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Shackled City (Pathfinder) - GM_Chris

Game Master Chris Shannon 719

This will be the Shackled City adventure path using the Pathfinder rule set. However, the existing deities (i.e. St. Cuthbert, Pelor, Wee Jas) will not be converted to similar Golarion gods.


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Dyrant Maynor, the Pre-Sainted wrote:

Dyrant facepalms, wondering what is wrong with the City, his frustrating letting through.

"Just in time? Just in time for what? To what threat are they responding? What are they protecting us from? This city seemed fine a month ago with the guards they had. And what of the Stormblades? Are they not here protecting the City as well? What is the threat?"

I think I'm totally missing something.

You're not missing something, there are just a dozen unresolved rumors flying around at this point.

Captain Skellerang's mouth dangles open for a moment.

"Can no one keep a secret around here!"

"Stormblades?! Those pompous Freeday adventurers? They're nowhere to be seen except parties."

He sits down and lowers his voice.

"Have you heard of the Chisel? They claim to just be a merchant's group, but they're a powerful one. I suspect Maavu is one of their members. I've received information that they're looking to capitalize on Cauldron's misfortunes. I've had enough of their games and the mayor has authorized me to take a more direct approach to dealing with them."


|| Per +18 | Fort +13 Ref +8 Will +13 | BAB +12 | CMB +17 | CMD 29 || Init +7 Half-Orc (Smoking Eye) Oracle of Battle/Barbarian (Armored Hulk)/Rage Prophet/Chevalier 4/3/5/3

Finneas listens as Skellerang talks.

"Finally, a man of action. What do you intend to do Captain? Show your strength I hope?"


"Yes, indeed. We will put an end to their machinations."


"There are dozens more of your bretheren camped outside the city. I will march them to Redgorge and we will have our answers."


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs
GM_Chris wrote:
"I'm sorry, but he is quite busy. He thanks you for your endeavors and surely he will call upon you again when the need arises. Perhaps you could summarize your most recent foray into a letter and I will do my best to see that he reads it when he has the time."

"We would be happy to write a report of our recent endeavors, but I am afraid an audience will be required to accomplish what's needed. When shall we return tomorrow? Or would it be better to come to the next public audience? Which is when?"

Toffitt carefully weighs the servant's response. Are they genuinely busy? Have they adopted a closed door policy? Or are they specifically avoiding us?

Sense Motive 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15

Clearly my fortune has all gone to that Varisian in Korvosa.


Stats:
F14:R16:W16 (+2);K(Arc)23;K(Dun)12;K(Hist)16;K(Loc)22;K(Nat)22;K(Pln)27;K(Rel)22;Perc 25;SMot 20;Spllcft 26;UMD 18
Cuthbertist 15 - Bludgeoner First Class
GM_Chris wrote:
"Have you heard of the Chisel? "

Dyrant stares dumbly at Skellerang, trying to remember what he's heard of the Chisel.

1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13 Know (History)
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21 Know (Local)

"The Chisel, eh? So...Maavu, who looked totally innocent when we checked out his shop, is a member of a clandestine merchant group, who along with 'The Chisel' has caused enough trouble for you that the Mayor has increased taxes enough to piss off the entire populace so that you can hire a bunch of half orcs to patrol the city, rather than go deal with the threat in RedGorge?"

Dyrant looks skeptical.

"Do I have that right, Captain? We're taxing the heck out of people to deal with the Chisel?"


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

Having listened quietly to Dyrant and the Captain's exchange, Toffitt nods his head at Dyrant's summary.

"What exact trouble has the Chisel caused? Have they rallied citizens around them? Organized a cartel to raise prices or block trade? How would a steep heroes tax and importing mercenaries help such a situation? It can only lead to more unrest."

He looks at Dyrant, then mentally facepalms himself. Oh, he just said most of that.

"Pastor Maynor, our comrades and I share a desire for Cauldron's peace and prosperity. If you could share further details, perhaps we can exert some helpful influence on the situation."

Diplomacy 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31


Doctor Abner Svengalu Toffitt wrote:
Toffitt carefully weighs the servant's response. Are they genuinely busy? Have they adopted a closed door policy? Or are they specifically avoiding us?

1d20 ⇒ 3

They are not taking visitors, but you do get the sense that your party in particular will not be granted an audience.
"The exact date of the Lord Mayor's appearance has not been set yet. An announcement will be made on the city's board."


Dyrant Maynor, the Pre-Sainted wrote:

Dyrant looks skeptical.

"Do I have that right, Captain? We're taxing the heck out of people to deal with the Chisel?"

"Among other things."

Captain Skellerang is clearly a good man, but he is also only about as bright as a torch. If he was religious he'd be a paladin.


Stats:
F14:R16:W16 (+2);K(Arc)23;K(Dun)12;K(Hist)16;K(Loc)22;K(Nat)22;K(Pln)27;K(Rel)22;Perc 25;SMot 20;Spllcft 26;UMD 18
Cuthbertist 15 - Bludgeoner First Class

Dyrant looks to Atol, Glim, Cog, and Finn to see if any of them understand.

Maybe they will understand his kind.

Dyrant looks at Doctor Toffitt and gives the "whattheheck" shrug of non-understaning.

* * *

Failing getting any good answers from the Captain, Dyrant will thank him for his time and commend him on his attention to his duties before returning to the honeycomb hideout to ponder and think.


Dyrant Maynor, the Pre-Sainted wrote:

Dyrant stares dumbly at Skellerang, trying to remember what he's heard of the Chisel.

Chisel:
A group of artisans and merchants supposedly founded by the heroic colonists that first drove demons from the lands. They enjoyed a reputation as a caretakers of the region for many centuries, but at this point they are known as nothing more than a merchant's group.

Male Human (Per +6 | Fort +16 Ref +11 Will +21 | AC 29 (f28/t15) | CMD 20)

"As much as I don't like this Chisel outfit, it sounds like the official forces have it well in hand. As for the taxes, I'd like to know more about this magic item they're bringing in to save the town, but I trust our leaders to do the right thing."

"Seems like things have been happening without us, and mostly for the better."

Atol is happy in his ignorance and takes care of the garden, a few weeks overgrown, at the Cauldron Five headquarters.


Stats:
F14:R16:W16 (+2);K(Arc)23;K(Dun)12;K(Hist)16;K(Loc)22;K(Nat)22;K(Pln)27;K(Rel)22;Perc 25;SMot 20;Spllcft 26;UMD 18
Cuthbertist 15 - Bludgeoner First Class

Dyrant surrenders to Atol's wisdom and returns to the hideout to plot, think, scribe, and plan out how to establish and build his ministry.


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

Toffitt looks at Atol and Dyrant with a look of shock that quickly turns to a shrug. Really?Cuthbertites accept whatever authority is offered them, however malignant? Yes, Toffitt, really.

"Captain, are you at liberty to share more details of the threats Cauldron has faced in our absence? The threats that have led to this insane course of action?" If you're not, I'm sure I can find out in other ways.
. . . . . .

Later, once Toffitt has given Skellerang ample opportunity to respond, Toffitt shares his insight with his comrades. "Atol, Dyrant..." He faces Atol, clearly directing his words toward him. "I realize it's in your nature to trust our Lord Mayor and his Council. I admire the trust you invest in others. However, there is something not right here."

He turns to Dyrant, hoping to find a more receptive audience for his suspicious nature. "I am certain that the Mayor's servants were not just turning away any visitor — they most especially did not want to see the Cauldron 5. It is an intuition, I realize, but I feel certain that it's an accurate one."

"Why should they avoid us, specifically? Have they reason to expect that we'll oppose their decisions? Has our stature grown so much that they feel we might threaten their authority? If so, how honest can their current course of action truly be?"

"I do not like it, and I intend to dig."


Stats:
F14:R16:W16 (+2);K(Arc)23;K(Dun)12;K(Hist)16;K(Loc)22;K(Nat)22;K(Pln)27;K(Rel)22;Perc 25;SMot 20;Spllcft 26;UMD 18
Cuthbertist 15 - Bludgeoner First Class

Dyrant agrees with the Doctor.

"Please let me know if I can be of aid. I will pursue this another way, mayhaps." Dyrant looks as Aralynn.


|| Per +18 | Fort +13 Ref +8 Will +13 | BAB +12 | CMB +17 | CMD 29 || Init +7 Half-Orc (Smoking Eye) Oracle of Battle/Barbarian (Armored Hulk)/Rage Prophet/Chevalier 4/3/5/3

Finneas lets out a large huffing sigh as he realizes there will be no immediate action.

"I'm not happy we don't get to do anything. Maybe we could go to this Redgorge and see about the Chisel and then they could send the half-orcs home and wouldn't need to tax the citizens?"

Finneas seems to get dizzy after this monologue and looks for the nearest scroll to wipe his face down.


Doctor Abner Svengalu Toffitt wrote:
"Captain, are you at liberty to share more details of the threats Cauldron has faced in our absence? The threats that have led to this insane course of action?"

"Threats?", Captain Skellerang says with a humph.

"In the last few months we've had kidnappings, goblins, a vampire, an uggaha...a big bad creature tear up the streets and warehouses, the lower streets flooded, and your party has brought back the hides of two dragons. I applaud the Lord Mayor and Lord Vhalantru for their foresight to prepare for the next disaster and deal with Maavu and his associates."

If Finneas was talking to Captain Skellerang.

Captain Skellerang turns to Finneas, "What would you do that I can't do with dozens?"


|| Per +18 | Fort +13 Ref +8 Will +13 | BAB +12 | CMB +17 | CMD 29 || Init +7 Half-Orc (Smoking Eye) Oracle of Battle/Barbarian (Armored Hulk)/Rage Prophet/Chevalier 4/3/5/3

Finneas seems taken aback at the captain's belligerence.

"Well...if they have any goblins, vampires, or dragons we could deal with them. Or kuo-toans. I'm real good at dealing with those."


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

"Alas, Captain, I fear that these measures will only create a rift between the Lord Mayor and the people of Cauldron. If we are to mount a defense as a city, and require citizens to pay prohibitive taxes, oughtn't the city's rulers ensure folks' support first?"

Toffitt continues in a tone intended to mean, I'm on your side, Skellerang. "Instead, we—the Cauldron Five, who actually dispatched the threats you mentioned, and wish only to aid the city's protection—found closed doors and evasion. What reception does the common man get? This is folly. It will lead to unrest, and I would see us avoid such."

. . . . . . .

Chris:
I've forgotten whether our characters have been in the mayor's offices. Do we have a sense of where they lie within the building?


M Steinneblin (Rock Gnome) Paladin 14/Cavalier 1

Glimmil watched as the tall human-folk huffed and puffed at each other, seemingly quite animated in their discussion of various topics.

Sneaking out another muffin, he contentedly munched on here, hoping to hear something about another dragon or hydra or oogaha-monster that needed heroes to take care of.

Catching a break in the conversation, he chimed in his thoughts.

"Yep, I agree with Finn here! Goblins, vampires, dragons. We're fond of hydras, frog-folk, ooga-monsters, mushroom-men... wait, have we fought mushroom-men, or was that just a dream I had?"

Clearing his throat, Glimmil looked nervously about, and hoped that the Age of Heroes wasn't setting and becoming an age of politics and squabbles.

An even bigger do-badder will show up any day now. They always do for heroes like us!


Doctor Abner Svengalu Toffitt wrote:
"blah.blah.blah.

The captain's eyes glaze over a bit as Toffitt goes on. "I'm sorry to hear you've reached some roadblocks, but I've told you everything I know. Perhaps I could arrange a meeting with the mayor for you to share your ideas."

I don't recall the party visiting the mayor at his offices yet.


Male Human (Per +6 | Fort +16 Ref +11 Will +21 | AC 29 (f28/t15) | CMD 20)

Kuttsrucmeha. That is what I shall call it. Kuttsrucmeha.

Thoughts whirl through Atols mind with nary a place to land. No fertile soil here!

Why is the Doctor so upset? Sure, the mayor has increased taxes, but that's what governments do. They increase taxes. People will suffer, but maybe the result will be less flooding - or even no flooding in the future! That would be nice.

Kuttsrucmeha...

Is there a connection? Is there a weave that all these threads sift into?

Atol considers what the party has faced over the last while.

What if there was a connection between everything. Where would it lead? Maybe Jared knows. Maybe that's what drove him mad.

"I say we go to Redgorge and confront what lies there. We should tell Captain Skellerang we're going ahead of his troops and might be able to lend him information when his troops arrive. That's easier to deal with than politicians."

Atol speaks, and no one is there... He goes to the garden and plants kale and radishes.

- - -

Focus on one thing.

When he's done he goes to Skies and buys a large slate with chalk. He goes back to the house and writes down the names of all the folks who were kidnapped on the left. On the right he writes down all the names of the Chisel members. He looks for connections between the two groups.


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

Toffitt observes the Captain's eyes glazing over and blushes. "I am sorry for distracting you with politics, Captain. But if you were able to help us secure a meeting with the mayor, I should be most grateful."


Perhaps surprisingly, the captain is able to follow through on his promise. In the afternoon, a guard drops off an invitation to dinner for the party that night at the mayor's home.


Atol Lem wrote:
He goes back to the house and writes down the names of all the folks who were kidnapped on the left. On the right he writes down all the names of the Chisel members. He looks for connections between the two groups.

On the left are the numerous names of people kidnapped. On the right is Maavu. Any emotion writing down Corystan's name?

Atol notices that two of the kidnap victims also have five letters in their name. One of the names also starts with an M like Maavu.


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

Toffitt considers the news of kidnappings, and thinks about other strange circumstances from the last several weeks, almost as if bidden by some unseen consciousness.

As he walks through the city after leaving Skellerang's offices, he ponders. We have been so driven by events, that we haven't considered the many oddities the last few months.

Eyes. We live in a drowned caldera, the eye of a volcano. Smoking Eye. Tattoos of eyes and arrows. That damnable beholder.

He tries to remember what, if any, sigil that the Chisel might use. Knowledge (local} 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15 Beholder. Slaves, kidnapped and sold to it and its peons. The boy, though. He let him go. New kidnappings. The trade continues, with new eye stalks growing to replace the old.

In the hours before dinner, Toffitt drops in on his first patients, the whores of Cauldron. He asks about the Chisel, trademarks containing eyes, and any news they have of slavers or the kidnappings.

Gather information 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15

Coming up with little of interest, he wanders by Maavu's damaged warehouses, looking for points of easy entry. A bit of invisible exploration might get me some answers.


|| Per +18 | Fort +13 Ref +8 Will +13 | BAB +12 | CMB +17 | CMD 29 || Init +7 Half-Orc (Smoking Eye) Oracle of Battle/Barbarian (Armored Hulk)/Rage Prophet/Chevalier 4/3/5/3

Finneas nods with the others and goes to make his own inquiries. He will start with the orphanage in order to learn anything about the young man who was kidnapped. Having been told of the strange symbol on his face he will attempt to research that as well, although it is perhaps better left to Dyrant. He will also work out at the Temple of Lordly Might. You can never be too fit or too sweaty.

Diplomacy Orphanage: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
K. Religion Mark: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
K. Planes Mark: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7


Male Human (Per +6 | Fort +16 Ref +11 Will +21 | AC 29 (f28/t15) | CMD 20)

Coryston... sigh. So sweet.

Focus! M. Mmmmmm. M. Nope nothing there.

Atol erases the slate and goes outside to bask in the sun for a while and clear his head.


Doctor Abner Svengalu Toffitt wrote:

In the hours before dinner, Toffitt drops in on his first patients, the whores of Cauldron. He asks about the Chisel, trademarks containing eyes, and any news they have of slavers or the kidnappings.

Coming up with little of interest, he wanders by Maavu's damaged warehouses, looking for points of easy entry. A bit of invisible exploration might get me some answers.

Toffitt's patients have little news for him, which is in some ways good. There haven't been any recent kidnappings. The Chisel is just some merchant class club as far they're aware.

Maavu's warehouses have been repaire except for the one most directly affected. In this case, some quick patchwork was put up to keep out the rain until drier weather. The guard found nothing illegal about the business itself and it has been run by Geleth (The swimming woman) in his absence.


Stats:
F14:R16:W16 (+2);K(Arc)23;K(Dun)12;K(Hist)16;K(Loc)22;K(Nat)22;K(Pln)27;K(Rel)22;Perc 25;SMot 20;Spllcft 26;UMD 18
Cuthbertist 15 - Bludgeoner First Class

When he gets a chance, Dyrant will draw the Cauldron 5.2 together for a discussion.

"Friends, it has time again to consult a higher power to help answer the questions before us. We have hit some dead ends in our attempts to figure out what is happening in Cauldron."

Dyrant breathes deep.

"Thankfully, the Archons of St. Cuthbert has sent one of their own to serve us...we should honor their wisdom and call upon them for aid. We have another opportunity to ask them questions, ask them to guide us."

Dyrant looks at the group, giving them time to drink in the possibilities.

"What questions would you ask of our Archon friends that would help lead us? Speak plainly so that I might rely on your input."

Dyrant waits the wisdom of the Cauldron 5.2.


Finneas Glenn wrote:
Finneas nods with the others and goes to make his own inquiries. He will start with the orphanage in order to learn anything about the young man who was kidnapped. Having been told of the strange symbol on his face he will attempt to research that as well, although it is perhaps better left to Dyrant. He will also work out at the Temple of Lordly Might. You can never be too fit or too sweaty.

Finneas stops by the orphanage and Mother Tashykk greets his warmly. She offers nothing new about Terrem and the boy himself ignores Finneas. Nothing odd, just being a boy.

Giving his first serious thought to the invisible tattoo, Finneas joins Dyrant in looking through the books retrieved from the kopru ruins beneath Cauldron. Most of the theories and ideas are beyond him, but an hour or two of turning pages finally produces when he finds a symbol matching that on his face. It is called the Carcerian Sign for the prison plane of Carceri. Written in the margin of the text are just a few words: how and why and transdimensional equilibrium.


Glimmil wrote:
An even bigger do-badder will show up any day now. They always do for heroes like us!

In the meantime, Skie takes full advantage of Glimmil's freedom. She truly hangs on his every word of adventure as he has surpassed her experience.

"You put your hook through its foot?! It didn't bite your cute head off? Well obviously not, but weren't you afraid it would have? I know dragons are supposed to have an aura of fear about them almost like magic, but I've never encountered one--which is just fine by the way."


Male Human (Per +6 | Fort +16 Ref +11 Will +21 | AC 29 (f28/t15) | CMD 20)
Dyrant Maynor, the Pre-Sainted wrote:

When he gets a chance, Dyrant will draw the Cauldron 5.2 together for a discussion.

"Friends, it has time again to consult a higher power to help answer the questions before us. We have hit some dead ends in our attempts to figure out what is happening in Cauldron."

Dyrant breathes deep.

"Thankfully, the Archons of St. Cuthbert has sent one of their own to serve us...we should honor their wisdom and call upon them for aid. We have another opportunity to ask them questions, ask them to guide us."

Dyrant looks at the group, giving them time to drink in the possibilities.

"What questions would you ask of our Archon friends that would help lead us? Speak plainly so that I might rely on your input."

Dyrant waits the wisdom of the Cauldron 5.2.

Atol shrugs, "I'm not really sure what to ask. It all seems a jumbled mess to me. If we could figure out any one connection - and really figure it out - maybe we could weave the rest into a pattern with time. We should focus then on something we think we can solve. What that one thing is though... I don't know."

"If we're short on questions, I would ask, 'Why was Coryston singled out for kidnapping?'. Maybe the answer to that will lead to something useful. Maybe not. But I am curious."


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

"Alas, I believe the harbinger can only obtain simple answers to our questions."

Toffitt sorts through a jumble of thoughts and suspicions as he attempts to formulate questions. "I would know whether the Chisel is affiated with the Smoking Eye. If so, are its members aware of their affiliation? Is the beholder that we encountered connected with the Smoking Eye? Is The Lord Mayor?"


M Steinneblin (Rock Gnome) Paladin 14/Cavalier 1
GM_Chris wrote:
" ... I know dragons are supposed to have an aura of fear about them almost like magic, but I've never encountered one--which is just fine by the way."

"Really? I didn't even notice! I actually feel braver when I see a dragon, like the Great Garl is infusing me with his heroism!"

Glimmil contentedly putters around Skie's shop in the down-time while waiting for the meeting with the mayor, He unfurls a map he's been working on of New Jzadirune and solicits Skie's input on what to do next.

"I'm thinking we need a place to eat and drink, that way when people go see the Haunted Show, they can munch on things. We really need chocolate eel monsters. Hey, we should make a chocolate for every monster I can think of! There's frog men. Hydras. Devil women. Dragons... and and..."


Stats:
F14:R16:W16 (+2);K(Arc)23;K(Dun)12;K(Hist)16;K(Loc)22;K(Nat)22;K(Pln)27;K(Rel)22;Perc 25;SMot 20;Spllcft 26;UMD 18
Cuthbertist 15 - Bludgeoner First Class

"Remember all, these must be yes/no questions. The Archons cannot solve all our mysteries for us."

Dyrant summons Aralynn and begins process for the Commune.

"Aralynn, we seek answers to what fates await Cauldron. Any aid you can lend in this endeavor is appreciated."

Dyrant writes down the questions that he thinks he wants to ask:

"1. Is 'the Chisel' associated with the Smoking Eye?"
"2. Are we pawns of some other beings will other than St. Cuthbert?"
"3. Is the Mayor working in the best interest of the people of Cauldron and the Holy Church of St. Cuthbert?"
"4. Is the Lord Vhalantru working in the best interest of the people of Cauldron and the Holy Church of St. Cuthbert?"
"5. Should we make haste to Redgorge?"
"6. Should we investigate the recent kidnappings more deeply?"

Dyrant prays for the wisdom he is about to receive.

* * *
"Finn?! Are you seeing this!? Your tattoo! This tattoo! Carceri!?"

1d20 + 18 ⇒ (15) + 18 = 33 Know (Planes)

"What does the prison plane have to you with you and kidnapped boy?"


|| Per +18 | Fort +13 Ref +8 Will +13 | BAB +12 | CMB +17 | CMD 29 || Init +7 Half-Orc (Smoking Eye) Oracle of Battle/Barbarian (Armored Hulk)/Rage Prophet/Chevalier 4/3/5/3

"I see it Dyrant. Oh, ignore that sweat stain. I don't know what Carceri is though. Sounds bad."

Finneas looks hopeful that Dyrant can shed light on this issue.

"I don't remember getting a tattoo on my face like that."

Female: Hardly a surprise, those barbaric rituals involve all sorts of strange substances.
Male: You never used to mind.
Female: I used to be alive and subject to your charms.
Fifth: Neither of you are charming, now be silent, the Gristle Prophet is about to pontificate.
To what?


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

Am I right to think that Toffitt's gather info and chatting about Commune probably took up the afternoon?


Doctor Abner Svengalu Toffitt wrote:
Am I right to think that Toffitt's gather info and chatting about Commune probably took up the afternoon?

Yes.


Dyrant Maynor, the Pre-Sainted wrote:

"Remember all, these must be yes/no questions. The Archons cannot solve all our mysteries for us."

Dyrant summons Aralynn and begins process for the Commune.

"Aralynn, we seek answers to what fates await Cauldron. Any aid you can lend in this endeavor is appreciated."

Dyrant writes down the questions that he thinks he wants to ask:

"1. Is 'the Chisel' associated with the Smoking Eye?"
"2. Are we pawns of some other beings will other than St. Cuthbert?"
"3. Is the Mayor working in the best interest of the people of Cauldron and the Holy Church of St. Cuthbert?"
"4. Is the Lord Vhalantru working in the best interest of the people of Cauldron and the Holy Church of St. Cuthbert?"
"5. Should we make haste to Redgorge?"
"6. Should we investigate the recent kidnappings more deeply?"

On a side note, how much is Aralynn out and about? Is she everywhere like Cog? Would the public be aware of her?

Aralynn's orbs spins excitedly as she prepares to commune.

1 - "Again with the vagueness. 'Associated?' You're associated with it. However, in the way St. Cuthbert thinks you mean it--and he's right of course--the answer is no."

2 - "Yes. Yep. Definitely. Uh huh. For sure."

3 - "Good thing your not a lawyer with these compound questions. Again, the wisdom of St. Cuthbert overcomes your inadequacies and your answer is yes."

4 - Aralynn's orbs pause for a moment. "Now things are interesting. Nope. No. Definitely not."

5 - "Now you've done it with your vagueness. Unclear is the answer."

6 - "And the final answer is a simple yes. He didn't yell it at me like some of the other answers."


Dyrant Maynor, the Pre-Sainted wrote:
"What does the prison plane have to you with you and kidnapped boy?"

With something specific in mind to research, and combined with his own planar knowledge, Dyrant learns the following:

Carceri:

Carceri (more fully, the Tarterian Depths of Carceri; also, Tarterus or The Red Prison[1]) is a neutral (chaotic) evil-aligned plane of existence. It is one of a number of alignment-based Outer Planes.

Carceri has six layers, contained inside each other not unlike the shells of a matryoshka doll; each layer consists of a series of orbs floating in an infinite black void.[1] Light is provided by the orbs only; as one progresses through the layer, the light diminishes, and the orbs are separated by larger and larger distances.

The Bastion of Lost Hope, a fortress controlled by the Revolutionary League, can be found on Carceri.

Skullrot may also be found on Carceri, an asylum run on behalf of the Demon Lord Graz'zt by his lich-fiend lieutenant, Dark Myrakul. The fallen Celestial Adimarchus is currently imprisoned here, exiled from his role as Demon Lord of the 507th Layer of the Abyss, Occipitus.

Layers
Othrys - The first layer, Othrys, consists of a war-ravaged landscape of swamps and stagnant rivers crossed only by spotted ranges of mountains. Several Greek Titans live on Othrys in the realm of Mount Othrys; furthermore, Raiden maintains his Palace of Thunder on Othrys.

Cathrys - The second layer, Cathrys (also called The Crimson Jungle), is a layer of thick jungles and open plains of razored grass. Talona's realm Palace of Poison Tears can be found on Cathrys, as can The Steading, the realm of hill giant deity Grolantor.

Minethys - The third layer, Minethys, is a parched layer of crimson glowing sand and biting, desiccating sandstorms. Notable locations on Minethys include Coeus' Temple, dedicated to the Titan of the same name; The Mausoleum of Pain of the dragon god Faluzure; Karontor's The Rack of Injustice; and Trickster's Delight, the realm of the naga deity Parrafaire.

Colothys - The fourth layer, Colothys, consists of jagged, unforgiving mountains and sudden chasms with little flat ground to find refuge. Crius' Temple, dedicated to the Titan of the same name, can be found here; furthermore, Ellaniath, the realm of the drow deity Vhaeraun, and The Land of the Hunt, realm of the god Malar, are located on Colothys.

Porphatys - The fifth layer, Porphatys, is a cold layer dominated by a shallow, acidic ocean, cut only by sand bars and drifts of semi-solid acid snow. Oceanus' Temple, dedicated to the Titan of the same name, is located on Porphatys.

Agathys - The last layer, Agathys, consists of a single orb of black ice alone in the void, almost completely devoid of light and sound, with only the shifting and breaking of ice and the slow, crushing agony of petitioners frozen into it being heard. Apomps' Three-Sided Palace, realm of the demodand (gehreleth) lord Apomps, can be found on Agathys. The god Nerull from the World of Greyhawk setting also makes his home on Agathys.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the info relevant to the campaign plus other information to obscure the information.

Next event of the day will be dinner with the mayor assuming you attend. I'll write it up later this afternoon or late tonight.


Stats:
F14:R16:W16 (+2);K(Arc)23;K(Dun)12;K(Hist)16;K(Loc)22;K(Nat)22;K(Pln)27;K(Rel)22;Perc 25;SMot 20;Spllcft 26;UMD 18
Cuthbertist 15 - Bludgeoner First Class

I believe Aralynn is out in the open, happily buzzing about. Dyrant would certainly not see any reason to hide the Archon, nor the implied favor of St. Cuthbert that the archon represents.

Dyrant sits back and ponders the words of the Archon.

She's mouthy.


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

"Well I'll be damned. What's Vhalantru up to...?"


M Steinneblin (Rock Gnome) Paladin 14/Cavalier 1

Glimmil watches in complete astonishment as Aralynn glows and serves as the vehicle of the commune.

Once it completes, he sits and contemplates with the others.

Let's do that again! I have questions too! What's the secret ingredient of the gristle stew? What makes the chocolate eel monsters so good? Will Cog ever have puppies? And... and...

Assuming Dyrant relays information about Carceri...

"What's this mean? Should we do to Carceri next? Isn't that east of Sasserine? Or is that far to the north like that Greyfalcon city?"

I should've payed more attention when Gran-ma Cobwaddle was teaching these things.


The party arrives at the Lord Mayor's residence at 7 pm per the invitation. This large walled compound is the oldest structure in the city. The traditional seat of power for the town, the estate's ownership has been held by the Navalant family for the past 200 years.

Severn Navalant greets you in the foyer.

"Good evening, gentlemen. I apologize for you having to go through the captain to reach me. Please come to dinner and I will answer any questions you may have."

The party follows the mayor to the dining room where Lord Vhalantru already sits at the table. He stands and extends him arms, "It's good to see you all. I'm so glad you could join us. The mayor's kitchen staff have prepared a wonderful meal."

Indeed, the table is piled with steaming covered dishes, plates of fruits and cheeses, and several bottles of win.

"Sit. Please." Severn takes a seat at the head of the table and Lord Vhalantru sits down also. A handful of servants begin to pour wine and uncover the dishes.


Stats:
F14:R16:W16 (+2);K(Arc)23;K(Dun)12;K(Hist)16;K(Loc)22;K(Nat)22;K(Pln)27;K(Rel)22;Perc 25;SMot 20;Spllcft 26;UMD 18
Cuthbertist 15 - Bludgeoner First Class

Dyrant will certainly attend the Mayor's dinner.

"Thank you again for your efforts, Aralynn...even if the tone is less polite. It is good to know that the Archons will favor us poor mortals with understanding for our limitations."

Dyrant's mind wonders what other entity thinks they pull the Cauldron 5's strings more than St. Cuthbert, but is more concerned that the Archons seem to believe it as well.

"That is the troubling thing, Aralynn...what force could think that they manipulate us, the faithful servants of St. Cuthbert? Are we not true to him? Do we not serve him?"

Dyrant shakes his head, lost in thought.

"And why the Carcerian symbols on Finn...and the boy? Such a strange and awkward relationship...why is it that? And what does it mean? I wonder if I should try to remove the symbol? Perhaps there is a ritual..."

Dyrant makes a note to research that next time he is in the Cusp.

Glimmil wrote:
"What's this mean? Should we do to Carceri next? Isn't that east of Sasserine? Or is that far to the north like that Greyfalcon city?"

"...Oh what, Glim?! Sorry..I was lost in thought. You wish to *go* to Carceri? Oh...I'm afraid not. That is beyond my power...our power...all of our powers. It is a place infinitely far from here...no we cannot go there."

Dyrant looks at the earnest gnome, wishing he had something evil and bad to point the dogooder to so he could think. He comes up dry, but realizes he might have more information than he remembered.

"Them books, Glim. Remember the books from the muddy frog? They seemed to detail:"

Old Post 5272:

GM_Chris wrote:
Browsing through the books, Dyrant finds several deal with demons and the spawn born to women raped by demons. There are also books dealing with dragons and their human spawn. There are several on demons, devils, and dragons themselves as well. There are books on the Kopru, Naga, Sirines, Kuo-Toa, and Lizardfolk. There are also random journals and scraps of paper with accounts of weird and fantastic places and events that stretch your ability to imagine they are nothing more than ramblings of mad men or bards.

Dyrant pulls out the sketchings he did of the murals in the kuotaon temple and then begins to compare them to the books, seeing if any new knowledge comes forth.

How are these connected?

1d20 + 17 ⇒ (12) + 17 = 29 Know (Arcana)
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28 Know (Dungeoneering)
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15 Know (History)
1d20 + 15 ⇒ (9) + 15 = 24 Know (Nature)
1d20 + 18 ⇒ (7) + 18 = 25 Know (Planes)
1d20 + 15 ⇒ (18) + 15 = 33 Know (Religion)


Half-Elf Barbarian (Urban Barbarian) 1, Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 14
Stats:
Init +12 | Per 22* | F +17* R +19* W +9* | AC 35* (t20* f27* i22*) +1 crwd | CMD 33 | *many buffs

Toffitt drinks an extract of heroism immediately prior to entering the mayor's residence. Let us see what we shall see. He Greta both men warmly. Lord Mayor, Lord Vhalantru, it is an honor. With so much going on in the city, it's understandable that you would be indisposed. I think I speak for my fellows here when I say we are eager to be of any assistance we can. Having taken care of a bit of a dragon problem this last week, it seems we have some time on our hands."

Diplomacy 1d20 + 12 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 12 + 2 = 33


"A dragon problem? Here? In Cauldron?" The mayor asks quickly. "That's all we need."


Dyrant Maynor, the Pre-Sainted wrote:
"Them books, Glim. Remember the books from the muddy frog? They seemed to detail:"

Dryant pulls out his sketchings and thumbs through the books again. An idea begins to form in his head and then is lost before he can speak it. A nagging feeling remains that answers are just out of his reach.


|| Per +18 | Fort +13 Ref +8 Will +13 | BAB +12 | CMB +17 | CMD 29 || Init +7 Half-Orc (Smoking Eye) Oracle of Battle/Barbarian (Armored Hulk)/Rage Prophet/Chevalier 4/3/5/3
GM_Chris wrote:
..several bottles of win.

I'll take two bottles please. :D

Finneas loads several plates with fruit and cheese. He will carefully cut the fat and gristle out of any meat before giving it to Dyrant.

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