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Seeking The Shards

Game Master GM Idyll

A Shattered Star PBP

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Greetings fellow seeker of adventure!

I am Sheila Heidmarch, Venture Captain of the newest Pathfinder Society lodge - and the only such lodge in Varisia at this time. You have come to my attention as someone who possesses a certain amount of skills and interests that make you an excellent addition to a highly specialized team I'm putting together for a matter of grave import, not only to the Society, but to Varisia as a whole. Please report an hour before noon to Heidmarch Manor - you will be compensated for your visit, but that reward will pale in light of the riches that await you should we come to an agreement on my proposition to you. I look forward to meeting you soon!

- Sheila Heidmarch

As you awoke this morning (or after you returned home after a night of drinking and frivolity), you were greeted by this note. You're new to the Society, but already your considerable skills have captured someone's attention - someone with power and authority. This is your chance to make a name for yourself.

You made your way to the Alabaster District without incident and arrive at impressive manor, surrounded by a stone wall with a large, fortunately open, front gate. You walk up a winding path through a gorgeous front garden and knock on the large wooden door. You're greeted by an elderly butler who instructs you to wait in the foyer - mistress Heidmarch will be but a moment.

And the adventure begins! First to post, first to arrive.

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta comes to the manor eagerly but with a bit of wariness. I hope they like me, I've never been so far from home before. He strides up like he belongs but still manages to look like a lost kid. The butler leads him to a foyer, telling him to wait for the others.

I'm first? That's not good. Bored Volta, twists and spins the rope in his hand, looking around the place, wondering how he might crack the place.

Volta is 'caseing' the joint.

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9 +1 for traps.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

Volta barely has time to circle the room twice before several colorful curse words precede Bedwyr climbing the front steps and being escorted into the foyer by the elderly butler.

The short dwarf is missing his nose and sprouts a massive double braided beard that hangs nearly to his knees. He wears a midnight blue traveling cloak over a simple leather jerkin and dark brown loose fitting pants that he has bloused into his black leather boots. A massive black leather belt with an equally massive buckle keeps the pants suspended above his waist.

"Well isn’t this a grand fancy abode, they must have spent half a dragon's arse in treasure to build this!". He declares as the butler leaves the room, the odor of last night’s celebrations still in on his breath. Finally noticing he is not alone in the foyer he states; ”I take it you got a note from Captain Heidmarch as well? Guess we'll be working on this on together. Name's Bedwyr, Bedwyr Glimerbeard.”

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta hears the commotion and waits for entry. A dwarf with even less manners than usual comes in cursing and introduces himself. Volta's dressed in the leather favored by Absalom's Scouts, with dagger and rapier strapped to his waist. He's not much taller than the dwarf and looks like he might be twelve, but has to be older, doesn't he?

Yipe, he's maimed wonder what adventure did that? Volta has a second of surprise then bounds forward eagerly to shake Bedwyr's hand. "I'm Volta Delbove, yes, I'm her son, glad to meet you. You look really experienced; are you our new party leader?" Volta's enthusiastic as he greets the newcomer.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

The Dwarf erupts into a deep belly laugh.

Harharharhaha! We’re doomed from the start if I am! I may look like I got a world of experience but don’t let my dashing good looks fool yaw youngster! By the frozen north, I swear this is my first assignment for the Society that didn’t involve me plugging a hole in a vessel they let some dolt sail into some poor unsuspecting reef or berg! I may know a few nifty tricks, but I’d wager that a monkey could ride a Remorhaz before I would put coin on the any mission where I am the “party leader”. Let’s see who else is invited to this mighty fine shindig for we start declaring leadership responsibilities. After all youngster, when its all said and done you may be steering this ship.

Continuing to chuckle, Bedwyr pokes at the cushion of a chair 6 or 7 times with the nub of what used to be his index finger before deciding it has adequate cushion to place his posterior on and flops himself down.

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta's eyes widen as the dwarf erupts into a belly laugh, but soon laughs along. "Oh my, I think all too much of myself, or so my teachers and bosses 've said but I don't think I'll be leading anyone, except into a tavern!" Volta barks a laugh, then says, "Then you're a shipwright, I guess that means more sailing, perhaps. I don't think I've quite recovered from the last trip." Memories of the tossing seas, swaying back and forth, back and forth... Volta crushes the memories but still turns slightly green. "Ahem, maybe I shouldn't think about that." Dropping in energy and mood, Volta sits down on an exquisite bench.

F Human

As those already present converse, the butler escorts a woman into the room. a leather shirt and ragged pants and bare feet black hair done in not overly attractive pig tails. she appears to have recently been in fight sporting a swollen lip and cut over her right eye. her knuckles bruised a bit from the punches she managed to land on her opponent.

She enters the room carrying herself more like a boy than the girl she is.

She looks about the large room a bit in awe even an untrained eye can tell she is unaccustomed to luxury.

eventullay she notices the others and she immediately composes herself tensing up almost expecting a fight. Jusht as i shushpected she mumbles

Sho Whatsh thish all about she asks speaking with a lisp having trouble pronouncing her 's'

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta's hand is still tying and untying knots, one handed, in the rope in his hand when an extraordinary figure enters. He turns and traps his finger in a knot he's closing, seeing her, thinking Was that guy jumped by bandits, oh that's a girl! "Oh, damn- um. pardon me." Volta liberates his finger as he continues. "Are you alright? Did vagabonds jump you? Need something? Please sit down. How can we help? Are you with the pathfinders? I guess so or they wouldn't let you in. Know as much as you, Captain Heidmarch asked for help and got me uh us." Volta goes to her trying to help.

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

As all heads turn toward the peculiar, lisping woman, it's easy to overlook the other newcomer following a short distance behind her. Tall and bearded, he has dark hair and a dusky complexion and wears a simple but practical outfit of leather and wool, a holy symbol of Abadar displayed prominently over his breast.

The Keleshite man casts an appraising gaze over the room and its inhabitants, his expression one of cultivated neutrality, with just the barest hint of a smile. Hands folded over his stomach, he allows the others to speak, waiting patiently to introduce himself.

F Human
Volta Delbove wrote:

Volta's hand is still tying and untying knots, one handed, in the rope in his hand when an extraordinary figure enters. He turns and traps his finger in a knot he's closing, seeing her, thinking Was that guy jumped by bandits, oh that's a girl! "Oh, damn- um. pardon me." Volta liberates his finger as he continues. "Are you alright? Did vagabonds jump you? Need something? Please sit down. How can we help? Are you with the pathfinders? I guess so or they wouldn't let you in. Know as much as you, Captain Heidmarch asked for help and got me uh us." Volta goes to her trying to help.

hahahah Noro laughs at the vagabond comment. I wish it wash vagabonds. Jusht a normal night for me

Noro looks around for a drink finding a caraff of wine she grabs looking for a mug.

Pathfindersh? Sho you guys aren't Sczarni?

Noro relaxes a bit

Where are the damn mugs?

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta's bit taken back by the girl's attitude, not sure of what to do. "Uhm, normal? You get beat up every night?" Volta shakes head then goes on, "We're not Sczarni; the Pathfinder Society, we search the past for knowledge and artifacts of use to, well, everyone, in some way, even if they don't know it. Most people invited to a Lodge have been, Um, prepared for their position. I gather you're new? Is Magimar Magamar? whatever, your home?"

Volta looks around, "I'm sure there are glasses around somewhere here, mugs may be in short supply though, this place makes my home look like a shack." He turns seeing the Abadarite. "Sorry, didn't see you, I'm Volta Delbove, yes I'm her son. You're a devout of the Keeper of the Vaults, maybe our forming coming team's healer?" Volta switches to Kellish, "Greeting, Son of the Burning Sands and Star-filled night, make a home with new friends and may prosperity flow." Volta says sotto voce, "Hope I said that right." He extends his hand in greeting.

F Human
Volta Delbove wrote:

Volta's bit taken back by the girl's attitude, not sure of what to do. "Uhm, normal? You get beat up every night?" Volta shakes head then goes on, "We're not Sczarni; the Pathfinder Society, we search the past for knowledge and artifacts of use to, well, everyone, in some way, even if they don't know it. Most people invited to a Lodge have been, Um, prepared for their position. I gather you're new? Is Magimar Magamar? whatever, your home?"

I don't get beat up every night. Well maybe shome nights, Normally I just win fightsh, for money.

she finally decides to grab a glass shmall but it will do and gets some wine.

You could shay I'm new got thish letter lasht night. Thought at firsht it was a shet-up to get me back. and to anshwer your other queshtion, No I am not from here, Arrived a few weeksh ago from Sandpoint been working the docks and fighting for money ever shince. until today.

By the way I'm Noro she offers her hand after wiping it on her pants to try and make sure it is clean (or reasonably clean).

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta take the hand without hesitation. "Greetings Noro, welcome to the Society. It seems that fighting is expected in our near future then. Not that unlikely of course but I admit curiosity now. Pathfinders are patient. Mostly. This is obviously rushed, and that means danger, and that means good rewards. For success, of course."

Volta takes out a handkerchief, and cleans his hand, then re-presents it to the long-waiting cleric.

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

Arasmes breaks into a warm, if slighly bemused, smile and takes Volta's hand graciously.

In Kelish: "Peace and long life be upon you, honored friend; may your travels always bring you fortune and the gods ever show you mercy."

Switching to common, he continues "It is quite alright; I'm sure that we will all become well acquainted in due time. I am Arasmes ibn Fadlan, and may I say that it is an honor to meet one of the esteemed house of Delbove; I'm certain that you will be a great asset in our mission for the society. For my part, I am indeed a humble servant of the Master of the First Vault, and among the blessings granted to me is the power to restore the vitality of my traveling companions, though I hope that there are other ways in which I might serve our common cause, as well."

F Human

Noro pours another lass of wine for herself after chiging the first like it was an ale.

She then fills a second glass and goes to the dwarf offering him some of the wine.

Shorry if I thought you were here to rough me up. guessh it jusht comes with the professhion. Shorry its not ale but better than nothing I shay

after a moment

Namesh Noro, in case you didn't catch it before

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

Bedwyr climbs down from the chair as Namesh Noro approaches.

Aye, lass and no need for sorries, I've got a feeling walloping people is part of the territory with yaw! But I’m glad you’re on our side cause if you pound faces like you do that wine I'd hate to be the &#@'n receiving end. If your still feeling like making it up to me I'd love a morning cap!

Turning towards Arasmes...

So vestments of Abadar eh? You’re not going to give long winded sermons to us are yaw? I got 30 plus years of lessons on Abader and Torag miracles as a young lad and that was enough for me. So if you can keep the preaching his holiness to a minimum that would be appreciated. Not saying you don’t have a right to worship like you do, I just don’t need any more beatings about the head with a holy book.

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

Arasmes seems taken aback, for a moment, by the scarred dwarf's bluntness, but quickly regains his composure. He regards the witch coolly. "I can assure you, friend Dwarf, that I am here on behalf of the Society, and not of my church. As such, I will regard our relationship as purely professional for the time being and keep my convictions to myself, assuming you are prepared to offer me the same courtesy. Practicality is, after all, a virtue, and I believe the Golden-Handed One will understand."

F Human

Noro fishes off her second glass of wine

shmall cups she mumbles to herself.

she then goes over and pours a glass for everyone and hands them out to the group

Then a toasht to Pathfindersh, Old and new she says raising her glass high and taking a drink.

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

Arasmes nods his head in thanks and accepts the proffered glass, studying it approvingly for a few seconds before joining in the toast. "To the Pathfinders!"

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

Aye, to the Pathfinders! I love a good red, course couldn't tell ya the differance between a cup the cost of a copper and the rarest vintages of the inner sea! swollowing the wine in a single gulp.

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

As the wine broken out and toast begin Volta gets a glass of wine himself, "No follower of Cayden Cailean can turn down a toast and double so for one born to the Society. To the Pathfinders! May there be ancient secrates found, fantastic wonders seen, glorious deeds done, and boundless wealth achieved. And have a great time doing it." Volta downs his glass, blinks at the fine wine's taste and strength, and carefully sets himself down.

Female Aasimar (Emberkin) Tattooed Sorcerer (Starsoul Bloodline) 1 (AC: 12 T: 12 FF: 10 | HP: 7/7 | F: +1 R: +2 W: +3 | Init: +2 | Per: +3 [Darkvision])

You hear the clatter of carriage wheels pulling up outside on the street. A short while later you hear the door knocker loudly strike the door with a heavy, metal bang. The butler opens the door and beckons the woman on the other side to come in and motions for her to wait in the foyer. She nods and smiles politely at him.

She is a tall, very attractive, half-elven woman with hair the color of flames. Her eyes are a rich, golden color and they don't sparkle or twinkle, they shine; radiating a faint glow. She's wearing an expensive looking, sleeveless, short dress of dark green velvet with gold embroidery on the hems. Her black leather, knee-high boots look a bit too shiny and scuffless to have seen much hard use. Intricate tattoos cover her pale, blemishless skin; most with arcane symbols, flames, and stars woven into their patterns. Around her neck is a gold necklace and dangling from it are an intricately carved gold butterfly pendant and a large, heavy gold ring obviously too large to fit her finger.

Noticing the group, she sees the wine glasses, smiles and turns to walk over to the butler. As she turns, exposed by her backless dress and waist-length hair swishing to the side is a large, very realistic tattoo of an owl on her lower back.

She approaches the butler, smiles sweetly at him and asks, "Can you get a drink for me? I'm parched. Water would be fine, thank you."

After he leaves to fetch the drink, she turns and begins to look at each of the paintings and other object arrayed in the hall. Sometimes brazenly lifting and looking at the bottom of the vases or behind the paintings. Where she takes her hands from each object, small glowing finger prints the shape of many different holy symbols slowly fade.

Finishing, she returns to where she was standing and waits for the butler to return with her drink, idly looking around the hall.

When he returns, she turns to him, takes the drink from his hand and smiling broadly at him, says, "Thank you very much, I was dying of thirst. In my haste to meet her ladyship I forgot to drink anything at the inn before running over here." In a very sincere, complimentary tone she continues, "I must commend you, the house is managed well. It's spotless and arranged perfectly, you have an excellent eye. Her ladyship is very lucky to have you in charge."

She starts to idly walk around the room, drinking slowly and looking at the various pieces arrayed around the room.

Her hair is similar to this woman's, although with the red, oranges, and yellows interspersed much higher. And it's not fried because her's is natural. The woman in the picture even has tattoos although I suspect hers aren't as magical. Her back tattoo looks like this owl.

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta's stunned by the entry of the ethereal beauty that enters and makes requests of the butler. He just watches as she examines everything in the room. She takes her water and compliments the butler.

Volta shakes himself breaking the trance. Steeling himself he marches you to her, puts out his hand saying, "Hello, milady, I'm Volta Delbove, yes her son, I see you've made yourself at home already, so I guess you're our latest addition to the mysterious task the Venture-Captain has for us? I must admit that I've never quite seen anyone like you, have you enchanted your eyes to glow?"

Volta stops his usual barrage and waits for this unearthly lady to speak.

Female Aasimar (Emberkin) Tattooed Sorcerer (Starsoul Bloodline) 1 (AC: 12 T: 12 FF: 10 | HP: 7/7 | F: +1 R: +2 W: +3 | Init: +2 | Per: +3 [Darkvision])

Valtyra looks at Volta as he introduces himself and shakes his hand, as you pull your hand back, you notice little glowing holy symbol fingerprints slowly fade from it. "It's a pleasure to meet you Volta, I'm Valtyra Valdemar. You mentioned that you're 'her son.' While I assumed you were someone's son, you don't appear to be constructed or an outsider," she looks you up and down, even a quick glance around your side as if checking if there is a tail on your backside, she continues, "you seemed to say it as if I should know who 'she' was. I don't however, who is 'she'?"

She chuckles as you ask about her eyes, "Enchanted my eyes? No, these are all natural, the only thing I've done to myself is add a couple of these tattoos. The eyes, most of the tattoos, my fingerprints... they all just happened."

F Human

Noro nudges the dwarf looksh like shomeone has a crush nodding toward Volta. and what doesh he mean "her shon"?

Noro speaks hushed so Volta doesn't quite hear.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

Aye, he does at that. I would wager his mother is somebody of repute. The Delbove name sounds framiliar I just can't quite place where I know it from.

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta blinks at her words, for a second seeming to find it unreasonable that she didn't know about his mother. Then he shakes he head ruefully and says, "Sorry, I grew up in Absalom, the Grand Lodge was almost a second home to me. Everybody knew mother, father too, but it was Mom I was compared to all the time. Mom and Dad came from Taldor and took up with the Society, training even while Mom was pregnant with Euphemi and me. Dad's a good Pathfinder, well-respected, but Mom, Uhm, Kale Delbove, became something of a legend for her talents on the Societies behalf. She became the best err... master of locks and traps they had seen in a generation, or so they say. A Venture-Captain at thirty, cited often in the Chronicles, like for Ravenmoor and Hellmouth Gulf, and the adventure of the Ebon Destroyers, and the Aca- oh shouldn't talk about that one.”

”Well she was the best until... about a year ago, she just couldn't stand that no one has ever cracked Nex's Spire, really you can see it from the Grand Lodge and from our home in the countryside. So she got a team together and sought its secrets; she was the only one not to come back. What happened no one knows, everybody had a different tale to tell, but no divination, not even to the Lady of Graves, can or will say what happened to Mom. So she's trapped there and needs to be found. I'll do it too, just need to get better."

Volta seems sad for a second then powers through the depression through will and he smiles. "So there is my sad but proud tale to tell, Society people in Absalom know all this, I just grew up assuming everybody knew her, well, every Pathfinder anyway."

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

I thought I recognized the name. I'm sorry lad but I just recently became involved with the pathfinders and I would guess Noro here has about the same service time as I. Your mother got stones of a bugbear if she went delving into the spral of Nex. A &$>@# lot of holes and tears to the outer planes from what I've heard and read... You walk down a simple hallway and may find yourself in a place where the denizens may want to turn yaw into a delicious meal...

I take it you got more then enough trainning from yer moms. I have a feeling going to need you to open a few doors for us in more ways then one lad. Which by the way anyone know anything else bout our mission save what in this note or are we all assigned to be wasting today in a foyer.

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

Arasmes peers down at the remains of his wine, swirling it thoughtfully. "I must confess that I also know little of what is expected of us, save that it is a matter of some urgency. I am only recently arrived from Absalom, and though I've made a point of acquainting myself with the activities of the Society here in Varisia, I'm afraid that I may be quite behind in terms of my knowledge of recent events. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that the Society would let the resources is has no doubt expended in so quickly assembling as formidable a team as this go to waste."

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta snorts a bit, "Don't mean to be rude, Bedwyr, but it's less stones or guts and more 'curosity kills the cat.' I'm the same way, be prepared to stop me diving into the pit just to see what's there. On the other hand it's a fast way to learn stuff." Volta turns to Arasmes.

"Don't know a thing, mushroom treatment all the way. But it's very unusual for new members to be put in the field, Pathfinders get years of training before going off into the wilds, and this is the newest frontier we have so... it implies urgency. But if it's that bad, they'd call in top guys. Maybe they don't have 'em though, some stuff heating up everywhere, maybe the Society's running out of fingers for the dikes. Still against policy, hope the VC comes soon, I dying of curosity." Volta flops on a divan, fiddling with the rope again, tying and untying knots.

Female Aasimar (Emberkin) Tattooed Sorcerer (Starsoul Bloodline) 1 (AC: 12 T: 12 FF: 10 | HP: 7/7 | F: +1 R: +2 W: +3 | Init: +2 | Per: +3 [Darkvision])

Valtyra looks sad and concerned when Volta tells his tale, "I'm very sorry to hear about your mother Volta, no one as young as you should lose their parent. I'm certain you'll do her proud in the Pathfinders."

She goes back to drinking her water and watching everyone.

A few moments pass before two women step into the room. One of them speaks in an
unusually deep voice and with a no-nonsense attitude. "Thank you all for answering my summons. My name is Sheila Heidmarch. Welcome to my home. And welcome to the Pathfinders." Sheila is a striking woman in a long, flowing dress. Her dark hair is pulled tight atop her head in a functional, but attractive bun.

Her companion is equally attractive halfelven woman. She is dressed in leather armor and armed with a distinctive-looking mithral-and-redwood aklys and a bastard sword.

DC18 Knowledge: Local or Dungeoneering:

None of you have the correct knowledge skill so you know nothing - AND you shouldn't have looked here. ;)

"Allow me to introduce Koriah Azmeren," Sheila says as Koriah nods at the gathered group. "For those that are new to Magnimar, you should know that Koriah is one of Varisia's most famous Pathfinders and a well-renowned expert on the Darklands - though she would never tell you as much. She has just returned from an expedition to the Darklands below Varisia, having successfully scouted out a new route down to Nar-Voth from the Fogscar Mountains. She has returned with a surprising number of Thassilonian artifacts from this expedition, and I must spend a few more moments discussing the implications of this discovery with her. I apologize for the delay"

She pauses for a moment as if in thought before asking you to accompany her into an adjoining room.

The walls of this room are lined with bookshelves, while several tables in the middle are heaped with scrolls and books. One table in the center, however, supports only a single object - an ornate cubical stone coffer covered with Thassilonian runes. Sheila asks for you to have a seat around the table.

"As Koriah and I finish our discussion, perhaps you can help us with another minor issue," Sheila begins. "This stone coffer is an ancient Thassilonian puzzle, a cunning feat of magical engineering known as a paradox box. As you'll see from even a casual investigation, what appear to be seams on the sides are only shallow grooves - there's no obvious way to open the thing. Essentially, a paradox box substitutes hidden catches and magical triggers for a lock. Given time, anyone clever enough could figure out how to open a paradox box, just as given time a locksmith can open any lock. This particular box was among those items recovered by Koriah - the scrolls next to the box are her preliminary notes on possible triggers or methods of opening it, but she's not yet had a chance to sit down and properly investigate the thing."

She pauses for a moment before continuing. "So…why don't you put your heads together and see if you can't do that for me? Even if the box is empty, as I suspect it probably is, knowing the method of opening it makes it a valuable find anyway. We'll return shortly, and we hope to see that box open! Think of this as as an auction, if you will - because the actual task I want to speak to you about will require as much wit as it will brawn!"

With that, she and Koriah exit the room and leave you to your task.

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta rises respectfully as the two women enter. He listens to there speech surprised that there is a legendary Pathfinder here he does not know of. Taken to the other room his attention locks onto the enigmatic box on the table. He waits for the ladies to leave, then turns to the group.

"Opening boxes people don't want me to open is my specialty, still there are many elements to this. Uhm, does anyone besides me read Thassilionian? I just recently studied it and don't consider myself expert, and I have no knowledge of their history. Also are there any enchantments on it? Any arcane or theological significance to the runes would be excellent to know as well. I don't want to presume, please look all you wish, but let's not touch it until we are better prepared." Volta turns to the box and studies it.

Never touching the box, Volta peers at it, knocks the table it's on to hear for hollows the box had through echoes, sniffs it for unusual odors, and for signs he knows that mark arcane wards or senses the box may have.

(He can disable magical traps; even without K:Arcana he must know something that relates to opening or defeating magic locks/traps.)

Knows Thassalionian: Can he make sense of the runes?

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15 Plus 1 for traps. What do I see on or about the box?

Disable Device: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23 Not touching the box or using any tools yet, just estimating the difficulty and methods involved.

After he is satisfied that he has truly seen the box without others' preconceptions influencing his, then and only then does he read the notes.

F Human

AS the other make their way from the room Noro quickly checks whats left of the wine and then pulls out her wn bottle. giving it a shake she discovers it near empty.

Noro pours the small amount of wine into her bottle and tucks it away setting the empty caraff back on the table then she hurries to catch up with the rest.

as she enters Volta is intensely studying the box. great I am here to look at trinkets she plops into a chair looking for somthing interesting to occupy her curiosity.

Female Aasimar (Emberkin) Tattooed Sorcerer (Starsoul Bloodline) 1 (AC: 12 T: 12 FF: 10 | HP: 7/7 | F: +1 R: +2 W: +3 | Init: +2 | Per: +3 [Darkvision])

Valtyra nods respectfully to the two women as they speak and follows them in to where the box is. She looks the box over as Volta, but has no idea about Thassilonian, magical boxes,or traps, so she picks up the notes and starts to read them out load to the party.

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

Arasmes listens intently to the two senior Pathfinders and then gives a short, respectful bow as they excuse themselves, before turning his attention to the mysterious box. Standing close beside Volta, he strokes his beard thoughtfully. "Sadly, I am acquainted with only a few Thassilonian runes but... hmm... let me think."

Mirroring Volta's caution, the cleric leans in to take a closer look at any markings he can see on the surface of the cube without directly handling it. As he listens to Valtyra read the notes, he casts about mentally for anything that looks or sounds familiar.

OOC: I don't know if either of these is applicable, but here are rolls for Knowledge: History and Knowledge: Religion

History: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Religion: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

Thassilonian runes and the language as a whole are new to me. However, I got a brain like a scimitar and written words and I have always gotten along far better then the people that speak them and myself... Let's have a look shall we?

Linguistics: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12

Bedwyr's circles the box and table to read all visible sides but does not touch the box.

F Human

about how big is this box / coffer?

Feeling a bit bored while the brains try and decipher the box, Noro starts to peruse the room checking out the book shelves for something interesting to read.

The box is about 10" square.

Valtyra's voice fills the room as she begins to read the scrolls. The first scroll lists translations of the significant runes on the box - one of the most oft-repeated symbols was the rune for "wrath," which Koriah also notes is associated with evocation magic, and in the earliest days of Thassilon with the word "kindness." She further notes that the rune merely marks the box has having once belonged to a citizen of the Thassilonian nation ofBakrakhan, and that the rune likely has little to do with the method of opening this particular paradox box.

The second scroll lists a few other key observations - the key observation being that five of the box's faces are identical, but on one face, several additional runes appear. These runes spell out the word "CRUEL." She presumes that this has something to do with opening the box. She's also noted that each of the individual runes in the word can be reorganized by touching two runes at once. Doing so causes the two touched runes to exchange places for an hour before reverting to their original spelling of" CRUEL."


You recognize this type of puzzle - it appears to be an anagram puzzle. If you rearrange the letters of the word, you believe the box will unlock and open.


Unfortunately, nothing comes to you as you study the box.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

With the knowledge that the letters of the word "cruel" can be reorganized I believe this is an anagram puzzle. That means if we change the letters around to form the correct new word I believe our box should open like a 2 copper dock harlot with a fleet of Andoran sailers in town.

Berwyr stops pacing around the box and grasp the 2 massive braids of his beard just under his chin with a single braid in each of his gnarled hands. His eyes travel to the ceiling and you can almost see the cogs and wheels of his brain spinning as he begins to unscramble and rearrange the letters in his head.

5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 for a grand total of 120 possible combinations

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

Arasmes frowns, brow furrowed in thought.

"Fortunately, I sincerely doubt that we will need to explore all of those combinations... what other words can be formed from those letters? I see 'clue,' but that wouldn't make use of the 'r.'"

Suddenly, the keleshite's face clears as something dawns on him, and he gives an uncharacteristically mischievous smile.

"What about "lucre"? Greed was one of the sins held dear by the Runelords, was it not?"

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta considers his companion's words, saying, "Seems like that it is, and I can't think of another word, out of cruel, off hand; about the Runelords I know nothing. If it's important to our mission, I'll need to be briefed."

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23 Plus 1 for traps. Is switching around the runes, the opening method or a trap? Or both?

If Volta does not see or sense a trap, he'll say, "All right, I don't see a trap so, I'll try it. Everyone watch but some at least, hang back in case of trouble, 999 times out of a 1,000 nothing bad happens, but there's always that one that gets you. If anyone objects, now is the time."

If no one objects Volta will move the runes to spell LUCRE.

F Human

Noro looks up from her chair at all the comotion around the box.

seeing someone begin to fiddle with it.

[/b]Bout time shome did shomething[/b] she mutters to herself she then looks for something else to occupy her time.

Grand Lodge

Male Dwarf Witch (Winter) 1, AC 11, HP 8, Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +3, Init: +1, Perception +3

I say go for it lad. Just be careful, you won't be nearly as pretty as me missing your nose.

Bedwyr motions For Volta to approach the box then takes a couple of steps back towards the exit..

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

Arasmes steps back slightly and gestures for Volta to go ahead. In a calm and level tone he does his best to reassure his nervous compatriot. "Put your mind at ease, my friend. It's clear from the Venture Captain's notes that she found the device safe enough to experiment with, and given her experience with such things I'm willing to take her at her word when she says that it is probably empty. I have every confidence that disappointment is the only ill fate in store for us today."

Female Aasimar (Emberkin) Tattooed Sorcerer (Starsoul Bloodline) 1 (AC: 12 T: 12 FF: 10 | HP: 7/7 | F: +1 R: +2 W: +3 | Init: +2 | Per: +3 [Darkvision])

Since an internet anagram server said the only possible words for cruel are Lucre and Ulcer, I think Lucre is a good choice :)

Valtyra says, "I'd say go for it, the others played with it and it didn't blow up." She mutters a quick prayer to Desna under her breath just in case.

As Volta touches the runes, the symbols change as the scroll suggested. Nothing seems to be amiss as he does so, so he continues to finish the word, "LUCRE."

I'm pretty sure the Pathfinders didn't have access to an Internet anagram search... :)

As he finishes the word, the box clicks, and Volta notices a magical aura - it appears the box may be trapped.

You may roll a disable device check or continue opening the box.

Male Human/Rogue(Trapsmith)/AC:16,14,12/HP:8/ST:F0,R6,W1/Init:3/Perc:7,Traps:8/ Dis Dev:12/14

Volta carefully moves the runes, as he completes it, he notices the subtle indications of a magical aura appearing, signaling a possible trap.

"All right, I've noticed some indications of a magic aura appearing, the box might just might open magically but, when this happens, it often means a magical trap is armed. I'll check it out. Those of you with mage sight may want to look at it, I'd like to know more."

Volta studies the aura and any other indicators.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8 Plus 1 for traps. Trap? Or is something else going on?

Unless something or someone tells him everything is safe, Volta will attempt to deactivate/bypass whatever the aura indicates. Volta pulls out an impressive set of tools that should get him jailed just for having. Taking apart one "key" he pours out a bit of powder from inside it. He takes the "key" and licks it, then positions it and the powder in hand close to an obscure set of tiny runes. He then blows the powder onto the runes over the wet "key" causing it to stick to the runes.

Disable Device: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26 Plus two for Masterwork tools. Disable the "trap." If it works, the magic of the trap is blind to any actions taken, like opening the lid.

"I've blinded the senses of the trap, I'll open the lid unless someone has something to say here." Volta is bouncing on his feet with eagerness, but is waiting as "classroom" taught. In the field, it'll be different.

Once Volta completes his task, the box pops open without incident. Inside, you find the box to be mostly empty - there are three garnets, a silver dagger of incredible quality and a ring.

Whoa. Nice roll + skill...Fortunately, your previous perception skill covered you - that 1 would normally be an auto-fail.

Your group earns 1,000 XP for successfully opening the box and disarming the trap.

That "excitement" over, you're left to wait for another 45 minutes before Sheila returns. She sees the box sitting open on the table and smiles widely. "It seems I have chosen wisely - well done! Was there aught inside? Not much, eh? Well, whatever is there, you've earned. Take it with my esteem."

After that, she bids farewell to Koriah. The half-elf bows to you as she leaves and says, "I wish you fortune on your endeavors as Pathfinders. May our paths cross again."

Once Koriah has left, Sheila asks you to take your seats again. She smiles and begins speaking. "First, I apologize for making you wait for so long. I hope that the box provided ample distraction for my tardiness. Your success, though, has confirmed that my gut was right - you're the perfect group for the job I have in mind.

"You see, I've recently had trouble with one of my informants here in Magnimar, Natalya Vancaskerkin. She's a half-Varisian who recently approached the Society with an offer to serve as a street informant. She runs with the Sczarni - I'm not sure the specific group. A week ago, Natalya sent me a cryptic hint that her gang was on the verge of uncovering an item that would be of great interest to the Society. Since the Sczarnis' methods of uncovering something often involves an armed robbery or breaking into someone's personal chambers, we thought it prudent not to press for further details and instead wait to see what it would produce. Suffice it to say, she hinted strongly that it pertained to Thassilon, and promised to meet with me to discuss this find three days ago.

"She never kept that promise. Instead, she seems to have simply vanished. Initially, I assumed that the acquisition of this item was simply taking longer than expected, but now I'm hearing rumors that the Sczarni are looking for her as well.

"It seems likely that Natalya has absconded with this item she's discovered. And this is where you enter, my friends. I want to know what it was that Natalya and the Sczarni found. In fact, I'm more interested in that than in what happened to Natalya herself. For now, I'd like to keep all of this quiet - if you can find out what happened to Natalya without letting a lot of people know she was also working for me as an informant, that would be preferable. That's a big part of why I'm coming to you, as new members of the Society, with this task. You don't yet have a reputation in Magnimar, and as such, the lowlifes and criminals you're likely to encounter may be more likely to talk.

"So…go out there and look for Natalya. Find out what happened to her, and to this item she and her gang discovered. If you can secure the item, all the better - bring it back to me and I'll have a reward of 500 gold pieces for you. And if you can bring Natalya back alive for me to speak to, I'll double that!"

"I would like for you to begin your investigation as soon as possible, but you may take some time to prepare yourselves if necessary - though it appears you've all come amply equipped. Do you have any questions for me?"

Male Human (Keleshite) Cleric of Abadar 1 (AC 17/8 HP/Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +6/Init +2/Perception +3)

Arasmes returns Koriah's bow respectfully, before turning to the Venture Captain and listening attentively to her briefing. As Lady Heidmarch finishes and asks for questions, he frowns and strokes his beard, brow furrowed in thought. "I believe that I have one: you say that you do not know what gang this errant contact was affiliated with, which I take to mean that you are not individually familiar with any of her associates, either. I was wondering how well you knew Ms. Vancaskerkin herself, and if you could, perhaps, direct us to any taverns or other businesses where she may have been a regular patron."

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