Jade Regent

Session 20
Session 20

Cusp’s Log

Ameiko suggests we should use the Amatatsu Seal right away, which we do to bring Kiku back to life. We search the cabin and find quite a few drums of ale, foodstuffs and a loose floorboard which hides a magical adamantine mace. We move a short way and drive our wagons into a circle before settling down to a nervous rest. The rest of the night is peaceful and day emerges but it brings little light.

We travel for a few days through marshlands till we reach a place called the Coppek Ford which means we’re leaving the lake country region. The ford is at a crossing of the Taraska river and we eventually find a shallow area where we think we can cross. We take our time, picking our way across the Taraska and follow the river north and eventually east where we come to higher ground, emerging finally from the marshlands. There are herds of musk oxen around, when Ulf takes note of the partially buried remains of an ox being consumed by a polar ooze. We travel for 5 more days when the glow of the sun finally illuminates the expanse we’ve been traveling on. We are surprised to see an encampment of what looks to be Erutaki camped ahead. The travelers reprimand us for traveling this far north and speak of various superstitions which suggest that it will be bad luck to camp together. Ulf takes note of a town near here where we would be welcome, but it is a bit off our trail. Regardless, we continue to where the path splits and decide to head to this town, named Iqaliat.

We eventually reach the town of Iqaliat which is built into the side of a ridge, on the edge of the High Ice. It’s a fortified settlement and even to Ulf, the townsfolk seem a bit stand-offish and unfriendly. We circle the wagons and make our way to the chief’s home. There seems to be a lack of livestock, and we meet with Sonavut who looks happy to meet with Ulf. Sonavut makes us feel welcome and she tells us the town has many problems and is being plagued by a White Dragon named Vegsundvaag. The dragon has been lairing in the High Ice and started harassing the townsfolk. Strange monoliths have been appearing on the High Ice, which may or may not be contributing to an increase in storm activity. We are interrupted by a knock at the door and find there is a commotion outside. A crowd has gathered around Tunuat, the village shaman who is addressing the folks. He accuses us of bringing bad omens to the place, and that we bring a taint here and demands a sacrifice. We have a lynch mob here and arguments begin to escalate. We manage to beseech Nalvanak, the chieftain to Tunuat’s great distress, to allow us to help them defeat the dragon. Tunuat retreats in defeat, but we feel there is more to the shaman’s accusations than he makes out. We treat with the chieftain who tells us that there is a path past the dragon’s lair. He tells us that the monoliths are connected to the frozen dead. We are allowed to stay here the night but we must leave to slay the dragon tomorrow. We talk to Sonavut about Tunuat who also seems sympathetic to our suspicions about the shaman.

In the morning, we are gifted with magical claws by the chieftain and then we make our way to the High Ice. Near the crevasse, we are bathed in the light of an aurora borealis, and feel the blessings of Desna. We reach the crevasse which Dreki scouts out. He manages to find the dragon which chases him out of the crevasse and into our trap. We manage to defeat the beast and find in its lair a medallion that we learn belonged to Tunuat. We also find the remains of another dragon and smashed eggshells.

We learn back at the town that Tunuat is missing, said to be up at the wind altars. We head up to the little wind altar but he is not there. We find a secret door which is trapped just beyond which a pit opens. We pull folks out of the pit, and continue on down the tunnel and meet a guide named Naquun. He converses with Ulf and he also seems to be tracking Tunuat. When speaking with him, it is revealed that he is under the possession of a quasit demon, which we destroy. Removed of the possessive force, the guide tells us that Tunuat carried out a ritual on him which must have caused the possession. He joins us to find the shaman and we carry on, coming to a door which we open behind which reveals a sunken room open to the sky. Tunuat is down in a pool of slush at the bottom of the room, amongst many bones. There are bone altars here as well. Tunuat is obviously an agent and so we slay him, and his frost undead henchman. He carries a symbol of Sithhud, the demon lord of blizzards and the frozen dead.

The slushy basin at the bottom of the ramp is filled with hundreds of bones, all marked with a curious rune like a frost-rimed, three-fingered skeletal hand. This symbol also appeared on a black talisman shaped like a black horned head worn by Tunuat. The skulls of these skeletons have been piled into a crude altar and a number of white shards, that we identify as fragments of white dragon eggshell, are placed before it. Painted along the icy walls of the pit are Erutaki pictograms, scattered among many more of the strange runes.

One of the pictograms shows strange black standing stones rising from icy hills. These appear to be the black monoliths that the Erutaki nomads and Sonavut told us their hunters had reported as having recently appeared on the High Ice.

Another pictogram displays a cluster of towers glowing with a strange blue light. We recognize these blue-limned towers as the Nameless Spires, an ancient ruined city at the North Pole. We learn that the Erutaki believe the wind spirits reside here—a dangerous place, but a source of great visions for those brave enough to seek it. Tunuak himself undertook a vision quest within the last year and it is speculated that his subsequent behavior may have resulted from falling under the spell of this winged woman.

The third pictogram shows a single monolithic tower rising above what seems to be a black lake, with white mountain peaks behind it, which we identify as the Alabastrine Peaks.

The fourth pictogram depicts a spiraling storm with long arms ending in ice-fanged jaws devouring Erutaki villages, but with longer jaw-arms reaching toward forests, crudely drawn castles and cities, and what may be ships at sea. Warriors are shown trying to fight the storm with spears before being engulfed and sealed in tombs of ice. We identify the fang-armed spiral as representing the morozkos, or “hungry storms,” the legendary blizzards that rage across the Crown of the World. They are seemingly living storms that can devour entire villages and that almost seem to seek out their victims.

The fifth pictogram shows a blue-skinned woman with dark wings and hair, wearing a silver crown or circlet. Her hand grasps one of the claw-symbols like a scepter, and spiraling streaks of silver and white curl from it in every direction. We decipher notes scrawled in Erutaki beneath this pictogram that speak of an obsessive love for “Katiyana, who speaks to me on the winds from her tower in the Storm.” No-one recognizes this winged woman.

The final pictogram shows a humanoid silhouette with stag-like horns sat upon a throne within one of the blue-limned towers. Notes scrawled in Erutaki beneath this pictogram stated that this being was “Her Lord and Master, the Black Hart, who sits upon his throne in the Nameless Spires.”

After the elders of Iqaliat had spent time discussing the pictograms, they further revealed that their ancient tales say that the morozkos were a roaring scourge wielded by Sithhud, demon lord of blizzards and the frozen dead, who ate the flesh of the dead and bound their bones to serve him in ages past. The three-fingered skeletal claw is Sithhud’s mark, and the pictograms suggest that the Black Hart may have found some way to reclaim the demon lord’s ancient power, perhaps using the strange black monoliths or other ancient magics discovered in the Nameless Spires and that the dark-winged woman is his servant.
The elders believe that the third pictogram shows a place that the Erutaki call the Storm Tower. So named because of the storms that always seem to swirl above its pinnacle, this spire is similar to those found in the Nameless Spires, but it stands alone near the Alabastrine Peaks. It seems that the morozkos have been awakened from the Storm Tower, but if the Black Hart or the winged woman gains full control over the hungry storms, none will be able to stand before them, and our caravan will never make it across the Crown of the World.

We are given a pass to stay in town and freely trade and are gifted with interesting items.

Session 19
Session 19

Cusp’s Log

We emerge out of the forest and don’t feel there has been any passage of time. An 800 mile long journey over the crown of the world to Tian-Xia lays before us. In the early days, we pass between the Stonespear and Rimethirst mountains and so a week passes and we celebrate the Equinox by breaking out the bog nuts and whatever spare wine and ale that we have. One day, we must deal with a terrible snow storm forcing us to hunker down. We travel for a few weeks and thankfully there are not too many other storms for us to contend with. We eventually come to the northern slopes of the Rimethirst. and enter rugged hill country named Urjuk, a realm once inhabited by giants who for the most part have migrated away. Apparently, giants come here to take their final marches and die. Having come through pretty desolate terrain, this area feels more lush and we come to a copse of trees with many ravens flocking about it. We decide to scout ahead, but Gelden attempts an augury first, which doesn’t reveal much. We leave the caravan and approach the copse when a strange noise booms out scattering the ravens.
" You have violated the sacred lands of the giants." We spy the red-pinioned raven and Cusp calls for the voice’s owner to reveal itself at which point we are swarmed by the flock, and attacked by a great wolf and giant. We vanquish our foes and even manage to kill the red-pinioned raven. We track the giant to a den and find the remains of one Kargun Yamachuck, a fallen guide. In the deceased’s possessions, we find a scroll tube containing a map of the Path of Arganhei, which should help us on our travel.

We continue our travel, skirting around the Taraska river, across the Hoarwell March, and up towards Unimo, which should allow us to climb up to the High Ice. We travel past the Alabastrian Peaks, and past the [Insert] to Jargen, and through the Hall of Heaven and down into Horngarl. Of course, we could shave off some time by cutting through the hill country of the Garjuks or down through lake country and so wee decide to take the lower path of the lake country and further on, spy an odd cabin. There is wildlife around, which is heartening to see, and daylight is waning and we are coming into polar twilight.

We eventually emerge from the marshlands and find a group of lodgings. An old woman calls to us from one of these, and Cusp rather naively decides that we should break bread with her. On entering her home though, she reveals herself as a Witchfire Hag kicks the hell out of us, killing Kiku and then making her ethereal escape into the frozen night.

Session 18
Session 18

Cusp’s Log

After the battle, we search the hall finding the hag wears a symbol to the god of hags. The storm outside subsides suddenly as we leave and we find a path leading to a great snapped, dead tree. A large hollow leads down into a chamber below the tree. A clairvoyance reveals a room with partial animal and human remains, some of which are spread over a table and a cauldron. There are also some small lumpy clay figurines that resemble the caravan members. Kieku thinks these may have been used as scyring foci or to remotely affect us. There are symbols of Goran about as well. We decide to leave and spy in the forest a small child, wild and savage looking which leaps away as we notice it. We search where the child was and find the it’s tracks change into that of a fox. Kieku thinks its a changeling, a creature resulting from the union of a hag and human which tells of the possible uses the hags had for those men in the hall.

We return to the caravan, leaving the clay dolls with Koya and picking up Uksaka and Ulf who will be helpful in tracking the changeling child and we continue to do so, following its tracks for a few miles leading to and across a road. It’s getting colder, the snow is getting deeper, and the air is still. Ulf calls a stop to the party, and points out an Uskrik tree ahead. A southern tree not usually found this far north. Its bark issues a noxious sap which fuses with the snow to form a dangerous poison. A tune begins to ring out through the woods but Cusp counters it with his drumming. The sound comes from a copse of trees, where we encounter some arctic spiders who we do battle with and we are victorious, though some of us are poisoned. We continue travelling and come to what appears to be some kind of burial ground, before which lies an exposed runestone, engraved with skald script. It is a mother’s lament for her son who was murdered by brigands. As we clear away some of the snow, two filthy undead burst from the ground, though we destroy them. We continue to dig away at the snow and find some gear and mummified animal remains but not much else. The tracks eventually lead to an iced lake, wreathed in mist. A lonely isle sits out near the middle of the lake. On the way across the ice, we encounter another of the witches who we do battle with upon the dangerous ice. We kill her and make our way to the isle where we find some ice statues carved in our likeness as well as some magical ointments. The fox trail continues past the isle but we heal up first. We continue following the fox back to the road and then onwards to where the forest takes on a more eastern feel, made up primarily of bamboo.

When we emerge from the bamboo forest, we come to a secluded vale and small village within some rice fields. A grim edifice looms over the village and a hollow wind issues through these parts as we make our way to the village. Frightened villagers speak of a cruel mistress who lives in the pagoda and levies high taxes from them. They speak of big monsters that live in the darkness and they tell us the mistress is both youthful and aged. The village has no name and there doesn’t’ seem to be any history to the place. This seems consistent with the curse that grips this whole region. We decide to head to the edifice to deal with the curse. As we approach the three tiered structure, shadows coalesce into a wolf like creature which we attack and defeat. The edifice itself is set with bronze doors which we open to reveal a strange androgynous person sat near the base of some stairs. She inclines her head and tells us that she is Misami of clan Oniski, and that our destruction is at hand as we back the Amatatsu dynasty. Kieku strikes her but she is just vapor and her howling laughter issues from the levels above. We climb the stairs to a chamber circled by a gallery and encounter Misami again. A fierce fight ensues with this which but we emerge triumphant.

We’ve broken the curse over the land and we can finally rest from much weariness, a most welcome respite. The bloodfeather raven had been watching the caravans the whole time but it has since departed, upon our return and we pack up the caravan and finally manage to leave the forest, which fades into the icy tundra behind us.

A Lethal Trap and an Eternal Twilight
Session 17

Cusp’s Log

During the battle with the oni, Kimandatsu, Kiku and Gelden are poisoned by deathblade which the ninja employed against us. There is no way to deal with the poison now but delay poison allows us to continue to search. Further on, we find a small pen or cell which houses a growling winter wolf which we quickly dispatch, but perhaps prematurely out of desperation or fear, for the creature seems to be a prisoner here; we’ll never learn its story now.
Further on again, we find a beaten and imprisoned Ulfen man who lies in a grotto and who is none other than Ulf, the arctic guide for whom we’ve been searching. He is guarded by three blindheims which lurk in the water and blind some of us with their terrible gaze attack. We dispatch them, and free Ulf. He speaks of the Path of Aganhei, a route that climbs through the Crown of the World. It is an eastern name, named after an Amatatsu explorer. We make our way back to the hall, blind and beaten, and search a little more before resting for a short while near a door which we’ve uncovered. After a short respite and conversation with Ulf, we hurriedly decide to open the door which is trapped and sets off a violent column of flame which tears through the room. It extinguishes the lives of Gelden and Kiku and leaves Dreki and Cusp sorely wounded. Luckily, Ulf was sat away from the fire’s proximity. This, of course, forces us to retreat from the hall altogether, and we do so, returning to Kalsgard.

We convalesce in Kalsgard for a long time, waiting for the Amatatsu Seal to recover its power to resurrect our fallen comrades. During this time, Lute Haggersley reveals the Rimerunners’ nefarious dealings which get their operations suspended. Suishen tells us that hundreds of years ago in Minkai, oni emerged from the Forest of Spirits and began their war against the five royal families. By 4456 AR, they were close to their goals of domination. They waged battles against the Amatatsu whose numbers were greatly reduced, forcing the family to flee. The Amatatsu patriarch sold the sword to finance the family’s exile, changed their name to Kaijitsu, and sought refuge in Brinewall as Rokuro Kaijitsu. They magically secured the family seal and became a family of merchants and glassblowers.

Ulf tells us that the journey over the Crown of the World will take 3-6 months or more, depending on the weather. We spend two months in town, researching, working, and stocking up on supplies for the road ahead, with Ulf and Uksahhka as our guides.

We finally set out in the summer and the path of Aganhei sweeps through various small settlements before cutting through a swath of uncharted territory. On the third day, we’ve passed through the Thanelands and roll into the fortified town of Turvik. It’s a town that overlooks miles of tundra. The next day we journey out of Turvik and eventually come to a wooded area and a fork in the road. Ulf is a little concerned at the strange unnatural silence that seems to have befallen these lands. He has no memory of this place and bids us head along the left path but we decide to take a harrow reading by Koya to see if her Varisian divinations can reveal any insights. During the harrow reading, she is overcome by a trance and speaks in an eerie tone:-

“Trapped within by a hateful three,
A realm from which you cannot flee,
Where dreams are real, peace is strife,
Safety peril, and death is life.

Beyond the dark cacophony
the withering caress will be.
Scalding cold, and chill of ire,
Just above a peril dire,
Spanning across the threshold key,
Your senses invoke treachery.

To break the curse, pray break it thrice,
Or pay, you will, the vengeful price.
The only way to leave this place
A baleful coven you must face."

Our hearts sink as we realise we are trapped in a cursed, nightmare forest and a baleful howl which threatens our resolve is overcome by a very loud roll of drum licks by Cusp but Koya’s trance threatens a great number of trials ahead if we are to break free of the curse which corrupts these lands. We think we need to go to sleep to directly deal with the curse and so we attempt to do so. Some of us manage to sleep, others do not and are fatigued, but those who sleep do not bring us any closer to breaking the curse. We continue travelling down the path to a crossroads but whichever road we take brings us back to this spot in the woods, a treacherous junction from which there seems to be no escape. We try to break the paths by cutting down trees, and trying to sleep and yet we still remain and cannot escape. All the while, there are glimpses of the antlered black humanoid who has plagued our nightmares all this while.

The creature has left some cloven footprints in the snow, and a small group of us decide to follow these into the dense woods. Through the snow, we come to a hideous effigy, an Ulfen Nithing Pole. It is set to ward off enemies by way of fear but bolstered by Gelden’s prayers, we are able to bring ourselves to approach it. As we pass it, though, it bursts a deadly spray of splinters and animates as a great wood golem, which we fight and defeat.

The tracks lead eventually to an Ulfen hall, surrounded by small outbuildings. Smoke issues lazily from the hall’s chimney, and from the cover of the treeline, we divine seven Ulfen men sat inside, their grim visages held low. A terrible-looking storm gathers over distant hills and we make our way to the door hoping to treat with the Jarl as these people too may be under the spell that has gripped these lands. Somehow, we’ve divined or recalled the name of the Jarl: Gathik Thorgrisson.

The Jarl allows us to enter the hall if we remove our weapons and we agree to do so, leaving them by the door. As we enter and converse with the men, we realise that a magical miasma is upon this place. They too seem to be under a curse and seem quiet and depressed. They offer us drink and speak little but soon, the illusion drops. They are corpses, and a shattering thunder-strike obliterates the central fireplace as a terrible hunched creature crashes through the doors we’d just entered, silhouetted by night and lightning and rain. It demands weregild for our work at Ravenscraeg and a terrifying battle ensues but we emerge the victors.

Thawing of Frozen Shadows
Session 16

Cusp’s Log

The room we fought the Tian woman in resembles a training hall. Its walls are lined with doors to small cells which we search. Most cells hold nothing of interest, except for one which contains an eastern triptych screen and the other, a door revealing a hallway, only relatively recently hewn into the mountain. The hall leads to a room containing a demonic idol and a magic circle of some kind. Kiku believes it to be a protective circle of planar binding. A giant diseased hand, hidden under a cot in the corner of the room, scurries out and scratches some of us up a bit, but we kill whatever it is. We find a secret compartment with scrolls of magic circle vs evil. There is evidence that the ogre possibly uses this place as a lab of sorts.

We head back to the grotto and, on our way, discover a well. A fiery glow emerges from the well, and in its depths, we find none other that the flaming magical sword which we’ve been searching for, Suishen. It seems to have been tossed down here by the ogre mage. The sword is deeply enchanted and intelligent. We are suddenly ambushed by some executioner’s hoods hiding in the dark confines of the ceiling, but they are quickly dealt with by Gelden’s quick prayers. We turn our attention back to Suishen which speaks of an oni, Kimandatsu, who tried to wield it, then destroy it, and finally tossed it down the well. The sword was indeed stolen by Asvig, as we suspected, who contacted Thorborg, who is also known as Kimandatsu, the ogre mage.

We heal a bit, then go downstairs and deal with more thugs and Goti. We fight our way past them and meet with the oni, Kimandatsu, and some remaining ninja. A pitched battle ensues inside a strange, diamond-shaped room containing a gurgling waterfall and alcoves hewn into its walls set above the floor. The battle is aerial for some and tests our abilities but we finally dispatch the oni and her accursed ninja retinue.

A Disturbed Night's Rest
Session 15

Cusps Log

The party decides to rest after our pitched fight with the fortress’s inhabitants and we find some scrolls which seem to be the diaries of Snorri Stone-Eyes. The mad reaver had written that Ravenscraeg is his hall, and he was proud that none would come here. It was built to be impregnable, and his eye allowed him to cast his vision into the past or future. He predicts a time when the gods would wage war on each other, and the rough beast will slip its chains to claim this world. Only the prepared would be spared the devastation that is to claim this world, once it is ripe for conquest. On a voyage into the steaming sea in search of an artifact to protect his fortress, he contracted an illness which defied all attempts at a cure, and it grew worse over the years. He lost the ability to speak, and it was the illness that wound up claiming his life. We should ponder on this, as Cusp has memory of a mention that Snorri Stone Eyes was healthy right before he’d suddenly died which would seem to contradict these journal writings. In any case, it was at the time of this strange illness that he’d resolved some of his differences with his brother, Ranulfr and moved into a townhouse in Kalsgard, and became quite insane. A passage in the rantings speaks of a concealed cache in the upstairs flue.

Any further sleep this night though is disturbed when a group of ninja and their tian female leader wielding a nasty poisonous blade, set themselves on the room we hole up in. We only just manage to hold our own in this fight, and she withdraws. We rest the remainder of the night and are harried again by zombies who smash their way into our room. There may be an evil priest in this place, and as well the ninja is still alive.

There’s not much more to be found, except magical boots of the north, stuffed into the Flue. We take these and head downstairs, dispatching some troll guards and continuing our search through the underground caves and rooms. We eventually come up against the tien girl, and do her in…

Assault on Ravenscraeg
Session 14

The PCs return to the Hunting Serpent Inn where they discover that their rooms have been ransacked but, having left nothing behind, nothing has been stolen. They transport themselves to the Amatatsu Library for 6 hours, where they study new texts. Back in Kalsgard, they rest, before working with Fynn Snaevald to acquire magical items to fortify and protect themselves for another attempt upon Ravenscraeg.
Back at Ravenscraeg, they once again ascend the stair. As they near the top, dozens of thugs rain rocks and stone upon them, but they are protected by the cover of the stairs and then by the magical shields that they erect. As they near the final platform, the thugs retreat into the Hall, closing and barring the heavy doors behind them. The PCs several minutes crowbarring open the doors before gaining entrace to a deserted longhall. Shortly after they enter, swarms of ravens attack. Unprepared to fight these unexpected foes, the PCs hole up in an adjacent room, empty but for the piles of rocks and masonry that had been used to harry their ascent to the hall. Having prepared suitable weapons, they open the door to permit the ravens into the room, slaying a swarm, and then exiting into the main chamber to deal with another. As the swarm disperses, ninja, previously hidden on the low balcony that surrounds the hall, attack with bows. The party responds quickly and ascends one of the balconies to face them in melee. A pitch battle ensues, with the PCs facing not only but the group of ninja engaged, but subsequently the group of ninja from the opposite balcony, thirty thugs who erupt from one of the bottom doors, and finally, a werebear who marshalls the chaotic force into something resembling organisation. The battle is long and fierce, and at one point it looks as though the party is going to be overwhelmed, but judicious use of glitterdust, and healing magics, keep their hopes alive. Finally, as a mysterious archer draws several of their attackers away, and Dreki manages to slay the werebear with a freezing touch, the remaining combatants flee the battle deeper into the hall, leaving the PCs a few minutes to catch their breaths and heal their wounds. In this time, they see the archer, a humanoid clad in furs, retreating from the hall with dejected thugs returning to the stair. The PCs descend and, discovering that the archer had killed four in total, slay the remaining three.
Back in the hall, the party strip the bodies of valuables before searching through the rooms on the lower and upper levels of the hall. Reaching the bottom of the tower, they discover an alchemist’s laboratory with a strange, insect-infested man held in a glass case (which Cusp identifies as a hellwasp wasp infestation), and a prisoner—a merchant from Kalsgard named Lute Haggersley—in a nearby cell.
Lute tells the PCs that he is a merchant recently elected to the Rimerunners Guild’s board of shareholders. He had the misfortune to vote against a measure proposed by Thorborg Silverskorr and then had the temerity to not be intimidated and bullied into capitulating. He was abducted from the road on a trip to some of the outlying villages around Kalsgard and was brought here. Lute has primarily faced Goti Runecaster so far, who tried out various noxious brews that he had concocted (fortunately with no overly baneful effects) and threatened him with infestation by the hellwasp swarm. He also says that the werebear, who was called Jorgan the Axe, had worked him over a few times as well. Lute also tells the PCs that he had not been questioned and has no idea why he is being held. He warns that a hideous purple ogre seems to command the fortress, and claims the ogre is actually none other than Thorborg Silverskorr, the leader of the Rimerunners Guild. Outside his cell, Lute heard Thorborg speaking to Goti, and though Lute did not witness a transformation, he is convinced Thorborg is actually the purple ogre who visited him shortly thereafter. Lute is of no help to the party’s efforts in Ravenscraeg, and requests to wait somewhere safe for the PCs to escort him back to Kalsgard.

Regret at Ravenscraeg
Session 13

The PCs decide to investigate the Rimerunner’s Guild. After staking it out from a nearby tavern throughout the day, they infiltrate at night through the back door by using a silence stone and some lockpicking skill by Cusp. Inside, they defeat the six guards after a tumultuous fight (killing three and capturing three), and also succeed in preventing the guards from raising the alarm by signal log. They find Uksahkka, and, unable to open it there, wrestle an iron lockbox out of its secret room. They hire a horse and cart from the Hunting Serpent Inn, and using bedclothes from the guard barracks, transport the lockbox and three prisoners to Fynn Snaevald’s house (leaving the dead bodies of the other three guards in the secret room).
Fynn agrees to help, securing the prisoners in a strongroom and employing a dwarven contact to open the safe. Cusp and Fynn study the business records while the others rest and determine the details of the Rimerunners involvement and the location of Ravenscraeg.
The next day, the PCs set out to Ravenscraeg. The have a little trouble with a splitting ochre jelly before arriving at the wooden stair that climbs the cliff to the hall. As they ascend, they deal with the spider eater quite easily, but then run into real problems with the tengu ninjas who use their poison and vanish ability to lethal effect. Tragically, Cusp is slain after having been flanked and subjected to deathblade poison. The party retreats from the site once they defeat the ninjas to seek divine aid for their fallen comrade. Using a magical disguise, Dreki enters the city and retrieves the Amatatsu from the caravan, which is distraught upon hearing the news, and returns to the party’s temporary camp outside. After being placed upon Cusp’s chest for a few seconds, the Seal begins to emit transparent ribbons of minkaian characters and arcane and divine runes which wrap the gnome’s body and impress upon his flesh; the runes and characters glowing on his skin before fading as he awoke from death.

The Funeral Ship
Session 12

Cusp’s Log

We are to meet Uksahkka at Spearshaker’s Point at midday and paddle out to the funeral ship as the mists roll in. In the morning, as we’re preparing for the day we learn that people have been asking about us and we also notice a great number of ravens flocking and following us around the city.
As the sun reaches its midday zenith, a mist has rolled in from the ocean and Cusp spies a longship at Spearshaker’s Point with an honour guard of Ulfen Huscarls. We meet Uksahkka who has with her kayaks, a horse and a cart. She hands us small clay tokens carved with a songbird sigil and she bids us present these to the priest Yin-Po of the shrine of Shelyn in the fire quarter of the city when we return there, and that for now, she will give us some brief study in the ways of using these kayaks.
That evening, as we are ready to embark, we are attacked by a giant shark-eating crab which almost drags Kiku into the brine and a watery death. After its defeat and under the cover of darkness and this sweeping fog, we quickly paddle out to the funeral ship as it comes into view, tethering our boats to its quietly drifting hull and boarding it as quickly as our land legs will let us.
On the vessel, we hear noises from the ship’s hold and investigate only to come upon a wealth of treasure and the shackled Snorri Stone-Eye born again as a terrible undead. As we do battle in the pressing confines of the hold, black-suited eastern assassins, known as ninja board the ship which Dreki finds out the hard way when he goes above to find where Ulf and possibly the sword, might be, but instead finds the deck and main mast racing with fire and ninja unhitching our boats. They quickly turn their attention to us, and a violent battle erupts though they all but manage to escape except for one who we take prisoner. We are dismayed to find that neither Ulf nor the sword are here and that we’ve been either led astray, or the ninja have at least gained the sword, or that perhaps they too left empty-handed.
We managed to recover our boats and return to the beach with our captive where we question him though he utters not a word when asked under a tone of forgiveness, or under pain of death. The others are content to leave him tied here, but Cusp frees him as the others are out of sight. We return to Kalsgard and our inn for the night, before making our way to the fire district the next day. On our walk through the city, a beggar tells us that “they are coming for us,” though his words may be a cliche laced with coincidence given our reputation in the city.
As we approach the shine to Shelyn, it is beset suddenly by a massive stone elemental, heralded by the accursed red-pinioned raven. Yin-Po is here, though battered and we manage to defeat the elemental. Upon showing the token to Yin-Po, he takes us through a secret door off an alleyway which leads to a busted safehouse and he shrieks, exclaiming that Uksahkka has been taken. A large black feather is the only evidence of what might have done this, as we believe it to be a Tengu feather. Suddenly a helmet that Dreki had found in the hold of the funeral ship reveals its sentience to us, and claims to be a Cassisian angel named Helgarval. It tells us that the Rimerunner’s guild is actually a front for the frozen shadow assassins and thieves who are themselves agents of the Five Strorms Oni (the one’s who attacked Minkai in the past war which swept across that land.) The raven is a familar of Goti Runecaster, who is an associate of Thorborg Silverskorr, the head of the alliance between the Rimerunners and the Frozen Shadows. The angel itself was a familiar to a deceased mage, and has spent much time in the city investigating these corruptions.

Session 11

Cusp’s Log

We return to Fynn Snaevald, who tells us that Suishen was stolen. A band of men wearing black clothes and masked, led by a tall leader staged a vicious assault in which some of Fynn’s men where killed, and the precious sword stolen. He takes us to the room where the sword was kept and we investigate the area but the perpetrators left no evidence that would lead us to them behind. We speak of Asvig Longthews but we have no evidence directly connecting the local lord and this robbery, though our instincts tell us it was him. Fynn wishes to ínvoke the right of ‘weregild,’ at the loss of his men and the sword. He confirms the sword was purchased from Rokuro Kaijitsu here in Kalsgard.
We decide to investigate Asvig further as there is also the fact that robbery happened at about the same time as we recovered the Amatatsu artifacts in Brinewall. We purchase a wand of healing from the temple of Torag and meet with Nauma Irongleam there, who also offers other magical assistance to us.
Later in the day, we travel south from the city and come upon a gate bearing a lions head stylized motif at the mouth of a track leading to a farmhouse surrounded by a guarded fence. We settle into a nearby copse of trees to spy upon the compound into the evening. Later that evening, a group of merrily singing and drinking warriors bearing the lions head motif are spotted making there way along the road towards the compound from the city, eventually meandering their way inside its fence. Some time later, another pair of men make their way back from the city to the farm and we hear them speaking to each other of Snorri’s funeral, which brings us great surprise. There seems to be a raucous funeral party building up at the farm in honour of the late Snorri Stone-Eye, a most surprising and possibly fortuitous turn of events for us, for an enemy beneath the soil is one less over the way as my Pa used to say.
We take the opportunity to sneak closer to the farm and snoop around. The main building is a single story affair with a main door, a back door and an adjoining outbuilding which seems to be a wool room or shearing shed. Investigation of the wool room and the adjoining room of the main building reveals some people rutting in the storeroom. We quickly surprise and disable them, before Cusp sneaks in under the magical cloak of his vanish spells to look around whilst the others remain hidden outside the building. Many drunken Ulfen raiders are sat, stood or laid about in various states of sobriety yet Cusp is drawn to the main bedroom, where he finds Asvig, his wife, and another having sex. The gnome takes the opportunity to look for the sword but to no avail, only a pair of magical boots which he steals. He also spies the red-pinioned raven, which suggests that it is indeed a familiar to one of these vile humans. But in somewhat short order, and in a moment of distraction from the men’s lust, Asvig’s wife gets wind of something strange, and pulls herself free to find the source. Cusp’s presence is revealed as the sorceress shouts a call to arms, and Cusp’s friends take the opportunity to blast into the building where a tremendous battle breaks out. We are vastly outnumbered, but Cusp calls forth the elemental from the magical stone he carries, which quickly levels the odds, by indeed, leveling many Ulfen men. We manage to take Asvig and his wife hostage as we get wind of another group of Ulfen warriors even now making their way to the farm.
We parlay with them, though Dreki turns himself over as a hostage to them, to the ire of Cusp though it actually plays into our hands somewhat, as they reveal some secrets to him. They reveal to him that Asvig was acting on behalf of another entity and that they’ve kidnapped a guide. It may have been something to do with gifts for the funeral ship. This guide, Ulf, would soon be joining Snorri and that perhaps the sword is going to be sacrificed as well but of this they are not sure. Meanwhile, inside and under questioning, Asvig chokes on his own tongue as he tries to speak though he welcomes the curse and his journey to Asgard. Asvig’s wife, Helva doesn’t seem to think she is cursed and she tells us that Snorri was as fit as a bull, but a sickness came quickly over him his final weeks. She tells us that the funeral is at dawn at Spearshaker’s Point. It will be well-attended by Ulfen warriors. We come to an agreement with Helva, whereby we can go with as much treasure as we can carry, and will forever remain unmolested by her or the remnants of Asvig’s people and in return, we will release her and be on our way.
We quickly load up a wagon with gear and treasure and depart the farm. On our way back we encounter a woman who is badly beaten. Her name is Uksahkka and she claims she is friends with Ulf, a ranger and expert on the mountains around Kalsgard. His last job came from Asvig who commissioned him to blaze a route through the Grungir forest but when Ulf came to the farm to learn the details, he disappeared, which further confirms the story that the Ulfen men spoke of to Dreki. We tell her about the funeral of Snorri Stone-Eye, and that we fear that Ulf may be taken there to be sacrificed with the fallen Ulfen warrior and a precious heirloom that we seek.