This was supposed to be about an hour of cleaning up some left over points while Brother Beren trained up to 6th level but the group (those playing) decided to go out on some sandbox walking as well as take down a local "job" on the Adventurer's Guild board.
I don't play Paizo, nor traditional 3rd edition, but I do subscribe to Pathfinder and it was the Kingmaker series that had a list of "joobs" that local adventurers can do. It's a bit like Everquest/WOW in that manner but honestly, why not? Here's a job that someone wants done, here's what we're willing to pay, and who wants to do it? It might not be traditional but I felt it felt right. So I took a look at my notes and came up with 10 jobs/hooks - some short and some longer.
So the group went after Terrorback - a wild boar resistant to druidic magic. Lovely. But they had a good plan and surprised me by delivering mostly as they said.
So the adventure has started, but the official roll out doesn't happen until the next meeting. And it gets the party back working together for a mission and jelling as a group.
Write up follows:
We rested well that night, waking up on Firemonth the 19th. Conversation around the common room table meandered for a bit before settling on Gustav and his desire to travel to Orihalcus. He touted reasons such as the lizardmen and Eider and arrows being purchased and what not, but Soren wasn’t buying the totality of it. Wanted to know what and why.
The half Ogre went on about some of his earlier life and eventually running in to Karis of Melbourne. There was some pitched fight and it seems the former Sundered Chain’s leader was a party to Gustav being abused and maimed. Since then Gustav had been working towards a singular goal of facing Karis and taking him down. We know that Karis had been to Orihalcus and had met with Sir Walter, Gustav wanted to go and warn the nobleman about the upcoming problem with the lizardmen and arrows from Eider as well as learn what he could about Karis.
We opted to go. Gwyn wanted to go and revisit not only Ponyboro but Orihalcus as well, getting what treasures, riches, and whatnot had been left there in the past. But before we did any of this, we wanted to go and see what potential jobs were available at the Adventurer’s Guild.
There were a bit under a half dozen jobs on there, most passed over and only a few of note. Baronet Wodenlach had posted a 6,000 crown bounty on Vanir’s head, the bounty for kobolds had been raised to 2 crowns per pair of ears in Orihalcus, Flatrock was still looking for able bodies, and Baron Umbar was offering a bounty of 250 crowns per wyvern.
However it was the mentioning of Terrorback, a wild boar Frey touched originally from the Gunnarson Demesne in Ponyboro that we opted to try out for. Taking the boar down was worth 450 crowns. We signed our name with Dumethian Dracowulf and left the next day joining a small contingent heading southwest.
Ponyboro was as we had remembered it, sprawling, five distinct walled and garrisoned areas around an successively impressive keep and stronghold. We rode into the town circle, got directions to the Daernhorse Demesne and went on our way there. We bid hello to the guards who after Gwyn identified himself went off to tell Lord Daernhorse of our presence.
We were then allowed entrance and escorted to a greeting hall where an older jowled man (Artis Daernhorse) and a younger more fit version (Fjorf) bid us welcome. Gwyn was embraced and Lord Daernhorse remembered the dwarf’s favorite brew from last time, getting it for him. We talked a bit about fallen companions and others long absent. Eventually the story went around to our recent history and some of our missing members with Gwyn guiding the purpose of our visit back to us going to Orihalcus and stopping off here to take care of Terrorback for him if we could.
We were told that Terrorback was ducetly resistant to any Frey-borne spells and that those who had been hunting him before often came back beaten and battered. For the most part the wild boar stayed near Deep Lake to the southwest and raided the grounds every couple of days. We slept well after drinking and feasting and were up early the next morning and on our way.
We stopped at the Silverbough Demesne and once there procured a full sheep’s hide with the head still attached. We took most of Norris’ belongings off of him (Gustav carrying it for the bard) and bound the sheep’s skin around the half elf, allowing him to appear as one of them if he was to get on all fours.
We then began walking. Soren used his tracking skills and we circled parts of the lake, going in and around the wooded parts, looking for any sign of the quarry. The morning went on to noon and then onward. It was almost 9 hours later that Soren advised us that we had stumbled upon the correct path and bade Norris to get into character. The bard hunched low and began acting like a sheep while the rest of us hid in the foliage. Soren prepared a stone biter arrow, fitting a line to the back of the bolt. Poison was prepared and we stayed quiet.
And then Terrorback came from the woods. The great boar was tremendous, weighing in at 1400 lbs, slavering toothy maw, snarled wiry coat of hair. And Norris did his best to act sheep like – fooling the boar! Terrorback snarled and charged.
Norris whistled up a mirror image spell, getting two copies of himself to appear. The boar struck, blowing through one of the illusionary Norris’s in a spray of fading gore and blood. Soren let fly and his stone biter slammed into boar’s side with a whizzing sound. But most importantly, the boar was struck with stunning poison and the mighty beast slumped forward, it’s head digging a furrow in the earth as if flipped onto its back.
Everyone threw their armor class to the wind and charged the boar, hacking and chopping at it. Gustav made to “hog tie” it with cable around its feet and Gwyn plied his hydraspear at the beast’s flank. As it was coming too it kicked out and brained one of Norris’s other illusions and then rolled onto its feet. The beast was badly hurt and then began foaming at the mouth, its eyes rolling over red and bloodshot – Terrorback was maddened.
It plowed into Gustav with the force of a freight train, the half ogre’s tower shield taking some of the blow but the beast knocking the mighty fighter onto his back, ripping through his armor, and trampling him almost to death – scoring a double critical and doing in excess of 70 hit points of damage! It was trying to get away and the party hurled bolt, arrow, and axe at its fleeing form. The half ogre snatched the trailing cable from the stonebiter still in the beast’s side and tried bracing it around nearby trees to slow the boar down. Even Digger was able to fire his musk at the maddened beast, blinding it and causing Terrorback to snarl and cry in furious anger.
But fall it did and the party bested the mighty boar. We then proceeded to turn it on its back, clean up the worst of our wounds, and then drag it back from the banks of Deep Lake and to Ponyboro. We were thanked for our efforts and Lord Daernhorse advised us that we were always welcome here. Our bounty was paid and an extra 100 crows were thrown in for good measure. We left the next morning on our way to Orihalcus, hitching a ride on a mail courier’s wagon going that way and enjoying the quiet country side.
At Orihalcus we came in with quiet cover and Gwyn had us go not to Sir Walter first, but his/our old home that had not been visited by us for over 6 months. It was locked but there were things missing. Many of the special treasures had been taken and on looking around the place, Karis’ room was completely emptied. Gwyn grew a bit angry at this, suspecting the half-ogre had been here and taken more than his share of the treasures.
We picked through the house and after taking stock of what was there (and what was not), we went off to Slaine Manor to talk to Sir Walter. The nobleman was happy to see us and welcomed both old friends and new. He told us that Karis had been through some 2 months ago, part of an adventuring group of “thugs” (as he described them) called the Red Clouds. He returned his bondsman ring and then went on his way. Sir Walter was saddened at this as he had at one point thought very highly of Karis. At this point we told Sir Walter what we had gathered in a fragmented way about arrows and Eider and lizardmen and some nebulous threat to Orihalcus. There was well over 100 miles separating the two places and there seemed to be little reason for it, but Sir Walter thanked us and let us know that if anything was learned or discovered and he needed our aid, he would send for it.
We went to rest that night and then the next day arranged to take two of the steeds still in name to the Sundered Chains as well as the wagon, loaded it up with what we could from the house, and began the long ride back to Cymbarton where we would find out how Brother Beren was doing on his training and learn if anything had come up regarding Broken Hills.