For backgrounds on the characters played in this campaign, look here~
No longer barred by the fearsome golden remnants of Tar-Baphon’s servitor antiquity, the party was at last freed to proceed into the innermost sanctum of Xin-Grafar. Having discovered the hoard of the skeletal dragoness, the group soon found that the magic greatsword therein was actually intelligent and aware—identifying herself as Astarathia, the spirit of the gold dragoness from whom the hard-fought skeletal guardian had been wrought so many years ago. Thankful to the party for having at long last put her remains to rest, Astarathia implored an exchange of knowledge and information with the newcomers to the city and was soon apprised of all that had transpired in the centuries since her misfortune and the fall of the original scholarly inhabitants.
It was during this exchange of knowledge that it became clear that Tar-Baphon’s prior downfall and imprisonment in Gallowspire had scarcely been an end to the wizard king’s wicked machinations—and that, in fact, terrible conspiracies had been forged among great evils which set to span the centuries thereafter. According to Astarathia, she had accompanied the scholars and lords gathered in Xin-Grafar long ago (in what was then the metropolis of Kestrillon) that they may discern the plots of Tar-Baphon against Aroden and all of Golarion.
More was shared with Astarathia, and it was said that this gathering deduced that Tar-Baphon had formed an alliance with great evils across the multiverse, putting into motion vast conspiracies which threatened the whole of the world; however, Kestrillon was laid to ruin and its occupants slain before such information could be spread beyond its secretive walls. Prior to this, the scholars had determined that great entities from beyond Golarion had been solicited, such as Baba Yaga and even the wicked demon prince Orcus—the former having staked her claim among the lands of the linnorm kings, while the later would follow such with an invasion of the very fabric of the Abyss.
With light shed upon this ancient threat, Pandora then shared with her companions a portion of her own origins—speaking of her mother’s own conflict with Orcus and the reason for her presence upon Golarion. Brother Vang spoke of his quest against Geb, the necromancer named amongst Tar-Baphon’s supposed conspirators as support welled among the party; Emma brought forth the question raised which had plagued scholars for generations: what had led to the disappearance of Aroden? Was this vast and ancient conspiracy the answer to the missing god?
Ahead, the countdown to a doom most imminent continued to run; with unearthed secrets on their minds, the group forged onward across the final bridge to the tabernacle at the center of Xin-Grafar. Pandora saw to a deadly trap of molten gold before gaining entrance to the sizable structure—while within, the party was faced with a rope spanning a gap over a darkened pit below. While Pandora moved swiftly to the other side, Meryk missed his step and plunged into the pit below amidst layers of golden coins in the darkness; moments later, Pandora spied an immense dark naga emerging from thin air and the battle below was engaged.
Brother Vang strode fearlessly from the ledge above to slam down alongside his comrade; Pandora, Emma and Anselme soon joined the melee as the naga thrashed and stung about. As soon as the insidious creature was slain, valves opened alongside the edges of the treasure pit and molten gold began to flow and flood; above, Cassandra was assailed by the wicked Babau demon once more before the fiend vanished as before. Grabbing what treasure they could before beginning a frenzied ascent, the party managed to escape the flooding molten gold before making headway to the opposite ledge once more.
As Pandora and Anselme were securing passage into the next chamber and Emma carried Cassandra across the rope, an invisible priest of Razmir revealed herself before cutting the rope spanning the gap—nearly sending the part hurtling downward into the molten gold below. Anselme charged the masked woman, pushing her screaming from the ledge before she vanished beneath the liquid gold quite painfully. Other priests revealed themselves then alongside a final herald of Razmir, a pitched battle engaged even as the rise of chanting could be heard in the closed chamber beyond.
Swift, brutal battle ensued before at long last the herald and his fellows were felled; together the party shored up abreast the doors to the final chamber, healing and steeling themselves before venturing inside. As soon as the way was opened, Iramine immediately began to bombard the party with prepared magics—slowing, blinding, greasing, and assailing with powerful fireballs in a rain of arcane power. A difficult, trudging advance was made before the Babau re-appeared for the final confrontation, the battle fierce and difficult.
Having endured a hail of powerful magic, slowly but surely blows were landed against Iramine—seemingly possessed by the artifact she now held; when the elf was nearly slain, she was gripped by the Jewel of Everlasting Gold and subsumed within a towering fire elemental which began to drain and focus her power. Blasting adventurers about and battering blazing blows, the elemental strode about the artifact chamber delivering punishment before at long last during its death throes squeezed one final fireball from Iramine within before dispersing.
With the elven adventuress laid out, the party was swift to secure her before making attempts to intercede the magic which seemed to grip her psyche; Brother Vang was successful in blocking the control in place, rousing Iramine to her senses—after which she shared having no recollection for more than two months passed beyond the arrival of a masked stranger in dark robes in Tamran. Upon being informed of the transpired events, Iramine seemed dismayed: with Xin-Grafar opened, the portion of Tar-Baphon’s intelligence sown into the Jewel of Everlasting Gold would have had contact with the world beyond the city.
It was decided that the party would make due haste to depart Xin-Grafar, that the key to such would be broken into three parts once more and a portion sent to Absalom for safekeeping by the Pathfinder Society. Within a sizable treasure chest within the final chamber, a number of magic items were discovered alongside Taes, the Master’s Finch. Preparing themselves for battle during their egress, the party steeled for what lay ahead…
See what Emma thought about these last two sessions here!
See what Meryk thought about these last two sessions here!