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Fresh off your induction into the Pathfinder Society and the completion of your basic training within the organization, you find yourselves in the office of Ambrus Valsin, the venture-captain in charge of daily operations in and around the Grand Lodge. The efficient and straightforward chamberlain greets you curtly and motions for you to sit before jumping straight into your assignment.
"All right, Pathfinders! Listen up. I know you are new recruits eager to make names for yourselves in the organization, but first we need to make sure you are up to snuff and won't get yourself killed out there. I have a number of small assignments for you and your team, and it would be best if you could finish them before the day's end.
"Every day we get some doe-eyed hopeful or some sniveling bootlicker willing to do anything to join up with the Pathfinders. Most of them are good kids, but not all of them have the salt to make it in a world like this. It's rough out there and I'm not just talking about the ruins, tombs, and wilderness Pathfinders find themselves in on missions. We've got people who look down their noses at us, folks who think we squander our resources, and agents who want to take everything we have collected. This wealth of knowledge and these items of lore make us the most powerful organization on the planet. That said, since we are fractured and widespread, it's difficult for that power to light on anything for too long. For every friends of the Society, there are two enemies.
"Your first mission, to test your mettle and loyalties, sends you to meet a few people important to the Society living here in Absalom. These are other venture-captains or close allies of our organization, so follow their orders as you would mine. I've prepared a list of things I want you to do. They're not arranged in any particular order of importance, but I want them all completed as quickly as possible. Only report to me once you complete them all. Included in the envelope you hold in your hands is the list, complete with the name of your contact, and directions to the meeting location."
Here is the contents of the envelope.
"Yes sir!"Lecky says as he gives a salute to his venture-captain.
They don't seem to be incredibly hard but it doesn't hurt to be prepared for whatever.
He gestures to his party and asks "Who do you want to visit first?"
I don't really have any preference in particular so I'll just go with what the group decides on.
A gruff "Yes, sir!" rings out from the dwarf, sounding almost as one with Lecky's. He takes the list and reads it out loud. "I have no opinion in the matter. The Docks are the farthest away, if any of you care." He pauses briefly before continuing. "I do not believe I have formally introduced myself to some of you. I am Investigator Morgrim Stonewall, Priest of Abadar. You will address me as either 'Investigator Stonewall' or simply 'Investigator'. Let us get this done," he gestures at the list, "as quick as we lawfully can." He turns and starts toward the door.
"Nice to meet you Investigator. Hello Talathel, I'm Lecky by the way." as he bows slightly to both of them. "A cool breeze and a nice change of scenery would be nice, to the docks then." He stands up, and follows the investigator towards the door.
Talathel looks at the piece of paper, and the various assignments to be done.
"I would concur that there doesn't seem to be an obvious first pick from amongst the list. Therefor I will follow Lecky's suggestion to visit the docks first."
Talathel turns to the dwarf, looking mighty curious.
"Investigator Stonewall, I am pleased to meet your acquaintance. I have heard many good things of the church of Abadar. They would not give such a title in vain, so I must assume you are a very trustworthy man."
He bends over, as to whisper something in the ear of Morgrim.
Or is it a custom not use your first name unless they have earned your trust?
"Lecky, what an unusual name. Where does it come from? I have always been fascinated by names and what and who they represent. Is it your first, or your last name, for example? I can't quite tell, I beg your pardon.
My name for example has several meanings, but the easiest way is probably to compare it to the silence in the center of a storm. In Elvish, there are many ways to describe it. One of them is Talathel."
He bows to his comrades, and then addresses everyone present: "What say the rest of you, comrades? The docks is a fine location to start?"
Lia looks over the list. Chelish . . . really don't want to deal with her. At least it should be quick.
"The docks seem like a good start to me. Might as well start at the beginning of the list." She pauses, realizing she's forgotten something. "Oh, I'm Lia Emriss. Just call me Lia. Nice to meet you all."
"Nice to meet you Lia.. Not much armour on you. I guess you are one of them swashbucklers? Though I you are the first that is female, I must say. Well, the first that I have seen, anyway.
And also a strange and unusual sword for a swashbuckler... "
Interesting people. I like this already.
Lia laughs. "Swashbuckler? Don't think I've ever been called that before."
She glances at the two leaving, then back at Talathel. "Uh-oh. We should probably go, or they'll leave us behind." She turns and follows the others towards the door.
The sun shines brightly on the streets of Absalom as you make your way out of the Grand Lodge into the foreign district. People bustle about, taking no notice of the four of you as you make your way south to the docks.
The crowds soon give way and a scent of salt water fills the air, signaling that you have the part of town you are looking for. Old fishermen and grizzled sailors walk the streets, some flipping coppers to a one-legged man playing the fiddle on a corner, while others walk with their heads down, mumbling to themselves.
Ah, the Docks. As full of suspicious characters as any place I've seen. What are those men muttering about?
Taking 10 for Perception 16, Sense Motive 17, Spellcraft 14 (just to make sure they aren't casting spells)
(I'm really tempted to go full-on hardboiled detective monologue.)
Hmm, this place is way busier compared to the docks in my hometown.
"Here you go sir," as he tosses in 5 copper pieces to the one-legged man.
Lecky noticed that Investigator is a little uneasy about something. "Is there anything bothering you? Did you notice something odd around this place?" he whispered to Investigator
Do it, i would love to read. Humphrey Bogarde style? :)!
Talathel looks around, keeping an eye on corners and shadowy places.
"Who knows where it is? This is not my side of town, so your guess is as good as mine."
He points at a certain building he believes to be the right one.
"Could that be the Pickled Imp? I wonder what curiosa we might find inside."
Knowledge local: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Perception:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
I should mention that since 'Morgrim' appears to be the least awkward way of referring to him out of character (compare 'Morgrim said' to 'the Investigator said' or 'Investigator Stonewall said'), that's probably the best thing to use. (Although 'Stonewall said' isn't half bad.)
Looking in the direction of Talathel's point, you see a sign almost hanging off it's hinges—an imp swimming in a jar with plants (or herbs) all around it. The sign reads "The Pickled Imp."
Talathel walks up to the door, and pushes it slightly open.
"Are we ready then, gentlemen? Ahum, and lady, of course.."
The tall elf bends over slightly, as not to hit his head when entering the shop. The first thing I do is look around and get a good sense of the place.. including smell and taste.
Please don't smell like the Shavin' Sheep. That was... unpleasant, to say the least.
Lecky follows the two inside the shop.
"I'm done looking around. Besides, I don't like the way this picture looks at me. Is he the man we're looking for?", as he points at the man behind the counter. "I think we should go and introduce ourselves."
This creepy shop contains myriad odds and ends, most bereft of any discernible use. A number of malformed creatures and creature parts bob in jars on a long, prominent shelf, a tiny fetal devil centered in this macabre lineup.
The shopkeeper, a greasy-haired Varisian with a thin mustache, shouts from behind the cluttered counter.
"Ah yes, I see the Pathfinders have arrived. I'm glad Ambrus was able to lend a few of his new recruits to help me. Please come in and let me tell you what I need."
Looking around as if to be absolutely certain no customers are browsing the aisles of knock-off Thuvian burial urns or supposed Azlanti porcelain, he begins again.
"Well met. I am Guaril Karela. A friend of mine has a warehouse near here and he received a parcel on behalf of me and some of my associates, but there's a problem. See, Master Gelbane had to leave town in a hurry and our shipment is still waiting at his warehouse. Rumor is he ended up in trouble with the law and the place was seized. I heard tell from someone down at the docks that some creep was snooping around his warehouse just the other night, so I want to make sure nothing of mine was taken. He keeps all kinds of things, from beer to nails, in that old pelican, but every now and then he stores something really special. This is one of those cases.
"There's a big crate marked with three crows arranged in a triangle. Inside that crate is a smaller container with a few books and papers in it. That's the only parcel I'm interested in, and as far as I'm concerned, you can help yourself to the rest of the crate. Honestly, anything else you want in the place too. I'm sure that once things get sorted out, the city will seize most everything anyway.
"My associates and I often work with the Pathfinders when it comes to special relics and documents, getting them in and out of ports and across borders where the authorities ask too many questions. Most people don't realized what they have and frankly many don't deserve to have it, so sometimes we help take the goods off their hands. If things work out well and you get this done, I'd be glad to talk with you more and help you out with any future endeavors, as long as you help me out too. I'm good at returning favors . . . trust me."
He smiles—almost sneering—after this last statement, his crooked teeth rotting in places.
Taking 10 on Sense Motive for 17 until the end of this conversation
If this is the sort of man the Society owes favors to, they're more in need of my help than I thought.
"Besides the parcel you want us to retrieve, is anything else in the warehouse you or your associates' property?"
"Why is it so important to you, that you are more than willing to give the rest to us? Is there something else that we should know?"
I sense something odd with this task.
I really wish I have some social skills besides intimidate...
Talathel waits for the man to answer Stonewall's and Lecky's questions, before asking his.
"It's always good to have friends, especially friends that have a common interest: exotic plants, animals and books.
Are you sure we are the only ones interested in this parcel? Wouldn't want to run into people that you have assigned the same job, and have, euh... misunderstandings."
He continues to look around, hands behind his back to make sure he doesn't touch anything.
"Also, I believe it would help us if you could give us the address. And I don't suppose you would happen to know how long it will take the city to "sort" things out?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (9) + 0 = 9
Knowledge arcane (to look for interesting ingredients/books: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
Taking ten is boring ;)
Lia spots the jars and grimaces. That's disgusting. Who buys this kind of thing?
She lets Karela describe his problem. Seems a bit suspicious. But the Captain did ask us to help him . . .
You guys have covered all the questions I had. Not much for me to say here.
"I think it's about time that you all should be going. Here are directions to the place," he says as he hands you a quickly sketched map. "Like I said, just that parcel, and you can have the rest."
"All right, let's get going. Some of us aren't getting any younger,"[/b] he says with a smile.
"Plenty of stuff to do, and errants to run."
Once outside he clears his throat.
"Shall we go and see what the other people have in mind? Or do it, one mission at the time?"
"Hmm, I vote for one mission at a time. At least we can focus on our task at hand and not disappoint our associates."
It is still daytime..
"By the way, How do you propose we get in that warehouse if it's closed by authorities? Any suggestions?"
We can try diplomatically if someone is guarding it, or somebody can sneak inside and open the back door, or last we can wait till nighttime
You follow Guaril's instructions, and it leads you to the actual coast, and number of piers line the water. You find the particular pier that leads to the warehouse you're looking for.
Perched on the end of the long pier fifteen feet above the water, the warehouse appears to struggle against its own roof, threatening to sag into the bay below. No light shines from the building's windows and only the movement of the gulls and pelicans stirs the scene.
A few local fishermen and some kids sit scattered along the pier, casting nets or bobbing lines into the waters below. These people are to the west of the map.
Talathel will take a close look, and inspect the building. This can be done from a distance, but he would like to move closer.
Perception:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Know (engineering)1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Maybe Espri, you can open the "Discussion" thread of this adventure, for OOC comments?
Like this one:
I will be going on a trip to London for Valentine's day.
This will be 13th > 15th, and might not have connection, so a heads up.
I will leave instructions if necessary. :)
Morgrim will also inspect the building, first from a distance, then closer in.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Is it possible to see the double doors on the south side of the buiding from the street?
Lecky moved between the boat and the door to the building pretending he is checking the boat out, while occasionally checking the warehouse.
Knowledge (engineering): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Get a general feel of the building, in case we can not enter through the front door.
Where would be a good back entrance, hidden or non-hidden?
It doesn't look too stable. Would be just my luck to get buried underneath a ruin of a building!
The building looks downtrodden, but stable. It is as flammable as any other wooden building, though the wood looks rather soggy. The windows are small, but could be squeezed through, and the door on the side can only be accessed by entering the water (climbing would be quite difficult). Also, based on your architectural knowledge, you don't think there would be any need or purpose for other entrances besides the front and the side.
It is quite dark in the warehouse, the ambient light from outside blocked by a filthy, oily film on the structure's few windows. Through the light from the open door, you can see crates, boxes, and barrels lean against each other in vaguely sorted stacks. A lingering smell indicates some of the contents are certainly spoiled. On the east wall (directly in front of you) sit stacks of simple coffins.
The Saltspray Pelican Warehouse map
As you want to do something, let me know where on the map you'd like to go. We're not in initiative, just still call out specific locations.
"If you don't mind, I'll probably stay near the door and be on the lookout.
Where's that smell coming from?
Want me to light a torch? Although I think I'm the only one that won't be able to see that well in the dark.
@DM I will go to M-5.
Lia moves further into the warehouse, glancing nervously at the coffins. I hope those are empty . . ..
"We're looking for a crate marked with crows, right?"
Moving to P-5. Is low-light vision enough to see somewhat clearly? If so:
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21
Yes, low-light should be good enough, but for those without it, a torch would work just fine.
Morgrim steps up behind Lia (O-5) and begins chanting something. Detecting magic, starting with the coffins. It should take 2 rounds to sweep the entire room if nothing in it's magical.
Also, Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26 and Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19 (to recall if there are any undead he should be worried about, what with the coffins and all).
"This could be it," Lia calls back, gesturing towards the crate she spotted, and walking closer to get a better look.
Assuming the crate is at U/V-14/15, moving to U-12; Perception in case I need it: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24