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Kzrira does recall Faelar going on about Shelyn, some sort of Avistani goddess of love poems or something. Of course, her recent experiences with Varkata indicates Cayden Cailean is a god of drinking and luck perhaps. Neither seem to have the gravitas of the traditional Garundi triumvirate of Gozreh, Nethys and Pharasma or even the newcomers, Sarenrae and Abadar.
"Whose side are you on, Sister?" the man laughs as he grabs Varata's forearm in greeting. "I openly admit my friend's brew is a work of art. Give her a Hammer Head on me, Jerikal. My name's Tomlin Orlof, by the way. His craft is a wonder, he's even thrown a few healing spells as a kicker in a couple of his brew; calls the concoctions 'Priest in a Bottle'. More the reason he should come on over to Cayden. Can you see Shalyn approving of that? Besides Caydenites buy enough of his brew- it's the only decent thing to do!"
Ducking into the the nicely maintained red plastered building, you find a quite lovely tavern within . In fact, it almost looks more like an old lady's parlor; well-lit with blue and red checkered wax table cloths and overflowing floral vases of flowers centered just so. There is the peaceful sound of water tinkling from a statue of a woman tipping a jar into a pool and an idle lutanist plucks at his instrument. There's even a painting of a peacock resting under a rose bush.
Despite the oddly out of place decor however, the bar is well attended. A halfling on a platform tends bar in a lovely red velvet jacket and hair immaculately parted and pomaded. Varkata recognizes one of her own in jovial debate with the bartender.
The man holds up a tall glass of ale to the light, "Sure it's a thing of beauty, but you're a brewer, not a harpist! Cayden's the only proper god for you. You've just lost your head over Shelyn's pretty face. Understandable, but come on mate!"
Kzrira takes her time trying several bows before choosing a suitable one for future enhancement. You take your leave of the bowyer and meander through the markets with Radi ever present at Amir's shoulder.
You realize you are quite near the docks and your old haunts near Tian Town and the familiar scents of the fish markets and spices remind you of earlier days. Along with the ubiquitous scent of pesh. Varkata spots a place of interest as you continue on- Jerikal's Ales. The name seems faintly familiar to her for some reason.
speaking of lost posts. sonuva-!
you all are yo-yoing the poor guy's heart.
The elf strokes his narrow jaw and gives Varkata a begrudging nod. "I do not have the skill to add that ability to these bows, but someone better trained in the magic arts could do so easily. It will take somewhat more time and cost to raise the power of the greater bows though."
RAW- adding bane to the +1 bow would take a CL8 6 days. You just need someone with craft arms and armor and access to a summon monster spell. Amir should be able to find someone suitable.
Karethas seems a bit more comfortable speaking with the exotic elf than Amir. Though the College is across the city and likely couldn't be indicated with a nod, the perceptive elf seems to get the gist of the wizard's business.
"Such ones are very dangerous; I would advice caution. The elves of Kyonin have need of such bows and they rarely find their way out of our homeland. I have arrows that may be of use, but a bow itself I cannot provide. The market is great however, and another may be able to assist you or for such a specific request, a Church might prove more useful."
earlier... Amir- don't you toggle back to make sure you posted right after?
The girl squints at the old rogue and scratches at her short rough cut hair. "Like I said, he's not above working for others for a time, but he usually thinks he can do better himself in the end though it usually doesn't work out that way."
The elf looks sharply at Kzrira at the mention of lower planes and their denizens.
Perhaps some diplomacy?
Kaethas doesn't notice anyone that arouses his suspicion in the throngs that surround the party as the teen girl leads you through the markets. Radi appears quite suddenly before you. "Saddah, I am glad to see you. I thought we were to meet this evening. There is no problem however, I have found a shop that might suite your needs!"
He quickly waves off the tall girl and grabbing Amir's sleeve, leads him a short distance to a small structure of expertly carved and joined wood. The entrance appears to be the joined top halves to two giant beautifully shaped bows. Inside, a tall blonde elf whose locks are tightly braided into complicated patterns presides over a row of beautiful bows and baskets of arrows in a wide array of colored fletching.
He nods to Radi in recognition and pulls a pair of composite longbows for Kzrira's inspection. "The finest Kyonin construction," he assures her.
A +1 comp longbow and +2 comp longbow, both @ Str 12
There are appreciative ohhs and ahhs from the mob surrounding Amir. "He's a wizard," declares one waif.
"No he's not," asserts another. "He wouldn't need us to help find this guy if he was."
"Yeah, and he ain't dressed right," agrees a third. "He'd look more like him." He points at Karethas which seems to settle the point.
Finally, a confident bean pole of a girl pushes the others aside. "None of you know what you're talking about. I'll take you to Radi. I saw him this morning. This way." With that settled she leads the way through the crowd with long strides turning often to make sure you are keeping up.
"What did you want to know?" she asks Amir. "Can you trust him?" She just shrugs. "He'll make money whatever way works. If it's the shell con, he can do it. If it's delivering curry boxes. That works, too. He doesn't usually stay legit for too long though. Figures there's an easier way to get rich."
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
He said he was from the city...is there a check I can make to try to recall if I know him?
that would be the Know local = 9 that you rolled... you can do some old fashioned asking around (diplomacy) as well.
With further discussion of the Nexian scroll put off until evening, Amir leads the others toward the lower city to find Radi and re-arm Kzrira. From the villas and inns near the Golden Oasis, you move deeper into the Inner City past historic monuments, the coliseum and strange towers of the Pactmasters Palace. Through the Night Gate, the city falls away and you are afforded a wondrous view of the Obari Ocean.
The aptly named Lower City lies at the bottom of the great stone and timber ramp that scales the black cliff that holds the sandy bluffs of the original settlement above the sea. A twin ramp from the Day Gate mirrors your descent through the teeming traffic that presses dangerously against the railing that usually keeps anyone from falling to his death. Amidst the moving crowds, carts and temporary tents and stalls offer goods and services even here. Amir is more than passingly familiar with the businesses that mysteriously appear after dark on the Night Ramp.
There is a background buzz heard even over the clamor on the ramp which grows as you descend. The buzz becomes a rumble as you pass the great arcane flame that burns eternally in a multitude of hues above the topmost tier of the ziggurat which serves as the Temple of Nethys. Finally, at the foot of the ramp, the noise is nearly deafening as you are immersed it the riotous colors, smells and cacophonous activity of the Great Plaza markets.
"Open the case," he commands and the bone scroll case floats from his hands and the top is removed. Again he commands the unseen assistant, "Remove the scroll and unroll it for me."
Once the strange artifact floats before the wizard, he says a word passing his hand before his eyes and squints at the scroll as if it were a bright light. Another cantrip and then a follow-up spell that causes his eyes to glow blue. Finally, he casts yet another spell and gasps.
"Return the scroll to its case," he states flatly and the unseen servant quickly rolls and stows the oddly crumbling and renewing parchment leaving a small pile of dust on the floor. With the gesture from the wizard, the scroll floats back over to Amir. After a long moment, the intimidating figure finally allows, "Interesting. I will allow that this bears more study."
"Of course, you remain barred from the academy, young Karethas. So we will have to meet at my residence. It is on this side of the Golden Oasis just past the Two Penny Bridge. You may come by this evening."
Sense Motive DC 18:
Despite his nonchalance, you can see that the old wizard is clearly excited.
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
Finally, she says, in an overly calm manner, "I believe that part of the request was to set aside your disdain, if only temporarily?"
Respect is earned, not granted upon request. Destroying priceless tomes and equipment through foolish ambition and making grandiose claims does not earn my respect, madam.
He accepts the scroll from Amir as his eyes contine to bore into Karethas.
Dean Xobhadi narrows his eyes at Karethas, calculating for some time before reaching a decision. "I would like nothing better than to send you out the door head hanging low once again, but... you have shown some talent in finding things far beyond your ability to handle. Quickly then, show me what you have. It will only take a moment to detect the fraud and send you off once again!"
The wizard turns a disdainful eye on Amir, "Oh, please spare me the turnip stand bargaining tactics. Not only am I a native of Katapesh, I'd be a poor diviner if I couldn't detect a common merchant's ploys. But what does the witless apprentice have to say?"
Kzrira has a bow? if so, "Put your bow away, cretin! This is an academy not an archery range!"
The awkward conversation is interrupted moments later by the sudden appearance of the Dean. He is just as imposing as Karethas remembers. The dark skinned Garundi stands six and a half feet tall in violet robes. His head is shaved in the manner common among high ranking and religious figures of the culture. His gray beard is neatly trimmed into a goatee.
His eyes quickly scan the party and settle into a deep scowl at the sight of his former student. "I am sorry, I was told heroes were present, not FOOLS! I thought that I made myself clear, young Karethas. You are not welcome here."
The apprentice dutifully writes the message on a piece of parchment and places it in a round box. Placing the lid on top, he twists it matching a series of symbols written on top. When he removes the lid again, the box is empty. The young man then sits back staring at you.
"Kelmarane... where's that?"
With some trepidation, Karethas leads the way to the College of Dimensional Studies. It is actually quite close, a short walk around to the other side of the Golden Oasis and over the River Scorpius across the Two Penny Bridge so named for the toll once charged to enter this neighborhood though now the nominal tax is required of anyone passing into the Inner City itself from one of the other quarters of the great city.
The College itself is a grand domed structure with an odd contraption projecting from a section of the dome. The lens at the end of the thing reflects the bright sunlight. It is used to study distant objects in the night sky and tours are sometimes offered for a small fee. The main entrance is actually quite a small area with just enough space for a front desk, a couple classrooms for apprentices, and the stairway to the observatory. Most of the building is only accessible to those with the ability to teleport through space as no doors are provided.
Karethas is relieved to see that the apprentice stationed at the desk is not anyone he knows.
Radi smiles at the coin, bowing and quickly pocketing it. Very well, Sayyid. But these tasks will not take a whole day. Perhaps I can assist you with the um, he looks around carefully, "special thing"? I take it that you are still looking for a buyer. I know many rich merchants.
are you still running the bow errand first or giving Radi a try while you hit the college?
The next morning, no sooner have you left the Sand Dragon than Radi approaches Amir. Sayyid, I have spoke with the Pathfinder seer. She was not very helpful however. She wanted to know how you had acquired the artifact and I told Her it was a prize of the Heroes of Kelmarane from their victory over the Carrion King in the West. She said that they had a member there and if this elf Pathfinder would vouch for you then she would meet with you. Do you know of an elf in Kelmarane?
Radi bows low speaking from a bent over position, I am sorry that I have failed, Sayyid. Perhaps your humble servant can be of use in a simpler task. What are you seeking this day?
You do not sleep well. You dream that you are high on a precipice buffetted by freezing winds. The winds coalesce into wild naked women that tear at your clothing and make carnal promises. Just when you cannot stand it any more and desire to leap from the mountain into the deadly sylphs' embrace a more powerful wind intercedes whirling around you and fending off the others. All you remember of the other the next morning are large violet eyes and a word, Boria.
Karethas feels a bit of gastric distress as he suddenly recalls that Dean Rayhan Xobhadi's specialty is ancient dimensional magic, in particular Nexian works.
Amir also looks a bit uncomfortable as he realizes he has had few dealings with bowyers. Glossing over that, he assures Kzrira he knows just the place secretly hoping to bump into something in one of the weapons markets.
Amir can think of several discreet wizards that he has met or heard of through his dealings in the Nightstalls, but whether they would have the knowledge or skill to handle the Nexian artifact is dubious. It is likely that something of such history and potential power requires a sage or great scholar, not one of the hexers, necromancers or demonologists that lurk in the shadowy markets.
Amir wonders if Karethas might know of someone better suited from his rather short time as an academic.
Karethas takes up the flighty staff which is cold in his hands, but not uncomfortably so. He is at a loss to explain what has happened to his companions. It will take a bit more study to reveal more of the nature of Tempest. At the moment, his doughty companion needs to be rearmed and a lead case bought for the ruse. There is also the question of discovering what the Kakishon scroll actually does.
In the throws of moving this weekend so I'll elucidate about Tempest's new abilities later, but you can move on about the other concerns.
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
Yeah what is going on with ol' Tempest. I am still hoping it will change its mind at the last minute and become a shocking short sword...
sorry, old boy. Karethas needs a little help to compensate for the next book.
Amir gives Kzrira a blank look for a moment and then reluctantly produces the pale longbow. As the risen archer reaches for it however, it suddenly recoils sending out a frosty shock to the rogue and warrior. The object twists a moment and straightens as it falls at Karethas' feet now a helical crystalline staff.
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
I believe there are divination spells that will reach across planes -- which would catch extradimensionals (I imagine)
L4 scrying indeed would cross planes but is limited to targeting creatures. L5 commune with other planes might reveal something. L6 greater scrying could see that you have a bag of holding and infer the scroll might be there though it still couldn't detect lead.
Just a couple possibilities.
So decision whether to keep or stash scroll and how to identify it?
Amir Awad Hajjir wrote:
Amir's eyes settle Karethas But what about this scroll? Is it something we look into authenticating and selling or is there a chance this is important enough we don't dare let it out of our sight?
Before the young wizard can reply, you are interrupted again by a muscular woman in metal studded leathers to match her numerous piercings holding precious metals and stones. You are the ones selling the Nexian artifact. I am Badra. I will offer you an honest price for it. My clientele includes several powerful wizards that would be most interested. I have heard that the Ma'sud clan has already made an offer and let me be clear that I would take it as a direct affront should I not be allowed the first chance to bid on the item. You cannot help but notice the richly ornamented scimitar she wears easily at her side.
Amir hears much the same before he is interrupted by Radi returned from his errand. Sayyid, I have scoured the city for these Pathfinders as you asked. They are plentiful here it appears. I heard of at least three lodges: one that scours the markets for artifacts, one to store their treasures and one that finds lost lore. Idid not know which one you wished to contact.
Kzrira can focus on little in her current hungry and fatigued state. She dives into the tasty fare at the inn. Varkata is inclined to be a bit more social and learns some basic facts from the merchants at the bar.
The road was laid out centuries ago to cross the wastelands between Katapesh and Ipeq. The most famous stop along the route was a large oasis known as the Well of Paradise. There was a shrine to Sarenrae there with priests to provide assistance and healing to travelers. It fell through some unknown misfortune and the road was closed soon thereafter.
The High Priest gives an approving nod, "Rest would be good, but when you have recovered perhaps there is a task for you. The Pactmasters have contacted me in regards to recent word of success in Kelmarane. They seek to reopen a trade road that has not been used in decades. It is rumored to be cursed, but if it were restored it would bypass Solku and be a much more direct route to the new settlement."
This book actually does have an interesting side trek. I wasn't sure if I wanted to use it because this is also the most railroady part of the AP and I didn't want to get too off track, but I think that I can make it work. It should give Varkata a chance to shine a bit as well.
On that note, I'll be traveling over the next fortnight. I should have some access, but may be MIA a few days here and there just so's you know.
Kzrira Maiwith wrote:
"Not the first time that's happened," the priest grimaces. "It is a good thing that we could help. Had she been in Osirion, the Pharaoh would have been required to approve such a spell and she would likely have had to dedicate the rest of her life in service to the Ruby Prince. At least you are paid in full here."
At Varkata's question the Master nods. "Certainly, at least partially, we can provide that service. Unfortunately, that service is rather expensive as well. Everything has its proper price."
All levels will be restored with the next level up or one may be restored magically for 1280 gp