Backing up several months, our alternate Golarion Three heroes have been sent to retrieve an artifact from a cave, enticed by a reward of 1000 gold pieces each. However, to their dismay they discover that it is not a simple cave full of monsters, but rather a lair for the home of Baba Yaga, linked here for anyone who may still be confused about her origins.
In their haste to claim the artifact, a toenail from Baba Yaga’s house, the party kills one of her daughters, Reece claiming a rather enticing mask in the process. Then they hightail it out of there on the assumption that if one of Baba Yaga’s daughters is in the vicinity, there may be more.
Back in the capital city of Whiterook, the party goes to visit the Jarl, presenting him with the toenail. As they claim their gold, a message suddenly erupts in Reece’s head, saying only: Failed heist in Oppara’s Museum of Golarion History. Pair of broken orbs, Riska and Marlin possessed by contents. Strange. Holed up in temple within museum.
Reece recognizes the voice of Obud Edri, a local tavern keeper who’d agreed to keep an eye on Riska during his absence. At the same moment, a boulder smashes into the throneroom. The party rushes outside to find a veritable army of frost giants, undead vikings, and a very angry woman with white hair. Penny identifies the frost giants as being strong against ice, at which point Simkin throws up his hands and decides to spend the combat reading a good book (although in the end it’s his flanking that allows Reece to do any damage whatsoever).
The party endures a grueling battle with the frost giants and wights, but emerges victorious after Kayl chops the last giant down to a couple of stumps. Reece awkwardly embraces Chhakuk, getting some more sweet heals for his trouble.
Baba Yaga’s daughter spins on Reece, shouting a demand for the return of her father’s mask, and the party decides that discretion is the better part of valor, which is to say turns tail and flees. They eventually find a cave in which to pass the night, and Reece explains that he’s received a message regarding his sister, and that he needs to head to Oppara immediately. Although the party isn’t sure exactly which of Reece’s stories are true, they recognize his urgency and agree to set off in the morning — by boat, in spite of Penny’s desire to fly.
About a week later, they engage in negotiations for the costly boat trip, with Reece tearfully convincing the hardened captain that he’s on his way to see his dying mother and desperately needs a better deal. Reece also asks Chhakuk if he can help him get in touch with Riska, which Chhakuk is willing to attempt — but he will need an expensive silver mirror that will be destroyed in the attempt. Reece purchases the mirror, getting a deal in exchange for the “magical pen of Hakes Pierce” (ie, an excellent bluff check).
As Chhakuk begins to scry, an overhead shot of a stone room comes into view. Although neither Reece nor Chhakuk recognizes it, it is the temple of Ahm Helmok. A creature sits on a throne, a split down the middle version that is half Riska, half Marlin, a gauntlet on either hand, apparently deep in thought. Reece erupts in a startled curse, prompting an inquiry from the Marlin-Riska creature, which speaks in unison.
The creature announces that it needs Reece, who demands an explanation for what is, even for this party, a particularly strange sight. The creature says that Riska and Marlin tried to steal two orbs from the museum, but the orbs smashed, the essence of gluttony gravitating to Marlin, the essence of greed to Riska. Immediately the orbs took effect, and Marlin began indulging everything while Riska robbed the town blind, becoming increasingly paranoid about losing what was “hers.” Realizing the current situation was unsustainable, they did some research and found that the only solution was to merge the orbs, allowing Ahm Helmok to incarnate in one of them. However, the temple in the museum had a heavily damaged altar, and this is the result of the attempt to perform the ritual on the less than perfect surface.
This caused a massive magical signature, catching the attention of the Dragon Emperor’s armies, who have now basically laid siege to the temple. The Marlin-Riska creature reminds Reece that there are sewers leading into the museum, and Reece uses the last of his spell to berate Marlin for not taking better care of his sister and order him to make sure no harm befalls her.
Reece and Chhakuk share this information with the rest of the party, who agree on a plan of action. After about six weeks of travel, they disembark in Oppara, albeit a far Oppara from any the regular characters would recognize. As a dragon flies low over the crowded docks, they set off in search of Reece’s family.
XP: 2640 each