The Harness Bulls

Blood Mourn Rising
The party battles some Blood Mourn pirates in Palin

22nd of Pharast

On the road to Carebeary Hobbs, we came upon a cairn on the side of the road. A single clawed shaped and bloody hand had pushed its way past the rock pile in a failed attempt at freedom. Upon further investigation of the cairn contents (and 4 hours of back breaking stone removal … ugg!), three Kaijitsu family bodies wear found; presumably, the same Kaijitsu that were looking for the War Manual at the Crossing in Palin. Each body had their lungs pulled out through their backs in a fashion to resemble wings.

Xanther immediately filled with rage ‘The Blood Eagle! This is the work of Blood Mourn pirates. These evil bastards shall pay the ultimate price as I plunge my rapier deep into each of their hearts.’

And so we headed to Palin, the most likely location of the Blood Mourn pirates responsible for the murders.

On the way into Palin, a well know bard named Papa Renault talked with us. Like many bard in the area, Papa Renault had hopes of earning coin in the local establishments, entertaining the many would be adventures searching for the War Manual. As it turns out, Renault knows Etheldread and had a leather bag in his possession for him. The bag contained 2 potions and a scroll.

Once in Palin, we headed to the sheriff’s office to give notice of the Kaijitsu killings and the link to Blood Mourn pirates. The sheriff seemed overwhelmed with his new found duties as a result of the increased population (and subsequent crime) in Palin, so the group left for the Golddust Hotel and Casino in hopes of finding the pirates themselves.

Sure enough, three Blood Mourn pirates were at the bar while a single pirate was gambling at a near by table.

Xanther wasted no time and confronted them. Harsh words were spoken, threats made and eventually, we were headed full steam into a fight. At the request of the barkeep, Xanther, Lambert and the three pirates relocated outside. The solitary Blood Mourn pirate kept a watchful eye on the group but did not interfere. In turn, Nolthenius and Naiaer kept an eye on the gambler. Anzo remained in the Golddust doorway to provide assistance as required.

In anticipation of the impending brawl, Lambert ingested his mutagen potions and began his transformation into Robusto. The solitary pirate still in the bar objected to this and decided to interject with a large crossbow bolt into Robusto’s back. Unphased, Robusto swiftly poisoned his battle axe and swung at one of the pirates knocking him unconscious. Nolthenius shot at the bar pirate, but missed. Xanther attempted an acrobatic flip to reposition himself, but stumbled and paid for the missed attempt with a mighty strike from one of the pirates. Nolthenius became the next target of the bar pirate with a crossbow bolt to the leg. Reeling from the shot, Nolthenius suffers another miss with his pistol. (We are missing a lot at this point) Finally, Naiaer lands a blow on the bar pirate by splintering the wooden chair next to the bar pirate … ouch! Xanther continued to exchange blows with the pirates, but has taken quite a bit of damage. Recognizing that his companion was in need; Anzo repositioned himself and healed Xanther.

Ah shit … FIREBALL. The bar pirate sends a firery attack right in the middle of the group outside. No one is spared, both groups take damage (… what a bastard). Xanther critically strikes on of the pirates, ending his life while another pirate heals the burns he suffered as a result of his comrade’s wanton fireball attack. Anzo advances on this pirate (after all, no good heal shall go unpunished.) The pirate rendered unconscious by Robusto’s poison begins to stir.

End of Session … to be continued

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The Heart of a Pirate
The party gains and loses a lead

Our heroes continued their skirmish with pirates in plains city of Palin, which has recently become a hub of villainy, thanks to the hunt for Feck’s War Manual. The fight was a hard one, but eventually the party prevailed, thanks in no small part to Naeier’s timely summoning of an Eldritch horror whose smooth black tentacles would haunt Seamus the pirate for the rest of his days. The party captured Seamus using a combination of this fear and an immovable rod. They handed him over to the sheriff, but not before relieving him of a potion of flight and his weapons. All told, the party looted 216 gp per member, as well as two more potions (magic fang and sanctuary) from Seamus’ associate Frank, a cleric of Gorem (a.k.a. “The Lord in Iron,” with dominion over battle).

Later at the Sheriff’s office, the party was debating with the Sheriff what do to next when Inspector Tasris walked in! He claimed jurisdiction over the pirate and was displeased that the party had withheld evidence from him, in the form of Selftcark’s bullet. They learned from him that Selftcark’s guilt was not a closed issue; the orc lieutenant is the quartermaster for firearms at Caerbury Hobbs, which means anyone with access to the armory (and the skills to use a firearm) could have killed Feck.

Our heroes decided to accompany Tasris, at least as far as Ravenmoor. They retired to the Golddust (scene of the last fight) to discuss things. The conversation went poorly, however, probably because Anzo insulted Tasris’ handling of the investigation. Nolthenius wasn’t able to convince him to talk further, either through diplomacy or intimidation.

Nolthenius spent the evening guarding the prisoner, but despite his efforts, the prisoner died gruesomely in the night; after some loud sounds and the smell of brimstone, Nolthenius found only the prisoner’s heart, pierced with four nails, by the time he reached the room. Anzo cleaned up the mess and consecrated the area (pocketing the nails). Both the party and Inspector Tasris were at a loss for how to proceed.

The party decided to leave for Caerbury Hobbs, to check on the lead about Selftcark. Travel was easy and uneventful until they got to the vicinity of the estate, where they found Captain Albano’s gypsy caravan on the road.

Dumasse, the inept guard, proved very obliging, so the part had little trouble getting inside. They found the room changed, with a desk, a fireplace, and a coffin, plus a door in the back. Mercutio popped out through the door, annoyed to see the party. Dumasse got everyone chairs. How kind.

Mercutio was agitated for most of the conversation. He fixated on Naeier in particular, and seems much grieved by Captain Albano’s passing. Eventually, Nolthenius had had enough, exclaiming. “But you know what they say about assumptions: You’re a vampire, aren’t you.”

Mercutio, working himself up further, lunged for Naeier after this, but the elf was protected by a holy force projecting from Xanther’s owl. What could this mean!?

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Puff the Adolescent Vampire
The group meets with Etheldread and a vampire attacts

After Mercucio accused Niair of being a liar, she confessed to the group that she was looking for her sister Fisora. Apparently, Fisora had been kidnapped may years ago by Captain Albono. Mercucio, surprised at this accusation and unwilling to believe Niair’s account, grabbed the elfin wizard and vanished in an apparent attempt to resolve this issue on his own terms.

Defeated and confused, the remaining members of the group decided to continue to Carebeary Hobbs and consult with Etheldread.

On the way, Xanther was asked to explain the white owl that has been following him around; the same owl who seemed responsible for protecting Niair from Mercucio’s initial assault. Xanther explained that his owl represents the ‘light’ powers he once had … is only connection to who he once was before he was murdered by Bloodmourn. Beyond that, the owl’s presents and purpose are a mystery.

Upon reaching Carebeary Hobbs, the group met with Etheldread to discuss current progress and leads related to Feck murder, the location of the War Manual and the Dragon Spear and Skelthcart’s possible connection.

After learning that the bullet found in the Northbank Church alter may have come from Feck’s own firearm, the group adjourns for the evening with the anticipation of meeting up with Skelthcart in the morning.

During the night, a vampire flied (or shall I say stumbled) through Nolthenous’ window exclaiming ‘I’ve heard of you!’ Despite all the vampires efforts to the contrary, he’s vampire youth gave him a less than imposing persona. ‘You are under my power!’; again, a less than successful attempt to control Nolthenious’ actions.

All this commotion wakes Xanther and Lambert who attempt to enter the room.

‘You shall be destroyed!’ Finally the young vampire takes control of Nolthenious. ‘Obey me!’ Rallied, the whole group bursts into the room only to be shot at by the Marshal.

Bombs are thrown, attempts to control undead made with bursts of positive energy intermingled in and the vampire retreats out the window in gaseous form. Nolthenious, Anzo and Xanther jump out the window in hot pursuit, west out of town. Lambert stayed behind to extinguish the bomb fires and retires feeling less than human waste.

Meanwhile, Anzo gave the vampire another shot of positive energy causing the vampire, still in gaseous form, to fly straight up. In response, Xanther summoned an eagle to continue the attack and Anzo ingested a flight potion. Finally, as the vampire floated out of reach, it becomes apparent that the vampire had been defeated and was attempting to return to the safety of his coffin north over the river. But what was that on the ground? The vampire had dropped a cloak clamp in the shape of … wait for it … the Limashtu and Orcus symbol.

The next morning, Skelthcart could be seen riding a bull as he approached Carebeary Hobbs. Raging Bull Orc Tribe scars could be clearly seen across his face. Note: The Raging Bull tribes are mortal enemies of the Evil Bird tribe, so any connections Skelthcart may have with recent Evil Bird money laundering and zombies are remote.

After a bit of discussion, the group decides that it was most likely Feck’s gun that produced the bullet left in the church alter. The group also confirmed that the Evil Bird tribe has been spreading out and moving undead south from the Plateau under the cover of night.

The discussion then shifted to Palin and the confrontation with Samus and his crew of Bloodmourn pirates. Unfortunately, with Samus dead, Etheldread had lost his lead to Bloodmourn and the Black Isles. Etheldread suspects Bloodmourn had something to do with Fecks demise. Now the groups only hope of reaching the Black Isles lies with Oldaro the navigator at Rodrick’s Cove.

Also, Bruuz, Schelthcarts young nephew has agreed to infiltrate the Evil Bird tribe and report back on their activities.

Etheldread gave the group four potions of water breathing, a potion of spider climb, a potion of resist acid and a potion of reduce person. A master work spiked gauntlet was also gifted to the group.

So the group set out for Rodrick’s Cove, a four days ride.

Just past the Coocharlie River, a griffin named Justine joined the group. Uneasy with this newly acquired ally, the group camped for the evening to re-evaluate their next actions and feasted on an oxen the Justine supplied just moments before.

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