" and exploded in light, blinding Enrique and dazzling the rest of the Pathfinders, before ordering his men to charge the group. Jura used a magical item given to her by Alejandra to call Dr. Haiduc, and the latter appeared to teleport away Enrique, Ballantino, and Alyenna. As this group disappeared, Vargas charged the Pathfinders, leaving a wall of fire in his wake. The Pathfinders briefly faced Vargas and his soldiers. They fought defensively, and Gorgoroth destroyed one burning soldier with a frost blade. Having completed his charge, Vargas struck at Jura with his scimitar, wounding her heavily with a single blow and invoking some sort of negative energy or death effect which Jura resisted. In response, Jura attempted to magically Quench Vargas' flames, causing him to billow with smoke and cry out in pain or anger but apparently causing no lasting effect on his burning. Before Vargas could retaliate, Valconey appeared and teleported the remainder of the Pathfinders to safety.

Back in Willowdale, the Pathfinders had a long discussion with Valconey regarding the many developments in Willowdale since they had arrived. Notably, Valconey suggested that the Black Mirror supposedly sealed some great evil, which may be connected to the Cinder Man. He also revealed that the wrappings recovered from the First after the Battle of Willowdale were composed of a synthetic material which would only have come from a civilization before the Apocalypse. Alejandra excused herself from the discussion upon their return, however, and in her absence, Valconey also informed the others that the golem following Alejandra was, according to his research, attempting to become a duplicate of her, and may yet grow to look, act, and potentially even think like her. The group was notably disturbed by this rapid outpouring of information, leading Jura and Valconey to vent their frustrations at each other briefly before regaining their composure. On Valconey's departure, however, he was greeted at the door to his tower by Alejandra, who asked for advice on the power of the stone in her forehead, and when he could not provide an answer, it occurred to her to include Rhekmire in the conversation. On seeing the stone, Rhekmire announced that Alejandra had become a defender blessed by the gods, and that he should bow his head before such a vision (with assistance from Valconey), Alejandra explained that her own goddess had never before given such a gift to her knowledge, and though Rhekmire seemed stunned that the sun was now represented by a goddess, he said that the occasion still demanded appropriate worship and celebration.

Rathbone's Dungeon of Many Things: Hammer 7thEdit

On the morning of the 7th, Rinzler, Kat, Ru and Erevis met in the Boar & Thistle to prepare for a foray into the west. Several other townsfolk were in the tavern as well, including Ned, Valconey and Wutog. Valcony came to them with a letter, which he said came from Granny Haiduc, a matriarch of Dr. Haiduc's family. Apparently, she had just learned of the death of Rathbone the Red, and seeing as how he was a close friend of her family, she would like to see him interred in the Haiduc plot. In exchange for recovering his remains, she was willing to share with them one of several Haiduc family recipies: an apple that would put anyone who ate it temporarily asleep, as well as give them tree-like characteristics, a potion that would allow one to befriend goats, or a magic spinning wheel. Confused yet intrigued by the lack of details, the four told Valconey to reply, saying that they would recover the body and would like the spinning wheel, and perhaps the apple recipe should she be feeling generous. Valconey then started talking very animatedly about the ground-breaking discovery that was the city of Alsea, and implored the Pathfinders to take him with them when they should return. While Kat returned his enthusiasm, Ru and Rinzler showed an excessive apathy towards the city and a journey there, so it was determined that the trip to the seaside metropolis be postponed for another group. Instead, the four opted to travel to the Lichfields to explore Rathbone's tower. Ru cited an interest at stopping at the Shrine to the Twin Gods of Destruction, as she wished to ask something of the Arch-Psion, so they decided to teleport there first, as well as to bring Wutog for advice.

Using the portal in the Golden Fields, they managed to teleport within three miles of the shrine, from where it was a quick jaunt over to the ruined cathedral that marks its location. Once inside, a spectral ilithid appeared, which seemed to give the same warning that the illusory ninja had given on their last visit, albeit in a broken, mangled version of Undercommon. Proceeding to the inner sanctum, Ru was left in peace to make an offering to the gods, while the others waited in the outer rooms. After offering some fine pipeweed and some freshwater pearls, Ru entertained a vision of the two gods, who granted her some prophetic visions as well as a strange quarterstaff. Meanwhile, Erevis discovered the pit filled with decaying bones and began scooping as many as possible into his Bag of Holding, such that he could inter them properly, after which he took a bath in his portable tub. When Ru emerged from the sanctum, she presented the staff, which Wutog explained was a very dangerous weapon for both the wielder and his opponents: the staff contains an almost unreasonable amount of concealed weaponry, including blades, shurikans, fire, garrot wire, and a noose. A trained wielder can use this massive array of surprising weapons to their great advantage; an unskilled user could easily kill themselves. With their business concluded, the group set out for Rathbone's Tower. Just outside however, their paths crossed with a wandering banshee. Failing to conceal themselves properly, the ghostly creature glided towards them and uttered a courage-shattering scream. Kat and Wutog fought off its effects, with Erevis close behind, but Rinzler, Ru and Sparkle Pony all fell prey to fear and began running as fast as their abilities would allow them. Seeing as how the plan had apparently changed, Wutog picked up Erevis with little difficulty and ran after the group, keeping pace with the magically-enhanced runners and leaving the banshee behind.

After arriving at the tower and catching their breath, the group took a quick glace around the precarious ruined building. With the help of Rhekmire's advice, Erevis adopted the guise of a death priest of old, preparing an attempt to fool the Marid caretaker in hopes of acquiring a new keycard for himself. With that, the group decended into the underground dungeon, where they were quickly met by the Marid, who did not only not recognize Erevis, but also did not seem to recognize Ru, who had also seen the tower previously. Everyone recieved a starting keycard and the rules to the "game", and it quickly became apparent that those who had already collected keys no longer possessed them, and that the doors which had been opened were no longer. When the Marid was pressed, it became apparent that she was utterly incapable of acting or speaking in any way which did not fulfill her duty to explain the tomb and extoll the virtues of her late master. After Rinzler managed to stop everyone's attempts to give a name to the genie spirit and Ru promised her release, the group ventured into the circular array of marked doors. With little more then reckless abandon, the group began their campaign to complete the many puzzles with the strategy of "open the closest door that we have the key for;" Wutog opted to stay at the entrance for the most part, although offered assistance when necessary. The Pathfinders skimmed through the Talon and Knight rooms, which had been solved previously, and entered the Rogue room. Upon entering, they were each placed in opposing corners of an empty room; everyone could sense treachery in the air. Kat, Ru and Erevis could each plainly see a kaycard stuck on Rinzler's forehead; Rinzler saw a series of devils, sneaking up behind the others. It was quickly determined that he was deluded in some way, so Ru ran towards him to remove the card. He saw her come at him, daggers drawn with malicious intent, but she moved faster then he could react and removed the card. The illusions dispelled and the keycards collected, they moved to the Throne room, Rinzler slightly snappier then normal. The Throne room contained a giant seated on a throne, who claimed to be the king of all thrones. The Pathfinders quickly convinced the giant that if he was the king of all thrones, he had best go claim the many other thrones in existance, which was his right. Agreeing to their logic, he left, leaving the keycards on the seat. The Star room was next, but proved to be incomplete: the two keycards sat on a pedestal in a white, barren room, untrapped and unguarded. Shrugging at "Rathbone's Reverse Psychology Room", they proceeded to the Jester room. Inside was a juggling entertainer, who started asking them riddles. He seemed disappointed when they presented a logical solution to his puzzles, but heartily accepted Kat's nonsensical replies. Eventually, he gave his keycards to them and they moved on, still quite unsure as to what the point of that room actually was. The Euryale room presented them with two cards on a pedestal covered in iron snakes. When Kat tried to spirit the cards away with Mage Hand, the snakes lashed out to grab the cards and replace them. At Rinzler's mention of avoiding eye-contact with medusas, Ru borrowed a mirror from Wutog, who claimed to never adventure without one, and looked at the pedestal through the polished surface. Sure enough, the reflection of the podium had no snakes, and she managed to deftly remove the cards with no resistance. Next was the Gem room, a square room whose floor was covered with coins and gems. Sighting a golden keycard in the center, Ru claimed it, only to trigger a torrential downpour of gold coins. Buffeted and quickly becoming smothered by the metal, Ru and Kat tried to grab gems to see if it would stop the coin barrage, but all it did was add falling gemstones to the downpour. Dropping the gems and keycard caused the torrent to cease, giving Rinzler the idea to throw one of his personal coins into the thigh-deep pile. The gold appeared to recede somewhat, so he added an ancient adamantine coin, which caused all of the treasure to disappear, save for his two coins and the two true keycards. The next room entered bore the Moon symbol, and was found to be quite dark with a picture of a gently illuminated crescent moon on the ceiling. As they watched, the moon grew fuller, shedding more light and revealing a great number of statues of various werebeasts, including wolves, a bear and what could only be assumed to be a weremoose. Rinzler yelled that should the full moon be allowed to shine, the statues would probably activate, prompting a panicked response from the others. With barely moments to spare, Kat threw up her winter coat, blocking out the light of the moon. When everything proved to remain motionless, the others groped around in the dark, eventually locating the cards strewn amongst the statues. Moving on to the Donjon room, they discovered themselves in a stone labyrinth with walls barely 7 feet tall, a minotaur clearly visible standing within. It quickly noticed them and started moving through the maze, so the Pathfinders started trying to find their path. After a few minutes, Sparkle Pony flew up a few feet to see if they could spot the exit and found that he was met with no resistance. It only took a moment before everyone realized that they could avoid the maze entirely by climbing the walls and running over the top to the center, where the cards were held. The Sun room followed, wherein a blinding light shone from every direction. Unable to see through the dazzling light, Kat once again threw up her winter coat, which cast a shadow that revealed the keycards. The room of the Vizier was next, and within was seated a man who merely asked why he should give the cards to them. Ru thought for a moment, and declared that he should give the cards to her as she was rightful nobility, whom he serves. He considered this silently, then nodded and handed her the cards. The Flame-marked door was next, which revealed a room completely ablaze, with fire elementals residing within. Instead of entering, Sparkle Pony used his knowledge of Ignan to ask if they could just possibly hand the cards out. The elementals were confused, as they were summoned to protect the cards, but after a few moments of cajoling, they ceded that they were only supposed to guard them from people who entered the room and it probably wouldn't hurt to give them to people who didn't enter. Claiming their prize without even entering a room, they continued to the Void room, which deposited them in complete blackness. As everyone tried to overcome their lack of sight, Ru was assaulted by a greater shadow, who began sapping her strength at an alarming speed. With Sparkle Pony's ability to see in the blackest of darkness and Erevis' ectoplasmic rod, they were able to successfully destroy the creature, granting them the keycards. The next room they faced was the ill-fated Fool room. Upon entry, all of the present Pathfinders save Ru lost their senses to a Feeblemind-like spell. Inside the room was a plain chalkboard, whereupon a piece of chalk wrote "14 x 4 =" before Ru's eyes. As the others were all on the floor gibbering, she wrote the answer on the board and recieved the two keycards. The group was removed from the completed room as they had been for the previous puzzles, but the lost senses remained elsewhere. Surrounded by subsentient, babbling fools, Ru and Wutog considered their options. Recalling that Rinzler had earlier given her a Restoration extract to repair the effects of the shadow's attack, Ru rifled through his pockets until she managed to find a prepared Lesser Restoration extract. Its consumption allowed Rinzler enough clarity to drink some of his other prepared intelligence-bolstering potions, restoring him to roughly the level of thought capable of someone with ADD and an extreme hangover. Knowing that he could create more Restoration extracts, but not after an amount of rest, the duration of which he couldn't quite remember at the moment, Ru and Wutog decided it was best to just bring everyone back to Willowdale using the dungeon's portal. Though it took a few days of rest, everyone was eventually restored to their normal mental state, and the four vowed to return to complete the dungeon with all due speed.

The Deck of Many Things: Hammer 9thEdit

After a day of recuperation and several Restoration spells, Rinzler, Ru, Kat, Erevis and Wutog set out once again to complete the trials of Rathbone's dungeon, this time accompanied by Jura. They teleported directly to the dungeon using its portal and wasted no time in continuing the series of puzzles. They first entered the Comet room, and found themselves floating in a void dotted with shimmering stars. In the center of the room was a small sun, orbited by four planets that looked like pumpkin-sized marbles. Looking around, they found the room's keycard, orbiting around the sun in a large, oblong path like a comet. After several failed attempts to grab it were made, Erevis managed to net it in a Web spell strung between two planets. They entered the Balance room next, which placed them on the base of a giant set of weighted scales. The Pathfinders lept from side to side, eventually determining that only their weight, not the wieght of their animal companions or material objects, shifted the scales, and even then it was not their physical mass, but the weight of their natures that needed to be balanced against one another. Moving rapidly on to the Key room, they were met with an almost unfathomable number of locks: locked doors, locked chests, padlocks, chain locks, even a chastity belt. Despite this, there was no key in sight. The group looked around for a while, picking some locks, attempting to descern the room's magical nature, but to no avail. When they became certain that the answer had to be obvious, Jura knocked on one of the doors and politely asked if they could come in; it opened and a spectral hand passed her a keycard. Moving to the Skull room, they discovered a giant ominous stone skull that dominated the majority of the room, preventing easy entry. It was quickly proven to be hollow, but when Rinzler tapped it, he was physically drained, prompting Jura to take the form of a bat in order to squeeze through a small opening. Navigating deftly inside, she grabbed the keycard. The Idiot room was next, and contained a large mirror that covered one of the four walls, as well as a small table in front of it. When they entered and looked in the mirror, they saw a large oafish man with a club walk in with them, who quickly began swinging at the heads of the group. Everyone attempted to evade him, some more successfully then others, as it was quickly proven that though he was only a reflection, the weight of his club was real. Ru approached the table, which seemed to have a keycard on it in the mirror, but realized with dismay that while there was nothing on the table, even the card in the mirror appeared to have been painted onto the table. Glancing around, Rinzler spotted the real card suspended above the door frame, and managed to successfully leap up and grab it, prompting the oaf to wander away. The final room, Ruin, placed them in the corners of a tight square room, in the middle of which was a large napping rust monster with a keycard on its forehead. A quick appraisal also showed that for some reason, all objects of any nature that the adventurers carried seemed broken or cracked. Quietly and unobtrusively, Ru claimed the card, but as everyone was sneaking out, Rinzler woke the monster. Kat quickly trapped it in a pit, and everyone managed to flee the room without incident. Upon leaving the room, the Pathfinders' gear was restored to an unbroken condition.

Once every keycard had been collected, the doors to the central room opened. Inside was a gilded gaming room with a golden table at its center. While investigating the table, they were greeted by a giant illusory head of Rathbone himself, who congratulated them and introduced his magnificent Deck. As invisible hands shuffled and delt out the cards, he explained that everyone could only draw once. It vanished, and the cards lay spread out on the fine table. Everyone present chose a card, and everyone gained something beneficial. Kat drew the Throne card, and in doing so gained the deed to a castle which she could design to her tastes and, when finished, would spring up in the Golden Fields over the ruins currently there. Rinzler drew the Comet card, and while he inherantly knew that it was positive, he did not know precisely what it did. Jura drew the Key card, which took some instruction from her before granting her a powerful weapon, the universal key. Erevis drew the Vizier card, which allowed him to summon a ghostly vizier once a week to answer any question he might have. To test its power, he asked it what exactly happened to Rathbone the Red. The vizier at first replied simply with, "He died," but he added with a pause and a sigh that Rathbone had been killed by the Elder Wizard in a duel several months before the Pathfinders arrived in Willowdale, and that the Elder Wizard had taken Rathbone's body. Ru drew the Donjon card, which granted her a magical map which outlined her surrounding area, giving her useful tips about shelter, food and nearby beings. She also learned that it could be used to make a perfect, highly detailed map of a single building, dungeon or location, and from then it would mark all treasures, secret doors, paths and every other detail about the place, in addition to giving live information regarding the locations of moving beings within. Wutog drew the Star card, which granted her a permanent enhancement to her strength and wisdom.

After claiming their cards, the group returned to the antichamber to check on the Marid and the sarcophagus. Upon their arrival, they found the Marid, who told them to hurry up and free her already. Obviously free from the personality binding aspects of her servitude, she was short and cranky, but still trapped in the dungeon. On her instruction, they opened the sarcophagus to find Rathbone's exquisite funerary garb, but as they were earlier informed, no remains. Rifling through, they found a Ring of Djinni Calling with a watery motif, which they quickly dispelled the magic from. Immediately, the Marid turned to a jet of water and fled the premesis without so much as a thanks. The ring was determined to have retained only a minor function as a Ring of Water Walking. Sorting through the rest of the incredibly valuable items, the Pathfinders claimed their spoils and stepped outside for a breath of fresh night air before returning to Willowdale. Once outside, Rinzler managed to spot a comet. In doing so, he became immediately aware of the fact that he could control its orbit and, if he so chose, bring it crashing down to the planet. With that discovery, the group activated the portal and returned to town.

Diplomatic Ties: Hammer 11th-23rdEdit

On the 11th, Alejandra, Jura, Gorgoroth, Kat, and Ruthea met in the Boar & Thistle, which was full of wizards of all sorts discussing a diplomatic mission to Alsea. They were soon joined by Kosh, who dropped a bag of 1000 gold pieces on the table and announced that he wanted to join the Pathfinders. After some discussion in which the Pathfinder Opera was mentioned, it was decided that the six Pathfinders would visit Alsea together with Valconey and Alyenna.

The Pathfinders left Willowdale by teleportation to the Rheic Shores. As it was late, they almost immediately set up camp. In the middle of the night, Ruthea noticed a light coming from a ship a short distance off the beach. She signalled to the ship using a light spell and woke the rest of the Pathfinders. She, Alejandra, Gorgoroth, Kat, and Jura went to the edge of the water to meet the ship. A dingy full of cactus-like pirates arrived, and immediately attacked the Pathfinders with nets and tridents while their ship launched fireballs from their cannons. The Pathfinders quickly routed the pirates and chased after their ship. A lightning bolt from Jura and a fireball from Kosh ignited the volatile cannon reagents, and the ship exploded, apparently leaving no survivors. One of the landing party had been taken alive by Alejandra, but he proved completely insane and committed suicide by bashing his head into a rock. Alejandra contacted Dr. Haiduc, who teleported in and took the body to Erevis for burial.

The afternoon of the 12th, the Pathfinders arrived in Alsea. They introduced themselves formally to the elders and the mayor and exchanged gifts, receiving elven cloaks, boots, and armour, a fine bow, and enough local currency (gold-veined leaves) to enjoy the city. The Pathfinders then visited Tanelorn Merryleaf, who promptly invited the entire party to stay with him. The Pathfinders toured the town for many days.

Alejandra and Kat discovered in a museum a painting of a black owlbear wearing a gold helmet in what appeared to be a thriving elven city. They guessed that this might be Chickcharney or a similar creature. An assistant curator told them that the painting depicted a city far to the West, and on questioning said that if such a guardian were to exist in a ruined city, some part of the city must not have been destroyed. The two then visited the city zoo, which was tended by druids. When Jura later visited this zoo, she spoke with the druids and learned more about the magical nature of the city shields, which the druids were responsible for maintaining.

Alyenna followed the Geomancer's Wand to an ossuary, where she found a tomb bearing an effigy of her father Enurian and a dedication to the "Nameless Traveller" who killed a dragon. In conversation with one of the elves tending the ossuary, she learned that her father had arrived in Alsea six years ago, mortally injured after having killed one of two white dragons living in the mountains. The dragons had sometimes picked off elves who ventured to far into the mountains, but since the patriarch was killed the matriarch has not taken any elves. Alyenna gave the grave-keeper the name to put on the monument, and declined to move her father's remains. She received her father's hunting bow.

Gorgoroth, Ruthea, and Kosh spent much of their time mingling with the locals. Gorgoroth notably used his Barrel of Monkeys given to him at Yule to put on acrobatic performances. Ruthea met and flirted with a member of the Bladesingers, and was invited to be the dance partner of a mysterious cloaked elf in a competition in the spring. Kosh participated in magical games and initiated a large game of tag among the magic-users in Alsea, eventually involving both Jura and Kat.

The Pathfinders in addition visited the beach and the glass golems in the Mangrove Swamp, explored the market, and purchased several souvenirs, including stuffed penguins, a live penguin, a glass globe filled with brine shrimp, and elven Gloves of Dexterity. The latter were purchased by Jura as a present for Alyenna upon completion of her druidic training. Jura encountered some difficulty with the purchase, despite Alejandra's assistance translating, as the merchant unintentionally made Jura uncomfortable first by flirting with her and then by trying to barter for Zuni.

An ornery goat was encountered in one of the alleyways of the city. Though Jura and Kat both attempted to befriend it, it refused to move until Jura turned into a female goat, and it appeared very put out when Jura changed back. The Pathfinders later learned that this goat was a bit of a local fixture.

Before the Pathfinders left on the 23rd, the elders warned them that the Necromancer was growing in power. They made reference to a People of the Green Tusk and to the order of knights responsible for the Grave of the Betrayers. They also requested that the Pathfinders do something to "relieve the suffering" of the white dragon matriarch in the nearby mountains, whose mate Alyenna's father had killed. They warned that if the Pathfinders did not address the situation in some way, the Necromancer would make use of her, as his wraiths were travelling in the mountains. In response to a question from Kat, the elders suggested that destroying a keystone located in the ruins of the city which Chickcharney guarded would free him. The lost elfstone was also discussed. The elders agreed to establish ambassadors between Alsea and Laurasia, and gave the Pathfinders a final gift of a powerful potion that enhances the memory.

An elven scholar from Alsea was chosen as an ambassador to Inner Laurasia, and may arrive in Willowdale. Jura suggested that Alyenna serve as the ambassador to Alsea, and despite her initial objection that she wasn't a diplomat, Alyenna agreed.

The Witches' Cottage: Hammer 24th-26thEdit

On the 24th of Hammer, Ru, Rinzler and Kat prepared to venture out to the Witch Woods in search of a mysterious item Ru had seen in a vision given to her by the The Arch-Psion. However, severely inclement weather deterred them from leaving that day, and instead, they hung around the Boar & Thistle. For a while, they entertained themselves with a particularly ridiculous conversation regarding Alejandra, Vargas and the Cinder Man, which could easily lead onlookers to believe that the trio has absolutely no grasp of the delicate situation.

With slightly clearer weather on the 25th, the group set out, using the portal in the newly-built Castle Kat to teleport to Rathbone's Tower. From there, Ru wished to make a quick stop at the Shrine to the Twin Gods of Destruction, so they headed south. On their way, they crossed paths with a frosty undead rider, who stopped some distance away and yelled "Beware!", before casting Ice Storm and riding off into the distance. As they approached the shrine, they were sensed by a vampiric mist, but managed to outrun it to the entrance. Inside, they were greeted by the warning illusion, although this time, it took the form of a group of ninjas who threw several insubstantial shurikan before vanishing without a word. Ru offered some pipeweed at the shrine while the others waited outside, and again Ru was granted several visions. With her business complete, they headed out to the west, towards the fell forest.

It wasn't long before they reached the edge of the woods, its haunting aura palpable even before they entered. Watching them enter the trees was a gigantic vulture, its wings easily 13 feet across. Kat used her magic to befriend and speak to the creature, who merely stated that it would eat them when they died. When asked if it would lead them through the woods, it refused: the deep woods were dangerous, and bad things lived in the ground. Ignoring the bird, the trio marched in. The sounds of a chorus of toads could be heard, highly strange for the time of year, but no trace could be found of the animals themselves before the pitched sounds abruptly stopped. For some time, the group relied on the Geomancer's Wand to guide them, along with Ru's map; it took them an hour or two before they realized that neither of the magical items were working properly at all, but they still pressed on, deciding that they really didn't need to know specifically where they were going anyhow. However, they began marking the trees using Kat's Glowing Glove in order to maintain a straight path. The first thing they discovered was an abandoned camp, containing nothing but a reed mat and the remains of a dying fire. In the embers were scraps of cloth and felt, which proved to be burned dolls, one of which had a strange likeness to Ru. She took the lookalike with her, and they carried on, eventually discovering a small, spiky, round creature that seemed to be from the Shadow Plane. As they looked at it, it attacked, prompting the group to attack in turn, and they quickly dispatched it. The next thing they came across was a small clearing where a few trees seemed to have been cut down. In the center was a corpse of a city lawman, which upon close inspection was incredibly strange indeed: its skin was grey and its eyes were black, but no cause of death could be determined, and despite having been dead for some time, there was no snow built up on the body despite the recent blizzarding. The man had in his possession two books and a crossbow with a few bolts; the books were a journal with only a single remaining page in its bindings, and a holy book with a burned cover and not a drop of ink on any of its pages. The journal page had the phrase "Beware shadows. There is no darkness, only shadows," written upon it, along with a short, confusing paragraph and a few tiny, indecipherable scribblings in its margin. Of greater concern however, was a bottle sitting upon one of the stumps: it was the potion which Ru had been looking for, shown to her by the Arch-Psion. After giving it an appraisal, it was determined that the potion would grant the drinker infravision for a short period of time, strengthened with a second dose, and that the bottle would replenish itself over time. Their mission complete, Rinzler placed the corpse in his Bag of Holding in order to return it to Erevis' graveyard, and they prepared to move on, when they spotted the body of a snow-white horse nearby. When they approached it, something inside its belly stirred, and as they watched, what seemed to be a hand pressed out from its stomach, stretching the skin. The three ran, precluding further identification of the creature inside the horse's gut. With the item in hand and night quickly approaching, they decided a need to escape the woods, and so continued forward, figuring that the forest was roughly circular and that they would come out eventually if they kept a straight course. Suddenly, they found themselves surrounded on all sides by trees marked in the same fashion as they had been using, but instead of Kat's small hand, it was a long, clawed print shining on the bark. As they paused momentarily to get their bearings, Kat noticed movement behind them. When she looked, she spied a black, formless creature watching them, and at the very sight of it, she nearly lost her life. Quickly bringing her around with a potion, the three ran, trying to escape the horrific thing behind them. They soon found themselves back in the same clearing where they found the lawman, with sunset looming close. Kat was still overwhelmed with terror, covering her eyes and clinging to Sparkle Pony, leaving Ru and Rinzler to decide what their plans would be. Unwilling to stay the night in such a dangerous place, they quickly devised a method in which the group of them could fly out, escaping the grasp of the trees. Taking to the air, they began to leave, when a small light, the only one in the forest, caught their eyes. Using Rinzler's spyglass, they saw an old house with a lantern shining in a second floor window. The two were unable to ignore their curiousity, and with a squeak of consent from the frightened Kat, they changed course. On their way, the Light spells they were using attracted the attention of a giant, blood-sucking moth, but a small fire spell was enough to scare it away. Landing outside the dilapitated house, Ru and Rinzler walked to the door, giving Kat the option to continue flying around in relative safety. The pair knocked on the door, finding it to be already open, so they stepped into a moist, moulding coatroom; Kat quickly decided that being together was far better then being alone, so Sparkle Pony crowded in behind. The group walked in nearly elbow-to-elbow, expecting the worst at any second, although they chose to announce their arrival loudly, lest they be punished for intruding on someone's home; they entered a living room of sorts, the entire ground floor wet and warped with age. The room was empty, and for the most part seemed like an average, albeit abandoned, sitting room. The exception to this was a section of blacked-out floor, where chalk had been use to repeatedly write the phrase "Beware shadows. There is no darkness, only shadows." A set of stairs led up, and they opted to go find the source of the light before looking in the other room on the ground floor. As they went up, calling to anyone who might be inside, Rinzler spotted an outdoor root celler through a cracked but relatively intact window, but they agreed now was not the time to investigate it. Light filtered through a crack under a door at the top of the stairs, but inside was nothing but an empty, dusty bedroom. As they went to the lantern, the sun finally finished setting, and as it did, every one of the Pathfinder's light-shedding spells wore off, and no amount of casting could refresh them. Huddling around the sole source of light as if their lives depended on it, they continued searching the room, finding nothing out of the ordinary. As they poked through, Rinzler's eyes drifted to the window, and on the ground, hiding in the edges of the treeline, was the black horror that was following them before; pure terror gripped him at the sight of it, and only a stroke of amazing willpower kept him from keeling over as Kat had. However, the light of the lantern kept it at bay, and it seemed loathe to leave the trees, disappearing behind them to avoid the light. Heading back into the hallway, they found a door to the attic in the ceiling above them. Deciding to take a peek, they had Sparkle Pony nudge the trapdoor open. The eidolon looked around, and almost immediately something small, white and horrible ran towards him, scrabbling at the floor. Letting the door slam shut, they all heard the creature sratch at the door for a minute before tiring and wandering away. When Ru and Rinzler asked what was up there, they were surprised as not Kat, but Sparkle Pony himself described in a deep, rich voice the small, deathly creature: an attic whisperer. Deciding that it was probably best if they put the creature out of its misery, but also that they should finish looking through the other rooms first, they carried on to the second room; as they went to open the door, it suddenly burst open. A black cat sped from the room and down the hall, and it took them a moment to compose themselves from the shock. The second room was also a dusty, abandoned bedroom, empty save for a few books on a desk and some clothes in the closet. One was a cookbook, specializing in recipies for boiled food. One was a child's storybook, which Rinzler read out-loud mainly to help regain a sense of control: it was the story of a proud swordsman, who had the best sword in the world. He boasted that none could beat him, and it seemed like no one could. One day, an old crone predicted that he would be defeated, but he laughed and ignored her warnings. Soon after, he forgot to carry his sword, and thusly he was slain without the blade he depended on. The third book, which seemed newer and somewhat out of place, was a holy book describing the practice of exorcisms and the semantics of hauntings. Rinzler refused to take any of the books, for fear of punishment for theft, but Ru took the holy book and a nearby candle in case they were needed, saying that they would return them if they met anyone; Kat still hid her face in Sparkle Pony's neck, looking at nothing and speaking to no one. There were two other rooms on the second floor; selecting the next closest door, they found another bedroom, although this one seemed better maintained, with less dust. A large four-poster bed dominated the middle of the room, and an armoir sat in the corner. The bed's curtains were closed, so Ru pushed them aside with Mage Hand. The bed was empty, although had a depression in the center, as though something recently lay there. On a whim, Ru set the bed curtain on fire with a Spark, which set both Ru and Rinzler in a minor panic, as neither could explain why she had done that, or figure out how to extinguish it before it set the whole house on fire. Without uncovering her eyes, Kat cast Aqueous Orb, putting out the fire and causing an infuriated, drenched black cat to run out from under the bed. Ru managed to calm the cat down and dry it off, as Kat was still indisposed from fear, and the feline responded well to the offering. In fact, it acted somewhat uncanny, and although it definately wasn't a familiar, it had an undeniable intelligence to it. Picking up the cat, they explored the rest of the room: the armoir contained more clothes, as well as a set of leather armour that the cat rubbed itself up against pointedly. The closet contained a scarecrow and, upon further inspection, a thin wall partitioning what must have been a larger space. Knocking a hole in the wall revealed the rest of the closet, holding a large pile of knick-knacks and trinkets, including spoons, jewelry, dentures, buttons and even a fake hand. Within the pile was an enchanted scabbard, which Ru picked up before they carried on to the final room. The last room was the master bedroom, clean and orderly, containing nothing more then would usually be found in a bedroom, although the closet was full of military uniforms reminicent of the Wall Guards, as well as a large pile of swords. Having looked through all of the upstairs rooms, they decided that they may as well attempt to destroy the undead creature trapped above them. When they went to open the door however, the cat became very agitated. Thus began a protracted attempt to communicate with the feline, but with Kat hiding silently on Sparkle Pony, the other two were ill-equipped to talk to cats. They eventually determined that this cat was obviously more then it seemed, and when it appeared to want them to follow it downstairs and into the previously unexplored room, the kitchen, they followed. By the time they got into the room, it had finally clicked that this was probably someone under the Baleful Polymorph spell, and so Rinzler managed to dispell the curse, revealing a naked catfolk woman. Rinzler ran upstairs at her request to fetch some clothes, while the others waited in the light of the candle Ru had borrowed. Looking through the kitchen, several bowls of mouldy stew were found on the table, and an impressive number of knives hung on a wall. The blades all shone and bore razor edges; as Ru picked up one to look at it, her eyes spied in its reflection the shadowy creature, hiding in the trees just beyond the window. She too barely had the will to overcome the overpowering terror that gripped her at the sight of it, but at that moment Rinzler returned with the lantern, prompting it to return into the trees. The woman, now dressed in some borrowed clothes and her own leather armour, introduced herself as Blackie, an adventurer who had been sent to investigate the woods and who had, along with the rest of her party, fallen prey to the night hags who live here. She had been trapped as a cat for several months in the house, and explained what she had learned about the woods, the house, the hags and the many other adventurers who had met their ends here. She agreed that the attic whisperer should be dealt with, but insisted that they all stay inside and wait to attempt their escape from the woods until morning. Upstairs once again, they organized themselves beneath the trap door and devised a plan for dealing with the creature. Fully prepared, they opened the door, and mere seconds passed before the undead child dropped itself down onto Sparkle Pony's back. Before it had time to do anything else however, the readied adventurers lay into it, destroying it completely with great ease; a slight disappointment considering the effort they had put into their attack plan. Climbing up into the attic, the group looked around and found nothing of note, save the dessicated remains of a small girl, the genesis of the attic whisperer. Again, Rinzler collected the corpse for interment, and the group decided to spend the night huddled safely in the attic. The night was restless and cramped, but everyone tried their best to sleep. At one point in the night, something huge landed on the roof, causing it to sag under its weight, but after a few tense minutes of held breath, the creature took off. The rest of the night was uninterrupted, and everyone camped in the light of the lanturn, lit on improvised fuel from Rinzler's explosives.

The morning eventually came, and the group crawled out onto the roof through a small vent, praising their luck that the hags Blackie mentioned didn't visit their house that night. Wishing to escape the forest with all speed, Kat and Blackie flew above the treeline on Sparkle Pony, while Ru and Rinzler used all of the alchemist's available infusions to increase their mobility in order to run through the undergrowth, following a rope held by their flying teammates. They ran as fast as they could, passing a swarm of rats eating the corpse of a bear, and a deep, seemingly-endless pit that sank straight into the earth. As they ran in the light of the morning, they could hear an all-encompassing silence in the trees, the only sound to be heard made by themselves. Eventually, they made it to the edge of the trees, returning to the Lichfields where they had started. The walk back to Rathbone's Tower was uneventful, but they did manage to see a small group of ghostly soldiers perform a field knighting before disappearing into the mist. Arriving in the dungeon, they returned to Castle Kat, where Kat invited Blackie to stay as long as she liked. The ranger accepted the invitation, and her and Kat stayed in the castle while the other two returned to Willowdale.

Plainsview: Hammer 27th-30thEdit

Halstein, Enrique, Kosh, and Gorgoroth met in the Boar & Thistle on the 27th. After some discussion regarding the recent adventure to Alsea, a priest of St Christopher arrived at the table. He thanked the Pathfinders for the purification of the church and informed them that the Ruined Wand of St Christopher could be restored to a Shining Wand of St Christopher. The process would require the wand to be blessed by a priest of war and a priest of peace, washed with holy water and oils costing 500 gold pieces, and prayed over by at least four good persons in an overnight vigil, then used to heal a dying person. He noted that as St. Christopher is associated with forgiveness of enemies, the vigil might have extra power for any persons seeking to forgive. The priest of St. Christopher blessed the wand. It was suggested that Ballantino could give the second blessing, and that Alejandra might like to take part in the vigil.

The Pathfinders then began discussing Jacob Plainsview and how best to bring him down. Though Halstein and to a lesser extent Enrique suggested violence, it was eventually decided that the group should use the extensive divination powers available to the Pathfinders to unravel Plainsview's crooked business practices and bring him down legally. The group first visited Blackfeathers in Castle Kat and asked her about her job for Plainsview. She showed them a counterfeit coin that she had stolen from the Burgomaster in Marten's Dam who replaced Krag Bashman, and who was believed to act as a representative of Plainsview. Gorgoroth contacted his ancestors to determine the best way to bring Plainsview down, and received a vision of Plainsview's business legers in the Icy Coyote.

On the 28th, the Pathfinders arrived in Marten's Dam. Halstein and Gorgoroth began a fight just outside the tavern in order to provide a distraction for Enrique and Kosh to enter the tavern and corner the Burgomaster alone. The two told the Burgomaster that they "solved problems" for Plainsview and that a group of adventurers was coming North to find evidence of illegal dealings. They claimed to need any and all records or false coins in the premesis in order to safely dispose of these items. The Burgomaster immediately turned over a map, a set of ledgers and a strongbox, claiming that these were all he had. On leaving, Enrique and Kosh told him that when the adventurers came the Burgomaster should maintain that he knows nothing, and that he should expect some damage to the Icy Coyote. The Burgomaster claimed that "Larath" would handle them and called for this individual in order to tell him adventurers were coming. As they left the building, Enrique spotted a drow wearing gunslinger clothing coming down the stairs.

Outside, the brawl began to calm down with Halstein and Gorgoroth having beaten a wide swath through the populace. A bystander mentioned that Larath was a local enforcer, and that he had a bounty on his head. After briefly conferring, the Pathfinders decided to eliminate Larath, cause some damage, and leave. Enrique opened one of Kosh's boxes of invisibility and Halstein and Kosh (casting Still and Silent spells) broke down the wall of the Icy Coyote. The Burgomaster immediately turned the situation to Larath. Halstein and Enrique quickly disarmed Larath, but the drow pulled more guns and opened fire. In the fight that ensued Halstein was incapacitated by a poisoned bullet, but Larath was killed as he tried to flee. Still yelling in Aklo, Gorgoroth shook down the Burgomaster. Halstein explained that they wanted dirt on Plainsview. The Burgomaster turned over the key to his strongbox under the tavern counter, but did not appear to have witheld any incriminating materials from the first group. Halstein searched Larath's room and found grooming materials, tools for maintaining firearms, and a strange suit of clothing. Enrique recovered guns, scrolls, and a protective necklace

Halstein and Gorgoroth then brought a barrel of mead outside, informed the locals that they had just had a dispute with the Burgomaster and Larath, and suggested that the onlookers enjoy the unguarded mead. The Pathfinders then quickly left before the watch could get involved.

On the 29th, the Pathfinders returned to Willowdale and spoke with Sheriff Colquhoun. They turned over Larath's body, guns, and armour. She mentioned his full name was "Larath the Beautiful" and that he was wanted in Baltica, and gave them the bounty. The group further turned over the Burgomaster's ledger and map, which revealed plans for buying up all of Willowdale and turning it into a giant open-pit mine, as valuable minerals were located under the town. Such plans would involve demolishing and moving the Wall, an act which would be considered high treason. The map was addressed to Plainsview. The strongbox was full of counterfeit coins, made of copper covered with a thin gold shell and made with imprints from all over Laurasia. Colquhoun left to speak with the Secret Society.

The group discussed how best to confront and arrest Plainsview, joined after a little while by Ruthea and Jura, both of whom expressed surprise at the extent of Plainsview's plots. A plan was eventually assembled with the help of divination. The Pathfinders, led by Ru, would approach Plainsview claiming to want to clear-cut the Witch Woods . Halstein and Gorgoroth would be disguised using Changeling Putty as two logging men from “Bugs Construction,” contacts of Kosh. Kosh would conceal protective magic within a pair of boxes and carry a Scroll of Dimensional Anchor in order to prevent Plainsview's bodyguard from Teleporting him away. Jura would hide in songbird form in one of Enrique's holsters and prepared to Counterspell any unexpected magic that appeared.

On the 30th, the Pathfinders visited the Plainsview estate properly prepared. Plainsview initially agreed to see only Ruthea. He informed her that his interest in the Witch Woods had waned and complained about the fact that the Great Cedar Forest and the Golden Fields had been made politically unavailable for development due to the actions of the Pathfinders. However, Ru explained that the Pathfinders were willing to put a great deal of resources behind wiping the evil Witch Woods off the map, and that they only needed Plainsview's contacts and business experience to help them unload the lumber, and Plainsview agreed to see the rest of the group.

Once Kosh's boxes were covertly activated, Enrique officially placed Plainsview under arrest and Kosh cast the Dimensional Anchor. Plainsview activated a Wall of Force built into his audience room, but Ruthea was able to bring most of the Pathfinders through the wall using her Cape of the Mounteback. This group quickly subdued Plainsview's wizard bodyguard, causing Plainsview to surrender. Both prisoners were bound and the guards shown the official warrant for Plainsview's arrest. After a few minutes, Plainsview began taunting the Pathfinders, asking them if they were going to look in the cellar, or if they wanted to know about the Necromancer. He then activated an invisibility effect. However, a Faerie Fire spell from Kosh's familiar outlined the invisible Plainsview and the other Pathfinders were easily able to attack him, with Plainsview finally falling to a bullet from Enrique, dosed with sleep poison. Sheriff Colquhoun was summoned and the heavily wounded but stable Plainsview and his bodyguard were placed in her custody. Enrique and Kosh left with Colquhoun and her prisoners, and the rest of the Pathfinders plus Dr. Haiduc proceeded to search Plainsview's estate for any further evidence of wrong-doing.

Gorgoroth found and activated a summoning circle in the basement which called an extraplanar merchant. In exchange for two of Dr. Haiduc's animated necklaces, the merchant provided a document in Draconic detailing Plainsview's purchases of magical and alchemical components, including the powerful poison Black Lotus Extract. He also gave to Gorgoroth as the summoner a gauntlet made from Rakshasa skin which Plainsview had ordered and would no longer be able to collect. The Pathfinders located five doses of Black Lotus in the basement. They further confiscated a number of Plainsview's documents, much of his collection of rare wines, several items of fine clothing, a collection of tableware, several hunting dogs, and a truffle pig. Calquhoun indicated that the Pathfinders would likely be allowed to keep these items after the trial, under Privateering laws. Dr. Haiduc then embarked on a campaign to destroy Plainsview's reputation such that he would be unable to call in favours or tap contacts to escape prosecution.