The Lost Treasure Of Ista

Chapter One: Prologue

Session 1 (09/09/10)

EXP Awards Bhaum Thyatis
Session Total 0 0
Experience Total 25,014 25,000

The cast of characters

GM Notes: spur of the moment campaign idea. We sat down and threw around a few ideas then settled on picking up the Ista story and trying some sandbox play using the Kingmaker rules for exploration and kingdom building. Everyone was new to Fantasy Craft so little playing got done and we passed the one book we had around many times.

The adventure picks up a few weeks after the Curse of Ista was lifted. Viggo and Ruin have taken most of the womenfolk and headed southwest to Lantara and the city of Tor to pursue their own agendas. Simeon and Thumbar have left with the Banner of Light to bring it before the Phoenix Throne in Valon in the north.

Captain Brolly and Illustra have thrown in their lot with Alexis and the rest of the party, hoping to parley their good fortune into power and prestige. Lucas and Bhaum have been busy exploring the outskirts of the city and nearby lands, just in case the dragon's disappearence has emboldened any nearby adversaries. They find the draco-lich was exceptionally thorough and nothing larger then a rabbit survived within 50 miles of the city.

During this time a crew member combing the city for treasure stumbles on a curious statue. Illustra thinks Alexis should have a look at it since it looks magical. Always a bit too curious, Alexis touches the statue and is sent sprawling from a shock. The statue revives and questions her right to the royal jewels, not recognizing the famly similarities to Queen Vyrallis. Tensions are calmed and it is found that the golem is Thyatis, former Captain of the Imperial Guard and High Protector of Ista.

Over fifty years ago, Karavakos had arranged for the Protector's death and subsequent ressurection into a mind-controlled clockwork golem. For fifty years, since Karavakos's imprisonment, Thyatis has stood staring over the city he failed to protect, cursed to watch it die every night. Somehow he has stayed sane.

With the death of Karavakos, Thyatis has truly become free. Vowing to protect Ista, he swears his loyalty to Alexis. She is more than happy to have a metal-man around as a status symbol and bonus hat-rack.

Plans are made to start work on rebuilding the city and letting the outside world know Ista has been restored!

Session 2 (09/16/10)

EXP Awards Bhaum Lucas Thyatis
Session Total 1640 1640 1640
Experience Total 26,654 26,533 26,640

The cast of characters

GM Notes: Lucas joins us tonight and yet more time is spent on teaching a new player about Fantasy Craft.

Month One (January 639)
Some settlers and men-at-arms have arrived, but it is only a trickle so far. The party explores the immediate areas surrounding Ista, finding nothing unusual. To please Alexis and the defensive minded in the party, work is begun rebuilding the ruined palace into a castle. In addition, fields are planted to the NE of the city. The backbreaking labor and long days lead many to grumble, but work continues apace. Lucas spends his time in the city giving speeches and entertaining Alexis. Bhaum lends his prodigious strength to the task of clearing the ruins, help much appreciated by the common-folk. Thyatis fires the forges and begins producing metalworks.

Unaccustomed to leadership and the intricacies of economics, the first month depletes the kingdom's treasury drastically but order is maintained.

Month Two (February 639)
With the work on the palace proceeding apace, it is decided that the harbor and wharf areas should be next on the agenda, clearing the way for the expected flood of ships and immigrants.

Just in time too, for Captain Brolly returns from his trip to the Purple Isles at the head of a fleet of ships bearing goods and people to the new city. Petitioners arrive, some looking for land, some looking for titles and some looking for jobs. Only one such man, Deucalion meets their approval. He is a mercenary captain of the Black Coast and claims descent from one of the noble houses of Ista. With him he has brought a cadre of men-at-arms. It is decided to set him up as Captain of the Guard, duties he takes over happily.

Further explorations are done, and ranging further afield the remains of a paved road are found, as well as more arable land. The party also further explore the area around the Cave of Souls and Villa d'Armas. They find the cave no longer a portal to the lands of the dead, now it is just a series of caves. Still useful, just not as colorful. The villa is a ruin, but with a bit of prep and some materials could be the center of a village with minimal investment.

Lucas begins outfitting and training a local militia. Bhaum saves a group of workers from being crushed by a toppling wall, holding it off them until all are safe. His reputation grows by leaps and bounds. Thyatis's as well when he works for a week straight, no sleep, and produces enough weapons and armor to equip the new militia.

Month Three (March 639)
Ranging further afield and following the road system they have discovered, the explorations concentrate to the south, heading towards the border with Kashet. An old watchtower is discovered. It appears to have suffered the draco-lich's wrath as it is a tumbled ruin, the stone scorched in places, but it is well situated and looks repairable. As the party climbs the rocks to it a shadow occults the sun. Looking up they see an immense wyvern diving out of the sun on them.

Chapter Two: Get Me to the Church on Time

Session 3 (09/23/10)

EXP Awards Bhaum Lucas Thyatis Xyfus
**Session Total 510 510 510 510
Experience Total 27,164 27,043 27,150 25,510

The cast of characters

GM Notes: Well, I had assumed Lucas had 25,000 XP and was level 7 like everyone else. But he was like 107XP short so he was actually 6 and leveled last session. Umm, gratz? Xyfus, the drow arcane archer, makes his first appearance. His rune-inscribed arrows proving his potency. Our first real experience with the system and it was rough. It has taken three weeks to finalize characters and purchase gear. I randomized some magic items for each character that they had earned prior to play as well. Very clever system and I am sure once we grasp some basics things will go smoother.

The wyvern makes several fly-by attacks, poisoning both Lucas and Bhaum. Xyfus rains arrow after arrow on it, whittling away its vitality. Thyatis is bit rusty, but his lighting javelins make a lasting impression on everyone. The beast lands, intending to make off with a snack, but Bhaum unleashes the Fury of Set with a double whammy Harm and Disintegrate, awing all that stand witness. Weakened, but alive, the beast withdraws to its tower. The party decide to beard the beast in its lair, but Bhaum succumbs to the foul poison in his veins and keels over paralyzed.

The wyvern, who had been licking its wounds, chooses that moment to swoop down to the attack again. Lucas stands firm and unleashes a devastating smile intended to impress the creature. Confused the wyvern decides to seek easier prey elsewhere.

Thyatis treats Bhaum who recovers quickly. Not seeing the drow, the party heads into the ruin to investigate. In the wyvern's nest they find a brand-new wedding dress sized for a child, some bolts of cloth, and a few potions. They bed down for the night at the top of the ruined tower; a spectacular view laid before them.

During the night Thyatis sees a bright bonfire burning to the south, further into the hills, perhaps from a village or watchtower. Come morning the party decides to investigate. They find a strange place run by militant gnomes called by them, The Barrows. Supposedly, it sits on top of an entrance to the Underdark and guards against incursions from below.

They meet the High Officer and tell her of the freeing of Ista. She has heard nothing of this, and invites them to spend the night and tell their tale over dinner.

Session 4 (09/30/10)

EXP Awards Bhaum Lucas Kazim Thyatis Xyfus
Session Total 0 x 0 0 x
Experience Total 27,164 27,043 40,000 27,150 25,510

The cast of characters

GM Notes: Xyfus and Lucas absent (get well soon!). Kazim joins the party: a renowned Khinasai artisan and scholar on the history of Corinth, to study the history and people of the land up close and personal. Learning of the lifting of the curse of Isata, he joins the party to meet the Queen personally, and perhaps get a job in her court.

With a little time before dinner, and after being shown to their rooms, Bhaum wanders the Barrows, checking it out. He allows himself to be turned away from the off-limits areas and finds himself in the small, but extravagant, market area. Thinking to buy Illustra a gift, he enters the memorabilia shop to get a medallion or paperweight with the mark of the Order of the Sharpened Spade. He overhears a conversation between the shopkeeper, a pretty young gnome with blonde hair, and a matronly gnome about the younger girl's upcoming wedding to a Shapespade guardsman. He thinks perhaps that this might be an opportunity for Lucas to unload that odd dress they found at the wyvern tower.

After a bit of interaction with the happy lass, and after purchasing his medallion, he realizes that, in fact, there is a good chance that the dress was hers and her fiance has become wyvern food. He decides to let someone else break the news and leaves the shop. As he does, he notices Thyatis at the center of a large cluster of gnomish craftsman. They seem facinated with his workings and are polishing, buffing, and oiling him.

Bhaum and Thyatis end up talking to Landerby, one of the four elder Shapespades who council the Grand High Officer of the order, Blimdidia. He seems a friendly chap, but a bit of a prankster at the same time, meeting sarcasm with sardonic wit and intimating that perhaps all is not as it seems behind the smiling facades of the gnomes.

Thyatis and Bhaum return to their quarters. Thyatis takes the time to search his room for ninja gnomes and traps, put on edge by Landerby's jokes. Bhaum just cleans up for dinner. Lucas arrives telling Bhaum he has been summoned back to Ista and he is leaving immediately, taking Xyfus with him. Asking after the dress elicits a strange look from Lucas, but he pushes the dress to Bhaum telling him to deal with it, and is off.

At dinner, they are introduced to a special guest, Kazim el-Shariff (the Honored), a Khinasai artisan from Meseire. As well, the other councilors and Blimdidia's husband are present: Pichenchap "Mintspear" Wingine (giggity), the husband; Ramthoodle, Blimdidia's cousin; Queggonia, a fighter and aged beauty; and Threlfoona, a dottering warrior-priestess whose glory days have passed. Introductions are made and stories are told, some, particularly the origin of the appellation "Mintspear", better left untold. Finally the matter of the dress and possible death of Pimdiddle, Vassia's fiance, is brought up. Ramthoodle makes unpleasent remarks about Blimdidia's leadership skills when he mistakes her concern for Vassia as hesitation. The conversation gets heated and Ramthoddle storms off. Dinner is at an end.

The next day Bhaum is treated to an excellent breakfast in the mess hall, while Thyatis looks on, constantly having to fend off curious gnomes. Landerby approaches them and feels them out on the matter of doing some adventuring work for the Order; they are interested. At a private meeting with Landerby, Blimdidia, and Kazim, they are told that young Pimdiddle wasn't in town just getting the dress and a few supplies, but was in fact returning with the Dawn Council's (Sasserine's ruling authority) contributions to the Order: a substantial strongbox of cash. Blimdidia and Landerby are worried that if word gets out that the strongbox has gone missing, Ramthoodle will use it as an excuse to attempt a coup and get himself posted as Grand High Officer. The party, plus Kazim, agree to take four Sharpspades along with them towards Sasserine with the stated intention of looking for Pimdiddle and his guards, as well as search out and return the strongbox with none the wiser.

Session 5 (10/14/10)

EXP Awards Bhaum Lucas Kazim Thyatis Xyfus
Session Total 882 x x 882 x
Experience Total 28,046 27,043 40,000 28,032 25,510

The cast of characters

GM Note: Scheduling problems abound, everyone except Bhaum and Thyatis absent.

Kazim bows out of trekking into the wilds in search of a gnome, leaving Bhaum and Thyatis to look in to this matter for Landerby and Blimdidia. With four gnome guards, their seargent and their leader, the group sets out along the road to Sasserine. They figure that Pimdiddle must have made it to Sasserine and been on his way back when he lost the dress. Whether he just lost it or ran into trouble they don't know. Figuring times and distance they decide to move towards Sasserine until they get two or three days travel from it then begin searching in earnest.

The first day is uneventful and there is no sign that Pimdiddle passed this way to or from Sasserine. The next day they learn that Pimdiddle was traveling and quickly to Sasserine, obviously excited about gathering the dress and returing for the wedding. However, unknown to them, others are searching for word of the gnome's whereabouts and learn of the party's interest in him.

While on the road the next morning they are ambushed by ruffians from the city who want the gnome and strongbox or the location of either. A fight erupts. Very quickly it subsides with the surviving ruffians fleeing for their lives, and the dead left to rot. Tracking the survivors, the party discovers a farmhouse they had taken over as a base. The farmer and his hideous wife and child are grateful for the rescue and tell the party that they overheard the bandits talking about the gnome.

According to the rescued peasents the bandits ambushed Pimdiddle and his guards the evening of the first day outside Sasserine (day 6). It was after the ambush that a huge wyvern assaulted the bandits and in the confusion Pimdiddle grabbed the strongbox and made good his escape. Now the bandits have three groups like the one that ambushed the party watching the roads and scouring the coutryside searching for him. The party makes plans to intercept the gnome and bring him home safe.

Session 6 (10/18/10)

EXP Awards Bhaum Lucas Kazim Thyatis Xyfus
Session Total 1624 x x 1624 1624
Experience Total 29,670 27,043 40,000 29,656 27,134

The cast of characters

Xyfus returns to the Barrows after tracking the dire Wyvern into Istan lands to make sure it was returning to the mountains. Landerby catches him up on the situation and sends him after Bhaum and Thyatis to lend a hand with his awesome tracking skills. He approaches them shortly after they leave the farmstead and it is decided to move to the original ambush site, where Pimdiddle was attacked and track him from there.

Early the next day, having traveled off-road and concealed their presence during the night so as not to draw the attention of the Lotus Dragon groups, they find the site of the ambush. Xyfus is able to find the faint tracks, much to Bhaum's suprise, and begins leading them at a hard pace. The gnomes cannot keep the pace and even Bhaum is fatigued by the quick pace the drow seems to easily set. Thyatis, able to keep this pace indefinatly, is unfazed. A rest is called and it is decided to travel at a more reasonable pace, but still much faster then the wounded and overburdened Pimdiddle is making.

In an effort to get ahead of the wounded gnome, the party pushes through a little known pass then backtracks along the obvious route. Late in the afternoon they spot Pimdiddle outside a cave on a high ledge. He has spotted them as well and seems to be trying to get their attention. As they approach it becomes obvious that, in fact, he is warning them off. Expecting a trap, Bhaum and Thyatis move forward under the coovering fire from Xyfus and the gnomes. Bhaum points out that a crazy farmer must have plowed this area as it is crisscrossed by furrows. Now expecting an assault from the ground they are not suprised by the eruption of a herd of bulettes around them.

Thyatis is thrown twenty feet by one of the creatures, landing at the feet of their leader, who proceeds to bite the sprawled construct, swallowing him whole. Several gnomes are attacked, dying quickly to the overwhelming damage of the huge creatures. Xyfus, a whirlwind of action, peppers the scattered herd with fire trying to kill or distract them from killing more gnomes. Bhaum, wades in, the disintegrating power of Set in every blow.

Thyatis is almost undone but manages to free himself from inside the creature. Slowly the numbers of the herd are thinned until only the leader remains, a tough and onery beast. Thyatis manages to light it on fire with his magic sword and it burns out of control, finally setting the area and Thyatis on fire as well. Broken by swords and pierced with arrows it finally dies, cooked in its shell. Mmm, smells like bacon!

Bhaum climbs to the beleaguered gnome and the party recovers both him and the strongbox.

Chapter Three: The Sky Temple

Session 7 (03/15/13)

EXP Awards Aren'Nevah Ruin
Session Total
Experience Total

The cast of characters

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