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Keegan's Shattered Star: Shards Of Sin

Game Master James Keegan


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Kaer Maga
After parting ways at the Ossuary several months ago, the adventurers Chen Yangzhun, Auron Ruriski, Kua and Sister Mara had settled in as much as the City of Strangers would allow. Questioning throughout the city has yielded no new information on the location of Esme Varisi, Tripe's one successful creation, though plenty of hustlers and dubious touts have promised leads in exchange for inflated fees. Occasionally you think you see her in a crowded lantern-lit street or smell the cloying perfume that camouflages the scent of rot only to find that you were mistaken or too late. For better or worse, you have settled back into your normal routine a few coins richer.
I'll leave it to you four to determine how much or how little you've stayed in touch.

Many are those that seek their fate, be it by steel and spell or by more humble means. Some few, however, find that their fate has sought them out.

In two very different cities across Varisia, two messengers seek out six different recipients for a fateful letter. At your homes, regular haunts or place of business, each of you finds a letter addressed to you personally in a flowing script.

Greetings, fellow seeker of adventure!

I am Sheila Heidmarch; Venture Captain of the newest Pathfinder Society lodge- and the only such lodge in Varisia at the time. You have come to my attention as someone who possesses a certain amount of skills and interests that make you an excellent addition to a highly specialized team I'm putting together for a matter of grave import, not only to the Society but to Varisia as a whole. Please report to Heidmarch Manor in Magnimar's Alabaster District an hour before noon on the 19th of Erastus- you will be compensated for your visit, but that reward will pale in the light of the riches taht await you should we come to an agreement on my proposition to you. I look forward to meeting you soon!

-Sheila Heidmarch

It looks like you have some time to settle your current business if you wish to attend this meeting- although not too much time for those traveling from the Storval Rise.


Male Half Orc Duskwarden 2

Kua clears off his drawing board as he finishes his most recent map. A section of tunnels just beneath an Ardoc workshop. The craftsmen seemed very cross about the damage done to their constructs by all of those giant centipedes. It seemed strange to the half orc. It wasn't like they had lost any of their brothers that night. Kua had lost two of his fellow Duskwardens to the insects before the nest was located and eliminated.

Ink and quill stashed away, map safely rolled up into it's tube, Kua pulls out the letter delivered to him an hour ago.

"Hmmm.." Reading it over, his mind began to wander. Kua's place was with the wardens, but what could be learned in the dungeons of Magnimar and what secrets might be gleaned from the Pathfinders themselves? Intrigued and now excited by the offer, the Duskwarden slips the invitation into his cloak pocket and heads to the office of Warden Hammerfell. It seems he would have to make haste if he wanted to cross Varisia and check out Magnimar before his rendezvous.


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

A crash and a table splinters at the far end of the tavern, signaling the beginnings of the umpteenth brawl for the day. Auron barely glances over as he downs his watered ale and scratches Jhaik's ear. It came with the territory as the right place to dry if you're hiring out as muscle, so Auron heard. Maybe he heard wrong, a fortnight and still no offers.

His brow furrows as he fishes his pouch for a silver and gets up, ready to leave. Noticing the state of his dwindling coin pouch has the cavalier considering new avenues.

As he palmed the bartender the stained piece, he finds a letter pressed into his hands and Auron takes a moment to consider the option within.

Pathfindr's pay 'etter den the Pharasmans mebbe.

A quick short whistle and Jhaik is at his master's heels as they make their way to the Downmarket, surveying a caravan that would take him to Magnimar.

In Kaer Maga, was drying himself out at the Bloodbrothers, hoping someone'll pick him up for a short stint or two.

Silver Crusade

F Tief (Pit) Ftr 3 - HP25/25 AC-19/T-13/F-17 CMD18 F:+4 R:+3:+1/ +5R vs C/F/E|Percept+3 - Dkvis 60' |Init+4(+combat reflex), Move 20'.

/dot


Male Human (Tian-Shu) Wizard (Transmuter) 2

At the sound of a knock on the door of his small single room flat, Yang slowly rose from his meditation zafu on the floor. He lifted his bulk and slowly plodded to the door, his wheezing letting the person on the other side clearly know he's coming.

The messenger on the other side was unprepared for the site greeting him when Yang opened the door: a massively fat man, wearing a simple loincloth and covered with dozens of fat leeches. Still, being Kaer Maga, he recovered quickly and pressed the note into Yang’s hand. Not even waiting for confirmation from the mage, the messenger was back down the hall and out before Yang even had the door closed.

He considered the missive and thought deeply, wondering how in the world this woman even knew he was here in the City of Strangers, or even knew him period. He had never heard of her; but, he figured if she went through all that trouble to find him this far away, well … a new change of scenery might do him good.

In the morning, Yang rose early and packed his few belongings and set out for the Downmarket in the hopes of meeting up with a caravan heading to Magnimar. It probably should have surprised him more, but seeing the old, familiar face with the dog at his side standing in the market was almost expected to Yang. “Auron,” he says in his thick Tian accent, walking up to him, “you are a sore sight for my eyes!”

Silver Crusade

F Tief (Pit) Ftr 3 - HP25/25 AC-19/T-13/F-17 CMD18 F:+4 R:+3:+1/ +5R vs C/F/E|Percept+3 - Dkvis 60' |Init+4(+combat reflex), Move 20'.

The crash of her weights being dumped on the floor go mostly unnoticed in the cacophony of sounds filling the ludus hall; the combined noise of weights being lifted, practice dummies being hit, bags being pounded, and trainers yelling commands at those sparring in the rings would drown out just about anything in Magnimar.

Svetlana wipes the sweat from her brow with her shirt and dries her hands on her pants before taking the note from the messenger. A nod of assent and a slight grunt of approval to the messenger is her only real reply after quickly reading the note, and a similar action to her training partner signals the workout is probably done for the day.

After making herself more presentable, which takes significant time to cover the split lip and slightly blackened eye, she once again begins to resemble the northern featured beauty she is; she'd have made a striking classical Shield Maiden, if she had been born to the other side.

Heading through the streets in the waking dawn, she makes her way to her companions house. She had no real friends in Magnimar, and finding a new manager had turned out to be a difficult proposition. Not being versed in any sort of business skills she was finding herself only being offered deals that were less than favourable and looked more like she was going to do all the work and they were going to get all the pay. At least Oren seemed alright, he wasn't asking for much apart from some rough humour and a drinking buddy - and he could heal wounds and scrapes better than a hard night on the mead could.

Finding Orens door, she gives it a few loud bashes.

"Hey, I think those Society people finally came through with some work...I want you to look at the paper and see if it could be alright. HEY WAKE UP" she bashes on the door again impatiently.

Setting the tone....


Sister Mara crumples the letter, barely sparing a thought to wonder how the Pathfinders had known to find her in the Bottoms district of Kaer Maga.

"Magnimar. Home sweet home. Like I ever thought I'd find myself back there," she thinks sourly.

The City of Monuments - though beautiful to some - held no pleasant memories for her. For thoughts of the city could not help but bring back memories of her father, Jaster Frallino, leader of the group of Sczarni thugs known as the Gallowed. Mara's mother, Alinza, had been an 'entertainer' at one of the lower quality night clubs under the Gallowed's 'protection' in the city's Dockway district. Desna only knew what her mother had seen in Jaster - probably a means to escape her sad existence in what was little more than a brothel. Regardless, the Sczarni leader took a liking to Alinza, and the young woman quickly found her status elevated to that of consort to the leader of debatedly the most powerful Sczarni gang in Magnimar.

It wasn't until Mara was born that Alinza began to admit to herself just how despicable Jaster was. The crimelord lost little time in pushing Alinza aside for a newer, younger woman, keeping Mara's mother around to serve as little more than a nursemaid for his daughter. Jaster had little to do with the girl but made sure that she was well provided for; however, he was quick to violently express his displeasure with Alinza when he disagreed with how she was raising their daughter. When Mara turned twelve Alinza realized that Jaster planned to groom the girl to be his heir to run the criminal organization upon his eventual demise. Unable to bear the thought of Jaster corrupting the one bright spark in her life, Alinza fled Magnimar with Mara. It was the wisest decision the woman ever made, even though it eventually led to her death...

Mara snaps out of her reverie and turns her attention back to the crumpled note. "Maybe it is time to return. See if the old man's still alive, and extract a bit of vengeance if he is. He certainly won't be expecting me... For all he knows I died with mother," she muses.

"I'll go along and see what these Pathfinders want, and decide from there. Besides, anything has to be better than this madhouse they call a city. Maybe the others I explored the Ossuary with - Kua, Yang, and Auron - would be interested in leaving Kaer Maga as well. I'll go and see if I kind find Kua at the Duskwarden Guildhouse. He'll probably know how to find the others."

Mara gathers her few belongings and leaves the boarding house where she's stayed the past few months, telling the landlord not to expect her back. The young woman makes her way through the bustling city, finally arriving at the Duskwarden Guildhouse in Bis. "I'm looking for Duskwarden Kua. Do you know if he's in?" she asks the guard at the door.


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

Auron stands amidst the parked caravans, wagons and temporary pavilions of assorted nationalities before he purposely strides towards the local meeting post. He rubs shoulders with strangers, sometimes shoving hard, in an effort to deter cut-purses and pickpockets roaming the area.

Jhaik barks a quick yip, giving Auron a heads up before a familiar Tian assented voice hails him from behind. He turns round to find his sight filled with the girth of a broad Tian clean shaven man dressed to travel.

Auron watches as Jhaik wags his tail in a friendly manner and starts conversation as the unfamiliar foreign name escapes recall.

'Eh, Jhaik 'ever forgets a face. Useful mutt, 'e is. Life treatin' you well? I'm sure 'e did. F'om what we made 'hat time in the 'ssuary, we's be eatin' well.

Auron hands out a hand in greeting, just as the foreign name jumps onto his tongue.

We's off to Magnima'. Gots me an' Jhaik a job offa'. Wha's up wit' you Chen?


Male Dwarf Cleric of Angradd / 2

Oren Tor looks up from his prayers as the thumping at the door interrupts his communion with Angradd. With a sigh, he stands a'right and smooths his thick beard with a calloused hand before making his way to the door and opening it up.

"I'm well awake, Svetlana," he says in his deep, baritone voice. Looking up at her blackened eye and shaking his head, he invites her in with a sweeping hand. "And so is everyone else in the district now. What happened to you this time?"


Kua
You find Warden Hammerfell in the central debriefing room, loudly holding forth to Brego the Fork, a man so-named because of his forked beard and wide girth. Despite his carriage, though, he's a worthy Duskwarden.

"...I don't give a halfling's little toe if this is their district, I lost two men because they wouldn't let us in for regular inspections, Brego! Their families deserve reparations!"
The Fork shrugs his broad shoulders.
"High Warden, I made the case as ye said and the Ardocs are holdin' tight on their purse strings. Perhaps your August Leaderness should take the demand to them himself, since my bargaining skills are so lax."
The High Warden blows a heavy sigh from beneath his moustache.
"So be it. I'll remind the blasted tinkerers how much they rely on traffic through the Path and maybe they'll be a little more amenable."

Warden Hammerfell looks up to see Kua standing in the doorway. He and Brego finish up their business, the Fork nodding to Kua on the way out.

"Coin and territory. All anyone cares about in this city is coin and territory. Still, suppose it's the same anywhere once ye get right down to it. What d'ye need, lad?", the High Warden says.

Sister Mara
You walk to Bis, with its fabled balconies and golems. Small automatons putter to and fro through the crowds, sweeping away dust and maintaining the patchwork metal of the scaffolding. You pass two merchants arguing in a street strewn with fallen packages as an Ardoc brother looks on with boredom. Quietly, a few near-feral children gather smaller packages and slink off with them. It's terrible, but you can't help but think of the likewise feral Uwais and his adopted lupine sister.

The Duskwarden at the door nods to your query.
"Aye, miss, he should be off duty and finishing his maps. You'll find him inside.", he says, obligingly holding the door open for you.

Within the hall, you pass a few training rooms, an armory and a large room with an entire wall taken up with shelves holding scrolls and maps, a vast parchment spread out with the broken hexagonal ring of Kaer Maga drawn and annotated in ink. Men and women (mostly human, but with a number of half-elves, dwarves and half-orcs in the mix) wearing badges embossed with the Twisted Arch pass you by. Finally, at the end of a hall you spy an open door leading into a briefing room where Kua is speaking to a dwarf you aren't familiar with.

Auron, Yang, Svetlana and Oren seem to be doing just fine without my input; feel free to continue as you like, I'm enjoying reading along.

Silver Crusade

F Tief (Pit) Ftr 3 - HP25/25 AC-19/T-13/F-17 CMD18 F:+4 R:+3:+1/ +5R vs C/F/E|Percept+3 - Dkvis 60' |Init+4(+combat reflex), Move 20'.

"Just some small bruises, a sign of good training. Sweat more now and bleed less later" her eyes drift off a little, as though considering that mantra before snapping back to the present "I think it's a job, it sounds like a job". She unfolds the bit of paper again and strains to read it, finger moving along the lines of text as she sounds out the words..."It says 'You have come to my attention as someone who possesses a certain amount of skills and interests that make you an excellent addition to a highly specialized team I'm putting together...' "blah blah blah" '...you will be compensated for your visit, but that reward will pale in the light of the riches that await you should we come to an agreement on my proposition to you'.

"Does that mean more proper work, or another person trying to get all the money for all my effort again? I've been training with some of their warriors and they seem alright, but warriors usually are - it's the bookworms you just can't trust. They rob you with a pen as sure as a bandit with a knife, just you feel dirtier somehow being robbed with a pen. I want you to come to the meeting. You are coming, yes?"

"Sounds like I get paid just for turning up... that's new. Oh and as I didn't wake you up I don't owe you breakfast. I'll buy it anyway, payment for your services in seeing this lady"


Male Human (Tian-Shu) Wizard (Transmuter) 2
Auron Rurikski wrote:

Auron stands amidst the parked caravans, wagons and temporary pavilions of assorted nationalities before he purposely strides towards the local meeting post. He rubs shoulders with strangers, sometimes shoving hard, in an effort to deter cut-purses and pickpockets roaming the area.

Jhaik barks a quick yip, giving Auron a heads up before a familiar Tian assented voice hails him from behind. He turns round to find his sight filled with the girth of a broad Tian clean shaven man dressed to travel.

Auron watches as Jhaik wags his tail in a friendly manner and starts conversation as the unfamiliar foreign name escapes recall.

'Eh, Jhaik 'ever forgets a face. Useful mutt, 'e is. Life treatin' you well? I'm sure 'e did. F'om what we made 'hat time in the 'ssuary, we's be eatin' well.

Auron hands out a hand in greeting, just as the foreign name jumps onto his tongue.

We's off to Magnima'. Gots me an' Jhaik a job offa'. Wha's up wit' you Chen?

Yang takes a moment to translate Auron's words in his head, and then gives him a strange look. "I am well. And it may seem as though we have the same thoughts. Would this job be of a Sheila ... Heidmarch?" Yang retrieves his note from his pocket to get the last name, and then shows it to Auron. "Like this?"


Warden of Doors wrote:
Finally, at the end of a hall you spy an open door leading into a briefing room where Kua is speaking to a dwarf you aren't familiar with.
Warden of Doors wrote:
"Coin and territory. All anyone cares about in this city is coin and territory. Still, suppose it's the same anywhere once ye get right down to it. What d'ye need, lad?", the High Warden says.

Sister Mara pauses in the hallway, unwilling to interrupt Kua's meeting with the dwarf. The dwarf's words remind her of her father and how he clawed and backstabbed his way to become the most feared leader of the various Sczarni gangs in and around Magnimar. Her ears perk up to hear the half-orc's reply to the dwarf's question.


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

Auron scrutinizes the the folded note held in Yang's pudgy fingers. The flowery script and quality of paper is similar but something is off putting about his copy of the note.

'ang on, lemme dig out me copy and le'ssee.

Meanwhile the passersby give the pair a wide berth, with Jhaik trotting in a circle, excited at the smells of the market but at the same time giving his master much needed space. Finally Auron pulls out his many times folded note and the name of the invitee proves similar as Sheila Heidmarch, save for a set of grubby ale stained finger prints on Auron's copy.

You goin' to Magnima' too? We's could go together. It's an away's journey, Magnima' an' we's could use a proven frien' on the way.

Pointing to the general direction of the Meeting Post Auron comments.

We's aheadin' to the 'otem wit' the notes on it. If we's lucky we's find a ride to Magnima' and gets coin on the way.

Takes 20 for Perception for 20, looking for the best caravan to Magnimar, hopefully as signed guards for free passage.


Male Dwarf Cleric of Angradd / 2

Oren nods and pats a pocket where his own invitation is tucked away. "You received one as well, hmm? Well that does put an interesting spin on things. Never fear, the Pathfinders can usually be relied upon to fulfill their contracts. If you agree to whatever task they propose, you'll get your pay."

He turns away and grabs his equipment, strapping axe and crossbow in their accustomed places. "I'll come along with you. Breakfast would be most agreeable." He pats his broad but empty belly.


Male Half Orc Duskwarden 2

"Warden. First, I've completed all of the details and labeling of the tunnel section under the Ardoc place." Kua passes a large map tube to the dwarf with a feeling of satisfaction. It seemed like it wasn't long ago that the Duskwardens were teaching him to read and write; now he was becoming one of the best cartographers in the organization.

"Second, I received this from a messenger today." The orc says as he draws the slip from his cloak and slides it across the table.

"It's an invitation from a Venture Captain of the Pathfinder society. She wishes to commission me for some task in Magnimar. I've read of the place in our library. The City of Monuments, they call it. I've no doubt that we could learn much and more from the city itself, and these Pathfinders." Kua scratches the stubble on his cheek anxiously for a moment. "I realize that we are a bit short handed at the moment, but I mean to go. What would you have me do warden?"

Silver Crusade

F Tief (Pit) Ftr 3 - HP25/25 AC-19/T-13/F-17 CMD18 F:+4 R:+3:+1/ +5R vs C/F/E|Percept+3 - Dkvis 60' |Init+4(+combat reflex), Move 20'.

Svetlanas face lightens, clearly comforted that her Dwarven comrade will be accompanying her, and by his words of reassurance. "So they are asking for us both? Hmmm, whatever it is they must reckon I'll need a 'Stitch to go with me, so that means fighting. Could be a good paying job then." her tone matter-of-fact.

With all things seeming to be turning for the better, she treats her fine dwarven friend to breakfast and much idle speculation of what the job might entail.

Ready to move to the meeting when needs be :)


Male Human (Tian-Shu) Wizard (Transmuter) 2
Auron Rurikski wrote:


You goin' to Magnima' too? We's could go together. It's an away's journey, Magnima' an' we's could use a proven frien' on the way.

Pointing to the general direction of the Meeting Post Auron comments.

We's aheadin' to the 'otem wit' the notes on it. If we's lucky we's find a ride to Magnima' and gets coin on the way.

Takes 20 for Perception for 20, looking for the best caravan to Magnimar, hopefully as signed guards for free passage.

"Yes, travel together would be smart. Even smarter if we find a group to go with; safety in numbers, is what I think they say.

"I have never been to Magnimar. Have you? Do you know what to expect?"


Kua wrote:

"I received this from a messenger today." The orc says as he draws the slip from his cloak and slides it across the table.

"It's an invitation from a Venture Captain of the Pathfinder society. She wishes to commission me for some task in Magnimar. I've read of the place in our library. The City of Monuments, they call it. I've no doubt that we could learn much and more from the city itself, and these Pathfinders." Kua scratches the stubble on his cheek anxiously for a moment. "I realize that we are a bit short handed at the moment, but I mean to go. What would you have me do warden?"

"Oh, you could learn all sorts of things from the City of Monuments," Sister Mara says as she knocks on the open door before striding into the room.

"Sister Mara, of the Order of the Vigilant Flame," she introduces herself, bowing her head respectfully to the dwarf. "Please forgive my intrusion, sir. I worked with Kua in exploring the Godsmouth Ossuary for the Pharasmins. It's good to see you again, Duskwarden," she adds, turning to greet Kua.

"I also received an invitation from the Pathfinders in Magnimar, and came here to see if you would be interested in joining me on the journey. It's quite the coincidence that you've received the same invitation," she says, her tone indicating that she doesn't really believe in coincidences. "I wonder if Master Yang and Auron also received similar missives."


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

Nah, 'ever been dere meself. I'se ain't much time fo' readin' travelin' notes and what nots. Da last 'un I 'ad Jhaik chomped a good bit befor' I'se takin' a look. Jus' hav' ta' see when we's get dere. Yer books and what nots, read anythin' yerself?

Cocking his head at the Meeting Pole before them, Auron scans the numerous calls for caravan guards heading to Magnimar, shortlisting the ones with fair pay and relative safety.

Safety in 'umbers is a smart thin' to do. Why else we's lookin' at all these posts 'ere.

I thought the Godsmouth incident was supposed to be a secret. ;)


Male Dwarf Cleric of Angradd / 2

"It's always a good idea to have a god's servant at hand," Oren says lightly, "No matter the undertaking. I admit to being intrigued at the mention of a specialized team. When we get an idea of who these others are, I think we'll have a better chance to guess at the task they have in mind."

As they break their fast, he raises an eyebrow. "I wonder...have you ever worked with the Pathfinders in the past? I'm not surprised that they called on me given my membership but you are certainly an inspired choice."


Male Human (Tian-Shu) Wizard (Transmuter) 2

"I am sorry, Auron. You forget, I suppose, I am not here from, so I do not know Magnimar or much of it. I guess you are right and will see when we arrive.

"So, do you see anyone else we may travel with?"

Silver Crusade

F Tief (Pit) Ftr 3 - HP25/25 AC-19/T-13/F-17 CMD18 F:+4 R:+3:+1/ +5R vs C/F/E|Percept+3 - Dkvis 60' |Init+4(+combat reflex), Move 20'.

"I've not worked with any of 'em. They have some good warriors I have trained with though, mostly a straight and true lot and certainly skilled, but the Society itself... I don't know"

"I reckon we will sort it out soon enough"

Svetlana is clearly intrigued...


Male Half Orc Duskwarden 2

Kua allows his tusks to show through a wide grin. "Mara! You received an invitation too? It seems the Pathfinders are attempting to reassemble our group from the ossuary. We should probably seek Auron and Yang out before we depart. It sounds like you've been to Magnimar before."


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

Jus' me, Jhaik and yerself. Mebbe t'others at t'ossuary got 'un too? We's see den. Would be goodd t'see them. Gots some loose ends f'om t'ossuary t'talk 'bout. But that's fer la'er, a ride t'Magnima' is wat's we after.

Team Jhaik and the phatman's ready to go off to Magnimar. Just seeing what team beauty and the beast planning to do.


Male Human (Tian-Shu) Wizard (Transmuter) 2
Auron Rurikski wrote:

Jus' me, Jhaik and yerself. Mebbe t'others at t'ossuary got 'un too? We's see den. Would be goodd t'see them. Gots some loose ends f'om t'ossuary t'talk 'bout. But that's fer la'er, a ride t'Magnima' is wat's we after.

Team Jhaik and the phatman's ready to go off to Magnimar. Just seeing what team beauty and the beast planning to do.

"Hmmm. If we think, I believe it is likely Kua and Sister Mara received letters. I think likely this Sheila Heidmarch has friends in the church of Pharasma, or Pathfinders do. Or is it coincidence we two got the letters? I think no."


Sister Mara wrote:
Kua wrote:

"I received this from a messenger today." The orc says as he draws the slip from his cloak and slides it across the table.

"It's an invitation from a Venture Captain of the Pathfinder society. She wishes to commission me for some task in Magnimar. I've read of the place in our library. The City of Monuments, they call it. I've no doubt that we could learn much and more from the city itself, and these Pathfinders." Kua scratches the stubble on his cheek anxiously for a moment. "I realize that we are a bit short handed at the moment, but I mean to go. What would you have me do warden?"

"Oh, you could learn all sorts of things from the City of Monuments," Sister Mara says as she knocks on the open door before striding into the room.

"Sister Mara, of the Order of the Vigilant Flame," she introduces herself, bowing her head respectfully to the dwarf. "Please forgive my intrusion, sir. I worked with Kua in exploring the Godsmouth Ossuary for the Pharasmins. It's good to see you again, Duskwarden," she adds, turning to greet Kua.

"I also received an invitation from the Pathfinders in Magnimar, and came here to see if you would be interested in joining me on the journey. It's quite the coincidence that you've received the same invitation," she says, her tone indicating that she doesn't really believe in coincidences. "I wonder if Master Yang and Auron also received similar missives."

Warden Hammerfell fixes Sister Mara with a level eye.

"And I suppose the Order's primary goal is eavesdropping, then, eh? Hmph. I'll have to have a word with our door guard about instructing visitors."
He turns back to Kua.
"So the Pathfinders want to steal you and you plan to go? You're a free man and you can make your own choices, Kua, but don't pull my leg if you aren't coming back."
The dwarf shakes the half-orc's hand firmly.
"Keep your head, lad, those Pathfinder types are hardly sensible. And there's a place for you here, don't you worry. If I've a recollection, I believe Shama Stone's-Bargain is taking some menagerie of beasts from the Cinderlands down to that arena the lowlanders like so much. He'll probably need a hand down the Halflight. Good luck."
With that, the High Warden leaves it to Kua to gather his things and say his farewells before seeking out Shama in the Warrens.


Kua wrote:
Kua allows his tusks to show through a wide grin. "Mara! You received an invitation too? It seems the Pathfinders are attempting to reassemble our group from the ossuary. We should probably seek Auron and Yang out before we depart. It sounds like you've been to Magnimar before."

"You could say I have some familiarity with the city, yes," Mara replies enigmatically. "I came to see you first hoping you might know where to find Master Yang and Auron," she adds.

Warden of Doors wrote:

Warden Hammerfell fixes Sister Mara with a level eye.

"And I suppose the Order's primary goal is eavesdropping, then, eh? Hmph. I'll have to have a word with our door guard about instructing visitors."
He turns back to Kua.

Sister Mara fixes Warden Hammerfell with an equally level gaze. "It is the Order of the Vigilant Flame," she says dryly, arching one eyebrow and waiting for the dwarf to break the staring match first. The faintest ghost of a smile twitches her lips as the Warden turns to speak to Kua.


Auron and Yang
On the message post, beneath genuine inquiries and junk messages promising to "increase your member", "never be laughed out of Hospitality again!" and offers of easy credit from various moneylenders you find a posting from a caravan:

Shama Stone's-Bargain needs competent guards to escort live cargo from the Halflight Path to Magnimar's Serpent Run. Pay is 5 silver per day, plus board. Inquire in the Warrens, meat gate.


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

Auron steely eye catches sight of Stone's-Bargain post and points it out to his lumbering comrade.

D'ye see wha' I'se see wit' me littl' eye? I'se expected mor' trips down off t'Magnima' but we's take wha's on t'plate.

Auron spends a little more time perusing junk messages and queries Yang on efficacy of Tian herbs with regards to the messages.


Male Half Orc Duskwarden 2

Kua shakes the dwarf's hand with a nod. "Thank you warden for all that you've done for me. I'll be back to resume my duties once this is all done."

Kua turns to Mara. "If there is money to be gained in traveling to Magnimar, you can safely bet that Auron will be around. To the Warrens then."


"Sounds good. I'm ready to get out of this city," Sister Mara replies to Kua.


Male Human (Tian-Shu) Wizard (Transmuter) 2
Auron Rurikski wrote:

Auron steely eye catches sight of Stone's-Bargain post and points it out to his lumbering comrade.

D'ye see wha' I'se see wit' me littl' eye? I'se expected mor' trips down off t'Magnima' but we's take wha's on t'plate.

Auron spends a little more time perusing junk messages and queries Yang on efficacy of Tian herbs with regards to the messages.

"It would seem our fate has been decided for us. We should inquire as to joining this Shama Stone's-Bargain, yes?"

At Auron's question on Tiam herbs, Yang chuckles a bit and begins rattling off a list of things considered to be "enhancers" by the Tian peoples. "And of course, while many believe a tiger's ... um, organ is the best, I have heard many more comment that the powers of the rakshasa are superior."


The four of you make your way to Meat Gate in the Warrens, the only open-air district in Kaer Maga's ring. The dry dustiness of the Storval Rise sweeps over you along with the loud murmur of the market. On either side of you, rickety buildings of stone (often with smaller even more rickety wooden buildings balanced precariously on top) lean one into the other and you can see in the distance the Pillars of Dream- horns of a glassy black substance that almost meet meters above the street level. Meat Gate is where much of the fresh meat and furs enter the city, though of course a wise customer exercises discretion in their purchases. Past butchers and trappers haggling with various customers or swatting away flies from their wares, you find four large wagons huddled in one corner of the market. Through open bars on the sides you spot a pair of bush tigers large hyenas reclining in the heat not far from a single heavily reinforced cart containing an ember scorpion, her molting young crowded over her carapace.

Presiding over the care and feeding of the animals and the gawkers come to stare at the menagerie is a short, thick Shoanti man with features seemingly carved from rock. This, it seems, would be Shama Stone's-Bargain.
Sorry for the hold-up; jury duty marches on.


Should we just take a vote to hand-wave away the journey from Kaer Maga to Magnimar, just to make sure we can get rolling with everyone all together?

Silver Crusade

F Tief (Pit) Ftr 3 - HP25/25 AC-19/T-13/F-17 CMD18 F:+4 R:+3:+1/ +5R vs C/F/E|Percept+3 - Dkvis 60' |Init+4(+combat reflex), Move 20'.

Otherwise Oren and Svetlana are set for a long breakfast :p


Male Half Orc Duskwarden 2

That's cool with me. To Magnimar!


Sister Mara is not surprised to find Master Yang and Auron at the Meat Gate, and gives Kua a knowing look when the bloat mage and hound master both show their invitations to meet with the Pathfinders in Magnimar. Though her scarred face doesn't show it, the inquisitor feels relief knowing that her journey to Magnimar will be in the company of the stalwart companions who fought by her side in the Godsmouth Ossuary.

I'm good with hand-waving the journey to Magnimar.


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

'ell, next time we's sees a tiger I'se kno' which part t'take fo' meself!

Auron hushes down as they approach the Shoanti's caravan and peers through the cages at the animals within. As the Chelaxian starts to approach the stocky caravan master, Jhaik gives out a loud greeting bark, prompting Auron to greet his fellow delvers with an exchange of current news, learning the pathfinder's invitation in Magnimar.

I'm okay with a fast forward to Magnimar.


We'll pick up tonight at Heidmarch Manor, sorry for the late posts. Going from jury duty to work yesterday left me in kind of a poor mood.


Days later, the strangers from Kaer Maga enter into Magnimar. The time spent in Varisia's lowlands strikes a sharp contrast to your former home: verdant acres of forest and hills spread out under the caravan's wheels and the late summer humidity fills the air. It's not long before your first glimpse of Magnimar- a city on the Varisian Gulf divided sharply by a cliff, a massive ruined bridge towering over the buildings, rendering the sprawling city somewhat insignificant by comparison. With Shama Stone's-Bargain and his menagerie safely arrived at the Serpent's Run in the Alabaster District, it's only a short walk over to where you believe Heidmarch manor sits. Walking clean streets that are open to the air is a welcome change and ultimately something many of you never thought you would relish. The other change of pace are the blue-clad city watch marching down the streets and chatting here and there among themselves or with citizens.

Near the city's easternmost gate you all find the stately Heidmarch Manor surrounded by a stone wall but it's gates open to all. The grounds are neatly kept and you can see several small outbuildings, some of which look like guest homes. Entering the manor, a household servant welcomes you and bids you take a seat in the foyer. Lady Heidmarch is busy with another guest at the moment, but will be with you shortly.
Okay, everyone's in Magnimar and ready to chat amongst yourselves a little before Sheila is ready to meet you.


Male Half Orc Duskwarden 2

Kua takes a seat on an overly stuffed plush chair, pushing it's back firmly against the wall. He's happy to be back indoors, all of the open air had made the journey excruciating. How could you anticipate from any direction? How could you take a defensive position with no walls around you? Shaking those thoughts off, Kua looks to his traveling companions. "Does anyone know anything about this Sheila Heidmarch?"

Silver Crusade

F Tief (Pit) Ftr 3 - HP25/25 AC-19/T-13/F-17 CMD18 F:+4 R:+3:+1/ +5R vs C/F/E|Percept+3 - Dkvis 60' |Init+4(+combat reflex), Move 20'.

Similarly the beauty from the ice wastes sits herself down on a comfortable chair, only pausing briefly to wince at some small bodily pain. Whilst being pleasant enough to look at, there is a bit of a glacial coldness about her, a sort of chilled 'otherness' that hints of a vaguely uncomfortable presence. Once looked for, there are slight hints of some outsider heritage about her that tell the rest of the story. Her plain clothes, neat grooming, and lack of any obvious weapons give little clue as to what she 'does' - although there is little mistaking her athleticism.

"No, I just got a letter to come to talk about a job, something about a specialist team. Are you the other applicants?" Her eyes seem to be taking in the room and its contents. "You don't look like a bunch of brawlers, so this isn't a fighting contract I take it?"


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

Auron seats himself comfortably, taking in the manor's interior casually as he watches the two new additions to the group assembled awaiting the arrival of their newest employer.

Jhaik settles at his masters feet but stares unflinchingly at the otherworldly beauty. A low rumble purrs within the hound's throat but non-threateningly as Auron pays his companion no heed.

Eh? Didn't apply fo' anythin'. Sumthin' 'bout riches an' easy gold jus' fo' comin' to 'ear what this Heidmarch 'as to say.

With most of his armaments at its place, Auron looks every bit armed to the teeth and perhaps overly much so for a visit to a calm manor such as the one current.

Pausing to reassuringly pat his hound, Auron adds on.

Nah, no brawler, but if Hiedmarch talks 'nough o' gold then why not?


Male Half Orc Duskwarden 2

Kua nods at Auron and looks back to Hellion. "Same here. The four of us were sent invitations, but as far as I know, none of us reached out. Also, I understand the Pathfinder society to be a group of explorers so I figure that's what we'll be doing."

Oh! Kua adds, remembering his manners. "My name is Kua." The half orc extends a hand out to the icy woman.

Silver Crusade

F Tief (Pit) Ftr 3 - HP25/25 AC-19/T-13/F-17 CMD18 F:+4 R:+3:+1/ +5R vs C/F/E|Percept+3 - Dkvis 60' |Init+4(+combat reflex), Move 20'.

The meaty Orc handshake is returned and the woman offers up a rather engaging smile. "Svetlana, but if you'd been going to the Mag' arena you might know me as Hellion from what was 'The Hellion and the Angel' pairs team from Irrisen. I thought this might be a new job from a promoter, seeing as my 'stitch' Oren here..." she gestures to the Dwarf "got invited too".

"Funny just to pay someone to turn up somewhere, no work expected or anything...no one gives something for nothing, mostly they try take something and give nothing"


Male Human (Tian-Shu) Wizard (Transmuter) 2

In thick, accented Common, the wide Tian mage says, "I am called Chen Yangzhun, but most call me Yang. As my friend says, we were invited for some proposal by this Sheila Heidmarch. Interesting, as we had been compatriots some time back but had not seen each other for a while. We are still not sure how she even knew us."


Male Human (Cheliax) Order of the Cockatrice Cavalier (Hound Master) 2

'ellion and the angel eh? I'se like Svet-la-na 'stead. T'is ain't an arena an' Svet-la-na 'olls off t'toungue nice'.

Auron pronounces the lady's name carefully and continues.

Pardons, Auron's me name and Jhaik 'ere's me mutt. Useful 'e is, but 'e needin' time t'warm up t'people. I'se could use a littl' bit of funny afte' the journey 'ere an' even 'etter if I'se sees t'gold. Jus' coolin' me feet off an' we's see.


Male Dwarf Cleric of Angradd / 2

Smoothing the neatly combed and bound length of his blonde beard, Oren touches his holy symbol, a silver medallion embossed with flames in a forge. He is dressed in well-crafted chainmail and carries a greataxe strapped to his back, with a heavy crossbow at his hip.

"Angradd's blessings on all who are present. As my friend, Svetlana, has said I am Oren Tor, follower of Angradd and a member of the Society." His voice is deep and rich. "Ms. Heidmarch has invited me as well, but I do not yet know her purpose for us."

Despite the profile picture, Oren does not actually wear an eyepatch.


The young raven-haired Varisian woman who arrived with Kua, Yang, and Auron turns her attention away from the window and the manor grounds beyond as Svetlana and Oren Tor introduce themselves. Dressed in black and red leather with the symbol of Sarenrae prominently emblazoned above her left breast and bearing a finely crafted scimitar at her hip, the woman's most striking feature is the rough scar that stretches from the bridge of her nose across her right cheek to her jawline.

"Sister Mara, of the Order of the Vigilant Flame," the scarred woman says by way of introduction, nodding to the tiefling and the dwarf.

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