Without further ado, you travel to the seedy, harborside Docks district, to the The Pickled Imp, a curio shop owned by Guaril Karela, head of the Absalom-based Sczarni.
This creepy shop contains myriad odds and ends, most bereft of any discernible use. A number of malformed creatures and creature parts bob in jars on a long, prominent shelf, a tiny fetal devil centered in this macabre lineup. The shopkeeper, a greasy-haired Varisian with a thin mustache, shouts from behind the cluttered counter:
"Ah yes, I see the Pathfinders have arrived. I’m glad Ambrus was able to lend a few of his new recruits to help me. Please come in and let me tell you what I need.”
Looking around as if to be absolutely certain no customers are browsing the aisles of knock-off Thuvian burial urns or supposed Azlanti porcelain, he begins again.
"Well met. I am Guaril Karela. A friend of mine has a warehouse near here and he received a parcel on behalf of me and some of my associates, but there’s a problem. See, Master Gelbane had to leave town in a hurry and our shipment is still waiting at his warehouse. Rumor is he ended up in trouble with the law and the place was seized. I heard tell from someone down at the docks that some creep was snooping around his warehouse just the other night, so I want to make sure nothing of mine was taken. He keeps all kinds of things, from beer to nails, in that old pelican, but every now and then he stores something really special. This is one of those cases.
"There’s a big crate marked with three crows arranged in a triangle. Inside that crate is a smaller container with a few books and papers in it. That’s the only parcel I’m interested in, and as far as I’m concerned, you can help yourself to the rest of the crate. Honestly, anything else you want in the place too. I’m sure the once things get sorted out, the city will seize most everything else anyway.
"My associates and I often work with the Pathfinders when it comes to special relics and documents, getting them in and out of ports and across borders where the authorities ask too many questions. Most people don’t realize what they have and frankly many don’t deserve to have it, so sometimes we help take the goods off their hands. If things work out well and you get this done, I’d be glad to talk with you more and help you out with any future endeavors, as long as you help me out too. I’m good at returning favors, trust me."
Jake nods curtly.
Alright then, Guaril, the parcel that you desire shall be rerieved. I am Jake Hargrove, and I am pleased to be of assistance. Is the warehouse defended at all, to your knowledge?
Yeah, this doesn't look at all suspicious. Nope. I suppose if Ambrus told us to help out, though, that Guaril is legitimate. Or at least legitimate enough not to report to the authorities. Either way, gotta keep my eyes and ears open.
And I am Tiann Ceriagh'u, sent here by the Pathfinder Society. I have a few questions as well, which I'm sure are standard for this sort of business. In addition to any guard detail, will our going there arouse any sort of attention or suspicion? Do you or your associates have any enemies we should know about who will try to take these items from us? I am certainly not questioning you or your associates, just making sure we understand the terms of the contract so we can fulfill it. I'd hate to agree to something without knowing what's involved. A lady must keep her word. Surely you can understand? She gives Guaril a smile that she tries to play off as honest but which is really hiding something much less kind.
Guaril nods, thinking these to be reasonable questions. "There is nobody guarding the warehouse. Your presence should not around any suspicion, it is a public pier. I don't think anyone cares in particular about anything in that warehouse, as the only items of any real value are the ones I'm looking for, and no enemies would know, or really care, about them."
"Ultimately, it's just a simple retrieval. I need the items in the small box from the crate I described, in good condition. Anything else in the warehouse is no concern of mine, nor really anyone else's at this point."
Heading out, I'll do another update when I get back tonight.
"Good day to you Guaril...I am called Tal. I assume the warehouse is locked. Do you have a key or will we need to think of a more creative way to enter"
Not that I have a problem with break in & entry per se...however if he has a key that might satisfy Tiann of his legitimate claim to the merchandise
Karzak offers little more than a grunt at the decision to seek out the books next. He pouts with his arms crossed during much of the journey to the curio, pausing only to regale Jory with tales of what may be in the vaults [...if we ever get there.]. He glares at the non-dwarves with a look of reproach.
He scowls at Tal's mention of the key, then pats his massive hammer. Got all the key I need right here. I'll just pretend that the door is that old bi...bitty. Haw!
He nods to Guaril. Some ruffians would be good, if ya can arrange it for us; give us a bit of a challenge, ya know.. His limited concerns satisfied, Karzak stands by the door, anxious to go.
|Ice Glen Inlet|
Jory nods and pulls out a hammer and chisel.
"Obviously Karzak, our Gladdringar runes are going in that warehouse. Auntie Baltwin is lucky, I thought of putting one on her forehead.
Can't help but think of Brad Pitt in Inglorious Bastards -- 'Auntie Baltwin, you weren't planning on facing those orphans without a mark of dwarven shame were you.'
Guaril nods at Talhaearn. "I don't know if it's locked now or not. It certainly could be. If it is, you'll just have to be resourceful."
With that, your party sets off for the Docks.
Ice Glen Inlet: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12 (low-light)
Tiann Ceriagh'u: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Jory Redcap: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16 (+2 vs stonework, auto)
Talhaearn: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25 (low light)
Jake Hargrove: 1d20 ⇒ 15
Karzak: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23 (darkvision 60')
Perched on the end of a long pier fifteen feet above the water, the warehouse appears to struggle against its own roof, threatening to sag into the bay below. No light shines from the building’s windows and only the movement of gulls and pelicans stirs the scene.
Called pelican warehouses, these buildings perch at the end of piers, allowing a ship to load and unload farther out from the busier docks. Many of them either accommodate smaller vessels that are in a hurry or larger ships unable to find an open dock. Rare these days, most pelican warehouses lie in disrepair, withered from storms and salt, and every year it seems another one falls into the harbor. An increased tax on this type of property keeps many of the owners from rebuilding and some have even relinquished the titles to their small warehouses, allowing them to fall into the hands of squatters and smugglers—or into the bay itself.
Smugglers sometimes use small boats to slip under the warehouse, sawing a hole in the floor or prying boards in the night, and sneaking in to loot the place or just drop a crate into their boat from above and paddle away in the night.
The pier this pelican warehouse sits on stretches 100 feet from the boardwalk and the docks proper, and stands 15 feet above the water. The planks on the pier are sturdy but weathered. A few local fishermen and some kids sit scattered along the pier casting nets or bobbing lines into the waters below.
The building looks abandoned and in disrepair. The windows are dark and dirty and provide no view into the structure’s interior. A small boat bobs in the water below, tethered to the pier by a stout, salt-crusted rope.
You walk out the pier, and approach the warehouse.
No automatic rolls here from me, roll the skills you want to use from here. :) Don't bother placing yourselves on the map until we move into the warehouse.
Tiann takes a cursory look around. She checks for the person following her group before, and also for whether any fishermen, sailors, or children are watching the group.
I'm only going to make a racket with my gear, so I'll hang back and let the quieter members of the group go on ahead to see if we have—nay, are—uninvited guests. By the way, did anyone bring a light?
For now, I'm going to be actively making perception checks every chance I can. I don't like the looks of this place.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
"I fear this building could collapse at any moment."
Talhaearn walks around the outside of the building making his way to the front door, occasionally pressing against the wall as if he expects it to fall over. He checks any side doors he comes across to see if they are unlocked as well as any open windows that could be crawled through or at least peered into.
Perception 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Karak follows the group, raising a bushy eyebrow at the attempt for stealth. With a shrug, he offers his own dainty tiptoe as he scans the locals to see if anyone had noticed them yet. He remains with Tian. And the less stealthy members of the group. None from me; we dwarves can see just fine in the dark; just leave the work to us, missy.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Jake walks to the front door with the dwarves.
I do not think that a stealthy approach is necessary. Let's go in and see what we have. Jory, Karzak, can either of you guess whether this place will fall on my head?
Jake awaits an assessment at the door while he draws his Greatsword in case there are enemies within.
BTW - Nice Map GM Fnord!
Karzak nods and follows Jake, his heavy boots slamming down on the planks of the pier. Dwarves were never meant to be quiet, anyhow.. He examines the structure, then shrugs. It ain't stone. he feels that description should be adequate, but he looks at tries to guess at the structure anyway.
No know engineering and stonecunning probably doesn't apply, so here's an additional perception check for examining the structure.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Sigh. Someone will have to teach him manners. And something tells me it'll have to be me.
Tiann sighs at the obtuse dwarf and follows carefully, still keeping an eye out. She sticks to the back of the group, not out of fear, but just to see if anyone's watching.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Oops, wrong modifier the first time. Need my caffeine. Sorry.
The green on the map is water. The only places to stand out of the water are on the dock or the rowboat.
The front door seems to be locked, and you cannot find a key. Nobody else seems to be around. The walls that you can see seem to be structurally sound enough for today.
You can search more carefully (take 20 is ~5 minutes), or deal with the door or lock any other way you see fit.
Let me give it a shot first Jory...best to not cause a commotion if we can avoid it. If I can't disable this lock I promise to let you & Karzak smash it into oblivion.
Disable Devices 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Tiann sees Tal struggling with the lock.
Tal, let me help you a bit. It's a little bit of magic that gives you some insight into what you're doing.
She takes Tal's hands in her own, closes her eyes and begins uttering the words for a spell.
Guidance: This spell imbues the subject with a touch of divine guidance. The creature gets a +1 competence bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. It must choose to use the bonus before making the roll to which it applies.
Clearly uncomfortable with being touched, Talhaearn jerks ever so slightly at Tiann's touch but then relaxes a bit.
Easy Tal...she's just trying to help you. She's not going to stick a knife in your back.
He picks up his tools and tries again.
Disable Device 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
"Dwarf breaching team ready to go. Khazad I got your back. A divine blessing as we enter would be appreciated." Jory unslings his wicked bow and is ready to be one of the first in.
Buffing before opening doors is they way to go.
The warehouse is somewhat dark, the ambient light from outside blocked by a filthy, oily film on the structure's few windows. Darting illumination comes from light reflecting off the water through a splintered hole in the floor. Throughout the warehouse, crates, boxes, and barrels lean against each other in vaguely sorted stacks. A lingering smell indicates some of the contents are certainly spoiled.
Note that north is to the left of the map <--
Perched in the middle of the hole, teetering on split planks, sits a large crate stamped with three crows arranged in a triangle - the crate you have come to find. Handholds cut in the stout wooden crate ring the rim. Other barrels, boxes, and crates sit stacked along the walls of the warehouse. Just inside the door sits a handful of crates and kegs of beer. Most of these smeller crates and barrels contain foodstuffs in various states of freshness. Some crates reek of rot. Stacks of simple coffins sit against the east wall. The crates that do not contain food would have to be searched to determine their contents, but it's obvious from what you can see through cracks and open lids that they contain all sorts of things, from beer and coffee to blocks of clay, rope, metal ingots, nets, ship parts, and who knows what else.
A crane, used for loading and unloading boats, clings to a rail running the length of the warehouse, hanging 5' below the high ceiling, and can slide out to extend past the loading doors along the west wall.
The edges of the hole are clearly dangerous, and anyone stepping into one of them will have to make an acrobatics check or risk collapsing the floor further - and spilling the crate into the water. These squares also count as difficult terrain. A good enough acrobatics check will let you move through these squares normally as if they were not difficult terrain.
Clearly it is time to examine your situation and formulate a plan.
As you examine things, please move your marker to where you are standing. If you can't move your marker on the google doc, just include a coordinate in your post so that someone else can move you. I need to know exactly where you're standing for each post. :)
Talhaearn whispers to Jake "Take care to keep those kegs from the Jory & Karzak's notice. I fear they may not be able to concentrate on the task at hand should they realize there is beer about."
Talhaearn ponders the crate marked with the 3 crows. "I'm afraid the floor surrounding that crate won't hold much more than one of us at a time...it doesn't look as though we'll be able to simply carry that box out of here."
Talhaearn walks to the crane. "Anyone know how to work this thing?"
Jory moves to G5 with a move and readies a shot with his bow.
"We may be able to sail the boat to the two sea doors and load the boat. That way, no matter what happens in the warehouse, the crates in the boat are safe."
I appreciate the flattery Talhaearn, but you're not my type.
Jake laughs as he moves closer to the box.
Are we able to row that boat outside under the warehouse so that we can just drop the box on it?
Maybe a couple of strong guys in the boat could ease it in. I think that the boat should be there even if we are using the crane just in case. I will row it under. Anyone care to join me in the boat?
Karzak nods at Jory. Right; we can use the boat like a net ta' catch the chest if the crane drops it. Anybody good with a boat? I can paddle the durn thing or use a stick if it's shallow enough, but I don' know much else about 'em.
As he speaks, Karzak moves amidst the crates in front of the hole, searching for anything of worth. He glances back, confusion drawing his bushy brows together. What in the hells they got so many coffins for? Didn't figure them for good trade; unless they're special-made or somethin'.
Move to f6, if possible, perception in looking in the crates
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Most of the crates near the entrance seem to be food items. As you move farther into the warehouse, the crates seem to have more useful gear.
Whatever plan you come up with, you will probably be able to find what you need to execute it here without having to leave for supplies.
Karzak's investigations seem to have awakened some dire rats that were living by the north well! Suddenly, you are attacked. They look like THIS and are about the size of a dog.
Ice Glen Inlet: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 (low-light)
Tiann Ceriagh'u: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Jory Redcap: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28 (+2 vs stonework, auto)
Talhaearn: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24 (low light)
Jake Hargrove: 1d20 ⇒ 10
Karzak: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12 (darkvision 60')
Tiann Ceriagh'u: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Jory Redcap: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Talhaearn: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Rats: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Tiann, Jory, and Tal spotted the rats and can act in the surprise round. Everyone is flat footed until they have acted. Empty spaces are normal, spaces with boxes are difficult terrain (double movement, no charging).
Those who don't get to act in the surprise round will get initiative rolled after the surprise round.
When you post during combat, please include (for example):
At the top:
Round 1, init 14
At the bottom:
HP 12/12, AC 17/14/12, F:+6 R:+4 W:+1 (any affects that are relevant)
Up next: Tal
Try to stick to just posting in init order, but if you think your turn will come up and you'll be gone for a long time, pre-post and if your action still makes sense we'll use it. It's combat so we'll wait for people to act each round.
Jory goes first!
Jory Round 0 Init 14
Std action: Fire bow at closest rat
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 111d8 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
AC: 15; ff 14; Touch: 15
CMD=17 (+4 bull rush and trip when on solid ground)
Fort Save: +4
Ref Save: +3
Will Save: +6
Tal to go
Round 0, init 9
Jory just manages to skewer one of the rats (R2), nailing its corpse to the north wall. (Lucky it was flat footed!)
The other two rats scramble across the crates, and try to bite Karzak.
Rat 1 bite: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12, damage 1d4 ⇒ 1 MISS
Rat 2 bite: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4, damage 1d4 ⇒ 1 MISS