Value moves over to the bookshelf labeled "internal security reference", and tries to find something important.
[dice=per, shelf "above" hal]1d20+16[/dice]
Lynanif heads over to the 'Internal Security Evidence' bookcase and begins searching.
perception: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (14) - 2 = 12
Yeah, you can take 10.
After one minute passes, Halkale and Valik both verify that neither the Internal Security Misc. cabinet nor the Internal Security Reference cabinet contain any of the information you are looking for.
T'kk'tck is still searching the counterintelligence cabinet, Shh and Moadis are still looking through the Histories cabinet, and Lyanif is continuing her examination of the Internal Security Evidence cabinet.
Halkale, Valik, and Quiella can pick new cabinets to search, the others aren't done with their checks yet. As a reminder you need to find Zarta's prisoner receipt document and the documents of evidence used against her. You may want to name which cabinet you are checking to avoid any unnecessary duplication.
I will be taking 10 on every case I search. I will list off an order of which I do them in. Perception total will be 26
1st round was Internal Security Receipts: fail
2nd round: internal security lists
3rd round: next case above that, internal security sites (?)
4th round: above that, foreign ministry misc.
5th round: next to that, foreign ministry personnel
Quiella will take Foreign Ministry Misc. And Foreign Ministry Personnel.
Perception, untrained, guidance, inspiration: 1d20 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (11) + 1 + (1) = 13
Perception, untrained, guidance, inspiration: 1d20 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (11) + 1 + (3) = 15
-Posted with Wayfinder
that's 1 or 2 inspiration points left
-Posted with Wayfinder
I misunderstood which stack that Valik searched first. He originally stated that he was checking the internal security reference, which I took to mean the imperial security reference, but I see that he indicated the internal security receipts later in the same and later posts. With that in mind he does find something.
Just as Valik is about to give up on his original cabinet, he finds the following document.
I'll give Lyanif sometime to translate that, as it might make a difference on her search.
Long day yesterday, at work now. I should be able to take a break this afternoon and post. If not, I'll definitely post tonight.
Lyanif produces the scrap of paper from before and puzzles for over the new document. Then makes some more scribbles on the back of the paper.
"Ok, this should definitely help." She says brightly, "Using what we knew before, and a few educated guesses, here's what we've got..."
Destination: Citadel Vraid
Duration: Indefinite-remit on request
Designation: Traitor. evidence filed locker A23
"...this is of course assuming there's no cipher for the numbers..." She mutters
With knowledge of the proper locker to look for, Lyanif finds A23 about 4 minutes later. Examining the contents, she discovers a series of letters written in a halting hand that resembles the paracountess’s. Upon closer examination, however, the letters’ writing differs significantly from the note you found in Zarta’s study. The forged letters are addressed to a prominent House Thrune enemy, and in them “Zarta” discusses selling privileged Chelish information supposedly meant to foment political insurrection. Zarta’s personal travel logs, written in what appears to be her natural hand, are also included. While the first entry—a trip to Absalom’s Ivy District—does indeed match with the letters’ indication of Zarta’s supposed treasonous activities, the second entry proves the paracountess was away from Absalom during a time the letters claim she met with her conspirators in the Petal District.
Now with a document giving you Zarta's current location and another potentially exonerating her of the charges, the group can now attempt to return to the original waiting room.
Unless you all have anything else you wish to do here, I'll assume you return to the vent and following it back to Zarta's study. Don't get too comfortable though, you will still need to sneak back through the halls of the embassy without being caught.
Moving back up to opening near the ceiling, the group successfully navigates the vent system to return to Zarta's study in the embassy. Unless you wish to check the unexamined north door in Zarta's quarters, you return to the door that leads to the south gallery and note that it's still busy with servant traffic.
Here is a link back to the old map.
Assuming you want follow the same route back to the waiting room that you took to arrive here, please make another Perception check to time the movement of the servants, unless you wish to handle it in a different manner.
how much time do we have left?
-Posted with Wayfinder
It's been around a half hour at this point.
Valik successfully times the servants movements and the group has no issues making its way to the hallway with the servants quarters. Thankfully that hallway is still empty and you all progress to staging area with all the platters of hors d’oeuvres. With no one currently in that area either, the counterclockwise movement continues leading you to the gardens once again.
As before you can take it try to move slowly in stealth, quickly in stealth, or try bluff or disguise. Assuming Lyanif hasn't dropped her disguise, she doesn't have to roll.
Quiella quietly makes her way through the bushes.
Stealth, untrained, acp, elixir of stealth: 10 + 5 - 2 + 10 = 23
-Posted with Wayfinder
To get things finished up, I'm going to bot people's rolls. It's been 24 hours in any case.
Moadis Stealth with Elixir of Hiding: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Valik Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
The majority of the group moves slowly from bush to bush to make it across the garden courtyard without being seen, while Lyanif merely walks past, confident in her disguise.
Outside the next hallway, the group has to deal once again with servant traffic, but Valik's keen perception skills allow the party to time them out once more and make it back to the waiting room.
Valik Perception, Take 10: 10 + 16 = 26
Five to ten minutes later, Amara Li messages you to let you know that the Ambassador is getting restless. She's quite relieved when you let her know that you have the information and that she no longer needs to delay him.
Shortly thereafter, the Chelish Ambassador arrives wanting to know what was so important as to pull him away from an important event. Once you hand him the dossier on Sargava, he appears satisfied and dismisses you. You are then free to leave the Embassy to return the information on Zarta back to Venture-Captain Valsin.
The Venture-Captain is indeed pleased with your success. With the information you brought back and Lyanif's work breaking the cypher, you learned that Zarta is currently held in Citadel Vraid and you found discrepancies in the evidence against her. Comparing the first note found in Zarta's study with the prison receipt, it also appears that Tancred Desimire is behind the false charges.
Valsin is so pleased in fact, that he gives each of you a token stamped with the House of Thrune’s insignia that Zarta granted the Pathfinder Society previously as a sign of her good will. He trusts that if you show the token to someone in the Chelish government or a Hellknight, they'll be more inclined to listen to you.
End of Chapter 11
well done, team.
Halkale appears much happier when he returns from the infirmary, having had the disease healed. He is even happier when Frostfur comes bounding into the room to greet him.
Chapter 13: Fortress of the Nail
Within a private booth in Korvosa’ Shoreline Drinkhall, Sir Canayven Heidmarch—one of Varisia’s two resident Venture-Captains— begins his briefing.
"We have a serious problem," he says gravely. "As you most of you are well aware, a month ago, Paracountess Zarta Dralneen disappeared. The Chelish diplomat was vital to the Pathfinder Society’s operations within Cheliax, where members of our order are strictly forbidden. Without her political connections opening doors for us and distracting watchful eyes while we operate within Cheliax’s borders, we will be set back a hundred years in terms of our exploration of this nation, a region of great interest to the Ten. We must therefore reinstate the paracountess in Absalom."
"Here’s the good news: Some of you were instrumental in locating her—she is alive, though she is imprisoned for seditious acts she did not commit. We also possess evidence we can use to exonerate her and ensure her release."
"The bad news is that the paracountess is being held in Citadel Vraid, home to the Hellknights of the Order of the Nail. Convincing those totalitarian mercenaries that the paracountess must be freed is going to be quite a challenge."
"For those of you not present for the clandestine mission in question, a team that included Halkale, Moadis, Quiella, and Valik entered the Chelish Embassy and discovered proof that Tancred Desimire, the paracountess’ biggest enemy and a member of the Thrune government, forged letters apparently written in Dralneen’s hand. These fictitious letters hinted at a rebellious alliance between the paracountess and the house’s political enemies. Furthermore, they discovered the paracountess’s personal travel logs, which prove she was away from Absalom at the time when the letters claim she met with her conspirators in the Petal District." With that statement, Heidmarch pulls out the logs from a satchel and places them on the center of the table. "They must be shown to the Hellknights if there is any hope of recovering the paracountess alive and safe."
"While the Order of the Nail has earned its reputation as a cadre of ruthless mercenaries, its Hellknights are still bound to uphold the law. I’d wager that the order’s leaders would release the paracountess if they can be convinced they’re holding her unlawfully. You, Pathfinders, must do that. Get custody of the paracountess and escort her here. I’ll make sure she gets back to Absalom safely."
"One more thing: I know some of you may not like the Hellknights or what they stand for, but this is a diplomatic mission and not the time to air your personal grievances against the Order of the Nail. There are over four hundred Hellknights in Citadel Vraid, and you’ll be in their home. Getting Dralneen out is your sole priority, and since the law is on our side, you should run into no problems doing so provided you behave with reasonable caution and restraint. Do not take this warning lightly—you cannot take on the entire citadel in combat. Appeal to their sense of law and leave them to their business."
As a brief recap of the metaplot, the group first met Tancred Desimire in the Blakros Matrimony as one of the guests you were asked to influence, although the group did not have the opportunity to win him over. The other events mentioned took place in The Disappeared, which you've all played in some capacity. If you would like a more detailed refresher, please refer to the previous scenario played on this thread.
We will continue once everyone checks in with an updated character. Also, you will have full access to the city of Korvosa before setting off in case you wish to make any purchases.
The elf pipes up, "Hellknights? Are they real devils from hell? Do we need any kind of fire protection? Which Hellknight do we get the papers to? Do we have a contact there?"
Halkale nods and asks, "Is there someone at the citadel we should talk to as a way to assist us to getting the Paracountess release?"
"Hellknights are a Chelish martial order focused on the promulgation of law. I am not aware of any evil outsiders in the order, although I would venture to guess that a number of Hellknights make use of them." Heidmarch addresses Melufiuos' immediate concerns before fielding the questions about potential contacts, "Unfortunately, I do not know of any Hellknight in particular you'll need to speak with, but I suspect that if you inform the guards that you possess evidence that exonerates Zarta they will allow you inside and present you to the necessary authorities."
Quiella nods solemnly. "We will retrieve the paracountess as you ask, captain."
She seems to think for a little while. "I do not relish the idea of having to work with the Hellknights, but their citadel should be an unusual sight, at least. Perhaps we can get a tour while we're there."
-Posted with Wayfinder
Drumming her fingers on the table thoughtfully, Ophelia allows those who were present for the previous mission speak first. Only then does she offer her own questions - "I am unfamiliar with Citadel Vraid. What can you tell us about it and the Order it houses? And how do you suggest we get there?"
Valik, stretches out a bit as he hears the others speak, and listens to the response from the VC.
Hmm, while I may not agree with the manner in which the Hellknights of the Nail may do things, I agree that Law hold true in this case. I will do everything in my power to ensure the Paracountess comes home safe and secure.
take 10 on my various Knowledge skills: arcana, dungeon, geography, history, local, nature, planes, religion. I get 17
Rufus immediatly regrets having reported for duty this morning. I guess that is why the old man asked for some time out. This mission stinks more than last's weeks catch. He shrugs.
Well if you need someone released from captivity you came to the right halfling. My name is Rufus Tealeaf. Nice to meet you all. He says with a small bow before addressing the captain. And what do we do if they refuse to let the poor innocent paracountess out? Chelaxian authorities have their own way to interpret the law, even their own.
Can we roll a gather info about the fortress? Just in case:
Gather Info: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Heidmarch next answers Ophelia's questions, "Citadel Vraid is a dark, looming structure that sits on a plateau in the southwestern reaches of the Mindspin Mountains, approximately 50 miles from here. From what we understand, the main structure is made of black stone and is decorated liberally with imagery that is a bit... unsettling. Hellknight protocol suggests the citadel’s main entrance is heavily guarded, but as I said, if you present the guards with exonerating evidence they'll most likely allow you inside."
"As for getting you there, I’ve secured space in a supply caravan heading to Citadel Vraid early tomorrow morning. We estimate it will take the better part of the day to arrive at the citadel, putting you there in the evening, but not too late to request an audience with the order’s leaders."
He then looks at Rufus for a moment with confusion, before some thought dawns on him, "Oh yes, due to some personal issues, Moadis has been reassigned elsewhere. Mr. Tealeaf will be joining you instead."
After allowing that to sink in for a moment, he continues, "We know little about this order’s leaders, but in general, the Hellknights operate using very specific, militaristic protocols. My advice is to follow the Hellknights’ rules while emphasizing that beyond a shadow of a doubt, the paracountess is innocent and therefore must be released. Also, I believe those directly involved in the embassy mission were given tokens of favor stamped with the insignia of House Thrune, those might give you some social sway over especially recalcitrant Hellknights."
* * *
Valik doesn't recall much else about the prison, nor does Rufus pick up any additional rumors other than they both remember/hear Citadel Vraid is well known for its prisons.
Let me know if you're making any new purchases or would like to do anything else before heading to the prison. I'll assume you all will ride in the supply wagon unless someone would rather get there a different way.
sounds good to me. I should probably get some sort of potion or scroll to boost my diplomacy, but I don't know what off the top of my head.
Quiella nods at the halfling. "A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Tealeaf. I am Quiella of clan Durgil. You can also call me Holly. Or Hollysharp."
-Posted with Wayfinder
Ready to go.
Rufus bows to Quiella . Enchanted to meet you ms Holly. We shall have a grand time during our little adventure. By the way, I am a dabbler of the arcane... of sorts. And in my studies I have learned some magic "tricks" that can make people more capable during combat. Would anyone volunteer? He asks the group with a charming smile.
I have 2 buffs that can be applied to 2 different people and lasts the day or until used. But they have to be prepared before hand. Below is the list with a suggestion for whom to apply them, let me know if its alright.
False Flanker: Mel
A duplicate of the mesmerist appears momentarily, as though he were fighting in tandem with the subject. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject moves into or begins her turn in a square where she threatens an enemy. An illusory duplicate of the mesmerist appears in any unoccupied space adjacent to that enemy. This duplicate counts as threatening the enemy for the purposes of determining flanking, but can't actually make attacks. The duplicate disappears at the end of the turn during which the trick is triggered. This is an illusion (figment) effect, and a creature that interacts with the false flanker can attempt a saving throw to disbelieve the effect.
Linked Reaction: Valik
A hive mind allows the mesmerist and an ally to share one another's reaction times. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when either the subject or the mesmerist is surprised and the other isn't (even if the mesmerist would normally be unable to take actions because of being surprised). Both the mesmerist and the subject can act in this surprise round. The mesmerist can't implant this trick on himself.
Mel listens intently to the description of these tricks and very nearly claps his hands afterwards, like a child watching a magician for the first time. "Yes, please, that sounds wonderful!"
-Posted with Wayfinder
I could benefit from either presented, and will happily accept either one :)
Valik, listens to Rufus, and eyebrow furrows at the curiousness presented.
As long as my inner ki is not disturbed, I see no harm in your offer presented to me.
I wonder what my master would think?
Early the next morning, the group departs the city via the supply caravan offered by Canayven Heidmarch. Fortunately, the 14 hour trip is quiet and uneventful.
As you reach your destination, you see that Citadel Vraid stands high up the northern face of the Mindspin Mountains near the southern mouth of Conqueror’s Bay, a position that exposes much of the land around Varisia to reconnoitering from the fortress. The citadel consists of three distinct castles, connected to one another by narrow bridges over perilously deep chasms. The supply wagons drop you off near the westernmost keep which appears to serve as the primary point of entry into the fortress, with forbidding gates looming at the top of a wide set of stairs that climb the mountainside.
Carved from black stone and crowned with steel spikes, a pair of spindly towers shadow the precipitous stair that climbs to the foot of Vraid’s steel gate, which currently stands open. Within is a heavily guarded chamber with two visible exits, one to the north and another to the south.
The gate is guarded by a dozen Hellknights who watch over the interior atrium through their menacing full-plate helmets. One of the Hellknights stands apart from the rest, a woman with short black hair, holding her helmet in the crook of her arm. As the group advances on the gate, she gives you all a severe nod and introduces herself, "I am Field-Maralictor Elixia Makorios. Are you the Pathfinders who seek Zarta Dralneen’s freedom?"
"Indeed. I am Quiella," she offers a bow "and I am honored to meet one who values the law as you do."
-Posted with Wayfinder
She offers another stern nod, then continues, "In that case, I'll be acting as your primary liaison here. In order to formally request Dralneen’s freedom, you’ll need to present evidence of the paracountess’s innocence to two of the Hellknight order’s top commanders: Mistress of Blades Maidrayne Vox and Paravicar Acillmar, each of whom will need to sign an Affidavit of Prisoner Release indicating that Dralneen is the subject in question. Once you have gained both signatures, the you will need to take the affidavit to Lictor Severs “Boneclaw” DiViri—our order’s top authority—who will decide whether to free Dralneen. There are no other ways to secure the paracountess’ release."
"If you accept my offer to act as your liaison, then I will lead you to Lictor’s Bailey and the commanders you will need to see."
Feel free to ask questions of Makorios now or as we move along. There's a lot of role-playing in this scenario, so I will take periodic breaks to facilitate that.
Quiella raises her eyebrows slightly as all of the bureaucracy is described, but nods her assent.
-Posted with Wayfinder
"Wow, sounds like a lot of work. I was hoping we'd just be able to hand it to you and leave." He sighs "Oh well, at least the view from up here is nice. I guess we better get on with it." After a second, he starts up again, "So these two people. Are they in? Do you expect us to have any problems obtaining those signatures?"