The End of Part 2, “The Skinsaw Murders”

The Heroes of Sandpoint were called on once again when Sandpoint was struck by a series of brutal murders. They quickly discovered that murders weren’t their only problem: the dead were rising as ghouls, and an army of ghouls was preparing to slaughter Sandpoint.

Fortunately, the heroes defeated the ghouls and discovered evidence that pointed to Foxglove Manor as the origin of the outbreak. They bravely delved into the abandoned, haunted mansion and learned the fate of Aldern Foxglove, the manor’s master (and president of the Samael Thrune fan club). His family’s tragic history went back 80 years, at a time when his ancestor Vorel Foxglove tried and failed to become a lich; the ghosts of his wife and child still haunted the manor. They drove Aldern mad and, in a fit of rage, he murdered his wife. His ancestor’s benefactors, The Brotherhood of the Seven, contacted him and offered to hep him fix the situation, but they actually turned him into a ghoul and used him to begin their murder spree.

The party tracked down the Brotherhood, a cult that worshipped Norgorber, god of poison and murder, to Magnimar, which had also been hit by a string of serial murders. They found the cult’s headquarters in an old sawmill and exterminated them, discovering in the process that their leader was also one of Magnimar’s ruling judges, an elf named Justice Ironbriar.

At first they thought they had put an end to the evil, but interrogating Ironbriar and deciphering his journal revealed that he had been charmed and manipulated by a woman named Xanesha. She had her own agenda and was using the cult to murder greedy noblemen, merchants, and moneylenders for some cause other than the worship of Norgorber.

They tracked down Xanesha’s lair, the Shadow Clock, an abandoned clock tower in the seedy Underbridge district. She had fortified the tower with aberrations, traps, and an awakened flesh golem, but none of those were able to stop the heroes from making their way to the top. The real shock came when Xanesha revealed herself to the party: she was a lamia matriarch, a frighteningly powerful half-human, half-snake abomination that should have gone extinct with the fall of the Thassilonian empire. She nearly brought the party to their knees, but in the end they were able to destroy her.

The threat to Magnimar and Sandpoint is over, and the towns are once again safe and at peace. With Ironbriar removed and the Skinsaw Cult eliminated, a significant chunk of corruption has been removed from Magnimar, and Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras himself threw an opulent dinner for the party and personally thanked them for all of their hard work. Everyone can finally take a little time to settle back down in Sandpoint and enjoy their newfound fame…

However, there is still one thing troubling the heroes: a crumpled-up note that was in Xanesha’s lair indicated that she has a sister, one who is possibly even more cunning and dangerous than she was. The details of her location were vague and inconclusive, but it sounds like there may soon be trouble near the Storval Plateau, home to clans of barbaric, bloodthirsty giants… and where did Shalelu disappear to way back during the goblin raids?

I got Stoned. In a Bad Way. (Xander’s Journal pt 8)

So, add Petrification to the list of bad days in my life.

Lamia Snake lady (aren’t they supposed to be lions?), roof of the Clock Tower, and Blam! turned to stone.  When I come to, I’m on the ground, the damn thing is dead, and Ko is standing over me trying to put chips back onto my elbow.

I suppose it’s only blind luck I was flying over the roof of the tower and not over the side when she zapped me.  FML.

 

Reflections of a warped mirror. Xander’s Journal pt. 7

Been a while since I got to this.  We’ve been busy.

But this is getting ridiculous.

We clear an asylum of a crazy necromancer, and I get were-rat-canthropy.

We destroy a lich disguised as a crumbling mansion and I get some crazy black-lung.

We get to the bastion of a cult of Norgorber face-wearing murder-hobos and under magical compulsion I almost ice myself.  Literally.  This is getting out of hand really fast.

I mean, look at this group, we have a half-demon hoping that a life serving Sarenrae makes up for the evil of her birth.  We have a guy worshipping devils because “they’ll hold to the contract they agree to” for the greater structure of a society, while his own superior runs a murder cult trying to appease the Skinsaw man.  A truly classic case of a lovestruck pauper cursed to be a frog and kept from his rich love.  A liar and possible arsonist, who has been lauded as a hero by the people he lies to.  And I can’t even pretend I don’t belong here, my parents were cursed, and it seems that I am too.  If we are the hope of the region, I have to say the region may be doomed.

Maybe my mother was right.  This entire lifestyle is cursed.  Every time we think we have a handle on it, something even worse shows up the next day.

It’s getting to the point that I can understand what these Thassilonians found in the sin-magic.  Most people have more bad qualities than good, and all we ever do is try to keep from sliding backwards further than we travel forwards.

Tomorrow we plan on trying to find the individual who was behind the guidance of the Norgorber cult.  They were twisted into killing greedy merchants, politicians, and money lenders.  Probably to power one of those runewells like we found under Sandpoint.  If the level of the sin makes for more power, I fear the results we will find.

Knight takes bishop. Check. (Osanna’s journal pt. 9)

Osanna places her golden holy symbol above the roaring hearth of her inn room.  She sits in a comfortable chair and brushes her hair to remove the tangles and briars from the day’s ride.  She then sits back and enjoys a moment’s respite while staring at the Angelic Ankh and becomes lost in thought.

 

Dawnflower forgive me if you see my asking of this question as arrogance, but I must ask it all the same.  What is it about Sandpoint that draws the worst evils of the word to it?  To the eye it is but a mere village in comparison to the sprawling cities of Golarion.  What foe or waiting darkness draws the evil follows of the pantheon to it and endangers its people?  We’ve ridden to this place again, this Magnimar where your brave 3 sons were murdered for attempting to bring the light to a dark place.  And why?  Norgorber.  Blackfingers and his ilk were behind the plans of the ghoulish aberration at the mansion that are no more.  It was a great fire, Mother.  Big enough for you to see from the Heavens above.  The disease-ridden filth will plague your people no more.

But first Lamashtu and now Norgorber.  What in all the hells is happening here?  Are the evil ones working in tandem?  Is one among their number serving as an overlord for the ultimate control over Varisia?  Surely not Asmodeus.  If that were so, then he would not have sent a servant to aide in this venture.  Too many moving parts.  Too many forces moving behind the scenes for me to complete the puzzle yet.

Yet there is hope.  The Inheritor’s forces are here and humbly help these people that are in dire need of spiritual guidance and food in their bellies.  As for me, I will get to the bottom of it.  I am only one here in this place, Light of Lights, but my gut tells me that Norgorber’s servants were behind the murder of my 3 bretheren.  I will find them and purify them by swift sword or cleansing fire for their crimes.  Then maybe, maybe, our light can flourish here where it is so sorely needed.

As always I ask you for strength for those mighty few that walk the path with me.  May you keep them safe if I cannot.