Hollow’s Last Hope – PSHC Session 1
Date: Sunday, 12th of January 2014 – Players: Kris, Patrizia, Steven – Characters: Lirianne, Lemi, Harsk, Valeros (NPC)
This was the try-out session for my Pathfinder Society Home Campaign (PSHC). The first adventure we’ll play is Hollow’s Last Hope, Paizo Publishing‘s Free RPG day 2007 module. We started with me explaining the basics of the campaign, and general information about Golarion, the Pathfinder Society, and its factions. Then I had the players roll a D20 to see who could pick their character first. Steven chose to play Harsk, Patrizia picked Lem(i), and Kris had a hard time choosing but in the end couldn’t say no to the big guns of Lirianne. To make it a 4 player party I rolled a d10 and ended up with Valeros as a NPC. And so the story of Hollow’s Last Hope began.
The players quickly introduce and show their characters to one and other and we’re off. The characters have only just completed their Pathfinder Society training, after which they were enjoying a two week reprieve before being summoned back to the Grand Lodge in Absalom. They meet up at the gate and are shown to the office of Ambrus Valsin. Here they meet a fellow pathfinder who introduces himself as Valeros and who looks as if he has been in a fight or two.
Ambrus Valsin tells them of a former Pathfinder named Deldrin Baleson who’s currently the sherif of Falcon’s Hollow. Deldrin has contracted some kind of disease that the local healers can’t seem to remedy and has requested the Society’s assistance for old time sake. Ambrus tells the group that a journey to Falcon’s Hollow has been arranged for them by boat, that they are to investigate this disease and make sure Deldrin is cured.
The group goes shopping for some last-minute provisions and Lirianne and Lemi are able to haggle their way into a nice gun cartridge deal by convincing the merchant that his gunpowder is so worthless that he has to give them a discount. The seller completely buys into the story and even comments on how he’s going to complain to his supplier about this delivery. In the meanwhile the pragmatic Harsk is trying to figure out what kind of extra provisions would be needed for this mission. Then Valeros leads them to the docks district where they visit a tavern for some food and drinks until the ship leaves. While the rest of the group keeps it quite civil, Valeros starts a true drinking spree but without noticeable effect so far.
Once on board of the ship that will bring them to Andoran’s capital Almas, Harsk is ill at ease. The fact that Valeros and Liriane describe in glorious details how easily one can get sick on a boat and what effects that will have, is not really helping him much. Lemi decides to play some tunes until she is asked by the sailors to sing a few sailor songs to which she happily obliges. After a few lines many of the sailors start singing along and things turn into a merry bunch until the ship’s captain cracks his whip to signal he’s had enough of it. Lemi, as a member of the Andoran faction, didn’t like that at all but things were very quiet the rest of the trip. In Almas the party is informed that a river boat called the Wild Mary, is waiting for them. While the crew of the Wild Mary hoist their last crates on board, Valeros quickly visits a dockside inn to purchase a few bottles of booze. The crates being loaded on board all feature a brand of the Lumber Consortium.
The trip to Falcon’s Hollow is uneventful and gives the characters the opportunity to speak with the captain who provides them some information on the Darkmoon Vale, the town, and the Consortium. Upon arrival, it’s already evening but the sun’s still up so the party decides to visit the low market and ask around for Sheriff Baleson. They locate one of his deputies who provides some information on the town and the blackscour taint until the sheriff shows up. The sheriff indeed is affected by the blackscour taint and tells the group all he knows, on several occasions interrupted by severe coughing and spitting blood on the floor. He also tells them that they’ve had their first casualty to the disease that day. The group expects foul play and tries to find out who could gain from this plague but nothing conclusive is found. They then decide to visit the local healer Laurel and see a whole line of people waiting outside the Roots & Remedies. Harsk and Lirianne decide to check out some people who leave the shop and interview some of them, while Lemi reassures the locals that they’re there to help and not trying to cut in front of anyone. They quickly come to the conclusion that a number of people do not seem to share the same characteristics of being ill. As the line is quite long, they decide to head to the temple of Iomedae first and talk to Lady Cirthana. As Valeros is incredibly bored with all this talking and ‘investigation stuff’, Liriana sends him to the Sitting Duck to arrange their stay and pick up some rumours.
The temple, while very impressive, is also very empty as Lady Cirthana hasn’t lived in town long enough to start earning the trust of the locals. She tells the party her story and what she and Laurel have found out about the disease. The fact that the taint is caused by mushrooms that somehow ended up in the village well, does not seem to be a satisfactory explanation though. After their conversation at the temple, Lemi, Liriana, and Harsk return to Laurel’s shop and wait in line to be able to speak to her. When Laurel hears that they’re there to help she tells them about her grandmother’s recipe and the witch Ulizmila. She asks them to gather the missing ingredients ironbloom mushrooms, rat’s tail, and elder moss. She also gives them some vague descriptions on where the rat’s tail and elder moss can be found and directs them to Milon Rhoddam, an expert on the local woods for a more specific location information.
The characters decide to head over to the inn to check out the rooms Valeros has booked. At the inn they find Valeros in between a group of adventurers, a woman on his lap, drinking beer like crazy and being loud. Very loud. Lirianne joins the group, orders some drinks, and even participates in a game of stick-the-dagger-between-your-fingers-really-quickly. Unfortunately she cuts herself which launches a lot of laughter amongst the adventurers. In the meanwhile Harsk and Lemi find out how much Valeros is due for his drinks alone and decide he can pay all of that by himself. After a drink, they decide to go for a walk and hear some nearby wolves howling. They head over to the Jak ‘a’ Napes where they enjoy Jak’s flapjacks, baking pan juggling and crossbow mastery, all at once. After that they head over back to the Sitting Duck for a well-deserved rest.
Hollow’s Last Hope – Memorable moments of roleplay
- Steven was describing Harsk as a bit of a non-standard dwarf, not drinking alcohol and preferring the woods over mountains, caves, and underground dwelling. Everyone was poking fun at that and laughing until Kris mentioned that Harsk’s beard wasn’t really that much of a beard either, after which Steven turned completely serious and said: “Hey, no jokes about the beard. Seriously.”
- Lirianne wanting to get into the High Market area because it’s not allowed. Just out of principle.
- Playing out Valeros as very bored with all the investigation stuff until the rest of the group sends him to the inn to pick up rumors and book their rooms. When the party eventually ends up at the inn, Valeros is partying like crazy, hoisting beer after beer.
- The character’s faces when they found out the amount of cash Valeros was due just for his drinks.
- The amount of details the players went into. ‘So when was this village founded ? ‘, ‘That temple of Iomedae, is it an old building? What year was it built?’, ‘So in which region does this blackscour mushroom grow normally?’, ‘Why is this inn called Jak ‘a’ Napes?, …
- Patrizia dropping her pencil, crawling over her seat to pick it up, losing the pencil in her hair, … ‘In another game I play a gnome called Fidget. Just practicing.’
- Kris’ face as he finds out the cost of one gunshot.
- Lirianne and Lemi haggling away for gun cartridges, convincing the merchant that his wares are such crap that he has to give them a discount. The merchant (me) of course rolled a 1.
- Harsk not feeling very comfortable on a boat and Lirianne en Valeros describing in great detail how many sick people they’ve already seen hanging overboard, puking their guts out.
- Lirianne drinking from other people’s beers when they’re not paying attention.
- The fact that it took a 5.5 hour session just to get to page 4 of the adventure: the mission, travel to Falcon’s Hollow, and check out the town. Love it !
Hollow’s Last Hope Session Overview
- Hollow’s Last Hope Session 1
- Hollow’s Last Hope Session 2
- Hollow’s Last Hope Session 3
- Hollow’s Last Hope Session 4