This session took place over 23 days; 7 days traveling from Karpad to Sandpoint, 14 days traveling to Brinewall Castle, and 2 days of exploration at the Castle.
Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger
Once the Sons returned from Karpad to Sandpoint, they ensured that their caravan was geared up and ready to make the 500 mile trip to Brinewall Castle. The journey would take them north along the Lost Cost Road, through several villages, along the outskirts of the Forest of Lethyr, through the town of Roderic’s Cove, and then along the outer reaches of the Impiltur Nolands before reaching Brinewall. Jambro was sure to have an extra supply of his Dwarven ’shine for trade, while Johnny invested into some spices of (dubious) quality. Along the trip, however, both managed to turn a profit on the goods.
During the 14 day trip, the caravan traversed poor road and weather conditions, met a couple of other smaller caravans running quick routes before winter set in, and encountered goblin raiders. Once the caravan reached Roderic’s Cove, a large raiding party of goblins attacked the town while the Sons were getting ready to leave town. Due to the help the Sons provided, the losses to the people of Roderic’s Cove were spare.
As the journey was nearing Brinewall, the roads became more obviously disused. The chill that had been bracing when the caravan left Sandpoint became biting in Brinewall. The crew noticed that Ameiko was feeling poorly as they got near Brinewall. Once the caravan reached the overgrown trail that lead to Brinewall, Ameiko fell into a coma. Magical investigation revealed that a kami; a guardian spirit of objects, animals, or places; had possessed Ameiko. She was in good health, but unable to be roused (despite Kryspin’s multiple attempts to wake her with a kiss).
In her state, Ameiko seemed only capable of occasionally uttering cryptic phrases: “Beware the birds who wish to fly, but cannot,” “grandfather waits in the dark, but he knows not who he was…” Koya felt certain that whatever was causing Ameiko’s coma would be sorted out in Brinewall Castle. Koya, Lelu, and Whiskey would remain with the caravan and Ameiko, while the Wayward Sons would explore Brinewall Castle and report back.
They found little in the village, besides ruins, but they did find the remains of a glassblowing shop (similar to the Kaijitsu Glassworks in Sandpoint), a Rasheman longship, a cemetery, and the ruins of a temple to Selune. They found trinkets from the glassworks, the longship empty, and then investigated the cemetery. In the cemetery, they found a shrine that would bless water. They also met a cleric of Selune: Spivey, a fey who remained in Brinewall once she discovered the monsters hiding in Brinewall. Anyone who found their way to Brinewall unaware of them would be in grave danger. Spivey chose to remain to deter those who wouldn’t be able to handle the Castle and help those who might have a chance.
After receiving holy water and the promise of healing and safety, the group bade Spivey farewell for the time being to head to the castle.
The Sons found the Castle lightly guarded, relative to a castle. They fought their way past dire corby guards in the gatehouse and courtyard, first. Then they fought an ettercap and his pet spider.
After that battle, the Sons found ogrekin lurking in a side yard. They managed to talk them out of a fight. The ogrekin wouldn’t fight against Brinewall’s residents, but they would leave the party in peace. They also showed the Sons a secret way into the Castle.
Once inside, the party found Buttersnips, a quickling taxidermist. The party quickly discovered the quickling had been capturing and preserving her victims, going through the taxidermy process while they were paralyzed by poison.
The party quickly seized Buttersnips. They decided that she was too dangerous to be allowed to live and put her to death.
They began to explore more of the castle, and were soon set upon by the castle’s ruler: Kikonu. He appeared to be a strange-looking Tian man, wielding a hand-scythe with a length of chain at its end. Along with his corby minions, they attacked the Sons. The battle ranged around the castle as Kikonu teleported about, rousing additional aide and trying to escape the Son’s wrath. More dire corbies, troglodytes, and even a giant water bug beset the Sons: Jambro was temporarily locked down by the mindless water bug. Kryspin remained in position to ensure that Kikonu would not escape the Castle. Warlug, Johnny, and Ashik pressed the fight directly. As the fight began to turn, Kikonu revealed that he was a yamabushi tengu, an oni from Tian Xia.
Kikonu fought while his support was cut down. It was then that Warlug dealt him a blinding blow! Unable to see, the Tengu teleported away, to the top of the castle’s tower. After reforming, the Sons decided to pursue him past the haunt at the tower’s base. On the top floor, the Sons found a priestess of Pazuzu, a demon lord. They dispatched her after a vicious fight. Then they found Kikonu at the top of the tower, with his (former) ally, Zaiobe, a harpy oracle of Pazuzu. The Sons dispatched Kikonu, with Zaiobe shooting at Kikonu as well. She attempted to communicate with the Sons, given her lack of speech. She and the Sons had an altercation, which she tried to escape from. As she was flying away, however, Warlug managed to get into position and loose an expert shot from his bow! The shot struck true and downed the mysterious oracle.
With most of the Castle cleared, the Sons began securing their area: Johnny and the caravan crew cleared a path through the brush to allow the caravan into the castle courtyard. Another haunt was discovered, the wight of the Castle’s previous captain of the guard was found and defeated, as well as the tortured soul of a child who died in the original attack on Brinewall. With these dangers taken care of, the Sons rest for the night before heading into the sub-levels of Brinewall.
The next morning, they went deeper into Brinewall. They cleared more troglodytes from the basement, holdovers who hadn’t run out in the night. After the battle, they rescued a Rashemani woman, a raider who was captured by the residents after her party members were killed in the initial attack: Kelda Oxgutter.
She thanked the party, gathered her belongings, and accepted their offer to recover in the caravan. She agreed to work as a guard, hoping that the caravan would find its way back to Kalsgard, her home.
Finally, the Sons were ready to venture even deeper. They found a crypt, where they were visited by an aspect of Kelmvor. The party doubted its veracity, however, and were not lured by its promises of reward for clearing out the crypt. Ashik saw that the ground at the end of the crypt was illusory. It was, in fact, a sheer drop of fifty feet! Worse yet, in the dark of the cave, lurked Nindinzego, the Bastard of Brinewall!
The half-fiend, a twisted mutant of the seed of Pazuzu, had laid claim to Brinewall and its secrets. Living in the darkness beneath Brinewall, he awaited further visions from his absentee father, acting on equal parts faith and madness. Nindinzego aided Kikonu, to what end neither knew, nor were the Sons able to discover it. The battle with the Bastard of Brinewall was short and brutal; Warlug and Ashik both dealt Nindinzego terrible wounds with their bows, while the rest of the Sons provided support and their strength of arms and magic, as well. Despite its terrible power, the Sons strong offensive were too much for Nindinzego to withstand. The Bastard of Brinewall died swiftly.
Plagued by no further hostiles, the Wayward Sons found their way to the secret vault of Brinewall. This last room was guarded by none other than the wraith of Rokuro Kaijitsu, Ameiko’s grandfather. The party invoked the family name, which set the wraith at peace, imparting these last words, “Take the Seal away from here…take it to my child…who is no longer safe…I am no longer worth of guarding it.” With the secret vault’s location pointed out, and with the keys discovered on Nindinzego and Kikonu’s bodies, the Sons finally found the Legacy of Brinewall: three darkwood chests of Tian origin. Inside, they found a magical warding box and the Amatatsu Seal, the potent artifact that acts as protector and symbol of the Amatatsu family’s divine right to rule Minkai, Ameiko’s motherland.
Upon exposing the Amatatsu Seal from the warding box, the kami that had possessed Ameiko immediately returned to the Seal. Ashik, Jambro, Johnny, Kryspin, Warlug, and Ameiko each had shared visions: Fiends with burning eyes and tusks, emerging from a storm to descend upon Tian peoples. Another showed the Emperor Shigure of Minkai murdered by his friend, a man who transformed into an oni wearing jade armor. Yet another showed a young Tian man selling the heirloom Suishen, a powerful sword of the Amatatsu line, to a Rashamani merchant.
When the visions subsided, the Sons feel the mantle of destiny settle upon their shoulders: They have each been chosen as scions of the Amatatsu family, charged with the worth of the line, and the right to rule Minkai. They know that Ameiko is the rightful heir to the rule of Minkai, that Suishen can impart further knowledge of the family and be found in Kalsgard, and they know that the Seal’s power can be traced by the Oni of the Five Storms.
Knowing what they know, and after talking with Ameiko, the Sons decide that going back to Sandpoint would be too dangerous. So, they instead decide to proceed directly to Kalsgard from Brinewall with the provisions they already have. They seek to recover the family sword Suishen, prepare their caravan for the long journey along the Golden Way, and find a guide who can lead them along it.