Session One (11 October, 2014)
The party prepared to set out for Skelt, Fin‘s hometown and now under Molthuni occupation. They would ride out to the city and begin to gather intel to prepare for Commander Mera Corby’s arrival on 3 Abadius, 4714. They hoped to find some method to unseat the General Lord Agard Habbraxis, now also Governor of the city, from the mountain city.
It was still a mystery how Skelt fell, crouched as it was on a bluff nearly half a mile high, and guarded by drawbridges and water-powered lifts controlled from the city gates at the peak. It is, historically, unassailable, and only fell during Nirmathas’ rebellion because it was overthrown from within, by its own citizens.
The party was determined to root out this mystery and save the people of Skelt, and set out with their longtime ally, Katsutoshi Hayashi. As they left, Cmdr. Corby warned them of the Canorate Covenant, an elite band of warriors who followed General Habbraxis everywhere and enacted his terrible will.
They arrived at the outskirts of the city a little under a week later. Katsutoshi and Orin traveled to the eastern edge of the city and waited while Astrid, Fin and Hudson disguised themselves as travelers and attempted to gain entry. Molthuni guarded the ramps leading up the bluff and turned them away, telling them the city was closed to unauthorized entry and random travelers.
The party reunited and scouted using Fin’s familiar. The bird saw slave camps and worse – undead roaming the streets at night. The party then elected to fly to the top of the bluff, Fin using his wind powers, the rest using Orin’s magic. At the top, they came to the High Mountain Chapel, where Fin’s foster father, Thaldi Hulfison, lived and led worship of Shelyn. He was overjoyed to see them, and told them that the undead appeared to be working with the Molthuni, and that most of them came from the graveyard at night.
The party decided to investigate. At the graveyard, they found a terrible sight: a mass dumping ground for bodies. Guarding the bodies were almost a hundred zombies and other undead horrors. Curious of all was a skeletal rider, who taunted the party during the battle and was found to have been murdered by someone wielding firearms – bullet holes perforated his now-useless armor.
Whatever he was in life, he was a beast in death as well, charging at the party from his steed. Complicating matters was the dread wraith who appeared during the fight, naming the courser Vomek, and pursuing Fin into the air. After taking a few bullets from Hudson, the wraith fled into the earth.
Puzzling over these matters, the party brought Thaldi to the mass graves to consecrate them, hopefully preventing the creation of further undead.
The next day, they went into the town itself to make contact with the resistance. In the mines, they found the previous mayor, now enslaved – Mayor Costie. Liberating her through subterfuge, they learned that the resistance operated with the arcanist, Mahtore, who ran a shop in town. They came to the shop and, after Fin convinced Mahtore of his true nature, learned more of the dark knowledge Sirlef Marblecut had been pursuing.
Sirlef had theorized that the Molthuni had made contact with a mysterious entity or group of entities known as the Dominion of the Black. Adding to this, Mahtore found hidden knowledge of two powerful spellcasters from the time before Earthfall, one professing mastery of the planes, the other over space and time itself. Mahtore believed they were connected, but needed research from his companion in Crystalhurst to find out the rest.
With these dark tidings, Mahtore then showed the party to the resistance: through a trap door in the back of his shop.
Session Two (26 October, 2014)
The party introduced themselves to Skelt‘s resistance and were greeted by their leader, Ennet Dane, a halfling woman who claimed to have seen Fin descend from the sky to warn off Mera Corby’s army during the invasion of Skelt, and thus responsible for forming the resistance.
She was less than impressed with Fin’s return, however, seeing that he came without an army and instead a group of troublemakers who, in her view, were doing little more than stirring up General Habbraxis against the population. Nevertheless, she gave them what intelligence she knew:
Fort Nirmath, the headquarters for the Skelt army, was not occupied by Molthune and its supplies of arms and armor was thus beyond the resistance’s reach. The mills and mines, now forced labor camps, fared little better, and their resources were being turned to the Molthuni war machine under the broken and bloodied brows of the Skelt slaves who toiled there. The best of the Skelt soldiers and leadership, and many resistance leaders, were also being held by General Habbraxis in his secret prison, whose location was unknown to the resistance. An attack could be planned with Corby’s army when she arrived, but without turning at least a few tides the resistance’s way, Ennet warned, the battle was doomed to fail.
Complicating all of this was the strange wraith who had appeared to the party during the fight in the graveyard. It continued to thwart the rebels and would no doubt plague Fin and his friends if they could not find a way to stop it.
The group determined that they needed intelligence first and decided to confront Bifar, the lowly dwarf and the ex-Mayor’s Chancellor, who now oversaw affairs of government at the Town Hall. They set out, now aided by Baloth, an oread and ally of Ennet Dane’s.
A plan was enacted whereby the party snuck into the back of the Town Hall and tricked Bifar into using the restroom. They grabbed the dwarf as soon as he tried to relieve himself and put him under interrogation. Through intimidation and coercion, they learned that Habbraxis was sending orders directly to the dwarf from his headquarters, buried somewhere within the mountain on which Skelt sat. Bifar also revealed one more member of the Canorate Covenent – an elven archer, always seen by Habbraxis’ side. Habbraxis had also sent an elf female to advise Bifar, named Indilas. Bifar also admitted that Molthune were the source of the undead plague on the town.
The group released Bifar with instructions to trick Indilas into coming for her own interrogation – but neither Indilas nor Bifar returned. When they went to investigate, Indilas was waiting for them. Appearing to known Orin, Fin, and Kel, she scoffed at their attempts to free the city and attempted to question the party herself. Rebuffed, she attempted to leave when Orin – acting on an earlier hunch – attempted to impale her with the Trident of the Last Gillman. Yet she caught the weapon, and when Orin teleported to continue the attack, revealed herself to be Nochen – his soul in a new body.
It was at this moment that Indilas (Nochen) appeared to notice Astrid. (S)he became greatly disturbed at this, insisting that Astrid was not who she claimed to be and did not belong here. Before Astrid could respond, or Nochen could escalate to violence, the elf was destroyed in an explosion of flame. The source of the fire was Panera, newly arrived with Zandak, Shalako, and Gorin, determined not to let her purported creator spread his terror through the land without her intervention.
In the aftermath, the party reunited in the resistance headquarters with Katsutoshi and Mayor Costie.. They decided to head to the mills to liberate the workers there and, with luck, fool the Molthuni into believing it still operated under Molthuni control. Panera and the other allies were left to help the resistance in whatever capacity Ennet Dane saw fit.
At the mills, the party was quickly embroiled in a battle against a terrifying iron golem and a squadron of Molthuni soldiers. While they attempted to destroy the golem, a soldier escaped – returning moments later with a horde of zombies at his back!
Session Three (2 November, 2014)
Kel trapped the zombie hordes in deep pits with his spells, allowing the rest of the group time to put down the iron golem. Baloth struck the final blow with his lance, charging at the beast at full pelt. The zombies were quickly put down.
After the fight, the group set up guards in Molthuni uniforms and freed the workers, asking them to continue to work but to provide weapons and armor to the resistance and to work regular shifts, not the forced labor of before. One of the workers had another revelation on seeing Hudson’s firearms: another gunslinger had been seen in town during the invasion, killing of the mounted warriors before being captured. The mounted warrior, no doubt, was Vomek, meaning the gunslinger Hudson had been seeking may be in the city after all!
With the mills freed, the party returned to the mines to deal with the horrid corpse golem and free the slaves. During the fight, the corpse golem killed half a dozen slaves before being put down by another charge of Baloth. They then used piles of Hudson’s gunpowder to ignite a blast that closed the mine’s entrance, making the mine useless to the Molthuni.
Still waiting for Mera Corby to arrive, the party rested for the next day in order to hunt the dread wraith later that night. Finding it waiting for them at the graveyard, Fin was able to wound it with a light spell. They tracked the wraith’s blood to the fallen monument of Irgal Nirmath. The wraith was waiting for them again, this time with more undead horrors, including mohrgs, shadows, and regular wraiths. After a tense battle, during which Fin pelted the dread wraith with light spells, Orin was able to finally put down the wraith with a mythic lightning bolt. The incorporeal horror fled through a trap door below the monument.
Following him, the party found the wraith collapsed in a heap, at last destroyed. Yet the tunnels continued on, leading them to what they soon realized was General Habbraxis’ long-sought-after base of operations…
Session Four (15 November, 2014)
The party snuck into the General Lord’s lair and freed some of his prisoners, including Skelt’s military commander. The commander informed them that Habbraxis had established the prison as a slave pit in order to excavate some artifact from the depths of the Skelt mountain.
The party rested, informed the resistance of their plan, then sprung their attack on the general. The general, it seemed, was waiting for them, but before he could deliver any kind of monologue, Hudson opened fire.
The fight was short but brutal. The party killed every member of the Canorate Covenant that was there, including Habbraxis himself, his lover Goleguil, and the vile wizard Hardo. In the aftermath, they found yet another prisoner: a female gunslinger named Amber Wallace, the one Hudson had been pursuing.
She told Hudson that her kind were being hunted and killed all across Golarion by a mysterious organization called the Technic League. With nowhere else to go, she decided to accompany the party.
They had one last task to liberate the city: open the gates.
Session Five (15 November, 2014)
The battle at the gates saw the party defeat another two members of the Covenant: the witch Chamba and the antipaladin Malia. The final member, a derhii named Dwoomba, managed to escape. The gates fell, the armies of Skelt stormed the city, and the Molthune and undead were utterly destroyed.
Yet the victory was not without tragedy: Fin Godtouched, Savior in the Sky and the Savior of Skelt, fell in battle to Malia’s creations during the battle of the gates. The ruined statue to Nirmath was torn down, and a monument to Fin erected in its place.
With Skelt free, the Nirmathas war machine was once again ready to strike at Molthune’s own armies.
The party returned to Kraggodan to regroup and prepare for their next task.