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City of Strangers (Inactive)

Game Master Nebten


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The city of Kaer Maga sits in the heart of Varisia, a vast stone hexagon of unknown origin perched high atop the cliffs of the Storval Rise. This cyclopean structure predates even the Empire of Thassilon, which ruled these lands 10,000 years ago, and today it is a city of wonders, intrigue, and mysteries.

Some of you have lived a majority of your life in Kaer Maga. Others, for various reasons, have found yourselves in the strange city. Whether you're a lifer or a newcomer, the City is now your home - for good or ill.

It is a quarter to midnight. You are scheduled to arrive at the Godsmouth Cathedral to meet with a Pharasman priestess at midnight. You have been commissioned for a task by the Church of Pharasma.

As you arrive at the Cathedral, you are met by a pale gnome - it is clear that this is a Bleachling. He asks you to wait patiently until all have arrived.

First to post is the first to arrive. We'll move on as soon as everyone is here.


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

Elizabeth walks up to the cathedral with some trepidition, she had received the message the the library and was intrigued at the oppurtunity. makign arrangements for a shift change, Elizabeth gathered the equipment she thought she would need and went to the cathedral. Nodding to the gnome, she takes a seat and waits for the rest of the group.


male Halfling Oracle 3

Gunder is in a hurry. He nearly forgot that he had an appointment at the Godsmouth Cathedral tonight. He hastily packs all his adventuring gear into his backpack and sets off for the cathedral.

He makes a minor detour through the Street of Little Gods, performing some rituals and prayers at a handful of random shrines (quite possibly not always picking the right ritual for the right shrine). Settling on one particular faith has never been his thing, but still he prefers to stock up on good fortune before embarking on an adventure.

Entering the cathedral, Gunder is relieved when the bleachling tells him that he is not the last person to arrive.

He recognizes the person waiting with him as one of the Ardoc clan - though he doesn't recall her name. Great, I'm going to have to work for the Ardocs, he thinks, So much for good fortune. But then again, maybe she is not as stiff as most of them. Still, better be polite to her.

"Good evening, Ms Ardoc" he says with the most eager smile he can muster.


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

Andrea turns to the halfling and nods, a polite smile on her face. Good evening to you as well.


Tina jogs towards the God's mouth Cathedral, using the light from the lamp posts to help her see on this moonless night.

as she is arriving at the Cathedral she sees; A male halfling, human woman, and a bleachling.

She is an Ulfen Woman of about 6 foot 3. She has inherited comely features and has a muscular yet buxum and curvy build with pale skin, But her face is beautiful with blue eyes and long Golden Blonde Hair in a braid that starts at the base of the skull and ends near her waist.
She seems to be wearing a form of monk's clothes with knee length shorts.

when she gets to the doors
"Is this God's mouth Cathedral?"


Super Awesome Vudrani Druid 3
Stats:
Init +2 Per + 10| AC 14/12/12 HP 26/28 | F +4/R +3/W +7 | CMB +2 CMD 14 | Surge +7 7/7

Garuneh arrives at a rolling stroll, clearly in no hurry. He takes in the unnatural sights of the evening with a mixture of curiosity and serenity.

"A pleasant evening to you both. Gunder and Elizabeth, if I recall correctly," he says in slightly accented Common.


M Halfling Order of the Dragon Gendarme Cavalier 1

Durnolf barrels through the streets outside atop Ruckus, dismounting to enter the Cathedral and leading Ruckus in. When he sees the small group gathered he asks, "One of you sent a note for me at the Flaming Goblin Inn about some possible work? I'm Sir Durnolf Banderswel, and this is Ruckus. He pats the wolf before pointing at Gunder. "You look passing familiar, lad, have we had drink together before? You wouldn't forget if we had, I'm sure!"


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

Elizabeth turns to the Ulfan woman. Indeed it is,are you here about the call for volenteers at the temple? Elizabeth also nods at Garuneh in greeting.


"Thank goodness, and yes, I am here about the call for volunteers."

she thinks to herself
"Well, at least with another woman in the group the men might not end up being as Piggy as the customers in the taverns I worked in."


Super Awesome Vudrani Druid 3
Stats:
Init +2 Per + 10| AC 14/12/12 HP 26/28 | F +4/R +3/W +7 | CMB +2 CMD 14 | Surge +7 7/7

"Ah, Banderswel and my lady, I also received a note passed down the streams to a wheelhouse at the Cavalcade where I had been working. Perhaps it was from someone other than those of our assembly here." Garuneh looks thoughtful. "It is strange and wonderful how beings and circumstances flow together in the Dhamma."

He looks at the bleachling. "Even terrible circumstances can lead to enlightenment...as they say...neh?" He rolls the unfamiliar slang around on the tongue as if trying a new flavor, and decides he likes it.


M Halfling Order of the Dragon Gendarme Cavalier 1

Durnolf looks at Tina. "My you're a tall lass, even for the big folk. I hope we're not volunteering, I've been looking forward to a healthy purse for some time now. One can only provide work through the grace of their good nature for so long, you know, much as it pains me to say it.


she laughs a bit at the tall comment.
"If you think I'm tall, your off the mark.
I'm short by Ulfen standards as I'm only 3 inches taller than the shortest Ulfen man,
and 3 inches shorter than an average Ulfen Woman."


M Halfling Order of the Dragon Gendarme Cavalier 1

"Then take no offense my lady, as I mean no disrespect, but I hope never to venture into your home land. I suspect it would be a highly disconcerting experience, and I'm getting far too old for such things. That's quite an eye for measures you've got though."

He turns to the others.

"What of the rest of you, are you locals? I've only been in this city myself for the span of a few months at most, but I'm certainly finding it to be quite the interesting experience, and I think I'm settling in rather well, all told."


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

Indeed, I am a life-long residant of the city although I have not traveled most of its environs do I would make a poor guide.


Super Awesome Vudrani Druid 3
Stats:
Init +2 Per + 10| AC 14/12/12 HP 26/28 | F +4/R +3/W +7 | CMB +2 CMD 14 | Surge +7 7/7

"Banderswel, I am also a newcomer to Kaer Maga, and haven't been long in Varisia...nor Avistan. The Mushfens were my home for a while, as they reminded me of my own birthplace in a way, and I then followed the Yondabakari to here...I felt drawn by the waters in a way I can't explain. I am enjoying the variety, to be sure, but I feel most comfortable in the Cavalcade. There are rushing waters, glimpses of sky in the ceiling, problems to solve, and when I am not working, the wheeling birds at cliff's view."

Garuneh will frequently confuse first and last names. It's a Southern Vudran thing, putting the surname first. (Garuneh is his first name.)


"As you can guess, I'm not from around here, My name is Tina."


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15
Garuneh Lasandarman wrote:

Garuneh arrives at a rolling stroll, clearly in no hurry. He takes in the unnatural sights of the evening with a mixture of curiosity and serenity.

"A pleasant evening to you both. Gunder and Elizabeth, if I recall correctly," he says in slightly accented Common.

Indeed I am Elizabeth


M Halfling Order of the Dragon Gendarme Cavalier 1

Durnolf nods to each of you as you introduce yourselves. "Well it's a pleasure to meet the lot of you. Do any of ya have an inkling of what we're in for this fine evening?"

Ruckus starts sniffing around at the various assembled party members.


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

Elizabeth shakes her head. Beyond it being temple buisness I have no idea.


"I don't have a clue."


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

Elizabeth turns to the gnome who greeted them. It appears that we are all here, will you be taking us to see the priestess who called us?


Super Awesome Vudrani Druid 3
Stats:
Init +2 Per + 10| AC 14/12/12 HP 26/28 | F +4/R +3/W +7 | CMB +2 CMD 14 | Surge +7 7/7

Garuneh extends a hand, palm up, under Ruckus' nose to sniff, then gives him a good scratching on the jowl and behind the ears.

"Ruckus. Good fellow, you are. Yes you are."

No need for Handle Animal or Wild Empathy, I hope. Good wolfy.

He looks up at Elizabeth while still scratching the wolf.

"How can you be certain everyone who was messaged has arrived?"

He says this without any heat of accusation, merely cool curiosity.


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

Elizabeth shrugs. Perhaps, perhaps not. I was just makign a guess.


male Halfling Oracle 3

Gunder is relieved to hear that Elizabeth is not the sponsor of this adventure, but merely a potential adventurer like everybody else.

"My name is Gunder. As Garuneh has already introduced me correctly. This is my home town and I know and like it quite well. If you ever need a guide, don't hesitate to ask. Good to hear that you two have already settled in, Garuneh and Durnolf. How about you, Tina? Elizabeth, nice to see you are starting to take an interest in affairs outside of Bis. But how come, if you don't mind me asking?


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

Conflict of interests. I am afraid that is all I can say.


M Wolf that can't actually breathe fire

ruff


M Halfling Order of the Dragon Gendarme Cavalier 1

"Well if we're going to be here for a while, I'm settling in, I am. He takes a seat on the nearest pew/bench/chair/floor.


Male Elf Diviner 4 Init +11 | AC 14, T13, FF 11 | HP 22/22 | Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +5 | Longbow +5, 1d8-1 |

Aldous saunters up towards the cathedral, just moments before midnight. He sips from a tall wooden flagon, above whose rim slight wisps of steam waft.

Good evening all, I hope I am not overly late. I fear I tarried just a bit too long at a local celebration this past evening, and almost forgot about this appointment entirely. I'm known as Aldous Mor'esti, an itinerant son of Varisia, and scholar of the world. Would any of you care for some hot herbal tea?

Dressed sharply, but in simple and relatively cheap clothes, Aldous carries himself with great dignity and poise.

He hardly breaks stride to tip cups of tea to any who accept his offer, and proceeds towards the cathedral entrance and the strange pale gnome standing there.


The gnome, the moment after Aldous appears, motions to the group. "Now, we are all arrived," he says, looking towards Elizabeth. "Please, follow me."

The gnome leads you through the Cathedral, walking at a slow, measured pace. After a few moments, you arrive at a side chapel dedicated to a martyred saint.

When you reach the chapel, there is already an individual waiting there - a female, who appears to be a cleric. "Thank you, Gluckle," the woman says, nodding to the gnome. Gluckle bows slightly before departing.

The woman immediately turns her attention to the group. "Hello. I am Valanthe Nerissia a cleric of The Lady of Graves. I am glad that you have joined us here tonight, though I admit that our reason for calling you here is dire. I must request - demand - the utmost secrecy from you. If what I tell you were to be leaked to the streets, it would cause an unnecessary panic." She stops for a moment and then lowers her voice, even though you are quite alone.

"Bodies are missing from the Ossuary," she says bluntly. "And we don't know why. We need you to travel into the chambers beneath the cathedral and find out what - or who - is causing this to happen. We are prepared to offer you a reward of 750 gold pieces for successfully accomplishing this. Additionally, should you clear the chamber of all other threats, we will provide an additional 250. Any valuables you find are yours to keep, barring any obviously Pharasmin relics or treasure."

"As you can see, we are quite eager to have this resolved. However, if you are not yet prepared to enter the depths, you are free to go take care of any matters that you deem necessary - you should know that it is extremely dark below, so lighting is imperative. Also, should you choose that you are uninterested in helping us, you may leave now. Either way, I must, again, stress the need for silence on this matter with any other than those of us gathered here." She stops talking and looks expectantly to the group for a response.


Male Elf Diviner 4 Init +11 | AC 14, T13, FF 11 | HP 22/22 | Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +5 | Longbow +5, 1d8-1 |

"Light? Such as this?"Casts dancing lights

"I, for one, am ready to venture beneath and unravel this mystery.

As suggested, I swapped out obscuring mist for protection from evil. Aldous is as ready to go explore some bone-yards as he'll ever be!


Gunder Undertable wrote:

Gunder is relieved to hear that Elizabeth is not the sponsor of this adventure, but merely a potential adventurer like everybody else.

"My name is Gunder. As Garuneh has already introduced me correctly. This is my home town and I know and like it quite well. If you ever need a guide, don't hesitate to ask. Good to hear that you two have already settled in, Garuneh and Durnolf. How about you, Tina? Elizabeth, nice to see you are starting to take an interest in affairs outside of Bis. But how come, if you don't mind me asking?

"I'm currently figuring this place out"


Super Awesome Vudrani Druid 3
Stats:
Init +2 Per + 10| AC 14/12/12 HP 26/28 | F +4/R +3/W +7 | CMB +2 CMD 14 | Surge +7 7/7

"Honored Valanthe, will this be a journey of several sleeps? If so, I and perhaps others will need to procure provisions and shelter for the duration."

I'm experiencing a bit of an encumbrance conundrum--if I get food and bedroll, etc, I'll be up at Medium encumbrance. However, we're traveling with halflings, so perhaps that will be ok. Unless someone can carry extra, or I can get some sort of pack animal (easily eaten by monsters, though. Excellent spell, Aldous. :)


she bows as she greets Valanthe
"A pleasure to meet you, Valanthe."

she stands straight again,
and after hearing about the job and the pay.
"I'll take the job."


Female Human Rogue 4 (Favored-Skill Points) F2/R7/W1 HP 17/23 AC 18/FF13/T15

I have some sunrods that can be of use, each one lasts about six hours Elizabeth nods to the priestess. I am willing to undertake this task. Do you have any maps available of the area we are traveling?

To Garuneh. It would be prudent to establisha camp near the entrance of the Ossuary, one we can move as need be. There we can store some things like camping equipment or extra supplies.


"I agree with setting up a base camp in the Ossuary, but it should be one that meets our needs."


Male Elf Diviner 4 Init +11 | AC 14, T13, FF 11 | HP 22/22 | Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +5 | Longbow +5, 1d8-1 |

I agree with Ms. Ardoc, should the need arise to rest under such conditions, I am more than happy to share sleeping arrangements. We would also be wise to keep a cache of materiel out of sight, should we be forced to flee or otherwise retreat.

Eyeing the wolf with a bit of trepidation Will your animal be able to travel with us, Ser Banderswel? Have you taken him below the earth on such an expedition before?

To the group I do have a bullseye lantern as well, should one of you desire to carry it. With my bow, I will be relying on cantrips to light my way for the time being.

Bullseye lantern = 60 bright/60 dim for those without low-light vision, 120/120 for myself and the wolf. Perhaps the monk would like it?


I would not mind holding the Lantern


Male Elf Diviner 4 Init +11 | AC 14, T13, FF 11 | HP 22/22 | Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +5 | Longbow +5, 1d8-1 |

Nice...being able to see is AWESOME!

Here you go, my dear. handing the bullseye lantern & two flasks of lamp oil to Tina. The control lever here adjusts the throw of the beam, and you fill it here... Aldous surreptiously "checks out" the comely warrior as he quickly instructs her in the use of the lantern. I believe the oil should last approximately six hours. Hopefully that is more than enough time to complete this errand for the Church.

Aldous definitely appreciates the female form, especially humans, but is no lech. He relies on his exotic looks and generally formal demeanor to allow a few peeks here and there.


did she say it in character, yet


male Halfling Oracle 3

Gunder listens carefully to what Valanthe has to say, taking a small sip of tea (provided by Aldous) from time to time.

"Of course I will help you! But first I would like to have some information: I know you like to keep these things a secret. But given the current circumstances: how big is the Ossuary really? How long should we expect to stay down there ere we searched all of it? Hours? Days? Weeks? Surely you have maps of this place that you could provide us? And how long has this been going on before you called for our help?"

"My friends sure are right that we could use a base camp down there, well stocked with light and foodstuff and drinks for however long this investigation would take. Now of course we could go out and buy all such supplies for ourselves. But that would draw a lot of unwanted attention to this matter - the six of us lugging all those expedition supplies into the cathedral of pharasma at this hour. If only there was a more inconspicuous way to get these things down there..."
Bluff roll to convince her that it would be in her best interest (for the sake of secrecy) to have food, drink, blankets and torches from the Cathedral's stock delivered to the Ossuary's entrance: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22


Valanthe nods and attempts to answer your questions in the order they were asked. "That light should do nicely, yes."

"This should not take overly long to complete - I am uncertain of the size of the Ossuary, but I can't imagine that it would be a journey of several days. Several hours, perhaps. That said, I would plan for the worst and prepare to be gone at least a day."

"We have no map of the Ossuary - in fact, no one has physically been in the Ossuary for at least a couple of decades. That area was never mapped as we...well...never thought we'd have need of it. We are certain there is only one entrance, however, and that, we know, has been sealed for ages."

"I am ashamed to say that we noticed the missing bodies a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, more have gone missing since we first discovered them. We are uncertain of how long this has been happening in total."

"If you feel it is necessary to have a basecamp, we can provide you with some basic foodstuffs and provisions. You will need to carry them down with you, though."


Female Human Cleric/Holy Vindicator 7/5 Init +4 HP 74/86 AC 25 (touch 12 FF25) F13,R6,W17 Per+18

Has the church performed any divinations about what might have happened? A days worth of food and water seems prudent. If we learn that we need to be down there longer, we can retreat and restock. Along with some rope and more lightsources.


male Halfling Oracle 3

Wait a moment: Isn't the Ossuary the place where people who can afford it are buried even today? How can that be when the only entrance to it has been sealed for ages? And if nobody has physically been there for decades, how did they notice the missing bodies? Is Valanthe lying to us or am I misunderstanding what she said?


"An ever burning torches would also be good for creating a lit camp and creating a track of light in the Ossuary, if we need to retreat quickly."

I think the GM means to say,
the Ossuary is forbidden ground to everyone, but the clergy.


male Halfling Oracle 3

That would make more sense. But wouldn't someone of the clergy know about the size and general layout of the Ossuary, then? Also Valanthe herself is part of the clergy, isn't she?


They likely used a level or two of the complex below,
but went no farther.


There are levels below the current, usable Ossuary. That's where the church is sending you.

"We are, admittedly, at a complete loss for what could have happened. All of our investigations have led nowhere. Every known entrance to the Ossuary has been checked, guarded and sealed, but still the bodies disappear.

"Once the doors are sealed behind you, we'd...prefer...that you not return until the mission is complete. The doors will be sealed with magic and we will provide you with a chime of opening to let us know to open them. This chime is timely and costly to make, so we only have one available at this time. It has five charges - which should be more than enough - but not enough for multiple trips up and down."


"We'll see what we can do."


male Halfling Oracle 3

So, just to make sure: bodies disappeared from the upper (unsealed) levels, probably caused by something lurking in the lower (sealed away) levels. Yes?

Gunder drinks the last of his tea in one big draught.
"Well, I think we have a deal then!" he sais to Valanthe as he stands up to seal it with a handshake.

"Come on everybody. This is your once in a lifetime chance to see a side of the Asylum Stone even I don't know yet. You don't want to miss that! Can somebody help me with carrying down the food?"


yep

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