TALES OF ENGLAND, SESSION #1

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Mordecai, Gnomish Alchemist, opened his alchemical shop in London of a foggy morning. After opening shop and helping some early morning regulars Mordecai worked on some alchemical research as he waited for customers. Suddenly the peace of the shop was disturbed by a small group of gnomes lead by the local gnomish blowhard, Hershal. Hershal made a brief pretense of looking at the shop’s wares but quickly dropped this obvious pretense at began loudly demanding that Mordecai “do something” about the Statute of Gnomery, in his more rational and practical moments of bellowing making reference to Moredecai’s unusual access to the Royal Court given his friendship with Prince Andrew, heir apparent to the throne. Mordecai tried to placate the loud and obnoxious gnome while the provocative statements Hershal made drew the attention of some human citizens. After Mordecai pointed out that Hershal might well get a chance for action should her provocative ranting continue Hershal ceased his rant and departed. One of the Gnomes who had accompanied Hershal, a young and aspiring alchemist named Schlomo, remained behind to buy some alchemical supplies and try to win the favor of Mordecai as Schlomo admired Mordecai thinking him a wise and powerful alchemist. The town guard appeared and began to drag away Schlomo under charges of disturbing the peace but luckily the Halfling Lord Richard Earl of Dorset, and Silas Wayfarer Inquisitor of his Holiness the Pope were coing to visit their friend Mordecai and came upon the scene. Inquisitor Silas convinced the guards of the error of their ways and persuaded a guard that he should be more introspective concerning his own faults and whether or not he was possessed of the devil. Schlomo the aspiring young gnome alchemist was released and spared the gallows.
Prince Andrew was and his counselors, Mordecai, Silas, and Richard were summoned to the King’s court urgently. Prince Andrew was nowhere to be found and so his counselors came in his stead. The Scottish Lords, Robert de Brus, Lord Balliol, and Lord Comyn brought news to King Edward I’s court with news that King Alexander III of Scotland and died suddenly. The Lords were prepared to discuss their claims of succession but King Edward I revealed that the Duke of Orkney was at court to press the right of succession of Princess Margaret of Norway on her behalf.

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After discussion it was revealed that Princess Margaret was betrothed to Prince Andrew. The Dwarvish Lords expressed their disapproval pointing out that the King of Scotland should be Scottish (aka Dwarvish). After dispute as to who was to wed and where Princess Margaret was to travel to (Scotland or England) it was eventually agreed that the Papacy provide a ship to defuse some of the tension between the claimants each side wanting to transport the Princess on their respective factions’ ship. It was pointed out by the Duke of Orkney and others that many of these details will truly be decided upon by the King of Norway, Princess Margaret’s father.

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Prince Andrew did show up in the middle of the meeting but not before King Edward I spoke in anger to the effect that perhaps his younger son, Edward II, would make a better husband for Princess Margaret. Prince Edward (age 5 years) was summoned to court and during his presence there he was noted to clutch a toy ship in obvious fear of his father. The Queen Eleanor was able to soften the tension somewhat as did Prince Andrew with his eccentric entrance to court carrying a recently slain dear as a trophy. This tension did need diminish as such outrageous proposals as having Prince Edward and Lord Comyn’s son go to one another respective courts to the great concern of Edward’s court and the shock of the Duke of Orkney. Later on Lord Balliol position seemed to soften after a discussion with King Edward but Lord de Brus and Lord Comyn maintained stauch opinion.
Later Prince Andrew had a terrible nightmare and with the aid of magic it was revealed that he was being targeting with enchantments. Inquisitor Silas was able to secure a spy in the harbor and it was revealed that each faction was preparing to launch a ship in addition to the Papal ship.

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NEW PATHFINDER STUFF

The Pathfinder Society aims to win in the upcoming Ruby Phoenix Tournament (some agents might add “by any means necessary” here), and to that end, as a Pathfinder Society agent, you’re sent to far-off Tian Xia. In “The Edge of Heaven”, agents ascend into the heights of the mountain range known as the Wall of Heaven, seeking an abandoned monastery of Irori. Long abandoned, the monastery holds an ancient artifact that the leaders of the Pathfinder Society feel is key to gaining the upper hand during the tournament. Recovering the artifact puts the PCs on an unexpected course, and is the beginning of The Quest for Perfection three-part campaign arc!

For some, the path to life eternal lies down the dark road of undeath, but in the land of Thuvia, the alchemical wonder known as the sun orchid elixir changes that. Only six vials of this precious substance are made every year, commanding astronomical sums from prospective buyers, each drop extending the lifespan of its imbiber. In “The Immortal Conundrum”, the guardian of the elixir is holding a dinner party at the Thuvian embassy in Absalom, and the Pathfinder Society has received an invitation—and you’ve been chosen to represent the Society! The phony smiles and fake hellos, in this case, hold a valuable purpose—gaining access to the vault known as the Conundrum. The dangers and treasures that might lie within are of great interest to the masked leaders of the Society, but the landscape of Absalom’s social elite is just as dangerous as any battlefield, and ridicule (or worse) await those that don ‘t tread lightly.

Check out all of the third season’s Pathfinder Society Scenarios here!

WAKE OF THE WATCHER

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Migo

Them folks in Illmarsh just ain’t right, and the trail of Whispering Way cultists the PCs are following leads right to this fetid Ustalavic swamp. Desperate townsfolk are caught between creatures from the deeps of Lake Encarthan and others from the starry realms of the Dark Tapestry. Ancient secrets, histories of sacrifice, and mind-warping creatures from beyond the stars are uncovered in this Carrion Crown Adventure Path volume written by longtime author Greg A. Vaughan. This is a place in sore need of heroes to banish the dark things lurking at the edge of sanity and madness, but they risk being consumed by the darkness themselves. Will your party shoulder the risks, knowing that there’s a chance that they might become the very things they fight against?

Battles against Lovecraftian creatures aren’t the only thing contained in this volume. Details on the cults of the Old Ones, including such familiar faces as Azathoth, Hastur, Shub-Niggurath, and Yog-Sothoh are revealed, and new Old Ones such Mhar get their own Golarion spin. Roles of various character classes are covered in this article as well, and we’ve included two new subdomains—Dark Tapestry and Stars!

Some of you have been begging for more Mythos creatures, and we have answered the call! In this volume is a double-sized bestiary, full of mind-bending horrors such as the dark young of Shub-Niggurath, dimensional shamblers, gnoph-keh, mi-go, and star-spawn of Cthulhu! (A few of them even star in “Wake of the Watcher“!)

Laurel Cyphra’s tales continue in this month’s Pathfinder Journal, and she finds out the dead are not the only thing to fear in Ustalav. Be sure to check her story out, and make sure your Sanity is topped off with this month’s Pathfinder Adventure Path, available right here!

PATHFINDER: BROKEN MOON

1722 German woodcut of a werewolf transforming.
Image via Wikipedia

Time to arm yourself with some wolfsbane and silver—the werewolves are upon us!

In Pathfinder Adventure Path #45, “Broken Moon“, the trail of the Whispering Way cultists leads to the northwestern county of Lozeri within Ustalav, and deep into the Shudderwood, a dark realm of ancient trees, craggy hills, and steep chasms. In this forest where all men cast the shadows of beasts, the PCs are caught up in the wake of terror the cultists cast over these lands, shattering a tenuous peace among its denizens.

Monsters with the hearts of men aren’t the only thing in this volume of Pathfinder—articles on both the Whispering Way and the lycanthropes of Golarion appear in this volume as well!

The path of lichdom espoused by the Whispering Way is best exemplified by its most notorious adherent, the Whispering Tyrant himself, Tar-Barphon, but the agent of the grave prestige class included can give your villains a taste of eternity. For more mortal creatures, GMs can sink their fangs into the histories of not just werewolves, but other, less common lycanthropes, such as werebats.

F. Wesley Schneider continues another chapter of Laurel Cyphra’s life in the latest Pathfinder Journal. Her tale brings her face-to-face with an ancient mystery, and as with so many things in Ustalav, one perhaps best left buried.

Finally, as with all of the Adventure Path volumes, it has more creatures! The brutal lycanthrope spirits known as vilkacis, Urgathoa-created aberrations, werebats, and a selection of zombies are all ready for use in your Pathfinder game!

The Carrion Crown Adventure Path just hit its halfway mark, and for its next part, we’ll see how terrors from beyond time and space have worked their way into the fabric of Ustalav!

See the rest of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path here!

CARRION CROWN BEGINS

The first volume of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path is here!

It was only a matter of time before they set a Pathfinder Adventure Path in Ustalav. Managing Editor Wes Schneider staked his claim on Golarion’s gothic milieu at the very outset of the Golarion campaign setting, and given that the second-ever Pathfinder adventure, “The Skinsaw Murders,” played with the horror theme to high praise from GMs and players everywhere, I’m surprised it took three and a half years for Wes to assert his managerial control to usher in an entire horror-themed Ustalavic Adventure Path.

But the wait is over! The new Carrion Crown Adventure Path is a tour-de-force romp through the various counties of Ustalav, taking in a bunch of classic horror monsters along the way. You begin by getting ghostly in Pathfinder Advent ure Path #43: Haunting of Harrowstone!

When Harrowstone Prison burned to the ground, prisoners, guards, and a host of vicious madmen met a terrifying end. In the years since, the nearby town of Ravengro has shunned the fire-scarred ruins, telling tales of unquiet spirits that wander abandoned cellblocks. But when a mysterious evil disturbs Harrowstone’s tenuous spiritual balance, a ghostly prison riot commences that threatens to consume the nearby village in madness and flames. Can the adventurers discover the secrets of Harrowstone and quell a rebellion of the dead? Or will they be the spirit-prison’s next inmates?

FREE Carrion Crown Player’s Guide PDF!


THE CARRION CROWN

The Carrion Crown draws its inspiration from the pages of gothic horror literature and film. From the tradition of Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster, werewolves and zombies, undead wizards and cosmic horror, Paizo devised a campaign fraught with lurking dread and nefarious villains, crafted to test bravery, wits, and skill.

Amid the mists of this land of dark superstition and dread secrets stand both those who would defy the return of evil and those who would seek its terrible favor.  The most frightening Pathfinder Adventure Path yet sets your characters against the agents of Golarion’s most notorious villain, the Whispering Tyrant, in a terrifying trek across a land of lurking horror and ancient mysteries.

Take an inside look at Carrion Crown right now with the FREE Carrion Crown Player’s Guide PDF, which gives your PCs interesting backgrounds and unique character options to prepare them for the campaign!

Whether you’re eager to see how your PCs fare against foes like Doctor Frankenstein, the Headless Horseman, Carmilla, or mad beings from beyond the stars, or you’re preparing a campaign of horror to unsettle players and characters alike, the Carrion Crown Adventure Path has enough chills to keep you on the edge of your seat for months.