RECAP: Strange Aeons, 5-12-23

  1. Started out in the basement of Fort Hailstone, travelling with Chief Constable Cesyll.
    • Cesyll had at various points attacked the party and tried to escape, although at this point she seems helpful and sees the party of rescuers of a sort
    • She told that the “yellow witch” had come to the fort, *before* the fall of Briarstone Asylum, ostensibly on behalf of Count Lowls (she had a writ). This witch immediately began bringing in Mwangi, fish-men, etc. For the last ten days or so, Cesyll explained that she’d effectively been a prisoner.
    • Cesyll explained that both the Yellow Witch and the fish-men were headquartered in the fort’s lower level.
  2. The party proceeded into the lower level, Cesyll leading the way.
    • The first room is primarily for wood storage, but one door has bars on it, and beyond serves as a prison. There’s a pair of yellow-eyed zombies and a Mwangi guard. At the end of the row of cells, someone starts yelling out, in halfling: “hellp me help me, they’re going to kill me, they’re going to eat me, let me out!”
    • While the party fights the prison guards, Cesyll has her back up against a door, bracing it against something bashing into it from behind. She exhorts the party to finish off the guards quickly.
    • Grady hears something squishing down the stairs, but the creature slams him to the ground. The creature steps over him and crits Elib twice in the same round.
    • Bella talks to Sholn, a hobbit merchant and brother of Hollissa, who had approached her previously about her brother’s disappearance.
    • Cesyll killed the skum bashing into the door, then ran into the darkness behind it. More skums join the fight.
    • Dustwar detected some undead in the distance to the east.
    • It turned out the ooze creature exhibited certain characteristics associated with trolls, and Bella pointed out that the disparate pieces of the creature were reattaching themselves to the main body. Fire, at that point, became a priority attack.
  3. Skums pour in after Cesyll rushes into the dark, and between them, the ooze creature and the last of the prison guards. The battle spill deeper into the complex, and various individual battles take place.
  4. Dustwar localizes the undead presence, but only to a certain region. Monitoring the undead presence, he determines that it is not moving and poses no immediate threat. Bella checked out the doorway: locked from this side, untouched for a long time.
  5. Cesyll returns, having downed a couple of skum on her own (no small feat), and says she checked the well area and found no more skum.
  6. At the cistern, Dustwar detected some residual magic, and performed a ritual to unearth the nature of the magic: Conjuration and Primal energy, but polluted.
    • “Some had reached into the stones and placed within a beacon, that they can identify and use as a teleport locus.” Dustwar can see the physical thing inside the stone, and it turns out to be a bag of some sort of snake-skin. It contains:
      • a small coin, very old, with some sort of starburst sigil but very worn.
        • Bel examines the coin, and discovers a very worn face. The face is reminiscent to him of the Saurian empire, which preceded the current Golarion history,, and was known for its goodness and justice. Legend has it that the Saurians, who ruled Golarion benevolently for a millennia, disappeared overnight, that Golarion displeased them and they had decided to go to a more pure land. Most Golarion religion and history discounts this.
      • clump of mud or soil, reddish in color
      • some sticks of some sort of dried plant material
    • Dustwar destroys the beacon, noting that doing so may have alerted the creator.
  7. Needing a rest, everyone goes back upstairs into the Fort proper. Emerging into the courtyard, the party hears pounding on the front gate. Cesyll offers to deal with it, but returns shortly to report that a group of townspeople who want information. Cesyll says she advised them to isperse but that they seemed disinclined to. She also mentions they had a battering ram.
    • Bel addresses the crowd and tells them ti bear with them until dawn. Cesyll chimes in with support, telling the crowd that everything will be explained and to meet at the hall of Justice the next day at noon. The people seem to. be ok with this, but Matthew McConaghey asks if they can trust them, accuses them of lying. Eventually they disperse, McConaghey’s guys last.
    • After the townspeople leave, Bel spots about 100 feet away a body laying on the ground. it has a bag over its head. 30-35 year old woman, stabbed and strangled. Sack is standard burlap. Bel brings the body back into the Fort. Grady examines the body: the woman was strangled from behind, which probably killed her. The stab wound was likely post-mortem or near-mortem.
  8. Not long after, there’s a knock at the front gates. It’s Joce Hagely from Sleepless, with supplies – healing potions, which are well received. Cesenia is worried: there’s been a lot of discussion in town about the possibility that the party is conducting a coup.
    • Justice day
    • Fort hailstone wipeout
    • Escaped from Briarstone – possibly nuts?
    • Maybe killed Count Lowls
    • Cesyll pledges support; the bodies lend credence to the story; the halfling Sholn promises to say what he saw. Cesenia has activated resources in town, if only to counter people in town who are promoting the coup theory.
    • Joce is sent back to Sleepless to get more potions and brief Cesenia, expecting to return around dawn.
    • There could be observed at least two, house-sized fires in town – columns of smoke, etc. Bella observed that the fires were in the same locations as the two houses that the party investigated for disappearances. It’s too far away to see the actual fire, but the smoke is clearly visible when dawn hits. Bella sneaks through town and confirms that they are indeed the exact houses, but departs before the firewatch arrives.
  9. The party decided to take a much needed rest, until morning.
  10. Jocelyn arrives at dawn, provides some supplies, and helps the party leave Fort hailstone undetected and make their way to Iris Hill. Iris Hill is surrounded by a large and dense defensive hedgerow, and only the third floor of the manor house is visible.
    • At the gatehouse, the party is confronted by a Mwangi guard, who denies them access. “Count say ‘no inside’ no matter where he is.”
      • Bella got the gate guard to admit that the Count was “in Caliphas
      • Iris Hill is a large, hilltop manor/fortress, with a large ditch and a hedgerow protecting the crown of the hill. There are several two story buildings within, in addition to the manor itself, which is three floors.
      • The party’s hope is to find exculpatory evidence at Iris Hill to prove their innocence and justification for their actions since arriving at Thrushmoor.
  11. Options to enter Iris Hill
    • Elib proposes to toss Bella, using Feather Fall, over the 10-15-foot high hedge;
      • “Nobody expects flying hobbits.”
    • Elib proposes to climb the over the gatehouse.
      • Would be clearly visible from the manor house
  12. Random notes:
    • Time is now about 9 am; the party is supposed to explain their actions at Justice Hall at noon.
    • The Yellow Witch showed up at Fort Hailstone the day before Briarstone went dark.
    • The door to the area where Dustwar senses an undead presence was locked and chained from the outside, and the chains had been there for a long time.
    • The magic that Dustwar detected on the teleport hub lodged in the cistern is the same sort of magic that was lingering on the mural in town that the guy said his daughter had been kidnapped into.
    • There’s a fair amount of evidence that the skum were eating the prisoners and people who had been kidnapped off the streets of Thrushmoor. Sholn backed this up, and suspects the skum were trying to fatten him up, not being used to halflings.