Saltmarsh Journal

Journals for the Saltmarsh RPG Campaign

Archive for the ‘Mahan’ Category

Can I play with madness

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Mahan had killed the troll with the hammer.

We talk a load of guff and Nailen says we should get on with it.

Rufus is back to his old ways with first aid and inflicts further damage on Mahan.

Nailen spots a hidden door, behind which is a weapon rack, armour stands and a chest. The chest contains 4 healing potions, 10 magic crossbow bolts, a rope of climbing and a wand.

Despite the fine armour on offer there was no improvements for arms or legs, so we left it.

Feeling buffed, we continue…

Mahan raises a portcullis so that we can continue down this westerly corridor… It takes us to a north south corridor lined with cells. It’s a loop, and there’s a door on the west end of the south wall.

We prepare our bows and Rufus opens the door. A big room welcomes us. This looks like a torture chamber, filled with macabre implements…

There’s a skeleton, but it doesn’t react to Nailen’s sword. He then approaches the iron maiden. He cannot play with madness and ends up possessed. Eventually he recovers and discusses the hallucinations with the others.

They saw Nailen approaching the iron maiden and touching it, then losing all caution and opening it and rushing inside; the iron maiden closing behind him.  Following brief screams, the iron maiden then opened and his body fell out with ghostly chains were wrapping themselves around him.  Mahan and Rufus leapt to his aid (and Olsen).  First Rufus tried a spirit jar.  This appeared to remove some of the chains’ potency, while Mahan tried an obsidian arrow, that might be magical.  This had the double effect of weakening the chain further and weakening Nailen’s leg too. And finally Olsen remembered the Holy Water we’d been lugging around since Day 3 of this adventure and sprinkled that over Nailen.  The chains melted away and Nailen was free, with an arrow in his leg.

Nailen then flicks the lid off a basket at the end of the rack. Out scuttle two hands which attack. Nailen fumbles and then passes out from damage taken, some of which is dealt by Rufus with a crossbow bolt. Olsen and Mahan deal with the skeletal hands.

We return to town to recover.

The Tale of ‘Hunter’ Mahan – part the next

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

With Olsen magically exhausted and asleep and Rufus just holding his intestines in, the party decides a tactical retreat is in order for some of Kendras’ Chicken soup.

Again judicious use of Rufus’ magic quotient means everyone will be back to fighting fit after a good night’s rest and a day of recuperation.

Tonight is 4 days since the last daubing. So Nailen and Mahan stake out the memorial – nothing happens. So with dawn’s fingers piercing the morning sky they retire to Kendra’s to get their sleep.

In early afternoon once all are awake, the party tour the town. Nailen seeks to relearn Soulsight at the temple, but needs more Alpha Course attendance – he’ll try again tomorrow.

The party call in on Sheriff Caellan to appraise him of their neighbourhood watch activities.  Whilst still suspicious of out-of-towners, he warms to us after we confide on what we have found at the prison. Mahan explain how he had killed the restless spirit of the Piper with his pipe – the scars on his fingers testimony to the bleeding and how he’d dispatched the ghost of the axe-weilding murder with his own axe.  The Sherrif concede that they were truly heroic (and Mahan the most heroic) and maybe there was truth in our tales as it fit with the legends he had been told as a boy and when he chose to be a law-man in this town.

He told us the troll was a blacksmith who killed his wife in a rage when he found she was having an affair b smashing her skull in. Caught in immediate remorse he tried to revive her by reassembling her shattered skull.  But one piece was missing.  So he went on a subsequent killing spree in an attempt to find matching piece.  After 20 victims he was caught and interned in the prison.

He didn’t know much about the Splatterman, but seemed to take in that the spell book and memorial daubing were the same modus operandi.  The Wise Woman would be the best to see in terms of magical knowledge. We agree that keeping Old Gibs locked up for the moment would be for his own good in case he became possessed again.

As for Father Charlatan, he was the wiliest of the characters and not known for violence.  The Sheriff speculated that maybe his spirit was already among us and may have possessed someone already.  The Father’s main motivator was money, so anyone taking money from us could be a suspect, or in fact maybe one of us.  All a bit unsettling.

He had no knowledge of The Whispering Way. We confided it had been mentioned in Kendra’s father’s journal; and that we had come as escort to Halvenstrom the Not-Appearing-in-this-module following a letter to him from his brother raising concerns and seeking his help.  The Sheriff said he wasn’t aware and that odd things had only happened once we’d arrived. We left it at that.

Anyway we bid him farewell and returned home for another night’s rest.

Following morning, fully rested, Nailen return to prayer class for Soul Sight but not holy enough.  We make our way to the prison once more.

We return to the oubliette, and inspect the area.  The cells are open but nothing presents itself – the locks aren’t forced.

We must decend.  A torch is thrown in; it falls for 30’ then splash in a small puddle, splutters and extinguishes, but not before skeletal remains and a skull are revealed.  We inspect the rope before descending, pulling it up.  It’s only 10’ long and burnt at the end. And the rest of it has seen better days – we elect to use a fresh rope.

Olsen belays down and finds the skeletal remains of 2 bodies, but nothing reacts.  Mahan joins him.  Following a bit of rudimentary CSI- Harrowstone, they deduce one body has been decapitated as the head is separate from the skeleton, and has blade marks on.  The other skelton is complete but curled up at the edge with broken legs or pelvis. The other end of the rope is also here, damp and rotting, but traces of burnt end are in evidence. Also there is a ring of keys, a broken crossbow, a finely-made but tarnished long sword, a smooth white stone and some coin – around 150gp.  Leaving the cross bow, Olsen and Mahan return to the top with the money, keys, stone and longsword.  The stone may require further investigation – is this the warden’s badge of office??? [Thinks: we never actually asked his wife want it looked like…]

With nothing else to view, we return to the Hall and inspect the well – which is a well with water 15’ down, with a moulding bucket alongside.  Resisting the temptation to find the Sword +30% to hit that is obviously down there, we moved on to [insert corridor name] running west.

The corridor extends and then 2 closed doors either side appear at the limits of our torch.  As we progress further a portcullis is revealed. Mahan, hefting the trollish hammer, opens the door to reveal a room not unlike the one with the flaming headless skeleton in; two cot beds, a table, chairs and a winch on the west wall. They enter and try the winch. After a hefty shove it starts to the move and noise from the corridor tells us the portcullis is rising.  We lower it and turn our attention to the other door.

Opening the door reveals a similar room with one bed and table with chairs either side.  On the table are the arranged pieces of 3 shattered skulls. On the floor is the decayed corpse of a red-haired troll. As we enter, the skull pieces rise up and form into skulls, which turn and scream. And then attack quickly flying at the party.

The party search their souls and metal and find themselves wanting, and flee. 

But not I, Mahan Ghostslayer!!!  I stand firm and strike at the skulls, I connect and shatter the first skull before me, the others bouncing off my armoured body. At this point the ghost of the trollish corpse rises, armed with a hammer and attacks also. 

The battle rages, hammers and skulls wheeling.  The skulls appear unable to strike me, but the ghostly hammer does, giving me an almighty headache – almost as though my skull was broken.  Through the fog I wielded the hammer and just before I felt I could go on no longer the ghost was defeated, and the skulls shortly thereafter, once the fog of headache cleared.

Once I caught my breath I realised my companions had not returned and set off to look for them…

Another one bites the dust

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Nursing our wounds and bleeding eardrums, and carrying the unconscious Nailen, we return to Kendra’s, who puts Nailen to bed and tucks him up.  But not before Rufus judiciously shares out his power of healing such that a good nights rest and a day off will do the rest for all of us..

The next day we ponder the 5 artefacts. Nailen attempts to divine them again; this time the flute has no power, the holy symbols give the weakest sensation, the axe and hammer next strongest and the spell book is the strongest.  We go to discuss the holy symbols with the holy man of Helim with a view as to how to destroy their power.  We suggest melting them down and turning them into an artefact of Helim to use against the evil spirits, but he is uncomfortable with the idea of blending consecrated metals of many sources into one artefact. He would be happy to take the Helim token, but the tangle of necklaces prove more difficult to separate and resistant to physical force than first looks.

So concluding that like the flute, the artefacts must be used against the owner to destroy both, we prepare to return to the prison the following day.  Reviewing the map and notes of the 5, (and we deduce now 4) bad dudes, we deduce there is nothing/little of interest on the upper floor and it’s to the Oubliette we must go; Mahan takes an interest in the Axe; time meet its maker.

Day 20 in this Helim-forsaken backwater (note: tonight it will be 4 days since the last letter writing)

We descend into the lower reaches of the prison, and return the hall where we battled the skeleton horde. Silence, punctuated by the sound of dripping water and the flicker of our torches, echoes off the blackened walls which seem to suck the light away.  We steal towards the opening marked ‘Oubliette’ and peer round the corner.  A black sooty passageway extends north beyond the reach of our light source.

We venture in, (Mahan and Olsen taking point, Mahan hefting the bloodied axe). On our left a door appears, and as we approach, the door suddenly opens and a flaming headless skeleton wielding an axe charges out.  <At this point Toby showed me the module picture and Nailen did a little poop in his trousers on my behalf – but stood firm>

It attacked, Olsen and Mahan attacked back, Olsen beautifully foxed it in its demented rage on attack and Mahan and Olsen took advantage. The axe bit deep and good into the skeletal form, shattering its rib cage. Mahan smiled – this was a powerful weapon. Olsen was able to take it’s next attack on his armour and dealt a telling blow. Maybe the loss of its ribcage had weakened it but the skeleton was failing to hit now and Mahan cleft it asunder with a mighty blow. Damn fine axe – almost as though it hits them twice!! The shattered bones fell to the floor, flames extinguished.

Buoyed by their victory the party explore the room; a small room with two cot beds on the far wall and a table and chairs.  On one wall a winch and a chain extends to the ceiling. They decide to leave alone and carry on up the corridor.

10 ft further on we see a raised portcullis in the corridor roof. The winch we deduce.

We carry on and reach a large 30’x30’ room with 3 cells on each wall. In the centre an 10’ square hole leads down (the oubliette?) On the far side a hinged iron grid lies – the hole is open.  A rope is tied to the grid and trails down into the darkness.  The party notice that the soot is only on the upper part of the walls; smoke damage rather than direct scorching. 

As they step into the room to inspect the cells a blood curdling screech announces a ghostly apparition appearing from the hole wielding another axe – this time it has a head and isn’t hanging about and attacks!!

With the Executioner’s Arms fresh in his mind Rufus quickly deploys a Helim SunStick and the chamber is filled with the brightness of a summer day. As the light fades, we can see the ghost pressed against the far wall. It shakes itself and press back for attack, skimming across the room.  As the party deploys for defence/attack, Nailen deploys a spirit jar – a flash as the jar opens and a blue mist is drawn from the ghost. It withers slightly, but only, shakes itself…. And attacks.

The battle was a whirl of Axe and Sword and Dagger and Sword. The ghostly axe seemed unimpeded by our armour and would cut neatly through our skin. But the bleeding would turn to smoke and float to join the ghostly maniac and strengthen him. Only those with magical repair were able to withstand the damage, but they were weakening with each hit. Rufus took near fatal blow to his stomach, but was able ot heal himself quickly. But Mahan’s mighty axe appeared to be getting the better of it’s former owner, and while Mahan’s was feeding the ghost, he was taking back in spades.

Olsen succumbed to magical draining; Rufus was holding his intestines in. And then with a final swinging Mahan caught the ghostly form and pow!!!! The apparition dispersed with a crackle and a flash; a whiff of sulphur and ozone hung in the air. The axe in Mahan’s hand felt heavy and clumsy, the bloodstains faded, the steely gleam faded… Bad Guy No2 was down!!!!

It was Old Man Gibs all along

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

After a fruitless night watching the statue Mahan returns at dawn and has a kip while the others decide administrative tasks are the order of the day.

Nailen goes to Prayer School

Rufus goes flower picking with the wise woman.

Olsen rummages through Kendra’s washing…

Mahan awakes in time for elevenses, finds Olsen emerging from the scullery with a innocent looking face. After an awkward silence they agree that some combat practice is the manly order of the day and they spend the afternoon sparring in the yard.  Olsen’s time with domestic chores had obviously dulled his sharpness as Mahan got more out of the session.

That evening, which they had deduced was 4 nights the last daubing, Mahan and Olsen (they being the stealthiest of the party) staked out the memorial.

As the Half Moon was dipping towards the horizon (about 1 ish) they hear a shuffling through the bushes and a figure emerges and begins to daub on the memorial.  Mahan and Olsen make an attempt to sneak up on the artist.  The hunter was making a successful prowl when the athlete stood on a twig!! The figure turned, cried “The woman will perish again” and fled.  The chase was on!

What Olsen lacked in light feet he made up for in athletic ability as soon caught the quarry, while Mahan seemed out of sorts with the bushes. Bringing the cloaked figure to the ground in a flying tackle, they wrestled on the ground; the mystery man(?) was wielding a blade and had a wineskin of sticky fluid. Mahan came across the scene and after picking his moment, knocked out the figure. Blood was everywhere.  Olsen had suffered a cut to his arm that thanks to magic was already healing.  Who was it? Pulling back the hood revealed one of the older members of the group that had goaded the younger ones on to confront  us at the funeral.

After a brief discussion on methods of tying up a prisoner, Mahan and Olsen took there prisoner back to Kendra’s.

After awakening the household, Kendra informed us it was (old Man) Gibs. Halvenstrom went to call Sheriff Caellan and while he was gone we attempted to question Gibs.  He was disorientated and seemed shocked he wasn’t at home in bed. Olsen detected he was talking in a different tone of voice now.

Sheriff Caellan arrived and while not best pleased at being woken in the night, knew that when things were afoot, he was the man to investigate.  We relayed our tale, Gibs denied everything, Olsen pointed out that he may have been under the influence of some other force which the Sheriff seemed to accept (well didn’t reject the idea at least).  We went to Gib’s shack to investigate – other than the body of headless rat (neatly cut – it would match the razor Gibs had been brandishing) there was nothing else of obvious concern.  Searching the area outside didn’t reveal any other tracks or clues – or mysterious globes/hypnosis vectors.

In the end the Sheriff thanks us for our efforts, agrees to lock Gibs up for his own safety and grudgingly accepts that maybe we’re not his № 1 Suspects anymore.  Not to say we’ve dropped out of the Top 3.

The rest of the evening passes without further event.

Morning breaks and armed with Nailen’s re-learnt Soul Sight prayer/spell, Olsen, Mahan and Nailen head off to the prison to try it out in the ‘Nice Room’ – Rufus was a dirty stop out with the Wise Woman and their daisy chains (will lacking the first aider prove a problem later on?? I’m sure he’ll appear when we need him – like a shopkeeper I once knew).

Once in the room – Nailen’s prayer school practice pays off by successful repeating the words first time.  The room isn’t strongly ‘soulful’ but whereas the rest of prison appears grey and sad, this appears pink and warm.

Nothing presents itself, so they move on to the branding room, Opening the door, tongs rise, glow with a spirit ‘echo’ but nothing strong in here and move towards them.  Nothing else strong so they close the door, and move on to the room with Vesorianna. She appears (looks as strong and clear in the Spirit plane as in the ghostly plane.

We talk with her; update her on the daubing of her name by the Splatterman in the memorial, She says she can feel the ‘attacks’ as each letter is daubed and thanks us for stopping last night’s.  She tells us that the possessions of the 5 that we found could well prove to be potent weapons against them, but take care. And reiterates finding her husband’s badge of office is a key plot point – I mean, will help us in defeating the bad spirits.

For want of anything else to fill the morning before lunch (A-pie-‘n’-a-pint special today), we decide to venture into the basement and make for the lift shaft.  We secure ropes and Olsen repels down – an earlier dropped torch shows the floor to be covered in water.

On reaching the floor/water – which was only shin deep – he appears to trigger some guardians.  Two shapes rise from the water and terrible noise of wailing drowns out all communication. Olsen and the watery forms engage in battle – magical sword vs watery ectoplasm. Mahan, seeing Olsen react on reaching the floor, descends to assist and on reaching the floor joins battle. Take that, and  that – oof that hurt.  Have It!  The water spirits are overcome and descend back into the puddle as Nailen arrives ready to deploy a spirit bottle. The noise stops.

Collecting themselves the party moves towards the only available exit – and dry land – to the west.  After a short cave-like corridor they reach a square-ish room into which the staircase from above descends – blocked by fallen masonry.  Four exits to the room (of which they are in one) Above each is a plaque – The Oubliette, Reaper’s Hole, The Nevermore and Hell’s Basement.

As they take this all in the flickering torch light, the skeletal bodies of (presumably prisoners), lying on the floor, start to rise…

The Tales of Hunter Mahan

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

After finding myself in the White Anchor in Saltmarsh for the third Monday in a row drinking two-for-one pints of fermented urine, I‘d had enough and the talk of a haunted manor house down on the coast seemed a good idea. So I tagged along with some wideboy from the back streets, an itinerant herbalist (who’d been bothering everyone about some plant he was looking for) and “Sir Green Gills” as we set out for the coast. We were stopped at the gate and then “Sir Green Gills” had to go and seeGuildmaster Regan before we could continue.

The journey passed easily enough and we reached Burleigh just as the weather started to break. Conversation at the inn wasn’t particularly helpful; they just set us to see some local nutcase down by the river. But the beer was good so we’ll go back there.

The manor house was up on the cliffs over looking Burleigh. The garden was overgrown, but we made it to the front door ok. No signs of life. We explored the ground floor. The rooms were mostly empty; decaying and dusty. One room had a whirlwind that threw crockery at us. We then heard a scream from upstairs but stuck to exploring the ground floor – it was all a bit nerve jangling and put us on edge. Herbman identified some poisonous mushrooms in one room so we gave them a wide berth. The kitchen had some purple centipedes that gave “Sir Green Gills” a bite on the leg and made him throw up for the rest of the day. I finished one off with an arrow and Wideboy skewered the other. We found a box above a fireplace that had a gold ring, and in the scullery off the kitchen there were some stairs down to the cellars, but we didn’t fancy going down there just yet.

Upstairs Wideboy suddenly decided he didn’t like cobwebs – the place is full of them so why this room gave him the spooks I don’t know. Anyway he got Herbman to light his torch so he could burn them down. Bad plan – he set fire to the room!! Quick as a flash he grabbed the crystal sitting in the fireplace, retreated and we shut the door. In another bedroom we found some bloke from the village tied up. We freed him and persuaded him to stay with us while we searched the rest of the house. Back on the landing I fell through some rotten floorboards and twisted my ankles; damn I hope there’s no running involved later. That meant we couldn’t explore the rest of the landing, so had to risk the back stairs from the kitchen. The rotten stairs held our weight and we found village boy’s clothes in one room and Wideboy thought he’d found some natty new shoes and cloak in a wardrobe, but the cloak fell apart and gave him a lungful of stardust, ‘cos in the next room he started seeing things. Anyway it was getting dark so we retreated back to the hall, to see if the ghosts would come out at night…

The adventurers' map of the abandoned (and haunted?) manor house at Burleigh

The adventurers’ map of the abandoned (and haunted?) manor house at Burleigh

Session 2: 26 May 09

The night passed uneventfully, but at least the rain put the fire out in the upstairs room.
At daybreak we ventured down into the cellars. Wideboy still wasn’t happy about things and started seeing ghosts again, but herbman calmed him down by pointing out it was a just an ordinary room. There was a body on the floor and when Sir Green Gills went to look at it, some worms attacked his hand and crawled inside. In the end he had to hack his hand off to stop the worms reaching the rest of his body – gross man –but respect!

We found a secret door in the back of the fireplace, which led to what looked like a dining room. Anyway it certainly didn’t look like ghosts, more like 6 or 7 men. We found what looked like the leader’s bedroom and Herbman wrote down some code. There was a door marked “Danger” so we went back to look at the other door out of the mess hall. We could hear a scratching sound and as SGG was opening the door and we were about to skewer the dude inside, I got stabbed in the back by the cheating lowlife scumbag from the village – guess he was part of this gang of smugglers. But stabbing someone in the back – that’s not in the rules of the game. Ambush and arrows are different. Anyway SGG sorted the guy in the bedroom out while the rest of us turned on our little turncoat. On top of my sore ankles, the scumbag had poisoned the dagger so I was struggling to get a good shot off, but the other two soon sorted him out – Herbman was looking pretty handy for a medicine man.

SGG captured the guy in the room and tied his hands up. Interrogation didn’t produce much and succeeded in knocking him out. We searched the bedroom and deduced there were 5 others and found the outline of a secret door. More searching found the torch holder was the way to open it. Down the stairs behind and we found some caves and passages leading to the sea. We found the smugglers sorting their booty, but while we were sorting ourselves out for a coordinate attack they must of heard us, and attacked up the passage. The leader guy cast some spell that casued some distracting pretty lights. We finished the rest off and chased after him. We found a cave that opened out to the sea and the marks where a boat had moored, but no sign of the chief bad guy. We continued to search the caves…

The adventurers' map of the cellars of Burleigh Manor, which prove to be more than they seem

The adventurers’ map of the cellars of Burleigh Manor, which prove to be more than they seem