Venture-Captain Norden Balentiir inclines his head in welcome as he opens the door and welcomes everyone into a modest office. “I’m glad you are on time—and with little to spare,” he says as checks outside and then closes the door. “Your ship leaves soon, and I’ve taken care of the details.” He places a neat stack of travel papers on the small desk and sits down. “I’m pleased that you volunteered to visit the remote monastery of Tar Kuata on the Society’s behalf, especially in light of your recent success in securing a piece of the Sky Key. It seems one of the dwarven descendants of the original Sky Key owner may have found her way to Tar Kuata, and we believe the Ouat monks that also reside there still have a piece of the key. Travel there, meet with them, confirm our intelligence, and barter for the relic as needed. Do aim to be respectful; few Pathfinders have traveled to Tar Kuata, so you’ll need to earn the monks’ goodwill—and perhaps even pave the way for future collaboration.”
“To that end, I am sending you with this.” Balentiir lifts a heavy bag and adds it to the desk. “You may be familiar with bags able to hold more than seems possible, and this one is filled with grain. I understand Tar Kuata has had a poor harvest this year, and this should help you get off on the right foot in negotiations. Any questions?”
Naiomi graciously bows before the VC
"Surely there is more than that. You need a team to handle negotiations? That can be done by just one person with the right words spoken. I do not necessarily think volunteer was the correct words for us, more like voluntold. THe pathfinder society chose all of us here. What else are we expecting once we arrive on Tar Kuata?"
Diplo: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
"Hush sister, you talk too much. Clearly the bag may have something to help us 'negotiate' with these monks. As she opens the bag and peers inside"
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24
Troyst stands against a wall, lamenting his last ale the night before. At the mention of Tar Kuata, he groans and mutters to himself, "damned stuck up bastards." When the VC mentions playing nice, he actually laughs, "that's a good one, sir." The glare he receives makes Troyst shrink back a bit. He puts out his hands to placate the VC.
He watches one of the women sisters, eh? look in the bag, "is it rye? Some of my new brewkeeper friends wouldn't shut up about their love of rye." He looks around at the others, noting their blank faces, and shrugs. "Deliver grain, play nice with the Quats, get the relic. Got it."
With that, Troyst goes back to lean against a wall and nurse his hangover.
The Venture Captain counts off Naiomi, Paiomi and Sato. "Am I seeing this correctly? Three Hasagawa's? All on the same mission? Is this a blessing or a curse?"
Then looking back and forth between Troyst and Sato, he scratches his head.
"Why do you need this Sky Key and what are you planning to use it for?"
“The Sky Key is a relic once housed in a dwarven sky citadel the Pathfinder Society rediscovered recently. Exactly what it does is still up for debate, but those who discovered the first piece reported it allowed one to look into the past. Our findings demonstrate the last of the citadel’s rulers broke it into multiple pieces and sent them away with his children, and the Society’s research suggests Logyra, one of the king’s daughters, likely retired in Tar Kuata.”
The VC continues with a pointed look at Troyst, "Tar Kuata is an isolated monastery village in the Barrier Wall Mountains, in a region commonly called the Footprints of Rovagug. It’s also considered the most important Iroran site in all Osirion.”
Should we expect such a welcome?" Should we expect such a welcome?"
"The Ouat monks are a contemplative order of dwarven monks who renounced their racial identity to focus on self-perfection. Technically, they are distinct from the other monks in Tar Kuata, but the two groups work together so closely that it’s hard to tellthe difference. The monks are austere but polite, and I have already contacted them to let them know representatives are on the way. They’ll be very hospitable, yet earning their respect will no doubt involve proof of your worth. Like most who follow the Iroran faith, the monks of Tar Kuata no doubt value knowledge, discipline,
I'll take Knowledge History, Local, Relgion or Diplomacy to gather info.
Am I seeing this correctly? Three Hasegawa's? All on the same mission? Is this a blessing or a curse?
"This is the first we've meet. I was taken in by the Temple of Kuron as a child. There is little I know about my past except my given name"
Looks over to Naiomi and Paiomi
"Perhaps you two can enlighten me on the Hasegawa family on this journey?"
Looks back at the VC
"Let us make haste. We do not want to keep our hosts waiting"
Paiomi looks at Naiomi, then back to Sajan, "Long lost brother?" Hearing the VC, she looks to the group, I agree with my long lost brother Sajan. "I don't know much about the area, but I'm sure we can keep our ears to the ground and pickup some information somewhere."
Yukine knows that a Sothan priest of Irori named Narmek Tar Kuata founded the monastery more than 3,000 years ago. It is among the oldest continuously used schools in Osirion. Most people in Tar Kuata are humans of Garundi ancestry, but the monastery also houses the Ouat monks, an order of dwarves that shave their heads and beards and eschew dwarven traditions in favor of discovering their own path to perfection.
With no further questions the party sets off for Tar Kuata. After a tiring, days-long journey, you reach Tar Kuata in the morning. Perched at the base of a high mountain valley, the monastery, the tiny village to its west, and a series of terraced fields are sheltered from the harsh winds and weather. At the base of a high mountain valley, the monastery of Tar Kuata perches atop a rocky outcropping that overlooks a tiny village and terraced fields. The steep cliffs to either side shelter the small structures from the wind, and a tall, thin spire towers over the settlement.
As you approach, Menkha Helg, leader of the Ouat monks, assumes that you are the expected Pathfinders and welcomes you into the Hall of Aspirants. "It is a pleasure to meet you. How was your journey? Did you make it here safely?"
"Yes, we seem to have arrived in one piece at least. Nothing eventful seems to have happened on our way here."
Nodding at the monk. "It seems you are expecting us. Do you know why we have come? What must we do to for your cooperation?"
Diplo?: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
"Before we continue our discussion, please accept this offering. We've heard your harvest was not good this year"
Hands the bag of grain to Menkha
"My temple has had it's troubles too. I hope this will help ease your people"
In response to Yukine the guide answers, "We will be meeting with Itephta, a leader among the Ouat. You can speak with him about your reason for visiting."
Menkha smiles upon seeing the gift. "Thank you very much! This is quite unexpected and highly appreciated. You have some time to pass so please feel free to explore the village and join me for a modest lunch in the Pahmet Hieghts with several other monks in about three hours."
As you interact about the village, each player must make a Diplomacy, KN Nobility, or KN Religion check to maintain your composure and not offend the dwarves' tough standards of character.
Diplo: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
"Thank you for allowing us the pleasure of exploring your Village. What's a lady gotta do to get a drink in this place?" Naiomi shouts out seemingly forgetting that she is a professional pathfinder, and here on a mission of peace.
Troyst watches the monk hand over the grain to the first person they encounter and is left speechless. Exploring the town, he tries to be on his best behavior but finds it hard with the sisters emulating his fellow worshipers of Cayden Cailean. At the very least, he's able to stay quiet, though the big grin may betray his mirth.
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 15
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
K:Local: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
After only a couple hours Menkha comes to fetch you. "We will be meeting with Itephta, a leader among the Ouat. As I mentioned before, you can speak with him about your reason for visiting."
Itephta is a young, mild-mannered Garundi man who listens attentively as you introduce yourselves. He openly asks Menkha her opinion of your group. She gives pause and considers this for a moment, weighing the information she has seen of your interaction in the village as well as her direct interaction with you.
She replies with some humble praise, mentioning the gift of grain you have bestowed upon them. Itephta weighs her feedback before asking, "So what brings you here? I offer you thanks again for the gift of the grain. It is much appreciated. What news do you bring?"
Itephta nods knowingly, as if expecting this is what you would say. "I can confirm the relic’s presence within the monastery vaults, and the other Ouat monks are willing to part with it if I so decide."
"You seek something we would give freely, but the relic is one heavy with the weight of history. Just as I would not ask a neophyte to lift a boulder before he can lift a stone, I cannot in good conscience burden you with this bauble without knowing your capabilities. When our students request greater responsibilities or greater challenges, we first ensure that they have mastered what they have learned before. I propose you experience the same courtesy I would extend to a student by undergoing a small portion of our training. It shall strengthen your body for the return journey and prepare your mind to weather your future trials.”
Itephta requires you demonstrate your abilities over the course of six trials before rendering a decision and giving you the Sky Key component you seek. With other business to attend to, he calls upon an aging monk named Aeotsep to serve as your guide, instructor, and evaluator.
Aeotsep is a Garundi man whose sun-weathered features and kind face are traced with a network of wrinkles. Like many other monks in Tar Kuata, he believes that experiencing and overcoming the trials ahead are an important part of any person’s path to self-perfection.
Aeotsep leads you to one of the study rooms, which contains several bookshelves, a small table, and a lectern on which there is an open copy of Unbinding the Fetters, the principle holy text of the Iroran faith. The elderly monk requests that you wait here while he prepares the other trials. Nodding to you, he departs the room and closes the door.
SM: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
"Yes! Lets go! I'm ready to do what it takes! ... and then hit up the pub after"
During the wait, Naiomi uses this time to give the waiting room a thorough inspection. She opens a book here and there, reading a few passages before putting the book back away.
Take 20 on perception since it seems we have time, for 27, to try to identify anything that seems like it should not be here.
Troyst's jaw drops when Sajan mentions what he thought was information that should be kept amongst the group, and further surprised when it seems to have worked.
While they're lead to the room, he keeps an eye on Aeotsep, well aware of the training the Ouats faced. As they wait, he looks around at the room, bored with the books, and ready for some action. [b]"What do you think we'll be doing? I hope we're not transcribing books or something. I'd much rather test my skills against the Ouats. Settle this once and for all."[/b'
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
"By the gods Naiomi, I don't want to have to rehydrate your 'celebrations' in Absalom a few moons ago. We've already been banned from half the taverns there. We have a chance to start with a clean slate, maybe with that Tseng clone or something." she points over her shoulder in the direction where the dwarf went.
what can I say, Naiomi and I are perfectly sync'd in rolls!
Naiomi picks up the book and reads through a passage that elaborates on
complex and subtle metaphors that compare stages of self-perfection to the creation of the world, implying that mortal knowledge is a spark of divinity that spins order out of chaos. Knowledge History or Religion to understand the meaning.
Upon reading the book, Naiomi recognizes some of the letters, even some of the full words themselves. "Why did I pick this up?" She looks around this ragtag group of pathfinders before handing it off to her sister. "Paiomi. What does this mean to you? You were always the book worm!"
Paiomi opens the book and starts flipping through the pages. "Naiomi, it says not to be such a tramp, barkeeper Meng knows what you did last summer." as she hands the book to Sajan. "Can you figure this out? We Hasegawas should stick together.. or something.. some wise man said that I'm sure."
Naiomi gets a bit shifty and quiet, waiting on Sajan. "We don't talk about last summer. I thought we agreed to this before."
She taps her foot impatiently while peering at Sajan, she mutters quielty. "... tramp.... ill kill you in your sleep.... Ahem"
she coughs before speaking. "So what do your so called Hasegawa eyes see in there? Anything useful?"
Sajan is just getting the idea of where the passages are leading when something obscure pops up in the text and he realizes he doesn't understand anything at all. Close!
Several minutes later hen Aeotsep returns. As he enters he casually chats about the pages’ contents with the group. He asks, "Tell me. So of what do you think of the passages as they related to divinity and chaos?"
Since you all quite clearly have failed to ascertain the meaning of what was in the book, your only remaining option is to lie and try to fool him that you know what's up. Someone can attempt a bluff check and others can assist.
Naiomi looks at the group. Paiomi is sucking her thumb, Sajan is watching her, and Yukine is looking at another book, upside down.
She approaches Aeotsep and turns him so he is facing away from the b-team as she talks to him.
"So I have read through this entire book, and I find its meaning lacking. It reminds me of another book I have read months ago. Perhaps you have heard of it. 'War and Peace?' You see in that tale there are deeper and more thoughtful similes that relate to the chaos of life, while still taking the high ground with prayer and meditation. It was a real eye opener, especially for me being a follower of Irori.
What do you think?"
Naiomi speaks sternly with as much focus as she can muster.
bluff: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Troyst brings his hands together to form a cup. He bows his head and closes his eyes, "they relate to the teachings of my own god on divinity and chaos. It can be said that one should never be as drunk as they think they are, for to do so invites chaos. Stupidity does not equal bravery, and bravery should never be sought at the bottom of a keg. Also, one must aspire to live free or die. Or more importantly, to run away if that is the best option at that time. Failing to live or run would mean you are dead and can no longer serve the divine."
Finished, he looks up to find Aeotsep and Naomi standing over in the corner, ignoring him.
Bluff: 1d20 ⇒ 3
Furrowing his brow at Troyst, the wise man tries to ignore him without looking insulting but does a fairly poor job doing so. "Uh. Not exactly."
Aeostep nods along as Naiomi speaks. "Exactly! I must find this 'War and Peace' that you speak of and read it. The words within sound exactly of the lessons that our followers would benefit from."
With a slight bow he nods, "Well done Ms. Hasegawa. If you would all follow me please."
+2 Trial Points!
Aeotsep next leads you into the Hall of the Inward Gaze, which currently contains several broad reed mats, racks holding wooden weapons, and a pile of small wooden boards. The old monk reminds you that physical might is often mistaken for brute force, emphasizing that strength without control accomplishes little. To illustrate the point, Aeotsep takes a wooden board from the pile and outstretches his arm, holding the board in front of his face. With a swift movement, he releases the plank and strikes it in mid-air, breaking the board into two symmetrical halves. He invites you to repeat the feat.
This speed-break test requires precision as well as strength. After releasing the board, you must succeed at a DC 10 Dexterity check to strike the falling object in just the right spot. If successful, you must then succeed at a DC 13 Strength check to break the plank in two. Failure on either check sends the plank flying across the hall without breaking it. If you have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat you gain a +5 bonus on both of these checks.
Troyst grins, "this is more like it." He grabs a board and moves to the side, facing away from the others, "just in case."
He holds the board before him and takes a few deep breaths. He lets it drop and his other hand jabs forward. The board shatters into a dozen pieces and he turns around, triumphant, "Ha! That's how you break a board" He bows slightly to Aeotsep and asks, "What's next?
Dex with IUS: 1d20 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 2 + 5 = 9
Str with IUS: 1d20 + 3 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 3 + 5 = 23
Looking over at Troyst
"Your strength is without question, but you must also be accurate to do any real damage"
Stepping forward, Sajan pick up a new board and mimics Aeotsep exact movements from before.
Dex with IUS: 1d20 + 3 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 3 + 5 = 13
Str with IUS: 1d20 + 3 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 3 + 5 = 17
The board splits in half just as Aeotsep's did. Sajan returns to the group quietly awaiting the next trial
Troyst walks around to collect two of his pieces of wood and bring them over to a corner, grumbling to himself.
He throws them in the air again and lashes out with both hands, somehow bisecting both of them. He nods once, satisfied that he's not an abject failure, and rejoins the others.
Dex with IUS: 1d20 + 2 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 2 + 5 = 27
Str with IUS: 1d20 + 3 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 3 + 5 = 23
Satisfied with Sajan's demonstration, he begins to walk away when Troyst decides to take another action. The master nods in acceptance and then pats Troyst on the shoulder twice. "Very good, faster learner. I hope your enemies give you second chances to demonstrate too."
Motion to the others he nods, "Everyone must attempt."
Naiomi nods in agreement and shouts. "Hasegawa eagle strike!" She turns to Paiomi, high fives her, and then drops a piece of wood striking it precisely as instructed.
dex: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
str: 1d20 ⇒ 12
Her reflexes quick, and precise, but her strength was only strong enough to crack the board, not break it. However it was strong enough to send it sailing directly toward's Paiomi's face. The direct impact was enough to finish breaking the board into 2 distinct pieces.
Naiomi busts out laughing before turning to Aeostep. "Well its in two. I think this qualifies!"
Diplo: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
Though Yukine strikes the board quickly, she does not put nearly enough strength behind the attack. As the board goes flying across the room unbroken, Aeostep nods and offers "Excellent speed, need to work on your strength training."
Turning towards Naiomi he observes a better attempt, but a failed attempt just the same. He doesn't laugh alongside of Naiomi, maintain a stoic calm voice as he says. "Nearly perfect, just a little more strength next time."
Turning to Paiomi he motions for her to begin.