The Nizarian Bolt

A Crone-y Death

The evening began with the questioning of the sole remaining robber from the group who had set upon the party as they returned from the docks. His feet burned away by T’kar’s grim acid, the thief was in shock, but was able to babble that the attack on the party was a simple robbery, nothing more. Despite the party’s suspicions that they were targeted for assassination, they were eventually convinced. Olaramus arrived and scolded the party for carrying a mutilated body in plain sight through a Bolt-friendly tavern. Although the party had resolved to turn the simple thief over to the police, Olaramus instead slit his throat, draining the blood carefully into a chamber pot, saying that the Bolt did not need stories of a dragonborn and a bunch of fey cutting their way through the underworld. He listened to the tale and agreed to arrange for a boat out to the Lizard’s Claw at first light.

The next morning, the party arrived at the ricketiest, eastern-most dock and met with Nahailthe red-bearded dwarf and two sturdy humans who would take them out to the Claw. They set on their way, talking about the geography and history of the area and even beginning to discuss the economics and union politics of the lighthouse workers. After a day and night of travel, the party was deposited on the shore for a short walk through a boggy swamp to the bridge leading to the Lizard’s Claw lighthouse.

Encountering a giant tangler beetle, the party confidently engaged it, and brutalized it fairly effectively. But the sound of battle drew a giant constrictor snake out of a nearby pool, and Torinn quickly found himself battling the bloody beetle buddy-less as the rest of the party surrounded the constrictor snake, which seized and nearly crushed T’kar before he was able to slip away. The snake then seized Noor and crushed her in its coils, leaving her perilously close to death before G’yest gutted it with his duelist’s blade. T’kar forced a healing potion down the blue-faced Noor’s throat, and the three of them charged to help Torinn (who was dripping with sticky fluid) finish off the beetle.

Finally the party arrived at the lighthouse. Observing Mervyl the lighthouse-keeper heading into his house, the party descended to the home to greet him, only to be met by the crone Hildebrand, Mervyl’s mother-in-law. Mervyl was nowhere to be seen—“out getting fuel for the light”, oddly, according to Hildebrand. His wife and child were “away visiting relatives in Furia”, and Hildebrand claimed to have seen nothing strange, no wrecked ships, etc. (and the party could find no debris on the point). Once inside, though, the party smelled an odd, awful, rotting smell. Noor “accidentally” opened the door to the bedroom whence the rotting came, but could see little in the dim light. Hildebrand offered the party some fish stew, but by this point everyone was too spooked to accept it. She then offered to lead the party to find Mervyl at the fuel depot and G’yest slipped away to “go to the toilet” while the rest of the party were led back towards the way they came, growing more suspicious with each passing moment. Finally, Torinn seized the old woman and roared in her face to stop toying with him. The old woman responded by crying…or was it laughing? She tore off her “face” to reveal a green, grizzled, monstrous face—a hag! Immediately the party fell upon her with weapons, but she teleported away and summoned a monstrous shambling mound from a painted circle on the ground.

The battle was long and hard. G’yest ran in from the north and joined the fray. The hag fell quickly, but the shambler kept healing the damage the party caused (when it was able to land a blow at all). Soon, all the party’s powers and energy were expended, yet the shambler fought on. It seized G’yest and dragged him inside its earthen body, feeding on him with horrible sucking noises and healing the wounds the rest of the party inflicted upon it with increasingly desperate blows. Finally, the awful moment came when the sounds of G’yest’s struggles ceased, and the party knew he was dead. A red haze fell over the party’s vision, and when it cleared the shambler was dead. They sadly cut their friend’s lifeless corpse from the compost heap that had slain him.

Arriving in Shorehold

Descending from the high, arid grasslands of central Huirg, the party arrives at the provincial capital of Shorehold. As a first priority, the party sells the assorted gems they’ve collected during their adventures further west and split the proceeds to better equip themselves.

Next, they search for their contact with The Nizarian Bolt in order to deliver the magical sword they recovered from The Ashen Keep. As the instructions for making contact with the Bolt slipped the party’s mind, they spend some time searching for some hint as to how one contacts an underground political organization in an unfamiliar city.

Eventually, Torinn remembers that they were instructed to contact the barkeep at the Baited Hook Tavern and indicate that they are looking to sell a parcel of land. Doing so, they are introduced to Oloramas, a member of the Bolt in Shorehold. In the secret back room of a fish market, they give him the sword and provide him some information regarding their run-in with the Sylvan Tide.

Oloramas also provides them with an update on Dowsgate, which is now under martial law following the burning of the treasury building. Much to the chagrin of Lord Warden Francis Acheron, the Margrave Hugo Balthus has sent a battalion of Gadrain provincial soldiers to maintain order while the Dowsgate city guard hunts down members of the Bolt.

Given the party’s success in tracking down the sword at the Ashen Keep, Oloramas feels comfortable charging them with investigating the disappearance of a ship that was carrying goods for the Bolt across the Cloven Sea from Fyria. The party returns to the Baited Hook and questions some sailors, discovering that more than one ship has gone missing on the northern shore route, and that others have had near-wrecks near The Lizard’s Claw – despite being long-time travelers on the Cloven Sea and the lighthouse on the Claw being operational.

The party leaves the Baited Hook with the intention of contacting Oloramas in order to secure passage to the Lizard’s Claw. However, as they are traveling along the dock, they hear cries for help coming from an alley. The person in distress actually ends up being the bait for an ambush, and the party enters a protracted battle with knife-wielding ruffians who push multiple stacks of wooden crates on top of them. At one point during the battle Torinn collapses, apparently near death, but is luckily revived by Noor. Meanwhile, Tkar hobbles one of the bandits with an Acid Arrow through the ankles.

With the rest of their enemies dispatched, the party takes their ankle-less hostage to an inn friendly to the Bolt, where the proprietor waves them quickly to a private room.

The Nizarian Storehouse (cont.)

We return to the Nizarian storehouse, where the party has decided that it has enough information to satisfy the Captain of the Guard, Richard Wykeham, and leaves the underground fortress.

Immediately upon exiting, Torinn is set upon by a large carnivorous plant. As the party tries to fend off the botanical menace, the sounds of battle attract several large bat-like creatures that latch on to the adventurers and drain their vital fluids through razor sharp proboscises. After a bloody fight, the party emerges victorious and returns to South Fort and then back to Dowsgate.

Wykeham is disappointed (to say the least) that the storehouse was deserted, especially after G’yest forced a day’s delay in starting the mission. However, he does take interest in the raven pendant and orders the party to detain Elder Patri of the local Temple of the Raven Queen.

A failed attempt at intimidation by Torinn leads Wykeham to assign a Dowsgate Guard escort for the party.

As the adventurers wait outside for the escort, Tkar reveals that he knows Patri from his home province of Nabil and will not assist in his capture or injury.

1. The Nizarian Storehouse

The players arrive in Dowsgate, having responded to notice from the Lord Warden Francis Azeray that the city was seeking independent adventurers to join the campaign against The Nizarian Bolt, a group of bandits that has been raiding shipments of silver being transported from the Dowsgate mines to the provincial capital of Falhill.

As the adventure opens, the party is waiting in the barracks of the Dowsgate Guard to receive instructions from the Captain of the Guard, Richard Wykeham.

After a few minutes, the Captain arrives and after asking for introductions, explains that the party has been tasked with locating a storehouse in the marshlands beyond South Fort, which is being used by The Nizarian Bolt to hold stolen silver and potentially weapons or other supplies. The expectation is that there will be a handful of Nizarians guarding the storehouse and that the party will kill or (ideally) capture them. If the party observes a superior force guarding the storehouse, they are to return to Dowsgate and inform the Captain.

The Captain suggests that the party leaves with a military transport for South Fort that afternoon, but G’yest objects, noting that he has to meet an associate in Dowsgate that night to receive some property owed to him.

After leaving the barracks, the party reconvenes at a bar in order to get better acquainted and compare notes on the mission ahead. After some time, they separate to take care of business in town before leaving for South Fort the next day.

The party departs Dowsgate with the guard transport the following afternoon. The journey takes about 4 hours on foot. Toward evening, they arrive in South Fort, which is in a general state of lawlessness in the absence of any authority beyond the drunken soldiers. The party is sent to a separate barracks, where they spend the night.

The next morning at first light, the party is given some food by the soldiers and depart South Fort toward the marshland. While navigating toward the storehouse, they are set upon by a group of five humanoid creatures that attack with spears and some sort of poisonous vomit. Here, our adventurers achieve their first victory in combat.

With the creatures dispatched, the party continues through the swamp, eventually coming to the end of the path, where they find a dilapidated shack in a small clearing. On the north side of the shack, Torinn, discovers a concealed path leading toward a bowl-shaped depression in the ground. At the far side there is an entrance to a tunnel in the earth.

Inside the tunnel is an locked iron door. After G’yest disarms some sort of mechanism on the frame and picks the lock, the party enters an underground fortress.

Behind a locked portcullis, they discover what may have been the storehouse itself. Though the room is now empty, there are signs of heavy boxes or chests having been dragged out. Additionally, they find a broken necklace with a medallion depicting a raven. Matt recognizes it as the symbol of The Raven Queen.

Next, the party decides to explore through a caved in passageway. Despite G’yest’s warnings of threatening sounds beyond the rubble, the party climbs through the small crevasse and emerges on the other side to find a series of rooms covered in dust and full of long-dead bodies. Seemingly soldiers, the corpses are wearing armor and draped with mouldering bits of green cloth, which Torinn recognizes as the military color of Brau.

After fighting off giant rats in what appeared to be a barracks room, the party found a larger chamber with several empty chests, additional corpses, and a phrase in Draconian carved into the stone wall reading:

“Let no false understanding come between each and his true friend”

Additionally, there are several simple geometric shapes carved in various sections of wall throughout the room.


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