[Day 36. The Ratpack takes a day off.]
[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game. Game sessions happen once a week. This session happened April 5, 2021.]
[SPOILERS! If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]
Marativy – female ratfolk 5th level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 5th level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 5th level Monk
Swamprover – female grippli 4th level Wizard
Winston – male ratfolk 5th level Gunslinger
Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 5th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston
Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)
Mel Sharples – male halfling Cook (Expert of unknown level)
Alice Hyatt – female halfling Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)
Flo’ Castleberry – female gnome Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)
Day 36, Expedition Day 6
The group had several options as to what to do next. Winston was low enough on alchemical shot for his musket [which allow him to double-fire it] that he needed to make more or he would run out on the next trip into the dungeon. Swamprover needed reagents and ink to scribe a scroll as part of a spell exchange with Gridik. Winston, the group’s main damage dealer, running out of ammunition would at the least stop the expedition early and at the worst [if it happened mid-combat] could end up with someone dead. The group decided it was worth taking a day at camp so Winston could prepare more ammunition for the last day of this expedition.
Winston, Swamprover, and Marativy [probably] left to go talk with the troglodytes to see if they knew the location of anything that Winston could harvest and use as reagents. Just after they were out of earshot [Roscuro thought], Roscuro asked Templeton if he was still interested in a midnight raid against the boggards. [Templeton’s player and I had discussed this between games and it was reasonable that the characters had similar conversations in-game, just away from those who might find the conversations morally challenging.] While Roscuro and Templeton were discussing their options, Marativy suddenly popped up next to them [startling Roscuro, who swore she had left with Winston and Swamprover] asking if she could join in.
The trio decided that some scouting would be in order to get a feel for how many boggards there might be. Roscuro wrote a note for Winston and Swamprover explaining they were going scouting and gave it to Gridik to hold onto at the campsite. Roscuro and Marativy climbed onto Templeton’s back and he flew the trio west, towards the boggard village.
Meanwhile, Winston and Swamprover spoke with the troglodytes about reagents and inks. The troglodytes recognized the reagent Winston was asking for and knew a source, but it was near a small lake that few returned from, so the troglodytes avoided the area. As to inks, they knew two sources. A certain kind of bug when ground up would produce a “brownish purple” ink [we worked out the Other DM was trying to describe mauve without using the word]. Another source was swamp hag blood and swamp hags could be found in the Mushfens east of the peninsula. The swamp hags sounded like much more of a fight, so Swamprover asked about the insects. She was given a description of the insects and a location where they were common nearby.
Winston and Swamprover returned to the camp to report what they had learned. They were surprised to find Gridik the only adventurer still in camp. Gridik gave Winston the note from Roscuro. Winston read it and shrugged. He and Swamprover then convinced Gridik to come with them looking for reagents. Gridik wasn’t keen on it, but agreed to go with them.
Boggard Scouting Trip
Templeton flew Roscuro and Marativy low over the peninsula, landing at a spot east of the boggard village. The trio agreed this location would be their rally point if things went akilter and they had to flee the boggard village. They then quietly walked to positions near the boggard village. Marativy’s superior stealth allowed her to take up a position in some trees close in on the west side of the boggard village. Roscuro and Templeton played it safer and took a vantage point on the crest of a low hill across a small lake from the boggard village. The small lake had a primitive wharf [parallel to the shore, on piles] built near the village, opposite from where Roscuro and Templeton were and partially obscured from the village by a low hummock. There also seemed to be something large in the lake as ripples frequently ruffled the surface of the lake.
After a slow two and a half hours with minimal activity in the village, something finally happened. Two boggards dragged a captive troglodyte out of a hut and away from the village, towards the wharf. It quickly became obvious that the captive troglodyte was going to be thrown into the lake as food for whatever was swimming there. None of the ratfolk were good with this, the troglodytes being allies. Independently, Marativy and Templeton started creeping closer to the wharf and Roscuro loaded his light crossbow. Marativy readied her short bow and both she and Roscuro aimed at the boggards.
The unaware boggards dragged the troglodyte onto the wharf, one grabbing the feet, the other the arms. As they started swinging the body back and forth to get it some distance into the lake, Marativy and Roscuro fired their weapons. Each struck a different boggard [luckily] in the throat, Marativy killing the hers with one shot. [Both of us confirmed a crit, but Marativy also had sneak attack damage, so she did much more damage.] Templeton rushed forward and pounced on the still living boggard, shredding it before it could cry out.
Templeton carefully picked up the unconscious troglodyte and flew them back to where Roscuro was located. Marativy snuck forward and quietly lowered the dead boggards into the water where whatever was in the lake started eating the corpses. She then silently returned to her earlier observation point.
Templeton and Roscuro quietly talked. They agreed Templeton should fly the trog captive back to the troglodyte cave for healing and then return to pick up Marativy and Roscuro at the rally point. Templeton flew off with the troglodyte and Roscuro and Marativy settled in to see if the boggards noticed anything was amiss. It took some time, but eventually an alarm was raised and the boggards started searching for the missing inside the village. Marativy and Roscuro took a quick head count of the boggards and then left the area as the search started expanding outside the village. Nearly two hours later, Templeton returned to the rally point and picked up Marativy and Roscuro.
Reagents and Ink
Winston, Swamprover, and Gridik walked to the sites the troglodytes recommended. First they collected the insects for the ink. Swamprover and Gridik collected a pouch worth of the insects over an hour while Winston kept watch. The trio then walked over to the location the troglodytes said was a source for the reagent Winston needed.
This was near a small pond and Winston started collecting the material he needed. [We were a little hand-wavy about the exact material Winston was looking for, so I can't describe it.] While Winston was collecting the reagents, they noticed a cloud of spores slowly floating along towards them, against the breeze. This seemed very suspicious, so the trio left the area quickly before the spore cloud could catch up to them.
Back at Camp
Winston, Swamprover, and Gridik were the first to return to camp. Winston started using the group’s portable alchemy lab to process the reagents so he could create the alchemical shots he wanted for his musket. Swamprover and Gridik started processing the insects into the unusually colored ink, both taking careful notes about the process.
When Templeton returned with Roscuro and Marativy, both groups shared information over lunch. Winston walked over to the troglodyte cave to treat the rescued troglodyte. There he learned that the rescued troglodyte was Sulgesh’s mate! In addition to her injuries, she was also showing signs of Filth Fever, so Winston treated her for that.
End of Session
[You might notice that we were all back on Roll20 this session. This was due to the Other GM contracting Covid19 from family members. We skipped playing the previous week as the Other GM was ill and played remotely again the week after this one, after which he received a negative test, indicating he no longer had the virus. I had the first Moderna vaccine shot during this period, but the conditions of our continued face-to-face games is that no one spreads the virus. We’ve had three members of our group contract it, but all from separate outside vectors and with zero spread within the group. We aim to keep it that way.]
[Incidentally, I recently had the second Moderna shot with only a slightly sore arm and draggy feeling the next day (mostly from poor sleep that night – I kept waking up when I rolled over onto that arm). I consider myself lucky as I know people who had cold-like symptoms or a particularly sore arm for several days after getting the shot. Go get the vaccine and wear your mask when outside your home!]