June 1

Rise of the Runelords Session 5 – The Sock Event and other tales of horror


In Rise of the Runelords Session 5 some of the party members go on a dig to uncover an ancient statue while others are told of the horrific tragedy that was the Sock Event. A day later the Varisians contracted to build the market stalls all fall ill. Coincidence?

The session

∼ Fireday, 24 Arodus, 4707 AR ∼

Forge starts the day with some meditation in the company of Sabyl Sorn. As the mist near the shore covers the duo, Forge realizes he had a way too short night. Darsk helps with the morning activities at the butcher as the butcher’s intern is still figuring out the most efficient way of making sausages.

After his meditation Forge heads over to the Scarnetti Manor to look for Lucius. Titus stands in front of the manor, discussing some matters with 2 of his henchmen. The henchmen leave with a “We’ll do as ordered” and get on their horses. Forge addresses Titus politely and asks for Lucius. One of the servants fetches Lucius and the duo have breakfast together in Lucius’ bedroom.

Forge is quite impressed with the size of a simple bedroom in Scarnetti Mansion. The room is, of course, filled with books and sketches of Alenia. On the wall there’s also 3 very well done portraits of Lucius at the age of six, twelve, and eighteen.

During breakfast Forge shows Lucius a sheet with the code language from the merchant’s book and asks him is he can help to figure out what it says. Without any books though, Lucius is not able to translate the code. Curious as ever Lucius tries to find out where this code came from but Forge keeps him in the dark.

Lucius then tells Forge about the body that was found and asks him to snoop around in the harbor to see if any ships were missing their crew. Forge is not entirely convinced that this will shed some light on the situation but he agrees to ask around.

After breakfast Lucius is summoned to his father’s office. Titus asks Lucius to monitor Brodert Quink‘s activities. Word has reached Scarnetti Manor that Quink has recently dug up something ancient and possibly Varisian. Titus wants to know if the item poses any problems for Sandpoint or the Scarnetti family. Quink is about to go on a dig today and Lucius is ‘encouraged’ to join him and find out some details.

Darsk in the meanwhile is hell-bent on finding out more about goblins and is questioning Bors who tells him the story of the Sock Event, a tale of goblins stealing the socks of Sandpoint residents. The dog slicer that was discovered after this event took place is still on display at the Garrison. It’s hanging right next to a sock that was left behind. After that frightening tale, Darsk spends a couple of hours training.

Forge and Lucius head over to Brodert Quink who is, to say the least, very very enthusiastic about his findings. After about a minute of ramblings about ancient times Forge is already sorry that he joined Lucius. The trip to the dig site takes about an hour and Forge takes a nap on the back of Quink’s cart.

At noon Darsk visits The Rusty Dragon for a few beers and a quick chat with Ameiko. Darsk then grabs a chair and introduces himself to Lam, one of the guests of the Dragon. He learns that Lam lives in Magnimar but delivers goods and letters to the surrounding regions.

At the dig site local farmers doubt that Quink will be able to dig up his discovery today, let alone transport it with a small cart pulled by a  donkey. Lucius and Forge tend to agree as soon as they see the enormous stone statue that has been discovered. The part that has been uncovered so far is an enormous eye and nose. Another thing that is immediately clear is that Quink is not the most pragmatic type when it come to organizing the digging. Luckily one of the nearby farmers bring a few drinks and help a bit with some of the digging.

Back in Sandpoint, the noon Garrison briefing is underway and Darsk is informed that a ship has arrived carrying a whole bunch of market stalls for the festival. The local militia is asked to help transport to the market place. Local Varisians have been able to get a contract somehow to build the stalls at the marketplace. As he’s helping with the transport, Darsk discovers that Valeros has also been hired to provide the necessary muscle.

Near the evening Quink suddenly realizes that they won’t be able to finish digging up the statue today. As they wrap up the activities for the day Quink talks about his theory that the statue probably once belonged to the Sandpoint harbor several kilometers away. He also thinks there was once a gigantic wall in that area before there was a sea there. He then continues about a terrible war between several unknown parties. That would explain why that statue ended op here. On the other hand, Quink is also convinced that he’ll be able to transport the statue to Sandpoint so Forge takes all the stories with a grain of salt.

To thank the militia for helping with the market stalls a small party is being organized at the Garrison. Lucius speak to Darsk about the body of the sailor that he found and wonders is Darsk perhaps noticed something on the ship he unloaded. They come to the conclusion that it was not someone from that crew as the crew was all wearing a distinct type of colored trousers. After the party dies down, Forge and Darsk head over to Junker’s Edge to manufacture some traps in the hopes of catching some goblins. They manage to place some snare traps and around midnight they head home. Lucius visits the Varisian encampment in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Alenia. He joins them at their campfire and notices that the Varisians are friendly towards him but keep a certain distance. Despite having heard good rumors about Lucius, he still carries the Scarnetti after all. They talk about the new cathedral being built and it originally being a place of worship for the Varisians.

Right before heading to bed, Forge pays a visit to the locksmith’s shop to see if he can pick the shop’s lock. The locksmith has a new lock, one with 4 key holes. The previous lock with 3 keyholes Forge was able to pick but this one is too challenging. Forge notices that the lock is even magnetized on the inside and almost loses one of his lock picks. Even though the lock has defeated him for now, Forge is certain he hasn’t left any tracks of him tampering with the lock. Volioker won’t have a clue that someone tried to open his lock.

∼ Starday, 25 Arodus, 4707 AR ∼

In the morning Lucius reports to Titus about the activities at the dig site. As Lucius enters, an enormous bull of a man is being reprimanded by Titus and sent away. As Titus hears about the enormity of the statue and the impractical approach of Quink, he decides the dig is not a threat to the Scarnetti activities. Titus is satisfied about the report and invites Lucius to a dinner party on the eve of the Swallowtail Festival. After that Lucius visits The Curious Goblin looking for some books about code breaking and secret languages.

Forge heads to the theater to buy a ticket for the new show, best seats in the house of course. The idea is to somehow leave the ticket unseen at the locksmith’s shop for being defeated by Volioker’s lock. He prepares a card that says “The magnets were a nice touch” and will look for an opportunity to leave them behind in the shop.

At noon during the militia briefing the group is informed that the militia will need to help building the stalls as several of the Varisians who were contracted to do the work have fallen ill. After the briefing Forge heads over to Junker’s Edge but no goblins have ended up in the traps so far.

Lucius heads over to the Varisian camp and finds several sick people. The Varisians are pooling together to take care of their own, setting up specific tents for the ill, boiling water, washing clothes, and so on. What is very remarkable is that it’s almost exclusively the men who got sick.

A bit further Titus is addressing mayor Deverin about the situation. The party splits up: Lucius will try to use his knowledge of healing to comfort the ill, Darsk moves in a bit close to overhear the conversation between Titus and Kendra, and Forge heads into the village to look for the Varisian elder Madame Mvashti.

Titus points out the lack of hygiene among the Varisians and that it is unacceptable for such an outbreak to continue so close to the Swallowtail Festival. In addition he points out that the Varisians were contracted to do a job and are now unable to perform their duties which means some else will need to step up. He urges the mayor to take her responsibility and solve the situation as soon as possible.

Lucius is trying to figure what happened. He notices that if the ill even just drink water, they already have to throw up. Herbals tea is thus not an option. He then decides to analyze yesterday’s food but everyone had the same meal so if the food was somehow poisoned, everyone should be ill now, not just the men.

Darsk proposes to the sheriff to quarantaine the Varisians on Chopper’s Isle. The sheriff points out to him that there’s a political game being played right now. Titus has craved the mayoral title for a while now so he wants to milk this situation and place mayor Deverin in a bad light, while he tries to steal the show by offering solutions.

Unfortunately Madame Mvashti is not home so Forge returns to the group. He spots Tibor Scarnetti on a nearby rooftop with one of his cronies, watching the spectacle and laughing about the situation. Forge hides out of sight and tries to hit Tibor in the head with a rock but barely misses. Tibor and Knuckles look for the culprit but can’t find anyone nearby.

After questioning the Varisians the party finds out there was a conversation about the contracted work yesterday evening where some drinks were shared among the working men. After some searching Lucius finds one of the bottles and it turns out to be a similar bottle then was used at the militia party. There’s a bit of residue left in the bottle so Lucius decides to head to an alchemist that has done some work for his father in the past.

Memorable moments of roleplay

  • GM Koen describing the horrible tale of the Sock Event
  • GM Koen portraying Brodert Quink and rambling on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and …
  • The look on Forge’s face when he realizes going to the dig actually encompasses digging.
  • Darsk tells Forge and Lucius about his day and about the Varisians that will build the market stalls. “Tomorrow the Shoarma’s or whatever, the Shuri’s will build the market stalls.”

« Rise of the Runelords home · Rise of the Runelords Session 4 · Rise of the Runelords Session 6 »

Goblin artwork by Inkyhollow



About the author

Ralph is a gamer, dungeon master, Youtuber, and RPG collector who's incredibly passionate about roleplaying games. Coming from a computer roleplaying game background, he discovered tabletop roleplaying games at GenCon Benelux and a whole new world opened up. When he was properly introduced to them in a local gaming store, he knew he had found the best game ever!

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