This year’s AaWBlog Adventure Path got off to a great start last month and today we’re bringing it all together so you folks can get a feel for the big picture before we push on through to June!
The PCs hear about a lucrative position as tax collectors gathering funds in the junction town of the Three Sisters to help it recover from the destruction wrought in Disaster in Drak’kal (subscriber link). When they arrive in the settlement, however, a dangerous mob has collected outside of the Dockmaster’s house, led by a bruiser of a rabblerouser!After resolving the situation (perhaps with words rather than steel) the adventurers are hired on by Antonio Casta, given merchant’s monickers and the right to collect taxes from the citizens of Drak’kal. Unfortunately it’s not so simple as going door to door! The animals that escaped from the Broztavya Circus and died in Drak’kal before they could be recaptured still linger on as dangerous spirits, and in the case of one particular little beast, live on but have become far more dangerous! To assuage some of the merchants the party is made to explore the sewers of Drak’kal and in the damaged tunnels they find a former organ grinder, the dangerously mischievous bard monkey! For their efforts PCs receive the cooperation of the traders, as well as a temper rod in the event some of their other tax collections go awry.
Collecting the duties of the town isn’t all grimy glory though, and the party might try their hand at laboring away in the Drak’kal Tax Office. Not all of their predecessors met with the adventurer’s kind of success and some still haunt the place (making even visiting the building a dubious proposition) but for the studious or academically inclined, it can be an effective way to fulfill Dockmaster Casta’s tasks; not all of the previous tax collectors left behind an angry legacy though, and the customs trap could prove to be a boon as well.
Like in much of the Klavek Kingdom the echoes of the past can still be a detriment in Drak’kal, though what troubles are to come will occupy the PCs’ attention more than the land’s history. One of the biggest debts on the list belongs to Lightning Stokva and collecting it from the local hero is a little more complicated than writing him a ticket—recently his companions were slain in a botched raid on a monster’s lair and he’ll only pay up after the party has killed the final beast.
Once the adventurers are in his confidence they receive Lightning Stokva’s peacock helm as a personal thank you, and he tells them of something more disturbing than docks in need of repair. His cousin Issa is a refugee from the settlement of Ullast (one of the only residents from the disappeared town) and her flight to Drak’kal has left her so traumatized that when she sleeps her nightmares become real. The hero thinks that collecting her belongings, those she forgot in the warehouse where she first slept once she reached the city, will bring the poor lass some solace.
Within the structure the PCs don’t run into the gang that ran her out, but find instead some corpses and a truly horrifying creature (from which a canny alchemist can make a dangerous concoction): a mysterious, malfunctioning skurgxon!
The trail of Issa’s trek to Drak’kal ran across Enixam and when their jobs as tax collectors in Drak’kal come to an end, Dockmaster Antonio Casta offers them a princely sum to travel across the Klavekian grasslands to deliver an important curative to the baroness that rules over the capital’s undesirable twin. At some point or another the PCs have to cross over the Mohkba River* (which can be quite a task even during these warm summer months) and worse yet, a new type of extremely aggressive beast* now prowls the waterway. Some treasure lay in the thing’s gullet (or the means to find more!), though large creatures aren’t the only danger that besets the party during this part of their journey!
On the other side of the waterway the adventurers come across a very strange moose* that is much more than it seems and while it may help them on the way to Enixam, ultimately the creature seeks more than good company*. Before reaching another site of death the party finds a corpse curiously covered in metal needles—clever PCs can recover valuable footwear from it, though they may come to regret disturbing the body at all—until finally reaching the leper city after traversing the natural graveyard (a place the land itself compels them to enter).
*Sidequest Saturdays and Statblock Sundays on the AaWBlog now feature additional rules for players using 5E!
Keep on stopping by through 2015 to see where this year’s AaWBlog Adventure Path is headed!
As always, thanks for reading!