Season 4 of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild campaign ran from August 2012 to July 2013. The season is referred to as the Year of the Risen Rune due to the season's prominent presence in Varisia and activities dealing with the mystic civilizations ruled by ancient wizard kings, or Runelords, that were lost to time. During this Season, the Cheliax Faction saw their faction head disappear and threatened to be killed. Through the actions of Pathfinders from around the world that aligned themselves with the Cheliax faction, Zarta Dralneen was rescued, though her power in nation of Cheliax would never be the same. During a Mid-Season update, it was determined that the Lantern Lodge and the Shadow Lodge factions would be eliminated from being an available faction for Pathfinders to align themselves with by the end of the season. When the season ended, the factions that remained were: Andoran, Cheliax, Grand Lodge, Osirion, Qadira, Sczarni, Silver Crusade, and Taldor.
In the Varisian Gulf near Magnimar, a Runecarved Key was found with nothing in history explaining what it was or did. Because of this, it was decided to be auctioned off to earn money for the principalities of Magnimar. During the auction, however, cultists of the ancient goddess, Lissala, infiltrated the auction that Pathfinders attempted to win in order to gain access to the key. During this auction, the Pathfinders were able to capture one of the cultists and attempted to glean information about the cult's location of operations and, more importantly, their motives. In doing so, the Pathfinders learned the locations of several small sects of cultists throughout Varisia. At the same time, archaeologists located a hidden temple at the base of Hollow Mountain that, after excavated, revealed an ancient artifact that was once used by the people of Bakrakhan. They also learned that the Aspis Consortium was working with the cultists, and attempted to sully their alliance by sabotaging a cult cell in Riddleport while disguised as Aspis agents. After breaking up two additional cults of Lissala, one in Palin's Cove and the other in Kaer Maga, the Pathfinders realize the cult plans to revive Runelord Krune, the weakest of the seven wizard kings of the past. Notes left in Kaer Maga from the cultists, lead the Pathfinders to an ancient Lissalan shrine in the Wyvern Mountains where the cultists were gathering refuge tokens, or items that when broken, allow travel to the hidden chambers of Runelord Krune.After gathering the final refuge tokens in Desgard's Thousand Columns, the Pathfinders locate and destroy Runelord Krune in an epic battle, before he is able to grace the lands of Golarion once again.
Other ongoing plots
The Pathfinders, looking to bolster their presence in the city of Magnimar, are sent to the home of co-Venture Captains, Sheila Heidmarch and Canayven Heidmarch. During the Pathfinders arrival, they are attacked but an unusual assailant that attempts to steal their belongings. However, after further investigation, the Pathfinders found out that this assailant is part of a larger plot to tarnish the name of the Pathfinders by the Aspis Consortium. Dealing with the Aspis Consortium, the Pathfinders realize that the Aspis' corruption has spread to Magnimar's well-known Golemworks. After dealing with the corruption in Magnimar, the Pathfinders are sent to the Storval Stairs where recent caravans of ancient artifacts and magical goods continue to be robbed. The Pathfinders are then sent to newly discovered elven ruins that at one time were used back in Thassilonian times. However, delving into the ruins, the Pathfinders found drow that have recently begun worshiping demons which worries the Pathfinder Society greatly. The Pathfinders are tasked with leading a sleepwalking man to an ancient temple that housed a Glabrezu locked there from ancient times. Next to it, the Pathfinders locate a Ghaele that was sent there to stop the demon.
Zeeva Foxglove, sister of a local restaurateur Sendeli Foxglove in Absalom, requests aid from the Pathfinders to resolve bullying from the local Aspis Consortium in Korvosa regarding selling her shop. After dealing with the Consortium, the Pathfinders discover that where Zeeva's shop is placed, a gruesome battle between the Chelish and the spiritual Shoanti people took place.
To honor the betrothal of Michellia Blakros and Hellknight Damian Kastner, the Blakros family hosted a wedding, which Pathfinders are invited to attend. To show their support for the newlyweds, Pathfinder agents attended the wedding and mingled with many influential names in Absalom and nearby countries. As a gift to the Blakros family, now Damian Blakros, gave his family's abandoned Chelish mansion, Ostergarde, to show his support of the marriage. During the reception of the wedding, a man by the name of Tancred Desimire attempted to sabotage guests from leaving the wedding and caused havoc, causing the Pathfinders to step in and help. . After the attack, Hamaria Blakros, fearful of what might be in their newly gifted home, requested Pathfinders go and investigate Ostergarde to verify that the Blakros family would be safe to move in. During the Pathfinders' endeavors into the remote manor, the Pathfinders learned that Tancred had been using this location as a base of operations, using it's basements to summon demons to bolster an army he planned to use to sack Absalom. Having nowhere to go, Tancred fled to the Worldwound.Having found notes revealing the location of Tancred's planned attack on Absalom, Pathfinders quickly head to ancient ruins on the border of Absalom, named Bonekeep, and thwart Tancred's plans. However, the Pathfinders find more than just Tancred's plot to destroy Absalom as they delve deeper in the ruins.
In response to Zarta Dralneen's order for her agents to eliminate Aglorn Desimire in the Hao Jin Tapestry at the conclusion of the Year of the Ruby Phoenix, Aglorn's brother, Tancred, framed the paracountess for disloyalty to Cheliax, which resulted in her disappearance and the official denial of her very existence. After secretly entering a gala held in the Chelish Embassy in the Ascendant Court, Pathfinders discovered that she was being held in Citadel Vraid near Korvosa. Thus, a contingent of Pathfinders visited the Order of the Nail to negotiate her release.
While at Citadel Vraid, the Pathfinders find and release a missing veteran Pathfinder, Sascha Antif-Arah, that requests them to find a memento of hers hidden in the depths of the sewers of Korvosa. In exchange, the Pathfinders service, Sascha cedes a part of her wealth to the Pathfinders.
Dorianna Ouida, leader of the dwindling Shadow Lodge, was discovered to be alive and well, and she retaliated against the Pathfinder Society for foiling her plans in Almas at the conclusion of the Year of the Shadow Lodge. She began this retribution by orchestrating heists in Magnimar and leaving behind wayfinders to implicate Pathfinders in the crimes, in the hopes of getting the organization banned from major cities. The Pathfinders catch word that a recent attacks in Riddleport threaten a former member of the Pathfinder Society who had become a scholar regarding the ancient Cyphergate that resides on the outskirts of Riddleport. Relying on help from the Pathfinder Society's Sczarni ally, Guaril Karela, the Pathfinders are able to learn about the location of Ouida's hideout in Riddleport. This, in turn, allowed the Pathfinders to capture Dorianna and bring her to justice. Before she could be turned over to the authorities, however, Grandmaster Torch gleaned from her critical information she had been hiding—the identities of the members of the Decemvirate—and immediately killed her in front of the Pathfinder agents who captured her to secure this knowledge as his alone.
On a routine mission to re-supply a renowned First World researcher, Ignizi Dinnelletter, the Pathfinders find that Ignizi has become besieged by undead. Investigating throughout the Sanos Forest, the Pathfinders locate a captured Faerie dragon that leads the Pathfinders to an evil pukwudgie that was creating undead and attempting to take over the forest with them.
The Hao Jin Tapestry, an artifact the Pathfinders won in Year of the Ruby Phoenix, is invaded by Aspis Consortium agents in an attempt to hinder the Pathfinders' use of the artifact. After dispatching the Aspis agents, the Pathfinders attune the Tapestry to allow inter-Golarion travel without any harm becoming of the artifact.
Amara Li finally located the Way of the Kirin as a result of her efforts in Tian Xia during the Year of the Ruby Phoenix. Just as she had hoped, the Way wished to create an alliance between the two organizations. However, during the treaty ceremony, both the Pathfinders and the Way were attacked by the Golden League, a rival guild allied with the Aspis Consortium. Defending the Way of the Kirin representatives and pushing back their assailants, Li and her trusted agents cemented the partnership between the the Lantern Lodge and the Way, and finalized the requirements she needed to finish a true lodge in Goka.
During excavations in Janderhoff, Pathfinders were requested to help explore and uncover any dwarven relics they might find. During their adventures there, they discovered a potential lead that could reveal the locations of previously lost Sky Citadels. This discovery precipitated an immediate expedition to the fallen citadel of Koldukar to follow up on the lead.In order to gain entrance into Koldukar however, the Pathfinders had to show their strength and power in the Hold of Belkzen to a arena full of blood-crazed orcs before gaining the information they need.Within the abandoned and orc-infested ruin, Pathfinders uncovered the location of one of the missing Sky Citadels—Jormurdun, in the land once known as Sarkoris, now the Worldwound.
Season 4 releases
The following adventures were released as part of Season 4. This table may be sorted by scenario number, title, level tier, metaplot arc, venture-captain (or other official) assigning the mission, faction metaplot, location, or country.
- Kyle Baird and Tim Hitchcock. (2012). Race for the Runecarved Key, Paizo Inc.
- Mike Shel. (2012). In Wrath's Shadow, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Ron Lundeen. (2012). Severing Ties, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Sam Zeitlin. (2012). The Cultist's Kiss, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Dennis Baker. (2012). Feast of Sigils, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Steve Miller. (2012). The Refuge of Time, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- John Compton. (2013). Words of the Ancients, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Tim Hitchcock. (2013). The Waking Rune, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Matthew Goodall. (2012). Rise of the Goblin Guild, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Larry Wilhelm. (2012). The Golemworks Incident, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Dennis Baker. (2012). King of the Storval Stairs, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Sam Polak. (2013). Tower of the Ironwood Watch, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Michael Kortes. (2013). The Night March of Kalkamedes, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Jim Groves. (2012). The Green Market, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Thurston Hillman. (2012). The Blakros Matrimony, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Larry Wilhelm. (2013). Day of the Demon, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Jason Bulmahn. (2012). Ruins of Bonekeep Level 1: The Silent Grave, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Jason Bulmahn. (2013). Ruins of Bonekeep Level 2: Maze to the Mind Slave, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Jonathan H. Keith. (2012). The Disappeared, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Amanda Hamon. (2013). Fortress of the Nail, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Savannah Broadway. (2013). The Veteran's Vault, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- James Olchak. (2013). My Enemy's Enemy, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Patrick Renie. (2012). The Cyphermage Dilemma, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Ron Lundeen. (2013). Rivalry's End, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Jerome Virnich. (2012). The Sanos Abduction, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Tom Phillips. (2013). The Fabric of Reality, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Dennis Baker. (2013). Way of the Kirin, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Tork Shaw. (2013). Halls of Dwarven Lore, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Christina Stiles. (2013). The Price of Friendship, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- Larry Wilhelm. (2013). The Secrets Stones Keep, Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- A scenario that can be used in the high-level arc but is not directly tied to the ongoing metaplot.
- a scenario that can be used in the Low Level arc but is not directly tied to the ongoing metaplot
- These modules are related to one another, rather than forming a fully fledged plot arc
- This scenario was released as a Convention Special for 2012