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:( Hey guys,
I'm sorry I dissapeared for so long. After the recent drop off in momentum I started dedicating my focus more towards other things like school, work, etc. I think it's safe to say at this point that I'll have to discontinue my efforts here.
My apologies to all of you who were counting on pushing foward. I had a blast with all of you guys. Best of luck.
Once opened, the trap door reveals a strong wooden ladder that descends 15 feet into a cave. The unmistakable Troglodyte stench instantly intensifies as you gaze down into the pit.
A gaping pit drops away along the eastern wall of this cavern, descending twenty feet to a sloshing pool of water below. The pit’s sides are steeply sloped and slick with moss, but are also covered with many rough ledges and protrusions. A series of wooden ladders and ropes descends along these walls to a ledge below, just around the edge of the pool.
A sandy ledge sits on the verge of the tidal pool that foams with the surf of the sea. Water marks on the cavern’s irregular walls and the collection of flotsam, small shells, and mussels embedded in the sand attest to the flooding that this cave periodically receives. A tunnel exits on the pool’s opposite side.
You are now in "B2". You may begin taking actions.
As Thallan enters the Gold Goblin, he is greeted by a petite elf woman.
"Oh, I must have forgotten to lock the door. Hello S...Sir, thank you for coming, but we are closed right now. We should be back open in a few days if you come back then."
She blushes slightly but manages to keep a straight face and doesn't look away.
Just then, Kwava pops his head out from Saul's office.
Kwava walks across the pit to receive the elf.
"Welcome... Thallan I presume?"
Ziyad: Riddleport, Early morning:
Kwava sets you off in the direction of the Cypherlodge, naming a cyphermage apprentice Samaritha Beldusk as a possible reference. Samaritha was recently working at the Gold Goblin until she was accepted as an apprentice with the cyphermages.
The Order of Cyphers is a very haughty organization who overly enunciate and generally speak down to people. This manner of being is not purpose, as the Cyphermage's are generally well educated Wizards and scholars with years of study under their belts. Joining the organization is not easy task, as there are hundreds of travellers who attempt to join each month.
Once you arrive at the Cypherlodge, you notice about 10 people scattered around in small groups chattering among themselves in the front room. The patron at the front desk looks up from a scroll he is scribing and addresses you.
"Welcome to the Cypherlodge, we are currently full and so we are not accepting new guests, or is that not why you are here? Magic items you say? And you know Samaritha? As a visiting guest, you will need to pay a one time fee of 50 gp to access the facilities here at the Cypherlodge. You look to have some proficiency with the arcane, are you a travelling wizard yourself?"
When asked about scrolls and wands, he responds
"We are not a group of adventurers collecting used wands, we have professional craftsman who are renowned in the region of their works. All jobs are taken by consignment, unless it is for a scroll, in which case we may already have it done."
Wand prices are:
50 charges: 100% of the base price
Scroll prices are:
90% of the base price.
Sorry boys, humanoids are Local. Ask Vhalas, he can tell you IC everything you need to know about Troggs. Additionally, in order for leveling to take affect, as well as for Ziyad to renew his spells, you guys need to rest. You've now been awake for over 24 hours.
Kwava:"I have plenty of things to work out here with Talia, I'll leave this to all of you to work out. First things first, though, we all need rest, it's been a long 24 hours. If you choose to go down below, I'll pull a few strings to find out about The Hole. If you head there, I'll keep a watch below to make sure nothing comes up."
Just then, light breaks through the windows of the Gold Goblin and hits your eyes. The sudden bright light burns, and fatigue begins to set in.
Vhalas follows his nose to the center of the octahedron. Once you are in the very center of the room, you immediately know the smell: Troglodytes. You spend more time inspecting the area and notice that as you step around, there is a slight creaking noise below you. Kicking away the sand, you are able to uncover what looks to be a trap door with a large keyhole covered by a a wooden plug.
As the group separates, you all realize that is now getting late, and you are extremely tired. That being said, you have it in you to conduct this search.
To learn about the engineering and sap points of the building, Ziyad will spend some time observing the different levels of the Gold Goblin, as well as looking outside. You remember hearing that the tunnels in Riddleport are roughly 10' underground, meaning that any logical entrances would be a staircase down from an area not directly above sub-level 1, or straight out of sub-level 1. It is possible they would be up from sub-level 2, but this seems unlikely. None of the stone forms in sub-level two seem to be out of the place.
When passing by the cellar entrance, you smell something interesting. Give me a Knowledge (Local) check Den.
In the Dressing Rooms you find a bunch of what looks like outfits of disguises of royalty, cold weather, jesters, and the well known Succubi.
In the dining room on level 2 (27), you find behind a large tapestry an opening into the rafters. You notice that you have one-way vision down into the gaming floor from here.
You also notice a funky scent on level one near the cellar entrance
VhalasAnything beyond what I've revealed to you here will require specific perception checks.
Kwava: "I'm sorry but the money needs to stay within the Goblin. I was suggesting we could use it as bait, like a fake drop, but either way it will need to be funneled back into the system. We might already be bankrupt. As for patching up the wounds, I've got that under control. I sent Ganmeed off with a request for one to two new recruits. I estimate their arrival some time tomorrow mid-day."
You spend time searching the sub-levels with Ziyad. If you haven't already, read GG articles 31-39.
You find the underground arena that runs on certain nights of the week. You find two separate kennels with dogs and pigs. They both seem extremely hungry as if they haven't eaten in a few days. Feces are all over the floor, and it smells terrible.
In the infirmary (36), you find a potion of CLW.
The octahedron is surrounded by a large arena. In the octahedron you find a number of weapons on the walls, as well as blood stains smeared on the walls, pillars, and some on the sand.
Hey guys, just checking in. Will have an update tomorrow. I had previously thought to run this scenario by room, but to shoot us forward into the action, I'll go ahead and run it as you guys have taken it. FYI to the newbies, sorry I haven't contacted you with your transitions in. I'll get on that.
PS the rest of you, you need to rest.
Kwava:"It seems you are correct Vhalas. Hard to say if he had a scheme in mind to push me out, but it definitly looks as though this was primarily a coverup."
"Haha, I appreciate and encourage the enthusiasm. Yes, as a manner of speech Vhalas, yes, I agree. Remember, this is a place of business and it must remain so even after the dust settles, so be mindful of the furnishing."
"The Shin'Rakorath have been the proud owner of the Goblin now for over three months. We purchased her early in Abadius. This must be the drop for "D.A."... whoever or whatever that is. Saul's income reports have been regular and profitable, but I suppose that if we did a full inventory of this safe we'd find otherwise. As for this money, our pockets are deep. I'm open to ideas about we use it for it's current "intended purpose", the problem would be knowing the time and place associated."
Know (Local): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Linguistics Take 20
Talia remains quiet as she slowly studies the deeds in detail.
Talia: "Kwava, I must be stating the obvious, but this is a forgery. If you look at the seal, there seems to be inconsistencies in the runic symbols on the Cyphergate design. The detail must have been too great to replicate."
With a bit of help, Vhalas is able to masterfully open what appears to be a complicated safe without any problems.
Inside the safe you find a large sack, as well as a parchment made of calf-skin. Burned into the top of the document you see the words
Contents of sack:
A small note which simply says Pharast 1-30
Kwava:"What's this? Well this should account for some of the book cooking, what a fool. And this? It cannot be."
Kwava leaves the room running, and returns within one minute, holding a similar looking parchment in his hands.
"This is the deed, signed over and dated by Saul and myself"
Knowledge Local DC 17:
In Riddleport, possession of a deed is pretty much all that’s required to own a business
Perception (Inspection of the parchments) DC 12:
You notice that the only differences in text is the following: ownership of the Gold Goblin does not in turn grant ownership of any smuggler’s tunnels that might exist underneath the property
Linguistics (inspection of the parchments) DC 20:
Kwava's deed is clearly a forgery of medium quality. No deliberate errors appear, but some simple mistakes appear in the authenticity of such a document.
Nice roll Den!
I'm sure Talia would be happy to give up a few things, even let you copy any spells she has into your book.
ALso, as for the magic shop, my suggestion to you is to spend some time looking for a shop. I'm happy to run a sideline with you in a spoiler of you looking around town for a magic shop, or asking questions etc.
Vhalas, sounds good! I must admit, I miss the old avatar :), it had more of an edge to it.
Okay, some big announcements!
1. You've all leveled up to level 4. Congratulations!
2. Talia has officially left the combat party, and will no longer be accompanying you unless you ask for a specific reason.
3. Morphelius and Thallan, I am sorry for the delay, as things have taken a few turns that I had not expected. That's what I get for homebrewing this :)
Here's the plan, I'll be introducing you both into the game if both of you are still committed 100%. One of you will have the flexibility to be a bit more combat oriented, while the other can be a bit more healing oriented. I'll let the two of you sort out any small changes you want to make. Additionally, you'll both be coming in at lvl 4, so go ahead and level up. I will be PMing you some time this week with how I see you getting integrated into the story line.
Kwava looks to Dendarial and responds
"I will try to be as transparent with you all as possible. Since you're all green, I have to be suspicious of your ability to start, though to an extent you've all proven yourselves in one way or another. There is still a long way for our unit to go, but I'm confident we'll get there. In the case of Saul, I couldn't have you walking around constantly suspicious of him, as this may have caused him to spook. But again, I will be more transparent with you."
Kwavas head perks up at the rest of the party.
"Also, I've already sent for some specific reinforcements to join our unit. After the boneyard, I can see what we're dealing with. If I hadn't been there, things could have gone much worse."
You notice that Ganmeed is nowhere to be seen in Kwava's office.
Kwava will accompany the party to the Night Vault.
Description of the Night Vault:
The door to this reinforced chamber is composed of 6 inches of solid steel. Its hinges are securely nested in the stone wall. Seven keyholes and a locking wheel are set int he center of the door. All the locks
respond to a single key. As you walk inside this massive safe, the walls are lined with cashboxes with various labels and denominations.
Kwava takes you to the back of the safe with torch in hand and points to a hole that almost seems to be inlaid into the back corner of the room.
"That's it, lets see what you've got."
The weekend and homework Den :), but I am here. Oh and I also wanted you guys to have a decision set on what you were going to do, since I dont' wanna railroad this for you.
The party heads upstairs to Kwava's office, leaving the staff to themselves.
"Okay, have a seat everyone. Here's where we're at right now, Talia and I searched a few rooms, but found ourselves held up in the papers room. Talia was able to conclude that there are some irregularities. Saul must have been funneling his money into something or someone labeled only as "D.A" unfamiliar to all of you. It's hard to say what he's been financing, because it definitely wasn't his wardrobe. We also checked the night vault, and nothing suspicious seemed to surface other than a small safe in the back which I hadn't noticed previously. I tried out all my keys but nothing worked. Do any of you have expertise in opening locks? As for me, I know he's guilty, and needs to die, but in the mean time, feel free to search the rest of the place for anything else. Now tell me, what did you find out? Since we now have a moment, do any of you have more questions for me? Oh, and Talia has something to say."
Talia slowly steps forward, with her hand over her mouth and her head tilted downward.
"Listen, all of you. I'm sorry I let you down today. I don't know what got over me during the ambush. I've always dreamed of adventuring, but I never really expected that I would freeze up at the first sign of danger. I do intend to work to serve the Shin'Rakorath and their cause, but I cannot put you in danger anymore for my lack of combat experience. I'm going to be taking Saul's place here at the goblin, managing the day to day affairs. This way I can stay deployed out here with you. I hope you're all okay with my decision. Kwava was really understanding and thinks I'll do a good job."
Talia seems to be a bit more confident now, standing a little taller, her face now returning to the normal pale color it usually is.
Edit: Re-read the post Den, I've added a few things! (Like i always do)
Like the secret doors. :) Nice maps. And its a darn big place. Very cool. Den is playing guard and lookout until needed. When we get moving he will go first and use survival to check for tracks.
I cleaned it up quite a bit, but taking care of the "S"'s was just going to be too much for me, so I left them as is :)
Nothing that will really affect what's going on.
BTW, have you guys seen the new "lantern bearer" PRC in "Paths of Prestige"? Cool stuff!
Talia returns from their search as the interrogations end. She pulls the group together.
"Hey team, nothing solid yet, but Kwava and I have found a few interesting things that we could all look at together. This place is huge, so there's plenty of area to cover still. Kwava wants us all to meet once you're ready."
SHAME ON YOU FOR LOOKING
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
After about three hours of interrogation, you finish with the last of them. First of, here are a few things you learned, in relation to your list of questions:
1. Most of his employees have been with him for at least two years, one of the succubi, Griselda, for over four.
Additionally, you learn that Griselda was surely having some sort of affair with Saul, but she continues to deny it. After a while, your sense motive ability allows you to see clearly that she is just embarrassed about it.
You also learn that the imp "Old Scratch" has been in debt to Saul Vancaskerkin for some time now. Saul has no direct relation to the imp, other than the contract that he bought from an old Wizard who pawned off the last year of his contract to him. The purpose of having the imp in the Gold Goblin was to use him as an attraction for an upcoming tournament called “Cheat the Devil and Take His Gold.”. If Old Scratch performed his duties well, his contract would be cut down to just six months left, though at this rate he is worried the tournament will never happen. He is very reasonable in his speech, yet obviously devious. He complains that Saul never feeds him the right kind of food, and that as soon as he's out he intends on having his way with him.
I don't quite understand your interaction with Talia, did you have a specific goal or request of her? As for the imp, feel free to interact with him if you'd like
The Killer Wasp wrote:
*Sharpens implements of torture.* Just say the word boss! :D
What I want you to do is come up with a list of questions that you'll be asking in general. If you have any specifics for someone or some people I'll pay extra special attention to those people. From there, I'll have you roll a series of whatever relevant checks you would like to roll. I'll then reveal the result of the skill check you used. Lets start with the questions.
As the party makes it's way back to the Gold Goblin, a smirk appears on Kwava's face.
"And you had me thinking you were incapable of contributing something useful. Your suggestion is sound, but a bit rash. I don't want to lose anyone we don't have to."
Kwava is silent for a moment
"Vhalas, you lead the party in rounding everyone up, there should be 18 on duty today, 19 if you include the Devil, so this will not be a quick process. I'll make sure to inform them of what's going on to start. Wasp will conduct the interrogations, Dendarial and Ziyad stand guard. Wasp, feel free to use any of the others as an assistant. Vhalas, you're responsible for making this work, so last word is yours on the floor. Absolutely no weapons unless there is resistance. We need to be able to bounce back from this. Talia and I will investigate Saul's quarters."
Breakdown of Employees today:
4 varisian guards with large scimitars
Talia responds to Ziyad
"I saw Saul and Kwava having some kind of argument. Saul pulled a dagger on Kwava and cut his arm, and then came bolting out the door. I don't remember much more than that right now. I... Amin hiraetha"
Talia is now sniffling as she tries to keep the pace. Tears run back from her eyes and under her ears.
Kwava responds to Vhalas again
"My inspection of the place left me unaware of any secret or unknown exits, nor have I had reason to suspect any based on any circumstances. As for individuals, I would keep a close eye on the Succubi. Saul spent a lot of his free time conversing with them, at times alone in his office. There's not much more to say other than watch your backs and keep a close eye on everyone."
The party makes it back to the Gold Goblin to find small multitude of angry people at the bottom of the stairs. They seem to be complaining about their money. At the top of the stairs stand Fane and Bavolio, two of the guards guarding the doors.
Kwava: "Easy everyone, we will reconcile your tabs tomorrow. Be on your way."
Kwava makes his way to the top of the stairs
"Fane, is everyone out?"
"Yes Boss, the crew's inside cleaning up. What's going on?"
"A bit of a crisis. Come inside, and bar the doors. Nobody gets in, or out."
(The next part is assuming you all follow inside. Let me know if you take any other actions previous or don't go in at all)
Inside the Gold Goblin:
As the bar shuts, Kwava steps into a now barren Gold Goblin.
"Everyone, gather here. I don't know what got over Saul a minute ago, but we need to put the pieces together. I don't have time to answer all of your questions right now, but I will make sure to do so when we have the time. Right now I need you all to remain here until we've had some time to straighten a few things out. I'm going to let them take it from here." Kwava gestures to the party.
Go ahead and proceed as you would. Wasp, when you're ready to interrogate, I'll create a streamlined process to get it done quickly and efficiently
Kwava: "Saul's discreteness is what I pay him for. I do not know if anyone else in the Goblin is in with him, but they have been his employees for longer than the Shin'Rakorath have owned the Gold Goblin. We need to approach carefully, and be watching our backs at all times for any who know what might have happened and are on his side."
@Ziyad & Vhalas
Talia's eyes open up slowly
Kwava: "No, you should sit down for a moment to regain your senses. Are you okay?"
Talia: "Yes, I'm okay, though I think my jaw is a bit sore."
She raises her hand to her cheek and softly rubs it.
Kwava sits her up, and then stands. He looks at Ziyad.
Kwava: "Do you remember I told you I would soon introduce you to my informant? Well that's Saul. He wasn't only my manager, he was my ear to the street. It seems Saul has been working with Ziphras all along... As far as I can tell, he's never crossed me, until now. I have been suspicious of him for a couple of weeks now, as his stories do not always add up, that is why I showed up when I did, and I'm glad I did. I don't believe the dummies were any sort of reaction to you guys showing up early, I think it was an ambush all along. You guys just happened to watch them set the entire thing up. I mean I don't think Saul anticipated you staking out the place... you ambushed the ambush."
After speaking for a few moments, Kwava's adrenaline has come and gone. He directs his attention to Vhalas, and looks him directly in the eyes. With a composed tone, he says:
"Vhalas, your course speech may work against other brutes in this city, but I am not so easily intimidated. Not by your speech, neither by your ability. Do not pretend to be more than you are, as I am the judge of your character and ability in this organization. You show concern in your eyes for Talia, but it ends there. You would rather begin by pointing fingers, and bringing more problems to the table than solutions."
Kwava takes a deep breath
"Now, I sent you into that encounter knowing that there may be some additional risk involved, but I didn't expect him to react this way upon seeing Talia. He must have really been counting on every one of you going down, but he underestimated the Shin'Rakorath. He must die by the hand of a Lantern Bearer."
"At this point, I do not think that just chasing him down will be too fruitful. The Goblin is on lockdown, and we will start an investigation there, to see if we can find any evidence of how deep he was involved with Ziphas. I know he didn't have time to tamper with anything he may have had there. We need to hurry back to make sure that nobody touches anything before we get there. I'll answer any more questions you may have once we've locked the place down."