Tales of the Red Way

The Day's not over yet... Halfday, 6th week of Autumn, 1245 (Empire Reckoning)

Our unnamed heroes decided that a direct approach was best, with Hoo providing most of the “direct.” Yarmilla summoned a pair of giant bats as steeds for those unable to magically fly, and the group split in two – Hoo moving straight toward the nearest set of giants, while the rest angled away from the giants, trying to weave their way through the gauntlet between our heroes and their destination.

Hoo wasted no time, hurling balls of fire at the siege engine carried by the giants. This one was a ballista, cocked and ready, and the ogres operating the weapon (following the giants as both crew and soldiery) returned fire as quickly as they could. Fortunately for Hoo, they were ill prepared for a single target, and their shots went wide as the fire consumed the ballista and scattered it’s crew.

Unfortunately for Hoo, the giants and ogres were accompanied by a black robed hunchback that rose into the air, hurling a pair of javelins at the Alaran. One struck home, and the other went wide. Hoo returned the favor with a bolt of lightning, which had little effect.

The second exchange proved worse for the Alaran, as the hunchback uncurled it’s hunch and revealed a by-now-familiar Xantli arm. It sent a javelin toward Hoo that struck home and turned immediately to dust, leaving Hoo’s arms, legs, and wings feeling like lead, as if he was suddenly carrying hundreds of extra pounds of weight. He had no choice but to glide to ground, something that took all his concentration to do without seriously injuring himself.

Meannwhile, the remainder of the group had run into trouble of their own, for while Hoo had successfully stopped the first ofthree siege engines, the second managed to lodge a huge bolt in one of Yarmilla’s bats, currently serving as a steed for Gnogom and Thoven. They crashed heavily to the ground, riding the dying bat headfirst into the dirt. Both of the half-sized heroes ended up bumped, bruised, but bustling, and running toward their destination.

Vecca let loose a bolt of lightning at the nearest giants, gaining their attention, and granting Yarmilla the time to land on her bat, take on two more riders, and move toward expected safety. They bolted through the air to the walls of the keep, outstripping the range of the ballista and maneuvering well out of range of the last set of giants.

Hoo, on the other hand, was still stuck on the ground, heavy of limb. He blasted the Xantli out of the sky with a pair of chill bolts as he moved slowly in the right direction, and then blasted the pair of ogres and the injured giant that remained of the first engine crew. Finally, as a dozen more ogres rushed his position, his limbs came free from their magical weight and he took to the air, easily distancing himself from his attackers. He made straight for the keep walls, unwilling to risk another Xantli’s javelins, after spotting a pair of the hunchbacks a little to close for comfort.

When he landed in the courtyard of the keep, the others had already arrived. They were standing in the middle of a courtyard full of heavily armored soldiers who seemed to pay no mind to the adventurers in the midst. Instead, they manned the walls, firing catapults at the ogres and giants surrounding them while more appeared out of the barbican’s gates, two by two.


Even later... Halfday, 6th week of Autumn, 1245 (Empire Reckoning)

The scuffle was over in seconds, with Anonda pummeling the javelineer while Hoo and Vecca blasted the caster with magical energy. Yarmilla’s companion Mani, Gnogom, and Thoven finished off the Xantli. It took less than 30 seconds.

As quiet settled over the room, our unnamed heroes finally took a long look around at this room’s version of debris – smashed glass vials littered the floor, and racks once filled with all manner of alchemical materials lay thrown across the floor. It was miraculous that Anonda had not taken a shard of glass to the foot when he charged his three arm foe, and thereafter the group took more care in moving across the treacherous footing.

Aside from the entrance, the room had only one more portal, and Thoven took the time to look for traps on that door as the remainder of the group sifted through the debris in hopes of finding anything of value. They were rewarded – Thoven with the surety that the door was not trapped, but had been purposely “stuck closed” from this side, and the rest with a handful of intact vials filled with various magical concoctions.

The work on the door had been done in a hurry – most likely it was blocked by the same due of three-armed enemies that had just been dispatched. Worse, the lower part of the door seeped the black, tarry peat of the bog. Some testing showed that the peat was acidic enough to quickly damage cloth, and discolor the wood of the door where it had rested.

On a hunch, Yarmilla checked the Xantli’s bodies for evidence of the peat – they each bore marks encircling limbs torso that were covered in peat and red underneath, as if they had been whipped or squeezed by a pear-covered rope. Obviously, the three-armed duo received their hurts beyond the door they had blocked.

The group decided to open the door and see what was on the other side anyway.

Who exactly had been for and against opening the door was a matter of some debate for a while afterward, as the decision turned out to be… less advantageous than expected. The door came open with a sucking sound, and revealed a small room half-covered in the peat of the bog. Yarmilla and Hoo entered, only to see a pair of thick, ropelike strands snap out of the bog on the floor, securely grab the door, and slam it shut. Several smaller strands then shot from the same place, grabbing the pair and leaving them weak as new born babes.

As the rest of the group took vital seconds prying the door loose from the peaty tentacles rising from the bog, the bog itself began to congeal. It rose into a pillar with dozen of small wriggling strands, opened two orifices – one a huge saucer-like eye, and the other a gaping maw filled with sharp snaggle teeth. Tentacles dragged grappled heroes toward the latter.

By the time the group ripped the door free from the bog beast’s tentacles (which by now had begun to shed their peat, revealing a pink, veiney exterior), the two trapped heroes were in dire straights, and while the remainder of the group was able to put down the beast without loss of life, the survivors had been half-drowned in the bog, grievously bitten, and were nearly unable to move they were so weak.

And for their trouble? Our unnamed heroes found a single circlet embedded at the base of the shaft of the bog beast. With no small amount of muttering, they retreated slowly up the stairs, doling out liberal amounts of healing magic as they climbed the stairs. Before cresting the top of the stairs, they had decided to move to the walled keep on the other side of the gap.

Of course, when they arrived at the top, three groups of giants – each moving a portable siege engine – had set up more or less directly on the route to their destination. Even though it was only a quarter of a mile from here to there, it was going to be a long trip.

Later that day... Halfday, 6th week of Autumn, 1245 (Empire Reckoning)

The flight across the gap was quick. This was good, in that their aerial departure was less than subtle. Yarmilla summoned a pair of giant bats to ferry half the group across, with Hoo and Vecca providing other means of flight for themselves.

The giants and ogres watched our unnamed heroes intently. Hoo’s sharp eyes picked out a foursome of the brutes carrying what looked to be a portable seige engine in their direction. After that, the flight across the gap became something of a race across the gap, ending with the group alighting on what looked to be a squat and tilted tower sunken in a peat-like bog strangely localized on the tower itself.

The top of the tower was covered with debris that nearly covered the only opening from the roof – a ramp that curved down into the darkness. Worse, underneath the debris (and partially blocking the ramp) was the carcass of what could only be described as a wingless dragon – black of scale and with an unhealthy sheen.

The dragon had been recently killed, and bore a multitude of wounds that looked to have been caused by small spears. It also had the telltale signs of being struck by bolts of lightning – given Hoo’s predilection for hurling the same at his foes, everyone in the party had become accustomed to both the sight and the smell.

The group, of course, sidestepped the slowly growing pool of dragon blood and headed downward, lighting torches and using more magical forms of light as well.

The debris on the tower proved indicative of that they found inside – the tower had been ransacked. Or rather, the tower looked ransacked at first glance. A bit of examination showed that the debris filled rooms hadn’t necessarily had their contents removed, but instead purposely broken and discarded. Little of value remained.

However, it quickly became obvious that someone had come through. The group found tracks leading through a door on the far side. and Thoven – on a hunch – stopped the group before opening it. The decision proved intelligent, as the door had been trapped from the other side. Unfortunately, Thoven’s attempts to disarm the trap were unsuccessful, and he narrowly avoided being struck full in the face with a bolt of lightning when he opened the door. Shaken by the strike, Thoven retreated from the opening, allowing the others the luxury of combing through the rest of the rooms as he received some well-timed healing magic from Vecca and Gnogom.

The group continued their descent using a central spiral staircase, looking for either the scepter or the footstool. Instead, they found a room full of mannequins, dressed in ancient finery. Vecca and Yarmilla immediately “went shopping,” procuring sets of clothing as they could while Thoven found – and this time disarmed – another trap identical to the first. Disarming the trap showed that the magic was in actuality a javelin (which Yarmilla identified as a javelin of lightning). This caused some consternation, as our heroes had previous experience with foes who favored the weapon.

Moving further downward, the group was forced out of the stairwell when it abruptly ended in the peat of the bog. With little choice on direction they entered a rather risque “sitting” room, filled with large beds and various accoutrements that brought to mind all manner of debauchery. Anonda, somewhat embarrassed by the spectacle – not the least because of the ribald jokes shared between Yarmilla and Vecca on the matter – moved toward the only unblocked entrance, only to be stopped by Thoven, who once again searched for – and found – another trap.

This trap, however, was obviously magical, and centered on the far side of the door. Thoven, certain that whoever opened the door would take the brunt of whatever ill-magic awaited them, advised fighting magic with magic. In turn, Vecca used her considerable talents to dispel the trap, after which Anonda burst through the opening in order to surprise whoever had done such a dastardly deed.

He was immediately the target of both spell and javelin from a pair of black-robed beings. One was afflicted with a horrible hunchback, while the other gave lie to the image. The hunch was not a deformity, but a rubbery and jointless arms that ended in a six fingered hand, coiled up on the back to hide the extra limb.

Anonda did not know they they were called the Xantli. The others had simply called them “three arms.” But he knew they were dangerous. Knocking aside the javelin heading for him with a flick of his wrist, he rushed forward, tackling the javelineer before it’s whip-like arm could hurl another missile.

Halfday, 6th week of Autumn, 1245 (Empire Reckoning)

The descent to the top of the tower proved easy enough. So did the first foray into what little remained of it – the place, save for evidence of the gryphon, seemed empty of potential foes.

In order to save time, our heroes split their efforts, opening doors into rooms which held, respectively, writing desks and utensils, a lectern and chairs (which, when one of those intrepid heroes took the podium, were filled with a ghostly audience providing rapt attention to the speaker), a room full of mirrors of various shapes and sizes, and a room with a single stool.

Thoven, when faced with this seat, immediately sat himself upon it, whereupon he was lost in lengthy thought, quite oblivious to the remainder of the world. Only through the efforts of Anonda did Thoven finally alight from his perch, seemingly none the worse for wear and unaware of how much time had transpired (which turned out to be quite a while, as fugue-states go). Anonda, who had a glimpse of the stool’s effects, later confessed that he had a disturbing vision when forcing Thoven from his seat – for a moment, Anonda felt like the only real thing in the world. It was a heady experience, and one that was obviously too much for the halfling to handle alone.

Given what they had seen so far, our unnamed heroes came to the conclusion that this tower was dedicated to Self Confidence, though obviously that sentiment had at some point become no more than pride, with all of that sin’s particulars. It was decided that they would continue exploring, beginning with a one-story drop in the middle of the floor.

Moving downward showed a series of rooms connected by open arches, with functions similar to the rooms above. However, every wall of the tower level was covered with floor to ceiling mirrors. The mirrors proved high quality – high enough quality to see all eight members of their seven member group.

Wait… eight?

The eighth was an imperious looking woman with red hair, dressed in what could only be described as ancient fashion. She mouthed commands at the group – some quick lip reading showed she “spoke” a stilted form of Auld Valerian – demanding that they recite the “first rule of self confidence,” and the “fifth precept of righteous anger.” Failure to correctly answer these demands ended with Sushalla’s image in the mirror bound by leather bands, and with Sushalla herself floating in mid-air.

The woman – who Vecca believed to be none other than Lady Firebaugh herself – then demanded her scepter and footstool, and caused a fog to pour from the mirrors. The fog had no effect at first, but after a moment, the group was wracked with… pleasure. Some were brought near incapacitation, being somewhat “weak in the knees.” But the Lady’s point seemed to be made.

The group retreated to the rooftop of the tower again, resolving to obtain this footstool and scepter, if only to trade for Sushalla’s freedom. Vecca – using a whispering wind, kept in contact with her paramour, who proved… distracted… but seemingly non the worse for wear.

And so our intrepid heroes flew from the rooftop, toward the ruins in the center of the rift.

Seventhday, 5th week of Autumn, 1245 (Empire Reckoning)
Session 2014-01-05

While our unnamed group of heroes licked their wounds, rested their heads, and prepared to set out for the Ruins of Mt. Sin, Yarmilla brought home a guest – a somewhat “disconnected” and ancient man who answered to the name Ryxali.

Some rather pointed questions revealed Ryxali’s motivations – he wanted to “find his brother, and finally go home,” but little about Ryxali himself. Still, Yarmilla convinced her companions to aid their elderly guest (though not immediately) on the promise that it would be very worth their while, and a personal guarantee to pay key individuals for their time should they determine that it wasn’t at the end of that particular road. Some concern was expressed when he claimed his brother was someone named “Rokun, Son of heaven,” and that he could be found in the land of the Farisees, but Yarmilla stressed her “personal guarantee” and won assent.

But helping an old man across the street (all the way to Faris) had to wait for a different day. Mt. Sin was calling, and Thoven was running out of time!

After securing both quarters for their guest and supplies for the road (and a quick planning session over a set of maps to determine the most likely place to start their search), they were off. They journey started with a heavy helping of magic, as Yarmilla wove a spell of transportation, teleporting half the group to the (hopefully) empty TradeFields north of Adleton. A quick nights rest (more comfortable for some, less for others) later, she wove her spell again, reuniting the group right after sunrise – and just in time to see smoke rising from the southern edge of the town.

Adleton was under attack by a band of ogres led(?) by a single giant. Hoo took to the air immediately, throwing balls of fire and ice, interspersed with bolts of lightning at the raiders, who were busily crushing resistance (very literally, as villagers fell under the giant’s iron-shod boots) and putting the town to the torch. Hoo was quickly followed by Anonda, with the remainder of the group hustling behind.

As the group neared the fray, Sushalla (at Vecca’s urging) began using her supernatural wiles to clear the way – likely saving dozens of lives. But while the rearguard approached, Hoo and Anonda were treated to a strange sight – a heavily armed gnome appeared in their path. The gnome immediately threw in with our heroes, proving his worth as he felled an ogre in the pitched battle that followed.

Battle results: Our Unnamed Group of Heroes: 1, Giant and Ogres: 0.
After-Battle Memo: The giants and ogres seemed to be “infected” with the same red spores that caused a tribe of goblins to go mad during the companions’ second real venture into the wilds. This news was… not received well.

The gnome turgned out to be gnamed… OK that is going to get old very quickly. The gnome turned out to be named Gnogom, and he claimed to be looking specifically for our heroes. Because our heroes are not complete fools, there was a period of distrust, exacerbated by the fact that the way Gnogom referred to them was… unflattering to say the least. Hoo, in particular was disturbed by the fact that Gnogom only referred to him as “the Owl” something the Alarian was quick to correct.

Brisk (and at times brusque) conversation revealed that Gnogom was an enemy of the Farisees, which made everyone feel much more at ease. But, and this cannot be stressed enough, some of our heroes *(most vocally, Thoven) thought him more than a little mad – he claimed to be from a land which was ruled by Rokun the Undying – GodKing of the Farisee Empire, and his sole purpose in seeking out our heroes was to “make sure they didn’t screw up” and end up delivering Rokun the means to obtain his immortality – something they had done in the “history” as Gnogom knew it.

So a tentative alliance was struck, with Gnogom accompanying the group as they continued traveling on the road south of Adleton.

Travel was swift – aided again by Yarmilla’s spells (this time, a conjuration of ghostly horses able to run along land and water with equal alacrity) – and their trip only had a single mishap. A rider (actually, a small girl clinging desperately to an unsaddled horse’s mane) brought unsettling news. Something “big” had attacked a small farm not far from their chosen path. Investigation showed a farmhouse recently attacked by something the size of a giant. But, Hoo’s keen eyes spotted inconsistencies in the tracks around the house.

As the group decided to abandon the search for survivors, the girl mentioned that her parents might have gone into the cellar. This sounded suspicious to Hoo, who threatened the girl with a fistful of lightning. his suspicions proved correct, as the girl shed her form, growing into a huge creature Vecca identified as a glabrezu – a demon of lies.

The demon taunted them, lashing out now that it’s ruse had been uncovered. But – surrounded by our unnamed group of heroes – he was at a serious disadvantage, and teleported away after being struck from all quarters. In the aftermath of the battle, the group searched the house. In the cellar, they found a small room filled with a summoning circle, but everything of real value had already been taken. Except, that is, for a large piece of chalk that proved to be magical in nature.

Piecing together the clues, the group surmised that a witch of some power lived on the premises, and that she had sought to use the chalk to draw a summoning circle of prodigious power in an attempt to bind the glabrezu for a year and a day. Vecca took charge of the chalk to see that it would not be misused.

The remainder of the trip was less eventuful, and it did not take long for the companions to see the first sign of Mt. Sin – a huge hole in the ground. Something jarring to Vecca in particular as it contradicted accounts she had heard of the place.

In truth, it was less a “hole” than is was a canyon, and less a mountain than a series of buildings within. The whole of the canyon was about a half-mile across in both directions, with a drop of approximately 200’ from the clifftop to the canyon floor below. A single sloped entrance allowed safe travel to the interior, where several buildings stood – some intact, and others less so. Of note were a castle, complete with moat, built into one of the walls, a featureless cube, an equally featureless cylinder, a ziggurat ,and a mostly ruined tower built into the far side of the rift. There were also a large set of seemingly connected ruins in the middle of the canyon – stone rubble intermixed with dark areas.

And, lest we forget, a war camp.

The camp was large, not just in overall size but in scale. It’s inhabitants – a quick count showed at least 200, and possible more – included larger than man-sized tents and shelters. Those inhabitants became aware of the group as certain of its members flew across the gap, but did not immediately take action – seemingly content to let the group pass over. However, the group then had other things to worry about – the fly-over had given them a glimpse of a camp filled with ogres, and not a few giants. Worse, the camp’s palisades had been placed outward in a ring – those giants were afraid of something.

What’s worse than a war camp of giants? Something that scares a war camp of giants.

In any event, the flyovers also brought the attention of something living on the top level of the mostly fallen tower – a griffon! The griffon pursued Hoo (who must have looked the most tasty), only to be warned off by a bolt of lightning from the Alarian. Unfortunately, that bolt of lightning also garnered the attention of the war camp, and it began to mobilize.

And so, with a war camp of giants and ogres suddenly interested in them, our Unnamed Group of Heroes descended to the top of the ruined tower, hoping that their search for Lady Firebaugh’s Diadem would be both fruitful and, more importantly, short.

Prelude to Mt. Sin

After risking our lives to obtain vital information required for the rescue of Koo, the group discovered they failed in their quest. Further efforts, having been found to be too difficult or unlikely to succeed, were abandoned. The final outcome of the entire escapade was to make enemies of some rather unpleasant elves.

On the heels of this debacle, Thoven Shadowhand was afflicted with a geas, requiring him to regain a diadem stolen from Francoise, Duke of CrookLake. The evidence seems to point to the previous timeline version of Thoven Shadowhand as the thief. Further evidence, or possibly just conjecture, suggested that the diadem might be found at Mt Sin. The group decided to go to Mt Sin in an effort to retrieve it. At least Anonda was under the impression that the party was traveling to Mt. Sin in order to retrieve the stolen diadem. Now it seems that the plan might be not to regain possession of the stolen item, but to steal another one as a replacement. Seriously, what kind of people are you??

Welcome to the Red Portal!
Player Welcome

This is the campaign portal for the Tales of the Red Way, a Pathfinder(ish) campaign set on the shores of The Great Crooked Lake.

If you are player in that campaign, head right over the Characters section (link on the left) and punch in your character’s name. Any article with that name will pop up. Or, if you are looking for the latest updates to the campaign, head over to the forum – we’ll have both In Character (IC) and Out of Character (OOC) threads over there.

If you’re looking for more esoteric fare, try The New Yorker, or you can head to the Red Wiki (again, link on the left) to see what we’re up to.

Have fun!

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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