So I started a new Pathfinder game with a group of players, and tracking the progress of the campaign on a blog makes sense. It’s a classic module series, the Arabian-nights themed Legacy of Fire path. I’ll keep each of the six books of the adventure as one separate entry each.
They were a motley group of merchants, animal handlers, and sellswords assembled by Garavel. The sand-blown trail toward his mistress, a Merchant Princess named Almah, was long and weary. Roshin was a fighter slave sold to Almah with the promise of freedom through servitude, who shared overly embellished stories over the nightly campfires. Not to be outdone, Bethir was a bard with martial disposition, who matched each tale with a legend from history. Kazim was more private and quiet, a cleric of Sarenrae who prayed at exactly dawn each morning. Two gnomes traveled with them as well. Duzo, a merchant-minded sorcerer who specialized in enchantments and smoked copious amounts of Pesh, and Tarb the White, a ranger garbed entirely in white who spoke frequently of his hunt for the Katapeshi white lion. Garavel himself was a servant of the mysterious Pactmasters of Katapesh, and had a strange metal bolt protruding from his temple that he kept mostly hidden under his keffiyeh.
They arrived at Almah’s camp to find a scene of chaos–one of the caravan’s wagons on fire, the fire spreading to the landmark tree called the Sultan’s Claw, and animals running about in a panic. Bethir, Roshin, and Kazim rushed to help move other wagons away from the burning one, while Tarb calmed animals and Duzo used ice magic to stop the spread of fire to the tree. With the crisis over, Almah greeted them and they went over the terms of extended employment: 200gp to each of them for their assistance in liberating the town of Kelmarane from marauding gnolls that took up refuge in the long-abandoned town. Their first task, though, was to find out what started the fire. The wagon had been Almah’s fortune teller’s wagon, and he had produced a dire warning to her just before: unluck, a betrayer in her midst, and the coming of the cyclone–an omen of destruction, fire, and tumult that was mixed with a prediction that still included a successful liberation of Kelmarane. Almah suspected foul play in the fire accordingly.
The band of adventurers started questioning and exploring the area, encountering the two animal handlers for the caravan (Hadrah and her husband Hadrod), the kindly halfling cleric supplying magical potions and poultices for the expedition, the remaining caravan guards (the talkative Trevvis, the muscle-bound Utarchis, and the dour Dullen), and the strange “gnoll expert”: a man named Dashki. The latter told a tale of gnolls killing his family and village, and his learning to hunt them by learning everything he could about their ways. His stench and strange mannerisms certainly raised suspicions amongst the other caravan members that he was behind the fire. Yet Duzo questioned further, learning through his Speak With Animals ability that one of the goats was missing: Rombard.
Searching the ring around the caravan circle, Kazim found a strange trail: a goat’s reluctant footprints along with a set of tiny two-legged dog footprints. With jokes about baby gnolls, the adventurers followed the path into the dark night and cactus fields beyond. As the cacti grew thicker, and a feeling of strange foreboding settled about them, they heard the nervous bleating of the goat ahead–in the middle of an extremely dense cacti field. Some maneuvered their way, while others slowly chopped a path, but all were beset by the worst luck they could imagine. Anything that could go wrong did, ending in punctured water skins, broken scabbard clasps, and ample cactus needles embedded in most. The finally reached Rombard, finding the goat in a panic. As they started to free him, a strange creature emerged and started firing arrows at them.
Their luck continued to be poor until Bethir’s sword finally caved in the chest of the small creature. Examining it, they realized it was a Pugwampi–a strange doglike fey that brings great unluckiness to all around it, and delights in setting up situations to watch others suffer the ravages of ill fortune. The small critter had some singed Harrow cards, a likely sign that it was in the burned fortune teller’s wagon–who knows what sort of unlucky circumstances led to the beginning of the fire. They brought Rombard and the corpse of the Pugwampi back to camp, and explained things to Almah and those gathered. Dashki took the corpse, tied it to his staff with a noose, and began stamping the staff around the camp to “ward off other pugwampis, as an infestation would be the worst that could happen.” Satisfied that the fire source had been found, Almah tasked the adventurers to head out into the desert tomorrow morning to a nearby shrine: the Church of Saint Vardishal, a long-abandoned monastery of Sarenrae that their group could use as a staging area to conduct their liberation of the nearby town of Kelmarane.
The adventurers journeyed to the abandoned monastery and found it in rough shape. Searching the more mundane quarters first, they found a basement door that seemed to be obstructed, as well as a library in ruins. They encountered two more Pugwampis, seemingly cooks, boiling a massive spotted egg. The battle was full of misfortune again, with broken kitchen implements and awkward tumbles off countertops, until the two creatures were slain. Exploring further, the adventurers found a series of carvings detailing the Templars of the Five Winds, genies that were involved in the great war between genies that caused the Pale Mountain region to be formed in the way that it was. One of them, Vardishal, was slain on the spot of the monastery, and there were a number of carvings depicting his spiritual form advising the priests of Sarenrae through the generations. Oddly, the frescos and carvings of the priests were all purposefully defaced. Leaving a brush-filled courtyard till later, the adventurers finally entered the main chapel. Kazim was saddened to see it defiled with a huge, hanging mound of gnoll skulls arranged like an obscene altar. As they started to try and take the skulls down, they found themselves beset by a large number of Pugwampis–and their leader, King Mokknock.
While he rushed into combat battering knees and clobbering shins with his silver hammer, the others lurked above and peppered the adventurers with arrows. Again, extreme unluckiness plagued the adventurers–with the pugwampi king proving to be a nasty foe when protected by the unlucky aura of his kind. Finally the adventurers managed to triumph by tripping the king and surrounding him. Upon his death, the last pugwampi started to flee. Duzo tried to freeze him in place with a cold spell, even managing to hit the creature and overcome its spell resistance, but the damage wasn’t enough. With a shake of it’s little fist, the creature slipped away gibbering no doubt about seeking revenge.