GM Brunoreturns' Shattered Star

Game Master brunoreturns

Venture Captain Sheila Heidmarch needs your help to recover a lost field agent.

Do you have what it takes to serve the Pathfinder Society and save the world?

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Male Human

Open for dotting.

Silver Crusade

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Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

Squint ties a purple dotted handkerchief across his forehead, knotting it in the back and pulling it down tight. He checks his reflection in the glint of the sun off the water to check that the glowing sigil remains obscured. Grunting in satisfaction, he walks over to a regal-appearing, golden- plumed, four-legged bird.

"You could pass for one of those grippons, I think," the halfling says as he places a foot in the stirrups hanging down off the creature's back, testing how his pack feels before hoisting himself onto the saddle.

"They are called griffons, and they eat people." the bird replies in a cultured tone. "I don't appreciate the comparison." The mount tosses his head impetuously. "This hood itches."

"Yeah, well until we're sure that they're not going to run us out of town with pitchforks like they did in Ilsurian, we need to keep a low profile."

The halfling adjusts the curious silver lance on its holster across the back of the curious mount. He squints over the hills to the north at the glories of Magnimar.

"Here goes nothing," the halfling says, urging the four-legged bird mount down the road.


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

Moving quickly in the pre-dawn darkness, Barkot stuffs his bedroll into a small sack. He gives it a quick sniff and winces, then shrugs and closes the drawstrings.

Needs washing. But then, so does the sack. So do I.

Barkot opens the sack again for a moment to add several paper-wrapped packets of jerky and dried fruit, emergency provisions in case he somehow loses his backpack. He slings his pack over one shoulder, tucks his now-bagged bedroll under one arm, and slips quietly out of the bunkroom. He has no desire to wake any of the other temporary residents of the flophouse, not out of politeness, but to avoid the unpleasant confrontation that would likely result.

I'll leave the bedroll behind the loose paver south of the baker's, he decides. I don't need the weight while I'm making my rounds today, and if someone nicks it, the City will provide another.

Easing himself down the hallway, Barkot quietly enters the foyer. The night manager of the flop, a scrawny human man named Vore, is asleep in his chair, head lolling to one side. A long string of drool stretches from his mouth to his shoulder.

Barkot stops in front of the chair to glare at Vore. Not two hours ago, the half-orc had come awake to the sound of soft voices whispering from outside the bunkroom. One of the voices was unfamiliar; it was female, probably human or at least part-human, and although Barkot could not make out most of what the woman said, he thought she sounded angry.

The other voice belonged to Vore. Like the woman, the manager spoke too softly for Barkot to make out most of what he said, but he was certain that the man said "orc" at least twice. Barkot knew he was not the only one of his kind in the bunkroom - there were at least two others, dockhands by the way they dressed and spoke, probably from Riddleport - but it was still too risky to stay, let alone fall back to sleep. So he lay there in the darkness, clutching the unsheathed dagger he always keeps under his bedroll. He knew his father's sight would give him an advantage if it came to a fight, but two against one were never good odds, and Norgorber only knew how many of the others snoring in their bunks were only feigning sleep and would join in the attack.

But the assault never came. Instead, he heard the woman's anger turn to teasing laughter, joined by Vore's deeper chuckle, and their quiet footsteps as they moved back down the hall. Barkot waited until he was sure he could detect no other movement in the small building before rising quietly to pack up and leave.

Now he leans over Vore, and whispers something softly into the sleeping man's ear. Vore shudders and moans in fright, but does not wake.

With a sigh, Barkot silently pushes open the door, pulls up the hood of his cloak more to cover some of his face than to protect against the early-morning chill, and walks alone into the gloom of dawn under the Irespan.


female, Human, AC 17, tch 13, ff 14 /CMD:16 |H.P. 18/18 Fort.+4,ref+3, will+1| Init +3; Perception +5 (+7 in dim light) MW Cold iron longsword +4 (1d8+1)/ MW LS +3(1d8+1) and mithral Shortsword +2(1d6+1) or MW composite longbow (+1 str) +6 (1d8+1) Fighter 2 (lore warden) |speed:30ft |Conditions:none

not so ninja


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BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

As the carriage pulls up the Heidmarch Manor, the door opens and a slim elven woman steps out. Perhaps she is nervous, or annoyed, but her expression gives away nothing--hidden as it is behind a mask of polished driftwood painting a midnight blue and studded with small semiprecious stones forming constellation patterns. After a long moment of gazing at the manor the elf shakes her head and steps towards the front gate, ignoring the carriage as it rolls away.

Liberty's Edge

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NG Cleric of Erastil 1 | HP: 9/9, AC 15 ,T13, FF12, CMD:13, F+3, R+3, Will+5, Init:+3, Percep:+3, SM:+7| Channel 4/4

Walking side by side with a large and powerful warhorse, the young man in simple leathers reaches back to make sure he hasn't forgotten anything. His bow, carved to resemble the antlers of a stag, rests comfortably on his back while his quiver, stamped with the bow and arrow symbol of Erastil, rests comfortably on his hip. Absentmindedly his right hand comes to rest upon the quiver as he walks, the hand itself noticeably branded with the same symbol as his quiver.

"Thank you ever so much my friend." Isan says pleasantly, while patting the horse walking next to him.

The horse snorts and dips its head by way of acknowledging the young man next to it.

As the two come to a stop across the street from a most formidable looking manor house, Isan leans in, pressing his lips close to the horses ear, keeping his voice low, "I would never have found this place if not for your expert knowledge of the city. These places confound me."

Chuckling, he pulls back, and in a normal tone continues, "Well, I did promise you an apple for your help, and here it is." He produces an apple from a pouch and offers it up to the horse who happily accepts it, crunching it loudly and with swift bites. "Now, you had best get back to the stables before someone misses you. Maybe try and avoid taking main streets if you can help it."

Once more the horse snorts and dips its head, its dark eyes staring intently at the young man before it.

"You nice people. Be safe. Danger people be here. You no be danger people." comes the simple whinny from the horse.

Understanding the horse as if it spoke the common tongue, Isan merely replies with a grin, "Wise words good steed. Wise words."

Isan looks across the street to the gate of Heidmarch Manor, just in time to see a carriage let out a slim elven woman, her face covered by a most intriguing mask.

"Well, I was summoned here for a reason, so I might as well see what it is they want of me." he thinks to himself as lets out a small sigh. Striding across the street, he turns his head to watch the departing carriage while approaching the front gate.

"Hello there!" he calls out with a friendly tone to the elven woman. "Are you also answering a summons or do you by chance live here?"


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

Barkot senses the coming dawn as he makes his way through the gloomy alleys and sidestreets of Underbridge. A shift in the breeze, a change in the cooing of the pigeons that shelter under the Irespan, a faint corona visible at the edges of the eastern end of the ruined bridge - from these signs, Barkot knows it is almost time to begin another day's work.

He hurries to the alley behind a bakery and hides his bundle behind the loose cobblestone as he planned, then lurks in the shadows behind the shop; after just a few minutes, his persistence is rewarded. The back door opens, emitting billows of smoke and the shouting of the baker, damning his apprentice for a fool as the boy throws the source of the smoke - several blackened loaves of bread, one of them still glowing red at the end from recently being on fire - into the alley.

As soon as the bakery door closes again, Barkot rushes over and picks up the burned loaves. He mutters a quick spell over the bread, and tucks two of the loaves into his pack. He starts walking again, carrying the most badly-burned of the loaves, and begins scraping at it with his dagger as he goes.

Barkot takes a winding route out of Underbridge as he finishes his breakfast, losing any possible pursuers in the early morning market crowds. As he makes his way through the Dockway district, he sniffs the air. Good catch this morning, he thinks.

Barkot reaches a locked gate at the end of an behind a tannery, blocking off a section of the city's network of alleyways that has been leased to the Lord-Mayor's favorite clothier. He drops his pack at his feet, glances over his shoulder to make sure he is not being watched, pulls out a package wrapped in filthy, oil-stained cloth, and unrolls it on the ground next to the gate. He chooses a thin rake and tension wrench from the lockpick set and methodically picks the lock on the gate. As soon as it pops open, he quickly repack his tools and slips through, making sure to close and lock the gate behind him.

The half-orc wanders through into Lowcleft, not hurrying but rarely stopping. He pauses briefly at a stall to fill his mug with strong coffee in exchange for a handful of coppers - his one indulgence - but keeps his cloak hood up to shadow his face, and does not meet the coffee seller's eyes. He stops once more to stare at a well-dressed man loudly berating a servant. After a few moments, the aristocrat's rant trails off. He looks uncomfortably at Barkot, then stalks off, leaving his servant to chase after him.

Eventually, Barkot arrives at his destination, Seerspring Garden. He walks through the park, ignoring the ornamental flowers and stately trees, until he arrives at a corner of the garden dominated by a massive block of marble protruding 3 feet from the ground. The top of this block of stone has been meticulously carved into a scale model of the city.

Barkot drops his pack and sits cross-legged on the grass in front of the Mapstone Monument, puts his mug of coffee on the ground in front of him, and closes his eyes. For the next 10 minutes, he thinks about the history of this great city, from its founding through to the present. He contemplates the tens of thousands of people living in Magnimar now. He breathes in all the smells of the city, largely undiluted by the floral scents of the Seerspring Garden.

Knowledge (local) DC 15: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

+1 morale bonus to Will saves for the next 24 hours, assuming this is still OK?

Barkot opens his eyes, and sees a teenage girl in Heidmarch livery watching him from a few feet away, shifting her weight impatiently from one foot to the other. As soon as she realizes he has finished whatever it is he was doing, she pulls a small envelope from a pocket but does not approach any closer.

"Are you - " she checks the name on envelope "- Barkot?"

He pitches his voice low, but loud enough to carry to her. "Who wants to know?"

The girl shrugs. "Lady Sheila wants to see you, but she said not to bother you."

She tosses the letter onto the grass next to him, then runs out of the park without waiting to see if he picks it up. After a moment, Barkot looks around to make sure he is unobserved, then snatches up the envelope, rips it open, and reads the letter inside. He tucks the letter into his pocket in case he needs it to get past the guards on the main stairs up to the Alabastar district; he has other ways up to the rich part of town, but the stairs are the most direct route, and as it is he will need to hurry to get to Heidmarch Manor by the appointed hour.

Gotta admit dat I'm curious. What does she want with me? Maybe she'd give me more time in dat library if I can help her out of a jam. The couple 'a times I've been dere, haven't had enough time to read everyting she's got about da city.

But could be sometin’ else, too. Mebbe she’s workin’ wit’ Vore? Fancy lady or not, if she starts pryin’, I’m outta dere.

He checks the position of the sun and sighs, stands up, shoulders his pack, and begins walking.


BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none
Isan wrote:


"Hello there!" he calls out with a friendly tone to the elven woman. "Are you also answering a summons or do you by chance live here?"

The elf turns her head to regard Isan but otherwise doesn't move. After regarding him for a heartbeat or two her voice drifts out from under the mask.

"I was not summoned, but sent," her accent is musical and her tone languid, neither hostile nor friendly. "You are here to serve the Pathfinder Society." It is not quite a question.

Liberty's Edge

NG Cleric of Erastil 1 | HP: 9/9, AC 15 ,T13, FF12, CMD:13, F+3, R+3, Will+5, Init:+3, Percep:+3, SM:+7| Channel 4/4

A smile plays on Isan's lips as the mysterious elf speaks from behind her mask.

"Well then, since we both have business here, let's go inside together. My name is Isan. What may I call you?" he says with what appears to be sincere friendliness.

As a small gust of wind blows past the pair, the young man seems compelled to brush an errant strand of dark hair from his green eyes.

"The weather is certainly taking an interesting turn today." He offers casually, as he walks past the gate and up to the entrance of the manor.

Yes, he talked about the weather.

Silver Crusade

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Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

"Really? You're going to go meet with Sheila Heidmarch, Venture-Captain of the Varisian Pathfinder Lodge, and leave me to socialise with the horses?"

"You make it sound so bad!" Squint ignores the imperious glance. "Look, it's just until they feel comfortable around us ---"

"Me," Ulyi clarifies.

"--- you," Squint corrects himself without breaking, "and then we'll both be well and truly invited inside as trusted members of the Society."

"I still do not understand why you just do not dismiss me back to Nirvana ---" the winged mount begins.

"We've been through this," Squint signs in frustration. "We must keep the illusion for a little while longer, until we're sure that people accept me for who I --- er, we are. I cannot send you back to Nirvana to tend to the Sea of No Shadows no matter how badly you want...."

Squint trails off as he notices a stable-hand staring at him, mouth agape.

The halfling titters a nervous laugh. "Er, he likes it when I tell him fairy tales," he directs to the stable-hand. Turning back to Ulyi, Squint adds big tonal inflections to his voice as if speaking to a child as he 'finishes the fairy tale'. "...to save the beautiful princess from the Evil Queen. And they all lived happily ever after, safe and snug in their stable stall until they were sent for again."

Bluff (to send secret message): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 Abject failure.

(In Halfling) "Idiot." Ulyi tosses its beaked head irritably and turns its back on Squint.

The halfling turns back to the stable-hand and laughs unconvincingly. "Ah-ha....which way is the manor house?"

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

From the top floor of the Heidmarch Manor, Paëral watches the new arriving Pathfinders from the shadows, through a window. He had been sent here to Magnimar from the Woodsedge Pathfinder Lodge in Galt to be at Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch's disposal and had been here for a couple of weeks...

As one fairly new to the Society, he had primarily been used on quick one man missions, retrieving and researching for those in charge. Not being used to working with others since his Mother died, this would be his first real mission as a Pathfinder...he was not sure how well he would interact with the others...but he knew he would soon find out...

He shrugged, composed himself, and headed back downstairs...

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

Squint pulls down the purple handkerchief securely over his forehead with a nervous action as he approaches the front door of the manor house.

Gotta keep the sigil hidden for now. Not gonna have Ilsurian happen again.


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female, Human, AC 17, tch 13, ff 14 /CMD:16 |H.P. 18/18 Fort.+4,ref+3, will+1| Init +3; Perception +5 (+7 in dim light) MW Cold iron longsword +4 (1d8+1)/ MW LS +3(1d8+1) and mithral Shortsword +2(1d6+1) or MW composite longbow (+1 str) +6 (1d8+1) Fighter 2 (lore warden) |speed:30ft |Conditions:none

A young woman, sweat pouring off her face, grime on her fingers and forearms, is on hands and knees scrubbing the floor of an indoor latrine. In this part of Magnimar...only the very wealthiest of individuals could afford such space inside their homes. This particular residence was the abode of a favorite consort, of a rumored high ranking member of the Night Scales. The young woman uses the back of her hand to wipe away the mated bangs of her short Strawberry blonde hair...out of her eyes. She looks up as, she hears a knock on the front door downstairs. The familiar voice of her mother, can be heard answering the door. A brief exchange of unintelligible words and the door closes. The young woman..Celia by name..can hear her mother ascend the stairs..presumably to fetch her.

Celia climbs to her feet in anticipation of her mother's approach. However, her mother is cut-off by the mistress of the house. Myra Hillore! If you expect to remain under my employment ...you will refrain from having visitors at my home! It is scandalous to have the help have callers at a ladies house! Celia almost chokes as mistress of a known thug and criminal utters these words to her mother. She begins to stalk down the hall ready to defend her mothers honor when she catches an alarmed look of her mother's eyes that, freezes her in her tracks. The erstwhile concubine turns to Celia as she approaches and raises an eyebrow. Yes Celia? I don't recall summoning you? Have you finished cleaning the toilet chamber yet? Celia's fist tighten...her mother makes a motion with her hand indicating to Celia to remain calm.

Celia tries to suppress her growing indignation and anger, grrr.. Yes, mistress..I've just finished... Celia says meekly, I've just come to ask my mother what chores are left...? The snobbish concubine *sniffs* in distaste. Hmph! I know you think your special Celia....I only see you once a week helping your mother...I suppose you think you're a good daughter and all.... The haughty woman let's the last insult hang before moving to on to further provocations. However, it is my feeling that you've never truly accepted your station in life. Your acceptance in to the Pathfinders is no great accomplishment...they accept all sorts of riff-raff...and your reputation at the Serpents Run, is minor at best. My patron's lowest guards, posses more skill then I think you'll ever acquire with arms...*scoff*.....No, your just another poor girl with dreams of dressing in something more than rags or your mother's serving uniform. Celia's face is red and her fist tightly clenched. However, that does not deter the obnoxious woman. Does the truth make you angry Celia? Do you want to hurt me? Shelyn, your mother's goddess, wouldn't approve....! more scoffing...and a giggle. The woman, then grasp Celia's mother's chin. Besides, if you ever raised a hand to me...your whole family would suffer...you know that don't you girl? taunts the gangster's whore.

Myra, I'll be having some guest tonight...I'll need you to stay late and prepare some food and clean-up after supper is served. You may dismiss your proud daughter here.. her presence is not welcome among my guest...you can re-call her tomorrow to help clean the chamber pots if you wish. The sharp tongued courtesan looks directly at Celia, Your family has a particular talent for cleaning up the dung of their betters. The mistress of the house then walks away. Celia starts to follow but, feels the firm hand of her mother on her shoulder. Celia turns to her mother and sees her smiling face. Don't let her bother you my daughter....you know better than to respond to such non-sense! Here, look! It's what you've been waiting for...I think! Celia's mother hands her a sealed parcel..on the outside it is simply addressed Celia Hillore in a distinctive cursive version of common. However, the wax seal contained the emblem of Heidmarch manor
Is mother correct? could this be a summons to my first mission as a Pathfinder?


Shattered Star Maps

Arriving at Heidmarch Manor at the appointed time, each member of the party is greeted at the door by the Heidmarch's seneschal and ushered into the foyer.

Servants pour drinks for the party, and the seneschal informs you that Lady Heidmarch is currently in a meeting and will attend the party presently. He leaves to take care of other duties, while a serving boy stands near the interior doorway in case any of you needs anything.

As you take a few minutes to introduce yourselves, you look around at the well appointed room. The furniture is tasteful, yet clearly of very high quality. The artwork depicts scenes of the locations where the Heidmarchs' greatest exploits occurred as well as mementos from those excursions.


Shattered Star Maps

After what seems like an uncomfortably long time, the interior door opens and a young, blond-haired man who carries himself with an air of self importance emerges, looking back over his shoulder while continuing a conversation.

Knowledge (Local) DC 15:
The young man is Valanni Krinst, personal assistant to Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras.

"Think upon it, Lady Heidmarch. These rumors of disappearances are becoming louder. They have reached his Lordship's ears, and are becoming an embarrassment."

He is followed by a strikingly beautiful woman with sharp features. She exudes confidence and a presence that draws every eye to her. Speaking with a deep voice, she addresses the man.

"I assure you that we have heard the same rumors. I would like nothing more than to look into these rumors, but unfortunately my agents are currently serving other of the Society's needs. Soon, perhaps. Then again, perhaps these people will return on their own."

As the man turns to head toward the door, he notices the presence of the party and sniffs in disdain. Returning his attention to Lady Heidmarch, he makes a polite good-bye, then heads for the door, where the seneschal presents him with his cloak.


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Shattered Star Maps

Before anyone can speak, three more figures emerge from the interior of the manor.

A gnome man in elaborate purple robes and a bushy grey beard is followed closely by a human-sized serpent looking creature.

Knowledge (Planes) DC 15:
The serpent creature is a Protean

Following them comes a half-elven woman dressed in leather armor, with a distinctive-looking mithral and redwood aklys hanging from her belt.

Knowledge (Local or Dungeoneering) DC 18:
You recognize Koriah Azmeren, one of the most famous of Varisia's Pathfinders and a renowned expert on the Darklands

The gnome quickly interjects, speaking with a quick cadence that takes some effort to properly understand. "Lady, I am surprised that you don't seem to take these rumors more seriously. It is not like you to leave a mystery unexplored."

Lady Heidmarch looks at the gnome with something akin to affection, and speaks kindly to him. "Balazar, you know me better than that. Unfortunately, I was being honest. All of my agents are currently occupied. Now, if you were to decide to stay in Varisia, I would have an agent capable of tracking down these rumors."

The gnome chuckles as he apologizes. "Count Jeggare is not a patient or forgiving man, and I have explicit orders to report to him in Cheliax, as you know. I suppose you will need to wait until you gain some new recruits."

Looking around, he sees the party. He peers at Squint and nods to himself. "This is the one you spoke about?".

Lady Heidmarch nods, but the gnome isn't looking. He and the serpent approach Squint. The serpent flicks its tongue and speaks. "He sssssmellssss of Nirvana."

Balazar pats the serpent on the back and speaks quickly, giving no opportunity for an interjection. "Jacobadiah, is it? I hear that you are newly awakened to your powers."

He glances around questioningly. "That blasted seneschal wouldn't let your friend inside, is that it? Ah well, don't take it to heart. Stick with the Society. Once you gain a reputation, the both of you will be respected and honored."

They turn for the door, as he continues. "I wish I could stay to give you some pointers, young halfling, but I really must go. However, I left a list of good books that you should read with the librarian. They should help out, if you find you have trouble figuring your skills out."

As quickly as he entered, the gnome leaves.


Shattered Star Maps

Lady Heidmarch now turns her attention to the party. She eyes each of you critically, and you get the distinct impression that she doesn't like what she sees. Her lips narrow and her eyes squint slightly, but she welcomes you politely.

"Welcome to Heidmarch Manor, recruits. I apologize for the late greeting, but as you can see, I had several unexpected guests this morning.

I hope that you are enjoying my hospitality. If you will bear with me for a few more minutes, I must finish discussions I started with Koriah here some time ago.

Koriah is one of my most accomplished agents, and she has just returned from an exploration to Nar-Voth. I need to complete her debrief before I can give you my full attention."

Lady Heidmarch turns and begins to usher Koriah back through the doorway, before pausing and looking back with a considering look.

"Perhaps you can be of some use now. Please, follow me."

The party follows Lady Heidmarch into the study/library of the Manor. The walls are lined with full bookshelves, and many tables line the room, heaped with scrolls and books.

Lady Heidmarch leads the party to a table in the center of the room that is clear except for a cubical stone coffer covered in Thassilonian runes and some papers.

Bidding the party to have a seat, she discusses what she wants.

"I apologize again for the delay, as I must conclude my business with Pathfinder Azmeren before we meet.

In the meantime, though, I thought you could help us with another minor issue. This stone coffer is an ancient Thassilonian puzzle, a cunning feat of magical engineering known as a paradox box.

As you’ll see from even a casual investigation, what appear to be seams on the sides are only shallow grooves—there’s no obvious way to open the thing.

Each paradox box has its own secret method of being opened. Essentially, a paradox box substitutes hidden catches and magical triggers for a lock. Given time, anyone clever enough could figure out how to open a paradox box, just as given time, a locksmith can open any lock.

This particular box was among those items recovered by Koriah—the scrolls next to the box are her preliminary notes on possible triggers or methods of opening it, but she’s not yet had a chance to sit down and properly investigate the thing. So... why don’t you put your heads together and see if you can’t do that for me?

Even if the box is empty, as I suspect it probably is, knowing the method of opening it makes it a valuable find anyway. I’ll return shortly, and I hope to see that box open!

Think of this as an audition, if you will—because the actual task I want to speak to you about soon will require as much wit as it will brawn!"

With that, she and Koriah leave the room.


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

Barkot follows the seneschal into the room. He silently refuses a drink, starts to sit on one of the overstuffed chairs, stops, brushes ineffectually at some of the grime on his clothes, gives up, and finally moves over to stand awkwardly against the far wall, eyeing the other people waiting with increasing anxiety. He drops his pack onto the floor, shoves his hands into his pockets, and tries to avoid making eye contact with the other people waiting for Lady Heidmarch.

What are all dese guys doin' here? I t'ought Lady Heidmarch wanted me ta do a job for her. Mebbe dese mopes are all applyin' for da same job?

Sheesh, elves gimme da creeps. Can never tell which way dey're lookin' wit' dose black eyeballs.

I should go. I stay much longer, I'm just gonna stink up da joint.

Barkot starts to pick up his backpack before leaving when the inside door opens and two people walk through.

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

Barkot listens to Lady Heidmarch get rid of the Lord-Mayor’s stooge without much interest, but her brief discussion with the gnome and his pet catches the half-orc's attention for a moment. When the gnome approaches the halfling, though, Barkot briefs a sigh of relief and turns his attention to Lady Heidmarch's last companion, the half-elf woman.

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10

Barkot’s eyes narrow. He feels as though he ought to be able to recognize the woman, and his failure to do so is like a nasty itch that he just can’t scratch.

Lady Heidmarch wrote:
"Welcome to Heidmarch Manor, recruits. I apologize for the late greeting, but as you can see, I had several unexpected guests this evening."

Recruits? Recruits for what? If dis is some goofy pitch ta join da city guards or da Hellknights or da Black Arrows, I'm outta...

Barkot's half-formed idea of sneaking back out the door falls away as he catches a glimpse of the library, reminding him of why he had accepted the invitation in the first place. Before he realizes it, he has picked up his backpack and followed his hostess through the doors and into the sumptuous, book-filled room, and is scanning the titles on the shelves. As Lady Heidmarch explains about the Paradox Box, Barkot finally looks away from the bookshelves and realizes that the others from the foyer - two elves, two humans, and the halfling who seemed to know the gnome - or the snake - had all come into the library as well. Worse, Lady Heidmarch seemed to be addressing her instructions to all of them, as a group.

Sheesh. A group project. Dis, he thinks, dis is not gonna go well.

He reaches unconsciously into his pack for his lockpicks and other tools, despite Lady Heidmarch's suggestion that the would not be appropriate.

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

The olive-skinned halfling with the purple handkerchief tied tightly around his head smiles politely at each person in the waiting room, but says little as the morning wears on to noon-time. He stands as the door opens on the people with appointments prior to his, but seems dumbfounded as the gnome approaches him.

Balazar wrote:
"This is the one you spoke about?...They should help out, if you find you have trouble figuring your skills out."

The quiet halfling regards the gnome with mouth agape for the majority of his speech. He squints quizzically as the gnome leaves and offers a muted "Thank you...", his face a pinkish-red blush.

Knowledge Planes: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

Lady Heidmarch wrote:
"Welcome to Heidmarch Manor, recruits. I apologize for the late greeting, but as you can see, I had several unexpected guests this evening."

The halfling shakes his head and moves to introduce himself a moment too late. Before he knows what is happening, Squint finds himself in a closed room staring at a puzzle box, no sooner to introducing himself to Lady Heidmarch than on his birthday.

"Um...perhaps I can help," Squint squints at the box and absently scratches at his handkerchief.

Casting Detect Magic.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

The Elf listens silently to all the talk, hood still pulled up over his head...he's still not used to the social graces or being in this much company...

Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13

He doesn't recognize any of the locals but, then again, he hasn't been in Magnimar long...and it's a big city...much bigger than he's been in before...

Upon being led to the study and shown the Thassilonian paradox box, his eyes light up. Mother, if only you were alive to see this now...

He immediately pulls back his hood, revealing long black wavy hair to go along with his sharp Elven features. He gets closer to study this new puzzle, looking over it's features, and trying to see if there's anything in his fluency of the Thassilonian language that might provide a clue...

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

Linguistics: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11

...and then, fascinated, he picks it up and has a go at opening it...

Disable Device: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

Without saying anything to the others yet, Barkot steps over to the table and starts reading through Koriah's notes. He sits uneasily on the edge of a chair as he reads, moving his pack over to rest between his feet.


BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

Reillana remains standing at the back of room, watching the others closely behind her starry mask. She remains silent and aloof throughout, save for a respectful nod to the other elf in the room.

When the Pathfinder Venture-Captain strode in, Reillana listens closely, attempting to take the measure of this Sheila Heidmarch as she explains. Ah, so it's to be a test then, mm? Very well child. Curious despite herself, Reillana watches carefully as the others begin fiddling with the object--but then the smelly half-orc starts pawing at the notes! Wrinkling her nose behind her mask, she attempts to peer around him at the pages while still paying attention to the other elf--Paeral, was it?--fiddling with the puzzle-box.

I'm just gonna offer some rolls and see what sticks, not sure what we're looking for here
Int check?: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Linguistics: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

Discomfited by the masked elf lurking behind him, Barkot unconsciously hunches forward over the papers he is reading, making it a little harder for Reillana to see over his shoulder.


Shattered Star Maps

Good stuff, guys. I believe there was a journal as well as some individual notes, so I'll say you each are reading one of them (so we don't start fighting). I'll respond later, giving everyone a chance to post


Shattered Star Maps

Paeral, you make me very sad

Squint begins some arcane gestures, while Paeral grabs the box and looks it over.

Barkot and Reillana decide to base their examination on the more experienced Pathfinder's work and each grab a scroll to read.

Squint's spell causes the box to glow in his sight, and he begins to study it more closely.

Looking for a place to insert his picks, Paeral examines the various Thassilonian runes when he notices a collection of runes that seem very similar to ones he has seen during training within the Society. He has no idea what they mean, but the pattern of runes is very reminiscent of a magical trap.

Now that he notices the runes, he wonders how Koriah could have missed them, they are just so.... obvious. Did they know about the trap and not tell the party on purpose?

Either way, there are only two ways to deal with a magical trap. Avoid it or damage it. Since the effect is almost certainly tied to opening the box, he opts for the latter, taking out his picks and utilizing his Trapfinding training to destroy key pathways in the inscribed runes.

Squint's spell was just beginning to notify him that there were two magical auras on the box, when one of them winks out. Another magical aura remains, but he gets no further details about it.

Meanwhile, Barkot and Reillana read through their scrolls, attempting to race each other to a solution to the puzzle.

Barkot:
Your scroll lists translations of significant runes on the box. The most repeated symbol is the rune for "wrath", which Koriah notes is associated with evocation magic, and in the earliest days of Thassilon, also with "kindness".
She believes this means the box once belonged to a citizen of the Thassilonian nation of Bakrakhan, and that the rune likely has little to do with opening the box.

Reillana:
Your scroll notes that five of the faces of the box are identical, but one face has several additional runes, that spell out "CRUEL".
Koriah believes that this word is linked to opening the box. Koriah also notes that these runes can be reorganized by touching two runes at once. Doing so, causes the runes to switch places for an hour, when they will reset to "CRUEL".
Your knowledge of Linguistics makes you think of anagrams.


BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

Um, maybe LUCRE? Suggesting there's treasure in the box?

"A moment, Paeral, if I may?" Reillana extends a hand to accept the box, then checks to runes on each face, consulting the notes to confirm that the spell out the word CRUEL. As she does so, she explains her thinking to the group.

"...which leads me to believe the relevant anagram may be "lucre," another word for treasure or loot." the elf finishes, rearranging the runes to spell the new word. "I suppose we'll find out in a moment."


Shattered Star Maps

After a few brief taps on the box, Reillana pauses, waiting for.... something....

She is beginning to wonder if she misspelled the word when suddenly a line begins to glow around the middle of the box. The line traces around the box and forms a lid and hinge, which then opens of its own accord.

Inside, she finds three purple gems, a well-made silver dagger, and a ring that Squint's magical sight reveals to be magical.

You now have a very boring hour to wait for Sheila to return, and will never know what fun things were in store for you when the trap got triggered


BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

Alas for the path not taken...


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

Shoot. Ninja’d. Deleting my post.


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

For a moment, Barkot looked like he had something to say about what he had read in the other pages of notes. He cringes when the box begins to glow, and is slow to relax even after it opens harmlessly.

He scowls at the notes, scratches the back of his neck, then rolls up the pages and taps it rhythmically against the arm of his chair as they wait for Lady Heidmarch.

Looks like I ain’t gonna get dis job. Better look aroun’ while I can.

After a few minutes of waiting, Barkot stands up - still holding onto Koriah’s rolled-up notes - and goes back to reading the titles of the books along the shelves. He is specifically looking for books about the history of Magnimar, the city’s monuments, and the Empyreal Lords.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

Paëral, after silently, but reluctantly, handing over the puzzle box to Reillana, intently watches while she cracks the cipher and opens it...he looks to see if any of the contents bear Thassilonian markings...his mother had a passion for lore and all things Thassilonian...

Linguistics: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

"Wow," Squint offers as the elves make short work of the puzzle box. "Um, the ring there is magical," he suggests helpfully, but in a uncertain manner.

"I could try to identify it," he continues, pointing awkwardly at the ring.

If Someone Else ID's it:
Squint smiles a quick but odd smile that doesn't reach to his eyes and then turns his attention to the bookshelves, similar to Barkot, looking for some of the 'titles' that Balazar suggested would be there (though he hasn't seen the librarian's list yet).

If He Is Given The Opportunity to Examine the Ring:
Squint squints at the ring, running it around in his hands. Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11 "Ummm, I'm not sure...," the halfling says with a shrug.


Shattered Star Maps

After an hour, Lady Heidmarch and Koriah return. Seeing that the paradox box is now open, she begins to smile before regaining her firm composure.

Addressing Koriah, she dismisses the Pathfinder. "It seems that your apprehension was unfounded, Koriah. Everything seems in order here, and these recruits have succeeded at the task.
You have your assignment, report back when you have some answers."

Koria wishes the party good luck. "Well done, recruits. I wish I could say that my first task went so well. I look forward to working with you in the future. I am sure you will each make excellent Pathfinders."

Once Koriah leaves, Lady Heidmarch once again beckons the party to sit before taking a seat herself at the head of the table.

"Report.", she barks.


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

Barkot reluctantly returns to the table, unrolls the notes he had been reading, and slides the pages across the table towards the venture captain. “Dis t’ing here,” he says, tapping the symbol on the page, "shows up all over da place on dis box." He points to one of the places it appears on the box (carefully avoiding coming into contact with it).

“Yer pal dere," Barkot gestures towards the door still swinging shut from Koriah's exit, "sez it means ‘WRATH.’” The half-orc makes an effort to pronounce the “TH” so that he will not be misunderstood. “So if eider of dese elves screwed up when dey were tryin' ta get it open, it’s a good bet it woulda gone BOOM in nuthin’ flat.”

He nods at Paëral and Reillana with grudging respect. "But dey didn't screw up, so you ain't gotta have yer butler clean pieces o' elf outta yer carpet."

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

Paëral shuffles his feet and shrugs. "I...disabled trap...she opened it..." He points to Reillana...


BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

Reillana shrugs as though the puzzle box were no great feat, but she can't stop her pride from showing in her tone. "The runes corresponded with certain letters, which suggested an anagram to me. The rest was straightforward--though Koriah's research was clearly the lion's share of the labor."

Examining the Ring:

This probably got done during out hourlong wait.

Spellcraft: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

"It was a magical trap," offers Squint, "and that ring there that came out of the box is magical as well, though I'm not sure what exactly it does."

Liberty's Edge

NG Cleric of Erastil 1 | HP: 9/9, AC 15 ,T13, FF12, CMD:13, F+3, R+3, Will+5, Init:+3, Percep:+3, SM:+7| Channel 4/4

"Wait...let me get this straight..." says Isan with a confused look on his face.

"You looked at magic runes from ancient Thassilon, and somehow figured out they represented letters, and then figured out that those letters where an anagram for another word, and if you got the word wrong, something terrible might have happened?"

He shakes his head as he lets out a low whistle, "That has my head spinning! I'm sure glad you can read Thassilonian, and I'm also glad to be working with all of you."


Shattered Star Maps

At mention of 'Wrath', Lady Heidmarch shows interest. Taking the scroll from Barkot, she scans the contents while the others talk.

"Hmmm... yes, 'Wrath', but it can also mean 'Kindness'. Sin and Virtue in the same word. Could it..."

Realizing that she is talking out loud, she stops mid-sentence, clearing her throat.

"Yes, well, very well done, recruits. The box was trapped, you say? I apologize greatly for that. Test are to be expected, but I though I was leaving you with a blacksmith's puzzle, not a magical trap.

Still, you acquitted yourselves well, and didn't destroy my study with a triggered trap, so I am well pleased."

Pushing back her chair, she stands and addresses the party in a sterner tone. "You lot have quite a bit to learn about reporting to your superiors. I would expect better from Pathfinders, even those with as little experience as you two."

She looks pointedly at Isan and Paeral, daring them to contradict her. When no response comes, she nods.

"In the future, I will expect details presented concisely and in order, with one voice. When I have questions, I will ask. I will expect you to provide maps and sketches of important places. One of you should be sure to start documenting your missions and be prepared to chronicle your findings.
This is how the Society increases its knowledge and uses that knowledge to save the world."

Pausing again, she scans the group. Seeing that her words have taken root, her tone softens slightly.

"Introductions, then. I assume that the lot of you have taken steps to get to know each other by now. However, in the event that you were too shy to start conversations, listen up now."

Indicating the elves once again, "Paeral and Isanadu, you come to me from outside of Varisia. I prefer to recruit from within, but I need numbers and experience, so I am glad you are here to support the cause. I will expect you to guide these rawer recruits.
Especially you, Isanadu. You have probably noticed that this lot have a few quirks. That is ever the way with talented Pathfinders. They will need an empathic leader who is ready to show them the right way and to bring them together as a team. I expect much from you, but I have heard of your heroism, and I think you have what it takes.
Now, while you have each had some training, I understand that you have not yet been Confirmed. Gods willing, we will take care of that in short order."

Turning her attention next to Barkot, she continues. "Barkot. You may think that you have stayed in the shadows, but the Society has many resources. Do you think it a coincidence that a mere child was able to locate you? Within an hour of when I dispatched her as well, I might add. We knew of you before the first time you came to visit the library. That is precisely why you were admitted.
You have an innate connection to the city around you. A connection that could make you an invaluable resource to the Society.
For years, I have courted Luma Derexhi because of a similar connection, to no avail. Well, now I have a different resource.
Make no mistake, these books and the resources of the Lodge are open to Pathfinders, and only to Pathfinders. Serve the Society or don't, but the resources acquired by our agents through much risk and expenditure are reserved for Pathfinders."

Next, she sized up Celia. "Celia. I understand you showed quite a bit of prowess in the Serpent's Run. Well, any common gladiator can make a living fighting for the crowd, but the Society demands more.
You have shown an interest and proficiency in a multitude of lore, a rare feat for a warrior. Additionally, you have proven to be a protector and caretaker, though you don't blindly follow the directions of your superiors.
These are all good traits for a Pathfinder, but you will temper them. My orders are to be followed, though I will expect you to improvise when they prove to be insufficient."

Her tone indicates that her orders will NEVER be insufficient. "Work for the Society is not without reward. Fame, glory, and a lion's share of the value of any items retrieved during your adventures. Enough to get your family set up in a house somewhere, perhaps?"

She turns next to Squint. "Jacobadiah. Cheiskia approached me directly and espoused your talent. We observed you from a distance naturally. You have shown signs of a connection to the Outer Planes. This ability can be a great boon for the Society when properly harnessed and trained.
We can help with that, but you must work as hard as you have ever worked at anything in order to effect those changes. The powers you harness manifest differently in everyone, but there are still writings that can help guide you. The assignments we send you on will also help."

Finally, she indicates Reillana. "Reillana, there is much I would like to ask you about the Mordant Spire elves, but those questions can wait for another time. You aspire to learn more about Azlant. That is a desire we can harness and refine.
Here in Magnimar, there are many hidden ruins of ancient Thassilon. Through their connection to Azlant, you should learn much, which you will then share with the Society."

As she completes her circuit around the table, she pauses, looking into your eyes.

"So then, questions? Anyone want to leave now before the mission brief?"

Liberty's Edge

NG Cleric of Erastil 1 | HP: 9/9, AC 15 ,T13, FF12, CMD:13, F+3, R+3, Will+5, Init:+3, Percep:+3, SM:+7| Channel 4/4
GM Brunoreturns wrote:
"Especially you, Isanadu. You have probably noticed that this lot have a few quirks. That is ever the way with talented Pathfinders. They will need an empathic leader who is ready to show them the right way and to bring them together as a team. I expect much from you, but I have heard of your heroism, and I think you have what it takes."

Surprised at such praise, Isan bows his head in thanks.

"I will do my best.", comes his simple reply.

Such a strong woman. So sure of herself. Just like mother. he muses silently to himself.

When she asks if there are questions, or if anyone wants to leave before the mission brief, he shakes his head and glances to the others, sure that no one is even considering leaving.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

Paëral shows no emotion as he takes his dressing down from the Venture-Captain; he is used to being addressed in such a manner. He wonders, Will the Pathfinders be any different? He surmises he'll find out soon...

When the lady asks the questions, he looks straight in her eyes. "No, ma'am..."


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)
GM Brunoreturns wrote:
... Turning her attention next to Barkot, she continues. "Barkot. You may think that you have stayed in the shadows, but the Society has many resources. Do you think it a coincidence that a mere child was able to locate you? Within an hour of when I dispatched her as well, I might add. We knew of you before the first time you came to visit the library. That is precisely why you were admitted.You have an innate connection to the city around you. A connection that could make you an invaluable resource to the Society.For years, I have courted Luma Derexhi because of a similar connection, to no avail. Well, now I have a different resource.Make no mistake, these books and the resources of the Lodge are open to Pathfinders, and only to Pathfinders. Serve the Society or don't, but the resources acquired by our agents through much risk and expenditure are reserved for Pathfinders."

Barkot's eyes narrow at the implication that the Pathfinders had been watching him. He maintains an outwards semblance of calm only by mentally listing the exits he could reach from within a few steps of his chair.

Door to hallway to door to street.
East window to alley.
South window to street.

Her threat to cut him off from access to the library jars him, though.

"Yeah, I got a few questions, sist... Lady," he stammers. "Whaddaya want us ta do? You don't need a buncha mopes like us ta buy yer books fer ya, dat's fer sure. An' whaddaya mean, 'serve' da Pathfinder Society? I ain't no butler, an' it looks like ya already got one anyway."

He listens to her answers, then says:

"I ain't innarested in fame or glory. But I won't say no to gold, an' I got stuff I need ta figger out. So if joinin' up wit' da Society means I get paid an' I get a chance ta investigate what needs investigatin', den I'll give it a try." He looks uncomfortable. "But I don't like it dat ya been watchin' me. Dat's not part o' da deal. I'll join up wit' youse guys, but dat's gotta stop."

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

"Captain Heidmarch," Squint speaks up, clearing his throat as he does so, "the gnome Balazar made mention of some books that I might be interested in looking at. He said the librarian had a list for me?"

He shakes his head. "I'm very interested in the mission briefing, to be sure. It's my destiny to be a Pathfinder, I just, um..." he trails off, looking forlorn.

"I don't think I know what I'm doing." Squint looks about ready to cry.

Liberty's Edge

NG Cleric of Erastil 1 | HP: 9/9, AC 15 ,T13, FF12, CMD:13, F+3, R+3, Will+5, Init:+3, Percep:+3, SM:+7| Channel 4/4

Seeing the nearly distraught Squint's eyes begin to well up, Isan reaches out a friendly hand to console the halfling.

"Don't fret Jacobadiah. I am sure all will be made clear in good time. Till then, it's alright to lean on a friend if you need to. None of us are here alone today."

Turning back to Lady Heidmarch, he waits patiently for her to begin the briefing before asking any questions.


Shattered Star Maps

Reillana, you don't appear to have Detect Magic on your spell list. I don't believe you can attempt to identify items without it.

Backalley Barkot wrote:
"But I don't like it dat ya been watchin' me. Dat's not part o' da deal. I'll join up wit' youse guys, but dat's gotta stop."

Lady Heidmarch's eyes grow even more stern, boring holes through the half-orc's head. "You will soon learn who makes demands in this household, or you will find yourself outside. You are not yet a Pathfinder, so I will make allowances, but if you ever speak to me in such a tone again, it will be a week before the rest of your body catches up to your backside. Am I clear?"

Visibly calming herself, Lady Heidmarch continues. "Now, gold you will earn. As you find treasures, you will keep the lion's share." She waves at the items from the box. "These items, for instance. The party may keep these and do what they want with them. The paradox box will stay here for further study.

During your adventures, coinage and gems you can keep. Weaponry, magical items, and the like, you will sell to the Lodge. You may utilize items after reporting and cataloguing, of course. The quartermaster can also assist in item identification, if you are unable to make the determination yourself.

As for watching you... Do you think I just accept anyone who shows up on my doorstep? I need to know who I am dealing with before I allow them in my house, reading my valuable books. Once you work for me, there will be no need for further watching. You will be reporting to me directly, after all."


Shattered Star Maps
Jacobadiah 'Squint' Nirodin wrote:
"the gnome Balazar made mention of some books that I might be interested in looking at. He said the librarian had a list for me?"

Distractedly, Lady Heidmarch replies. "Yes, yes, he did mention such a list. I wish he had agreed to stay and train you himself... Most of the books on his list have gnomish titles that barely fit on the spines.

I will have the librarian set the books aside, you may review them when your duties allow. In the meantime, he made some notes that should explain the basics. A... Summoners for ... Beginners, if you will."

Lady Heidmarch retrieves from documents from a desk and hands them to Squint. "Hopefully, these will help." She reaches out to press Squint's shoulder. "Above all else, trust your eidolon. He is the source of your powers and should be able to guide you where these notes fail."


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Shattered Star Maps

Seeing that there are no further questions, Lady Heidmarch sets out the brief.

"First, allow me to apologize for that unpleasantness regarding the trap—but it does provide an excellent object lesson.

The life of an adventurer is not one for the weak-hearted. That you not only took care of the trap but also got the box open in the first place is all the confirmation I need that my gut was right—you’re the perfect group for the job I have in mind."

Lady Heidmarch stands and begins pacing before the table. "You see—I’ve recently had trouble with one of my informants here in Magnimar, Natalya Vancaskerkin.

She’s a half-Varisian who recently approached the Pathfinder Society with an offer to serve as a street informant. She runs with the Sczarni—I’m not sure with which group.

A week ago, Natalya sent me a cryptic hint that her gang was on the verge of uncovering an item that would be of great interest to the Society.

Since the Sczarnis’ methods of uncovering something often involves an armed robbery or breaking into somebody’s personal chambers, we thought it prudent not to press for further details and instead wait to see what it would produce. Suffice it to say, she hinted strongly that it pertained to Thassilon, and promised to meet with me to discuss this find three days ago."

She pauses and pounds her fist against the table in frustration.

"She never kept that promise—instead, she seems to have simply vanished. Initially, I assumed that the acquisition of this item was simply taking longer than expected, but now I’m hearing rumors that the Sczarni are looking for her as well.

It seems likely that Natalya has absconded with this item she’s discovered. And this is where you enter, my friends. I want to know what it was that Natalya and the Sczarni found.

In fact, I’m more interested in that than in what happened to Natalya herself. For now, I’d like to keep all of this quiet—if you can find out what happened to Natalya without letting a lot of people know she was also working for me as an informant, that would be preferable—that’s a big part of why I’m coming to you, as new members of the Pathfinder Society, with this task.

You don’t yet have a reputation in Magnimar, and as such, the lowlifes and criminals you are likely to encounter may be more likely to talk.

So... go out there and look for Natalya. Find out what happened to her, and to this item she and her gang discovered.

If you can secure the item, all the better—bring it back to me and I’ll have a reward of 500 gold pieces for you. And if you can bring Natalya back alive for me to speak to, I’ll double that!"

She looks over the group, waiting to hear their questions.

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

Squint begins to read through the documents provided. He jerks his head up as he learns that he can keep the ring.

”Really? We can keep it? Wow, thank you, Captain!”

Squint scrubs hurriedly at his eyes. ”Thanks, Captain. I won’t disappoint.”

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

Paëral tries to hide the excitement he feels when the Venture-Captain mentions this disappearance he'll be working on involves Thassilon, in some fashion any way...he nods to her when she asks for questions...

"Ma'am...do you know this Natalya's last known location before she disappeared? Or her preferred hangouts within Magnimar?"

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