Please confirn that you've read the disclaimers below in your dotting post, game to begin in earnest on Monday.
You've each recently received a written letter delivered by messenger ordering you to report together to the Gauntlet Siege Castle in the hills north of Absalom. The letter states that once they open the red metal doors, you have entered the Gauntlet, and that honor demands that you not leave until you have successfully navigated its many dangers.
The Gauntlet was written as a challenging dungeon for a wider audience, and the background flavor is best suited for an adventure where the threat of character death is very real. That flavor is, however, a more unforgiving depiction of the Pathfinder Society itself and is not representative of the organization as a whole. Embark knowing that the Society will have your back in your future exploits, but today you delve into the merciless depths of the Gauntlet.
The adventure describes the contents of a letter the PCs receive, including the warning that once they begin the adventure, they must finish the entire dungeon. As a sanctioned Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild event, this is not the case; after concluding any encounter, the PCs can choose to exit the dungeon and conclude the adventure. If they do so, though, the adventure ends.
|Qalim Al Shama|
I'm in and have read the warning.
Alright, looks like no Madscientist and his alchemist so you'll be going with 5. Based on a full reading it may be designed for only 4 anyway, so I'll donate for him and you'll go with 5. A fine compromise.
From atop the high bluff, the sprawling city of Absalom at your back, your destination looks like nothing so much as an errant pile of rocks and loose boulders.
A Siege Castle, they call it, one of an endless number of ruins surrounding the City at the Center of the World, time-lost fortresses of would-be conquerors. In thousands of years, Absalom has never fallen, leaving a scattering of forgotten towers, castles, and keeps strewn at odd intervals like corpses on a battlefield.
As you near, the structure’s irregular contours take form. Huge monoliths of old stone form a squat platform about a hundred feet square. Centuries of rubble and debris litter the top of the platform, which levels out twenty feet from the ground. A fallen tower or crumbling rampart rises from the rubble here and there, but the ruin looks beyond hope of restoration, its run-down architecture more a part of the natural landscape than an edifice crafted by the hands of men.
But there, at the center of the southern wall, lies the landmark spoken of in your summons—sturdy double doors of bright red metal. The time to test your adventuring skills is at hand. It’s your turn to face the Gauntlet!
Please take a moment to introduce your characters
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
"Well then, I hope the riches are worth the risk. Rather decrepit looking place, don't you think? They could use the help of a few dwarves. Shall we knock? We were invited, weren't we?"
Warpac looks like a stereotype dwarf, with an expensive looking plate mail, an expensive looking axe of dwarven make, and well groomed facial hair. He seems a bit agitated though. The axe of his is rarely in its harness, constantly moving, and often thwacking things as he passes them. During the trip you will have found out that he is a warpriest of Desna, and considered a bit too 'wild' for polite dwarven company.
Rayne is a devilishly handsome Chelish man, roughly 2 and a half decades old. His dark flowing locks reach to his chest where you can see a hint of a well made mithral shirt underneath his clothing. His bow has the initials "R.D" carved into it. His five-o-clock shadow just enhances his rugged good looks. "Yea, they should fire whoever built this place. I'm Rayne by the way."
Wraith is a Human woman wearing what appears to be a black, form-fitting body suit, a cloak that would easily all her to hide her movements underneath, and a cloth mask that covers her nose and mouth.
"You may call me Wraith" the woman says and then nods to each of you.
Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (20) + 13 = 33
Wraith moves to an area near the entrance, kneels, and picks up something off the ground. she rubs it between her pointer finger and thumb, then smells it.
"Looks like someone was doing ritual magic here, most likely divination based."
Etu ruffled the feathers atop her head as she glanced around. She wore the typical blue, white, and gold of the Eagle Knights over her exquisite chain armor. An elaborate, purple butterfly hung in easy reach from her neck: a holy symbol of Desna. A small, brown bird with a white breast speckled with even more brown. A thrush. So far, it seemed content to watch from its opened familiar satchel.
When she speaks, her voice is strong and powerful. "Lance Corporal Etu of the Eagle Knights. But, as I'm off duty, Etu will do just fine.
Perception: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (13) + 17 = 30
"If someone were here before us, then they were either stupid or brave for coming to this place, Etu stated. She, too, leaned down and examined the incense, smelling and feeling so that she might get a better idea of what kind of magics were performed here.
Knowledge (Arcana): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
|Qalim Al Shama|
With you stands a fin tall man of Keleshite heritage. He has short red hair, black eyes blinking under the sun despite being clearly from the hot desert of Qadira. His skin is covered with numerous tattoos of strange arabesques and chromatic dragons. He wores heavy robe of red silk with flying dragon golden patterns, expensive jewellery - most of them representing dragon's head or flying dragons - and a golden symbol representing a falling burning scale.
His condescending smile is surrounded by a palpable aura of imminent danger.
The only weapon he seems carrying is a short staff - like a light mass - carved to look like a red dragon.
Be the blessing of Dragons upon you ! I'm Trade Prince Qalim Al Asham, Master of Fire and Ashes.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 - 1 ⇒ (14) + 12 - 1 = 25
Looking at the remnents, Qalim casts detect magic on the area.
|Qalim Al Shama|
"It would also probably be prudent to mention that I can see through objects that aren't too thick, such as most doors, if we want extra reconnaissance," Etu said as she, too, looked for traps. You could never have too many eyes.
Perception: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (14) + 17 = 31
No traps, perfectly safe.
With see invisibility up on Qalim the red metal doors open to reveal a richly appointed room lit by lanterns along all four walls. A wide carpet of regal blue hue stretches thirty-five feet across the floor to a pair of deep green metal doors set into the north wall opposite you.
Halfway across the room, the carpet branches to the west, where it ends at the foot of a golden door with bright silver hinges. Two man-sized statues of sumptuously armored figures in elaborate masks flank the golden door, the glass lenses of their helmets glimmering in the lantern-light as they stand silent vigil.
Along the eastern wall, four broad stairs lead to a wide dais on which rests a long banquet table overlooking the room. Behind the table sit three well-composed figures: a long-haired elf in robes wearing a wistful look, a middle-aged oread seated before an open book, and a gregarious bald human with a clipped dark beard and a glint in his eye.
You immediately recognize the three figures as the deans of the Pathfinder Society's academy, it's three masters.
Map is now linked in my header as well as up top. For the Gauntlet North will always be up. Maps are hand-drawn by the Bulhman and not optomized for digital display so may be a bit fuzzy in places.
Warpac approaches the deans. Are the 'figures' real or are they statues? Wondering if he should say anything.
Was Marcos one of the three figures that were remaining statuesque, or standing somewhere else? Where is he and where is he motioning us to go?
|Qalim Al Shama|
After looking around to see if anything was magicaly hidden, Qalim moves toward the three masters, stoping a few feet from them and bowing slightly.
Greeting Masters, have you some last words or warning before I enter this dungeon? If you summoned me to this test, I suppose that I'm worthy of your attention.
There are 2 statues of the Decimverate to the west, and then the three masters behindi the desk to the east.
No ambush here, moved people onto the map.
The red metal doors clang shut behind you, echoing against the sturdy stone walls of the lantern-lit chamber.
The woman at the center of the table turns to the massive book before her and reads each of your names, pausing for a moment to look straight into the eyes of each hero as his or her name is called.
“Able agents,” she says, “the Decemvirate itself has taken notice of your exploits and adventures, and believes that you are called to further greatness on behalf of the Pathfinder Society."
"To prove that their trust in your abilities is well founded, they have called upon we three deans of the Pathfinder Society, your former trainers, to administer one final test to you. Your task is to venture north, through the green metal doors, and face the Gauntlet’s challenges and eventually emerge through the gold door to the west."
"You may each ask each of your old instructors a single yes-or-no question about the dangers to come, which we are obliged to answer as honestly as possible.”
Edit. I read that as 1 question total originally.
"Is there anything here that I can't shoot to death? Like a swarm for instance."
@Master of Spells
"Is their anything in there that can use mind control? It's come up a few times."
@Master of Scrolls
"Is there anything that drains life energy?" I.E. Levels
|Qalim Al Shama|
In this mission will I confront a creature immune to Fire?
Asks Qalim to the Master of Spell
In this mission will I confront a creature immune to Magic?
He asks to the Master of Scroll
Do we will meet dragons ?
He asks the Master of Blade hoping that the answer will be yes !
|Qalim Al Shama|
Etu would approach and bow to the masters before thinking, contemplating on the answers already given.
She turns to the Master of Spells, "Will there be time in between fights to prepare spells if we haven't prepared them all already?"
She turned to the Master of Scrolls, "Will there be traps ahead of us?"
Finally, she turned to the Master of Blades, "Will there be any incorporeal foes?"
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21