Lamashan 10th, 4715.
The Heroes of the Everflame received a message from the Master of Scrolls, Kreighton Shaine. It read, “Meet me where it all began, one hour before dawn.” They were instructed to meet Shaine in the morning at The Pig’s Paunch in Absolam. They bedded down to rest for the night before setting out early the next day.
That night, Matthis and Ug were awakened by sounds of a horse inside the West House of the Grand Lodge. Matthis opened his bedroom door to spy the grim sight of the headless Dark Rider stomping through the halls of the building wielding his deadly whip made of some unfortunate soul’s spine. As Ug and Matthis steeled themselves for the confrontation to come, the halls were darkened with the shadows of a kyton master and a balor demon lord come to feast.
The Heroes rallied to wake the others from sleep as their surroundings suddenly changed and they found themselves back in the ruins of Xin-Grafar and the City of Golden Death. Stunned by the sight of their new surroundings, the heroes could only watch in horror as the demonic and otherworldly forces bared down on them. Just as suddenly as they had appeared, it all disappeared.
Ug and Matthis were left standing and staring down the suddenly empty halls of the West House. The house patron, Arnistolientar Popswicker, emerged from his room to berate the warriors for making noise in the hall after dark and returned to his bed in a huff.
The next day, the Heroes traveled to the Pig’s Paunch in the Puddles District as directed. They entered the bustling establishment to find Kreighton Shaine awaiting them atop a table in the center of the room. He explained that he wanted the heroes to meet them there where the Pathfinder Society was first founded because he was sending them out to attain their confirmation into the society.
Kreighton introduced them to their guide for this assignment, Janira Gavix, an halfling pathfinder that recently completed her own confirmation. The Heroes were instructed to journey to a hidden cave in the Kortos Mounts to discover why the gillmen were making pilgrimages there during the full moon.
Janira led the group through the streets of Absolam to meet her friend Yaki Baga, an halfling occultist from the outskirts of Nidal. Yaki had been visiting Janira in Absolam and made note of the importance of the date and the full moon involved. On the way to the Kortos Mounts, the party discovered the grisly remains of a centaur that had been mutilated by something.
Yaki used her occultist abilities grave words to speak with the corpse and discovered that it was the victim of the Pale Bull, a legendary Minotaur rumored to roam the Cairnlands. The party committed the centaur body to the ground in a proper burial and then continued on toward the mountain range.
After a day’s travel across the Isle of Kortos, the Heroes set up camp for the night. That night during the third watch, the heroes were awakened by sudden cold and emerged from their tents to find the world around them coated in snow and ice. Suddenly, four large demonic ogre spiders of Orcus attacked from the shadows. The heroes braced for attack and just as suddenly as it began, it was all gone again. The landscape returned back to normal and the night went still – but all was not well.
Janira’s companion, Yaki, had fallen during the night. They discovered her laying on her back, clutching her time dragon’s tooth to her chest, with her face frozen in a rictus of pain. The party knew they had to continue on to complete their confirmation, so they performed a small ritual and buried Yaki quietly in the brushlands.
The next day, they arrived late in the afternoon to find the entrance to the caves that Janira discovered not too many months ago. Just as they approached the entrance, a great beast emerged from the treeline, it was the Pale Bull and it charged at them with murder in its bloodshot eyes. Janira tossed her backpack to Eletho and instructed her charges to enter the cave. She would lose the Minotaur in the brush and meet up with them later.
Reluctantly, the heroes agreed with her suggestion and did as they were told. They quickly entered the cavern entrance, leaving Janira on her own with the mighty monster. Ele, Ug, Matthis and Telez journeyed into the cavern to discover a great chamber decorated with carvings and ancient murals depicting the various guises of Aroden the Last Azlanti. They continued on deeper into the cave to find a gillman kneeling in a pool of water, meditating upon a small scale model of the city of Absolam itself. The ground was littered with coins, trinkets and various offerings.
The gillman introduced himself as Uori, a deaf oracle that traveled to the cave on a pilgrimage to be healed. Uori spotted the Azlanti sword at Eletho’s side and took it as a good omen from the gods. He offered to help the heroes by giving them his wand of shield of faith. The party left Uori to his meditations and continued to explore the cavern.
They came across the body of a dhampir that had fallen at the hands of his own necromantic experiment. Surrounding the dhampir’s body on all sides was a set of four-armed skeletons. The heroes battled the skeletons and smashed them to the ground. After going through the dhampir’s belongings, they came across a note. The note detailed his ambitions to “raise an army of alien undead” from the four-armed skeletons he had stolen from an excavation site in the Numerian town of Torch.
Matthis, the druid, spotted a secret passage that led to the surface. They continued into the tight tunnels and made their way through the winding maze until coming in view of the outside moonlight shining in the far end. The heroes had to make their way out carefully, as they had to deal with a patch of green slime, an amoeba swarm and a gelatinous cube that almost swallowed Ug whole when he almost walked face first into the translucent ooze.
The heroes emerged from the cavern to find Janira bravely battling the Pale Bull in the moonlight. Janira confidently uttered a tale of Pathfinder courage, inspiring the party as they walked into the scene. They rushed forward to help their Pathfinder comrade with Eletho taking the full brunt of the Pale Bull’s initial assault. The elf magus was left bloodied and battered by the powerful beast.
The heroes continued the valiant fight against the monster with Janira taking a powerful blow that almost cut her in two. The heroes were able to get the beast away from her and heal her enough to keep her from dying. Eventually, they were able to overcome the Pale Bull and strike it down with Mara the tiger tearing out the dying creature’s throat.
That night, the Pathfinder rested to regain their strength before making the trip back to Absolam on foot. They were awakened in the night to find themselves in a hellish landscape trapped inside metal cages from which there seemed no escape. A voice boomed out across the chamber, “you killed my brother!!!” A large demonic ogre spider strode into view bearing the twisted face of Frederick Bvuld, the second “Blood Brother.” Frederick Bvuld aka “No-Face” was a Nightmare Stalker that hunted his victims in their dreams and had been stalking the party since before they left Absolam.
Matthis realized they were trapped in a hallucinatory terrain and began willfully disbelieving their surroundings. Once he warned the others that they were trapped in a dream, they were able to shunt out of the hellscape and back into the waking world where they had camped outside of the caverns at the Kortos Mounts.
After a bloody battle, they overcame No-Face and severed his head from his body.
The heroes made a rather uneventful trip back to Absolam and reported their findings to Kreighton Shaine. Kreighton revealed to them that the four-armed skeletons were likely Kasatha skeletons from another planet in the Golarion solar system and would make a fine new addition to the Star Hall exhibits. The Heroes were also rewarded with the opportunity to name the caverns they had discovered. Matthis suggested the name, “the Cave of the Last Azlanti” as the site seemed sacred to both Aroden as well as the gillmen of Kortos.
Three days later, the Heroes were approached by the various masters of the Pathfinder Society and awarded their first ioun stones.