|Mark Seifter Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston aka Rogue Eidolon|
|Andrei Buters Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—Melbourne aka KestlerGunner|
|Benjamin Falk Venture-Lieutenant, Germany—Freiburg aka Hayato Ken|
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / Faction Talk / Cheliax
You're probably so good in the sack that I wouldn't mind stirring porridge with someone of the same faction AND party in the same night... but seriously, the novelty of "Doesn't matter had sex!" has been getting rather exhausted.
Surely you can offer us something else as a reward other than your hot Chelish pie.
On the contrary, Shou, the hellknights are known to respect a man who can control his urges. It's all part of that "taking oaths seriously" thing.
(Not that debauchery and licensciousness are wrong, per se, but those knights who've taken vows of chastity or marital faithfulness can grow weary of being referred to as meat poppets.)
There is a small faction of hellknights who worship Erastil or Irori, and bonds of fidelity are doubly important to them.
And commendations, for being wiling to speak your sense of things, when tempted to hold your tongue and appear fashionable.
If you would like to discuss matters further, I would be honored to share a meal with you at your convenience.
However, Hellknights recognize hierarchy and do not argue with the instructions of their betters. The Paracountess is your better. If she offers you debauchery and sin as a reward, you shall accept and thank her for it.
*A small girl, seemingly young beyond the Pathfinders' recruitment age, in a simple commoner's outfit with a surprisingly high-quality bow strapped to her back glances back and forth among the gathered personages before replying to one of the comments.*
True Seeing OR Perception 31:
The girl is short but not as young as she seems, though she is using both illusions and a mundane disguise to appear that way, fitting with her comment on the Paracountess fooling others into underestimating her.
City of Strangers:
If you're wondering, this character is based on the NPC of the same name from City of Strangers, wherein, on my first time GMing it, the Cheliax character paid 500 gold out of pocket to have her sent to the same monastery that trained him, so I turned around and made her my next PC.
"Miss Zarta makes it seem like she's utterly distracted by her liaisons to fool other people like those cannibals from Andoran into underestimating her. It's not like she ever carries through with me on those weird things she sends in the letters..."
Now, now, let us not be too hasty. Shou acquitted himself well in the last mission we completed together; this should be taken into consideration. It was a dangerous mission, at that.
The Paracountess' zeal in matters of the flesh can be somewhat... Intense, perhaps, to those unused to such behaviour. I do believe that our work as Pathfinders takes precedence, however, and that such rewards can be considered... Optional. Of course, the Paracountess may look upon you less favourably should you choose not to indulge her, but let us not judge him too harshly based on that alone. Especially to my fellow Signifers of the Order of the Gate.
Greetings Signifier Dezhem Bek
I feel certain that we must have met at Citadel Enferac. I have not met Shou, but I would warn all lawful Chelaxians to respect their superiors and not questions their methods. The Paracountess is not to be questioned and I assure you that I would judge harshly any person who stands in rank lower than me if they were to question my ways or methods. Order demands respect. I will not be cruel and am merciful to those who have not shown disrespect.
A short man in a red cloak stands and speaks with a more powerful voice than you might expect. His face, when seen, is scarred from neck to forehead, and leaves one eye hanging lower than the other. His appearance is obviously Qadiran by birth. A fact that his accent confirms.
I will not judge harshly unless harsh judgement is demanded, but as an inquisitor it is my place to judge. I know my place in the order of things, and my place is beneath that of the Paracountess. From her I will learn and grow in power. I suggest, servants of Cheliax, that you do the same. These are my ways and they are not for all.
"Judgement in the face of depravity"
The favors accounted my self and my children back at the magic shop are thanks enough from the beautiful Paracountess. Some say my playfulness and love of life is a poor match for my stern mistress but she appreciates results more than failure. My loyalties and my love go to the most colorful city in all the inner sea, Brastlewark, and my family who depends on me. Those that stand against them will taste the fires of hell.
Jesse Thrune wrote:
The Paracountess is a true representative of our Infernal Majestrix, and as such, I will submit to any whims she desires. It is the nature of order that those in positions of power may do as they wish to those beneath them.
Never before in the history of Golarion have the symbolic and the literal been as one. Bravo.
I find that she and I have a much deeper relationship. Although she does keep up appearances in her missives and in public, she respects my preferences in private. I suppose she finds it refreshing to be able to drop the act around me, although I doubt I'm the only one that has seen her more serious side.
Whenever I feel sinful urges inflame my Cocytus, I don my crimson khaki shorts and head out into the hinterlands for a punishing hike! This is what we learnt in the Charthagnion Boys Order for Fostering Upright Citizenry! Ne'er will I succumb to bodily temptations as long as there is a hiking track and I remain a Charthagnion Boy with a spirit that keeps on burning!!!
*performs the Charthagnion salute, which looks a lot like a pantomime of rowing, rubbing the stomach whilst patting the head, then saluting to the middle distance. This is concluded with a symbol of the Asmodean cross on the heart*
Posting as Signifer Alastor Henderthane of the Order of the God Claw as Venture-Captains cannot use aliases.
"Greetings, my brothers. It is good to see the faithful have rallied to this discussion of the Paracountess' unorthodox and unexpected methods. In light of the events I witnessed in the Fortress of the Nail, and the reports I have heard of the findings in the ruins of Ostagar, I fear we must reopen this discussion.
The Paracountess, whatever our less disciplined compatriots may think of her, is no longer our lawful superior. She has, to the best of my understanding, been stripped of her authority as a member of the Thrune government. She is on the run. We are, my brothers, a headless body. Now, the God Claw demands that we bring immutable, irrefutable law to all corners of Golarion, but how can we do so under the command of one who has no lawful authority to command us?
I put to you, my brothers, this question: whom do we now obey? I shall soon return to my duties after recovering from the horrific injuries I suffered shielding my allies in the bowels of the Nail's torture chambers. Judge not, my brothers, for regeneration is expensive and I am a poor man who gives much of his wealth to the Pathfinder Society. Upon my return I am told I shall seek out the words of some ancients, though which ancients specifically has not yet been revealed to me. When I do so I will undoubtedly receive some new task from the Paracountess, seeking my aid in some or another activity and likely offering me implied reward at a later date. Shall I carry out my orders? Shall I reject them utterly, as the Paracountess is no longer a lawful authority? Or shall I view them as a request, as would come from a mud farmer as I pass through his village, that I shall accept or reject based upon his need, my need, and any legal obligation I might hold toward the person making the request such as a debt or oath? What say you, my brothers, to this broken chain of command?"
Lord Signifer Henderthane;
It is not my place to question or suggest anything to you, as your station is higher than my own. That being said; I must ask: Where, then, is the proof of these actions? It is true that I have been out traversing the Inner Sea, but I have heard nothing of these accusations. Until proof can be shown, I must follow the law I have been given, which is given under the Para-countess' command.
If, however, these allegations are true, there is only one clear option. Track down the rebel faction, bring her to higher justice (which, might I say, I would be -most- happy to administer...), and continue on. Our obedience is not to one person, but to Thrune, to Cheliax, and to Lord Asmodeus himself.
I will humbly thank you, Signifer, for hearing these words, spoken by a half-blood.
Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher, a splendidly-attired lady of the Empire, is armed with perfect poise and exemplary etiquette this afternoon as she navigates the Chelish Embassy of Absalom. Whether business or pleasure has made her the Embassy's guest today is unknown.
She gently cools herself with a fan of silk and lace as she passes by the Signifer in the midst of his sermon. An expression of curiosity appears on her face, the sort that would seem quite evident to all around them, even to those paying only the tiniest bit of attention.
"Heavens, you do not happen to be referring to Paracountess Dralneen, do you? She was always such a lively character; has something unfortunate befallen her?" the Lady asks.
There is nothing wrong in taking one´s earned rewards, whatever they are made of. The special attention of your superiors is something rightful and what the paracountess offers is a part of happiness, what Abadar supports. Anyone claiming something else should be viewed critically and eventually subject to investigation of corruption.
Posting as Alastor Henderthane as VOs can't use aliases on the PFS boards.
The signifer, a trained public speaker, makes eye contact with the Lady to acknowledge her question before finishing his current conversation.
"It would appear so, but I beg a moment of pardon, madam. Brother Draven, refer to me not as a Lord. I hold no title. Despite the haughty tones of my fellow Signifers, we are all tools of House Thrune, to be used as long as we remain useful and to be discarded when our usefulness has ended. While we who serve as Pathfinders are tools suited to tasks requiring a level of autonomy, that does not change what we are. If a title you must give me Signifer or Brother would be most appropriate.
Alastor turns back to Lady Gabrielle.
"I fear I do not recognize you. I am Alastor Henderthane, adopted son of House Henderthane and Signifer of the Order of the God Claw. It is a pleasure to meet you, I am sure."
Alastor bows politely, causing his priestly vestments to scrape the ground and acquire some unwelcome mud. He momentarily frowns, then continues.
"These are purely internal matters, Milady; we who serve seek clarity of whom we now serve. You are Taldane, yes? Your nation has a noble caste, which is akin to the meritocratic hierarchy practiced in Cheliax. What say you? We served a noble who held a post of authority in the Chelish Embassy. She has been removed from her post in the embassy, but not her title. Yet still she passes orders to those who were once under her command. Does she speak with the authority of law, that must be obeyed? Or simply with the voice of one who is superior to us, which must be given great weight but not more than the weight of your lawful commander? The insight of an outsider, devoid of bias, would be invaluable."
Alastor Henderthane wrote:
The Lady replies with a gentle curtsey. "Gabrielle d'Apcher, daughter of Marquis Thomas d'Apcher, and quite pleased with the maintenance of this sacred site." She gestures with her fan toward any lingering evidence of the building's former purpose.
Alastor Henderthane wrote:
"The insight of an outsider, devoid of bias, would be invaluable."
She takes a moment to consider the question, closing her fan upon coming to a conclusion. "I believe that your situation is one of choice rather than one of 'shoulds.' From the sound of your predicament, Paracountess Dralneen has lost her whip, so to speak. The post which you obeyed is no longer hers, but she still makes requests of you. In that case, you are free to choose whether to assist her or not, based on the merits of the request and on whether you would call her friend as well as superior."
The Lady smiles before continuing. "As it turns out, I am no stranger to the Paracountess's requests. I am not sure whether it was a case of mistaken identity, a harmless joke, or a case of a Chelish admirer, but I believe she used the phrase 'delectable play-thing' before asking me to recover her lost whip. Ironic, isn't it? Naturally, I was not bound to obey a word she wrote, but I chose to help her out of a gesture of friendship. Of course, there are those who would crucify me for doing so, or merely for standing in this building, but as I have always said, the Chelish are a very respectful people, friendly in their own way. So, would you consider her a friend, Alastor of House Henderthane?" she asks, opening her fan to resume cooling herself.
My group played a particular scenario around Halloweeen/Jestercap, so the party was dressed up as faction heads. We had a party of Ollysta, Valsin, Zarta, and Grandmaster Torch for that adventure. So, the NPC who was handing out our faction missions mistook Lady Gabrielle for the Paracountess, saying "Um, this is for you, from you!" She had never known of the deep feelings Zarta had for her.
Posting as Alastor Henderthane as VO's can't use aliases.
Cocking his head to the right, Alastor considers the Lady Gabrielle's words. "Aha, I see that I have failed to properly explain. The conundrum we as law-abiding Chelish citizens face is whether the authority of the Paracountess' title was the virtue by which she commanded us, or whether her post as a diplomat here at the embassy provided her that authority. I have never faced such a conundrum, and I am loathe to wait for the clarity of Egorian's new messenger. I would seek out the divine counsel of the God Claw, but alas they have not granted me the power to commune with them directly.
Alastor pauses to contemplate for a moment before continuing, his speech is halting, as if the discussion of friendship is awkward and alien to him."Friendship is irrelevant. The Paracountess is my superior, functionally my commanding officer. I must obey her commands; were she to develop bonds of friendship with those under her command it would jeopardize her ability to lead. So no, the Paracountess is not my friend. If she were, she would be unfit to lead." Visibly relieved to no longer discuss the uncomfortable topic of friendship, his speech picks up steam and returns to a more natural pattern. "I do respect the Paracountess' accomplishments, though not her lack of self-discipline and restraint. A subordinate should always respect and admire their commander. However, I am bound to serve the God Claw, the Lictor, the Pathfinders, and House Thrune. If the Paracountess no longer speaks for House Thrune I cannot continue to follow her lead."
The Lady appears sad for a moment while Alastor expresses the irrelevance of friendship. Apparently, her comment about the Chelish being a respectful people was an understatement.
"Though I may not be Iomedae, or even count her as my patron, it is flattering to find that a Signifer would listen to any advice I might provide. However, it seems that a vital concept lies between my advice and your conundrum. You seem to be no longer bound to serve the Paracountess; instead you have a choice in the matter of assisting her, just as I did."
"I helped her out of a gesture of friendship, and the contents of her message showed that she was quite friendly herself. No longer required to by duty, whether you help her out of respect, admiration, or out of any personal benefits, or ignore her calls for assistance, that is entirely your choice. You always can follow her lead, but will you?"
Her tone shifts from one of advisor to a playful, inquisitive one."Just what was it that led to her loss of her post, might I ask? I always enjoyed her presence in the city; it would be a shame if she were permanently removed. Is there anything I can do?"
Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher wrote:
OOC: You're heading into heavy spoiler territory."Err... I'm not Chelaxian, but I was involved in the Pathfinder Society's investigation into all this, so I can probably fill in some of those blanks."
Spoilers for the initial mission briefing in The Disappeared:
"Apparently, the Chelaxian government suddenly started claiming that Zarta Dralneen never existed. Like they'd never heard of her. Didn't know what Ambrus Valsin was talking about when he asked about her. It was very weird, so he sent some of us Pathfinders to investigate."
"Don't ask how or where we investigated. That part may still be a secret. We were told not to tell anyone. In fact, maybe I've already told you too much. I should probably stop talking now. I've been told I talk too much."
Kelladorf Wizzlefarb wrote:
"I should probably stop talking now. I've been told I talk too much."
Aren't spoiler buttons great? If we couldn't talk about events that occur in the story, out of fear of spoiling others, we'd have very little to talk about! I've done The Disappeared, anyways, so spoiler-button away!
Lady Gabrielle gives a comforting look as she closes her fan to speak with Kelladorf. "You have nothing to worry about, Crusader. As Venture-Captain Valsin would likely agree, it is best to allow your friends to assist in your troubles, and as you likely heard just now, I am most definitely a friend."
A knowing smile gently spreads across her lips before continuing.
"The question of how or where might be a secret, or it might not. What of the result of your investigation? Tell me, does the Paracountess still exist, as we all believe she does?" she asks, gesturing to include Alastor and Draven.
Sense Motive: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
The Disappeared and Fortress of the Nail:
"Oh, she exists, last I heard. We found out she was framed for treason against Cheliax, and where she was being held. I heard there was a rescue mission to go get her, but I wasn't involved in that one.
OOC: I haven't played Fortress of the Nail yet, so what litle I mentioned in the spoiler above is all I know about it.
The Lady seems a bit surprised by the gnome's answer. "Heavens, I do hope she is all right, and that the whole matter will be put to rest soon. Signifer Henderthane, given this information, do you believe that she will be restored to her position soon? And of course, if there is anything I can do to help, do let me know," she assures them, radiating her concern for their mutual acquaintance.
Posting as Alastor Henderthane.
Fortress of the Nail:
"I can attest that she does indeed live. The terrible beast guarding here nerely rent my companions in twain with his vicious jaws. The signifer parts his robe to reveal two sets of bite marks on his own chest. Yet the Paracountess emerged. In compensation, she has gifted me with a corset. While the magic is powerful, I fear I have missed some vital component of the gift that completes either a grand jest or deeper message."
Alastor scratches his chin.
"I doubt she will be restored to her position. Despite being wrongfully imprisoned, the Queen must suspect that she is now no longer a loyal agent. I believe another will be named in her place. I admit I am disappointed to be sent a new master. I do not believe the Paracountess is my, "Friend," as you describe friendship, but she was a leader worthy to be followed despite her many well-documented flaws and lack of traditional discipline. I hope whoever is sent from Egorian to replace her is as worthy of the loyalty I must grant them."
Jaleel Livianna so nice to follow me home and continue your attempt at prostrating us.
Menaje Guerra wrote:
It is interesting how you view your faction on the moral high ground. You are a group of assassins that kill, no wait a stronger word is order here MURDER people that your sweet heart, the Major disagrees with.
You are too kind in addressing the lapdogs of Maldris directly, Menaje... but your words are as true as can be. Well put. The faithful servants of Asmodeus bring peace, order and stability to the land.
Posting as Alastor Henderthane.
"Fellows, there is no need to sling hurtful barbs. Ms. Livianna is from Andoran - our wayward northern colony has lost its way, and no longer sees the value in order, discipline, and obedience to the law. Rather than blast her with hatred and oppression, show her the superiority of a lawful society by your words and deeds, by your obedience to your lawful masters, and by strictly adhering to the legal codes of Cheliax and the holy God Claw."
Alastor turns his attention to Jaleel, smiling as a parent would at a child.
"I know that chaos reigns in the northern colony without a strong Queen to show you the way, but worry not. The holy God Claw shall show you the path back to righteousness, and I am sure that Iomedae will forgive your transgressions, for you were led astray by lawless rabble-rousers like Colson Maldris and the People's Assembly. Why, I watched as his Andoran assassins slew a prisoner who had just surrendered in cold blood, and then tried to lie to my face to pretend they had not been ordered to do so!" Alastor begins raising his voice, so that it carries across the embassy courtyard. "These lawless deeds are the result of a weak, lawless government. Surely you would be safer in a nation where each proscribed action is met with its prescribed sentence rather than a world where a man punishes his rivals for whatever perceived transgressions by whatever means he deems fit, with no checks other than his victim's ability to strike back?" Alastor smiles and raises his eyebrows questioningly as he delivers his final sentence, awaiting a rebuttal.
If you Jelly Axes are so lawlyful then why are you massagingist women haters.
I have seen you guyses lock up innocent women, and send them to hell. Then you tortured me with boredom sitting in a room filling out paper work that took FOREVER in our efforts to show you you broked the law and wrongfully arrested her. Then one of you sent mean puppies at me that when I tried to pet them they breathed fire on me. So I super colorsprayed them.
So you see you Jelly Axes are pretending law abiting massagingists. I was tolded you guys lieded about her the whole time too.
Posting as Alastor Henderthane.
"Friend gnome, I know from experience the events of which you speak, and you should choose better friends for it appears yours have lied to you."
Spoilers for The Disappeared, Fortress of the Nail, and Day of the Demon follow:
"The woman you speak of, Paracountess Dralneen, was accused of treason and was sent to the Order of the Nail as lawful punishment for her actions. While held in prison, a lawless member of the order entered into a contract with a Duke of Hell, selling what was not his, the Paracountess, to the Duke in exchange for power. Selling what is not yours is a crime, theft, agreed? After her liberation, which I myself took part in, it was also discovered that the documents were doctored by another embassy official, a mid-level bureaucrat with a jelly axe of his own to grind." Alastor grins at his weak attempt at hummor. Having amused himself and likely no one else, he continues, "Falsifying evidence is also a crime, is it not?
"So, friend gnome, you claim Chelaxians are pretenders and misogynists? While Paracountess Dralneen was wrongfully imprisoned, thanks to our robust legal system proof was found and presented and the Paracountess was released as a result. I would say that once again the rule of law was victorious; while an innocent person was wrongfully imprisoned, she was put there by the criminal actions of another and thanks to a robust legal system she was proven innocent in spite of two lawbreakers who sought to subvert the law to put her beyond the reach of truth."
High Priestess of Mysteries, Teacher at large at the Academy of Secrets for the power of Thrune, Hellknight Signifier, and semi-retired Pathfinder at large Lini Red Lantern
"Thank you all for your wonderful thoughts and antidotes on the precise meaning of any occurance beyond your scope or ability. I am sure you all are important cogs in the Paracountess's plans. Remember that until or unless the Paracountess is replaced that there is something besides law that every Chelaxian respects, and this is power. It is the power of our all mighty empire that makes it great, It is the power of our ruling household that unites us and makes us whole, and until someone else is actually named to the position, it is the power of both pleasure and pain as well as a deep and abiding sense of all that happens within Cheliax that I follow the Paracountess."
Lady Gabrielle chuckles at Alastor's quip from behind the silk of her fan. She speaks up to comment on the topic of the nation of Andoran.
"I would like to note that the nation of Andoran is not quite as chaotic as you make it out to be, Signifer. My family's lands lie right on the border with Andoran, near the lumber village of Bellis, and the local citizens have been lovely neighbors for generations."
She closes her fan, focusing on making her point rather than cooling herself. "There are representatives of Maldris, though, who spin a different tale, one of endless struggle and chaos, of degenerates and murderers. I have also witnessed them slay captured prisoners in cold blood, using terrible methods as well, and have also experienced their lies when I confronted them on the act. The typical response has often been to brand me with with some horrible title befitting a lady of the night, titles which are freely offered even upon meeting them."
The Lady seems to lose a measure of her composure, obviously upset by what she has experienced. It is a wonder that her fan has not snapped in half, what with how tightly she is squeezing it. "Meanwhile, I have felt powerless, unable to take action to defend my honor, bound by the rules and culture of the Society which has us working together. If the land we stood on was the Empire's, such behavior would be met with my naming of a champion, and satisfaction demanded. If we were in Cheliax, I am sure that the offender would be prosecuted for his mistreatment of prisoners and for his slander. But in the Society, there is no such option. It is as if the Society has become a sanctuary for degenerates, thieves, and murderers. I am certain that the Society does not mean to promote such a twisted culture; as with any privilege, unity being the focus in this case, there are always those who find methods of abusing it."
"Major Maldris is only the figurehead they align with, as he, knowingly or not, gives them the opportunity to unleash the beasts that lie within them. These individuals fit the chaos you describe, Signifer Henderthane, by twisting the words of Major Maldris and of the Society into orders to torture and murder without a second thought. They are merely adhering to their corrupted nature, while they desperately search for justification in the Major, as if they can somehow relieve the weight of their sins by placing the burden on another. Perhaps passing judgment on the nation of Andoran or on Major Maldris is inappropriate at this time. Instead, the individual Pathfinders who pollute the Society with their behavior, and use the Society to shield themselves from having to answer for their crimes, are the ones who deserve judgment."
Well that is just silly to say she was freed in a legal manner. I am a a Zarnyiest extraordinare. I used my fibbing and magicy talents to get past all those unlawly Well Knights and snuked out that pretty lady that bought me my awesomerest cloak.
I am honest about being dishonest. It seems like you Jelly Axes are not so. You write things on paper that is NOT magic and it causes you act as if under a spell and put people away. Then you guyeses pretended that person never ever ever was there. That seems mighty not lawlikely ta moi.
Posting as Alastor Henderthane.
After carefully contemplating her words, Alastor bows in greeting to his fellow Signifer. "Signifer Lini, I do not which order you belong to, but as you are far more experienced than I your words carry great weight. I will ponder the concept of power begetting legal authority - it is an alien concept to me. Authority is granted by station, station is granted by achievement and merit. So yes, in a sense, strength does beget authority. But proficiency and merit are not necessarily analogous to raw, undiluted power. Many of our superiors within both the Hellknights and the Pathfinder Society would, by such logic, be our juniors; yet they are placed above us by the rules of the Society, which are as laws. But forgive me, Signifer, for I must answer a slanderous charge against us."
Alastor turns and picks up a pack from nearby. Rummaging around in his possessions, he produces a glass vial of an orange liquid. "Pontificor, perhaps you would consent to consume a potion before we continue this discussion further? I will gladly sign a statement that verifies that it is not poisonous in any way, and I will certainly accept any tests you wish to conduct on the potion other than passing it to another to consume, of course." As he speaks, the signifer turns to face his gnomish debate partner and holds out the orange flask.
*His eye light up and greedy hands start to reach for the potion as the chance to explore some other type of magic dances in front of him, but quickly suspicion enter his eyes as he knows he was never "offered" "awesome" magical potions. That they were looted from his colorsprayed victims.*
Hows abouts I share it with you...
Posting as Alastor Henderthane.
"I believe that both of us sharing it would thwart the magic of the potion, though if you believe I would attempt to poison you I will certainly take the first sip." Alastor unstoppers the potion and takes a small sip of the orange liquid. He swishes it in his mouth, then swallows it. "There we are. Proof enough that I am not trying to harm you?" He holds out the potion again.