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Rise of the Runelords Redux

Game Master Loup Blanc

A challenging update to a classic campaign, using new materials and expansions.



The 22nd of Rova, The Year 4707, Absalom Reckoning: The Swallowtail Festival

As dawn breaks on the Autumnal Equinox, the town is already coming alive. After five long years, the Sandpoint Cathedral has finally been finished, and today marks the day of its new consecration. The occasion was planned particularly for this auspicious date, which marks the Swallowtail Festival that's been held in Sandpoint nearly since its founding. For the past few years the celebration has been more subdued, owing to the lack of a dedicated worship point and a general sense of recovery from the Late Unpleasantness. But today, there are no reservations, no mutterings of bad omen or worries for the future. Today, travelers from near and far are joining the townsfolk in their joy and wonder, with the promise of good food, good prices, and good fun had by all. Today is a day of celebration and enjoyment, and it all kicks off with the first speeches starting just after dawn at the new church square!

Efanydd:
You arrived in Sandpoint only a few scant days ago, and while you've been hopeful to explore and learn more about the landmark they call the Old Light, you haven't made much progress as yet. You've been living out of a room at the Rusty Dragon Inn, which caters to travelers and adventurous types such as yourself more than the other boarding houses of the town do. Beyond that, you've spent some time familiarizing yourself with some of the locals, particularly an elderly scholar named Brodert Quink. Quink strikes you as the type who knows quite a lot, but unfortunately feels the need to pretend he knows even more. Still, he's the local expert on Thassilonian ruins... although his working theory of this particular ruin, which involves it being an ancient mystical siege weapon, seems somewhat beyond practical consideration.

Your day begins with a polite knock on the door of your room, and you open it to find the beaming face of Ameiko Kaijitsu, the proprietor of the inn. The lovely young Tien woman smiles as she says, "Sorry if I woke you, but I thought I'd check on all the tenants to let them know it's nearly time for the Festival to begin. Speeches are up by the cathedral, can't miss the square, and then everything's started! Hope to see you there." With that, she walks off down the hall to the next room.

Matoska:
You arrived in Sandpoint just two days ago, and quickly made your way to the smithy to sell what you had and offer your help. The owner, a fiery-haired bear of a man, was at first quite dismissive and rude, but once you offered to bend your back at the forge, he became more accepting... if only slightly. You're not sure if Das Korvut likes you or not--you're not sure if the man likes anyone, truth be told--but so far he's put up with you and allowed you to sleep on a cot in the Red Dog Smithy.

Today, you're woken well before dawn by the sound of a hammer striking hot metal, and you quickly rise up to see what's happening. Das is already at work by the forge, finishing up the project he's been working on for the past few days: a magnificent rendering in steel and bronze of Abadar's holy symbol, which he intends as an offering for the new cathedral. He grunts when he looks up to see you, and although he doesn't say anything, you sense his appreciation when you lend a hand to help. When dawn arrives, the beautiful, arm-length key is finished, and Das wipes the sweat from his brow with a rare grin. "Time for the speeches, I reckon," he says. With no more words, he sets the key on a table for later, and steps out of the smithy to head for the cathedral.

Gao:
You've been in Sandpoint for nearly a season, having arrived just before the height of summer. At first you stayed wherever you could, but most recently you've taken up semi-permanent residence with Chask Haldan, the elderly owner of the Curious Goblin. The old man is more a librarian and simple lover of knowledge than a businessman, but he's appreciated your help around the "shop," as well as your unique foreign wisdom and outlook on life. You've spent more than one afternoon sipping tea and discussing all matters of life and philosophy with the man, and he's been especially grateful since you handled some would-be thieves a couple weeks back.

On this day, you're woken by the pleasant scent of fresh tea, and when you rise, Chask hands you a steaming cup with a smile. "Drink up, and let's get over to the cathedral," he says, eagerness in his raspy voice. "I'd hate to miss the speeches, or anything else. This is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of day, after all!"

Rajuna:
Your travels to Sandpoint have been smooth enough. Varisia is still a frontier country in many ways, with open plains and roads that see only nominal lawkeepers most of the time. Between Belkzen raiders, standoffish Shoanti tribes, potential bandits, and the local wildlife, it's not exactly a safe region, although the main roads are usually free of too much harassment. Still, you were somewhat fortunate to link up with one of the caravans that travel the country, and with the safety of numbers your trip to Sandpoint has been as safe as you could hope for.

The timing has gone well, too, as you wake this day an hour before dawn. Most of the caravan's sleeping arrangements are already broken down and stored once more, and soon enough the caravan's master--a young Varisian man named Sandru--swings by to check on you. "We'll be on our way shortly, if you'd like to ride beside me," he says with a grin. "We should arrive in town by dawn, just in time for the start of the festival. You should enjoy yourself before going off to hunt your Devil--might I suggest sampling the Rusty Dragon's offerings. Always good food to be had." With a laugh, he claps your shoulder and moves off to finish getting the wagons on the move.

Shara:
You've been back in Sandpoint for about a month, although having grown up in the town you of course are familiar with... well, most everything that's common knowledge. It was a mixture of pleasant and disappointing to find that things are mostly the same here since you left for schooling, although there's been a more hopeful attitude of late with the leadup to the opening of the new cathedral. You've been living at home with your mother for the time being, although plenty of your time is spent in your own pursuits--mostly speaking with Brodert Quink about the Old Light, and what else he knows of Thassilon. For all his knowledge, though, Quink doesn't seem able to offer all that much insight, as he's hooked on his latest theory: that the ruins were once some sort of magical siege weapon.

Your day begins by accompanying your mother to the Hagfish, as you promised to help make sure Jargie Quinn was ready to offer his work for the festival. Having a boisterous one-legged tavernmaster as an unofficial uncle has always been interesting and entertaining over the years, and he's grateful as always for the help you lend. Truth be told, he's mostly finished the work himself by the time you arrive, and you end up just seasoning some stew while he polishes Norah's tank and repaints the old sign proclaiming the Hagfish's signature challenge. By dawn, everything's finished, and he hobbles over with a smile and a nod. "Well, let's get a move on, Alaznas," he says. "Don't want to miss the kickoff of everything, after all!"

Uriel:
You only just arrived in Sandpoint last evening, having set out from Magnimar several days prior with a small caravan bound for the town. You know you've been brought here with divine guidance, the need to stamp out some evil that threatens not only the town, but the world beyond... but nothing seems amiss from the short time you've been here. The people seemed friendly enough, excited for their celebration, and you quickly secured cheap lodgings at the Rusty Dragon Inn, which caters to travelers. The bed was comfortable, and your sleep was free of dark dreams. If there's evil in Sandpoint, you haven't found it yet.

Your day begins with a knock on the door of your room. You open it to find the smiling face of Ameiko Kaijitsu, the owner of the establishment. She nods and hooks a thumb toward the stairs. "Hope you slept well. I'm just making rounds to let everyone know that the Festival's going to start soon. Opening speeches are at the cathedral square, you can't miss it. Hope to see you there!" With that, she bounds off down the hallway, leaving you to get ready for the day.

Welcome to the game, everyone! While my notes here are establishing the very beginning of your characters' days, please skip ahead to their arrival in the cathedral square in your post. (Feel free to cover what they do before that as well, if you like!) Describe what they look like as they arrive, and feel free to interact with anyone else, particularly if your characters may know one another already. And I hope you enjoy this campaign!


The tall, slim man was somewhat surprised to hear the woman address him. He was lying on the small single cot in the cramped, dull room. He was half dressed but altogether bored.

She had knocked politely but he had not responded. The young Tien woman seemed pleasant enough, in fact he could not deny the talent of her cookery or her singing - but in this moment he could say with absolute certainty that she had nothing to say that would interest him. Even so she had poked her head around the door and greeted him with a friendly smile and news of the Festival.

Efanydd blows out his cheeks and then lights his pipe, drawing the acrid smoke into his lungs and then letting the haze surround him when he exhaled.

He had been staring at four walls for the past two days. Initial attempts to meet with Quink had proved fruitless and the torpor of inactivity had soon descended.

At least this Festival will prove some kind of distraction. he thinks. Even if only for a fleeting moment.

With that he stands and stretches his tall, lean frame. With a practiced motion he ties back his smooth brown hair and dresses quickly in a dressed suit lined with leather - his travel gear. With a nonchalant flick of his hand the pipe rises from where he left it on the dresser and floats over to him. He pockets it and picks up his cane from beside the door and is out in the day before the minute passes.

Looking up and down the street, Efan tries to get a sense of what this Festival entails.

I won't presume to interact with anyone yet, I'll wait to see what everyone else is doing and where I might bump into someone.


HP 9 | AC/T/FF 17/15/12 | CMD 16 | F+3 / R+6 / W+5 | Init +4; PER +7 |

Rajuna accepts Sandru's offer with a smile that twists oddly due to the heavy scars bisecting his face. Caravan masters were often popular figures in town - bringing trade, news, and stories of distant lands. Being seen with Sandru could open doors in town that would have been firmly shut on a stranger, especially a scarred one. As the caravan arrived in town, Raj made sure to jovially chat with Sandru about the village, the caravan master's plans, and the local ladies. The thought of trying to approach any woman filled him with a certain amount of dread... but he was willing to bet the charming caravan master was an expert and willing to energetically discuss the matter. It would make them seem fast friends to any casual observer.

Raj parts from Sandru with a wave, leaping down from the wagon. He wanders around aimlessly for a bit, mapping the town in his head, before settling on an Inn. He rents a room - preferably on the second floor - for two weeks and drops off his backpack and bandolier. He pulls the questionable items from his bag and hides them in the mattress. Pocketing some coins, he heads out to join the festivities in the town square.

Unlike many Varisians, the swarthy Rajuna wasn't brightly dressed. His travel-stained dark leathers were mostly hidden beneath a brown, woolen, traveler's burnoose that flowed easily to capture stray breezes. The hood/scarf was looped casually over his shoulders before trailing down his chest.


Male Aasimar Inquisitor (Spellbreaker)/Fighter 1
Spoiler:
HP: 13/13 | AC: 18, T: 12, FF: 16 | CMD: 17 | F: +4, R: +2, W: +4 | Init: +2, Perception: +6 | Spell Slots:

"Right. Thank you, Miss Ameiko." When the Tien woman leaves, Uriel rouses from bed and stretches away his sleepiness. While his dreams the night before had been calm compared to the night terrors he had felt recently, he was still on edge and had trouble sleeping. He dons his armor and tabard before strapping his sword to his belt and heading downstairs. Knowing there would be food at the festival, he decided to forgo getting breakfast and instead left the tavern to head to the cathedral square. His armor--freshly polished the night before, as always--gleams when the sun strikes it, and he smooths out his red tabard before heading out into the festival grounds. The aasimar stands out amongst the crowd as always, towering above most of the others. While his tanned skin wasn't unfamiliar in Varisia, his brilliant red hair and golden eyes easily marked him as an outsider.

He stops at the first place he notices that's selling food, and places one gauntlet-clad hand on their booth. "I'd like something to eat, please. What're you selling?"


Male Archon-Blooded Aasimar Barbarian/Unchained Monk/1, HP:0/14 l AC: 16 T: 16 FF: 13 l Fort: +4, Ref: +5, Will: +3 l CMB: +4, CMD: 16 l Dark Vision 60, Perception +7, Survival +3 | initiative +4

When the dawn arrives, Matoska wipes the sweat from his brown and puts his smithy hammer down on its rack with a grunt of satisfaction. Matoska is momentarily taken aback when he sees Das grinning.

Huh, it turns out he is capable of joy, my mistake.

Shaking the thought from his head he clasps Das' shoulder and squeezes for a moment. ''That is excellent work Das, I'll see you later at the festival.''

Not expecting any real response other than a grunt or a nod, Matoska heads back to the room where his cot is set up. He strips out of his dirty work, leathers and puts on his silk shirt and pants. They are black with red and orange highlights and the shirt is sleeveless. He wears sturdy leather boots and the whole outfit is held together by strong silk sashes.

Not anticipating a fight, he decides to leave his backpack and shortbow in his room, taking only his money pouch and his axe-knuckle which he ties to his waist.

Walking out into the warm sun, Matoska marches in silence towards the festival site, nodding at anyone who waves or greets him but saying nothing in return. The sun shines down on his deeply tanned skin and brings out the slight red in his long brown hair. His face is tattoed with red and orange crisscrossing lines all over his face as well as a couple of suns, one over each eye. His sleeveless shirt leaves his arm bare, showing the world the dozens of burn scars adorning them. He looks like a large, well muscled Shoanti man, except for his eyes, which are such a deep blue that no human could possibly possess them.

At first he just walks around the festival grounds, observing the people walking about. He notices people of all manner of races walking about including a brightly colored Aasimar by a food stand.

Didn't expect to see another Aasimar here in town, maybe i'll chat him up later.

Deciding he was thirsty he begins walking about trying to find someone selling alcohol.

Spotting a serving woman selling ale, he approaches her immediately. Stopping before her, he reaches into his pouch for a handful of coins.

''How much for two ales my dear?''


Female Human Arcanist (Blood Arcanist)/Fighter 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 | CMD: 15 | Fort: +2, Reflex: +2, Will +2 | Init: +2 | Perception: +5 | Arcane: 4/4, Stamina: 1/1 | 1st: 3/3

Shara barely notices Jorgie working as she pours over Brodent's latest notes, copied into her own journal to read at her leisure. It certainly wasn't the most extremely story she'd ever heard about old Thassilon. If their knowledge of magic was half as impressive as most of the ruins seemed to imply, magical weapons of mass destruction would have been child's play for them. She sips a cup of tea and jots more details into the margins of the page to remind herself what to look for later when she has time to do some research of her own. Uncovering the secrets of the Old Light would be an excellent first discovery to jump start her reputation. Even sharing the credit with her mentor would still show her chops as an archaeologist. Her head snaps up and she pushes a stray strand of bright red hair from her dusky face. "What? Oh, is it that late already?" She glances out the window to see the sun high in the sky. "I must have been completely buried in my notes." She packs away her notes and hops to her feet. "Thank you Uncle Quinn."

She stands and absently grabs her emerald cloak from the back of the chair. After poking her head out the door, she folds it away in her pack rather than put it on in the warm sun and straightens her matching dress to make sure that it's clean and straight. Her mother had nearly had a heart attack when she'd seen the neckline, but she was quite satisfied with it. And it was the latest style, made of silk from halfway around the world and designed by the finest designers in Egorian. She pulled her hair back with a quick twist to keep it off her neck and headed downtown. Hopefully she wasn't too late.


Male Human Unchained Monk 1 (Perfect Scholar)/Sorcerer (Empyreal) 1

I dreamt of distant stars, flying by. What does that mean? Is it that my path would go far, or simply that I need to close the window?, ponders Gao as Chask enters the main room. Rising up from his bedroll with a slow, measured motion, Gao rolls it up quickly and places it next to the wall. With a smile, he takes the offered cup and takes a small sip, nodding at the old bard's words. "Indeed, Master Chask.", he smiles, enjoying the smell of the still exotic to him tea.

"Akin to drawings in sand,
words often are to us,
so beautiful, yet fleeting."

He stretches, throwing on his shirt, trying his latest creation out loud. "But words often outlast a person, do they not?", he smiles as he rubs his chin, taking another sip. "Do you require assistance with anything, Master Chask? I would like to sample most things the Festival has to offer."

------------------

"So it has nothing to do with a dog. It is a metaphor, I see...", says Gao in front of the stand and the half-amused, half-annoyed merchant, staring at the various festival foods with the same intense concentration one would stare at highly complex thaumaturgy. "In that case, I will take two.", he says to the merchant, picking up two strange cylinders on sticks, dropping several small coins to the merchant, just as a large, armoured and red-maned man stops at the kiosk. Approaching him with a wide grin, Gao bows politely. "Ah, ingenious, is it not? One has a free hand, and no need to clean dishes after. Truly an incredible idea!", he shares enthusiastically to the stranger with a wide grin, waving a corn dog towards him, and biting in, as a strange combination of confusion, excitement and more confusion spreads on Gao's face as the taste settles in. "F-fascinating.", he mutters, chewing slowly.


Male Aasimar Inquisitor (Spellbreaker)/Fighter 1
Spoiler:
HP: 13/13 | AC: 18, T: 12, FF: 16 | CMD: 17 | F: +4, R: +2, W: +4 | Init: +2, Perception: +6 | Spell Slots:

"Yes, I suppose it is." Uriel just grinned when the man started musing about the taste of the carnival food. "I'll have what he's having, then." He turned back to the man--clearly as much a stranger to this town as he was--and gave him a nod in return. "What brings you to this town, stranger? I had a feeling I would be one of few unfamiliar faces here today, but it seems I was wrong."


Male Human Unchained Monk 1 (Perfect Scholar)/Sorcerer (Empyreal) 1

Bowing down graciously, Gao smiles at the newcomer. "Hm... An excellent question.", he answers, taking another bite. "A desire to see the world, a thirst for knowledge. And a boat and a caravan ride as well.", he chuckles. "As for the unfamiliar faces - I am Perspicacious Gao Zhi. You may call me Gao, if you so choose. Now there is one fewer unfamiliar face. When you introduce yourself, there would be two. As Gregarious Wei Chi said, those who learn the people, learn the world, and those who learn the world learn the people."


Efanydd wanders the stalls and food outlets. He didn't have much of an appetite. Hunger he found was mostly a distraction and on more than one occasion in the past he had been instructed to stop and eat before he collapsed with exhaustion.

Instead he reaches into his jacket pocket and takes out a small tin. Inside are a collection of tiny papers but, with a curse, he realises he has run out of tobacco.

He approaches one of the stalls, noticing two broad men on the food stall besides. Both stand out for different reasons, one flame-haired and striking the other bald but powerfully-built. Clearly the Festival attracted a wide variety of visitors.

Excuse me. he says of the stall holder. I'm looking for leaf. Peppermint if you have it but honestly, anything will do.

He notes one of the men chewing on something rather unsavoury and doing his best to hide his distaste.

Efan snorts a laugh and says; And they say tobacco is poison.


HP 9 | AC/T/FF 17/15/12 | CMD 16 | F+3 / R+6 / W+5 | Init +4; PER +7 |

Raj purposefully shuffles along with the crowd between the vendor stalls. He nods politely to anyone whose eyes fall on his face, finding no offense in their curiosity or revulsion. Just as quickly, his eyes move on. People got nervous when looked at for more than a few moments, it was an animal instinct. Once clear of the pedestrian bottleneck, the scarred Varisian meanders over to the new church, studying its architecture and enjoying the snap in the air. The easy smiles, free laughter, and peacock clothing of the locals here was a far cry from their cousins in Ustalav. He had to admit, it was a nice change.

Raj finds a nice stone perch on the edge of the hustle n' bustle and settles in. He opens his burnoose to catch a bit more of the fall sunlight, uses the hood as a headrest, and stretches his legs happily. He briefly considers the muddy toes of his worn boots and whether they could use a cleaning. The pleasant weather makes a compelling counter-argument. Maybe later. His eyes close as relaxation creeps over him, though his instinct is to stay vaguely aware of his surroundings. What was likely to happen? He might lose a few coins to a skilled pickpocket. That could actually be turned to a benefit.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25 Feel free to add any minuses


Female Human Arcanist (Blood Arcanist)/Fighter 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 | CMD: 15 | Fort: +2, Reflex: +2, Will +2 | Init: +2 | Perception: +5 | Arcane: 4/4, Stamina: 1/1 | 1st: 3/3

Shara arrives at the festival grounds with a few minutes to spare and takes the time to wander between the stands. Everyone finally seems to have gotten their cheer back after everything that's happened in the last few years. She can't even remember the last time she saw this many people smiling and happy in town. "Maybe things are finally turning around. And just as I come home too. Lucky me." She finds someone selling sweetmeats and picks out a treat to nibble on while she heads toward the cathedral. Her eyes scan over the crowd, picking out a few familiar faces from her childhood along with a number of unfamiliar ones. It seems that the traveling caravans have set up a few stands to get in on the festivities as well. She would need to visit one later and see what kind of silks they had. She could use a new scarf.

As she walks into the square, she sees a most unusual sight. A Tian man and a man who has remarkably similar coloring to her own having a lively chat near one of the booths. "That's a new one. He's got the right look about him that he could be my brother." A tiny voice in the back of her head reminds her that if half the stories about her father were true, she likely has a number of brothers, but she shakes it off.


Male Aasimar Inquisitor (Spellbreaker)/Fighter 1
Spoiler:
HP: 13/13 | AC: 18, T: 12, FF: 16 | CMD: 17 | F: +4, R: +2, W: +4 | Init: +2, Perception: +6 | Spell Slots:

Shara, Uriel's hair is probably a darker red than you're thinking. We're talking you'd probably need hair dye in the real world.

"Well met, Gao. My name is Uriel, but I haven't traveled so near as far as you must've to reach Sandpoint. I only needed a few days with a caravan, from Magnimar. I came to the festival for... religious reasons." Uriel just shrugs as he says it, clearly not wanting to get into the details. He looks over as an elf approaches the stall as well, raising an eyebrow at the man's request. "I wouldn't call it poison," he said, looking down at the corn dog in his gauntlet-clad fist. "As my new acquaintance might say, introductions make for fewer strangers. Who might you be?"


Female Human Arcanist (Blood Arcanist)/Fighter 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 | CMD: 15 | Fort: +2, Reflex: +2, Will +2 | Init: +2 | Perception: +5 | Arcane: 4/4, Stamina: 1/1 | 1st: 3/3

I was more commenting on the combination of red hair and Varisian complexion than having the exact same shade of hair. And it's not like odd hair colors are even that uncommon in Golarion.


Efanydd Sylvir. the Elven man replies, not looking up at the man with red hair but rather fixing the stall-holder with a glare that left no doubt that he wanted him to be about his business.

Knowledge local + inspiration: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14 and 1d6 ⇒ 2

Have you travelled far to attend the festival? I can't imagine there are many aasimars local to Sandpoint.


Male Archon-Blooded Aasimar Barbarian/Unchained Monk/1, HP:0/14 l AC: 16 T: 16 FF: 13 l Fort: +4, Ref: +5, Will: +3 l CMB: +4, CMD: 16 l Dark Vision 60, Perception +7, Survival +3 | initiative +4

Matoska thanks the barmaid, sending her a small smile as he drops his fee, plus a few extra coins for her trouble, into her palm. Tipping back his first mug, he quickly drains it of all its contents. Smacking his lips at the taste of good ale, he puts down his glass on the counter and walks off.

He walks about the festival taking in the sights. Nursing his second drink much slower then he had the first one, he observes a small group of men gathered near a food cart. They seem to comprise of an Aasimar, an elven man and a man foreign to Varisia with similar dress as Matoska's own.

Maybe the foreign man is a member of the focused might as well? Maybe I should talk to him later

Deciding it isn't very important now, he decides to heard over to the food cart and get whatever they are selling. He figures if the three are congregating near it, it must be good.


Male Human Unchained Monk 1 (Perfect Scholar)/Sorcerer (Empyreal) 1

Nodding in interest at the man's explanation, eyeing over the armour, as he connects the dots. Hmmm... Oh!, he spends in thought, almost putting his grease-covered hand on his face. "So you're स्वर्गको योद्धा?", he pauses, then shakes his head. "Warrior of heavens, yes? It seems we might become even more than not-strangers, then, Uriel!", he grins.

Gao takes a look up from his oil-soaked treat to send a smile and a nod at the newcomer, his eyes widening in interest as he glances over the stranger's attire and expressions. "It is said that the dose is that makes the poison, Efanydd Sylvir, is it not.", the shorter man replies with a small smile, his accent struggling with the strange name, as he gives a short bow.


Perspicacious Gao wrote:
"It is said that the dose is what makes the poison, Efanydd Sylvir, is it not.",

The tall elf frowns as he finally collects his leaf from the stall-tender and turns to the Tien man with a single raised eyebrow.

A notion I cannot agree with sir. he says matter-of-factly. Whether intended to be purely metaphorical or esoteric, the statement lacks any common sense for there are dozens of poisons that can kill with but a drop. The poison makes the poison.

He holds his cane in the crook of one arm as he deftly stuffs the horn of his turtleshell pipe and flicks a tindertwig with his thumbnail as he draws on it and takes in the sweet, sweet smoke.

Ahhhh. That's better. Forgive me for my brevity. I am told I can be.... he makes a circular motion with a forefinger as he thinks. ...terse when I am without work and thus far my time in Sandpoint has been wholly unfulfilling - something that only narcotics can allay, even temporarily. he adds seemingly with utter disregard of how it might be received. What are you expecting from the Festival? he asks.


Male Aasimar Inquisitor (Spellbreaker)/Fighter 1
Spoiler:
HP: 13/13 | AC: 18, T: 12, FF: 16 | CMD: 17 | F: +4, R: +2, W: +4 | Init: +2, Perception: +6 | Spell Slots:

"You could call me such a thing, yes. I have been raised in the church since I was child." When Efanydd comments on Gao's own musings on poison, he chimes in again. "A drop is still a dose, if you ask me. Cut the dose in half, and your dead man lives again." The assimar gives half a chuckle. "My name is Uriel, and I didn't travel so far as my new friend here must have. I grew up in Magnimar, but I traveled for the festival in order to tend to some religious matters here in Sandpoint. What brings you here yourself, Efanydd?"


Uriel wrote:
A drop is still a dose, if you ask me. Cut the dose in half, and your dead man lives again.

Semantics. the lean elf says around the mouthpiece of his pipe.

Uriel wrote:


What brings you here yourself, Efanydd?

An utter waste of time, as it stands. Efan replies tersely. I have heard tell of a relic of ancient times - the Old Light. Such a thing is of great personal interest to me but so far I have been met with complete frustration, all attempts to make contact with a man named Quint who I understand to be the most learned in town on the subject, have been fruitless.

He looks around at the throng of people on the streets.

No doubt he is preoccupied with festivities. No matter, I will attend him later. Still, this is obviously an occasion of some import, and has drawn an exceptionally diverse crowd.


Male Human Unchained Monk 1 (Perfect Scholar)/Sorcerer (Empyreal) 1

Poisons killing with a drop? This is Pathfinder, right? *wink*

Gao nods at the newcomer, his polite smile remaining as implacable as it were as he made the joke. He pauses as a stoic and introspective look appears on his face, as he seems to contemplate the words of the newcomer deeply, nodding every once in a while. "I believe you are in the error here, Efanydd Sylvir.", he answers after a while, almost apologetic in his words. As soon as the elf reacts, the mask breaks in a wide grin of many white teeth. "It is the poisoner who makes the poison. Or the poisonous fang."

As he starts smoking, Gao nods. "No offense taken, and none meant by myself, either. A little vice keeps us all mortal, after all.", he smiles, taking a bite from his second fat-filled snack. "Even if somee mean fasting for the next several days, it seems. I am Gao of Dtang Ma, or Tian-Dtang if you so prefer." He bows once more. "The path of enlightenment often leads to dim places, my teacher back home said. I come looking for lore on the ancients of Golarion, and I've heard the Thassilonian rule predates even Tian.", he explains. "I am expecting to see the joys of life in first hand and to see the mirth of locals. And to maybe taste something I haven't yet tasted. As I do right now."

As the Old Light is mentioned, Gao looks at Efanydd with interest. "Hm. Perhaps we could explain the mystery together, then? Quint's library is interesting, however... it is broader in scope, rather than focused."


Perspicacious Gao wrote:


As the Old Light is mentioned, Gao looks at Efanydd with interest. "Hm. Perhaps we could explain the mystery together, then? Quint's library is interesting, however... it is broader in scope, rather than focused."

You've met the man? the elf asks with a raised eyebrow and no little envy. I have also heard of ancient Thassilonia and the secrets lost in time. But it is my belief that nothing is truly lost, only misplaced or misconstrued by those too ignorant to understand.


Female Human Arcanist (Blood Arcanist)/Fighter 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 | CMD: 15 | Fort: +2, Reflex: +2, Will +2 | Init: +2 | Perception: +5 | Arcane: 4/4, Stamina: 1/1 | 1st: 3/3

Shara's eyebrow pops up when she hears her mentor's name. Perhaps the more interesting one is the elf rather than the red-head. "Pardon me," she says, walking toward the small group of outsiders. "I didn't really mean to overhear, but well... I did. You're researching the Old Light, yes?" She offers a hand to the tall elf. "My name is Shara Alazna, and I've been Brodert Quink's student for a number of years. And I've been working on the same project for the last few weeks."


Male Archon-Blooded Aasimar Barbarian/Unchained Monk/1, HP:0/14 l AC: 16 T: 16 FF: 13 l Fort: +4, Ref: +5, Will: +3 l CMB: +4, CMD: 16 l Dark Vision 60, Perception +7, Survival +3 | initiative +4

Having been half listening, Matoska has found the conversation somewhat interesting thus far.

He has no opinion yet of the Aasimar or the woman but the nearly hairless man seems wise and worth knowing. The eleven one seems somewhat hypocritical considering his use of narcotics while seemingly judging others for eating "poisonous" food. Perhaps that was just elves being elves though.

His curiosity piqued by all the talk of this "old light".

If it is some kind of weapon as the eleven one says, then its probably just mage stuff. Damn mages.

Turning to address the small group of people, Matoska clears his throat to get their attention.

"Pardon me, I don't mean to pry but I couldn't help overhearing your talk of this "old light". Might I inquire as to what it is? I know a smidgen about old Thassilon but I've never heard of this light. Light and the sun are of particular interest to me."

He taps one of his tattooed suns as he says this, with a small grin.


Shara Alazna wrote:
Shara's eyebrow pops up when she hears her mentor's name. Perhaps the more interesting one is the elf rather than the red-head. "Pardon me," she says, walking toward the small group of outsiders. "I didn't really mean to overhear, but well... I did. You're researching the Old Light, yes?" She offers a hand to the tall elf. "My name is Shara Alazna, and I've been Brodert Quink's student for a number of years. And I've been working on the same project for the last few weeks."

You're Quink's student? Efan says with growing interest. Efanydd Sylvir. he says by way of introduction. It would be of great use to me to speak with him, might I trouble you to arrange a meeting? The Old Light is a rumoured weapon, lighthouse, library and half a dozen other things. I'm not sure if anyone actually knows for certain or if they do then have no interest in the place. he says when the other newcomer arrives but he does not take his eyes from the beautiful red-haired woman.

But in any case, the magic of Thassilonia is a subject that is important to me on a personal level, you understand. Ms Alazna, I have been trying for three days to meet with your mentor, if there is anything you can do to expedite this process I would be in your debt. he says, surprisingly charmingly given his brusqueness thus far.


Female Human Arcanist (Blood Arcanist)/Fighter 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 | CMD: 15 | Fort: +2, Reflex: +2, Will +2 | Init: +2 | Perception: +5 | Arcane: 4/4, Stamina: 1/1 | 1st: 3/3

"Of a sort. Brodert was my teacher and mentor for many years, though I've been away for quite a while expanding my education for a while. We've recently started collaborating again, so perhaps colleagues would be a better way to put it now." She shakes the elf's hand. He seems quite a lot like the other elves who passed through: a bit formal and focused. "I believe I could do that, after the festival of course. I believe he's likely busy today. And if you're interested in exploring the Light's secrets, perhaps we can collaborate."


Shara Alazna wrote:
"Of a sort. Brodert was my teacher and mentor for many years, though I've been away for quite a while expanding my education for a while. We've recently started collaborating again, so perhaps colleagues would be a better way to put it now." She shakes the elf's hand. He seems quite a lot like the other elves who passed through: a bit formal and focused. "I believe I could do that, after the festival of course. I believe he's likely busy today. And if you're interested in exploring the Light's secrets, perhaps we can collaborate."

Delighted to. the elf smiles.


Male Archon-Blooded Aasimar Barbarian/Unchained Monk/1, HP:0/14 l AC: 16 T: 16 FF: 13 l Fort: +4, Ref: +5, Will: +3 l CMB: +4, CMD: 16 l Dark Vision 60, Perception +7, Survival +3 | initiative +4

Matoska nods at the elf's reply.

S%#+, he can't even be bothered to look me in the eye when he speaks to me, typical elves. Then again he didn't stop looking at her, maybe he's just a lecher. Nothing wrong with that, after all
she is quite comely.

''Weapon, library and lighthouse? Sounds like an urban legend, my clan had many of the same. Still some had truth behind them and I hope this one will prove fruitful for you both.''

Turning to regard the rest of them, he offers them a small nod. Turning to Uriel he says.

''If my eavesdropping was correct you are Uriel of Magnimar? A pleasure to meet another Aasimar here in this little town.'' To Gao he says. ''I did not catch your name. You have the bearing as one who comes from a similar order to my own. We should discuss our teachings one evening, I am always looking for new tricks to improve my style.''

Suddenly shaking his head as though he has forgotten something he laughs.

''I either case I believe I am getting ahead of myself. I am Matoska Tayaya of Sklar-Quah, or the sun clan of the Shoanti people, though I am currently serving as a blacksmith under Das Korvut. A pleasure to meet you!'' He finishes with a small bow and a laugh.


Female Human Arcanist (Blood Arcanist)/Fighter 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 | CMD: 15 | Fort: +2, Reflex: +2, Will +2 | Init: +2 | Perception: +5 | Arcane: 4/4, Stamina: 1/1 | 1st: 3/3

"It's a particularly odd theory, but not entirely impossible," Shara explains to the new arrival. He seems much more like a warrior type, but muscle is still useful when dealing with dangerous ruins. "Ancient Thassilon was capable of incredible feats of magic that have never been recovered, even after all the millennia since its fall. Those secrets could completely change the world as we know it."


Male Archon-Blooded Aasimar Barbarian/Unchained Monk/1, HP:0/14 l AC: 16 T: 16 FF: 13 l Fort: +4, Ref: +5, Will: +3 l CMB: +4, CMD: 16 l Dark Vision 60, Perception +7, Survival +3 | initiative +4

''Change the world you say? But for the better or worse I wonder? Perhaps it is for the best that some of their ''wonders'' are never recovered.'' Magic in the wrong hands is a dangerous tool after all.''

He falls silent as though thinking for a moment.

''Then again that might just be my biases speaking. Im not overly fond of magic or mages, but that has more to do with my upbringing then any encounters with bad mages.''

He laughs again and brings his cup to his lips, finishing his drink.

''Enough dreary talk though we should enjoy the festival, you must all join me for a drink! My treat!''


Female Human Arcanist (Blood Arcanist)/Fighter 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 | CMD: 15 | Fort: +2, Reflex: +2, Will +2 | Init: +2 | Perception: +5 | Arcane: 4/4, Stamina: 1/1 | 1st: 3/3

"I... can't argue with that," Shara admits. "But in the end magic is only a tool. Any dangers are the result of the wielder, not the power itself. And I think most people would agree that mages who abuse their powers are a problem for anyone in any time." She shakes her head. "But now this discussion is getting far too philosophical and heavy for festival day. We can discuss the ethics of magic some other time."


Shara Alazna wrote:
"I... can't argue with that," Shara admits. "But in the end magic is only a tool. Any dangers are the result of the wielder, not the power itself.

Couldn't agree more. What we now call 'magic' we used to call myth or superstition and yet even now in Magnimar there are lamplighters using simple cantrips to be about their business.

A blade in the wrong hands is a dangerous tool as well one might say. the elf says, turning to regard the warrior for the first time.

You're shoanti you say? It must be a difficult thing to be a nomad. Have you travelled to Sandpoint with any of your tribe?

Efanydd collects a cup of wine from one of the stallholders - no matter what they were selling, every one of them seemed to have a cup of wine - and begins to stroll down the street with these newly met strangers. Some of them even seemed mildly interesting and meeting Quint student was fortuitous indeed.


Male Archon-Blooded Aasimar Barbarian/Unchained Monk/1, HP:0/14 l AC: 16 T: 16 FF: 13 l Fort: +4, Ref: +5, Will: +3 l CMB: +4, CMD: 16 l Dark Vision 60, Perception +7, Survival +3 | initiative +4

Matoska addresses Efanydd when he asks his question.

"Yes, I am Shoanti but it is not so difficult being nomadic as you might think. The cinderlands were harsh and merciless but they were home. As for my people I have been away from them for many years now. I am Aasimar you see, though my angelic blood is weak, still I will and likely already have outlived most of my kin. As a result when I was separated from them years ago, once I had recovered and was ready to go back I simply decided not to."

He seems a little wistful as he contemplates his former clan but he bounces back quickly.

"Sometimes I think its for the best that I am no longer with my clan. My people are strong, hardy, and honorable but we can be a close minded people. Being away has broadened my horizons in ways I never would have imagined."


Very nicely done on the RP folks, and thanks for filling the time and bearing with me while I was away. Let's get things moving, shall we?

As the festival is in its informal beginnings, stalls are finishing their setup and goods are on display. Already, it seems the Rusty Dragon Inn is starting to take the day: the spiced sausages wrapped in fried cornmeal are quite the treat, if doubtless one of the most unnecessarily filling foods Sandpoint has seen in years. The stall is currently manned by Bethana Corwin, a kindly if nervous halfling maid from the inn, and one of the local scamps. Efanydd's request for leaf catches them off-guard for a moment, but after some scrounging they find something that suffices.

One of the other standards of the festival is also already apparent. Even as the dawn light splits the horizon, the brilliant orange rays lighting up the town, strangers begin to gather together. Locals and travelers meet with regularity at gatherings such as this, as Sandpoint stands as a frontier town on the main coastal road of the region. Shoanti, Varisian, Chelaxian--these are only three of the human ethnicities who come together on days like this one, let alone the myriad other races who make their way to the festival.

As several such strangers meet and talk, though, time moves on. Even as Matoska Tayaya speaks of his people, and his journeys, a wondrous sound fills the air: a single toll of the new cathedral bell. It rings out like a beacon of hope and joy, the toll seeming almost to harmonize with itself as it washes over the morning air. As one, the people of Sandpoint stop and listen to the sound, and then smiles fill their faces and they clamor and rush to the cathedral square.

The Swallowtail Festival is about to begin in earnest!

Feel free to bring yourselves to the town square; this is admittedly mostly a filler post to make things flow logically in time, but I should be updating tomorrow with more.


Female Human Arcanist (Blood Arcanist)/Fighter 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 13, Touch 12, Flat-Footed 11 | CMD: 15 | Fort: +2, Reflex: +2, Will +2 | Init: +2 | Perception: +5 | Arcane: 4/4, Stamina: 1/1 | 1st: 3/3

"And speaking of the festival, it's about to start. We wouldn't want to miss the opening ceremonies." Shara smiles brightly. "I can show you the way, if you're not familiar with the town yet." She gestures for the others to follow her and leads the way toward the square. The new cathedral make it look like the old one was never gone, but she can't help feeling a little sorrow for those lost in the old building's destruction.


Though only in town for a handful of days, Efan had already committed the routes and byways of the majority of the town to his not insubstantial memory palace.

It was a technique he had learned from his mother, to imagine a familiar place - a house or a route - and associate subjects with imagery for almost instant recall.

She had described her memory home as a small townhouse she had lived in as a girl, with a quaint garden and attic space. Efan had relished in this however, and over time he realised that his memory had grown truly palatial with sprawling rooms of marble and glass, vast gardens with an orchard and summer home all of it's own.

The map of Sandpoint now sat in a birchwood frame above a sputtering fire in the library. Efan imagined himself sitting in a comfortable leather chair with a glass of brandy in one hand as he perused the route from the Rusty Dragon to the Cathedral.

But out of uncharacteristic politeness, he allowed Shara to lead on as he observed the throng surging forward toward the sound of the bell.

This festival is annual is it not? he asks of no one in particular. It seems a major event in and of itself but I suspect the opening of the new cathedral has made it especially important to people.


Male Human Unchained Monk 1 (Perfect Scholar)/Sorcerer (Empyreal) 1

Gao remains mostly quiet for the discussion, content to nod and smile, and occasionally grin at a juicy detail. As the bell tolls, he offers the two remaining stick of his meal to Bethana, rubbing his somewhat bulging belly with a grin.

As he is presented with the sight of the new cathedral, he rubs his chin with thought, as he takes in the sights. "As Judicious Chen said as The Palace of Joyful Tears burned, Nothing is truly destroyed while there's memory of it.", he observes, wholeheartedly smiling as he notes the people on the town square. "And this memory will be well-kept for generations, it seems."


Male Archon-Blooded Aasimar Barbarian/Unchained Monk/1, HP:0/14 l AC: 16 T: 16 FF: 13 l Fort: +4, Ref: +5, Will: +3 l CMB: +4, CMD: 16 l Dark Vision 60, Perception +7, Survival +3 | initiative +4

Matoska stops talking and looks where the crowds are moving as the bell begins to ring.

That must be the signal for the festival.

When Shara confirms this and offers to lead them Matoska, still unfamiliar with the town follows.

"Can anyone tell me the reason for the new cathedral? Was the old one simply in needs of being replaced or did something happen? I've asked Das but he's not exactly a talker."


HP 9 | AC/T/FF 17/15/12 | CMD 16 | F+3 / R+6 / W+5 | Init +4; PER +7 |

Relaxing right by the church, the tolling bell rouses Rajuna. He briefly debates staying in his comfortable spot, but he might draw notice when the local dignitaries arrive and the speeches start. He slides off his perch and blends into the crowd by the cathedral, waiting for the festivities.

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