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GM Kobash - PFS First Steps Part III (Inactive)

Game Master Kobash

"A Vision of Betrayal" This is Part 3 of the First Steps series.


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Taldor

"A Vision of Betrayal" This is Part 3 of the First Steps series.

Taldor

The Grand Lodge of the Pathfinder Society is a massive fortress surrounded by tall stone walls in the heart of the Foreign Quater of Absalom. Within the outer walls sit seven smaller fortified structures, the largest of which is Skyreach, an enormous five-towered building which also houses the Society's Grand Hall.

It is in Skyreach that the Decemvirate rule the Society and make its rare pronouncements beneath the enchanted skylights of the Great Hall in the central tower. Both resident and visiting pathfinders sequester themselves in cozy lounges to study, socialize, and plot future missions. Packed tight with chambers ranging from well-known ballrooms named after nations to innumerable trophy rooms and museums to rows of featureless doors identified only by number, Skyreach is a warren that only the Decemvirate understands completely. The majority of its mysterious spaces are off-limits to all but those not specifically invited by a Venture-Captain.

This day, your group has been called to a meeting in one of the prominent rooms of Skyreach. Across from you, on a large plush bench, sits Venture-Captain Drandle Dreng, a wiry old man with a wild gray beard and glinting eyes. Next to him is a finely dressed, full-figured woman who looks as though this entire meeting isn’t worth her time. Dreng warmly greets your group, complimenting you on your recent exploits both within the city and in the ruins of Asad's Keep, then introduces you to the woman, named Lady Gloriana Morilla. The Taldan woman tilts her head slightly in acknowledgement of the introduction, but otherwise makes no move to greet anyone. Oblivious to any social slight on the lady’s part, Dreng goes on to explain the the purpose of your summons.

“Recently, a contact from the Low Azlanti embassy in Escadar approached us with an offer. It seems they have discovered a unique relic of Azlanti origin on the Inner Sea’s floor that we have a unique opportunity to add to our collection for study. In return, however, we must deliver one of our catalogued items to Escadar in exchange. The Low Azlanti drive a hard bargain, so we need you to escort a relics broker to Escadar so he can authenticate the Azlanti item and mediate a fair deal on the Ten’s behalf.

"This may seem little more than simple guard duty," he continues, raising a hand to forestall questions, "but we have learned that members of the Aspis Consortium have also tendered an offer, and the gillmen have decided to accept the Consortium’s deal if the Society cannot finalize its agreement within thirty days. And in an attempt to add injury to this insult, an Aspis-funded warship patrols the waters just beyond Absalom’s harbor, preventing our agents from sailing to Escadar unmolested. Luckily, Lady Gloriana and I have come up with a solution."

Lady Morilla stirs from her silence and speaks in a strong, demanding voice. “I have used some of the Empire of Taldor’s most skilled operatives to plant a false crew manifest and course plans with the harbormaster, ensuring that the Aspis Consortium spies who certainly keep an eye on such matters believe we are moving our relic to Escadar on a ship tomorrow morning. This decoy should occupy the Consortium sufficiently for you to travel overland to Escadar with plenty of time to make the final agreement with the gillmen before the Society’s window of opportunity runs out.”

Dreng laughs to himself absently, then instructs your group on the true route you will take from Absalom. "Go to the Siphons in the Puddles and meet with the Pathfinder Society’s ally, information broker Grandmaster Torch. He’ll give you a map for a smugglers’ trail through the isle’s center that should allow for relatively easy and secret travel overland to Escadar. The relics broker you will escort is named Nester Rees, and he will join you after you secure Torch's map. Also, I have arranged lodging for your at an Escadar tavern called the Grindylow’s Goblet, where the gillmen have agreed to meet. Once you arrive, you only need to send word to the Low Azlanti embassy, then assist Master Rees in the negotiations at the tavern on the Society’s behalf."

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

"Apologies, but I'm not too good at deception. So I suppose I'll just keep my mouth shut for this one. But I'll guard the item with my life."

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

Falyf nods, "sounds okay, just hope the consortium doesn't get a word of it. so overland - anything we should keep in mind when we travel?"

Taldor

Dreng looks thoughtfully for a moment at Falyf, then says, "Well the Island of Kortos has its challenges. The route I have laid out for you is mostly trackless, and the path that crosses the mountain is little more than a trail, and I'm sure you are aware of the beasts and monsters, minotaurs, centaurs, and things left from the wars that still wander the Island, yes? Well from what I have heard of your exploits, I have confidence that you will find your way to the other side."

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

"Oh good. I've always wanted to fight a minotaur. Heard they can brawl with the best."

Taldor

"Rip your darn head off!" Dreng laughs.

Sczarni

HP 51 / AC 19 / CMD 19* / Fort +4, Ref +9, Will+2 (Rogue Acrobat 6)

"The further away from water, the better, I say", Haris comments dryly. "I can use a little country air."

..."minus the monsters."

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

"Across the mountains you say - do we need special gear? Don't wanna go down any chasms."

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

Adamus lets out a deep chuckle. "Probably, but it would be a hell of a fight."

Taldor

"Other than food and normal supplies for a journey, the route doesn't require any special equipment to cross," Dreng says, "but like every Pathfinder knows, be prepared for the unexpected."

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

"I need to get some supplies, and then I'll be ready to go."

Taldor

"If there are no more questions...?" Dreng prompts, "I suppose you should be on your way to see Master Torch. Good luck on your journey, and keep a good record! We look forward to seeing your account immortalized in ink."

Lady Morilla, having given her due, seems to have found more interest in her fingernails, though a slight sigh of exasperation passes her lips. Dreng smiles at her as if the sound was high praise.

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

"We'll do our best." Adamus replies as he makes his way to meet Torch.

Shopping is done. I bought a wand of CLW with my 2PP if thats okay along with some basic equipment I've been lacking.

Taldor

The wand is a legal purchase within the organized play rules as far as I know, so no problem (free magic item with a cost limit of 750gp, correct?). Any other purchaes from anyone else?

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

Yea, I wasn't sure about if I could use my PP yet during the first steps series.

Taldor

As far as I can tell it's legal to spend before you join a faction. Look at the thread HERE.

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

Ah ok, then I should have bought one before the last mod then.

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

Let's go then Falyf replies.

Taldor

Before your group can leave on the journey to Escadar, you must meet with Grandmaster Torch, the mysterious information broker, ex-Pathfinder, and leader of the Shadow Lodge faction of the Society, who operates out of a network of subterranean tunnels beneath the water-logged Absalom district of the Puddles. Finding the Siphons requires no special skill but does take you through the Puddles’ rough-and-tumble, flooded streets and into the sewers below.

A gruff half-orc guard grants you entry into Torch’s audience chamber in the Siphons, a large stone room that has been magically rid of all standing water or even airborne moisture. Torch, a dark-haired, burn-covered man in his late-middle years sits in a large bathtub, and two attendants continually pour cool water over his cursed, festering wounds. His half-orc bodyguards eye the PCs warily as the Grandmaster rises to greet them and speaks.

“Well met, Pathfinders. I see you have survived as the Decemvirate’s pawns thus far, and for that I commend you. This next task they have for you is more dangerous than the venture-captain may have told you, so let me give you a word of warning. I have made it my life’s work to ensure Pathfinder agents are given all the tools they need to return home
from their myriad adventures, and this map is the tool I give you. Follow the directions on my map as strictly as you can. Deviate from this path and you may encounter challenges far beyond your abilities. Many would paint me and those who believe like I do as betrayers
of the Society, but it is the corps of the organization that I am completely loyal
to. Each and every one of you.

“If you believe you have been mistreated by the Ten or their representatives, don’t hesitate to let me know upon your return from Escadar. My network of agents and spies if vast, and I am a powerful ally to have on your side.

”Now be off. You have a long journey ahead of you. And remember,don’t deviate from this map—it’s designed to get you there and back safely!”

MAP HANDOUT

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

"Thank you for the map. I don't think you give the Decemvirate enough credit. They do have flaws. I've heard of a few of them myself, from
my mentor. But their best interests are the good of the society. In any case, I thank you again for your help in this."
With that, Adamus leads the group out.

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

"Can you tell us anything about the dangers of the journey?" Falyf asks. "Maybe what to expet to encounter, and how high up in the mountains do we need to venture?"

Taldor

Grandmaster Torch leans back into his bathtub and gives a slight groan, sounding somewhere between relief and impatience. "I regret to say that I never walked the trail before, and know little about what might await you on it, natural or otherwise. Like I said, stick to the indicated route. And always keep an eye out for danger." He closes his eyes and sinks a little further, so that only his face and fingers show above the water. "Unless, of course, you have guards to handle such things."

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

"Thank you very much for your help," Falyf responds. He will then try to find out a bit more about their route, by speaking to epople and researching the library, before embarking on the journey.

Sczarni

HP 51 / AC 19 / CMD 19* / Fort +4, Ref +9, Will+2 (Rogue Acrobat 6)
Haris Hawkson wrote:

"The further away from water, the better, I say", Haris comments dryly. "I can use a little country air."

..."minus the monsters."

In Torch's bath chambers, Haris looks odd. Any of his peers standing close enough would notice a strident effort by his nostrils to keep itself sealed from breathing in any unpleasant smells or sickness. Upon receiving the map and giving it a once over, he voicelessly exclaims 'What?!' then mutters to Falyf, "We got to march across the entire isle? -And then get on a boat?! Ugh."

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

Falyf nods, and with a bit of sarcasm adds, "wonderful, isn't it. Not really looking forward to it. How bad are the mountains, any ideas?" he asks.

Falyf will get a wand of Infernal healing before healing - for 2 PP

Silver Crusade

Male Elf Cleric, 1st

Sorry Bros, can someone catch me up. I was.... um...... indesposed.....uh... I mean busy. Where are we going again? Captain Dreng wasn't to happy with my tardiness

I'm gonna need to get some administrative stuff out of the way

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

"To Escadar, over land," Falyf responds, "through the mountains. S~o we will se how this goes."

good to have you back, maybe we can move a long a bit faster - would be great!

Taldor

Departing Grandmaster Torch, your group soon finds itself back at Grand Lodge where you are met by the appraiser Nester Rees. A man of Garundi descent, Rees approaches with a limping stride, the metered tick of the cane in his hand echoing around the high walls. Switching the length of wood to his left hand, he extends his right in greeting. “Well met, my young guides. I hope you are nearly ready for this journey? I myself am eager to set out.”

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

"I'm ready to go."

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

Falyf nods, "nearly ready myself, do we have enough food?" If not Falyf will get a few more rations.

don't know, were we provided rations?

Sczarni

HP 51 / AC 19 / CMD 19* / Fort +4, Ref +9, Will+2 (Rogue Acrobat 6)

"Come'on Nestor old boy," Haris takes his hand, "Let's not stand on ceremony, we're wearing out the rug." Then looking at his caned condition, concerned for time, Haris rhetorically asks, "Are you going to need a horse?"

Haris buy expected rations and let's go.

Taldor

Nestor pats his leg, reassuring Haris, "Worry not, I am quicker than I seem."

You will need to supply your own food. Living off the land is possible, but will slow your journey to half-speed.

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

Adamus will buy 2 weeks of trail rations then.

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

A week worth of rations for Falyf.

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

And with this Falyf is ready to travel.

Taldor

Supplies purchased and farewells said, your party soon leaves the city and enters the Cairnlands, a broken landscape of blood-salted earth and the ruins of countless failed assaults on Absalom’s walls. You travel through this wasteland for a couple hours before it yields to open fields and fertile ground. Ahead, a vast forest covers the foothills of large range of snow-capped mountains, and there, at a tall wall of trees, the well-trodden road ends and the difficult part of the journey begins.

As your group approaches the treeline, dark shapes move amongst the shadows beneath the canopy, then step forward to reveal three centaurs. One of them raises a hand in a gesture somewhere between salutations and warning. “Pretty far from the city, hmm soft-toes? Don’t worry, we aren’t interested in making candles from your flabby arses today.” He laughs, though you aren’t sure he doesn’t actually do such a thing on other occasions. “My name’s Urdel Thunderhoof, and I figure’d I’d give you fair warning. Something’s preying on folk in this area. Likely a big cat. We’re tracking it down, but try not to get eaten before we catch it, hmm?”

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

"Thanks for the warning, Urdel. I will keep it in mind as we pass on through this forest. What else do you know of this creature stalking the land?"

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

Falyf nods, "thanks for the warning, but, it's great to leave the city. Don't really want to be run over by this creature, so if you know which could help, we would be greatful."

Knowledge dungeoneering 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20

Taldor

Falyf - from the description given about the predator, you can't tell anything more about it.

Everyone - the centaurs are mostly indifferent to your group. Please make Diplomacy checks if you're interested in befriending them and getting more information.

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

Sczarni

HP 51 / AC 19 / CMD 19* / Fort +4, Ref +9, Will+2 (Rogue Acrobat 6)

wow Adamus

"Well, nothing fine studs like yourselves couldn't handle." Haris attempts at flattery, "In fact, we make a pretty nice bait trouncing down this here path. Would you three care to escort- um... travel with us?"

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16 Diplo

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

I know right. Dice roller hates me. Looks like you have way better luck.

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

"That would be really nice, we can tell you about the city, if you are interested." Falyf adds.

Diplomacy to assist: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (5) - 2 = 3

Taldor

Adamus wrote:
"Thanks for the warning, Urdel. I will keep it in mind as we pass on through this forest. What else do you know of this creature stalking the land?"

"BIG. CAT." Urdel says very slowly to Adamus, as if talking to a simpleton. He stomps his foot, clearly agitated by the paladin, and almost turns to leave.

Haris wrote:
"Well, nothing fine studs like yourselves couldn't handle." Haris attempts at flattery, "In fact, we make a pretty nice bait trouncing down this here path. Would you three care to escort- um... travel with us?"

Haris, on the other hand, gets a chuckle from the centaur. "Bait. Huh. Tempting proposition halfbeing, and brave of you to offer. But I'm not sure this creature we're tracking will fall for it." He shares a glance with his two companions before continuing. "Suppose I should tell you something else, though I don't have much more than a feeling. This thing's turning out a lot more clever, or lucky, than your normal mountain cat. A couple days ago I could have sworn it was toying with us, leading us in circles, then vanishing altogether. Haven't been able to pick up its trail since."

Sczarni

HP 51 / AC 19 / CMD 19* / Fort +4, Ref +9, Will+2 (Rogue Acrobat 6)

"Well don't stay too far behind, in case you hear screaming and all. We're hauling a half-of-a-halfbeing and a catatonic priest. It shouldn't be difficult to locate us if you want to check in on our well-being in your homerange"

Haris contemplates asking one of the centaurs for a ride until deciding against and turns back down the road.

Silver Crusade

Male Ulfen Hospitaler 8 HP: 68/68 AC: 22 FF: 22 Touch:10 F: +15 R:+9 W:+15 Init:+0, Perception +0 (Effects:None)

Adamus just stands there patiently as the centaur talks down to him. "So it's an intelligent cat. Thank you for letting us know. Let us go."

Grand Lodge

male Human Sorcerer 1 Wizard 1| AC 12 T 11 FF 11 | HP 15/15 | F +2 R +1 W +1 | Init +5 Perc +5; Darkvision

"Thank you for our help, we will be on our toes," Falyf responds.

Ready to move on

Taldor

The centaurs chuckle at Haris' banter, likely thinking it sarcasm. Urdel then says something in sylvan to his companions, and a moment later, just as your troup is entering the treeline, a spear whistles through the air from the centaur's direction and embeds itself into the trunk of a maple not far from Haris' head.

Falyf:
Urdel says, "I like this one. We should give him a little help, just in case they run across the beast."

1d20 ⇒ 13

Sczarni

HP 51 / AC 19 / CMD 19* / Fort +4, Ref +9, Will+2 (Rogue Acrobat 6)

Haris nearly leaps out of his skin from surprise, "Yeeshh!"

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