Dorset Style - 06. Kingmaker

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GM Notes - Glenbon Uplands Erastus 4714

​The swordlords sent a relatively experienced band of adventurers known as the Iron Wraiths into the Glenebon Uplands, charging them with purging the hills of the Tiger Lord barbarians and, eventually, to make diplomatic contact with Pitax to work out border issues.​

​The group sent here in the orignal charter were the Iron Wraith which have not been heard from, they never established a kingdom.​

Pitaxians roam this area and claim the area to the south.

19th Erastus 4714

Spymaster stumbles in to the camp dying from grevious injuries

Irovetti’s agents are developing a “super weapon” in a remote ruin in the Branthlend Mountain foothills

Is this true and Irovetti’s men have developed a mass cloudkill device, an army would have little chance against its devastating effects. The heroes need to Whiterose to determine whether such a device exists, and if it does, to capture or destroy it.​

Sunday 20th Erastus 4714

This long-necked dragon has steamy breath, a lashing tail, and a back covered in hundreds of quills.

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These creatures have Poison Quills, and can send a Quill Barrage.

A peluda’s back and tail are covered in sharp black quills. A creature that strikes a peluda with a melee weapon, an unarmed attack, or a natural weapon takes piercing damage from the peluda’s quills and risks being poisoned. Weapons with reach do not endanger an attacker in this way. Any creature that grapples a peluda takes piercing damage and risks being poisoned on its turn each round.

A peluda is vulnerable to attacks against its tail. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever the peluda’s tail (including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage) affects its body. To sever the tail, an opponent must target the tail and attempt a sunder combat maneuver with a slashing weapon. The opponent must deal enough damage on a single blow to reduce the tail’s hit points to 0 or fewer. If the tail is severed, the peluda can no longer attack with it and takes bleed damage each round.

Peludas loathe all weak, fragile creatures smaller than themselves, especially humanoids. Some hunt in nearby farmlands before returning to their own lairs. Some are worshipped as gods by lizardfolk or other swamp creatures, though a peluda’s short temper means it may eat its devotees if affronted.

21st Erastus 4714

Whiterose Hill & Whiterose Abbey

Whiterose Abbey Lore

Whiterose Abbey is located atop a foothill on the southern slopes of the Branthlend Mountains in the shadow of the great Mount Branthlend itself, about 80 miles north of Fort Drelev it is the area known as the Glenebon Uplands.​

Whiterose Abbey is abandoned, and has been for decades. It was built by the church of

Cayden Cailean, and for many years the priests who dwelt there were renowned for their rich and potent wine. It’s located about a dozen miles southeast of Mount Branthlend.
The monks of Whiterose Abbey were master brewers and vintners, blessed by Cayden Cailean for their vow of silence, and any liquid brewed in their blessed vats gained unusual potency and marvelous flavor.

Abbot Ildeben was murdered and the brethren poisoned by the abbey’s gardener, who went mad with jealousy after being repeatedly passed over for advancement.
A beautiful water spirit named Evindra dwelt in a subterranean pool somewhere below the abbey, and it was through her grace and advice that the priests were able to brew such potent alcohol.

The murderous gardener practiced dark magics in the vineyards and sometimes was overheard raving about the “voices of the stars.” He was a lunatic whom the church assigned to the remote abbey in an attempt to hide him away from the public.​

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The party upon finding whiterose hill entered the walled area and witnessed the unatural growth, the wild nature, the odd humidy and ripples in the plant life by no apparent breeze.

Knowledge (nature) confirms that the wilds seem unnaturally verdant here and suggests that a magical inf luence is behind the hearty growth.​

Knowledge (planes) suggests that the boundaries between this world and the First World may be thin in this region. Yet for all this eerie atmosphere, the gardener himself does not manifest directly except in a few specific locations detailed in the encounter text.

Few signs remain of the expansive vineyards that once surrounded the hill, although here and there, overgrown posts and tangles of wild grapes hint at the region’s past. Three partially collapsed buildings slump near the wall to the southeast of the hill’s peak, once guest lodgings, a stable, and a wagonhouse, respectively. To the west of the hill against a steep, vine-covered slope stands the ruins of the winery itself, while at the hill’s peak looms the stone abbey.​

Priests of Cayden Cailean were taken by the beauty of the white roses that grew upon the hill, they chose the hill as the site to build a remote abbey and winery. Over the decades that followed, the need for companionship eventually drove Evindra to contact the priests, and they welcomed her presence, seeing her as a benevolent spirit once she began to teach them the secret of how to enhance the quality of their wine by using purer forms of water and more efficient methods of filtration.

It all came to an end when the church sent an awkward and embarrassing member to the abbey—a lecherous and somewhat deformed halfling sorcerer whose skill at gardening and cultivating vineyards only just kept him in the good graces of the church. They did not excommunicate him for his borderline acts of heresy, but rather entrusted him to the priests of Whiterose, hoping that the remote location would soften his eccentricities. Yet when the gardener first encountered Evindra, he became obsessed with her, and one night he stole her shawl and in so doing gained a considerable bargaining chip, for Evindra was a nereid, and her shawl contained a portion of her soul. The gardener forced Evindra into a watery form and imprisoned her in a beautiful water clock so he could keep her to himself.

In imprisoning Evindra, the gardener discovered the treasure she had been guarding—an exquisite sword. And with Evindra imprisoned and no longer able to keep the sword’s emotions in check, the potent weapon began to stir. It began to drive the gardener even more insane with Aklo whispers from the First World, amplifying his jealousy and paranoia, driving him to believe that the other priests at the abbey coveted his bottled bride. Driven beyond reason, he used Briar to slay everyone else in the Abbey, then retreated into hiding in the subterranean pool below. The abbey’s remote location and the half-hearted investigation by the church (who ruled that the priests had been slain by brigands) ensured the gardener’s isolation for many years.

The gardener was slain by an unknown group who took Briar and Evindra’s shawl.

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Ruined Winery

​Whiterose Abbey built its crushing, filtering, fermenting, and cooperage facility on the northern side of the hill, next to a tunnel entrance in the side of the hill leading to the mystic subterranean pool that long served as the lair of the abbey’s “guardian spirit,” Evindra. ​

​Today, the buildings that once sat against the cliffs along the northern face of Whiterose Hill have fallen into ruins, but the entrance to the tunnel, while somewhat overgrown with hanging vines, is still quite obvious to anyone who approaches.​

​This long tunnel bores straight into the hillside. For the first hundred feet or so, the tunnel contains long side tunnels opposite narrow alcoves. These side tunnels are dead ends that were once used as cool storage. Some still contain barrels of supplies, lumber, and tools or large barrels of wine long since soured.​

​The Cistern

The tunnel ends at a large, vaulted cavern filled with a crescent-shaped pool of softly rippling, crystal-clear water. The northern arc of the pool cuts across the end of the passage, separating the tunnel from an island covered with softly writhing green mold and pale fungus, although a rickety-looking wooden bridge spans the fifteen-foot gap.

On the island itself, numerous large wine casks lie around a large central pool of glowing blue water, while along the cave ceiling thirty feet above, what appear to be a half-dozen pinpoints of light slowly wriggle and move, almost as if forming and reforming strange constellations in a false night sky.​

​For many years, the nereid Evindra watched over the sword Briar, which was kept in the cistern of glowing water in the center of this room. Created by ancient First World minions of Nyrissa’s enemies to keep Briar immersed in purifying waters that would dull its emotions and help hide it from its mistress, the liquid in the cistern is a potent magical fluid that enhances any liquid it is mixed with. Evindra showed the monks of Cayden Cailean how to enhance their wine using waters from this pool, but they have additional effects on poison, alchemical liquids, potions, and elixirs as well.

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The ghost of the now-nameless gardener who went mad and slew the priests of Whiterose Abbey haunts this chamber, though his presence can be felt throughout the entirety of Whiterose Hill.

​The gardener’s influence manifests in other ways as well, causing vegetation to shift and writhe at times without an apparent breeze and causing weeds and vermin to grow to excessive size and strength. At night, the susurrus of the fields and vegetation rustling is unnerving in the still air, and tiny motes of sickly green and pale yellow light generated by languid firef lies the size of apples bob and dip in the air.​

The “stars” are in fact six advanced will-o’-wisps that have grown powerful feeding upon the ghost’s anger and jealousy; they have allied with the ghost by forming strange patterns of stars for him to gaze upon.

After defeating the will o wisps (bigger and more advanced than normal ones, and the ghost of ​The gardener they find a cask which was his secret place, with a bed, a rod and a exquiste water clock. the rest of this room seem to have been pillaged already.

Evindra.jpg
The water clock which was hidden the cask is not magical, but it does function as a prison for the nereid Evindra simply by containing her in her water elemental form, mixed with a healthy dose of water from the magical cistern. In this state, Evindra cannot communicate and is effectively unconscious (although neither does she have a need to eat or drink in this state). The gardener hoped some day to be able to force the neried to be his wife, but never found a way before Briar’s influence drove him mad. When the water clock was drained, Evindra can reform into her humanoid shape, that of a breathtakingly beautiful nude woman with pale skin, pointed ears, dark hair, deep blue eyes, and webbed fingers and toes. She thanked the quiet sword profusely for rescuing her and just as quickly begs them for her shawl.

The group came up through the well (An overgrown well behind the empty building – Contemplation Quarters it is a drop of a full 80 feet into the cold water of the pool below.) ​This long hall is flanked by a row of doors on either side. Every door is ajar, and the rooms are virtually identical in their sparse furnishings.​ These rooms were the study and meditation chambers for the most devoted priests who had completed their training and taken their vows before the abbot and the assembled brethren.​

Atop Whiterose Hill, at the end of the overgrown track, lies a weed-choked cobblestone plaza. To one side stands a vinedraped bell tower. Facing the plaza, the weathered doors of the abandoned abbey hang askew.​

Belltower
A trio of fallen iron bells lies amid a pile of broken beams on the floor within this partially collapsed stone tower.​ A Pitax herald stands guard atop this tower, the party geased him into not raising the alarm of them approaching the ambushes inside the Abbey sanctury.

Narthex
​Spiral stairways curve down to the west and up to the east in this entry room. The walls and ceiling are tiled in branching vine patterns, but beyond the entryway corridors branch to either side, while a heavy curtain shrouds the sanctuary.​
The doors can be opened easily, but the creaking noise alerted the party when the herald entered through these doors once he no longer break the geas.
The stairs to the east lead up to the bedrooms of the librarian, while those to the west lead down to the kitchens.

Vestry ​A number of hooks sit on the wall of this abandoned vestry; heaps of ancient cloth are piled on the floor below.​ ​The mounds of cloth are nothing more than rotted cloaks and old robes bearing the symbol of Cayden Cailean.​

Sanctuary

​This long, colonnaded hall is marked by rounded bays that run along either side, each containing dusty old barrels. Piles of wood mark where kneeling benches have long since fallen to ruin. Above, wooden rafters form a complex network of supports for the roof, while below, numerous bedrolls and alchemical supplies of obviously recent manufacture sit on the floor.​

The bedrolls are used by the soldiers, but they’ve arranged them along with several alchemical supplies so that it looks like a group of “poisoners”

Gaetane.jpg Gaetane and his soldiers are here, they had not been alerted of the approach of King Rena and his people, so were caught while at rest. Gaetane himself was in the rafters above.​ However he was spotted and due to entering the building in flight and hidden they dropped on him unprepared and killed him before he even reacted to their presence.

​All of the heralds and wardens, but not Gaetane, have become quite unnerved by the strange aura of the place and are shaken for the duration of the battle – the soldiers are visibly uncomfortable about being in the area.

King Rena and his companions, dropped all of them to the floor except the late joining herald from the belltower. Rena then healed those unconscious stopping them bleeding out and told them to yield and that they would become prisoners of war and be treated fairly and well. Some of the men were worried about what effect this would have upon their famailies, as deserters etc families are punished for the conscripts failures.
Rena said that it would be clear that they were captured and didnt yield, though many are still worried.

Gaetane: halfling wererat ranger – deceased
Pitax Heralds – 3 surviors, 1 death
​Pitax Wardens – 7 surviors, 1 death

Leaving Tallis, Rosa and Aria behind Rena, Cade and Amina ascend the staircase

Library
​Many moldering books and scrolls sit on the sagging wooden shelves that line the walls of this chamber. Another stairwell curves up to the floor above, while a wooden double-door hangs open to the south to reveal a small bedroom.​

​The few surviving books are mundane tomes on religion, viticulture, and old tales of bravery by religious figures from a variety of faiths. The room to the south was the librarian’s bedroom.​

A drawer in a narrow desk against the west wall contains the librarian’s personal journal, a small leather affair with elaborate knotted designs, as well as a thick tome with soggy leather covers. The journal indicates that the librarian had a growing worry about the gardener’s interest in unnatural topics, including a book the librarian obtained for the gardener but did not give him (lying that the bookseller had cheated him).

This book is in fact the tome with the sodden covers; it has no title and is written in Aklo. It is difficult to read but if consulted for 10 minutes, it grants a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering) checks and on Knowledge (arcana) or (nature) checks dealing with astrology, astronomy, or the stars.

The book is worth 100 gp.

Abbot’s Chambers
​This room holds a desk engraved with the icon of a wine cup, perhaps indicating the study of a leader of the order. A large and quite old bloodstain mars the floor to the south.​
The east was the abbot’s personal shrine, while the other area was his bedroom.
This was the room in which the gardener murdered the abbot — As Amina entered this area she felt a sudden sharp pain in their neck. She had a sudden conviction that some unseen force has just cut through their necks with an incredibly sharp blade. As a result the group stoped went ack to the staircase and Rena communicated and soothed the haunt.

The sensation passed quickly, leaving an eerie white scar around their necks. (which dispeared when she was magically healed later)

After having gone up they then went down. The stairs led into the Kitchens. ​Large clay and stone ovens fill the far wall, and the open hall has long tables for preparing food and basins for washing. Crocks once filled with knives, long spoons, and other kitchen supplies have spilled their contents onto the countertops, which are covered with a film of dust and debris.​ This room and the one to the west are where the priests once cooked and prepared meals.

Priests’ Cells
​This long hallway contains nearly two dozen narrow cells, each furnished with an equally narrow bed. Old bloodstains mar the walls and floor in many places here.​
While this location is where the gardener slew the majority of the abbey’s priests so long ago, it is not their unquiet spirits that lurk here now. Instead, a string of eight will-o’-wisps lurk in the area. Normally content to bask in the echoes of the terror that still infuse the walls here and feed off of the gardener’s hatred.

Wine Cellars
​This wine cellar is filled with enormous wooden racks containing hundreds of wine bottles, their corks sealed with white wax stamped with the rose goblet sigil of the abbey.​
Although most of the wine has soured, a dozen bottles of incredibly fine Whiterose chardonnay remain; these bottles have aged quite well and are worth 1,000 gp each.​

Comments

If this hex is claimed, the abbey can be rebuilt as a temple.​

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​The waters of the cistern itself, if used as an additional component in the construction of any alchemical f luid, poison, or magical liquid (such as a potion or elixir) have a wondrous effect, although using the waters doubles the time required to create the item. Consult the list below for the exact effects, depending on the fluid—you can use these effects to generate additional mixtures if you wish. A single dose of the glowing waters is worth 200 gp—the pool itself contains enough water for 50 uses, but with Briar taken from the area, the cistern lacks the ability to generate more doses.

Alcohol: The alcohol becomes much more delicious and increases in value (typically resulting in alcohol worth twice as much as normal).
Antitoxin: The antitoxin now grants a +7 alchemical bonus on Fortitude saves against poison.
Poison: The poison’s save DC increases by +2.
Potion or Elixir: The potion or elixir’s effects last for twice as long. In the case of potions that heal wounds or ability scores, the potion instead gains the effects of Empower Spell.
Splash Weapon: The splash weapon gains a +2 alchemical bonus on damage done on a direct hit and a +1 alchemical bonus on damage done by a splash.​

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Abinessy Abinessy

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