Simon Tan
Philippines
Quezon City
Metro Manila
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Previously, on the misadventures of six misfits...

Aldern Foxglove led the group to the location of the cult: Magnimar. From there, the group will have to ferret out the individual members of the cult. Given the social standing and influence these cultists bear in their normal lives, they have to catch them red-handed. As the sun set and the full moon began to rise in its place, they infiltrated the city to begin their search.

AMIRI
(Strength +2; Wisdom +1; Hand Size +1; Heavy Armor Proficiency)
1x Bastard Sword +1
1x Flaming Mace +1
1x Greatsword
1x Longsword +1
1x Warhammer +1
1x Elven Breastplate
1x Magic Half-Plate
1x Masterwork Tools
1x Mattock
1x Grizzled Mercenary
1x Sheriff Hemlock
2x Blessing of Gorum
3x Blessing of the Gods

HARSK
(Dexterity +2; Wisdom +1; Snipe +2)
1x Light Crossbow +1
2x Longbow +1
1x Returning Throwing Axe +1
1x Shock Longbow +1
1x Hide Armor of Fire Resistance
1x Codex
1x Eyes of the Eagle
1x Mattock
1x Archer
1x Shalelu Andosana
1x Blessing of Erastil
4x Blessing of the Gods

LEM
(Intelligence +1; Charisma +2; Weapons Proficiency; Inspire +1)
1x Deathbane Light Crossbow +1
1x Cure
1x Frost Ray
2x Lightning Touch
1x Speed
1x Masterwork Tools
1x Spyglass
1x Merchant
1x Sage
1x Standard Bearer
1x Blessing of Desna
1x Blessing of Irori
1x Blessing of Pharasma
2x Blessing of the Gods

LINI
(Intelligence +1; Wisdom +2; Animal +2)
2x Aid
2x Cure
2x Holy Light
1x Holy Candle
1x Spyglass
1x Crow
1x Father Zantus
2x Toad
1x Blessing of Pharasma
3x Blessing of the Gods

SAJAN
(Dexterity +2; Constitution +1; Magic Fists; Hand Size +1)
1x Amulet of Life
1x Boots of Elvenkind
1x Chime of Unlocking
1x Spyglass
1x Mayor Kendra Deverin
1x Sage
1x Standard Bearer
1x Troubadour
2x Blessing of Calistria
2x Blessing of Erastil
1x Blessing of Sarenrae
1x Blessing of Torag
2x Blessing of the Gods

SEONI
(Strength +1; Charisma +2; Channel +1; Item Recharge)
1x Augury
1x Enfeeble
1x Haste
1x Scorching Ray
1x Potion of Healing
1x Sihedron Medallion
1x Wand of Shield
1x Acolyte
1x Aldern Foxglove
1x Sage
1x Standard Bearer
1x Blessing of Irori
1x Blessing of Pharasma
3x Blessing of the Gods

1. Amiri starts at the City Gate, but travels to the Guard Tower. She ignores the rusted Bracers of Protection by the entrance, (Natural 2 versus a check of 3.) because a low grumbling noise echoes through one of the rooms across the hall. Investigating, (discarding Blessing of the Gods) Amiri is suddenly attacked by an Ogre! She readies her Greatsword, and cleaves the hulking creature in half. (3+6+6+6 plus modifiers) Sheriff Hemlock quickly alerts her to one of the Skinsaw Cultists. Quickly, Amiri prays to Gorum, who gives her his blessing as she smashes in the cultist's skull with her Warhammer +1. (3+6+10+11 plus modifiers... more overkill, but the hand was pretty much begging to be used this way.) Amiri searches the rest of the place and clears it out. (Natural 6 plus modifiers. Missed out on a Heavy Pick +1, but avoiding a Zombie Horde is probably worth it.) She returns to the City Gate.

2. Harsk maintains his position at the Temple. He comes across a small alcove to Lamashtu. He is unnerved by the presence of the unholy deity at the temple, and leaves it alone. (Natural 4 versus a check of 5.) Shalelu Andosana calls his attention to an alcove to Irori instead. Harsk prays there, and his prayers are answered. (Natural 5 versus a check of 4... oh, if only the rolls were reversed.) Inspecting the area further, (discarding Blessing of Irori) he finds a Spiked Chain, which is too unwieldly for him to use. Harsk also finds a Glaive (discarding Blessing of the Gods) that is also of no use to him.

3. Lem is at the Apothecary, and finds a small shrine to Lamashtu there. He gives a quick sign of respect, which gives him a blessing. (Natural 7) By one of the shelves (discarding Blessing of the Gods) is a Wand of Force Missile... that is exhausted of charges. (Natural 2 plus modifiers is two short.) The Merchant suddenly shouts at Lem, whose reflexes allow him to avoid the bite of a Goblin Snake. (Natural 6... didn't expect that.) He tries to grab it with a Lightning Touch, but it suddenly dodges and bites Lem before slithering away. (1+1+2 +2 Charisma +1 Arcane... one short; didn't expect that, either. This knocks out a Blessing of the Gods. At least I recharge the spell with a natural 6.)

4. Lini is at the larger Shrine of Lamashtu, where an Ogre continues to desecrate the place. She shapeshifts (discarding Cure... don't worry, I have the other one in hand) and says a quick prayer. (Burying Blessing of the Gods emulating a Blessing of Lamashtu.) While the Toad distracts it, Lini rips the ogre to shreds. (1+4+6+6 +2 Animal) Peering inside with her Spyglass, she notices a Tickwood Boar trapped behind some Explosive Runes.

5. Sajan is at the Waterfront. As he explores some of the buildings, he comes across a place of interest with a Locked Stone Door. He says a quick prayer, (discarding Blessing of the Gods) then deftly unlocks the door. (7+9 +2 Dexterity) Behind the door is a Spectre, which he avoids and locks away. (Put that monster on the bottom.) The Sage then notices a Guard, which Sajan convinces to accompany him. (Natural 3 +1 Constitution +2 Fortitude... I then realize that I didn't even need to bother rolling this one.) The waterfront is apparently haunted, as further investigation (discarding Blessing of Sarenrae) reveals a malevolent Ghost. Harsk distracts it by firing a bolt, (recharging Longbow +1 to his ability) letting Sajan channel a Blessing of the Gods and scattering the ghost into the aether. (1+7+10 plus modifiers... finally, those magic fists paid off.)

6. Seoni returns to the Academy, where she casts an Augury for spells. Surprisingly, she doesn't find any... instead, she finds a Secret Stash, guarded by a Goblin Dog and a Skinsaw Cultist. However, the images are disjointed... Seoni enters and finds a rotten scroll of Sanctuary. (I actually rolled for this, and got a natural 2.) The Standard Bearer finds a scroll of Sleep, which Seoni keeps but dumps at the bottom of her pack. (Natural 11, then buried that card.) Exploring further (discarding Blessing of Irori) brings her face to face with the Skinsaw Cultist. Without waiting, she says a prayer to Pharasma as she channels her power (discarding Enfeeble) and roasts the cultist. (1+3+5+9 plus modifiers) With this, she investigates the place and secures the academy. (Natural 3 +2 Charisma +2 Arcane... just enough. This also lets me shuffle the Enfeeble back.)

7. Amiri begins her walk to the City Gate when she is blocked by an imposing personage in Justice Ironbriar...

- Harsk already guards the Temple.
- Lem fails to seal the Apothecary. (Natural 3 +1 Intelligence versus a check of 6.)
- Lini temporarily bars the Shrine of Lamashtu with her Toad. (1+8 plus modifiers.)
- Sajan's Guard is assualted by a Bandit. Harsk helps the monk with a bolt. (Recharging Light Crossbow +1 to his ability.) Even without a blessing, Sajan handily knocks out the thief. (1+7 plus modifiers)

He distracts her with talk when a (regular) Cultist suddenly attacks her. She notices the deception, and spins around, swinging the Warhammer +1 into the cultist's skull. (1+9 plus modifiers.) The not-so-good justice (+3) then moves in for the attack, but Amiri concentrates her power (burying Mattock) and says a quick prayer (discarding Blessing of the Gods), but the renegade judge is still standing after her attack. (1+1+4+5 +1 Magic +2 Strength +2 Melee, which would have been enough except for the -3 earlier.) Amiri takes a magical bolt square into her Elven Breastplate, and she struggles to get up as the leader of the cult leaves laughing. (Game now ends at 28... this is me being overconfident; so many things I could have done...)

8. Harsk finds a scroll of Levitate, which is meaningless to him. (Natural 1.)

9. Lem finds a shrine to Gorum. His prayers there are well received. (Natural 6 plus modifiers is more than enough.) Moving along, (discarding Blessing of Gorum) he finds a shrine to Desna, where his prayers are also received well. (Natural 8) He then notices a Soldier nearby, (discarding Blessing of Desna) and convinces the old veteran to join him. (Natural 7, though I didn't need to roll this one.) The Soldier leads Lem to a nearby shelf, where a worn scroll of Guidance is there for the taking. Lem keeps it at the bottom of his pack. (Bury said spell.) Moving along, (discarding Blessing of Irori) Lem finds a Quarterstaff that is right for his height. (Natural 4.) The Sage then alerts Lem to a nearby Skinsaw Cultist. Harsk fires two shots at the cultist, (discarding Shock Longbow +1 and recharging Eyes of the Eagle to his ability), letting Lem swing in with his Quarterstaff. (I had no other weapons or spells... could I be making a fatal mistake? 1+1+2+4+4 plus modifiers... my heart almost sank when the d6s yielded snake eyes.) Not taking any risks, Lem says a quick prayer (discarding Blessing of Lamashtu) before clearing the Apothecary. (6+6... well, at least it matters.) Lem then casts Cure (for 4+1; he passes the recharge check with a natural 9) on himself before closing the door.

10. Lini gets to the Tickwood Boar and, together with the Toad, surprises it. (3+6 plus modifiers) She then blasts it with Holy Light while the Toad distracts it. (1+1+2+4 plus modifiers; however, she fails the recharge check with 1+1 +2 Animal +2 Wisdom +1 Divine... one short.)

11. Sajan, without blessings in hand, comes across a Goblin Warrior. Harsk fires a bolt (recharging Codex to his ability) to assist, but it turns out to be unnecessary. (1+10 plus modifiers... I still wouldn't roll this check without Harsk's assistance, though.) Sajan then uses the Spyglass to look ahead, and notices a Skinsaw Cultist harassing a Guard.

12. Seoni travels to the Shrine of Lamashtu, and meets up with Lini. The sorceress then casts an Augury for monsters, and finds none. Instead, she finds the Explosive Runes, a small alcove to Shelyn, and a scroll of Detect Evil. (Not a good day for auguries, apparently.) Seoni is suddenly hit by a tainted Blessing of the Gods. (This knocks out Wand of Shield and Aldern Foxglove)

13. Amiri, tired and bleeding badly, (four cards left in her deck) receives a Blessing of the Gods. She uses it to push on, and meets an itinerant mage named Ilsoari Gandethus. Her wounded appearance alarms the mage, who rushes to safety. (Natural 5... I know I barely had a chance, but this just hurts.) The Grizzled Mercenary with her steps forward and takes a Potion of Ruggedness for himself. Quick thinking makes him take Amiri to the Shrine of Lamashtu.

14. Harsk finds a small alcove to Shelyn, where he receives her blessing. (Natural 6) He then comes across a scroll of Levitate that he does not need. (Natural 2.)

15. Lem goes to the Mill, and uses his Spyglass to look ahead. He finds a small shrine to Irori and a Wooden Shield near the entrance. He goes to the shrine and prays there, where his prayers are heard. (Natural 10) He uses the newfound strength (discarding Blessing of Irori) to move on and grab the Wooden Shield... only to have the shield itself fall off and roll down the hill, leaving Lem with the handle. (Natural 3 versus a check of 4.)

16. Lini reaches Amiri and casts Cure (for 2+1; she barely makes the recharge check with 2+3 +2 Wisdom +1 Divine +2 Animal) on the wounded barbarian. She then finds a tome of Detect Evil, but doesn't have the time to read it. (Natural 6, but bury it.) She explores a shrine to Shelyn, (discarding a blessing, unfortunately I forgot to write down which one) but is then hurt by a taint in a Blessing of Shelyn, (discarding Aid and Blessing of the Gods) but she gains the blessing anyway. (1+4 plus modifiers)

17. Sajan confronts a Skinsaw Cultist at the Waterfront. He channels a Blessing of Erastil to defeat the evil minion. (1+1+... 10!... +2 Dexterity) A Bandit suddenly appears and grabs at Sajan's Amulet of Life, but after the struggle the monk channels a Blessing of Calistria to disengage himself from the thief, letting Harsk knock him over the waterfront with a bolt. (Recharging Hide Armor of Fire Resistance to his ability; the resulting roll is 1+2+2 +2 Dexterity +2 Snipe... this is getting too close for comfort.) With this, the Waterfront is secure, though Sajan's Boots of Elvenkind are too wet to wear.

18. Seoni encounters a Skinsaw Cultist, and blasts him with a Scorching Ray with the help of her Acolyte. (3+4+5+6 plus modifiers) She uses a Blessing of the Gods to purify the Shrine of Lamashtu. (She has an extra Blessing of the Gods to banish for the location, which gives her from the box... a Blessing of the Gods.)

19. Amiri returns to the City Gate with a vengeance. She finds a Bastard Sword, which she keeps. (Natural 11) Exploring further, she comes across a Goblin Pyro, which she slays with her own Bastard Sword +1. (4+7 plus modifiers) However, this also burns the handle of the Bastard Sword, which she drops.

20. Harsk reaches the Skinsaw Cultist at the Temple. He barely kills the enemy with his Returning Throwing Axe +1. (1+1+3 +1 Magic +2 Dexterity +3 Ranged... If it's Ironbriar again, I am not taking any chances.) With this, the Temple is secure.

21. Lem finds a set of Thieves' Tools at the Mill. He examines them and keeps them, for now. (Natural 7) The Merchant screams, and Lem rushes to find a Zombie Horde rising...

- Amiri has the Bastard Sword +1 ready, and slays the Zombie Minion. (2+8 plus modifiers)
- Lem says a quick prayer to Pharasma before electrocuting the zombie with a Lightning Touch. (1+2+4+6+9 plus modifiers. He also passes the recharge check with a natural 8.)

22. Lini joins Amiri at the City Gate, and finds an Acolyte who she convinces to join her. (2+6 plus modifiers) The Toad then comes across a Large Chest. Lini casts Aid (fails the recharge with a natural 1) and, together with the Toad, succeed in opening the chest. (2+3+5 plus modifiers) Inside are an assortment of common weapons: a Battleaxe, Longsword, Mace, and Short Bow. Further searching (discarding Blessing of Shelyn) reveals a Short Sword under the chest, which she takes. (2+4 plus modifiers... not that I needed this weapon.)

23. Sajan heads to the Mill, and uses last minute information from Mayor Kendra Deverin to find a vantage point where he can see everything. (Finally, a time of need for her.) Inside, he sees a Skinsaw Cultist watching over an Attic Whisperer, while Justice Ironbriar is finished talking to a Mercenary about an incoming Goblin Raid. He also notices a Starknife and a captured Grizzled Mercenary.

Sajan hooks up with Lem, then channels a Blessing of Calistria while Lem inspires the monk (recharging Thieves' Tools to his ability) to knock out the Mercenary in a chokehold. (3+4+8+2 Dexterity +1 Inspire -2 Adventure) The Standard Bearer warns Sajan that the Attic Whisperer has found them. Lem barely overcomes the fear, (Natural 4) and inspires Sajan (recharging Masterwork Tools to his ability) to also overcome. (4+7 plus modifiers) Sajan then channels the Blessing of Erastil to crush the Attic Whisperer. (2+8+9 +2 Dexterity)

24. Seoni goes to the City Gate (I figure it is empty now, and I need to clear this up to get Amiri and Lini to where it matters) and finds a Staff of Minor Healing. The Sage knows enough to teach the sorceress how to use the staff. (3+4... the odds are good for a 7, but still very happy to see one.) Seoni casts Haste to quickly clear the City Gate, but runs into some Diseased Rats. (Guess it isn't that clear.) She channels her power (discarding Enfeeble) and incinerates the rabid rodents. (4+10 plus modifiers) Exploring further, (discarding Blessing of the Gods) she encounters a Mercenary (The last card; I really got this "clear" thing wrong.) and almost runs into his sword. She channels her power (Discarding Staff of Minor Healing; I have seven cards in deck.) while Harsk snipes at the mercenary, (recharging Blessing of the Gods to his ability) which barely defeats him. (1+2+5 plus modifiers) Suddenly a Bandit appears, grabbing her Sihedron Medallion. She channels a Blessing of the Gods, (her last card in hand) and roasts the thief to get her medallion back. (4+6 plus modifiers) With this, guards arrive to secure the City Gate, leaving just the Mill left. Justice Ironbriar is now cornered.

25. Amiri meets with the others and, together, they untie the Grizzled Mercenary. Sajan prays for Amiri, (discarding Blessing of the Gods emulating a Blessing of Iomedae) who convinces the mercenary to join her. (1+3+5) The mercenary is about to help them ambush the justice when the Goblin Raid arrives.

- Amiri cleaves the Goblin Raider and his steed with her Bastard Sword +1. (10+11 plus modifiers)
- Lem grapples a goblin with Lightning Touch, and chokes him off. (1+3+7 plus modifiers; I fail the recharge check with a natural 2 +2 Charisma +1 Arcane versus a check of 6, but in hindsight, it gives me options, so it's not so bad.)
- Sajan channels a Blessing of Torag, and elbows a Goblin Raider so hard that it pukes out its own guts. (9+10 +2 Dexterity... sorry about the graphic description.)

Not content, Amiri explores further, and finally catches up with Justice Ironbriar. A Yeth Hound suddenly appears, but Sajan intercepts it. However, the surprise arrival of the otherworldly mutt scares Amiri (Natural 4 +1 Wisdom... one short.) and Lem, (Natural 3) but not Sajan. (Natural 8!) Lem casts Speed on Sajan, who quickly channels a Blessing of Erastil to knock out the hound. (2+4+5 plus modifiers)

Without distractions, Amiri readies her Bastard Sword +1 and concentrates (burying Longsword +1) on her killing stroke. The leader tries to flee, but Harsk prevents it with two bolts. (Discarding Longbow +1 and recharging Archer to his ability.) Lem inspires Amiri, (recharging Soldier to his ability) and with Harsk, Lem, and Seoni praying, (Harsk and Seoni have Blessings of the Gods, while Lem buries the Blessing of Lamashtu!) Amiri leaps in the air and slashes... (Total dice is 3d4 + 3d10 + 5d12 +9 modifiers -1 Yeth Hound)

3+3+4+5+6+6+6+7+8+9+12 +8... If it wasn't for the remaining Skinsaw Cultist who surrendered, there is no way the group can convince the locals that what remains of the cult leader is Justice Ironbriar. Mill workers are going to be put off from entering their work place, though...

***

As local authorities sort out the mess, Seoni and Lem scoff at the cache of spells that the cult left behind at the mill. Lini is happy enough with the tome of Consecrate, which may one day prove useful. (The other spells are Arcane Armor, Glibness, Mirror Image, Detect Magic, and Mending.) While Sajan helps clean up Amiri of all that blood, Harsk finally beats out a confession from the remaining cultist. The enemy is at the abandoned clock tower.

***

I am starting to notice mistakes creep up again over time. I guess the excitement of playing through the scenario is hard to temper down when you also try to write it down. It also does reflect how many rules there really are in this game, and one should not be surprised if any are missed. At the least, you guys can see me make the mistakes, so you don't have to... (Many thanks to Scott Smart for pointing most of these out.)

While the last few moves felt like a huge all-in after Amiri's stumble, (which is completely my fault) seeing the group rise to the occasion only makes me feel confident in the future.

Okay, I may have just jinxed it.
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