Welcome! Please check in at the Discussion tab, and then dot in here. My rules are pretty simple - please post once a weekday/weekend, and have fun!
I am hoping to finish this up by Aug 19 to free everyone's characters for GameDay VI. It shouldn't be a problem if we keep the post rate up.
After a hurried summons to the Grand Lodge in Absalom, a quick conversation with Venture-Captain Alissa Moldreserva, and a wet, stormy trip across the Inner Sea to Andoran, the small, warm Pathfinder Lodge in Augustana is a welcome break from travel.
“I can’t believe we are wasting our time on this matter,” says Caudron Wallace, the venture-captain of Augustana as he paces the main hall. “Frankly, I want as little to do with it as possible, so I’m passing it on to you.”
Wallace nods toward a door at the back of the room. “The vagrant through there was found collapsed on our front steps gripping a wayfinder of all things. We still don’t know who he is. Talk to him, for the tale he tells is amazing if true, and then come back here.”
Sumil lets his mouth hang open as he stares at the Venture-Captain, memories of vomiting overboard still fresh in his mind. The way almost every mission started lately.
"You called us here, from Absalom, to question a vagrant?" His Arms flail wildly, his colorful sleeves blurring with the motion. "Perhaps I should get a wayfinder, so at least when I turn up muddy and homeless, I too can be ignored by Venture-Captains!"
He doesn't actually wait for an answer from Alissa as he follows Johnn into the next room, though he does throw a few aggravated glares back his way.
He waits for the vagrants response, reminding himself of all the reasons he'd dedicated himself to the Society.
On the ride to Augustana, Sumil will have spent his focus points on his implements. 3 into his sword, providing a +2 bonus to strength for the day, 2 into his gloves, and 1 into a pair of goggles hung on his neck.
As you enter the room at the back of the main hall, you find a small sitting room with six comfortable chairs and a few bookshelves filled with the latest Pathfinder Chronicles. An old, withered man sits in one of the chairs, half-dozing. His skin is shockingly pale and his features are sharp with high cheekbones and a jutting chin. Despite his incredibly filthy visage, matted white hair, and infirmity, when he awakes and regards you, he does so with a look of absolute, confident superiority.
“My loyal subjects, welcome! I know that some of you might not recognize me in my current state, but it is truly me, Gandros, the long-lost Prince of Augustana. I have been in hiding since the untimely death of my father, the Emperor, preparing for my return to glory. Unfortunately, I bear ill news. The army I have been gathering in the otherworld has been infiltrated by agents of our enemies. When last I called my forces together for inspection, dark assassins attacked me and I barely escaped with my life.”
He takes this opportunity to roll up his sleeve and reveals a series of recently inflicted claw and tooth marks on his right forearm. He then launches into a breathless retelling of how he came to be in the Lodge, without pause or acknowledgement of interruptions
“I fled back through the magic portal to this realm. Grievously wounded, and with the assassins in close pursuit, I leapt into the dark river. I floated past the Almsman’s Sanctuary, but couldn’t climb out of the water. I did manage to grab one of the bridges, but a plank fell in with me. I held on for dear life and continued to drift downstream. I went over a waterfall and then emerged in the lake of ships and crawled to shore. Augustana has changed since I last walked my city’s bright streets, but I managed to find this house, bearing the symbol of my father’s empire.”
He holds up the wayfinder hanging from a chain around his neck. “I knew I would find help here! If you remove the threat from my kingdom below and help restore me to my rightful place as Emperor of Andoran, I will grant you any boon within my power!”
"Well I must say I do love a reward. My name is Shlevin, gentleman. I haven't been with the Society long, but I will aid you Vagrant Gandros. If you two will allow me to accompany you." He says quickly with his eyes bouncing back and forth. Focusing on everything and nothing at the same time.
K. History: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Sumil listens to the vagrant's tale with a heavy dose of skepticism. He replays through everything he knows of local history, trying remember any mention of a Prince Gandros.
"Your army...was it defeated? Overwhelmed? You do understand how unlikely this sounds, yes?"
"what exactly do you mean, Prince Gandros, when you say otherworld?" Shlevin asks, curious about the portal he spoke of. Searching his own brain for information. Completely oblivious to the fact the man could be lying.
Knowledge(Arcana): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Sumil rolls his eyes, realizing the man before him is unlikely to answer unless properly addressed. He can not seem to recall information about a lost Prince Gandros, but is willing to entertain the idea for the time being.
"Apologies My Lord, it has been some time since any of us have been expected to address royalty. What I mean to say is, we may need a way to verify the claim, so as to expedite your return to the throne. As I'm sure you know my Prince, there are always regulations."
"Tea we all need some tea. Can you have someone send some in for us? It may help things." the very short grippli woman asks as she follows the other Pathfinders from the room. She is dressed fashionably, and neatly. Her speech is cultured, and educated.
Upon hearing the "Prince's" story she bows and takes a seat near him. "Your Highness. Lady Finley at your service. How long have you been hiding away from this realm waiting to return? Are your loyal subjects alright after the attack?" she looks up. "Ah here's the tea. Let's have a cup and you can tell us how we may help you."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Warming back up as everyone now seems to be showing him propr respect, Gandros tries to answer the questions. It seems, though, he is really struggling to remember some details, especially about recent issues. He seems a bit disturbed by Lady Finley's manner, but answers her anyway.
"My farie armies were amassing and training on the other side of the portal, but they must have been attacked! Demon armies have destroyed them, and they came for me, too."
He doesn't seem to be able to elaborate more, except in generalities that mean nothing.
Based on his information, it is hard to confirm much of anything. This seems to be going no where.
You eventually beg your pardons, and leave the room to rejoin Venture-Captain Wallace.
“My diviners say that there is some truth to his story. There has never been a Prince of Augustana, nor an Emperor in Andoran, but the old fellow has a surprising amount of knowledge of the pre-revolution noble families of the city. He may be the lost scion of some noble line. If so, he’s fallen far. From the filth and stink on him when we found him, we’re fairly certain he’s been living in or near a sewer. The wayfinder is also a mystery, but for now, it makes him one of ours. However, I’m more interested in his supposed gate to the otherworld. If it exists, I want to know about it. Implausible as it may seem, I’m certain that his injuries were caused by otherworldly beings. We must take the possibility of a portal seriously. I don’t want to dirty my hands with this, but you don’t have that choice. Retrace the old man’s path through the sewers. The Almsman, whom he repeatedly mentions, is rumored to be an eccentric priest who runs some sort of hidden beggar’s sanctuary in the sewers. He may know where our prince’s portal is, if you can find him. But be warned; a local gang calling themselves the Steel Wyverns claims the sewers near the Almsman’s Sanctuary as their own territory.”
Venture-Captain Wallace shows you the spot on the map of the likely sewer outlet from which Gandros came. It’s near the north end of the crowded Augustana harbor, near where the north harbor wall hits land.
He sends you on your way.
K. Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
K. Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
"Ah, the Steel Wyverns. They were fearsome once, yes? Little more than petty thieves these days, should be easy enough for us to handle, assuming you're not afraid of spiked chains.
The Almsman though, he will be harder. He keeps a sanctuary for the city beggars, we could as around, but very few know where the sanctuary is, and those who do might be more loyal to the masked priest than they are to us, no? We have our work cut out for us!"
Know Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Know Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Wasting the good rolls on knowledge checks. Always happens.
"The gang is on the decline so maybe they won't be that well kitted out. If we can get rid of the Wyverns in the sewers, maybe the poor of the city think of us more kindly. We don't need them to tell us where he's at. Just to get a message to our unknown priest that we'd like to speak to him." She nods to Johnn at his statement about the chain. "At trip to the sewers is in order. Does anyone have any perfume or potpourri on hand? I don't like the smell of sewers. Reminds me of the privy in the back garden of the house I was brought to as a child."
When Lady Finley corroborates Sumil's information he nods and sighs.
"Won't be my first time in city sewers. No one told me being a Pathfinder would be so messy. Unfortunately I don't have anything for the smell, my friend. Maybe you can guy something on the way?" He checks over the various trinkets and fetishes on his person and when he's sure he's ready he gives a crooked smile to the rest of the group.
"Let's gt this over with, yes? The sooner we get into the sewers, the sooner we can get to the bottom of this."
Nothing on Knowledge (Arcana) or the question I asked?
Giovanni finally speaks up.
diplo1: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
diplo2: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
This Almsman is well-known but those who know his sanctuary's whereabouts are tight-lipped. It would take some effort to extract that information. I agree, a trip to the sewers should be our next move.
"Well, since we all agree that our information is good, let's be off, yes? I must confess, I am of no use when it comes to negotiations, so once we've cleared the sewers, it might be best if one of you speaks with the poor in the area to find the Almsman."
As he speaks, Sumil walks toward the door, prepared to head into the sewers for the second time in as many missions. "I hope you've all brought torches, at lease."
unless something else comes up, I'll go melee to help the rogue out.
Once we reach the sewers I'll ready my rapier, though I think we're still getting stuff ready.
Edit: would we be able to buy a torch or lantern in town on the way? I've got some gold left.
"Perhaps I can help in the speech department." Quips the gnome. "I also have quite a few miscellaneous mixtures to help us along the way... also bombs, oh yes! The bombs."
"I've got torches to spare, John. You needn't worry about that. Also, I've brought some sunrods for convenience." He says turning to the fighter, pulling out five torched and offering them to him.
"thanks Madam Finley, but our gnomish pal has already provided us the tools we needed." Turning to the group, "well, besides torches, did we need anything else? or are we ready to go into the sewers?"
Can Johnn hold a torch and fight one-handed with no penalty, or is it going to affect him like two weapons? i.e. can he hold a torch,
not use it as a weapon, and still take no penalties?
"thanks Madam Finley, but our gnomish pal has already provided us the tools we needed." Turning to the group, "well, besides torches, did we need anything else? or are we ready to go into the sewers?"Can Johnn hold a torch and fight one-handed with no penalty, or is it going to affect him like two weapons? i.e. can he hold a torch,
not use it as a weapon, and still take no penalties?
no penalty unless you attack with that off-hand torch.
Giovanni takes an offered torch. Ready when you are.
Yes, you can make purchases if you like. In fact, you need to decide where you want to enter the sewers anyway, so you can spend some time in town before going under.
A little research reveals that the sewer tunnels under Augustana are divided into two types, major passages and minor passages. Both types have a single walkway running along one wall (the west wall of a north-south tunnel, or the north wall of an east-west tunnel). The ceilings are generally about 6 feet above the walkways. Minor tunnels have a channel 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep through which effluvium flows. The channels in major tunnels are 10 feet wide and 5 feet deep. Where passages meet, there are usually planks laid across the channels to allow pedestrians to cross from one walkway to the other.
diplogather1: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
diplogather2: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
i get 2 rolls for gather info from investigator
We have some options for entering the sewers. There are major passages and minor passages. Each have a single walkway but the major pathways have channels 10ft wide and 5ft deep while the minor pathways are 5ft and 3ft, respectively. You're only looking at about 6ft of clearance to the ceiling, so don't plan on much in the way of acrobatics.
Being a little bit shy, a blond haired elf who until now has been silently listening from the back of the group, speaks up. "I once heard that a little bid of lemon or other citrus juice applied to your upper lip could help to mask the sewer smell."
Taking of his backpack with the clinching od glass vial slightly noticable, the elf looks inside and says, " I've no citrus. But maybe we want the benefits of our full olfactory." just flavor, no mechanical value anyway
[B]"But rope which I also don't have might be needed. Does anyone has some?"
"I am Haska by the way. I don't believe I introduced myself." "I am glad to be accompaning such an efficient group."
Shlevin explores the town asking questions and aquiring items he thinks may be useful. (Being an aspiring inventor has him picking up random items he thinks he can combine to make new tools, although these tools rarely function well.) Shop after shop, person after person, Shlevin finally completes his shopping trip and meets back with the others as they prepare to enter the sewers.
Folding Pole 2sp, Collapsible Plank 4sp, Crowbar 2gp, Grappling Hook 1gp, Hammer 5sp, Pitons ×3 3sp, Marbles 1sp, Oil 1sp, rope 1gp, string 1cp, whetstone 2cp
Total: 5gp, 6sp, 3cp
"Going into the sewer there's a good chance we could encounter some vermin, namely swarms of rats, you would all do well to have a way to handle such swarms as they are not so easily dispatched with the swing of a sword." He warns the others as his fear/hate of rats sets in once it clicks in his brain where they are going.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
"Ah, my new rapier wielding friend," turning to the rogue, Giovanni,"you seem very familiar with the sewers." "And looking around I see we seem to be more suited to defend ourselves with a cushion of distance between us." "With the limited space you describe, how do you suggest we arrange ourselves for defense while not getting in each others way?"
"I have a rapier, but alas I am but a beginner in skill with the thing." "I would much rather throw my 'bombs' as our gnome friend stated." I would call them 'balls of clay laced with compression sensitive chemicals that when compressed ignite with the atmosphere sending fiery debris in all directions', but I suppose calling them 'bombs' might be more concise. Haska's reasoning makes him curb his desire to correct others not wanting to offend his new comrades.
"Pitons might help... antitoxin might be useful too ... vermin repellent always nice for emergencies ... how about acid or a grappling hook." "Damn this armor I was swindled into buying, I just can't manage anymore stuff. A thousand thoughts race through Haska's mind but all that comes out is, "Too heavy..."
"I have a few spells to handle swarms." Sumil says lifting his hands to show the red silk gloves he wears, covered in runes the glow just slightly. "And for anything else, my sword should do." He smiles confidently.
"The larger tunnels may be better guarded, but our ranged friends will have a better shot at Wyverns, the smaller tunnels might help us sneak in, but if we are discovered we will be bottlenecked, and of little use to one another. I think the head on approach might be best, yes?"
Sumil is happy to continue discussing strategy as he joins Shlevin, shopping for supplies he's been meaning to get anyway.
Silk rope, 10g, crowbar 2gp, grappling hook 1gp
Shlevin’s eyes light up upon discovering all the telltale signs of a fellow alchemist. "Elf! What a pleasant surprise to see a fellow adventurer that's taken an interest in chemical arts. Perhaps we could trade formula books and learn something from one another? Can never be too prepared I always say. Would that interest you?"
"It seems to me that in limited space if I am in the front, it would be advantageous, I suspect I'm the best one here at taking a hit, unfortunately. After that I suggest the other two humans to follow after me, with the rest of you, being more ranged focused taking up the rear. I trust that we can count on you to not shot us from behind. If we come to a wider area, we might switch up the leaders, as I may eventually need a bit of a break"
swarms will present a bit of a difficulty with this formation, however I will likely just run ahead a bit if we meet up with any, and I suggest the rogue plan on the same
"Formula swap on a one for one basis is most agreeable time permitting." "I have benefited from such an arrangement before."
Up to the GM if we can spend the time or retroactively say we did such an activity on the boat ride here. 10gp and 1 hour for 1st level spells per spell copied I think is the rule.
"After the present task at hand maybe?" "You don't by chance have something that makes armor weigh less and still function?"
"If we take the larger tunnels as I suggested, you and I can provide the front line." Sumil says, appreciating Johns willing to take point.
"That will put me in a good position to use my sword, and if we find a swarm of rats, I can burn them without risk of hurting any of our allies.
Anyone else have a preference on the larger or smaller tunnels?