DM Brainiac's War for the Crown: Table 1

Game Master Brainiac

Current Date: 17 Kuthona, 4718 AR

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Female Human Fighter (Cad) 13, Brawler 2 | HP: 55/185| AC: 19/17 (11 T, 17 F)| CMB: +19/+28, CMD: 28| F: +19, R: +12, W: +7| Init: +7| Perc: +17, SM +12, Dip +45, Intim +39| Speed 35ft| Martial Flexibility 3/4, Serpentine Tattoo 3/3, Beast Form 2 (Lion) 1/1, Terrible Cost 5/5| Active Conditions: N/A

Sara bows her head and assists, but mostly just goes through the motions. She looks great doing it tho, real dedicated and s$!&.

K. Religion, Terrible Cost: 1d20 + 3 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 3 + 5 = 17

Eventually, she attempts to steer the conversation to Taldaris.

"Being from Taldor, I cannot help but wonder, have you spent much time with Taldaris, our First Emperor? I've been hearing stories about his time here, but I've yet to meet anyone who has met him."

Dip, Perfume: 1d20 + 45 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 45 + 2 = 59

She smiles and places her hand on the Councilor's arm. "When I was transported here, I had a vision of this place. Perhaps it was you I was supposed to meet here."


Jolmulk nods their head. "Indeed, I do know Taldaris. He has held several different offices in Sayashto numerous times. He's been a great boon to our community over the millenia. Alas, nobody has seen Taldaris now for numerous election cycles. Each cycle is 2,000 days. Although he has disappeared for several long services in mortal realms in the past, this latest stint more than doubles the longest time he's been gone."

The agender petitioner returns Sara's smile. "Perhaps, indeed. If you wish to know more about the district's attractions or politics, I would be happy to assist you."

Across the hall, Ohalia rolls her eyes at Sara's attempts to schmooze.


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

At the same time Ohalia rolls her eyes, Zhi's face darkens just a little and Mel can sense tension in her wife. The rogue steps closer and takes her wife's arm. "So what is the first step to getting you elected?" she asks with a smile that to anyone else but Melodie would seem perfectly natural.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

"By the sound of it the first step is to recognise that I offered this election to Sara and be a woman of my word." Melodie says, with a smile that is just as natural as Zhi's. "It was terrible of me really, to hope that she'd turn it down and say that I was the better choice. I should have been better than that."

She takes her wife's hand in a gentle squeeze. "This is a learning experience now - let's get behind Sara, do everything we can for her and then, one day, if you don't mind we'll do it for ourselves."


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

"But she was supposed to ..." Zhi glances up at Melodie's eyes before shaking her head and turning back to watch the schmoozing in front of them. "Nevermind."


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

"It doesn't matter." Melodie replies, either missing or ignoring Zhi's aborted line.

Zhi:
{"What do you want love? Out of life I mean? Once we've finished all this and Harmony is born I've always wanted to be a senator, to change Taldor for the better. But what did you want to do? I don't think you've ever said..."}

Zhi turns to find her wife looking down at her with wide, tender eyes. The graveyard, Sara and the election seem to have faded away - the only thing that matters in this moment is the future.


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

Zhi sighs.

Melodie:
{"I want whatever makes you happy. I don't care what it is; you name it and I'll get it."} Melodie sees the love she feels mirrored in Zhi's emerald eyes. She turns back to look at Sara, but not before the curl of a smile touches her lips. {"And if you're good, I won't even steal it."}

The smile fades and one hand moves over her belly protectively. {"Other than that ... I want to be Harmony's mother. I want to be the mother that reads bedtime stories. ...that dries the tears. ... that makes the nightmares go away. The mother that someone wants to bring the one that they love home to meet. The mother that's there."} She turns to look back at the woman beside her. There are tears forming in her eyes, but she smiles. {"That's what I want."}


Female Human Fighter (Cad) 13, Brawler 2 | HP: 55/185| AC: 19/17 (11 T, 17 F)| CMB: +19/+28, CMD: 28| F: +19, R: +12, W: +7| Init: +7| Perc: +17, SM +12, Dip +45, Intim +39| Speed 35ft| Martial Flexibility 3/4, Serpentine Tattoo 3/3, Beast Form 2 (Lion) 1/1, Terrible Cost 5/5| Active Conditions: N/A

"You were his peer, where do you think he's gone?"

She smiles and graciously accepts the offered help. "I could certainly use some assistance, but I am a little busy at the moment. Do you mind if I come calling sometime later this week?"


Jolmulk shrugs. "I honestly do not know. This extended absence is quite unlike Taldaris."

The councilor nods at Sara. "Of course. I look forward to the visit."


With nothing more to learn at the Hall for the moment, you return to the inn to rest for the night. In the morning, Eopal provides you with the paperwork to formally register Sara as a candidate in the election for Councilor of Gates. Officials at the election office have Sara sign, initial, and imprint dozens of different forms, some in duplicate or triplicate, but at last she is able to begin her campaign in earnest! She's got some catching up to do if she wants to beat out the medusa Tsemani!

Everybody may take a Persona Phase, either to perform normal operations or to help Sara's campaign. Afterwards, let me know which lead(s) you want to follow up on next.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

With the paperwork finally dealt with Melodie, in her self appointed role as campaign manager, decides that a meeting is in order.

"So, we have our candidate. Now we need to decide how to use our resources best. Zil, you said you can get our agents here? We only have two weeks so we'll need bodies on the ground."

"I suggest we work on two fronts - one is all about presenting Sara and making her look good, I'm not sure what the big issues are here but we need to find them out, establish positions and get out there. It was a great start at the graveyard with the Councilor." Melodie has clearly forgotten his name, "We need more things like that. Obviously Sara this is you, I think I can help here too and Zil, if you don't mind once you've got our people here."

"The other side is opposition research. We need to know everything we can about Tsemani, especially these leads about this secretive group supporting her. Is she in on the plan or not? What are her strengths and weaknesses? These are things we need to know." Melodie looks across the table and blows a small kiss to her wife before looking at Maria and Safina.

"I can't think of any people better suited to finding out secrets and things people don't want known. I suggest we don't start flinging mud just yet, but there's no harm in knowing everything we can."

She pauses and looks across the group. "I think it would be helpful to have Bartelby here as well. He'll be very helpful co-ordinating things, but this is your campaign Sara - if you aren't comfortable with that then he can stay behind."

Yeah, Mel may not be the candidate, but she's still calling shots! :) Leo McMel at your service.


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

Zhi winks at her wife before setting out into the city.

Melodie:
{"But mud-slinging can be fun sometimes. Tell me you never had a mud fight when you were little?"}

Persona:

Zhi has been tasked with finding out things, so she'll engage in a Poll (Subterfuge) operation. It doesn't mention what skill will be used so I'm going to assume Diplomacy. It does mention that the GM may roll this in secret to allow for misinformation.

As well as the Persona action, would it be possible to just see what rumors around the city she can dig up?

Diplomacy - Gather Information: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (14) + 16 = 30


Zhi's agents report back on both Sara's and Tsemani's subterfuge. Sara has 4 Facet Points, while Tsemani has 2 Facet Points.

Hours Spent: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

Zhi also spends time gathering rumors around Sayashto:

• A swarm of cockatiels known as the Crowntop Coup has become a local nuisance. Their ongoing harassment and petty thefts are causing local authorities to loosen restrictions on citizens’ methods of defense of themselves and their property.

• Ilkiston, a neighboring district, has experienced some difficulties with its sewers, particularly a series of clogging incidents that have caused foul overflows to seep onto the lower-lying streets or into the canals. Repairs have been slow going.

• The latest census report shows that the petitioner population has gradually declined over the past few election cycles. Although this is partly due to emigration to other districts and the natural transformation into inevitables, there’s also been an ongoing rash of murders across the 55-district. Investigators are hard at work to catch the culprit and protect the Eternal City’s citizens.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Melodie sets to work, trying to make a name for herself and her candidate by organising a number of marches, calling on the candidates for various election promises.

Diplo for Sacrifice, DC23: 1d20 + 34 ⇒ (11) + 34 = 45 Pass, Sac 4 Good for Sara on 2: 1d2 ⇒ 2

This is matched with a series of stumps, where Melodie's agents extol Sara's many virtues and great charm.

Stump, Charm: 1d20 + 10 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 10 + 2 = 30 Success! So Sara gains 1 sacrifice facet and 2 charm facets I think :)


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

That evening ...

Melodie/Personal Fluff:

"I've got plans for dinner out and something special for afterwards," Zhi tells her wife as they return to the inn. "So don't relax just yet."

After dropping off their gear and adjusting their appearance to be more 'relaxed evening out' friendly, Zhi leads them down the street to a small food establishment that has a Tien theme. "I did a little research while I was out polling for Sara and found this place and ... something else that I think will be nice. But it's a surprise so don't ask."

Once the meal is finished, she takes her wife's hand again for a leisurely walk along the well-ordered streets. "As pleasant as this place is, I think I would go bonkers eventually," she says quietly, looking around at the people and places. "I thought Oppara had a low tolarance for crime." She snorts. "I don't even want to think what they'd do to you here for lifting a coin purse."

Eventually they arrive at what Mel can see is a bathhouse. "Ok, not too original," Zhi says with a grin. "But I still have plans and I think you'll like them." A shadow of a doubt seems to creep across her face. "At least I hope you do."

They ladies are shown to a room where they can disrobe and store their valuables. After divesting herself of everything but her collar and wrapping herself in a towel, Zhi turns to Melodie who is now garbed similarly. "Now here's where you have to trust me," she says as she begins folding a small towel. She steps close and wraps the towel around Mel's face, covering her eyes. "It's a surprise." She lingers just long enough for a quick kiss that promises more before taking the changeling's hand and leading her from the room.

A moment later, Mel can feel herself being led into a larger chamber that's filled with moisture and warmth. "Now just wait here a moment," Zhi says and Mel can hear the rustling of cloth. She then feels her wife's nimble hands tugging at her towel insistantly. "You won't need this anymore." Her towel is tossed aside and Melodie stands there wearing nothing but a blindfold as she waits.

As well as the warmth and moisture in the air are the scents surrounding her. Sandalwood, Jasmine, and something else.

"Just another moment," Zhi's voice says softly from a slight distance.

Something earthy. Like a field heated beneath the afternoon sun.

*thwap*

Mel feels something wet and warm strike her abdomen and gentle laughter. Unable to resist, she pulls off the towel to see her wife standing waist-deep in a thick pool of ... mud. Zhi grins and holds up a handful of the brown muck. Looking down at herself, Melodie sees a glop of the stuff slowly running down her belly.

"Care for a mud fight, Printesa Mea?"


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Zhi:
Melodie looks slightly shocked, then confused, and finally amused as the mud slides down her belly before plopping back into the pit.

"Did you bring me to some demented arena or is there actually a health benefit to this?" She asks, working some magic behind her wife with thought alone. "I mean I know you talked about mud fighting earlier but I really thought..."

With a loud *plop* a ball of mud roughly the size of a closed fist lands on Zhi's head, followed by half a dozen more in quick succession. "... that you knew better than to challenge me on things like this!"

Melodie suddenly splits into multiple copies of herself, clearly holding no intention of 'playing fair'.


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

Melodie:
Her smile not fading, Zhi reaches up and wipes the sticky material from her eyes. "Madam Descarta claims there are many benefits to a properly prepared mud-bath." She then reaches down and refills her hand. "Personally, I think a good mudball fight should be higher on her list. She didn't seem to appreciate the idea." She snaps her hand and flings the wet substance through one of Mel's images which promptly vanishes.

"I thought we would keep this a simple game on the up and up," she says, her smile growing wider. "But if this is how you want to play, I'll adjust. Loser gets five swats?"

Without another word or gesture, she vanishes from sight.

{"I promise not to use the paddle on you when I win."}

Another ball of mud flings in from a different location, dispelling another of the changelings images.

If anyone feels like moving forward to the next day, don't mind us.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Zhi:
Melodie giggles, and promptly bathes her wife in bright particles of glitter. "Invisible in a mud pit dear? Really? What on earth was the point of that?"

Another handful of mud removes an image as she monologues. "On the other hand - I do like it when you sparkle!"

{"And I'm making no promises about the paddle!"}

The mud fight continues for some time until Melodie eventually holds up her hands for a truce. "I'd like to actually enjoy the mud bath now sweetheart." She says with a smile, "Are we meant to just wallow in it?"

She helps plaster Zhi in mud, rubbing her belly gently as she does. "Thank you for this - it was fun!"


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

Melodie:
Once the flinging of mud settles into warm, muddy caresses, Zhi relaxes back into the ooze. Reaching up she traces a brown, wet line down the side of Melodie's face.

"Yes, according to said Madam, you're supposed to just sit back and, I quote, 'feel the detoxifying effect of the rare earth as it leeches impurities out of you.'" Zhi's voice which had taken on a distinctly 'upper class' tone, devolves into giggles. Her hand traces down the side of Melodie's face and then lower down her chest where it pauses to gently tweak an erect nipple. "I don't know about you, but I like a little impurity once and a while." Her overture seems a token, however, as she leans back to let her wife continue to coat her skin in the wet, sticky substance.

"That feels so nice - I'll declare you the winner," she says with a purr. She grins a little. "And I won't even argue against the paddle." She reaches up and pulls her wife in for a wet, slippery kiss.

~~~~

After an hour of the 'therapeutic mud', Zhi leads her wife into a nearby room where she reaches out and touches a rune-covered stone embedded in the wall. Clean, warm water begins falling from the ceiling and she proceeds to help Melodie clean herself of the drying, crusty material. "They've spared no expense." The warm shower quickly moves to something more intimate as Zhi pushes her up against the side of the room to takes her lips hungrily. She finally pulls back for a breath. "I think we need to get dressed and get back to the room, don't you?"


Female Half-Elf Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | AC 21 T 14 FF 19 | Fort +12 Ref +9 Will +17 | Initiative +2 | Perception +8 | Channel Energy 6/6 | Dazing Touch 8/8 | Bit of Luck 8/8 | Good Fortune 2/2

Zileska confirms that yes, she can bring agents over via plane shift, up to seven at a time, but they may appear up to 500 miles away and she has no control over this.


Female Human Fighter (Cad) 13, Brawler 2 | HP: 55/185| AC: 19/17 (11 T, 17 F)| CMB: +19/+28, CMD: 28| F: +19, R: +12, W: +7| Init: +7| Perc: +17, SM +12, Dip +45, Intim +39| Speed 35ft| Martial Flexibility 3/4, Serpentine Tattoo 3/3, Beast Form 2 (Lion) 1/1, Terrible Cost 5/5| Active Conditions: N/A

Sara arrives at breakfast arm entwined with Ohalia's, perfectly made up and well rested. She pours them both a Cayden's coffee and mixes up some porridge. At the strategy meeting, she looks pleased as punch. She's going to be making a difference in the afterworld, what a thought. It might not be her afterworld, but it was a remarkable thing all the same.

Her eyes narrow at Bartleby's name. "He's a useful tool, but I do not want his name associated with mine. Period. If you bring him, I do not wish to interact with him, not once."

As her first order of business as a political candidate, Sara meets with community organizers, discussing her ideals and trying to learn Tsemeni's, as well as how they intersect with the local's.

Dip, Heroism, learn Tsemeni's rank: 1d20 + 45 ⇒ (8) + 45 = 53


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation
Zileska Vestalina wrote:
Zileska confirms that yes, she can bring agents over via plane shift, up to seven at a time, but they may appear up to 500 miles away and she has no control over this.

I think that's what the 10gp per agent covers - actually getting them to us!

Zhi:
Melodie accepts her victory with a kiss and settles in to enjoy the 'de-toxifying'. Once in the shower she gives a delighted gasp and spends half her time looking upwards and getting water in her eyes as she tries to work out how its done.

"When we get home we're going to have something like this!" She declares firmly. "Bartelby's water jugs are lovely for a bath, but this is amazing. A tiny portal to the Plane of Water perhaps..." Zhi interrupts her for more pleasant activities and Melodie's magical speculations are put on hold for a while.

With Sara's, qualified, approval Melodie makes arrangements for Bartelby to be one of the first sent over. She meets him to explain the situation and expends some gold to secure him and the rest of her agents suitable lodgings a few streets away from her own rooms. She also commandeers a meeting room and turns it into the campaign war-room, where Bartelby takes up his role as organiser-in-chief.

So, Candidate: Sara. Chief of Staff: Mel, Deputy Chief of Staff: Bartelby. Who's going to be Press Secretary? Maybe not Zil... :D Then we need two speechwriters, a deputy White House council... can anyone tell that I really like the West Wing?


Keep in mind that the Operations checks aren't based on any skills but the number of agents you assign to them. I'll assume you are assigning the maximum number of agents possible, assuming you've paid for their transportation fees.

Fortunately, the districts of Axis have efficient public transportation services, including teleportation circles that can be used for a modest fee. After Zileska transports your agents from Golarion, it's a simple matter for them to make their way to you in Sayashto.

Sara's efforts pay off, and she learns that Tsemani isn't really known for her heroic deeds. Her political talents lie elsewhere.

Tsemani has 2 Heroism Facet Points.

As Sara is making her rounds as Melodie stumps for her, a smiling woman with snakes for hair approaches her--Tsemani herself. She extends her hand to shake, her snakes hissing softly. "Greetings! You must be Miss Burke. It's an honor to have a worthy competitor in the race for councilor. May the best woman win!"

Sara's Facet Points: Heroism 6, Charm 6, Subterfuge 3, Genius 1, Sagacity 1, Sacrifice 2

You can investigate more leads this evening or move to the second Persona Phase.


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

Zhi will assign her maximum amount of agents to Gather Information as well.

Persona Fluff:

Zhi has her agents meet her at a different location than the others. The tavern isn't as frequently visited as others in the area and it didn't take much to arrange for usage of the place for a single afternoon.

"Lady d'Valois, it's so good to see you again," Tarina Izbasa cooed as the others shuffled into the dimly lit room. "Will the Raven be joining us or will you be speaking for her?" There's a slight hint of sarcasm in the woman's tone, but not enough to seem insubordinate. "Just me today, Tarina. The Raven's busy with other things," Zhi says with a sigh, wondering if she has the energy today to deal with the woman's games. "Just as well," Tarina responds with a smile. "I prefer dealing with you rather than that woman anyway. You're much prettier."

"And married," Zhi responds in a clipped tone. The older woman simply shrugs while looking the young rogue up and down. Her smile widens. "So the rumors are true - you are simply glowing."

"I think that's called sweat, Tarina," Zhi snaps back. She stiffens slightly as the powerful woman moves closer and places a well-manicured hand upon her slightly rounded belly. "So who's the father?"

Zhi steps back while grabbing Tarina's wrist and twisting it backward painfully. "I am faithful to my wife, Tarina. And if you touch me again without my leave, you'll lose the limb."

The Varisian woman steps back holding up both hands in surrender. "My apologies, m'Lady. There is just an undeniable draw that a pregnant woman carries and I forget myself."

"That may be," the rogue responds. "But if you forget yourself again, I may just tell my wife and then watch as she runs roughshod through your mind." She turns and gathers her notes, noting the others watching the interplay. "You're a valuable asset of the Raven's, Ms. Izbasa, but you are replaceable."

She turns back to address the gathered group. "We need information on a woman - a medusa actually. She's running for local office and we think she has some powerful forces backing her. We want to find out who those forces are ..."


Female Human Fighter (Cad) 13, Brawler 2 | HP: 55/185| AC: 19/17 (11 T, 17 F)| CMB: +19/+28, CMD: 28| F: +19, R: +12, W: +7| Init: +7| Perc: +17, SM +12, Dip +45, Intim +39| Speed 35ft| Martial Flexibility 3/4, Serpentine Tattoo 3/3, Beast Form 2 (Lion) 1/1, Terrible Cost 5/5| Active Conditions: N/A

Sara takes the hand with a grin, knowing intimately just how much she's going to hate this woman. "Are you free this evening, Tsemani?" she asks, sizing her up. "For dinner, perhaps?"

Action dependent on Tsemani's response. Sara wants an excuse to, like, pry into who the woman is and see more of who they're up against one-to-one. Maybe as a double date with whichever pair of us has the highest Sense Motive.


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

That would be Mel. Mind reading doesn't hurt either. ;) Zhi would be out of her element, though.


Tsemani shakes her head. "Unfortunately, I must respectfully decline. I have a very busy schedule to keep. Besides, it would likely send mixed messages to our constituents to see us fratermizing together. I appreciate the offer, however. Perhaps I will take you up on it after the election is in the books."


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Assuming we're going with my suggestion of a second persona phase then investigating.

The next day Melodie changes focus somewhat, continuing to organise large street demonstrations to call on the candidates for specific promises, while her agents dig deeper into the connection between Tsemani and her backers.

Organise Protest, using Dip, DC25: 1d20 + 34 ⇒ (19) + 34 = 53 Pass. Sacrifice Rank 5.

Gather Information, DC20, max agents, Bartelby, persona bonus: 1d20 + 10 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 10 + 2 + 2 = 32 Pass :)

With her campaigning duties down Mel turns to the more personal issues. "Shall we try to find an astronomer? If the stars are involved it could be a lead of some sort?"


Female Human Fighter (Cad) 13, Brawler 2 | HP: 55/185| AC: 19/17 (11 T, 17 F)| CMB: +19/+28, CMD: 28| F: +19, R: +12, W: +7| Init: +7| Perc: +17, SM +12, Dip +45, Intim +39| Speed 35ft| Martial Flexibility 3/4, Serpentine Tattoo 3/3, Beast Form 2 (Lion) 1/1, Terrible Cost 5/5| Active Conditions: N/A

Sara purses her lips and nods once, agreeing with the medusa.

She throws a lavish banquet to advertise and fundraise for the campaign, keeping a ear open for gossip and whispers about her opponent.

Charm, Dip, Throw Party: 1d20 + 45 ⇒ (7) + 45 = 52 Pass
Gather Info, 10 Agents, Charm: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21??


Zhi Gather Info: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19

With Bartelby coordinating efforts between Melodie's and Zhi's agents, it doesn't take long at all to uncover corroborating evidence to Tsemani's receipt of letters marked with the yellow eye, as well as confirmation of the conspiracy to tamper with the election to ensure the medusa's success.

Indeed, Sara experiences firsthand suspicious activity when several of the guests at her party become sick after partaking of the banquet. She's able to smooth things over enough that it doesn't impact her success, but a few witnesses in the kitchen report seeing a disembodied floating eye before the food was served. It's clear that somebody doesn't want Sara to win.


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

"It's clear that someone is playing dirty, here," Zhi says at the first gathering of the ladies after the debacle of Sara's party. She meets Sara's eyes. "That wasn't just the result of some bad cheese. Are we going to turn the heat up on this or are you still determined to play it clean?"

On a side-note; please tell me that time passes the same here as it does on the material plane. If not then it's totally going to hose Zhi's due-date. ;)


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Do we have proof of Tsemani's guilt, or just that she receives the letters?

After the party Melodie collates her reports and presents her findings.

"Tsemani has definitely received the letters, I have witnesses who have seen the yellow eye seal. I wouldn't say its definitive proof but its close - if we could get hold of one of the letters then we'd know for sure. Now what happened at the party? I heard things went wrong..."

Sac Facet for Sara? 2 good: 1d2 ⇒ 1


Female Half-Elf Cleric 17 | HP 105/105 | AC 21 T 14 FF 19 | Fort +12 Ref +9 Will +17 | Initiative +2 | Perception +8 | Channel Energy 6/6 | Dazing Touch 8/8 | Bit of Luck 8/8 | Good Fortune 2/2

If I can cast pox of rumors on Tsemani without her knowing when she has her meeting with Sara, I'd like to do so - but only if she won't know that we tried something if she makes her save. DC 23 Will save.


Time passes the same here as it does on the Material Plane, so Zhi's due date remains unchanged.

You have proof of the conspiracy, but everything seems to indicate that Tsemani is unaware of what's going on. She appears to just be an unwitting pawn in the schemes.

Tsemani Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Will Save, First Day: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

It's a simple matter for Zhi to subtly swipe a pocketwatch out of Tsemani's robes when she first meets Sara. Zileska uses the watch as a focus for her spell overnight, praying to Calistria to spread unseemly rumors about Tsemani.

The curse seems to have taken effect. The people of Sayashto begin to whisper unsavory things about the medusa the next day, and it's clear that the voters' opinion of her has worsened signficantly...


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

"What do you think Sara? It looks like Tsemani is a pawn in this game rather than a player. We could confront her with the evidence from the postmaster and expose the conspiracy - or just let the election play out and try to catch someone engaging in sabotage..."

Melodie knows what she'd do, but this is Sara's campaign, so that makes it her decision.


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

"Even if she's totally innocent," Zhi counters. "I get the feeling that she's not going to drop out of the race - tampering or not. I say we start playing dirty." She gives her wife a knowing look and bites her lip.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Zhi gets the mental equivalent of an eye roll followed by a pat on the head.

:P


Female Human Fighter (Cad) 13, Brawler 2 | HP: 55/185| AC: 19/17 (11 T, 17 F)| CMB: +19/+28, CMD: 28| F: +19, R: +12, W: +7| Init: +7| Perc: +17, SM +12, Dip +45, Intim +39| Speed 35ft| Martial Flexibility 3/4, Serpentine Tattoo 3/3, Beast Form 2 (Lion) 1/1, Terrible Cost 5/5| Active Conditions: N/A

"No," says Sara, spinning about dramatically. "Today was day two. It is far too early to go on the attack. If she calls my character into question, we strike back- hard -but until that point, I want honesty, fairplay. And once she steps out of line, well, then she'll see what a shameless, conniving b~!$& like me can do."

She clears her throat and returns her face back from a too-wide maniacal grin to an unphased and neutral expression. "Or, you know, sometime next week. I'll get too bored if we're all straightlaced all the time."


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

Zhi lets out an exaggerated sigh. "Fine, be vanilla and boring," she says in an over-the-top voice. "In the meantime," she continues, turning to her wife. "Weren't you saying something about find the astronomer? We should do that."


Following Sara's soiree, you head to the home of the astronomer Nabil. Unfortunately, when you arrive, you find only the demolished remnants of the row house unit in which he had lived. Neighbors can confirm that Nabil lived there but ran afoul of a marut. Maruts are inevitables that hunt down mortals who extend their lives unnaturally, and Nabil's consciousness dwelled within the artificial form of a soulbound doll. Everyone assumes that by now he's been captured and taken in to face justice.

You can try to track him down with a DC 30 Diplomacy, Knowledge (local) or Survival check that takes 1d4+1 hours.


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 34 ⇒ (2) + 34 = 36 Hours: 1d4 ⇒ 4

Melodie is becoming very good at finding out people's secrets, and tracking down secrets - admittedly Nabil is well hidden but her persistence is rewarded.


It's nearly midnight by the time Melodie's questioning produces results. She learns that Nabil lies low around the Grand Rotunda, the circular intersection of Sayashto’s three main canals. The running water helps shield him from conventional divinations, and he regularly relocates to one of the nearby warehouses or commercial districts whenever his pursuer gets too close.

Armed with this information, you are able to readily corner him in a short amount of time. The astronomer looks like nothing so much as a tiny porcelain doll with glassy eyes, though he moves with a fluid grace, and the fear in his voice is genuine. "Who are you? What do you want from me?"


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

"We need your professional help." Melodie offers, hands open. "We're not here to turn you in to the inevitables. We need some help locating Taldaris - we were told that you might be able to help us. Something about an astral legend?"

Diplo: 1d20 + 34 ⇒ (4) + 34 = 38


"You want my help? Then you have to help me first," Nabil insists. "I never wanted to be a doll like this. As best I can piece together, the soul fragment inside me once belonged to a spellcaster with vindictive enemies who sealed me inside this artificial body. I retain almost no memories of my past life beyond a love of astronomy. Now a marut’s trying to destroy me just for the crime of existing! I want protection, either convincing the that I've been destroyed or destroying the damned inevitable. Keep me alive, and in return I can interpret your astronomic puzzle."


Female Human Rogue 3/Sorcerer 4/Arcane Trickster 10 | HP 108/108 | AC 30 T 25 FF 23 | Fort +12 Ref +21 Will +15 | Init +7 | Perc +21 | Spells 1st: 6/7, 2nd 7/7, 3rd 7/7, 4th 6/6, 5th 6/6, 6th 5/5, 7th 3/3 | Boots 10/10 | Tricky Spells 5/5 | Sneak Attack 2/2 | Greater Invisibility 10/10 |

"We're not killing an inevitable for you," Zhi says in disgust. "We might be able convince it that you're dead."


Female Human Fighter (Cad) 13, Brawler 2 | HP: 55/185| AC: 19/17 (11 T, 17 F)| CMB: +19/+28, CMD: 28| F: +19, R: +12, W: +7| Init: +7| Perc: +17, SM +12, Dip +45, Intim +39| Speed 35ft| Martial Flexibility 3/4, Serpentine Tattoo 3/3, Beast Form 2 (Lion) 1/1, Terrible Cost 5/5| Active Conditions: N/A

Sara agrees heartily. "We are a very convincing group, us bunch, we should have no problem, good, er, dolly."


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

Melodie nods her agreement to Sara and Zhi. "It'll probably want proof." She says. "Do you have an old part or something we can give it?"


Nabil produces a tiny emerald. "I had this fake soul focus made. It's similar to the one that houses my consciousness. Maybe you can present it to the marut to try to trick it into thinking I'm dead. It's going to be here soon. I'll make myself scarce. Good luck!"

The doll scampers away, and as predicted, after a few minutes, the ground begins to shake under heavy footfalls. A hulking humanoid approaches, mostly hidden behind plates of elaborate golden armor, the spaces in between revealing flesh of black stone. "I am Yortaru," it declares in a booming voice. "The fugitive doll Nabil is in the area and I believe that you have information necessary for his capture. You will cooperate with my investigation."


Female Human Fighter (Cad) 13, Brawler 2 | HP: 55/185| AC: 19/17 (11 T, 17 F)| CMB: +19/+28, CMD: 28| F: +19, R: +12, W: +7| Init: +7| Perc: +17, SM +12, Dip +45, Intim +39| Speed 35ft| Martial Flexibility 3/4, Serpentine Tattoo 3/3, Beast Form 2 (Lion) 1/1, Terrible Cost 5/5| Active Conditions: N/A

Sara immediately delegates responsibility for lying to Melodie, knowing who is the undisputed queen of duplicity, but helps some nonetheless.

"Oh you got here just in time, dear fellow, I am exhausted after that ordeal. My companion here can tell you all about it, I am too far gone."

Bluff, Aid Another: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (6) + 16 = 22


Female NG Changeling Mesmerist (Vox) 17 | HP:93/93 | AC: 25 (17 Tch, 21 Fl) | CMB: 11, CMD: 25 | F: +8, R: +17, W: +17 | Init: +8 | Perc/SM +23, Bluff +43(48), Dip +38, I +34, Dis +34, UMD +22, Spcft + 18, KnwA +16| Speed 30ft | Spells: 1: 8/8, 2: 7/7, 3: 7/7, 4: 6/6, 5: 6/6, 6: 3/3 | Tricks: Alac, Curse (M), Free (M), Gift, Visions (M) 18/17+1; Words: 12/12 | Mask: DT (DC20) 9/9, TS 1/1 | Active: See Invisbility, Echolocation

"We've done your job for you." Melodie replies, taking her cue from Sara. "The doll has been destroyed and the fragments incinerated. We retrieved the soul focus on the assumption that the authorities would want it."

She holds her hand out and the gemstone floats over to the marut. "I trust that we won't face any issues over the fight?" She asks, one eyebrow raised - the picture of poise.

Bluff: 1d20 + 44 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 44 + 2 = 47

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