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PaizoCon 2014!

"Peacemaker Campaign Saga" for the Shadowlands Campaign Setting

Game Master BlackStarStudios

The game begins in Mtol Daerine, the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Saemyyr and the home of the Brotherhood of Magus. A murder is committed with ties back to the Brotherhood and a mysterious death which occurred five years ago.


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Toranindracar wrote:

I turn back, muttering: "No, there must be a message... a symbol..."

I return to the study and cast dispel magic on the illusion.
Dispel Check: 1d20+5
DC is 11 + (the illusion's caster level)

** spoiler omitted **

Wow. That's cool! It's a useful spell!

The spell fails to have any discernible affect and the aura remains, hanging just above the surface of the wall. Perhaps Bijannar might try.

Grand Lodge

Male Human Level 5 Rogue

I hand the book to Aegwyn. "What do you think this is all about?"


All: Alright, unfortunately I must be off for the evening. I am off to teach class and then to the midnight showing of The Hobbit!

Assuming either Aegwyn or Thomi does open the book and spies upon its first few pages, you come across a title page, written in large letters in Mtol Dærask the title: "Shadows of the Mind: A Primer on Mentalism".


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

Apparently not that useful! Well, fortunately, I have it prepared twice, since I'm pretty sure Frasha Dogsbody can't cast level 3 spells yet!

Cursing under my breath, I calm myself and focus, then cast dispel magic once more upon the illusionary circle on the wall.

Dispel Check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
DC = 11 + (the illusion's caster level)


Female Human (Valgaard) Oracle 5

Aegwyn raises an eyebrow at the title page before leafing through the book to see if there are notes in the margins. Apparently Kal'ishal had been studying outside his discipline. That certainly throws new light on his murder.

She carries it through to the study and hands it over to Toranindracar. Seeing him tackling the illusion on the wall she mentions:

"We can always just move the section of wall."

She pulls out a knife and tests the plaster to the side of the illusion.


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

Still concentrating, Toranindracar mumbles:

"No good. the plaster would only crumble --if we could damage it at all -- and I'm fairly sure the illusion conceals some sort of message on the wall. We need to see that wall intact."


Toranindracar - you weave the various components into the spell, calling into your mind the magical words required and producing the gestures and material elements which stand in symbolic representation, unleashing the spell upon the arcane aura hovering over the wall. Your spell dissipates, its force too weak to overcome the magical forces at work there.

Aegwyn - after you hand the book to Toranindracar and insert your knife blade into the wall's stuccoed surface you realize that his warning rings true as the first bits of white plaster begin to chip and fall to the floor.


Female Human (Valgaard) Oracle 5

Well the illusion's still there, so either we find a way to move the illusion or we find a way to move the wall

Aegwyn tests the wall further from the illusion to see what it's made of. If it's lathe and plaster then a decent knife can cut through it, and we should be able to remove a section.

Grand Lodge

Male Human Level 5 Rogue

As Aegwyn leaves the room I peruse the contents of the small table and bookshelves to see if there are any items of interest.


Female Human (Valgaard) Oracle 5

Aegwyn tries hard to see through the illusion.

Will disbelief (with +4 given she knows its an illusion)1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12 - good grief , I hope we're saving our good dice rolls for a fight.


Thomi- The place has a curious and conspicuous absence of anything valuable. The few books that remain on the shelves, other than random spell components, are extremely obscure treatises on Brotherhood doctrine, law, and practice, most of them from centuries or more ago.


Aegwyn - you think that with some patience and determination and a nice sharp blade you should be able to get the plaster off and remove it. You close your eyes and concentrate for some time, focusing on disbelieving the illusion. When you open your eyes again, nothing has changed.

Toranindracar- You observe Aegwyn attempt to disbelieve the illusion and fail to have any noticeable impact on her. It occurs to you that maybe you have been all thinking about this as an illusion which is hiding something, rather than something from the Illusion school.


Female Human (Valgaard) Oracle 5

Aegwyn slips a blade behind the illusion (not scratching anything, just slightly off the wall) to see whether this really is an illusion obscuring the wall behind.


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

"Yes, I felt the wall with my hand. It seemed smooth."

I groan in frustration, taking the book that's been placed in my hand ("Shadows of the Mind: A Primer on Mentalism", which I haven't really noticed) and slapping it against my face repeatedly.

"Hmmmm...."
I search my mind, thinking back to spell training, trying to think of what Illusion-type spell would produce this effect.
Knowledge(arcana): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19

I'm drawing a blank.

Gritting my teeth and groaning again, I exclaim: "AUGH, Bijannar, I need you to identify the spell that's been placed here. It's clearly an illusion, but beyond that? I need to know. I ... AUGH!"

I wander off toward the bedroom, clenching one fist and slapping my face with the book, until suddenly I notice the book, and open to see the title page.

!!!

"I-- Wh-- Oh?"

I flip through the book and try to get a feeling for what is contained in the book -- whether it simply describes Mentalism (academically) or actually instructs, and if so, how much, etc...

Grand Lodge

Male Human Level 5 Rogue

I examine the chest for traps (prior roll = 26).


Female Human (Valgaard) Oracle 5

Agwyn plumbs her knowledge of spells a little more.

Forgot to roll spellcraft for detect magic 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19, knowledge (arcana) for spell school 1d20 ⇒ 4


For those who have used Detect Magic - given the amount of interest in the aura, I thought I should describe in some more detail (special thanks and nod to Aegwyn) what it appears like on a magical spectrum. If you liked your previous Knowledge (arcana) roll, I will "Let it Ride", if you want to wander around, do some other things (like read some of the books around for more knowledge), come back and do a new roll (I realize this is a slightly unorthodox look at the skill check).


All: I have to run for a meeting for most of the rest of the day. The book - Torandindracar - it's a "how to" book, written anonymously, its not academic. I need to emphasize that the subject matter of the book is both forbidden and illegal. Aegwyn- there were notes in the margins, notes on attempts and references to names via initials ("D", "A", "T", and rarely "F"). There is also a note that reads - "Kalak's blood! I think they might be REAL after all!"


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)
ShadowlandsGM wrote wrote:
I need to emphasize that the subject matter of the book is both forbidden and illegal.

Yes, thanks -- precisely what Toranindracar wanted to confirm!

I clap the book shut and tuck it away in my pack, suddenly looking at everything around as if from a great distance, as if anew. With suspicion. Then I watch the others, first Thomi, then Aegwyn, then the others.

I glance back into the study, seeing the dead body for what it is, and shudder slightly.

I step outside the apartment, sit on the edge of the stairwell and light my pipe, puffing away while muttering quietly to myself.


Male Human (Dardish ethnicity) Antipaladin 5

(GM: No magic items.)

Varan enters the house, wrinkling his nose a bit at the stench of death, and muttering something softly about how “that damned smell never comes out.” He stands off to one side, in as unobtrusive a spot as he can find, allowing the skilled investigators of the group to do their thing. If he’s asked to move, he’ll do so, and otherwise keeps out of the way until some useful conclusions are reached or he is needed.


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

Puffing on his pipe outside the apartment, gazing out over the slums of the Lesser Ward, Toranindracar calls out behind him, distantly: "Oh, Varan.... I was wondering something you might know about..."


Male Human (Dardish ethnicity) Antipaladin 5

Varan glances back over his shoulder at Toranindracar’s general direction and chuckles, “And I might have an answer for you…

Grand Lodge

Male Human Level 5 Rogue

I continue to examine the chest for traps.


Thomi- Based on your examination, the chest doesn't appear to be trapped.

Aegwyn- You determine that there are 3 magical auras at work, the predominant School seems to be Illusion, although it's difficult to tell. The caster was clearer fairly advanced, and while the "illusions" themselves only give off a moderate aura, you can tell by the way that they are interwoven that this was clearly a caster who was quite familiar with what they were doing. Whatever message they were leaving, whatever mark they left, was clearly of a nature intended for a very specific type of person or individual.


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

Toranindracar continues to puff on his pipe thoughtfully, staring off into the slums.

To Varan:
"What do you know of rituals to Ialdabaōth? Are you familiar with ceremonies involving blood sigils? Or dead bodies? Or hidden messages...? What about ritually slaying oneself? Is that something you've heard of?"


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

GM:
I should ask: I'm sure I've heard various tales about the Church of Ialdabaōth, but what exactly do I know, and what is the official Mtol Dærask stance on the Church? Is it illegal/underground? Is it especially odd for this man to be so outward?

Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21

Grand Lodge

Male Human Level 5 Rogue

I open the chest. If it is locked, I pick the lock 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (2) + 18 = 20.

Tricky. I'll try again. 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (16) + 18 = 34

Much better!


Thomi Gallowshade wrote:

I open the chest. If it is locked, I pick the lock 1d20+18.

Tricky. I'll try again. 1d20+18

Much better!

Thomi- With deft fingers you quickly turn and spin the tumblers, sliding things gingerly into place until with a satisfying 'click' the lock gives and suddenly falls open. Inside you find various sets of Brotherhood robes, nicely folded up.


Toranindracar wrote:

GM:

I should ask: I'm sure I've heard various tales about the Church of Ialdabaōth, but what exactly do I know, and what is the official Mtol Dærask stance on the Church? Is it illegal/underground? Is it especially odd for this man to be so outward?

Knowledge (religion): 1d20+9

Toranindracar - from your knowledge of the Church, while they are certainly involved in numerous illegal activity (including harboring and training mentalists and renegade mages), they are rarely overt and crass. The organization is legal in Mtol Dærask and the Brotherhood has been in a cold war with them for decades, if not longer. For them to slip up this overtly, to murder a Brother and then leave a sign of their presence, would be outside of their previous practices. They are more subtle and tend, like vipers, to go for larger targets than junior Brothers, with more cunning and stealth.

Grand Lodge

Male Human Level 5 Rogue

I carefully unpack the chest, looking for items which may be under or between the robes. Also looking for concealed compartments, false bottom, etc.

Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20


Female Human (Valgaard) Oracle 5

Aegwyn asks around to see if any of her companions speak sylvaenyr. The note in the corpse's pocket might help. She strolls over to 'dogsbody'.

Your master seems to be frustrated by this illusion. Perhaps it's not an illusion, but rather a concealed message. Is the a word or phrase that a Brother of his rank might use?


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

Toranindracar mutters under his breath, soft enough that probably only Varan can hear:

Muttering:
"Why don't you ask your winds to guide us? Pff!"

Grand Lodge

Male Human Level 5 Rogue

I don't seem to find anything in the chest but Brotherhood robes. So, I leave them piled on the floor and turn my attention to the armoire. I examine it to see if it is trapped. (Previous roll = 23).

Thinking:

There don't seem to by any valuables here. Someone has cleaned this place out!


Male Human (Dardish ethnicity) Antipaladin 5

Varan quietly answers Toranindracar’s questions. “The Dark Lord works in subtleties, and most of the faithful are more likely to spill wine in drunkenness than blood in anger. As to the symbolism of a corpse? Nothing that comes to mind.” He chuckles. “And anyone who would commit ritual suicide in the name of the faith is rather badly missing the point.


Male Human (Karsab ethnicity) Brotherhood Adept 4/Aristocrat 1

Bijannar smiles at Aegwyn and replies to her in Sylvænar.

If you're inside and speak Sylvænar:
"Yes, I do speak the tongue of the people. Sadly, I have yet to master its written form. Might that I could, I might be of service to you. As to this illusion." Bijannar smiles a little awkwardly and shrugs his shoulders. "I'm afraid my boastful companion is the better trained between us. I'm still rather new. I can, however, spend a little more time with the illusion and try to divine its true nature."

Bijannar then starts to cast a spell.

DC 15 Spellcraft/GM:
He recasts detect magic and attempts to discern the true nature of the illusion. Knowledge (arcana) 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31 and Spellcraft 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19


Male Human (Karsab ethnicity) Brotherhood Adept 4/Aristocrat 1

GM:
I trust a Knowledge (arcana) roll of 31{33 after I figure in my +2 bonus from Spell Focus (Illusion)} should be high enough to identify the spell in place, its nature, and how it is woven together (ie, what component spells were involved in its construction).


Bijannar Su-Sin wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Bijannar - There are three arcane spells in place, the most dominant one you sense of the three, via arcane Perception, is moderately powerful (no one else has managed to make it out):

"{AJGKJH}[unrecognizbale] word, "are looking in the wrong {ALJHLIHLI}[unreognizable word]"


Male Human (Karsab ethnicity) Brotherhood Adept 4/Aristocrat 1

GM:
But can I actually identify the spells? If they aren't relevant to the narrative, just say so. Also, I want to memorize the sentence/words.


Bijannar - The entire complex begins to unravel in just a few seconds of you looking intently at it. You do manage to memorize the sentence and what the two words you don't recognize (because you don't speak the language they were written in).

If you'd like to pick out the most dominant spell of the three, I can tell you, but no, the spells have no narrative function, except they were done powerfully and interwoven.

Grand Lodge

Male Human Level 5 Rogue

If the armoire is not trapped, I open it.


Thommi- not trapped. Inside you find a few cloaks, mud splattered and one which seems as if it is heavier than the rest and has seen some wear. An assortment of other clothes, some for traveling, some for daily use.


Male Human (Karsab ethnicity) Brotherhood Adept 4/Aristocrat 1

GM:
If the spells don't factor into the narrative, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to attempt a Linguistics skill check to determine if I can either 1) determine their function in the sentence and 2) their root language or region. 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

"Heh, yes... that was my impression. Hmf. Well, have you seen the study? Perhaps something there will stand out to you that hasn't to us?"

Toranindracar taps his pipe on the stone rail to empty it, and stows it in his pack before turning to reenter the apartment.

He takes out the note found on Kal'ishal's body and enters the study. "What progress?"

He casts comprehend languages and reads the note. (The spell should last for 50 minutes.)


Bijannar - You can only determine that the last word is written in the language of Kalak Doman because of it's unique script. The first word is in a different language and does not use the same script, but unfortunately you can't determine the function of either word in the sentence.

Toranindracar - You cast the spell on which note? Bijannar's or the one written in Sylvaenar? Either way you see the letters morph on the page into a language you read.


Male Belaran Tegan (Halfling) nomad Brotherhood Adept 5 (Order of Mahrka)

I cast it on myself, so I should be able to read both, even if they're in different languages. It allows me to understand the literal meaning of any words I encounter, spoken or written, regardless of language. It doesn't grant me any abnormal ability to see hidden things (e.g. secret page or illusory script, but if I am able to perceive the words, then I should be able to understand them. Also, if the message is a riddle, it won't solve the riddle for me -- it just imparts literal meaning.

What message is Bijannar looking at? I was intending to read the note in Sylvænar, but if Bijannar shows another message to me, I'll try to read that, too.


Male Human (Karsab ethnicity) Brotherhood Adept 4/Aristocrat 1

Bijannar spends a few more minutes looking at the wall where the words (and possibly, the illusion) have faded away. He lets them work through his mind.


Toranindracar - Bijannar had managed to undo the "illusion" on the wall and had just enough time to scribble down the message before it faded away. The spot on the wall that had held the aura is now gone, the magical auras now having faded.

After the spell is cast, you feel the disorienting feeling of the letters morphing and shifting on the page, shaping into signs you recognize, the spell working to render words and concepts in Sylvænar into something you can recognize and interpret. In some cases the words shift between multiple definitions, hovering over the ones most likely, although briefly flickering to other words as you attempt to decipher it.

The note in Sylvænar reads:

Quote:


"My beloved jewel,

We have both shared in the joys and beauties of this wondrous exploration together, but you and I both know well that this day might one day come. You are a creature of the light, and I of the stars and shadows. You are a hunter, and I the quarry. I pray that the hunters never find me, I know you won't let them. I shall remember always, to the end of my days, up until that Evening that comes to each daethol, when I shall cross to the Otherland, your name still on my lips and in my heart. -A."


Bijannar - I wanted to make sure that I had clearly described it, but the Secret Message you copied is written in three different languages: [Unrecognized Language 1][Dærask][Domani]. You can only read the part written in Dærask and it translates to "...are looking in the wrong..."


Male Human (Karsab ethnicity) Brotherhood Adept 4/Aristocrat 1

GM:
Yup. I got that. I suppose keeping that information to myself is now out of the question, though.


Not at all, although you *are* just standing there holding a sheet of paper. But provided you don't show anyone then there is no reason for someone to know. I trust the skill of every player here, you included, that they wouldn't metagame if their character hasn't seen the slip of paper.

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