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The sun is approaching its zenith as you near Heidmarch Manor, the letter you you received early in the morning clutched in your hand. Reading the letter again, you wonder at its contents, and what they can mean for your immediate future.
Greetings, fellow seeker of adventure!
I am Sheila Heidmarch, Venture Captain of the newest Pathfinder Society lodge - and the only such lodge in Varisia at this time. You have come to my attention as someone who possesses a certain amount of skills and interests that make you an excellent addition to a highly specialized tea, I'm putting together for a matter of grave import, not only to the Society, but to Varisia as a whole. Please report an hour before noon to Heidmarch Manor - you will be compensated for your visit, but that reward will pale in light of the riches that await you should we come to an agreement on my proposition to you. I look forward to meeting you soon.
- Sheila Heidmark
Certainly it seems that though you are a relatively new member in the Pathfinders, and not yet having made your mark in the organization, you are about to be offered the chance to do so.
The manor grounds are surrounded by an enormous stone wall, topped with iron spikes, but the heavy wrought-iron gates stand open during the day. You have heard visitors are always welcome at the Manor, which double as the Pathfinder Lodge, Pathfinders especially so.
When you knock on the door, you are taken to a drawing room, where several others already wait. More trickle in after you arrive. The butler asks that you all please wait patiently while Lady Heidmarch is finishing up a meeting with an unexpected visitor. In excited tones, he says "It's Koriah Azmeren. The Koriah Azmerren! In our Lodge! I had best go see if they need anything more." With that, the man scurried out of the room, leaving you to get acquainted with the others.
|Harbug the Slasher|
A muscular, green-skinned humanoid rises from his seat in the corner of the room. His piercing red eyes slowly scan the other beings in the room in the space of several moments. He mumbles a bit, but loud enough that most everyone in the room can hear him.
Hrmph. What a motley, weak crew... least I know why they called me in.
Another pair of eyes shines yellow momentarily on his shoulders. He turns to look the same direction.
I'm Harbug the Slasher, the Blood God's Fang. Who... and what are all of you?
From out of a corner of the room, came a leather clad figure with very distinct feline features, including a tail. From the top of her head, running behind her right ear and in front of her right shoulder, was a long strand of braided leather that contained several small colored stones and shells. Crossing her arms, she replied in a voice calm as a peaceful stream, "I am known as Tialara, of the Mystic Spring. Pleasure to meet you, Harbug." She then uncrossed her right arm, brought her hand up to eye level, extended her claws and looked at them nonchalantly while adding. "And strength, comes in many forms."
Angelica relaxes comfortably in a padded chair, the size of the thing, compared to her own size, makes her look almost like a child. The outfit she wears, Varisian reds and golds, with black leggings and a vest, show just enough to prove that she is a woman. Her leg rests over one arm of the chair, the other folded under her, as she leans up against the opposite arm. She eyes every piece in the room, stopping whenever she spots something she is certain is more valuable.
She clicks the tips of her black-painted nails together, an obvious fidget, like she needs to keep her hands moving or they just may detach and crawl away. She smirks at the orc's intentionally overheard mumble, thinking of some internal joke. She grows suddenly curious, looking this way and that, at each of the others gathered. "Hmmm, I thought Harburg was supposed to be here. I was looking forward to working with him again." she mutters to herself.
When the big ugly decides to introduce himself first, she lets out a loud HA, before quickly covering her mouth and finishing the giggle. Her response is tempered by the catwoman's opinion of strength, working well enough for her. "Well, Junebug, certainly nice to meetcha. You too Tialara. There must be something neat going on if this random assortment of Pathfinders is any indication. I'm Angelica. A native Magnimarian." She leans back further over the arm of the chair, one hand behind her head, looking obviously bored of sitting in one place. "So anyone know who 'THE Koriah Azmeren' is?"
Know Local, to see if I've ever heard of this person 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
"Not as such, no," replies a voice from a nearby table. A large book conceals whomever is speaking from your immediate vision. "Although I suspect that she is someone of local importance. I'm afraid that I've thus far neglected to catch up on the local gossip."
Whomever is speaking sets the book down, and peering over the table can be seen a grippli no more than two feet high, its skin tone a clash of colors, and wearing wizard robes in the Mwangi style. Her bulbous red eyes blink once, and then does not do so again for quite some time.
"Shabbezz Whorlpad, hailing from Quantium. I'd received a correspondence from the Venture Captain requesting my presence today. I assume that you're all here for similar reasons?"
K. Dungeoneering: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
"I, too, received a letter." Tialara answers as she scratches behind her right ear. "And to answer your question, Angelica is it, I do know who Koriah Azmeren is. She is quite an authority on Thassilonian ruins. It is also said, that her knowledge of the lands below surpasses that of most of those who live on the surface."
The bipedal cat then locates an empty couch and lays across it. Propped up by her right elbow, she begins to fiddle with the end of her braided leather while the tip of her tail listlessly moves up and down.
Krass's reaction to Harbug's words comes in the form of a half smile, his lips mimicking the crescent shape of a sickle as fiery orange eyes seek out those of the orc. The sharp features of his face give his smile something wicked. It is in the moment that one makes first eye contact with another that the first proper appraisal of the others worth can be made. To Krass the orc seems to bluster with pride, but more important, with respect for the greatest virtue of them all for the orcs, strength. A firm nod of understanding is his final word in this quick exchange.
A voice that reverberates tempered iron answers Harbug's question posed to all of those present,"I'm Krass, son of Kavrass, and when needed I will be your anvil if you will be my hammer." The way he is seated showcases a certain sense of unease. This man is used to being on the move, to action. Waiting in a room with strangers and having to stick to social decorum seems to be a battlefield he hasn't mastered, yet.
Still, he sits in his chair with his back straight and a calm that gives away he must (have?) been a soldier. And is he waiting for his orders.
A handful of minutes after the butler disappeared, two women stepped into the room. The first is your host, Sheila Heidmarch, easily recognizable by her Venture Captain badge and air of absolute ownership. The other woman was an attractive half-elf, clad in leathers and armed with a distinctive-looking mithral-and-redwood aklys, as well as a bastard sword slung in a sheath across her back.
Sheila looks at the group of you, and says in an unusually deep and sultry voice, "Thank you each for coming. I know the letter was cryptic, and perhaps a bit apocryphal, but I have heard of your skills and have brought you together for a special job. I apologize for keeping you waiting. Koriah just returned from the Fogscar Mountains with a veritable trove of Thassalonian artifacts, and word of a possible new trade pass through that area. I must spend a few more moments with her, discussing the implications of this."
She looked thoughtful for a moment, and then said,"Please, won't you follow me into the next room? I have something I'd like for you to look at while Koriah and I finish our conversation.
She leads you through a door into a fairly well-laid-out library. The walls are lined with bookshelves, while several tables are heaped with scrolls and books. The center table, however, holds only a few scrolls and an ornate cubical coffer, made of stone and about 6 inches per side, covered in Thassilonian runes.
"I hope you can help me with a minor issue. This stone coffer is an ancient Thassilonian puzzle, a cunning feat of both magic and engineering known as a paradox box. Have you heard of them? No? Well, it's not surprising. They are quite rare. As you'll see from even casual investigation, what appear to be seams on the sides here are actually only shallow grooves. There are no obvious seams, nothing to pry at, or dig into. Each paradox box has its own secret method of being opened. Whether it is a command word, magical triggers, or hidden catches, each box is unique and fiendishly difficult to open."
"This box was one of the items found by Koriah, and she has made a decent start at the study of it during her return trip here. Her notes are in those scrolls there. Why don't you put your heads together and see if you can't crack this box open?"
She laughed lightly. "I mean that figuratively, of course. The box is a near priceless artifact, and I don't want it damaged in the opening. Even if the box is empty - and I fully expect it to be - it is a valuable find, and knowing the method of opening it would triple the value. Think of this as sort of an audition, if you will - because the task I have in mind for you will require as much wit as it does brawn."
With that, she inclined her head to you and left the library. Koriah simply smiled in a friendly way, tugged her forelock to you and followed, closing the door behind her.
Okay, what do you do? The more detailed your actions, the more detailed (and less heavy-handed) I can be with my responses.
Shabezz's eyes go wide at the sight of the coffer; her interest has obviously piqued.
"Fascinating!" she says gaily. "Already this trip is bearing fruit! I can read Thassilonian; let me see if I can't decipher the meaning of the runes."
She hops closer to the container and peers at it intently, looking it over this way and that as she attempts to find meaning in its designs. She starts from the top of the box and then the front, sides and back before turning it over to peer at the underside.
I know Thassilonian. Do I need to make a Linguistics check, or can I read the runes without one?
|Harbug the Slasher|
"This crate looks ancient. To still be sealed this long, it might be magical."
Harbug stands before the crate and scratches at his neck once. He chants for a few moments in a guttural language, then spreads his hands to look between them at the box.
Harbug casts detect magic
"You look at the writings. I'll see if I can't find anything to do with the gods' power."
Harbug examines the box from all four sides and the top while peering through his hands.
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9 Spellcraft
He stops and ponders for several moments after circling the object.
"I think I recall hearing legends of the gods locking up their powers in runic stones, the story went something like... his phrase trails off."
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20 Knowledge: arcana
Books. Way too many books. Books are excuses to grow a fat arse, Krass thinks to himself. He replies with a nod to Sheila's instruction and walks around the table to take a look at the box from all sides. Already his associates are peering over it, invoking incantations to pry away valuable information. Krass doesn't trust all these conversations of the arcane and walks to the corner farthest away. A suspicious eye is kept on the box and those who are busy with it at all times.
"Magical riddles are like snakes. Sooner or later they'll bite. You. Best leave them in the high grasses and stay on the path."
When she sees the 'Paradox Box', as it's called, her eyes widen in excitement. Her fingernails clacking together as she moves her fingers excitedly, waitng for it to get passed on by the Shabbezz. "Challenge accepted." She handles the box, turning it over in her hands, watching for each of the symbols, and lines. She withdraws a small pick from a pouch, tapping and poking each of the faces. She draws her nails along each crease, waiting for it to catch on anything that is more than a seam, and tries to turn, shift or twist any of the faces on it. "I think it may be like a lock, whereas a combination of tumblers needs to be manipulated in a methodical pattern. Or some rooms and treasures use sliding or shifting walls and surfaces to hide stuff behind it. The key is truly to find where the creases end and the seams begin." She explains as she works, speaking aloud but not to anyone directly. The whole time she works with it there is a light of joy behind her eyes, and a genuine smile on her lips.
Perception 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11, Disable Device 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25 both of those are 1 higher if she gets to add her trapfinding bonus.
Seeing Angelica, Harbug, and Shabbezz working on opening the box, Tialara remembered a saying her father used. 'Remember to learn from those before you.' She sees the scrolls on the table, pics one up and says, "Mazes are much easier to navigate, if you have a map of the different paths others have taken." The feminine feline unrolled the scroll and began to read.
One of Koriah's scrolls lists translations of the significant runes on the box-one of the most oft-repeated symbols was the rune for "wrath," which Koriah also notes is associated with evocation magic, and in the earliest days of Thassilon with the word "kindness." Her notes indicate that this rune merely marks the box has having once belonged to a citizen of the Thassilonian nation of Bakrakhan, and that the rune likely has little to do with the method of opening this particular paradox box.
Another of the scrolls lists a few other key observations-the key observation being that five of the box's faces are identical, but on one face, several additional runes appear. These runes spell out the word "CRUEL." She's also noted that each of the individual runes in the word can be reorganized by touching two runes at once-doing so causes the two touched runes to exchange places for an hour before reverting to their original spelling of" CRUEL."
faint conjuration aura
There are no moving parts to pick. This box does not appear to be able to be opened by common means.
"So when are some of you arcane shamans going to read her notes?" Krass asks with a voice which is barely able to conceal his impatience.
"Our catfolk compatriot seems to have already begun to peruse Azmeren's writings," she says, glancing over from her ministrations with the box. "As we all must possess different talents (and I may be wrong, but I doubt many of you can read ancient languages), it is only prudent that we attack this problem from multiple angles."
"In any event, I believe that I can make out the meanings of the runes via my own study, and will compare them with what the Pathfinder has written about them afterwards."
Linguistics: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Excited when she hears that there are indeed moving parts, albeit magically and not mechanically, Angelica begins to manipulate the runes that stand out as different. With Shabbezz pointing out the rune letters to her as Tialara reads them off the scrolls, she gets an idea. Her fingers always moving, poking, prodding tries to go through any combination of the letters as possible seeing if she can coax any words out of it.
Changing two letters each time from what it was from her last change.
"CUREL, like healing, any ideas?"
"URCEL, ugh, that one just sounds annoying."
"ULREC, maybe it's a name?"
"LUCRE, Hey that means money, I know that!"
She keeps clacking at the letters, a scowl growing as she goes through them. "I don't know, there has to be a combination. I saw a lock once, fancy thing, you had to spin multiple dials to match up just right. There were so many possibilities, I didn't have time to get through them before I had to leave."
I'm a scrabble junkie, switching letters until I find words is what I do. This is as far as last group got, we never learned if anything we tried worked or not. She didn't say anything about Ulcer, because although I know what it is, she's never heard of such a thing.
Shabbezz was in the middle of expounding about Thassilonian runes and their derivatives when Angelica hit on the combination "LUCRE". As she did, the box glowed warmly. The top faded away to reveal a furry nose and beady eyes. The nose and eyes grew larger, almost too quickly to see, and a small dog-faced gremlin leaps out of the box. It was followed by another, almost instantly, and the two set about the library, chaos following in their wake. Lamps and candles were overturned, books torn from their covers, and scrolls scattered into the air.
Angelica 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Harbug 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16
Krass 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Shabezz 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Tialara 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
enemies 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
In the surprise round, the creatures cause minor damage to the library.
Freeform combat (no map). Everyone before enemies will post (Harbug only), then I will merge actions, do the enemies' action for the round, then we go to everyone posting. Clear as mud?
Also: Any d20 rolled must be rolled twice, with the lowest value used.
|Harbug the Slasher|
Sorry for the delay.
Harbug wracks his mind to recall anything he knows about gremlins.
Knowledge: Arcana or Nature if either is appropriate (both are +6)1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Until we know what these things are, we should at least try to slow 'em down!
Harbug again chants in his guttural language...
Blood God, I call upon you to channel through me your deadly Chill Touch
Take this! he shouts as he reaches for one of the creatures.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 melee touch attack 1d6 ⇒ 3 negative energy damage if it hits; also DC 13 fort save if it hits or 1 STR damage
Harbug's touch missed the gremlin and instead burned itself out on the upholstery of a nearby chair. The gremlins shrieked in glee and continued their mayhem, tossing scrolls into the air and chewing on candles.
Also: Any d20 rolled must be rolled twice, with the lowest value used.
Angelica jumps back as the wicked little buggers burst forth from the box she was just manipulating. The creatures set about tearing up the room, and for some reason Junebug is helping them. He talks about strength, and what does he do, attack a chair... with a spell. She watches as the things bound around the room, stepping up as one passes by, and swats at it.
5' step to get closer to one
Claw 1, roll 1 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18, roll 2 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16, damage 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Claw 2, roll 1 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7, roll 2 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Shabbezz quickly thrusts her hand into her spell component pouch, grabbing a piece of cured leather.
"Quickly, stop them! They'll destroy the archives!"
While the others move, she begins casting a spell to fortify herself for the coming battle.
Preparing spell components as my move action, casting mage armor on the defensive (DC 17, no attacks of opportunity) as my standard action for a +4 bonus to AC.
Casting defensively DC 17: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Casting defensively DC 17: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Lowest value: 19. Spell is successful. My AC is now 17 for 1 hour (or 600 consecutive rounds, whichever comes first :D ).
Krass curses and instinctively reaches for his flail, only then realizing he ain't wearing his trusty shield and flail on him. He steps up to a gremlin while drawing his short sword and proceeds to stab the damned thing.
move and draw weapon as a move action, attack as a standard action.
Attack with short sword:
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 201d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 151d6 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Tialara looks up from the scroll she is reading to see a number of little creatures climbing out of the box. She sees Harbug try to burn one and Angelica take a swing at the other. Perfect. She thinks to herself. Her cat eyes see the one Harbug missed and jumps at it.
Attack 1: 1d20 ⇒ 16, 1d20 ⇒ 5
Attack 2: 1d20 ⇒ 14, 1d20 ⇒ 11
|Harbug the Slasher|
Grraahhh! Seems that weapons are working. Well then!
Harbug draws a long, heavy curved blade from the scabbard at his side and with a battle shout swings at the creatures. Preferably the previously injured one.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 attack roll 1 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17 attack roll 2 2d4 + 4 ⇒ (1, 2) + 4 = 7 damage roll if needed.
Angelica swiped at one of the gremlins with hidden claws, slapping the little creature halfway across the room. Tialara pounced at one , missing wildly and knocking over a chair. Shabbezz's spell burned itself out in a tapestry as the creature scampered about. It's scampering about ended at the point of Krass' blade. The short sword pinned the thing to the table, a small puddle of blood growing around the dog-faced body.
A shout of "Grraahh!" was all the warning Harbug gave as he lashed out at the wounded gremlin. Apparently the shout was enough to warn the thing, which skipped out of the way easily. It grabbed up one of Koriah's scrolls and began chewing on it with needle-sharp teeth.
Also: Any d20 rolled must be rolled twice, with the lowest value used.
Angelica smirks at the one on Krass' blade, pleased that the little beast found its end so soon. With the other thing skipping all over the place, she decides to avoid chasing it around, and instead draws and throws one of her darts.
Move action, draw dart
Standard, throw dart, roll 1 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17, roll 2 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17, damage 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
|Harbug the Slasher|
Harbug takes a deep breath; his body seems to grow larger than it already was, his eyes glint red and his fangs show in his mouth. A guttural, animal growl starts deep in his chest and becomes a howl of rage (and frustration) as he has twice missed his target.
Intimidate to demoralize vs. 10+Hit Dice+WIS mod:
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Krass steps towards the last gremlin and aims for the throat with the sharp end of his sword. Unlike Harbug he barely makes a sound, so focused he is on his sword-play.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
1d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Angelica's dart caught the gremlin in the haunch, knocking it flat on the floor...in perfect position for Krass' blade to take it in the throat. The little creature's squeals were cut off suddenly by the cold steel of the hobgoblin's blade.
A few moments later, the sound of footsteps rang out from the hall. The door burst open, and Sheila came into the room, Koriah right behind her. The explorer had her aklys in hand and scanned the room, looking for any signs of danger.
Sheila took in the scattered books and scrolls, the fresh scars and cuts in the tables and chairs from the hard misses as you attempted to strike the gremlins, and finally the two dog-faced gremlins lying unconscious on the floor. She looked aggrieved for a moment at the chaos, then smiled slightly. "Koriah, be a dear and take the pugwampis somewhere where they won't cause any more harm to my library, please."
Turning back to the paradox box. she said, "So, that is what was in the box, eh? A pair of gremlins? Someone's idea of a joke, I suspect." She picked up the open paradox box and looked at it. "Well, that and some baubles." She poured a few garnets, a dagger, and a ring into her hand. She looked at them intensely for a moment, muttering to herself, then looked up again. "Do you think you can open it again? Show me."
She closed the box and then watched as Eowythe once again adjusted the runes so they read LUCRE. The box sprang open, empty this time, and Sheila simled. "Well, I expected it to be empty, though I did have hope that it might contain some lost lore. Still, nothing lost. Feel free to keep these treasures for yourself. The box will be worth far more to me now that I know how to open it. The ring allows the wearer to fall long distances safely. I imagine it could be quite useful for you in the days ahead."
Congratulations! Everyone earns 80 XP for taking care of the pugwampis, and another 120 XP for not letting them do too much damage.
"Allow me to apologize for the unpleasantness with the gremlins - but, it does provide an excellent object lesson. The life of a Pathfinder in not one for the weak of heart. That you managed to not only open the box, but also take care of the gremlins so quickly is all the confirmation that I need that my gut was correct. You 're the perfect group for the job I have in mind.
"You see, I've recently has some trouble with one of my informants here in Magnimar. Her name is Natalya Vancaskerin, a half-Varisian who approached me with an offer to serve as a street informant. She's Sczarni, though I'm not sure with which group. A week ago, Natalya sent me a cryptic hint that her gang was on the verge of uncovering an item that would be of great interest to the Society. Since the Sczarnis' methods of uncovering something often involved an armed robbery to breaking into somebody's personal chambers, we thought it prudent not to press for further details and instead wait to see what it would produce. Suffice it to say, she hinted strongly that it pertained to Thassilon, and promised to meet with me to discuss this find three days ago.
"She never kept that promise. Instead, she seems to have simply vanished. Initially I assumed that the acquisition of this item was simply taking longer than expected, but now I'm hearing rumors that the Sczarni are looking for her as well.
"It seems likely that Natalya has absconded with this item she discovered. And this is where you come in. I want to know what it was Natalya and the Sczarni found. In fact, I'm more interested in that than what happened to Natalya herself. For now, I'd like to keep all of this quiet - if you can find out what happened to Natalya withotu letting a lot of people know she was also working for me as an informant, that would be preferable. That's a big part of why I am coming you, new members of the Pathfinder Society, with this task, rather than use somebody like Koriah. You don't have a reputation in Magnamar, and as such the low-lifes, criminals, and politicians you encounter may be more likely to talk.
"So...I want you to go out there and look for Natalya. Find out what happened to her, and to this item she and her gang discovered, If you can secure the item so much the better. Bring it back to me and I'll have a reward of 500 gold pieces for you. And if you can bring Natalya back to me, alive and in condition to speak, then I'll double that. What say you?"
Angelica beams with pride as the ladies walk in and see what they have done. She removes her dart from the creature and wipes it off before putting it away. When asked to recreate the opening of the box, she adopts a smug look, as she clicks through the letters quickly once again.
As the other contents of the box are tumbled out, she takes quick stock of the garnets to measure their worth.
Appraise 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
As Lady Heidmarch mentions the Sczarni method of breaking into people's personal chambers, Angelica tries to adopt an innocent and sheepish look.
When the lady finishes speaking, she merely nods and agrees with her usual, "Challenge accepted." as she crosses her arms in bravado. As an afterthought she asks, "Lady Heidmarch, could you tell us what Natalya looks like? Also, do you know any of her contacts, or which group she ran with?" Considering Angelica's experiences working with the Magnimarian criminal element, she may just have an idea of where to start based on what the lady can tell her.
An excellent beginning. Natalya Vancaskerin is of medium height, thin build, and has curly black hair - most of the time. Her mother was a Varisian fortune teller, if the rumors are true, and she has typical Varisian features. Natalya was exceedingly cautious about her self and the groups she worked with. I knew that she was a member of one of the Sczarni clans in Magnimar, but not which one, specifically.
"For those of you who may be new to Magnimar, or less versed in its unsavory element, the Sczarni are the most visible criminal organization in the region - not the most dangerous, or the most powerful, simply the most visible. They tend to stick to burglaries and the like, staying away from the most violent of crimes. In many cases, they provide protection and policing for those neighborhoods that the city watch prefers to leave alone. As such, they are often well-regarded by the lower classes, who often offer aid to and refuse to talk about the Sczarni in their neighborhoods.
"There are six major Sczarni gangs in the city: the Creepers, Doolun's Lads, the Gallowed, teh Tower Girls, the Washside Wringers, and the Wreckwash Blades. The Gallowed are rumored to be the strongest Sczarni family in the city...but again, that's just a rumor.
"Your best place to start your investigation might be with the go-between Natalya originally used to contact me with her offer of service. He's a carnie, a fortune-teller, down on Washer's Row in Dockway. Goes by the name of The Amazing Zograthy. As far as I could tell, the only amazing thing about him were his prices. Anyways, he's probably your best bet.
|Harbug the Slasher|
Harbug takes another deep breath as he sheathes his sword, then lets it out as a partial sigh of relief.
Does this ... Zograthy have a going rate for his "friendly" services?
Shabezz snaps her spellbook closed and stuffs it into her backpack.
"Indeed. I shall also accompany you. I would be remiss if I did not get the opportunity to look at this item firsthand, and frankly I could also use the income."
"Just so we're all on the same page," she continues, addressing Angelica directly, "can you tell us anything specific about the item that the absent Vancaskerin was so set on acquiring...?"
After the things are dead and she hears Sheila describe the situation. Tialara responded, "Well I was guided to the Pathfinders for a reason, and until I discover that reason, I'll follow the Rivers of Fate towards that end. I will join the search."
"So, shall we get our gear and head over to this teller of fortunes? We should send the human in first, see if he can predict an orc, a hobgoblin and a walking cat and frog walking into his place."
His words are dripping with disdain as he cleans his sword with a rag, sheathing it once more and putting the rag away in a leather belt pouch.
"I'm not that familiar with the city of Magnimar yet, so someone else will need to take charge of getting us there."
Shabezz, did you mean to address me with the question, or Sheila Heidmarch?
Angelica smirks and nods at Krass' sense of humor. "I think you and I are gonna get along just fine. Between being a combined foe those two pungrampi's" she stumbles over pronouncing whatever Lady Heidmarch called them, "didn't expect to face, to how best to deal with negotiations, and street gangs." She gives him a good natured chuck on the arm.
Back to more on topic, she continues "I was raised.. well, grew up, here. I can get us to that part of town, no problem. I agree that I should do the talking at first. Let me ply some honeyed words and hinted sweets, and if they don't work, we can resort to threats of force."
DM-Bigrin, did my appraise tell me anything about the gems?
Angelica - You're pretty sure the gems are garnets, worth maybe 30g apiece?
I am assuming the frog's question was directed towards Sheila (as why would Angelica know anything about the item yet?
"Zograthy charges what he will, but I am sure I don't have to tell you that only a fool pays a carny's asking price. As for the item, I really have no idea. Natalya hinted that it was a big find, and that I'd be pleased. At this point, all that is secondary though. Natalya - though she was only a paid informant - was still acting on my behalf as an employee. Thus, she deserves my attention."
"It seems we got us a plan. I'll play the role of your bodyguard, silently watching their every move. If needed I can bare my fangs, but I'll just follow your lead."
Krass checks out if he has everything on his person and re-adjusts some clasps, loosening the clothes that cover the heavy chain and leather to blend in a bit better. Looking like a soldier most likely ain't the best approach here.
Sorry, I did mean Shelia, not Angelica; it's a poor excuse, but the monitor I was using at the time was fading out, so I rushed the post without checking it. There would have been no reason to ask Angelica about that.
"Very well. As miss Nenaviste professes to be a native, I am comfortable following her initial direction in these matters as she sees fit."