Salamonis Chronicles

Session Fourteen

Sun Day 2nd Sunfane yr 2534

Summary: Return to Salamonis, Capitavirate Knights, celebrities, meeting with the Governor, The Slavering Death, northern engagement party, the saga of the bear-woman

Arriving back at Salamonis early on the morning of the 2nd, the PCs climb down from their exhausted mounts and remove the spent magical horseshoes to find a large crowd gathered around the south gate. It appears that a quarantine is in place due to the plague which is currently gripping the city. As the PCs queue up for examination and entry to the city, Mikhail notices a separate crowd surrounding a group of tents away from the walls. The crowd look angry and are shouting at the tents, hurling rotten fruit and abuse. Above their heads, the flags of the Capitavirate can be seen flying from the tents. Wearing a frown, Mikhail investigates. He convinces the crowd to let him pass and speaks to the camp’s leader; Gaius Septimus Metellus who explains that he and his knights heard of the plight of Salamonis and have travelled from Tor Acarne to help with the plague and devil situations. Mikhail agrees to speak to the authorities in Salamonis and try to get them to allow the knights inside to help.

As he rejoins the queue, a guard calls out to the PCs indicating that they can skip the queue- their entry has been paid for already. Bemused, they head past the staring civilians and through the city gates where they are greeted by Carlos and his retainers. Carlos explains the situation in the city:

  • The falling star ‘Tiamat’s Tail’ missed the city but hit a small island just off the coast, Salamina. There was superficial damage to buildings on the coast due to a small tidal waves caused by the impact.

  • The navy has blockaded the docks to prevent looters from going to the island to steal the precious starmetal

  • The city is suffering from a plague dubbed ‘The Slavering Death’

  • The plague appears to be mainly gripping the Golden Circuit district and so the entire area has been quarantined- no one may enter or leave. Rumour has it that those who die from the plague rise again with an insatiable taste for humanoid flesh!

  • There is also some story of devils running amok in the docks district but apparently the Iron Fists and Order of the Wheel are dealing with it presently. The government is using this issue as a reason for blockading the docks (see above) claiming it is not safe to dock/board a ship until the crisis is solved

  • The PCs agree that solving the issue of The Slavering Death is the more pressing matter and decide to investigate that fully. Before they get a chance, they are mobbed by a crowd which has gathered on the inside of the south gate. People are recognising them and calls of ‘Griffons Revenge’, ‘Gryphon Avengers’, ‘Heroes’ can be heard echoing around. The PCs are approached by representatives of multiple organisations and businesses hoping to cash in on the PCs apparent new found celebrity status and they are offered discounts, sponsorship deals and invites to various parties and engagements in the city. Folkvar also receives a message from Helda Stolsdottir inviting him and his friends to a Northlander engagement party. The PCs also receive an invite from Governor Taiyend d’Tremmellin’s office which they decide to follow up immediately.

    At the Palace, the PCs are greeted by Alexander Borghese, Taiyend’s secretary and seneschal and asked to take a seat. Before long they are joined by a number of Salamonis government/society alumni including Antonio Castillo, Darius Mandoran, Lord Irenicus Mancini, Dolrick Harrisson, Lord Venn Arneson and Sheriff Rufus Seabourne amongst others. After waiting over half an hour for Taiyend to arrive, the group convenes without him. They are all here to officially thank the PCs for their bravery and skill at liberating Lake Town and defeating the black dragon Aragatharos! As well as a cash reward, the PCs are granted stewardship over Castle Pechwe and bestowed the title of Laird! The castle is currently being renovated but they are encouraged to employ their own staff and visit regularly. As the meeting is concluded, the PCs mention their intent to enter the Golden Circuit to investigate the plague. Borghese signs a letter of marque allowing them to pass the blockade but warns them to be careful.

    Leaving the palace, the PCs’ good mood is suddenly cut short as they remember their mission. They spend the rest of the day following up on sponsorship deals, trading loot and upgrading their equipment. Alhena, Folkvar and Mikhail sign up for premium bank accounts with Heredor & Sons Bank and receive powerful custom magic items as a bonus. Alhena also gets some personal heraldry designed at the Register of Heraldry, Insignia and Motifs. Finally the PCs decide to rent a townhouse as a base of operations. Deciding on the Dead Quarter, the PCs put down their bonds, move in and begin to decorate their rooms.

    Later that afternoon, the PCs tool up and head to the Barracks district and approach the blockade marking the boundary between the Barracks and the plague-ridden Golden Circuit. Beyond the earthwork and wooden blockade, the tall buildings of the Circuit are visible over the heads of the armed soldiers. Flashing their letter of marque, the PCs are allowed through but warned that they won’t be coming back out if they look infected. The guards do mention a larger compound on the western barricade where a containment zone has been set up to protect survivors using ranged weapons from behind the barricade but they still won’t be allowed out until the quarantine is lifted. They are also told that a team of clerics and doctors accompanied by knights of the Wheel went into the district some hours ago in an attempt to treat the infected but haven’t been seen since. Inside the district, the streets are empty. The staccato sounds of screams punctuate the eerie silence and the smell of burning wafts along on the lonely thermals. Advancing down the street, the PCs realise they are near to Blum Hamfist’s old apartment and Rosi suggests calling in there to have a look around.

    Inside Blum’s apartment, the group have an emotional moment as they witness the Dwarf’s belongings strewn about the place in his typical fashion but their reverie is soon disturbed by the arrival of a festering plague zombie which attacks them. Evidently the rumours of plague victims becoming the walking dead are true.. the undead creature is swiftly dispatched but not before getting its infected fluids all over Folkvar. More zombies start approaching, drawn to the sounds of combat and the smell of fresh meat. The PCs leave quickly, advancing further into their stricken home, searching for survivors and taking out zombies as they go. Their encounters are summarised below:

  • PCs entered the building where Phaerlan Osbourne and Tau Sutekh lived, rescuing some civilians but when they killed a strange psychic zombie which seemed to be controlling the others, the death attracted a horde of zombies who came running from all the buildings nearby! The PCs are chased upstairs and barely make it to the window on the 4th floor and manage to create a make-shift zip line down to the ground level. Mikhail stays behind to slow the zombies down before leaping through the 3rd floor window and crashing down into some bins. Tau, Levine Malus and 3 civilians are saved and taken to the containment zone at the barricade

  • Investigating the sound of shouting, the PCs went to the Black Oak Casino where they find a large angry mob clamouring to get inside. They mob seemed to believe that the casino were withholding medical supplies and a safe location for themselves. Only armed guards inside and archers on the roof stopped the mob from breaking down the door. The PCs failed to get to the bottom of the problem but did manage to convince around 20 people to follow them to the containment zone at the barricade.

  • The Dancing Griffon was rescued from a giant zombie mob as the PCs assaulted from behind, adding their strength to that of the defenders. The PCs took light injuries but prevented any casualties from occurring. Brek, Jorun and four civilians were saved but remained behind. The PCs helped to reinforce the defences at the Griffon. But Jorun was infected when Folkvar walked in dripping with zombie goo.

  • Moving through the district, the PCs came across the Iron Fist Blockhouse which was ablaze. The surviving guards and a group of civilians huddled together outside in the street awaiting orders to move or reinforcements. Sheriff Seabourne was unconscious on a makeshift stretcher, clearly infected and in need of immediate attention. The PCs did what they can with magical healing and managed to slow the infection down. The PCs also managed to convince the sergeant that neither help nor orders were coming and that they needed to get out of the street. Alhena and Mikhail also entered the burning blockhouse and rescueed the trapped prisoners thanks to their magical resistance to fire. The PCs convinceed the Iron Fist sergeant to lead the civilians towards the containment zone at the barricade. 9 Officers, 10 citizens, 6 prisoners and Rufus Seabourne were saved.

  • Continuing through, the PCs come across Keraphim’s Shack where the defenders were using illusions to lure zombies into kill-zones. The PCs are refused entry due to the contamination risk they presented. The defenders confirm that Karl Werrock is safe inside and they seemed to be holding their own so the PCs moved on

  • As the night drew in, the PCs moved into Gold Park at the centre of the district. They were following clues in order to investigate the cause of the plague (see below) and followed footprints from the soup kitchen deep into the park. At the centre they found the survivors of the medical team trapped by a huge mob of zombies! Using a hide from undead spell, the PCs crept aboard some row-boats and rowed across the lake to join the defenders. The PCs helped to fight off the zombies and were attacked by a pair of vampires who were clearly watching the battle unfold at a distance but stepped in when the PCs showed up. They were dispatched and the zombie tide turned but at the cost of two of the medical staff and severe wounds to the others including the PCs. Rosi is reunited with her sister, Dimitria Runetongue who was present in the battle also. The PCs are thanked by Father Donato, cleric of Pelor and leader of the Knights who accompanied the medical team. The PCs also speak to Dr Ozymandyas Lavergne, a scientist who was trying to find out more about the plague. They decide that the plague must be supernatural and that they should work together on a cure (see below). The PCs escort the surviving staff and their patients to the containment zone near the barricade (Donato, Runetongue, Lavergne, 2 nurses, 3 knights and 15 patients are saved) and convince the authorities to allow more medical professionals and clerics through into the quarantine to help with the sick
  • Using clues gained from Tau, Levine and their own experiences, the PCs speak to Dr. Lavergne about the next steps. They managed to gather some samples during their time in the district of zombie flesh and tissues. They agree on the following points:
  • The Slavering Death is transmitted through contact with an infected person at an alarming rate via strange ‘cysts’ that grow like tumours in infected individuals
  • The disease is supernatural in origin and can lead to the victim rising as a zombie (but only within a radius of the strange ‘cyst zombies’ seen skulking in the shadows
  • There is very likely a ‘source’ cyst controlling the zombies through psychic means. The source is certainly in the vicinity of the Golden Circuit as no zombies have been reported elsewhere
  • The cult that attacked the PCs after the Masquerade Ball at Lord Mancini’s manor are likely responsible or linked as the creatures they unleashed resembled those found in Golden Circuit and also because of the vampires present at the last battle
  • Dr. Lavergne will continue to work on the samples and will contact the PCs when he has more information. Hailed as heroes for rescuing so many civilians and killing so many zombies, the PCs are allowed out of the quarantine and thoroughly disinfected with magic and medicines before taking a well-earned break.

    That night, the group head over to the Black Priest in the Dead Quarter to meet Helda, Folkvar’s girlfriend at the Northlander engagement party. Helda is initially shocked at Folkvar’s new scarred appearance but soon gets over it and the two spend most of the night together. At the party the PCs drink, fight and sing (three things the Northerners love most!) with some getting more drunk than others. Folkvar and Carlos do well at the wrestling matches which are friendly and fought over drink and honour while Alhena embarrases herself slightly with her drunken singing. Rosi impresses a man named Baldur who offers her a part on his performing troupe and Carlos manages to go home with an impressively ugly woman dubbed ‘The Bear Woman’ by the rest of the party. Mikhail meanwhile, spends the entire night in meditation and prayer at the Cathedral, achieving a peaceful mindset and steadying himself for the coming missions.

    Moonday 3rd Sunfane yr 2534

    The next morning is a messy scene. Mikhail manages to turf the Bear Woman out after cooking breakfast for the group. With groggy heads, the rest of the group get dressed just in time for an exhausted messenger to arrive with a hastily scrawled note from Dr. Lavergne:

    “I have made a breakthrough on the cure. Hurry, there isn’t much time!”

    Comments

    Kid_Dangerous

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