|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
Despite Vidar's paranoia Shalelu softnes in her gaze as it falls to Vidar. Elves were complex creatures, after all. The fort is still a but past the city but you mentioned some concern in the city itself? I am fine to head that way, I know a shortcut, in fact, but I dojn't want to hasten us leaving if you have other things to do?
Shalelu too seems content at the night's passing and reveals a much more energetic and almost "human" side to her in taking up with Vidar. Though by morning there is a cooling, a professionalism and surety of purpose that builds upon her just as the layers of her clothing and gear do.
The group reconvenes, rested or dutifully lubricated from the evening's events and gather to discuss next steps. Shalelu for her part is purely business, eating in preparation for a long day, So any notion of where you mean to start?
Shalelu guides the group through the dock area, I arranged rooms as well though there appears to be one extra as I was expecting another but from your description of events I think it safe to let that room go. Forgive me master Pinnochio but I took the liberty of getting you a room despite your lack of sleep. I assume you must rest on some level to replenish your powers or, at a minimum, have some time to yourself.
Shalelu stops to a sturdy but plain looking inn which features a raised exterior stair and outward facing doors while a wooden sign with the words "Turtleback Commons". This seems to be as much precaution as much a amenity as the raucous taproom attached fills the ever emptying street with music, laughing and yelling.
Shalelu reaches into her pocket and produces keys with room numbers and passes them out until two keys are left in her hand. Shalelu looks at Vidar, Ah...as I said...one...extra key. I should...return the extra to the desk and then we...should call it a night?
In the dim light of post dusk as the final light gives way to the night time sky amidst the flickering torches it is clear that Shalelu Andosana is almost beet red but does not waver in keeping her eyes on Vidar to see what he does next.
The boy appears to be a blossoming businessman, adapet at crossing the lake with some skill and ease of tongue but otherwise is as he seems, Ale aplenty sir and harder vintages to be sure...
As the raft closes on the opposing shore the young man makes his way too and fro on the deck to adjust the trajectory and spin of the raft, skillfully bringing the conveyance home at a small dock. The boy nods at the party and Shalelu, who pays the remaining fee and gestures to the party to come on shore, Where to next? Do you have specific designs? A need for rest? It is getting late...
The boy seems eager to not contemplate Pinocchio further, The "Ferry"? ITs a big merchant crossroads so all sorts come an go. I hear its pretty friendly all considered with the Fort nearby and the wilds and the tribes to the north. Korvosa's wild land after all and we get our fair share of trouble but folks like that we have Magnimar to rely on but not be so close as to be breathing on our ears at a moments notice yeh?
The boy winces at the unnerving little wooden man but Shalelu is nothing if not polite in offering a formal elven greeting to Pinnochio.
After the pleasantries of the moment has passed the ranger guides the group onto the raft and the young Eamon pushes off across the lake.
Shalelu turns to the group, So. The Ferry. I take it you think something of what was happening in Magnimar has made its way here?
The elf purses her lips in contemplation as though to suggest she might not tell you why she is here but thinks better of it as she waves the group to follow her into the small bustling area on the shore,
I stopped in to talk to Ameiko and she mentioned where you were heading. I have meant, in my long-lived elven way, to make it to this area for some time and it occurred to me that if you were already here then I might help you and you might help me. I understand you task brings you to the Ferry while I myself might need to head to the Fort itself. I understand you may have some cachet with the Magnimarans...
Shalelu leads the group to a small but well constructed crossing raft manned by a youth of certainly no older than 14, I secured us crossing and Eamon here has been waiting patiently. Shall we cross to the town proper?
Uh weird. Sorry for the delay. I just realized that I straight up never posted. Apologies.
The group progresses through the forest and makes its way to a clear shore on the southwestern shore of Clay Bottom Lake, one of the main waterways , along with the Skull River, that serves as Turtleback Ferry's mercantile access to the rest of the area.
In a small milling village that serves as waterway access, with a variety of different small boats and larger brges loading and unloading good and people to take the very paths the group avoided, the party can see the town across the water beyond as the day is bright and clear.
More noticeable, however, is the lithe form of Shalelu Andosana who sees the group approaching and waves as she walks towards you.
Passing the people she closes with the group and ignores all other greetings to grab the wizard roughly and harshly push her lips against his. The moment lingers just long enough to be uncomfortable before she separates from Vidar and then cuffs his chest, Can you not even walk in the woods without getting into trouble?
The next few days pass uneventfully, the group seeing little other tha the occasional wild animal. Whatever bandits this area is meant to harbor clearly are nonexistent or wise enough not to test the party as it moves with direction and purpose once more.
On the third night as you make camp you check your bearings and believe that you are not far from your destination perhaps able to make it as soon as by next night fall.
Any last day prept before heading into town?
If they weren't already crazy cultists I would say the staring might drive them mad.
The men seem to take the point and offer no complaints when the party packs up camp the following day leaving minimal supplies and the two Skinsaw cultists tied to a tree.
The day promises to be cooler and somewhat dark in the wood but hopefully relatively clear of further threats. Away we go?
GM Fiat - This isn't worth the time it has taken ;p
It is clear soon what is going on. The last few survivors of the Judge's Skinsaw Cult ultimately sought revenge on the party, hopeful that in doing so they would instill some positive fortune for their remaining members.
While the Judge's direct contact with Xanesha was kept hidden from the cult these members had come to understand that the might have a cell out in the wilds in the direction the group was heading. (Not realizing that Xanesha's sister was in fact running her own cell and it wasn't necessarily an ally of the Magnimar cell. ) A few coins later in the hands of unscrupulous mercs and the party is being ambushed in the woods...
Assuming a fast camp setup you can squeeze in enough time to see everyone isn't fatigued and gets enough rest.
The night passes "quietly" with the cultists becoming increasingly unnerved by Pinnocchio especially after long bouts of him not moving only to have him shift, angle or otherwise remind them of his very real livingness.
Once the group is situated the cultists seem eager for any other interaction than with the living toy.
You have your original "friend" and an older more grizzled man with a darker complexion who is the "leader" let me know who you start with or what not.
All evidence suggests that absent magical compulsion these guys are pretty hardy stock but sorta dopey. Based on what you know up until now they are part of the same group that Vidar lit on fire in the mill...I mean that Kithian killed...I mean that you all thwarted. They talk some but you know enough about these guys fanaticism that unless the magic users can loosen tongues you probably won't get much for exactly the reasons Cam is thinking of (Afterlife, secrets, etc.) but may be able to secure some basic info.
The next twenty minutes or so feature some small grumbling from the mercenary guards (a third on is revealed to have basically slept through the entire proceedings) as the mercenaries surrender mostly mundane weapons save for an enchanted hand axe (+1) and a potion of spider climb. The wizard's spellbook and pouches are turned over to Vidar as the mercenaries pack their camp and allow their items to be searched with Jutmerlum never far away to ensure compliance.
The cultists are stacked like cordwood to the side as the party takes over the camping spot. The half-orc archer bids the party well with a vague assurance to try to catch up in the future. With torches struck the mercenaries parade off into the forest, leaving the party with a pair of prisoners.
Camillo gets a withering stare from the captive, his friendliness now long replaced with a certain zealous distaste for the party.
The wizard mercenary for his part. Continues to keep his hands easily seen and leans out towards the darkness, Like I said, no hard feelings. You'll not see me or mine again...
The wizard considers the small "halfling" and shrugs, I don't know much about Ragathiel but I know a bad job when I see it. My men attacked because that was the job. Coin in hand, its what mercenaries do. Its only in the last day or so I come to realize this isn't a standard grudge, leaders killed by an opposing gang, but rather the work or a right crazy type of fool. The wizard pushes the man at his feet with his boot.
We have no weapons trained upon you. I'm sure I will perish before I finish a magical flourish. I assume you have no interest in slaughter here, oh noble knight and I know when I am had. This fellow at my feet knows all that I know and more. Take the crazy one and let my remaining men return to the city to eat, drink, whore and do work for coin another day.
Sorry folks, family drama never ends...
There is a shuffling sound and a bit more chaos as the voice of the "boss" calls from the tent, Put the bows down.
The two guards warily do so as they eye the paladin. The tent flap then whips open as a bound body is thrown from the tent with a grunt, proceeded by a man with long slick backed black hair and a sharp v shaped beard. His robes and number of pouches mark him as a wizard.
The man stands in the colder night air and pushes his hair back as he sighs, How about you take the fanatic here. I go home with the losses stated and profits posted and we call it a day?
The guards startle at the sudden appearance of the small armored ploracle but seems to consider the words with actual concern.
One tilts his head to a tent and says, Boss?
There is a brief pause and then you can hear the words, Tell them I will be out to discuss terms. There is a sudden sharp bark of protest, presumably from a third voice that seems quickly shushed by the telltale sounds of fist on flesh...
One of the guards offers a hesitatnt smirk, Er uh...just a moment.
Any actions before the boss comes out of the tent?
Still struggling to be light on hi toes Kithia circles around the other side. Regardless the guards seem to settle content that the noise around them is fauna and not some greater threat. Now the party is positioned much like a pincer with the bulk of the group center and the half-orcs off to either side...
Give me another stealth roll Kithian.
hmm?: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
hmm?: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Framed in the light the more narrow of the two can be seen lifting a finger in the direction of the deer and hitting the arm or the other sentinel. Jutmerlum's movements are quiet as he moves one direction...
With prisoner in tow the group opts to push on into the forest, the light fading fast. It takes a few hours to traverse the woods but even with a new'y noncompliant cultist in tow the group notes a fire off in the distance. Approaching within 200 feet the party manages to shield itself from detection save Kithian who seems unconcerned both with where he is going or what he is looking for.
Sudden hushed exchanges at the campsite causes the group to pause as they note at least two people at the fire looking out into the darkness in their general direction. While two multi-person tents frame the forest behind the sentinels. For now the group is undetected but the guards are looking in earnest...
Relk's in charge yeah...I mean after the Mistress died. He said we needed to avenge her as supplication for her sister to accept us. I don't know if you can negotiate with him...he has strong feelings about all this. As for leaving some of you alive...well....it seems so mean now but....it was because we thought we could get information from you. Using empathy and what not. Get you to talk...
The cultist turned "friend" clearly winces at this last point, his magical attunement to fondness making him feel regret at thoughts of harming you...
The group settles uneasily, watches taken with the extra edge of knowing that apparently beyond bandits there may be other more targeted interests stalking the woods.
The night passes and though the man stirs it appears he may have moved from unconsciousness to sleep as he does not come to until the early morning as Vidar is overlooking his spellbook in preparation for the day.
Its the familiar, Enok, who notices first, the loud bird deciding to heckle the prisoner by pecking at the ground around his splayed legs.
Sincerest apologies, I got a new promotion that also came with moving offices and computers and what not so my access to tech has been severly limited as my crappy home laptop has decided to play "turn off without notice and always require to be plugged in". But I'm moved, set up, and adapting so I should be more present.
Kithian and Jut search the bodies as the group reconvenes. Kithian notes the presence of a jeweled dagger of some fine cratfsmanship and a pair of nicely made swords, bows and armor. (MW s. swords, MW Composite S bows at 14 strength and MW studded leather) while the third warrior seems to be dressd more in a mix of tanned hides and carrying a solid oak cudgel. He has the look of a druid.
Bewtween the mercenaries you find 6 days of rations, 25 gp in assorted coins, 500 gp in assorted jewels and a small leather bound portfolio which contains rough descriptions of Vidar, Camillo, Sayniek and Kithian along with some hand written notes relating to the groups apparent destination and potential travel routes.
Jutmerlum notes that they are all three mercenaries from a relatively small company based out of Magnimar called the "Redbolts" and each wears a stylized crimson and bronze bolt charm on a neckale. Jutmerlum knows them to be a low costing option for low moral types.
Man you guys are no fun...
Jut pauses in his approach, knocks, draws and loose. Yells erupt from the treetops as arrows pincushion a camouflaged attacker and he falls to the ground. Jut yells from the ground warning the camp of danger and Vidar responds by lighting the treetops on fire in a cacophony of sound and light. Two more yells end as flaming bodies meet the ground...
All seems quiet.
Out of initiative.
Sorry folks, the parade of random crap never ends
The smoke begins to dissipate in earnest and reveals little in the way of foes. Pinnochio and Cam continue to hustle back while the camp party whispers and searches. Jutmerlum approaches between the two groups...
At a wider angle to the camp party Jutmerlum notices the barely noticeable; 3 figures dressed in camouflage have taken to the tops of the trees using the smoke and chaos as distraction. Clearly they are lying in wait for everyone to return to camp. They seemed to have noticed the orcish archer but not that he has noticed them...
Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.