In the darkness, a tortured voice echoes: "AND THE SINS OF THE UNBELIEVERS WERE FLENSED BY SCOURGE AND CLAW! AND LO' DID THEY SCREAM THE MELODY OF OUR LORD IN DARKNESS! PRAISE BE THE MIDNIGHT LORD!"
Dot here when ready
Mother? Is that you? You have become more tolerant of late.
But no. It is not you. You died several years ago.
Skug dumps a box of scrolls on the table along with a couple wands, "Who use spells? Help Skug."
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19 Calistril, 4817
Alabaster District, Magnimar
Hellknight Manius Tetrakis, Companion of the Order of the Gate (COG)
Citadel Enferac, Western Menador Mountains
Cheliax 666 666
Dear Manius (and Hi Official Order of the Gate censors! Hope you are well ♡ ♡)
Hello, how are you? I am back in Varisia after a quick trip by Tapestry to HQ in Absalom. Man, the queues to get anything in the Tapestry Room below the Grand Lodge are getting ridiculous! Guaril Karela has set up a duty-free shop in the basement where alcohol, tobacco and perfume can be bought without paying the Harbormaster’s import duty! Yep, another Sczarni smuggling racket and all countenanced by the Ten! Lady Hao Jin would turn in her grave.
Anyway, I caught up with a friend of mine named Jezabel at a hip new winebar called the Linseed Lodge. Guess who dropped by open mic night to do a stand-up show? Conan O’Brien! Yes, THE Conan O’Brien! He’s a Pathfinder now. He told the best old jokes EVAH! I even laughed once! Oh, it was such an ace night!
Have I mentioned my friend Jezabel? She’s such a hoot. Always giving people nicknames. You should try to recruit her into the Gate! She’d call Signifier Karva ‘Bossy Britches’ for sure!
Speaking of ‘Her Nibs’ are you getting time off to attend her wedding? Miklos Lebeda was sooooo surprised to get the Paralictor’s letter saying she was in the family way. But none of us Pathfinders were! Insidion, Roland and I were camped about 30 feet away from them every night during the patrol! And they were hardly discreet. Anyway, I’ve never been to a traditional Asmodean wedding before. I understand the bride wears scarlet – sounds appropriate for Big K! lol
Now, don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a while. I’m about to depart on a mission! I can’t tell you it’s to Korvosa either, because it’s a secret! It will be interesting to see the changes to the ol’ home town since King Eodred II died.
All right, I’d better get packed and head for the Dockway. A very nice half-orc ranger and her owlbear companion offered to accompany me. She would be a prime recruiting candidate for you, though I think she already freelances for one of the Orders … the Scourge maybe?
Anyway be good and don’t slaughter too many Strix babies or burn down any Shoanti villages until I write you next! ;)
PS: I was going to toss in a couple of gp for Lictor Enferac’s Memorial Center for Excellence in Persuasion’s Rack Replacement Fundraiser, but I’d already sealed the envelope.
The tall and well built Tian has a sense of otherness about him, and after a short period of observation it becomes evident he is Tianjing celestial, a 'heaven person'. His burnt-gold kimono is matched with dark crimson hakama pants making him resemble a walking sunset. A large stylised sun has been boldly embroidered on the back of his kimono, and equally stylized dragons detail the front. A fine looking katana is sashed at his waist.
The servant of the Empress finishes playing his flute peacefully between sips of green tea.
Noting the arrival of more people, he stops playing for a moment and passes around more small lacquer cups of the hot tea, "Takahiro, servant of Shizuru" then resumes playing.
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It is a perfect late summer day in Korvosa as you file into the Baudy Wench tavern. Located a few blocks North of Castle Volshyenek, it is a rather clean-looking establishment all told, with a freshly repainted sign batting in the wind. An establishment where you were told to meet with Venture-Captain Canayven Heidmarch. Walking in by the midday sun, you are immediately greeted by the barkeep who after counting you up says jovially: "Your guy there is waiting for you in the private room. Let me know if you want anything!"
Venture-Captain Heidmarch stands up at your entry into the room, nodding at each of you with a smile the rest of his face does not feel. It is clear as day the man is worried. Once the last one of you is in, he motions for the door to be shut before beginning.
"The Blakroses are among the oldest and most influential families in Absalom” he says, wasting no time. “We’ve built a good relationship with them, but in doing so we’ve inherited a few of their enemies, namely a shadowy group of power-mongers who call themselves the Onyx Alliance. Recently the Blakroses contacted the Society with intelligence about the Onyx Alliance’s movements, and it seems they’re set on breaking into a particularly ancient barrow mound. Which happens to be in northern Nidal." He sighs, pursing his lips sourly before continuing. "Normally, we wouldn’t worry too much about these amateur tomb robbers in such a dangerous area, but apparently they’re prepared to recover a potent relic from inside. They’ve got some plot to use whatever this ancient talisman is against the Blakros family—and probably against us as well."
He shakes his head briefly in disbelief before continuing on, this time with a more positive tone.
"It’s rare though that we get a promising lead in Nidal. And I suppose the prospect of earning more good will with the Blakroses is even better to some. The barrows are thought to contain graves dating all the way back to the Age of Darkness, and the Society has very little information about the mysterious ‘horselord’ ancestors of the modern Nidalese people. Luckily we have contacts within an organization called the Whispered Song, a group of Desna worshipers who work against the local government in Nidal. For once we can thank Major Colson Madris. Agents of the Whispered Song have been tracking the Onyx Alliance, and believe these grave robbers are close to discovering the entrance of a tomb they call the Cairn of Shadows. If we move quickly, we should be able to get you into Nidal and in touch with the Whispered Song in time to catch up with the Onyx Alliance and prevent them from acquiring this relic. And if you can learn something about the ancient tribal people of Nidal in the process, so much the better."
Canayven leans in, his expression becoming deadly serious.
"Nidal is a perilous destination and one where we’re not welcome. I don’t mind some subtle heroics, but I’d refrain from any particularly overt displays of gallantry if you want to come back alive. If you attract too much attention in Nidal, there’s no chance we’ll be able to help if you’re captured, or worse."
"Through our friend Major Madris, I know a member of the Whispered Song who frequents the Broken Cup, a frankly depressing tavern in Nisroch. He should know how to lead you to where in the Onyx Alliance is searching for the Cairn of Shadows. He’s also prepared to help you avoid tangling with the local authorities, something you should strive to do even without his counsel. I can get you on a ship there in an hour, after which I leave you to meet with him with all haste. From there, I’m trusting your resourcefulness. Explore, report, cooperate, and secure whatever treasure the Onyx Alliance is after. The risk is significant, but so is the danger if the Onyx Alliance acquires what they’re looking for."
If anyone has a Chronicle sheet from Pathfinder Society Scenario #5: Mists of Mwangi, Pathfinder Society Scenario #35: Voice in the Void, Pathfinder Society Scenario #2-11: The Penumbral Accords, Pathfinder Society Scenario #3-07: Echoes of the Overwatched, Pathfinder Society Scenario 4-09: The Blakros Matrimony, or Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–09: The Hellknight’s Feast, and Pathfinder Society Scenario #5–14: Day of the Demon, you can make the following check untrained, and gain a +2 per Chronicle sheet to the die roll. I thought I had done this already, but I omitted a significant number of scenarios, so here we go again! #IAmATerribleGM
"Any questions Pathfinders?"
OK that changes things, I have a few of those... Penumbral Accords /Echoes of the Overwatched/Day of the Demon. I must have had a brain explosion earlier.
Know History 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Know Local (untrained) + Scenario bonus 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
"Ahh - the Blakros family is a powerful matriarchy that made its fortune smuggling goods and secrets between Qadira and Taldor since the early 41st century AR, and by using its daughters’ marriages to form powerful alliances."
Takahiro turns his attentions to the Venture-Captain, "Are Pathfinders merely unwelcome in Nidal, or outright despised? How cautious should we be in disguising our affiliation?"
Skug blurts out in the middle of Captain Heidmarch's briefing, "Skug know black roses. Skug save girl!"
After the venture captain finishes, Skug looks around wide-eyed for a moment before asking, "Who Skug kill?"
+2 for Voice in the Void
Oleander knows nothing about these people, although she does perk up at the Blackros name.
Echoes of the Overwatch done on Oleander. Another four on other characters.
"The last time I had anything to do with their museum, someone got his brain eaten." she says slowly.
"What do we know about the Onyx Alliance? And can you describe our contact within the Whispered Song who frequents the Broken Cup?"
local+chronicle: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 1 + 2 = 10
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"Your guy there is waiting for you in the private room. Let me know if you want anything!"
“Oh yes! Can I have three FAMILY-sized vegetarian meat lovers pizzas topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce! Hold the anchovies because, they’re like *blech*
“Can you bring a side of Cinderland aurochs wings with chilli, wasabi and tabasco dipping sauces – all mixed up together natch! Oh and tell the cook not to make it too hot.”
“I’ll wash that down with a glass of sugar-free pop – cos I’m on a diet you know.”
“What else? I’ll need a Varisian bard who specializes in soppy love ballads from the 4680’s. It would help if he looked like Sharmy Magar but I’d settle for Lee Vid'Da Roth IF he’s also trained in acrobatics.”
Eadie nods curtly. “I’ll be sure to let you know if there’s anything else.”
Knowledge (local) + One of the best: Voice in the Void: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
A plain-featured young woman walks into the private room rubbing her tummy.
She wears black full plate, with a heart-shaped key embossed over her left breast. She twirls a golden cape about her shoulders which features expertly stitched appliqué of a fiery angel, golden key, antlered longbow and blood-soaked rose.
Her sapphire blue eyes light up as she spots the others. “Hey, everyone! I’m Eadie. I’m looking forward to working with you all.”
Eadie’s normally sunny mood goes behind a cloud as she listens carefully to VC Heidmarch’s briefing. “Oh before I forget, Ser Canayven. Lady Heidmarch asked if you could please pick up a pint of milk on the way home to Magnimar.”
She continues seriously. “Does our Whispered Song contact know what the relic is, does or looks like?”
“This might be a dumb question…” The warrior hesitates before continuing. “But there’s normally no light in an underground barrow. And you need light to cast a shadow, right? So why is it called the ‘Cairn of Shadows?’”
Eadie shares her knowledge freely with the others but is not sure if it adds much to what Ser Canayven has already told them. “I’ve heard the Blakros family has maintained spies in the Onyx Alliance in the interest of self-defense. I’m totes guessing the Onyx Alliance is mainly Fetchlings, Oleander. Does that sound right, Venture-Captain?”
Knowledge History: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
I know of this history, a little. After Earthfall ushered in the Age of Darkness, many of the horselord tribes made a bargain with the Midnight Lord Zon-Kuthon to loyally serve and worship him in return for his protection. There were chieftains who opposed this, but they were brutally oppressed, leading to thousands of years of Kuthite control.
The oddly dark half-orc seems pensive.
The Shadow Plane is home to many dark and dangerous denizens. We must be watchful.
His tone brightens.
I shall earn many new Glory Marks!
He turns to Heidmarch.
Venture-Captain, should we expect undead in the Cairn of Shadows? Or are Shadow Plane creatures more likely?
+1 to the question of what the relic is or looks like.
His eyes dart to Skug.
Greeaaaat. Another muscle-head lunkhead to show what a failure I am. But I am strong now! Let him come at me. He will pay the price!
"It is true you need light to cast a shadow, but what if the shadows are metaphorical and they refer to shadows over the soul blotting out all the heavenly radiance of an otherwise pure heart? Perhaps the shadows are the palimpest reminders of a time when there was sun and shadows thus cast? Who can tell..." Takahiro goes back to sipping his green tea and contemplating the universe.
Oleander smiles at her fellow woman, albeit fellow human woman.
"You sounds like you have been involved with the family affairs a bit in the past." she notes.
"I suppose we should discuss our various skills, so we know what to expect of each other. I'm an archer, and a guide in the wilderness."
She reaches down to pet a large wolf next to her side. "And this big lump of fur is Wolfie."
OMG Abadar! Eadie’s head just exploded!
Eadie doesn’t even try to make head or tail of what Takahiro just said.
She looks sideways at Oleander with both eyebrows raised. "My Aunt Alix told me to 'just say no' to pesh."
"You sounds like you have been involved with the family affairs a bit in the past."
“Yeah. A little bit I guess.” Eadie replies like she’s not overly sure.
“Oh, I don’t know how I missed Wolfie lying there, Oleander. Does he like BBQ aurochs wings in a mild dipping sauce?”
"I suppose we should discuss our various skills."
“Ooh, I know this one!” Eadie says excitedly, before coming to attention and stating proudly. “I’m good at lifting heavy things.”
“Also, the Master of Swords says if my brain was an alchemist’s bomb, there wouldn't be enough to blow my great helm off!”
“Lucky, eh? My head's quite attached to my great helm.”
A halfling woman opens the door and runs in. "I'msorryI'mlate!" she gasps, coming to a skidding stop, and then composing herself deliberately-- smoothing down the front of her skirts and high-collared shirt, adjusting her hair (done in a severe bun) and righting the tiny pair of round-lensed spectacles perched on the end of her nose. "Ahem. That is to say--
"Eglantine Bandawax at your service, mes amis. Scholar, warrior, succourer of the needy, though-I-be-but-little-I-am-fierce. But enough about me! We're dealing with Nidal? And the Blakrosi? Blakrosim... The plural would depend on whether we're following the syntactic form of the Azlant-Taldo family branch or the Thassilon-Varisia linguistics line-- but I digress. As for the situation at hand-- one moment, let me think."
She taps her small chin, squinting up at the ceiling.
Knowledge History: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
"Ah. Yes. Nidal has quite the history, to elaborate on what others have said... the cairns are considered quite definitely off limits by the locals, so we shouldn't tell anyone we meet our destination. I mean, we shouldn't anyway. It's Nidal. Every other person's likely to be a spy. The cairns have the usual whispers of vast treasure, but also curses and traps, et cetera et cetera ad nauseaum.
"Oh yes, Eavie was it? You're quite right about the fetchlings. The Onyx Alliance relies heavily on the creatures. Given we're going into a land that actively worships the forces of darkness, I wouldn't be surprised to find more fetchlings ahead-- or more serious creatures such as shadows, as the Onyx Alliance tries to avenge itself on the Blakrosi for their dissolution of that extremely disreputable bargain of giving up their daughters to the darkness. We should definitely ensure we have some way of making very bright light."
Eglantine takes a breath-- having talked without one for several paragraphs-- then smiles fixedly and has a seat. "--oh, as for what sort of things you can expect from me-- I'm a magician and a scholar, but I'm not afraid to get into the midst of things." She pats a well-made rapier at her side, the basket hilt done with a stylized depiction of twining roses.
"I've also been known to get very into the midst of things. You might see me running about directly under the feet of our foes. No need to worry if so. All part of a day's work!"
Seeing Skug's pile of scrolls and wands, Eglantine goes to rummage through them with some interest, but her excitement turns to a mild sigh.
"Most of these require servants of the divine to use," she says to Skug, and-- possibly seeing a look of incomprehension on his face-- she rephrases. "--that is, most of these require PRAYING. I don't PRAY MUCH. I could use a few of them, but it's not likely they'll be NEEDED."
(Eglantine has an okay UMD, but as far as guaranteed casts, I can only use the scrolls of darkness and versatile weapon, and the wand of infernal healing. If you want me to hold onto any of those, Skug, I can.)
Definitely hold onto the items on your class list. Let's wait and see if anybody else can use the other items without UMD.
“Oh yes, Eavie was it?”
“Well, the name my late Aunt Alix gave me was ‘Eadie’, Ma’am. Named for her favorite bard.”
The warrior makes a *bob* and speaks respectfully, trying hard not to give offense.
“But feel free to call me ‘Evie’. It’s not nearly as bad as some of the things the Master of Swords calls me.”
"Eavie, Eadie, Easy-peasy," Eglantine says with a little wave of her hand. "I'll try and remember. Eglantine is a mouthful for some folk! My friends call me E.G., which is sort of a joke, because it can stand for exempli gratia as well, ahaha, because you see--"
She pauses and shakes her head. "Never mind. Eadie. Eadie and E.G. Got it."
She scoops up a wand and two scrolls from the table of Skug's treasures.
"Eglantine is a mouthful for some folk!"
“Oh yes. And it’s pretty hard to say too.”
Eadie whispers behind her hand to Oleander. “Do you think Takahiro and EG have the same supplier? I get about one word in every five that they say.”
“I don't PRAY MUCH.”
“Well, Ma’am. If it’s not too forward, I’d suggest you give it a try sometime.”
Eadie speaks innocently and clearly believes what she’s saying. “It was through prayer that I came face-to-face with Abadar, on the dusty streets of Sedeq, Qadira.”
Takahiro gently sorts through the pile with one hand as he holds his tea with the other...
scroll of align weapon "Yes"
scroll of cure critical wounds "Possible..."
scroll of darkness (5) "Yes"
scroll of invisibility purge (2) "Probable..."
scroll of lesser restoration (5) "Yes"
scroll of suppress charms and compulsion (5) "Yes"
scroll of versatile weapon (2) "No"
wand of cure light wounds (50) "Yes"
wand of infernal healing (33) "I don't believe Shizuru would permit"
"I suppose my skills are mostly around keeping people alive and employing my sword against the forces of evil, mostly I just try and model compassion and mercy, until it becomes clear one has no inclination towards compassion or mercy"
So let's give the align weapon, lesser restoration, suppress charms and compulsions, and cure light wounds to Takahiro. That leaves just the cure critical wounds and invisibility purge.
Looks like your chances of a caster level check are better than E.G.'s chances with UMD, so hold onto the last two items as well.
Takahiro gathers up the items, paying particular attention to each so he knows where to locate them in a hurry.
"I shall take care of them as if they were my own, and apply them as best the Empress guides me"
He offers a polite bow.
"Who is them press? Skug tell when use, not them."
Skug sniffs the tea, then dumps the contents on the ground and spits on the puddle. "Skug drink ale!"
The assembled Pathfinders have noticed that one of their fellows...seems off. He is a hulking creature over seven feet tall, with dragon-kin or tiefling features, or maybe a mix of both. Large horns curve from his head, and sharp teeth from his jaws. He tries to focus on their assignment, but seems to be having some difficulties.
Sorry, will post more later.
"Does he like BBQ aurochs wings in a mild dipping sauce?”
"If it's fresh, he'll eat it. He might try if it is not too fresh too." sighs Oleander as she gives the wolf an affectionate rub.
"Who use spells? Help Skug."
Oleander looks at the half orc with more than a little concern, wondering perhaps where he got such a trove of magic from.
"I could use the scrolls of versatile weapon and cure light wounds.." she admits. But when she sees others are also able to use them she quietens down a little, edging away from the massive man.
“Fighting shadows in the dark sounds pretty bad. I’ve got an oil of daylight.”
Eadie looks around hopefully. “Can you cast continual flame, Takahiro? If not, do you guys think we can counter darkness effects OK?”
Eadie smiles and *bumps* fists with Insidion. “Hey there, Insidion! Is the little man who lives inside you behaving himself?”
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Venture-Captain Heidmarch frowns as he takes a scrap of parchement from a coat pocket. "Again with the milk. What in Caiden's name is she doing with all this milk?" He scribbles something down before answering the Pathfinder's questions as best he can,
Turning to Takahiro, he states unequivocally: "We are certainly unwelcome with the populace at large. Hated is too strong a word to describe the authorities' disposition towards us. They will flay you not out of hatred, but because it is glorious. The Kuthite religion controls most aspects of Nidalese life. The weak are to fear for tomorrow, and give praise to their god that they have seen the end of today. In any case, I would think twice about showing a Wayfinder to anyone."
To Oleander he continues: "Little is known of the Onyx Alliance, save for their appetite for slaves from our material plane. They certainly harbor a grudge against us for helping the Blackroses break their "compact". Heh. As for you contact, his name is Gobrier Frosh, a lanky, skittish man. You will probably recognize him by the patch of blond hair he has in the back of his head. He's otherwise a brunette." Canayven frowns. "Is that the right word? Brunette? For a man? Anyway. Green eyes, about 6'2. He should respond to the phrase "Do you plan on visiting Riddleport" with "Oh yes, I hear it's beautiful this time of year."
As he turns to Eadie, a tavern wench barges in with an order of auroch ribs. "I'm not suah who this goes ta but here ya go. And the boss says he has no clue what those othah things ahe so sahrry. Here's ya ale though." VC Heidmarch raises an eyebrow at the food as she closes the door behind her before shrugging. "Whoever ordered this, dig on in. Back to business though. We have no idea what the relic looks like, but those things have a way to make themselves recognizable. As for the name, beyond the more philosophical considerations" he says, nodding towards Takahiro, "perhaps it's just a matter that Shadows reside in there" he offers, turning towards Xichikitte. "So should you expect undead? Maybe. Maybe not. It's not entirely unreasonable. What greater torture is there but undeath? Although that seems to be more the purview of Urgathoa, the Pallid Princess. Still. I'll leave that up to your best judgement."
Turning back to Eadie, he concludes: "As Agent Bandawax said, the Onyx Alliance is composed of creatures belonging to the plane of Shadows. Fetchlings, Shae, Wayangs even... But those might only be the tip of the iceberg. And perhaps the least of our worries."
He nods solemnly to himself before suddently adding: "Oh, before I forget. Agent Insidion? Mistress Zarta Dralneen has asked me to give you this."
Any last minute purchases/followup questions?
Our contact, Mr. Frosh. Will we find him in The Broken Cup in Nisroch?
Assuming yes, Xichi is ready to go see Major Madris.
Wolfie tucks into the ribs, putting his paws up on the desk in order to reach the plate.
"He says thanks-you" notes Oleander.
“Whoever ordered this, dig on in.”
Eadie already has sauce dripping down her chin and forearms by the time Ser Canayven has finished inviting the party to partake.
“Ugh … shadows.” She whines. “I hate those things. I’ll get some ghost salt blanch for my backup falchion at the Green Market before we head off.”
The young warrior suddenly starts laughing – nearly choking on a rib bone in her mirth.
"Eadie. Eadie and E.G. Got it."
“Oh, I get it now!” She points the rib bone at the magus.
“You’re E-G, and I’m E-D! You’re so funny, Elephantine!”
Takahiro looks at the tea on the ground and nods sagely, as though some question was answered by the liquid all over the floor. He tucks away his flute and packs up his cups, turning to the Venture captain he bows politely once more "I shall make my preparations for travel, I have no further questions"
Leaving briefly, he returns ready for travel, in a suit of red and gold O-yoroi armour and his bags packed for the trip.
Oleander buys some extra supplies, including a cute chain shirt for Wolfie.
"You'll be all the rage Wolfie. Just wait, everyone will want one."
|Eglantine Bandawax RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16|
Skug joins Takahiro on the way out, "You help Skug? Find Frosh?"
Eadie smiles and *bumps* fists with Insidion. “Hey there, Insidion! Is the little man who lives inside you behaving himself?”
Insidion gives Eadie a sneering smile. "Which one?" he asks.
He reads over the missive he received from Zarta Dralneen with interest, then smells the letter. Perfume?
He is about to crumble the note up, but decides it might be best to hold onto it. He smells it one more time, folds it carefully, and places it in his pack.
He nods to the others assembled. "If you cannot see in the dark, I suggest you bring plenty of torches."
“Oh, I didn’t realize there was more than one, Insidion. Maybe I should give them nicknames so I can keep them all straight?”
Eadie stops to think for a bit. “Like you know the one who wants to RIP YOU TO SHREDS!! I might call him ‘Savage Cabbage.’”
While the briefing takes place some distance from northern Nidal, Eadie decides to ‘sanitize’ her normal appearance, as she prepares to go undercover as the mercenary black knight.
She reverses her golden cloak to expose its black lining, and adjusts it so it hangs over the front left of her body, obscuring the Abadarian key which lies above her heart. The young Pathfinder shifts her wayfinder to her left hip, where it is hidden under the heavy cape.
“Yeah, ioun torches are pretty good value, Oleander. I got one when I needed to slot a ‘stone’ in my wayfinder.”
“Speaking of value, the Green Market had a cool deal on ghost salt: one for 200 gold sails OR two for 400! I love a bargain, so I went with two!”
A week later your boat finally arrives in shrouded Nisroch, an eerily silent city. Apart from the normal sounds of crates being loaded and unloaded, ropes creaking, and sails billowing, the usual sounds of human activity are muted. As you step off your transport, a crow caws ominously into the early evening air. "Better hurry" grumbles the captain, whose pocket is now considerably lighter from the tariffs imposed on him on arrival. "I'm smelling rain."
It doesn't take long for the seaman's prediction to come true. Water lazily comes down upon you as you finally find the Broken Cup; a tavern in the Southbank district of the city. A sad somber affair, it doesn't compare to the establishment you were in barely a week ago. Entering in, you take in both the decoration and the patrons. Worn grays and drab browns are the dominant colors; with barely enough lanterns and lighting to let you see where you are going, the brightest being by some stairs that lead to the second floor and ostensibly to whatever rooms are available for rent.
No singing, no laughter, and even no real sign that the tavern even welcomes new customers; all those who linger here mostly mind their food and themselves, going out of their ways not to make eye contact. Well, almost all those who linger here.
Eadie Perception: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (12) + 15 = 27
Eglantine Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
Oleander Perception: 1d20 + 13 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 13 + 4 = 35
Insidion Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Takahiro Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Skug Perception: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (12) - 2 = 10
Xichikitte Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Wow. I almost made a smart alec comment on how stupid it was to have tier 5-9 characters make a DC 12 Perception check and then I saw Skug's perception modifier. Bravo good sir!
"Another round barkeep! And this time try and smile when you serve it!" guffaws a Chelish woman a head taller than the rest of the patrons. She makes such noise, it is difficult not to spot her, something Skug still manages to do taken as he is by the depressing nature of the establishment.
"And cheers to you! Outlanders like myself are always a welcome sight! Barkeep, if your other patrons won't take it, serve the round to these fine folk!" she offers, raising her mug to you.
Eadie removes her rain-spotted helm to get a better look around the dreary establishment. She considers flipping her ioun torch into orbit above her mousey hair, but decides the magical light would draw too much attention.
Not that that would stop our new drinking buddy here.
“I drink only water – clean and salt free – and never with strangers, My Lady.”
Eadie is positive and confident, but not overly so. She adopts the tone one might use at a job interview, or for winning over a promising candidate to your faction. “I am Eadie, originally from Northpoint, Korvosa. Though I do various fetch-and-carry jobs these days all over the Inner Sea.”
She smiles wolfishly. “You see I’m very good at lifting heavy things.”
“What brings you to Nisroch, My Lady?”
Aid Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Oleander looks around the inn, careful for danger, and sensing that this woman from Cheliax may provide more of that than appears at first glance.
"It's pretty quiet in town." she notes. ""Do you plan on visiting Riddleport? I hear it is more lively."
Skug joins Takahiro on the way out, "You help Skug? Find Frosh?"
"Yes Skug, I will help you find Frosh" Takahiro replies politely "Perhaps we shall find even more things of interest along the journey, I shall let you know if I see ale"
"I see you found the ale" Takahiro asides to his green companion as he turns to the Chelish woman "You are very kind offering drinks to fellow travelers on the road, it is always a sign of good fortune or good luck that one sees fit to provide a round of drinks to all in a bar - or, as you say, to outlanders" Takahiro smiles benignly "I am certainly from a long way away, the lands of Tian Xa, but what brings you to such a place?"
Diplomacy 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
Skug turns a puzzled look toward Takahiro, "Ale was lost?" A moment later, the half-orc downs his ale in a single gulp and then looks disappointingly at the empty cup.
Slapping Takahiro on the back, Skug laughs heartily, "Ale is lost! Skug find ale!" and orders more from the bar. Drink in hand, the green thug sits down by the Chelish woman. "Me Skug. This Brax." Skug pats the silver dire flail on his hip.
Next the half-orc lays a fire-forged gladius on the table, "This Smoke," and a frost-forged gladius, "This Snow." Then he points to a cold iron dire flail on his back, "This friend new. No blood yet." After a large sip of beer, Skug laughs. "They no drink ale!"
"We find man. We kill man." Skug scratches his ear, then his armpit, then turns to his companions, "Skug not think name. Who Skug find?"