GM Rinaldo's Eyes of the Ten 2018 (Inactive)

Game Master The Great Rinaldo!

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Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

Gameplay thread for use when the game starts. Feel free to dot in to get it onto your campaign page.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

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Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

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Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

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Eyes of the Ten, Part 1: Requiem for the Red Raven
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Each of you has received a letter informing you that you are to collect an important Pathfinder Society relic, the Pale Maiden, and as a group deliver it to the Woodsedge Lodge in Galt. At the designated time, you all arrive at the Grand Lodge in Absalom, where you are entrusted with the famous blade.

As you are preparing to leave, each of you is met by a representative of your faction, who provides you with a letter.

Please read only the spoiler with your name. Note that because this is from season 1, I had to do a little "updating" to current factions. In this scenario, the faction missions do not directly contribute to your prestige or experience, but they are an important part of how the story develops, so whether and how you complete them is entirely up to you. Some of you may find that your faction missions are distasteful or inappropriate to your character, so handle them however you see fit.

Luisila, Fendahl, Vladek:


Myrdon:

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Introduce yourselves in character to each other. Once everyone has done so, I'll know you're all here and can start the adventure!

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

Arriving from the orient, Fendahl appears to be a half-elf with a hint of wild in his appearance, especially his silvery hair and sideburns. His dragon hide armor has bits of horn and covered with markings from the far East.

Closeby, there is a lioness that follows Fendahl closely, watching for commands or an occasional treat from his companion.

Fendahl bows deeply in recognition of the other agents.

"Fendahl here. While I do not know you personally, I have heard mention of your names and deeds. In some cases we may have the fortune to share friends in common. It is my honor and duty to serve with each of you this important mission."

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

An ageless woman stands stiffly at the meeting table. Her hair is bone white and her face has a metallic sheen to it, evidence of some kind of outsider blood. Her features are perfect yet too sever to be considered comely. Her movements aren't so much graceful as studied, her every movement planned. She is dressed in unassuming clothes (with no visible armor) except for an extravagant cloak in brilliant red and gold with the emblem of Ragathiel emblazoned on the back. She has a variety of weapons about her body and a long spear tickling the ceiling. As many of the others in the room her body is orbited by a number of familiar ioun stones and atop her head is a glowing halo.

An aura surrounds her and changes nature as she shifts from shadowy tendrils, to white motes, then metallic stars, and finally coruscating worms. By the end of things, barring any magical misdirection, she will know the alignment of each member of the party - a task she always performs when she is teamed up with a new group.

"Well met, Fendahl. I understand you are a high ranking member of the druidic order. Assuming we will share a mission, I would like to make a request of you. There are many strange magics your kind may cast to heighten ones speed or toughness. If there are any of significant duration you plan to cast anyway, might I presume upon you to use this pearl of power to cast it into this ioun stone so I might cast it upon myself?"

I'm thinking longstrider. I'll also hit someone up for a mage armor if they got it though she only has one pearl of power and one runestone of power

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

Fendahl will bow to the angelic woman.

"Hrmmm. I would gladly trade a spell of striding to you asking for nothing more than your name."

He bows again sensing she may have some training in the Eastern arts.

In perfect Tien with all seriousness.

"How shall I refer to you, Master or Mistress of your order? I may have encountered you briefly in Storval Stair but my orders were changed at the last moment and our paths diverted until now."

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

"Marta" she answers simply.

In tienish she replies, "No mistress here. A true monk can do amazing things with their ki, though I am very competent with a couple of styles. For me it is a purely physical means to an end. May I assume you do battle in some animal form?"

Dark Archive

Varisian Human Sorcerer (Sylvan) L13 | HP: 96/96 | AC:13+4+1 T:13+1 FF:12+4 | CMB:+5+2 CMD:18+1 | Saves F:14+2 R:12+2+1 W:14+2 | Init:+6 | Per:+16+2 | Spd: 30 fly 40 +30 | Reroll: 1/1 | Spells: L1 6/9, L2 5/8, L3: 4/8, L4: 5/8, L5: 5/8, L6:4/5 | Topple Rod: 3/3 | Fleeting Glance: 11/13 | Conditions: false life (13h); overland flight (13h); heroism (130m); mage armor (1h); haste

"Kind sirs and ladies, a good day to all! I am the mystical, mysterious, and marvellous Master Myrdon." Seemingly disregarding the conversation that is ongoing, Myrdon soldiers on. "Pleased to make of your acquaintance, and I am sure this latest Pathfinder Society mission would be yet another an exciting and thrilling one! Galt, is it? Can't seem to recall if I've been there in my years with the Society. Hope the air's fresh, and all that!"

Myrdon is a young Varisian human man with dusky skin, with long braided hair tied up in a top knot. He is dressed in light and gaudy clothes, clearly meant to catch your eye than to fade into the crowd. Other than the bright robes he's wearing, he is bedecked with pouches with strange smells emanating from them, cases stuffed with scrolls, wands hanging from his belt and ioun stones orbiting around. He stands there with an easy smile but there appears a distant haunted look in his eyes if you look closely enough. Strangely, Myrdon does not appear to bear any tattoos that typical Varisians would.

Continuing the joviality, he gestures to the large bird of prey standing next to him, and continues, "Oh, and this is Aegis. Aegis the 2nd really. His predecessor died a tragic death in the tentacles of a gargantuan planar monster whilst defending me. Sigh. But oh, I've mourned it enough. Its replacement has more than lived up to his predecessor! It travels with me as part of my most miraculous menagerie of monsters!"

He pauses here for dramatic effect, then continues somewhat anticlimatically, "Yeah, I know. Menagerie implies more than one, but I have never quite managed to attract more than Aegis to accompany me. But fret not, for Aegis the second is still a masterful performer! Aegis, if you please!"

Dark Archive

Companion Roc L11 | HP: 80/93 | AC:38+4+1+2 T:16+1+2 FF:31+4| CMB:+16+2 (+20+2 grapple) CMD:33+1 | Saves F:12+2 R:13+2+1+2 (evasion) W:6+2(+4 vs enchantmt) | Init:+6 | Per:+7+2 | Spd: 20, fly 80| Conditions: heroism (130m); shield (13m); haste; blessing of fervor

Aegis II looks like an eagle - if an eagle was the size of a large horse. It is mostly white-feathered but with dark brown streaks in its plumage. Like its master, he is similarly gaudily decorated with bright colored and glittery ribbons.

Upon receiving the unspoken command, the large bird waddles forward and reaches out its claw, waiting for someone to shake it. Unfortunately, it becomes rather unstable balancing on one leg, and before anyone can grasp the claw, it almost falls over and only just manages to catch itself in time. It then turns to look at Myrdon, cocking its head to one side.

Dark Archive

Varisian Human Sorcerer (Sylvan) L13 | HP: 96/96 | AC:13+4+1 T:13+1 FF:12+4 | CMB:+5+2 CMD:18+1 | Saves F:14+2 R:12+2+1 W:14+2 | Init:+6 | Per:+16+2 | Spd: 30 fly 40 +30 | Reroll: 1/1 | Spells: L1 6/9, L2 5/8, L3: 4/8, L4: 5/8, L5: 5/8, L6:4/5 | Topple Rod: 3/3 | Fleeting Glance: 11/13 | Conditions: false life (13h); overland flight (13h); heroism (130m); mage armor (1h); haste

"Hmm, looks like we still need a bit of work on that," Myrdon exclaims, somewhat chagrined, but recovering almost immediately.

He finally seems to examine everyone, and as proof that he has been listening, finally in a more normal tone of voice, shares the following, "Marta, is it? A rather matronly name, from what I've gathered. I'm afraid that mage armor is not a magic I have managed to master personally, but have no fear." He whips out and waves around a gnarly stick from his belt. "This little wand can do almost as well!"

Myrdon is happy to keep tapping you with the wand of mage armor.

Dark Archive

Companion Roc L11 | HP: 80/93 | AC:38+4+1+2 T:16+1+2 FF:31+4| CMB:+16+2 (+20+2 grapple) CMD:33+1 | Saves F:12+2 R:13+2+1+2 (evasion) W:6+2(+4 vs enchantmt) | Init:+6 | Per:+7+2 | Spd: 20, fly 80| Conditions: heroism (130m); shield (13m); haste; blessing of fervor

The bird soon gets bored with the proceedings, and what's worse, after a quick study of the area, determines that there is no food around. So instead, it waddles over to Fendahl's large cat, cocking its head from side to side to study it better.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

Fendahl bows to each of the agents.

"Hrmm. Very honored. Formidable skills assembled for formidable mission it would seem."

And puts a reassuring hand on the lioness after she growls slightly at the large eagle.

"Steady Kirrah. Is friend."

I normally post kirrahs actions under Fendahls but can create a separate profile if that helps.

Grand Lodge

Female CG Half-elf Cleric 13 | HP: 133/133 | AC: 24 (15 T, 20 Fl) | CMB: +11, CMD: 26 (27 grapple) | F: +18, R: +13, W: +21 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init: +5 | Perc: +26, SM: +7 | Speed 30' | 0/7 Channels | 0/9 BoL | 0/2 GF | Active conditions: none

“Has anyone lost something? Don't fret:

“I’m a SEEKER!”

A slim, auburn-haired half-elf of an indeterminate age flounces into the room. She is dressed for the outdoors in a travel-stained green cloak draped over a dull mithral breastplate.

She flops into a convenient chair, crosses her legs and pushes a pair of fashionable smoked goggles up off her nose and onto her forehead, revealing startling green eyes.

“Well met, My Lords!” A smile appears naturally on her face. “My name is Luisila, humble and obedient servant of the Savored Sting.”

Marta’s supernatural senses cannot miss the well-intentioned chaos broadcast by Luisila’s Elysian aura. “Do you like games, Marta? I bet you do, Myrdon.”

“Do you wanna play, ‘What happened on your first mission?’”

Luisila ploughs ahead, like everyone has already agreed. “I was magically compelled to flee from my first ever combat, got sick as a Death-Dog from swamp fever, spent the whole time convinced an innocent escort was a turncoat and let the real enemy escape with the prize.”

“Despite all that – I had a Fantastic Time!”

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

Fendahl bows to Luisila

"Hrmm indeed. Perseverance is a most honorable trait. The assignments often take us to unpleasant locations but those locations build character."

Fendahl continues to keep Kirrah at bay during the introductions.

"Patience. Not much longer now ."

Grand Lodge

Female CG Half-elf Cleric 13 | HP: 133/133 | AC: 24 (15 T, 20 Fl) | CMB: +11, CMD: 26 (27 grapple) | F: +18, R: +13, W: +21 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init: +5 | Perc: +26, SM: +7 | Speed 30' | 0/7 Channels | 0/9 BoL | 0/2 GF | Active conditions: none

Luisila rises and bows with a Mainkan formality to Fendahl. The confidence of her manner suggests she has spent time in Tian Xia.

“My late foster mother and high priestess would say obstinacy rather than perseverance, and wilfulness over character, Master Fendahl.”

A smile. “But I much prefer your assessment.”

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

Marta eyes the sorcerer and his comical bird with distaste and visibly grimaces.

@Myrdan
"Are you a summoner then, and this your eidolan? I'd rather hoped one of the team would be able to cast mage armor, but I don't think summoners are able to do that."

@Lucilla
"Ah, Lucilla". It seems like crazy antics will be in great supply between the bird man and party girl.

Marta looks around just to be sure before continuing. "At least no rubber chicken's this time. Did you enjoy your parties?"

Lucilla and Marta met on a previous venture into the Worldwound accompanied by a barbarian with a rubber chicken.

Dark Archive

Varisian Human Sorcerer (Sylvan) L13 | HP: 96/96 | AC:13+4+1 T:13+1 FF:12+4 | CMB:+5+2 CMD:18+1 | Saves F:14+2 R:12+2+1 W:14+2 | Init:+6 | Per:+16+2 | Spd: 30 fly 40 +30 | Reroll: 1/1 | Spells: L1 6/9, L2 5/8, L3: 4/8, L4: 5/8, L5: 5/8, L6:4/5 | Topple Rod: 3/3 | Fleeting Glance: 11/13 | Conditions: false life (13h); overland flight (13h); heroism (130m); mage armor (1h); haste

"An eidolon?" Myrdon starts to guffaw in good-natured glee. "I wish! At the very least, there would be much less frustrations getting this bird brain to listen." Despite his words though, you do sense genuine affection for Aegis II.

"No, I'm no summoner, although I do possess some magic to call forth some beings when needed. Anyone needs a triceratops, by any chance?"

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

"Indeed? Then perhaps you do know the mage armor spell?" Her stiff posture and immobile face shows no emotion, though her eyes throw off some strange intensity, as if all her thoughts and emotions are focused into one unnerving stare.

Dark Archive

Varisian Human Sorcerer (Sylvan) L13 | HP: 96/96 | AC:13+4+1 T:13+1 FF:12+4 | CMB:+5+2 CMD:18+1 | Saves F:14+2 R:12+2+1 W:14+2 | Init:+6 | Per:+16+2 | Spd: 30 fly 40 +30 | Reroll: 1/1 | Spells: L1 6/9, L2 5/8, L3: 4/8, L4: 5/8, L5: 5/8, L6:4/5 | Topple Rod: 3/3 | Fleeting Glance: 11/13 | Conditions: false life (13h); overland flight (13h); heroism (130m); mage armor (1h); haste

Myrdon seems rather unfazed by the stare, if he even notices it at all.

"Well, while I know OF the spell, I can't say I know it. You know, in a more personal manner. But that's why I bought this wand. Everyone is free to make use of it!" He waves the stick dramatically around.

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

"No need. I have a wand too. I do prefer to sleep and travel with one active though and that's just not practical with a wand."

Grand Lodge

Female CG Half-elf Cleric 13 | HP: 133/133 | AC: 24 (15 T, 20 Fl) | CMB: +11, CMD: 26 (27 grapple) | F: +18, R: +13, W: +21 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init: +5 | Perc: +26, SM: +7 | Speed 30' | 0/7 Channels | 0/9 BoL | 0/2 GF | Active conditions: none

“Dear Marta, pray forgive me for not immediately acknowledging you.”

Luisila trades *air kisses* with the Monquisitor. “I can only offer the feeble excuse that I have sought to expunge that horrid trek to the unspeakable Wound (and back!) from my memory.”

The priestess *sighs* dramatically. “You may not recall (indeed, why should you?) that a&!**&& Valsin ruined my summer party season amongst Absalom’s rich and famous, by ordering me to that ghastly place.”

Marta wrote:
“Did you enjoy your parties?”

“On my return? Bless you, Marta. By the Honeyed Thighs, I did!”

Luisila’s giggle rings like a crystal glass. “I swear I wasn’t sober for a week! Isn’t that what parties are for?”

She *winks* “But then, we have discussed such weighty matters before, Marta. Have we not?”

Scarab Sages

male Elf Witch 13
Spoiler:
|AC 16, T 16, FF 13|HP: 75/75|F +7, R +10, W +11 (+2 vs Ench/death/gaze, +1 vs Tran/fear/confusion/writing)|Init +3, Perc +24|CMB +7 CMD 20|12/12 Flight, 1/1 Levitate, 1/1 Sphinx, 1/1 Sculptor

A tall and spindly elf dressed in Osirian finery, with a mane of glossy black hair, pale skin with a bluish tinge, and eerie opalescent eyes, enters - almost literally drifts into - the room. There is something singularly strange about observing his movement, as though multiple moments in time sometimes appear simultaneously visible, and others may also feel like there are the barest fractions of moments when he might not be there at all. Perched on his shoulder is a tiny midnight-colored dragon with a long, oddly scorpioid tail.

"This way to adventure, is it?" He says with a friendly, but nonetheless somehow unnerving, smile. "Please forgive our tardiness. There was a bit of an inquest concerning a donation I'd not long ago made to the Flaxseed Lodge's decor."

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

"Indeed, we both do our part to save the world; I'm sure you enlivened the world for a bit."

Even if you don't remember any of it.

"For my part, I decided to read the prophesies. Like most they did not make a lick of sense, but perhaps some day they will."

Marta eyes the newcomer speculatively, dismissing the oddities as just another one of many she encounters in her job. "You seem like a spell caster. Would you happen to know the mage armor spell? I'm hoping for someone to cast the spell on me during this mission."

Scarab Sages

male Elf Witch 13
Spoiler:
|AC 16, T 16, FF 13|HP: 75/75|F +7, R +10, W +11 (+2 vs Ench/death/gaze, +1 vs Tran/fear/confusion/writing)|Init +3, Perc +24|CMB +7 CMD 20|12/12 Flight, 1/1 Levitate, 1/1 Sphinx, 1/1 Sculptor

"Of course," Vladek scoffs, before looking around the room bemusedly. "Don't tell me that's all I was summoned here for."

"I once turned an Aspis slaver into a newt!"


Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

Once you have all gathered and prepared, you collect the Pale Maiden and begin the journey to Galt.

Despite the worries of the Decemvirate, your voyage across the Inner Sea and up the Sellen River to the Galtan town of Woodsedge sees few dangers, and you reach your destination without ever having to draw your weapons. The whole nation of Galt remains in the thrall of a bloody revolution, and while signs of desperation, poverty, and even violence abound, none of it has prevented you from your mission. The Pale Maiden remains safe, and you have successfully completed your first direct task for the secretive inner circle of the Pathfinder Society. Sooner than you had expected, you find yourselves standing on the outer stair of the Woodsedge Lodge. Situated on immense grounds just outside the town proper, the luxurious manor house is marred by cracked plaster, missing windows, and rotting shingles, but a well-groomed topiary hints at a building coming back from a near-death encounter with Revolution and abandonment.

The huge doors of the Woodsedge Lodge open with a slow creak. A tall, bulky figure takes form in the gloom within, emerging into the sunlight with a gap-toothed smile and a bushy blond beard. Everyone except Luisila recognizes Venture-Captain Adril Hestram from past missions; Marta in particular has worked with him a number of times. The huge man chuckles merrily as he reaches out to offer Marta a hearty hug.

“I was wondering who they would send! The Ten choose wisely, of course! You did receive your orders to come here from the Decemvirate themselves, didn’t you? The servants are clucking that you bear the Pale Maiden. Is it true? May I wield the blade?”

As you show him the package, he looks at the blade reverantly for several moments before placing it back in its box.

“I have only just arrived myself. I was summoned by a direct order bearing the sign of the Decemvirate. Venture-Captian Petulengro and that peculiar fellow Osprey are waiting for all of us inside the lodge.

“They won’t say why we’ve all been called here, but it’s obvious the Pale Maiden is just a cover story. I’ve been… studying up on the Ten. I think I’m about to be promoted into their ranks. It was only a matter of time. My guess is that you’re here to represent my efforts as a venture-captain. I’ve no doubt you’ll make a very convincing argument for my promotion.

“Things will change between us if this happens. You’ve always been honest, dependable agents, so I’m telling you while I still can. After it happens, we will all be sworn to utter secrecy, for the identities of the Ten are the most treasured secrets of the Pathfinder Society. For now, though, I want you to know that I trust you implicitly, and I hope that you trust me. Once I have been made one of the Ten, even if we can no longer discuss it openly, I want you to know that I will always do what is right by you.”

“But enough of that! Come in, you must meet the lady of the lodge.”


Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

Hestram leads you inside the Woodsedge Lodge. The filigreed front doors open into a spacious great room with an enormous fireplace against the opposite wall. Elegant upholstered chairs and couches scattered about the chamber present an inviting, luxurious atmosphere, as if the whole place had been designed for fashionable lounging. A sweeping stair beside the fireplace leads to the balconies of the mansion’s second floor, which look down upon the room as if it were a stage. A scuffed and oddly stained red carpet runs down the center of the stair, showing that work yet remains to restore the Woodsedge Lodge to its former glory. Some elements, like the threadbare stuffed owlbear in one corner, hint more at the past than the future, but things are coming along.

He leads on to the west, through a fine wooden door and into a wood paneled corridor rich with the smell of fresh onions and simmering meat stew. The passage continues several feet to the north, with doors leading to chambers beyond. Adril bounds through the southernmost doors across the hall, leading you into a richly appointed meeting room where two figures are seated at a huge oak table near several empty chairs obviously intended for you. Adril points to a male human garbed in crude leathers wearing a necklace of bird skulls.

“This here is Osprey,” he says. “Honorable fellow, a friend to all and a Society man, tall and true. His keen eyes see much among the Pathfinders that others miss, and his counsel is unparalleled in our order.” The pale man nods at you. Fendahl, Myrdon, and Vladek recognize him from past dealings, and know him to be quiet and enigmatic, and devoted to the society.

Adril turns to the gorgeous red-haired woman sitting at the head of the table, her pale face a marble bust of confidence and control.

“And this,” he says, his cheeks taking on a touch of red and his mouth curving into a lecherous grin, “is Venture-Captain Eliza Petulengro, the Lady of the Lodge.”

Eliza steps forward and greets you warmly. “Welcome to my home here in Woodsedge. I am pleased that the Decemvirate has taken notice of my efforts to restore this Lodge to its former glory. Adril I know well from our shared time in Absalom, dispatching teams of field agents on special missions for the Society.”

“You have my most sincere thanks for safely delivering the Pale Maiden to me,” Eliza says with a proud smile. “One of my servants will bring it to the lodge’s armory, where it will be kept safe to honor the responsibility granted to me by the Decemvirate.”

As she speaks, several human servants wearing elaborate dresses and fashionable suits bustle in and out of the kitchen through the north doors, delivering delicate flutes of bubbling wine, plates of fresh fruits, and platters of manicured fingerfoods. Each of the servants wears a featureless white porcelain mask, obscuring his or her face completely. Each servant also wears a thin red ribbon around the neck. Eliza's face takes on a serious cast as you note their dress.

“The ribbons represent the guillotine. The Final Blades that sing the song of Revolution and cut the heads from patriots. Each of my servants has lost a beloved one to the Mob. They wear the masks for their own protection. They are safe here in the Lodge. I know their identities, but it is critical that the rabble and the Mob do not identify them as servants of the Society. We are still not fully trusted here, after all, and although the people will not strike out against me, they may very well snatch one of my servants on their return home from a day’s work. I’m sure you understand.

“My homeland of Galt has lost much in this endless Revolution, and even the streets are dangerous. You are lucky to have arrived here safely, but I am sure you could have handled yourselves had you run into trouble.

“Of course,” Eliza says, “I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that delivering the Pale Maiden was merely a pretext to get you to the Woodsedge Lodge. You are here for something far more important than a courier mission. For tonight, the Lodge will be host to a Talespinning, one of the most important ceremonies known to the Pathfinder Society. And the guest of honor is Adril Hestram!”

“Osprey will reveal the details of the ceremony when we convene in the Great Room in about an hour. For now, the staff will show you to rooms where you may plan to spend the night before returning to Absalom tomorrow. Please relax and I will see you shortly!”


Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

Two of the masked staff lead you upstairs and show you to the guest rooms. Three rooms have been set aside for your use on one wing, with Adril Hestram occupying a slightly larger suite at the end of the hall. The corresponding rooms on on the other wing are set aside for the staff and for Osprey, with Eliza in the suite on the end of that hall. Adril goes to his room and closes the door; Osprey follows Eliza into her room as they converse quiety.

DC 18 Sense Motive:
As you are escorted upstairs, you notice Eliza and Osprey look at each other in a way that suggests they are aware of something the rest of you may not be about the evening's event.

You have about an hour before the ceremony. It seems like this may be a somewhat formal affair, so you may wish to clean up and/or change clothes. Let me know if you want to do anything during this time.


Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

Pictures of the NPCs are on the images slideshow.

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

Each day Marta has Vladek cast a Mage Armor on her extended by a lesser metamagic rod and recovered by a pearl of power. She also casts her Greater Magic Weapon at the beginning of each day. She will take the longstrider spell, provided Fendahl is willing to cast it on her with no pearl of power, whenever he casts it on himself and his companion.

Before getting to the lodge, Marta casts heightened awareness and heroism, knowing that they help with the briefing. the other spells will wait until there is eminent danger.

Marta stiffly returns the hug, amused at the her imaginings of what the gregarious fellow will receive if and when he hugs Luisila. She listens to the man's speech, shaking her head as he posits that he will soon be a member of the ten.

Dang fool. There's a reason they don't blather their membership about, trusted fellows or not. But this is Hestram and he would probably relish an assassination attempt.

She listens with interest as the Lady explains the nights activities. Though this Talespinning, as she calls it, does not seem to be such great importance.

Sense Motive, heroism: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (4) + 17 = 21

Storytelling? Really!? Whatever. The rest of the matter will soon be revealed. Now where is that porter?"

Marta leaves her backpack on the ground, hoping that one of the servants will carry it for her. When one of them picks it up she murmurs the contact phrase as if absentmindedly reciting a song or something. Though anyone who knows her would realize that is not something she would do.

What do we know about the Pale Maiden?


Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror
Marta - A.K.A. Telmar So-Melnop wrote:
Before getting to the lodge, Marta casts heightened awareness and heroism, knowing that they help with the briefing. the other spells will wait until there is eminent danger.

In case it wasn't clear, you aren't expecting a mission, you are delivering an item and have now been invited to take part in a ceremony. There really isn't any reason to expect to need those spells.

Dark Archive

Varisian Human Sorcerer (Sylvan) L13 | HP: 96/96 | AC:13+4+1 T:13+1 FF:12+4 | CMB:+5+2 CMD:18+1 | Saves F:14+2 R:12+2+1 W:14+2 | Init:+6 | Per:+16+2 | Spd: 30 fly 40 +30 | Reroll: 1/1 | Spells: L1 6/9, L2 5/8, L3: 4/8, L4: 5/8, L5: 5/8, L6:4/5 | Topple Rod: 3/3 | Fleeting Glance: 11/13 | Conditions: false life (13h); overland flight (13h); heroism (130m); mage armor (1h); haste

Would you allow for Myrdon to have cast overland flight though? I mean, it is practically permanent fly and it is something that the fabulous Myrdon would likely have on as much as he can. :)

"Talespinning, eh?" Myrdon nods approvingly. "That's pretty much what we do in the Society, don't we? Travel the world, gather experiences, and convert them into stories. Jolly or tragic." At this, you sense a strange catch in his voice.

"Come, Aegis! I've got quite a bit of work to do with you before you're presentable." Behind the door, you hear repeated chanting of "අභිමානයෙන් යුතුවයි...", which the arcane casters recognise as the simple prestidigitation.

Just realised that Myrdon never bought any nice clothes!

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)
GM Rinaldo wrote:
In case it wasn't clear, you aren't expecting a mission, you are delivering an item and have now been invited to take part in a ceremony. There really isn't any reason to expect to need those spells.

Marta typically casts heightened awareness, and occasionally heroism for mission briefing meetings because of the boost they give to knowledge rolls. Not because she is expecting danger.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

sense motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17

Hrmmmm. Something does not feel right here but I cannot fathom what it is.
What sort of ceremony have they prepared for Master Hestram? I am curious if they expect any trouble. I am reluctant to go unprepared, especially with revolutionaries running the streets outside. No honor is to be had by this civil unrest.

Fendahl has a courtier outfit he will don if dragon platearmor will be out of place for the ceremony. He will also inquire as to the reaction to having Kirrah join him, or she stay in the room, guarding his larger gear (longbow, nodachi, backpack) and armor if left unattended. He will not attend without his katana and cloak, vest. loaded wristbands etc.

Grand Lodge

Female CG Half-elf Cleric 13 | HP: 133/133 | AC: 24 (15 T, 20 Fl) | CMB: +11, CMD: 26 (27 grapple) | F: +18, R: +13, W: +21 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init: +5 | Perc: +26, SM: +7 | Speed 30' | 0/7 Channels | 0/9 BoL | 0/2 GF | Active conditions: none

“Those masked servants creep me out, Fendahl. Should we check out their rooms or work spaces?”

Woodsedge Lodge ambience wrote:
Everyone except Luisila recognizes Venture-Captain Adril Hestram from past missions …

The Ten are going to make HIM one of them?

Luisila stands to the side with her arms firmly crossed. Silent disdain is plastered across her face.

“Venture-Captain Hestram, you won’t remember me.”

Like ❆ICE❆ “I was ONLY one of the rookie agents that sorted out the very FIRST incident at the Blakros Museum, at your behest.”

“I’m sure you had more important things on your plate at the time.” Luisila and Adril never hit it off back then either.

“I will be sure to wear something to honor your service at dinner.”

The priestess curtseys formally to Osprey, smiling sweetly. “I’ve heard so much about you! Pleased to make you acquaintance.”

She greets Eliza warmly.

Along with her *bob* Luisila adds, “I took advantage of your hospitality in Druma on a recent mission to rescue Colson Maldris and some Andoren senators, VC Petulengro.”

“I trust the good major received what was coming to him?”

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8

Luisila wrote:
“I will be sure to wear something to honor your service at dinner.”

“Marta, shall we share a room? Don’t worry, I don’t snore.”

Luisila decided to bring a woman’s tuxedo along on this trip. The noble outfit features a black suit jacket, matching tailored shorts, dark full length stockings, low heels, a wing tip shirt and yellow bow tie.

Using one of her open first level spell slots, she ✨casts disguise self to appear as a Vanara version of herself. She crams as much gear into her leather ‘man-purse’ Pathfinder’s pouch as she can before grabbing a banana from her trail rations.

“How do I look? Like I’m ready for a big Night at the Blakros Museum?”

I am still fussing with Luisila's spell list and she will ask Fendahl if Kirrah will guard her breastplate.

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

Marta declares, "I have not brought anything formal with me, just the outfit I have on and a couple changes of clothing. I may need to borrow something if we need to dress up. Knowing Mr Hestram, though, that will not be necessary. Should I leave my spear in my room for the Talespinning? It can get a bit awkward."

Marta responds hesitantly, but affirmatively to Luisila's offer to share a room. She feels a combination of fascination, amusement, and disapproval towards the woman that leaves her uncertain what to do with her. Marta also recognizes that she herself is overly reserved and occasionally tries to break out of that pattern.

Marta - A.K.A. Telmar So-Melnop wrote:
GM Rinaldo wrote:
In case it wasn't clear, you aren't expecting a mission, you are delivering an item and have now been invited to take part in a ceremony. There really isn't any reason to expect to need those spells.
Marta typically casts heightened awareness, and occasionally heroism for mission briefing meetings because of the boost they give to knowledge rolls. Not because she is expecting danger.

Oh, and the statement "I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that delivering the Pale Maiden was merely a pretext to get you to the Woodsedge Lodge." led me to believe that Marta expected a new mission once they got there. If that is not the case, and Marta truly believes that there was not to be any new information delivered, then I would agree that she would not cast those spells.

Grand Lodge

Female CG Half-elf Cleric 13 | HP: 133/133 | AC: 24 (15 T, 20 Fl) | CMB: +11, CMD: 26 (27 grapple) | F: +18, R: +13, W: +21 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init: +5 | Perc: +26, SM: +7 | Speed 30' | 0/7 Channels | 0/9 BoL | 0/2 GF | Active conditions: none

“I’m sure we can work out something for you, Marta.”

Luisila stands in front of the inquisitor frowning. “Mm … maybe.”

She grabs hold of her roomie’s shoulders, before spinning her around and taking a step or two back to inspect her from the rear.

“No, that won’t work … but what about?”

Luisila rotates Marta another 180, claps her hands in delight and hoo-hoo-hoots like a chimp. “YES! By Threv, I think I’ve got it!”

“Marta, are you familiar with Pathfinder Chronicle #4 The Curious Case of Skelg the Ripper? He was a Norse associate of the Society who contracted a frigid curse which penetrated his heart like frozen fingers.”

“A Pathfinder team sorted out Ol’ Skelg, and guess who their Venture-Captain was? That’s right! Adril Hestram!”

Luisila rummages through her pack, before handing Marta her cold weather outfit, comprising woollen pants and a vest, a snow leopard fur coat and matching boots.

“Along with my furs, I’m sure there’s an old helm lying around that Myrdon could prestigidate some horns onto. Then we could make you up as a Valkyrie – you know, the female Outsiders that decide which fallen warriors make it to the Linnorm King's Battle Paradise.”

“And you know what else? Valkyries carry spears! So you could carry your weapon openly in honor of old mate VC Hestram! What do you think?”

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

"Never heard of it and I know next to nothing about parties, other than to serve as a guard. If you say furs are appropriate, I'll take your word for it."

At least she is not trying to dress me up like an illustration from Armor Fashion magazine, though I'm pretty sure the horns are totally unnecessary.

Marta puts on the furs but says, "I'm going to skip on the helmet, though. Never did care for them. Are you sure this is a good idea? I think it will make me a sweaty mess."

She feels a bit ridiculous but goes along with it for now.


Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

Responses to various posts:

Myrdon Gharthrin wrote:
Would you allow for Myrdon to have cast overland flight though? I mean, it is practically permanent fly and it is something that the fabulous Myrdon would likely have on as much as he can. :)

Sure, that's a perfectly reasonable "travelling" spell. My own high level arcanist casts it every day and his feet rarely touch the ground anymore. ;-)

---------------------------------------
Fendahl Silvermane wrote:
Hrmmmm. Something does not feel right here but I cannot fathom what it is.

Actually everything seems reasonable. You have brought a society heirloom to a lodge where a surprise ceremony is being held for an esteemed Venture-Captain. You get no feeling that anything is off, really.

---------------------------------------
Fendahl Silvermane wrote:
He will also inquire as to the reaction to having Kirrah join him

This is a Pathfinder lodge. Kirrah is not the strangest or largest creature to have been brought through. She is quite welcome anywhere you are.

---------------------------------------
Luisila wrote:

Like ❆ICE❆ “I was ONLY one of the rookie agents that sorted out the very FIRST incident at the Blakros Museum, at your behest.”

Dammit, that's on me. Somehow I didn't see Mists in your list. He does recognize you, and you recognize him.

---------------------------------------
Marta - A.K.A. Telmar So-Melnop wrote:
Oh, and the statement "I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that delivering the Pale Maiden was merely a pretext to get you to the Woodsedge Lodge." led me to believe that Marta expected a new mission once they got there. If that is not the case, and Marta truly believes that there was not to be any new information delivered, then I would agree that she would not cast those spells.

No, that was Hestram puffing up about the fact that you're actually here to celebrate *him*. He has a bit of an ego. ;-)

---------------------------------------

Going to give a bit more time for everyone to catch up on replies, then let me know any activities or plans for before the ceremony. For dress, your impression is that the event is somewhat formal in feel, but not so much that you have to go to extraordinary lengths. The main hall where the ceremony will take place has a number of tables and chairs as well as small sofas, and there are weapon racks around, as if armed pathfinders often meet there.

Grand Lodge

Female CG Half-elf Cleric 13 | HP: 133/133 | AC: 24 (15 T, 20 Fl) | CMB: +11, CMD: 26 (27 grapple) | F: +18, R: +13, W: +21 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init: +5 | Perc: +26, SM: +7 | Speed 30' | 0/7 Channels | 0/9 BoL | 0/2 GF | Active conditions: none
Marta wrote:
“I think it will make me a sweaty mess.”

“I’ve got just the thing to help with that.”

Luisila dips a long, simian arm into her ‘man-purse’, which disappears into the extra-dimensional space like a stage-magician’s trick, before pulling out a 2 foot stick of fir, which she gently taps Marta’s arm with.

✨casts endure elements

Marta wrote:
“Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“Marta, you realize I’m dressed up as a monkey, right?” :

“I am sure the Venture-Captains and some of the boys remember the Frozen Fingers of Midnight. It was quite a famous Chronicle.”

She smiles smoothing out the aasimar’s fur collar. “Knowing the ego VC Hestram has, I’m sure he’ll be chuffed.”

Marta wrote:
“I know next to nothing about parties, other than to serve as a guard.”

Luisila steps back and takes a moment to realize Marta is not pulling her leg.

“Just relax and talk about things you like:

“Men will naturally come up to talk to you. It’s the natural order of things – as Calistria decrees.”

Luisila *shrugs* “Anyways, the night is all about Adril Hestram – so he’ll be the center of attention”

“And if all else fails, you go be that Linnorm King-themed bouncer. It’ll be obvious to everyone you’re being yourself. Just stand close to VC Hestram – I’m sure he’ll be delighted to have a Seeker bodyguard for the evening.”

“Now, what say we load our weapons in the ballroom racks and go talk to the servants? I want to check out the security arrangements and get one of them to tell me which room Osprey’s in.” *wink*

take 10 perception: 10 + 24 = 34

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

Marta stiffly tags along, huddled (comfortably thanks to the Endure Elements) in a mass of furs. As they move through the servants she will slip her contact phrase "Even the most powerful of rats must fear the talons from above" into any private conversation she can get with one. She is unable to relax, in spite of the festivities, and envies her partner's casual nature. Not because she wishes to change, but because it is dang annoying to not be able to enjoy it when times are simple.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

Sorry for over analyzing. "...was merely a pretext to get you to the Woodsedge Lodge. You are here for something far more important than a courier mission."
Fendahl would simply wonder why any deceit was necessary and not just state the intended purpose open and honestly. But he is like that.

Fendahl will let the women enjoy their moment, not being overly fond of social events and preferring the outdoors over any sort of ballroom gala.

Missing the familiar weight of his dragon plate, he strides around the room in his courtier outfit.

Taking in the architecture and furnishings as if he really cares, he muses to no one in particular.

Hrrmm. Impressive dwelling. The weapon racks are a nice touch, and functional, but I am more comfortable retaining my blade for now.
But I will honor our hosts in this celebration. The evening will be over soon enough, and then back to the open savanna again.

He paces along the walls, trying to stay out of the limelight.

He will keep an eye open for other guests he may recognize, other than the party.

perception t10: 10 + 17 = 27

Will we be joined by others from the Society this evening? Others not staying on the property? For an occasion of such importance, I would expect to see a strong show of support.

Scarab Sages

male Elf Witch 13
Spoiler:
|AC 16, T 16, FF 13|HP: 75/75|F +7, R +10, W +11 (+2 vs Ench/death/gaze, +1 vs Tran/fear/confusion/writing)|Init +3, Perc +24|CMB +7 CMD 20|12/12 Flight, 1/1 Levitate, 1/1 Sphinx, 1/1 Sculptor

These days, Vladek is always well-dressed. His outfit tonight, resplendent and striking without being overly lavish, combines elements of the ancient and traditional with the unorthodox and strange, dominated by a duality of contrasting colors (gold and purple, this time) as always. His jewelry is in the finest taste, but what ornament could compare with Qadathra on his shoulder?

In addition to the customary personal wards that a mage of his power scarcely gets out of bed without, mage armor and...

greater false life: 2d10 + 12 ⇒ (5, 9) + 12 = 26
false life on Qadathra: 1d10 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11

Vladek prepares for the ceremony with spells of luck, knowledge, and power - whispering lore, heroism, and....

[dice=Vladek's lucky number]1d20[/dice]
[dice=Qadathra's lucky number]1d20[/dice]


Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

You spend your hour cleaning and getting dressed, and some wander about the estate a bit. The upper floor is devoted to living quarters, two wings with a central balcony that looks down over the great hall below. On the ground floor, the great hall itself takes up nearly half of the space. Around and beyond it are a library, a large conference room, a weapons training room, and the kitchen and pantry. Behind the estate is a meticulously manicured courtyard with lovely topiaries and a reflecting pool, and a path leading off to a hedge maze.

When the appointed hour arrives, you all gather in the great hall where a squad of masked servants pass out long flutes of wine, selected Galtan cheeses, thin-cut venison, and poached axebeak eggs (which smell slightly of sulfur but taste delightful). Once everyone has arrived, Osprey ascends the stairs and addresses the group from the balcony.

“Fellow agents of the Pathfinder Society,” says Osprey from the balcony overlooking the Great Room. “I deliver a message from the Decemvirate. Long have the Ten observed the exploits of Venture-Captain Adril Hestram. Time and again he has served the Society well, from his own adventures in the Mwangi Expanse to the many activities conducted by agents under his guidance.”

Osprey’s scratchy voice pauses for a moment and he leers out at you. His high brow casts his dark eyes in shadow, giving him an ominous visage. He gestures to you and your companions. “That is where you come in. For tonight we celebrate the Talespinning Ceremony, and our ritual begins with each of you standing where I stand and regaling us with the story of your greatest victory as a field agent of the Pathfinder Society. We stand tonight to examine the achievements of Venture-Captain Adril Hestram, and your victories speak to his capabilities as a leader and his judgment in selecting the agents for his important missions for the Society. When we have heard from each of you, it will be Adril’s turn. After that, we shall know the way of things, and the way of the future for Adril Hestram, and perhaps also for all of you."

“Now,” he says, his mouth forming a crooked smile. “Who would like to go first?”

Social encounter! :-)

Each of you is expected to ascend the stairs to the balcony and tell a tale. In this ceremony, your achievements reflect on Adril's as a leader, so even if he does not directly figure into your story, telling of your exploits will reflect well on him. You can use the story I had you write before, or if you have something you think is better for this, feel free to do something new.

As you tell your story, Adril, Eliza and Osprey are listening and watching intently. This is an opportunity to impress them. At the end, make a Diplomacy, Bluff, or Perform (oratory) check. I'll be assigning a bonus based on your story, but there is no penalty or way to do it "wrong". Subtle or artistic magic (illusions, sounds, etc) are fine, but overt magic to influence them might be frowned upon.

Liberty's Edge

Female Aasimar UMonk/1 Inquisitor/12 | HP: 95/108 | AC/T/FF: 40/27/29 24/20/15 | CMB: +16, CMD: 41 34 (+4) CD| F/R/W: 17/17/20 17/14/21 | Init: +13 (-4 wo HAware) | Acro +20 (25), Intim +33 (+2 if Halo), Perc +27, SenMot +20, SpCft +6, Stealth +11, Survival +13 (-2 to all skills wo heroism) | Speed 30ft | Move: 30 ft (30 ft) | Active Conditions: -2 wisdom, freedom of movement, see invisibility, tongues, bane(human), and more (see buff tracking sheet)

[b]"How about we describe our conflict with the shadow lodge in the world wound? It has demons and demon cults, enemies of the society, and world renown prophesies? That is if you want to do a team approach."

Regardless, Marta will cast heroism on herself and use diplomacy and tell the tale.

diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18

Though she does so rather stiffly and matter-of-factually with little embellishment. Still interesting, but not entertaining like a bard. It would have helped if she did not spend so much time on the mundane details of travel.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

Fendahl will listen carefully to the first tale, and watch the hosts of the ceremony for any sort of reaction, whether approving, disapproving or altogether disinterested.

Sense motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18

I would be honored to try my turn at the tale spinning as you name it.
Although I am no skald or bard, I will do what I can.

He ascends the stairs in his finery, slowly climbing and trying to determine a suitable delivery.

Hrmmmm. When I was an early recruit into the Society, one of my first missions was directed at the behest of our VentureCaptain Hestram.

He bows to the three hosts before continuing.

His first words were very powerful and I will always remember them.
'One of our number has fallen.' I could tell Master Hestram was pained and felt deeply at the loss of an esteemed venture-captain collegue.

He stops again with a pause in the story for a moment, recalling the mission.

His next words were even more memorable. 'He was one of our finest and we aim to honor his request. It is for this reason I’ve called you all together.'
Honor is everything. And I saw Adril Hestram understood this. I pledged to complete the mission no matter the hardship or toil, but to honor one of our own. As any of us here or in the field would want if we should perish. I have heard honor a few times in years since, as agents are lost in the field. The most recent was some dwarf, although I did not know him personally, giving his life to save others on a nearly failed mission. His team raised a toast to Brother Grimdock as he was beyond recovery but not beyond our memory.
He and many others deserve the honor to be remembered. I believed in Master Hestram and that he felt as I did...and still do. The Silken Caravan was not easy, but it did not matter, it was our duty to honor one fallen in service to the Society.”

diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22

He bows once again towards Hestam before decending the stairs for the next telling.

Grand Lodge

Female CG Half-elf Cleric 13 | HP: 133/133 | AC: 24 (15 T, 20 Fl) | CMB: +11, CMD: 26 (27 grapple) | F: +18, R: +13, W: +21 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init: +5 | Perc: +26, SM: +7 | Speed 30' | 0/7 Channels | 0/9 BoL | 0/2 GF | Active conditions: none

“I can tell a tale of demoniacs and the League of Shadows, Marta.”

Luisila balances a banana daiquiri on the balustrade edge, climbs onto the railing, sits and crosses her legs.

take 10 acrobatics: 10 + 5 = 15

“Fendahl mentioned perseverance and honor earlier. Traits held in abundance by Venture-Captain Hestram, though it was not he who started me on this particular journey.”

The priestess takes up her drink and begins.

“As a novice, I joined three new companions in Almas, Andoran searching for evidence of corruption against a Representative of the People’s Council – who was also suspected of being the Spider, leader of the local Shadow Lodge cell.”

Luisila takes a sip from her yellow witch’s brew. “The investigation itself was straight forward. The problem –– if you could call it that –– was that one of my companions was far more experienced than the rest of us, and was a Musket Master to boot.”

She shrugs. “So while there were assassins waiting for us behind every corner, old mate literally blew them all away, leaving NOTHING for the rest of us to do.”

Luisila: Can I at least buff you with a bit of luck?
This is my Boomstick: No need … *BOOM* See? He’s dead.

“Eventually we corner our quarry below the People’s Council Chambers. Turns out she’s an arcane caster and her first move is to cause our gunslinger to flee –– He was OUTA THERE and not coming back.”

“‘Hooray,’ says our elven ranger. ‘I’ve got this!’ Unfortunately, the Spider ✨casts sleep and WE ALL FAIL TO SAVE!”

“Then I have the weirdest dream … well more like a premonition of a later mission:

The lift car halts its descent with a loud *CLANG* The demonic fangs that form the front of the compartment drop away, allowing me to exit the cage into a dark cavern. Then I hear a familiar, muffled voice calling out to me.

Sure enough, after activating the light function of my wayfinder, I spot my paladin companion Omrax the Bold contained in a summoning circle on a raised dais. The holy warrior is banging on the inside of the invisible barrier, trying to get out.

“Lady Luisila! Am I glad to see you. Just break the boundary of the circle and let me out.”

I rush over to swipe the imaginary edge of the protective circle.

The stoic paladin’s visage twists into that of a horned, four-armed demon. The fiend’s mocking laughter filling my mind, as it speaks in Omrax’s voice …

“Lady Luisila, I have coup de grâced both your friends. By the Demon Queen of Spiders, you are next!”

“Then I woke up.”

“And it was like no time had passed –– something to do with being immune to magical sleep I suppose.”

Luisila smiles. “Then the ranger and I exchanged glances, and squished ourselves a spider!”

“It was a close run thing. But without perseverance, teamwork and honor, I would not be here tonight telling this tale.”

ooc:

The GM was brand new and 3 of us were noobs. Only the gunslinger was a vet.

Once the gunslinger failed vs fear, the player went for a break. By the time he came back we all thought it was a TPK and were wringing our hands.

Then the gunslinger says, “Hey, cleric and ranger. You’re elves, so you’re immune to sleep.” A bit of luck and a curve-blade crit later, the Spider was toast.

diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14 Go, go, gadget, roleplay bonus!

Dark Archive

Varisian Human Sorcerer (Sylvan) L13 | HP: 96/96 | AC:13+4+1 T:13+1 FF:12+4 | CMB:+5+2 CMD:18+1 | Saves F:14+2 R:12+2+1 W:14+2 | Init:+6 | Per:+16+2 | Spd: 30 fly 40 +30 | Reroll: 1/1 | Spells: L1 6/9, L2 5/8, L3: 4/8, L4: 5/8, L5: 5/8, L6:4/5 | Topple Rod: 3/3 | Fleeting Glance: 11/13 | Conditions: false life (13h); overland flight (13h); heroism (130m); mage armor (1h); haste

Sorry posting late. Busy day at work and wanted to do this post justice...

"Well, I guess we are saving the best for last then!" Myrdon says to no one in particular. Or perhaps to everyone. Copying from Marta, he first lays a charm of heroic enchantment on himself, before he starts striding confidentally up the stairs, passing the vanara on her way down.

Giving one and all a deep bow with a flourish, he beams at the audience, soaking up the atmosphere the way only a seasoned performer can. Then, he speaks with a voice that carries resoundingly across the room.

"Imagine, if you will, a book. But no, this is no ordinary piece of work. For it is a tome of the most righteous of repose. A simple invitation from the Venture-Captain was how it began. 'Care to peruse the pages with me?' Simple seven words, they are, but what an adventure they led to! A most exciting and eventful dungeon delve to the lost ruins of Lastwall." Myrdon's voice gradually rises in energy and excitement. "But of course, the team of Pathfinders were well-equipped for the mission. Hordes and hordes of monsters that dared challenged us were decimated one after another, as the intrepid adventurers pushed on ever onward to secure the forgotten treasures lost within for countless centuries."

Suddenly, Myrdon pauses for a few moments, and his inflamed countenance takes an abrupt dark turn. He continues with a voice dropping down in pitch, as his mood turns sombre, "Until, that is, this sole being floated out through the wall. We foolishly remarked, "It is only just one. What is one after the hordes we have fought?" But oh, how wrong we were. Our initial attacks proved ineffectual, passing through its ethereal form with bare scratches, but if we could only say the same for its counterattacks! Its spells wreaked havoc among the Pathfinders caught-off-guard, and its touch drained not just life but rips your consciousness apart! In almost no time at all, half the party had already been taken down by this nightmare of a creature, including, I'm ashamed to say, yours truly and his faithful bird companion."

Myrdon's voice starts stirring again. "But in crisis is when heroism arises! The courageous monk, in a bid to buy time for the healer to do his work, led the incorporeal being on a wild chase around the meandering tunnels." His voice suddenly drops again, turning sorrowful. "But alas! His life was lost when the cursed being finally caught up with noble warrior, tearing out his life force. But his sacrifice was not in vain, for by then, the healer had revived this unfortunate sorcerer."

Again, Myrdon changes his tone, this time his voice taking on a low raspy note. "The being, having done is dastardly deed, was returning, but the healer's work was not done! So I had little choice, but to take on combat role I never thought a fragile sorcerer would ever have to take - that of the frontliner. I needed to delay this unearthly entity further, to over the baton from our poor doomed monk. Piling on layers of magical protection on myself - magical armor, magical shield, mirror mirages - I moved to face the monster, in the process ironically becoming the most well-protected against the attacks of the incorporeal creature." Very subtly this time, Myrdon's voice slowly rises with vigor. "Returning to the most fundamental of spells, I summoned bolts after bolts of arcane force to slam into our foe, one of the few party weapons that could get through its ethereal form. Again and again, the ghostly being attacked but failed to get past my wards while it repeatedly got torn up by my magical strikes. These precious seconds that tied up the adversary was finally sufficient for the team healer to finally rouse the rest of the party." He brings the tale to the climax, with a resounding voice that echoes across the room. "With all but the monk returned, and now fully aware of capabilities of this ungodly being, with a final combined effort, we simply tore it apart!"

Myrdon hangs in the air, his arms outstretched invitingly towards the audience, glowing proud smile on his face. That is when you realised that while telling his tale, the sorcerer has been every so slightly and subtly been flying up into the air, drawing everyone's attention up with him such that when his tale ended, he was high above everyone's heads.

Again, after pausing for a few dramatic moments, he allows himself to slowly float back down. He continues speaking as he does so, this time in a more neutral tone. "After such an ordeal, the rest of the dungeon was smooth sailing. Reliable as all Pathfinders arer, we retrieved the lost artifact and, on returned, restored the life of our fallen companion." By this time, Myrdon has landed gently on the balcony. He finishes with a wry grin. "All possible because of that one time when the weakly arcane spellcaster stepped up to be - what is affectionately known as - the party tank."

With another flourish and a deep bow, he thanks the audience silently and saunters back down the stairs.

diplomacy, heroism: 1d20 + 19 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 19 + 2 = 33


Escaping the Grave, Table 1 | Escaping the Grave, Table 2 | The Midnight Mirror

Still need a post from Vladek, then I'll tell you their reactions.

Grand Lodge

Male Half-elf HP 121/121 AC33 Touch 13 Flat 26; F+17 R+11 W+17(+2 ench,+4 fey) INIT+4 Perc+20 CMB+16 CMD+30 Lion Shaman 12/Samurai 1, {resinskin, barkskin } Shape changed 0/5

Fendahl smiles at the quality of the tales provided by his comrades and their accounts of heroism and honor.

Well said.

He glances down the hallway towards their lodgings.

I just hope Kirrah is behaving herself and not scratching something expensive. I will never hear the end of it.

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