GM Sappy's Harrowing - Heart of the Cards

Game Master Sapiens

Map of the Realm
Smith's Caldera


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Sovereign Court

It's a warm spring day near Korvosa. A hundred voices are sounding through the air, laughing, joking, chatting, tales are spun and told, coins change hands, dice are spinning. Waitresses dance around, juggling food and drink for those who have chosen to spend their day in the ever-shifting Umbral Carnival. Couples are dancing at the sound of a dozen violins, while a stage magician is producing a flock of doves from his hat.
Slightly apart from the center stands a gaudy tent with a sign advertising a fortune-teller by the name of "All-Seeing Hajeck", and in front of the tent four bizarre characters almost clash into each other, trying to enter.
One could be thought a catfolk, if not for the fact that his face is that of an uncannily large rabbit. Another has the disheveled appearance and the wily smile of a Sczarni. Then there are a girl with bronzed skin and a myriad of thin braids covered in decorations, and another with something savage in her appearance, although you couldn't put a finger on what it is.

Basil:
The serving girl told you that this Hajeck is the best cartomancer in the carnival. Although she is not really a seer, she is a good storyteller, and she may be able to lead you further in your search for the legend of the Rabbit Prince.

Edda:
Partly you have traced your mother's blood here, partly the cards have drawn you to it. Apparently this Hajeck is the daughter of someone who used to travel with your mother.

Gisele:
A man named Meloigne was last seen entering Hajeck's tent. Meloigne is a scholar and a collector of tales, and has been known to pay generously for stories from far lands, and you know you're not in short supply of those.

Niklos:
You are looking for a man called Meloigne Garracy, who seems to be linked to the Thassilonian artifact that you and your sister were tasked to deliver on that fateful night. You don't know exactly how Garracy was involved, but he was last seen speaking to Hajeck, the cartomancer in the tent.


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Edda looks at the three odd people she finds outside her destination, one who looks suspiciously like a Scarni, and waves them forward. She then stands aside the entrance, arms crossed in obvious impatience.

"Please go ahead. I need to speak to this Hajeck in private."


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9

Gisele quickly comes to a stop before she can crash into the other three individuals angling for the tent entrance. The disheveled man and the savage woman barely giving her eyes pause. She is used to seeing both. The man obviously a native to this area and the woman reminding her a little of the jungle dwellers back home, except in different attire. However, she gives the bunny face man a look of quickly passing shock, curiosity, and faint reproach (remembering the rattled tavern girl), before she can school her face to a neutral expression. She had seen the seen the ears earlier, but she thought perhaps that had been a costume or a trick of the light. It has obviously been neither.

"My business should be very brief, but is not of great importance, I can wait if any of you are in a hurry." Gisele steps to the side to allow one of them unobstructed access to the tent opening.


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12

Full physical description of Niklos is available in his profile, if you want to take a peek. :)

Card of the Day: 1d54 ⇒ 22 ~ The Brass Dwarf

Niklos does the briefest of double-takes at the manlike rabbit (or is it a rabbitlike man?), but quickly recovers, never losing his customary grin. He counts back days to his last visit to the Dragon's Breath Corridor, wondering if this was some lingering effect from the shiver. No. Almost a week, now. Besides, the others were casting glances in the same direction, and he did not recall seeing them at Eel's End.

The rogue turns to Edda and Gisele in turn, bowing to both of them in an exaggerative manner.

"Far be it from me to keep you ladies waiting," he proclaims. "However, our arrival seems fated. Suspiciously contemporaneous, like. What's your involvement with the fortune-teller, if you don't mind me asking? Mayhaps we're here on the same business..."


Cards: all the Stars cards, The Empty Throne, The Theatre, The Unicorn, The Marriage and The Twin Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16; AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 16 hp 45/45; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +10

The Lagos male will watch the brief exchange of people trying to be courteous to each other, and shakes his head, ducking into the tent with a flick of his fluffy tail. He breezes past with an ease and speed that would seem natural to a rabbit if they did, in fact, come human-sized

"Hajeck?" he says with his curiously deep voice. "I wish to speak to you."


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9

"It seems his matter was most urgent." Gisele states as she sits down on the grass next to the tent near where she had hitched her mule. There being no telling how long the bunny-man will be, she may as well wait comfortably. "I only wish to inquire of someone All-Seeing Hajeck recently saw", she states to the Varisian man.

Sovereign Court

Inside the tent is a woman clad in multi-colored veils. If she is startled at Basil's uncommon appearance, she does not show it.
"Why look at what we have here" she says in a sing-song voice, "Another traveler who wants to have Hajeck read the cards and tell a story, I have the perfect story for you today... But I hear voices outside, you aren't alone, are you?"
She moves to the entry in a whirlwind of light fabric.
"Are you three darlings here for me, aren't you? Come inside, sweeties. The story I'll tell you today is beautiful, but long, I would rather not say it four times. Come, come inside, come together, I'll spin a tale before casting the cards, the most charming one I know."
Aside from her weird clothing, there is one particular that catches your eyes about Hajeck. As she speaks, she is shuffling, although juggling should be a better word, the most beautiful harrow deck that you ever saw. Every card is painted in painstaking detail, the illustrations seem more lifelike than life itself. The deck also seems to be very old, although it's in perfect conditions and the cards are clean and sharp.

Niklos:
Whoever crafted this deck, it seems way more precious than what Hajeck could possibly afford. You also read a strong magic aura coming from it, although you can't discern its properties. It could easily be the most valuable art item you ever saw.

Basil:
There is something wrong about this woman's behaviour. She's acting like she's reading lines off a script.

I don't know if I said it before, but I'll roll Perception, Sense Motive, Knowledge and such for you if I think it would speed up the game. You are welcome, however, to roll them whenever you wish, and of course this may lead you to more information, since I won't roll every such check.


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9

A bit startled to hear the rest of them called into the tent, the other fortune tellers she's met have all preferred privacy, she still quickly stands. With four of them, however, she can't be sure how quick this will be, especially with Hajeck wanting to 'spin a tale'. She grabs her saddle bags off her horse just in case anyone outside got sticky fingers and gives the horse a quick pet.

Oops, I said mule earlier by mistake.


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Biting her lip in indecision, Edda sighs finally and enters the tent. Seeing the strangely veiled figure move back to her seat,
she can't seem to help from blurting out.

"Lady Hajeck! Please! I've come a long way. My mother is from Korvosa and her family is supposed to be...well the cards have
led me to you instead. Did you know her...?"


Male Outsider (native) Gamer 15 / DM 7 / Author 4

"Enough. I have no need of your standard performances. Are you even Hajek?" he asks, seeing through her facade. "I have something specific I need from you, and I do not have to patience to sit through a rehearsed story."

His whiskers twitch in a very rabbitlike way. "I will still cross your palms with coin, if you give me what I want."


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12
Gisele Anjara wrote:
"I only wish to inquire of someone All-Seeing Hajeck recently saw", she states to the Varisian man.

The rogue winks at Gisele, tapping the side of his nose.

"What a coincidence," he exclaims knowingly. "As it happens, so do I..."

Gisele Anjara wrote:
Aside from her weird clothing, there is one particular that catches your eyes about Hajeck. As she speaks, she is shuffling, although juggling should be a better word, the most beautiful harrow deck that you ever saw. Every card is painted in painstaking detail, the illustrations seem more lifelike than life itself. The deck also seems to be very old, although it's in perfect conditions and the cards are clean and sharp.

Niklos slips in after the others, routinely checking the outside of the tent for eavesdroppers before closing the flap behind him. His eyes glint with greed as he eyes Hajeck's deck, though he cleverly disguises his avarice as mere admiration. The Varisian sticks to the back of the group, smiling amusedly at the fortune-teller's theatrics until they are cut short by Basil's sharp interjection.

Still grinning, Niklos flexes his wrist to adjust dagger in his sleeve. He did not expect violence, but if things were to get heated, he would make sure to leave with the deck...

Sovereign Court

Hajeck seems to be impervious to Edda's plea as well as to Basil's threatening bribe. The veils hiding her face prevent you from getting a better look at her face, though, so it's hard to read her.
"Patience, patience, my children," she says in her cantilenous voice that makes you think of dreams and sleepwalking. "It is not without reason that I will tell you this tale, not just a whim of mine. You have questions, and I shall answer them and read the cards for you, but the Harrowing showed me that you are meaningful, and so I shall tell you this. It is a story rarely told, but you shall see that it is meaningful to you."
With a flick of her wrist, four cards appear between her hands.
The Crows.
The Rabbit Prince.
The Wanderer.
The Bear.
"I am Hajeck, I have seen your destiny, and I shall spin this tale to you now, or you shall leave here never to return, and no bribe or plea shall change my mind. In exchange, I will answer your questions at the end, free of charge. Sit now, darlings, sit on the cushions and listen to a tale as old as these cards..."

rungok, your alias is slipping ;)


Cards: all the Stars cards, The Empty Throne, The Theatre, The Unicorn, The Marriage and The Twin Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16; AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 16 hp 45/45; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +10

DERP! 0_0


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9
GM Sappy wrote:

The Crows.

The Rabbit Prince.
The Wanderer.
The Bear.

The Rabbit Prince being easy to guess who that represented, and already knowing The Wanderer to be herself, she quickly deduces who is The Bear and who is The Crow among the remaining two.

She takes a seat on one of the colorful cushions, while taking precautions to keep a keen eye on The Crow, her mind quickly remembering the magic spells she read over this very morning lest she need to use them.


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12

Niklos' smile falters for a moment upon seeing the cards, but he quickly recomposes himself. The rogue swaggers over to one of the cushions, slumping down and leaning back leisurely. He then starts rolling a cigarette in a similarly unhurried manner, making a show of appearing at ease.

"Have at it," he says to the fortune-teller. "I love a good story..."

Sovereign Court

Hajeck throws a handful of powdered scented herbs into a brazier and starts speaking, her voice melodious and sweet. She draws and shows cards as she is speaking, her motions as fluid as any juggler you've ever seen.
She draws the Cricket card, spinning it on her right hand's fingers.
"Millennia ago, when the world was young, and nations that today have crumbled into dust were strong and fierce, lived a bard by the name of Sonnorae. Her voice was as soft as spider silk, her melodies were honey and balm for the soul. Wars stopped as she approached, blood enemies flocking to hear her tales, forgetting swords and arrows."

The Theater and the Hidden Truth cards dance alongside the Cricket.
"It was her who created the first harrow deck, binding to the cards the tales she weaved, tales that spun the world. For every tale is a reality that was, and every reality is a tale to be. So strong was the power of the stories, that even today the Harrow can foresee anyone's destiny, showing the tale that could be."

The three cards are shuffled inside the deck, from which Hajeck produces the Theatre and the Keep cards.
"But the magic Sonnorae wielded was far more great. In her old age, she crafted a whole realm, standing between the known and unknown. A realm where her stories found life, giving them mouths to speak and legs to walk. But these creatures were beings of ink, not flesh and blood, and they grew envious, of Sonnorae's life and her skills..."

Eight cards are drawn and spread on the table. The Rakshasa, the Rabbit Prince, the Winged Serpent, the Queen Mother, the Twins, the Locksmith, the Foreign Trader, the Tyrant. Then Hajeck takes the Betrayal, the Uprising and the Empty Throne in her hands.
"Eight conspirators ambushed her as she was writing and murdered her, eating parts of her. There was who gained her beauty, who absorbed her compassion, who obtained her skill with creation. However, they soon realized that they had no way of escaping the realm, not without Sonnorae to weave the flows of story. So until today they are trapped in a land of fantasy and imagination, together with all the riches and the treasures that Sonnorae had found. No one knows how to enter that faraway realm..."

She takes back all the cards and shuffles the deck in one swift motion. "No one but me, that is. The answer to all of your questions lies in that Realm. Would you want me to grant you passage?"


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Having sat only slowly as the woman drew her cards, Edda closely watches the woman's technique with the Harrow. Is this a natural or unnatural harrow reading? It certainly was not a normal one, or at least not one she had ever witnessed in her short life.

Profession (Harrower): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13

Confused...yet the woman's story rang true to her memory. Or was it her blood telling her truths here?

Usually the last to speak, Edda blurts forth suddenly.

"Eye! I will go! This land is part of me somehow...I feel...NEED to go."

Her decision made, she felt a sudden need to draw from her Harrow, and she pulls a single card:

Harrow Draw: 1d54 ⇒ 9

The Cyclone! Chaotic Destruction!

Her mouth agape, Edda begins to truly fear her future.


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9
GM Sappy wrote:
The answer to all of your questions lies in that Realm.

Taken aback by the woman's very enthusiastic and instant agreement, it also breaks Gisele's concentration on the deck of Harrow cards. Such a gorgeous deck it is. So detailed and lifelike. The offer seems so intriguing, but Gisele is a bit wary. Hajeck says all our answer lie in the realm, does that mean the scholar Meloigne also went there? Would make sense if he is a collector of tales, this may have been too good to pass up. Although is also seems to good to be true... What is the catch?

"Pardon Madam Hajeck, but did you recently make this same offer to a scholar, a heavy man, glasses, Meloigne I believe his name is?"

Sovereign Court

@Edda: It was not a harrow reading, Hajeck just picked up the appropriate cards through sleight of hand.
---
"Why yes, I did. He was very interested in the tale of Sonnorae and her Harrowed Realm, he's there now, gone to meet the oldest tales of all."


Cards: all the Stars cards, The Empty Throne, The Theatre, The Unicorn, The Marriage and The Twin Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16; AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 16 hp 45/45; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +10

"This is all well and good... But for one thing." Basil says. "If no one there knew how to leave... How would we get back?"

-Posted with Wayfinder

Sovereign Court

"Just as Sonnorae used to do, forever and a day ago. You are flesh and blood, not ink and paper, you can weave tales without getting caught in them. What say you? What you're looking for lies there, beyond the boundary."


Cards: all the Stars cards, The Empty Throne, The Theatre, The Unicorn, The Marriage and The Twin Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16; AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 16 hp 45/45; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +10

"Very well," Basil concludes, sighing."I will go."


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9

Gisele would have to admit, she was curious. As she learns more of the Harrow, the greater the connection she feels. If only this Sonnorae was still alive what wonderous new revelations might she have had. Perhaps some might be revealed in this realm she is said to have created.

But what of these conspirators are they still 'living'? While no stranger to fighting for survival, food or coin, if these are emodiments of living legends....

While pondering these things, she hears the bunny-man ask about a way out, a good question, one she can't believe she had not thought of yet. He however seems to be satisfied with Hajeck's answer. And if there is more than one of them working together, surely the risk should be minimal.

"OK, I am in as well."


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12

Niklos leans back and lights his cigarette, taking in Hajeck's story with seeming nonchalance. Truthfully, the appearance of the The Crows did little to put him at ease. The Brass Dwarf's promised protection from harm helped bolster his confidence, but the fortune-tellers cryptic and prosaic answers reminded him too much of his own parlance. Raising a hand to the others, he taps the excess ash off his cigarette.

"Hold your horses," the rogue says as he turns to face their host. "There's no need to gallop through this. That's a nice spiel, cousin, but I wasn't born yesterday. Lemme know if I got this straight: you've some magical way of whisking us off to a literal fairytale land, where all our wishes will come true. That's the definition of 'too good to be true.' How's that gonna work, anyway? Where'd you learn to do that? How many people have you sent through? Have all of 'em come back? How long has this scholar fellow been away? Have you ever been in there, yourself? What do you get out of this?"

Bluff: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (14) + 16 = 30
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26

To clarify my intentions: Niklos is trying to throw her off balance by bombarding her with a bunch of questions (Bluff), and then see how her story holds up under pressure. He lies for a living, so he's basically looking for the same mistakes he's made in the past (Sense Motive).

Sovereign Court

Hajeck is taken aback by the barrage of questions. The veils covering her face move faster, as if her breath had got shallower. The hand holding the deck is slightly shaking.
"No, I... I didn't say... Not every wish, it is still a dangerous... But the treasures are there... And only Meloigne... No one got in else since I got the... I just want to see the story... concluded..."
Her voice is trembling, stumbling upon the words that were so fluid in the beginning, while you all were asking questions one at a time.

Niklos, Basil:
You are sure. The veil masking her face had prevented you from noticing before, but now you see beyond any doubt that this woman is under the effect of a compulsion spell.


Cards: all the Stars cards, The Empty Throne, The Theatre, The Unicorn, The Marriage and The Twin Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16; AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 16 hp 45/45; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +10

Basil will turn to look around the tent. "Ah. A poppet." he says aloud. "But where is the one holding the strings? Come out, if you dare."

The starknife on his waist has somehow made its way into his hand.


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12

Niklos' smile widens as he turns to nod approvingly at the rabbit-man's observational skills. He straightens out slowly, simultaneously pulling out a card from the hidden folds of his coat...

I'm invoking Let Fate Decide. Niklos will draw a single harrow card: a card associated with a mental ability score means that he'll try to talk Hajeck into letting him take a closer look at the deck (Bluff), while a card associated with a physical ability score means he'll try to snatch the deck out of her hands (Steal maneuver).

Harrow Card: 1d100 ⇒ 5 ~ The Bear

...seeing the card of brute force, Niklos suddenly launches himself forwards, trying to separate the fortune-teller from her deck—the very thing which he assumed to be the origin of the magical compulsion.

Steal: 1d20 + 4 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 4 + 3 = 26

Sovereign Court

Hajeck wails as the deck is taken from her, and a jolt of energy courses through Niklos'arm at touching it. She claws at her face, ripping her veils to show a beautiful face, though gaunt and hollow.
"Nooooooooooo no no no no no it is mine i need it it chose me he will be so angry so mad so angry give it back give it back..."
Grapple: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
She tries, rather pitifully, to grab it back, blindly flailing at the man, but she is easily kept at an arm's length.

Initiative:

Basil: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
Niklos: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
Gisele: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Edda: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Wow, two ones in a row. So it's Niklos, Gisele, Edda, Basil, then Hajeck.

You may act out of initiative order, I'll resolve the round accordingly.


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Edda stands back quickly from the fracas trying to asses the situation better, and taking a moment to get 'hairy.'

Move action to get up and move back, standard action to shift into feral form, growing claws and activating her Scent ability.


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9

In the sudden chaos of motion and shouting, Gisele did manage to hear one word correctly, poppet. If they are believing Hajeck to be under someone's control, taking her alive for questioning might be prudent.

She launches to her feet, drawing her own Harrow Deck in one hand, as her she makes a quick motion of her free hand and a brilliant light shoots from her palm.
Ray of Enfeeblement: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 221d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 Strength Damage


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12

Round 1:

Niklos tuts at the fortune-teller, leaping back and playing keep-away with the deck. He produces a napkin, wrapping the magical cards in the piece of fabric, and then tucking them over his shoulder into his haversack. With the same motion, the rogue grabs a sap from one of his coat's many hidden pockets.

Five-foot step back, standard action to safely stow away the deck, and move action to draw the sap. Sound about right?

Sovereign Court

As Niklos is dancing away from the woman and Edda is shifting into a bestial, clawed form, Gisele's spell hits the fortune-teller square in the chest. Hajeck collapses in a pitiful lump, crying and whimpering almost inaudibly. "mine mine mine it chose me he chose me he will be angry no no no forgive me master i tried please please no no please...". With the minuscule amount of strength in her arms, she tries to reach at the man, babbling incoherently.

A lackluster fight, but, well... she was just a fortune-teller.


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Edda will check the woman for any real damage, as well as casting detect magic on her to determine her possible problems.

Heal: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13

Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20

Sovereign Court

Edda:
She is unharmed, although Gisele's spell sapped the strength from her. You can see a strong compulsion aura that you identify as a dominate person effect, strong and apparently cast repeatedly over a long time period.


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9

"I guess the next question is, 'Who is HE?', and what does he want with us?"


Cards: all the Stars cards, The Empty Throne, The Theatre, The Unicorn, The Marriage and The Twin Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16; AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 16 hp 45/45; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +10

"I don't know, but I suspect that deck has a tie to him we could use." Basil says, eyeing the other three.
"Any of you know any scrying magic?"

-Posted with Wayfinder


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Shrugging at Basil's question, Edda replies almost casually.

"Not the kind you're thinking of my furry friend. But I do have this."

Rummaging in her adventurer's sash, Edda pulls out a flask.

"If we're lucky, this will suppress her domination for a while so we can get some answers."

Edda will feed her Protection from Evil potion to the woman quickly.

The potion should give her a new save versus the Domination. If successful the dominating spell should be suppressed for the duration of the potion, which is only 1 minute. But that might be long enough to get some answers.


Cards: all the Stars cards, The Empty Throne, The Theatre, The Unicorn, The Marriage and The Twin Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16; AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 16 hp 45/45; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +10

Basil looks the ursine woman up and down. "Coming from you, furry... friend? I'll accept. Just keep those claws where I can see them."

He seems on edge, standing on the balls of his rabbit-like feet. He seems ready to bolt if something comes to attack him.


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12

Niklos leans back and starts tapping the sap against his palm with an insufferably self-satisfied look on his face. His eyes widen for a moment as he notices Edda's now bestial features, but the smug grin that seems to be plastered on his face soon makes a comeback. The rogue glances between Basil and Edda with apparent amusement.

"I didn't know the Carnival had a petting zoo," he quips.


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Edda glances and sniffs heartily the stench of the man in the room. Then dismisses him with a unconcerned wave of her clawed hand.

"And you smell like the a$$-end of stove pipe that been marinating in fear-sweat and vomit Sczarni.
Why don't you make yourself useful and look for clues around the tent. Somebody keep an eye on him
so he doesn't steal everything not tied down in here."


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12

Niklos throws up his hands in mock outrage, a gesture somewhat undermined by his smirk. "Oh, no need to thank lil' ol' me, no siree! Just ignore the fact that I stopped ya'll from waltzing right into a trap..."

Even as he speaks, the rogue starts wandering around the tent, half-heartedly lifting things and peeking around for anything worth stealing.

Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29

Sovereign Court

Hajeck's Will save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
The fortune-teller shivers as the potion is fed to her. As Gisele's spell fades and vigour seeps back into her limbs, she coughs and looks around her.
"Who... who are you? Did you break the enchantment? Oh, Desna, someone's trapped inside the Harrowed Realm! That man who came earlier, he- there's no way that he can escape on his own! The Patchwork Lord... He's the one who cast the spell on me. Please, you must save him! The fat man, not the Lord." Her voice is shaking, but the cantilenous tone has disappeared.
"Not one word I said before was false, it was just... not all the truth. Except for finding what you look for, I don't really know about that, I-I'm just a fortune-teller, almost a conwoman, I never was no wizard..." Tears are streaming on her cheeks.

Niklos:
Hajeck is apparently down on her luck. You find no money and not much of value, except for a wide collection of performer's tricks. A heavy crystal ball casting a soft light, a couple of smokesticks, a spring-loaded wrist sheath and several other items designed to impress the fools. You find no clue as for who cast the spell on the woman, but that's no surprise, seeing as the tent was set up only a couple days ago.


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Shifting back to normal, so as not to scare the woman, Edda holds her hand and frowns.

"This is only temporary. This Patchwork guy...will have control again soon. Can you tell us anything else that might help?
Who...what...where is this Lord, and how we can rescue the fat man? Harrowed Realm?"

Knowledge (Planes): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18

Sovereign Court

"I-I have no idea who he is, but he cast that spell on me, forced me to s-send everyone I could to the Realm, that place I was telling you about! The deck can open a portal to there, b-but I've never been, only opened the gate for M-Meloigne and some others. It's Sonnorae's land of stories, that is all I know."

Edda:
From her description, she's speaking about a demiplane, a smallish pocket of existence usually created by very powerful casters as a private sanctum.


Cards: all the Stars cards, The Empty Throne, The Theatre, The Unicorn, The Marriage and The Twin Init +10; Senses low-light vision; Perception +16; AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 16 hp 45/45; Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +10

"Ah. I see... Never been to one, but I doubt that it's going to be easy to return without strong magic. Do you know if the deck can go with us?" he asks. He still seems on edge, but not against doing some rescuing so long as an exit strategy is secured.


Male Human (Varisian) Sczarni Swindler 8 | AC 22 | HP 75/75 | Fort +5, Ref +13, Will +7 | CMB +5, CMD 21 | Init +9 | Perception +12

Niklos points affirmingly at Basil, casually pocketing the smokesticks with his other hand. "Yeah, that. Can we use the deck to travel back?"

Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17


Female Human (Lirgeni) Magus (Card Caster) 8; HP 55/55; AC 23 T 15 FF 19 Init +4; Senses Perception +9; Arcane Pool 9/9

Patchwork Lord... Harrowed Realm... She just outright accused that guy of being a Sczarni and he didn't even try to deny it... How did I even miss she just grew claws and fangs. A cowering con-artist telling us we are part of some evil Patchwork Lord's plot and those two are bantering about furriness... What in all the Nine Hells is going on around here?

Gisele doesn't realize she said that last bit out loud until everyone looks at her. "Sorry, that was meant to be in my head."Gisele quickly apologizes.

Although, now that she had said it, her head was less cluttered.

"OK, so what we have is", Gisele begins pacing slightly."A Harrowed Realm where some ancient bard created living Harrow, and they killed her trying to escape. Some Patchwork Lord is wanting you to send people there. You've sent others, want to send us, into what we have established it is a trap." She stops walking at glances to the others. "Is it really still a trap when we know about it?"

Bah! You two posted while I kept getting interrupted at work. Assume this was before Basil's most recent post.

Sovereign Court

Hajeck speaks between tears. "Yes, it's likely a trap, but you-- you look strong, you should be safe. About the deck I don't know, I've always kept it with myself... You should be able to bring it with you, but that's all I know, please believe me, I was forced to do it... for years... I-I just want to be free..."

The minute granted by protection from evil has almost passed, you may have time for only another question.

Niklos:
You obtain two of these. Looks like no one noticed you.


Female Skinwalker (Coldborn) 8th Level Witch (Cartomancer) w/ VMC Sorcerer (Harrowed Bloodline) HP 57/57; AC 18; T 14; FF 15 Init +3; Saves: F+7, R+8(+10), W+9[+10]; Senses: Scent ; Perception +10 [+11]; Status: +2 to Reflex (Changeable)

Edda looks at Hajeck closely.

"Hajeck? Look at me quickly. Do I look familiar? My mother...she was supposed to have known you many years ago? Traveled with you? A sorceress?"

Edda pulls her Harrow deck, fans the cards and quickly shows them to the strange woman.

"My mother's cards! I'm looking for my Varisian family. You are the closest I've found so far! Did you know her?"

Sovereign Court

"Heh." Hajeck coughs a short laugh. "My mother, Esmeralda Marcescu, gave me a deck looking just like that when I left my home in Kaer Maga. I lost it, stolen by a thief, I only noticed after... After I had sent it over, to the Realm. I'm sorry, sister. I don't know anything more."
A spasm shakes the woman as the potion's effect wears down, and she feebly attempts to grasp at Edda, while whimpering once again, begging for the deck back.
Grapple: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (8) - 2 = 6

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