You have been called to the Grand Lodge of Absalom for a briefng. Seated in a small chamber around a darkwood table, various trophies gathered from across the face of Golarion hang from the walls. A monkey-shaped mask with a serpent’s tongue glares out from the center of one wall, a strange halberd with gold rings piercing its thick blade and dragons carved along its haf hangs opposite the monkey mask. You are alone save your fellow Pathfnders, who apparently have been called here for the same purpose.
You can now describe and introduce yourselves
A tall, lanky young man with a mane of dark, shaggy hair enters, inexperienced brown eyes peering out of an honest face. Axes of different sizes adorn his person as he enters quickly, stepping to the side and claiming an area near the back of the room.
Numair is a tall, well-muscled half-elf with white-blonde hair and striking hazel eyes. He wears a robe of bright green, trimmed with gold, and has a well-used morningstar at his side.
He glances around the room with obvious interest, taking in all of the strange accoutrements, before turning and nodding to the other young Pathfinders gathered here.
"Morning. The name's Numair. I know a little bit of magic, but prefer to get up close and personal with my morningstar. That said, I can be pretty persuasive when I need to be. To whom am I speaking?"
A halfling woman has been in the room beforehand, sitting on a small stool with her arms crossed over her chest. She's wearing a set of brown explorer's clothes, though no weapons are visible save for an old dagger. The new clothes seem tailored, and masterfully hides her figure.
She merely nods when a fellow agent enters, and also a slight smile when Reed enters, and possibly a frown when Lionel enters.
"Hi. I'm Eveline. A devout archer of Sarenrae. The rest you'll learn as we go."
"Nice to see you again here, Reed. Let's hope we stay out of trouble this time."
Finally, a huge man wearing creaking leathers marches into the room. He looks at each of you, as if he were appraising a handful of gemstones freshly pulled from the earth, and nods curtly. Some of you know him as Adril Hestram, a longtime Pathfinder and rumored to be the unwitting architect of the famed Katapesh slave riot of 4702. Adril’s physique puts most half-orcs to shame.
“Welcome, friends. We have a serious problem. Skelg the Ripper came to Absalom one month ago. Like many Ulfen warriors he joined the Longaxes, the Taldan Emperor’s personal guard whose duty it is to protect the embassy and Taldan visitors. Skelg also dropped a hefty sum of gold to purchase a manor in the Ivy district, something a Longaxe isn’t paid well enough to do. It is widely assumed that he brought most of his wealth with him from the north—a rumor I know to be true."
“It seems that Skelg also brought a curse with him. In his letter to me, he speaks of lying abed in this miserable summer dying from the cold. Neither physician nor priest has been able to cure his ailment, and there are no signs of disease or poison. Of course, for such a man, there is no greater dishonor than to die in bed instead of in battle."
“Normally, the Pathfinder Society would monitor these events and let the authorities deal with them. However, there are three factors that have drawn our interest. First, Skelg is himself a member of our Society and has asked for our help. Second, he is a personal friend of mine, and finding a sparring partner as worthy as Skelg to replace him would be a tiring task. Last, he claims that artifacts of great power are involved, and that we may be able to recover them for the vaults of the Grand Lodge."
“We view this situation as having enough importance to assign you to investigate it. Go to the home of Skelg the Ripper, learn what you can, and do your best to help him. If you find an item that is somehow connected to the curse, either retrieve it or glean as much information as you can about it."
“I trust there are no questions?” the jovial man looks at you with a winning smile.
You know Skelg lives in Greydog Manor, on Parkview Street in the Ivy district.
"Sounds dire. A curse not even the capable clerics and bishops of Absalom can cure? Slim hopes for us rookies to solve the matter," Eveline groans, already looking like the mission is doomed to fail, "alas I figure you've your reasons for choosing us for the mission..."
Always these useless errands, they really haven't read my resumé. My skills here in urban environments are wasted! Eveline grumbles to herself, and stands up from her seat, straightening her clothes.
Adril nods at Eveline statement "Indeed an obscure matter" he then looks at Numair "Ah... well, it would have not been that easy, should it? Skelg lives in Greydog Manor, on Parkview Street in the Ivy district"
If you don't have any other questions, just say good bye and we will move on
Reed nods to the Venture-Captain, indicating his agreement with the task at hand. After the others put forth their questions, he gives Adril a minute bow of respect, then turns and exits the room, awaiting his companions, new and old, outside.
Eveline too bows herself out once the audience is concluded. Almost immediately she nudged Reed by the shin.
"I see you got yourself a new axe, but what else? Nothing else with that gold?
(I was looking through Reed's character sheet, and this struck my eye: "Acrobatics +12 (4) (+8 in armor and shield)" How?
The ranger grins down at Eveline, shaking his head. "I'm saving up for a twin to this one, and a nicer suit of armor, as well. I guess I'll just have to piecemeal it." His grin relaxes into an easy smile. "I'm glad we're joined up again...I think we work well together, and I haven't forgotten Lionel saving my bacon, either."
Whoops! That's what I get for copying the template I had for another character. Fixed!
"Speaking of Lionel, where is that man? He wouldn't miss out a briefing unless he would be conducting other, egh, business," Eveline wonders, with her disgust towards the Calistrian cleric's profession clear. "I had thought of buying a better armor myself as well," she continues, "but nearly all of my gold went into purchasing a quality longbow. Speaking of which, I should go gear up."
She runs off to get all her gear on her person, and returns to the group, shifting uncomfortably in her ill-suited studded leather armor.
Both Honor and Lionel have yet to post. Also, Reed, I noticed you haven't put your favored class bonus in either hit points nor skill points.
Adril smiles into what seems an effort of patience "The letter does not specify you have to announce ourselves in any particular way. I guess they should be expecting a group of pathfinders though, so feel free to proceed as you feel" the Venture-Captain does not seem to like questions after all.
I will wait a bit more for Lionel and Honor to join so we are sure we count with them for the game
|Lionel "The Lion" Wynne|
Sorry for being late, had a bit too much work these couple of days.
Rushed footsteps are heard in the corridor, with the occasional clang on the floor as if a staff or a spear is hitting the floor. As the door opens wildly, a dark-skinned man, wearing incredibly bright yellow and purple clothing walks in, buttoning his shirt on the go.
"Sorry 'bout bein' fashionably late, peoples!", he says in his thick Absalomian accent. "Uh! Eve 'n Reed! You two's lookin' fiine! What's happenin', my people!" he waves his thickly ringed hand at them. "I, uuuhh... needed ta finish sum business at da temple. Dont'cha worry, the lovely lady at reception told me you'se to see a man from the north about a sickness.", he answers to the Adril's frown with a big shining grin. Lady, is this man big or what? We can sure use one of 'em around the temple., he thinks, looking at the Pathfinder's impressive physique.
Taking over his hat, he sits down on one of the chairs, stretching his arms on the handrests, and looks back at everyone glaring at him, surprised. "Am I too late for da party?" as he leans forward for information, both hands on his cane as he looks inquisitively at Adril.
Business... Eveline rolls her eyes as she was all ready to leave.
"We are to travel to Ivy District to meet Skelg the Ripper. He's not feeling well and it has become our priority to see for his recovery." The halfling not enthusiastic about doing city spelunking, she has always hated crowds.
I am still hoping for a fifth character to join, but we can start to move
Adril nods to Lionel "You are just in time Mr. Wynne. Just in time. Your party was leaving to the Ivy District." With that, the Venture-Captain waves you out of his office.
The streets of Absalom are fully crowded in this hot clear morning. The party discuss the best approach to investigate which can be the affliction of the Ulfen and how to heal them. It is not long before they reach the Greydog manor street.
Parkview Street is true to its name, running the entire length of the Ivy District park. Standing like a tomb in a flower garden, Greydog Manor is easy to find. Six-foot-high walls surround the massive, stone building and an immense iron gate flanked by granite statues of hunting dogs stands open, offering access to the interior. Looking along the street, it is clear that locals give the estate a wide berth. The stone walls seem to give a slight chill to the air, which is not entirely unpleasant on such a hot day.
The manor has several windows that can be seen from the street, but all those you can see over the tall stone walls have curtains drawn.
You will find access to the map at the top of the campaign tabs
"What a hovel," Eveline snorts, shaking her head as she sees the grey stonewalls blocking the view to the courtyard, "I sincerely hope Skelg isn't as dull as this wall. Who'd build a grey manor in this neighbourhood?"
She paces around, seeking refuse from the heat of the sun, ironically finding salvation from the high stone wall's shade.
"I doubt a manor's gate would be unlocked," Eveline comments to Numair, "maybe in a rural area, but not here. It'd be an open invitation to all sorts of miscreants."
As if listening to Eveline words, the gates just push back Numair in his attempt to access the courtyard.
Ironically, the steel large doors feel extremely cold to the touch despite the half-elf is still sweating from the oppressive warmth of this Absalom day.
Please, let me know how do you try to push open the doors. Just a slight push to see if they are unlock, or perhaps an aggressive one trying to force them open? If you try to force the lock add Strength or Disable device rolls.
If someone else wants to follow a different approach, you are welcome too, just be creative.
"In broad daylight? Are you daft?" Eveline asks incredulously, "surely if the gates are locked and there are no guards to be seen, we'd better just yell for someone to come over."
She looks up at the stone wall. "Or someone just climb over and find a way to open the gate from the other side."
Resolved, Numair makes the crowbar into the gates joint at the point where the lock secures the doors. He starts pushing with all his strength and a tremendous metallic sound collapsing under the power of the sorcerer fills the morning air of the Parkview street.
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
The lock finally breaks and the door gets free. The birds, whom has been singing and yelling when the noise started, some of them flying away up in the sky, suddenly go silent, contributing to the now extremely quite atmosphere.
A simple push will be enough to open the gate and go into the courtyard.
Reed chuckles and looks down at Eveline, wondering what her response will be. If and when she enters, Reed will follow close behind, shaking his head at the method of entry.
"I hope the inside is more hospitable than the outside."
Eveline first looks astonished at Numair how he is so inconsiderate about their surroundings. After the first screech she jumps and starts to look around, trying to look inconspicuous. When the gates finally open, she emerged from her poor hiding place under the shadow of the wall.
"You got lucky, no one bat an eye. Or they went to get the guards."
She gives Numair a glare as she trots past him to the courtyard, still wary but feeling safer with Reed close behind, knowing his combat prowess from earlier encounters.
|Lionel "The Lion" Wynne|
Lionel looks at the opened gate and grins, "That's ma way ta make an entrance! If someone comes and snatches us, we gotta excuse from the Pathfinders." Hearing Numair's response, he grins at Eveline. "Heh. We're being gentlemen here, ain't we? It got nothin' ta do with the fact that they might be shooters in the area?", smiling at them both.
Walking inside, he looks around and shivers, murmuring, "Heck. If it's gonna be so cold in 'ere, I gotta buy me a coat or somethin."
Continuing their stroll, he then turns to Reed and Eveline, his longspear tapping on the ground with every second step, "So, how's ya been? Did somethin' interestin' while I's gone?", curious to learn about the others' endeavours. "And yourself, brotha?" he asks Numair, "I jus wanna know what kinda man is gonna carry a crowbar 'round when visitin' a mansion. Ma da would've liked ya!", putting his hand on the half-elf's shoulder.
Eveline glances at Lionel.
"Kept to myself, read religious writings of Sarenrae, performed some minor acts of worship, practised marksmanship, and bought a new bow. And new clothes. No gold left for a proper armor, unfortunately." She instinctively talks to the tall dark man by turning her head so not to face the man directly.
"If this weather is too cold to you, at first I'd imagine you were born and raised in Hell." She gives out a short chuckle.
|Lionel "The Lion" Wynne|
Turning back to talk to Eveline, he replies with a big grin, "Ha! That armor looks damn propa ta me, girl! Good ta see ya've been keepin' busy. What kinda religious stuff do ya Sarenites do?", he asks with a raised eyebrow.
"Hell! Hah! I was born an raised in the Prescipice. Jus like Hell, without all the laws and organised behaviar.", he chuckles back.
Eveline looks down at her armor and blushes irritatedly. She decided to keep her mouth shut about the subject however.
"Sarenrites tend to the sick and wounded as a rite. Or stand in daylight with a blindhold, seeing the sun's radiance regardless of the fabric's obscurance. It is how we pay our respects to the Dawnflower."
"Precipice? So last time we were around you neighborhood?" Eveline asks, becoming dubious of Lionel's background.
The party moves into the courtyard calmly chatting about their past adventures, when you hear a considerable commotion.
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
The courtyard is cool and shady compared to the street outside. Dead leaves are scattered across the flagstones and the granite steps where two Ulfen warriors hastily appear. Each man wears a chain shirt and a surcoat bearing the Taldan crest and carries the traditional imperial guard long axe.
The guards look at you sternly, and they run towards you yelling "What's that scandal! Who is there!?"
One of the guards points to the forced gates and then, they ready their weapons "What are you doing here assaulting Skelg's estate?!"
You have the impression the guards have dressed their surcoats backwards.
Numair grins, and winks at Lionel.
"I believe in being prepared. Given how often we need to break into buildings, tombs, or ruins, I am surprised most Pathfinders don't carry a crowbar!"
When the men rush forward, and deliver their ultimatum, Numair raises an eyebrow.
"Well, we were told that Skelg was cursed, and dying, and needed help urgently. Thus, we came as soon as possible. Finding the gates closed, and knowing the matter was urgent, we decided to move quickly."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26.
"That doesn't give you any right to break in into his house like thieves. You could have just tried knocking at the door don't you think?" the guards relax their weapons convinced by Numair's intention but they seem quite angry at the party intrusion.
“Skelg is ill. He wants no visitors.” they make a sign towards the gates "I don't know who told you to come, but he doesn't need your help. Go away!"
Bluff: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
They seem quite angry at your intrusion and true at their desire to kick you out of here as soon as possible.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
"Door... you mean gate? And should you two be at the gate guarding? What on earth were you doing inside the manor? And why are your surcoats on backwards?" Eveline snaps, placing her hand on her trusty scimitar nonchalantly, "your master is facing death and you wish to turn away aid? We wish to hear this from Skelg himself."
The halfling hints to others to be ready to succumb the unruly guards.
SM: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Reed holds his hands up in a mollifying manner. "Peace, friends. We apologize for our entrance, but we believed time to be of the essence and didn't see anybody about to receive us. May we go in and see Skelg, please? I believe he would be happy to see us."
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 18
The guards look at each other "You are the insistent ones. We already told you Skelg is ill and you should better go." you feel some kind of doubt on their eyes "But sure, we are not going to accept a group of armed to the teeth unidentified adventurers to go in, inside the manor"
"Unidentified?" Reed wears a dumbfounded expression, then suddenly realizes that they have yet to introduce themselves. "Oh! I'm Reed, this is Eveline, Lionel, and Numair from the Pathfinder Society." He smiles uncertainly at the guards, hoping this will negate any bad feelings.
"Pathfinders, tsk. I should have imagined" the one speaking spills to the ground and signals the manor door with his longaxe "Ok, you can go in. But leave your weaponry outside, you are rather famous at causing trouble wherever you go" the Ulfen gives you a last stern gaze before looking at his companion and then walking towards the building main door.
|Lionel "The Lion" Wynne|
Lionel chuckles at the resolution of the situation, putting his cane down first, then kissing the head of the spear, shaped like a stinger, and grins at the two guards, leaning closer to one of them. "Why'd ya got ya coats on backwards? Ya takin' a bit o' time to do some prayin'?" With a kind, yet disturbingly big grin, he laughs and pats the guard on the back, offering him a pinch of his... tobacco as well. "Ya know, Constab'lary, we's the only ones of us Pathfinders that us'ally asks questions first.", he says, looking at his companions being busy removing all their weapons. "I gonna make sure them are on their best behaviour, I give ya ma word as man o' da cloth!", before glancing at his spear one last time and walking in with the others.
Reed's face darkens at the demand for their weapons, but he relaxes a bit when Lionel complies. The ranger starts to take off his weapons, a small pile of axes in the yard near the building by the time he is done. Glaring at the two guards, he proceeds to follow Lionel.
Ignoring Lionel question, as they see Lionel and Reed depose their weapons the guards move inside the manor, one of them stay in the main doors when Lionel and Reed go in. He looks at the ones outside "C'mon, we don't have all day"
Bluff: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
When you go through the door you see on the guard's face a smile of accomplishment perturbing on the combination with their stern look.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8 Dice say no.
Skeptical of the duo's motives Eveline looks at her colleagues and her weapons, and crosses her arms. Reluctant to leave her brand new, expensive longbow makes her consider alternatives.
"Trouble, yes, because of uncooperative individuals," she comments, keeping her hand on her hip, "I'm not keen on leaving myself vulnerable. If that's our only ticket inside, I wait out here."
She gives out a worried look to Reed, Lionel, and Numair.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Reed nods to Eve, noting the smug look on the guards' faces. As he goes to pass by one, he lunges at him, attempting to take him down!
CMB: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
|Lionel "The Lion" Wynne|
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7 Dice, I love you like one loves the DMV... Lionel walks towards the inside, before seeing Reed assault one of the guards. This is one hella day... before deciding to join in the fun and try and attempt grabbing the other guard. CMB: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Eveline: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Lionel: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Numair: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Reed: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Foes: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Surprise round: Reed, Ulfen
Reed is able to react just at the moment the Ulfen is to close the door while Eveline is thinking if following or not.
He pushes the man whom falls to the floor. Still there he reacts closing the door from the ground, unable to lock it from there.
The green coated Ulfen tries to bring down Lionel with his long axe though "You Pathfinders, had to come in to check it by yourselves!"
Longaxe (flatfooted): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Slashing damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
But the blade hits the surprised cleric deflecting it just enough.
Round 1: Numair, Reed, Eveline, Lionel, Ulfen
Party turn! Eveline is out, the door closed, but not locked! Red is in the floor