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Nightflier's Blackdogs in Absalom

Game Master nightflier

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Dark Archive

As the ship approaches the City at the Center of the World, its sides scrape along the rotten hulks of semi-sunken ships and broken masts that stretch out of the water, like giant black fingers clawing at the sky. The approach to the city lasts longer than your patience, but you have no choice but to sit still and wait for the pilot to guide the ship to the dock.

At the northern edge of the city, a massive stone fortress casts its shadow over the lesser buildings, and the cathedral spires in the center of Absalom draw your eyes towards the greatest mystery in the world.

After several hours, your ship has finally reached its ultimate destination. The ramp goes down and the first bales of cotton from Vudra and silks from the distant Dragon Empires start to go down to the screaming factors, who haggle and bid against each other, fighting for the best product for their employers.

Behind the bustle and hustle of the busy port city, a lone figure stands. A tall man, dressed in sable leathers, with a long slightly curved blade with a basket hilt at one hip and carved white wand at the other. This must be the man you were ordered to meet...

Male Hobgoblin Samurai 1

Yay! Dotting.

M Tiefling Rogue 6

Gorn looks around at the scene, unsure of the groups next steps. The group seems to be evenly divided between the Drow, the rest of them, and then the construct.
Can he trust the drow? He has heard that they slay each other as much as they kill others, and sometimes for the smallest slight.
The Desnan seems fairly harmless, and the Hobgoblin, he is not sure what to make of him yet.
The construct just mystifies Gorn. It seems to have its own will??? Who has ever heard of such a thing. It even its own odd way. Well he wasn't going to be the one to start it up with wand wielder...

Male Noble Drow Bladebound-Kensai

Dresen's honed instincts scan the man in sable. The man was no more intimidating to the drow than his companions were, but Dresen knew better than to let appearances deceive him. If he had learned anything in the long strand of time that had been his life, it was not to judge an individual on first impressions alone. There was quite a collaboration of recruits that Kalmafein, Elaugvyr, and himself had signed on with - a particularly shady Tiefling, a stoic Hobgoblin, and even an exotic Ironborn - to name a few.

Do not let your guard down. Dresen's mind chimed in.

Dresen let his hand slip to Aranae's hilt and rest comfortably against her as he descended the ramp towards the Port of Absalom. As he and the others neared the man, Dresen came to a stop ahead of the man, keeping a respectful distance. "I was told to report here snd make contact with s representative from the Blackdog Mercenary Corps. Am I to believe that representative to be yourself, sir, or have my eyes deceived me insomuch as to assume you're the one I'm looking for?"

Male Drow Scion Rogue14/Alchemist14/Investigator14 (Tristalt)

Kal hangs back, letting Dresen take lead on this. His fellow Drow had proven quite capable, and Kal preferred to do as little talking as possible. He did focus his mind on the task at hand, however, just in case. Gaining Psionic Focus.

Male Human Hedgewitch 1

Vali stood near the railing, enjoying the sea mist as the crew unloaded exotic goods into the gleeful arms of peddlers and lackeys. The tumult of the crowd and the sights and sounds were intoxicating. "Truly, this city is alive and filled with wonder," thought the simian cleric as he watched the hustle.
"I think this opportunity was the right one. A well known mercenary company? Truly a fantastic way to see the world." Vali paused, brooding. "I hope this is the right thing to do.."

Shaking himself out his thoughts, Vali looked around, seeking for the man he was to meet. After a moment looking through the thronging masses, he spotted a likely prospect, standing apart from the dockside hustle. "I do believe that this is my man. He matches the description. I suppose I'd best get on with this." Vali said in an undertone, thinking aloud as he gathered his things and checked his possessions. No sense in leaving behind his few worldly possessions. Having ensured he had all his gear, Vali walked down the gangplank and off the ship, carefully making his way through the crowd, towards his contact. Before he could make it to the mercenary, one of his fellow passengers engaged the man in conversation.

"Now that is interesting," he thought. "Could it be that all those insular elves could be joining the same group?"

Vali shivered. All three of the elves had made him exceedingly nervous, and to see them now, all joining the Black Dogs, only intensified his concern about his choice.

"No point in worrying about it now, I've already agreed to enlist." Without further rumination, Vali deftly made his way through the crowd towards the stranger, arriving shortly after the elf had finished his introduction. He paused, waiting to hear what the man had to say. He rubbed his symbol of Desma absently, eager for the uncertainty to end.

Male Ironborn Fighter 1

This was his first day as a civilian. The entire ride to Absalom, he kept quiet. If spoken to, his answers were as short as possible. It's not something he was really used to, conversation. Soon enough, they arrived.

His 'eyes' worked quick. The smoothed emeralds in his head scanned back and forth until they fell upon the man in leather. The wand matched the description he was given. He was not here to fight, though. In fact, once he had spoken to the man, he wasn't too sure what he was to do next. He wasn't given orders after that.

He stood up, a mass of metal and gemstone, rising until he towered over everyone else on board. He then began to walk off the ship. However, he moved with a speed and grace unlike his figure assumed. Eyes and heads turned to meet this giant as he made his way through the crowd. There were whispers, both curious and frightened. Once he had come before the man, he stopped, stood at attention, and said nothing.

Elaugvyr leaned on the ships railing observing the city as it grew larger as the ship neared the harbour, with the smell of rotten fish becoming more distinct. I supposed to be ruling not working like peasants. Kal better hope that joining as mercenaries will make our quest easier, in terms of travelling., thinking with a stern expression on her face clearly visible by those near her.

With the ship was a boats length away from the harbour's edge, she pulled her hood over her head to provide more concealment. She turned to she her brother standing beside her, speaking with concern, "Kal, for your sake you better be correct about this.", then more authoritatively, "Kal, stay by my side as we disembark and make our way through the activities of the harbour area. Dresen, once I arrive on the solid ground go ahead. Quickly find this person we need to meet.".

She lifts her backpack onto her back over her cloak. Checks her dagger is in place, hidden by the cloak. As the ramp lands on the the solid rock, she softly speaks, "Let us proceed.".

Once off the ramp, she shifts her hand onto the dagger's hilt. She walks with regal stature and authoritative determination, head held high showing no fear as she moves through the crowd. She surveys her surroundings as they follow Dresen ahead of Kal and herself.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

Male Hobgoblin Samurai 1

Saltuk is glad to be back on land. While he sees certain strategic advantages to being able to move on ships, it doesn't mean he has to like it. He has spent the time on this journey getting to know the other members of the crew. Not so much to become allies, but to try and determine their strengths and's what he does.

Now he does the same to the approaching contact. He also scans about the crowd, to see if there is anyone watching the arrival perhaps a bit too intently.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12 Sense motive

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16 perception

He then moves ashore with the others. He walks ashore behind the big created being. I'll let him soak up arrows for me. Then whispering to the big creature.

"Look at those drow". "Working together as a team, but they'll turn on each other faster than a Emerald Cobra can strike if it fits their fancy".

Forgot to say Elaugvyr was speaking in elven her natural language.

M Tiefling Rogue 6

I was just thinking about the second darkness AP. In that AP, "Drow" as a race are not known yet. As far as they are known in Golarion, these just look like dark skinned elves. I wanted to get some input from NightFlier before I/we go too far with my assumptions around the "dark skinned elves".

Dark Archive

Gorn the Blade wrote:
I was just thinking about the second darkness AP. In that AP, "Drow" as a race are not known yet. As far as they are known in Golarion, these just look like dark skinned elves. I wanted to get some input from NightFlier before I/we go too far with my assumptions around the "dark skinned elves".

You are correct.

Dark Archive

Tall man seems to notice you and he quickly approaches the ship. "Hey, you puppies over there! Get on shore!", he shouts.

Male Noble Drow Bladebound-Kensai

As a note, most of us have already departed the ship and approached the guy. Dresen was the first to make contact and I think Vali followed suit.

Male Hobgoblin Samurai 1

Saltuk, used to following orders, is moving even as the words are spoken.

Dark Archive

The man in front of you is tall for a human, almost seven feet. When you approach him, you can see that his black leather uniform is in fact studded with pieces of black steel, so that it forms a kind of studded leather armor. On the high collar of the uniform he wears a silver wolf skull with crossed swords behind it and crossed golden lightnings on the right side of the collar. His skin is covered in scars, what can be seen outside the armor, and his eyes are strange - covered with white phlegm, as if he is blind. But you all feel him measuring you with those blind eyes, seeing into the depths of your souls.

"So, you are the new puppies from Training Base North?", he asks, but does not wait for your answer. "Hmmm... I expected more of you. Well, no matter. My name is Aemon Blindeyes. As you can see by my signums, I am both Varyag of the second rank and warcaster. In fact, I should be of high enough rank not to be a babysitter to a bunch of puppies, but Sebastien himself gave the orders, so here I am." He is silent for the moment. "I've never seen black elves before. I guess you will fit right in. And you, big guy", he turns to the ironborn, "You will not be assigned to the Second Cohort for now. But you will have to be painted grey, since there are no uniforms for ironborn. Now, puppies, any questions? Keep them brief and to the point."

Elaugvyr nudges Kalmafein hard in the side, speaking softly in elven with hint of disgust, "He is calling us puppies. I am no puppy.".

Male Human Hedgewitch 1

Vali quickened his pace at the man's shout, not wanting to antagonize this man who would shepherd him into his new life. Once close to the man, he stopped, holding himself in a semblance of a proper military stance. While he waited for the man to speak, he studied him, wondering if the man was truly blind and what he had done to earn the scars that crisscrossed his skin.

He nodded his assent to the man's question while wondering what "puppies" was supposed to mean. The young Vamara waited, listening to the man, Aemon, as he introduced himself. After Aemon finished speaking, he thought for a moment, then asked, "Sir, I do have a pair of questions. First, can you explain the significance of your titles? Varyag, for example. Second, how may I properly address you?" It was only after he finished speaking that it occurred to Vali that he should have asked first about the man's title.

Male Noble Drow Bladebound-Kensai

The man had clearly forgotten exactly who he was to be waiting for at the docks. None of the three elves had ever heard of Training Base North, but Dresen chose to hold his tongue. As Ela speaks up, he shoots a sideways glance at her before Kal has a chance to respond. "Shut it, Elaugvyr. Now is not the time to let pride wrest control away from reason." He turned back to the man in the uniform and tried to remember what they'd learned of the Blackdog Company and the Varyag Division. He did all of this whilst maintaining proper composure and keeping himself poised and alert for any signs of suspicious activity.

Dark Archive

Aemon is silent for a long moment. "Gods, what are they doing in the training camps, if you do not know the basic stuff?!! All right, "Varyag" means that I belong to the 13th Cohort of the Company, which is commanded by Blackgog himself. Warcaster means that I am one of the spellcasters of the Company. And you will address me as "sir". You lot are now "puppies" - that means that you are out of training, but not full members of the Company. That's why you'll get grey uniforms - or paint, in the case of that rustbucket over there - which will be replaced by black uniforms when you finally become dogs. Now, does anyone have more questions?"

Male Human Hedgewitch 1

"No further questions, sir. Thank you, sir." Vali says, standing in a vaguely military stance while waiting for further instructions. From time to time, his tail reflexively twitches, whipping close around him.

From under her hood, Elaugvyr glares at Dresen for being told to shut up. She whispers to Kalmafein in elven, "What training is he referring to. Are we sneaking into the Blackdogs.".

Male Hobgoblin Samurai 1

"Sir". "I am anxious to become a dog as soon as possible". "What do I need to do to expedite the process, and prove my worth"?

Male Drow Scion Rogue14/Alchemist14/Investigator14 (Tristalt)

Kal places a calming hand on Ela's shoulder and says in Drow "Let the puppies line lie sister. He is clearly confused, but he is our current employer. He will soon learn the error of his ways. If not, well, we both know what happens then."

The soulknife walks forward before his sister, keeping an eye out for any signs of danger.

M Tiefling Rogue 6

Gorn was used to being not told everthing, sometimes nothing about his purpose. He sat back casually while the others seemed to deal with the uncertainty. As things wrap up he finally speaks bowing his head slightly in defference...
Sir, lead on, we puppies are ready for your commands.

It was good to be back in Absalom. His absence hopefully put some time between himself and his enemies. He would have to look up a couple of his old contacts given time though if he was to prove his full worth...

Elaugvyr lets a sigh, speaking in elven, "Kal, continue with the plan.".

In the character build up, the Pathfinder drow has only Elven as the home language. No mention of Drow being the language. Is Drow accepted language that can replace Elven?

Male Drow Scion Rogue14/Alchemist14/Investigator14 (Tristalt)

To me, Drow is a dialect of Elven, though different enough that one would not automatically understand it if all you spoke was Elven. Obviously Night may do things differently, my use of Drow was out of habit more than anything else.

Male Ironborn Fighter 1

He just shook his head. No further words, still standing at attention.

Dark Archive

Please check the Discussion Thread for the languages thing.

"Well", says Aemon to Saltuk, "just obey orders and you should be fine. Now, if there are no more questions, follow me."

The warcaster takes you through the busy streets of Absolom. While you walk behind him, you jostle many passersby, of many different species and nations.

After about an hour of walking through different streets and alleys, you reach a large house, built of brick and stone. Aemon ushers you inside and then closes the door behind him.

You've found yourself in a large room. Obviously, the whole first floor of the large house is one giant room. Several tables and benches fill the otherwise empty space and about three dozen people wander around or sit at the tables, drinking and talking. Most of them are in black uniforms, although a third of them are in grey.

"Alright", Aemon turns to you as soon as he enters behind you. "You will be assigned uniforms and some other equipment. For now, you are Temporary Squad 3. One of you will be Temporary Squad Leader. Now, let me see... Who seems to be leadership material..."

Please roll d20 + Charisma modifier. The highest roll will become Temporary Squad Leader

M Tiefling Rogue 6

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18

Gorn tries to slide behind the construct at the mention of leadership, but instead almost trips into Aemon...

Male Hobgoblin Samurai 1

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17 Charisma Check

Saltuk stands tall, neither shirking, nor striving for the honor. He knows he will earn it if he deserves it.

Male Noble Drow Bladebound-Kensai


1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10

Dresen takes a step back as Aemon addresses their group. "I will offer advice where necessary, but I choose to act and let others decide what they may." He makes a first with his right hand and places it in his left hand, bowing gracefully as he does so, signifying respectful honor. As Aemon makes his decision, Dresen moves slightly in order to let their new squad leader step forward.

Another reason for his acquiescence is his want to inspect the lodge. Looking around for anything that may help him and his companions in the future, Dresen takes note of only the most important items and aspects.
Once he's done, he files it away mentally and continues to listen to Aemon.

Charisma: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7

Elaugvyr straightens and lifts her head higher upon hearing a leader is required. Smiling broadly, Now this is where I supposed to be. Ruling. Even though it seems to be this little group of very different races that was on the ship. I guess I must start somewhere, even if they not all drow.

She also looks around to she what she can spot.

Male Human Hedgewitch 1

1d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

Vali glances around, obviously uncomfortable and thinks, "Not so many as I was expecting. Surely this isn't the entire company?"

As Aemon finishes speaking, Vali begins to fidget slightly, obviously uncomfortable. His tail twitching back and forth. "It was only ever Andrezi and I. I have no idea what it takes to lead a group. Much less a group where someone's life might hang in the balance!" He thinks, a bit frantically.

Male Drow Scion Rogue14/Alchemist14/Investigator14 (Tristalt)

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16 Charisma check

Kal stands beside his sister, taking in the words of Aemon's words. When he mentions equipment he responds "I don't require much in the way of weaponry sir, but I will gladly accept whatever else you might provide me with"

Amusing Conviction only follows orders as he was designed to do, would opt out of wanting to become leader. Noting Gorn has same result as Elaugvyr, yet seems to be trying to avoid being leader, and Elaugvyr has higher modifier, I going to assume Elaugvyr would be the winner for the role.

Elaugvyr speak softly yet with determination, "I will be the leader of this strange group of individuals.".

Dark Archive

I am still gonna wait for Conviction's roll. Even if he is unsuited for command position, it may be interesting from role play standpoint if he got better rolls. Although it is unlikely with his Cha mod.

Male Ironborn Fighter 1

Charisma Roll
1d20 ⇒ 7

He notices the drow dash behind him. After a quick glance at him, he returns his eyes forward.

Male Noble Drow Bladebound-Kensai

Dresen steps forward, taking a stance next to Elaugvyr, opposite Kalmafein. Having traveled with Elaugvyr and Kalmafein as long as he has, Dresen determined the girl to be of sound acumen. If he thought her otherwise incapable, he would step forward to lead. "I can attest to the girl's capabilities." Dresen firmly stated. "If at anytime I find her ability waning, I will see her removed from the position myself."

Elaugvyr nudges Dresen in the side, speaking in elven, "Watch it, Dresen.".

Male Hobgoblin Samurai 1

Saltuk watches the Dark Elf contingent for a moment. If worse came to worst I could take any one of them, maybe even two, but if they are all working would be best to stay on their good side...if he could only figure out which one that might be. Saltuk just shrugs his shoulders at the announcement, and looks around the room to see who else is here.

Dark Archive

Dresen Val'Zidane wrote:
Dresen steps forward, taking a stance next to Elaugvyr, opposite Kalmafein. Having traveled with Elaugvyr and Kalmafein as long as he has, Dresen determined the girl to be of sound acumen. If he thought her otherwise incapable, he would step forward to lead. "I can attest to the girl's capabilities." Dresen firmly stated. "If at anytime I find her ability waning, I will see her removed from the position myself."

"You are at no position to remove anyone, puppy", replies Aemon. "All right, girl. For now, you are the Lead Pup for this little pack. Find your places at the puppy table over there and get some chow. I'll arrange for you to get your uniforms and for that hunk of metal to be painted grey. I will return tomorrow to give you your first assignment in the big city. Questions?"

Male Ironborn Fighter 1

He looked at Aemon, his eyes a dark green. He spoke, his voice was more that of a man's than any construct. Deep and smooth, like an older gentleman's.

"When do we fight?"

Male Noble Drow Bladebound-Kensai

Not taking any offense to Aemon's words, Dresen knew he could remove even the Varyag from his own position should he choose to do so. He didn't reply, but the smirk should have told Aemon all he needed to know. Dresen was not to be crossed. Dresen turned to Elaugvyr and spoke in clear and concise Undercommon. "You know I would do no such thing, Elaugvyr. Establishment of fearlessness needs to be made to people such as this. Unlike Blackstrand, the threat of fear will only carry one so far before action must be placed before words. As heiress of House Shynklyr, you would do well to remember this." He let the words sink in for a moment. She knew he was simply doing his job, training her for the future she would one day face - taking her place as ruler of House Shynklyr. The next sign he made to her was one of respect and translated to, "You continue to have my blade, however, Elaugvyr."

Dresen turned to the rest of the group. "We can continue to remain unknown to each other or we can suffer the formalities of introduction. Being one to lead by example, I am Dresen Val'Zidane, Swordmage and former Web Marshall of House Shynklyr, trained in the depths of the Harrowspire Fighting Society." Dresen formed the customary hand sign of respect and loyalty to the group of misfits and bowed reverently.

Male Hobgoblin Samurai 1

"Name's Saltuk". I am a swordsman".

Dark Archive

Conviction wrote:

He looked at Aemon, his eyes a dark green. He spoke, his voice was more that of a man's than any construct. Deep and smooth, like an older gentleman's.

"When do we fight?"

"When you are told to", Aemon simply replies. "Now, if there are no more questions, I've got to go. Now, you take orders from anyone wearing black. You will learn to recognize ranks soon enough. Those older puppies are senior compared to you, but they can not order you to do anything, unless they simply transmit orders from some Dog or officer. I'll see you tomorrow. You can have this day for yourselves. Go and see the city, if you like." With those words, he turns around and leaves the building.

Male Human Hedgewitch 1

"Bizarre folk," the thought comes as the perplexed Vali watches as the frail elf woman is chosen as the 'pup squad' leader. He listens as Aemon finishes his instructions and looks around, taking in the strange company he's found himself in.

Even as well traveled and multilingual as he is, Vali cannot understand the clipped exchanges of the elves. He recognized their elven speech, but the other language was nothing he'd heard before. The construct had been quiet, but the question about fighting was unnerving. "Who goes looking for a fight when it's not necessary?" The tiefling and hobgoblin seemed like rough characters, willing to fight at the drop of a hat. As he took stock of his new situation, a wave of grief for Andrezi rolled over him. His face grew blank and his eyes seemed to glaze as he stared at nothing.

He shook himself from his dejection as his new squad mates began to introduce themselves. He bowed politely to Dresen and Saltuk as each finished speaking. "My name is Vali Ramayana. I'm a cleric of Desna and a prodigious traveler, as is appropriate for one of my faith. I'm pleased to make your acquaintances."

M Tiefling Rogue 6

Pleasure Vali...a healer huh, count yourself as one of my friends, its always good to have someone along with your skills! he says squeezing the mans shoulder.

Elaugvyr nods to Dresen.

She speaks in authoritative tone, "To the puppy table.", getting use to the strange ranking system of dogs, "We can continue the introductions while we eat.".

She makes her way to the table, choosing the position that has the least possibility of being attacked. Also ensuring there is a place either side of her for Dresen and Kalmafein to take up their protective positions.

Once seated, she awaits for the others to seat themselves, or stand by the table. Speaking softly, "Elaugvyr, as I am known. Daughter of House Shynklyr and skilled in the art of sorcery.".

To Saltuk, "Another warrior for the squad. This is good.".

She nods to Vali, "Good to have someone who can heal in this squad., looking up at the construct, "With a lust for fighting, our construct is surely a warrior. Do you have a given name?".

Then looks about the room, in undercommon, "Kal, fetch some food for us.".

To the tiefling, "So tiefling, what is your name? Are you too a warrior?".

M Tiefling Rogue 6

Gorn nods his head in his odd way of deference,
Gorn is the name, I can use my blades well enough but its not my best attribute so to speak. he slides out a dagger and balances its sharp tip on his finger not even moving his hand to balance it, it is so still. He catches it after a moment.
He then looks at her in a dark manner, his eyes flaring ever so slightly in Devilish an almost threatening manner, but not directed at anyone in particular...Playing up my skill focus Intimidate...
My skills are more useful in Absalom proper, I grew up here and have many skills associated to more...let's say....convert activities. I also have some contacts on the street if needed. I am at the groups service.

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