GM Cwethan's Race for the Runecarved Key (8-9 Classic) (Inactive)

Game Master Cwethan

Maps & Handouts


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Hey guys, go ahead and dot/introduce yourselves here - we'll get going on the 5th!

Dark Archive

Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 6/Enchanting Courtesan 1 | HP 43 AC 10 ff 10 touch 10 F+4 R+3 W+6 CMD 11 Init. +4 | Portrait

Dot.

Sovereign Court

Male Human (Taldan) Fighter 08 - HP: 84/84 - AC: 27 (28* if adjacent to a single foe) /T: 14 /FF: 24 - Perception +2 - F: +11 / R: +6 /W: +7 - CMB +14 - CMD +28(32) - Speed 30 - Init. +6 - DR 2/-

A tall, muscolar taldan man enters the room bearing heavy armor and carrying a big adamantine sword strapped to his back, he looks around and a look of disappointment spreads on his face:"Figures... I must be late again... or... is this even the right place? Cayden knows things get a little confusing after the 11th dwarven ale after all..." he wonders aloud scanning the room for something he might have missed at first.

Scarab Sages

CG Human Medium 8 | HP 67/67 | AC 26 | T 17 | FF 21 | CMD 21 | F +7 | R +11 | W +9 | +2 AC/Saves vs Undead/Constructs | Init +8 | Percep +10 | SM +10| Spirit Dance 20/20 | Influence 1/5
Active Spells:
Longstrider, Heroism, Whispering Lore
Spells: LvL 1-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 2-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 3-(3/3) | Channel - (4/4)

Rogar isn't entirely alone. As he takes a second closer look he'll notice a small woman rummaging about on various shelves and displays about the room while talking softly to the air. When his eyes drift her way she slides what she was holding back into its place with a pantomime of subtlety. She waves at something in front of her face and makes a hushing sound, then grabs a nearby apple in her free hand. "Heya new buddy. Nah, I think we're all just pretty early. I asked Dorian what time it was and he says we got lots still."

Seren is an interesting, confused display that the large fighter stands head and shoulders over. She's a gutter snipe that looks barely old enough to be working for the society. She is dressed as if she fell through every closet in the Grand Lodge, with mismatched attire meant for everyone from a scholar's frock and Kalkamedes' night cap to a knight's boot on one foot and a well-worn traveling boot on the other.

The only consistency in her clothing are seven colorful scarves tied all over her body. She likewise carries a hodgepodge of equipment meant for every sort of adventurer, including more than one holy symbol and a pair of wakizashi at her waist that have clearly been tied to her belt wrong.

She wanders up to Rogar and tries to knock on the chest plate of his armor. She'll then start talking around a mouthful of apple. "That's some stuff, that is... you and I are gonna be friends, yeah? So you can stand between me and anything really sharp?"

Scarab Sages

One of Ursahla's many guises (Disguise: 50) | HP: 59/59 | AC: 23 (16 T, 18 F) | CMB: +14 (+20 Dirty Trick), CMD: 23 (27 Dirty Trick, 25 Disarm) | F: +7, R: +15, W: +7 | Init: +5 | Perc: +10, SM: +11 | Speed 30ft, swim 30 ft. |
Tracked Resources:
Panache Pool: 4/5 | Pearl of Power I: 1/1 | Reroll: 1/1
| Active conditions: hide weapon.

A serving woman enters the room, placing a parcel wrapped in cloth on one of the seats.

"I was asked to bring these thing up to this room. The owner assured me that she will be along shortly, but she said she didn't want to be burdened hauling all her gear up herself and fetched me to do it. Could any of you use some refreshments? I could bring them by when I make the rest of my rounds."

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

The elven lady slowly shuffled her way into the room. ”Hot tea, dearie. Bit of honey and lemon to top it off, please,” she says with a smile. She has a warm looking shawl across both shoulders. She walks into the room, stretches, and heads straight to the most comfortable looking chair in the room.

She sits down, rummages in her pack and pulls out two knitting needles and some yarn. As she begins to knit, she introduces herself to the group. ”Greetings, everyone. I’m Tessara. And this little scamp,” she indicates with a wave of her loose fitting sleeve, ”is Zeriah.”

At hearing its name, a tiny monkey pokes its head out of the sleeve, and chitters a greeting to the collection of Pathfinders.

Sovereign Court

Male Human (Taldan) Fighter 08 - HP: 84/84 - AC: 27 (28* if adjacent to a single foe) /T: 14 /FF: 24 - Perception +2 - F: +11 / R: +6 /W: +7 - CMB +14 - CMD +28(32) - Speed 30 - Init. +6 - DR 2/-

For a second Rogar looks at Seren, clearly surprised by her sudden appearance:"Oh? Well met young lady! Sorry I didn't notice you at first, I guess I'm still a bit tips... ahem tired from my last assignment. And yes, of course we are going to be friends. Dealing with sharp objects and avoid them endangering young ladies is what I usually do during these missions after all"

As Tessara enters Rogar looks very pleased and he bows deeply:"Well met my lady! Rogar of House Valertis here, at your service! I have little doubt this mission will prove immensely stimulating..."

Scarab Sages

CG Human Medium 8 | HP 67/67 | AC 26 | T 17 | FF 21 | CMD 21 | F +7 | R +11 | W +9 | +2 AC/Saves vs Undead/Constructs | Init +8 | Percep +10 | SM +10| Spirit Dance 20/20 | Influence 1/5
Active Spells:
Longstrider, Heroism, Whispering Lore
Spells: LvL 1-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 2-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 3-(3/3) | Channel - (4/4)

Seren grins at Rogar. "Great, you're my kind of friend." She then gets distracted by the serving woman and waves the apple she borrowed about. "Yeah, I'll have whatever the host is having. You can just bring me their tray."

This is the point where she sees the monkey and what little sense of decorum she has fades entirely. The slight girl practically flings herself over a low couch in her way and stumbles, sliding across the the last few feet of floor on her knees to end with her face at Tessara's sleeve. Eyes wide with surprise. "You have a monkey! And it's not trying to attack me! I've never seen a nice one before, can I touch it?" She doesn't really wait for a response, already reaching a hand out to try and pet Zeriah only to stop halfway there as if shocked and then glancing over her shoulder. "Um... no it's not going to bite me... yes, I did ask! You heard me!"

Seren sighs and sits back slightly, looking chastised and dejected as she waves an arm about half-heartedly. "My name's Seren, just Seren. And these are all my friends. You can't see them cause they're invisible... but they're huge nags."

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

Zeriah poked its head out yet again, hearing Seren’s excitement. She climbed up onto Tess’s shoulders, and took a regal bow toward Seren.

”Oh, Zeriah is quite a ham. She loves people,” the elf points out, as she looked around for the girl with the tea.

Scarab Sages

One of Ursahla's many guises (Disguise: 50) | HP: 59/59 | AC: 23 (16 T, 18 F) | CMB: +14 (+20 Dirty Trick), CMD: 23 (27 Dirty Trick, 25 Disarm) | F: +7, R: +15, W: +7 | Init: +5 | Perc: +10, SM: +11 | Speed 30ft, swim 30 ft. |
Tracked Resources:
Panache Pool: 4/5 | Pearl of Power I: 1/1 | Reroll: 1/1
| Active conditions: hide weapon.

After taking any orders, the woman leaves, returning around fifteen minutes later or so. Her serving tray is stacked with a platter of breads and cheeses, a pewter pitcher that is wet with condensation with a set of matching goblets, a jar of honey and a porcelain tea service with matching cups and saucers and small, polished teaspoons. Upon each saucer is a wedge of lemon. A wisp of vapor escapes from the hot teapot. She neatly sets the portions around the table one by one.

However, just when you expect her to turn and leave now that her task is finished, she shuts the door and locks it...

The Exchange

Chaotic Neutral Undine Swashbuckler 1/Ranger 6/Vigilante 1 (Sheet) | HP: 59/59 | AC: 23 (16 T, 18 F) | CMD: 23 | F: 8, R: 16, W: 8 | Init: 5 | Perc: 10 | Speed 30, swim 30 |
Tracked Resources:
Panache 5/5 | Reroll 1/1

Perhaps adding to your alarm rather than allaying it, a bluish hue begins to creep across her skin as he clothing begins to shift and waver.

Withing a minute, the woman before you has skin as blue as the deep ocean wearing pirate's garb. You recognize her as the undine Ursahla, captain of the Nereid's Kiss and faithful Besmaran.

"I couldn't let everyone else in on my secret, but since we have an important mission to take together..."

The pirate, who some would describe as perhaps a bit touched, let out a small giggle.

"But it was great fun getting a peek at all the other teams they are bringing together. Especially those fresher faces, excited just for the thrill of the job and not yet jaded by experience."

Ursahla unties the parcel she left on her seat. It contains a crossbow and rapier which she fastens to her belt.

Once set, she unlocks the door and takes her seat at the table.

Dark Archive

Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 6/Enchanting Courtesan 1 | HP 43 AC 10 ff 10 touch 10 F+4 R+3 W+6 CMD 11 Init. +4 | Portrait

A tall, slender elven woman opens the door and practically slinks into the room. The platinum-blond elf is achingly beautiful, with delicate frame and features, a small, straight nose and smooth porcelain skin. Her silken hair cascades over her shoulders like a cloak to end just above her buttocks. Attired in a green underbust corset and blouse, and a matching long-slit skirt, her long, elegant fingers are left exposed in a pair of elbow-length black fingerless opera gloves. An intricate choker rests at her throat, silver chains holding in place a gold frame inset with a large emerald; additional silver chains drape across her bare neck; dangling among the chains is a small gold disc etched with the elven rune for the first two letters of her given name, and a slender silver chain dangles from that disc into her cleavage.

A sword rests on her hip and she carries a staff in hand, but her attire, the way her deep emerald eyes twinkle with amusement, and the way her full, slightly pouting lips are quick to part into a disarming smile full of unspoken promises make it obvious that neither are her real weapons.

She closes the door and pauses, letting her gaze linger on each of the others, both men and women, in the room. "Looks like I'm early," she notes aloud, her melodic elven voice sounding a mixture of relief and annoyance. So much for fashionably late, she chides herself silently, taking a seat and crossing one long leg over the other. "I see the party hasn't started yet," she quips, resting her staff in the crook of her elbow and leaning forward slightly to rest her hands on one knee.

With a start, she reaches out to lightly rest her digits against her nearest companion's forearm. "Have we already started introductions? I'm Ansha."

Scarab Sages

CG Human Medium 8 | HP 67/67 | AC 26 | T 17 | FF 21 | CMD 21 | F +7 | R +11 | W +9 | +2 AC/Saves vs Undead/Constructs | Init +8 | Percep +10 | SM +10| Spirit Dance 20/20 | Influence 1/5
Active Spells:
Longstrider, Heroism, Whispering Lore
Spells: LvL 1-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 2-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 3-(3/3) | Channel - (4/4)

Seren becomes distracted trying to feed the bowing monkey a bit of her half-eaten apple and muttering to herself in a whisper, and thus she doesn't notice the return of the food or the change in Ursahla until the display is largely done. She'd be rather disappointed if she realized it, but when she looks up from bothering Tessara's familiar Seren just gives the undine a confused look.

"Where the heck did you come from? That's sneaky!" She puffs out her chest some and looks slightly defensive. "Ain't nothin' wrong with being all excited, I mean... we're goin' to a party or somethin', right? One of the real fancy kind, where ya get TEN forks to eat with. I sometimes don't even have a fork."

Seren seems to make it a point to keep a bit of distance between herself an Ansha, giving the woman's choker a small bit of consideration. "I think yer the last one, actually. But I don't think we're allowed to see the forks yet."


VC Sheila Heidmarch

At the request of hosts Canayven and Sheila Heidmarch, you have been invited to attend a private meeting at Heidmarch Manor. A large number of your fellow Pathfinders have clearly also been given a similar invitation, however the appearance of Sheila Heidmarch suggests all is about to be made clear.

She calls for your attention, and as the noise dies down she begins to speak.

”Dear friends, welcome to Magnimar and the newest Pathfinder Lodge—Heidmarch Manor. For those of you who do not yet know me, my name is Sheila Heidmarch—venture-captain of Magnimar. This lodge is also my home, which I share with my husband Canayven. While we are far from the comforts of the Grand Lodge at Absalom, we shall do our best to accommodate you with our humble Varisian hospitalities. My husband and I both spent many years in the field, so we know well what you do and appreciate that you have answered our summons. We are both extremely grateful to receive you and your support.”

“As you well know, Heidmarch Manor is a new lodge. Presently it is funded almost entirely from my own resources. Although I adore Magnimar, we have as many enemies here as friends. This being the case, I seek to court the favor of more powerful allies, specifically members of the Council of Ushers and the Office of the Lord Mayor.”

“This brings the conversation to our current situation. On one of their more recent salvage runs, the wondrous artificers of the Golemworks uncovered a strange relic while dredging stone from the bottom of Magnimar’s harbor. The relic appears to be some sort of a giant key, etched with ancient Thassilonian runes that their learned arcanists speculate may even predate the coming of the mysterious runelords. Because the key falls outside their area of expertise, the Golemworks donated the curious aritfact to the Office of the Lord Mayor. In turn, the Lord Mayor intends to auction off the key to the highest bidder in short order, to fund municipal projects. The auction will be run by the Cathedral of Abadar, gold in hand—meaning immediately after the final bid is accepted, the bidder must pay for his prize in full.”

“We want the key. However, we want it legally. Our establishment in Magnimar is relatively new and our footing tenuous. We need to secure more stable political relationships with the Lord Mayor’s office and the Council of Ushers to ensure the Society’s long term success in this city; especially since the Aspis Consortium already has such a strong foothold here. The legitimate purchase of the Runecarved Key from the local authorities would demonstrate our respect for the city’s government, which would go a long way toward improving our public image with these people.”

“That said, we can greatly increase our chances of winning the auction by persuading our competition to back out. While there are some we believe we can outbid, we are a new lodge with far fewer funds than many. Thus, we must find out who else is interested in the key, how much they can bid, and whether or not we can knock them out of the auction.”

“To assure our success, our espionage must be extensive. Therefore we have divided the task between our agents. While division stands to place field operatives in greater danger, we cannot risk revealing ourselves by working en mass. If you are discovered, we will disavow any association with you. We cannot aid you if you get arrested or fall into the clutches of the enemies of our Society. While this is unfortunate, I hope you can understand our position.”

”For now, please make yourselves at home. We have provided accommodations for each of your groups. Feel free to drop off your things and prepare yourselves. Then meet me in the manor’s theatre in five minutes.”

There is a new general discussion thread HERE that can be used for cross table discussion etc. Feel free to jump in (or not) as you please.


Okay guys we are underway. Now's the time for any last minute business before Sheila explains what exactly we'll be doing.

Scarab Sages

CG Human Medium 8 | HP 67/67 | AC 26 | T 17 | FF 21 | CMD 21 | F +7 | R +11 | W +9 | +2 AC/Saves vs Undead/Constructs | Init +8 | Percep +10 | SM +10| Spirit Dance 20/20 | Influence 1/5
Active Spells:
Longstrider, Heroism, Whispering Lore
Spells: LvL 1-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 2-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 3-(3/3) | Channel - (4/4)

Seren leans conspiratorially Zeriah halfway through Sheila's speech and whispers. "I'm an absolute master of subtlety, how about you? And we got Miss I can change my skin color over there. Don't know why they don't just let us handle it all." She then finishes off the rest of her apple until the talking ends, half listening to something else. When given a moment she turns to the rest of the group with her free hand across her chest.

"I just gotta say, Malsaire appreciates all the let's buy it legal-like stuff, but she says that Abadar won't like us tryin' to take out competitors so much. And she should know, she's one of his clerics or something. I think this sounds like it'll be fun."

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

0Well, this should be quite an interesting mission. My last few encounters have been all about violence, and some space travel too, but that was kind of strange,” Tess mumbles as she puts away her knitting needless and starts to focus on the assignment. ”Now, when is the auction? And how are we supposed to discourage the other groups exactly?”

Sovereign Court

Male Human (Taldan) Fighter 08 - HP: 84/84 - AC: 27 (28* if adjacent to a single foe) /T: 14 /FF: 24 - Perception +2 - F: +11 / R: +6 /W: +7 - CMB +14 - CMD +28(32) - Speed 30 - Init. +6 - DR 2/-

"Not exactly my area of expertise but I think I'll manage. Besides I can always play "security detail" for the rest of you, "discouraging" competition sometimes causes people to react badly after all..."


***OVERSEER POST***

VC Sheila Heidmarch

Even before the venture-captain arrives, the theater in Heidmarch Manor is crammed with Pathfinders. Heidmarch enters quietly, then slips through the crowd, takes the stage, and speaks. “Tonight, the Council of Ushers is sponsoring a pre-auction gala, to be hosted at the Cathedral of Abadar. During the party, the auctioneers intend to display the Runecarved Key in order to entice potential bidders. Anyone serious about entering the auction will be required to place a deposit of ten thousand gold coins in an escrow account at the cathedral.

“We need you to attend this event, both to submit our deposit as well as to determine who else might be interested in the key. While most of those attending received invitations, the event is semi-private and open to anyone with enough money to place serious bids. While the city provided me with an invitation, my appearance would give our many enemies cause for suspicion. For this reason, I ask that all of you go in my stead, and enter as my proxies. Still, we do not want out enemies to speculate on our own intentions. For this reason you must keep a low profile and avoid seeming too eager about the key. Each of you will be given a portion of the full deposit to take to the temple to present to Proctor Imikar”


Once you have received your briefing, Sheila gives you a strong box containing a portion of the deposit. You make your way to the Cathedral of Abadar. Upon your arrival, you witness a steady stream of guests ascending the stairs and entering the cathedral’s main sanctuary, where the viewing is being held. Rows of temple warriors wearing white tabards stitched with the golden key of Abadar flank the main entrance. Their hands clenched tightly around their gleaming swords as they stand almost motionless, ever-vigilant stares upon their faces.

As you enter, various low-level priests invite you to partake in food and beverages while you mingle about. You decide to deposit your funds first. One of the acolytes directs you to Proctor Jyronn Imikar, a pleasant Osirian priest who runs the temple. Imikar accepts your deposit and writes something in his ledger. You wouldn’t be proper pathfinders if you did not use the opportunity to attempt to see some of the writing. After a moment Proctor Imikar closes the book ”Thank you for entering the auction, will you also thank Madame Heidmarch on my behalf?”

Perception:
Ansha: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Rogar: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Seren: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Tessara: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (16) + 14 = 30
Ursahla: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26

Seren:
You spot: Maiveer Sloan, representing the Aspis Consortium, Dymal Rinks, independent, and Doctor Ernst Landis, representing the Museum of Ages.

Tessara:
You managed to spot the following in the ledger:
Falrig Sneve
Kresch Vaor representing Underbridge Exports
Sheila Heidmarch representing the Pathfinder Society
The Duchesses representing no one
Doctor Ernst Landis representing the Museum of Ages
Zimandi Kaddren

Ursahla:
You managed to spot the following in the ledger:
Maiveer Sloan representing the Aspis Consortium
Sheila Heidmarch representing the Pathfinder Society
Dymal Rinks, independent
The Duchesses representing no one
Doctor Ernst Landis representing the Museum of Ages
Zimandi Kaddren

After depositing the funds you take a drink and something to eat. A squat man in white robes steps upon the cathedral dais to address the room. Introducing himself as the sexton of Magnimar’s High Cathedral of Abadar, he greets his guests with a broad, welcoming smile. “Good evening, friends! I’m pleased to see so many of our distinguished and honored guests could attend. For those of you not fortunate enough to have participated in our pre-auction festivities, please feel free to take part in all the luxuries and wonders within these halls. And with my welcome, I have the pleasure unveiling the auction’s feature lot. Enjoy!”

With the utterance of the final word he pulls aside the veil, displaying a gigantic key. It stands roughly three feet tall and is made of stone etched with glowing arcane symbols. The crowd applauds and people turn back to their companions to discuss the key. The crowd is an eclectic mix of landholders, merchants, and other notable figures from all over Varisia, wide-eyed and curious to glimpse the mysterious Runecarved Key. Hired servants weave through the crowd bearing luxurious platters of fruits, sweetbreads, and oysters or trays topped with crystal goblets of heady red wine. Guests mingle slowly, socializing amicably but cautiously with longtime acquaintances, as they feel out potential competitors.

At this time, you can attempt to scope the crowd to try to deduce who are the society’s most serious competitors. You can attempt a Diplomacy or Knowledge (Local or Nobility) check to find a specific individual or attempt a Diplomacy, Knowledge (Local or Nobility), Perception or Sense Motive check to give a more generic description of the type of person you seek

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

First, once the group is together after depositing the gold, Tess shares the names she was able to make out. She lists all six for the others.

1. Falric Sneve
2. Kresh Vaeor from the Underbridge Exports
3. Ourselves
4. The Duchesses
5. Dr. Ernst Landis from the Museum of Ages
6. Zimandi Kaddren.

She takes her wine, looks around the room and starts working on her list. She decides to start looking for the first name on the list, Sneve.

Know. Local 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (15) + 14 = 29

Scarab Sages

Ursahla's Social Identity (Disguise: 50) | HP: 59/59 | AC: 23 (16 T, 18 F) | CMB: +14 (+20 Dirty Trick), CMD: 23 (27 Dirty Trick, 25 Disarm) | F: +7, R: +15, W: +7 | Init: +5 | Perc: +10, SM: +11 | Speed 30ft, swim 30 ft. |
Tracked Resources:
Panache Pool: 5/5 | Pearl of Power I: 1/1 | Reroll: 1/1
| Active conditions: None.

In the guise of an Osiriani information broker, Ursahla visits the cathedral.

She lets it be known that there are some other bidders besides the one Tessara mentioned.

"Maiveer Sloan is here on behalf of the Aspis Consortium and Dymal Rinks attends to his own interests."

Ursahla decides to look for the Duchess.

Knowledge (nobility): 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (17) + 14 = 31

Scarab Sages

CG Human Medium 8 | HP 67/67 | AC 26 | T 17 | FF 21 | CMD 21 | F +7 | R +11 | W +9 | +2 AC/Saves vs Undead/Constructs | Init +8 | Percep +10 | SM +10| Spirit Dance 20/20 | Influence 1/5
Active Spells:
Longstrider, Heroism, Whispering Lore
Spells: LvL 1-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 2-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 3-(3/3) | Channel - (4/4)

Seren eventually finds her way out of the crowd to the group with a half-eaten chunk of sweatbread in one hand, a goblet she's nosily sipping from in the other, and several suspicious bulges in the front of her shirt suggesting she's stuffed more food there. "Right, you guys saw everything I did, you're pretty sharp. I may have been a bit distracted, though. I'm going to go figure out who this Kresh fella', underbridge sounds like my sorta people, yeah?"

And Seren will do just that, loudly slipping into the crowd with half her attention to eating and the other half to dancing a few steps with anyone she passes that doesn't immediately recoil, and with an unseen partner the rest of the time. Occasionally her attention snaps about as if something has just caught her attention over one shoulder.

Diplomancy to find Kresh Vaeor: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (6) + 14 = 20 +2 if she's talking to a scholar or expert of some sort.

Sovereign Court

Male Human (Taldan) Fighter 08 - HP: 84/84 - AC: 27 (28* if adjacent to a single foe) /T: 14 /FF: 24 - Perception +2 - F: +11 / R: +6 /W: +7 - CMB +14 - CMD +28(32) - Speed 30 - Init. +6 - DR 2/-

"Well... I think I'll mingle a little..." Rogar comments as he tries to snatch a keg of ale for himself from one of the attendants while scanning the room for the woman Tessara called the Duchess...

Sense motive check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16


Tessara ably sorts her way through the throng to find Sneve the unassociated, a well known merchant and collector of artifacts. Toward the back of the room stands a gray-haired man in his early fifties, dressed in fine silken robes and flanked by two muscular guards. The man nervously fingers a small silver coin, flipping it about in his fingers, his eyes remain locked on the key. He grunts a brief greeting as Tessara approaches, but he looks noticeably uncomfortable in her presence, though it's not clear exactly why - he's rich enough to be known as eclectic rather than weird, but the reputation still exists.

Idina and Rogar have a surprisingly difficult time tracking down the Duchess, or as they discover, two different women who share the name Duchess. They stand to the side of the cathedral, conversing softly between themselves. Both are dressed in Varisian travelers’ clothes draped with thick cloaks. With her knowledge of the local movers and shakers Idina is quite certain that they are not from Magnimar or its surrounding social scene.

Despite Seren's best efforts she isn't able to find Kresh amidst the party. Odd amidst so much hobnobbing.

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

Tess attempts to strike up a conversation with the uncomfortable man. ”Have you seen that key? It is quite a specimen, isn’t it? Are you bidding on it? Or are you here looking for other items? I’ve never been to NA auction like this before, so excuse me for being forward. I’m just excited to see the action,”

Sovereign Court

Male Human (Taldan) Fighter 08 - HP: 84/84 - AC: 27 (28* if adjacent to a single foe) /T: 14 /FF: 24 - Perception +2 - F: +11 / R: +6 /W: +7 - CMB +14 - CMD +28(32) - Speed 30 - Init. +6 - DR 2/-

"Mmmmh... here's two ladies named "Duchess" of all names and I can't tell which one of them is the one we need to "discurage"..." Rogar muses to himself.


It's perhaps worth noting, Rogar, that Tessara said that one of the entries in the book was "The Duchesses."

Ah yes, a marvelous specimen, as you say. Just the sort of thing that could make a real centerpiece in my collection... He trails off with a worried expression on his face, I do hope this auction goes better than the last one. The last time I bought a similar piece, it was cursed. He nearly restrains a shudder at this last bit, but after another glance at your arcane paraphernalia, excuses himself, Just spotted an old acquaintance of mine, best of luck to you...

Sense Motive DC 18:
A number of Sneve's tics seemed to be almost compulsive, maintaining careful symmetry in his fidgeting, he seemed to be carefully counting an recounting various pieces of Tessara's and his garb. As he walked away he even seemed to be deliberately avoiding stepping on the cracks of mortar in the cathedral's tiled floor

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15

”Well, he’s a bit of an odd duck, isn’t he? Skittish as can be,” she says with a wink at his bodyguards, wondering if they might be the type of gossip.

If not, she returns to the group. ”From what I can tell, Sneve is worried the key might be cursed. If we can plant a rumor to him that it is cursed, it might just send him running in the other direction.”


One of the bodyguards catches himself nodding, before hurrying off with a slightly abashed look on his face, his partner gives him and Tessara a mild glare before she departs as well.

Scarab Sages

Ursahla's Social Identity (Disguise: 50) | HP: 59/59 | AC: 23 (16 T, 18 F) | CMB: +14 (+20 Dirty Trick), CMD: 23 (27 Dirty Trick, 25 Disarm) | F: +7, R: +15, W: +7 | Init: +5 | Perc: +10, SM: +11 | Speed 30ft, swim 30 ft. |
Tracked Resources:
Panache Pool: 5/5 | Pearl of Power I: 1/1 | Reroll: 1/1
| Active conditions: None.

Ursahla strikes up a conversation with the Duchesses.

Surely your grace would desire such a key in its own right, but does not this key make the lock of greater intrigue?

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (18) + 11 = 29

Based on their garb, Ursahla is assuming they probably aren't nobility, but since they are calling themselves by a noble title, she's at least playing along. (+13 Bluff if you think it necessary)

Scarab Sages

CG Human Medium 8 | HP 67/67 | AC 26 | T 17 | FF 21 | CMD 21 | F +7 | R +11 | W +9 | +2 AC/Saves vs Undead/Constructs | Init +8 | Percep +10 | SM +10| Spirit Dance 20/20 | Influence 1/5
Active Spells:
Longstrider, Heroism, Whispering Lore
Spells: LvL 1-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 2-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 3-(3/3) | Channel - (4/4)

Are we allowed to go look for other people if we fail to find anyone on our first try?

Dark Archive

Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 6/Enchanting Courtesan 1 | HP 43 AC 10 ff 10 touch 10 F+4 R+3 W+6 CMD 11 Init. +4 | Portrait

After the others inform her of the presence of their various "persons of interest," Ansha slips into the crowds. The enchantress glides through the sea of people gracefully, seeming to enjoy the press of bodies about her as her slender fingers alight flirtatiously on forearms and hands, her banter punctuated by light laughter.
"Isn't that sculpture just fascinating?"
"Oh, have you tried the red wine? It is positively divine."
"You look...piqued, milord. Perhaps you should sit for a spell? I know a wonderful massage technique that will just melt the stresses of the day away."
"What? Oh, this? Don't you love the way the light plays on the emerald?...Yes, I quite think it brings out the color of my eyes too, don't you?"

As the elf slips through the crowd, she keeps an eye out for the man the others identified as Zimandi.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (3) + 21 = 24


Go for it Seren!

"Ha! No graces here! We're caravan guards, Lady Luck be praised," one of the Duchesses explains to Idina. "Aye, from Ordellia," the other elaborates.

Ansha finds Zimandi Kaddren, a strikingly handsome Chelaxian woman with deep, dark eyes and black hair, conversing with other luminaries. As the elf draws near she gracefully excuses herself from her conversation, and steps forward to admire the key. She gives Ansha a quietly assessing look, Any ideas what it's for? Or just like things that look pretty?

Scarab Sages

CG Human Medium 8 | HP 67/67 | AC 26 | T 17 | FF 21 | CMD 21 | F +7 | R +11 | W +9 | +2 AC/Saves vs Undead/Constructs | Init +8 | Percep +10 | SM +10| Spirit Dance 20/20 | Influence 1/5
Active Spells:
Longstrider, Heroism, Whispering Lore
Spells: LvL 1-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 2-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 3-(3/3) | Channel - (4/4)

Seren spends a while chatting up people that just want to break away from the poorly dressed girl who is clearly pretending to have any sense of etiquette. Having not seen anyone she would consider to currently be under a bridge she spends a while conferring with herself. "Maybe we should look somewhere else... nah, I checked the kitchens already... yeah, that's where I got most of the food... fine we can go find someone else."

She offers a big grin to a well-dressed lady giving her a strange look, then wanders back off into the crowds to see if she can learn who Dymal Rinks is, since that name sounded fun.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (14) + 14 = 28 +2 for scholars and experts

Dark Archive

Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 6/Enchanting Courtesan 1 | HP 43 AC 10 ff 10 touch 10 F+4 R+3 W+6 CMD 11 Init. +4 | Portrait

Ansha's lips curve into a smile at Zimandi's question. "More the latter than the former. All I know about it is that it looks like it would make quite the conversation piece, an exotic coffee table adornment. Or perhaps quite the coffee table," she says with a wink and a laugh. "What about you? Any ideas what it's for? Maybe one of my suitors would find it interesting enough."

Bluff: 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (6) + 23 = 29
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22

Despite the ioun stone floating over Ansha's head, she is trying to pass herself off to Zimandi as a bored elven courtesan with no interest in the key beyond the superficial. And for the record, she left both her sword and staff back at Heidmarch manor, only keeping her dagger on-hand hidden under her skirt strapped to her thigh. Can't have people thinking she's actually a threat.

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

Tess heads off looking for Dr. Landis.

Know. Local 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34

Scarab Sages

Ursahla's Social Identity (Disguise: 50) | HP: 59/59 | AC: 23 (16 T, 18 F) | CMB: +14 (+20 Dirty Trick), CMD: 23 (27 Dirty Trick, 25 Disarm) | F: +7, R: +15, W: +7 | Init: +5 | Perc: +10, SM: +11 | Speed 30ft, swim 30 ft. |
Tracked Resources:
Panache Pool: 5/5 | Pearl of Power I: 1/1 | Reroll: 1/1
| Active conditions: None.

With that revelation in hand, Ursahla tries to find out who the Duchesses might be working for.

Diplomacy (Gather Information): 1d20 + 13 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 13 + 2 = 19


Seren is directed to Dymal Rinks, apparently a regional merchant's arbitrator. He's a squat halfling, dressed in plain clothes skates about the edge of the crowd, his eyes flitting back and forth between the key and the exit. He nods politely to Seren as she approaches, but doesn't initiate conversation.

Zimandi gives Ansha a smile with at least a touch of condescension. Perhaps you should select a more suitable bauble for such tasks. If I am correct, this relic's origin lies far in the past, and could be, well, the key, to unlocking untold arcane secrets. She pauses, a moment, realizing she has grown somewhat intense, Forgive me, this auction comes at a time of strain. I'm new to the leadership of House Kaddren, and I have to make certain nothing untoward comes of my involvement in this affair.

The good doctor Landis, the curator of Magnimar's publically funded Museum of Ages is a jovial man, and it is very simple for Tess to strike up a conversation with him about all manner of artifacts, including his theory that the Key was created by some prehistoric emperor to unlock a temple of seven paradises. I do hope we'll be able to keep it at the Museum for further study!

Edit
Regarding the Duchesses' employer, no one seems to know much...

Sovereign Court

Male Human (Taldan) Fighter 08 - HP: 84/84 - AC: 27 (28* if adjacent to a single foe) /T: 14 /FF: 24 - Perception +2 - F: +11 / R: +6 /W: +7 - CMB +14 - CMD +28(32) - Speed 30 - Init. +6 - DR 2/-

If Idina can't glean anything from the Duchesses with those rolls Rogar can't surely do any better...

Rogar smiles politely to the women, then bows and excuses himself:"Time to go asp hunting..." he thinks as he starts seareching for Maiveer Sloan, specifically looking for shady characters...

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10

Dark Archive

Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 6/Enchanting Courtesan 1 | HP 43 AC 10 ff 10 touch 10 F+4 R+3 W+6 CMD 11 Init. +4 | Portrait

What does Ansha know about House Kaddren?

"Oh! I had no idea," the enchantress replies, touching a hand to her collarbone in an expression of surprise. "I take it that it is quite valuable, then? I mean, if it's affairs you need help with, I'm an expert at those"--the elf winks coyly at the other woman--"But I can't say I know much about the depths of arcane knowledge. What does one do with such a relic?"

Ansha leans in closer to Zimandi, lowering her voice conspiratorially. "Perhaps I can help? I know people who know people, if you know what I mean. Maybe I can get a sense of what you are up against if I know how valuable it might be."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (9) + 21 = 30

Scarab Sages

CG Human Medium 8 | HP 67/67 | AC 26 | T 17 | FF 21 | CMD 21 | F +7 | R +11 | W +9 | +2 AC/Saves vs Undead/Constructs | Init +8 | Percep +10 | SM +10| Spirit Dance 20/20 | Influence 1/5
Active Spells:
Longstrider, Heroism, Whispering Lore
Spells: LvL 1-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 2-2/2 (5/5) | Lvl 3-(3/3) | Channel - (4/4)

Seren has no problem initiating conversation herself. She's been watching the more socially gift Ansha weave her way about the room and attempts to mimic the manipulative woman by adding a bit of wiggle to her hips as she approaches. The act is only saved by the fact Seren knows how to dance.

"Heya little buddy, ya look about as comfy here as I do. It's not so bad though, you gotta try stuff they have to drink." And she rather forcefully tries to place the cup she's half-emptied into Dymal's hand, then moves to sling her free arm across his shoulders to put her face next to his. "What do ya think of that key thin'? Seems like just a big rock to me, y'know? But I heard ya work with merchants, so ya might know better."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (18) + 14 = 32 +2 scholars/experts

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

”Dr, a temple of seven paradises? Please tell me more. I’ve heard others here speculating that the key is probably cursed. Do you worry about that at all?”


Ansha is aware that the Kaddrens are noted for sending their scions to
study the arcane arts in the Inner Sea’s most prestigious schools and are known supporters of the Golemworks. Well, Zimandi explains, I don't know precisely what to do with it, only that it would be a crime not to figure it out. She seems intrigued by Ansha's offer of aid, Of course I wouldn't want to simply get into bed with just anyone. I've learned to my cost that there are some people who simply can't be trusted. As she says this she glares - hard - at the nearest wayfinder wearing adventurer.

Dymal gently removes Seren from his shoulders and though he keeps the cup, isn't having any of her drink. Oh, I think it's more than that, though I'm not certain I credit all of the talk about its supposed mystical potency. Still, it is old, beautiful, and sought after, all things I'll be considering when I make my appraisal. How about yourself, what brings you to the auction?

Sense Motive DC 20 EDIT:(Dymal):
You don't think there's a client, whatever his interest in the Key is, it's personal.

Oh pish-posh! Dr. Landis is good natured but firm in his response to a supposed curse, Any relic of a certain age will accumulate stories of course, but we've had it at our museum with no sign of anything like that. I'm just glad that, due to a very generous donor, we'll likely be able to keep it! Can't have the Lord Mayor thinking it makes sense to keep auctioning off our prize pieces, can we?

Grand Lodge

| Witch 9 | AC 15 (19 w/Mage Armor) T 14 FF 12 | HP 65/65 | F+8R+9W+11 | Init +3 | Perc +15 | Lowlight Vision | +2 to recover from continuous effects such as such as ongoing poison damage, daily saving throws against disease, a hold person spell, or lingering damage from an attack |

DM, Who is the sense Motive check for in your last post, Seren or me?

Dark Archive

Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 6/Enchanting Courtesan 1 | HP 43 AC 10 ff 10 touch 10 F+4 R+3 W+6 CMD 11 Init. +4 | Portrait

Ansha arches an eyebrow. "Do tell," she says. "Or perhaps that can wait until after we're in bed?" The elf's teasing tone leaves it ambiguous whether she just propositioned Zimandi or was using it as an idiom for business dealings, but the crooked smile on her lips definitely suggests the former.

Scarab Sages

Ursahla's Social Identity (Disguise: 50) | HP: 59/59 | AC: 23 (16 T, 18 F) | CMB: +14 (+20 Dirty Trick), CMD: 23 (27 Dirty Trick, 25 Disarm) | F: +7, R: +15, W: +7 | Init: +5 | Perc: +10, SM: +11 | Speed 30ft, swim 30 ft. |
Tracked Resources:
Panache Pool: 5/5 | Pearl of Power I: 1/1 | Reroll: 1/1
| Active conditions: None.

Ursahla decides it's time to see what the Aspis Consortium is up to and seeks out Maiveer Sloan.

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (12) + 13 = 25


Maiveer Sloan is a gaunt, fashionably dressed Chelaxian. Ursahla catches up with him as he's handshaking his way through the room, accompanied by a half-dozen followers who appear to be equal parts attendant and bodyguard. Unlike many of the other suspected potential buyers, he pays no attention to the key, entirely focusing on his hobnobbing.

Ansha's flirtation earns a slow smile, and a shake of her head. You're dangerous. I like that, but now's not the time, I'm afraid.

Dark Archive

Female Elf Wizard (Manipulator) 6/Enchanting Courtesan 1 | HP 43 AC 10 ff 10 touch 10 F+4 R+3 W+6 CMD 11 Init. +4 | Portrait

"Flattery will get you everywhere, my dear," Ansha replies with a wink. "Perhaps another time. Look me up- the name is Ansha."

With that, the enchantress blows air-kisses at Zimandi and slips back into the crowd, in search of someone else to flirt with--oooo, yes, that tall, muscular Varisian will do. And that blond Taldan he's talking to is pretty fine, too...

Scarab Sages

Ursahla's Social Identity (Disguise: 50) | HP: 59/59 | AC: 23 (16 T, 18 F) | CMB: +14 (+20 Dirty Trick), CMD: 23 (27 Dirty Trick, 25 Disarm) | F: +7, R: +15, W: +7 | Init: +5 | Perc: +10, SM: +11 | Speed 30ft, swim 30 ft. |
Tracked Resources:
Panache Pool: 5/5 | Pearl of Power I: 1/1 | Reroll: 1/1
| Active conditions: None.

Just here for the party? Quite the expensive soiree for just a bit of hobnobbing.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21

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