This session took place over two and a half weeks. Two weeks travel time, with 3 days spent in the Barony of Karpad. Summer’s end is imminent, with an unseasonable chilly autumn forthcoming.
Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger
Ameiko Kaijitsu – Human Aristocrat
After returning from Brinestump Marsh with a major clue about Ameiko’s past, the Wayward Sons and Co. decided to gear up for an expedition to the ruined town of Brinewall. While preparations were being handled by Sandru “Whiskey”, Ameiko asked if the Sons would be willing to escort her to the town of Karpad to look after her friend Anya. Ameiko had received increasingly troubling letters from Anya as to the state of Karpad and her husband’s sanity. Anya reported that her husband had grown erratic, and the town was in unrest due to a supernatural disease that was spreading.
The journey to Karpad was briefly interrupted by a hill giant attack. But, a ray from Jambro enfeebled the giant, ending its attack.
Upon arriving in Karpad, the party found the town in unrest. They decided to head straight for the Boroi Manor.
Passing through town square, they saw three shade-touched, a family, about to be lynched: The local Watch Captain, Lucian Groy, believed the shade-touched to have abducted his daughter. Also, many of the sick in the mob were blaming the shade-touched for their illness. The party intervened, discovering that Captain Groy was behaving erratically. The Captain’s story changed each time someone asked him why the shade-touched would have taken his girl. At this time, Jambro began using his divine power to heal the sick. In a display of awesome power, he channeled enough energy to heal all the sick in the mob.
After cowing the mob, the party managed to convince the Captain that the shade-touched had nothing to do with his daughter’s disappearance. The shade-touched; Sergei, a farmer, Delia, his wife, and Marius, their son, were grateful for their rescue. Sergei wanted to get himself and his family out of Karpad for good, and accepted work on the caravan.
After easing that situation, the party got back on track toward Boroi Manor.
On the way, they noticed a House of Pain (temple to Lovitar) and an odd coincidence: the same wagon the Banites were driving through Sandpoint was parked out front. As the party was checking it out to confirm it was the same wagon, the Banites came out. The Banites were (unsurprisingly) threatening and hostile. Fighting in the streets ensued, with the party spell-casters putting the Banite warriors to sleep, while Warlug, Johnny, and Kryspin pressed the Lovitar priest. Despite the priestesses’ prayers to Lovitar, the party overcame her, chasing her into her own desecrated temple. There, they slew her as she ran for her altar and reinforcements.
The visiting Banite cleric rushed into the church’s main chamber with reinforcements! The party stood resolute, ready to face another servant of an evil god. The party squared off as the Banite stood with his warriors. The Banite cleric demanded the party leave, to which Warlug responded clearly: Warlug charged the cleric and dealt him a savage blow. He followed up that strike with a demand to run. Staggered, and coming to grips with the dead before him, the cleric realized he was out-matched. He and his men dropped their weapons and fled, “It was a temple to Lovitar, anyway!” one said as they ran out the door.
After taking a few moments to recover (and to loot the church), the party made their way to Boroi Manor. Without further incident.
After being brought into the manor, they were offered brought to the sitting room and offered refreshments while they waited for Anya. Some of the party wandered off to investigate different areas of the manor, while others stayed with Ameiko and Anya. Between the whole group, they learned of disappearances in town, that a disease called “Tallow-throat” was spreading among the non-shade-touched people of Karpad. The disease caused the throat to swell prodigiously, paranoia, and eventually death. Worse yet, upon dying, the throat opened and released two shadows to torment the living. If that wasn’t enough, Anya was concerned about her husband’s sanity, personally. The party agreed to find out what was happening and try to stop it. Warlug got a lead on a disappearance: The last person to have seen Irini, a missing woman, was the town’s candlemaker, Catalina. The party headed off toward the candle shop.
Once there, they felt things were amiss and headed in through the cellar entry. Once they were past the hot wax trap they tripped, they found guards inside. They were easily dispatched, but a strange creature waited for them: A lurker-in-light. The creature created daylight in the cellar, which he remained invisible in. He claimed to have the authority to conduct his experiments from the Baron, himself. After a protracted battle, finished by Kryspin’s well-timed counter attack, the Sons began investigating the area. They found Catalina dead, but found the missing towns folk (who hadn’t already been sacrificed) encased in wax. After freeing them, they immediately went back to the manor to confront the Baron about his association with the evil sorcerer.
They were interrupted by a pair of victims of tallowthroat, both of whom they were able to save from the massive damage they suffered when their throats burst open to allow hungry shadows to escape.
Upon confronting the Baron, the party initially tried to use diplomacy and intimidation to get him talking. However, when that wasn’t getting them their answers fast enough, Jambro used a charm spell. Once under that effect, Baron Stephan Boroi spilled his guts; he told Jambro everything, thinking he was confessing his troubles to his most trusted friend. In short, he wanted what the third son would almost certainly never have: his father’s title and properties. He discovered a magic mirror in the manor’s basement. While examining it, he saw another person in the reflection: this was Nicasor, a Shade imprisoned for hundreds of years. Stephan and Nicasor worked out a deal, whereby they would trade bodies once every ten years. Nicasor would eliminate Stephan’s problems, while at the same time setting up possibilities for his escape from the prison. Stephan became Baron after both brothers went missing and his father succumbed to illness.
However, Stephan has now married and has had a child. He has come to regret all he’s done. With his back against the wall (and his remorse tested by Johnny), the party agreed to go into the Midnight Mirror, to destroy it and NIcasor.
Preparing themselves for whatever might await them within, the party is sent into the Mirror via Stephan’s command word. On the other side, they find a reflection of Boroi Manor. Similar to other parts of the Plane of Shadow, this place has become a cold, colorless version of it’s Prime Material opposite. The party finds themselves in near-freezing temperatures and almost total darkness. Even with the aid of magical light, visibility is limited in The House of Night.
The Sons encounter Shade-ghouls in a crypt near their entry point. They quickly realize that the denizens of the House of Night are infused with shadowstuff; supernaturally tough, capable of regeneration, and totally at home in the darkness. After a tense battle, they manage to overcome the Shade-ghouls and begin their exploration of the House of Night in earnest.
They intend to kill Nicasor, rescue Stephan’s brothers, and destroy the physical manifestation of the Mirror’s intelligence, The Heart. Armed with shards of the Mirror for that express purpose, the Sons encounter tormented spirits, undead, shadows, and Shade-touched retainers of Nicasor. During the course of their exploration, Johnny discovers a child; Sorin, child of Stephan’s older brother Iozif. Sorin, while illegitimate, is non-the-less the heir to the Boroi Barony, were he returned to the Material Plane to make such a claim. The party discovered that both of Stephan’s brothers had died since they were kidnapped and brought to the House of Night.
On the way to destroy The Heart, the Sons meet other prisoners of the Mirror. Elenuta and her partner Trakis. The Sons were able to convince the captured Shades that they were not sent by The Heart to torment them. Instead, Elenuta and Trakis were convinced to help destroy The Heart and thus gain their freedom. The Sons found the central chamber of the Manor, where the courtyard would have been, and found walls of shadowstuff. Hacking through, they charged boldly into battle with The Heart of the House of Night!
Warlug lead the charge, dealing tremendous blows to The Heart. However, he was quickly grabbed by The Heart and swallowed whole! Johnny and Kryspin ran in to back up their half-orc companion. Johnny (boldly, bravely, crazily?) decided to “go in after him”, allowing himself to get swallowed by The Heart to try to help Warlug. Kryspin continued working away at The Heart with one of the Shards of Night.
While the paralytic stomach acids of The Heart worked away at the unfortunate Sons, Fawkes, Jambro, and Elenuta began using magic to try to wound the Heart. Jambro quickly found that his acidic spells, usually so devastating, were completely ineffective against The Heart. After many tense rounds of battle, the party finally managed to bring down the creature. Once defeated, the stability of the splinter Shadow Plane began to waiver…the party had precious (and unknown) minutes to escape The House of Night, and they still needed to kill Nicasor and rescue Sorin.
As fate would have it, Nicasor reached them at this time: He shadow-jumped behind Elenuta’s friend Trakis, stabbed him with both his swords, and killed him almost instantly! As the Sons squared off with Nicasor, the House began to break apart. First, the ground was covered in spiky nettles of shadowstuff, which rippled across the floor and walls. The Sons’ front line began fighting with Nicasor, who proved to be both evasive and resilient: he seemed to blend into the shadows (which were abundant), while his shadowstuff-infused flesh seemed to turn aside blows that would have been considerably more lethal to a normal mortal. His swords blurred about his body, defending himself effectively while dealing deadly strikes.
As the Sons fought him, the gravity on the plane failed and returned, hungry shadows bled from the walls, and total darkness briefly interrupted the fight. Nicasor displayed shadow-fueled spell-casting and the ability to shadow step, both of which he used to try to dispatch the party before the House’s collapse. However; the Sons’ combined efforts, along with Elenuta’s assistance in disrupting Nicasor’s shadow-powers, was simply too much for the exiled Shade soldier. The Sons dispatched him, with time to spare to grab whatever gear they had brought in or found, rescue Sorin, and get out through the MIrror itself.
Returning victorious to Boroi Manor, the Sons had a serious conversation with Baron Stephan regarding his past transgressions and what was going to be done to start setting things right. The Baron repented his sins, cast aside his faith in Lovitar, adopted Sorin, and swore to start turning things around in Karpad. By the time the Sons left, Anya had her husband back and more, the tallow-throat disease was wiped out (once Nicasor was dead and unable to send it through the Mirror), a Lovitar/Bane church was cast down with a Selune church raised in its place, and Ameiko’s fears were laid to rest. So, they could now return to Sandpoint, caravan up, and head to Brinewall to investigate Ameiko’s family history.
Significant Treasure found:
- Merikel, a (plus) 1 Bastard Sword found in the House of Night
- Celdoriath’s Clarion, a masterwork spiraled silver trumpet of Elven make
- Shade Captain’s swords, a matched (plus) 1 long sword and short sword of Netherese make. Though not invested of anymore magical power than the “+1” status, as a set they are more valuable, especially to collectors interested in such things.