Legends of Estarra

Session 1: The Mystery of Malvern Manor

The players start out in the small island town of Breakwater Bay. They were shipwrecked together on Deginn’s Island a relatively short time ago, and have since been working for Cassius Ironhide, the clan leader of the Ironhide Dwarves, in order to earn enough money to get a ship back to the mainland. Today they have been ordered to go to the shop of Xerxes Goldlighter, who owes Cassius some 500 gold.

Krag, attempts to knock on the door with his hammer, only to smash a hole in it, which the hammer promptly gets stuck in. As Xerxes frets about his property being damaged, he is interrogated by Vistra, Feawis, and Moonlight, while Krag tries to remove his hammer in an intimidating manner. Although he initially denies being in debt, the party sees through his lies and discover that yes, Xerxes does owe Cassius money, no, he does not have enough to pay him back. The party moves in to punish Xerxes, but he snaps his fingers and now the party has two angry Blink Dogs to deal with, and an animated suit of armour to boot.

The party enters combat, and while Krag distracts the suit of armour the girls handle the dogs, quite brutally ending their lives. Eventually Xerxes’ protection is dealt with, but before the party can make good on their threats they are interrupted by the town guard and placed under arrest. It is their good fortune that instead of being thrown into the dungeon to rot, the local ruler, Baron Pavelovitch, has a problem that a team of adventurers would come quite handy in solving.

The party is escorted to the Baron’s estate, where he makes clear his dislike of the party, but states that he needs their help. Of course, they don’t have a choice in the matter, since he’ll simply lock them up if they refuse. He explains that some time ago he apprenticed his good-for-nothing son, Anstiss, to the local mage, Mordecai Malvern, to keep him out of trouble. However, neither the son nor the mage has been seen for several months, and the men the Baron sent to Malvern Manor to investigate never returned. He tells the party to head to Malvern Manor and discover the fate of his son. He’s willing to pay enough gold for the party to leave the island if they can bring him proof of what happened.

So it is that the party sets out, taking the road through the swamp to get to Malvern Manor. Along the way they encounter a strange group of goblins. Although two of the goblins appear normal, two have had their arms replaced with oversized tentacles, and another has had its head replaced with that of a wolf. The party dispatches the goblins without too much effort, and continues on its way. As they approach the manor they find it to be in quite a state of disrepair, as large spiderwebs take up the front of the house. The party fails to notice that the spiderwebs are not empty, and in fact contain chameleon-like giant spiders, which ambush them. The party fights off the spiders, then makes its way into the manor proper.

They are immediately met with a large, three-headed death dog. Although the dog is initially aggressive, Vistra manages to figure out that it is merely very hungry and feeds the beast, pacifying it. The party then attempts to climb the rickety-looking stairs to the second floor of the manor. They at first doubt the structural integrity of the stairs, and test them out by throwing stones at them. When nothing happens, the party climbs, only for the stairs to collapse and dump the party into a pit of rats. The rats are only a minor inconvenience, and the party manages to make their way to the second floor.

On the second floor they find a bedroom containing a journal, and a chained-up old man, missing his teeth and having obviously been there for quite some time. They read the journal, which belonged to Mordecai himself. The journal starts out quite normally, but eventually the mage’s descent into insanity becomes obvious as he refers more and more to an ‘apex animal’, which he seemingly believed to be the octopus. He ends the journal by stating that the current experimental subjects aren’t enough, and he needs a more advanced subject to try out a more advanced transmutation. In the final line of the journal, he simply hopes that the gods will forgive him for what he has done. The party concludes that this room was Mordecai’s, and the old man must be Mordecai himself.

Their investigation of the upper floor completed, the party heads down to the basement. Down there they discover the true fate of Anstiss; the boy was used in the mage’s final experiment, his limbs replaced with tentacles and a poisonous snapping beak grafted onto his face. They realise that these changes have shattered the poor boy’s mind, and nothing human is left in him any more. It is agreed that the best thing to do is to put the boy out of his misery. The fate of Anstiss discovered, the party leaves the manor with his corpse as proof to the Baron, saddened by the young man’s horrible fate but eager to claim their reward.

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eonryder

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